What Pegman Saw in R'lyeh + Blow Your Stack Saturday + Weekend Writing Warriors
Image found at Yanni's Inner Sanctum
While the battle for the souls of all sentient beings raged silently in the background of the lives of those too busy to even know whether or not they had a soul, Pegman dove deep into the South Pacific Ocean until he reached the nightmare corpse-city of R'lyeh. Pegman recalled the words from his friend H.P. Lovecraft's tale, "The Nameless City."
“That is not dead which can eternal lie, and with strange aeons even death may die."
"Howard, you had no way of knowing how your words would impact the generations to come," Pegman thought as he reached the green, slimy vaults where dead Cthulhu waits dreaming. "You believed yourself to be a meaningless and forgettable man when you were anything but. You had the power to see and record incomprehensible and terrible truths. Oh, you gave credence to some ludicrous and unpleasant beliefs when you were alive, but this was driven by your fear of the unknown.
"Sadly, people in this time seem incapable of recognizing another's faults with compassion rather than disdain and see only your errors in judgment born of your strange circumstances rather than your better qualities. I wonder if it is possible for humanity to discriminate between right and wrong action without resorting to disdain or outright hatred in every case. As Martin Luther King said following the assassination of Malcolm X: 'we haven’t learned to disagree without being violently disagreeable.'"
~Cie for Naughty Netherworld Press~
Free use image from Pixabay by Open Clipart Vectors
Fat. Ornery. Nerdy. Basically me as an owl.
Sly Fawkes, my politically-minded alter-ego
Image copyright Julia Henze purchased from 123rf.com
What Pegman Saw is the creation of J. Hardy Carroll, who has stepped down as the host the Pegman blog hop, but you should check out his other work. http://hawesescapes.com/
The logo was created by me using a stock image at pixlr.com
This graphic was created by me at pixlr.com using one of their stock images.
It is free to use, no credit required.
And now, the notes!
Cthulhu and R'lyeh are the creations of H.P. Lovecraft (1890 - 1937). They appear in his story "The Call of Cthulhu," first published in the June 1928 issue of Weird Tales.
The Nameless City is a short story by H.P. Lovecraft. It was first published in the November 1921 issue of The Wolverine.
The quote by Martin Luther King (1929 - 1968) comes from a press conference held 24 February 1965 following the assassination of Malcolm X (1925 - 1965).
I was 9 days old at the time of this press conference.
I was sad to see that J. Hardy Carroll will no longer be hosting the Pegman blog hop, but I certainly understand needing to take a step back from one project to focus on others. I made the decision a couple of months ago to dramatically restructure my blogging process and, let's be real, it's been a rough ride.
I am unofficially adopting Pegman. I don't have the organizational skills or the energy to run a proper blog hop, but the Pegster has become an integral part of my world, so he will continue to appear here and I will always give credit to J. Hardy Carroll with a link to his blog. Visit him here. http://hawesescapes.com/
I am no longer adhering to the 150-word rule that is traditional for Pegman prompts. Instead, I am adhering to the Weekend Writing Warriors eight to ten sentence rule. For the foreseeable future, I will be sharing my Pegman stories with Weekend Writing Warriors because I am working on numerous projects and my ADHD brain has a tendency to complicate things. So, we'll keep this part simple-ish. That being said, the notes will include Shameless Self-Promotion of my projects for Shameless Self-Promotion Saturday. However, Self-Promotion Saturday is being pre-empted today to accommodate a special broadcast from Blow Your Stack Saturday.
This piece went in a much different direction than I originally intended. I was going to have Pegman pay a visit to R'lyeh and maybe have a chat with Cthulhu, but then I remembered reading a post on Facebook where people were railing about what a horrible transphobic transphobe J.K. Rowling is, and, of course, someone had to jump on the "I Hate H.P. Lovecraft" bandwagon, stating that they "love the writing but hate the writer."
I have a lot of trepidation about doing what I'm about to do because I'm a very shy person with a high level of social anxiety who hates conflict. However, there comes a time when one must speak one's mind, and I'm about to speak mine for better or worse, knowing that it's probably going to be worse.
J.K. Rowling did not say that she hates transgender people. She said that women experience sex-based oppression. She denounced the use of dehumanizing terms such as "menstruators" and refuted the frankly ludicrous idea that people can literally change their sex. The conflation of sex and gender in recent years has led to a myriad of misunderstandings and a lot of unnecessary vitriol.
Sex and gender are not the same things. A few radicalized trans rights activists started touting the erroneous idea that "biological sex is a social construct," and a plethora of W0KE souls wanting to prove that they are up in the now and super-duper not transphobic (unlike those transphobes who believe in equality and tolerance for everyone including trans people but know that biological sex is an empirical reality) jumped on that misdirected bandwagon. One can utilize medical treatments such as hormone therapy and surgery to alter their secondary sex characteristics to more closely resemble the sex that they identify with. One cannot, however, literally change one's biological sex. This statement is not hateful, it is simply a fact.
I live with my son and a housemate who identifies as a transgender woman. My housemate comes from extreme poverty and was living in her car. She has not had any surgery or hormone treatments and does not dress in "women's clothing." She is a friend of my son's whom he met on Discord. When she introduced herself to me, she said "you can call me Sally, or you can call me Kevin, whichever you're more comfortable with."
I have no problem calling my housemate Sally or using the pronoun "her" when speaking of my housemate. My housemate knows that she is biologically male. There is really no reason why this should ever come up, except in cases where medical treatment is necessary. There are certain medications that are helpful to males but harmful to females and vice-versa. Further, medical personnel caring for a transgender person would need to have this information in order to avoid potentially devastating drug interactions if the transgender person is receiving hormone therapy.
I am a gender-critical feminist, and this earns me a lot of hate on social media. I get called names like "TERF c**t" and told that I should be raped or murdered. (TERF stands for "trans-exclusionary radical feminist.") There are people who say that being gender-critical is "transphobic." There are also transgender people who are gender-critical, and they get hate and death threats heaped on them too. This includes transgender activists such as transman Buck Angel and transwoman Miranda Yardley, two intelligent and thoughtful people whose work I greatly admire.
For further evidence of the violent rhetoric directed at women who disagree with the radical "trans rights activist" agenda, check out http://terfisaslur.com. This collection of screenshots showcases the misogynistic hostility that women who have been found guilty of wrong-think are subjected to.
Here is what being gender-critical means to me.
I do not think that anyone should have to change their personality to fit their biological sex. I do not think that a man should have to act stereotypically "macho" or a woman should have to present herself in a stereotypically "ladylike" fashion. I think that if a man likes to wear dresses, put on makeup, and call himself Sarah, it's all good. Or if a woman wants to wear her hair short, dress in straight-leg jeans and cowboy boots with a white t-shirt, fix trucks and call herself Jimbo, that's perfectly fine. I will refer to Sarah as she and Jimbo as he if that is what they would like me to do.
I also do not think that anyone should feel that they have to take hormones or have surgery to take on desired secondary sex characteristics. I have extreme trepidation about these measures being employed in the cases of those who have not yet reached adulthood. The idea that a girl who likes blue, prefers to wear trousers rather than dresses, and enjoys playing with trucks and building things is "actually a boy" or that a boy who likes pink, enjoys dressing up as a princess, and enjoys playing with dolls is "actually a girl" is regressive and destructive.
To sum things up, this is what being gender-critical means.
This is the wicked set of beliefs that many women, including J.K. Rowling, are being subjected to rape and death threats for espousing. There are numerous men and trans women who have told J.K. Rowling to suck their dick because they are offended by her beliefs. These words are sexualized threats directed at a woman who has dared to disagree with the screed that a very vocal minority has insisted that she must parrot or risk being silenced in a violent fashion.
Now, you may be wondering at this point what the hell any of this has to do with H.P. Lovecraft, who died in 1937.
H.P. Lovecraft and J.K. Rowling have more in common than being authors who use their first and middle initials in their bylines. Cancel culture prescribes that both of them are too problematic to exist. They and everything that they have ever spoken, thought, or created should be erased. For their Thoughtcrimes, they should become Unpersons.
(Thoughtcrime and Unperson are terms coined by British author George Orwell (1903 - 1950), appearing in his dystopian novel 1984.)
I realize that Lovecraft had xenophobic beliefs. I neither defend nor adhere to those beliefs. However, I do not deem it necessary to express hatred for him in order to prove that I am W0KE so I can obtain my Get Out of Cancel Culture Free card.
I feel compassion for Lovecraft as a fellow tortured soul while refuting his xenophobic ideas. Lovecraft was raised in very peculiar circumstances and had a crippling fear of the unknown. Those who came to know him over the years describe a kind and gracious although deeply troubled man.
"I Am Providence" by S.T. Joshi is a well-written biography of H.P. Lovecraft. I recommend it highly.
In order to create a better world, we need to move away from the current trend of name-calling and thought policing. When fighting monsters, we need to be mindful of our own actions to ensure that we don't become monsters ourselves. We need to learn how to disagree without becoming violently disagreeable.
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