Friday, April 28, 2017

Jack Vance, Baron Bodissey, Gates of Vienna, and SJWs Everywhere

The first quibcag is a genuine quote from Jack Vance, and to emphasize that, I use an actual picture of Vance instead of my usual anime cutie-pie, though I'm sure Jack Vance himself would have been quite content with the latter. He said and wrote a lot of very good things, and I'll be doing more quibcags from them in the future.

Now, then, the second quibcag here is a quote from Gates of Vienna [link], which one would know if one had thoroughly read my last post. Now, the blogger who runs that site uses "Baron Bodissey" as a pseudonym [link].* So it is not a quote from Jack Vance. Although, and this is no doubt why the pseudonym was picked, it is something Jack Vance might very well have said. It fits in with the way he thinks.

In my opinion, Jack Vance is one of the greatest writers of his era. I've done several posts on him and his works, and you can find them by entering Jack Vance in "search this blog" at the top of the sidebar there on the right.

Well, to continue this story, I sent a link to my last post plus the quibcag to a discussion board devoted to Jack Vance [link]. I would have expected a board of Vance fans to be a little more sophisticated than most, but, alas, one commenter pounced on the quibcag and said something sarcastic about me "hating Muslims." Interesting, no? The quote takes pains not to judge the intrinsic nature of Muslims or Islam, but rather to stress that they are different from us. And when you read the blog post that goes with it, you'll find no more "hate" there, but just the undeniable assertion that Islam is based on assumptions that we do not accept, and that therefore it is not compatible with the West. But I was accused of "hate" anyway. What's a SJW doing on a Jack Vance discussion board. But that's a bit unfair. He may not be a SJW at all, but is simply reacting in a way he's been taught. Any criticism of the flavor of the month — in this case Muslims/Islam — is to be denounced as some kind of "hate." It's an impulse that goes, as they say, to the spine and back rather than to the brain.

But it gets better. On the same board, discussing Vance's
The Gray Prince, a member comments:

Like most of us here, in view of Mr. Vance's entire body of work, it's virtually impossible to imagine he was capable of racial prejudice in his personal life. That said, "The Gray Prince" does invoke some disturbing parallels with racist practices and attitudes, particularly those in the antebellum South.
Those of you who know Vance's work (and if you don't you have a treat waiting for you) would not expect knee-jerk liberalism out of him on race or class or anything else. His attitude is typified by the quote in the third quibcag. Now, I don't know what the commenter actually means by "it's virtually impossible to imagine he was capable of racial prejudice in his personal life," but I imagine he has some amorphous thing in mind about Vance being horrified at anything that violates the liberal narrative on the subject. And that's absurd, because any reading of Vance leads one to conclude that he's profoundly conservative (not neoconservative) and well aware of the reality and utility of traditional attitudes. To put it another way, when Vance deals with race, class, nationality, ethnicity, etc., in his writing, he handled the subjects realistically as opposed to ideologically. (A great many writers, especially science-fiction writers, do exactly the opposite, lacing their stories with hard-core politically-correct ideology at the expense of all realism. Much of their work is devoted to proving a point, which is a valid purpose, but which makes their writing less valuable than in might be.)

This would be funny if it weren't so pathetic. This commenter has swallowed the SJW narrative whole, and can't imagine that a great writer like Vance could possibly be anything but a doctrinaire liberal,  because he's been told all his life that non-liberals are ignorant, evil, stupid, and barely, if at all, literate. In short, the poor fellow is a Peefer if he only knew it. To learn about Peefers you must read The Cadwal Chronicles.

But on the bright side, he is a fan of Vance, and if he reads him often enough and deeply enough, the Vancian sensibility is bound to rub off on him. One can't really read Wyst: Alastor 1716 without internalizing a healthy skepticism towards all schemes for attaining egalitarianism through socialism and government planning. And a reading of either The Cadwal Chronicles or The Gray Prince will cause one to rethink the historical eras of colonization and decolonization.

For a realistic, objective, warts-and-all description of the pure cussedness of humanity, it comes down to either Jack Vance or Shakespeare. No rainbows or unicorns there. Just dragons.
Quibcags: Number one is illustrated by a photo of Jack Vance, of course, and the second by a dancer I found on the net that suggests something Islamic. The third is illustrated by a picture I found by googling. And the last is illustrated by Amy, of Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet (翠星のガルガンティア Suisei no Garugantia), who has an anthropological air about her.

*Edward S. May is not related to one of the bloggers here, Rex F. May, BTW.


  1. Finally, someone notices. It's "Gates of Vienna", however, without that definite article preceding the name.

    Notice that Baron Bodissey's avatar was the creator of the German welfare state - Bismarck. A political wiki worth reading, though I doubt Kissinger would wholly agree:

    The Baron still reads Vance when he can. And Nabakov.

    1. Sorry about the "the." I think my subconscious was riffing off "The Streets of Laredo." I'm about ready to read the Cadwal Chronicles again. It keeps me centered.

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  3. Its hard to believe any greta writer or man in general would ever accept the deluded Shibboleths of the Leftists and Marxist chattel. These cretins on the Left are the typical detritus you find in any and all CULTS. Scientology, The Maharishi, The Jim Jones Plantation in Guyana and others all have MUCH MORE IN COMMON WITH THEM.
    HP Lovecraft, This guy you mentioned and every Great Man Ever, NEVER WOULD ACCEPT the deluded and contradictory mantras that these Leftie and Marxist Cultists drone on about. Racism, sexism, homophobia and others are NOTHING BUT AN ATTEMPT TO PATHOLOGIZE NORMAL BEHAVIORS.

  4. 'And when you read the blog post that goes with it, you'll find no more "hate" there, but just the undeniable assertion that Islam is based on assumptions that we do not accept, and that therefore it is not compatible with the West. But I was accused of "hate" anyway.'

    Just more cognitive dissonance from the left. They do NOT "Hate". But, if they are triggered by what they have been conditioned to call "Hate", then it's OK to "Hate" the "Hater". Never understood why they don't recognize this for the hypocrisy that it is.