When Mary Had A Little Lamb…

     …her ObGyn scowled and asked her, “Just where have you been fooling around?” Mary merely giggled, albeit somewhat sheepishly.

     After yesterday – still think I’m slowing down, Pascal? – I have to kick back a bit. So instead of another epic diatribe, here are a few quick takes.


     First up is this report from Stephen Green about a librarian who was fired for wanting to be a librarian rather than a political censor:

     Cathy Simpson is, or rather was, head librarian at the Niagara-on-the-Lake Public Library on the Canadian side of the river, so at least it didn’t happen here. Not that it can’t happen here, as Sinclair Lewis and I will never tire of reminding you.
     Back in February, Simpson wrote a charming op-ep — at least to my eyes — for Niagara Now headlined, “Censorship and what we are allowed to read.”
     So when Simpson went on to ask her “colleagues to recognize their biases and recommit to striving for library neutrality and viewpoint diversity in collections,” they fired her.
     They fired her for “asking all writers, publishers, library workers, teachers and readers to acknowledge that pressure to suppress the availability of books can come from across the political spectrum” during Canada’s Freedom to Read Week.

     We already knew that Canada is sliding into totalitarianism. Still, I didn’t expect this from professional librarians. Librarians of my acquaintance have always professed devotion to the ideal of freedom of expression, viewpoint neutrality, and so forth. Usually while they were looking for somewhere to hide the latest books from Thomas Sowell, Dinesh D’Souza, and Ann Coulter.


     It doesn’t take a lot to drive the “wokesters” up the batty tree. You’re probably aware that they regard nothing – no area of human action – to have the right to go without their tender supervision. My own field of speculative fiction has suffered gravely from their success at infiltrating and colonizing the industry. In recent years they’ve also set their sights on video games, as this episode and this more recent phenomenon should make plain.

     Well, there’s at least one game developer that isn’t having any “woke” crap: South Korean game company Shift Up is going its own way. Its upcoming PS5 release Stellar Blade, an action platformer set on a post-apocalyptic Earth overrun by alien monsters, features Eve, a sexy main character in form-fitting garb. The previews have evoked wild excitement from American gamers. Predictably, the “wokesters” are furious:

     Simply put, some find the design of Eve and the team’s attitude (as well as the attitude of some Stellar Blade fans) towards her design to be problematic or simply creepy. Some are simply uncomfortable with that general approach to character design (or this specific instance of it), while others argue that this “fan service” style feels regressive at a time when female character designs in major games are regularly criticized by some gamers for apparently not being sexy enough.
     There’s a bit more to this story than that, though. Issues with personal uncomfortableness aside, some critics of Stellar Blade suggest that the developers are leaning into the sexuality of its lead character to generate hype for reasons other than the game itself. Those criticisms are compounded by the studio’s history of highly sexualized titles with questionable microtransactions and their prior inexperience with Triple-A games.

     Hm. A sexy main character in a fantasy / science fiction game. What an important cultural target for the rad-fems and the woke legions! It might just drive them…well, even more insane. Already, one lefty game-columnist has had to apologize for slamming Shift Up’s character design — and for a very funny reason.

     If you’d like a preview, just go to YouTube and search for Stellar Blade. You’ll find several video walkthroughs of the demo release. The gameplay looks both complex and challenging. Yes, Eve is beautiful and her costumes are very sexy. Perhaps we needed a reminder, Gentle Reader: a shapely woman clad in a sexy costume and carrying a huge, hi-tech sword can conquer anything. Watch for them in your neighborhood!


     We recently bought a new bed with some extra features: specifically, head and foot portions that can be raised or lowered on command. The C.S.O. and I are generally satisfied with it, despite the expense and the difficulties we had to endure to get it. However, it seems to have a drawback we hadn’t considered.

     You see, the remote communicates with the bed’s motion base by WiFi. The remote must be paired with the motion base before it will operate the bed. Thus, if for some reason your WiFi fails you, the remote will stop working until it’s been paired afresh. But that’s not all.

     Yesterday at bedtime, we discovered that the head and foot portions of the bed had been raised all the way to their stops: roughly a 30-degree angle with the horizontal. That’s not our preferred sleeping position, to say the least. I didn’t do it; neither did Beth. There’s only one other explanation: someone else with a Wifi-capable cell phone passed our house and – all unknowing – did something to “trigger” our bed.

     At this point, I’m just grateful it happened during daylight hours. Imagine if it had happened while we were abed. Clearly, not everything should be linked to the Internet.


     Concerning yesterday’s big piece, I’ve received a lot of email, most of it condemning…me. It seems there are a lot of folks who automatically assume that anyone who argues against the War on Drugs must be a drug addict, or at the least an enthusiastic consumer. Sorry, hostile correspondents: you’re wrong on both counts. But that has been a favorite argumentative tactic of those opposed to government drug-nannyism for quite some time.

     However, some of the mail has taken a surprising position: the writers argue for the benefits of currently illegal drugs. I reject the proposition that a drug that distorts one’s perceptions, or causes hallucinations, is good for you. I’m utterly against it, even as I argue that those drugs should be decriminalized.

     Some writers have claimed such drugs stimulate their imagination. There’s a problem with that notion. No drug contains a new idea. No drug contributes anything to one’s consciousness but distortions. He who believes that he “owes” the new idea he had to the drug he was using has missed that point. The idea was already within him. All he had to do was notice it.

     Getting a good grasp of that truth is important to clean living.


     That’s all for today, I think. Have a good Thursday, April 11 in this Year of Our Lord 2024.


  1. I have one of those adjustable beds. I couldn’t have managed without it when I broke my arm last summer. I love putting it up for reading in bed, tired legs, or respiratory illness. One of the great inventions for aging bodies.

    As for the illegal drugs, I do NOT wan5 to legalize or decriminalize them. At that point, it will ruin what’s left of schools, as schools will be pressured to allow them in class. And without the rationale of forbidding criminal activity, what stops the practice?

  2. Thin, Linda. Very thin. What discourages or deters other legal practices that we disapprove? What restrains children from adopting adult behaviors before they reach their majority? Must everything harmful — everything that incorporates an externality — be outlawed? Where is the threshold where non-legal methods of control become acceptable?

    I can and do sympathize with your revulsion against drugs. That, I trust you understand, isn’t the issue. The issue is where lies the greater harm. Is the War on Drugs, with the immense harms it’s done and still does to individuals’ rights and social peace, really the best we can do? Or can we restabilize at a point where drugs are no longer outlawed and attain a lesser degree of ongoing harm, both to individuals and to the nation? Remember the metastability problem.

    1. Indeed, with all the money going into propaganda to convince the public of doing things that will harm it, imagine if those in office still believed they were there to improve lives in this nation what a media campaign, at far less the cost of the WOD, could achieve. Unfortunately, there’s little chance for illicit monetary kickbacks when actually behaving like statesmen.

      Why can’t they be just a bit more like the heroes of your novels? No money and power and little room for psychos.

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