The Logic of Illogic
Why is modern Science Fiction so bad? Why are modern comic books so bad?
Why is modern art so very, very, very bad? One would almost think these things are being made bad on purpose.
And one would be right!
But the answer to the simple question of why SF sucks is a complex answer, leading all the way from the zenith of the universe to the nadir, all the long road from heaven to hell.
Even a cursory inspection of modern art shows that beauty, which is the particular province and goal of the arts, is not merely avoided by modern artists, but despised. They are not producing poorly executed works of repugnant nonsense and blasphemous lumpish, retarded, asymmetrical obscenity by mistake or through indifference. The diametric opposite of beauty, namely, the revolting, the ugly, the aberrant, whatever is foul and vile, whatever causes a visceral sense of disorientation and disgust, that and precisely that is the goal of the Modern.
Understand this point, and you will begin to understand the downfall and collapse of establishment SFF.
Vox Day, in his illimitable fashion, calls Establishment SF ‘Pink SF’ but whether this refers to the girlish, effete nature of establishment thinking, or their infatuation with Communism, or both, I have never been bold to ask.
Establishment SF is Politically Correct SF, in that it pays slavish homage to all the tired tropes and foolish dogmas of Political Correctness. With its emphasis on collective rights, victimology, and radical egalitarianism, there is no place in the PC SF universe for things like heroes, adventures, inventors, exotic locations, space princesses, or technology portrayed as beneficial.
Politically Correct SF is astonishingly parochial, because it is always assumed that the society of the future will be caught in the grip of the selfsame political controversies as the Victorian Age, which is the age when this worldview was first formulated by Marx. Hence, for all other SF stories, the future differs from the present. For PC SF, the future is just like the past, and nothing changes.
In other words, the stories of PC SF promote the opposite of SF.
SF is about a sense of wonder. PC is about a sense of despair. The two are opposite. Hence, PC SF is a contradiction in terms. What it produces is simply not science fiction.
Here is this year’s Nebula award winning short story, ‘If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love’ which, at the time of this writing, is also on the short ballot for the Hugo: http://www.apex-magazine.com/if-you-were-a-dinosaur-my-love/
It a less that a thousand words long, and I suppose there must be some merit to it aside from the quaint technique of opening each paragraph with a subjective form of the ending of the prior paragraph, which I call the IF YOU GIVE A MOUSE A COOKIE technique.
The situation passively described (in present tense first person stream-of-consciousness) is that of bigoted white southerners at a poolhall, on the eve of a wedding, beat the heroine’s fiancee, a palaeontologist, into a coma from which he may never wake; and as she stands in grief at his hospital bedside, she fantasizes that if he had been a dinosaur, he could have killed them instead. And she would turn into a flower.
I have no enmity against this story. Unlike what some of its critics claim, it is not terrible. Unlike what its fans claim, it is not great, or even very good. It is sweetly sentimental, melancholy, and shows some craftsmanship. It does not, alas, have any characters, merely lazy stereotypes: a bride, generic white bigots, a victim.
I salute the author and wish her the best for having won a prestigious award. It is just that there is not the slightest scintilla of anything science fictional about it. The tale is about a woman’s helpless despair. There is no sense of wonder.
The Ink Readers of Doi Saket by Thomas Olde Heuvelt, for a second example, is the story of a child being murdered by Buddhists priests to cover the fraud of their attempting to grant the wishes written on scraps of paper sent down the river in Thailand. The wry, half-amused, and ironic tone is maintained throughout, and the story is pointless, unless the point is to show the futility of making wishes, whether they are granted or not.
It is meandering, lacking in plot, charm, wit, lyricism in word choice, depth of description, evocation of mood, and development of characterization.
There is one sentence were a ghost or river goddess appears and murders the child-murderer, but does not save the child, and this might qualify it as magical realism if one were generous with the definition to include stories with no magic and no realism.
In short, it is not well written, much less of award-winning caliber, and has not the slightest scintilla of anything science fictional about it. The tale is about pointlessness and despair. There is no sense of wonder.
Of the other short stories and novella on the Hugo ballot at the time of this writing the majority have few or no science fictional elements. They take place in the present day, on this world. They concern social justice issues, like the plight of homosexuals, or lesbian selkies or somesuch.
Why are stories which are the direct opposite of science fiction winning science fiction awards?
More to the point, why is it that in the fine arts, the museums are filled with crap that looks like a parody of pretentious and untalented modern painting; and now, a century later, the science fiction field is filling up with crap that reads like a parody of pretentious and untalented modern literature?
The Illuminati of Thought
This collapse first in one field and then another is not deliberate in the sense that the Illuminati met in their underground Cathedral of Darkness in the buried city of Agarttha, and voted to destroy first painting, then other arts, and now turned their burning red eyes toward science fiction.
No, there is no conspiracy. There is, however, a meeting of minds, a viewpoint, a outlook, a philosophy which the people who sacked the art world and the people sacking science fiction have in common.
The common philosophy, which is sometimes called Political Correctness, or called Leftism, but which should be called Morlockery, is the embrace of illogic.
Now, one might think that thinking logic is illogical is illogical. That is not so. There is a remorseless logic to it.
That is, there may be no logic inside the philosophy, but the nature of what logically must come from that philosophy can be deduced. You can ignore reality, but what really happens when you ignore reality really does happen; and it will happen whether you ignore it or not.
There is a logic to philosophy, an incentive to human thought that rewards consistency. It takes effort to be inconsistent, and this effort is something thinkers want to avoid. Hence, once one embraces a particular starting point, a particular conclusion logically implied by that starting point will also be embraced, unless one goes to the trouble and effort to invent an ad hoc reason to avoid the conclusion.
To defend this ad hoc band-aid in one’s thinking requires extra attention, trouble and effort, and so it saves on time and worry merely to follow the idea implied by one’s starting point to its conclusion and believe the conclusion. This is true even the starting point that says ‘logic is illogical.’
There are seven steps by which a man, or a society, starts with a wrong but understandable idea, and ends in gibbering, giggling, shrieking, Lovecraftian insanity.
A caveat: No claim is being made that all Leftists consistently act this way. By definition, no one can consistently practice a philosophy that is openly and insolently hypocritical.
Here I am claiming only that they have all subjected themselves to a powerful incentive to talk and think this way. Incentive is not fate. Any man may who has taken any one of these steps may, at any time, draw back, make up some lame ad hoc excuse why he will not take the next step, pay the price and stand his ground. This is unlikely, but it can happen. The logic of illogic is against you; the ad hoc posture is awkward to maintain, and irks your friends and fellow travelers. And if you had integrity to begin with, you never would have taken the first step of all.
First Step: Scidolatry
The first step is to dismiss all human learning aside from natural philosophy, what is now called science. (The word science originally referred to any disciplined body of learning.)
Considering the astonishing triumphs in the physical sciences, in industry, and in medicine, all ushered in by the application of the scientific method, combined with the chasm that opening in the Reformation between Northern and Southern European civilization, problems which philosophy and theology were powerless to cure, it is no surprise that all the intellectual effort of Europe withdrew in disgust from abstract matters, metaphysics, law, ethics, and concentrated on disciplines where differences could be settled by clear and objective standards: physics, engineering, medicine. Geometry, which for centuries had been the shining example of a non-empirical discipline that was both rigorous and real was undermined, at least in the affection of intellectuals, by the explication of non-Euclidean geometries by Riemann and Lobachevsky. Anything not firmly based on observation and experimentation was denigrated.
There are two tactics to dismiss all human learning: (1) pretend any human learning you wish to dismiss is merely a matter of arbitrary opinion or (2) pretend any human learning you wish to acclaim is actually, at its root, somehow a science, or soon will be.
Both tactics are served by asserting that only empirical knowledge is truly knowledge. Unfortunately this assertion (only empirical knowledge is truly knowledge) is not itself an assertion that can be proved or disproved by any empirical experiment, test, or observation; which means it disproves itself.
The end result (See Hume, Kant and Nietzsche for details) is to decapitate Western thinking of the discipline of metaphysics. Despite what you may have heard, the word metaphysics does not refer to New Age speculations about Spirit Guides. It refers to the intellectual foundations needed for other disciplines, science among them, to retain logical consistency.
Ironically, the assertion that metaphysics is not a product of logical reasoning, on the grounds that everything is merely an arbitrary assertion, is something of a self fulfilling prophecy. Absent metaphysics, the claim that physics is based on arbitrary axioms has no coherent refutation. (And physics based on incoherent axioms, such as the idea that nothing can produce something, or that random chance can cause effects, are also allowed to arise).
Second Step: Unreality
The Second Step is when subjective and objective trade places. Fact is fiction and fiction is fact. Reality is unreal. Truth is untrue. Is not is is and is is is not.
Once knowledge has been safely confined to the realm of engineering, everything else, including formal logic, metaphysics, ethics, law and even mathematics, can be exiled to the realm of opinion. Everything is a ‘narrative’ that is, an idea that is true if and only if you chose to believe it.
Choice undergoes apotheosis. The mere fact that one man chose something places the something and the man in to a divine and superlunar orbit above and beyond criticism.
Conversation between these isolated superlunar beings flags. Everything is now in scare quotes because no word means what it means.
This immediately alleviates the thinker of the burden of thought. People now choose their beliefs not on the truth of those beliefs, but only on how attractively they are packaged.
Salesmanship replaces logic.
If someone can come up with a cute, quick, or clever slogan or phrase or even a single word (‘sexist’, ‘homophobia’) which has no meaning but plenty of rock-’em sock-’em emotional punch, one can sell one’s belief system to the gullible consumer-of-beliefs.
You, the press, the popular entertainers, the pundits, tell the consumers what you’d like them to believe. You have no qualifications aside from those of a Madison Avenue ad man. The consumers rapidly glance at what beliefs are on sale that news cycle. Usually they shop by brand names; Leftists stick with Lefty slogans, and so on.
The consumer adopts the belief and acts as if he believes it is true for the duration of his attention span. It comforts and orients him and puts him in good with the gang of correct-thinking people — it does whatever it is beliefs are supposed to do, except act as guides to reality.
Reality bores him. He is lazy, fat, and happy, and reality has not bitten him on the buttocks for years, and so maybe this so called “reality” now only exists as something paleontologists study.
Once Step Two is complete, the basic idea consumed during this consumption of ideas is that ideas are a commodity meant to be consumed. Usually this is not phrased so baldly and boldly. Usually Step Two is phrased as the rather democratic sentiment that every man is entitled to his own opinion (which is true) or that every man’s opinion is as good as every other man’s (which is false).
Things that are actually matters of objective fact, such as the laws of economics or the laws of morality, are dismissed as matters of opinion on the grounds that dispute exists between parties. As if no party were ever wrong.
Things that are matters of opinion, such as the fraud of manmade global warming, are claimed to be matter of fact and settled science on the grounds that no dispute exists between the parties: only freakish witches and devil-worshipers disagree with Big Brother and the New York Times. And the opinion of the witches and devil-worshipers can be dismissed without examination because they are evil people who worship the devil and practice witchcraft. (I am using a metaphor, of course. REAL devil worshipers would be welcomed under the name of diversity by the Political Correction Officers.)
Again, the idea that truth is not true is one that disproves itself, but logic is not the strong suit of such consumers of prepackaged and predigested belief.
Third Step: Derationalization.
The third step is to use emotion rather than cognitive thought processes for cognition.
This step is so simple and so inevitable once the larger step that declares reality to be optional has been taken, that it almost passes without mention, but in my youth there were many writers of the Leftist bent who at least paid lip service to Step Two, the subjectivity of all reality, without admitting Step Three, for they still upheld (or pretended to uphold) the idea of the free exchange of ideas.
The simplicity of this step is breathtaking: since truth is no longer the starting point of the thought process, logic need no longer apply. Truth is whatever you FEEL to be true. The word ‘true’ now refers not to a cognitive relation between symbol and object, but to a sensation of self confidence, of authentic honesty, of powerful and passionate desire to believe from which all vestiges of hypocrisy are scraped clean.
The side effect for using emotions are tools of cognition is that cognition is replaced with emoting. Nothing is true nor false for you; you either feel strongly or not strongly.
Unfortunately, no one feels strongly about the deep, hidden, or highly abstract roots of things. They feel strongly about surface features, since the surface feature of any object, person, historical event, or philosophical concept is the first thing encountered. Deeper penetration below the surface to find the soul of the person or the causes of the historical event or the logic of the philosophical concept would require cognition, which Step Three has jettisoned. Shallowness is the leitmotif hereafter. Men are judged only by membership in the approved victim group, not by merit. To disqualify any argument now is simplicity itself, since all one need do is claim that the opposing viewpoint belongs to the disqualified group, that is, to the witches.
(Just kidding. Real witches are welcome. The witches in modern thinking, the creatures that cause blights and give the evil eye to cows, they are the Christian White Male. Except when they are Jews in Israel.)
Fourth Step: Shallow
This step is to believe that all wars, turmoil, riots, elections, disagreements, and discomfort comes from people having differences of strongly held opinion.
The First Crusade was caused by the difference between an opinion about God versus and opinion about Allah; the Spanish Inquisition by differences of opinion about justification and the real presence; the Cold War by differences in economic theory.
Naturally, only a very, very shallow person could possibly believe something so mindbogglingly stupid. Naturally, we need to raise a whole generation wallowing in the idiocy of the derationalized schools and culture of Step Three to come to this conclusion.
However, once this conclusion is reached, it offers a very seductive temptation. It offers two promises, both false, and each utterly contradictory to the other.
Promise (1) Since all reality is merely a matter of strongly held personal opinion, you, or any man, are granted the godlike power to invent any reality you like, by fiat, provided you are bold enough to throw aside the shackles of convention. The fact that reality is arbitrary opinion means that each man is free to do whatever he wills, defying convention.
Promise (2) Since all war, tumult, discontent and rudeness is caused by differences of arbitrary opinion (usually about frivolous and unscientific ideas, such as the theological arguments of Catholics and Protestants, or the political-economic arguments of Communists and the Free World) war and suffering will disappear overnight once all men conform to one same standard of Politically Correct thought. Likewise, if there are no possessions, there will be no poverty. The fact that reality is arbitrary opinion means that each man must shackle himself loyally to the strictest possible conformist opinion, and tighten the gyves until his wrists and ankles bleed.
Now, the fact that these two things logically contradict each other does not stop, or even slow, the Morlock in his career. Logic is optional just as reality is optional.
But the logical outcome of these two beliefs is not just an unwillingness to think critically; it is an inability to think.
Any belief defended by Promise (1) is immune from criticism on the grounds that it is arbitrary. You believe in global cooling, I believe in global warming; your reality is your private domain, as my reality is my private domain. These are not conclusions drawn from available evidence, they are acts of the will. Fiat. We can no more have a rational discussion about our arbitrary acts of the will that you can convince me to prefer redheads to brunettes if I decide my tastes go the other way. There is nothing to talk about.
Likewise, and for the opposite reason, any belief defended by Promise (2) is immune from criticism because the critic is an unperson, a heretic, a Crimethinking Ungood Hater McHatey Hatemonger. Whatever the consensus decrees reality to be, is and must be the reality during this news cycle. The science is settled. This is the modern time! Rome has spoken!
Fifth Step: Conformist
This second promise means that any man stubborn enough to continue with his own personal arbitrary opinions rather than accepting the arbitrary opinions of the conformist thought is, whether he knows it or not, a carrier of the disease called war and discontent. He is provoking ire needlessly, ire that will lead to race riots or worse. He is a witch, a demon, a homophobo-heteronorative-cismasculine-Islamophobic-colonialist-sexracist, or whatever the swearword of this news cycle happens to be.
He is a Bad Person; he is Emmanuel Goldstein, the target of a two minute hate.
A sane man, a fair man, a just man, can examine the beliefs of himself or others using the same fair standard, and condemn a belief as false without calling the believer evil. A shallow man deliberately leaves all this behind, not because thinking causes him headaches (which it may) but because thinking is a hate crime (which it is not).
The crucial point of no return in the descent into hell is this point, Step Five, at which hatred becomes a duty, an entertainment and a virtue, not to mention an addiction.
You are told that by hating the bad people, by giving them no platform to spread their poison, war and turmoil and all human unhappiness can be brought to an end. Anyone willing to give them a fair hearing is, by definition, a warmonger and a sadist, a despoiler of our promised Eden.
Ironically, the residuum of Step One also requires the Morlock to believe his beliefs are product of brave and independent thought which he figured out for himself. One of the central dogmas of this cult is the dogmatic belief that his dogmas are not dogmas.
The degree of logical paradox required to unravel a thought system based on totally dogmatic total conformity which calls itself nonconformist and nondogmatic are beyond my powers to explain. One can only stare in horrified awe, as at a train wreck, or the collision of two inhabited planets.
Sixth Step: Nondisprovability
It is perfectly clear that the world is not perfect. As of Step Five, we have reached a mindset where anyone who has any strongly held belief is an Emmanuel Goldstein.
The next step is to argue that, since all wars and turmoil and discomfort is caused by Emmanuel Goldstein, then all discontent and war is blamed on him. He is the Jew, the Witch, the scapegoat, the source of all sins and pollutions afflicting the people.
Finding anything where the world is imperfect, such as a difference in the number of female nudes and male nudes in the Roman statue wing of an art museum, or finding difference in the number of Lithuanians than Negroes among professional basketball stars, is proof positive that Goldstein has worked his evil eye here.
I wish I were exaggerating. As a matter of law, in the United States, in every jurisdiction of which I am aware, finding a statistical disparity from the general population in any field of endeavor, lawful or criminal, is held to be caused by racism or some form of discrimination. And this is true in cases where it is clearly not the case, such as the number of non-German beer brewers.
If I open a cabaret, and the only persons who show up for a job as a sous-chef are French, I am held to be discriminating against Aztecs or Etruscans or whoever. If more Greek Orthodox than Roman Catholics commit sabbath breaking in the town of Zwieback, East Virginia, it is assumed as a matter of policy to be proof of discrimination against Greek Orthodox among the police force, even if most policemen are Greek.
This means that anything, anything, from the grand to the comically trivial (the complaint about the number of nudes in art museums was not a parody) can be used to trigger the Two Minute Hate against whatever Goldstein is targeted this news cycle for hysterical hatred.
No matter what happens, no matter what the evidence on the ground might be, it proves that the Reprobate are racist sexist heteronormative xenophobes, and solar panels can provide for all our energy needs even if the laws of nature make that impossible.
Even if the facts were the opposite, that would also be proof. Electing a black man to the highest office in the land proves only that we are nation of cowards unwilling to have a serious dialog about race, which means, to confess they we are all racist dogs unworthy to live.
No matter what happens, no matter what the evidence on the ground might be, it proves the Elect are our superiors in wisdom, in grace, in enlightenment, in charity. Even if conservatives give four times the amount of charity than Leftists, somehow they are the generous ones to the poor and we are Scrooge.
The hatred must be hysterical because we have dismissed all rational basis for making decisions. And the emotion has to be loud, screaming, shrieking, frothing and lunatic, because in the competition for the consumers-of-belief, the loudest and most garish advertisement gets the attention.
And the belief must be immune to disproof because the belief is resentment, and resentment drives the entire economic and political program of the Left, which is to take what it not theirs.
They are robbers. Their political economic platform always boils down to one thing. Rob.
Nondisprovability is a necessary, nay, a crucial component to Political Correctness, because it is a necessary precondition for resentment, which is a necessary precondition for this robbery. If the belief were open to proof, the Civil War if not the Civil Rights Act would have been sufficient to soothe Black resentment, and the Nineteenth Amendment sufficient to sooth the feminist. But if the belief cannot be open to question, cannot be open to proof, nothing will ever satisfy, nothing, not ever.
The robber keeps no account books so that your debt to him remains infinite.
Seventh Step: Morbid
The victim of Political Correctness starts with a perfectly understandable pride in the accomplishments of scientific thinking and a perfectly healthy mistrust in the ethereal speculations of philosophers, and ends up in the shrieking lunatic asylum of a belief system that is
- Nondisprovable — his beliefs cannot be put to any meaningful test; they are articles of faith; hence
- Conformist — his truths are whatever the consensus calls true; true truth is of no interest to him; hence
- Shallow — by dividing all beliefs into pure good versus pure evil, no belief is profound; all is a bumpersticker; hence
- Irrational — the beliefs are not subject to logical examination; hence
- Unreal — the beliefs are based on emotions, not facts; the more panicky and irrational the emotion, the better; hence
- Junk Science — the beliefs pretend that they are scientific, rational, modern, when they are the opposite.
We have now reached the lowest level of the airless basement below the asylum, where the most morbid cases scream and soil themselves in their strait jackets and roll in their own filth and lash their chains against the walls, howling. And yet these are elected officials, respected commentators, pundits, authors, professors and academicians on the left, jurists, judges and justices.
How are they able to function? Well, in real life, for the most part, they merely ignore their belief system in the same way Pharisees going to chapel on Sunday forget their belief system and gamble and fornicate on Saturday.
They have to be hypocrites to function in society, and so their belief system is only used on three occasions
(1) when they are voting for candidates, a behavior which they think never has any effect on their real life; and
(2) when they are blackmailing each other for violations of their belief system, a blackmail to which everyone in their system is vulnerable, since it is designed not to be something any can actually abide or abide by; and
(3) when they are criticizing, attacking, undermining, mocking. You see, this whole elaborate superstructure of lies is not really a worldview; it is a virus meant to attack a worldview.
The virus makes no sense and is not meant to make sense. It is meant to attack sense.
The Morlocks think civilization is optional for the same reason they think reality is optional. They think they can saw off the branch on which they sit and that the tree will fall, but they will be safe, sitting on nothing at all.
Here is where the grinding, remorseless logic of human thought sets in. You see, the lunatics believe that their beliefs can be wished into being by an act of will, by fiat, as arbitrary as God saying ‘Let there be light!’ except without His benevolent motive. But, in fact, each belief exacts a cost, and has certain side effects.
Once one has undermined and collapsed into the pit the whole edifice of science, of reality, of rationality, and jettisoned profundity, individuality, and any willingness to put beliefs to the test of evidence, one has lost the ability to solve any problem anywhere, ever, great or small.
They have made themselves completely helpless and completely ineffectual, except for the one thing their mental virus can do: it can reproduce into the next generation and spread.
Seven Footprints to Satan
I did not list the benefits each stage of the descent into madness delivers, the bait resting on each lower and lower stair leading to the dungeon.
They can be listed briefly: the advantage of calling all your beliefs scientific and modern and certain and proven when they are not is that it inflates the pride.
The advantage of pretending all reality is subjective and all opinion is objective is that one can pretend to be a serious intellectual thinker while having a brain empty of all but flab. It indulges the envy of the foolish against the wise and the stupid against the learned.
The advantage of elevating the passions to paramount status is that all one’s lusts, from carnal lust to power lust, can be indulged.
The reward of being shallow is that the intolerable burden of having to think is dropped into the ditch, and throne of Reason replaced by the couch of Sloth.
The advantage of being conformist is one can feast on hatred and ire without limit against all the witches, demons, and Emmanuel Goldsteins.
The advantage of believing one always to be the victim (even when there is no evidence whatsoever that anyone is victimizing you) is that you can lay claim to any of his advantages, privileges, or possessions. It is an excuse to unleashing an overpowering avarice for everything you pretend life has unfairly denied you. If property is theft, your theft is merely returning what is rightly yours. And if your belief is nondisprovable, you never have to defend it. Your Excuse Machine always runs and never runs out of battery power.
But there is just one problem. All these things, pride and envy and lust and sloth and ire and avarice, make life unpleasant, ugly, and produce despair and nausea.
As the broken soul slowly realizes that he is unworthy of life, he begins inching toward self destructive behaviors. He self medicates against depression, or drinks to excess, or takes recreational drugs, or overeats. On the political level, the self destruction takes the form of hating and dismantling whatever protects him, such as police and military men, and loving and encouraging whatever seeks to maim, torment, and kill him, such as Communism or Jihad. The feminist expresses willingness to perform unnatural sexual acts on the groin of Bill Clinton because, not despite, his history of sexual assault, abuse, and rape.
Some Leftists are more direct in their self destruction than others. They advocate for euthanasia because they want to die. They kill children in the womb because the only thing more sacred than a man’s life is the life of a child, the only thing more sacred than love is mother’s love. In terms of generating and expressing self-loathing and self-destruction, only abortion is more horrific than suicide, because it wipes out the entirety of life, not merely the remnant, and unlike the suicide, the child is innocent. Abortion is the perfect Black Mass of self-hatred screaming its loudest.
However, Leftists who are more craven seek self destruction through self indulgence. One can drink oneself into the gutter or overeat oneself into the grave with far less pain than slitting any wrists.
Gluttony is not the sin of eating a big meal. It is the sin of destroying oneself through pleasure. Now, no true pleasure serves this purpose. A man who plays a game of chess or baseball with his friends or with his children in the sunlight, dances with his wife by moonlight, pens a letter, reads a book, kneels in prayer, sees a play, hears a symphony, none of this ruins him. False pleasures are the opposite: the more you seek them, the less pleasure you get, and each dose must be bigger than the last to reach the same high, each perversion must be more daring. It is sticking your hand into a fish trap.
Conclusion: Life in the Void
So the spiritual and emotional status of anyone shutting off his logical faculties to follow the chimera of Political Correctness, depending on how deeply he actually adopts this morbid and empty world view, is morbidity and emptiness.
Humor, for a time, can keep this emptiness at bay. A man on the scaffold can tell the headsman to take a little off the top. But it is always a deliberate shallowness, a humor for the sake of distraction and diversion. PC humor is gallows humor.
And the humor always breaks down shortly. PC people are not funny. They cannot take themselves lightly. They cannot criticize the Elect, and cannot show good humor to the Reprobate. They are out to save the world from the evils of civilization, and that is serious business. So the Puritanical and zealous PC Thought Policeman soon returns to the fore.
The other thing to do to fill up the morbid emptiness is to follow all fashion of false pleasures, including and especially sexual perversion, and call it sacrosanct.
And, of all pleasures, art is the highest, most refined, and most divine. Beasts have no capacity to admire beauty; no cow ever wept over a sunset, no nightingale ever sang an ode to the evening star. Beauty is Heaven’s final answer to all the petty distractions and diversions of man. True beauty causes an ecstasy in the soul, the drawing of oneself out from one’s petty self into a larger world, in just the same way the ecstasy of the honeymoon bed draws a bachelor into life as a selfless father and leader of a family, so that he both grows and enters a larger world.
So why is modern art so very ugly, so deliberately ugly? Because modern art is fornication for the soul: it is the self mutilation of the faculty by which we distinguish what is profound and beautiful from what is shallow and ugly. The modern art critic holds up ugly and calls it profound, and says beauty is shallow. He commits blasphemy for the sake of blasphemy, because this adds the ugliness of his lie to the ugliness of the untalented abhorrent adherent dung he is holding up for admiration.
The opposite of consummating a marriage is fornication. Sex is being used for selfish purposes of mutual exploitation, and this is one reason why all civilized societies have rejected and punished it. The opposite of sublime beauty is the apocalypse of ugliness, and it likewise is selfish, cutting one off from life and human feeling.
The world view of the selfish, the gluttonous, the ugly, the self destructive is a world view of absurdity and despair. Turning from the deepest of fine arts to the most shallow of juvenile entertainment, comic books and space operas, Political Correctness for the same reason as it must uproot deep beauty from all the sublime places in the world must likewise uproot shallow fun and happiness and action and adventure and gaiety.
The sense of wonder on which Science Fiction rests cannot exist in that mental environment.
It must be emphasized that no one claims that Science Fiction is only about optimistic, utopian, and triumphalist visions of the future. A nightmare can also inspire a sense of wonder, that dark wonder called awe or terror.
Dystopian and pessimistic cautionary tales have been part of SF from the beginning. Both Frankenstein’s Monster and the Morlocks of AD 802701 are figures of awe and terror just as Eddore, Mordor, and Z’ha’dum are realms of dread darkness, but it is a wondrous terror, unearthly darkness and strange. The hint of the hellish hovers around such names. Airstrip One and the world of 632 After Ford are closer to home but still are beyond the fields we know.
I suppose one could write a perfectly PC cautionary tale against the horror that would ensure if, after a worldwide loss of fertility, evil fundamentalist televangelists would suddenly adopt all the practices of Mohammedanism, including concubinage and burlap-sack dresses for women and executing rape victims, but whether such a Reagan Era piece of paranoia would qualify as Science Fiction would of course depend on the skill of the execution. Likewise, one could write a PC utopia about all-lesbian Amazonian paradise. But dystopia or utopia or whatever, the SF elements and PC elements in the story would be in conflict. If anyone has ever written a story with both, I have never read it.
Political Correctness by its nature is humorless, vapid, envious, bitter, hysterical, unrealistic, small and parochial. Speculative Fiction, including the darkest of dystopia tales, requires intellect, depth, verisimilitude, grandeur and broadmindedness.
Wonder is SF’s stock in trade. Fatigue and exasperation are the stock in trade of Political Correctness, the weariness of the Sisyphean struggle against reality, but where Sisyphus has to pretend he is not pushing the rock.
Life Sucks and Way Cool simply do not mix.
You would think a science fiction story with a dinosaur or a river goddess would have to be way cool, and could only be improved by adding a ninja, or a pirate, or a robot. But no. The Morlocks hate themselves, hate life, and they see hatred all around them in everything their enemies do. They live without hope and die without courage. Way Cool things like dinosaurs do not amuse them, only revenge fantasies against, well…
… against you.
You are the one they hate, dear reader.
You don’t think they would tell a tale to entertain you, did you?