A Dire Announcement!

In keeping with the policy that all newly converted Catholics have of trying to be more Catholic than the Pope, I have just taken an Advent season vow to give up complaining, as well as to give up coffee, during Advent.

For any of my readers from Canada or England, Advent is like Ramadan for Christians. It is a season of repentance.

Because I have given up complaining, I can no longer whine, bitch, bemoan, bellyache, kvetch, murmur, mutter, nag, or natter until Christmas Day.

This will be impossible for me, but with God, all things are possible.

So I cannot make any comments about politics for the remainder of Advent, since my comment about politics consist of squawking, carping, crabbing, cursing, fuming, fulminating, fussing, groaning, grieving, grouching, grousing, grumbling, weeping, bewailing, mourning, and exclaiming in excesses of dolor, naturally I can make no further remarks on those topics.

This will also exclude my predominant and perennial conversation on the shortcomings of radical materialism, or Leftist and modernist thinking in general since I seem unable to discuss it without laments, reproaches, sarcasm, snivels, and snorts.

For those of you like hearing such clamor, well, cheer up. It is Christmas, dammit! You already know what I am going to say anyway. Just plug in your patented John C Wright comment generator, and it will type out a dozen ways to say that, whatever the mainstream media is for, I am against.

For those of you who don’t, cheer up even more! I will find some way to talk about cheery subjects, like my unhealthy obsession with Catwoman.

Now, readers, you may be thinking at this point, “Gee, world famous and well respected author John C. Wright, you claim to be an unemotional and preposterously logical thinker, akin to a Houyhnhnm! Why is it that your public speaking consists of nothing but first, passionate yet bitter emotions about political woes and second, unsightly lust drooling over imaginary yet cruel but beautiful supercriminalesses in alluring skintight catsuits?

This is an excellent question, to which I will pen a calm and logical response, as befits my Vulcan heritage once we establish to our mutual satisfaction the definitions of the terms of our …. OH MY GOSH LOOK OVER HERE A PICTURE OF CATWOMAN! LOOK! LOOOOOOOOK!

And second, that question is totally unfair!  I also drool in unsightly lust over imaginary yet cruel but beautiful daughters of evil space tyrants wearing skimpy space bikinis.

 

50 Comments

  1. Comment by vanderleun:

    “I cannot make any comments about politics for the remainder of Advent, since my comment about politics consist of squawking, carping, crabbing, cursing, fuming, fulminating, fussing, groaning, grieving, grouching, grousing, grumbling, weeping, bewailing, mourning, and exclaiming in excesses of dolor, naturally I can make no further remarks on those topics.”

    =============
    A soldier named Nobushige came to Hakuin and asked: “Is there really a paradise and a hell?”

    “Who are you?” inquired Hakuin.

    “I am a samurai”, the warrior replied.

    “You, a soldier!” sneered Hakuin, “What kind of ruler would have you as his guard? You look like a beggar”.

    Nobushige became so angry that he began to draw his sword.

    Hakuin continued: “So you have a sword! Your weapon is probably to dull to cut off my head.” Nobushige drew his sword.

    Hakuin remarked: “Here open the gates of hell!”

    At these words the samurai, perceiving the master’s discipline, put away his sword and bowed.

    “Here open the gates of paradise”, said Hakuin.

    Paul Reps from Zen Flesh Zen Bones

  2. Comment by Robert Mitchell Jr:

    Well then, moments of joy. Lets see what kind of playlist we can build. I will start with https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1Ug4sCxfdM&list=PL0BA63129BC90C7B3&index=34. Next?

    • Comment by John C Wright:

      I see your fan made video, and raise you one real video from the real live action movie (which did not have Leader Desslock, so I was saddened)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WoPZW1Y0A24

      • Comment by John C Wright:

        Actually, here is even a better scene from the same movie: The firing of the Wave-Motion Gun!

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4phT2Vukvn0

        I admit his weapon dominated the mental landscape of my childhood. Whenever I finally get that pistol that fires faster-than-light particles I have always wanted, I insist that little sparks like fireflies gather around the mouth of the barrel just before firing, almost as if the barrel is a dragon drawing a deep breath, so that the damage emitted will be beyond the Awesome level, and above Ridiculous, into the range where one must invent new words with new spellings even to express the magnitude: GNORMOUSLY AWESOMESAUCIFICATION LEVEL DAMAGE!

        Odd as it sounds for a loyal American, I love the Yamato. The demands of Geekdom surpass national boundaries.

        • Comment by Pierce O.:

          Yamato FTW! The live action treatment was a lot of fun, despite the slow pacing at the end, and the wave motion cannon is glorious (it’s also how I imagined Victor firing his dragon beam in TITANS OF CHAOS). Say…does Frontino’s police proctor special have access to a wave motion cannon stored away in 4.5space? And could sirens making music disrupt it’s functioning?

          • Comment by John C Wright:

            Frontino’s weapon does emit a faster than light particle for ranging and targeting, if memory serves. Sirens could disrupt Victor’s weapons, because he was a magician whose paradigm required a materialistic explanation. Frontino’s gun, sadly, works across dimensions, which is a Phaeacian specialty, and so cannot be part of Victor’s Telchine paradigm, and moreover involves time travel — and control of time is an Olympian specialty. It seems that the Masters of Metachronopolis control a higher level of technology than anyone in the Chaos books.

      • Comment by Robert Mitchell Jr:

        One small quibble, not a fan made video, the trailer! I would point out that Amazon sells this wonderful, silly movie, in English. Perhaps time for an Amazon button?

  3. Comment by Nate Winchester:

    You will fail.

    Oh, you won’t if Barack Obama declares himself emperor of the world (with the endorsement of the U.N.) and abolishes all democracies.

    Nor will you break advent if your book releases with universal negative reviews. The only positive one saying, “It makes the Eye of Argon look like Shakespeare”.

    And you could even keep from complaining if your daughter announced she was marrying Micheal Moore.

    No, what you have forgotten, is that the Hobbit releases between now and the end of your vow. And a fanboy not complaining is like a toon listening to “Shave and a Haircut”.

    Signed, a Fanboy. ;)

  4. Comment by Tom Simon:

    Sir,

    Speaking as a Canadian, I must say that you wound me. I already knew that Advent was a season of repentance — very much like Ramadan. It is the time of the year when one goes to parties and whoops it up all night, and repents all the following day. That’s what they do in Ramadan in Egypt, anyway — so I am told. And the office Christmas parties, which all take place during Advent, are—

    What’s that? That isn’t what you meant? Humble apologies, Sir. Forget I spoke up.

    And a blessed Advent and a Merry Christmas to you.

  5. Comment by robertjwizard:

    I think I just contracted Catwoman fever. That picture produces no wholesome thoughts, although, I must note those are some very nice, child-bearing hips – from, a clinical, detached, point-of view… yes, most certainly, a logical observation…

    I was thinking the other day that science fiction has been a scant subject around here, particularly since around the election.

    Maybe, if you need to ponder, or assert, these may spark something to bide the time. Any thoughts on the revamping of the Star Wars movies? Or romantic love at the end of time (SF speaking) or the very, very distant future (of which I have read your fictional portrayals)? Or, good roles for priests in science fiction, or, who was Shepard Book? Or what did Doc Smith not originate in space opera? Or, obscure gems in science fiction. Or a contest: who can accurately guess what happens in your sequel The Hermetic Millennium (good time to start plugging that)?

    Or, if those aren’t interesting, you can just post more pictures of Catwoman…

    • Comment by Sean Michael:

      Hi, Robert!

      Priests being shown in good roles in SF? One that immediately came to my mind was Fr. Francis Xavier Axor, a non human draco-centauroid character in Poul Anderson’s novel THE GAME OF EMPIRE. Fr. Axor is a Catholic priest of the Galilean Order shown very sympathetically in that book.

      Sincerely, Sean M. Brooks

      • Comment by robertjwizard:

        Priests being shown in good roles in SF?

        No, good roles for priests in science fiction. They can be good, wicked, conflicted. I was thinking along lines of conflict. Pirate priest, assassin priest, battle priest – nuns in similar roles, just as good.

        • Comment by Tom Simon:

          ‘Pirate priest, assassin priest’ — ugh. Those are not ‘conflicted’: those are contradictions in terms. You might as well have a story in which the director of the FBI moonlights as a Mafioso, or Winston Churchill joins the Nazi Party.

          • Comment by Sean Michael:

            Dear Messieurs “robertjwizard” and Tom Simon:

            I have to agree with Mr. Simon and say that a pirate priest, an assassin priest, etc., is a contradiction in terms. Although there migy be a good story in how a priest could fall so low and whether or not he repented of his wickedness.

            But there have been “battle priests” or monks in actual history. Examples being the Templars and the Knights Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem (the latter of which still exists in the Catholic Church). In fact, an important secondary character in Poul Anderson’s historical novel ROGUE SWORD is a Hospitaller knight.

            Sincerely, Sean M. Brooks

            • Comment by robertjwizard:

              Mr. Michael,

              See my post below for a further explanation. You as well missed a possibility.

              The concept of “battle priest” is somewhat on my mind at the moment. I had discovered a comic by the the creator of the excellent THE WALKING DEAD, called BATTLE POPE. I thought this was an awesome idea and greedily bought all 4 without second thought. It turned out to be nothing but toilet humor with a womanizing Pope and a hippie Jesus who makes Shaggy from Scooby-Doo seem like a molecular physicist.

              A huge disappointment, but I always like to take such things and see how I would do it.

              If you do not mind an aside. As a Poul Anderson aficionado, would you ever care to share what you think are his best works to read? I did not like his Harvest of Stars books (I am not even sure I got to the end of the first one). But I thought Tau Zero was absolutely first rate!

              • Comment by Sean Michael:

                Hi, “robertjwizard”:

                First, I apologize if I came down too harshly on your original comment. Your later remarks explained what you meant.

                Second, I absolutely agree with the list of books by Poul Anderson suggested by Mr. Wright. And I can see what you mean by not liking Anderson’s “Harvest of Stars” books. I found the ideas and themes explored by Anderson very strange and unusual the first time I read those books. I needed to let some years go by and reread them a second time before I decided they were masterpieces. Mr. Wright, for example, esp. liked the first book of that series.

                But you wanted me to offer a short list of books by Poul Anderson I consider esp. good.

                If you like comedy in SF, EARTHMAN’S BURDEN (co-written with Gordon R. Dickson) is a must!

                If you want to try a dark, grim, brooding fantasy, I recommend THE BROKEN SWORD (first time readers might prefer the revised edition of 1971).

                Also fantasy, but much lighter in mood is A MIDSUMMER TEMPEST.

                Two very good hard SF books by Anderson early in his career are TWILIGHT WORLD and THE ENEMY STARS.

                Another one would be THE WINTER OF THE WORLD.

                Mr. Wright recommended Poul Anderson’s Nicholas van Rijn stories–I agree and would add the Dominic Flandry tales as well. Esp. ENSIGN FLANDRY, AGENT OF THE TERRAN EMPIRE, A KNIGHT OF GHOSTS AND SHADOWS, THE GAME OF EMPIRE, etc.

                Poul Anderson wrote so well in so many genres that it’s difficult to know where to stop. There’s even a collection of his poetry called STAVES.

                I better stop, my list is getting way too long for you! (Smiles)

                Sincerely, Sean M. Brooks

                • Comment by John C Wright:

                  Let me emphasize that the only reason why I am not recommending the books Mr Brooks mentions, is that, much to my regret, they happen to be ones I have not yet read.

                  Unlike Asimov and Heinlein and Arthur C. Clarke, I do not find Poul Anderson’s later books to be any worse than his early work. He, unlike them, did not rest on his laurels, but continued to experiment and improve throughout his life.

                  • Comment by Sean Michael:

                    Dear Mr. Wright:

                    Exactly! Poul Anderson’s late period, represented by the “Harvest of Stars” books, GENESIS, STARFARERS, etc., shows how he was NOT resting on his laurels, but trying out and experimenting with new ideas and themes. Poul Anderson later works are fully equal to the best we see in his early period and MASSIVELY superior to the later works of Heinlein and Asimov. I’m not familiar enough with Sir Arthur’s later works to comment on them.

                    And I do hope you are able to find the time to read some of the Anderson books I listed!

                    Merry Christmas! Sean M. Brooks

                • Comment by robertjwizard:

                  Mr. Brooks,

                  What I didn’t enjoy about the Harvest of Stars was the characterization. The Anson Guthrie character struck me as “aw shucks” in a box. I didn’t care for the female character either.

                  Thank you for the suggestions! I will look into them.

                  • Comment by John C Wright:

                    Anson Guthrie was Poul Anderson’s version of a Robert Heinlein “the man who gets things done” character, and, in my humble opinion, he had more personality than any Heinlein character.

                    • Comment by Sean Michael:

                      Dear Messieurs “robertjwizard” and Wright:

                      I admit I did find the idea of downloading human personalities into an artificial information storing matrix strange and difficult. That was one of the themes I needed some time to assimilate before being able to truly appreciate and admire Poul Anderson’s “Harvest of Stars” books. But when I reread the books it all “clicked” together and I could see what a masterful job Anderson had done.

                      And I agree with Mr. Wright that Anson Guthrie, both before and after his personality was downloaded, as a “man who got things done,” had more depth, humanity, and character than similar efforts by Heinlein. Kinda like Nicholas van Rijn in some ways, except without the obesity and comically fractured Anglic!

                      Sincerely, Sean M. Brooks

                    • Comment by robertjwizard:

                      I didn’t have anything against the character on a moral level, I didn’t think he was presented consistently. The way he spoke just didn’t add up to me to what he was supposed to be. Maybe I quit the book too early.

                      Unfortunately my first experience with Heinlein was STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND followed by THE CAT WHO WALKS THROUGH WALLS. It was years before I tried him again. I do like his earlier stuff very much, and some of the characters from his earlier works are pretty good as well. Baslim the Cripple from CITIZEN OF THE GALAXY, I thought was a good character. The husband and wife detective team from THE UNFORTUNATE PROFESSION OF JONATHAN HOAG, a story that I think is one of his best, and one of my favorites of all time (also the inspiration for the superlative DARK CITY).

                      But all in all don’t ask me to defend Heinlein on characterization, it was not his strong point. He was marginally better that Fredrick Pohl of whom I have read a couple books and can’t remember a single character.

                      Best science fiction “man who gets things done” character, imho, is Vernor Vinge’s Pham Newen. Vinge got me up out of my seat with that character. “Who am I dealing with!?” wails the villain, “Pham Newen, you mutha-beep!” I shouted. If you haven’t read his 2 Zones of Thought books, you are missing pure magic.

                    • Comment by Sean Michael:

                      Hi, Robert!

                      Actually, I agree with you about Robert A. Heinlein’s weaknesses as a writer. Beginning with STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND, we saw a rapid and tragic decline in the quality of his writing. After THE MOON IS A HARSH MISTRESS and I WILL FEAR NO EVIL, I gave up on on Heinlein’s later books. For one thing he became a bore about sex and incest.

                      The true Heinlein is to be found in his pre STRANGER books. Works like FIFTH COLUMN and DOUBLE STAR being two which comes to mind.

                      Alas, I’ve read only one of Vernor Vinge’s books, so I can’t really comment adequately about him.

                      And as a Poul Anderson zealot (correction, BORE), I hope you will give his “Harvest of Stars” books another chance! (Smiles)

                      Sincerely, Sean M. Brooks

          • Comment by robertjwizard:

            Ugh, yourself, Mr. Simon. Your knee-jerk cuts off your imagination and the other two descriptors, good and wicked that I provided. For instance pirate Priest (doesn’t have to be a priest, Shepard, man of God) doesn’t have to be a pillager and a robber, but he could be stuck on a ship of pirates. Why? maybe he is running from the law. Why?

            Perhaps he is a man of God with a dark past, stoled away with a group of good-hearted bandits avoiding a galactic Alliance of tyrants. That is the premise of one of my favorite science fiction characters of all time, Shepard Book, from the Firefly series.

            Same with assassin priest. Does he necessarily have to be an actual assassin merely because we are toying with the concept? Perhaps he assumes the character of one to infiltrate some group? Or, perhaps he discovers a time machine and decides it would be a good idea to kill off Hitler before WW2 only to find that he has unleashed a bigger beast. Or perhaps the story centers around his struggle with the temptation to correct the past, and he never does. If that last isn’t already a story somewhere, I’d be surprised.

            Assuming roles was the favorite tool of Kimball Kinnison against the Eddorians.

            Director of the FBI moonlights as a mafioso? Brilliant! What the heck is wrong with that? In terms of conflict (story conflict) you have a seething cauldron.

            Now I have to ask, why did you make such an assumption? I disagree that you cannot have such characters actually performing those roles (whether that still makes them a priest or FBI director is another question) as Mr. Michael points out below. But why did you assume that I could have meant only one thing? Is it because it is axiomatic – to you – that an atheist cannot approach a religious character without being Phillip Pullman? That you thought it had to be true that my only interest was to engage the people of this site (of all) in coming up with wicked priest characters?

            Characters assuming roles they do not actually perform is a good form of conflict. For instance, in my favorite novel, ATLAS SHRUGGED, oil tycoon, Francisco D’Anconia assumes the role of a worthless playboy which is his diametric opposite self. While this enables him to pursue a very important goal, it cuts him off from everyone he respects and the love of his life.

            • Comment by Tom Simon:

              I assumed that you meant what you said. A pirate priest is a priest who is a pirate. An assassin priest is a priest who assassinates people. The ideas you gave in your expansion are not equivalent to the labels you originally tossed around.

              • Comment by robertjwizard:

                No, you didn’t. You fixated on a single sentence, and handpicked “conflicted” out of good, wicked and conflicted. Obviously good and assassin are contradictory terms. That is where thinking enters in. I didn’t think I had to start stating obvious, and common, writing techniques.

                Also I wonder at your assumption of what is a contradiction in terms for a priest. Contradiction in terms means that the essence of each term makes the union of the two impossible. As if the definition of priest means that one cannot, by definition of the term, also be a thief, or a fornicator (or maybe this last is not excluded by nature of the definition of a priest).

                The ideas you gave in your expansion are not equivalent to the labels you originally tossed around.

                Laying an accusation here? Backtracking, perhaps? They are of the three possibilities I laid out. You cannot say they are not equivalent merely because one is an expansion of an original statement. You simply saw “AN ATTACK BY A HERETIC!” and went to work. Next time I will make sure I explicate everything in grinding detail. Which there will not be because obviously that is a touchy subject to even approach.

                • Comment by Tom Simon:

                  Oh, get over yourself. If you knew anything about priests and the priesthood, you would know that there are certain actions that disqualify a priest from his office, just by being performed. Taking a job as a pirate or a hitman would count. And for all your bloviating and attempted equivocation, that is the only thing that the unadorned phrases ‘pirate priest’ and ‘assassin priest’ can mean.

  6. Comment by bear545:

    “For any of my readers from Canada or England, Advent is like Ramadan for Christians. It is a season of repentance.”

    What’s with the cheap shot? I’ll have you know the Prime Minister of Canada is a Conservative Right Wing Christian. And your president is…?

    • Comment by John C Wright:

      I was mocking the political correctness rampant in your dhimmi Dominion, sir. Your people have much to apologize for to the English Speaking world, and the tradition of freedom of speech, for the persecution of humorist and commentator Mark Steyn on behalf of the Mohammedans.

      • Comment by The OFloinn:

        Well, that didn’t last long. :-)

      • Comment by Tom Simon:

        Our autonomous quasi-judicial agencies, or rather the power-hungry drones who run them, have much to apologize for. I did the best I could: I voted for Stephen Harper’s Conservative Party, which (after long effort and travail) finally got legislation through Parliament to repeal the odious law under which the persecution of Mr. Steyn was made possible. I do not consider that I owe anyone an apology; and a people, as such, cannot apologize, for only individuals have the power of speech.

  7. Comment by Robert Mitchell Jr:

    Heavens, people spinning you up in a post where you beg off being spun up. Sigh. Well, since no one else has posted one, here is link two in your playlist of joy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_CDLBTJD4M&list=PL0BA63129BC90C7B3&index=4. Watch it all the way…..

  8. Comment by TheConductor:

    Once again, I feel I must explain to you gentlemen that sexy nylon stockings always trump sexy catsuits. This is not simply an opinion. This is one of the central Mysteries of the Universe: there is seemingly no logical reason why this should be so, and yet it is undeniable.

  9. Comment by Dirigibletrance:

    Huzzah!

    Here is a physics article for your perusal in the meantime, I know you will find it interesting:
    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/whoa-physicists-testing-see-universe-computer-simulation-224525825.html

  10. Comment by Robert Mitchell Jr:

    Today’s Advent offering is perhaps a little vulgar (Catwoman level?) but a lot of fun! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FyzSYuZPcmc&list=PL0BA63129BC90C7B3&index=12.

  11. Comment by Robert Mitchell Jr:

    A personal favorite and a wonderful love song, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6A7Gy8qI5FI&list=PLB0A9742B69F17596&index=1.

  12. Comment by Robert Mitchell Jr:

    More Christmas music, with a Science Fiction theme…… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B3DyxaCYlfg.

  13. Comment by Robert Mitchell Jr:

    Being who we are, there must be some Weird Al! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t039p6xqutU.

  14. Comment by Robert Mitchell Jr:

    Some more Christmas Weird Al. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tb-Mce9VpmY.

  15. Comment by Robert Mitchell Jr:

    Whoops, running late, but here is a modern day miracle for those too wonder-stale, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=me5Zzm2TXh4.

  16. Comment by Robert Mitchell Jr:

    And for our last Advent song, and Christmas eve, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zpPVnt6CVYQ. I pray that your Christmas goes well, sir!

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