Random Thoughts: Hawkeye’s Folly, del Rey’s “Evensong”, Poo Flingers, and Star Trek: Axanar
The objective here was not to shame. It was a joke… that descends into over the top teasing. She flirts with everybody. She has a prosthetic leg. She’s leading everybody on. (Wait… I thought sluts were too “easy.” Now her problem is that she’s leading people on?) These guys simply aren’t the second coming of Cotton Mather. The people that demanded an apology from them are. And come on…. They were asked about the potential for some kind of romance between their movie character and some other movie character. How do you want them to answer that? “Natasha is just a great and beautiful girl and I know she’s going to make someone really happy, but Hawkeye values his FRIENDSHIP with her too much to risk that. Besides, we are really coworkers, you know… and starting a relationship with someone in that context is fraught with difficulties. I wouldn’t want to put her through that.” Yes. That would sound just so much more authentic, wouldn’t it?
Lester del Rey’s story “Evensong” is very much along the same lines as John C. Wright’s “Parliament of Beasts and Birds.” Different theme, different approach… but it nevertheless produces the same type of effect. It’s in Harlan Ellison’s Dangerous Visionsfrom 1967 and it is well worth a read. Good science fiction expands your consciousness and gives you a revelatory “aha!” type moment. It touches on really big ideas beyond just matters of science and technology. It’s addictive.
This bit from Harlan Ellison’s introduction is… well, I guess it speaks for itself:
“I’ve always thought a story must stand by itself, and that the writer behind it is of no consequence to its merits.” — Lester del Rey, 1967
There are poo flingers and there are nests of poo flingers. The temptation to join the fray by jumping in with direct attacks and pissing matches is great, though the results of this should be predictable by now. I think a better strategy is to make a relatively minor correction of something tangential– something you have a very sound case for– and then just stand back and let them twist that into whatever tinfoil hat psychoanalysis they inevitably offer up in response. It might look like they are legion… but I think the silent majority lays low for good reason. You don’t have to go into full crusader mode to come out ahead.
Star Trek: Prelude to Axanar is not bad– which for these sort of fan film type things is (in my opinion) high praise. From a tabletop standpoint, this is reminiscent of Martin J. Dougherty’s work with Traveller where the details of the ship designs come into play in a big way. The strategic situation is reminiscent of Yankee and Roman armies desperately seeking the sort of commanders that could produce victories while they are quickly running out of time. And the tactical scenario set up here is like the classic Star Fleet Battles Fleet Repair Doc scenario from Advanced Missions, but with entire fleets colliding with each other. Again this isnot bad at all. But the gaming hooks are really quite excellent. The fact that the plot here is the exact inverse of what we go from Into Darkness is really the only way to go if you want to actually pursue the gaming possibilities.