Culture-war diaries

I am for marriage. I am for fidelity. I am for love, whether it’s a man and woman, a woman and a woman, a man and a man.”

“That’s why I support marriage for lesbian and gay couples. I support it personally and as a matter of policy and law, embedded in a broader effort to advance equality and opportunity for LGBT Americans and for all Americans.”

“It appears to be just like Promise Keepers, except with beer drinkers and free rulers for measuring things.”

“Jesus called men to preach the gospel, not be stubborn jackasses.”

“The entire plan can be summed up in the words ‘vote Republican.’

“All the resurrection movies use the Bible as source material, but ours will rely more on special effects. … We’ll even show heaven and hell and see what’s going on there.”

“It’s baffling that a government entity thought it was acceptable to take sides on religion and tell people what theological information they can and can’t access.”

No one can have a right to deprive others of their important liberty as a prophylactic means of protecting his own.”

“Barton was familiar enough with the text that he must have read it …” and then deliberately, consciously lied about it. … Barton rakes in millions, has the moral compass of a cockroach, and wants us to believe he has God’™s direct email address.”

This is a government institution, not a secular institution.”

And there are armed gangs roaming around neighborhoods.”

“It is good politics to oppose the black guy in the White House right now, especially for the Republican Party.”

“There is a lot of rhetoric in the conservative movement about reaching out the mestizo demographic, or reaching out to the homosexuals and blacks. Our question: why not reach out to whites?

“There’s just too much denial, bad faith and comedy there under high pressure for the center to hold. And you can’t tempt the gods of farce on such an epic scale and not have a blow up.”

“He has previously played parts in several Biblical epics – including Satanic characters long before Barack Obama was elected as our president.”

“All of this is to say don’t be ridiculous, of course Mark Burnett and Roma Downey aren’t trying to say Barack Obama is the Devil, they are just saying all black people are the Devil!

“You opened your heart wide to me — you made me more than a Pastor/Rescuer — you made me your friend your confidant, your beloved.”

“Went to BJU from ’85-’89. Never heard one word about abuse. Only psychos feel ‘abused.'”


"The third film is about a blonde female senator saving the country (and ending the ..."

‘A kind of resentful nostalgia’
"I happened to see part of a tv on the street interviews of random people. ..."

‘A kind of resentful nostalgia’
"So you get your internet by carrier pigeon?"

‘A kind of resentful nostalgia’
"They're best at not being Republicans.Which, to be fair, is a fucking ridiculously low bar ..."

‘A kind of resentful nostalgia’

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Lori

    ND’s ban is unconstitutional, as is the 12-week ban passed in Arkansas. There are several states that have 20 week bans and those probably don’t pass muster under Roe either. I assume both the ND and Arkansas bills were written by illegal abortion advocates hoping to generate SCOTUS cases that could overturn or seriously curtail Roe.

    Like I said, people need to stop saying that Roe v Wade isn’t going anywhere. Not only does that not matter nearly as much as complacent people want to believe, it may not even be true. I don’t especially trust the Roberts court to make the right decision if a case comes before them and they grant cert. I certainly don’t want Scalia weighing in on whether or not I’m actually a person by right, or if my personhood is strictly provisional.

  • VMink

    Fair enough. Antisocial Personality Disorder spectrum.

  • Edo

    Let’s put it this way: after seeing Vikings and the Bible, I called my Vanatruar friend so we could have a good cry together.

  • “Watch on the Rhine”, written by Tom Kratman, promoted by best-selling military SF author John Ringo, published by major SF publisher Jim Baen, featuring the Waffen-SS heroically defending earth against the alien invaders. I was heavily disappointed to see Baen, whose publishing I generally admire, lend themselves to this piece of Nazi apologia.

  • With rare exceptions (probably singular – is there anyone besides Bujold?), that seems typical of Baen. When Amazon first started their recommended list it kept giving me every single Baen title just because I liked Bujold.

  • I caaaaan’t! Hours, day, only so many of! I’m still working hard on finishing my biggest project which I want to get published for actual moneys!

  • I really liked Weber’s early Harrington books, especially from before he started co-writing with Ringo, and they’ve also published Ryk Spoor (known on the internet as Sea Wasp). And I greatly admire Baen’s leadership in DRM-free e-publishing.

  • Darkrose

    My wife loves the Honor series. I’m a big fan of Eric Flint as well.

    John Ringo is notoriously problematic in many ways. Google “oh john ringo no” if you have time to get sucked into TV Tropes and Fanlore.

  • Darkrose

    I don’t think “all those people look alike”–I am one of “those people”–and I immediately thought that the actor resembled an aged up Obama.

  • stardreamer42

    That’s the most progressive “pro-life” article I’ve ever seen. She actually makes the points that nobody likes abortions, and that people who want to reduce abortions should be in favor of birth control and real sex education, and that those who want to force babies to be born shouldn’t turn away from them (and their mothers) as soon as delivery is over. None of which I’ve ever seen argued from that side of the fence before. (And then the usual slut-shaming goes on in the comments.)

  • stardreamer42

    Unfortunately, in today’s society that’s sort of “business as usual”. The zombies-as-a-metaphor-for-white-supremacy idea, OTOH, is new (well, at least to me) and useful.

  • stardreamer42

    Anyone who thinks that actor looks like Obama needs to go check out some “Separated at Birth” photos from the link below. The only real points of similarity are long faces and squarish chins; anything else falls under “all those [X] look alike”.

  • P J Evans

    Eric Flint’s collaborations can be reasonably good, although some are not. Try the Belisarius series, sometime, for alternate-history.

  • Dash1

    I actually think SEK is answering the wrong question. No one is claiming that the picture in question is of an age-progressed Obama. The question is whether the actor, as pictured, might perhaps be meant (consciously or otherwise) to suggest or bring to mind an aged-up Obama. To make a comparison, neither Daniel Day-Lewis nor Gregory Peck looks all that much like Abraham Lincoln himself, but both actors look close enough to be cast to play the role. The question is whether this actor looks close enough that someone might have intended, consciously or otherwise, to suggest a similarity.

  • Lori

    I don’t know enough about the people in charge of casting to say whether they may have consciously or unconsciously hired the actor for his resemblance to Obama. The total race FAIL that is the rest of the casting certainly doesn’t rule it out.

    I do think that the flurry of ZOMG, it’s Obama! on Right wing blogs and twitter was mainly a combination of “all those people look alike” and selection bias based on political affiliation and racism.

  • Lori

    Did you watch the movie or did you first see him in the picture online?

  • connorboone

    I can’t recommend The Speed of Dark – it’s fantastically written and I loved the neuro-atypical viewpoint of the book… and then “oh, science fixes him and he becomes an astronaut and neurotypical and yaaaaaay!”

    It was a betrayal of what the book was.

  • connorboone

    Racism and anti-semitism are pretty stock-in-trade for a lot of post-apocalyptic fiction. And women? Well…

    This is a relatively new realization for me, and it kind of sucks. I remember enjoying Lucifer’s Hammer, but I don’t know that I can read ‘middle-class white engineers rebuild civilization from nothing in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, while black inner-city gangsters chase after a truck full of European liquor’ again. (Note: I am not making this up.)

  • connorboone

    Otto Skorzeny, also known as Hitler’s Commando, was portrayed sympathetically and heroically in the World War series by Harry Turtledove, wherein the aliens invade in the middle of WWII.

    It’s not just Baen. Unless Turtledove is Baen, in which case I’m wrong.

  • Yeah, I’ve been conscious of such themes ever since Hurricane Katrina, coincidentially — I noticed the bias in coverage very quickly, as did others.

    Short version: White people found supplies while black people looted and scavenged — despite pictures carrying the same damn thing.

  • Turtledove is Baen.

  • Darkrose

    I first saw him in the picture online, on Wonkette. I first heard about it on lefty blogs from people saying, “Real subtle, wingnuts”.

  • (Shameless plug: My post-apocalyptic fiction features a strong female protagonist, people of a variety of colors and turns religion on its head — although it takes a Christic theme since it’s ultimately based on Christian premillennial dispensationalism. ^_^)

  • AnonaMiss

    Eh. He looks about as much like Obama as Emperor Palpatine looks like Ratzinger.

  • Lori

    I suspect that the resemblance appears more obvious in pictures online which are presented as “look at this” than it did in the movie.

    My parents, sister & BIL have been watching the series (of course). They’re all Conservative fundies with tremendous resentment for Obama. Their racial attitudes are not the best, but not terrible given their age and such. None of them noticed it while they were watching the show.

  • That’s Scott Terry, an extremely, superlatively racist man. He was also at the Trump the Race Card Tea Party Patriots panel with the following to say:

    Blacks should be happy that the slave master gave them shelter, clothing, and food.

    That tells you exactly as much as you need to know about Mr. Terry.

  • David Starner

    I think the Dresden Files did a decent job about it. Even the White Court vampires at best fight the monstrosity (occasionally), whereas the Red Court and Black Court are to be destroyed.

  • David Starner

    I read the first Harrington book, and stop there. It was amazing how he expressed his neo-conservativism so specifically, making every character in the book that didn’t agree with him an idiot, not only politically but tactically as well.

  • David Starner

    It strikes me like telling you that someone looks like 007. That’s not specific, but it’s far more then simply race and gender. He looks like someone who could realistically play an older Obama in a movie.

  • Darkrose

    It also appeared obvious to me because I recently saw an artist’s rendition of what Obama might look like when he leaves office. There were definite similarities between that picture and the actor.

    If the people behind the movie were aware of the resemblance, I suspect it was meant as an inside joke, like using a Bush head mold in Game of Thrones. Some people will get it; most won’t.

  • Darkrose

    From what I understand, the series has evolved over the years, and the politics are much more nuanced. I’m not crazy about his writing style and ship battles bore me, so I can’t confirm that personally.

  • Lori

    I suspect that’s true. On one hand I was a little surprised that my family didn’t notice it. On the other hand I wasn’t. Thankfully their minds don’t generally work that way.

    Of course the positive there is more than offset by the fact that they also didn’t notice that all the good people in the movie are white (including the Jews) and Satan is AA. Sigh.

  • Guest

    I know nothing about the comic or TV seies, but the Walking Dead video game certainly avoided or deconstructed some of those problematic tropes by making the main character a black man, making some of the antagonists down-to-earth country folks and totalitarian survivalists, and having zombies remain recognizable as the people they were in life. I won’t say it’s entirely problem free, but it does make zombies interesting. (Potential trigger warning: people do some gruesome and horrible things in the series, so use caution if looking up plot details or whatever.)

  • “All the good people”? You mean like Samson?
    I’ve noticed that, by and large, race and tribe seem to be unconnected. (However, both of Samson’s Philistine dalliances were white — one character even commented “Mixed [Israelite and Philistine] marriages never work!”)

  • My wife is black and Christian (but not a fundie in any way, shape or form) and she’s really enjoying “The Bible”. I’m being a lot more picky about it, probably because I know the Bible better than she does (and she’d be the first to admit it).

  • banancat

    I like some abortions. She’s wrong to make the point that nobody likes them, and I’m very reluctant to give any credit or back-pats to people who continue to frame it that way.

  • Jenny Islander

    Sweet suffering Jesus. Even on his terms, it’s bullshit.

    Shelter: I’ve seen interior photos of a farm slave’s cabin on a “good” plantation. It looks like a dog kennel. There is no insulation in the cracks between the logs because heating and cooking are provided by a pit in the floor; insulate the place and the inhabitants would smother. Beds are piles of cornhusks in the corners. Dinner is eaten from shims of wood while sitting on the floor–which is just dirt. No privacy, no way to keep clean, no way to keep the bugs out. People were born in there. People died in there.

    Clothing: Rags and castoffs. Whoopee.

    Food: It was policy not to give slaves enough food to eat. The horrible sterotype of the lazy n—-r fishing? If they didn’t fish and the pig wasn’t ready for slaughter (assuming they were even allowed to have a pig) and the chickens weren’t laying, they got no protein. Soul food was made from ingredients that could be grown and processed on a small plot near the slave cabin using crude tools and stoop labor, and cooked in a pot or on hot rocks. They worked from can see to can’t see on the master’s land, then they went back to their cabins and worked to get food for themselves, then they fell down asleep, then they got up and did it all again.

    The slaves who got more were “house n—-rs,” who on one hand had to present a more polished and well-fed appearance to make their masters look good, and on the other hand were more likely to be noticed by the master or mistress and possibly given little treats–old dishes, things like that. As long as their master or mistress didn’t find a pressing reason to sell them like any other asset, of course.

    Grateful. Grateful. May he fall asleep in a hotel built over a slaves’ graveyard and have all of their lives in his nightmares.

  • Carstonio

    Except that the actor has far lighter skin when out of makeup:

  • Rae

    I don’t know a lot about the TV series, but I know this: Michonne (the one with the multicolored cat) seems to be considered some kind of deity by a large portion of the fandom.

  • J_Enigma32

    “Racism and anti-semitism are pretty stock-in-trade for a lot of post-apocalyptic fiction”.

    Post-apocalyptic is as much an atmosphere as it is a genre. Most novels in the genre play up the “cozy catastrophe” angle, but when it steps outside of the genre, it becomes more of an atmospheric thing. An example of it as an atmosphere is Eclipse Phase; it’s not necessarily part of the Post-Apocalypse Genre, although it certainly had an apocalypse in the not-too-distant past in the game setting. You could argue that Star Trek is post-apocalypse, as well, but that neither feels like nor belongs in the genre.

    [Shameless self-promotion time!]
    Post-apocalypse as an atmosphere is what I realized I was pulling off, on accident, with my novel, “The Blue Pimpernel.” A friend of mind described it as being very post-apocalyptic in execution, but there was no apocalypse in the conventional sense in the novel. No virus, no zombies, no asteroid impact, no gamma ray burst, no solar flare, no war, no nuclear melt down, no genetic engineering run rampant, no super AI Skynet taking over the planet, none of that.

    Instead, the apocalypse in the Blue Pimpernel was economic in nature. It was one economic punch after another, followed by incredibly severe austerity and a handful of wars that scared the people into following the Party, which lead to the slow collapse and rotting of society.

    The novel’s setting, Joliet, can only be described as a Libertarian Hellhole. Poverty runs rampant and nobody can afford anything, so the infrastructure has collapsed completely on a public level. Driving on the roads is compared to driving on the surface of the Moon. The fire department is privatized, but nobody can afford their services. Banks have kicked thousands of people out of their homes, homelessness is feature, and the privatized school system has been co-opted by theocrats, who force religion on the student body since there’s no separation of church and state anymore in schools. Evolution is not taught, Bible Science is. Innovation on any level has ground to a halt, completely. Because there’s no more public clinics and people can’t afford insurance (there’s no public insurance available; the public option was gutted by the Party) diseases run rampant. Especially STDs, and the average life expectancy is probably less than what it was in the Middle Ages. Because the schools are privatized, all of the “good kids” find themselves fast tracked to good schools (where “good” is a placeholder for “wealthy”) and all of the “bad” kids find themselves shoved away into “bad” schools (where “bad” is a placeholder for “poor”). Wealthy students get educated by real teachers. Poor students get indoctrinated by religious-right approved talking heads. And this is before we get into how amazingly rampant the corruption is, how authoritarian the power players are, and how “authoritarian libertarian theocracy” seems like an oxymoron but isn’t.

    Because of these circumstances, the main character, Renee, appears to have been adopted into a fabulously wealthy family. They have one car (it’s two, but they can’t afford to fix the second one), a house, and an android that was given to the family as a wedding gift they can’t afford to keep up. They have to decide between food and heating, and Renee and her adopted sister/BFF Ofelia both know how incredibly hard it is for their parents to get by, but at the same time, they don’t have a clue. And she’s upper middle class, going to a crappy school, getting a crappy education, and actually has something that resembles health insurance. They have a television (two, in fact!), and a library (of old books) a computer (very dated, but they still have one), and they can afford something that looks like a halfway decent living. Maybe.

    There was no sudden apocalypse, though. The world transitioned from pre-apocalypse to post-apocalypse and nobody noticed. There were no zombies for the gun fetishists to shoot at, no Red Dawn commies that attacked, no survivalist fantasies to play out; just a world that sucks, really hard, and didn’t get any better.

    [/Shameless self-promotion time!]

  • FYI, the person who wrote the MyObamaYear article was Darrel of StuffFundiesLike. You’ve got the wrong gender pronoun.

  • I find myself intrigued, Mr. Kilburn. Is the Nook Book version authorized by you/your publisher? (Barnes and Noble love to steal unauthorized editions of novels and publish them without the owners’ consent.)

  • I’m in the middle of the third season (so please, no spoilers), but TWD does a nice job documenting the descent into inhumanity that a true post-human apocalypse would bring out. Extinction level events would be terrible, nasty things and they would require that we perform terrible, nasty, actions in order to survive. TWD handles that about as well as any show I’ve ever seen.

    The form factor helps there — having more than 2 hours to delve into the themes presented allows you to delve a bit more deeply into the material than the traditional gun fantasy for people who don’t feel like they can connect well with others.

  • reynard61

    “Rule No. 1 of Act Like Men…”

  • J_Enigma32

    Yes indeed. The Nook Book version is authorized by myself. I self-published through Lulu, and going through the Nook was one of the parts of the deal (the other part being shipping through Amazon).

  • Warm Bodies works very well as a rebuttal to the nihilism of most other zombie stories, and I think that’s how the author intended it. It’s not even pretending to be “plausible” as far as how the zombie plague works (though I hear in the novel it’s strongly implied that the plague is actually a psychic disease).

  • Uh, I read that the Bush head mold wasn’t an inside joke — fake heads are time-consuming things to get right, so filmmakers routinely use fake heads that happen to be in the studio.

    Who made the fake Bush head in the first place, and for what project, remains a mystery.

    Certainly in the scene in which the prop is used, the Bush head is keeping better company than it deserves.

  • My funds are lacking, but the premise sold me. Usually the only modern era setting writing I can tolerate is my own, so this is kind of a kudos to you! Hopefully you’re getting a decent share of the purchase value. I’m hoping to get my own writing finished and published soon to get a revenue stream (however thin) established to continue justifying my existence in the household. :p

    There goes the rest of my spending money for the month. ^_^;

  • connorboone

    Point of order: that’s not post-apocalyptic fiction, that’s dystopian fiction.