Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog

Microgames, Monster Games, and Role Playing Games

Why Pulp Revolution Needs a George Will

I got some advice from a (former) fan today. Or maybe it’s someone that was almost but not quite a fan.

Anyway, these are some deep, deep thoughts here and you will want to pay attention to this:

Hey Jeffro, I enjoy your thoughts on gaming occasionally and (marginally) your advocacy for Pulp with all of its old-timey sexy T’n’A babes and even its presentation of ‘old fashioned values.’

I even agree that SJWs are noxious to free speech and to academic discourse, and I warn them of that. I do so by being involved in the continuum of ‘normal culture,’ and I’m I’m not particularly keen on being tuned in to your alt-right cirlcle jerk.

The Alt-Right is ‘weird’ because y’all embraced Milo the Pedo, you even MISSED for a whole year his ‘pedos are all right by me’ comments (which, unlike much of his ‘performance art’ did not seem to be in jest), all the while holding him up as a mascot for everything (whatever that is?) that you stand for.

you’re at once libertarian and NationalSocialist…you are multifarious and unfocused in any way besides your rage, which offers few perscriptions and even fewer attempts to reach out and grow your ideology or base. The antifeminism lacks focus, if you stayed close to Camille Paglia’s crtitique of modern feminism then you might be on to something, but you’re all over the place including into red (or is it blue?) pill nonsense. My grandmother and her neice are veterans of Korea; she worked her way into management at the phone company, and the whole ‘women are parasites’ narrative of the MRM movement is noxious to the truth that men’s reproductive rights could be far, far better protected and grown with outreach and awareness than they would through unfocused ‘male nationalism.’

I don’t want to paint the Alt-Right as monolithic, and I’m sure that there are some parts of its platform that you don’t support, but it sure seems like you are all-on for woman-hating/’cultural downfall’ as the basis for your men’s rights polemic; it seems that you are full-on for advocating for free speech by using an ‘eye for an eye’ strategy of doxxing and shaming…your ‘light’ will never go out using these ideas as rallying cries, but it also surely won’t grow beyond the conspiracy board in OP.

In other words, you are every bit as much of a mess as the regressive left. I like your gaming stuff, I like your dilligence in looking at Appendix N, I like that you stick up for big damn games like Harnmaster. I can’t really stand these posts where you circle jerk with your buddies about the fall of western civilization and if you’d like to sell more copies of your book (you won’t being on your hatemongering Castalia imprint), you might want to tune up your social media image or create a separate G+ for ‘author Jeffro’

I tried putting you on my feed for a month, I like hearing alternate perspectives, but I don’t have the energy in life to tune into an echo chamber like this. Not all your ideas are bad (even your political ones), but they are made better ideas when you come up with a plan for how anyone beyond your very limited circle could adopt them. In other words, The Alt-Right is ‘Weird:’ it has no plan to –and doesn’t care to–make any friends or allies.

As a kid, there was a soft-spoken man in a bowtie named George Will on the Sunday morning politics shows. And he opened my mind to how goverment and regulation can be stifling, and how liberty is an essential partner with rights and freedoms. He did so as I sat there among my very liberal household, my feminist mom and my military-skeptical father. Some people do care enough for their ideas to present them in a way that can help them grow; while I am not sure there is much that you hold in common with George Will you might take a page from his book when it comes to tactics as a public figure.


Okay, let me get this straight. I would be more popular if I disavowed somebody that the narrative machine would like to destroy. I would be even more popular if I distanced myself from my own publisher. My ideas would be better received if I offered up a critique of third wave feminism from something closer to what, a second wave sex positive feminist perspective…? And a person that is unfriending someone for having outré opinions is accusing me of creating an echo chamber.

Did I miss anything? Oh yeah. Bow ties are cool.

I really am tore up about this. My reputation! It’s in tatters….

What to do?!

Update: this gif just came in from Sky Hernstrom.



18 responses to “Why Pulp Revolution Needs a George Will

  1. Cameron May 2, 2017 at 12:04 pm

    Not sure what pisses me off more: that the progressive left has been so successful in politicizing every aspect of life, or that the only way out of their madness is for conservatives to become just as virulently political, which goes against the sensibilities that make conservatives conservative in the first place. Politics sucks the joy out of everything.

  2. hoocott May 2, 2017 at 12:15 pm

    I disavow Vox Day for not regressing harder to before the Campbell revolution.

    • John E. Boyle May 2, 2017 at 2:05 pm

      I disavow Hooc Ott because he’s:

      Younger Than Me,
      Taller Than Me,
      A Snappier Dresser
      And Has More Hair.

      Methinks there is a streak of Envy running through that guy’s diatribe. Twit.

      On a serious note, I’m not disavowing anyone around here, it took me too long to find you guys.

  3. jlv61560 May 2, 2017 at 12:24 pm

    This reminds me of all those “I used to be a Republican, but NOW…” diatribes the trolls put on conservative web sites. Not that being a Republican has much to do with conservatism. The real bottom line is that everyone has a different “sweet spot” in their politics. The sign of a modern “progressive” is that they don’t tolerate anyone who isn’t exactly aligned with their own personal sweet spot. Despite all their claims to “tolerance.” Whatever happened to the good old days when you could be anti-war and still be friends with me, a veteran who supports the military (for example)? Alas for the decline of manners, critical thinking, and an understanding of what the word “freedom” actually means…

  4. deanmcsmith May 2, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    What to do?
    Regular mockery and then carry on as before.

  5. Tomas May 2, 2017 at 1:51 pm

    I’d really like to see this guy’s evidence of your alt-right behavior. I’ve picked it up, but it’s actually more subtle than you’d expect, unless I’m not watching the right channels. It’s almost non-existent in Castalia House. And I’m rather allergic to alt-right behavior (though from being further to the right). I’m guessing he was just tar-and-feathering you by association to Vox Day? Lots of head scratching.

    • jeffro May 2, 2017 at 2:14 pm

      Castalia House blog Jeffro is the “cleaned up for mixed company” Jeffro. People that disagree with me sharply enough in a critical context typically get offered Guest Post spots. Or even regular columns.

      Podcast Jeffro is where you get all the literary opinion that would not otherwise play well in the context of a review or essay.

      Google+ Jeffro is a wide open freewriting brainstorm Jeffro with no regard for being nice or persuasive or balanced or anything else.

      The argument for “Jeffro is Alt-Right” comes mainly from “Jeffro linked to something that he would never put on Sensor Sweep and it made me feel bad.”

      In the prog-leaning book blogging scene I am “the least awful puppy” or else “the guy that at least writes about books.”

      Pulp is not recognized as a significant area of study by anyone in either the “manosphere” or the “alt-right”. I have, however, lit up conservatives for conceding culture to people that hate them. My critical message consists of both “regress harder” and “culture is downstream of criticism.” Those messages are aimed at people on the right and for the most part, they just don’t get it.

      It doesn’t bother me. There is a whole wave of people about to show up and start producing and getting better. That is where the action is. People don’t have to get it. They just need to get out of the way.

      The pulp revolution is an epic-level market correction driven by large scale forces. It will happen with or without cheerleaders.

  6. Alexandru Constantin May 2, 2017 at 6:21 pm

    Basically, “I would like you more if, well, if if you just went you.”

  7. Stephen May 2, 2017 at 8:48 pm

    hello, first time reader, first time poster. Please change everything about you for me. Thanks.

  8. Loyd Jenkins May 14, 2017 at 10:07 pm

    I think your answer needed one prologue.

    Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.

    ‘Nuf said.

  9. alfred genesson May 18, 2017 at 11:32 pm

    Sheesh. I’ve only said I think you need to measure out your enthusiasm. Mostly because it’s metaphorically medicine, and all medicines are also a poison.

    And he’s observably wrong about the growth of the Alt Right.

  10. herbn May 28, 2017 at 12:54 pm

    Trying to find someplace to post and I guess this is as good as any.

    Finished “Appendix N”. I thought it was pretty good. My two biggest comments seem to echo Ken Hite: a good copy edit would help as I caught some small errors. I also, being a decade over your 40 cutoff for not knowing this, was familiar with the Appendix N authors (if not the exact works) before the DMG came out a couple of years after I started playing.

    One small thing I loved is it is good to find someone else who struggled with The Moon Pool as much as I did. You finished which is more than I could claim. It was my first Merritt as he was one of the few writers in Appendix N I did not read until recently.

    The one thing I really wanted to bring up is the rejection of Moore and Le Guin as well as the fact they were the most cited “missing” authors. I agree with your logic on these too authors in terms of influence on D&D, completely with regard to Le Guin and mostly with regard to Moore, with you seeming to move to a large project of recovering the common canon that died in the 80s both are important. Le Guin is especially important in the “SF/F never recognized female authors with important awards” fight along with Anne McCaffery (I ranted about the later being forgotten at

    In terms of just D&D I think a good source of possible additions is the place I discovered C. L. Moore through her character Jirel of Jory (who I think is a good choice of D&D model): the old Giants in the Earth column in Dragon (Delta has an index at his blog). It has issues as it was an early source of level inflation by how it rated old heroes. From it we could add Talbot Mundy, Karl Edward Wagner, Alan Garner, Piers Anthony (believe it or not but not Xanth…older pulp stuff), Tanith Lee (perhaps a stretch although I think the White Witch trilogy fits), Clark Ashton Smith (if you have Dunsany and Lovecraft it seems odd to omit him), H. Rider Haggard (mentioned by Ken), and Rafael Sabatini (another who fits St. Andre’s discussion of semi-historical fiction as an influence) among others.

    The other source is the authors and books of Ballantine’s Adult Fantasy series edited by Lin Carter (a personal favorite author BTW). It had several Appendix N authors including Pratt (The Blue Star was the first volume of the series), Dunsany, de Camp, Lovecraft, Anderson (The Broken Sword). Adding in the members prior to Carter’s hiring we get Tolkien. Several of the Giants authors appear as well, most notably Smith and Haggard.

    The Lin edited series was much more my introduction to fantasy than D&D back in the 70s and was where I first found Lovecraft, Dunsany, Smith, Morris, and Cabell. It also has the advantage of being focus on writers who were the influence much of the Appendix N authors would have know such as Dunsany (who, as Le Guin points out, all fantasy writers go through a Dunsany pastiche phase…or they used to and it would be healthy if they did again IMHO). A listing of it, some Carter considered but did not do, and the Ballantine fantasy before Carter on Infogalatic. Just search for Ballantine Adult Fantasy series.

    Adding it up I think this is a lot more than $0.02 but I will leave the value to you and other readers to decide. I just wanted to bring up some avenues I remember being big for me as a kid and then teen bitd reading the older stuff that disappeared.

    • jeffro May 28, 2017 at 10:35 pm

      Ah, thank you! This is useful in helping me moderate some of the sweeping claims I tend to make.

      • herbn May 31, 2017 at 1:35 pm

        I think that’s a good thing :)

        I love the idea of more people seeing what was there before pseudo-Tolkien and pseudo-D&D took over and wanted to give some useful pointers.

        Another useful discussion source is in the author’s notes (or preface whatever it was called) to the revised version King’s The Gunslinger. He discusses his desire to imitate Tolkien and why he didn’t follow in the footsteps of Brooks. While I don’t remember him directly condemning Brooks, King does discuss the reason he waited was for his epic fantasy to be unique instead of a rehash. Instead we got the Dark Tower series thirty years later. Perhaps if Brooks had waited a decade the shape of fantasy in the 1980s would have been different as it is Brooks, more than Tolkien, who defined what publishers wanted. Brooks proved you could sell it *again* and that Tolkien style was not a one off.

  11. jaycephus May 31, 2017 at 5:08 pm

    Moderate… like saying “milo the pedo?”
    I can disagree with a guy without creating a lying narrative to monsterfy him.

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