Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Dear Fandom: We're Here. We're Conservative. Get Used To It.

Given the serious issues we in the Western world are facing at the moment - migrant crises, terrorist attacks, widening gulfs between the classes - you would think people would find better things to worry about than a trivial joke at a US Senate confirmation hearing. You would think that, but you would be wrong. As you've probably noticed already, we live in the Crazy Years, which means everything - and I mean everything - has to be an official outrage. And if you've been a fan over the past few decades, you no doubt will not be surprised that mainstream pop culture publications are getting in on the act.

"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.   


  1. The REAL question is. . . do regular people still actually READ i09 ? It seems to have gone Full Potato SJW ***years*** ago. . .

    1. Sadly, they're still a very good source for sci-fi news.

  2. Many tender souls are afraid their minds will be contaminated if they read something written by a conservative. Finding out that prominent conservatives have read something raises doubts in their minds as to the purity of the work.

    And the shocking realization that their minds may have been poisoned. It's like hearing a joke about someone slipping meat into a vegan's sandwich. And looking down at their half-eaten vegan sandwich in horrified surmise.

  3. I've come to the conclusion that today's left is a cult. Not a religion but a cult. Cults guard their "stuff" jealously which is why conservatives liking Douglas Adams is such an anathema to them, and why any criticism is met with such harshness. Religion is happy to have questions (such as "why does God permit evil?") but any criticism of say, Obama, is met with hysterical charges of "you racist."

  4. Never cared for Star Trek. Didn't like getting hit over the head with "the message".

  5. I enjoy Star Trek, despite its liberalism. Hemingway, though a leftist, is one of my favorite authors, both for reading enjoyment, and in shaping my own writing style.

    The current (and growing) aversion to reading works written by those whose beliefs fail to validate yours is a sign of a weak, frightened society.

  6. Just checked io9. She's calling Cruz "unclean". The Stupid is strong in that one.