Our myths and legends define us. This isn’t exactly a new revelation, a few books have been written on the subject, including “the Samurai the Mountie and the Cowboy” among others, but all of them explored other things (like gun control).
The United States’ self image is related to our myths and legends, and make no mistake, they are myths. I became a minor expert on the old west as a Old West Reenactor (shut up MS Word, it is too a word) and I can say with a great deal of certainty that the “cowboy gun fighter” is by and large a myth based upon less than fifty total people spanning a forty year period. Yes there where gun fights in the old west, but no more than there are today as a percentage of population — however he’s part of the American mythos, along with the long hunter, the Alamo, the Sourdough ‘49er and others. It goes to the basics of how we see ourselves. Much like our Australian brothers have made the digger a myth.
Now I’m not against this, far to the contrary as someone that understands what myths are, I’m greatly supportive. A myth, as originally used, was created as a teaching tool or to explain something otherwise unexplainable. It was the substructure, the basic linen upon which the embroidery of a culture’s world view was sewn. It’s necessary, and it’s necessary to understand the myths and the truths they hold, to understand the culture. Understand the myths of the samurai, and you understand the culture of imperial Nippon, and so on…
But Bill, I hear you ask, this is supposed to be a geek blog, about things Science fiction, and Techie, what the hell has this got to do with that?
Are we not a culture? Hack us off, are we not pricks? Wrong us do we not seek revenge? Seems to me NBC figured out that we were, back when they killed Star Trek…
Say what you will about the SJW Glittery hoo ha crowd, they get this. I speculate that they get it because while we (the guys that grew up watching STOG and said “Hey those doors are COOL, how would you do that for real? Those communicators, could you do that?) went to engineering and hard science classes and started building the future that we wanted, the aforementioned individuals where going to the soft sciences (not real sciences at all in my NSHO) and studied how cultures work.
Our plan for the future was that we would tell the stories of how we wanted it to be, and then go forth and MAKE it. Our myths where written during the “golden age of SF”. Steered by guys like Campbell, even when the myths involved the soft sciences, it made them into hard science (Foundation, anyone?). Well our view of the future has virtually no intersection with the preferred future of the SJWs, or at least so it seems to me. Their view of the future seems, in science fiction to be more driven by Silent Running, etc etal.
So, since they DIDN’T go to engineering schools, they use the tools that they have to try to drive the future they want. They have been working diligently at it for about forty years now. They are doing it by attempting to destroy the myths that are the foundations of our societies, and replacing them with their own, or with NOTHING. They’re pretty far along in England, but then they started earlier there, and had the advantage of a nation exhausted from two world wars that destroyed many of the best and brightest of three generations. In national politics they are working at it with things like attacking George Washington as someone who not only owned slaves, but was a virulent supporter of the institution. If they can destroy the myths that we base our cultural view on, they change the culture.
Well the same is true in Science Fiction. The enemy isn’t “at the gates”, they’re through the third wall and working hard on the last redoubts. While the science and engineering crowd was doing their thing, and writing stories that supported their thing, the SJWs where taking over the Cons, the awards, and the methods of distribution. Folks, it doesn’t matter what you write if no one can or will read it! They managed to take over virtually the entire publishing industry, with a few notable and noble holdouts, who are forted up and fighting to the last man. They also got the cons, and the awards. And it would have worked too, if not for those meddling kids and their internet.
To win the battle for our culture, we must take back the Cons and the awards. New readers are bombarded by more choices than ever before. The advent of the Ebook is as revolutionizing to the bibliosphere (Yes Microsoft, that too is a word, I just made it!) as the paperback, or the typewriter, or hell, the printing press. It has placed thousands of books at the beck and call of anyone with a computer for each book available prior to Ebooks. But much like anything else on the internet, the data stream is of huge value, but the signal to noise ratio SUCKS. How is a new reader to filter out the signal, from the crap? One way that they will at least try, is to look for award winners and award nominees. It’s reasonable, if you don’t know that the awards are controlled by the same people that are controlling the best sellers lists (except Amazon, and you will note that they’re attacking that redoubt hard too), and that’s where Sad Puppies comes in. This is us on the attack. Take back the awards, or destroy them by destroying the myth that they are actual awards and representative of the genre. This battle for the hearts and minds has been joined, with the enemy attacking our credibility “they’re not real fans, they don’t go to cons” This to people like Larry Correia, and Mike Williamson! (Both MAJOR con goers). By counter attacking our nominees as fascists, racists, etc… And by many other tactics. They cannot win, if we want the society as we know it, to continue.
Go forth. Take back the cons. Would RAH have been afraid of being shouted down or called a fascist? Hell, he was on multiple occasions. As I recall he sneered at them and explained what the word actually means. Write the stories that tell the myths we want preserved. Read the stories that show the values that we hold to be self evident, the values that our culture is founded on. Buy those stories, and support the authors that support the cultural perspective that we hold to be true.
Or surrender and live in a culture as the Social Justice Warriors want it to be. As for me, I see only one choice.