"Senator Ted Cruz Has Forever Tainted The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy!" screams a headline at io9, a purported news center for all things geek. The writer of this particular piece of "legitimate" cultural journalism is upset that Cruz and Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch traded banter about the meaning of life at the start of the aforementioned confirmation hearing. Of course, in reality, there's no rational reason this should exercise anyone. Gorsuch is a highly qualified jurist who comes recommended by folks on both the left and right; the fact that Donald Trump nominated him does not, in fact, count as an automatic disqualifier. But Trendacosta is all a-flutter about Cruz's supposedly cheapening the process by "humanizing" a gentleman who, she is convinced, is the boogeyman.
It's typical left-wing Trump Derangement Syndrome for the most part, but I want to address the specifically fannish aspect of this story because it speaks to two tendencies of leftist fans that annoy the hell out of me.
First of all, leftist fans think, erroneously, that the character of the other fans of a particular work should have bearing on their own enjoyment of that work. But the fact that a Republican likes Douglas Adams shouldn't taint The Hitchhiker's Guide at all. When a creator sends his work out into the universe, he has no control over who ends up liking it; it's silly, therefore, to hold that creator's work responsible when people you personally despise decide to embrace it. Jesus, if I let other fans determine what I take pleasure in, there'd be a lot of things I'd miss out on. To point out one example, I would've had to drop my affection for Babylon 5 the moment fans in the 2000's started comparing W. Bush to President Clark!
Secondly, leftist fans believe, also mistakenly, that a creator's personal political beliefs should have bearing on who's "allowed" to like something. I'm sorry, but no: The fact that Douglas Adams was an atheist and an environmental activist does not mean Cruz and Gorsuch are not permitted to enjoy The Hitchhiker's Guide. Go back to what I said above: When a creator releases something to the general public, he doesn't - and can't - regulate its reception (thank God). If a work is not explicitly political and is written in an appealing way, it's going to attract a broad base of admirers (which is good). Indeed, even if a work does have political messages, people on the opposite side of those messages can still enjoy it if, in their mind, it has other redeeming qualities (also a good thing). A classic example for me is Star Trek. Gene Roddenberry was a utopian and a committed secularist -- and yes, those views do influence Trek's basic premises quite distinctly. But I can - and do - ignore that because 1) the characters are, for me, what make each associated show worth watching and 2) Roddenberry died just when the newer Treks were taking off, and the writers who took the helm in his absence didn't always adhere to Roddenberry's original vision (*ahem* Deep Space Nine *ahem*).
To be blunt: Trendacosta and her leftist cohorts don't own The Hitchhiker's Guide or anything else in geek culture just because many creators happen to be leftist. When they try to claim otherwise, my immediate response is to uplift my two middle fingers. Conservatives like science fiction too, and we have just as much right to be a part of the fandom as anyone else.