Why is it that every time I want to stop writing on the lunacy of the SJWs, some lunatic forces me back into the half-baked cage of SJW psychosis?
Perhaps it’s because that sewer is an inexhaustible circle jerk of cultural Marxist jackoffery that will never run out of deviants. Or maybe I have friends who love to see my head explode at the stoopid.
Take this pearl-clutching schizo Damien Walter who writes about all things weird. He’s supposedly a writer of speculative fiction or something. He’s got one book on Amazon that I can find, with five reviews – 40 percent of them shitty. He’s also a favorite chew toy of one of my favorite authors – the International Lord of Hate himself Larry Correia – who accurately assessed a while back that somewhere in Britain a village is missing its idiot.
In other words, you know that whatever this uber douche vomits will likely be borderline retarded and somewhat ponderous. And guess what! He doesn’t disappoint – if by “disappoint” we mean dash our expectations that something incredibly stupid will come out of that stagnating, gelatinous mass of goo the Guardian newspaper thinks is a brain. It is, in fact, that stupid.
Walter spends the first couple of paragraphs in his latest screed in a wistful rumination about Conan the Barbarian’s pecs… or was it Arnold Schwarzenegger’s pecs? Regardless… you know he’s going to attempt to transform Conan into an irrelevant relic of white, male patriarchy, because he begins the essay with a nostalgic disclaimer about his latent desire to rape and pillage. He really LUUUUURVES Conan, but…
…the macho white male is only the fantasy ideal for a minority. As Lisa Cron argues in her excellent Wired For Story, the power of story reaches far further than mere entertainment. Our brain thinks in stories, but when stories don’t reflect our lived experience and our sense of identity, our brain will often reject them.
So there’s this thing. It’s called imagination. When a story is well written, the imagination lights up with ideas, with desires, with joy, with experiences that come alive from the reading! As Meg Rosoff observed – and was excoriated for – good literature expands your mind. It doesn’t have the “job” of being a mirror. But Damien Walter, as all good little howler monkey troops must, toes the SJW party line.
Now, I will admit, I haven’t read Ms. Cron’s book, but here’s a partial description from Amazon.
The vast majority of writing advice focuses on “writing well” as if it were the same as telling a great story. This is exactly where many aspiring writers fail–they strive for beautiful metaphors, authentic dialogue, and interesting characters, losing sight of the one thing that every engaging story must do: ignite the brain’s hardwired desire to learn what happens next. When writers tap into the evolutionary purpose of story and electrify our curiosity, it triggers a delicious dopamine rush that tells us to pay attention. Without it, even the most perfect prose won’t hold anyone’s interest.
Backed by recent breakthroughs in neuroscience as well as examples from novels, screenplays, and short stories, Wired for Story offers a revolutionary look at story as the brain experiences it. Each chapter zeroes in on an aspect of the brain, its corresponding revelation about story, and the way to apply it to your storytelling right now.
I’ve also read a few reviews on the Internet and some quotes from the book itself. It sounds interesting, and it’s apparently based on heavy research in neuroscience and psychology. What I’m not seeing is confirmation of Damien’s claim that “when stories don’t reflect our lived experience and our sense of identity, our brain will often reject them.”
Cron seems to be discussing storytelling from an evolutionary perspective. “Recent breakthroughs in neuroscience reveal that our brain is hardwired to respond to story; the pleasure we derive from a tale well told is nature’s way of seducing us into paying attention to it.”
Tale. Well. Told.
Not a mirror. Not message fiction. Tale well gold.
Damien, of course, twists this concept into tossing the old muscle-bound hero stereotypes in favor of less traditional heroes, such as… well… you guessed it – minorities, women, bureaucrats, homosexuals, transgendered individuals, logistics officers, and others that aren’t generally portrayed as heroic. Because muscly, violent men are out, and dull, tax auditor-types are in (and it would be great if they were women and gay too!)
Hercules is out. Here comes Pajama Boy!
Forget Superman. Let’s see more HR specialists.
Red Sonja the tax auditor.
Damien apparently compensates for his lack of testicular fortitude and barely hidden, slithering envy of strong, masculine archetypes by projecting his inability to relate to fun, masculine heroes onto others.
Seth Dickinson is one of a growing movement of fantasy authors re-engineering older stories for readers who don’t see themselves reflected in Conan, Frodo Baggins or Luke Skywalker. The Traitor Baru Cormorant begins with one of fantasy’s most famous tropes, the hero’s tribe are conquered by an oppressive empire, and he must take revenge. Or, as in the case of Ms Cormorant, she. And how will Baru Cormorant bring down the empire that murdered one of her two fathers? By learning to swing a sword? No! But by becoming a civil servant.
Translation: I’m bland and unimaginative, and I can’t relate to burly, powerful heroes. Solution? Make heroes bland and unimaginative, and invent fun things for them to do, like… you know… keep inventory, run budget meetings, coordinate on EEO policies, and all that. And if she fails at this task, the world as she knows it will end! I also note the worship of worthless bureaucracy that seems to be present in many progtard circles is oozing into what these tools consider literature.
There’s a clear logic to the conceit at the heart of Dickinson’s novel. Lone barbarians, however ripped, don’t defeat armies. But politicians and bureaucrats can wield the power to topple empires.
Except politicians and bureaucrats aren’t fun storytelling; they mostly sit around, tap their computer keys, and bloviate a lot. And while scheming is interesting, it’s the execution, the action, the actual toppling of empires that keeps us reading. Remember that good storytelling thing Lisa Cron talks about?
Baru Cormorant is a woman, from a conquered people, who discovers she is attracted to other women, trapped in an empire that kills her kind.
I’m shocked. Damien loves the abused lesbian victim.
Her only chance to survive is to learn the Masquerade of lies and deception that power the empire, and beat it at its own game. Dickinson’s novel arguably pursues the same strategy as its protagonist, imitating the genre it seeks to subvert, and perhaps one day, topple.
You know… learning to subvert the enemy is fine, but what are you going to do with it? That’s where that storytelling comes in. Learning is fine. Filling out logistics forms incorrectly, not so much.
I also love how Damien immediately projects his own desire to topple what he apparently can’t match in intellectual, and I’d be willing to bet, physical prowess, onto Seth Dickinson. Apparently writing a novel about a lesbian bureaucrat taking on the system = wanting to destroy other types of heroes. It’s either/or in Damien’s world. Seth Dickinson’s heroine apparently cannot coexist with the strong, masculine hero types out there! There’s only room in this world for one or the other. It’s so typical of the SJW mentality: if it doesn’t agree with you, destroy it!
Additionally, as you will see shortly, Damien’s reference to Cron’s ideas on storytelling is a ruse meant to provide his idiotic claims with a glossy veneer of legitimacy. He doesn’t give a flying rat’s fuck about quality and storytelling, and he admits it.
Dickinson’s re-engineering of the heroic fantasy genre is not entirely successful. The Traitor Baru Cormorant has neither the heart stirring adventure of a heroic fantasy, or the political depth of a Wolf Hall. But in a field where too many writers simply retell the same old stories, Dickinson’s originality and ambition are to be applauded, even when he doesn’t quite manage to meet the narrative engineering challenges he has set in himself.
Here you have it, boys and girls. There’s no heart. There’s no stirring adventure. There’s no political depth. But see… Dickinson is original, because he wrote a book about a lesbian in a world where gays are apparently killed (’cause that’s never been done before; see: Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Sudan, etc.), so that makes it all good.
Walter then heaps drooling praise on authors such as Michael Moorcock, Kate Elliott, and NK Jemisin for being oh-so-progressive, as if progress is somehow limited to writing disadvantaged minorities one has unearthed from the proglodyte-approved the Victim-of-the-Month club.
The fantasy genre has always contained a progressive streak. From Angela Carter and Michael Moorcock to China Mieville and Kate Elliot, writers have re-engineered older narratives for audiences who don’t share the traditional values of Howard or Tolkien. But as the values of our society shift, those writers are creating the new mainstream of the genre. NK Jemisin’s Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, Ken Liu’s The Grace of Kings and Ilana C Myer’s Last Song Before Night, among many others, joy in re-engineering the traditional fantasy narrative to create new kinds of story.
Notice once again, there’s nothing here about good storytelling, which he spent some time telling us was oh-so-critical by citing Lisa Cron. The only thing that matters is the renunciation of traditional values and characters. Not the story.
The story is what sells the book. The story is what keeps our brain hanging on, according to the same author whose writing he twists to support his ridiculous theories. The story is what matters. It keeps us readers turning the pages. It keeps our imaginations engaged, our emotions burning, and our loyalties to the author whose work gives us such joy! It certainly doesn’t matter to us, the readers, whether the author has checked a gay/trans/black/purple/queer box on some imbecilic conformist checklist.
But to Damien… Oh no! HIS story can’t be allowed to stand!
“See, this is the thing about history. His story. That’s all it is. The Old Man’s version of events, which basically the rest of us are supposed to accept as the undisputed truth. Well, call me cynical, but I’ve never been one to take things on trust, and I happen to know that history is nothing but spin and metaphor, which is what all yarns are made up of, when you strip them down to the underlay. And what makes a hit or a myth, of course, is how that story is told, and by whom.”
Cynical? No, this festering yambag is not cynical. He’s filled with that trademark progtard arrogant self-loathing that he projects onto innocent authors, who don’t conform to his version of those deserving of literary success, of those worthy enough to be read with heart and soul! Because in his freakish vision of literature, the hero is not strong, exciting, attractive, or entertaining. It’s a cranky cockroach, sitting behind a computer, filling out forms, and creating bureaucratic hurdles for those who want to actually do something, sullenly plotting the destruction of those it sniffily thinks have dominated long enough – Walters’ own little euphemism for the evil, patriarchal literary world he seeks to destroy and infest with puny, tedious pseudo heroes, whose mediocrity is the “virtue” he seeks to promote.
Perhaps that’s why this sniveling dick weasel can’t seem to write a novel without financial support from the government.