Archive for April 5th, 2006

A Force in Being

On the SF Supporting Member’s Thread, someone asked whether SF was growing or not.

I have explained the A-C Rule. It is time I explained the Force in Being Rule.

Practical Men (PM) talk endlessly, but they never listen to themselves.

They keep saying that in the Real World, public enthusiasm waxes and wanes. They keep telling us that what is popular today will be nothing tomorrow.

When someone says, “We are growing,” the Practical Men say, “You are not REALLY growing.”

Right now.

The prupose of the Practical Man is to prove he is a Practical Man, the very embodiment of Wisdom and Realism.

So when Stormfront says, “We are growing,” the PM wants to prove that he represents Realism. He tries to prove that, while the Pollyannas want to say they are growing, he, the Master of Reality, knows the facts.

No one remembers that his Practical Fact Number One was that none of that matters.

Pulic enthusiasm waxes and wanes.

In 1927 the National Socialist Party of Germany was at the bottom of the barrel. They hit a peak at the 1923 Pusch and went down from there. In 1927 not matter what argument they made for themselves the Practical Man would have said their cause was hopeless.

By 1933 they were in power. Which confirmed the basic wisdom of the Practical Man’s statement that political enthusiasm waxes and wanes.

But the Practical Man always wants to appear macho and wise RIGHT NOW.

Godfather II has it exactly right.

On December 31, 1958 Fulgencio Batista was he Strong Man in absolute control of Cuba.

Fidel Castro was a Force in Being. You could go and meet him in the hills. He was a minor celebrity.

Only a true nutcase would have met with him. No Practical Man would.

Sometime in the afternoon of December 31, 1958 Batista’s forces began to desert to Castro.

Batista, an expert on power, immediately recognized that his position was, to use the word we inherited from the Norman Conquest and which is good Spanish, untenable.

That was one hell of shock to all the Practical Men of the Mafia, of AT&T, of all of them.

But for Batista it was not a matter of theory. It was life and death.

Once the power of Castro’s Force in Being waxed, Batista had to get out to stay alive.

On December 31, 1958 the Practical Men would have laughed at the idea that the Batista Regime that had had an iron grip on Cuba would be gone overnight.

In 1981 not a single professional Sovietologist could have imagine that the Soviet Union would be gone in ten years.

And these are the same people who always tell us that popular opinion waxes and wanes.

So the same Practical Man who wonder whether SF is waxing or waning at this moment pays no attention to the fact that SF is a Force in Being.

A Force is Being is ready to take power.




Antonio Fini is one of our commenters I remember meeting.

He thinks I’m great, and that never hurts.

But his birthday greeting got to me as no other did. He said:

“I have learned more from you than from any other person, male or female, living or dead.”

Someone can praise me to the skies and agree with me till the cows comes home, and I will love every word of it.

But Antonio’s words did not just make me feel good. They hit HOME.

I met Antonio.

He is one of those very calm types whose IQ and empathy is out of sight.

You know, the nice guy who doesn’t take himself seriously but doesn’t worry about it. He is smart and he knows it. He understands a lot that you will never understand and he knows it.

If you don’t realize that, that’s really not his problem.

When he met me, he didn’t need me to impress him.

That is a major obstacle when you reach my status. The few people who appreciate you expect you to live up to something.

I could tell Antonio asked no such thing.

I gave him something, and he is, as I said, one of those calm guys who knows who he is. Damned few people can tell him something important, and I had already done that.

I didn’t need to impress him.

That felt good.

Then came this note. I already knew that Antonio knew who he was.

This is, to say the least, not an effusive person.

He is the person who sends out exactly one note telling a person that he has taught them more than anyone else, male or female, living or dead.

If you don’t understand that, that is your problem.

I understand it.

It goes long way toward making all the pain, all the thought, all the loyalty worth while.



The Whitaker School

I got a HUGE number of comments this time, which makes me very happy in itself.

But I took a look at them and I realized something.

They are all Whitaker Blog length.

They are all clear as glass.

They all make a point or two and quit.

Every one of them radiates confidence, “This is what I have to say and you are interested in it,” but not one of them contains the slightest bit of pretentiousness: “This is true or it is not true. That’s up to you and I couldn’t care less.”

The Whitaker Seminar has done a job so perfect that is almost unnoticable. All the lectures in the world couldn’t have made you write like this. But over amillion words of hard work on my part, and what I can now confidentally say is a consistent attitude, has produced the kind of thinking and writing on your part that I spent my life accomplishing.

You don’t know the stages you have been spared, and you don’t want to.

Many times I have had people tell me, “I can’t understand it. I have no trouble expressing my ideas verbally , but when I try to write them out, I can’t do it.”

My reply back then was, “Can you fix a television set?”

The would give me that look most people give me when they are wondering whether this nut might get violent, and say, “No, I can’t fix a TV set.”

I would then say, “Then what makes you think you can just sit down and WRITE? If you want to fix TV sets you have to learn how. You can’t just naturally fix a set because you own one. You can’t just write because you can talk.”

So my commenters are never going to fullly appreciate what they got from me.

It is true that if you can express your opinions verbally you are well on your way to expressing them in written form. But it takes work to make the transition.

You MUST understand this example:

Let’s say you are a man teaching a woman to shoot a gun.

First you have to get over the “Bang!” bit. That scares men, too: “This is not a theory. This is a real gun I have here.”

Our Great Hero, Bob Whitaker Himself, can fire a fullly automatic weapon calmly, but a twelve-gauge shotgun still bothers the hell out of me. That kick is hard. The noise makes me want to jump.

So after you have had her shoot a few rounds, she is ready to actually aim the thing.

You say, “Point it at the target and shoot.” She does a pretty good job.

Then your Macho and your Expertise kicks in.

You say, “Don’t PULL the trigger, SQUEEZE the trigger…”

And other Classic Gun Expert Lines.

The woman WAS pretty proud of herself for coming near the target and not being afraid of the gun

By the time you have coached her on all that “Squeeze the trigger” crap, she has gone from competence to the Incompetent Female she is supposed to be.

Beore she had hit pretty near the target. She was proud of herself.

But after you have switched to the Macho Male Mode, she is trying to remember all the rules you impressed her with. The gun waves around and she is afraid of the trigger.

The probablity that she wil hit the center of the target is exactly the same as the probability that she will hit you.

You’re bigger, but you’re BEHIND her. Those factors balance out.

You have proved that you are The Expert Male. So she needs more lessons from you.

Writing is much the same.

The reason I can teach a woman to shoot is because I am only interested in making her able to carry a gun.

The reason I can teach you to write is because I am interested in your using that talent to save my race.

Now to one of Bob’s favorite words:


The secret of writing is simple, but NOT EASY: Figure out exactly what you want to say, cut it down mercilessly, and then say it.

I did not take you through the “Squeeze the trigger” bit. I never tried to impress you .

I made fun of myself when I fell into the “Squeeze the trigger” mode.

And I just said “Point at the target” and kept doing it and doing it and doing it, demonstrating what I meant, for over a million words, part of which you read.

I taught her to shoot. I taught you to write.

My sister pulled a dirty trick on her husband and my nephew that I will never forget.

They took her to a skeet range and told her she had to hit the skeets with the shotgun.

So she hit the skeets with the shotgun.

Then she said, “What do I do next?”

Hey, dumb-dumb, you don’t do anything NEXT!

You happen to be a natural with a gun, and only some good “Squeeze the trigger!” crap could have kept you from doing what came naturally. I said it was a dirty trick on my brother-in-law and my nephew,

They didn’t mind. But a Real Man would have been crushed.

My sister has the family genes that make her a good shot.

She is a good shot.

You are now writers.

But you will never be able to say what agonies you went through to become writers.

I can, because I went through the “Squeeze the trigger!” stage.

What you got from me you would cost you a fortune and lots of effort at a writing school.

You got it free because I want you to help me save my race.

Now sic ’em.



The Internet is Being There

“Stop HIDING behind the compter screen! Get out into the REAL WORLD!”

Since I am about the last person who can be accused of hiding anywhere, I am the perfect on to flush this nonsense down where it belongs.

I hate the telephone, relative to the internet, for a one reason: The person I am talking to is on a schedule. He calls me when I am thinking about something else, and he is on the way to something else, too.

A good deal of the time is spent trying to get get in what he needs to say to me when he can contact me personally.

On the internet, you are here when you feel like being here. I do not have to remember your telephone number or get ready to talk to you and intrduce you to the topic I am interested in at the moment, when your mind is somewhere else — otherwise you would be calling ME.

Phone call Stage One: Getting the number right and introducing the topic. Stage Two: Getting your input and my reaction to your input, all in the time allotted and at a time neither of us chose.

Personal visits are far, far worse t han the telephone. You have to GET there, which means that you have just been through a set of directions and little incidents.

Then comes all the “getting each comfortable.”

On the internet, you are here when you want to be here and I am here when I want to be here.

Onthe internet, the topic is already introduced when you sit and when I sit down.

I am mystified as to why this constitutes HIDING:

“I actually met so-and-so.”

My concern is not whether you physically sat down and saw the actual face of someone, but what did you SAY?

You can hide anything that was actually said in a talk about where he lives and how he looks.

Sight and smell are the province of a dog.

A dog can get nothing out of the Internet.

On the internet, if you tell someone you were talking to somebody on it, all you can discuss is WHAT YOU SAID.

I think the person who you of “hiding behind the computer screen” is the one who wants to hide. He wants to talk about where he was and how he was THERE, not about hwat was said, which is province of the human mind.

If anyone ever really reads and thinks about what I say, he will realize this is a repetition. The person who talks endlessly about “liars” is a liar. The person who talks endlessly about Hate is a hater. The person who talks endlessly about “hiding” is hiding.

That is the kind of thinking an interrogator does. It is the kind of thinking an interrogator gets so good at that he is paid for it.

Being there physically is a substitute for being there mentally.