Charity: Altered Perceptions Update and Larry shoots stuff

So the charity anthology for Rob Wells continues. It has done well so far. We’ve raised enough to get him half way out of the hole. If you missed this last week, please go check out the link. You get an anthology for a good cause.

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/altered-perceptions#home

I did my part this weekend by shooting the hell out of a bunch of different things. We did ten spots at $250 which were basically “Larry Shoots Stuff!” We sold all ten of those in the first couple of days.

Originally I was planning on going down to the county gun range. (Sadly, I have neighbors on Yard Moose Mountain who frown on me shooting high powered rifles off the porch, which is why I’m fairly certain this will not be our last house) then I got this call from Rob:

Rob: “Hey, you ready for Saturday?”

Larry: “Yep. I reserved the county range.”

Rob: “Good. We’re shooting a bunch of books, and a man made out of meat and filled with salsa, and beer, and an old computer, and the New York Safe Act.”

Larry: “Uh… Not at the county range. I think they may have a rule against Meat Men. Hang on.”

So I called a friend who has a farm across the river. He was happy to let us make a mess of things. Then I called Pirate Bob Southunder (who is a real person) and he brought some more stuff.

So we shot lots of things on behalf of charity. Rob recorded it all. I don’t know if he edited out the few embarrassing misses, but fingers crossed. Holy moly, I’m rusty.

For the record, I used to be pretty darn good. Shooting was part of my job. When I was teaching I had to be able to demonstrate on command, any technique, and I had to do it fast and accurate, mostly because when you’re teaching classes full stubborn adults (and shooting classes attract a lot of Alpha types) you need to show them with no BS that you know what you’re talking about, they don’t, you’re better than them, and now they need to shut up and pay attention. 🙂

But shooting is a perishable skill, and I went from shooting three or four times a month (six or eight in the summer) to once every couple of months if I’m lucky over the last few years. But that is the nature of being a workaholic. I am happy to say that I’m still pretty darn good though, and only had a few notable misses and mistakes.

For example, if you last used a rifle on 500 yard targets, and you adjusted your scope accordingly, don’t be a rookie moron and forgot that you did so when trying to shoot pill bottles at 30 yards. Duh. It is sad when you’re using a scoped 20 inch suppressed AR from the bipod, prone, and missing, so you stand up, pull your pistol and go 3 for 4. 🙂 So luckily I haven’t forgot to shoot a pistol. (also, first round of the day with the MHI long slide 10mm on a hundred yard plate. Ding. Love that gun. It makes me look like I know what I’m doing)

We got several requests to shoot various books. For the record, I want to be clear that I was doing this for charity, and I personally have nothing against any of the books that were shot. (nobody suggested the Scarlet Letter, because I would have burned that thing). So when people see the video and whine about me destroying books, A. These aren’t Guttenburg Bibles, they are still in print. B. It was for charity. C. The authors/estates still collected royalties. D. It was for charity. E. Lighten up, it was for charity, and if you are that offended, feel free next time to donate thousands of dollars to outbid the people who wanted me to shoot books. 🙂

There was only one modern book that was asked for, and since it was a modern book by a living author (and a recent Hugo nom) I let Rob shoot that one. I saw it and I was all like, nope, I catch enough flack as it is. I’m not touching that one. Here, Rob, this is 3 inch magnum 12 pellet double aught buckshot. You’re going to want to hold on tight.

On books as clay pigeons, they fly a little wobbly, but a good impact makes for an impressive page shower. I thought I missed Moby Dick because it showed no reaction on impact. Nope. It was filled with bird shot. Only the book was so heavy that it didn’t phase it. A couple of slugs took care of it though.

Having shot lots of paper things, the New York Safe Act was put onto a crappy, virus ridden, dying computer that was sent to us, and then we lit it up with 3 guns that are banned by the New York Safe Act. The battery got hit and it caught on fire. That was cool.

And for whoever asked me to shoot cans of corn with my carry gun (and who wanted the camera close enough to get splattered) thanks a lot. I got ten feet away to make sure we’d get a dramatic splash, and 230 grain Speer Gold Dots made it so I got hit with corn shrapnel. (though on that one I actually missed a shot. At fifteen FEET. D’oh)

Now the DSM on the other hand, that book we punished. It was the one we wanted to use to metaphorically punch mental illness in the face. Rob explains it on the video. So we tried to see if it would hang from my dueling tree with duct tape (nope) and when that didn’t work we stuck it on a log and shot it about a hundred times with 9mm and .45. Then we duct taped it back together into a ball, and took out the shotguns.

dsm

Take that mental illness!

EDIT: Rob just sent me this. Meat Man’s head didn’t fare too well against a Saiga. That was our opening shot.

Our Idiot (2)

68 Responses

  1. Now that is an extremely well damaged copy of the DSM. Nice shooting!

  2. nobody suggested the Scarlet Letter, because I would have burned that thing

    OK, if I had known that, I would have thrown in money to see you burn that as well as Tess of the d’Urbervilles. Those two books were directly responsible for me going from a voracious reader to a grudging one throughout high school.

    • I’m with you. Besides the main plot, I can’t remember anything about The Scarlet Letter, which for me is worse than hating it.

      Like you and Larry, I was a huge SFF reader from an early age. Until I took a creative writing class in high school where the teacher forbade speculative fiction outright. I learned to hate interpretive fiction and to feel like a reject for loving fantasy.

      It’s been only recently (thanks to folks like Larry, John C. Wright, Brandon Sanderson, Neil Gaiman, and Mike Flynn) that I’ve come to understand that favoring “escapism” over dismal “realist” lit is not a symptom of cerebral and moral defect but is in fact quite healthy.

      • And of course, the real fun is when the teacher insists that there are symbols everywhere in what qualifies as great literature. This also contributed to my hatred of most of the things I read because the symbolism argument is idiotic at best.

  3. “For example, if you last used a rifle on 500 yard targets, and you adjusted your scope accordingly, don’t be a rookie moron and forgot that you did so when trying to shoot pill bottles at 30 yards.”

    ALWAYS dial back to zero and remember your mechanical offset.

    • I know that, I just failed to actually DO IT. 🙂

      • I’m really sorry, Larry. I thought that if we were not in actual physical proximity, you couldn’t catch the “I’d forget my head if it wasn’t bolted on” virus from me. I guess I was mistaken. This is just the start. Hopefully, you won’t progress to my level any time soon…

      • Use a thin line of red nail polish to make a pair of witness marks at zero that are easily visible to someone shouldering the rifle.

  4. That’s a great, big ball of awesome! I check in on the Altered Perceptions page every day or so, and enjoy watching the number rise.

    Because the International Lord of Hate is good people.

  5. I wish all charities were this entertaining to donate to. Wonder if I can get St Jude to sponsor to do something like this.

  6. What was the book you refused to shoot?

    • 2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson. One of the donors really, really hated it. 🙂

      • Egads! I just looked that book up and the editorial reviews would put me off of that author permanently!

      • I’ve read two of this three Mars books. They’re not bad. But note that I also mentioned that I only read two of the three books. They’re not great, either, imo.

      • “Capitalism has been replaced by a planned economy controlled by the quantum computers, but on the Earth there are still remnants of the market system. Gender and sexuality within this world is fluid and expansive, with the principal official categories of “self-image for gender” listed to include feminine, masculine, androgynous, gyandromorphous, hermaphrodite, ambisexual, bisexual, intersex, neuter, eunuch, nonsexual, undifferentiated, gay, lesbian, queer, invert, homosexual, polymorphous, poly, labile, berdache, hijra, and two-spirit. Many people have both penises and vaginas.”

        That definitely sounds like a Hugo nominee. In fact, I’m surprised it’s not already been lauded as the Greatest Book in the Universe. I can see why the donor suggested it, though. Even the plot summary on Wikipedia crawled at a snail’s pace, I can only wonder about the actual book.

      • Wow. That sounds… bad.

        Actually, what it sounds like is a satire or parody of some sort. But I doubt that’s the case.

      • It needn’t be intended as satire to be read as satire.

        Caveat: I haven’t read it, and after Quartermain’s referenced description why would I?

      • Not the donor in question, but yeah, the book isn’t fantastic. I read it when it was nominated.

        The scifi stuff (turning asteroids into habitats) was basically the same thing Ringo was doing in Live Free and Die, except Ringo’s book was actually entertaining.

        The hermaphrodite sex scenes were worth skipping. Too much detail about trying to line up micro-male organs to micro-female organs, while also lining up macro-male and macro-female organs.

        There was one moment I thought that was handled well…. the tension between these two main characters who had had a traumatic shared experience that was only hinted at and not described. I discovered that was my mistake. I had left my Kindle out and my toddler had gotten a hold of it and skipped the chapter describing the shared experience in excruciating detail. So yes… the book was made better by skipping whole chapters.

  7. I like you even more now that you’ve written ill of The Scarlet Letter. It helped convince me that the English Canon of Great Books was chock full of no talent pervs. That is probably unfair, but so is forcing a high school student to read that trash. My stars and garters, that was painful.

    As Spock said…..Ah, the classics, like Danielle Steele….

    Except comparing TSL to Ms. Steele is an insult to the latter.

    • I’ve got a blog post in the favorites called Correia on the Classics. I go off about high school English ruining reading. The Scarlet Letter damned near turned me illiterate, and then we had to talk about the stupid thing for a MONTH.

      • Thx, Int’l LoH, and Lepus. Good stuff there. I’ll have the Ladyfaire read this. Even tho’ she likes different books than I, she joins me in my hate.

      • It was Moby Dick for me. My father was a librarian and I grew up loving books and reading anything I could get my hands on. Crashed and burned barely a chapter into that turkey. I’d rather read the back of a cereal box.

      • Sophomore A.P. English.summer reading assignment: Moby Dick. We then spent the better part of the first half of the year dissecting it according to a workshop the teacher attended. I think the workshop title was “How to Make a Book Unbearable.”

        I was of the subversive few, though. We were not cooperative.

      • I actually liked Moby-Dick, but I read it well into adulthood. I’m certain I would have bounced off it hard if it’d been assigned in high school.

      • I also liked Moby Dick (I think I even said so during the filming). But I also read it as a grown up rather than being forced fed it in high school.

        As I Lay Dying like totally exploded on impact. Best line was from my friend who was throwing the books in the air. “As I Lay Dying… Appropriate.”

        One of the Bronte books still had the wad embedded in it. That was awesome.

      • Moby-Dick had a nice racially-integrated crew. The harpooneers were (if I remember right) an American Indian, an African dude, and Queequeg, the South Seas cannibal.

        The thing is that they got that job because they’d spent a lot of their lives throwing big-assed spears at stuff and were really, really good at it, not because of some HR directive. The owner-captains might have hired a left-handed lesbian if she demonstrated that she could chuck a harpoon. Otherwise, not.

      • I lucked out, we only had to watch the stupid thing. Of course, we followed that up with reading Great Expectations. The result was that I will now only read Dickens if I don’t know I’m reading him. My Freshman English teacher could have learned much from the one I had my Sophomore year – she had us watch The Quiet Man with John Wayne before we read it.

      • The Great Gatsby: “Gee, I’m a totally bigtime bootlegger surrounded by all the best that crime and money can offer… do I rock it Caligula style, or do I continue to moon after the functional-alcoholic totally boring chick that turned me down before I was old enough to shave?”

      • I somehow managed to miss the English class that assigned The Scarlet Letter. I find that a bit odd considering that most of my friends in High School had to read it. Great Expectations was a massive slog, though iirc Tale of Two Cities was better. Fortunately, I’ve also read A Christmas Carol, so I know that Dickens can be very enjoyable (oddly, one of my college English professors assigned that last book; he wanted us to read it with an eye open to how authors attempt to manipulate your opinions and emotions). And I lost count of how many times I was assigned to read The Great Gatsby in one class or another. It wasn’t a hard read, so I probably wouldn’t have cared much either way about it if I’d only had to read it once. But I kept getting assigned to read it year after year, and the book got old real quick.

      • I had a prof in college fess up that a lot of the ‘classics’ we’re forced to read in school aren’t considered classics because they’re good, but because they’re old. The Scarlet Letter was one example he explicitly mentioned as only being studied because it’s the first novel written by an American.

        I liked his comment about the ancient greek plays too. It went more or less like this: “Imagine if all we had of Shakespeare was Titus Andronicus (arguably his worst play), and a handful of his sonnets, and a bunch of people talking about how great he was. That’s pretty much what we have of the ancient greek literature. Some of their worst stuff and a bunch of references of people talking about how great they were. The only reason to study it at all is because it’s old, not because it’s good.”

        Lots and lots of much better reading out there. There are some classics that are good reads, but they tend to be the ones that English teachers eschew teaching, sadly.

      • For me, I would have nominated Tolstoy’s “Anna Karenina.” I had to struggle through that thing for a college lit class, and it was miserable.

        There’s a character in one of David Weber’s early books that accurately sums up Anna Karenina thusly: “I read a Russian novel once. People with unpronounceable names did absolutely nothing for eight hundred and three pages, after which somebody’s aunt died.” 😛

        …Also – I’m going to get flamed for this, I just know it – I cannot stand Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged.” Where a competent writer (or at least one with a competent editor) would only need a paragraph and a rapier wit to make her point, Rand’s writing style opted for what amounted to a rhetorical battleaxe to first crack open the luckless reader’s skull, then ten or more pages worth of pounding the point home into the gash with a sledgehammer…at the end of which she’s still grinding the last few shreds of her argument into her victim’s cortex with the literary equivalent of hobnailed boots.

        Then, ignoring the screams of her victim, she takes up her next talking point and the battleaxe again…at which point the sane reader, no matter how libertarian, puts the book down and runs for his or her life. Because there’s hundreds more pages of torture to endure…

        I’ve tried four times to read Atlas Shrugged. I’ve never made it more than a hundred pages in before giving up and going for the Tylenol. Or a stiff drink.

        Come to think about it: Wasn’t Ayn Rand also ethnically Russian? If so, that would explain a lot.

      • I haven’t read Anna Karenina, but I have read War and Peace. And while it’s a decent read, I’m not sure I’d recommend it. One of the scenes I found eye-rolling was when a character appears to have nearly recovered from a life-threatening injury, and then decides that things are just too happy for him at the moment. So he dies.

        But Tolstoy’s a better read than Dostoyevsky. Crime and Punishment was one of the most tedious books I’ve ever read.

        Of course, the best Russian author by far is Solzhenitsyn.

        😛

      • junior: Fortunately, I only had to read “Gatsby” once. I still think of it as nothing more than people behaving badly.

        Wes. S.: I totally agree with you. I made it to the train in the tunnel (page 800?) and wanted to exhume her body so I could slap her repeatedly. Dismissing the casualties because they were socialists was disgusting. Those were people regardless of their political views! (Yeah, I know it’s just a book) I finally understood why W.F. Buckley called her philosophy “stillborn”. I largely agree with her on economics but that was just too calous for me.

      • Happily, there’s a few good classics out there, from the Illiad (lots of people getting stabbed in the face), Hemingway (shooting sharks with a tommy gun FTW!), or even such classics as “Brave New World” or “Alas, Babylon”.

        But, alas, the stereotypical pale, precious cat fancier spinster lit teacher seems to ignore these in favor of boring crap.

      • Gotta throw some hatred here towards Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary. I read that steaming pile in one night back in 10th grade, then forgot it all the next morning (getting a 10 out of 100 on the test on it).

        But I do remember reading quite a few of Simon & Schuster’s Star Trek novels in the same time frame.

      • Wes. S. – Apparently I’ve joined you on the blasphemy train, because I’ve often thought the same thing, to a lesser degree, about Tolkien. ‘Lord of the Rings’ doesn’t shout to the heavens for a brutal editor the way that ‘Atlas Shrugged’ does, but it might politely request a gentle one.

      • Back to back reading of Pilgrim’s Progress (I forget who wrote that 17th century PoS) and Potrait of the Artist as a Young Man (Joyce).

        Both exceeded my patience.

      • I’ve lurked for a while but I had to chime in. No one felt this way about Catcher in the Rye? Tedious, and “crumby” oft repeated.

      • But Tolstoy’s a better read than Dostoyevsky. Crime and Punishment was one of the most tedious books I’ve ever read.

        Hey! Don’t insult my Dostoyevsky. He made me wish I had taken Russian instead of German just so I could read all of his novels in the original Russian.

        “Jude the Obscure” OTOH was the worst piece of boring,depressing drivel. I did save our senior English class from more Thomas Hardy though. I only got maybe a chapter into “Return of the Native” for world english before talking the teacher out of assigning it to senior english. (Why yes, I did take 6 years of English in High School.)

      • I got to read Cyrano de Bergerac in High School. Sword fights, mocking, and some snark. Good enough that I could overlook his lifetime pining over his cousin. And it was in Play Form, so 200 pages was a fast read.

        And yes, Tess and Scarlet Letter were both atrocious drivel.

  8. Grrr… makes me wish I wasn’t a poor college student living on student loans right now. Awesome though, keep up the good work Larry!

  9. Out of curiosity, which version of the DSM got the Correia treatment? Was it the latest version, which basically classifies every quirk of human behavior or emotion “mental illness?”

  10. Larry, thank you for plugging the NY SAFE Act. If I’d known it was on the menu I’d have donated a jar of Tannerite.

  11. “Sadly, I have neighbors on Yard Moose Mountain who frown on me shooting high powered rifles off the porch”

    Neighbors are such a pain. Especially if they’re the type to call the cops or come up your driveway and complain about how the noise is scaring their dog, then lecture you about how you ought to be at a range. Not sure where people get the nerve to walk up and start harassing a bunch of people with guns…

    • I don’t know what the laws are in a rural setting (or semi rural – not sure what LC’s place looks like), but it is perfectly reasonable for a homeowner to object to range activity within effective range of his home. Walking up to a bunch of shooters and asking them about their shooting (in proximity of his house) is actually a homeowners duty. Before I called cops I would walk over and ask in order to get a sense for what was going on.

      If I see a structured activity, I know the owner in question, the area is zoned for shooting, there isn’t any booze and the range fan is laid out AWAY from my place – hell, I might ask to join. If those qualifiers are reversed, I have a problem.

      • To be fair to my neighbors, my house isn’t safe to shoot from. 🙂

  12. I’m looking forward to seeing the corn splatter! Wish I’d been there to see all the fun.

    Are the misses going to be edited out?

    • I missed the corn once. I missed the pill bottles with the rifle with the wrong zero. Those are my only moments of shame, so we’ll see. 🙂

  13. One of my friends was so taken with the idea that her church youth group is doing a “watch us shoot stuff” fundraiser for their mission trip. They’re in New Jersey, but luckily they can do it on private land.

  14. I’d love to see Larry shoot up my copy of “A People’s History of the United States” I have from college. Seriously. Preferably with incendiary rounds…. (I retained the book instead of reselling it or giving it away, because I had such a fate planned for it. Sadly, my betters in Sacramento don’t think I should have incendiary rounds.)

    • I have Tracers. Not quite full incendiary – but if that history book is the one I’m remembering – I’d douse it in gasoline first to improve the chances it bursts in to flame. *And* I’d video tape it and you tube it for you. 😀

      Of course, I’d enjoy watching Larry do it too, but I’d find it much more viserally satisfying to do it myself. 😉

      -Jon

  15. You shot up Moby Dick? Larry I’m appalled, if you don’t read and under stand that book how are you going to understand Ricardo Montalban’s kick ass lines in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan?

    • Khan is far and away my favorite Star Trek villain. The only other one that comes close is the Shakespeare-quoting Klingon from Star Trek VI.

      • “Prick us, do we not bleed? Tickle us, do we not laugh? Wrong us, shall we not revenge?”

  16. I confess. In all my years of schooling, I rarely read an assigned book all the way through. (I’m not just a writer, I’m also an English minor!) I pretty much skimmed and paid attention in group discussions and used my awareness of what teachers tended to focus on to guess my way through class. I usually made As in English/lit classes.

    There. My dirty little secret is out.

    You’re right – many of the classics are a terrible bore. And if they weren’t before, a teacher browbeating you into agreeing with their interpretation of “the deeper theme/meaning” of the story will suck the life out of even the best. I’m trying to give some of them a second chance to hook me, but I’d much rather read classic pulp to expand my mental palette than slog through most classics.

    • Don’t even get me started on instructors (many of them couldn’t Teach their way out of a brown paper bag) bludgeoning their victims, err, students with either their interpretation, or (even worse) the Official interpretation.
      I recall a paper I failed when I used a direct quote by the author to answer the question about why he started writing. Apparently, ‘to pay off a mortgage’ wasn’t correct, quote or not. The editorial comments more or less stopped when I quoted the same authors ‘Five Greatest Words Ever Written’ (Pay to the Order of, if you happen to be curious) so I know about how much of the paper was actually read. She should have paid attention to the Works Cited, before she found them all (and several I didn’t bother to cite since I just used them for background) on her desk. We’re talking about 50+ pounds of books, and me standing there with “go ahead, try me; the grade can’t get any worse” grin on my face. After I shot down every one of the “approved” points with multiple references from the sources The Book required, she surrendered and I wound up with an A-, graded only on grammatical correctness.
      Apparently Robert Heinlein was a better known writer than she thought…

      • A friend of mine once joked that all she needed to do to get an A in an English class that we both had was to disagree with everything that I said in class.

        ^^;;

    • I remember once in high school when I wrote a book report the day it was due without having read the book. This was in the pre-internet days, so I just had to BS the whole thing. I don’t remember what book or anything I wrote, but I just said, “If I make the whole thing vague enough, this teacher won’t know I didn’t read it.”
      I ended up getting an A on the report.

      • I may have taken advantage of the ability to stack BS in interesting ways on more than one occasion. Rarely did teachers take notice. Those who did were the ones I could respect, and so stop BS’ing

  17. BTW, as long as we are talking books, and since LC states that he likes JB, the first 3 chapters of the latest Dresden are up for free at JB’s website.

  18. if you hold up a receipt saying you bought the book before you shot the book then the author got paid. if i was selling a book, id be ok if people bought my books, i got paid, and then you shot them.

    its one reason I’m not opposed to book burnings. As long as they are not remainder copies… lets face it a book burning with 1 book and a bunch of photocopies is pretty lame. you could make some serious money of you write a book that lots of people want to burn…

    you could also argue that you are helping the author. if you read the book and liked it you can claim that by shooting the book you are keeping it off the used book market. Authors don’t get paid from the secondary market.

    • The reasonable opposition to book burning is philosophical, not practical.

      • The people who freak out about destroying a book have never worked in a bookstore. That’s how you “return” books. You tear the covers off to mail back and then you toss the book in the dumpster. Anybody who has worked in a bookstore has destroyed hundreds and hundreds of books (and we also end up with shelves full of coverless books as we take home all the ones we like)

        As I said before.
        A. These aren’t Guttenburg Bibles. They’re in print.
        B. The author/estate got paid.
        C. Next time somebody wants me to blow up a book for charity, feel free to outbid them.

        If somebody wants to hold a massive bonfire and burn stacks and stacks of Larry Correia novels, they should totally purchase them all from Amazon on the same day. It would be like a Book Bomb. 🙂

      • No argument from me, I know about the return procedure. And I said before, I think the charity shoot-em-up was awesome!

        That’s why I said philosophical, not practical. People wanna play bonfire, okay. As long as they don’t assume they get to burn mine. But I’m likely to have a philosophical quibble with the sort of thinking that wants to remove books from discourse, and that’s the traditional underpinnings of ‘book burnings’ (for me, anyway). You weren’t doing a book burning, you were doing kinetic critique.

        Next time somebody wants you to blow up a book for charity, I’m likely to try to outbid the guy trying to outbid the original request. Because, again, book skeet is awesome!

        🙂

  19. So… would you shoot a bible? Its still in print.

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