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Cafe Zoo

Dear zoos, zooey allies, and interested others,

Recently, a furry zoophile named Hypnotist Sappho posted a coming out video that I considered to be beautiful. If you look at the comments in order of the newest-to-oldest, you will actually find a surprising number of people in the comments there that are genuinely curious, and many of them are allies and fellow zoos.

I posted a few comments of my own, but after I had posted one of my longest comments, I realized that that comment said a large number of things that I believe, regarding the zooey and furry communities. In fact, I think that it's the best job that I have done on explaining my feelings.

The most amazing thing about the comments, on this video, is that the anti-zoophile goon squad has tried but failed to drown out real conversation. If anything, this reminds me of the late 1990's and early 2000's, when furry venues were still being attacked by Something Awful's goon squad on a regular basis, which for a while had utterly drowned out real content: in spite of many small furry-themed sites and personal sites getting shut down, many of the furries of the day stayed resilient, and the furry community survived. In time, the attacks became infrequent and sporadic, and eventually, they stopped altogether.

This would be the first zooey coming out video that I have seen drawing a large minority of positive and neutral comments, including a substantial number of opportunities to educate and to share some good humor with some of the commenters. While there has still been a substantial amount of bullying, the bullies now seem to be a small group of dedicated zealots intermixed with the usual unabashed jerks that only come for recreational harassment.

The longer we zoophiles stick around in spite of the harassment, the more obvious it is going to be to the zealots that we zoophiles are not ever going to disappear, no matter what they do and no matter how cruel they are toward us. Their will to be hurtful toward others is ephemeral, and our will to live with a sense of pride and dignity is much stronger and more permanent.

Furthermore, there is no such thing as a state-level statute, in the United States, that overrides our constitutional rights. Because of our constitutional rights, it is all but impossible for any state government to create a statute that could realistically invade upon what we zoophiles might or might not do in the privacy of our own homes, clearly with no intention of affecting anybody else by doing so. Those statutes that have been passed are weak, and the faults in those statutes have already been settled by the Lawrence v. Texas ruling, which was originally based on the right to privacy implied by the Fourth Amendment. It's already been settled: those statutes are not worth even half the recycle value of the paper they are written upon, and they are doomed to be overturned by our justice system. It might take us a few tries to get our challenges to the Supreme Court, but in the most liberal states that have stood up for the Fourth Amendment in the past, we have precedent on our side. Keep faith because we can win as long as our nation is free.

To all so-called "furries" that have been spreading anti-zoo hate, I ask you to stop pretending that I ever intended to associate myself with you at all. The furry fandom that I know and love has always been a bastion of tolerance and friendship, and that is a large part of why I ever identified as a furry, to begin with. If you come here to spread hate, then whatever you call "furry" is not what I have in mind when I use the term. Just because we are using the same word does not mean that we are referring to the same thing. If you would spread hate or any other kind of harmful speech, then I ask that you exclude yourselves from what I am referring to when I use the word "furry." It is a shame that some of you have become so ugly and petty that you have resorted to suicide-baiting, and you really have sunk low if you have gone into that abyss.

To my fellow zoophiles, I realize that not all zoophiles accept furries, but tough titmouse. I cannot change the fact that I am a zoophile. I genuinely believe that I was born with this distinction. This distinction does not have to define my values, though, and I will not let it define my values. The values that were represented by the furry fandom I stumbled upon, in the 1990's, had instant appeal to me. They resonated with everything that I believed and felt. I was a child that had grown up on Watership Down and The Secret of Nimh and an almost amazing number of books that happened to have dragons on the covers. I had found people that were like me: they were sci-fi and fantasy fans that loved animals, and they had a truly amazing passion for creativity that made me feel humble. I cannot choose to be either a zoophile or a non-zoophile, but I do have the power to choose my values. In the wider world, the idea of "furry" has grown to refer to a more expansive subculture and a substantially more diverse collection of value-systems, including value-systems that I disagree with vehemently, but to me, "furry" will always mean what it was to me on that fateful, chilly evening in November, 1997, when both my body and my heart craved warmth.

Perhaps we can attribute these promising beginnings of a shift, in the tone of these comments, to the beauty and good taste with which this coming out video was executed. This ought to be a lesson for my fellow zoophiles: I believe that if we go out of our way to create something tasteful and beautiful, then people notice. People notice if we care enough, in our hearts, to try to make something nice. This should be a precedent for us all. Art matters, people.

Thank you,
Woo, late again, but I have been a little bit distracted.

Before it leaves my mind, I want to say that I have had my nose stuck in the Foundation series by Isaac Asimov, lately, right up to my eyeballs, and I am pretty sure that I have been influenced, at some point, by fanfiction that was indirectly inspired by the Foundation series, which is also true of the Star Trek series. For instance, I did not realize that I knew a large quantity of Trekkie themes until I realized that almost all of my favorite sci-fi themed fiction, from the 1990's, was really set in the same universe or a similar universe, sometimes with different characters and species put in. Now that I am reading Asimov's work, I am recognizing a similar pattern: I already knew the philosophy behind this series, even though I had never actually read it.

The idea behind the Foundation series, by Isaac Asimov, is that we can predict the future based on a statistical treatment of human behavior as if they were a natural force. Instead of predicting the behavior of individuals, the fictional science of psychohistory was focused on predicting the behavior of mobs. In general, it is assumed that one can assume that the progression of historical events, in a certain situation, will play out in similar ways.

For instance, the fall of a civilization tends to happen along a few different paths. An oppressive upper class can use their society's middle-class as lackeys to help oppress and to act as scapegoats for the working-class, and at the same time, they can use the unemployed criminal class as paramilitary thugs for bullying the working-class, thereby keeping the working-class in line. In this way, the working-class can be reduced slowly into serfdom while the former middle-class takes on the role of petty local tyrants. This incentivizes using similar Machiavellian tactics to overthrow the upper-class and replace the old government with a new government, but due to the fact that being in power, in such a system, has incredibly high rewards, there is very little incentive for the new rulers to really change the system, which just leads to more of the same. Ultimately, good government breaks down as the upper-classes become evermore corrupted and hereditary. The petty local tyrants, that previously served only as tools of the people that were really in power, can develop an inflated idea of their own significance, which leads to proto-nationalist sentiments. However, they ultimately become isolationist and xenophobic, leading to restrictions in trade. Restrictions in trade lead to economic inefficiency, and this leads to more chaos throughout society, which further incentivizes xenophobic sentiments. Famines break out, which leads to the outbreak of epidemics. The epidemics lead to even further isolationist sentiments. The system of serfdom, even though it was previously only a tool that was used to instill fear in local peasants by a profoundly corrupted empire, ultimately gets raised to moral infallibility, meaning that, no matter how closely it resembles slavery or worse, nobody dares to call it out for what it really is. Without intervention, such a dark age can become so deeply entrenched that, without intervention, it can take as long for the human race to rise up from it as it had originally taken to come up with the idea of civilization in the first place, which was originally several thousand years in the making, NOT the mere one thousand years that it took to get through the actual European Dark Ages.

However, with external stimulation, such periods of barbarism can be foreshortened, just as long as there is one remaining center of enlightened and innovative thinking left in the universe. In order to promote this kind of thinking, though, you sort of have to remove the active agents from the center of that failed empire, and from there, they have to act as if they were a small fragment of the worthier aspects of the empire, which had originally made that empire possible to begin with. Nevertheless, it is necessary to remove them from the temptation to merely take over the damaged hulk of the old empire and fall back into the same pathetic patterns. In European history, this took the form of the Holy Roman Empire. The Holy Roman Empire was not centered in Rome, ironically, but it was centered in the more western parts of Europe. The center of government was surrounded by semi-barbaric Germanic tribal people that had barely had any loyalty at all to the original Roman Empire. The Holy Roman Empire used a series of political machinations, often bloody wars, to gradually lift Europe back out of its seemingly endless Dark Ages. Ultimately, the Holy Roman Empire was replaced by secular rulers as literacy and reason was gradually restored to the people.

Nevertheless, a part of what guided Europe through those Dark Ages was actually the surviving fragments of the old intellectual classes of original Roman Empire. Their subculture was largely invisible throughout the Dark Ages, and at times, they were secretive. At times, they did not even truly exist outside of some recopied texts that survived thanks to the work of illiterate monks, who often could not even read in the languages that they semi-robotically transmitted. Ultimately, the old science of the Roman Empire, which was represented largely in a single text named De Rerum Natura, by Titus Lucretius, was revived by some Franciscan monks, which were the more liberal and probably overwhelmingly zooey branch of the Catholic monastic orders.

Anyhow, one of the most important aspects of the rebuilding of a civilization is, ironically, crisis. Asimov seems to believe that civilization cannot possibly advance at all unless a series of crises shake-up the existing order and thereby force it into various cultural revolutions. For instance, World War I and World War II could be thought of as such a crisis: as terrible as it was, the sheer horror of that situation forced Europe into reconsidering their pattern of behavior. If they had NOT fought the World Wars I and II, then they would have only continued to try to hold together the incredibly faulty Pax Britannia, which would have eventually become a hereditary and corrupted system. The wars themselves broke the system and thereby forced them to change in ways that those in power would have never really wanted to change without being in fear for their lives if they had NOT embraced change. In the Foundation series, by Isaac Asimov, this would have been called a "Seldon crisis."

Well, we zoophiles have lately been in a state of crisis. Under current conditions, we cannot hold together any type of society, among ourselves, at all UNLESS we embrace change. We would have never started a process of change WITHOUT the crisis that I believed reached its nadir in 2018. We went through a shake-up, and that shake-up has done two important things: firstly, it has driven the sorts of people that tend to have truly selfish motives deep underground, so they are unlikely to have any strong influence on the overall development of our culture. Secondly, the sorts of people, among us, that tend to have any kind of principles and self-respect at all have been forced into a position of seeing how ugly the consequences of carelessness and complacency really are. The self-same fact that we were put into such a perilous situation has actually had an important shaping influence on the very shape of our society and the tone of our culture. In other words, we zoophiles have been through a sort of Seldon crisis of our own, just in miniature.

To exterior appearances, it looks like we zoophiles are as utterly defeated and squashed as we could possibly be, but we have been squashed down so far, so fast, and so ruthlessly that the sheer force of harmonic motion must inherently result in us having a sort of natural "bounce-back." Our leadership, though, will have the benefit of the lessons of history behind them, and having learned the lessons of history, they will probably move forward with greater calculation and also with greater determination to prevent themselves from ever feeling so powerless ever again for as long as they live.

Remember, society needs us zoophiles. We play a natural role in a society's health. We would not exist at all unless we played some important part in the greater organism. We have a responsibility, toward society, to protect our long-term health. As hard as it is to love a society that has hurt us so badly, these are our people, and we are obligated toward them. We must recover our senses, and we must get back to playing whatever mysterious role we must play in the greater scheme of things.

We have been through our crisis. We have learned our lessons. Let's build the Second Zooey Empire.

With affection and good humor,
Dear zoos, zoo allies, and interested others,

A handful of people have been some very good friends to me. They have been stabilizing figures in my life.

The wave of anti-zoo hostility, in some subcultures, really hit people like me the hardest. I didn't have a family that I could turn to for support, but I only had my peer-groups, which included the LGBT community and also certain subcultures. When my faith in those peer-groups vanished, the ground disappeared out from under me, and I was in free-fall.

I wish that I could say that those hardships made me a better person, but they really did not. I was an angry person that said angry things. I made a bad impression even on some fellow zoos because of that. Well, of course, I was angry. A person that is not angry, over betrayed trust, cannot be said to be a healthy person, in the long run, but the person that has justification, in feeling angry, is no less of an utter maelstrom at the time.

What actually did make me a better person was spending more time around my most trusted friends and volunteering my time and resources to try to be a part of something special. Those are strong transformative experiences. Being a part of creative labor, especially challenging creative labor, just feels good to do.

Because of that creative labor, someone came to me and only to me, in the past couple of weeks, saying I was the first person he had ever opened up to about being a zoo, and he told me everything in the most amazing detail. It turned out I already knew of at least three other zoos and a reputable sex therapist in his state, and it turned out to be a heartening experience. I don't know if he realizes it, but I find him to be an incredibly positive sort of person to know.

We zoos cannot reliably be pleasant people if we are still reeling from recent betrayals, and utterly savage betrayals often play a tremendous role in shaping our lives. It cannot be healthy to accept those betrayals. Nevertheless, it also cannot be healthy to spend one's entire lifetime feeling jilted.

The feeling of pain proves that we can feel, but pain also must pass.

I have become wiser and more cautious because of my hardships, and that wisdom and caution has rewarded me with some truly spectacular friends and a chance to be a part of something genuinely special. I was a good girl: I learned my lessons. I learned from that pain response, and I went and put myself into a better place.

If anyone has noticed that I have become a less angry person and seemingly a better person, it only shows that I react to the kinds of things that I have going on in my heart. I lack the very capacity to be artificial.

While I might never truly feel grateful for the rough way in which I was taught about how precious a real friend is, I can appreciate that understanding, regardless of how I arrived upon it.

Good friends have made a difference for me, and the more I move beyond the bitterness of past betrayals, the more I find that I can let the benevolence of decent people shine through.

Thank you,
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Dear zoos, zooey allies, and interested others,

Again, a little bit of a late posting, but I have a good excuse, this time. By the way, I am moving this back to Sunday because, frankly, it's my one solid day off.

Sometimes, I meet one of those people that remind me of why coming out, at least to ourselves, is important. The reason behind it is almost ineffable unless one knows a few details about human psychology that I am not as clear on, yet, as I would like to be. I am restricted to using clunky metaphor and simile in order to get close to it.

The feeling of being in the closet and also in a state of self-denial is like the feeling of being a compulsive gambler. Most people that have a gambling problem reach a point, eventually, where they know that they have a gambling problem, but it is a psychological trap that gets its jaws closed tightly around a person's mind, even that of a very smart person.

A gambler can get into the mental trap of throwing good money after bad, for one example of the complex and multilayered nature of this trap. They realize that it was a bad idea to gamble away their money, anyway, but they are afraid to leave the game on a sour note. The temptation is to "wait for that next winning streak, and then it's out while the outing is good." The hope is to win back their life savings, at least, so they only have to sell their automobile, and even though there is a risk of losing their house, the risk of having to admit they were wrong is a more immediate humiliation that is therefore harder to confront.

However, when they are having that promised "winning streak," then the strongest temptation is to start believing that the nature of the game has changed, and the compulsive gambler can get led to believe, briefly, that the game is really profitable. Even though they might understand, intellectually, that this is false, the feeling of recent winnings is more immediate and thereby is harder to resist the influence of upon their judgment.

Being in a state of self-denial can feel similar, in some ways, but again, the nature of the similarity is just as ineffable. A person that has been in a state of self-denial for a very long time might have built a large number of mental traps, in their heads, to try to deter themselves from facing the truth. Their very fear of facing something that is hard to face can lead to the creation of a sort of emotional minefield that lies between themselves and confronting what would otherwise be a simple truth.

If you are a zoophile, even a deeply repressed zoophile that is only reading this on the pretense of "watching the enemy," the trick to getting out is to just listen to those people that have already started to come out, not just to themselves but to their families and their friends. Listen to those people that have come out to their moms and their dads. They might not be anymore special than the average person, except the natural bigheartedness that goes with them being the kind of person that has trusting relationships with their families, but that is the point: they are--besides one stupid detail that would not matter in a sane universe--normal.

It might take you a lot of hard work to build up the social connections you need, in order to feel safe about living openly as a zoo.

Change involves letting go of people that you know, without asking, are emotional anchors tied around your ankles. You might have a large network of acquaintances that live their lives based on demonizing and thereby bullying people they do not understand. Your friends might obsess over "calling out" anybody that inadvertently quotes whatever comedian has recently gotten into trouble for giving drugs to women prior to liaisons. Alternatively, you might be in conspiracy theory Hell, and the people around you might be claiming that anybody that doesn't repeat their own beliefs like a mantra is part of some sort of sinister "child-molester cult." You might come from a fundamentalist Christian background that obsesses over spiritual purity. Either way, the society of toxic people is cancer, and while it is hard to let go of them, it is only a matter of time before that stops being just a metaphor.

The social reorientation can be hard, but whether your politics are conservative or liberal or libertarian or "law and order," I don't care about that, for the purposes of this discussion. Healthy people to have in your life are people who know that rage and hate and shaming are not the right way to deal with other human beings. You should never have to feel paranoid or fearful because of the people you call friends.

You should never have to feel so ashamed, of a part of yourself or of something that you believe somewhere in your heart, that you won't even admit it to yourself.

It might take a long time to rebuild the world around you, but it also takes the compulsive gambler a long time to build his way out of debt. It's a lot of long hours working odd shifts that pay that all-important extra dollar and a half an hour.

However, once you get started...I mean really get started in can't stop laughing. Self-acceptance is like a glorious marijuana, but it comes from inside. It's your natural high. It's pretty cool.

Be at peace,
Dear zoos, zooey allies, and interested others,

I have been thinking about what motivates me to care about the pursuit of activism, regarding the treatment of zoos, when I am currently in a reasonably secure position in life.

I am past the point in my life where my libido has very much of a grip on my judgment, and at this point in my life, I am virtually an ace of hearts. Hormone replacement therapy has reduced it to background noise. I do not have any inconvenient photographs or videos of me, floating around out there in the cloud. I am really in a pretty good position, even under current conditions.

Well, as strange as it might sound, I don't think that "being a zoophile" is a very good reason for me to want to know somebody. It feels too much like being herded into a ghetto. One of the precursors of the Holocaust was that, in Italy, it became a popular practice to segregate Jewish people into ghettos in order to sever their connections with the rest of society. For lack of any direct exposure to Jewish people, it was thereby easy for the gentile population to be coaxed into believing just about anything about them. On the other hand, being a zoophile that, like me, wants to avoid that kind of a situation is a very good reason for me to want to know somebody. These are my activist pals.

We zoophiles that promote activism are in a complicated position.

The hard part is not really to defend zoophiles in the presence of non-zoophiles: once you have gotten most non-zoophiles past their initial shock reactions, the ones that are just naturally decent tend to make easy allies. They just have to get to know us as people. It would be a lie to say that most people hate zoophiles. Most people hate what they THINK zoophiles are, but when they get to know Sigma, they just think that Sigma is...a little eccentric, funny in an unconscious and oblivious sort of way, a little bit too straightforward for her own good, romantic, ludicrously long-winded, and sometimes a little prickly. Not all of them particularly like me, but it's unusual for them to actively hate me, even after they know that I am a zoophile. To be honest, I tend to like most "normies" better than I like the kinds of zoophiles that only get online to look at pornography.

No, the hard part is defending you normies to our fellow zoophiles. Think of it from their point-of-view: being part of a widely misunderstood minority group is really a terrifying situation to be in. Maybe you never meant to be monsters, but to many of us, that is what you are. Trying to penetrate that distrust, so more of them might be willing to get to know a few of you, is a large part of what we activists do, and that is also the hardest part of what we do.

My motivation is that I want to try to help reverse the process of estrangement was started when the first severe anti-zoo laws came into force. I see this estrangement as inherently dangerous. Segregation is not healthy for a society. Distrust is not healthy for a society.

If you are ever a part of a minority group that has become estranged from society, for any reason, I have a word of advice that comes from rich experience. Your hardest audience is not society at large. They are easy, once you have enough of your fellows ready to talk openly and honestly. Your hardest audience is your fellows. This lesson will apply to you, someday, if you live long enough. The only constant in this crazy world is change. It is not a matter of if, but it is a matter of when.

And I have a few words about dumb laws: the only thing the law is good for is getting rich people to pay their taxes, and it's unreliable even for that.

Thank you again,
Dear zoos, zooey allies, and interested others,

Sometimes, I misjudge people at first. I forget that people are complex, and their views are often nuanced.

Resistance against activism, in the zooey community, is not new. You would not think it, to hear from those holdouts that still think that we can live forever in a silicon bubble: many of them tell me, "We tried activism before," but their own resistance, against reaching out, has also been tried, tried, and done to death.

The Internet is not a magic pillow-fort. It is a public place. If you are going to overestimate your cyber-security, then just cut off your machine right now instead of trading porn using networks that are visible to anybody that really wants to access them. People can see you, and if you are going to put bizarre-looking pornography where people can see it, then you owe them an explanation. Furthermore, you had better be ready to stand up for yourself effectively because people can be amazingly cruel over matters of sexuality. If you are not willing to stand up for yourself to have a right for it to be there, then don't put it there.

The name for standing up for yourself in an intelligent, organized, and artistically beautiful way is activism. That is my personal definition, anyhow. When I use the word "activism," I am using the word in a way that implies forethought, a better than casual understanding of human psychology, and the application of no small amount of talent.

Sometimes, I can be hasty to judge people. I have been getting to know one person that has actually been attempting to share his concerns about how activism is being done. He considers the current run of activists to have permissive attitudes about certain controversial subjects that do not sit well with all zoos, particularly ones that have lifelong experience with animals. It is very hard to get permissive attitudes to fly well when one is talking about living things, particularly living things that somebody loves very much. To his credit, his concerns are based on more than a generation of experience and a three-year apprenticeship program. His concerns do not come from a place of ignorance.

However, it is impossible to avoid a prevalence of permissive attitudes among the sorts of people that tend to most readily object to infringements upon their liberty. We that tend to object the most readily and the most strenuously against tyranny cannot help but to be people that have permissive thinking, in general.

If you have something better to say, though, then please join us, and say it.

The conversation is going to be had. We cannot stop zoos from having a presence on the Internet. Evidence that we exist will always be there. People can see us. We cannot avoid dealing with people. Pretending that we can avoid dealing with non-zoos is like the thinking of children in a magic pillow-fort. We are adults. An adult must stand up and take responsibility. Sometimes, a part of your responsibility is to find an effective way to stand up to a distrustful and superstitious society that does not understand you.

Some kind of conversation needs to be had. I am hopeful that many conversations will be had and that those conversations will eventually lead to us being understood.

Thank you,
Dear zoos, zooey allies, and interested others,

The foundation of all freedoms is the freedom of speech. The fact that LGBTQIAA rights are going backwards in Russia and Hungary is related to the fact that those countries actually do allow legislation restricting people's freedom of speech.

However, freedom of speech is more complicated than just not passing any legislation. If toxic image boards can incite rampage shooters to murder people for worshiping the wrong version of the same god, then where is the freedom of speech of those worshipers? If someone can incite violence against LGBTQIAA that want to express their pride, where is the freedom of speech of LGBTQIAA?

A part of freedom of speech is recognizing the limited power of a minority group to be heard over a mob that is raging about how evil and harmful they are. We zoos do not really have any freedom of speech if, anywhere we try to speak out, we cannot be heard over a finger-pointing mob that is declaring us to be monstrously evil. If you are one person attempting to defend yourself against a half-dozen people that, on top of that, are using toxic rhetoric to inflate their apparent numbers, then where is your freedom of speech? Not being able to get a word in edgewise for everyone slagging you is not freedom of speech. The idea that this constitutes freedom of speech is bullshit.

Transgender people in the zooey community can have the same problem as zoos do everywhere else. They are a minority group within another minority group that, lately, is highly stressed-out, themselves, and has problems of their own. Transgener people trying to get a word in edgewise, in the zooey community, are not just speaking against the wind, but they are speaking against a massive emotional tornado.

Freedom of speech cannot come from above. We pretend that we can legislate freedom of speech into existence or simply abstain from legislating it out of existence, but we can't. Freedom of speech comes from the attitudes of a group of people. It comes from people's general recognition that an underrepresented minority group should have time to talk that is commensurate with that of any other group of people.

If you are a leader in any society of people, then you have a bigger voice than anybody else. If you run a popular podcast, you have a bigger voice than anybody else. You are, at once, a part of the people and a public figurehead. Much as you might not have titular power, you have more power than anybody else. If people listen to you, then you have more power than anybody else, title or no title.

As a zoo, you should believe in freedom of speech, but heed my words: a hateful mob shouting accusations against a minority group and saying that they deserve to be shot is not freedom of speech: it is a pogrom. Even without physical violence, it is a pogrom. It is the people using their disproportionate power, of sheer numbers, to intimidate a minority group that is powerless because they are a minority group. It is the people abusing their greater voice in order to take away the voices of others. If you are a zoo, then you should be more sensitive to this than others, not less.

It is true that freedom of speech is the foundation of all freedoms. That freedom has to come from you. It has to come from your own recognition that one underrepresented group does not have as big of a voice as you. It has to come from your own recognition that someone that is more shy than you needs some amount of encouragement and support and patience in order to get them to speak out.

Recently, I took part in a series of two podcast episodes, and the most exciting moments for me was when, in the second of those, one of my cohosts that tends to have a softer voice than I suddenly became loquacious and started producing well-organized, original ideas. I felt it was a victory for the podcast. I almost cried because, while I like to talk, it gives me a deep feeling of anxiety if someone else is not being heard when they might have something to say.

However, I think that we actually do need rules that protect people's right to be heard on topics that pertain to them. A very wise friend of mine said something like, "You cannot have a conversation about us without us present." The reason why I think there actually should be a rule and custom enforcing that idea is that, without the representation of the group that is being discussed, we are not just a pack of wolves and a sheep discussing what to have for dinner, but we are just a pack of wolves discussing dinner, and the sheep is likely to be on the menu.

Freedom is not the absence of rules, but freedom is the presence of rules that help to protect our individual freedoms. That is easier said than done. It can't be done with a single stroke of a pen or a wave of our hands. It has to be an attitude that is ingrained in a society. It has to be built into our customs, and it must be a guiding light for our social etiquette. For it to work, everybody at all levels needs to revere the idea.

Our freedom of speech is the foundation of all freedoms, but freedom is not the absence of rules. We actually do need rules, including rules that protect us from big decisions being made about our lives in conversations we did not even know were being had. If a conversation is being had about anybody, then their voice ought to be held as the most authoritative, not the least.

Thank you,
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Dear zoos, zooey allies, and interested others,

I guess it must be weird that I have spent at least some of this blog talking about fantasy novels that I have been reading, but I have a good reason why.

Fantasy tells more truth than non-fiction.

Digest that statement. Even if you don't believe it, try to think about why somebody might believe it.

Some real experiences are so outside of normal experiences that, to most people, they might as well exist in worlds full of cantrips, unicorns, dragons, and gnomes. If you sprinkle those experiences into a world full of battle-ax-wielding dwarfs, white-haired wizards, and magic rings, they just blend in: they might be weird experiences, but those experiences are not weird with other fantastical things going on in the background.

However, what if you have had one of those real experiences? It doesn't seem anymore fantastical, then, than if somebody in the book were drinking a cup of tea. It might be unusual to see it put into writing, at first. Nevertheless, somebody that has had that experience knows that at least that part isn't really fantasy.

Those kinds of truths are important to me, regardless of where I get them.

To me, there could not be a more serious genre.

Thank you,
Dear zoos, zooey allies, and interested others,

A close friend of mine has come out to his mom and dad, recently. I am very proud that I know him.

Thank you,
Dear zoos, zooey allies, and interested others,

For fuck sake, I am just a bookworm and a philosophy nerd. My dream, when I was a kid, was to have a cheap loft apartment full of books, and a specific occupation wasn't part of that dream: it could have been anything quiet and lonely. The dream was just a wall lined with books.

Mostly, I got that. I am happily married, too, but I never really aspired to it. It's some background noise. It just kind of happened, and that is alright. My husband is an okay guy. He deserves to have found love in the same way that almost everybody does. It's not my husband's fault that I am bookish and distracted...or that fur against my skin does more for me.

I didn't ask to be a zoo.

I didn't ask for some sociopaths to turn a distorted interpretation of consent theory into a political weapon, so they could use it to smite anybody that disgusted them.

The Russian government also uses a distorted version of consent theory as a weapon. According to them, the justification behind forcibly silencing gay people is that children do not "consent" to being exposed to homoeroticism, so according to them, anybody that is openly gay is violating children's "consent." Therefore, gay people that get discovered anywhere are, due to the fanning of the flames by their government, often hunted down and murdered. This is just as easily accepted, in Russia, as the way that zoophiles are treated, in the west.

There is no syllogism that justifies someone in behaving like a toxic sociopath toward people that are invisible and helpless. The pretense of such is the Occident's most grievous sin.

Therefore, westerners are not really more civilized than Russians. They are just more pompous. Regardless of their nationality, I have come to hate the entire Occident. The Chinese are imperfect, but I sincerely hope that they beat these useless bozos into space. I have plenty to criticize about them, also, but I am too busy adjusting my own nation's beeswax to spare the time for smoothing over someone else's beeswax at the risk of being misunderstood in the gesture.

However, there are people that believe that, because I point out how dismally the Occident has behaved toward two different sexual minority groups that I happen to be a member of, I am trying to be something significant. There are people that would say that I am desirous of taking on the cloak of a crusader of some sort. They imagine that I have spent my childhood dreaming of some sort of recognition as some sort of hero. People that do not know me imagine me to be something antithetical to what I actually am.

I am just a nerd that has a working knowledge of history. Being a nerd does not make me superbly exemplary because there are plenty of us to be found in any subdivision of the human race, but being a nerd has nevertheless borne me the consequence of being a little bit knowledgeable. I am not very well suited for acting upon it. I am just a nerd. However, I do happen to have a vague idea of what I am talking about because I am a nerd.

It is imperative that I get this understanding across to somebody that can act on it. Unfortunately, the Occidental world has a seemingly permanent defect, which is that they husband a concept of so-called "morality" that is based on finding pretexts for behaving as dismally cruel as possible toward members of the human race that have otherwise done nothing to offend them. They will take any syllogism that can lead to the conclusion, "therefore that person is immoral," and they will build up an entire system of logistics aimed at affecting a violent holocaust against anybody like that person. It is utterly evil. The people that husband this belief are a toxic subculture that we may never quite be rid of.

The only way that you can stop them from starting a very well-coordinated program, aimed at the utter eradication of their current scapegoat, is to make as much haste as possible in pointing out to them the evil and morally intolerable consequences of their own broken system. If they are not stopped, then they will continue to implement their system of so-called "justice" until they have again fallen into the same rut that has driven them to one grotesquely wretched genocide, apartheid, and systematic persecution after another.

Oh, truly, there was a glorious period where those moralizing sociopaths were held as beyond reproach! One generation after another was never challenged by anybody, and we call that dismal period in history the Dark Ages. It took us centuries to dig our way out of that fiasco.

And we are not alone, either. The same kinds of scum are to blame for the idea that we need bold, brave knights in blue to save us from the despicable blacks that threaten our lovely and dainty white women. The same kinds of scum are to blame for getting people convinced that there is a fearsome horde of dangerous, square-jawed, leering, utterly wicked cross-dressing men lurking at the doorways of women's bathrooms, so they can push upon us the misguided, insane and evil belief that the only answer, to this imagined evil, is to make it utterly impossible for transgender women to piss.

One of Occidental society's defects is that we have a twisted subculture of psychopaths that are certain that they are the only force that stands between the moral purity of society and some imagined doomsday of moral wretchedness. These false knights are utterly oblivious to the fact that they are the most despicably evil individuals on the face of the Earth, and they have a time-honored system for deceiving Occidental society into the false impression that they are doing something that is morally necessary. They call their crimes against the helpless "necessary evils." They create vast textbooks of syllogisms that supposedly demonstrate how evil their current victims really are, obfuscating the reality that their conclusions fly in the face of everything that can be detected by one's most basic empirical senses.

Therefore, someone might criticize me by saying that I am less than ideal as the person to implement this knowledge, but to those few that will listen to me and give a shit, I implore you to listen:

We are a very small minority group that our society knows nothing about, and we are one of the current victims of a violent subculture, in Occidental society, that aims to eradicate supposed "immorality" from their society. What makes them dangerous is that they sometimes succeed at targeting people that are actually dangerous, and they make a point of parading those successes as their defense against any criticism for their behavior, but they do not really care about the fruits of those successes; they care only about creating a pretext for their aggression that someone can believe. They are a disease, in Occidental society. These Teutonic crusaders of false morality are the most hideous sin of our hemisphere of humanity.

The only plausible defense is to successfully signal to society that we are, once again, a group of people that, to all of one's empirical senses, cannot really be proved to be harmful but are, nevertheless, being given the same treatment that one would give to a dangerous rabid animal. It is morally imperative that we get the message through to as many people as possible.

But it cannot possibly be a once-and-done deal. By the same token, we might temporarily get society to understand that African-Americans are not inherently dangerous, but news programming will continue to plaster up the faces of dark-skinned men while calling upon their supposedly noble crusaders to capture and slay them. If the African-American community becomes too convinced that everything is well, then they will once again be confronted with legions of false crusaders that, while making a pretense of being a "necessary evil" for the preservation of "law and order," care about nothing whatsoever except mounting up on their respective Rocinantes to go and slay innocent peasant farmers that are surely planning some sort of devilry by plowing their fields in preparation to grow a crop to feed their starving families.

Moralizing sociopaths are an ongoing problem, in Occidental society. It is not a new problem. It is also a problem that is not about to go away anytime soon. We can temporarily discourage them, but even if we do, society will eventually grow complacent again, giving them still more opportunities to play the same tricks.

We MUST stand in solidarity with other groups that are affected by the scum. All hands on deck. Pull your weight. You KNOW that we are not the only people that have fallen prey to these moralizing sociopaths, but we must play our own part to discredit their lies and false pretexts for their wickedness. This has been a problem throughout the history of the Occident, and it will not stop being a problem.

I am sorry to inconvenience you. There are things that I would rather do, too. I would rather curl up in front of my wall of books, reading ancient texts by the glow of a dim orange light and imagining that that little loft is floating in a void surrounded by twinkling stars. My instincts are those of an intensely private personage. Dried ink on a page gives me a way to connect with other human beings without actually having to deal with their unspeakably irritating personalities. If anything, I kept my own head buried in the sand for longer than I ought to have because I am quite fankly a little bit selfish, but during the late 2010's, the results of too much selfishness, by too many zoos at one time, intruded upon my tranquility, which I had fought very hard to achieve, in an astoundingly irritating way. Attempting to transmit a few useful morsels of history, to my fellow zoos, is the finger that I am prepared to lift for them.

It is just very hard to be literate in history and not eventually come to understand that it never quite stops being made. I do not know that because I am a special person. I know that because I am a nerd. Nerds do not make history. We just remind you of it. We are seldom appreciated for doing so. Most of history is unpleasant, so we that continue to speak on it are regarded with disdain.

Once in a lifetime, someone that actually can make history listens to us, and then they do.

The time to make history anew has come.

Your messenger from history,