Halt and Regard Me

Back before science-fiction and fantasy were feminized, there were plenty of masculine characters.  A favorite, and one of the more alpha ones, is Corwin of the Amber books by Zelazny.  I liked him the first time I read it 30 years ago, though I didn’t really know why.  Now I know why.  I recently re-read the series as part of another project, and some bits jumped out at me which I thought I’d quote and riff on a little here.

As I slogged along, I was hailed from somewhere to my left:

“Stranger!  Halt and regard me!”

Wary, I halted. Couldn’t see a damn thing through that fog, though.

“Hello,” I said. “Where are you?”

Just then, the fogs broke for a moment and I beheld a huge head, eyes on a level with my own. They belonged to what seemed a giant body, sunk up to the shoulders in a quag. The head was bald, the skin pale as milk, with a stony texture to it. The dark eyes probably seemed even darker than they really were by way of contrast.

“I see,” I said then. “You are in a bit of a fix. Can you free your arms?”

“If I strain mightily,” came the reply.

“Well, let me check about for something stable you can grab onto. You ought to have a pretty good reach there.”

“No. That is not necessary.”

“Don’t you want to get out? I thought that was why you hollered.”

“Oh, no. I simply wanted you to regard me.”

I moved nearer and stared, for the fog was beginning to shift.

“All right,” I said. “I have seen you.”

“Do you feel my plight?”

“Not particularly, if you will not help yourself or accept help.”

“What good would it do me to free myself?”

“It is your question. You answer it.”

That seems like the position of many people today in our victim-stakes society. I have a problem, but don’t you dare help me fix my problem, because then I won’t be able to demand attention for it anymore. Let me keep my problem, because it’s what makes me special and forces everyone to be nice to me. But don’t you dare ignore my problem either; you must halt and regard me or I’ll punish you.

You certainly see this with #GamerGate, and really any SJW-driven issue, although they go even further:

  • SJW: A problem exists.
  • Normal person: Here’s a solution (write your own games).
  • SJW: How dare you suggest that these people have any options, and are not 100% victims!
  • Normal person: Ok, but they’re already free to make the games they want, so what do you want from me?
  • SJW: Feel bad for them, declare how much they deserve everyone’s admiration, and destroy their competition.

Next post: a philosophical crow.

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