10 thoughts on “Truth is stranger than fiction”

  1. That’s the problem that I am having. There are so many things happening in the “Real World” that make no sense, and I do not see how to translate them to “Fiction” where they must make sense.

    I call upon the sacred words of Jackson Browne.

    Doctor My Eyes

    Doctor My Eyes
    Song by Jackson Browne


    Doctor, my eyes have seen the years
    And the slow parade of fears without crying
    Now I want to understand

    I have done all that I could
    To see the evil and the good without hiding
    You must help me if you can

    Doctor, my eyes
    Tell me what is wrong
    Was I unwise to leave them open for so long?

    ‘Cause I have wandered through this world
    And as each moment has unfurled
    I’ve been waiting to awaken from these dreams

    People go just where they will
    I never noticed them until I got this feeling
    That it’s later than it seems

    Doctor, my eyes
    Tell me what you see
    I hear their cries
    Just say if it’s too late for me

    Doctor, my eyes
    They cannot see the sky
    Is this the prize
    For having learned how not to cry?

    • My suggestion is pretty much the same thing: since all fiction take place in alternate universes, just set your backstory history as best suits the narrative. Ignore everything else.

      If the White Russians beat Lenin run with that. If Gorvachev was Brezhnev’s immediate successor and saved the Soviet Union so be it. Whatever the story needs thestory gets. After all the real world is a pendulum and any trend you (grudgingly?) adopt might be played out or moot by the time you’re done.

    • Write science fiction? Maybe? I thought certain dystopian scenarios were too simple-minded to be plausible, but reality has made a point of proving me wrong. The premise of “Divergent” is still stupid, though 🙂

      I can think of one sci-fi writer who supposed the IRS would carry guns in the future. It’s a damn shame he died before he could write the sequel; just curious to see who he thought would win.

      But otherwise, just do what Adam Savage from “Myth Busters” once said: “I reject your reality, and substitute my own!” Or go with that guy from the meme about how aliens are behind whatever is happening. Government officials keep saying UFOs are real, so I guess the aliens are plausible, at least …

    • Truth is stranger than Fiction.

      The Dialectical Faith of Leftism | James Lindsay

      I watched the lecture, and based on dealing with a huge number of cults in my life, I recognized what he was saying was true. Now this comes in handy for my latest WIP, which is disturbing enough, but suddenly all the events of the past few years — from the Evergreen meltdown, to the Yale Halloween event, and the Woke infestation of virtually all aspects of media, society and government — came into focus.

      – Look at the screaming children at Evergreen and Yale, the hysterical rage of the cancel culture in media. You are looking at religious fanatics — who don’t realize that they are part of a religion.

      Until people realize that we are dealing with the Church of Woke, the Religion of Marxism, the “Real World” will keep not making sense.

      – Thus my calling upon the sacred words of Jackson Browne above.

      I realized, that no matter how extreme my current WIP is, the “Real World” makes it look like a Mister Roger’s Neighborhood episode.


      BTW, If this was like the start of the movie World War Z, people would know how to react, but this is like Salem’s Lot or Lost Boys:

      Lost Boys 1987 – “I didn´t invite you this time, Max”

      Grandpa´s classic lines to close the movie,

      “One thing about living in Santa Carla I never could stomach, all the damn vampires.”

      • Oh, yes, it is definitely a religion (or cult). They think that because they don’t designate a deity, they are safe from the (to them) stigma of religion.

        All the psychology works exactly the same way.
        * Accepted beliefs only
        * True believers – questioning not permitted
        * Defense against heresy
        * Defense against outsiders/the non-believers
        * Defense of the in-group against contact with the out-group
        * Authoritarian compulsion to promote the cause against outsiders.

        I see this as an old human evolved psychological impulse, from adaptation to living in small closely-related groups where it has a clear survival value (us vs the dangerous them).

        “Live and let live” is a artificial luxury goal, and fragile, only possible after millennia of civilization, and then only spottily — we are witnessing its manifest difficulties now. Non-religiously-based governments give up their best tool in its cause, which handicaps them when competing with religiously-based governments.

        The impulse to religion is always with us and can only keep us operating within modern civilized boundaries if enough of us consciously adopt the “live and let live” philosophy, regardless of our actual religious beliefs. Modern atheists don’t seem to understand the religious impulse that still operates as part of our psychology (and this includes the various Communism, Socialism, and other -isms). Modern religious believers do understand that, but have to struggle with a will to permit the “others” to make their own choices in a civil society.

        This, rather than constitutions and limitations on kings, is what will kill us eventually, if we can’t shore up our teaching and our consensus controls (which are all that let us call ourselves “civilized”). Humans are not a tabula rasa, and evolutionary adaptation is infinitely slower than the civilizational overlay. It is easier to destroy civilization than to eradicate what’s built into the blood. The success of the West so far, in my view, has a lot to do with the adoption of Christianity as a template which (by and large, for relative values of historic contingency — plenty of exceptions) would rather convert than compel, and lives in hope that more will see the light rather than seeking to put them to the sword if they don’t. Wokerei, on the other hand, like the “-isms”, is a competing religion that lacks that self-imposed civilizational handicap.

        [Spoken as an atheist who kicked over the traces of a convent-school education before 5th grade]

        • Good luck getting rid of the secular religions.
          (And that includes the militant atheists. After all there is zero evidence there isn’t a metaphysical presence out there that just gave up on the mess humanity has turned it. 😉 )

          A big majority of people derive their sense of worth from being in tbe “right thinking” crowd, rather than personal achievement. It’s easier and less demanding.
          Not too different from the folks that derive their sense of worth (superiority) from their choice of gaming device or overpriced consumer electronics. They are all driven to absolutist militancy by the fear that they’ve committed themselves to a losing cause, failing to understand it is that unthinking commitment that makes them losers.

          “Pox ‘pon all their houses.”

          • Oh, I quite agree. A “live and let live” civilization can’t survive the impulse of destruction-to-the-enemy except by an act of will. Some of the older religions (e.g., Christianity) have cobbled together an (uneasy) modus vivendi, but some other actual religions and all the secular ones have not.

            I would not have expected so much civilizational destruction in my lifetime, but I am clearly demonstrably wrong. Hard to ward off despair.

            The only good I see that can come from the present disaster is to educate forceably, by life-experience, new cohorts about the reason why their lives are becoming horrible (as the French Revolution did for its generation). If they can’t learn from history (or be taught it honestly), they are doomed to repeat it. Maybe the next generation will reap some benefit from the smoking ashes.

            That it should consume so much of America is particularly horrible, since for once a country was founded not only on “revolt from tyranny” but also on “and here is a better model, a light for the way forward”. I still think they were right, but failed to live up to their (impossible for actual humans? *) standards.

            Better luck next time…


            * – Status-seeking is also an old evolved psychological inheritance, older even than humanity — better to be top of or part of the most powerful coalition in your tiny community. Safer that way. Dangerous to lose status.

            There are now many ways of achieving status, and not all are harmful to civilization [Famous scientist…, Entrepreneur…], but the oldest and simplest are still the most appealing and accessible [Grooming, Family-alliance, Wealth (resources)]

            • Eating regularly is a very important status symbol, too.
              A bit more important than which cellphone you post selfies online with. Hopefully the entitled will get the message before the looming famines fully manifest. Because that is the next Horseman in line, now that Plague and War have had their say. 😮

      • To add to your discussion, Karen, Felix:

        One person’s “religion” is another person’s “cult”, all based on what is considered “heresy” by the different groups.

        “Heresy” is the Greek word for “choice”, so depending on what people “chose” for their “Way”, every other “choice” is “heresy”.

        I collect “heresies”, they are useful for Story. I assemble them like TinkerToys into new variations. I am always surprised when I google what I think is a new variation and find that there are groups that are already following that “Way”.

        – Atheism is a militant religion intent on destroying all other religions.

        When I point that out to an atheist they will argue with me, not seeing that “Atheism” is a different word from “atheist”. It’s that level of willful blindness that trips up the “militant atheist” every time.

        What is interesting, is that one of the videos I watched mentioned that the Woke have invaded the “Skeptic/Atheist” movement as well and is taking it apart, along with the different groups that are now Woke. They are no longer Christian/Catholic/Judaism/Islam, etc…. So atheists are just as susceptible to Woke infestation as the religious. So much for “Reason”.

        I realized that any group that is smug, arrogant, judgmental, is wide open to the Woke infestation. Any group that is not “judgmental” is fairly safe.

        BTW, “smug, arrogant, judgmental” are the criteria that any con artist looks for in a “Mark”, but I digress.

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