Piensas al azar. Which is almost exactly how you say "random thoughts" in French, come to think.
  • Anyone who wants to write Native Americans needs to go watch "Navajo Cops" on National Geographic Channel. Those are Navajos. Notice how little they resemble Lou Diamond Phillips? Notice how little their accent resembles that of Floyd "Red Crow" Westerman? Notice how they can't stand being around dead bodies? Yeah.

  • Speaking of how you say things in French, if you spell French phonetically it looks like an Asian language. E.g., ever hear of the famous detective Erkul Pwaro? Sounds like a manhwa, right? Or maybe a Turkish movie?

    How about Hercule Poirot, though?

  • It's always funny to me when Pan-Arabists insist the Lebanese are Arabs. Uh, no, no they're not. They speak Arabic, but their ethnicity/nationality is Canaanite. Or Phoenician. Please recall what country Tyre is in.

    Hell, Belgians get mad if you call 'em "French", and they're Franks and Gauls, just like the French are. Nothing but an outdated, erroneous ideology could make people misrepresent the situation.

  • Speaking of ideology, did you know that prior to about 1885, the Islamic world viewed the Crusades as a great conquest for their people, and the Crusaders as a defensive action that they defeated? Yep. But then, the Ottoman Empire, beginning to fray around the edges, decided to take a page from contemporary Romantic Nationalism, and reframed the Crusades as the West invading them—not coincidentally letting them paint themselves as the defenders of their (ludicrously oppressed) subjects against "imperialism".

    That's no big deal; anyone familiar with the history of Ireland knows the English did the same thing. What is a big deal, is that everyone actually believed the Ottomans' nonsense. Imagine if your history book, with a straight face, reported that England protected Ireland's freedom.

  • It's interesting, most "speculative fiction"/"soft" science fiction comes under the same opprobrium as Transhuman science fiction (see "Because Human Life Is Hard", over there on the right). Namely, the people who write most "speculative fiction", like the people who hanker after Transhuman apotheosis, are running scared from reality. Science tells you "some things I can give you, and some things I can't". Which is exactly what these spoiled-brat post-Boomers don't want to hear; that was the same reason they didn't like God. The little darlings thought science was more liberating than something that could give them miracles, and now they're complaining.

    I quite like science-fantasy and space opera; I merely request that people know the difference. But then again, I believe in miracles, too—and there are no miracles unless there are physical laws.

  • And I mean it: if people weren't all praising Mass Effect as science fiction, I would only very mildly dislike it, for being puerile Transhuman nonsense. But Tycho had to go and say the ending is "very much of the Hard Sci-Fi school: work predicated to a certain extent on Interesting Answers but far, far more of a piece with Interesting Questions". That's no definition of hard sci-fi I ever heard, and I actually write the stuff. Is he perhaps conflating the genre's defining features with some tics of a few of its proponents? Hard sci-fi purely refers to how scientifically rigorous the wonderment is, and the Insane Clown Posse and the Creation Museum sneer at Mass Effect.

    Same with Firefly, which is, to this day, pretty high on TVTropes' Mohs Scale of SF Hardness. Nobody who has not read Winchell Chung's Atomic Rockets site is even qualified to discuss whether something is or is not hard science fiction. Most of us—I know I was—are too corrupted by the same Hollywood that tells you Glocks can fool metal detectors to have a right to our opinions on the matter.

  • Another game manages to avoid the main flaw of Transhuman SF, despite having all industry be based on nanomachines, and people being able to take real objects from their computer networks. Even weirder, it is openly Gnostic-themed, even unto its third installment being based on the Gospel of Mary Magdalene.

    I speak, of course, of Xenosaga. While the first is the only good one, I think the reason it's actually good, despite being pretty Transhuman by any objective standard, is, well, Shion used to be a part-time waitress. This future, despite its tech, and the fact everyone and his clone has incredible nanomachine-based powers that stand in for Final Fantasy magic, still has economic scarcity. That's all I ask, really.

    Well, that, and I'll overlook a lot if you give me characters as moe as KOS-MOS and MOMO.

  • Hunger Games is making some noise of late. Too bad the worldbuilding is ludicrously implausible, though, huh? Also the ending of the third one sucks so bad, it leaves a hickey on your soul.

    I will, however, not be one of those naysayers who said "I liked this better when it was called 'Battle Royale'." Because they're really not that much alike. No, Hunger Games is more like the misshapen lovechild of Battle Royale and Code GEASS.

    Then again, I'm probably one of the very few people who thinks we should retire the "evil empire" trope already. The two most evil states in human history called themselves Republics—and the third's name, Reich, can also be translated as "Kingdom" (and the seventh is the United Kingdom). Only #4, the Japanese Empire, is an Empire—and Teiô/Tennô isn't actually equivalent to Imperator in the first place.

  • 5 and 6, in case you wondered, are the Mughal Empire, and the Ottoman Empire. But neither is really an empire; the Mughals were a Khanate, and the Ottomans were a Sultanate, neither of which, again, is equivalent to the European conception of Imperium, anymore than to the Chinese one of the Mandate of Heaven (Tianmìng, if you wanted to know).

  • There was an entire subplot I cut, back when my engines were based on antimatter, where—rhetorically—the captain of a spaceship asks the android who acts as his ship's computer, "What's the extra fuel usage having him [a stowaway] here?" And the android responds, "Those particular cold equations are not worth my time to calculate."

    No, he talks like that all the time—he's got china-white skin and jet black hair and eyes, and he wears a jet-black kimono and a Japanese straw hat, also dyed black. The kimono has a print of green pentagrams. You think a guy who looks like that talks like Ben Browder?

    But seriously, The Cold Equations is the epitome of plot-induced stupidity. That it is universally reviled for this fact gives one renewed hope in humanity.

1 comment:

penny farthing said...

Navajo Cops is such a cool show! It makes me a bit homesick, but it's so super interesting.