Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Bond, Star Wars, and the sexual smugness of the politically correct


I'm sad to note that political correctness (and the rampant self-righteousness of the Social Justice Warrior) have affected two great story arcs.

First, the new James Bond novel (authorized by the estate of Ian Fleming, Bond's creator) inserts the hero into a straitjacket of political correctness.

For decades he has swaggered through life conquering women, chain smoking and saving the world, untroubled by the sensitivities of the 21st century.

In a new book, however, James Bond will be getting a dose of modern morality, as author Anthony Horowitz reveals the tricks he used to drag the spy kicking and screaming into the era of political correctness.

Horowitz, the writer of new Bond novel Trigger Mortis, said he had worked carefully to preserve Ian Fleming’s original character and ensuring his 1950s attitudes remained in tact.

But he has introduced a cast of new characters to point out the error of his chauvinistic ways, including messages about smoking causing cancer, women who give him a run for his money, and an “outspoken” gay friend.

. . .

Among the surprises for fans includes the return of Pussy Galore, who has moved in with Bond in London and spend the mornings squabbling in quite the opposite of domestic bliss.

It is the first time a Bond storyline has followed a Bond Girl forward, beyond the spy’s conquest and inevitable desertion.

Trigger Mortis sees the new couple living in 1957 Chelsea and irritating one another over their boiled eggs, with “an uneasy silence full of dark thoughts and words unsaid”.

. . .

"He does smoke cigarettes, he smokes many many cigarettes. But then what I do is I nudge him with a little reference to a newspaper article he happens to glance at which just reminds him that these things will give him cancer.

"With women, he has this sort of patronising carnal attitude with them which is absolutely accurate to the Bond of the books. But then by creating very strong women he is given quite a run for his money and his attitudes are challenged.

"I also gave him a very outspoken gay friend, who chides him and says 'come on Bond, you're living in the 20th century now not the Middle Ages'.”

There's more at the link.

The contradiction is evident even in that short extract.  If it's set in 1957, it's unlikely in the extreme that Bond would have had a 'very outspoken gay friend' saying those things.  Homosexual conduct was still a criminal offense in Britain (and most other countries), and social attitudes towards it were extraordinarily negative.  It would only begin to be decriminalized in 1967, and take much longer to attain any sort of widespread acceptance.  To try to portray it as more 'normal' in that era is to portray that social milieu in a completely false light.

The other example (or, rather, examples) are to be found in recent Star Wars novels.  As Allen West's Web site points out, in an article by Earl Hall:

Following this spring’s introduction of a LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) villain, lesbian Imperial officer Moff Delian Mors, in Paul S. Kemp’s Lords of the Sith novel, author Chuck Wendig is introducing a major gay heroine (or must we now say “xeroine” in a non-specific way per the gender police at University of Tennessee ) in his new novel, Star Wars: Aftermath.

. . .

I can’t imagine that a group of protesters from the LGBT community decided to hold a rally in front of the estate of George Lucas demanding more gay -friendly characters in his novels and movies. No, this new novel is just a part of long list of “art” that wants to change our traditional values.

Look at almost every major pop culture show. There’s always at least one gay person. They’re not in the background. Many of them hold major roles in these shows. There obviously must be a need here that’s being filled according to supply and demand, right? I mean why else would so many people from the LGBT community be getting these roles?

Can anyone say “Hollywood?” Even though statistics show good family values movies do really well at the box office, Hollywood continues to give us what they want us to have instead. Sure there are gay people in the world. Don’t we all have at least one gay person in our family? Of course that’s what the LGBT community wants you to believe. But based on 2013 NHIS data published by the CDC, only 1.8 percent of men self-identify as gay and 0.4 percent as bisexual, and 1.5 percent of women self-identify as lesbian and 0.9 percent as bisexual. In two years, has that number quadrupled? I doubt it.

. . .

When I saw the original Star Wars as a young boy in the 70’s, I was captivated. I was able to wonder and even create games based on these heroes. My family and friends had our Light Sabers (sticks) and X-Wing fighters (bikes) and protected the galaxy (neighborhood). We did it all without ever once bringing sexuality into it.

These books are targeted at kids, right? Help me, Obi-Wan.

Again, more at the link.

Author Chuck Wendig responded as follows:

And if you’re upset because I put gay characters and a gay protagonist in the book, I got nothing for you. Sorry, you squawking saurian — meteor’s coming. And it’s a fabulously gay Nyan Cat meteor with a rainbow trailing behind it and your mode of thought will be extinct. You’re not the Rebel Alliance. You’re not the good guys. You’re the f***ing Empire, man. You’re the s***ty, oppressive, totalitarian Empire. If you can imagine a world where Luke Skywalker would be irritated that there were gay people around him, you completely missed the point of Star Wars. It’s like trying to picture Jesus kicking lepers in the throat instead of curing them. Stop being the Empire. Join the Rebel Alliance. We have love and inclusion and great music and cute droids.

Way to go, Mr. Wendig.  You've just informed every non-liberal, non-progressive science fiction and Star Wars fan that we don't count, our opinions are irrelevant, and we have no place among the enlightened fandom (and authors) that will take that franchise forward into the brave new world of inclusivity.

I agree with Earl Hall.  I see such in-your-face insertions of LGBT characters, activities and talking points into modern entertainment (be it books, movies, TV programs, comics or whatever) as a deliberate, calculated attempt to force us to accept those things as normal.  They are not.  A typical dictionary definition of 'normal' is 'conforming to the standard or the common type; usual; not abnormal; regular; natural'.  As Mr. Hall points out, official data confirm that those of LGBT persuasions are a very small proportion of society.  By that definition, it's not 'normal' to force LGBT matters into such general, widespread prominence, in fiction or anywhere else.

Personally, I don't give a damn about anyone's sexuality.  They're free to sleep with who they wish, to decide among themselves who's going to do what, with which, to whom.  However, if they - heterosexual, homosexual or just plain weird - decide to thrust their sexuality (whatever it is) under my nose, I'm going to get angry with them for invading my space and my peace and quiet.  If they persist in flaunting their foibles at me in the real world, I'm going to stop them, one way or another - and I don't care whether they like that or not.  If they won't respect my privacy in such matters, why should I respect their sexuality?

By the same token, authors who try to thrust modern perspectives on alternative sexualities into the forefront of novels that are primarily supposed to be faithful to their canon, and to entertain, have lost my support, right there.  Bond and Star Wars are established fictional universes with established traditions.  To try to force them into today's politically correct modes of thought is ridiculous.  That makes Bond no longer Bond, and Star Wars no longer Star Wars.  One might as well bring sodomy into Walden or strap-ons into Moby-Dick.  (Clearly, Herman Melville must have had sex of some sort in mind when he coined that name, right?)

As for Mr. Wendig's association of Jesus with the issue . . . the mind boggles.  No, it's not like 'trying to picture Jesus kicking lepers in the throat instead of curing them'.  I'd say it's more like Jesus speaking with the woman taken in adultery.  "Neither do I condemn you.  Go and sin no more."  His words of command are just as important as his lack of condemnation.  They apply to heterosexuals and homosexuals and the just plain weird.  "Sin no more."  Says it all, doesn't it?

(Of course, if we get the 'sin no more' part right, there's always hope.  I'm reminded of the story of the gay man who died and went to heaven.  He couldn't figure out whether he was a saint, or just simply divine . . . )




Peter

21 comments:

Inconsiderate Bastard said...

I see such in-your-face insertions of LGBT characters, activities and talking points into modern entertainment (be it books, movies, TV programs, comics or whatever) as a deliberate, calculated attempt to force us to accept those things as normal. They are not.

True, that.

I watch very little television, but I used to irregularly watch NCIS on CBS from time to time. No more. NCIS always begins with a dead or injured Marine or Navy officer for whom they seek justice. This past season they featured an incident in which a Navy officer became deceased, and in the first few minutes it was discovered that his "wife" - a male police officer - was the suffering partner, who described the dead naval officer as his "husband."

I immediately turned it off and will never consider watching the show again, originals or re-runs. I have had more than enough of Hollywood and the media inflicting abnormality upon us and trying to disguise it as "normal."

I'm done.

richard mcenroe said...

Because British Intelligence has had so much luck with the gay community in the past...and by all accounts Wendig is an absolutely appalling writer.

Rev. Paul said...

And, once more, cue the Hollywood types as they bemoan their shrinking audiences, wondering where everyone has gone.

Brother Pilot said...

Can anyone say message fic and Larry Corriea's whole premise about puppy related sadness? Same thing here just different venues.

Uncle Lar said...

Personally I would expect Bond's attitude towards a gay acquaintance as "fine, less competition, more women for me." And given his ego I suspect he would regard lesbians as a challenge to overcome through the sheer awesomeness of himself.
And too, there seems to be an overwhelming drive within social progressives to rewrite history to make it a better fit with their narrative.

0007 said...

Ian Fleming would probably have kicked Wendig in the cajones with a poisoned shoe-knife if he had seen this pile of crap.

Anonymous said...

You say: attempt to force us to accept those things as normal. They are not. A typical dictionary definition of 'normal' is 'conforming to the standard or the common type; usual; not abnormal; regular; natural'. As Mr. Hall points out, official data confirm that those of LGBT persuasions are a very small proportion of society. By that definition, it's not 'normal' to force LGBT matters into such general, widespread prominence, in fiction or anywhere else.


I say Normal is a Shared Delusion. Not a standard. "sexuality" is an animal condition. Animals in nature perform homosexual acts.

As for the Small proportion of society: Overall, the study shows 78 percent of Americans reported as heterosexual, four percent reported as homosexual, and the remaining 22 percent were somewhere in between.
When researchers asked the same question in Britain they uncovered an even greater difference in attitude between the generations.
Overall, 23 percent of British citizens consider themselves bisexual while almost 50 percent of British millennials identify that way.
“With each generation, people see their sexuality as less fixed in stone. People of all generations now accept the idea that sexual orientation exists along a continuum rather than a binary choice.”

Read more at http://www.inquisitr.com/2377761/a-third-of-millennials-identify-as-bisexual-says-new-study/#KTA7Fs8YIjMjDKc4.99


I blame repression.

That's 26% of Americans being LGBT & each younger generation is even more expressive of that. Unless of course somebody manages to plunge us into a dark age of sexual repression again.

Anonymous said...

Glenfilthie, shut up.

Anonymous said...

Also, people with multicolored hair are superior to you.

lostsailor32 said...

If you can imagine a world where Luke Skywalker would be irritated that there were gay people around him, you completely missed the point of Star Wars.

If you can imagine a world where Luke Skywalker ever even noticed there were gay people around or paid any attention to anyone's sexuality except to creep on his sister, then you, Mr. Wendig, have completely missed the point of Star Wars. Which "point" is to use broadly defined precepts of good and evil to tell a rollicking adventure story whose plot holes and technical details are better left un-closely-examined. They were meant to be pure escapist fun, not hectoring moralizing political screeds.

The "meteor" coming for me turns out to be more like a pebble...

freddie_mac said...

Regarding the gay stormtrooper: there's an Amazon review that describes an utterly unnecessary scene in Wendig's novel (hint: trying to sell us on the normality of homosexuality shouldn't include the presumption that the gay character would be interested in an underaged character, or that such interest might be *normal*).

Here's the review; it certainly helped me make up my mind about the book:
www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R32V8TKFJEZ8X9/ref=cm_cr_pr_rvwttl?ie==TF8&ASIN=034551162x

Glen said...

An outspoken gay friend barely 5 years after Guy Burgess? That most likely would have cost Bond his job. At that point the Brits were finally getting serious about thoroughly vetting active agents. Really, an author should take more care with events of the day.

Angus McThag said...

Considering the derogatory term my gay friends use for us straight folk is "breeder", I think Chuck is mistaken about whom is going to go extinct.

Anonymous said...

"Animals in nature perform homosexual acts."
Well, if that's the standard towards which we strive, animals in nature also mount any female in heat, fight for dominance and the mates, and all sorts of behavior that must be suppressed to maintain any sort of civilization.
I despise people that use animal behavior to justify human behavior (it was all the rage when Clinton's relationship with Monica Lewinsky was being justified).

JohninMd.(HELP?!??) said...

The stupid, it should burn! A PC Bond? What, he gonna downgrade the 00 prefix to a licence to use hadsh lanvuage? As for gays in Star Wars, they e already had Jar-Jar Binks, what could be more gay than THAT??

Anonymous said...

And, you know what, I trust that Mr. Wendig's book is rubbish. One look at the extract shows you how awful his prose is and there are hints of a lack of focus. This came well before I knew of any gay/lesbian characters being included. The author is simply using the 'bigotry' card to justify bringing out a bad product. The media are already jumping on to his coarse rant as being another mini victory for a fairer society (or whatever they call it).

Now, I say this as left wing person who just happens to despise the identity politics war and believes that this, modern, form of liberalism is another form of oppression and is much closer to "the Empire" than the previous system in the west. Actually, it wouldn't surprise me at all if Chuck Wendig deliberately wrote a bad novel just to get the desired reaction he wanted. It will sell by truckload, anyway.

Nathan said...

Of course Wendig doubled down instead of admitting his book sucked. Otherwise, he'd have to admit that those -ist Puppies he spent so much time on Twitter kicking actually had a valid argument.

And, yes, most of the complaints are against the writing style. Hopefully, Disney cancels the trilogy they have planned with him and gives it to someone who is a better writer.

m4 said...

@Inconsiderate Bastard

I think you have broadly missed the point there. What you're asking for is complete suppression of reality. Because you don't like it or refuse to accept it doesn't mean that it doesn't happen. I recall an early episode (somewhere in the first three seasons) that features a transexual. One episode has this, one episode has that. It represents the real proportions well enough.

Also taking place in this day and age, it's far more appropriate for it to happen, because in this day and age it does happen and people don't need to hide it. It's a different story in say the 1950s, as Peter pointed out. Setting is everything.

On a Wing and a Whim said...

My dear, it's not just trying to make such things "normal", it's also failure-proofing the author/studio in question, by the Hard Left Turn method.

You see, if a movie, book, newspaper, or publisher sucks dead rat through a straw and loses business, it's a failure. In cases of business failure, nobody wants to hire people who destroyed a business to run theirs, nor hire an author whose stories suck to write another.

But in the eyes of ideologues, if the reason it failed was not because it sucked but because its ideology was too pure for the world to handle, then the creators / editors / reporters must be hired / contracted for more work out of solidarity. So dying franchises, dying publishing and media companies (including the NYT, Boston Globe, and Time), and authors who bomb will all start pushing Hard Left tripe right before the layoffs start (or right before the company goes under, if they're slow.) They're looking for lifeboats off the ship they sunk.

If you check the sample of Wendig's Star Wars novel, and listen to the fans who bought expanded universe novels, you'll understand quite clearly why it's a complete flop. It's not the gay characters; that's the smokescreen he's throwing up to try to protect his career and future advances.

"My book doesn't suck! You just hate t3h Gay!" is the cry of a man looking to save his career after he bombed the launch of a Disney property.

wheels said...

Why are they using "xeroine" as the feminine form of "xero?" Isn't that sexist? Personally, I think that "xero" is the appropriate descriptor to use in these cases, as long as it's correctly pronounced. That is, "zero."

Joe in PNG said...

I could almost see them modeling a character after Noel Coward, one of Sir Ian Fleming's friends in real life- and his pick to play 007.