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The Mother Dust
On 12/1/2020 at 11:00 PM, Columbia said:

Interesting choice of personal sins. The Calvinist theology bros are not generally the type to view anger as anything other than a manly expression of masculinity. 

I was on a Lord of the Rings youtube clip rabbit hole (i just need to rewatch the movies already) when I happened on this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pv_KAnY5XNQ.  Aragorn vs. Toxic Masculinity. Oh my gosh, it's so good.  One of the hosts points out that the only acceptable emotions these "toxic" guys are allowed is lust and anger, right about what you just said @Columbia.   

 

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Excellent synopsis, /profile/11341-bea/" rel="">@bea!   I completely agree, though slight variations should also be welcomed.  I humbly offer the following: "Doug Wilson, supporter and defen

I propose that whenever we speak of Wilson on FJ from henceforth on, that he be referred to as "Doug Wilson Supports Pedophiles." Because he does.

I think most FJ people are aware of Doug Wilson's (Moscow, ID fundie Reformed Godfather of Christ Church) vigorous defense of two convicted and unrepentant pedophile, and his continued online attacks

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CyborgKin

@Hane yep, another show that was snatched away too soon :(  Humans also introduced me to Gemma Chan and Letitia Wright, both of whom subsequently appeared in Marvel movies.  At least it got a third season, where The Sarah Connor Chronicles only got two and Caprica only got one.  Caprica brings us back around to BSG, though I've read that it was originally pitched as a show about the effect of AI tech on a family and it was later moulded into the BSG prequel it became to get more audience.  Though not enough.

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Ride, Sally, Ride—Chapter Twelve:  Gonzo Law

Hi, FJers! I’m finally back because I’ve gotten the stomach to attempt the rest of this gawdawful screed. We’re now 70% down, 30% to go. This one is a VERY long chapter.

Suggestion

Let me stop for a sec to gag over the way Stephanie and her father interact. There’s almost a kind of flirtation going on between them. Here he calls her “sugar,” and the reason for my gagging will become obvious when (spoiler alert!) he is reunited with his wife and we see his prized pet name for *her.*

Stephanie tells Jon, “This is not a cultural system that honors the rule of law anymore. They honor the *appearance* of the rule of law…But the world underneath that thin veneer is a world gone mad. And that means you need to give them change in their own currency….and practice a little gonzo law.” By this, she means he should insist that a third of the jury be made up of sex androids (because out of Ace, Steven, and Sally, a third of them are sex androids), ensuring a hung jury.

Jury of Peers

In court, Jon asks the judge to allow him four sexbot jury members. Connor, the prosecutor, realizes he’s shot himself in the foot by admitting that the bots can be programmed to vote either for or against a verdict. Jon uses that reasoning to throw out any verdict given by bots because of obvious jury tampering as a result of their programming. The judge rules against Jon’s request.

Here Goes

The next day in court, Jon refers to Sally the sexbot as Steve’s concubine, pointing out the fact that Steve and Sally aren’t legally married, because he is still legally married to Trish, and polygamy isn’t legal in either Arkansas or Colorado (yet). He refers to Sally as a concubine, or “slave wife,” because Steve bought her for $3000.

Isadora Flames Out

Connor calls Isadora, the young woman accusing Ace of sexual assault, to the stand. Thelma, her counselor, had advised her to “go big or go home”—that is, fabricate more damning evidence against Ace—and to claim she’d been counseled by a therapist who helped victims of molestation and had conveniently died the year before. Isadora goes into detail about all the things Ace had supposedly done to her. Jon points out that, during the year she and Ace attended the same school, he was enrolled in an honors program at a different campus forty minutes away and he wouldn’t have been able to cross paths with her.

Moby

Dave Moby, Ace’s former boss at the recycling plant, has had a change of heart and now will be testifying on Ace’s behalf. As she dries dishes, his wife tells him, “I have been praying ever since the prosecutor first told you that you were on the witness list….I need a *husband,* not a coward. If you went along with this evil, I would…be losing a husband,” and tells him to man up if he wants “to get past third base tonight.” *shudder*groan*

In court, Dave waxes ecstatic about Ace’s qualities as a “fine young man.” Connor goes batshit because he had expected Dave to be a witness *against* Ace. Dave explains how the video footage (there’s no audio) seems to show him angrily expelling Ace, when in fact he was wishing him well. Dave points out that he’s probably be fired for his testimony, but that he’s doing the right thing.

Conversion

Stephanie is sworn in on the Koran, the UN Declaration of Human Rights, and the Jefferson Bible—horrors!—and recalls that Ace had told her that women don’t have as precise a sixth sense about men as they think they do. (So there!) She’s uncertain how to factor in the fact that Connor is a “flamer.” (God help us.) He asks her whether she’s a Christian, and she says she is. When he asked her how long she’s been a Christian, she replies, “I have not been baptized yet but, taking one thing with another, I would estimate that I have been a Christian for about two minutes. Your question just pushed me off the fence.” Her eyes and Ace’s meet, and she feels warm all over. She explains, “I realized that, as much as I disliked all the people who are trying to get Ace, if I didn’t come to Christ, I had more in common with them than I did with Ace and the other real Christians I have met.”  Yep—the old us-vs.-them.

During the recess, Jon texts his pastor, a former Navy SEAL, to come over and baptize Stephanie that evening. Time is of the essence because shizz is getting REAL, people!

When she returns to the stand, Connor asks her why she accused slimeball lawyer Dwight of raping her. There follow three solid pages of her verbal gymnastics about what exactly facts and arguments really mean. (Reminds me of the infamous “That depends on what ‘is’ is.”) Connor and the judge are FLUMMOXED, folks!

Baptism

The pastor, Jon, Stephanie, Ace, and the pastor’s wife and daughter gather at Jon’s house, where Stephanie is baptized. Then Ace steps up the Jon and asks, “May I kiss your daughter?” This nauseating question nearly caused me to hurl my poor innocent iPhone at the wall, destroying both. Jon consents. Ace tells her, “May I be the first to congratulate you?” and bends her over and kisses her full on the mouth. Crap—I haven’t seen that done at weddings, let alone baptisms! Now Ace and Stephanie are officially boyfriend and girlfriend.

Ace admits that the pastor has removed one of his “central temptations”: that is, his desire to kiss a non-Christian. But now Stephanie is a Christian, and fair game—for kissing, at least.

Will You Be…?

The next day at the courthouse, Ace decides to go all gonzo and asks Stephanie to apply for a marriage license with him. Because there is no “preprinted husband/wife stuff” on the applications, they decide to fill in the terms “concubine” and “suzerain.” That way, they’ll have a legal document with the word “concubine” on it, allowing Sally to have qualified as one.

Then Stephanie laughs and says—get a load of this crapola, dudettes—“And if they say no to *concubine* in their bigoted ways, then I will ask for another one, and write in ‘dusky Nubian slave.’” She argues that she’d be “identifying” as a slave, Nubian, and dusky. (Oh I swear to almighty God I am in danger of smashing my favorite mug on the floor.) The clerk at the marriage license office refuses to issue their license, but they capture video footage of the exchange on Stephanie’s phone.

Trish Takes the Stand

Trish Sasani is called to the stand, and Connor is *shocked* at her presence and very existence, because he is very, very stupid. She testifies that she and Steve, early in their marriage, had been into a lot of kinky stuff, but she got tired of it, and Steve became mean and abusive, locking her in a basement bedroom with an attached bathroom and occasionally visiting her to do “degraded” things in front of her with Sally. He drugged her and moved with her from Arkansas to Colorado, where he similarly imprisoned her in the new house. During her imprisonment, memories of her childhood Christian school comforted her. She points out that in Colorado, anyone wanting to take more wives needs the consent of the prior wife—consent she never gave. She mentions that Sally was Steve’s fourth sex android, and that he introduced each of them to her as his “wife.” After a while, Steve would deem each droid “rebellious” and destroy it—one of them at the recycling plant.

Messing with the Jury

The judge (who has been pressured into an eventual verdict against Ace) sends a paid thug into the jury room to threaten the jurors into delivering a unanimous “guilty” verdict. The jurors absorb this in horror.   

Only 14% more of this shizz to go!

 

Edited by Hane
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Ride, Sally, Ride—Chapter Thirteen: Extraction and Aftermath

Invitation

The governor of Wyoming is swooping into rescue Our Plucky Heroes!  He learned that there’s a judicial fix in against Godly Young Ace, and he’s arranged to have his intelligence operatives send a helicopter to fly Ace, Jon, Trish, and Stephanie to safety.

Helicopter Ex Machina

Jon selflessly decides that his place on the helicopter (which holds only four passengers) should be taken by Vickie, his wife, and that he’ll book out of Colorado on his own later. Stephanie goes to her mother’s office, picks her up, and the fugitives from Utter Moral Decay hurry to the courthouse roof, where the chopper will come for them. Jon and Vickie express gushing forgiveness to each other, and he asks to take her out to dinner in Laramie in a couple of weeks. He kisses the top of her head and calls her “sport,” which reduces her to a quivering orgasmic heap.

In the helicopter, an explosives expert takes a look at Ace’s ankle monitor.  Note:  This ankle monitor has never been mentioned anywhere else in the book. The explosives guy inserts Ace’s right leg and foot into a steel box designed to remove the bracelet. Tense excitement alert: He says that the gizmo can be one of two kinds of ankle monitors: one that will go off like a siren and one kind that will blow your foot off if you leave downtown Denver! Of course, Explosives Expert gets the gadget off and safely stowed away in five minutes. Dammit.

The War Was Brief

Back in Denver, Jon manages to get away to Wyoming unseen because the Evil Governor of Colorado assumes he’s absconded on the helicopter. Six months prior, Jon had sold his house and converted all his money into cryptocurrency. (Dougie hadn’t bothered to mention any of this earlier.)

Ace is declared guilty in absentia. The “heartland” states are angry that Ace’s trial had taken place, and the blue states are angry that Wyoming refused to follow the “rule of law” and is letting Ace walk around free. California, Oregon, Washington, and other blue states secede from the union in rapid succession. Crooked gay prosecutor Connor moves to California and lives out his life in obscurity. The red states seize Colorado. The new governor of Colorado gives Righteous Dave Moby a full pardon and a seat on his cabinet. Steve Sasani goes to California, becomes a minor celebrity for a while, then slides into abject poverty. Alberta secedes from Canada and applies for statehood. (True fact: Friends of mine in Alberta told me that this idea, lamentably, isn’t as ludicrous as they hoped.) The heartland states easily capture Oregon and Washington because of all the inept pacifists there, seizing their ports, and then put Denver, Portland, and Chicago under martial law to “detoxify” them.  Because obvs only Manly Men Red Staters are capable of Running Things Right.

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Ride, Sally, Ride, THE END—Chapter Fourteen: Honeymoon Adventures

Quite the Wedding

With moral support and prayers from Stephanie, Vickie heads out for her dinner date with Jon. She is described, out of the blue, as a tall, voluptuous, volatile “pistol,” and Jon inwardly expresses regret at having acted impassively around her prior to their separation. They happily go into the restaurant together.  They “confess their sins to each other,” and he asks her to marry him again. She promises to be a “dutiful wife” this time, and he promises to be a “decent human being.” They still have their wedding rings, so they decide to go to the courthouse to remarry, with Stephanie and Ace as witnesses.

Ace’s money (what money? He’s a twenty-year-old college kid who worked in a recycling plant) was left in Colorado, but generous “free state” people come forward to lend him funds until the banks in Colorado are open for business again. He gets Jon’s blessing to propose to Stephanie (*gag*).  Let me point out that Ace is twenty years old, and Stephanie is about the same or a bit younger.

The four of them go out to dinner together (where there is more nonsense about Ace graciously pulling out Stephanie’s chair and how she likes it now), and whom should they meet but Lionel and Sara? Lionel is acting properly rugged and masculine, not all lispy and limp-wristed the way he had been before. He tells Stephanie he has been a spy for the Nebraska Secret Service all along. In the scuffle at the Denver courthouse, he had been trying to save Stephanie, but someone had knocked him down before he could. Because of the infamous Pussy Tape, the Nebraska Secret Service retired him and launched a campaign to rehabilitate his image. Once he is no longer the “internationally recognized p-word,” he intends to propose to Sara. He also says that the money Connor paid him for Stephanie and Jon’s fake personal information will be going to pay for both weddings.

A Cast of Thousands suddenly expects to attend Ace and Stephanie’s wedding—including the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. Jon books a cathedral for the ceremony.

Ace’s parents, Benson and Roberta, arrive. Benson grovelingly apologizes to Ace for sinning against him, and admits being envious of him. (Oh, FFS.)

Re the wedding: “Stephanie…had an almost pathological fear of people thinking that she had always carried around a secret desire to be a princess. The reverse was actually the case, and she was beginning to suspect that perhaps the Lord was thinking that being a princess for a day might do her some spiritual good….[Ace] was obviously a prince among men, and if she were to marry him, what did that make *her*?” Pass the Emetrol.

She walks down the aisle on Jon’s arm. When the officiant asks, “Who gives this woman to marry this man?” Jon responds, “Her *mother* and I,” and Stephanie gets even giddier.

OK, friends—is there any more of that Emetrol left? Because we’re gonna need it, stat: “[Stephanie] let go of her father’s arm, and in a deep fluid motion, she curtsied to Ace….In return, he solemnly [spontaneously] bowed….She had been practicing in her bedroom for weeks.” A Time magazine cameraman got a pic of this and it wound up on the magazine’s front cover, over a heading that said “The Curtsy.” “And so it was, over the years that followed, the curtsy and bow became an essential part of wedding ceremonies. But not in California.”

A Bit of Excitement

Ryker, the guy who had tried and failed to assassinate Ace earlier in the story, decides to try again. (There is a lengthy description of a prior failed assassination attempt in which he had tried to bump off a pastor—who coincidentally would marry Ace and Stephanie later—who was preaching about Leviticus. Ryker failed because, as he was about to shoot, a five-year-old accidentally dropped a psalter from the church balcony and it hit him on the head. The bullet missed the preacher, who languidly said, “Those guys are so gay they won’t even shoot straight” har har har. In the commotion, Ryker slipped away.)

Ryker finds the motel where Ace and Stephanie are spending the beginning of their honeymoon. He sees them at breakfast. Stephanie hurries back to her room to get something, and Ryker takes advantage of the empty room to point his pistol at the back of Ace’s head. Stephanie miraculously reappears, carrying a hardshell travel case, and instinctively hurls it at Ryker’s head. Ryker falls, shooting himself in the leg. Ryker ends up in the slammer for life.

Headed Home

At the end of their honeymoon, Ace and Stephanie decide to move to Idaho, where each of them has been offered a full-ride scholarship to New Saint Andrews College (aka House o’ Dougie). As they bask in the natural beauty of Banff, Stephanie apologizes for having, back during their Deep Conversation in the coffee shop an eon ago, attributed Ace’s “gentlemanliness” to a lack of testosterone. She continues, “I do believe it is statistically improbable and biologically impossible for me *not* to be pregnant.” (They have been married two weeks.)  Ace opens the car door for her, then closes it.  Because that’s how Dougie signals the virtues of conservative Presbyterian patriarchy, the cornerstone of modern civilization.

*FIN*

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@Hane -- there ought to be some sort of award to give you for slogging through this mess.  It just got worse the farther in we got.  I honestly don't believe many of his fan boys actually finished the book.  I bet they liked the premise and just jumped on board in the reviews because... holy shit.  This book is terrible.  

The curtsy part almost did me in.  It reminded me of the Gwen Shamblin/Joe Lara wedding.  I think the fundies all secretly believe that weddings ought to be something out of a Disney princess movie.  

My only surprise was that Dougie allowed Stephanie to also get a scholarship to college.  Of course, the pregnancy thing will probably complicate her finishing her education so that's how he might have justified it to himself.  After all, she's a woman.  

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@Xan, I didn’t bother mentioning how the character Vickie’s father cheered and her mother scowled when she dropped out of college after three and a half years and a 4.0 GPA because she found it “boring.” WTAF?

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Botkinetti

The whole book is like a long fever dream. Nobody acts in a recognizably human way and Doug is a lousy writer. 

@Hane thank you for slogging through this mess. I’m almost sorry the book is done because I enjoy your recaps so much.

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One thing it was difficult to capture in my synopses: Dougie’s insufferably smug wordplay. It’s cringily obvious how much he’s enjoying writing for his own amusement as he anticipates accolades from his fanboys about how “intellectual” and “clever” he is.

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Columbia
16 hours ago, Hane said:

She promises to be a “dutiful wife” this time, and he promises to be a “decent human being.”

The requirements for men are so low. Ace the pig who’s “trying” not to be one. This guy who’s going to be a “decent human being.” The Bible calls husbands to lay down their lives for their wives, and the best Doug the pedophile defender can imagine is a bland, generic attempt at being a borderline nice person. 

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5 hours ago, Petronella said:

@Hane—Wow. Yikes. OMG. WTF?

A lot sure happened in that book.

I simply don’t know what to say.

Thanks for your fortitude!

That sums up my reaction as well. Started badly, took off downhill like it was trying to escape the hordes of heaven.

That entire court case was beyond WTF, even for a heavy breathing fantasy.

At least we confirmed that Doug is basically slime - or would be if that wasn't an insult to slime moulds.

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Petronella

Of all the craziness of the last chapters--which are so nuts I don't even know how to focus enough to comment--the curtsy thing sticks out to me.

When the bride admits to herself that she actually does want an ultrafeminine, princessy day, it just makes me so mad because Doug is clearly setting up a stupid straw man argument. He's clearly drawing a line between religious conservativism, which wants women to be ultrafeminine and dependent, and liberalism/feminism, which therefore wants the opposite: for women to be masculine. WHICH JUST ISN'T TRUE ARGHHHHH. The difference is that religious conservatism wants there to be NO CHOICE for women and liberalism/feminism wants there to be LOTS OF CHOICES, including being as feminine and princessy as you damn well please.

While I'm sure there are individual women who have had the experience of deciding to be extra feminine on their wedding day, or maybe even enjoying adding more feminine touches to their everyday lives, the way Doug presents it is clearly not just this one woman making a choice, but a representation of his certainty that ALL WOMEN really, really, really want to be feminine, if they're just honest with themselves. And that ENRAGES me. (For the record, I had an enjoyably ultrafeminine wedding day. I just don't think that means that everyone else on earth secretly wants one even if they say they don't.)

Which leads to the curtsy. WTF is it that makes Doug think Time magazine would give one single fuck about this? What is newsworthy about it? I guess that she, as a stand in for all liberal women, has accepted and now revels in her second-class status compared to her asshole husband? It's just bizarre and psychologically tone-deaf, what Doug seems to think is the crux of the political divide.

The obsession with all these little pointless gestures, like pulling the chair out and opening car doors and, jeez, curtsying. They're just details. He thinks they're some kind of "gotcha" when really they're not the point at all.

The escape-by-helicopter scene made me imagine Doug rewriting the crucifixion and sending in a helicopter for Jesus! 😆

 

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Sarcastically spinster

I expected this book to be terrible when I first heard about it.  

He has truly exceeded my expectations.  

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Columbia
30 minutes ago, Petronella said:

The obsession with all these little pointless gestures, like pulling the chair out and opening car doors and, jeez, curtsying. They're just details. He thinks they're some kind of "gotcha" when really they're not the point at all.

But they’re easy. If “Biblical masculinity” is simply pulling out chairs and opening doors, then it’s easy to write into your crappy little book. And your character (and you, by extension) has nothing to lose in doing it  

if it’s confronting the teacher in your school who’s grooming and raping students, it’s a whole lot harder, and you just might lose everything. 

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53 minutes ago, Petronella said:

Of all the craziness of the last chapters--which are so nuts I don't even know how to focus enough to comment--the curtsy thing sticks out to me.

When the bride admits to herself that she actually does want an ultrafeminine, princessy day, it just makes me so mad because Doug is clearly setting up a stupid straw man argument. He's clearly drawing a line between religious conservativism, which wants women to be ultrafeminine and dependent, and liberalism/feminism, which therefore wants the opposite: for women to be masculine. WHICH JUST ISN'T TRUE ARGHHHHH. The difference is that religious conservatism wants there to be NO CHOICE for women and liberalism/feminism wants there to be LOTS OF CHOICES, including being as feminine and princessy as you damn well please.

While I'm sure there are individual women who have had the experience of deciding to be extra feminine on their wedding day, or maybe even enjoying adding more feminine touches to their everyday lives, the way Doug presents it is clearly not just this one woman making a choice, but a representation of his certainty that ALL WOMEN really, really, really want to be feminine, if they're just honest with themselves. And that ENRAGES me. (For the record, I had an enjoyably ultrafeminine wedding day. I just don't think that means that everyone else on earth secretly wants one even if they say they don't.)

Which leads to the curtsy. WTF is it that makes Doug think Time magazine would give one single fuck about this? What is newsworthy about it? I guess that she, as a stand in for all liberal women, has accepted and now revels in her second-class status compared to her asshole husband? It's just bizarre and psychologically tone-deaf, what Doug seems to think is the crux of the political divide.

The obsession with all these little pointless gestures, like pulling the chair out and opening car doors and, jeez, curtsying. They're just details. He thinks they're some kind of "gotcha" when really they're not the point at all.

To be fair to Dougie and his avatar Ace, Our Hero does get that much-vaunted opportunity to put his life on the line for His Woman when he valiantly shields her from an assassin, an occasion that’s just a standard part of everyday life—at least in Dougworld—but it’s just a more dramatic part of performative patriarchy.

I found it amusing that neither Ace nor Stephanie acts nor talks like a 21st-century 20-year-old, but like a character from a 1950s New York Times best seller.

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Petronella
37 minutes ago, Hane said:

To be fair to Dougie and his avatar Ace, Our Hero does get that much-vaunted opportunity to put his life on the line for His Woman when he valiantly shields her from an assassin, an occasion that’s just a standard part of everyday life—at least in Dougworld—but it’s just a more dramatic part of performative patriarchy.

Yes. The thing about gestures like that, which actually do have a significant outcome, is that they're still just the action of a moment. The ongoing slog of long-term goodness isn't so easy or appealing.

Not to mention that that kind of gesture gets Ace plenty of external praise, so it's not exactly unrewarded.

These are like the gun-nut fantasies of Bradrick! and others like them. We will DEFEND OUR FAMILIES!!!!!!!!!!! Well, if the opportunity ever arises. Oh, it hasn't? Oh, well. Still, I'm READY to defend my family!!

But being thoughtful of others on a daily basis? Nah, that's sissy stuff. *eyeroll*

 

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8 hours ago, Columbia said:

But they’re easy. If “Biblical masculinity” is simply pulling out chairs and opening doors, then it’s easy to write into your crappy little book. And your character (and you, by extension) has nothing to lose in doing it  

if it’s confronting the teacher in your school who’s grooming and raping students, it’s a whole lot harder, and you just might lose everything. 

So as per usual it's the easy appearance of righteousness (amply rewarded of course, otherwise what do they get out of it?) rather than the actual harder work of doing the right thing. 

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CyborgKin

Ugh there's not a single level on which this is not utterly appalling.  This book and this author.

It's frightening how people can live in that world in their own heads.

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