Trekking With the Green-Eyed Monster – David Pascoe
This weekend was a busy one at Caer Dave. Mrs. Dave had a thing Saturday morning on base through our gym. Lots of lifting things, and some paddling thing, and then a run thing. Also, fun being had. Wee Dave enjoyed it, too. There were puppies, and other small creatures. After a brief (well, for one of us) round of naps, yours truly got to cooking in preparation for a dinner at a friend’s. With that endeavor accomplished, the adults mounted a trusty steed, and headed north, skirting the Wretched Hive (seriously, the place is a moral singularity) until we landed at the Wolf Trap Center for the Performing Arts.
Wolf Trap is a part of the national park system, and home to several (like the name says) performing arts venues. We were at what I think is the main stage: an enormous wood-and-steel open air concert/opera hall. We went to the movies. Star Trek (’09, not the Motion Picture) was showing, and the National Symphony Orchestra played the score. Immediately prior, there was a brief discussion/Q&A session with the composer (incidentally, same guy that did the score for Jurassic World, as well as *many* other recent films. Guy’s kind of a machine).
Brief aside: should you have the opportunity to attend such an event, I highly recommend it. Even if you’re only meh about the film or the score themselves, it’s worth it for the appreciation of the players’ skills. I particularly liked watching the string players’ arms moving in unison through the dramatic points.
But one thing the composer said during the discussion period struck me. When he and the director were working up the primary theme for the score, he was having trouble nailing it down. Until the director told him that at base, Star Trek ’09 is a buddy film, albeit one where the buddies don’t start off that way. At that point, everything started falling together.
But something else start working in my back brain as I watched the film, and it wasn’t until I read Sarah Clithero’s [Pat Richardson forgot to byline it. Bad Pat. – SAH]post at <a href=http://otherwheregazette.wordpress.com/2015/08/02/envy/>Otherwhere Gazette</a> yesterday that it started to crystallize. For those unfamiliar (SPOILERS! Well, vague ones, at least), the villain of the film works to destroy a planet so that one man will feel the same pain he does.
The Green-Eyed Monster sure is an ugly one. It’s a classic motivation in plots throughout literature, film, and the high school experience. So and so has a thing, and this other person wants it. It doesn’t much matter what “it” is, but as long as the first person has it (confidence, the captaincy of the football team, a crown, a shiny and truly un-weather-worthy hat), the person of the second part yearns for it. Or, at the least in the case mentioned above, desperately wants for the first person to NOT have it.
It’s universal in humanity (What’s that? Humans and Vulcans are cross-fertile? I guess that makes Vulcans just pointy-eared humans, then, doesn’t it? Of course that just demonstrates my humanocentric bias. Speciesissss!). It’s a prime driver of, well, lots of things. Before anybody goes there, seeing the fortunes of another and using that as a motivation to achieve is zeal, per <a href=http://www.newadvent.org/summa/3036.htm>Thomas Aquinas</a> (See Article II), and isn’t necessarily problematic.
It occurs, what with the Hugo voting just finished, and the results to be announced in a couple of week, that most of the Puppy Kickers are suffering from an excess of envy. I mean, think about it: the prospect of Jim Butcher (or Kevin Anderson, etc.) receiving a shiny, rocket-shaped object is so painful to them that they’re willing to ruin the award’s (remaining shreds of) credibility to prevent it. It’s accepted wisdom at this point that a move to limit voting to attending memberships will be advanced at the WSFS business meeting at Sasquan. While there’s a good deal of speculation over whether such a motion will even get approved (what then, would supporting members get for their hard earned filthy lucre? How could WorldCon possibly garner any kind of diverse, international support by shutting out anybody who can’t afford to fly across an ocean to come to the majority of conventions?), that it’s not reduced to backroom rumor mills is a sign of how strong the desire is to keep out the undesirable types.
And why? So “those kind of people” can’t get awards that are meant for our kind of people. Dress it up how you will, the Puppy Kickers so strongly identify with owning the rocket award that they’re willing to see it sink into the realm of ridicule – and ultimately complete obscurity – in order to prevent the wrong sort from even being involved in the process. And that will somehow increase diversity in scifi.
I don’t blame them (well, actually, I do. They’re the ones feeding the outrage machine and spreading lies about my friends) as this is just what they’ve been taught. The rise of Marxism as the du jour guiding philosophy of the intelligentsia coincided with the rise of postmodernism. The Modern Project failed (for reasons better kept to the comments) and instead of looking objectively at why, humanity tossed out the notion of objective truth. If there isn’t a Standard to which people should be held (I’m cutting so many corners, here, but it’s Monday morning, I haven’t talked to herself, and I’m completely uncaffeinated. That last is the important part, really. I think.), then nothing is truly opprobrious, and so any behavior at all becomes justifiable.
I’d love to say this is a new thing, but the Puppy Kickers (also the race baiters, the SJWs, the left in general, and the greater world of progressiveness) are simply humans being the way humans be when nothing restrains them. An even cursory read of history suggests that human critters want what they ain’t got, and what someone else does, and that without something to inhibit, they’ll do what it takes to get it. Or see that that other poor bastard doesn’t have it long.
I don’t really have a hopeful ending to this. Partly that’s fighting the black dog, and partly that’s looking at the world as things grow ever darker. As those with eyes to see, it’s up to us to be a light shining in the gloom. That’s why we write, and why we fight. Keep your powder dry, friends.