The red pill aspect of this novel lies in main character Sam Spade’s interactions with women.
This is a very good novel, so SERIOUS SPOILER WARNING. In particular, I’m going to be forced to reveal whodunnit about a murder.
Elisions won’t be indicated with ellipses. I’m not omitting anything important.
The setting: San Francisco, late 1920s.
In the first chapter a Miss Wonderly, a gorgeous redhead, comes to the offices of private investigators Sam Spade and Miles Archer. Wonderly is seeking her sister, who fled from New York City to San Francisco with a man named Thursby, whom Wonderly doesn’t trust. She wants to find her sister and bring her back to NYC. She’s found out Thursby’s general whereabouts on her own, and she gives Spade and Archer enough info for Archer to start tailing Thursby that night. The hope is that Thursby will lead Archer to the sister. By the next morning both Archer and Thursby have been shot dead.
Spade and Wonderly are talking in her apartment. “Wonderly” now says her real name is Brigid O’Shaughnessy, and admits that she has no sister. She won’t tell Spade anything about why she really wanted Spade and Archer to tail Thursby.
Spade: “Now what are we going to tell the police?”
“Must they know about me at all?” she asked. “I can’t explain now, but can’t you somehow manage so that you can shield me from them, so I won’t have to answer their questions?”
“Maybe,” he said, “but I’ll have to know what it’s all about.”
She went down on her knees at his knees. She held her face up to him. Her face was wan and fearful over tight-clasped hands.
“I haven’t lived a good life,” she cried. “I’ve been bad–worse than you could know–but I’m not all bad. Look at me, Mr. Spade. You know I’m not all bad, don’t you? Then can’t you trust me a little? Oh, I’m so alone and afraid, and I’ve got nobody to help me if you won’t. I’ve nobody else, Mr. Spade. If I thought anybody else could save me would I be down on my knees like this? You’re strong, you’re resourceful, you’re brave. Help me, Mr. Spade. Help me because I need help so badly. I’ve no right to ask you to help me blindly, but I do ask you. Be generous, Mr. Spade. Help me.”
Spade, who had held his breath through much of this speech, now emptied his lungs with a long exhalation between pursed lips and said: “You won’t need much of anybody’s help. You’re good. You’re very good. It’s chiefly your eyes, I think, and that throb you get into your voice when you say things like ‘Be generous, Mr. Spade.'”
Absolutely unmoved by her histrionics, and doesn’t let himself get, er, distracted by the fact that she’s on her knees before him. In other words, he sees through her attempt to play the sex card.
(Also, of course, you probably don’t want to trust someone who gave you a false name and is somehow involved in two murders.)
The next day Spade and O’Shaughnessy are again at her apartment. Since they’ve last seen each other, one Joel Cairo has hired Spade to recover a statuette of a raptor. This falcon would seem to have nothing to do with O’Shaughnessy… except that Cairo told Spade that Thursby’s murder is connected to the falcon, and we know Thursby has some connection to O’Shaughnessy.
Spade to Brigid O’Shaughnessy:
“I saw Joel Cairo tonight,” he said in the manner of one making polite conversation.
Gaiety went out of her face. There was a long pause before she asked uneasily:
“You–you know him?”
“I saw him tonight.” Spade maintained his light tone.
“Well, what did he say?” she asked with half-playful petulance.
“He offered me five thousand dollars for the black bird.”
She laughed, dropped the cigarette into a tray, and looked at him with clear merry eyes. “And what did you say?”
“Five thousand dollars is a lot of money.”
She smiled, but when he looked gravely at her, her smile vanished. In its place came a hurt, bewildered look. “Surely you’re not really considering it,” she said.
“Why not? Five thousand dollars is a lot of money.”
“But, Mr. Spade, you promised to help me.” Her hands were on his arm. “I trusted you. You can’t–” She broke off.
Spade smiled gently into her troubled eyes. “Don’t let’s try to figure out how much you’ve trusted me,” he said. “You didn’t say anything about any black birds.”
“But you must’ve known or–or you wouldn’t have mentioned it to me. You do know now. You won’t treat me like that.” Her eyes were cobalt-blue prayers.
That last sentence is beautiful writing. It’s made all the more forceful by the fact that O’Shaughnessy is a psychopathic liar.
“Five thousand dollars is,” he said for the third time, “a lot of money.”
She lifted her hands and let them fall in a gesture that accepted defeat. “It is,” she agreed in a small voice. “It is far more than I could ever offer you, if I must bid for your loyalty.”
Spade laughed. “What have you given me besides money? Have you given me any of the truth? Haven’t you tried to buy my loyalty with money and nothing else? Well, if I’m peddling it, why shouldn’t I let it go to the highest bidder?”
“I’ve given you all the money I have.” Tears glistened in her eyes. Her voice was hoarse, vibrant. “I’ve thrown myself on your mercy. What else is there?” She suddenly moved close to him on the settee and cried angrily: “Can I buy you with my body?”
Their faces were a few inches apart. Spade took her face between his hands and he kissed her mouth roughly. Then he sat back and said: “I’ll think it over.” His face was hard and furious.
He stood up and said: “Christ! there’s no sense to this.” He took two steps towards the fireplace and stopped, glowering at the burning logs. He turned to face her. “I don’t give a damn about your honesty,” he told her. “I don’t care what your secrets are, but I’ve got to have something to show that you know what you’re doing.”
Again, not befuddled by her – now overt – offer of sex. Notice that he keeps that door open, though. LOL, pimp.
Later Spade and O’Shaughnessy go to Spade’s apartment to meet with Joel Cairo. Outside Spade’s place Archer’s wife Iva, with whom Spade was/is having an affair, is waiting in a car. Spade continues with Brigid into the lobby and asks her to wait a minute.
Spade went out to the sedan. When he had opened the sedan’s door Iva spoke quickly: “I’ve got to talk to you, Sam. Can’t I come in?” Her face was pale and nervous.
Iva clicked her teeth together and asked sharply: “Who is she?”
“I’ve only a minute, Iva,” Spade said patiently. “What is it?”
“Who is she?” she repeated, nodding at the street-door.
“What is the matter?” he asked. “Has anything happened? You oughtn’t to be here at this time of night.”
In other words, “Keep outta my bidness, woman!” He doesn’t try to placate Iva and he doesn’t give in to her demand for info. He basically just presents a brick wall.
“I’m beginning to believe that,” she complained. “You told me I oughtn’t to come to the office, and now I oughtn’t to come here. Do you mean I oughtn’t to chase after you? If that’s what you mean why don’t you say it right out?”
“Now, Iva, you’ve got no right to take that attitude.”
“I haven’t any rights at all, it seems, where you’re concerned. I thought I did. I thought your pretending to love me gave me–”
Spade said wearily: “This is no time to be arguing about that, precious. What was it you wanted to see me about?”
Notice that he neither confirms nor denies the “love” thing. Saying that he loves her would be retarded, because he obviously doesn’t, and it would give her too much hand. But telling her he doesn’t love her would just make her go into histrionics, and he doesn’t have time for that at the moment.
“I can’t talk to you here, Sam. Can’t I come in?”
“Why can’t I?”
Spade said nothing. [“Keep outta my bidness!”]
She made a thin line of her mouth and started the sedan’s engine, staring angrily ahead.
When the sedan began to move Spade said, “Good night, Iva,” shut the door, and went indoors again.
Brigid O’Shaughnessy rose smiling cheerfully from the bench and they went up to his apartment.
Brigid has good Girl Game. She’s cheerful, both in agreeing to wait in the lobby, and in her demeanor when Spade returns. This makes a sharp contrast with Iva’s clingy and demanding behavior. Just based on this scene, whom would you rather boink? Or, if you’re a chick, which one do you think most men would rather boink?
In Spade’s apartment, O’Shaughnessy and Spade are waiting for Joel Cairo. All we know at this point is that O’Shaughnessy became nervous when Spade told her Cairo is in San Francisco.
She stood in front of him, close. Her eyes were wide and deep. “I don’t have to tell you how utterly at a disadvantage you’ll have me, with him here, if you choose.”
Spade smiled slightly without separating his lips. “No, you don’t have to tell me,” he agreed.
“And you know I’d never have placed myself in this position if I hadn’t trusted you completely.” Her thumb and forefinger twisted a black button on his blue coat.
Spade said, “That again!” with mock resignation.
“But you know it’s so,” she insisted.
“No, I don’t know it.” He patted the hand that was twisting the button. “My asking for reasons why I should trust you brought us here. Don’t let’s confuse things. He’ll be here in a moment. Get your business with him over, and then we’ll see how we’ll stand.”
“And you’ll let me go about it–with him–in my own way?”
She turned her hand under his so that her fingers pressed his. She said softly: “You’re a God-send.”
Spade said: “Don’t overdo it.”
She looked reproachfully at him, though smiling, and returned to the rocker.
He calls out her attempt to butter him up with flattery. This is good because (1) it shows that he’s experienced enough to see through such manipulations, and (2) by rejecting her flattery, he’s showing that he doesn’t care about her approval. As the Chateau would say, he’s not lapping it up eagerly like a thirsty beta.
After Cairo has left, Spade asks Brigid,
“What’s this falcon that everybody’s all steamed up about?”
She asked: “Suppose I wouldn’t tell you? What would you do?”
“I wouldn’t be too surprised,” he told her, grinning so that the edges of his jaw-teeth were visible, “to know what to do next.”
“That’s what I wanted to know: what would you do next?”
He shook his head. “I don’t see what you’ve got to gain by covering up now. It’s coming out bit by bit anyhow, and give me another day, I’ll soon be knowing things about it that you don’t know.”
“I suppose you do now,” she said. “But–oh!–I’m so tired of it, and I do so hate having to talk about it. Wouldn’t it be just as well to wait and let you learn about it as you say you will?”
Spade laughed. “My way of learning is to heave a wild and unpredictable monkey-wrench into the machinery. It’s all right with me, if you’re sure none of the flying pieces will hurt you.”
She moved her bare shoulders uneasily, but said nothing. For several minutes they ate in silence. Then she said in a hushed voice: “I’m afraid of you, and that’s the truth.”
He said: “That’s not the truth.”
“It is,” she insisted in the same low voice. “I know two men I’m afraid of and I’ve seen both of them tonight.”
“I can understand your being afraid of Cairo,” Spade said. “He’s out of your reach.” [Joel Cairo is obviously, flamboyantly, homosexual.]
“And you aren’t?”
“Not that way,” he said and grinned.
Frankly sexual, no shame about male sexuality.
She blushed. She picked up a slice of bread encrusted with liverwurst. She put it down. She wrinkled her white forehead and she said: “It’s a black figure, as you know, of a hawk or falcon, about that high.” She held her hands a foot apart.
“What makes it important?”
She sipped coffee and brandy before she shook her head. “I don’t know,” she said. “They’d never tell me…”
She gives Spade a story about her, Cairo, and Thursby, and an attempt to get the falcon from some other guy in Constantinople.
Spade mashed the end of his cigarette in his plate. He spoke casually: “You are a liar.”
She got up and stood at the end of the table, looking down at him with dark abashed eyes. “I am a liar,” she said. “I have always been a liar.”
“Don’t brag about it. It’s childish.” His voice was good-humored. He came out from between table and bench. “Was there any truth at all in that yarn?”
She hung her head. “Not–not very much.”
Spade put a hand under her chin and lifted her head. He laughed into her wet eyes and said: “We’ve got all night. I’ll put some more brandy in some more coffee and we’ll try again.”
Her eyelids drooped. “Oh, I’m so tired,” she said tremulously, “so tired of it all, of lying and thinking up lies, and of not knowing what is a lie and what is the truth. I wish I–”
She put her hands up to Spade’s cheeks, put her open mouth hard against his mouth, her body flat against his body.
Spade’s arms went around her, holding her to him, a hand cradling her head, its fingers half lost among red hair, a hand moving groping fingers over her slim back.
The next morning, while Brigid is still asleep in his bed, Spade finds the key to her apartment in her clothes, slips out, and searches her apartment. LOL!
“Now about the bird?” Spade suggested as they ate.
She put her fork down and looked at him. “You can’t ask me to talk about that this morning of all mornings,” she protested. “I don’t want to and I won’t.”
“It’s a stubborn damned hussy,” he said sadly and put a piece of roll into his mouth.
He doesn’t push her, but he doesn’t act like supplicating wuss either.
Spade and Iva Archer:
Spade: “Where were you the night Miles was shot?”
“Home,” she replied without hesitating.
He shook his head, grinning at her.
“I was,” she insisted.
“No,” he said, “but if that’s your story it’s all right with me.”
“What makes you think I wasn’t home?” she asked slowly.
“Nothing except that I know you weren’t.”
“But I was, I was.” Her lips twisted and anger darkened her eyes. “Effie Perine [Spade’s secretary] told you that,” she said indignantly. “I saw her snooping around. You know she doesn’t like me, Sam. Why do you believe things she tells you?”
“Jesus, you women,” Spade said mildly. [LOL. Notice he doesn’t give her question – which is really just an attempt to start a fight – the dignity of a response.] He looked at the watch on his wrist. “You’ll have to trot along, precious. I’m late for an appointment now.”
“I’m not lying to you, Sam,” she protested.
“Like hell you’re not,” he said and stood up.
She strained on tiptoe to hold her face nearer his. “You don’t believe me?” she whispered.
“I don’t believe you.” He bent his head and kissed her mouth. “That’s all right. Now run along.”
This is pretty good. He calls out her BS but doesn’t stamp his foot about it like a frustrated beta. He basically just says, “LOL bullshit, now scram; I’ve got stuff to do.”
He patted her arms, took them from around his body, and kissed her left wrist. He put his hands on her shoulders, turned her to face the door, and released her with a little push. “Beat it,” he ordered.
He gives her the tender gesture of kissing her wrist to soften the shoving her out the door. After his calling out of her BS the previous night and in this scene, he provides just enough sensitive guy to give her hamster something to chew on. Reading all of this makes me wonder if Hammett was a particular stud hombre, or if our culture was just generally that much more knowledgeable about women circa 1930.
Spade and Effie Perine:
“The whole damned Perine family’s wonderful,” Spade said, “including you and the smudge of soot on your nose.” [CLASSIC NEG! Maybe Mystery has read this novel.]
She bent her head to look at her nose in her vanity-case mirror. “I must’ve got that from the fire.” She scrubbed the smudge with the corner of a handkerchief.
The final meeting with all the main characters: Spade, Cairo, O’Shaughnessy, and two others: Gutman, an all-around slimeball who has been chasing the falcon for seventeen years (and is the canonical “fat man” of detective noir), and Wilmer, a young gunman and associate of Gutman. All these people knew each other before they came to San Francisco and bumped into Spade. They are meeting in Spade’s apartment to wait while the falcon is delivered there, and to discuss matters like who will pay whom how much when.
Gutman: “Business should be transacted in a business-like manner.” He opened the envelope, took out the thousand-dollar bills, counted them, and chuckled. “For instance there are only nine bills here now.” He spread them out on his fat knees and thighs. “There were ten when I handed it to you.”
Spade looked at Brigid O’Shaughnessy and asked: “Well?”
She shook her head. Her face was frightened.
Spade held his hand out to Gutman and the fat man put the money into it. Spade counted the money–nine thousand-dollar bills–and returned it to Gutman. Then Spade stood and picked up the pistols on the table. “I want to know about this. We”–he nodded at the girl–“are going in the bathroom. The door will be open and I’ll be facing it. Unless you want a three-story drop there’s no way out of here except past the bathroom door. Don’t try to make it.”
“Really, sir,” Gutman protested, “it’s not necessary to threaten us in this manner.”
Spade was patient but resolute. “This trick upsets things. I’ve got to find the answer.” He touched the girl’s elbow. “Come on.”
In the bathroom Brigid O’Shaughnessy put her hands flat on Spade’s chest and her face up close to his and whispered: “I did not take that bill, Sam.”
“I don’t think you did,” he said, “but I’ve got to know. Take your clothes off.”
“All right. We’ll go back to the other room and I’ll have them taken off.”
She stepped back. Her eyes were round and horrified. “You would?”
“I will,” he said. “I’ve got to know what happened to that bill and I’m not going to be held up by anybody’s maidenly modesty.”
“Oh, it isn’t that.” She came close to him and put her hands on his chest again. “I’m not ashamed to be naked before you, but–can’t you see?–not like this. Can’t you see that if you make me you’ll–you’ll be killing something?”
He did not raise his voice. “I don’t know anything about that. I’ve got to know what happened to the bill. Take them off.”
Again, not swayed by her earnest blue eyes and all that.
She undresses and he checks out her and her clothes and verifies that the $1,000 bill is not on her, so is able to force Gutman to admit that he has it. A bit later in Spade’s kitchen:
Brigid O’Shaughnessy was filling an aluminum percolator.
“Find everything?” Spade asked.
“Yes,” she replied in a cool voice. Then she set the percolator aside and came to the door. Her eyes were large and chiding. “You shouldn’t have done that to me, Sam,” she said softly.
“I had to find out, angel.” He bent down, kissed her mouth lightly, and returned to the living-room.
As with Iva earlier, he’s been pretty hardcore with her, so he tosses out a little sensitive-guy stuff.
This is where everything comes to a crisis point.
The falcon has been delivered and turned out to be a counterfeit. Everyone but Spade and O’Shaughnessy has left Spade’s apartment. But there’s still a problem for Spade: The local cops dislike him, and there are still the unsolved murders of Miles Archer and Floyd Thursby… and since Spade is banging Archer’s wife the cops might use that to convince a jury that he has a motive to kill Archer. Spade (as he explained to everyone in the previous chapter) has to have a fall guy or he’ll get busted – and possibly hanged – for the murder of Archer, and maybe Thursby.
Spade tricks O’Shaughnessy into admitting that she killed Archer. She was hoping to pin the murder on Thursby to get him arrested.
Spade said tenderly: “I hope to Christ they don’t hang you, precious, by that sweet neck.” He slid his hands up to caress her throat.
In an instant she was out of his arms, back against the table, wild-eyed. She said in a parched voice: “You’re not–” She could get no other words out.
Spade’s face was yellow-white. His mouth smiled and there were smile-wrinkles around his glittering eyes. His voice was soft, gentle. He said: “I’m going to send you over. The chances are you’ll get off with life. That means you’ll be out again in twenty years. You’re an angel. I’ll wait for you.” He cleared his throat. “If they hang you I’ll always remember you.”
The sweet words every girl longs to hear!
She dropped her hands and stood erect. Her face became smooth and untroubled except for the faintest of dubious glints in her eyes. She smiled back at him. “Don’t, Sam, don’t say that even in fun. Oh, you frightened me for a moment!”
Spade laughed. His face was damp with sweat and though he held his smile he could not hold softness in his voice. He croaked: “Don’t be silly. You’re taking the fall. One of us has got to take it.”
She took a long trembling breath. “You’ve been playing with me? You didn’t–care at all? You didn’t–don’t–love me?”
“I think I do,” Spade said. “What of it? I won’t play the sap for you.”
“That is not just,” she cried. Tears came to her eyes. “You know it was not that. You can’t say that.”
“Like hell I can’t,” Spade said. “You came into my bed to stop me asking questions. You led me out yesterday for Gutman with that phoney call for help.”
Brigid O’Shaughnessy blinked her tears away. She took a step towards him. “You’re lying if you say you don’t know down in your heart that, in spite of anything I’ve done, I love you.”
His eyes were becoming bloodshot, but there was no other change in his fixedly smiling face. “Maybe I do,” he said. “What of it? I should trust you? You who knocked off Miles, a man you had nothing against, in cold blood, just like swatting a fly, for the sake of double-crossing Thursby? No, darling. Why should I?”
Her eyes were steady under his and her voice was steady when she replied: “Why should you? If you’ve been playing with me, if you do not love me, there is no answer to that. If you did, no answer would be needed.”
Blood streaked Spade’s eyeballs now and his smile had become a frightful grimace. He said: “Making speeches is no damned good now.” He put a hand on her shoulder. “I don’t care who loves who. I’m not going to play the sap for you. I won’t walk in Thursby’s footsteps. You killed Miles and you’re going over for it. I can’t help you now. And I wouldn’t if I could.”
She put a hand on his hand on her shoulder. “Don’t help me then,” she whispered, “but don’t hurt me. Let me go away now.”
“No,” he said. “I’m sunk if I haven’t got you to hand over to the police when they come. That’s the only thing that can keep me from going down with the others.”
“You won’t do that for me?”
“I won’t play the sap for you. I don’t even like the idea of thinking that there might be one chance in a hundred that you’d played me for a sucker. Now on the other side we’ve got what? All we’ve got is the fact that maybe you love me and maybe I love you.”
“You know,” she whispered, “whether you do or not.”
“I don’t. It’s easy enough to be nuts about you.” He looked hungrily from her hair to her feet and up to her eyes again. “But I don’t know what that amounts to. But suppose I do? Maybe next month I won’t. I’ve been through it before–when it lasted that long. Then I’ll think I played the sap. And if I did it and got sent over then I’d be sure I was the sap. Well, if I send you over I’ll have some rotten nights, but that’ll pass.” He took her by the shoulders. “If that doesn’t mean anything to you forget it and we’ll make it this: I won’t because all of me wants to–wants to say to hell with the consequences and do it–and because–God damn you–you’ve counted on that with me the same as you counted on that with the others.” He took his hands from her shoulders and let them fall to his sides.
She put her face up to his face. Her mouth was slightly open with lips a little thrust out. She whispered: “If you loved me you’d need nothing more on that side.”
Spade set the edges of his teeth together and said through them: “I won’t play the sap for you.”
She put her mouth to his, slowly, her arms around him, and came into his arms. She was in his arms when the door-bell rang.
Spade, left arm around Brigid O’Shaughnessy, opened the corridor-door. Lieutenant Dundy, Detective-sergeant Polhaus, and two other detectives were there.
Someone’s gotta swing, babe, and it’s not going to be me. I don’t care if you turn those big blue eyes on me and whisper tearfully of love. I won’t play the sap for you.
Presumably most men, even blue-pill ones, wouldn’t take the fall for the woman in this scenario – especially when you’re looking at being hanged! – but I think some men would feel a need to make self-justifying speeches. Spade doesn’t do that. Yeah, there are a lot of words, but he basically stays on point: “I won’t play the sap.” Feminine wiles? Sorry, no dice.
By the way, note how good the writing is here. It’s not striking word choice in the sense of “Her eyes were cobalt-blue prayers,” in fact it’s very simple and stripped down. But that’s stylistically perfect for this kind of scene, because it presents with no distractions its inherent drama:
We have a psychopathic, cold-blooded murderess, looking at the gallows, desperately using everything she has in her ruthless Machiavellian toolkit to try to make a man take the fall for her. She throws everything she has at him. He is crazy about her (for some reason), but resists. Watching O’Shaughnessy on offense here, and Spade swatting down her efforts, is enthralling. This is especially true when you read the whole scene – I’ve cut it for length – and when you come to it after having been through the rest of the novel as build-up. This novel is deservedly a classic.
Version 1.0, subject to revision. This is the “meta” parts of the meme; the actual substance of it is a different topic.
1. If you follow the rules you will live forever after your physical death, in perfect bliss.
2. If you do not follow the rules you will be tormented forever after your death.
3. Our triumph is inevitable.
4. It is forbidden to spread the Word by force.
5. It is obligatory to spread the Word by persuasion.
6. It is obligatory to spread the Word by example.
7. It is obligatory to spread the Word by reproduction; it is obligatory for a believer to have as many children as possible.
8. If adherents of other ideologies attack you, you are always permitted, and obligated when it is safe for you, to respond with the maximum possible violence. Show them no mercy; kill all aggressors.
9. Refrain from violence against believers and unbelievers alike, unless they commit violence against you, take or damage your property, or commit fraud against you, or threaten to do any of these things.
10. Refrain from theft and vandalism against believers and unbelievers alike, unless they commit violence against you, take or damage your property, or commit fraud against you, or threaten to do any of these things.
11. Refrain from fraud against believers and unbelievers alike, unless they commit violence against you, take or damage your property, or commit fraud against you, or threaten to do any of these things.
Numbers 4, 9, 10, and 11 have a recognizably libertarian cast, probably because when I first drafted this I was a libertarian. The idea is to minimize unnecessary conflict. Libertarianism in its basic scheme is practical. “You don’t fuck me and I won’t fuck with you” is practical, and indeed is the basic behavior of the vast majority of people in everyday life. Most people, most of the time, do not start street fights with most other people. Most nations are not at war with most other nations most of the time. Etc.
On the other hand perhaps there’s an empirical argument against them? How many of the meme complexes that we observe empirically actually explicitly have features 4, 9, 10, and 11, including unbelievers in their protection? This is a relevant question because the memes that we observe empirically are the results of memetic evolution, as surely as the organisms that we observe empirically are the results of biological evolution. If most memes don’t have those features, that tells us something about their viability. But I don’t know the empirical answer to the empirical question I asked. Maybe most memeplexes do have them.
On the gripping hand, societies that implemented something like those in their laws and culture became successful, powerful, and pleasant places to live, while they adhered to them, so there’s that.
San Franciso to let non-citizens, including illegals, vote.
Monday the Department of Elections Issued Voter Registration Forms for non-citizens who are eligible to vote for members of the San Francisco Board of Education in the November 6th 2018 election. The measure passed in 2016 with a close vote of 54 percent to 46 percent following two failed previous attempts.
…“Third time was a charm,” said San Francisco School Board member Matt Haney.
Smug little bitch. In other words, “We didn’t like the decision the first two times, so we just kept re-doing it until we got the outcome we liked.” Even more plainly, “We don’t accept democracy unless the people vote they way we want.” Which is not democracy. This is another thing the Left does that must be squashed. The British Left keeps trying to do the same thing; they’re now saying the Brexit vote should be subjected to another referendum. Well, I don’t like the San Francisco outcome and I want yet another vote on it.
The San Francisco measure includes illegals, in that (1) the voter registration form has no provision to preclude illegals by making voters prove they’re here legally, and (2) the form includes a warning to illegals that voter rolls are public info so that ICE has access to them. But the way this is presented is not “So if you’re illegal you’d better not vote,” it’s more like, “So to protect you, we’re urging you to think about whether you can afford to take this risk.”
E.g., one treasonous asshole says,
“The victory is that San Franciscans voted for this. … But there is also a risk. So we as San Franciscans have set aside a fund to make sure that these immigrant communities are fully educated on their rights, but also their risks in this time and place in our country,” Fewer told the Chronicle.
It is a line we cannot allow to be crossed. To let this be normalized is to assent to the destruction of the American Republic: A couple of centuries ago we had a revolution to establish that we would not be ruled by foreigners. Now San Francisco and Boston want to undo all that, and let foreigners choose our government for us. And it will come down to that – there will be close elections in which the non-citizen vote makes the difference.
If we’re going to be conquered, for God’s sake let’s at least put up a fight and make them work for it.
Make no mistake, Mr. President, these are trial balloons. The Enemy is intently watching to see what happens. It must be squelched utterly. There can be not even one iota of compromise or handing them something they can point to as a face-saving victory. Letting the enemy “save face” is for some situations were you want them to sneak away instead of fighting. This already is a fight; it’s a test declaration that the United States people will be ruled by foreigners from now on. Jesus, that’s brazen. It cannot be allowed to stand. And the people who attempted it must be punished. If some or all of them are accidentally shot and killed resisting arrest… oh well.
And while this is partly a propaganda war – since it’s about whether having and enforcing borders is within the Overton Window – it’s not mainly a propaganda war. It is actual war. It doesn’t matter that the Enemy Media will be portraying you as a fascist for stopping this. They’re already calling you a traitor, and no one is paying attention to them anyway, but even if they were, it wouldn’t matter, because this is existential.
It’s not a fight we can choose not to pick.
The God-Emperor must do something, as in, send in the National Guard and arrest the Mayor of San Francisco, or whoever it was that drafted this measure and put it up to a vote.
And whether or not it is possible to kill this before the November elections, then we must at least make the Democrats pay the price for it politically. Specifically,
(1) For normal people this is a horrifying thing and we can tie it to the party responsible for it, the Dems, as they deserve. (Even better if we can prosecute them for it at them same time.)
(2) It does have a certain devastating effect on their Fake Outrage about how if Russia exposed Hillary’s corruption, that’s “foreign meddling” in our elections. Every time one of them says that, the GOP should speak with one voice: “So are you for San Francisco letting illegals vote?”
But the main thing is to do whatever is necessary to stop this at this early stage.
When you read the setup you’ll be convinced that this has a shot at the elusive rating of ten out of ten chunks of cheese, where ten chunks of cheese is the worst rating and zero is the best.
A combat cyborg chick, who is also a spy for the NSA, has to be a bodyguard for a dude.
Who’s a half-elf, half-demon.
And a rock star.
You might have thought that in my Red-Pill Romance, when I had the main stud muffin be a vampire who’s in a band, I was exaggerating. Dude, it’s almost impossible to exaggerate about chicks.
After an accident at a supercollider, there are now five other dimensions accessible from Earth. There’s an elf dimension, a demon dimension, etc.
Our Heroine, Lila Black, is a cyborg, at least 50% machine by weight (though not by volume; contents settle during handling). Her cyborg limbs, weapons, on-board tactical AI, etc. were acquired as a result of a horrible event that’s not revealed at first. We’ll eventually get the details as backstory, I assume (I’m writing up some of these notes as I read).
Here we go. I’m not going to indicate quotes with different typeface unless they’re long ones. And here’s the obligatory SPOILER WARNING.
Lila first meets the demon-elf rock star, Zal, Ch 2:
She was dismayed at how unprepared she was. It wasn’t his looks or his rock star status that made her feel sick with nervous tension. [LOL, bullshit.] It was the sense of his otherness… “Hello, Lila,” Zal said. He didn’t have an ordinary elf voice… this one was smoky rather than bell-like. …his long-ash-blond hair and attenuated, pointy ears were exactly on theme. Lila had never seen an elf with dark eyes before. Zal’s were chestnut-brown with darker rings around the iris. She was staring into them like any fool… She turned aside and felt her face heat. The feeling she was experiencing was startling, and nothing like loathing… I will not be attracted to him… she told herself sternly.
Women crave exceptional men. It’s not enough for him to be an elf; he has to be a unique elf, half-demon… and the singer for the most popular band in the world.
Here’s another thing I’ve noticed in chick fiction: Women have a thing about people giving other people “looks” and intimidating them. Usually it’s the female author transparently fantasizing that she’s the one (via an author-insert character) intimidating people with a glance, but there are variations. In Chapter 3 we get several examples of this:
• “What does she like?” asked the girl DJ, giving Lila a competitive and warning-off stare from under the brim of her battered top hat.
• He’d turned away before she could give him her frosty look.
• Jolene rolled her eyes and gave Lila a thanks-for-nothing stare.
• Zal looked at [Luke] and he went quiet.
Key Game concept: Social proof:
• Music corporation exec to Lila on her first day on the bodyguard job: “Hey, don’t go getting ideas about Zal. You know I have to say it. Every girl comes in here and…”
• “Does Jolene have a thing for Zal?” she asked as she held the door for Poppy.
“Oh, big style,” Poppy said. “Who doesn’t?”
Zal’s sister says to Our Heroine, “You listen to me, Metal Molly. I’ve seen a hundred girls looking for the right angle or minute or chance with him…”
Will Our Heroine beat out those hundred other girls for the attentions of the elf demon rock star? Will she?!?!
Another chick thing:
Male of secondary status wants Our Heroine but can’t have her: Ch 3, when she first meets the rest of Zal’s band:
[Luke, the bass player] gave her a grin and a heavy squeeze on her hand. “Is she like, going everywhere with us?” … He winked at her.
At the Ebony Bar, Luke had tried to hit on her…
Later: This thing with Luke is minor, as it never comes up again. But in lots of female-written fiction this is a significant element. (E.g., Eddie Willers’s hopeless crush on Dagny Taggart in Atlas Shrugged.) A woman LOVES the idea of a man wanting her but unable to have her. Men, being less narcissistic, just want tons of chicks to want them so they can fuck them all.
Women and bad boys, a.k.a. “woman wailing for her demon-lover” (that’s Coleridge, you ignoramus):
Dar is another demon, one of the mysterious group that is trying to kill Zal. By coincidence, he’s the person who tortured Lila (this emerges in backstory) and forced her to become a cyborg to survive. Dar burned her so severely that she lost both eyes and all four of her limbs. Later she injures him as he is trying to kill Zal again, and for contrived reasons I forget, she ends up taking him from Earth to his native elf dimension, where he’ll heal faster. Note it’s not Zal she takes, but her and Zal’s assailant, Dar.
Now what she should do to Dar is torture him to death, what with the permanent maiming by fire he inflicted on her, but she doesn’t. The novel has some bullshit reason for it. The real reason is that Justina Robson is female, and we need this psychotic torture fiend around so that our heroine can have sex with him. (Note to nice guys: Keep trying! Women totally love the “nice” thing!)
Putting this out there explicitly would be too much for Robson, of course, so she contrives a BS excuse for the torture. Dar, Ch 13: “I had to continue your interrogation to convince those with me that I was of their party… If I had had to kill you, I would have, because as their leader they must not doubt me.”
Later Lila spreads her legs for him.
Red pill deniers, place that within the confines of thy pipe, and undertake the smoking thereof.
This next part, in light of the recent “women inviting invaders in” in the Western world, is horridly fascinating. In Ch 15, Lila rescues another elf dude (Tath), who is one of a group of enemies who are hunting her and Dar, and brings him to the hideout where she and Dar are hiding from them.
When Dar realizes what she has done, he’s like, “WHAT THE FUCK, WOMAN?!”
A scuffle ensues and Dar kills Tath. But it’s not over. But a pause before continuing.
This thing about inviting hostile men in, is plainly an evolved feature of female psychology. She puts her male companion’s life at risk. And she does so because, in their bones, women know they are usually prizes of war, not victims of war. That is, they aren’t killed, but are raped by the victors in male-on-male conflict of this sort, and so their offspring bear the genes of men who are more powerful.
The instinct to play “Let’s you and him fight” is deep in the female psyche. Time and again we see it play out, and not only with humans. There’s a species of duck, e.g., that my high school Bio teacher told us about, where the females do this. A female will sidle up to a male and get him to follow her. Then she’ll swim over to the vicinity of another male, so that the two males fight. Then she mates with the victor. This female behavior pattern has an ancient evolutionary history; it goes back even to pre-human animals.
(Editorial: It is indeed a reason that most societies, historically, haven’t let women have a large say in important social decision-making. Because, given that power, women will use it to play a social level of “Let’s you and him fight.” Thus either the men of that society wake up and take control back, or they’re invaded by the men of more realistic societies. The native men might win that fight, but if they don’t address the fundamental problem, it will keep happening until they don’t win.(*) In case you haven’t noticed, the entire Western world is living through this right now.
* Many women act as if a safe home base is an imposition that men unfairly inflict on them so they can’t play “Let’s you and him fight.” It’s almost as if they think they have a right to provoke violent conflict.)
Returning to the novel: Insane cunt Lila has deliberately brought back an enemy to their hideout. The bad guy, Tath, is known to Dar. “This necromancer is more dangerous than twenty other agents,” he tells Lila. But Dar gets the drop on him and kills him.
Lila impulsively leans over the dead man’s face and kisses it, and… Tath’s soul enters her. Yeah, his essence plunges deeply into her… Alright, enough. It’s easy to make Beavis-and-Butthead-level puns, but seriously: She invites a dangerous man into her sanctuary, provoking a fight between two men. Then the invader enters her. There’s no other way to put it. Female psychology up the wazoo.
Our heroine is in fact constantly being penetrated in various ways by male elfs/ demons/ whatnot. Here’s a passage, one of several, that doesn’t literally involve intercourse, but…
[Zal] seized hold of her shoulders, pulled her close against him, and kissed her hard on the mouth… the andalune [his magical elf essence] sweetly invaded her like a trickle of warm water, cell by cell… Lila was suffused with Zal.
• Zal is shot by an arrow that seems to have some magical spell on it. “No,” he says, “I don’t know what the arrow did. And yes, I do care, but I can’t do anything about it.” We never find out WTF about the arrow or the spell.
• Lila is checking out a bad guy car. When she opens the trunk, a shape-shifting magical entity jumps out and escapes her. Later an expert tells her that it may have interacted with her enough to convey some essential information about her to its bad guy bosses (who presumably planted it in their car as a trap). This is supposed to be threatening, I guess, but it never comes up again!
• Also and worst, Zal is supposed to be the focus of a Great Spell that will change the multiverse. Nothing ever comes of this.
It’s possible that I missed the resolutions of some of these things (and there are more like them). But I don’t think I could have missed all the resolutions if they were actually in the novel.
If Robson plans to revisit this stuff later in the series, that’s a cheat on the reader. The first novel is supposed to be a standalone, so that in reading it, the reader is not committing himself (or in this case, more likely herself) to reading an entire series.
There’s a hilariously abrupt rise in the level of graphicness of the sex romance stuff toward the end. Remember, this book is marketed as an SF/F novel that happens to have some guy/girl elements and it mostly lives up to that. But near the end (Ch 25) we get
He gasped as she licked up the length of his erection and then took him into her mouth. [Long fellatio paragraph here.] He came, pulsing strongly against her tongue, repeating her name amid syllables that were both elven and demonic. Lila drank him…
I don’t mind a graphic depiction of a good cock-sucking – far from it – but I pity the poor girl who takes what she thought was an SF/F novel to work and accidentally leaves it open to the page with the explicit description of the heroine gulping down a man’s cum, LOL.
By the way, Lila never manages to extract Tath from her body, so he’s within her experiencing all this too. Which is “icky,” as the kids say these days.
A couple of pages later, they’re ready to go again, and Zal fucks Our Heroine and blasts a stream of metaphysical semen up her spine and through the top of her head. Yes, seriously. But don’t worry; his turbocharged demon cum doesn’t hurt her, due to its supernatural nature.
He looked faintly surprised, gazed deeply into her eyes and then a column of white fire rushed up the length of her alloy and bone spine and out the top of her head. Lila was surprised too, and then she was unconscious.
I don’t want to leave the impression that the novel has no virtues. It does, at least for something of its type.
For one thing, there is some humor:
Ch 12: a hostile phoenix, which in this universe is a bird that is completely made of fire, has enveloped them. But they’re temporarily protected by a shielding spell Zal has created. He says, “That’s interesting. I didn’t know they were fire all the way through. I thought they were hollow, like those disappointing chocolate Easter rabbits.”
First, Ch 5:
He gave her a glance that left her in no doubt that he was mentally undressing her. “So, if the [bad guys] are coming, and I only have sixteen hours left to live, how do you feel about charity?”
“Ask me in fifteen hours and fifty-eight minutes,” Lila said sweetly and walked out…
Then, in Ch 12: Our Heroine is trying to get herself and Zal out of a death trap:
Lila bit her lip and thought. If this was down to who he said it was, no way would they want Zal dead. She decided to take the gamble and quickly stripped off her bike jacket.
“Is this my two-minute charity window?” Zal asked, frowning.
…until recently all elves had had a kind of sameyness for Lila, mostly based on ears (pointy, long), hair (lots of it, long), and expression (aloof, controlled, pole-up-the-ass).
Now we come to the awarding of chunks of cheese. On the Neurotoxin cheese scale, zero chunks of estrogen-infused cheese is best and ten is worst.
First of all, I am sorry to say that I will not be able to award a ten out of ten to this novel. I had high hopes after the first couple of chapters, when it became clear that the basic setup was a cyborg spy chick being a bodyguard for a demon-elf rock star. I was anticipating a score as high as nine, maybe even the elusive ten!
But alas, while it does have a fantastically cheesy estrogen-cranked premise, the de rigeur choice between two desirable males (if she fucks both of them, does it actually count as a “choice”?), one of them such an outrageous bad boy that he actually burned all four of her limbs off (this does not stop her from humping him), etc., the novel also does have some virtues which prevent me from awarding a perfect cheese score.
To wit, in no particular order:
1. A good plot twist or two. One is the surprising removal of the presumptive love interest (Zal) from the scene before things really get going with him. Although he does return eventually. Another is the dead necromancer’s spirit entering Our Heroine. That was completely out of the blue.
2. Characterization which, though it isn’t notably good, isn’t notably bad (slipshod, unbelievable, or internally inconsistent) either.
3. Robson has a sense of humor. She doesn’t strain to be funny constantly, but where a natural amusing take on the situation occurs to her, she includes it. Overall, this is done well.
4. Dialogue which is better than the mean for this type of work. Yes, I know, that’s a pretty fucking low bar, but still. I was never sucked out of the story and filled with a desire to throw the book against the wall for atrocious dialogue. Even though there are elves and demons, etc., they don’t stride around talking about “smiting mine enemies down into Hell,” or whatever. One elf, when he encounters something surprising, says, “Well, fuck me sideways.”
Due to these virtues, I at first anticipated that this novel might only manage 5 out of 10 chunks of cheese. But that was before I encountered two huge asteroid strikes of female sexual psychology. First, having sex with a bad boy who tortured you near to death, and to an extent that caused you to be severely and permanently mutilated, is hella-red-pill and is worth 1.5 cheese chunks by itself. Second, so is inviting a hostile invader into what should be a secure sanctuary and then getting penetrated by him.
You could make a case for nine, actually, but I like to hold something in reserve, so…
All in all, eight out of ten chunks of estrogen-infused cheese.
Why name the sites in your blogroll straightforwardly when you can think up jazzy titles for them?
However: It occurs to me that some people may not mouseover the links to see the actual URL to which each link will take you, but take the descriptions I’ve given them as their actual names. So in the interest of clarity, here they are, in the order in which they appear on my blogroll (which means, random order):
2. Red pill, concentrated dose (Pregnant women and wussies should not imbibe). Chateau Heartiste. Originally a pure Game blog, now includes at least as much political stuff. Exemplifies a journey many men have made in the last decade or so. https://heartiste.wordpress.com/
3. r/K theory. Some but not all of this makes sense. A.K.A. Anonymous Conservative, whose particular interest is the evolutionary psychology of leftism and conservatism. http://www.anonymousconservative.com/blog/
4. Old skool libertarianism, if that blows your skirt up. Alias Eric Raymond (the “open source” guy). Five-word summary of his worldview and writing style: A hardcore Robert Heinlein fan. http://esr.ibiblio.org
(I may remove this link in the future. I’m part of a rapidly-growing group, ex-libertarians who are “ex” because “official” libertarianism lost us over one issue: Immigration.)
5. Unauthorized opinions. A.K.A. Jim. The description I’ve given it says it all. On red pill topics, 200-proof. http://blog.jim.com
6. Getting away from it all, physical version. That would be Bauer. They make ice skates, and hockey equipment in general, you wuss! How could you not know that?! Now get into the weight room, get underneath some iron, and send it up! https://www.bauer.com/
7. Getting away from it all, mental version. Wolfram MathWorld. Mathematical truths are not contingent on empirical reality because they’re purely logical. Thus to understand one, even a simple one, is to touch Eternity. http://mathworld.wolfram.com