Son of a Ship’s Captain: A Parable

Once upon a time, there was a ship captain.

His father was a ship captain, and so was he.

His father had trained for many years as an apprentice, learning the ways of a ship and the ways of the sea, and and on the day he became a captain, he was given a hat so that all would see it and know he was the captain of a ship, and when his son was grown, he gave that hat to him, and that was that, he was a ship captain, just like his father had been.

So the son went out into the world with his hat, and he found a ship in need of a captain, and he said, “I am just what you need,” and because he was a ship captain and the son of a ship captain, the ship’s owners agreed. The young ship captain set out directly towards the open waters, spinning the wheel of the ship as he went, because he had seen ship captains at the wheel before and he felt quite keenly that the main thing was to turn the wheel decisively. The ship’s crew, not being captains, began yelling and waving their arms, trying to shake his resolve. The captain showed character and discipline in the face of adversity, and instead spun the wheel even harder. When the hull of the boat crunched up against some rocks jutting out of the water, the captain remained calm in the face of this adversity, shrewdly filling his pockets from the ship’s cargo before sensibly leaving the doomed vessel.

He made his way back to shore where he told everyone he could meet how only his supreme skill and instincts for seasmanship had allowed him to not only survive such an unholy wreck, but profit by it. “If you let me pilot your vessel,” he said, “you might profit by it as I assuredly will.”

And so he was given command of a second ship, and on the day it departed the harbor, he ordered full sails. Every sail unfurled, every sail gloriously billowing in the wind. The crew protested; it was a crowded harbor and the wind was not right, and full sails were not only unnecessary, they were dangerous. But they were not ship captains, nor the son of a ship’s captain, and what did they know? He had a reputation to maintain, and full sails were impressive. This was a triple-mastered schooner, not some dinky little rowboat. It was huge.

In fact, he gave orders for a fourth mast to be assembled on the spot so they could fly even more sails, and while his crew scrambled to obey, the ship collided with another one just inside the mouth of the harbor and the two became hopelessly entangled and sank.

The ship’s captain did not stop to fill his pockets from his ship’s cargo, because he now had the skill and experience to know it would be necessary to do so, and so had made a point to loot the hold before the ship had cast off from the dock. This was the kind of acumen that he brought to the job. He left the sinking ship by means of boarding the other ship, where he filled a small sack from their cargo, which he claimed as salvage under the rights of maritime law.

“It’s a perfectly valid business strategy,” he said as he left the other sinking ship.

Back on shore in a tavern, the ship captain loudly boasted of his prowess in keeping a clear head amidst the danger, that he had, while others were cursing him and trying to untangle the ships or bail out the flooding holds, calmly done the only sensible thing and got out, that he had walked away while the other ship’s captain had stayed behind trying to right his vessel, only being saved from the waters by the intervention of his crew.

“What a loser,” the ship captain said. “If they hadn’t pulled him out, he probably would have gone down with his ship!”

While the young ship captain was making a name for himself as the son of a ship captain and the man who had survived the wrecks of two vessels and come out ahead, other captains were sailing their ships out of the harbor and over the seas, carrying cargo and conducting commerce, but none of them had pockets as full as the young ship captain and none of them were in the tavern every night, telling all who would listen of their prowess and instincts as a sailor. The son of the ship captain was making quite a name for himself, and so he decided that a man of his stature deserved more than piloting a ship that belonged to another. He would build his own. It was going to be huge.

Five masts; no, six! And every railing and knob  would be painted gold; no, solid gold! And the sails would be of the finest silk, and the decks tiled in granite; no, marble!

Such a ship would be quite expensive. The money he had inherited from his father and what he had pocketed along the way might have been enough, but a man has certain expenses. Certainly there was no need for a captain of his experience to front his own money for such a venture.

So he went to his friends in the tavern, and he said, “You have all heard the stories of my brilliant seasmanship, and now it is your chance to get in on the action. It is your chance to become a part of the lesson. It is your chance to touch the greatness that is my name. If you build this ship, and you put my name on it, and you give it to me to pilot, then I promise I will use the same golden touch I have used on every ship I have piloted. I will profit by it, and you will be my partners.”

So his friends raised the money and they built him the ship, and they send him off in it with all the pomp fitting the circumstance and more, because there had never been a grander ship and he had convinced them that making it a magnificent occasion would make their business venture all the more successful, didn’t they know they had to spend money for him to make money? It was the party to end all parties, and at the end of it, the ship sailed away, and at the end of the day, the ship captain was back at the tavern, trading a piece of the ship’s ornament for a meal.

“Well?” his friends-turned-eager-investors said.

“Look, it’s not my fault you didn’t do your due diligence before getting into bed with me,” the ship captain said. “This is entirely your fault.”

“Where is our fabulous ship?”

“I ran it aground somewhere,”the ship captain said. “But! You’re welcome to it if you can find it. I hereby dissolve the partnership. You own it outright. Just see that someone scrubs my name off the side of it. I have a certain reputation to uphold, see? I can’t have my name on a foundered ship.”

The investors were unhappy, of course, but many people had seen the fine ship setting out with such extravagant celebration, and had read the name of the ship captain on its side, and so many people were eager to meet such a celebrated person who could afford such finery and command such a ship, and many of those people were eager to do business with him, to trust their cargos and their ships and their bankrolls to him, to apprentice with him and learn all he knew of the art of seasmanship, and before too terribly long the young ship captain—no longer quite so young—had grown his reputation and his image of himself to the point where he was no longer content to be captaining mere ships.

No, ship would do for him but the ship of state itself. He would run for president.

“Folks, you vote for me and I will do for this nation exactly what I have done for the many ships I have sailed,” he said. “Who else has my experience? Who else is a better captain than I am? All of my opponents are losers. They say they are the best captains, but how many shipwrecks have they survived?”

He waited for the applause that came on cue, and then he finished,

“I’m Donald Trump, and I approve this message.”

Sad Puppies Review Books: The Giving Tree

giving treeTHE GIVING TREE

Reviewed by John Z. Upjohn, USMC (Aspired)

The so-called Social Justice Warriors always say they want strong female characters and realistic role models for women but they once again prove that SJWs always lie by ignoring this book, which provides the most complex, intricate, and yet startlingly true-to-life depictions of females of any book I have read or will ever read.

The Giving Tree is the story of a real man, a red pill-downing alpha male who knows the importance of maintaining frame and consistently demonstrating value to any tree he wants to fuck by being confident and taking what he wants, then leaving her alone so that she knows his time is valuable and that he is not to be trifled with. This pleases her because as a female tree it is her biological imperative to find a male with a high sexual value. It is so refreshing to finally see a believable depiction of a woman like this.

The tree supports her man through all his endeavors. Whether he is working hard to sell apples, harvest lumber, building a house, or cutting down the tree to make a boat to get away from the shrew of a wife and the children she no doubt conceived to entrap him into marriage, she leaves him alone to get on with the hard work and the sacrifices he makes to achieve his dreams.

As vivid a portrait of the female psyche as the tree paints, though, it is the man’s wife who steals the show. She is first deftly foreshadowed when the man shows up at the tree explaining to her his plans to build a house. Why does he need a house? So he can have a wife and a family. This is the moment when we know our hero has slipped into blue pill thinking. When he was a child, before our female-dominated society had filled him with its propaganda, he was happy doing nothing more than going from tree to tree and having his fun with each one, keeping many plates spinning in the air, but when he grew up he drank the Kool-Aid and believed he had to settle down with any woman wily enough to steal his sperm.

And the wife. The story brings her to life in nightmarish detail. Overbearing, emasculating, controlling, frigid, and ugly but with an inflated sense of her own value given to her by feminism and its lies. The book almost spends too much time and detail making you picture her, and his life with her. You can’t get away from her.

Or can you?

Because our hero turns it around. He realizes he’s had enough, and he goes his own way. He takes the red pill. With nothing but his own two hands and the sweat of his brow, he makes a boat out of the tree and he sails away and we never have to see his wife disgrace the page again.

As satisfying as his escape from the clutches of her tyranny is, it’s almost too little, too late to save the book. She had too much of a presence in the book to begin with. The story is not about her, it’s about him. Why did they have to interrupt the fascinating story of this man in order to focus on her?

The ending of the book is a complete letdown, when the man who had gone his own way before comes back and settles down with the used-up old stump of a tree. Why? A man of his proven sexual value should never have to settle for a woman his own age unless he wants to, at which point there’s no reason for him to not keep a dozen or more plates spinning because men of his value become even more rare with age. This is the point where the book goes from grounded, realistic depictions of female existence into a flight of pure fairy tale fantasy, and it is the point where I check out.

Using strong, fully-developed female characters with personalities deeper and realer than I assume most actual women have and a classic tale of red pill redemption to sucker the reader in and then deliver this ending is such a classic example of SJW-style entryism that Saul Alinsky himself might have penned it.

Two stars.

Note from Alexandra: If you enjoy my coverage of the Sad Puppies and related nonsense, satirical and otherwise, please help me get to WorldCon 74 in Kansas City. For every $150 I collect towards my goal of $1,800, I will write another piece similar to this one.

Sad Puppies Review Books: The Cat in the Hat

cat in the hatTHE CAT IN THE HAT

Reviewed by John Z. Upjohn, USMC (Aspired)

This book is the classic tale of David vs. Goliath as in the modern gaming industry where nature’s greatest underdog, the multinational video game company, is forever at the mercy of powerful and ruthless game journalists who might at any moment decide to rate a game as low as 8.8 or even 8.7 for reasons that can only be described as “subjective”.

The protagonist of the book is a cat who develops games, games that are fun (like all games should be), and who wants nothing but to share them with children who are bored. Not so fast, cat! There is a game critic in the house, a fish who is clearly used to thinking of himself as a big fish in a small pond.

I almost threw this book across the room at one point, because the cat is playing a game and he is clearly having a lot of fun, but the fish says, “NO! THIS ISN’T FUN!” Imagine hating fun so much that you lie about what’s fun in order to ruin a game for everyone else. This is why we need Gamergate. Game critics like the fish have too much power and they’re willing to lie about games to uphold a social justice agenda that has nothing to do with what’s fun, which is the only thing that games should be about.

Throughout the book the fish acts as a literal gatekeeper trying to keep the cat out of the house and constantly trying to stop him and the children from having any fun. The boy, the main child, sadly succumbs to the propaganda onslaught. After forty-some pages of passively taking in the conflict between the game critic fish and the game developer cat, the boy starts parroting the fish’s party line, turning the house into an echo chamber. But notice how the fish needs the boy to do his dirty work? He can’t get his hands dirty.

This is the secret weakness of SJWs. They have no power except the “feelbads”. He convinced the boy that fun games were bad and wrong, so in order to signal his virtue the boy felt the need to join the fish’s hate mob against the cat and his friends who had done literally nothing wrong except try to relax and play games.

Unfortunately, Goliath wins this time. The cat’s friends are rounded up just like the social justice commissars want to round up everyone who disagrees with them, and he is forced to leave. Then, the fish, having basically established the house as his own tin-plated dictatorship, is not prepared to take responsibility for the state of the house, so complains and throws a tantrum until the cat comes back and fixes everything. Isn’t that typical? The ultrapowerful game media that the fish represents colludes to libel and defame gamers at every turn, then when their advertisers desert them in droves and their revenue drives up and their mom is coming home, they look up at gamers and say, “Save us!”

In a just world, this book would end with the cat looking down and whispering, “No.” but that book would never have been published. It’s not politically correct. Instead, in a twist that even Saul Alinsky would have found a ham-fisted bit of propaganda, the gamer cat cheerfully comes back and cleans up the mess that the fish made in order to disrupt his games.

I knew this book was bad news from the opening pages when the boy, the main child, wasn’t even given a name but his sister Sally, who never does anything, had her name. This is a sexist double standard. Most female characters are barely even characters and they still get more respect than the actual people in a story. And liberals say you can’t be sexist against men!

Two stars.

Editor’s Note: Mr. Upjohn will be attending WisCon in Madison, WI over Memorial Day Weekend and livetweeting what he finds there on behalf of his publisher, Hymenaeus House. Follow them on Twitter to watch the fireworks unfold. Mr. Upjohn has pledged to attend WorldCon and do the same if I somehow am allowed to attend, as he feels the need to balance my presence out. You can help both of us get there by throwing money in my WorldCon travel fund. For every $150 I get, I will publish another of Mr. Upjohn’s piece, or something of similar value and tone.

The Devil Signed Onto Twitter

(With mumbled apologies to Charlie Daniels.)

The Devil Signed Onto Twitter

Well, the Devil signed onto Twitter,
he was looking for some grist to mill.
He was in a bind ’cause he had a deadline,
he was willing to make a deal.

When he came across this blogger
jawing on a topic and playing it hot,
and the Devil slid into her mentions all slick
and said, “Girl, let me tell you what…

I guess you didn’t know it
But I’m an aggregator, too
and if you care to let me share
your content, I’ll boost you.

Now you write a pretty mean blog post,
but give the Devil his due.
I’ve got exposure online like you’d never find.
My platform’s perfect for you.”

The blogger said, “My name’s Nonny,
and this might just be me,
but I’m gonna take a pass, you can kiss my ass,
’cause I never write for free.”

Nonny polish up your work and shop your pieces hard
’cause all hell’s broke loose on the web and the Devil holds the cards.
He promises you a byline and a credit to your name,
but if you pass, you’ll get paid just the same…

The Devil opened up his site
and he said, “Oh, gimme a break,”
and words flew from his fingertips
as he fired his hot take.

And then he slid his hands across the keys
and they made an evil click.
A cap of Nonny’s post appeared
in the Devil’s piece, the dick!

When the Devil published,
Nonny said, “Well, that’s pretty nice, you know,
but you just take down that work of mine,
or else you can pay me what you owe.”

Flame war in the comments, run boys, run. 
Devil’s in the Post of the Huffington. 
Digging in your mentions, picking out quotes. 
Mister, does your blog pay? No, lawlz, no. 

Well that ol’ Devil bowed his head,
because he’d been DMCA’d,
and he took that borrowed blog post
down for which he hadn’t paid.

Nonny said, “Devil, you can put it back
if you ever wanna meet my fee.
I done told you once, you quote-mining dick,
I never write for free.”

Flame war in the comments, run boys, run. 
Devil’s in the Post of the Huffington. 
Digging in your mentions, picking out quotes. 
Mister, does your blog pay? No, lawlz, no. 



Author’s Note: do make the decision to give a lot of my work away for free, but I do so on my own site and my own terms rather than generating traffic and revenue for others who gain more “exposure” from the content donated to their sites than they give to the paid works of their content creators.

If you enjoy and/or benefit from my presence on this blog or elsewhere on the web, please consider paying for it through PayPal or Patreon.

Sad Puppies Review Books: Yertle the Turtle


Reviewed by John Z. Upjohn, USMC (Aspired)

This book is the all-too-plausible story of one evil turtle and his tyrannical desire to enslave all other turtles to his bidding.

If when you read this book it seems to echo eerily close to something you have heard before, that is probably not a coincidence. This is no mere children’s story like the ones you’d find in Aesop’s fables. This is a story with an important moral lesson to teach us and it relates to real life.

The villain of the piece is a turtle named Mack who is so dissatisfied with his place in the world that rather than climbing the ladder and making something of himself, he instead blames society for such petty things as the pain in his back and his lack of food. Not content to merely complain, he uses his extraordinary power and privilege to impose his will upon all other turtles. Lacking the gumption and will to raise himself up, he instead only tears down, and will not be satisfied until all other turtles have been brought down to his level.

Set against Mack is the tragic hero of the piece, a Randian super-turtle named Yertle who, though born to lowly circumstances on top of a rock only a little bit higher than the station of any other turtle in the pond, raises himself up to be the self-made king of everything up to forty miles away. Because a rising tide lifts all boats, in the process he raises every other turtle in the pond up with him.

Even Mack—the greedy, grasping, ungrateful, Mack—is elevated to the very same position Yertle was when the story began, sitting atop the very same rock. If he really wanted to be where Yertle is, there was absolutely nothing stopping him from doing as Yertle did. He was given the exact same opportunity Yertle had. Yertle’s very success proves the existence of upward mobility in the pond. Every single one of the turtles under Yertle only has to look up to find something to aspire to.

But when Mack’s  incessant complaints and whiny demands do not give Mack any greater reward than he has earned, he brings the whole thing crashing down in the most vulgar way imaginable: he burps.

In this one burp, he becomes worse than the Soviets who condemned the Kulaks during holodomor, worse than the people on the street who mouthed the Nazi lies about Jews during WWII.  Why worse?  Because those people lived in fear of their lives.  They had to say what they did because they feared being next on the kill list.

But Mack? Mack drags everyone down into the mud and dashes every turtle’s dream of attaining a higher place in society of his own free will. Does he care about the wishes of the turtles above him? No, he does not. Mack imposes his will upon all. In his pond, all turtles are slaves shackled to the ground, doomed to swim about the pond without the benefit of direction or purpose.

And in the end, the turtle who had the vision to build a society where any turtle could climb so high as to see forty miles in every direction, where any turtle could through nothing save their own hard work and determination could become king of a house and a cow and a mule, he is down with the rest, only able to see mud.

The burping vulgarians of the world cannot tolerate men or turtles of Yertle’s grand vision, and so cannot rest until they are destroyed. Saul Alinsky would be proud.

Two stars.

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Millennial Pledge: Trouble Edition

Millennials, either you are closing your eyes to a situation you do not wish to acknowledge or you are not aware of the caliber of the disaster indicated by your demographic cohort’s entry into adulthood. Now, I admire and adore the Millennials. I consider the time I spent coming of age on or around the turn of the 21st century is golden. That doesn’t mean Millennials haven’t got trouble. Below is a pledge that’ll help you cultivate horse sense, a cool head, and a keen eye.


  • I will not sip medicinal wine from a spoon.
  • I will not then sip beer from a bottle.
  • I will not play for money in a pinch-back suit.
  • I will not listen to some big out-of-town Jasper talking about gambling on horse racing.
    • Not a wholesome trotting race, no sir!
    • But a race where they sit right down on the horse.
  • I will not fritter away my:
    • Noontime
    • Suppertime
    • Choretime, too.
  • I will get the dandelions pulled.
  • I will get the screen door mended.
  • I will get the beafsteak pounded.
  • I will pump water so my parents don’t get caught with the cistern empty on a Saturday night.
  • I will not try out Bevo.
  • I will not try out cubebs.
  • I will not try out Tailor Mades, like a cigarette fiend.
  • I will not brag about how I’ll cover up tale-tell breath with Sen-Sen.
  • I will not leave the pool hall heading for the Armoury Dance.
  • I will not re-buckle my knickerbockers below the knee the moment I leave the house.
  • I will not have a nicotine stain on my index finger.
  • I will not hide a dime novel in the corn crib.
  • I will not memorize jokes from Captain Billy’s Whiz-Bang.
  • I will not let certain words creep into my vocabulary, words like:
    • “Swell”
    • “So’s your old man.”

Jonathan Franzen at the Laundromat

The first time I meet him, I’m in an almost-empty laundromat. It’s the height of the August heatwave. I’m folding my towels when he comes in. His hair is tousled. He wears a rumpled, button-up shirt with a ten-year-old blazer that was already ten years old when he bought it from a Salvation Army.

I know this, because he tells me it. I haven’t asked. He tells me he’ll forgive me for not having asked, this once.

He has a laundry basket full of damp clothes he’s brought with him. He makes no move to unload it.

“Oh, these are already clean,” he says. “Insofar as anything can be that has been touched by the detritus of a human life. I wash them by hand, one sinkful at a time. I could pay someone to do it, and it would probably be better. The first sinkful, I thought went pretty well. The second one, I enjoyed. From the third onwards, it was torture. Sheer torture. I dry them on the line afterwards. There’s something almost painfully authentic about a shirt that has breathed the same air as the city, don’t you think?”

“I have literally never thought that,” I say.

He gives a nearby front-loading washer an apologetic look.

“That was a quotation from James Joyce,” he says.

“No, it wasn’t,” I say.

“I’m a little embarrassed for you that you didn’t spot it.”

“It wasn’t Joyce,” I say.

“It was Joyce,” he says. “Joyce Carol Oates.”


“Jonathan Franzen,” he says. “Just now. When I said it, just now. Hi, I’m Jonathan Franzen. You might well ask, what is Jonathan Franzen doing in a mid-town laundromat with a load of already-washed, partially-dried laundry?”

“I’m really just here to…”

“I admire the fact that you feel you can do better with your half of the conversation on your own,” he says. “Most people would be too intimidated.”

“Fine,” I say. “What are you…”

“What is Jonathan Franzen…”

“What is Jonathan Franzen doing in a mid-town laundromat with a load of… of already-washed, partially-dried laundry?”

“I like the experience of freshly-dried laundry,” he says.

“Have at it,” I say, waving at the row of empty dryers.

“Of course, I feel a wave of crushing guilt and despair every time I fire up one of the dryers,” he says. “That’s what we’re all supposed to do, right?”

“I think I missed that memo,” I say.

“Because of the carbon emissions. So why should I feed that machine?” he says. “I don’t believe in paying for something to do what I could do myself. It’s how I maintain my essential connection to the struggle of poverty that defines America in the middle class teetering on the fulcrum of extinction.”

“Aren’t you an actual millionaire?”

“Only in a literal sense. You are burdened with a rather pedestrian and limited view of poverty,” he says. He gives a helpless look to a nearby empty cart. “Most people do, in my experience. I have had the humbling advantage of having explored what it is to be poor at a multitude of tax brackets.”

“That’s the opposite of being poor,” I say. “The exact opposite.”

“Sometimes you can only understand something for the first time when you see it from the outside,” he says.

“And sometimes the only way to understand something is to see it from the inside,” I say. “Being poor is like that.”

“Ah, I thought as much,” he says.


“I knew you were going to find something to hate in what I said no matter what happened, so I made sure to give you something to latch onto,” he says. “What’s the point in fighting? I can’t take who I am and mash it down into a package you’ll find palatable, so I might as well just say what I mean. I cannot live an artificial life, and that is why the world hates me.”

He delivers this last line to the glass door of a nearby dryer, as if he’s speaking to his reflection, or possibly believes a camera is hidden there.

“So…” I say, trying to find the actual thread of the conversation again. “You bring your clothes into the laundromat for a while because you like the experience, but you don’t actually put them in the washer or dryer because you also want to experience poverty?”

“No, that would be silly. Don’t be ridiculous,” he says. “What I do is I wait for someone to take his or her clothes out of a dryer with time left on it, and then I put mine in.”

“So you’re going to sit here until I’m done with my laundry and hope I don’t run the dryer out?”

“I can count on it,” he says. “You have no book with you, nothing to distract you from the insufferable, oppressive reality of this place. You will be checking your garments every ten minutes.”

I hold up my phone.

“Got my books right here,” I say.

“Ah,” he says, giving a skeptical sidelong glance to the detergent vendor.


“One of those.”


“I shall take my leave of you,” he says, hefting his laundry basket. “Good day.”

And that was the first time I met Jonathan Franzen.

Learn why SJWs always lie…

…and who benefits when they do, is this groundbreaking new book from Hymenaeus House by Theophilus Pratt:

John Scalzi Is Not A Very Popular Author And I Myself Am Quite Popular: How SJWs Always Lie About Our Comparative Popularity LevelsJohn Scalzi Is Not A Very Popular Author And I Myself Am Quite Popular: How SJWs Always Lie About Our Comparative Popularity LevelsBoasting an impressive 50% more chapter fives than the next leading competitor, this is the only book about the lies of SJW you need to buy this year.

Get it for Kindle today!

Hymenaeus House Announces New Non-Fiction Book Project

So, Theophilus Pratt has hired me to do some research on a book he believes may infringe on a work he’s been putting together for some time now. The book is called SJWs Always Lie: Taking Down The Thought Police. He feels that it might be treading a little too close to his forthcoming magnum opus, John Scalzi Is Not A Very Popular Author And I Myself Am Quite Popular: How SJWs Always Lie About Our Comparative Popularities.

I have to say, my first reaction was to be incredibly skeptical. Actually, my first reaction was to wonder “Why does Theophilus Pratt keep contacting me?” It later transpired that I am quite possibly the only person on the planet who still answers him. My second reaction was to wonder why I still do so. My third reaction, however, was to be incredibly skeptical. That, more than anything, engaged my curiosity enough for me to agree to do a little opposition research.

So I spent a good 35 minutes today reviewing the little tract to which he had referred me, and I have to admit, he has a surprisingly good point. For a book that is supposed to be dedicated to spotting and overcoming Social Justice Warrior Thought Police, SJWs Always Lie devotes a remarkable proportion of its focus to things like John Scalzi’s web traffic. Even the chapter that would seem to be the centerpiece of the author’s premise—the one that lays out the three laws of how SJWs always lie—offers no other example for any of the lies except the author’s belief that Mr. Scalzi has been falsifying his web traffic statistics for years, a claim which is dealt with in exhaustive yet incoherent detail, as if the author were the protagonist of a complicated political thriller.

At one point—I swear to God I’m not making this up, though I sort of feel like I am—the author details how he phoned in an industry favor to have the phone company pull data for him.

If you’ve ever seen the movie Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure and you remember the scene where the title character convenes a community meeting in to address his bike theft, that is what the central thesis chapter of SJWs Always Lie resembles more than anything else.

So, while my final verdict to Mr. Pratt is that, yes, the books are surprisingly similar in subject matter despite the misleading title of the competing project, I don’t think he has much to worry about in terms of an actual competition. His own effort in the area could hardly be worse.

The Egalitarian In The Lunchroom (a parable)

Recently, a self-described egalitarian tried to school me on his school of thought, which he thought I’d been unfairly impugning. He described egalitarianism this way:

“To use an analogy like you it would be more like one person has a vegetable garden and another person has apple trees. Egalitarians would say give them each a loaf of bread to have a nice lunch.”

He summed up what he saw my approach thusly:

“But, say the vegetable person got upset because they think it’s unfair that the other person gets both apples and bread. So they start a group to support other vegetable people. They petition you to not only give them extra food (like cheese) but also to stop giving the apple people their bread. You tell them they could just grow apples too but that offends them and they demand you still give them bread and cheese and they actually want bacon now too. They even demand you confiscate some of their apples to make it more fair.”

And summed up his defense of egalitarianism with:

“To say that the only way you can have equality is to be shown unfair advantages, goes against the very idea of equality.”

I have to confess, I found this very charming. Egalitarianism as a political philosophy defined as “Give everybody bread, and they can make a nice lunch out of whatever they have.” It’s such a great capsule description of… well… everything that’s wrong with it as an approach, and why exactly we need the more nuanced solutions that are inevitably reduced by their detractors to “showing some groups unfair advantages and calling it fair”.

It is in that spirit that I present:


Once upon a time, an egalitarian was given charge over a school cafeteria and tasked with making sure that every child within it had a nutritious meal. This was a very important job, and the egalitarian was pleased to have a chance to show his dedication to equality by carrying it out in the fairest form possible.

“I shall give each child,” he said, “a SANDWICH. Each sandwich shall be exactly the same, consisting of delicious, fluffy, lightly toasted bread, a modest amount of mayonnaise, a slice of American cheese, nutritious lettuce and tomato, and a standard serving size of ham. All children shall receive this sandwich, and a carton of milk. All needs shall be equally met.”

When lunchtime came, the egalitarian went to the lunchroom to observe his ingenious system of lunchroom equality in action. The children were all lined up, and the sandwiches were all ready for them, one for each child, as the uniformity of the menu had resulted in a marvel of efficiency.

He watched as the first few children filed through the line.

Then one got to the front of the line and stopped.

“Is that real mayo?” she said. “I’m allergic to eggs. Could you make me one without mayo?”

The server looked at the egalitarian, who shook his head no. Didn’t this child understand equality? She was holding up the lines with her demands for special treatment.

“Every child gets the same sandwich,” the server said, giving her one. “That’s how you know it’s fair.”

But the special snowflake demands didn’t stop there. One child with sensitive gums had the gall to demand that the bread be untoasted. Several said they were lactose intolerant and could not digest the cheese, nor the milk that was served as a drink.

The egalitarian thought this one was a particularly transparent ploy to get special attention, as—though he did not see color—he couldn’t help but notice that most of the children who pulled it were racial minorities. Though he believed all races should be treated equally and he held not a single prejudiced thought in his head, it was his experience that some of those people did not believe this, and would use any excuse they could think of to demand special treatment.

“Everybody gets a sandwich,” the egalitarian said. “That’s a nice lunch for everybody. Look at all the kids who already have their sandwich and are happily eating it. This could be you, but you’re not happy to have the same thing everybody else has. You have to be special, so you’re holding up the line demanding we make something special just for you.”

Then one child claimed something called “coeliac disease” and asked for a sandwich with no bread at all. That ignored not only the definition of equality, but the definition of sandwich! One person said they couldn’t eat pork, because of a cultural tradition they were trying to keep alive.

“That’s your choice,” the egalitarian said. “I’m giving you the same opportunity to eat as everyone else.”

When an anemic student asked if there could not be a meal option that had some red meat, or at least some spinach, the egalitarian snapped. He’d tried to make everything equal, but if it would stop the grumbling for one minute…

“Fine!” he said. “Starting tomorrow we’ll put spinach on the sandwiches instead of lettuce! Will that make you happy?”

“Excuse me,” said another student. “I have a thyroid condition, and I’m not supposed to eat dark green vegetables.”

“Aaah!” screamed the egalitarian. “You see? I tried being nice, and do I even get any credit for compromising? This is what happens when you kowtow to special interest groups? There’s no way to win with you people! No way! If I take the bread off the sandwich, somebody will say they need the carbs! If I take away all the dairy to please the ‘lactose intolerants’ someone will tell me that they need calcium and potassium! The demands never stop with you people, which is why it was a mistake to bother trying at all! EVERYBODY GETS THE SAME SANDWICH! THAT IS WHAT EQUALITY MEANS!”

For reasons that are unclear, the egalitarian did not keep this job much longer, and soon after the school cafeteria went to a buffet model where children could select from several dishes, including things such as salads they assembled themselves and sandwiches assembled to order.

The egalitarian still visits the cafeteria from time to time and watches the children moving from station to station—not even the same stations—picking out their lunch. He watches the coeliacs taking unbreaded chicken and making salads from underneath signs reminding students how to avoid cross contaminating them, and mutters, “No one else gets signs just for them.” He watches the lactose intolerant students getting their orange juice and sneers, “I bet they feel really special with their yellow milk.” He watches a student peering at labels for kosher certification. “This isn’t equal food, it’s special food.”

He watches them all: the vegetarians and vegans, the anemics, the kosher-keepers and the halal-observers, and he says, “This isn’t equality. This isn’t what equality looks like.  I gave them equal. I gave them fair. It was so simple, so beautiful. But the fools, the fools didn’t want to listen…”

He breaks down sobbing.

“Everybody got a sandwich.”