Tag Archives: Science fiction

The Hunger Games, and the Shallowness of Conservative Economic Morality

Longtime readers will recall that using science fiction to analyze real-world problems is a favorite subject of mine. Consequentially, when someone attempts the same, and manages to thoroughly botch it, I feel compelled to reply. And Forbes writer what John Tamny does to The Hunger Games is basically a war crime. In his hands, the popular young adult book becomes a warning […]

The Good Guys, and the Excuses We Make For Ignoring Them

Permit me to indulge in a bit of idealism. I spent the close of last night reading Catching Fire, the sequel to The Hunger Games — and I’ll explain. It’s a series of young adult books that, like Harry Potter and Ender’s Game, made the crossover and gained some popularity among the older and wiser set. In […]

The Culture Wars’ New Front: Comics

It’s a sad and fragile ideology so narrow that it has to take offense at every cultural change in every cultural document, nation- and indeed world-wide. But that’s where we are with conservatism today, when Superman’s decision to renounce U.S. citizenship, apparently, can provoke serious concern about Those Liberals. Why do they hate America so […]

The Offensive Qualities of Time Travel

In one of the weirder news items of the week, the People’s Republic of China has banned science fiction shows depicting time travel. Why? Here’s the Times’ summary of the decision: The State Administration for Radio, Film & Television said that TV dramas that involve characters traveling back in time “lack positive thoughts and meaning.” […]

Subtlety in Storytelling: Red Dawn?

The National Review goes near apoplectic over a remake of B-movie quasipolitical thriller Red Dawn that excludes China, the remake’s originally included villain, substituting North Korea. [Red Dawn] was an overwrought action flick/melodrama, to be sure, but it was also a cultural marker: the age of détente was over, and the age of Reagan had arrived in full. […]

But Pericles, Have You Gotten a Load of the Many?

In Alabama’s Republican gubernatorial primary, the central issue appears to be the slanderous allegation that Bradley Byrne may not, in fact, be a creationist: He’s here to assure you that he is: As a Christian and as a public servant, I have never wavered in my belief that this world and everything in it is […]

Jonah Goldberg the Realist

Perpetuating his remarkably shallow critique of James Cameron’s Avatar, Goldberg notes with horror the depths of sorrow and misguided zeal that a faux-religious film has inspired in these kids today. You see, he seems to ask, how dangerous the faith instinct can be when misused? Indeed I do. In the 300s, martyrdom was such a […]

Faith, Science and Allegories in James Cameron’s Avatar

James Cameron’s Avatar is a good movie — but as a paean to a path we forsook long ago, it’s anything but subtle, and its approach to race may even be a little troubling, for the simplistic sort of apology it contains. Should we, as a race, feel personally guilty for the sins of our […]

The Hive Queen & the Hegemon

Even amidst a field crowded with great orators, for his Nobel acceptance speech, President Obama stands out as a particularly strong voice on the issue of America’s relationship with the world. Doubters, swallow your pride — the question of whether Obama deserved the Prize at this point in his young career must now come second […]

Books, Covers, and Taking the Culture War Too Far

Lest we forget, in some circles, the Harry Potter series remains “controversial,” owing to a troublesome passage in the Bible. Firefly fans will recognize it: Excodus 22:18, “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.” Aside from presenting real questions about the continued relevance of a literal reading of the Bible — because, really? — […]