Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – Calling something “evil”

I decide basement cat needed an appearance.

Sometimes you don’t know whether to laugh or cry at what people do.  This Christmas I’m getting my nieces and nephews books.  So, I ask sister in law in an email  “what would the kids like to read about”.  And she says the Hunger Games for the eldest (she also seriously suggested Bill O’Reilly’s exercises in historical fiction which I just laughed at.)  The suggestions for the others were *much* more reasonable.  

So, I replied that that was fine, though I found the book odd in how it’s written (first person immediate), but I would have probably loved it when I was his age, having a predilection for post-apocalyptic books and “young person on their own” books.  I suggested that he might also like the Harry Potter books being that they are the exact same plot, young person with skills ends up fighting evil and saving the world and they are popular so he can talk to his friends about them.  I knew that my brother and she had said that they didn’t’ like them when they first came out.  Hoping against hope, I thought I’d mention them again to see how bad things really were. And how did SIL respond?

“we have stayed away from the Harry Potter because of all the witchcraft theme with a good evil vs bad evil…..he has asked about the Hunger Games……never asked for Harry Potter………hmmmm” 

This is a person who went to college, almost got a masters but didn’t bother finishing it, and has a parent, a pastor, that was so sure that the “tribulation” was coming in 2001 (you remember, the Y2K bug nonsense?) that they put fish in their swimming pool(they are still there). Yes, that last part explains everything unfortunately.  One would have thought she could think for herself, but evidently not. She also seems to think that since the boy hasn’t asked about Harry Potter, she must be right about how evil it is.  It couldn’t be that she’s her own self-fulfilling prophecy, that Mom saying it’s evil repeatedly couldn’t possibly make the child afraid of saying that they want to read it. ;D

I am going to call her on such nonsense.  Maybe in a shorter format than here so she has no excuses about it being “too long”, but I’m going to call her on it just the same. Here, I can stretch my legs. 

Dear SIL,

It’s interesting on how you’ve decided, with no support at all, to claim that fellow Christians and millions of people around the world, including me, are evil and that we do evil things.  Not even every Christian thinks that a book about magic is true or has a hissy when someone talks about magic.  Nope, we have Christians just as “good” as you who have no problems with Harry Potter and his fight against evil beings like Voldemort and using spells to do so. JK Rowling is a Christian though not your sectof Christianity. I admit, the HP stories aren’t that good, but they certainly aren’t evil.  I’ll get your son The Hunger Games, but I wonder about the choice if you have such problems with Harry Potter. It’s always better to read about kids killing each other rather than helping each other?  (I suppose I should be glad it’s not badly written sparkly vampires and whiny girls.)

I’ve heard this “ooh “x” is eeevvviiilllll”  for years.  Let’s see, what has been declared the end of civilization as we know it by a certain variety of Christian?  Rock and roll, heavy metal, and we certainly can’t forget “backmasking”, various books that they try to get banned like Huckleberry Finn because it has “cursing” oh and that boy befriending a black man, tsk, can’t have that and “Hey God, it’s me Margaret” that dares to talk about girls as they are; Dungeons & Dragons, Monty Python’s Life of Brian, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, video games, Democrats, a president who has ancestry from within 20 degrees of the equator, equal rights for women, for people darker than a tan, for homosexuals, etc. I’ll address a few that are near and dear to me. Continue reading “Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – Calling something “evil””

What the Boss Likes – Hard Magic by Larry Correia, and some political caveats about the writer

Hard Magic. Not the best cover I’ve seen but it shows two characters, Jake and Faye.

First off, I’ve just finished “Hard Magic” by Larry Correia. It’s very good, excellent dieselpunk with magic.  I kinda wish it wasn’t. (BTW, I’ve tried to make sure that there are no spoilers about the book  in this post. But as always, read at your own risk.)

Why does it seem that so many people who like guns are hyper-conservative theocrats who glom onto any conspiracy theory out there?    

I like guns and am a decent shot. Paint cans should be fearful. I also rather like violence in my fiction, preferably when the bad guys get their come-uppance Michael Bay style. Blame that bloodthirsty streak on me being a child of the 1980s and watching too much A-Team.  Anyone can see that this isn’t the usual things to like from the generally liberal feminist atheist perspective I’ve written from on this blog, though you might have gotten a hint from the “rough men” post.  A dear departed friend of mine, who had this crazy beautiful gun collection and sons who shot in competition (and in the military) was one of the rare gun enthusiasts who was close to liberal as me (social liberal, fiscal conservative). Another question is why do so many people who like guns and who idolize the military manage never to have served at all?  And medical reasons don’t have much impact with me since I know someone who got in the Army, in an actual crawl-though-the-mud MOS, with at least three major medical things that would have got him an easy excuse to not serve at all.

As I said above I’ve recently read “Hard Magic” by Larry Corriea and absolutely loved it.  It’s dieselpunk through and through, with a good tight world, a coherent magic system (most of the magic reads more like superhero powers but there is some classic thamaturgy) excellent fight scenes and characters you can really like. So, I went out to see what Google could tell me about this man, who has quite a few books out.  And I really should have known what I’d find.  Alas, Mr. Correia, is a conservative Mormon who is sure that President Obama is going to take his guns.  Sad really, when someone who writes such a well-thought out story has to make some hilarious and baseless assumptions to go along with the claims that Mr. Obama has waited until maybe or maybe not getting a second term to do anything about guns at all.  Yep, that mean ol’ Obama was such a mastermind about getting the UN to take over, and to eliminate the 2nd Amendment, that he didn’t do a damn thing about taking away anyone’s guns and is in a very very close election that he very well might not win.  It takes a certain amount of pure stupidity to think that this is some actual plan.  I mean, really, Mr. Correia, you write better masterminds yourself.  Happily, nothing of his personal views seems to get in the way of a good story.  Continue reading “What the Boss Likes – Hard Magic by Larry Correia, and some political caveats about the writer”