Fascism! HUH! Whoa-oh, what is it good for?

So, I’m on social media earlier this evening, and got into a discussion re: gun control. Someone posted this list that purports to be the twelve steps to fascism. And it’s an interesting list, I’ll grant you. But… I think it’s got some holes. Here it is, with my commentary added.

1. Make patriotism a virtue

  Sigh. Patriotism can be a virtue without things going to fascism. Next you’ll be saying that lack of love for one’s country is a virtue. 

2. Make them believe their rights endanger them

Field Shift

If you've been following me for any length of time, if you've ever gotten an e-mail from me, etc., you know I'm a huge fan of C.S. Lewis, and of a particular quote that changed my life.

The quote is: “Good philosophy must exist, if for no other reason, because bad philosophy needs to be answered.” And every stupid internet fight, every bad comment flame I've ever gotten into has been in part due to that quote and what I considered to be a duty to respond to what I saw as bad philosophy.

Going Straight

Thinking this morning about a bunch of things, but in particular, I find myself going back to my thoughts about farming, fields and rows.

I've talked about this before, but listening to the radio a few weeks ago, I heard one of my personal heroes talking about how he'd started farming up in the intermountain west. He was having a hard time keeping his rows straight. He'd think they were okay, but then he'd look back and see that his rows were all janky and crooked.

GSG NaNo Gaiden

For the last three years, I’ve done a daily podcast during the month of November to encourage people to get their writing done. It was a lot of fun, but also took a lot of time. And over the last year, I’ve realized a couple of things.

1. You don’t need my advice.

Seriously. Write your story the way you want to. NaNo isn’t about getting the story right, it’s about getting the story on paper. Or on screen or whatever. You want advice regarding that? Here it is.

Competition

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First, go read this thing from Kevin J. Anderson.

Seriously. It’s not that long, and it raises some interesting points.

Okay. Got it? Ebooks. Backlists from people who have been writing professionally for years and have an established fan base are coming.

Which raises a question for me. I’ve always known, sort of back in the back of my head, that my books didn’t have to compete with just people who were writing today – with just the podcast fiction people or the self-pub people. My writing has to compete with Dickens. With Shakespeare. With Robert E. Howard’s Conan stories, and Burroughs’ Mars novels.

Time and Talents

Increase-in-Learning-CoverI picked up the e-book copy of Elder David A. Bednar’s book “Increase in Learning”, and started into it. It’s got me thinking a lot about learning (connecting a little with the lists and reading thing I talked about yesterday), and I want to explore that for a moment.

WARNING: This post will feature some pretty on-point discussion of LDS scripture and doctrine. If that’s not your bag, come back tomorrow. I may be back to discussing anime, or writing, or something else.

Still here? Okay.

Into the Lists

I took some time this morning to review the reading list for Queso’s first year in High School. Yes. I am that old. And as she is quick to keep reminding me, she’ll be eligible for a learner’s permit (precursor to driver’s license) within the space of the next few months. But her soon-to-be-driver-status notwithstanding, what she is right now is a bit of a reader.

Not like I was, goodness knows. Though… she spends a lot of time watching YouTube, and I spent a LOT of time playing Ultima IV and Wasteland, so…

Monstrous

Went to see Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters tonight with My Sweet Honey and the Queso Kid. I hadn’t really planned on watching this until it came out on video. Effects were fine, the acting was passable, but it just didn’t really connect with me.

Don’t get me wrong, I liked the books. In fact, I liked the books a lot. That may be part of why it didn’t really click with me. But there were also a couple of moments where I felt like someone – and I couldn’t really put my finger on who – cheated a little bit. And… I think they created a lot of problems for themselves if they plan on making any sequels (which shouldn’t be too much of a surprise, as this was book 2 in a series of 5.

Cheated. What do I mean by that? Well…

THAR BE SPOILERS BELOW, ME HEARTIES!!!

Exemplars

With Maybe Some Pacific Rim Spoilers Past the Jump

Earlier today, on my tumblr site, I posted a link to a talk given by Meghan Cox Gurdon, given at Hillsdale college earlier this year. In it, she talks about the need for “Good Taste in Children’s Books.” I guess a couple of years ago, she got into a bit of a scrum online when she lamented the state of children’s literature – particularly how dark YA was getting.

And it has me thinking a little bit today about authors and what it is that we’re doing, and a little about parents and what it is that we’re doing, and how to best raise kids.