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arhyalon

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09:33 am: Rebel With a Wrong Cause: Speaking Truth to Power vs. Baiting A Chained Bear

Recently, I heard something I thought was quite interesting. Someone was talking about the idea that artists desire to “Speak truth to power.” (Alexandr Solzhenitsyn writing in spite of the Communist Regime in which he lived was given as an example of this.)  The speaker then went on to say that modern American artists are failing at this. They rip into the Administration…but in America, the government really doesn’t have any power over artists. The real power, their real masters, is our culture…our culture that says they have to conform to certain ideas.

 

Rebelling against Washington nowadays is really a lot like baiting a chained bear. It may make you feel friends …but it doesn’t make you brave. Taking on the PC establishment, however, that is a different matter.

 

 

I used to not believe that Hollywood had a liberal slant. I certainly don’t believe it as much as some people do, but recently, I had to concede that I was wrong that a slant was not present. I think one can determine that it is, at least a little, by asking oneself – whether you are Liberal or Conservative – the following question: How long has it been since you’ve seen a movie or TV show that portrayed things Conservative value sympathetically?

 

To pick one of the controversial issues -- but one that many of the Conservatives I know feel strongly about – when is the last time you saw a hero who disapproved of homosexuality?

 

Or was strongly religious? Or stood up for Boy Scout values? Or objected to drugs? Or disapproved of casual sex?  The hero…not the villain that the hero is overcoming?

 

When I looked at it that way, the slant seemed much clearer.

It does not require much courage to write stories insulting a guy everyone insults. It does take courage to stand up against the prevailing ideas of one's time.


 

Comments

[User Picture]
From:juliet_winters
Date:September 18th, 2008 01:51 pm (UTC)
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There are four recent films geared to adults that would be worth a conservative's time.

On video:
Amazing Grace:
Wilberforce's journey to becoming a leading 19th-century evangelistic and antagonist of the slave trade, among other social ills.

On video:
Facing the Giants:
Classic sports story meets Christian revival. I've had fellow church goers say this was a favorite film.

Opening this week:
Fireproof:
Why/how marriages shouldn't be dissolved. Biblical view of marriage.


Opening October 3:
An American Carol:
A touch of snark for those of us who are heartily weary of Michael Moore and his ilk.

None of them have been/are going to fare well with mainstream reviewers. I intend to collect at least the first 3 for the church library.
[User Picture]
From:kokorognosis
Date:September 18th, 2008 02:44 pm (UTC)
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I can't wait to see An American Carol.

I'm not a big fan of comedies, but I have to support one with conservative leanings :p
[User Picture]
From:arhyalon
Date:September 18th, 2008 10:46 pm (UTC)
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I've seen Amazing Grace. I loved it. John is eager to see American Carol. Fireproof I haven't heard of, sounds interesting.
[User Picture]
From:kokorognosis
Date:September 18th, 2008 02:57 pm (UTC)
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I recently finished a story, "Negev," which featured an isolated space colony of Israeli descent-- the founders left the earth in order to escape a near-genocidal push against Israel by the Muslim world.

As I was writing, I had to give it a lot of thought-- I could be true to the story and my world view and portray Islamic middle eastern cultures with the hatred they make so evident every day, and possibly hurt the chances of it ever being published in a world that is being cowed by Muslim culture on a daily basis, or I could change it.

I wound up remaining true, and I'm glad I did. I'd like to sell the story at some point, but even if it never is sold.... I have integrity ;) And maybe some small modicum of courage for that silly little thing.
[User Picture]
From:arhyalon
Date:September 18th, 2008 10:47 pm (UTC)
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Integrity in writing is important!

And things change with time. Even if you don't sell it now (and you may sell it) a time may come that is right for it!
[User Picture]
From:kokorognosis
Date:September 18th, 2008 11:15 pm (UTC)
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Before I found John's blog, I emailed him on a lark, and asked him for advice. The biggest thing he told me was to keep submitting. So it's off to Asimov's as soon as I have the money for a printout and shipping, since they're all dark ages and want hard copies and stuff.
[User Picture]
From:kokorognosis
Date:September 18th, 2008 11:18 pm (UTC)
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(It recently came back from it's first rejection. Ah well, one out of the way . :) )
[User Picture]
From:arhyalon
Date:September 19th, 2008 12:25 am (UTC)
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Don't know if this is of use to you, but...here is the list of magazines that grant you entrance to SFWA (if you have three stories published.) This means they pay 5 cents or more per word.

· Analog Science Fiction and Fact -- mail only
· Asimov's Science Fiction -- mail only
· Baen's Universe – electronic open ended
· Brutarian – in Burke
· Chizine – dark – electronic 4000
· Cosmos – science fiction in Australia 2-4000
· Dark Wisdom – dark fiction electronic (feb-apr/sept.-nov.) 5000/query
· The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction -- mail only
· Orson Scott Card's InterGalactic Medicine Show – electronic any (7500)
· Pedestal Magazine – fiction literary (sf and fantasy okay) electronic (first ½ of month) 6000
· Realms of Fantasy -- mail only
· Strange Horizons – fantasy and SF – electronic 5000/9000
· Subterranean Magazine – dark fantasy and horror 5000


Edited at 2008-09-19 12:26 am (UTC)
[User Picture]
From:kokorognosis
Date:September 19th, 2008 01:01 am (UTC)
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Oh woot! You are my hero!

I have wanted to be a science fiction writer since I was eight, and have been pursuing it since I was twelve. I'm now getting to the point to where I can create stories I'm relatively happy with, so I have been trying to sell my work more of late.

Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show was the first place I sent "Negev." Glad to see I was on the appropriate track :)
[User Picture]
From:arhyalon
Date:September 19th, 2008 11:44 am (UTC)
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Just keep trying. I wrote my first thing at 12. Took me until I was 42 or so to sell my first novel, and I'll be 45 when it comes out...but by golly, it's actually going to come out this time! (Thanks to my intrepid agent!)

Hopefully, you'll go a lot faster than that! ;-)

[User Picture]
From:kokorognosis
Date:September 19th, 2008 03:24 pm (UTC)
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Heh. It appears that I will either be a writer or airline ground crew for the rest of my life-- and while I like aircraft, I've put too much into the writing so far to give up. I'll be published one day if it kills me :p

Then the Nebula and Hugo are only a heartbeat away, eh? :)
[User Picture]
From:arhyalon
Date:September 19th, 2008 06:28 pm (UTC)
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Indeed!

The important point is not giving up!!!
[User Picture]
From:headnoises
Date:September 18th, 2008 06:44 pm (UTC)
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Heh, oddly enough, I got ticked off last night for a similar thing.

I WAS really interested in seeing that new True Blood show; enough that I was rolling around Youtube looking at their promos.

The "news release" of the president speaking, has a scroll about there not being a statement from the Vatican...alright, that's acceptable....
Then they screwed the pooch by throwing out a nasty preacher that looked like Zel Miller's fat younger brother.

I'm sick of it. Ever time they need Hatefilled Group, they punch in Southern Baptist styled folks; when they need Shadowy Menace, they punch in The Church.

I even get annoyed about Xmen these days-- that third movie may as well have said "WE ARE COMPARING MUTANTS TO HOMOSEXUALS, IF YOU OBJECT, YOU'RE ONE OF THESE HORRIBLE PEOPLE TRYING TO KILL THE XMEN!"
Being spooked of folks who can fly and shoot lasers out of their eyes, I can see that; the constant, obsessive hatred from all sides? Oh, come on....
[User Picture]
From:baduin
Date:September 18th, 2008 09:50 pm (UTC)
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You are close to falling from grace, I think. To avoid that, under no circumstances read the following website:

http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.com/2008/05/ol7-ugly-truth-about-government.html

http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.com/
[User Picture]
From:carbonelle
Date:September 19th, 2008 06:34 am (UTC)

My two favorite T.V. shows

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NCIS and The Middle Man (which, for some reason, I keep refering to in speech as "the minute-men" which confuses the dear husband no end) both support "boy scout values" including patriotism, loyalty, faithfulness, etc.

Interestingly, as I read Entertainment Weekly... okay, skim it, in order to stay current on What Patrons Want, without having to read/listen to/watch most of it, neither show gets any attention from them. This despite NCIS being in the top 10 ratings every week--even during summer re-runs.
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