Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Commentary: Who Really Loves Science Fiction?

Imagine the following scenario: A married man insists loudly and often that he absolutely adores his wife. However, every time he's out at the bar with his buddies, the only thing he does is put her down: his wife doesn't know how to properly load the dish washer, she's getting fat and losing her youthful good looks, she doesn't seem to know when to shut the hell up -- on and on and on. Would his companions be wrong in questioning the sincerity of his supposed affection?

Bringing this up is no doubt tantamount to questioning someone's patriotism, but I have to wonder: Do these SJW "TrueFen" actually love science fiction and fantasy? Or do they love "science fiction" and "fantasy" the way feminists love "women" -- as easy-to-manipulate instruments to advance other goals?

It's one thing to offer constructive critique. Matt and I have been doing that for years. It's also laudable to seek fresh blood and new perspectives; a genre that does not evolve is a genre that will eventually grow outdated and fade from view. Still, a genuine aficionado pursues such change while also paying decent respect to said genre's antecedents and "deep norms" (to use Eric S. Raymond's formulation). A genuine aficionado recognizes that he or she stands on the shoulders of giants and consequently does not automatically attribute perceived defects in early works to malice aforethought. And this, quite frankly, does not describe the typical SJW's mode of discourse.

Instead, the SJW eschews nuance and engages in rank presentism. Consider: The bulk of Robert Heinlein's work was written half a century ago and thus reflects the attitudes and mores of a very different time. And yet -- Heinlein did try to include minority and mixed-race characters and alternative sexual lifestyles in the stories he wrote. Indeed, by all accounts, Heinlein's views on race and sex were progressive for his period. Does this matter to the SJW? Of course not. The SJW brands Heinlein a racist, sexist pig for failing to adhere to the stringent standards of today's port side and RAGEQUITS his novels in disgust.

I could be wrong, but when I read the commentary emanating from the fandom's hard left, I frequently think of the husband in the above hypothetical.  In the SJW's litany of complaints, there's a lot of bile -- and very little simple enjoyment or gratitude.  

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