Showing posts with label Heinlein. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Heinlein. Show all posts

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Heinlein's Women and Their Pricks.

If the universe has any purpose more important than topping the woman you love and making a baby with her hearty help, I’ve never heard of it. - Lazarus Long - Time Enough For Love, Robert A. Heinlein 1973.
Lazarus Long was a prick.  A prick with an uncommon respect for and admiration of competent women for his time, but as Galahad noted "...he has remained canalized by the primitive culture he was brought up in." Not surprising as Heinlein was canalized by the same primitive culture.  Woodie Smith 1912, Heinlein 7/7/7 (1907.)  In Christian America where men were men and women were baby breeders. Feminism was on the not to distant horizon, with some closet feminists trying to break the Kinder, Küche, Kirche track for women.  But until the mid-20th century and reliable contraception a working mother was of necessity rather than choice and "proper" mothers were expected to stay at home until the youngest child was in Kindergarten which effectively eliminated a career in a well paid profession. The options were volunteer work, teaching and service occupations.  

The early feminists tacitly accepted this culture, and advocated non-breeding for professional women.  At worst, a long delayed first and generally only child long after becoming established in a career.  Women who chose to breed in their 20s and still fight the misogyny of most professions were viewed by feminists as outlyers and not "real feminists."  The men who supported their choice of career and parent, were occasionally labled "enablers" of a dysfunctional choice for their wives.  Never mind that they too payed the price of parenting in their careers, less than women due to privilege but nevertheless choices had to be made that limited career opportunities.  But this mind set still lingers in the feminists who despise Heinlein for writing about women who intend to be mothers among other things.  

The problem feminists have with Heinlein women seems to be that all those intelligent, competent women were interested in propagating  their genotype and realized that an intelligent, competent man was a necessary adjunct in that endeavor.  Since Heinlein men are basically pricks one must appeal to the prick to get the genes. 

Make no mistake.  According to the prevailing misogynic social ethos of Heinlein's formative years, especially the military ethos, all his male characters are pricks.  See The Number of Beast where the pricks are going to go gallivanting around the multiverse while the ladies stay in Safe Harbor to have babies. Even late in his career his basic canalization was that men were gallant protectors of their women, but in general he was able to overcome this and substitute support and partnership for gallantry and most of the families had at least equally competent and frequently more competent women at the head.  
Heinlein was raised and socialized in a society where sex meant having babies.  (Disclaimer: I was raised in the same social ethos by feminists whose mantra was make damn sure you have sex only with a carefully chosen women who will be a partner in a good family. Recreational sex was not an option.) The difference in his later books was that recreational sex was an option, and the women knew they could manipulate pricks by effective use of recreational sex.  But in accord with Heinlein's early socialization he created few male characters that were immune to such manipulation.  I can only think of one male protagonist that was comfortable with non-manipulative recreational sex as the line marriage structure depended on it.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Art and Artists

 From a Facebook thread on a misogynist artist.  Take your pick.

 If you cannot evaluate art without evaluating the artist you don't understand art. If a person can overcome fundamentalist bigotry to create a work of genius, more power to herm. [As to the mention of] "all men are created equal" who are you to even mention the artist owned slaves. He had no choice in his culture. That he could transcend his culture to create a better world where all are equal (even though we are not there yet after 200+ years) speaks volumes about his character.  J'Carlin 
An artist and herm art are two entirely separate and distinct entities in all cultures.  The art may live and be meaningful long after the artist has returned to dust.  While it is fun to argue about which composers of famous religious music were atheists,  the fact remains that the music they composed is sung and revered by believers in any culture affected by the religion depicted in the composition.  Religious art is by and large atrocious, and the artists justifiably forgotton.  But the stories told by that atrocious art are fundamental to religious belief.  The few exceptions were created by artists that the current crop of religious fundagelicals would probably hate. 

A "critic" is a man who creates nothing and thereby feels qualified to judge the work of creative men. There is a logic in this; he is unbiased - he hates all creative people equally. Lazarus Long aka Robert A Heinlein

There seems to be a current trend among critics to focus on the artist, especially the things about the artist that the critic hates.  Heinlein was a militarist and jingoist, therefore all of his writing is trash.  L Ron Hubbard was a religious charlatan fuggetabout all the Battlefield Earth books.  Jefferson owned and fathered slaves, therefore the Declaration of Independence means nothing.  There is nothing to see here folks.  Move along. 

I have even done it myself:  Abram was a lying, exploitive pimp.  Therefore the God he invented, and the religions that depend on that God are trash.  In my defense I had come to the conclusion that the religions that grew out of the Abrahamic tradition were trash long before I found out Abram was a prick.  I never liked him from the stories that included him, but until recently I had never followed his family and gang from Ur, to Haram, to Canaan and to Egypt.  They seem to have been a sociopathic bunch.  

[The following is a subsequent edit.  Please note this is a working blog and editing is common before and after comments]

Heinlein was also a misogynist.  Note his use of "man" in the quote.  The fact that in the vernacular it was generic for human is lost on the feminists.  The fact that all of his women characters were generally more competent in all respects than the men counts for nothing since they all were interested in procreation. Their choice of competent men to help not only with the sex but with the family as well is lost on the feminists. 

Hubbard was a brilliant student of human wants and needs, in particular their need for a strong community controlled by an unquestioned belief system.  Whether Scientology works depends on whether you ask a believer, an apostate, or a critic.  The fact that Hubbard made more money from Scientology than from writing Science Fiction "at a penny a word" is probably his greatest sin.  

The Republigelical meme that  Jefferson owned and screwed slaves is a bigot’s apologetic for their own hypocrisy.  His actual views about slavery and in particular Sally Hemmings is available to any intelligent unbiased student of his life and in particular the society in which he was embedded.  He couldn't even call himself an atheist, let alone a humanist and survive politically to keep the Black Regiment of New England Calvinists out of the Constitution and God out of the government.  


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

On Wanking

Would you please make a case that wank material is not healthy for your mental and physical well-being.  I might suggest that wanking is a relatively benign sexual outlet for necessary sexual release for both men and women that do not have a horny sexual partner available.  As the Lazarus Long wisdom aphorism says “Masturbation is cheap, clean, convenient, and free of any possibility of wrongdoing — and you don't have to go home in the cold. But it's lonely.”  R/A. Heinlein.

Let’s consider whoring? Dangerous, in most places illegal and therefore exploitative of women. True religions advocate a whore wife for all men, but headaches, pregnancies, and other problems may interfere.  Casual sex? Aside from the fact that most of it is de facto sexual assault,  At U Oregon  35% of women and 14% of men had non-consensual sex according to a 2014 survey.  It ain't gonna provide for one's daily needs. 

I suspect the problem in the Middle East is not being able to go to the mall or a billboard for a pulchritude fix, Only marginally religious.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Love, Sex, and Chocolate Ice Cream

A conversation with  Blü and subsequent posts on an otherwise useless thread. Quoted in full and in order.  

If you think love and sex are the same thing, I feel sorry for you.
BlüIf you think love and sex aren't connected then I suggest you have a private talk with your parents about where you came from.

I have to agree with the apologist on this issue. 

Scripturally love and sex are two unrelated issues.  Scriptural sex is the means by which men exchange protection and support for bearing his seed, raising his children, and satisfying his lust once a week. 

Love is an emotion reserved for God and occasionally other men, but only once in the bible is it associated with sex and even that is danced around by most Scriptural analysis. (1 Samuel 20:41 KJB)

Love associated with a male-female pair bond is a modern invention, still resisted by most religions as empowering women, although given lip service in modern wedding vows. 

Love associated with a male-female pair bond is a modern invention

Romantic love's a relatively modern notion - the flowery troubadour kind from the 11th century and the bodice-ripping RITA Award kind from the 18th century.

Meanwhile, pair bonding, and the emotions associated with it and with child protection and nurture, are as ancient (and as practical) as can be.

I would suggest that neither the troubadour nor the romantic kind has anything to do with the love discussed in Scripture that El Cid is posting about. 

Also the oxytocin mediated pair bonding for child protection and nurture bears little resemblance to either Scriptural love or courtship love.  Once the husband cleaves unto his wife and forsakes (sort of) all others, the oxytocin kicks in at the birth of the first child and never really lets go.  Particularly where there is little opportunity for the man to stray, which for practical purposes is most non-elite married men.  Scientists are even finding oxytocin bonding in empty nesters long after the fires of love and sex are mere embers. 

For practical purposes in the postmodern post religious world love is such a muddied concept as to be useless in any sense other than the vernacular love for movies or chocolate ice cream.  

Love associated with a male-female pair bond is a modern invention

Romantic love's a relatively modern notion - the flowery troubadour kind from the 11th century and the bodice-ripping RITA Award kind from the 18th century.

Meanwhile, pair bonding, and the emotions associated with it and with child protection and nurture, are as ancient (and as practical) as can be.

But you know that.

love is such a muddied concept as to be useless in any sense other than the vernacular love for movies or chocolate ice cream.

The commercialization of love (movies, TV and magazines, Valentine's Day, Mothers Day, cosmetics, fashions &c) may indeed bring the familiarity that breeds contempt.

But having been in love myself, I can describe what I mean by the term, how I figure it relates to my biochemistry, how much I've enjoyed the trip and why I think it's important.

Or, from another angle, there's some wonderful love poetry out there, not to mention great songs. And how about Rodin's The Kiss? They can resonate with us deep in our human make-up.

Been there, done that several times, many times if you include art.  I just don't call it love.  I have simply internalized Heinlein's "that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own."  I manage to cram in "and welfare" after happiness and it is still a single concept.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Terra Nostra

I recently performed Part I of a newly composed Oratorio called Terra Nostra, by Stacy Garrop. 
She selected an interesting collection of creation myths to introduce her Oratorio:   
(KJB) In the beginning, in the beginning,
The earth was without form and void.
God said, Let there be light, and there was light.

(India) This universe existed in the shape of Darkness.
Then the divine Svayambhu appeared, dispelling the darkness.
With a thought, he created the waters, and placed his seed in them.

(North America) All the earth was flooded with water.
Inkonmi sent animals to dive for dirt at the bottom of the sea,

(Egypt) I am he who was formed as Khepri.
When I formed, only I existed.  Everything was formed after me.
Numerous are the forms that came from my mouth.
(Walt Whitman) A blade of grass is the journeywork of the stars.

The idea of a creator seems universal. From the old myths from around the world to the atheist Whitman.  Science seems to support Whitman as all the elements needed by a blade of grass were created in the early universe stars and novae.

I found it to be an interesting collection of creation myths.

If, as Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land asks:  What if they are all right? Are we the ultimate creators?  Is Ouroboros the right analogy?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Atheists and Jesus

Atheists and Jesus - Beliefnet :

"Atheists arguing about the existence of Jesus or the 'truth' in the Gospels among themselves are being willfully blind to the importance and humanistic message of the preacher who probably was called Jesus or Yeshua depending on the language assumption.

The story if you will or oral history which was probably the case in that illiterate culture was probably originated by a companion of Jesus in his travels, my guess is Mary Magdalene. She probably helped him hone his message, I see a lot of anti-misogyny in it, at least in the context of the time. No man thought up the tale of the unstoned whore.

I am of course speaking of the Synoptic Gospels, by the time John and Paul came around to create a God the story was destroyed beyond recognition. I think there is a lot to be learned by atheists from the Synoptics, I generally use Jefferson's extract. Hey, if a famous atheist like Jefferson can find value in the Bible who am I to argue.

Disclaimer: I owe much of my interpretation of the Gospels to Heinlein and his allegory of Jesus in Michael Smith and Gillian Bordman in Stranger in a Strange Land. The thinking is of course mine."

Monday, December 21, 2009


Is atheism a belief system? - Beliefnet
I have no beliefs. Belief gets in the way of learning.
Lazarus Long: Time Enough For Love, Robert A Heinlein, 1973 p20.

J'C "This policy has served me well since I adopted it shortly after the book came out."
MANY People of VARIOUS 'Faith' Communities
endorse/embrace one or more
'Sacred Texts' ...

J'C: "I will readily admit I have learned more about living from avowedly fictional texts 'This is a work of fiction, any resemblance to actual persons or places is purely coincidental' usually by atheist authors than I have ever learned from 'Sacred Texts' or Liturgies or Creeds which I have studied extensively. The quote itself makes the thought of Time Enough For Love or any other fiction as something to believe in an oxymoron."

J'C: I think the difference is, from another of my fictional reread texts East of Eden, Steinbeck, is that Sacred Texts say "Thou Must" and the fiction says "Thou Mayest." Steinbeck was wrestling with the story of Cain and God's command "Timshel" usually translated as Thou Shalt (triumph over sin,) occasionally as "Thou must." "Timshel" take control over your behavior, take responsibility for your actions, especially your sins, and you may become a better person because of the learning experience and triumph over the mistakes you have made.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Scientific Illiteracy in America

Scientific Illiteracy in America - Science & Religion - Beliefnet Community:
science writers Chris Mooney and Sheril Kirshenbaum argue that America's future is deeply endangered by the scientific illiteracy of its citizens

"The scientific illiteracy of American citizens is a self correcting problem. Scientific illiterates will not be able to compete in a modern technological society and will follow in the fossil footsteps of other non-competitive species. This is known as bad luck."

Thanks to RAH for the bad luck quote. The complete quote is relevant here
Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded -- here and there, now and then -- are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty. This is known as "bad luck"
From the Notebooks of Lazarus Long,1973.

This small minority, is much bigger now. It is still opposed by the majority, but there are enough of them now, and they gravitate to positions of importance in the society due to their skills, and the opposition, being stupid if organized, cannot effectively oppose them any longer. The majority will stand on street corners waving signs and honking horns full of noise and fury signifying nothing. The minority will be on the internet, the phones and making life better for all that care to participate. Unfortunately participation takes brains and the ability and willingness to use them. It will be interesting to see how long those with neither the willingness nor ability can hang on on in their service and manual labor jobs that are rapidly disappearing. The economy is improving but unemployment is approaching double digits. Are the resulting couch potatoes going to get off the couch even to breed?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The problem of evil ..

Thread - The Bright Line...: "Mar 25, 2009 - 05:22PM, Leight wrote:
....addressing the problem of evil..... first of all you/I/everyone is straitjacketed in evil, that is a sin nature that is all dimensional and personal, your flesh, hormones, cravings ect....

Sorry the sin nature was invented by Paul as a marketing ploy for his Savior. Since everybody has flesh, hormones, cravings and especially sexual cravings, (note that all animals that have survived as a species have an intense drive to reproduce or they would be extinct) Paul said this drive and all of its variations including missionary position sex for the express purpose of reproduction are sin but the last one is forgivable presumably so that Christians don't join the extinct species that didn't have a reproductive drive. Nonetheless making a Christian baby is a sin, so you better hang it on the cross and get your GOOHF ticket for it.

But most Christians say if reproducing is sin we might as well have fun doing it and hang that on the cross along with the missionary sex and maybe God won't notice and give us the GOOHF card anyway. From there it is a slippery slope to hating neighbors, killing enemies, kinky sex, drugs, and rock and roll. Some call this atheism but notice that the GOOHF card is in the back pocket to hang on the cross which means that God is still looking over the shoulder. As long as God is there it ain't atheism by definition."

Atheists don't have a cross to hang the bad things they do on, so they tend to pay attention to everything they do so that they don't have to pick up the pieces when they break something. No supernatural omnipotent alpha humanoid to kiss it and make it better either for the injured or the injurer.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

ID in Science Class?

Belief Corner: THE Atheist Bible!: "Re: THE Atheist Bible!
« Reply #42 on: Today at 02:05:14 PM »

Quote from: jcarlinsv on Today at 01:12:48 PM

Never attempt to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig.
Lazarus Long - RAHeinlein 1973

In fact the whole paragraph that it was extracted from is relevant to the topic of Ken Ham.
I have never swindled a man. At most I kept quiet and let him swindle himself. This does no harm, as a fool cannot be protected from his folly. If you attempt to do so, you will not only arouse his animosity but also you will be attempting to deprive him of whatever benefit he is capable of deriving from experience. Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.
Time Enough for Love, Robert A Heinlein p31, 1973

Ken Ham is providing a useful service to those unable to deal with the complexities of science, with complex issues of morality, and taking responsibility for their own behavior. The answers are all there in Genesis: God created you, you sinned, Hesh destroyed your world because of your sin. Believe faithfully and Christ will save you."

Do I feel sorry for the pigs Ken Ham is singing to? No. If they are incapable of dealing with the the modern world, and their religion gives them solace and the ability to do whatever they do to earn their tithe who am I to tell them they are fools? Would they thank me for it? Not a chance.

I am even coming to think that creationism in a science class in school is a good idea. Anyone capable of science will recognize it for the BS it is and move on. Those that need the BS to get them through the day will use it to get through science class to finger painting or shop or home ec. or whatever they are capable of doing.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Is Heinlein the atheist's philosopher?

Is Heinlein the atheist's philosopher? - Beliefnet Forums:

"I have been reading Heinlein most of my life, and have always appreciated how he manages to create interesting, meaningful, purposeful and moral societies in his stories without God. I don't necessarily agree with all of the details in all of them, but in general I can say that Heinlein speaks for me as an atheist exposing the lie that meaning, purpose and morality come only from God.

I appreciate the fact that Heinlein preferred the liveliness of the market place rather than the halls of academia for his philosophical musings. Maybe all the best philosophers are good story tellers.

He was, and is, an influential social arbitrator, in spite of all the efforts to ban his books from our libraries and schools. The God Squad recognizes the danger. But the books still sell and are discussed in intelligent circles."