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Old 04-19-2017   #791
Speaking Mute
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Re: Trump

I'd also add that the sandbox aspect of fiction tends to make the politics ham-handed more often than not, especially in science fiction and fantasy where authors have absolute freedom in shaping their worlds to fit their preconceptions.
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Old 04-19-2017   #792
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Re: Trump

Yeah, that's not just limited to politics. A recurring thing I dislike in ghost stories is punching bag characters who really just represent people the writer hates.
Edith Wharton and Ramsey Campbell are the only ones I can think of now.

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Old 04-19-2017   #793
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Re: Trump

Quote Originally Posted by Kevin View Post
It was. Cannibal Cop summed it up nicely. King's smug, superior tone is emblematic of his peers and one of the chief reasons Trump won. He's merely perpetuating the problem while pretending to "explain" it.
Gotta love the bit at the end where he diagnoses his creations as sufferers of "narcissistic personality disorder."

Hey, bub, guess what? None of them are real people. That's right, you made them up, made them say all that stupid crap.

So who in fact is the real narcissist at work here?

Quote Originally Posted by luxfugio View Post
Guys like that, who have actually had to work gruelling jobs just to survive, do not need to be told what is where or who is doing what.
Gruelling, huh? What, was he down in the mines for twenty years? I doubt it. Meanwhile, he's a lot better off than a lot of guys of his generation who weren't lucky enough to avoid the draft by getting into college.

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Why it should be so alarming in this age for one to state things so baldly is more alarming.
You find it alarming that people are allowed to disagree with things some guy said in a newspaper?

Who provideth for the raven his food?
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Old 04-19-2017   #794
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Re: Trump

Quote Originally Posted by Robert Adam Gilmour View Post
Don't see why people get so bothered by political viewpoints in fiction. As long as it's not ham-handed I don't mind. What would fiction be like if you couldn't show nazis in a negative way?
The problem, at least in my lowly opinion, is that all too often artists try and appeal to an audience's political sensibilities at the expense of other things essential to whatever medium is at stake. In the case of literature, a strong as well as explicit political message can interfere with such things as atmosphere or themes of a more universal nature.

I don't want to be told how to vote under most circumstances; I want, as corny as it may sound, to be told something about the human condition on a solitary level. If I want to read about "politics," I'll revisit my copy of Marx's Das Kapital or Strauss' Natural Right and History. Of course, one can certainly argue that there's an inescapable political dimension to all art, but does that mean an artists ought to transform his or her art into a self-conscious exercise in politics? No, not at all.

For example, there are plenty of direct references to economic child abuse throughout Dicken's work, but these are things which accompany the text - they're in the service of the overall narratives he creates.

"In a less scientific age, he would have been a devil-worshipper, a partaker in the abominations of the Black Mass; or would have given himself to the study and practice of sorcery. His was a religious soul that had failed to find good in the scheme of things; and lacking it, was impelled to make of evil itself an object of secret reverence."

~ Clark Ashton Smith, "The Devotee of Evil"
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Old 04-19-2017   #795
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Re: Trump

Agree with that but I think a lot of people, possibly even myself, get irritated by political elements that make them uncomfortable and then it only seems like it's out of place in the story or clumsy, because it made them/me uncomfortable.

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Old 04-19-2017   #796
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Re: Trump

Quote Originally Posted by Robert Adam Gilmour View Post
Agree with that but I think a lot of people, possibly even myself, get irritated by political elements that make them uncomfortable and then it only seems like it's out of place in the story or clumsy, because it made them/me uncomfortable.
That seems very likely. One of the things I admire most about a text is its ability to in some way challenge the presuppositions we have regarding the world, to "put us on the spot," so to speak. While it's true that the author (not just the text alone) can give rise to this phenomenon through the medium of politics, I simply believe there are more worthy ways of doing so, ways which are far more difficult.

"In a less scientific age, he would have been a devil-worshipper, a partaker in the abominations of the Black Mass; or would have given himself to the study and practice of sorcery. His was a religious soul that had failed to find good in the scheme of things; and lacking it, was impelled to make of evil itself an object of secret reverence."

~ Clark Ashton Smith, "The Devotee of Evil"
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Old 04-19-2017   #797
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Re: Trump

I don't think it even has to be the writer using politics directly. People can be made uncomfortable by the presence of something that implies to them a political position, but might be nothing more than their own mental associations.

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Old 04-19-2017   #798
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Re: Trump

My country are having an imminent election. I'm voting Labour, even though I don't particularly like them and believe they have a 0% chance of victory. I'm otherwise ignoring what is going on. This is the extent of my emotional involvement in mainstream party politics. Too defeated. It's hard to relate to how passionate American Trump fans are in comparison.

'I believe in what the Germans term Ehrfurcht: reverence for things one cannot understand.'
― Robert Aickman, An Essay
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Old 04-19-2017   #799
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Re: Trump

Quote Originally Posted by James View Post
My country are having an imminent election. I'm voting Labour, even though I don't particularly like them and believe they have a 0% chance of victory. I'm otherwise ignoring what is going on. This is the extent of my emotional involvement in mainstream party politics. Too defeated. It's hard to relate to how passionate American Trump fans are in comparison.
I feel you. I think I've been too active on this thread recently. I usually try to refrain from discussing politics because feelings usually get hurt, even though that was never the intent.

"In a less scientific age, he would have been a devil-worshipper, a partaker in the abominations of the Black Mass; or would have given himself to the study and practice of sorcery. His was a religious soul that had failed to find good in the scheme of things; and lacking it, was impelled to make of evil itself an object of secret reverence."

~ Clark Ashton Smith, "The Devotee of Evil"
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Old 04-20-2017   #800
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Re: Trump

Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Veech View Post
Quote Originally Posted by Robert Adam Gilmour View Post
Agree with that but I think a lot of people, possibly even myself, get irritated by political elements that make them uncomfortable and then it only seems like it's out of place in the story or clumsy, because it made them/me uncomfortable.
That seems very likely. One of the things I admire most about a text is its ability to in some way challenge the presuppositions we have regarding the world, to "put us on the spot," so to speak. While it's true that the author (not just the text alone) can give rise to this phenomenon through the medium of politics, I simply believe there are more worthy ways of doing so, ways which are far more difficult.
Politics is finite enough and the media pervasive enough that anyone with basic cable or an internet connection pretty much knows all the major landmarks on the political terrain. The culture shock that authors like James Baldwin or Upton Sinclair were once able to induce has been, for or better or worse, supplanted by the likes of TLC. The remainder pretty much descends into tropes and talking points that become monotonous even for the sympathetic - like the secret gay/trans couple outed and martyred cycle.
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