Thursday, 18 February 2016

14:09 – Barbara’s friend Bonnie is driving up from Winston tomorrow morning. They’re going to spend the day doing girl stuff and then Bonnie will head back in the late afternoon. I suggested to Barbara that she invite Bonnie to bring her telescope and spend the night, but she said Bonnie just wanted to make a day trip. Bonnie actually lives north of Winston-Salem, near Pilot Mountain, and has pretty decent skies for observing, but it’s still much darker here than it is there. On a moonless or overcast night, we can’t even tell where the tree line several hundred yards from our back deck ends and the night sky begins.

I spent an hour or so this morning writing fiction. Going in, it seemed to me that writing fiction shouldn’t be all that different from my usual non-fiction writing. It turns out that the two are only superficially similar. There’s as much difference between writing fiction and non-fiction as there is between playing singles and doubles at tennis, which is to say a lot. Both endeavors are completely different games. One uses similar tools and rules, but the details differ enough that I can understand how it’s possible in either case to be very good at one and very bad at the other.

I assumed going in that writing dialog would be my main problem. When I asked Jerry Pournelle about that years ago, his advice was simply to write dialog as I ordinarily spoke. The problem with that is that I generally speak pedantically, so the dialog I wrote this morning sounds just as pedantic, not to say clumsy. Hell, it hasn’t been that long since I finally decided to stop torturing my sentence structures to avoid splitting infinitives or ending a sentence with a preposition. Which reminds me of my favorite-ever newspaper headline, referring to Richard Loeb of the famous Leopold and Loeb murder trial. Loeb was both pedantic and homosexual, and he was eventually knifed to death in a prison shower. The headline? “Richard Loeb, noted authority on the English language, ends sentence with a proposition”.

I thought I was going to be able just to sit down and write, as I do for non-fiction or for this journal page for that matter. But this morning’s experience tells me that I have some grunt work to do to master the basics of writing fiction.


50 thoughts on “Thursday, 18 February 2016”

  1. This is probably the biggest problem you’ll have:

    “To append a moral to a work of fiction is either useless or superfluous. A fiction may give a more impressive effect to what is already known; but it can teach nothing new. If it presents to us characters and trains of events to which our experience furnishes us with nothing similar, instead of deriving instruction from it, we pronounce it unnatural. We do not form our opinions from it; but we try it by our preconceived opinions. Fiction, therefore, is essentially imitative. Its merit consists in its resemblance to a model with which we are already familiar, or to which at least we can instantly refer. Hence it is that the anecdotes which interest us most strongly in authentic narrative are offensive when introduced into novels … It is delightful as history, because it contradicts our previous notions of human nature, and of the connection of causes and effects. It is, on that very account, shocking and incongruous in fiction.” (quoted from Macaulay’s essay on history)

    You’re a big explainer; you’ll have to kill that urge, except insofar as it’s proper to have your characters explain things to each other, which usually it isn’t. You also like unusual facts which just happen to be true. That urge too must go. (And yes, this applies to other “prepper fiction” as well; from what you’ve said in the past, it sounds like it’s a big problem with the genre.)

  2. I tried to write a story several years ago called “The Sun Destroyers”. It was set in 2310 and was about space tugs hauling radioactive trash away from the Earth and throwing it into the sun. After 100 years of this, the sun was reacting negatively to it.

    Anyway, I got hung up in the dialog. I cannot write dialog to save my life.

  3. “Texas losing war on feral hogs”
    http://www.chron.com/sports/outdoors/article/Texas-losing-war-on-feral-hogs-4685490.php

    “Described by some wildlife managers as “four-legged fire ants,” Texas’ population of economically and environmentally destructive feral hogs has exploded to an estimated at 2.6 million and continues expanding despite hunters annuallly taking 750,000 of the swine.”

    “Texas law designates the non-native feral hogs as unprotected, non-game animals and imposes almost no restrictions on when, how or how many of the hogs can be taken. They can be hunted and killed year-round, day or night; shot from aircraft; trapped in pens; attracted by bait; taken in any number. And Texans have responded to the opportunity. Recreational hunters take an estimated 600,000 feral hogs a year, finding the wild swine a challenging hunting quarry and wonderful on the table. Commercial trappers using live-catch pens annually take and sell to wild game processors another 70,000 or so of the pigs. Another 50,000 or more are killed by Texas Wildlife Services and private firms hired by landowners to knock back pig populations damaging crops or property.”

    “Even against this onslaught, wild hogs are more than holding their own.”

  4. It turns out that the two are only superficially similar.

    Totally different. Both benefit by outlining ahead of time. That’s the only similarity I can think of offhand.

    To append a moral to a work of fiction is either useless or superfluous.

    What he said. (Or rather, what he quoted.) Entertain first, provide the lesson second if at all.

    Other things to avoid: The sage. The infodump. The 2-D Snidely Whiplash bad guys. Probably more.

    Drop me a line if you want me to look over any of your plans, in-progress work, or “release candidate” prose. I’ve edited a fair amount of non-fiction, but probably ten times as much fiction.

  5. “I think it’s pretty crude to refer to wetbacks as “feral hogs”.”

    +100

    Yes, and it’s so hateful, too. The correct term is “swine.” Feral swine.

  6. But “feral swine” has the same problem as “feral hogs”: on a quick glance they look like “federal swine” or “federal hogs”, and I’ll bet there are more federal swine than there are feral swine.

  7. Ya know, Mr. SteveF, you COULD be RIGHT! Yeah, come to think of it, the laws of probability and averages illustrate that there are undoubtedly FAR more FEDERAL swine than feral swine.

    And this brings up an interesting question: If shooters are unable to control the rampaging populations of feral hogs/swine in Texas, could it be that they should refocus their efforts in regard to FEDERAL swine??? Perhaps with some training, state-of-the-art NV devices, and 7×24 coverage, a dent could be made in that population?

  8. Actually, my favorite thing in the article was the “four legged fire ants”. You have to live down here on the Gulf Coast to appreciate how bad fire ants are. Everyone down here has gotten mixed up in a fire ant bed at one time or another. To call the feral swine four legged fire ants is a good mental picture.

    BTW, we have had a very mild winter here. There is a fire ant bed around the corner from my house that is two foot across. My HOA (home owners association) just put out file ant killer on all of the fire ant beds in the common areas. Probably an 18 wheeler’s worth of fire ant killer (4,000+ homes).

  9. Fiction is hard. Lots of details to keep track of to keep the story consistent and on track.

    And for a quiet kind of guy, dialog is hard. And for a basically ‘nice’ kind of guy, hard to put myself in the position of the ‘bad guy’ to make that believable.

    Also hard to try to create an alternate ‘world’ in which there are different physics. There is a tendency to try to make the environment ‘make sense’ in this world, rather than knowing how things work in an alternate world.

    And then there’s the point at which you get stuck, because you aren’t sure how the story will end, and how to get from where you are in the story to the ‘end’. That’s my current problem, even though I’ve got 95k words so far in this first draft.

  10. Bob, really glad to hear that you are finally going to give fiction writing a(nother?) serious try. Not that I’m not anxiously awaiting your prepper book to become available !! But I’m willing to wait for your judgement that it’s satisfactorily complete and ready for publication.

    I have made a few attempts myself, and being my own worst critic, have so far never gotten too much accomplished. Plus I long ago came to the conclusion that it’s very, very hard and difficult work.

    I do enjoy your subtle (usually) humor with elements of satire, sometimes sarcasm, and occasional hyperbole. I suspect you have the talent, the intelligence, and probably the imagination to write really excellent fiction.

    Maybe always try to keep the following quote in mind during your creative literary pursuits …

    “I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.” ~Robert McCloskey~

    Perhaps even include that quote in the foreword. That tends to keep both you and your potential readers and fans alert and paying attention to the possibilities both implied and maybe even intended.

    You too SteveF, keep up the fantastic posts. I hope that Bob will let you edit his manuscripts. Maybe even co-authorship is warranted ?? It worked for Jerry & Larry !! Witness the above interaction !!! I’m still chuckling inside my mind !! Yes, OFD, I realize you had your hand in it too !! It’s called literary “symbiosis” !!??

    Also, never forget that “BB” is now always watching and listening to everything — we are all probably on a very long list !! Hopefully literary and artistic license will protect us ?? Comrade Commissar, I was simply making a joke — just telling a humorous story !!??

  11. I patterned the dialog in my screenplay after some of the people I’ve worked with. I guess that’s one advantage of working in an office setting for 30 years.

  12. “I guess that’s one advantage of working in an office setting for 30 years.”

    Yikes. One of my fellow sys admins back at EDS was also a programmer, and he worked up a bunch of wad files for Doom II based on our office layout and colleagues. It was a gas to play.

    I’d be in trouble patterning dialogue after my life’s experiences, being mostly male by far, and laden liberally with expletives and profanities, plus the various accents, the best of which I could do being the eastern MA/Rhode Island speech. Quite often every other word is “fuck” or some variation of it and it is one of my own remaining vices that I can’t seem to shake. But fuck it. Who gives a fuck?

  13. he worked up a bunch of wad files for Doom II based on our office layout and colleagues

    One of my coworkers did the same with Unreal Tournament. I may hypothetically have assisted in obtaining photos of coworkers. No cameras were allowed, but ID badges were often left on desks, and all it takes is someone who can get the badge to the (monitored — it was a nominally secure facility) photocopier without looking guilty.

    But fuck it. Who gives a fuck?

    Not me, you’d better fuckin’ believe it.

  14. “… all it takes is someone who can get the badge to the (monitored — it was a nominally secure facility) photocopier without looking guilty.”

    That reminds me; one of the network engineers accidentally left a mildly risque copy of an email he’d gotten on the common-use photocopier and some dizzy fembat found it and raised a stink and he was fired immediately, with the perp walk to the door by security, etc, toting his pathetic cardboard box of personal junk. This was the late 90s and the rot was infesting the corporate ‘hoods by then, too.

    Not long after I left, some of my former colleagues were at a meeting and one of them, a fellow ‘Nam vet and senior DBA slapped the table to emphasize a point and another dizzy fembat, black this time, raised a ruckus and claimed she’d been frightened by this. He was also fired immediately. Probably lucky he wasn’t strung up out in the parking lot.

    It is MUCH worse now; walking on friggin’ eggshells all the time, might offend someone by looking at them…or NOT looking at them.

    Speaking of fembats; I see in our local Maoist tranny-fan rag that Tina Packer, a longtime producer of Shakespeare plays here in New England, is doing a show down at Middlebury College, where one of the First Folios is currently on display. She’s still flogging her rancid tired old 1960s-70s feminist bullshit so “Romeo and Juliet” will feature two women in the main roles, naturally. Even though a huge part of the play is about male machismo and super-straight sexuality. Anything goes with Shakey, and never more so than in the last thirty years, where you’d barely recognize some of these productions as coming from his pen and paper.

    And in still other fembat nooz, Susan Sarandon is a Bernie Sanders supporter and pissed off that she’d be lectured to vote for HILLARY! just ’cause she’s a woman: “I don’t vote with my vagina!” Out to the Tweet-verse. Class.

    There are maybe a handful of possibly conservative Hollyweird actors, and maybe Mr. ech or somebody can correct me on this; Jon Voight, James Woods, even Rob Lowe making right-wing noises lately, etc. And even these guys are more Fox Nooz-level than genuine conservatives. In any case, I’m guessing work will be hard to find for them now. But again, perhaps I’m all wet.

  15. I was once at a major oil company as a contractor. My company had been crushing me with stupid shit for days and I was just not in my normal state of mind.

    Anyway, I said, after a particularly bad call with my IT support, to [major oil co’s IT drone, assigned to liaise with us] “Do you ever have one of those days where you want to stab your IT department in the eye?”

    The person had a VERY strong reaction from the look on his face , but no actual physical changes, or changes to my employment status. It was about 5 years ago, he was the only witness, and I was critical to the success of the project. I think if I said that today, I’d be perp walking….

    nick

  16. I spent 45 minutes on the phone today with Microsoft support. At the end, I hated everyone there. I had to repeat my name several times. I had to repeat my email address several times. I have had a support contract with Microsoft since 1998 and I forgot to pay it over Christmas. I am 18 days late and Microsoft terminated my customer status.

    I was a freaking alpha tester for Windows 92. Relabeled to Windows 95 because of people like me telling them it was horrible and broke everything in sight. I was a beta tester for Windows 2000 and XP (both x86 and x64 versions). I could not do Windows 7, I had had too much of their crap. I even beta tested Windows 10 for a while but gave up in frustration.

    I have well over 2,000 customers running some variant of Windows worldwide. Now they do not want me as a customer? Wow, when you piss off the independent software developers for your platform, something is really wrong. I predict bad times are coming for the high and mighty.

  17. @Lynn: Send MS some fire ants. We were MS partners back when our little company developed commercial software. They are just too damned big: as an independent developer, you are just a peg. There’s a hole. Fit. Or not, it’s your problem. Unless you have the luck to have a relationship with a person on the other side. Same as any big company.

    Fire ants, what amazing critters. Dunno if it’s typical, but I seemed to get more allergic the them every time I was bitten. The last time, three little bites, and my whole lower leg swelled up like a sausage. Their gigantic communal nests are also pretty amazing, quite a departure from typical ant behavior. Incidentally making them almost impossible to eradicate. I’m glad to be living elsewhere in the meantime…

  18. I was fired* and perp walked a couple of days ago for assaulting a coworker. She was standing behind my chair and I rolled back into her. Except that the coworker didn’t consider herself to have been assaulted. It was all about the project managers, of whom I was very critical due to their utter incompetence, dishonesty, and participation in billing fraud. Too bad for them my whistleblower email to a high-level department manager and the inspector general had already been written.

    Also, another Up Yours to them, I got another contract the next day, in most ways better than that one. Pay isn’t enough to live on, long term, but that’s because the contract is with a pre-funding startup and they’re running on a shoestring. If I help bring the product to market and the VC funding comes in, my pay rate will jump.

    * I’m self-employed, so I can’t be fired, but my contract was terminated.

  19. A contractor I worked with was sacked and immediately shown the door for sending a joke e-mail that offended someone, who complained. If I’d sent the e-mail I would have been given a slap on the wrist with a limp lettuce leaf. (I was staff.)

    That’s why I’m glad I no longer work for those tossers. They sacked a good bloke.

  20. I bet the same people who “care” so much about the ants will step over a homeless person on their way to get a latte…

    n

  21. How many refugees has the Vatican taken in? (the pope might be little tone-deaf about the wall thing)

  22. Just another open border, free stuff for the masses socialist stooge, all your stuff belongs to us…

    n

  23. My lunchbag always has a bunch of breakfast bars, which I’d freely hand out to the homeless guys sleeping on the steam grates as I walked to work. I won’t give them money, but I’ll give them a little to eat. (Yes, there are shelters and walk-in cafeterias, but not many around here.)

    This wasn’t a purely generous act on my part. I buy snack bars and pop-tarts and such for the girls, and they don’t like some flavors, or I’ll buy too many and need to unload a couple dozen. I’m not giving the homeless guys garbage by any means, but I’m also not buying a 36-box solely to give away.

  24. Yeah I’m a sucker for homeless with dogs. If I pass one while going to the store I will often buy a can of ravioli and one of dog food to give them on my way out. (easy open, spoons from the deli). Maybe I should just get two cans of dog food but even I am not that bad.

  25. When I did a 6 mo contract in Manhattan, I’d see the same homeless man evenings on my walks. He always wore the same dirty and disheveled suit and held a sign “Hungry, need help”. So one evening I went up to him and said “I see your hungry. Tell you what, I’ll buy you a nice dinner at this diner behind us if you will tell me your story”. He looked at me confused, as if he didn’t speak English. “I’ll buy you dinner” I repeated. “I just need the money” he said. “Look, I’ll buy you a nice dinner” I repeated. “Just gimme the cash” he said aggressively. I finally caught on that this was his job, milking suckers for cash not looking for a meal. He probably made more than I did. I saw the same, only with better production values, years later in London where attractive young women, holding a child, will position themselves at Underground instances, begging for money for milk for their baby. Going to work on the tube every day I noticed that the same woman would have different babies from day to day. They also work as distractions for gangs of pickpockets.

  26. @Harold: That’s been my experience as well.

    I still fall for it occasionally: there was a guy at the train station here, wanting money for a ticket. I figured I’d catch him out, if I offered to buy him a ticket, instead of handing him the cash. The next week, the same guy, the same sob story – and I realized that he probably could hand the unused ticket for cash. Or the time I offered some guys with a “will work for food” sign some yard work. Suddenly it was “oh, but I have this bum knee…”. I just told them: “look show up at this address and this time, and you can do some work”. They didn’t show, of course.

    OTOH, last year sometime I bought a woman something like $200 worth of groceries. I’m pretty sure she was for real. There was never any discussion of cash, and the supermarket certainly won’t return groceries after they’ve been sold. I saw her staggering home under the load, anyway, not hanging around the store. I’ve also never seen her begging again.

    It’s just hard to know. There will be people who get into a scrape, and really do need a one-off bit of help. But it’s mostly the scam artists and druggies you see, because they are out there every day, all day.

    Speaking of pick-pockets, was it here that I saw the mention of the contactless payment scam? If not, it’s worth knowing about… Apparently, some of the payment apps don’t require any sort of confirmation, so someone can just put a payment terminal near your wallet. Great security by the big credit-card companies, yet again.

  27. “How many refugees has the Vatican taken in? (the pope might be little tone-deaf about the wall thing)”

    As might be imagined, a lot of us are not real happy about this pope. He apparently doesn’t read enough history to realize that some of his predecessors weren’t very big on mass invasions of barbarians and musloids and built mega-walls to keep them out and/or traveled to their lands and slaughtered them like pigs. And rightfully so.

    That said, he is particularly prone to sounding off in what he presumes to be casual conversations with MSM types and they cherry-pick stuff and blast it all over the net immediately. And the brou-ha-ha over the Trump vs. Frankie caper took place in South Carolina, a state not noted for its love of Catholics; some of us remember how the Bob Jones people organized a protest against John Paul II visiting there in 1987.

    A bunch of us are not real happy with other stuff he does or does not do, in regard to liturgical practices and theological statements. We know, however, that his time in that position is only temporary, and the Church has survived 2,000 years of human error and sin, some of it emanating from eminences.

  28. “If by ‘survived’ you mean ‘became almost unrecognizable over the years’ I guess so…”

    I’m not sure what you mean; same liturgy, pretty much, same hierarchy, same organization. If you’re talking about the early, “primitive” Christian Church in the first couple of centuries versus today, sure, there are differences, but also much that is the same. The Reformation and Protestants like to pretend that they “recovered” the “true” early Church and it’s more genuine than the Roman model, etc., etc.

    Another thing that’s the same is the continued martyrdom of Christian believers, most often at the hands of musloid savages. And their continued persecution and marginalization by the secular authorities in the West.

  29. As far as I know, for your credit card to make a “contactless” payment, it has to be one of those cards that have “PayPass, PayWave” etc printed on them. I believe regular EMV chipped cards have to actually make contact in a reader. I use Apple Pay now and then, so I’m probably fucked* already.

    Maybe Mr. Ray could weigh in.

    *homage to Mr. OFD

  30. RC church is no longer my circus, and not my monkeys. The last time I sat thru a mass (for a wedding) the form might have been similar to my youth, but the organization going thru the motions wasn’t.

    There is an emphasis on social justice and righting wrongs in this world, and not so much emphasis on any individual’s wrongs or fixing them up for the next world. It seems to have moved from ‘saving souls’ to saving bodies, for lack of better terms.

    And now that I’ve opened this can, I’ve got to go out and earn some daily bread myself, so I’ll be away for a few hours….

    nick

  31. I consider myself to be fundamentalist seeking the church of the first century. Seeking, not even close to them. For instance, the early church met in people’s homes, my church meets in a large 14 acre complex with a 1,200 seat auditorium and a full court gym.

    I have decided that for me, the more disorganized religion is, the better things are. After all, “Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!”.

  32. “There is an emphasis on social justice and righting wrongs in this world, and not so much emphasis on any individual’s wrongs or fixing them up for the next world. It seems to have moved from ‘saving souls’ to saving bodies, for lack of better terms.”

    Oh, OK; you and I are probably on the same page, then; all the mainstream Christian denominations have been spewing this rubbish since the Glorious Sixties. One reason they’re dwindling drastically in membership; case in point: Episcopalians here in Vermont are 1% of the population, numbering about 6,500 who admit to membership and half that who remain active. By 2026 the demographics indicate that ECUSA will be gone, except for the dozen or so splinter sects and breakaway parishes. And the churches that DO talk about saving souls and the Last Things are spreading like wildfire. This includes the Catholic Church in South America, Africa and South Asia.

    So yeah, when I walk into any random Catholic church nowadays, it’s usually the banal post-Vatican II liturgy and Father Lively or Father Bozo telling jokes and being a neat guy. And the music will almost always suck, being mostly pablum folkie-derived garbage, again from the Sixties and Seventies.

    Which is why your northern correspondent attends the traditional Latin Rite mass at the co-cathedral thirty miles south of here in the big city of Burlap. We use the Saint Edmund Campion missal and traditional English and Latin hymns.

  33. I believe regular EMV chipped cards have to actually make contact in a reader.

    That indeed the case. The chip needs power to work and that is provided by the terminal. A physical connection.

    Contactless systems in the US require a NFC chip such as in a smart phone or the Apple watch. Even then you have to bring up the pay system and select the card. No one is going to get money from you without permission.

    I have never seen such a card in the US and it may only be European. Nothing for us to worry about. Besides, with regulation E the bank bears the brunt of any fraud.

  34. The Reformation and Protestants like to pretend that they “recovered” the “true” early Church and it’s more genuine than the Roman model, etc., etc.

    Dave, the church became more and more corrupt, by the early C16 reformation could wait no longer. I’m sure you know enough history to realise that. The Reformers got rid of a lot of the worst abuses but even they made mistakes, like continuing with so-called infant baptism and amillenialism. The early Protestant churches were mucho closer to the early church than the apostate Borgias.

  35. It wasn’t actually all that long ago that I went to a church service. It was a small Pentecostal church – the kind of place where people are expected to start speaking in tongues at any moment, and often do. I’m not unfamiliar with that kind of place, because I was seriously religious up through my early/mid-teens.

    What I was unfamiliar with was seeing PowerPoint slides for the sermon, and a multi-media presentation throughout the service. Like a bad dream, where you go to a business conference and it mutates into a Southern Baptist revival. I mean, that was just weird.

  36. What I was unfamiliar with was seeing PowerPoint slides for the sermon, and a multi-media presentation throughout the service.

    Actually becoming quite common. Churches are expected to have a screen to display music as the cost of books is getting really high. A church need only get a CCLI license each year, the cost based on the number of members. At a minimum the first screen of each song must display the CCLI license number. There are people who will visit churches at random and look for violations.

    At my church we not only do songs, but we also show the TV broadcast feed. We also overlay the relevant scripts on the broadcast, and thus the screen, using the video switcher. We get a feed from a computer running the song display software which also has the verses. The software is a complete display package that will display songs, scriptures, videos, pictures, and Powerpoint,

    This is the new normal except for some really old school churches, populated by a sea of bald heads and grey hairs.

  37. Lotta money in church AV and a great market for the local mom and pop AV providers.

    There are whole industry magazines and conventions devoted to it.

    Some of that business pays my mortgage 🙂

    nick

    Typical progression for a small growing church:

    Storefront
    stand alone building- usually metal, with some brick facade
    add sound system, maybe a few lights
    add projectors and upgrade lights, maybe a few cams
    new building
    all new AV systems
    add video production facility
    add ‘children’s ministry’ (lights and noise in the old sanctuary bldg)
    TV and the big time

  38. “There are people who will visit churches at random and look for violations.”

    Jesus wept.

    I guess I’m just old-school; Latin Rite Roman Catholic convert from Episcopal/Anglican, and gotta have the beautiful liturgy, music and missal/prayer book language. A/V stuff in a church leaves me cold.

    “… populated by a sea of bald heads and grey hairs.”

    True for a lot of parishes nowadays; mine has a mix of old and young, but not many teens or twenty-somethings. They worship pixels. (that’s mean of me, but there it is)

  39. There are people who will visit churches at random and look for violations.

    Jesus wept.

    Churches, charitable not-for-profits, and organizations involved in education are terrible regarding intellectual property theft. They’re often bad regarding petty thefts, paying vendors, and sleezing on other agreements. They’re doing Good Things, so they get an automatic pass on laws and morality, it seems.

  40. “…gotta have the beautiful liturgy, music and missal/prayer book language. A/V stuff in a church leaves me cold.”

    Amen brother! I’m nominally a Baptist but the AV and modern liturgy leaves me a bit cold, even though I think the world of the minister and have known him since 1972. I often go to Anglican churches in preference, they have lovely stained glass and woodwork, and the hymns aren’t so modern.

  41. “Churches, charitable not-for-profits, and organizations involved in education are terrible regarding intellectual property theft. They’re often bad regarding petty thefts, paying vendors, and sleezing on other agreements. They’re doing Good Things, so they get an automatic pass on laws and morality, it seems.”

    Secular businesses don’t mind bludging off the churches too. The Methodist church where my father was an elder had a moderate sized car park that a nearby business used for free, despite the church having leased the use of it to another nearby business during the week. Their invariant reply was “And you call yourselves Christians!” when the church complained.

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