[Sorry; this post is probably not worth reading. Too long, not interesting. I shouldn't screw around with the blog when I'm tired... WS]
Speaking of Tom Tomorrow...
The View From Parallel Earth
Orson Scott Card, science fiction writer, channeled a message from Parallel Earth in todays WSJ OpinionJournal
"...I watch the steady campaign of the national news media to try to win this for the Democrats, and I wonder. Could this insane, self-destructive, extremist-dominated party actually win the presidency? It might--because the media are trying as hard as they can to pound home the message that the Bush presidency is a failure--even though by every rational measure it is not.”
I am not making this up.
This is basically the flip side of that recent Parallel-Earth-ish piece from David Brooks
, and my favorite responses
to that seems appropriate here, too. (...the zenlike sound of thousands of jaws dropping... hee hee hee)
We should think really, really hard about this. This is a really amazing phenomenon. It really is as close to a message from Parallel Earth as we are ever going to get.
(This guy’s a science fiction writer… Coincidence?)
“And the most vile part of this campaign against Mr. Bush is that the terrorist war is being used as a tool to try to defeat him--which means that if Mr. Bush does not win, we will certainly lose the war. Indeed, the anti-Bush campaign threatens to undermine our war effort, give encouragement to our enemies, and cost American lives during the long year of campaigning that lies ahead of us."
I think the Republicans have found their Barbara Streisand.
(i) The national media are trying to win the election for the Democrats.
(ii) The Democrats are insane
(iii) The Democrats are self-destructive. Oh…yeah, that one’s o.k. actually.
(iv) The Democrats are extremist-dominated
(v) The media are pounding home the message that the Bush presidency is a failure
(vi) By every rational measure it is not.
And my personal favorite:
(vii) The Democrats are using the war against terrorism against Bush
If you forget any of these, it’s easy to recall them. Just think about what is TRUE, and then it’ll be the opposite of that. Except of course for number three, which really IS true.
Thing is, everything above is just tail. Here’s the dog part:
"...If Mr. Bush does not win [the election], we will certainly lose the war.”
Get used to it. That’s a trope we might be hearing a lot over the next year…
[But remember: the Democrats
are illicitly using the war on terror as a political weapon against Bush
This piece raises the burning question: how absurd does something have to get before we are justified in ignoring it?
Answer: approximately 10% as absurd as this piece of crap.
I’m going to write something serious about our contemporary Parallel Earth/black is white/night is day problem, but for right now I think we should just attend to what Mr. Card is saying. How in the world (this world, not the parallel one) could somebody really believe this?
My afternoon with Orson Scott Card: A Recollection
I met Orson Scott Card once, about 15 years ago. I was in graduate school, and the wife of one of my instructors met Card, and asked him to talk to her English class. At the time I really liked sci-fi/fantasy stuff, and Card had written one of my favorite short stories—it was called something like “Sand Magic” or “The Sandmage.” So I went along with my friend Michael and his wife to pick Card up and hear what he had to say to her class.
The afternoon divided almost perfectly into two parts:
We pick Card up at his house and start driving to the place of the lecture. (I guess it was at UNC-Greensboro.) Card is very animated, but when he finds out that Michael and I study philosophy, he starts shooting his mouth off about something about the philosophy of language. I don’t remember what, but he was completely and utterly FoS. I put up with it for awhile, but then start trying to explain a few points to him. He’s intractable. We end up have a very
unpleasant dust-up, and by the time we get to campus, we aren’t really speaking to each other. It was weird, to say the least. From excited to meet you
to can’t freaking stand you
in about 15 mintes. I just can’t emphasize enough how FoS the guy was. He had absolutely no idea on God’s green Earth what he was talking about, but he was willing to spew word salad, loudly and with utter confidence.
Of course I had concluded that there was no sense in being there by that point, but I had ridden over with Michael, so I was stuck with them for the duration. I glumly went to the class to listen to this blowhard talk some more feces.
The class was a disaster, but it wasn’t Card's fault.
After class, we had to drive him home of course.
I remember dispiritedly walking to the car, thinking what a bust the whole thing had been, but I had absolutely no inclination to talk to the guy. I wasn’t pointedly not talking to him, but we had had a pretty good row before, and I just expected we’d leave each other alone until we dropped him off. Well, I don’t remember how it started, but by the time we got to his house we had started talking again, and it was like night and day. The FoS blowhard idiot was now warm, gregarious, personable. The four of us in the car were best pals, laughing and joking around by the time we reached is (huge) house. He invited us in and we accepted. We met his wife and two kids, and stayed around for quite awhile talking. It was really lots of fun, and he was very gracious. He gave me a copy of a new book of his that wasn’t out yet, and autographed it, and he made a copy of that story I liked so much on his photocopier (very unusual at the time to have one of those in your house) and autographed it for me. I left with very warm feelings about the guy, and still have the book, though I’ve not read it.
Weird, huh? Absolutely Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (or vice-versa).. Never seen anything like it.
Years later I read somewhere that the guy is a serious Mormon, and had written some unpleasant stuff about homosexuals, and some gay rights groups had started confronting him about it at book signings. He said something a little over the top, like “they are trying to take food out of my kids’ mouths.”
Some final thoughts from Parallel Earth:
“Our national media are covering this war as if we were "losing the peace"--even though we are not at peace and we are not losing. Why are they doing this? Because they are desperate to spin the world situation in such a way as to bring down President Bush.
It's not just the war, of course. Notice that even though our recent recession began under President Clinton, the media invariably refer to it as if Mr. Bush had caused it; and even though by every measure, the recession is over, they still cover it as if the American economy were in desperate shape.
This is the same trick they played on the first President Bush, for his recession was also over before the election--but the media worked very hard to conceal it from the American public. They did it as they're doing it now, with yes-but coverage: Yes, the economy is growing again, but there aren't any new jobs. Yes, there are new jobs now, but they're not good jobs.”
“Ultimately, the outcome of this war is going to depend more on the American people than anything that happens on the battlefield. Are we going to be suckered again the way we were in 1992, when we allowed ourselves to be deceived about our own recent history and current events?
We are being lied to and "spun," and not in a trivial way. The kind of dishonest vitriolic hate campaign that in 2000 was conducted only before black audiences is now being played on the national stage; and the national media, instead of holding the liars' and haters' feet to the fire (as they do when the liars and haters are Republicans or conservatives), are cooperating in building up a false image of a failing economy and a lost war, when the truth is more nearly the exact opposite.”
Toward the end of the piece he claims to be a Democrat. Which I’m sure he is, back on Parallel Earth.