The Iconic Hero and the Superversive

I make no bones about the fact that I prefer Sean Connery when I’m talking about James Bond movies. It’s not merely that his take on the character is consistently entertaining, but that it’s consistent period from film to film. This is a man who knows who and what he is, does not apologize for it, and has no issues with what he does; he lives for the mission, and believes in the mission. It’s nothing like Danial Craig’s Bond at all. Robin D.
Laws identifies this as “The Iconic Hero”, and explained in this 2012 post why this is a valid characterization choice:

While a dramatic hero follows a character arc in which he is changed by his experience of the world (examples: Orpheus, King Lear, Ben Braddock), an iconic hero undertakes tasks (often serially) and changes the world, restoring order to it, by remaining true to his essential self.

Prevailing creative writing wisdom favors the changeable dramatic character over his serially unchanging iconic counterpart, but examples of the latter remain enduring tentpoles of popular culture. It’s the clear, simple, elemental iconic heroes who keep getting reinvented every generation. Each such classic character spoke to the era of its invention, while also evoking an eternal quality granting it a continuing resonance. We are going to create a new set of heroes who speak to the contemporary world while evoking the inescapable power of the iconic model.

An iconic hero re-imposes order on the world by reasserting his essential selfhood. The nature of his radical individuality can be summed up with a statement of his iconic ethos. It is the ethos that grants higher meaning to the hero’s actions, and a clue to his creator’s intentions. An iconic hero’s ethos motivates and empowers him.

The first paragraph in particular is the mission of a Superversive hero: to restore order to the world. What he does is how he makes that happen, that assertion Laws speaks of, is where the variation lies. In the quoted post, Laws goes over several iconic characters and shows how you can summarize their stories in a sentence by identifying their ethos and how they assert it to restore order to their world time and again. What he doesn’t identify, but nonetheless shows, is that this summary also serves as the basis for every story outline you’ll need in writing stories about those characters that are true and faithful additions to their literary corpus that the readers will accept.

There’s something else that this post, and the concept in it, reveals: how the Enemy subverts the culture. They do resort to making Iconic Heroes into Dynamic Characters, putting them through “arcs” that denigrate their ethos and thereby degrade the characters into agents of subversion to further the Enemy’s agenda. (One need only look at what goes on at Marvel and D.C. Comics to see this in action.)

While stories that have characters changed by the experiences of the narrative are necessary and valuable, this is not a universal requirement. Just look at what’s been done with the Arthurian Mythos to see (a) that it’s not necessary and (b) it’s often done to subvert, degrade, and destroy a targeted culture- and therefore, not to be trusted anymore.

Consider an Iconic Hero when you’re next sitting down to create something, especially if you’re looking to do so as part of a series–writing, gaming, etc.–because you may find it better suited to your objectives than you might think.

The Superversive in Tabletop RPGs: Why Is It So Rare?

There aren’t many tabletop RPGs, or supplements thereof, that are clearly or explicitly Superversive. However, many such games (and the official settings sold so eagerly for them) contain that potential. The publishers explicitly sell their games, and those settings, with a slant of “Be the good guys against the bad guys!” Yet it is increasingly rare for actual Superversive play to occur, something that’s been a known issue in gaming forums and sites for over 20 years.

Well, there IS an explanation. Dragon Award winner Brian Niemeier made a post his blog today regarding this sort of discussion as it applies to the Big Two of the American comics world, D.C. and Marvel. As those two big giants routinely miss the point, so do their fellow travelers in the tabletop gaming world. As I know first-hand that SJWs in comics, gaming, film, television, and SF/F publishing all network via the convention scene it’s not hard at all to see how this moral malaise spread to all of these cultural subsectors.

(Brian’s post contains the over-arching conversational thread, and I encourage you to read it before you come back here, because I’m explicitly building upon that thread as it relates to Superversive RPGs.)

There are two key observations to be had here. The first is by Jeffro Johnson (said here):

If you want people to employ traditional virtues in service of civilization, they first have to be able to imagine them. Heroism and romance were suppressed specifically to make it easier to destroy a people. The poindexters hold loyalty in contempt and sneer at sacrifice. They think goodness is for chumps. And they have held the reigns of culture for decades.

By the time that Dungeons & Dragons exploded into the mainstream around 1980 (there’s that timestamp again), this degree of cultural subversion had already occurred. If not for the brief turnaround in the zeitgeist by films like the original Star Wars through to the mid-’80s (e.g. Flash Gordon, Krull, Raiders of the Lost Ark) the degeneracy would have concluded well before the turn of the century. Instead, one last generation had the opportunity to have the Superversive shown to them in their early years.

In short, without examples of the Superversive to fire our imaginations, many of us will never even think to play that out in our fantasy adventures when we play tabletop RPGs no matter how well either the rules or the settling allow for it– and that, right there, is a major factor for why explicitly Superversive tabletop RPGs such as Pendragon remain niche games in a niche hobby.

Following that aforementioned thread, this observer nailed why the very publishers that comprise the thought-leaders in tabletop RPGs constantly undermine the Superversive potential of their own creations:

But they can’t imagine that. Reason number two is because of their self-imposed lifting of hypocrisy as the “ultimate” sin. It is better to not have a code at all than to have one and fail to live up to it. This is reflected in the method by which they try and tear down icons – hell, they even said it in Spider-Man 1 (Toby MacGuire), “the thing people like best is to see a hero fall.” (Paraphrased). They cannot fathom that the (a) the purpose of a code, even an unreachable one, is to set a goal for all people to strive to achieve, and (b) that you can’t live up to it all the time is because we are flawed, fallen, and human. However, (c) that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t stop trying.

I’ve seen this first-hand. They can’t conceive of it at all. The non-stop mockery of virtue, of the pursuit of a moral or ethical standard, and the misunderstanding (often willfully so) of what “hypocrisy” means all contribute to this subversion of the ostensible claim to “heroic adventure” (which they also misunderstand).

You see this in the long-form when the rules for games in strongly moral settings, such as Star Wars, keep getting watered down to allow for that demoralization to feed upon itself at the table. You see this in the creep of their Pink Slime amorality into their rules and settings, and the pushing of clearly subversive messages (i.e. yet more virtue-signalling) into every part of their business output- product and service alike.

While there are some people left in tabletop gaming who haven’t been fully converged, most long ago bent the knee and drank the demon’s blood- they are part of the cult, and they hate you. This is why the Superversive is rare in tabletop RPGs: they hate it. Don’t give them your money, or your children.

Just as readers closed their wallets and walked away from The Big Two in comics, and do so to the Big 5 in SF/F, this is necessary in tabletop gaming. Close the wallets, and walk away from Omelas- it’s YOUR child they forsake.

(And yes, this is much the case for videogames as well.)

Writing Superversive Romance

Can we have an honest talk about romance in novels?

Now, I’ve done romance before in my books, but mostly as a subplot. As most of us have figured out long ago, most men would rather go see John Wick on Valentine’s Day than the latest Twilight movie. So this isn’t rocket science.

With my novel Codename: Winterborn, for example, there were two romance subplots going on — though not at the same time.  One was between main character Kevin Anderson and his wife. Yes, I know, a romance story between a MARRIED COUPLE– gasp! Shock! Horror! SURELY, THIS IS THE END OF ALL THINGS!!!!!!

… Sorry. Can you tell I’ve been reading Daddy Warpig articles lately?

The second romantic subplot in Winteborn was between with hunter and prey, and even then, it was odd. It was very, … Laura, really.**  Though the main plot is heavy on the action.

[**Laura, a murder mystery in which a detective falls in love with the victim through her portrait. In the case of Codename: Winterborn, it was via files and seeing him in action]

With Codename: Winterborn, however, this took place over the course of months.

But the average romance novel takes, what, days? A week or two? Then the male and female leads jump into bed like sex-starved hyenas during mating season?  I think the longest courting period that I recall in romance fiction was a Sherrilyn Kenyon novel called Fantasy Lover where holding off on sex was a massive plot point, and involved breaking a curse from Geek deities. No, I’m not kidding.

Let’s just say that when I did something similar, it was with my novel A Pius Man. And you have no idea how much effort I put into trying to make that believable.

Then I worked on a Catholic Vampire Romance novel called Honor At Stake …

And that takes place over the course of 9 months. There’s a reason for that. Why?

Because I want a flipping love story. Something that looks real.  Something that feels real. Something that takes time to develop. Because no one — and by “no one” I mean any rational relationship — jumps into bed on the first date and expect the relationship to go anywhere. If you do, please stop kidding yourself.

The next challenge you should be considering is: I’m still a guy. How does a guy write romance? (While not being John C Wright, he can pen whatever novel he wants.)

Anyone who doesn’t know me is probably considering the easy answer: “Well, Declan, you’ve been in love before, right? Use your actual love life.”

To which I must sadly inform them: “Have you read my blogs about my love life? It looks like a train wreck.”

Yeah.  Fun fact: any relationship of mine that survived in real life for any length of time was unreal in so many ways, I can’t even describe it without people calling me a liar. I don’t even believe my own love life. I think if I wrote it up, it would look like fiction.

Besides, I suspect that a love story that is a blow by blow of a real relationship would probably bore the crap out of most people. Granted, I have an unfair advantage in my novels: I have vampires, Vatican Ninjas, and grenade launchers.

However, I was a follower of one of the better romances on television: Castle.

Yes, Castle.  It has character development, a relationship that grows out from mutual attraction, to partnership, to friendship, and then to love. They even get to love long before leaping into bed, and only 1 YEAR of that before engagement.

Which is sadly, an improvement over what we usually see on screen. I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve seen: First Date, Sex, Friendship, love, and Marriage, in that order. Just once, I would like to see the order be: friendship, courtship, love, marriage, sex.

To give Castle it’s due, where else do you see friendship actually develop in the romance genre? The phrase “Let’s just be friends” is usually much the end of any romantic relationship — in romance novels, and in my own experience — but shouldn’t a man and a woman at least shoot for being friends before they leap into bed together? Radical notion, I know, but consider it for a moment.

Another technical that pops up in the occasional romance novel, and in in Castle, almost everyone around the main couple sees this relationship coming. This is traditional in the standard Nora Roberts novel, this is usually represented by the “plucky best friend” of the heroine, trying to push her out of her comfort zone to risk enough to actually end up with her heart’s desire.

Yes, risk and romance. If you think that the concept is merely for conflict within fiction, I suggest you reflect on a simple concept: at the end of the day, marriage is all about investing yourself totally and completely in another person. Each spouse belongs to the other, bound by a full commitment– spiritually bound, biologically bound, connected on all levels. Seriously, read Ephesians 5, and I mean all of it, not just the “approved” readings.

If this concept doesn’t even remotely scare you, please reflect on it some more. It should come to you shortly.

There is also another problem that comes in occasionally in fiction, that is, surprisingly enough, a factor in some actual relationship considerations. This is a belief by some people have that they are unloveable — “Seriously, what sane person could possibly love a creature like me? Only some broken psycho would express any interest — only the psychos have expressed an interest. And why would any “normal” person give me the time of day?”  If you think this is only reserved for fictional characters on angsty CW shows, then I applaud your confidence in how perfect you are.

In my execution of it, with my Love at First Bite series, my leads are Marco Catalano and Amanda Colt. And oy, these two have got relationships baggage that look like Samsonite, or maybe a Haliburton. One is a blood thirsty killer, the other’s a vampire. So you have two creatures of the night — would would rather be feared rather than loved, and one who eats people.

Now, I’m not going to say that this is the most unlikely duo I’ve ever created. The main couple in my Pius novels were pretty much the most opposite I could design two people while still making them human.

But when it comes to writing romance, I like little things. Little details. Little innocent things that can be taken the right way if characters looked at them really hard, but don’t because neither one thinks the other wants to go there. Little looks and touches, and smells and “if she hugs me any closer she’s going to realize I’m having a not-so-innocent reaction,” and “stay calm, or the increased heartbeat will give the game away.”

You know, things like that.  I’m told I do that well.

The short version is that in all things, there is a proper order. For a romance to be truly romance, sex should come last, and commitment should be more important than the sex. Because if two people aren’t joined in a blessed union, it just becomes one more carnal relationship, and what romance comes from that?

If you want to see a guy write not-bad romance, try the  Love At First Bite Series
.

Sins of Omission, guest post by A.A. Leil

Please enjoy this guest post by A.A. Leil, he contacted me about L. Jagi Lamplighters story in Forbidden Thoughts and wanted to offer a response. Please enjoy.

Sins of Omission

A Critical Response to Lamplighter’s ‘Test of the Prophet’

Note: This essay contains spoilers for two stories: Test of the Prophet from Forbidden Thoughts and Platinum Blonde.

 In the Forbidden Thoughts anthology we find a collection of stories meant to provoke thought and discussion about a number of modern issues. As a Muslim-American I found Test of the Prophet ripe for discussion, especially when juxtaposed with my recent publication in Sci Phi Journal, Platinum Blonde. Both deal with the source of violence in the Muslim world, but Test of the Prophet comes up with stereotyped answers that not only deride Islam but also depicts Jesus as a bully.

Jagi Lamplighter’s short story, Test of the Prophet (TotP), recounts a young Muslim woman’s journey to Pakistan to save her beloved cousin Kabir. Shazia learns from Kabir’s distraught sister that he has joined the Taliban. The idea that Kabir would join the Taliban clashes with Shazia’s memories of him as a kind and noble boy who wanted to make the world a better place. She resolves to save Kabir and finds him near the entrance to the Khyber Pass among a cadre of Daesh extremists, his sword raised and ready to behead a Pakistani soldier.

It is here that we arrive at the heart of the story, a vital and complex question: what is the source of violent extremism in the Muslim world? Shazia, who is gifted with the ability to see djinn, demons and angels, discovers a group of evil spirits surrounding the extremists to exert their influence on them. She calls for help, and the Angel Gabriel appears.

What follows is TotP’s exposition on the perceived ills of Islam as voiced by the demons and the Angel Gabriel, the ultimate gist of which is to identify the Prophet Muhammad (and his failure to pass Gabriel’s fictional test) as the root of violence in the Muslim world. The reason? Muhammad wrote falsehoods into the Quran in order to gain power for himself.

To prove this theory, TotP gives a very shallow recount of the migration of Muhammad and the early Muslims to the city of Medina. Speaking to Shazia, a ram-horned demon in TotP states that “the very first thing your Dog-rutting Prophet did—after receiving instructions from Oh-So-High-and-Mighty-Gabriel, here, telling him to be kind to the followers of the Slaughtered Lamb and the People of the Book—was to move to Medina and to put those very People of the Book to the sword.”

The historical record says otherwise. Lamplighter’s demon refers to Muhammad’s invitation to Medina to arbitrate between two battling clans that had drawn their Jewish clients into a bloody civil war. To bring peace to the region, Muhammad arranged for Medina’s Jewish, Muslim, and pagan clans to sign a mutual protection pact. The pact held for several years despite multiple attempts on Muhammad’s life. Eventually the pact would be tested when the Meccan army (the Meccans had long sought to extinguish the nascent Muslim community) laid siege to Medina.

None of these facts are mentioned in TotP.

The largest omission, however, revolves around the actions of the Jewish Banu Qurayza tribe during this siege. Upon learning that the Banu Qurayza intended to betray the pact and join the Meccan army, Muhammad tried keep them on his side. Despite this, the Banu Qurayza signaled the Meccan army that they were ready to act against Muhammad, but an exhausted and defeated Meccan army lifted siege and marched home, abandoning the Banu Qurayza.

The Muslim army then lay a 25-day siege upon the Banu Qurayza’s castle, which led to both sides agreeing to arbitrate. Rather than do so himself, Muhammed chose Sa’d ibn Muadh, a former ally of the Banu Qurayza, as judge. He ruled that the Banu Qurayza had committed treason by not honoring their agreement to protect Medina and ordered 700 men of the tribe to be executed. This is harsh, but it comes directly from Deuteronomy 20:12-14:

“If they refuse to make peace and they engage you in battle, lay siege to that city. When the Lord your God delivers it into your hand, put to the sword all the men in it. As for the women, the children, the livestock and everything else in the city, you may take these as plunder for yourselves. And you may use the plunder the Lord your God gives you from your enemies.”

 Given that Islam views itself as an extension of Judaism and Christianity, it should not come as a surprise that the Muslims in 622 A.D. acted by the example laid out by previous Abrahamic religions. But instead of crediting the executions to Deuteronomy, Lamplighter places the blame with Muhammad – who wasn’t even the judge.

 TotP further attempts to justify its view of Islam with a revisionist characterization of the Crusades where Crusaders were shining lights of liberty and freedom and Muslims were just blood-thirsty expansionists who forced the conquered to convert or die. However, in Islam: The Straight Path, author John L. Esposito recounts a different picture. He states that “some Jewish and Christian communities (particularly those persecuted by the Orthodox Church) aided the invading armies, regarding them as less oppressive than their imperial masters.”

Entire chapters could be written on the further sins of omission riddled within TotP, from its selective descriptions jihad and polygamy to its cartoonish use of the word ‘infidel’, all of which serve to further stereotypes about Muslims. However, further exploration of those topics are beyond the scope of this piece and would distract from the greatest irony of TotP.

Once Shazia discovers that Kabir is about to murder the Pakistani soldier, her existence as a Muslim woman with her own ideas ends and she becomes an empty vessel. From the point of view of ToTP, she must be first cleansed of her Muslim beliefs so that she may become a prophet for a ‘new’ religion. A few of her cliche ‘say-it-aint-so’ moments notwithstanding, she weakly accepts the narrative that the Angel Gabriel and the demons feed her despite her life-long existence as a Muslim. It doesn’t occur to her that demons, as agents of Satan, may be lying to her in exactly the way both the Quran and Bible suggest. Or that Gabriel might not be an angel but a demon disguised as one.

As her desperation increases, she once again calls for help and now Jesus himself appears in the form of a lion, declaring that “last time, I came as a lamb and thus went meekly to the slaughter. That time has past. Soon, I shall come again. This time, I come as a Lion.” Shazia’s reaction is a stammering recognition that the lion is indeed Isa Ibn Maryam (“Jesus son of Mary” the Arabic name for Jesus as it is written in the Quran).

The Lion is not willing to act immediately on Shazia’s behalf, suggesting that though Isa Ibn Maryam is one name for him, invoking this version will not aid her now. She asks if she must convert, turn her back on her people, and drink (presumably) the blood of Christ. The Lion initially ignores her, choosing to neither confirm nor deny the requirement. After she presses the question further, the Lion roars, “Do you think me so small as that?”

Apparently the reader is supposed to think Jesus is exactly that small, because it is only when Shazia calls out “I banish thee in the name of Jesus Christ” does the Lion act to drive off the demon. Note that the Jesus of TotP refused to aid her when she invoked the Quranic version of his name.

To a Muslim, this is more than a simple invocation of Jesus’s name. The use of “Christ” is a forced acceptance of the idea that Jesus is the son of God, a notion that Islam rejects. As Mathew 26:63 explicitly connects the title of ‘Christ’ to the notion that Jesus is the son of God, Shazia’s invocation of the title is tantamount to a rejection of her Islamic beliefs and an acceptance of Jesus as God’s son and of God as his father.

In effect, TotP, which claims that Islam forces people to convert or die, concocts a scene in which Shazia is forced to convert or die.

And so, after thoroughly mischaracterizing the Prophet Muhammed and Islam, Test of the Prophet mischaracterizes Jesus as well. Neither the Jesus of the Bible nor the Jesus of the Quran would become Jesus the hostage-taker. Are we to believe that Jesus, who cured the sick and fed the poor, would not act to save someone whose life is at stake?

In John 8:1-11, Jesus saves the life of an adulterous woman despite the fact that she shows no explicit remorse for her actions and does not even ask for his help. He saves her first before telling her, “Go and sin no more.” In Luke 17:11-19, Jesus cleanses a group of lepers without asking them to repent for their sins, and in Luke 7:11-17, he resurrects a widow’s son not because the widow repented of anything, but out of compassion for her. The Gospels are replete with examples of Jesus saving individuals and only asking for their faith later (if at all). Why then would he treat Shazia so differently?

This is, in effect, “sinner’s prayer” Christianity: the idea that saying a few words in the right order will convey supernatural blessings even if the person doesn’t fully understand what she’s saying. And it bears noting that this form of salvation is coming under more and more criticism by Protestant theologians. Prayer doesn’t force God to act, nor is God’s ability to act restrained by a human’s failure to pray. Every Christian denomination agrees that God’s grace is given first, and humans may then choose how to respond to it.

By forcing Shazia to convert or lose everything, the story’s Jesus is overriding her free will. Meanwhile, salvation history shows that all along, God honors our free will, even when we make stupid or destructive decisions. Shazia’s conversion can’t be genuine if the alternative is death.

Put another way, “there is no compulsion in religion (Quran 2:256).”

As stated earlier, TotP poses a complex and important question as to the source of violence in the Islamic world. Through convenient sins of omission, it paints a negative view of Muhammad to arrive at a pat answer to this question. Yet when Lamplighter’s characters misrepresent not only Islam but Jesus, how can a reader view the story’s answers as in any way credible?

Last year, without knowing about Lamplighter’s story, I also wrote a response to violence in the Muslim world with the story Platinum Blonde, published in SciPhi Journal on February 6th. In Platinum Blonde, Adam, a young man who has been indoctrinated with an extremist interpretation of Islam by his father, decides to teach a Muslim family a violent lesson for singing and dancing in the streets and for not enforcing the hijab upon their daughter. Adam sticks to the plan despite his own misgivings and despite some outside pushback, but in the end he tries to go through with the homicide. And in the end, the character Najat pronounces this judgment on Adam: “He thought he knew God, but he really only knew his father.”

The essence of Najat’s lament is this: an individual’s religious belief system, when acquired through the intercession of fallible sources, is in of itself fallible. Despite Adam’s belief that killing the dancing girl was an act of faith in God, it was in fact an act of faith in his human, and extremist, father.

This is similar to Lampligher’s answer, but she puts the extremism and the hatred into the mouth of Muhammad rather than into the methods of transmission and teaching. She blames the source rather than the human interference.

Platinum Blonde therefore suggests that the source of violence in the Muslim world originates from interpretations of the Quran, not the Quran itself or any imagined additions that Muhammed may have made. The idea that some Muslims’ belief systems are derived from the faulty interpretations of parents, friends, and imams may not fully answer the question posed by TotP and Platinum Blonde, but it does open the door to discussing these questions in a more thoughtful fashion. Through an unbiased study of history from the birth of Islam, to the Crusades, to Islam’s Golden Age, the rise and influence of Wahhabism, all the way to how the partitioning of the Middle-East echoes in the modern world, we may step through this door. Bolstered by an understanding of the differences between culture and religion and the realization that the actions of individuals often do not align with the guidance of religious doctrine, we may begin to walk towards the answer. Christians and Muslims can walk there together.

One more provision, however, is required if we really wish to answer the question of violence in the Muslim world. We must understand the Quran, like the Bible, is not a book that can be read the way one would read an instructional guide, a history book, or a memoir. For in reality, it is in any particular section any of these things, and the discerning reader must understand that which ‘genre’ they are reading depends on which sura(chapter) and aya(verse) of the Quran they are reading.

None of the critique written about Test of the Prophet is to say that you shouldn’t read it. To the contrary, you should. Read it, and also read Platinum Blonde for the questions they raise and the discussions they initiate. If the answers these stories posit don’t ring true for you, seek your own answers, but do so with an open, sincere heart unfettered by the politics of the day, and do not do so in isolation of those who hold viewpoints different from your own. It is only through the earnest exchange of ideas that we may arrive at answers to complex questions.

You can find more from A.A. Leil at his website http://www.aaleil.com/

Attack of the Witch King

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John C Wright posted an article called The Last Crusade: In the Kingdom of Witches, part of his series on what’s wrong with Western Civilization. The usual crowd of nutcases, hysterical harpies, and idiots — usually known as simply “social media.” —  had only one takeaway from this: “WRIGHT BELIEVES IN WITCHES! HE THINKS THEY’RE TRYING TO TAKE OVER THE WORLD!!!!!”

At the very least, they’re consistent: they’ve once more missed the point.

In order to help social media grasp the obvious, I have taken it upon myself to translate this great essay into small words. After all, this must be understood by small people.

The following, strange as it might seem, contains spoilers for my own books series, Love at First Bite.

The far left of the twentieth century was always a religion. The far Left bases most of their beliefs boilerplate socialism. Since the Russian revolution took  a lot from the French revolution, there is a lot of blood as part of the Leftist faith, and a lot of anti-theist secularism.

Leftism has kept up this tradition, perhaps even better than the Soviet Union ever did. Communism killed a hundred million people in the last century, over the course of 70 years.

Just to highlight this one more time. That’s a hundred million. 100,000,000 dead.

In the United States, we’re up to, what, fifty million aborted children and counting?  Over the course of less than fifty years? We keep that up, abortion will have wiped out more people than Communism along the same amount of time. That’s not even counting the numbers in other countries around the world.

The funny thing about the Soviet Union is that they actually went out of their way to eliminate free love moments. Even the USSR, with all of their butchery and violence, knew that the traditional family structure, and having children, was vital to a nation.

Leftists today haven’t even learned that lesson. Isn’t that sad?

But the Leftists of today have decided that abortion is a “right” — one that supersedes the freedom of religion (such as Catholic hospitals being forced to perform them), freedom of speech (holding a placard advocating prayer or adoption is banned within X-feet of an abortionist), and basic standards of operating theater cleanliness.

What does one call a group who are hip deep in blood and want to go deep sea diving in even more blood? “Witches” is a good summary, don’t you think?

But Wright wants to go deeper.

the essential nature of a witch, as she was portrayed in fairy tales (which contain a good deal more sense than newspapers) was of a withered, childless spinster: a woman with nothing to offer the community, but whom age and curiosity had opened the secret properties of plants and stars and other things easily turned to venom.

Welcome to Leftism. The motto seems to be “let’s take anything good and pure” and turn it toxic.

After all, Maleficent cannot be an evil psychotic killer who will take deadly retribution over minor slights; she must be rewritten with a backstory to make her the heroine.

Gaston and his henchman cannot be Alpha and lackey in the latest Beauty and the Beast film — there must now be a homosexual component.

Don’t even get me started on those who framed Samwise and Frodo’s relationship as gay. Or Holmes and Watson. Or Archie Goodwin and Nero Wolfe. Or Bert and Ernie. Because good, pure, simple friendships can’t exist in their world, it must be sexual, because sex is everything, right? I haven’t seen Lord Peter Wimsey and Bunter yet, but give it time, I’m sure.

Should we even discuss the freaks on parade as of late? I refuse to call them Civil Rights protesters — sorry, that’s Martin Luther King leading a parade of people wearing their Sunday finest who just wanted to join the main stream. And be it the Occupy rioters living like animals and defecating in the streets and businesses of New York, or the “womyn” in gynecological garb wandering around in January 2017, these people very clearly don’t like “mainstream.” They want the mainstream to accept THEM, condone, bless, and accept whatever the BS du jour is. They don’t seem to want simple toleration, since “toleration” means to put up with something abhorrent to you. Apathy is not allowed — you will be made to care. You will be made to accept and bless it, and kneel before whatever bull is being force fed you, the culture, and there are lawyers for those who won’t bow down. Just try to be a Christian baker and tell me how that works for you.

And no, for those snickering twits on the internet, there isn’t a mystical, black-helicopter “they.” They’re in plain sight, after all. Marching in the circus garb they call “a statement,” when it’s really more like a thousand clowns.

Witches subvert. Witches turn things that are good and pure into poison. They turn children into child sacrifice. They turn the anti-abortion feminism of Susan B. Anthony into genitalia on parade. They turn Christian Charity into entitlement programs to buy votes. They promise a great society and deliver a broken culture and destroyed families.

Leftism has its own altars in the abortion clinic, and its own sacrifices called children. They have their own public displays of faith called riots, only disguised as “protests.”

Leftism. Witchcraft. Subversion. Alinsky. Same Stuff, Different Decade.

Evil Books

I have read few books in my life that I would categorize as evil.  But I’m sure there are some people out there that are. And no, I don’t mean a necronomicon. Those are easy — those books you burn, and don’t even ask questions. No, I mean the type of books you need to take a shower over.

However, there are plenty of books I don’t finish. Many I don’t even start. Why? Because of some topics of subject matter that I didn’t know about in the first place.

I will never read books about child rape. Never. Period. Done. We’re finished. If it’s mentioned, like a footnote in the crimes of the perp, that’s one thing, but I will not sit through reading that.

I will never read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo — yes, I’m told that the CHAPTER LONG RAPE SCENE is “soooo well written,” and I don’t care. Period. If it’s so important to the story that the readers need that much detail, screw that. I don’t need that in my head, I’m screwed up enough. Thanks.

Rape, and particularly child rape, will earn you a spot on my personal capitol punishment list. Meaning that I had better not be aware of you within my general vicinity. There’s no reason for me to read it.

We won’t even get into 50 Shades of Stupid. After all, who needs porn? Also, why did it have to be so badly written? Yes, take your pick over what offends me more, the porn or the bad writing. Though I have heard enough excerpts being read in funny little voices that at least tell me that the writing is at least hilariously bad.

There is, of course, crap writing. George RR Martin seems to spend so much time on snow and ice and dead people that I can’t bring myself to care about his work. And I tried. And I failed. Far as I’m concerned, save the world from Martin and run from it.  I expect the series to end with everybody dead. In this case, that’s not evil, that’s just a one-trick pony. His plot only moves when it is lubricated by the bodies of his characters. There are friends who can predict when the next body falls to within five pages of the event. The only reason a lot of people seem to be reading the books is to see who the last one standing is.

And then there are books like Dan Brown. Message fiction. If you don’t believe me, (SPOILERS) the last Dan Brown, Inferno, ended with a third of the world being sterilized. And instead of our heroes doing something reasonable, like trying to stop it, our heroes shrug and go “Oh well, the bad guy was right, overpopulation is a threat to everybody. Screw these people.”

No, that’s not exactly how they put it, but that’s pretty much what I walked away with.

One book I finished in my youth was called MacTeague, something that film buffs would know of via the train wreck that was the 9-hour Eric von Strohiem film Greed. The premise was that a big dumb dentist fell in love with the girl his best friend has his eyes on. The best friend “magnanimously” allows the title doofus to marry the girl.  The girl then wins the lotto (yes, really) and clings to every penny like Scrooge. It ends with the title character killing his wife for the cash, riding of into the desert, pursued by his former best friend (who’s interested only in the money).

The finale is the two of them, in the desert, with no water and no way out, still arguing about the money. All the while I could hear Indiana Jones from Temple of Doom, screaming “You, are going, to DIE.”

I think that was the second time in my life I wanted to fling a book across the room. Because the characters were both evil and stupid, all of whom you’d rather see die. And you wonder “Why did I just burn brain cells on all of this?”

Answer: Because it was assigned reading in high school.

Sadly, most of the crap books I had to finish were due to “education.”

Lord of the Flies and Catcher in the Rye are two books that I’m relatively certain that have added nothing to my life. Honestly, the first one was just literary Thomas Hobbes, and I’ve come to hate it even more after I earned my degree in philosophy. The other was whining narration from a teenager who had a nervous breakdown because he couldn’t handle becoming a grownup, and yes, things change.

As CS Lewis once put into the mouth of a demon, Screwtape, “Of course you can’t tempt your primary soul today, that field that protects him comes from reading a good book. You must stop him from doing that. You want him to read “important” books. Books that he’ll hate.”

So, do yourself a favor everyone. Go out, and read fun books. Books you’re going to enjoy. Because life is too short to read just because someone tells you “this book is important.”

Declan Finn is a Dragon Award nominated author. His “Catholic Vampire romance novels” can be found on his personal website. As well as all the other strange things he does.

Politics of the Damned

One of the reasons the Superversive movement needs to grow is the state of live and living in fiction. Yes, the lives of fictional characters matter, in part, because they are a reflection of what matters to the real world.

And now, if you read some “bestselling”  literature — not good, or even popular, just moves a lot of copies — you would get the impression that life is not worth living. In fact, you would think that life isn’t worth a damn one way or another.

I’m noticing this in fiction more and more as time goes on. The message of fiction where life is not worth living and people are not worth allowing to live.  I’m not talking about a John Ringo novel where the stupid are eaten / blown up / killed in various horrific ways. No, that’s a straight up Darwin Award.  I’m talking about a general contempt for life and living human beings.

Don’t believe me? In 1998, there was a book called Rainbow Six. I’m going to spoil the book and the video game based off of it because it’s almost 20 years old now. The bad guys in that novel were eco-terrorists who figured that the world would be just fine without human beings, and if the terrorists were the only human beings left alive to inherit the Earth, then the Earth would be just perfectly fine.

Our heroes couldn’t arrest these sickos, so they invaded the super high tech compound in the midst of the rainforest, took the terrorists outside, stripped them all naked, blew up the compound and said “Fine. You wanted nature. You got nature. The nearest town is a week that way. Good luck.”

The villains trying to destroy the world were vanquished, and doomed to live in concert with the nature they so loved.

Fast forward to 2013, and He That Shall Not Be Named wrote a book called Inferno that Dante would be offended by. The good ending for the novel — where the “good guys” actually won — was that 1/3 of the planet had been sterilized.

The conclusion? “Oh well, the bad guys have a point. There really are too many people on the planet.”

Uh huh. Yeah. You read that right. The bad guy was right. It would be too much trouble to fix it, and there are too many people anyway, so screw it.

Let us ignore for the moment that most of Europe has a birthrate that WILL NOT REPLACE the current generation. Let us ignore for the moment that the gender disparity in China will probably mean that they will not replace even HALF of their population over the coming century. Let us ignore for the fact that forcible sterilizations are the sort of thing that were only supported by Eugenicists the world over, like at Cold Spring Harbor in the 20s, Margaret Sanger, and Adolf Hitler.

Let us focus, for the moment, on the casual dismissal of life as a good. Honestly, “A third of the planet is sterilized, oh well, too many people.” Where does this come from, exactly? Where does this man, where does anybody, get off by dismissing people as problems? Because that’s what the root reasoning is: people are the problem, but only the right people are the problem.

Talk about the politics of the damned.

And we know where this comes from, don’t we?  The overpopulation myth.  PJ O’Rourke pointed out years ago that if we had the Population density of New Jersey, we could fit the entire population OF THE PLANET into Texas. If we did that with the entire population density of a major Indian city, we could fit everyone into, I don’t know, Utah (this was 20 years ago. cut me some slack for memory).  Granted, that was 20 years and two billion people ago, but congratulations, adding an extra two billion people probably just expanded that to, I don’t know, Alaska.

Short version: You want overpopulation? You’re going to need a consistent birth rate for, what, another century?  Another two centuries? Hell, take Malthus — please do, and throw him in a dungeon — who stated that population produces and grows faster than agriculture, so we’re eventually going to starve to death due to famine, and a cataclysm will correct the population to planet ratio.

Yeah, Malthus. What a guy, huh?

But here’s one of many problems Malthus has. Agriculture of 100 years ago is different from the agriculture of today.  The people starving across the planet today are starving because of economic or political reasons, be they warlords, despots, or just lousy economies. Depending on who’s crunching / spinning the numbers, we can probably feed ten times the word’s population right now. Even if that’s grossly exaggerated, and we can “only” feed twice the number of people on the planet, that’s still a bloody awful lot of people.

But no, Inferno states that Gaia is so precious, and human lives are so cheep, we can involuntarily sterilize over two billion people without any problem.  And that’s the good ending.

Welcome to the value of human life as dictated by nihilism is a poison.

Even my own personal vices usually has a specific focus. Like politicians or rush hour traffic. Not the planet.

But, no, people are the problem. But only the *wrong* people. The *right* people will treat the Earth right, and think the right way.  Everyone else can just die.

Now, contrast that with the Brad Thor novel Code of Conduct. The bad guys want to depopulate the planet to only 500 million people, but only the “right” people, the people who believe the right way, think the right things — the ones who don’t believe in nationalism, who will be in harmony with nature, the people who will breed just the right amount, the pliable, the lockstep.

To quote Brad Torgersen, 

….secular humanism is underpinned by a significant amount of nihilism: we are born for no reason, into a world that exists because of pure accident, and we die without any real purpose. Thus the human being is reduced (literally) to the role of spontaneous meat machine. Just another random animal, like all the others. No real individual dignity. We are a commodity and a resource. Currently, we’ve been deemed overabundant. This is why abortion is practically a sacrament with modern Leftists. Gotta reduce the number of meat machine mouths gobbling up all the resources. Doesn’t really matter how we do it. And if a major war, or some kind of biological or natural catastrophe were to wipe out millions or even billions . . . oh well. As long as progressives get to be in charge, when the carnage ends, it’s just less meat machine mouths! A net win!

 

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s conclusion was to agree with a phrase he’d heard in his youth: Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.

 

The various Marxist horrors around the globe (these past 100 years) are a testament to what occurs when the “meat machine” thinkers are able to run governments: unchecked, and unrestrained. Hundreds of millions of dead. More hundreds of millions enduring wrecked economies and wrecked lives.

 

…. the progressive notion of government, is that government exists to perfect the human condition. If we must live meaningless meat machine lives, we should at least do it free from toil, pain, privation, hardship, hard choices, suffering woe, etc. A cradle-to-grave Garden-of-Eden.

This type of political message fiction doesn’t value human life all that much or all that often. Don’t believe me, just look at Planned Parenthood’s horrors lately.

For Superversive fiction, life is sacred, and if you’re trying to be a mass murdering SOB, then you have to go, if only in self-defense. Innocent lives matter. Guilty lives? Not so much.
After a while, I guess even my fiction runs that way, if only because my heroes want to save as many people as possible.  I don’t ask what they believe. I don’t care what they believe. Unless they’re trying to kill my heroes, my heroes will save them. Because that’s what heroes do. They don’t pick and choose who they save.The authors of “literature” message fiction will stop and ask what you believe before they save you, if they can even save themselves.
Superversive characters will simply run towards the screaming, and will have the firepower to end the threat.
Declan Finn is a Dragon Award nominated author. His “Catholic Vampire romance novels” can be found on his personal website. As well as all the other strange things he does.