Mourning the Loss of Escapism

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Photo of Lester Del Rey

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What disturbs me more is the whole concept of purpose as applied to any literature. To the Marxists, intent upon subordinating everything to the good of the state, the arts must serve a direct purpose of life — usually propaganda, I’m afraid. But why people in this country accept such Marxist ideas is a puzzle.

Lester Del Rey as quoted from The World of Science Fiction, 1926-1976: The History of a Subculture

I suppose it’s a mild coincidence that I’m quoting Del Rey on his birthday. These words from his tome, which I reviewed HERE and HERE, are predictive of the world of science fiction (and entertainment in general) we experience today.

Del Rey saw SciFi as a lot of things, including instructive, but most of all, he believed it should be fun.

But where has the fun gone?

And while Lenin read a book of Marx
The Quartet practiced in the park
And we sang dirges in the dark
The day the music died

And the three men I admire most
The Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost
They caught the last train for the coast
The day the music died
And they were singing bye-bye, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
And them good old boys were drinking whiskey and rye
Singing, “This’ll be the day that I die”
This will be the day that I die

Don McLean from “American Pie” 1971

Just substitute “escapism” or “fun” for the word “music” above, and it fits. There’s a lot inspiring this missive, including this recent one.

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Why Ed Kramer is Evil but Marion Zimmer Bradley Isn’t. Go figure

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Undated photo of the late author Marion Zimmer Bradley found at Wikipedia

The world is a funny place. On Mike Glyer’s “fanzine” File 770 this morning, I read an article called New Child Porn Charge Against Ed Kramer. I’d never heard of Ed Kramer before, so I looked him up. According to Wikipedia, he is:

an American editor and convicted child molester. Kramer lives in Duluth, Georgia and was a co-founder and part-owner of the Dragon*Con media convention. Kramer has also edited several works in the genres of science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Before pleading guilty in 2013 to three counts of child molestation, Kramer was the subject of a long-running legal battle that began with his initial arrest in August 2000.

The word DragonCon got my attention. DragonCon has been associated with more conservative elements in Science Fiction and Fantasy. In and of itself, that means nothing. If you’ve been sexually abusing children or been into child porn, you are evil and deserve to be in prison, regardless of your politics.

But what gets me is that certain demographics in SF/F fandom seem to give other, similar people a pass because of their politics and because they are feminists, or at least they seem to do so.

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The Sins of John W. Campbell Revisited

Author Jeannette Ng – image found at the Angry Robot website

Just for giggles, I revisited the comments at File 770‘s article Storm Over Campbell Award. As you may recall from my own wee missive Jeannette Ng’s Campbell Award Acceptance Speech and Here We Go Again, Ms Ng, a fantasy writer based in the UK, was recently given the John W. Campbell award for best new writer, which she accepted, and then went on to point out Campbell’s terrific flaws, which included being a fascist.

There are now over 200 comments on Mike Glyer’s commentary on Ng and Campbell, and of course, they all damn Campbell, some even comparing him (more or less) to Mussolini. Further, one person said that anyone with even the tiniest hint of actually liking anything Campbell ever did is considered a fascist sympathizer. Really. I had heard of Campbell, but before this, I never had any idea about his political beliefs.

However, even according to Wikipedia, while he may or may not have been a fascist, he certainly was a racist.

His opinions go far beyond the occasional “joke in bad taste,” and many well known authors, including Michael Moorcock and Isaac Asimov, lambasted Campbell for his even then unpopular and heinous ideas.

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Gender Fluid Actress Ruby Rose “Not Gay Enough” to Play Batwoman

ruby rose

Richard Shotwell/Invision, via Associated

Actress Ruby Rose has deleted her social media presence after facing a backlash for being cast as “Batwoman” — not from the right, angry that the self-described lesbian character will be played as written, but from the left, who declared Rose “not gay enough” to play the female superhero.

I found this quote in an article written by Emily Zanotti for The Daily Wire called Ruby Rose Quits Twitter After Leftist Critics Declare She’s Not Gay ENOUGH To Play Batwoman.

Wait! What?

Since The Daily Wire is a conservative publication, and since social and political leftists seem to believe that any conservative news is “fake news,” I fact checked it (yeah, I do that), and according to the left leaning New York Times as well as Entertainment Weekly, it’s true.

What that heck (substitute a four letter word that starts with “F” [Edited to be less graphic])?

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