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 . . . )