On the Racism of HP Lovecraft : 2nd Verse same as the First! :)

One of my more popular posts is my article covering the racism of HP Lovecraft. And by popular demand of someone who describes themselves as a self-professed Romney and Gay marriage supporter out of Olympia, Washington (hey I’m just reading what’s on the card :)) … he urges me (maybe she) to repost the article.

This Ricky makes an interesting point about HP Lovecraft’s popularity perhaps being buoyed by the rising tide of an America under attack by selfish liberal interests, bolstered by an ignorant populace that keeps resisting paying welfare to big business.

He/she further goes on to say that “the middle and lower classes are just not understanding that big business is right to bankrupt the country, and enslave many to debt for the needs of the coming over-lords and all this was foretold in the fiction of the messiah… LOVECRAFT!!!! You Liberal scum!! Don’t you see?!! Lovecraft loves you!!!!! HE DIED FOR YOUR SINS!!!!”

Again, I’m just reading what’s on the card people. :)

He/She goes on to say “CTHULHU! CTHULHU! CTHULHU!” To which I say Gezuntheit!

Ahh you’ve got to love the intelligence and stability and eloquence of Lovecraft supporters. :)

And I think that deserves our renewed attention to the article that started it all! For those who missed it the first time, read it at the link below, with love from he/she/it in Olympia, Washington! :)

This one’s for you! :)

Writers Face Off: Robert E. Howard vs. H.P. Lovecraft! May the Least Racist Writer stand up! :)

I recently purchased THE SAVAGE TALES OF SOLOMON KANE from Del Rey Books and with spot illustrations by Gary Gianni.

So I’m going through the book, and I’m moving pretty capably along.

There are the random slurs and stereotypes, but pretty much they are few and far between and they don’t get in the way of the story…

Until I hit THE MOON OF SKULLS.

Game over man. Game effing over.

To call it insulting is perhaps an understatement. I had to check to make sure I wasn’t reading something by Lovecraft. :)

Oh stop crying! You know I’m right!

Have you read Howard’s THE MOON OF SKULLS?! A xenophobic, denigrating, and intolerant bit of writing, that goes on forever. I think the actual term that popped into my head before pulling the plug on the story was “racist piece of crap”.

Now I do make allowances for the time these books were written, and the fact that the Texan Howard when compared to his contemporaries of the time such as H.P. Lovecraft (a staggering racist) was quite moderate by the definitions of the age.

Part of this is the difference in the type of men they were.

Howard was a rough and tumble, ‘man-of-action’ sort, who understood the world beyond his head, and by that definition understood people outside of his head.

Lovecraft was a secluded New England ‘Intellectual’ who sought a mythology, a hierarchy of master and slave, with the almost ingrained need of the region to preserve an upper class (that in all truth, Lovecraft was very far from, due to the family’s loss of fortune early in his life) by the belief and need for a lower class.

I think racism, gave a lacking man like Lovecraft something. Something to drag himself up on, to restore him to that glory he never had, but thought he deserved… by tearing others down.

Whereas Howard was a self sufficient man (which makes his end all the more bewildering), he went along with the expected prejudice and tropes of the day, but you get the sense in some of his writing, he was content to see men as men. That Howard was a man who stumbled into the tropes of racism, rather than active in the creation and embracing of racism… ala Lovecraft.

I can deal with Lovecraft’s writing in small doses, but I find this recent deification of Lovecraft, of a writer who was barely a footnote in his own time… as odd, though not inexplicable; especially in a country that so desperately, like Lovecraft, wants to turn back the clock to a glorious age of Master and Slave, that never was glorious, and never will be.

But I do think people are over-stating both Lovecraft’s influence and importance, as his work followed in the footsteps of writers like Lord Dunsany, and took inspiration from contemporaries such as Clark Ashton Smith. Much of what people are quick to define as Lovecraftian isn’t, it belongs to a writing movement of the time, dark fantastic offshoots of the age of spiritualism, Houdini, and Arthur Machen.

“In 1914, when the kindly hand of amateurdom was first extended to me, I was as close to the state of vegetation as any animal well can be…With the advent of the United I obtained a renewal to live; a renewed sense of existence as other than a superfluous weight; and found a sphere in which I could feel that my efforts were not wholly futile. For the first time I could imagine that my clumsy gropings after art were a little more than faint cries lost in the unlistening world.” —H.P. Lovecraft

So I do take the biases of Lovecraft into account when reading Robert E. Howard. And rank him as better than the contemporaries of his age.

And I realize I just have to avoid Howard stories that are written toward a certain audience, and toward a prevalent prejudice of the day. Generally this means avoiding most of his Conan stories, as I would end up ripping them in half.

I can stomach his writing in small doses, and that’s generally when he isn’t on bigoted diatribes disguised as a story. In short bursts, and when not using an entire Continent of Africa to advance 1920s fantasies of race and heroism, I can appreciate his writing. His SKULLS IN THE STARS is probably his best short story, it is a well done story and mainly because it is free of Howard’s capitulations to the prejudices and tropes of the day.

So the winner of my Writer’s Face-Off? Well let’s put it this way. I own a Robert E. Howard book, I don’t own any HP Lovecraft books.

I guess that says it all.

THE SEARCH ENGINE WARS!? Google vs. Scroogle!??

“There above the dead man’s torn body, man fought with demon under the pale light of the rising moon, with all the advantages with the demon, save one. And that one was enough to overcome all the others. For if abstract hate may bring into material substance a ghostly thing, may not courage, equally abstract, form a concrete weapon to combat that ghost”

—from SKULLS IN THE STARS by Robert E. Howard

One of the best search engines, and my search engine of choice Scroogle.org, and the one I’ve been recommending to people for years, has finally closed up shop.

Scroogle News Story

Owned by privacy advocate Daniel Brandt, Scroogle offered search results gleaned from Google, but minus that site’s cookies and tracking features. So Scroogle more correctly was a search engine plug-in or cleaner; acting as a buffer between Google and the end user. Almost like a proxy.

Google was never happy with Scroogle. And almost from the first the non-profit Scroogle was subject to a variety of questionable harrasment style incidents. From someone buying up Scroogle.com and turning it into a porno site, so heaven help the unwary person looking for the Scroogle search engine, and forgetting to add the Org.

Of late the cold war between Google and Scroogle has escalated into a hot dispute, with Google actively barring traffic for extended periods of time to any of Brandt’s Scroogle servers. Necessitating frequent messages to users that ‘search results are not available and try again in 10 minutes’.

However the final straw came with concentrated, and very proficient denial of service attacks effectively shutting down Brandts Scroogle.org site. After days of fighting Brandt has officially announced he is closing down Scroogle.org and all his related sites and servers.

It’s a devastating blow to privacy advocates everywhere, as Brandt was also responsible for other sites such as Wikipedia Watch.

And the first argument I oft here from the uninitiated is “it’s Google’s info, they should be able to block who they want”. But that’s the rub, the info does not belong to Google, much like Scroogle they are middlemen redistributing other peoples’ site links and info. Scroogle had as much right to re-disseminate that info, as did Google.

But the larger question I have is why would hackers, an anti-big business, pro personal-privacy, bunch… attack the non-profit Scroogle. The simple answer is… they wouldn’t, they would attack Google rather than Scroogle… unless (like the speculated reasons behind Linux open-source attacks) they were hired to attack Scroogle.

Do I think someone paid to setup the pornographic domain Scroogle.com to scare people away from adopting or visiting Scroogle.org? Let’s put it this way, now that Brandt’s Scroogle.org has closed up shop, the pornographic Scroogle.com has also closed up shop.

Do I think someone hired hackers, to commit a crime by performing a DDOS (Distributed Denial Of Service) attack on Scroogle? In effect attacking and shutting down a non-profit company.

Well it happened, so yes I do think it was paid for and premeditated.

And who do I think was behind driving Brandt’s Scroogle.org out of business? The same people you think.

It sends a troubling message across the board and one that will have to be addressed by all of us sooner rather than later. These bullies can’t keep taking our collective lunch money. :) .

In the interim here are a couple quick search engine alternatives to the now departed Scroogle.org. The best way I can see to honor Scroogle’s passing is by having even more people avoid using Google.

Scroogle.org may be dead, but its message seems to have spread to many Google alternatives.

The search engines are:

DUCK DUCK GO- Award winning search engine, it’s quick and easy to use but its results aren’t as accurate as Google’s results. Takes a bit more searching, but I personally don’t mind. Plus that Duck is just sooo CUTE! (Did I say that out loud? Doh!)

YIPPY- My backup search engine is Yippy.com, formerly called Clusty.com. Works great and is as accurate as Google.

A few others are:

IXQUICK

STARTPAGE

Both of the above are owned by the same Dutch company and I’m still testing them, so the jury is out, but so far so good.

Pages helpful in researching this article were the following:

Scroogle demise News Story written by Kelly Fiveash

and

Search engine alternatives by Chetan Pinto

Well that's all for now folks. Come back tomorrow for more news you can use! :) .


“Kane fought with his arms and his feet and his hands, and he was aware at last that the ghost began to give back before him, that the fearful laughter changed to screams of baffled fury. For man’s only weapon is courage that flinches not from the Gates of Hell itself, and against such not even the legions of Hell can stand.”
—from SKULLS IN THE STARS by Robert E. Howard