Friday, April 14, 2017
Around the Nets
When the United story exploded early this week, I mainly had fun with the memes. Seriously -- the internet really outdid itself this time. Even a Catholic satire site decided to play, which amused me to no end.
But there are serious things to learn from the whole incident, as discussed by the writers below:
How United Happens, by Charlie Martin
Big organizations frequently act like idiots, says Charlie, because their leaders lack on-the-ground knowledge. To me, this seems like an excellent argument for keeping organizations (like - ahem - governments) small and local whenever it's humanly possible.
United Airlines and the Internet Mob, by Amie Gibbons
In this post, meanwhile, Amie summarizes why United was in the wrong here and then goes on to address why the American public responded with one angry voice (a bizarre occurrence indeed). According to her (correct) analysis, our airlines have become so wedded to government support that they have started to behave like government agencies and not like private companies -- and as anyone who's been to the DMV or the VA will no doubt confirm, government agencies either don't care one bit about pleasant customer service or are just too incompetent to provide it due to the reasons discussed by Charlie above.
Whatever the issue may be with United, it seems clear that the industry as a whole needs to get off the government tit, as the subsidies are going to the airlines' heads.
In other news...
Could It Be Time to Deny White Men the Franchise? Huffington Post
Folks in my circles knock the HP all the time for being an SJB-converged fake news site, but honestly, I'm glad it exists. Without it, we would never get to see the sort of insanity that is condoned by much of today's left. Deny white men the franchise? Let's leave aside the fact that this is openly calling for human beings to be denied their rights based on sins that completely different people committed. Like I've said many times before, these ideologues have no clue what it's actually like to be white. While it's true that the European imperialists were often predatory, they did not represent the great mass of white men. They were the people in power. The great mass of white men, in the meantime, continued to struggle to make ends meet -- much as they do today. This collective guilt bullshit is really getting tiresome.
Whedon Warns Trump May Start Killing Gays, Christian Toto
Based on what? Based on the fact that Trump is the first successful GOP candidate to support homosexual marriage? Jesus. I adore much of Whedon's work and think he's a real talent. But he needs to start taking some meds before he completely loses touch with reality -- assuming, of course, that he hasn't already, which we all have good reason to doubt.
Forcing Political Correctness on Employees and Characters Is Killing Marvel Comics,
Jon Del Arroz
Fans of SFF should find this discussion pretty familiar. I happen to agree with other writers that there are multiple factors involved in Marvel's decline - like, for example, the changing nature of the market for comics - but the political uniformity Del Arroz describes is also a big problem that is certainly not limited to one particular company publishing one particular genre of geek literature. If you head on over to Tor's blog, you can see another pretty good illustration of capital-F Fandom's tendency to mistake political agendas for quality in a field completely outside the comics industry. Note: Being "queer" does not make a book good. It doesn't make a book bad either, mind you, but you can't use queerness as a standalone gauge for literary merit. Does the story work? Are the characters people a reader can relate to and care about? Does it address universal human themes that will still resonate ten, twenty, or even a hundred years down the line? If you can't answer those questions, you may want to reassess.