ok, i stole the last one from Eddie Izzard, of course.
but the others...
i feel like i'm swimming in circles. i really like being a feminist. i like knowing that i am smarter than most people. i like knowing i can slack off in a class and still get an A (unless it's geometry, for some reason). i like being a girl. i like feeling sexy, and i like having sex. i like having my opinions, and i like reading about things to form those opinions, and i like the fact that i CAN read to form those opinions, and that i think about what i read and weigh it against other things that i read. i like the fact that i have a huge width of knowledge, even if much of what i know is relatively shallow (for instance, i KNOW that e=mcsquared. i don't totally understand how it works, but i have the basics).
i don't like the fact that Terrell Owens (do i have the name right? football player, Cowboys now i believe) who seems to only know football, is A)paid fifty-seven-fucking-million dollars a year to play it and then B) is considered a "valid source of politcal discourse" when any major newspaper would ignore me, who is a political science major. the Dixie Chicks. Madonna. Bono from U2. these people are entertainers who open their mouths and spout ignorance - sometimes not even related to what they are asked - and the media fall all over themselves to get these opinions recorded, and then TREAT CELEBRITY OPINION AS FACT
but that is not where this is going. nono, that's an aside. i want to talk about the celebrities who SHOULD be interview by the media, and perhaps taken a bit more seriously on, say Iraq, than, say, Jennifer Aniston.
i am, of course, speaking of writers. specifically sci-fi writers because they are the ones i know. in my experience (yes, anecdote. but an awful lot of it) most writers of sci-fi, Left or Right, Liberal or Conservative do one very very very important thing when it comes to forming opinions.
they find out the fucking facts first
so if one were to call Anne McCaffrey on the phone and ask her what she thought of what's going on in Darfur, she would either say something like "I was just reading about that i think X" or she would say "I don't know let me go read up on it" (well, ok, i cannot REALLY say that that's what she would say. but i had a conversation with her over a decade ago at DragonCon and i heard her do both things on various topics. what i NEVER heard her do was spout off about something she knew nothing about. she might do that everywhere but at DragonCon, but i doubt it)
and now i want to bitch about writers. who get the facts first, so they are awesome. but they are still human, so they are sometimes wrong, which is not what i am bitching about.
i think i really started to have a noticable problem when i read "Empire" by Orson Scott Card. i've meet Card 5 or 6 times, and while he seems likable i've always hated his politics but i could ignore it and read his stuff... until this book. it was.......... pure propaganda
i guess that overall, i am considered a liberal. because by current definition in the political discourse, conservatives want to CONTROL PEOPLE, and keep everyone being exactly alike, and keep change from happening. i am not saying that liberals don't want to control people, but that there is at least that patina of letting people be different. i KNOW that my politcal views are VERYVERYVERYVERYFUCKINGVERY Heinleinian. i would be a "rational anarchist" if people didn't freak at the word "anarchy". i really, truely, fanatically believe that so long as you are not hurting someone (who doesn't want to be hurt) and so long as the kids are ok you CAN AND SHOULD do WHATEVER you want. well, also so long as you DO NOT KEEP OTHER PEOPLE FROM DOING THE SAME.
my big problem with the Christian Coalition? they are trying to make everyone do what they want, act as they decree, follow their morals (when they often do not do this themselves). we ARE in a war, and i don't mean the Sandbox. we are in a war for Thought, for the ABILITY to think, and act, and believe. i have ranted before about how i can't be republican because i believe in birth control and the right to abortion, but can't be a democrat because i believe people should be allowed weapons (such as guns damnit) to protect themselves and that the death penalty may not act as a DETERENT but we need it for the same reason we kill rabid dogs - at least THAT fucker won't be commiting atrocites anymore.
and i know that the job of sci-fi writers is to envision what the world will be if such-and-such thing happened. Wells talking about the moon, orwell describing "truth" in 1984.
but why the hell are all my favorite sci-fi writers conservative? not really, most of them are quite radical in what they think society should be... but almost all of them are anti-liberal and vote Republican.
this is summed up best, i think, in a book by Michael Z Williamson. it's entitled "The Weapon" and both it, and the book it is a sorta-sequal to, presuppose an earth which is ruled by the UN and is a liberal Hell. the military has quotas with the non-discrimination taken to suicidal levels (people in wheelchairs in SpecOps). Ringo has very similar imagry (esp. in "The Last Centurion") and Card... "Empire" postulates some grand conspiracy of the Left, making mecha and taking over New York City and shooting all the police (and anyone else in a uniform), hiring terrorists to kill the prez and VP, spinning and spinning untl a civil war of blue vs. red is almost unavoidable.
but the far right fears? absent. the possibility of a theocracy? ignored.
am i wrong (politcally)? should i be leaning Right instead of Left?
i don't think so. it just confuses the holy hell out of me. the wingnuts on the right are scarier to me than the wingnuts on the left. it looks, to me, that a theocracy is lot easier to achieve than a socialist state. and a lot worse. part of that may be because i don't see (some) socialism as bad - i think universal health care is a great thing, i BELIEVE in civil rights and civil equality and civil marriage. yes, catering to the lowest common denominator in education lowers the education level (the left-hand vice in education) but making education something only for the elite is worse (the right hand vice). the lowest-common-denominator allows everyone a CHANCE, anyway. the elitism model means only those who are lucky get any chance.
i believe that we are All Created Equal. i believe everyone has the right to say whatever they want. i believe that i am both as GOOD and as IMPORTANT as a person with a penis and "y" instead of a second "x". i believe that the government should stay out of religion, and that religion should stay out of goverment. i believe that i am MORE important than a bundle of cells that only has a 1-in-4 chance of becoming more (and has zero chance in me, because i will die if i try to stay pregnant. presuming any fetus doesn't miscarry before then because i am not in remission). i should be allowed to smoke, others should be allowed to avoid that smoke. i BELIEVE in most of what the Left (is supposed to) Stands for. yes, i admit that a future, such as the above writers postulate, based on radical far-left fringe is just as bad as a future based on the radical far-right fringe. both are bad - the lunatic fringe always is.
i just wish i knew an alive, and still working, writer who leans to the left like i do and who is trying to warn us of the perils of the right, like the writers above try to warn us of the perils of the left. (Eric Flint is a lefty like me, but he mostly writes alternate history and so it's not quite the same. and everything that i have read of him that isn't history based in co-written with someone who is very right leaning, so it STILL isn't what i want, except Boundry, and the sequal isnt out yet and.... sigh). these writers (except Card, obviously) generally are people i would get along with (i correspond with several), generally people who do think that gay people should be allowed to marry other gay people because its no one else business, generally people who support "pro-choice" ideas and ideals because a woman is more important than a parasite, generally are very pro-science, generally egalitarian, generally... everything that i am. except they vote republican.
is it the lack of uterus? they aren't threatened, DAILY, with being forced to become nothing more than incubators, they aren't threatened with rape and other gendered violence on a hugely regular basis, they don't suffer the "second shift" or societal expectations of beauty and "motherhood", they aren't forced to have EVERY FREAKING FUCKING ISSUE ABOUT THEM be in the "FASHION" section, for fucks sake! they are judged on what they say and how they act, not how big their tits are and if they are menstrating.
is that all it is? is that one little privilege (that is bigger than the sun) enough to get them to vote republican? these are SMART guys. these are successful guys. these are guys who think. and yet they vote for, and support, and defend, the Right. it's not that i think the Left Is All, that i think the Left Is Perfect - i KNOW that both sides are equally corrupt, and that we have to pick a side, the side that matches most closely with what we want. it's that these are guys who, in general, think and want what i think and want, yet they bat for the side that is in general the opposite of that.