My response essay to Jacque Otto is now up at Cato Unbound:
Read it, and all the others!
My response essay to Jacque Otto is now up at Cato Unbound:
Read it, and all the others!
I don’t normally go on rants about the liberal media bias we’re always told about, but he’s a great example of why so many Americans think it exists:
That’s just wrong, and WaPo knows it. Saying that only “Rich, middle-aged men” and people who eat at Chick-Fil-A care about four dead foreign service officers is just disgraceful. There are tons of Americans out there who care that the government let four diplomats die for what seem to be purely political reasons…and instead of honing in on that, the Washington Post is disgracefully putting up flak.
That’s not to say there isn’t BS on both sides of the aisle:
But holy crap, WaPo, was that a BS tweet.
And folks wonder why the Washington Post Company is losing money hand over fist. Gee, it couldn’t be that you’re a bunch of morons giving cover to government evil, could it?
I’m extremely pleased to announce that I am participating in the May 2013 edition of Cato Unbound (@CatoUnbound), the most intelligent online journal of intellectualism.
The topic of this month is fusionism, specifically between libertarians and conservatives. My good friend and America’s Iron Lady, Jacque Otto (@jacque_otto) is kicking off with a lead essay, followed by yours truly on Wednesday, to then be followed by Students for Liberty Vice President Clark Ruper (@clark_ruper) on Friday and Acton Institute Research Fellow Jordan Ballor (@JordanBallor) on Monday.
This is the big leagues, folks, and I am very proud to be here. While six years ago I wanted to just do sci-fi writing, this is still extremely exciting. And I’m sure I can work it into my science fiction–after all, a great many science fiction writers were and are passionate libertarians. For that reason, HUGE thanks are in order to Cato Unbound editor @JasonKuznicki, to whom I now owe a keg of scotch. Or something.
Please read the lead essay up here, and feel free to join in the discussion!
I’m back in the op-ed writing business.
One piece, on how CPAC (which just concluded) screwed everything up, is now available at FITSNews.com. And yes, it is called “CPAC Is Doing It Wrong.”
The other piece, about an event at the Cato Institute on social media and drug violence in Mexico, is available on theblaze. Yes, Glenn Beck’s website.
Hopefully I will have more material up on both of these sites again soon. I like both of them a lot.
Star Trek director J.J. Abrams will be helming the next Star Wars movie. “It’s done deal with J.J.,” a source with knowledge of the situation told Deadline today. Argo director Ben Affleck was also up for the gig, the source says. Despite saying publicly that he didn’t want to direct a new Star Wars, Abrams was courted heavily by producer Kathleen Kennedy to take the job. Expected in 2015, Episode VII will be the first new Star Wars movie since 2005?s Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith. Michael Arndt is writing the script for the first installment of the relaunch of George Lucas’ franchise by Disney. The company bought Lucasfilm in October for $4 billion, with the Star Wars franchise the jewel in the crown. At the time, CEO Bob Iger said three more Star Wars films were in the pipeline. Abrams’ other space-based franchise sequel, Star Trek Into Darkness, comes out May 17. This weekend, the PGA will honor the Lost creator and Revolution producer with its 2013 Norman Lear Award For Television. Abrams is repped by CAA and Oasis Media Group.
I never wrote my feelings up about the Star Trek reboot, but basically summed up, I gave it a 5/10–and all five points came from the soundtrack and the visual techniques. The story was an absolute train wreck, a senseless mishmash of one testosterone-fueled fantasy after another, completely lacking any of the logic or intelligence that was the original series of Star Trek had. The original series, from the 1960s, had serious science fiction writers writing the scripts, exploring topics of racism, sexism, collectivism vs. individualism, the rising might of technology, and what it meant to be human. Abrams’ movie was about kicking ass and scoring ass. I mean, the instant promotion from cadet to captain (oh, sure, that makes sense), the bar fight idiocy, even the very part about not going back and resetting the timeline, because they’ve always done that–there were a great many things about the plot that were just dumb.
It wasn’t all dumb–the characters were kinda enjoyable, in their own way, and there were some funny lines. But by and large, it was pretty bad.
I’m not going to all of a sudden write off Star Wars now that J.J. Abrams is directing it. He has done good stuff. Lots of people liked Lost. I’m a big fan of his show Fringe (except the last season). But, to paraphrase one rebel…
I have a bad feeling about this.
Welcome to the Future. Again.
Earlier, I wrote about how technology was advancing, and because of that advance, we were well and truly in the future. Now, I want to write about something much more pedantic:
Now that we’re in the year 2013, we are officially in the future.
I know it sounds really silly, but think about it. In science fiction, particularly television shows, the 21st century was always “the future.” It was always 20XX (some older shows were based in 2001, 2006, 2010, or even 2012, but it usually it was around 2020 or later.) For some reason, that first “20″ was both insulatingly distant and yet tantalizingly close. The 22nd century of the original Star Trek, or the 4th millennium (so, 3000-4000 if my math is right) were just a bit too distant for the same feeling.
The feeling that this was going to be us soon. It wasn’t going to be some fictional land. It was going to be us.
Naturally, most of those visions never panned out, and thank goodness for that. Many science fiction writers were small-minded, pessimistic eco-socialists, and so penned many a story with giant megacorporations pillaging the common man and ruining the Earth. Fortunately, though, the future has turned out to be far better; even with the cronyism run amok in the country’s financial industry, which led to a catastrophic and disastrous recession, we now have iPhones which contain the entirety of human knowledge in the palms of our hands; our economic liberties–while having taken a beating–are not out of the fight; our planet is actually as beautiful as ever (thanks to rapidly developing recycling, cleaning, and energy technologies); and though I am deeply disturbed about our personal and civil liberties taking one shellacking after another by consecutive Republican and Democratic administrations, I am still optimistic in the long run they will be fine.
And here we are, in 2013, a realm of limitless possibilities. We’re in the Future. All those science fiction stories you read when you were younger are us today. Make the most of it.
This is truly a great list here from the folks at BuzzFeed. The past year–indeed, the past decade–have seen some amazing technological leaps and discoveries. The science fiction world of even the 1980s, or even the mid 1990s, is within our grasp. And I suspect that by 2022, only ten years from now, ideas that we have floating around now in our heads will be within our grasp too.
The only thing I quibble with is 18. No doubt that’s cool. But are solar panels really reaching the point where they’re competitive with fossil fuels? No. Not by a long shot. I don’t care if that thing is half the price of traditional solar panels. You need more than just the input cost to make that kind of evaluation. What kind of energy levels do you get out of it? Is it anywhere near enough energy to supply the world? I don’t think so. Robert Bryce in the Wall Street Journal notes that demand for electricity increases so fast we would have to add one Brazil worth of power generators to the energy sector every year. You can’t do that with solar panels; they just don’t generate enough.
Also, 13, 19, and 26: they’re cool and all, but is that really the “future”? Hardly. They are discoveries out there, but the “future” is really predicated on technology. That stuff is just seeing things from very far away and in the past. Even though 19 is really cool.
Otherwise, though, a stupendous list. I look forward to the next article BuzzFeed writes in 2013.
You may ask why I put down “Part 1″ in the title. That’s because I was originally planning on doing a “Welcome to the Future” post in January, after the apocalypse ended, because in 2013, that’s when the notion of the “future” in terms of science fiction really hits home. But I’ll save that for January.
Until then, welcome to the future. It’s already here. And it’s getting better all the time.
I’ve been trying to write this blog post for some time now, but every time I tried to get at it something came up. Well, come hell, high water, or a rent check, I’m going to pen a few words here about how I think Transformers: Prime is one of the better shows on TV, and why I think it should be the model for most children television. Or why, maybe, I just haven’t watched cartoons in so long.
Because it’s just prime.
A random bit of writing I did on a piece of paper one day. It would be the opening for a novel form of that short story I worked on last year, called “Janzer.” It might happen. It might not.