Nemo Me Impune Lacessit

Sunday, 28 January 2018

Larry Correia’s Advice to Writers — It’s Also Valid for Liberty Activists

Filed under: entertainment, Media, Politics, Principles — Tags: , — mikewb1971 @ 3:11 PM (15:11)

Fantasy writer Larry Correia offers some advice to other writers in a recent Facebook post

Here is a quick object lesson for writers about why you should never ever give a crap what perpetually offended social justice reviewers say about your stuff.

Back in 2011, Mike Kupari and I released a novel called Dead Six. It’s a great book. A thriller with two competing narrators, trying to kill each other.

Well, one of the main bad guys in D6 is this mysterious crime figure known only as Big Eddie. This dude is so dangerous, and involved in so much organized crime, that at the beginning my main character thinks Big Eddie is just a term for a cabal of powerful string pullers. Eddie is just that connected and terrifying.

Only later on, we actually meet Big Eddie. And it turns out that his public persona is as a spoiled rich guy, heir to a big family fortune, and I based him on Carson from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. Only deeply disturbed, incredibly violent, and a criminal genius mastermind.

He’s also gay. (In actuality, Eddie’s sexual orientation is Hurt People) but he hams it up in his public persona, as it helps hide his truly dangerous nature.

One of my favorite villains I ever created, really popular among readers, and he’s so over the top that when Bronson Pinchot narrated the audiobook, he told me it was one of the funnest roles he’d ever taken (keeping in mind, he was Serge in Beverly Hills Cop and stole the show from Eddie Murphy when he was at the top of his game). And it got nominated for the Audie for Best Thriller.

But angry Social Justice reviewers screamed at me anyway. Having a crazy bad guy be gay was deeply offensive. Homophobic. Triggered. Hatemongery. You know, all the usual stuff. HOW DARE YOU HAVE AN EVIL PSYCHO BE GAY! REEEEE!

So fast forward to this week, and there’s a petition floating around to force DC to make the Joker gay . . .

Yes . . . The Joker. So if they don’t make this charismatic psychotic criminal mastermind gay . . . Then they’re homophobic.

But when I wrote a charismatic psychotic criminal mastermind as gay, I was homophobic.

Basically, no matter what you do, they’re going to be pissed off. You will never ever make these people happy for long. If you comply with their demands, that’s just showing weakness, and the first time you cross one of their invisible lines, they’ll just start screaming at you again. So remember, just write whatever you want, and the critics can go back to eating Tide Pods.

I’ve experienced this sort of shrieking directed at myself in the libertarian movement, both inside the Libertarian Party and outside of it, as well.

I’ve witnessed this sort of hysteria levelled at others.

When people harangue me with this sort of nonsense, I find it difficult to stay pissed off at them. They’re mostly annoyances in the long run.

As Larry tells writers, don’t worry about your detractors. Any attempt on your part to appease them will fail in the long run — they’ll simply find another reason to stick knives in your back.

When they tell you “YOU CAN’T SAY THAT!” about something you’ve said verbally or written, reply with “What do you mean, I can’t say that? I just did say it.”

When they tell you what sort of rhetorical style to use, respond with “Don’t tell me how to do this — SHOW ME.”

In earlier days (1997-2011), I was producing and hosting a public-access TV show here in Albuquerque titled The Weekly Sedition. Someone told me you can’t be like that on the air.” I replied to that with “Anyone who doesn’t like how we run the show is free to sign up at Channel 27, put their own show on, and show us how it’s done.” I then provided the station’s phone number and physical address, so he would have less of an excuse for non-performance. My detractor backed off almost immediately, saying that he “didn’t intend to offend anyone.”

Ghods, I LOVED doing that show every week.

In short, don’t do a thing to appease the Socialist Just-Us Whiners, because you’ll never appease them for long, and you’ll end up tossing your own soul into the trash bin in the process.

It. Just. Is. Not. Worth. It.

Just do it YOUR WAY, and have fun in the process.


NOTES

  1. Published at The Libertarian EnterpriseNumber 958 – 28 January 2018
  2. Approximate reading level – 10.1
  3. Reposted –
    1. Personal blogs and micro-blogs – Diaspora* / Ello / Facebook [page / profile] / Gab / Google Plus / Liberty.me / Liberty Society / Minds / Tea Party Community / Twitter / VK / WordPress.com
    2. Albuquerque Liberty Forum Facebook page
    3. KCUF Media Facebook page
    4. The Weekly Sedition Facebook page
    5. New Mexico Libertarians Facebook group
    6. The Libertarian Enterprise Facebook group

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Thursday, 21 January 2016

DC and Marvel, Dumping on Their Dinner Plates

Filed under: Media, Reading, Viewing — Tags: , , , , , , , — mikewb1971 @ 8:04 PM (20:04)

Skimming through my Facebook feed, I found the following:

Cosmic Book News: Comic Book Retailers Sound Off On DC & Marvel As Sales Drop

Basically, the author explains how DC and Marvel are running their superhero franchises into the ground, and possibly poisoning that particular well for any other publishers, as well.

The interesting thing is that McGloin attributes this to Marvel and DC offering their same titles in both still-pictures-comic format as well as in audiovisual form (movies and television), when both Marvel and DC were letting their franchises be made into movies and TV shows back in the 1950s and 1960s.

Rather, I suspect that we’re seeing the same sort of thing that happened in the mid-1990s, when Marvel began rebooting its franchises (I remember them starting to playing these games with the X-Men in 1994.) and putting out multiple versions of the same issue, with different “collector edition” covers (especially the foil-covered ones!).

Big Bang Comics in Ireland put it rather succintly:

And I’ve heard the tired line before “justifying” the periodic reboots from these clowns:

These characters are so endearing and established . . .

To me, that’s equivocation for “we’re too lazy to develop any new characters.”

Case in point — the Star Trek franchise.

Back in 1985 and 1986, Gene Roddenberry and associates were working on bringing Star Trek back to television, but Paramount wasn’t keen on paying the higher salaries that the 1960s Original Series could command. So they went with a cast of actors not known for being in the science fiction genre. Rather than trying to cast these actors in the roles of the Original Series, Roddenberry created a whole new cast, ship, etc.

Did it pay off for Roddenberry and Paramount? I’d say so. The Next Generation ran for SEVEN seasons, as compared to The Original SeriesTHREE seasons.

Even better — The Next Generation had two series spun off from it (Deep Space Nine and Voyager), each of which had a cast separate from The Next Generation, and each of which ran for seven seasons.

Hell, the prequel series to the franchise (Enterprise) ran for four seasons.

When Paramount / CBS (whoever owns the franchise at this point) did decide to reboot it in 2008 and “bring back the original characters” with new actors, they wrote the script in such a way that picked up from previous endeavours, instead of simply blowing them off wholesale.

Brian Hibbs at Comic Book Resources has this to say:

We have to be mindful that the marketplace is changing, and that we have to change with it. I see a market that is moving away from line-driven buying, that is growing tired of the constant cycle of relaunch and reboot, that has far more options for their time and mindshare than ever before, and that can meet their craving for superhero material increasingly in other media. And that has, most dangerously, had their long-standing habits interrupted by their very pushers.

So far, the ONLY franchise reboot that I’ve seen that was significantly better than the original was the Battlestar Galactica remake of 2003-2009.

So far, out of all of the superhero titles currently published by DC and Marvel, the only one that does anything for me any more is Injustice: Gods Among Us. That’s because when someone gets killed, the writers try to avoid coming up with some cockamamie excuse to resurrect the character(s).

It seems to me that the executives at DC and Marvel assume their customer base to be composed of idiots who will buy into anything with their (the executives’) stamp of approval upon it.

Basically, this is the same sort of logic that Heckler & Koch GmbH used when they pitched their neutered version of their G-36 (the infamous flop called the SL8) — they figured that the HK fanboys (I’m guilty of being a bit of one myself back in the 1990s) would shell out hard cash for anything with a red “HK” stamped on one side of the stock or pistol grip. If that wasn’t a miscalculation, I don’t know what does qualify as one.

Will this endless cycle of reboot and remake ultimately bring down the DC and Marvel movie and television businesses, too?

Should I even care?

H/T Kevin Tuma


NOTES

  1. Approximate reading level – 13.0
  2. Reposted –
    1. Personal blogs and micro-blogs – App.net / Diaspora* / Ello / Facebook page / Facebook profile / Google Plus / seen.life / tsu / Twitter / WordPress.com

Copyright © 2016 Mike Blessing. All rights reserved.
Produced by KCUF Media, a division of Extropy Enterprises.
This blog entry created with medit.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Book Review — Incompetence by Rob Grant

Filed under: Fun, Humor, Reading — Tags: , , , , — mikewb1971 @ 12:05 AM (00:05)

A literary counterpart to Mike Judge’s Idiocracy

Incompetence is a literary counterpart to Mike Judge’s Idiocracy, a movie in which the stupid and clueless end up on top. In Idiocracy, the scene is America. In Incompetence, it’s Europe.

The laughs start on the first page when “Harry Salt’s” misses the airport (“Harry” is the narrating protagonist, and it’s not clear that “Harry” is his real name.) because the pilot forgets where to land (and to lower the landing gear). So he has to catch a cab to Rome, which would have cost him a bundle (if the cabbie had remembered to charge him). Also, gotta love the Italian police captain with anger management issues, who gives one of the best lines of the book while cussing out “Salt” :

“Your first mistake was being born, you dumb punk. Your first mistake was crawling out of the abortion clinic trash can, where your hooker momma left you. . . .”

Then there’s the dinner party which turns into a puke-fest, the living-dead farmer, the car with no ignition switch (and useless operator’s manual), the hotel room with no bed or bathroom, among others.


NOTES

  1. Reposted –
    1. Personal blogs and micro-blogs – Amazon

Copyright © 2015 Mike Blessing. All rights reserved.
Produced by KCUF Media, a division of Extropy Enterprises.
This blog entry created with Notepad++ and KWrite.

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Thursday, 18 July 2013

Book Review — SSN, by Tom Clancy and Martin Greenberg

Filed under: Media, Reading — Tags: , , , , , , — mikewb1971 @ 7:59 PM (19:59)

SSN by Tom Clancy and Martin Greenberg

Berkley mass-market edition – Feburary, 2000, softcover, 351 pages

ISBN 0-495-17353-4

When Tom Clancy takes a direct hand in writing the books with his name on the cover, they’re usually pretty good. When the writing task is handed off to someone else, it’s a crapshoot as to whether you’ll end up with a good read. Luckily, SSN seems to be one of the former.

SSN was based upon a CD-ROM game of the same name[1]. Both the book and game are concerned with the U.S.S. Cheyenne[2], a Los Angeles class nuclear-powered attack submarine of the U.S. Navy, commanded by a Captain Bartholomew “Mack” Mackey, as the Cheyenne goes into combat against the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy, which is the naval branch of the People’s Liberation Army[3].

The Cheyenne starts off by engaging a Han class submarine[4] near Hawaii, but most of the book takes place as the Cheyenne goes up against various subs and surface ships of the PLAN in and around the Spratly Islands, as China wants to establish oil-prospecting operations there.

For what it’s worth, the Spratlys are currently claimed by not only China, but also Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines and Taiwan. Most if not all of these nations are after the oil and natural gas deposits that are suspected to be under the Spratlys[5].

The “interview” (more properly called a “conversation” or “chat”) at the back of the book reveals that the game the book is based upon offers fifteen (15) different situations for the user to undertake, playing the role of “Mack,” and that while completing all of them successfully won’t qualify the user to actually command an attack sub in rela-life combat, they will get a taste of what it’s like. One of the participants, a Captain Doug Littlejohn, CBE (retired) from the British Royal Navy, says that the main liberty taken with the game (and thus the book) was that of time compression – tasks that take hours or days in real life are squeezed into seconds and minutes for the sake of the game, simply to avoid putting the user to sleep.

All in all, it was worth the 2 that I paid for it at the used bookstore.


FOR FURTHER REFERENCE

  1. Tom Clancy’s SSN (CD-ROM game)
  2. U.S.S. Cheyenne (SSN-773)
  3. People’s Liberation Army Navy
  4. Han class submarine
  5. Spratly Islands

NOTES

  1. Reposted –
    1. Personal blogs and micro-blogs – Blogspot / Facebook / Google Plus / Tumblr / Twitter / Xanga

Copyright © 2013 Mike Blessing. All rights reserved.
Produced by KCUF Media, a division of Extropy Enterprises.
This blog entry created with Notepad++.

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Saturday, 18 August 2012

SF vs. Fantasy (and Horror, too!)

Filed under: Media, Philosophy, Principles, Reading, Viewing — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — mikewb1971 @ 2:33 AM (02:33)

Current mood: cynical

Recently I read Tomorrow, the Stars, which was edited by Robert A. Heinlein (at least in part – in the preface, he says that Truman Tailey. Judith Merrill, Frederick Pohl and Walter Bradbury helped out there). In that preface, Heinlein mentions a significant difference between science fiction and fantasy

From page 8 of the Berkeley Medallion Edition (15th printing – June, 1967)

“Science fiction is sometimes miscalled ‘escape literature,’ a mistake arising from a profound misconception of its nature and caused by identifying it with fantasy. Science fiction and fantasy are as different as Karl Marx and Groucho Marx. Fantasy is constructed by either denying the real world in toto or at least making a prime basis of the story one or more admittedly false premise – fairies, talking mules, trips through a looking glass, vampires, seacoast Bohemia, Mickey Mouse.”

In the next few sentences of that same paragraph, Heinlein sets out what distinguishes science fiction from fantasy (and horror, as well). Again, from page 8

“But science fiction, no matter how fantastic its content may seem, always accepts all of the real world and the entire body of human knowledge as the framework for the fictional speculation.”

Back in 2003, I was hanging out at Bubonicon 35 with L. Neil Smith, who summed it up very well

In science fiction, the universe is knowable and people can figure it out.

Thus my conclusion that the books in the genre of sword-and-sorcery fantasy belong together with the horror books, if anywhere, rather than with the science-fiction books.

In my view, fantasy and horror stories are more mature versions of fairy tales and campfire ghost stories.

And why do I often feel as though I’m the only one that sees most of the cast of the typical horror movie as complete idiots, simply begging to be slaughtered at whim by the monster or slasher or demon?


Copyright © 2012 Mike Blessing. All rights reserved.

Produced by KCUF Media, a division of Extropy Enterprises.
This blog entry created with gedit and Notepad++.

Tuesday, 9 January 2007

Book Review — The Black Arrow, by Vin Suprynowicz

Filed under: Media, Philosophy, Politics, Reading — Tags: , , , — mikewb1971 @ 10:06 PM (22:06)

The Black Arrow

1st edition (April, 2005) – softcover, trade paperback, 704 pages

Book by Vin Suprynowicz

Review by Mike Blessing

(This review originally appeared in the May 2005 issue of New Mexico Liberty)

When I first heard that Vin had written a novel, I was a bit puzzled. After all, he had said in Send in the Waco Killers that he had no real intention of writing fiction, as he saw more strange and stupid things from people (usually in the government sector, but not always) than he could ever think up on his own.

His previous books, Send in the Waco Killers and The Ballad of Carl Drega, are certainly proof of this. Some of the incidents that Vin has written articles about are so asinine, so strange, and so petty that I certainly could not think up that sort of stupidity, evil and insanity.

So what did Vin do for his novel? Simple — he used those articles as the basis for some of his characters. (I won’t go into detail here — I don’t want to give too much away.) For example, one of the characters (Yuri Petrov) gets into trouble for making plastic irrigation parts, and the government goes after Petrov for drug-related “conspiracy” charges, because some of the products could be used by people who grow marijuana. Never mind that the Petrov himself never touched the stuff, and didn’t want anything to do with pot. This character was derived from the guy who made plastic vials for perfume packaging, yet the DEA went after him for “conspiracy” to provide crack vials, or the lightbulb makers the DEA attacked because the bulbs can be used to grow pot indoors, hence they “must” be involved in the drug trade.

The main plot of The Black Arrow will be somewhat familiar to those who have read Unintended Consequences by John Ross — a group of people fed up with the system are pushed by that system to where they can’t take it any more, and they strike back. Think of the Black Arrow as a Batman-like character who whups on the real (read state-sanctioned) criminals, as opposed to the free-lancers that you bump into on the street.

Well worth the ∅24.95 plus shipping and handling.

== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==

Republished at the Bernalillo County LP site (version 1) — http://lpnm.us/bernalillo/blackarrow.html


NOTES

  1. Reposted –
    1. KCUF Media – Xanga
    2. LPUSA / LPNMLPNM Blog

Copyright © 2005 Libertarian Party of New Mexico and Mike Blessing. All rights reserved.
Produced by KCUF Media, a division of Extropy Enterprises.
This blog entry created with Notepad++.

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Saturday, 30 April 2005

[LPNM-NML] Book Review — The Black Arrow

Filed under: Philosophy, Politics, Principles, Reading — Tags: , , , , , , — mikewb1971 @ 9:57 PM (21:57)

Book ReviewThe Black Arrow

Book by Vin Suprynowicz [ http://www.thelibertarian.us ]

Review by Mike Blessing [ gunssavelives@zianet.com ]

When I first heard that Vin had written a novel, I was a bit puzzled. After all, he had said in Send in the Waco Killers that he had no real intention of writing fiction, as he saw more strange and stupid things from people (usually in the government sector, but not always) than he could ever think up on his own.

His previous books, Send in the Waco Killers and The Ballad of Carl Drega, are certainly proof of this. Some of the incidents that Vin has written articles about are so asinine, so strange, and so petty that I certainly could not think up that sort of stupidity, evil and insanity.

So what did Vin do for his novel? Simple — he used those articles as the basis for some of his characters. (I won’t go into detail here — I don’t want to give too much away.) For example, one of the characters (Yuri Petrov) gets into trouble for making plastic irrigation parts, when the government goes after Petrov for drug-related “conspiracy” charges, because some of the products could be used by people who grow marijuana. Never mind that the Petrov himself never touched the stuff, and didn’t want anything to do with pot. This character was derived from the guy who made plastic vials for perfume packaging, yet the DEA went after him for “conspiracy” to provide crack vials, or the light bulb makers the DEA attacked because the bulbs can be used to grow pot indoors, hence they “must” be involved in the drug trade.

The main plot of The Black Arrow will be somewhat familiar to those who have read Unintended Consequences by John Ross (also available at http://www.libertybookshop.us) — a group of people fed up with the system are pushed by that system to where they can’t take it any more, and they strike back. Think of the Black Arrow as a Batman-like character who whups on the real (read state-sanctioned) criminals as opposed to the free-lancers that you bump into on the street.

Well worth the 24.95 plus shipping and handling.

Ordering link – http://www.libertybookshop.us/mall/The-Black-Arrow.htm


NOTES

  1. Published in New Mexico LibertyMay 2005, page 1

Copyright © 2005 Mike Blessing. All rights reserved.
Produced by KCUF Media, a division of Extropy Enterprises.
This blog entry created with medit and Notepad++.

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