Category: Straw Puppy

You know what the problem with Jupiter Ascending was?

The plot and the dialogue? It looked nice and that was it. When I reviewed it I found there really wasn’t much to say but maybe it could have been more fun with either MORE wackiness or more jokes or in the other direction, a more serious plot or really anything to get it away from the point it landed that meant that it wasn’t serious enough or funny enough or quite enough enough.

So I was on the Castalia House blog – yes, yes, I shouldn’t do that to myself – and Jeffro apparently has discovered the answer:

“But the acting and the dialog is not what ultimately ruined this film. Structuring it around a female romantic lead did.”

mmmmmm, nope I’m pretty sure it was the dialogue and the plot that ruined the film but do carry on Jeffro.

“This is an inherently anti-pulp premise that is being grafted onto an otherwise pitch perfect expression of classical space opera. Granted, Tarzan was Lord Greystoke. Arthur was the son of Uther. And Luke Skywalker turned out to be part of a space dynasty. “Who you are” does matter in these things. But what these characters do matters more. And these characters proving their worth and their mettle matters even more.

I don’t know why it is, but for some reason… the moment a male lead is swapped out with a female one, all of this stuff seems to go out the window. Men and women are not interchangeable. The stories that spring up around them are qualitatively different.”

But, in the film what the lead character DOES is meant to matter more than who she IS. Jeffro’s objection is based on the plot element that the lead character turns out to be (unknown to her) a space princess. In Jeffro’s defence, it is hard to tell because the plot is a mess but that all points to the plot being a mess rather than an issue with the lead’s gender.

Jeffro goes on to identify why the film falls flat at the end (I think it fell flat from the start but I’ll let Jeffro explain)

“And when you get to the ending where she is rollerblading in the sky with her space boyfriend, it’s pretty clear why: No one cares if a girl gets the guy in the end.
It’s no accomplishment to speak of, honestly. It’s normal. It’s reality’s default setting, and thus… conveys no drama to speak of. If a young girl is as cute as Mila Kunis wants a guy, she can have her pick. They will line up for her whether she is available or not. And the guy that Jupiter Jones gets…? The filmmakers worked overtime to establish that he was really more interested in getting his wings back than anything else. This is an anti-climax unworthy of space opera, pure and simple.”

The last time I discussed a piece from the Castalia House blog I was forced to wonder if the reviewer had ever seen any movies. This time I’m forced to wonder if the writer actually knows any women or people in general? Now, in Jeffro’s defence, I will note he has a point about the film: specifically in that the crappy dialogue and mess of a plot meant there really was no romantic tension – but that wasn’t due to some weird default reality in which stories about women finding love ‘conveys no drama to speak of’. I’m pretty sure that we could all name the odd story here or there or maybe THE BIGGEST SELLING GENRE IN FICTION which from time to time manages to somehow get drama out of women looking for love.

On the list of ‘things wrong with misogyny’, this kind of cluelessness is pretty low down but it aptly demonstrates a key element of it. If your understanding of 50%+ of humanity is so confused on such a basic level that you can’t even understand how there could possibly be drama in whether the ‘girls gets the guy in the end of not’ then your capacity to understand any human relationships are going to be seriously confused. It’s like trying to study mathematics while believing that numbers are a kind of gelatine desert – none of it will make sense and your kitchen will be a mess when you attempt calculus.

More daft Star Wars Mary Sue claims


Some nonsense from the Castalia House Blog about The Force Awakens. Can you guess the character that upsets them the most? Ok that was almost too easy to guess: it’s Rey of course because she’s a girl – oops sorry because she’s a “Mary sue” (fair enough if you guessed Finn).

The writer, Jasyn Jones aka Gamergate’s ‘Daddy Warpig’, says they’ve watched the film twice yet oddly they seem confused about multiple details. Oddly it is the same details you’ll find in similar pieces around the internet. I can imagine somebody making a coherent argument that Rey is a Mary-Sue of one kind or another but, this isn’t it:

“When first she meets another primary character, Rey saves both their lives, even in the face of his bumbling machismo which threatens to get them both killed.”

Rey has grown up in a rough barter town and can surprisingly look after herself. OK, not actually surprisingly. As for ‘saving their lives’, she knocks over a couple of people with her staff and then helps Finn runaway when the town gets attacked.

“Then she flies a starship for the very first time (completely untrained)”

Huh? We know Rey is a pilot from the complex plot device where she says “I’m a pilot”. Why does he think she is completely untrained? Yes, when Finn asks if she has ‘ever flown this thing?’ about the Millennium Falcon that she hasn’t but that’s because ‘no one has flown this thing in years’. She clearly knows the ship and has been on the ship before and is very familiar with the layout of the ship. Nor is her flying faultless, she struggles initially, damaging buildings as she takes off.

Oh just watch the film:

“and—though a rank amateur—she pulls off several maneuvers Han Solo would have had trouble duplicating even on his very best day as a pilot.”

Yeah because Han would struggle because…, oh yeah we have no idea whether Han Solo would have trouble duplicating those moves because we have never seen any equivalent in-atmosphere chase in the original films. The most spectacular moves are when she pilots the ship through the remains of the ruined star destroyers – presumably very difficult but they are ruins that she knows well. Quite why he thinks Rey is a rank amateur is anybody’s guess (but probably because she is a woman).

 “Then she goes to repair the ship—no mention how an untutored scavenger from the back of the back of beyond knows how to service a damned starship, “

Good point. I can’t imagine where somebody who grew up surrounded by wrecked starships and who we meet finding salvage in a Star Destroyer and who sells parts of ruined starships to make ends meet and who knows the various parked ships in her town well, could possibly learn about the mechanics of starships. Seriously, has he even watched the TRAILER? What do we see Rey doing even before the movie was released? (Hint: it’s climbing through spaceships).

” gets to yell at Finn because he’s so damn incompetent.”

Finn who we know isn’t a mechanic or pilot.

“And she speaks droid,”

Again – hardly odd given her background.

 “AND she speaks Wookie. “

Lots of people speak Wookiee. I guess in the US, speaking multiple languages may seem like a freaky superpower but it really isn’t.

“And she releases monsters to kill bad guys (which she thought was the wrong thing to do, but turns out she was mistaken as the monsters eat up all the bad guys.”

So now messing up also counts against her?

 “(This is the only time she’s ever wrong, in the entire movie.) “

Aside from all the other times, like running towards the wrong ship when trying to get away from the tie-fighter attack (see above), getting captured after running away, or the whole staying on Jakku because her parents are going to be back for her soon – something which she has been wrong about ALL HER LIFE.

” Finn wants to flee like a coward, Rey wants to stand like a hero.”

Yeah guessed he missed the bit when Rey freaks out and runs off and then gets captured. Both the characters do this. Now, we know why – it’s because Star Wars has been obsessed with the whole hero’s journey thing since the original. So Finn has to turn away from the call and Rey has to as well and just as HAN FRICKIN‘ SOLO does in episode 4.

“She’s suddenly able to read people’s mind with The Force, as well as do that funky Jedi Mind Trick, all with absolutely no training. “

So not only has this guy somehow not seen episode 7, he seems not have seen episode 4. We all see the training Luke gets: a few swishes with a lightsabre in a blast helmet – that’s it. Yet before long, he uses the force to blow up the Death Star in an x-wing (something he has never flown before). And look – not only is Luke flying an unfamiliar spaceship but he is doing so as part of a formal military force on a life-or-death military operation based solely on his experience shooting wamp rats.

But how! Let’s ask Obi-wan: Use the force, let go.

Dippy hippy pseudo-Taoist claptrap it might be but Star Wars has always been clear about using the force: it is connected to feelings and emotional states. Luke’s training is even shown in episode 5 as a process of unlearning.

Rey doesn’t necessarily need much training to do what she does. Nor do the previous films imply that about the force.

“And then free-climbs an infinitely high wall without a HINT of vertigo or hesitation. “

You mean like the way she climbs through the innards of a wrecked Star destroyer IN THE TRAILER which apparently the author missed. Again, it’s right there – a fact established about the character (she can climb stuff and is used to climbing stuff) from BEFORE THE MOVIE WAS RELEASED.

Now I’m stuck with an image of Daddy Warpig standing at the bottom of the cliff face shouting ‘Mary-Sue’ at this woman as she climbs:

“And then she defeats the super-evil, super-competent, been-training-in-The-Force-for-over-ten-years evil Sith dude in a lightsaber battle.”

And then she… in the actual movie rather than the weird version Daddy Warpig appears to have watched (twice!) she defeats, by the skin of her teeth, an emotionally unstable Kylo Ren (with erratic powers) who has already just had one fight and who wants her alive AND the planet is falling to bits. She spends much of this fight sequence RUNNING AWAY from him.

“And, oh yes, the orange-nerf-football-headed alien they meet in the cantina has found Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber (last seen falling into the vast and unplumbed depths of the cloud giant Bespin), but the lightsaber of the famed and legendary LAST JEDI is psychically calling… FOR REY! And it gives her SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE STRONG WOMAN FATED TO BE BETTER THAN EVERYONE ELSE AND NEVER BE WRONG VISIONS! Just for her.”

Gosh a character in a Star Wars film having some sort of *destiny*? I mean the only possible reason is that she is a Mary-Sue and it can’t possibly be because that’s one of the major themes of all three of the original films and all three of the prequels (twice over with the prequels in that the destiny also carries over to the original three).

WOW! Obviously Rey is the bestest thing that has ever been. She’s never wrong, better than everyone at everything, and the most special, unique, coolio-awesomest person in the entire galaxy.

Nope. She is repeatedly wrong. She makes errors, other characters misjudge her, she doubts herself, she runs away, she gets captured and so on. She displays some remarkable abilities but not substantially more than Luke Skywalker and unlike young Anakin Skywalker, doesn’t accidentally fly a spaceship for the first time ever as a child and destroy the key spaceship in an orbital blockade thus ending a robot invasion.

[OK, yes I reckon R2 did all that but then I think BB-8 probably is running everything in Episode 7. Hey, let’s leave my delusions out of this]

“In other words, Rey is the Mary-Sueist Mary Sue to have ever Mary Sued. Ever.”

Aside from Anakin Skywalker in The Phantom Menace you mean and only marginally (on points) ahead of Luke Skywalker in A New Hope, you mean? Why, it’s almost like there was some intangible quality to Luke and Anakin that makes Daddy Warpig OK with THEIR remarkable abilities (in a sci-fi fantasy film series based on magic-using chosen ones) but not OK with Rey’s. Oh what, oh what could it be?

She is the single best example of modern Hollywood’s “Strong Woman Character What Don’t Need No Mans” trope. The kind of strong, but sexy and quintessentially feminine characters played by the likes of Katharine Hepburn, Grace Kelly, and Lauren Bacall are like, yesterday’s news daddio. Get with the times—today’s strong women are Rey all the way.

I also start to suspect Daddy Warpig hasn’t even watched any movies by this point – just heard about them via vague rumour, but also I now want to see a Star Wars film with Katherine Hepburn piloting the Millenium Falcon with Humphrey Bogart.

Some less typo ridden debunkings of Reyrysue


I was considering doing a round-up of various reactions to the Trump election from the puppy-sphere but one in particular out-did itself in terms of an utter lack of self awareness.

Here is Brad Torgersen (you guessed it would be Brad didn’t you?) thinking about the children:

And now I am reading all these stories from parents, supposedly screaming about how their children are living in Trump Terror, and I just shake my head—dummies, your kids are having a cow because *you* are having a cow.

And if you are thinking “but wait…didn’t Brad freak out after the 2015 Hugo Awards?” then you would be right:

So lets be clear:

  • A corrupt authoritarian sexual predator becomes most powerful man in the world with a minority of the vote and starts surrounding himself with white supremacist sympathisers? Brad’s advice: calm down and respect the vote and don’t let the kids get upset.
  • A shonky plan to rig a science fiction award (with the bonus help of a very similar group of white supremacist sympathisers) loses big time in a vote? Brad’s advice: FREAK THE FUCK OUT PEOPLE!!!! VOTERS ARE ABUSERS, CHILDREN ARE UPSET!!!


A Sail Around the Puppy Seas to Exemplify the Polls Using Appallingly Sized Samples

No, but seriously looking in depth at what individuals are saying is a totally legit research technique.

To recap, in previous posts I’ve looked at the Sad Puppy/Rabid Puppy political split in terms of the right’s anti-Trump vote and the alt-right’s pro-Trump vote. Simply, the difference between notable Sad Puppies (as defined by the 2015 Hugo Campaigns) and the Rabid Puppies was a simple as the Rabid Puppies being strongly pro-Trump.

How do things stand now? The Rabid Puppy camps remain pro-Trump obviously: racism and misogyny are seen as a feature rather than a bug of the Trump candidacy.

On the Sad Puppy side, Peter Grant the Tor-boycott guy has been leaning Trump for awhile.

Brad Torgersen and Larry Correia, remain in the plague-on-both-your-houses camp.Brad has been making digs about people supporting Hillary though.

The big change is Sarah Hoyt, who has announced that she intends voting for Trump:

I think her reasoning is interesting – not terribly coherent and based on a looming dread of leftists doing lefty things but still interesting. I say that because it helps show what may be happening in various ways with the polls (at least in part). People with various kinds of right (or anti-left) views finally caving under the weight of a freakish electoral cycle and picking the only side they can pick.

Vox Day’s No Good Horrible Very Bad Week

Not the best week for our favourite evil-genius.oneyedD5

Sunday: The Hugo Awards didn’t collapse but instead voted for top-notch works. The multiple dark threats from 2015 amounted to little more than Space Raptor Butt Invasion aka the joke that backfired on the devilman Vox. Here he is in 2015.


Tonight will tell us one very important thing. It will give us the opportunity to see what their true numbers are and reveal the true extent of their fully mobilized strength. Last year, the maximum No Award vote was 1,100. This year it will be more, somewhere between 1,100 and 4,000.

Being SJWs, they doubled-down as per the Second Law, giving us the chance to break them once and for all. But even if we don’t, even if we only burn Munich instead of taking Berlin, even if they are successful in “sending a message”, what we hear will not be what they wish for us to hear. Because what we will hear is this: Next year, bring more puppies.

Ooops. I think I can spot where the brilliant plan fell down.

Tuesday: Vox is struggling to make sense of Space Raptor Butt Invasion. The Vox Xanatos gambit was this:

  • SJWs will either say they hate it and not vote for it and the Hugos will be all embarrassed that it was on the ballot.
  • Or the SJWs will say that they love it and hence have to vote for it and it will a Hugo and the Hugos will have “butt” in it ha, ha, ha I made them say “butt”

Unfortunately somehow in the complex psychological four-dimensional chess game that Vox was playing (which oddly looks like the reasoning of a 10-year-old playground bully with emotional difficulties), he missed this option:

  • Hugo voters will find Chuck Tingle hilarious, his baiting of Vox Day even more hilarious, embrace him as an ally and give him big cheers – but not vote him a Hugo because Space Raptor Butt Invasion isn’t really Hugo worthy.

Vox ends up fuming :

Apparently those folks appreciate Mr. Tingle just about as much as they appreciate me. Did I not tell you that would happen despite the SJW’s feigned joy over how terribly funny and brilliant they found Mr. Tingle’s work?

Those darn SJWs! They must have been pretending just to wind Vox up! Gosh, I wish that was true because it would be even funnier than the reality.

Wednesday: The massive post-Hugo sulk continues as the best reaction Vox can come up with is to try to be rude to Nnedi Okorafor. Ah! That is the brilliant four-dimensional chess gambit Vox was going to play along!

Thursday: Donald Trump goes all wibbly-wobbly on immigration. While arithmetic is not the Alt-Right’s strong suit, even Donald appears to have spotted that he needs a broader base than immigration-paranoia. As pivots go it was weak and incoherent but enough to cause a Vox-sulk and use the ‘c’ word: It’s all OK though because just doesn’t care.

I don’t actually care what he did or didn’t do, but since some of you obviously want to get into this, be my guest. But do it here, not in the other threads.

Thursday again: Things look up a bit for Vox, as Hillary Clinton makes a big deal about the alt-right. Sure it’s bad for Trump but a side-effect is an increased profile for the alt-right:

Friday: Coverage of Hillary’s speech in the mainstream media – but what’s this? Quotes from VDARE, Cernovich, Milo and assorted racists but no Vox. Heck even I was disappointed for him – I wanted to point at a quote and say ‘I had a stupid twitter argument with that guy!’ but ’twas not to be.

Saturday: OK timezone wise I’m not sure it is Saturday yet wherever Vox is. Thing is August 27 is about 30 days since the end of the Democratic National Convention. Here is Vox in early August:

As for the polls, I remind you of my previous assessment: they don’t mean ANYTHING until 30 days after the end of the second convention.

If there is no discernible Trump trend by then, it MIGHT be time to start considering the possibility of a Hillary win. In the meantime, pay no attention to the media’s attempt to establish a false narrative.

And this is what the polls look like now:





The Sad Puppy 3 meltdown over Hugo 2016 Continues

In yet another extraordinary display of sore-loserness, Brad Torgersen enter into the fray with a rant about how the leftwing media is ganging up on him

Now, just to remind everybody:

  • Brad (and Larry) were not really involved in Sad Puppies 4 – the relevant campaign for Hugo 2016
  • Brad has always been very vocal about how different the Sads and Rabids are
  • Sad Puppies 4 was actual a vast improvement and received substantially less criticism than Brad’s campaign because Kate Paulk actually did what she said she would do
  • The impact on nominations from Sad Puppies 4 was not overt or disruptive – good for them
  • The big issue in 2016 was the obvious griefing by the Rabid Puppies of Vox Day
  • It was the Rabid Puppies who got trounced in the final voting
  • Vox is being largely phlegmatic about it (as trolls tend to be when their trolling gets shut down eventually)
  • Brad and Larry are having a massive hissy fit about fans not voting the way Brad and Larry think they should have

Brad says that Sad Puppies was all about diversity of opinion – yet here we are again. When new and varied works win, Brad has a meltdown because they don’t fit the nutty-nugget template that he demands we all follow.

Sad Puppies volunteer again as the shields for Vox and the Rabids: a reply to Larry C

Larry Correia has re-entered into the Hugo debate, apparently to lambast Hugo voters for not voting for the Rabid Puppies. As so often happens, Larry (and Brad) have forgotten briefly about the supposedly massive distinction between Sad Puppies and Rabid Puppies and naturally has come down fair and square on the side of Vox Day’s fairly obvious griefing attempt.

Fast forward to now, and at least they are open it is all politics.

Politics? It is interesting that when Larry says “politics” it so often means either women or people of colour not being discriminated against. When this is pointed out, Larry then tends to go 180 degrees and loudly declares about how race or gender or ethnicity are irrelevant and that people are all meany heads for calling him a racist or that the Sad Puppy leadership is diverse. Which is odd, because by Larry’s standards all of that would amount to “politics” on his part.

Larry and the Sad Puppies declared many times that the problem with the Hugos was the same old people winning awards. Well, that isn’t want happened this year and so now Larry is complaining that it is “politics”.

Seriously what aspect of YOUR politics is it that is attacked when somebody like N.K.Jemisin wins a Hugo? Seriously – that is a genuine question, not a trick one. You say repeatedly how much of a non-racist you are and that’s great and I’d really, really, like to believe you. What would help, would be you trying to work out what you mean by “politics” – because it really doesn’t seem to be the economic policy beliefs of award winners or their views on foreign policy or even their stance on healthcare or even which political candidate they are going to vote for in the next election.

Just ask yourself this, what kind of scumbags would give No Award to Larry Elmore?

Wait – you are the guy who keeps saying awards don’t matter? So now ordinary voters are “scumbags” if they don’t give somebody an award? And you wonder how “Sad Puppy” became such a toxic brand. It might have worked for Donald Trump during the GOP Primary but insulting ordinary voters is a pretty crap way of winning support and a very quick way of becoming marginalised in terms of influence beyond your fanbase (yeah, yeah, I know you earn lots and your books are super popular etc – seriously I’m happy for you).

You can’t even make your mind up whether a Hugo Award is an irrelevance or a mark of toxicity or something so vital that a fan must be a “scumbag” if they don’t vote for somebody.

And you are back to the notion of a Hugo being some kind of lifetime achievement award. It isn’t. You might want it to be but that involves persuading people rather than shouting at them. It is noticeable that when people wouldn’t be bullied into doing what you wanted you withdrew rather than thinking about where you went wrong and trying to engage in a positive way. Shame that.

Moira Greyland exposed to the culture of rape and pedophilia in old fandom, and not the made up “rape culture” the modern feminists accuse anybody who disagrees with them of.

And noticeably the coverage of this was not something Sad Puppies felt was worth nominating last year. For example

Does that mean you and Brad wanted it “swept under the rug”? Because not only did you not nominate any of the coverage you didn’t discuss in your blogs either. Whereas the “modern feminists” you attack did discuss it. Ah but they are awful people because while they took the issue seriously they didn’t the vote the way Vox Day told them to in an award that you think is irrelevant because…because why? Because now Larry Correia thinks the way of helping the victims of sexual abuse is to never talk about the issue but nominate things for a Hugo Award?

Nope. While “modern feminists” were pointing out this appalling part of fandom history, Sad Puppies was busy celebrating and promoting a rape apologist. Oh wait, but that’s “politics” again, isn’t it, if anybody dares mention the way Sad Puppies sought out and promoted Vox Day.

But here is why I didn’t vote for Moira Greyland’s essay

Other people had other reasons.

Toni Weisskopf? No Award. But we already knew that was coming.

Yes, we did. Take for example Sad Puppy 4 supremo Kate Paulk’s take on Best Editor Long Form:

Yup, even the TOP Sad Puppy couldn’t find much of a reason to vote for Toni Weisskopf. Heck, judging from the Hugo packet Toni Weisskopf couldn’t think of any reasons why we should vote for Toni Weisskopf. And yet people are just the WORST if they don’t vote for her because…I guess we’ll never know other than because Larry said so.

And noticeable how you can’t bring yourself to congratulate Sheila E Gilbert for actually winning – you know the person who actually said what she edited last year. Amazing that.

And Jerry Pournelle… Living legend. You pieces of shit are honestly going to tell us that Jerry Pournelle is not award worthy?

Yes, because the work he was nominated for, There Will be War X,  was a bit shit. Also, it was forced onto the ballot by the publisher’s shenanigans – something Sad Puppies and yourself are supposed to be opposing.

Jerry Pournelle can be a living legend and if there is ever a Living Legend Hugo Award I might even give him some consideration (tough field, though). However, he was nominated for best editor on the basis of an anthology that was pretty bad compared to his earlier work.

And to Neil Gaiman, boldly standing up to those pesky Puppies during his speech…

When you got your buddy Jonathan Ross to volunteer to MC the awards, it wasn’t those jerky Sad Puppies that formed an angry twitter mob because he *might* tell a fat joke.

That is true and note he still thinks “puppies” are bigger jerks.

You might want to stop and reflect on that for a moment. People who have actually experienced some of the supposedly awful oppression of the supposedly awful SJWs (mainly people being cross on the internet) see your “Puppy” brand as more obnoxious than that.

Now, why do you think that is Larry?

HINT: you have singularly failed to expand your base and done nothing but help Vox Day and the alt-right solidify theirs.

I still recall how discombobulated you were when Donald Trump effectively won the GOP nominations. You just couldn’t make sense of it – despite all your effort to legitimise and promote alt-right figures, alt-right narratives and alt-right talking points.

It still amazes me how much people on the right work so, so hard to boost people who then laugh at them and call them “cuckservatives” and then hijack their movement. And here we are again – you are posting a long rant about how awful those Hugo voters are and how “political” they are for not embracing Vox Day.

by the way, Neil, there were two separate groups of Puppies with entirely different goals and methods

Says Larry, rushing to defend the Rabid Puppies after they get trounced in a popular vote. Amazing how often Larry or Brad would rhetorically jump in front of criticism of the Rabid Puppies considering how different the two campaigns are. And I’m not being sarcastic – Larry is right, the Sads and Rabids really are qualitatively different. The most obvious difference is that Vox is quite happy to laugh and mock the Sad Puppies while the Sad Puppies jump to Vox’s defence – just as Larry does in this piece.

[Update: Larry’s post-Hugo rant appears to be the ONLY time he has EVER mentioned Moira Greyland on his blog (based on a search of the term “Greyland”). He cares SO MUCH about the issues she raised that he only ever got round to mentioning her this week and as part of his standard rant that everybody else are wrongfans]