Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Now I really must burn my copy of Ender's Game.

Gaaah. Orson Scott Card has officially lost any claim to any part of my future income. Jesus. It doesn't just sound stupid, it sounds awful.
A rocket hits the west wing of the White House, killing the president, vice-president, and secretary of defense. While those directly responsible are Arabs, the next day, 14-foot-tall, bulletproof, armed globes on mechanical legs, backed by shooters on individual hovercraft, seize New York City by killing anyone in uniform. None of the new attackers looks anything other than American. A "Progressive Restoration" administration is established in the city, and it encourages other cities and states to join it to restore government as it should have been but for the stolen elections of 2000 and 2004.
Right. Exactly the same way the left immediately leapt on the opportunity provided by 9/11 to establish a Communist dictatorship. I'm sorry, what's that you say? The left actually rolled over for Bush for more than two years? That even today, many alleged "liberals" continue to support the Iraq war? God, Card is a moron. A moron who apparently believes that leftists share his own genocidal fantasies.

This gives me the opportunity to explore one of the weirder things that I see on the right - a bizarre tendency to take the most extreme views of someone on the fringe, and apply it to everyone who's to the left of Atilla the Hun. This is not done by all rightists, nor is the left innocent by any means, but this tendency was most clearly demonstrated when I was going through Ted Morton's website, reading editorials of endorsement. The editor of the Calgary Sun wrote:
Morton's leadership would diffuse separatist sentiment in Alberta, which is buried now, thanks to Conservatives holding power in Ottawa, but could hit record levels should (heaven forbid) Michael Ignatieff, Bob Rae or Stephane Dion become our next prime minister -- and do what they said they would do -- raid our natural resources either through nationalizing our oil industry or taxing the well head.
To which I simply shook my head a bit - which of the leading Liberals said they would nationalize the oil industry? As far as I can tell, nary a one. Does Licia Corbella really believe this? Well she wrote it in a very, very public place, so I kinda think she must. Which means she's also completely insane.

If any Liberal said for the public record that Canada should nationalize the oil industry, he'd be on the very, very leftist fringe of his party. (Making this hypothetical Liberal the party leader would also make me more likely to vote Liberal, but I imagine the Grits actually want more than zero seats from Alberta next election.) I don't believe any of the three Liberals named has actually said this, so I have to believe Corbella is making this up.

Either that, or she's trying to conflate Ignatieff's carbon tax proposal with confiscatory nationalization, something I think is equally insane. I mean, I know that Trudeau's NEP was this trauma for Alberta. Leave aside for the moment the fact that the NEP was about as unjust as Quebec's "being left out" of the Constitution - that is, not at all*. How in God's name is a modest carbon tax - something even the right is beginning to accept - in anything like the same league as nationalization?

Well, if you're this particular species of rightist, it has to be the same, because it's an idea from "the left", and thus the spawn of Satan.

Before you accuse me of the same, I'll just point out that, many months ago when I asked Liberals to please STFU about the NDP being responsible for Harper, much of the reaction boiled down to a hysterical disbelief that I would dare suggest any daylight exists between Harper and George W. Bush. That I said Harper was in fact quite distinct from the Republicans, and fit reasonably well in the Canadian prairie Conservatism tradition, was seen by NDP-haters as a gross blasphemy.

*That I don't share in the apparent western consensus that the NEP was the next-worst thing to the Gulag Archipelago should not get in the way of my belief that it was simply objectively bad policy, regardless of the justice criticisms.


Anonymous said...

I just wrote a really long comment, only to have the new Blogger beta eat it on me. Nuts!

Anyway, yes, Card's politics are extremely off-putting, doesn't mean that he didn't used to be a good writer. In fact, the later Ender books were a world better than those awful ones that take place on the piggie-world.

As an essayist, he's worse than the worst American rightist pundits, in terms of shrillness, incoherence and inability to use logic. As I said, it's off-putting, because he's obviously intelligent. He's either given to demagoguery, or can't argue well.

auntiegrav said...

Card is a moron when it comes to science fiction. His politics aren't much better. The Hive Queen is a bad copy of the Borq Queen, better when we didn't know her.
If you want politics in science fiction, read Herbert's books instead, like The Jesus Incident. A better picture of how human authority really responds and acts, and the sentient species are more believeable than the piggies or the buggers. Don't get me started on his religious righteousness tendencies. Relgion in space should be either left out (Roddenberry style) or militarized and ridiculed (Herbert style).
Card should have stayed with the child's eye view of military rituals and computer games.