Yet another shot in the Theadore Beale saga.
This time John C. Wright defends him.
He was a gadfly. Heinlein’s two most famous novels are Starship Troopersand Stranger in a Strange Land. The first challenges the orthodoxy of the Left as much as the second does that of the Right. But in his day, few science fiction readers were offended by his or anyone’s ideas. Science fiction was proud to be a literature of the new and startling. A spirit of intellectual fearlessness was paramount.
But we do not live in Heinlein’s era. We live in an era of more progressive values where ethnic minorities are recognised as equals and we argue for freedom to be who you are.
Yes we argue for freedom of expression, but we also can judge you by what you choose to express. We can choose not to buy, not to support and not to admire your expression.
The corollary is Tracy Emin’s My Bed. A piece of work that is arguably worthless and pointless and has gained value because it was supported. Your work may mean everything to you but may not be supported.
This may be because no one cares and that is sad.
Or it may be because people think your work is detrimental to humanity as a whole and that it harms.
A darker time followed. The lamps of the intellect were put out one by one, first in society at large, then in literature, then in our little corner called science fiction. What we have now instead is a smothering fog of caution, of silence, of an unwillingness to speak for fear of offending the perpetually hypersensitive.
Science fiction is under the control of the thought police. The chains are invisible, but real. For a genre that glories in counting George Orwell as one of its own, this is ironic, to say the least.
Poor choice of words considering we are defending a man who insults others for the colour of their skin.
You mince words sir, you pretend that Theadore Beale is a modern day Galileo! Oppressed by an inquisition and silenced. That he speaks the ultimate truth.
That I am not fully human and that he and people who look like him were divinely created to rule and I was created to serve. I know that dialogue.
And this is like supporting your homophobia by quoting Oscar Wilde.
Myriad examples exist. Orson Scott Card publicly expressed the mildest imaginable opposition to having judges overrule popular votes defining marriage in the traditional way. The uproar of hate directed against this innocent and honorable man is vehement and ongoing. An unsuccessful boycott was organized against the movie Ender’s Game, but he was successfully shoved off a project to write for Superman comics.
Got that? The award-winning Mr. Card, one of the finest science fiction writers today, was forced off the project because the dictates of his religious faith (not to mention his faith in democracy over rule by activist judges) did not agree with the political beliefs of the thought police.
You mean Orson Scott Card accepts the pre-biblical swayamvara method of marriage where a woman’s hand can be won through murdering her suitors and proving you are a badass? Or by a feat of skill? Or by force? Or does it mean the traditional marriage romanticised by Christianity in the same way that people think Knights all were chivalrous, bowed to young ladies and so on?
I may have to point you to another Science Fiction/Fantasy book. It’s a series. You may have heard of it. It’s called Game of Thrones.
Orson Scott Card’s “traditional” definition of marriage only grudgingly recognises mine as an atheist. My marriage would never have occurred before his gods whatever they are but of my forefathers. To him that’s not a real marriage too, but he only really accepts it because to say so would be racist and xenophobic and in that the Church has changed.
No one accused him of attempting to write a Superman story belittling homosexuals, or belittling anyone. Sales would have grown, not fallen. This was not about money or hurt feelings. It was about this: if a man thinks what St. Paul thought about homosexual acts, he cannot write a children’s yarn about a friendly alien Hercules saving a spunky girl reporter from mad scientists or moon-apes.
Nice one! Let’s belittle comic books. After all? What sort of story can you tell with just pictures? The people who like comic books must be dumb and it’s for children.
The above is not art, it tells us nothing important (it’s from Swamp Thing BTW). No wait. Even people unfamiliar with the genre will identify a story from this.
If all you think about comics is saving spunk girl reporters from mad scientists or space apes, you seem to have forgotten that we have progressed far from that.
Likewise, Theodore Beale was expelled from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers America (SFWA), our professional union, on the rather specious grounds that he repeated comments from a members-only bulletin board to the general public. He was libeled with the same typical menu as above. (By odd coincidence, the falsely accused racist here is also Hispanic.) That the expulsion was done in an irregular and ad hoc fashion casts an additional pall of shame over it.
How is it libel to quote him verbatim. He said racist things mate. Like proper “old school racism”.
The case against Mr. Card is filled with falsehood. His real remarks are too innocuous, so new and unreal ones are invented and merely attributed to him.
They are innocuous because they do not affect you.
The case again Mr. Beale was a mask of hypocrisy. Repeating private communications is something many others have done. His real crime was thought crime. His opinions on matters unrelated to science fiction got him kicked out. He neither picked anyone’s pocket nor broke anyone’s leg.
No. His real crime was being super duper racist. You want to portray him as a modern day Galileo when he is in fact a old school bigot.
At one time, science fiction was an oasis of intellectual liberty, a place where no idea was sacrosanct and no idea was unwelcome. Now speculative fiction makes speculative thinkers so unwelcome that, after a decade of support, I resigned my membership in SFWA in disgust. SFWA bears no blame for all these witch-hunts, or even most; but SFWA spreads the moral atmosphere congenial to the witch-hunters, hence not congenial to my dues money.
You are wrong Mr. Wright.
You initially spoke about new thoughts and new ideas? Vox Day AKA Theadore Beale brings nothing new to the table.
I grew up on stories of the inferiority of the colour of my skin. I grew up being called a Nigger and when people learned the correct racist term for Indians? Paki. I mean it’s okay to be racist but heaven forbid you look stupid by using the wrong term? A major faux pas. My people bleach their skins and deride those who are dark because they think the same way that Mr. Beale does.
My parents fought that sort of thinking.
My grandparents fought that sort of thinking. Hell Gandhi fought that sort of thinking and he would be in the Great Great Grand Parents age group. That’s 5 generations of people who look like me and come from my “overall” ethnic label who fought against the notion that white people are “simply better”.
How is Vox Day bringing anything new to this conversation? He has not said anything profound or brought about a new way of thinking. What he has said is an opinion mired in the bigotry of the past. No idea is sacrosanct you say? Then why must his idea be more sacrosanct than mine?
Or in a language you may understand?
“Ooga Booga Vox Day No Likee Melanin. Thinks It Bad and Make You Stupid. Decent Human Beings Think He Stupid.”
Now you may think “why that chocolate fancy bastard, no wonder he sides with those people! They treat him like human being”.
Be warned. If this is how overgrown that playground of live-and-let-live nonconformists, geeks, and weirdos known as science fiction has become, how long before all the fields and gardens of civilization are smothered by this tangled and malodorous weed of terror, accusation, and thought police?
Oh that Theadore Beale! Such a non-conformist! Look at him living his wild racist lifestyle at a period where we aspire to skin colour not mattering! Look at him and his charming claims that black people are not equal to white people! Such a Rebel.
Without a Clue.
You want to know what non-conforming is Mr. Wright? Try being the only Indian at a football match. That was how I grew up. Want to try non-conforming? I like Metal and that’s a predominantly white endeavour but you know what? While it may be weird to step into a place where you are the only person from your culture who likes this and are welcomed? You enjoy it. No one in Metal’s told me I am inferior.
But the joke here is that the geeks and weirdoes? We have to have no standards of decency. The Racist. The Sexist. The Homophobe. We must give them succour. Fuck all the Women Geeks. Everyone knows women cannot be nerds? Women are all pretty and can never like RPGs, or Comics or VIdeo Games or Table Top Games. Settlers of Cataan is two complex for the female mind.
Gays? Fuck those guys! No wait! Maybe Not!
And People of Colour? Nah! They don’t want to be geeks anyways? They are all into rap music (or doing mathematics, owning corner shops and fiscal responsibility). Or Crime…
How desperately racist must you be to think “JESUS CHRIST! There are females, gays and coloured enjoying our stuff! This cannot stand! I must be as shitty a person as possible to them to drive them away. I cannot like anything they like! I may catch the vaginas/gay/jungle fever”
The lunatic Left planned and struggled for years, decades, to achieve their cultural influence. Let us imitate their perseverance, and retake our lost home one mind, one institution, at a time. Start by praying.
Pray all you like mate.
I am not planning to stop liking the same things you do anytime soon.
Now if you excuse me? I am going to go complain about how Max Brooks tries to depict Iron Maiden as the music of choice for American Soldiers rather than British ones in World War Z.
*Shakes Fist! Do Your Musical Research You Hack!!!*