- The excellent, and terribly entertaining, book How Not to Write a Novel by Howard Mittelmark and Sandra Newman, contains a piece of unintentional irony. In their example dealing with villains whose sole motive seems to be evil for its own sake, they write:
These villains unselfishly dedicate all their free time to plotting Mother Teresa's downfall, without any cash incentive or reason to hate Mother Teresa other than "her phony nice act makes me see red."This is very true of too many villains; but the unintentional irony is, see...there's this guy named Christopher Hitchens. "Plotting Mother Teresa's downfall, without any cash incentive or reason to hate Mother Teresa other than 'her phony nice act makes me see red,'" is a pretty good summary of his life's work, actually.
- Ayn Rand makes me sad; she's got far too much influence on the conservative movement, even among social conservatives. I wonder, though, if anyone's noticed that she's essentially got that form of Stockholm syndrome where one identifies with the abuser rather than the victim? Her whole worldview, from economics to religion to gender relations, is explained by her wishing she was one of the strong, that get to do the hurting, rather than the weak that get hurt.
- News on the "Joss Whedon sucks" front: according to Wikipedia, he considers himself an absurdist. Um, is this some insanely technical definition of absurdism I'm not acquainted with? Because last I checked absurdism didn't involve quite so much preaching.
- To snag another loogy at the winner of the Billy Quizboy Look-alike Contest, Whedon apparently said, of Firefly, "So I wanted to get a show that took the past and the future, and put them together by making them feel like the present…" Now, translate that out of Whedon's usual Randall's-cousin-Walter prose, and we get, "I sorta cribbed some oversimplified history (inasmuch as he appears to have got his understanding of the Old West from Sam Peckinpah), combined it with some rocket ships, and then made a story that's really set in the modern day." Or in other words, "I just about went by the recipe for bad science fiction."
- Ever hear of a movie called Idiocracy? It's a phenomenally classist, elitist--and eugenicist!--dystopian sci-fi (in the worst "crickets getting it on" sense of the word), about how the world becomes stupid in the future because the yuppie-scum, who, of course, are so damn smart, don't have as many kids as the blue-collar types, who are of course stupid. Although, of course, it's not the blue-collar folks who are watching "Real Housewives of Orange County". But that aside..."Idiocracy" does not mean "rule by idiots." It means "individual rule," like how "idiolect" means the way a particular person talks. Here's a hint, a-holes: when you set out to openly insult the intelligence of the actual humans, don't get the Greek in your title wrong.
- Late addition: So my father was watching Terminator 3 the other day, and I realized something: the good Terminators from that and the second one, as played by the Governator, are...well, let me just list their traits. They're powerful robots from the future that simulate a living thing, and are sent back in time to help a young person, by people with a relationship to him. In other words...they're Doraemon. Weird, huh? Humanity's chances suddenly look a lot bleaker, what with its future being in the hands of John "Nobita" Connor.