Wednesday, April 01, 2015

How things have changed

Fresh from predicting the Sad Puppies conquest of science fiction, Jason Sanford uncovers this ironic gem from the past; a 1952 letter to Thrilling Wonder Stories from the infamous feminist icon and child molester.

by Marion Zimmer Bradley

Dear Sam:

A word with you anent the recent VIRGIN OF ZESH. First, let me get one thing straight; this is not the shrieking of an outraged prude, nor am I going to babble such adjectives as “filthy—disgusting." I am only going to recall your own words, that sex for its own sake is not admissable.

I am all in favor of allowing characters in science—fiction stories to behave like real people. If they have to strip to the buff, use the john, or rumple up a bed or two, that's all to the good. But may I ask wherein THE VIRGIN OF ZESH classifies as a science-fiction story? It isn’t. It is a sex sadistic story, laid in the future. It isn't even fantasy. The only scientifictional element appears to be the Krishnan setting, as a background for a girl who spends most of the story either getting gorily beaten up, raped, or defending her virtue. Such episodes are cogent in a story written for the purpose of titillation— namely, in the legitimate sex-story. But in a science-fiction story, one isn’t looking for sensory adventures, and one finds ones-self thinking, during those long sexy descriptions of the girl being stripped, beaten, the naked men, the rapist, etc, etc.—“For gosh sakes, get on with the story." Then, when you wind up, there is no other story at all—just a string of sexy adventures in what struck me as atrocious taste for this kind of a magazine.

If mass-produced science-fiction, and the threat of Mickey Spillane, are bringing TWS to this, I fear I’ll start reading Westerns. I don't mind sex, when well-done and incidental or important to an otherwise good story. But when it is made the prime mover of a story—ANY story—then it ceases to be science fiction and becomes sex fiction. And when I want to read sex fiction, I’ll buy those novels with the shocking-pink negligees on the cover. I fail to see why I should have to wade through poor science in order to enjoy sex fiction, or conversely, why I should have to wade through red, raw and dripping sex to enjoy my science fiction.

Sam. PLEASE! I love you, and I'm begging you on my pink little dimpled knees! I like sex o-k, but NOT IN TWS AND NOT AS THE PRIME BASIS OF A STORY. THE LOVERS was fine; THE HELLFLOWER was fine. Both were full of sex. THE VIRGIN OF ZESH was pure, (or should I say_impure?) unadulterated, adulterous slop. There is a lot of difference! Box 246, Rochester, Texas.

As the innocent bystander may have gathered, Mrs. B. is a lady of some strong convictions, strongly expressed. Fact, we wonder at times whether the sheer joy of teeing off on ye ed doesn’t even outweigh the convictions. Perish the perfidious thought. So get up off those dimpled knees, they're getting a dishpan look-we promise to consider your tender feelings the next time Sprague hauls into sight with a manuscript under his arm.

It's a little ironic to see this SJW icon taking a position that almost runs in parallel with the Sad Puppies' basic position on science fiction. There is a significant difference, of course, as 1952 MZB is calling for story, not sex, rather than story, not finger-waving ideological lectures. But I suppose there is nothing like marrying a pedophile, being surrounded by deviants, and indulging in a spot of child molestation and abuse to really open one's mind in the SJW-approved manner.


Anonymous Viidad April 01, 2015 10:08 AM  

Quite a find.

Without a central moral anchor there is certainly a tendency to drift. Or, as in MZB's case, race full steam into the mouth of Charybdis.

Blogger Krul April 01, 2015 10:23 AM  

Fact, we wonder at times whether the sheer joy of teeing off on ye ed doesn’t even outweigh the convictions. Perish the perfidious thought.

No, don't perish the perceptive thought!

Ah, too late.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan April 01, 2015 10:32 AM  

Hypocrisy is the rabbit stock in trade. Being separated from the rabbit herd is their worst nightmare, as a poster at Sailer's noted some ex-commies even wrote a book about it. The evil broad I guess would explain this away in purely political rhetoric

Anonymous Salt April 01, 2015 10:34 AM  

What a find. How lovely. Good timing, too.

Anonymous jack April 01, 2015 10:41 AM  

Well done, finding this obscure document! Mr. Sanford is to be commended for increasing our collective awareness.

Blogger Chiva April 01, 2015 10:45 AM  

I would take this as a caution also. Each of us must guard our hearts. Guard it well, and guard it vigilantly.

Anonymous Jack Amok April 01, 2015 11:00 AM  

Ol' Sam was onto the SJWs with that "outweigh the convictions" crack. Convictions for them are just a bit of changable gloss thrown over their well-developed desire to be bossing other people around. They can go from prudes to swingers and back to prudes again within a lifetime.

Anonymous Difster April 01, 2015 11:23 AM  

There's more of this stuff out there. It needs to be sought out and exposed if for no other reason than the sheer entertainment value because the Pinks will completely ignore it.

Anonymous Earl April 01, 2015 11:35 AM  

All SJWs jockey and compete to be the next Rosa Parks. Heard that on NPR this week by an author that just wrote a book about social media mobs destroying peoples lives. Although he delivered all that standard lines about Adria Richards being the victim of sexist jokes and those who got her fired being the "trolls," he closed with the line about how pathetic they are as they all try to become the next Rosa Parks as they destroy peoples lives for little to no reason. He interviewed said "trolls," and commented that they saw themselves as the moral correction to Adria's evil. He obviously researched deep and wide. Red Pill ingestion suspected.

Anonymous Huckleberry -- est. 1977 April 01, 2015 11:39 AM  

If The Virgin of Zesh were exactly the same, but it featured women raping girls rather than men raping women, this Concerned Letter to the Editor wouldn't exist.

Anonymous Daniel April 01, 2015 11:40 AM  

Bradley's popular bio is that she was a "devout Episcopalian" although her daughter denies that she had any meaningful connection to the Church aside from a personal interest in traditional sacred music and that she considered herself full-pagan. What I find even more fascinating about this letter, penned in 1952, is that it came three years after her gay pro-pederasty circus novel was first 1948.

Her morals weren't broken by Breen. They were unleashed.

Anonymous Daniel April 01, 2015 11:47 AM  

the sheer entertainment value

It is more than that: the timeline matters.

Bradley wrote The Catch Trap (as The Flyers) in '48 (wasn't published for decades because there was once a time when major publishers declined to publish abusive gay relationships between adults and adolescents in a positive light.

This was before her first marriage. This was before she took the Rosicrucian course. This nearly twenty years before she married Breen (ten before she met him). The vision she cast may have been enabled by those events that came later, but the idea of sexually exploiting the young was a lifelong interest.

Blogger sykes.1 April 01, 2015 12:58 PM  

One thing is sure: the ideal feminine form hasn't changed in 60 years.

Anonymous Aeoli Pera April 01, 2015 1:03 PM  

This is a curious revelation. Daniel probably has the right of it, though the letter was respectable and convincing on the first reading.

Given the timeline Daniel mentioned (blog post maybe?), the most obvious conclusion is that Bradley was already so far gone as to be a well-practiced liar, and only needed to pick up the new ideology before running with it.

So I wonder what her motive was back in '52, when she wrote this.

Blogger YIH April 01, 2015 1:10 PM  

Ain't that the truth! Today, there would be SJW's hyperventilating over that cover.

Blogger jay c April 01, 2015 1:11 PM  

Her motive? I suspect the primary motive of almost all self-righteous hypocrites is self-defense. The lady dost protest too much.

Anonymous Aeoli Pera April 01, 2015 1:29 PM  

1948 - Writes The Flyers
1949 - Marries Robert Bradley
1952 - Comparatively Puritanical screed above
1950s- Joins lesbian group
Late '50s, early '60s - Rosicrucian stuff
1964 - Divorces Bradley, marries Walter Breen
1965 - Publishes "Feminine Equivalents of Greek Love in Modern Literature"

So at least by this point (1965) she's gone Dunham-Kramer.

Here's my theory: normal sex has always disgusted her, so she doesn't enjoy "The Virgin of Zesh". But she tries, hence her marriage to psychosexually normal Walter Bradley. Sexual problems lead to their later divorce. The Flyers was written for her own amusement at the time, but Breen removes all inhibitions on her latent sexual deviance. So she starts engaging in really terrible stuff and seeking narcissistic supply by demanding greater and greater tolerance for her pederasty.

In Anonymous Conservative's terms, she's got a huge hamster (anterior cingulate cortex) in the early 1950s, which is down-regulating the stress of being an extreme sexual pervert. She's practiced self-delusion for a long time and she's already an expert (which translates to better deception of others, the best liars believe what they say). Late '50s and early '60s, she loses social controls on her behavior, and eventually her ACC hamster shrinks from disuse (like a college athlete who quits exercising). But her amygdala is still firing wildly, because she's a pervert. So she turns outward to the social group for down-regulation of amygdala stimulation, and eventually surrounds herself with other perverts just to feel normal. Hence the 1965 publication, and the eventual publication of her sexual fantasies.

Anonymous Aeoli Pera April 01, 2015 1:30 PM  

So what jay c said, except words words words.

Anonymous The Original Hermit April 01, 2015 1:46 PM  

"1948 - Writes The Flyers
Here's my theory: normal sex has always disgusted her"

She would have been 18 years old when she wrote that. I'm willing to bet she was abused herself as a child. Not that it excuses any of her behavior.

Anonymous Anonymous April 01, 2015 3:43 PM  

The girl on the coverart is anotomically improbable. The wings are not large enough to create enough lift to give her flight. but they do add to her weight on the ground, thus slowing her from fleeing predators. They don't have any hooks or fingers on them so they would be useless in defending her. They don't look long enough to wrap around her to even provide warmth for her.

How can we be expected to take Sci-Fi seriously if the scanty clad cover art doesn't conform to my personal whims?

Blogger Krul April 01, 2015 5:02 PM  

genericviews - The girl on the coverart is anotomically improbable.

Haven't you ever heard of the flightless cormorant? It is a distinct possibility that she evolved from flying ancestors with much larger wings.

Also, observe that she is a hatchling, just now emerging from her shell. Therefore she could be an infant, so her wings are not yet fully developed.

I wonder what her species looks like when fully developed...

Blogger Cee April 01, 2015 7:19 PM  

Also, observe that she is a hatchling, just now emerging from her shell. Therefore she could be an infant, so her wings are not yet fully developed.
She's obviously precocial, though, since her wings are fully feathered and she's capable of standing up. I assume her adult form will be less fuzzy and much more sleek, rather the way ducklings transform into ducks.

Blogger maniacprovost April 01, 2015 9:17 PM  

That's clearly a duck egg. Based on the size of the woman, she weighs about an oz. Those wings are enough to lift her. You can see well developed pectoral muscles for flying.

Anonymous Jack Amok April 01, 2015 10:39 PM  

The only thing wrong with the girl's anatomy is too many feathers.

Anonymous FrankNorman April 02, 2015 7:34 AM  

No, no, the wings are for bluff. See, all the predators on that planet are smart, they know they won't catch anything that can fly away.
So they see the wings and think "no use chasing" and move on.

Anonymous Anonymous April 02, 2015 9:07 AM  

i think she will be chased plenty just the same.

Anonymous Aeoli Pera April 02, 2015 2:17 PM  

>She would have been 18 years old when she wrote that. I'm willing to bet she was abused herself as a child. Not that it excuses any of her behavior.

Wouldn't surprise me. Some people are screwed up from the get-go, many people get screwed up along the way.

Anonymous WaterBoy April 02, 2015 3:10 PM  

FrankNorman: "See, all the predators on that planet are smart, they know they won't catch anything that can fly away.
So they see the wings and think "no use chasing" and move on.

Then they could use a lesson in predating¹.

¹ Yes, I know. But it should be.

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