Interlude: Punching Nazis

Bear with me, WordPress seems to have tweaked their image inserting feature, so let’s see how this ends up looking.

This dilemma has rather seized my attention over the past few days, mainly because of my old pal He Who Is Shannon (long story) sprinkling it all over Facebook like that guy in that new meme who sprinkles things in a funny way.

sprinkle

You know. This guy who sprinkles in a funny way.

 

Anyway, the main story is that there’s this guy, Richard Spencer (not pictured here on the left), and he was giving an interview when a hooded man ran up, punched him square in the face, and ran off.

The catch, of course, is that Spencer is the father of the alt right movement. Basically, and quite literally, a Nazi. And now the question that arises is, is it okay to punch him in the face?

Freedom of speech – hate speech and incitement notwithstanding – tells us he is allowed to say what he wants, without fear of reprisals. And yes, he denies being a neo-Nazi or a white supremacist (despite the spiel about white culture, a white homeland, and the whole “hail Trump, hail victory” thing that you ought to be able to see in the link above if you give it a bit of a read). He says he’s non-violent, calling for debate and discourse, and he wants his policies to be enacted with peace and compassion.

There’s only one problem with that, of course.

One teeny tiny problem.

A timely reminder of World War, in this case the First but my point remains.

A white homeland can’t happen without lives being destroyed, people being killed, and a massive amount of conflict and bloodshed. There’s just no way. Additionally, as per my spiel further on down here, the whole concept of segregated homelands isn’t just a giant phlegmy loogie in the face of my entire unified-humanity worldview, it just seems to be a practical impossibility.

shannon_wisdom

Credit: He Who Is Shannon

So should he be allowed to talk about it? Should he be given a platform and have his ideas destroyed by reason and intellect, empathy and enlightenment, as the atheists’ beloved Four Horsemen seem to think should happen?

Because I think if that worked for Nazis, the Allies would have tried it and declared it a success instead of doing that whole pesky World War they did instead.

The problem is, the Nazi mind-set is all too alluring to the human tribal instinct. It can’t be argued away with reason, because there’s that horrible little monkey-voice in the back of our heads saying good point, those other people are to blame, wouldn’t it be great if we just got rid of them – peacefully, of course?

That horrible monkey isn’t going away. Not at this stage in our evolution. It’s not going to stop because people talk about it. This is why we get history repeating itself over and over again within living memory.

This is a problem for me, of course, because I would (self-evidently) far rather talk than fight. If I tried to punch a Nazi in the face, I’d probably just hurt myself. However, and with full and cheerful acknowledgement of a hypocritical ideology similar to “I don’t think I have it in me to kill an animals with my bare hands, yet I will happily buy and eat meat from a shop”, I have to say that on balance, yeah. I don’t give a single fuck. If this guy and all his ilk are punched really hard in the face, three times a day until they either die from an inability to breathe or eat, or just give up on ever trying to express their poisonous views in this life, that’s absolutely fine with me.

And therein lies the only dilemma, for me.

liberal_logic

The whole freedom of speech argument, as noble as  Evelyn Beatrice Hall’s I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it statement might be, can just fuck off.

Yes, I would actually prefer it if we could discuss these things with the Nazis and get them to see reason and go back to a sane and productive existence. But if they could do that, they wouldn’t be Nazis, would they?

There was a huge debate about this on Facebook, with 12 of the 13 involved parties saying “yep, punching Nazis is fine” and the 13th actually being a Nazi. I didn’t think there was much point in discussing the points the Nazi was raising (peaceful resettlement, discussion vs. violence, lack of justification for the Nazi label, et cetera), but I had a go anyway because that’s just me, I guess.

punching

There you go.

So. One guess as to whether that got any response or discussion from the Nazi side of the debate.

So I default to just being pleased to watch this white supremacist piece of subhuman garbage getting punched in the face.

punch-a-nazi

And when I say “subhuman”, please keep in mind my comprehensively published opinion of humans.

Discuss? Contrary to appearances, I am actually perfectly happy to hear dissenting views on this. I think you can disagree with the idea of a bad person being punched in the face without being a bad person yourself. It’s just … you know, I don’t think you’re arguing for a particularly rational position, for all that it’s laudable.

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The Myconet, Part 39

I’d been concerned, not only about when I had travelled to precisely, but how exactly I was going to get back to anywhere useful. Aside from the trapdoor out in the sands that I was unlikely to be allowed near again, I knew of precisely one other cellar entrance – the one into which I had pursued Rose earlier on, and wound up in swampocalyptic Christmas.

Maybe, I was thinking vaguely, I could go back down into that space and see if it had changed. I couldn’t test with my torch anymore because I’d dropped it along with my lunchbox-case-thing, but I might be able to find some alternative form of illumination. Or, I could hope for the best and look for another trapdoor somewhere in the nearby area …

These thoughts were all well and good, and they lasted precisely as much time as it took me to stroll back into the prison yard and up to the administration office where I planned on getting my bearings.

Colonel McOldentimes was inside, sitting at the desk on the chair he’d carried out to pipe-smoke on, either in the past or in the future. Certainly he looked at me with no sign of recognition, but that might have just been because he’d forgotten me. That seemed to be stretching the bounds of convenient forgettability a bit too far, however, so I tentatively decided that I’d arrived sometime in Colonel McOldentimes’s past.

None of that mattered, though, because time was massively and irredeemably fucked.

“Yes?” he said around the stem of his … something. “Can I help you?”

“What’s that thing?” I demanded, pointing at the gleaming thing sticking out from under his moustache. It looked like a sonic screwdriver, except I’ve never seen a sonic screwdriver let off smoke. No – it wasn’t smoke, it was some sort of steam or vapour, like you get in nightclubs. It puffed thick and white, and then vanished in quick wisps without a trace, and with no discernible smell.

Colonel McOldentimes frowned, took the thing out of his mouth, and turned it back and forth.

“What?” he said. “You mean my e-cig?”

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The Myconet, Part 38

By the time my eyes had adjusted to the full glare – once again, even with sunnies on it was a tough prospect – I had clambered out onto the boiling salty sand and pulled the trapdoor closed behind me with a gritty thud and another little three-sided cascade of sand that practically covered the opening from view. I sidestepped a couple of metres for good measure. And I hadn’t been shot in this time, which I took for a positive sign.

I kept my hands up, just in case.

“Civilian,” I said again.

The dark, wavery forms of a pair of uniformed prison camp guards trotted out of the heat haze, guns at the ready and moustaches and sideburns bristling with indignation. Neither of them were Colonel McOldentimes, but I didn’t expect their response to my presence to be all that drastically different.

“Where the deuces did you spring from?” one of them demanded.

Where the deuces? I thought in mild amusement. “I was in the administration office earlier, looking for a friend of mine,” I said, making a wild leap of faith as to just where I was in time. “I spoke to the, um, the chap in there, and he sent me out here,” I looked around, wincing. The camp, or at least the fence and a couple of low buildings, was visible a few hundred metres away, but I wasn’t exactly out on the salt flats, let alone near the lake. I wasn’t sure where that started. “I must have gotten turned around.”

This wasn’t, I freely admit, a watertight story by even the most generous standards. I was depending on the grand unifying don’t-give-a-damn to protect me from suspicious locals, and figured if I could just blather something sufficiently civilianny and daft, they’d wave it off as a daft civilian trying to get himself killed by exposure or a lucky hit from an over-enthusiastic guard. Looking around, I saw more guards stationed around and – away to one side and even further from the camp proper than we were now – the heat-blurred figures of what looked like a chain gang. If they’d stopped to see what all the shouting and shooting was about, it was impossible to make out from here.

The second guard, quite likely the one who had shot me, looked rightly unconvinced but the interest-dampening effect of time travellers was already kicking in. “Could’ve sworn I saw you pop out of a tunnel,” he said.

“I might have … swooned?” I hazarded. The first guard guffawed, and even the shooter hid a smirk in his muttonchops, and I conceded that swooning was probably only something milkmaids did. “The heat must’ve gotten to me,” I said, gesturing around. “I was just sitting down for a moment. Not sure where I would have been making a tunnel from. Or to.”

The trapdoor, at least to my paranoid eyes, was glaringly obvious a few metres to my left as a square outline of indented sand, but neither of the guards glanced at it.

“Probably just didn’t see him in the haze, Wizby,” the first guard said.

“As you say, Captain Gandersmarf,” Wizby said. I spluttered and coughed.

“Something funny about my name, Swoony Joe?” Gandersmarf asked with the sharp immediacy of someone who is very, very used to people laughing at his name.

“No, Captain,” I said, “although to be fair, if your full name is actually Swoony Joe Gandersmarf, as your phrasing left open to misinterpretation … that would be a little bit funny. Almost as funny as me swooning,” I added, to get us back on the not-ridiculing-the-guy-with-a-gun track. It was, I felt, the safest track to be on.

Captain Gandersmarf grunted, shouldered his rifle, and jerked his head back towards the fence. “You’d better get going,” he said, “it’s only going to get hotter out here as the morning continues.”

Huh, I thought. I was pretty sure that when I’d last been here, it had been mid-afternoon. Colonel McOldentimes had been enjoying whatever they’d called siesta back in the days when you didn’t say the word siesta. So this was some other time-frame, but probably not very separated from the one I’d visited – from my perspective – previously.

This tenuous grasp of events lasted the few minutes it took me to walk back across the salty sand to the Barnsley Yard fence, and a minute or so beyond that.

But then it ended.

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Interlude: Oræl Rides to War

I have actually got a couple of bits of The Myconet almost ready to go, but I’m keeping them under my pre-write belt so I can post them on the weekend.

In the meantime, and in the absence of any new entries to the aki’Pedia today, I want to introduce you to the Oræl Rides To War series.

The first book of this, aside from the short story anthology I’m putting together, will be the next thing I publish. I won’t tell you much about the series itself, but the first book will incorporate some of my earlier and semi-published[1] works as part of my ongoing project to unify my fiction into the unified urverse we all love spitballing about. You may even recognise the series name, as it is referenced in The Final Fall of Man. Oh yeah, this shit all comes together.

[1] By which I mean, some bits and pieces have appeared here on the Hatstand, and some other bits and pieces have appeared on even older websites I’ve participated in, but you’re not likely to find them. Wouldn’t be likely to find them, in fact, even if I did tell you which bits and pieces they specifically were. Which I’m not gonna.

So, as a special treat and exclusive sneak, I am going to paste down here the Prologue to Oræl Rides to War, Book One, Part One. The In the Thirty-Ninth Century, great men and women of the human race strode among the stars and trod the jewelled thrones of the universe under their sandal’d feet of the next series, if you will.


PROLOGUE

It was the crest of the wave, the highest pinnacle, the tipping point. It was the last great golden age of human unity, before which the scattered tribes wandered and warred, and after which the bickering nations turned in earnest to snarling junkyard dogs for the profit of their bet-laying masters. Population, technology, attitudes and historical impetus coincided in a way they never would again. Never could, until another great and terrible slaying swept away the chaff of the world.

Perhaps not even then.

It was still a dark time for many. There were wars, there was injustice … but there was also optimism. The more fortunate human cultures made great advances, learned and shared. And more important than that, they played. It was a time of joy, of games and innocence for the general population of the Earth’s great nations.

The dominant communicating cultures labelled the march of centuries AD, marking the years since a mythical saviour-figure had reshaped the world with a message of peace that they’d been striving to live up to ever since. Anno Domini. The year of our Lord. It might as easily have meant the year of our dominion. The year we ruled the land and the sea and the beasts of the field. A golden age in truth.

The great unions of nation and politics and enterprise, of commerce and cooperation, swept across the face of the Earth. And – for a time – it almost seemed as though the shattered remnants who had survived the Fall of Rome and the rise and fall of the great empires that followed might become a single species, a unified race surpassing the arbitrary boundaries of malleable environment, conquerable geography, laughable cultural legacy. Surpassing, even, the limitations of their own brutal primate physiology and chemistry.

They didn’t, of course. It was the peak of the wave, not the pinnacle of the mountain. Even mountains grind away to dust, but waves … no. The fall, the roar, the churn, these things were inevitable. It was a golden time, but it was a gleaming and tragically brief one. The end was already beginning, and when it came, it would be awful.

The human condition was a boiling, seething ocean of fiery sewage. For a moment something, something that might have been beautiful, clawed its way to the surface and gasped for air and blinked in the light of an unattainable sun. And when it sank once again beneath the noisome skin of the swamp, it would never return. And the toxic formlessness that it left behind would seem all the more shameful for its fleeting presence.

But just for a moment – for a stretch of years, for a decade or two, for a mere blink in the eye of the vast spinning urverse – it looked as though humanity might succeed. It seemed as though the human race was destined to climb to its feet, to stand tall, and turn the crest of that wave into a bright and permanent mountaintop of diamond by sheer strength of will. The same indomitable spirit that had straightened their sloping backs and turned their muddy eyes towards the stars would carry them, bold and noble and glorious, into eternity as a grown-up and enlightened species.

The year was 1990 AD.

Posted in Astro Tramp 400, IACM, Oræl Rides To War, The Book of Pinian | Tagged , , , , | 25 Comments

Interlude: The Interlude with No Name (cross a blog-posting dry spell with it sometime!)

Okay, today’s work took way longer than I thought it would for an assortment of dumb reasons, so I didn’t get back to The Myconet. Sorry.

I did, however, just figure out the next step in my Blowing The Lid Off This Whole Damn Thing project, ie. The Andrew Hindle Expanded Urverse Grand Unifying Theory. So I’ll get on with that as soon as I can. Still need to finish this pesky fourth “short” story first.

I got another review for Human, and it’s another lovely one. So far, the book seems to be a pleaser. I was very happy to see that at least some measure of success has come from my efforts to settle all the questions that really need to be answered for this series to work, yet still leave a butt-ton of open questions and WTFity for the reader to wonder just what is going on.

Eeee, so exciting and fun.

I’ve done a bit more on the aki’Pedia as well. Today’s page: the Tramp.

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Bonus Interlude

I’m still managing to write some stuff, even if it’s just the aki’Pedia in celebration of Human which is selling nicely and already has one lovely review. Today’s page is all about AstroCorps.

I know, there’s still tons of redlinks. I’m working on it.

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Interlude: Norovirus III

I’m better, I just left my USB stick of side-projects (including The Myconet) at home today, so I won’t be bothering to add a segment. Sorry to shatter your illusions, but I don’t have the whole thing mapped out in my head. Not even the bits that I already wrote. This is probably not a surprise to anyone remotely familiar with my processes.

Also I left my glasses at home.

But I did wear pants. It’s the little victories, you know?

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