The Devil in the Pages: How to Play Devils Advocate #Writing #Author #Advice

Hi Jim,

I saw that you give out writing advice and was hoping you could help me. See I’m taking my first shot at writing a political satire story, but am finding it increasingly difficult to write from the perspective of someone I don’t agree with. It’s getting very hard to write without sounding superficial or condescending. Do you have any suggestions?

Best-
Maria


Hi Maria,

That’s a good question and one that isn’t always easy to answer. As human beings, we all have preferences, beliefs, biases, and worldviews that are specific to us. Many of our core values and beliefs are deeply integrated into our personalities and often very difficult, if not impossible to change.

So with that in mind, how do we work through them. How do we betray our own senses and beliefs and become the devil’s advocate?
The way I see it, there are a few ways…
1. Get involved in debates. On my private facebook profile, I’ll often post a political question or issue based either on current events or something I’m writing about. My friends list is full of people from both sides of the isle… some more mature than others. Most of the time, I’ll get a couple of troll posts, as well as childish name-calling going back ad forth. However, then one or two people who are looking to have a ‘drop the mic’ moment come in with an intellectually sound, cited argument. Reading through these arguments can often give you the answer you’re looking for whether you agree with them or not.

2. Have someone else write it. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with collaborating on a work with another person if you’re completely stumped. Just make sure that this other person has the maturity to post their views without going into attack mode.

3. Do a little soul-searching. This is something I typically do when I debate points. I come up with my argument and then carefully examine it to see where someone could poke a hole in it or use a piece of their own logic to refute it. In that way, you start thinking as they do and very quickly, you can form a cohesive argument.

Remember though, just because you’re writing it, doesn’t mean you agree with it. There is such a thing as playing devil advocate and its a perfectly reasonable thing to do in order to get a point across.

I remember back in college, trying to write a short story from a German soldier’s perspective during WW2. My goal was to have the soldier condemn what Hitler did, but defend WHY Germany let him come to power in the first place. This soldier wasn’t supposed to be the moral or ethical right, but I at least wanted people to know that perspective in order to gain a bigger understanding of the context behind World War 2. In the end, the soldier would be executed following the Nuremberg trials.

Well… I live in the United States. All of the known Nazis have long since been deported. Any that could still be left are likely either dead or in hiding. However… their children and grandchildren remained. Most didn’t want to talk about it, but a few were able to give me some insight into the how and why that we aren’t really taught in school.

So I was able to find some information that helped me make a decent argument.

Anyway, I hope this helps.
Readers, what do you think? Do you have any advice for Maria? Let her know in the comments.


Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have multiple published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

 

Opinion vs. Fact #Writing #Author #Advice

So recently I’ve come across many blogs and other writings that are attempting to pass off their opinion as fact. Several different subjects have come up pertaining to politics, nutrition, etc.

In my writing, I feel it’s always important to distinguish between the two. If I’m sighting fact, I’ll give a source and say it’s a fact. If I’m giving an opinion, I’ll make sure that’s known (look back at some of my other posts). However I’ve seen too many times that people attempt to (either deliberately or unknowingly) pass off their own perceptions as fact. In books and stories, I’ve seen it as well.

Now, for the most part, if you point out that these people could be wrong, or just flat-out are, they’re happy to debate your points with their own. In many cases they either didn’t know, or were getting their info from a bad source, or didn’t mean to pass their opinion off as fact. So you’ll often get a polite thank you…

Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. A growing trend these days are the graduates of ‘Google University’ who are extremely partisan in their beliefs and don’t want to hear that their facts aren’t always facts. With these people, the best advice I can give is to ask for their credentials or their source of info, if all they provide you with in return is childish insults, block you, or a long misogyny-laden string of nonsense, then move along. PLEASE. Don’t give these people attention, and they’ll go away.

To those of you who write opinion pieces or factual ones, please make sure your readers know what you’re going for. Cite sources for facts whenever you can, and make sure your sources are legit (Partisan blog postings from people who get their info from other partisan sites are NOT legitimate sources. Fox News, MSNBC, and CNN are not legitimate sources… most of the time. A simple YouTube search will prove that.)

Now take what I’m saying at face value. My blog is advice on the philosophies of writing, so there are no right or wrong answers for the most part. It’s really your own style, I’m just trying to relay the secrets of what success I’ve had in the hopes that it’ll help others. If you don’t agree with me, that’s fine, but don’t take what others tell you as fact. Do the research yourself. Check government websites, actual studies from universities, etc. It will take longer, but your facts will be less likely to be attacked and you’ll actually learn something. News agencies are usually second-hand sources.

The more people realize this and start doing the footwork themselves, the better off everyone is.


Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

The Reality of Child Sex Trafficking Rings…

In the wake of what’s been going on in Hollywood recently… I felt the need to repost this…

James Harrington's Blog of Geek and Writing

… I don’t want to post this. I REALLY don’t want to post this. As all of you know, a lot of my writing advice and posts lately have been about the realities and forms of evil.

Well if you remember yesterday, I posted about just how rare true evil actually was, and how sometimes even the most evil people believe that what they’re doing is for the greater good…

This isn’t one of those times. This is one of the other times I referred to, a complete and utter breach of everything moral and ethical, a violation of taboo, and… I really can’t say anything else.

To anyone who knows who he is, Sargon of Akkad is a fairly prolific Youtuber who does a great deal of political/social commentary. He’s far from unbiased, I’ll admit, but he does a fairly good job of going after both sides of the…

View original post 459 more words

Marvel Comics Endsong…

Perhaps it’s time for Marvel to consider ceasing production of its comics. I think we’ve gotten to that point. They’ve pretty much proven that they don’t know what they’re doing anymore or they’ve taken on the disastrous business model of trying to appeal to extreme political ideologues who are too busy being offended by things to read comics.
I mean it’s bad enough that they keep altering their characters with no Rhyme or Reason or explanation in the name of diversity, but to then accuse all of their readers of being racist for not liking this, it’s just really telling of how out-of-touch these creators actually are. Now they’re even pulling a Paul feig and attacking the people who sell their comics with accusations of bigotry.

Diversity is and always will be a great thing, but that’s only if it’s actual diversity. Wiping one group of people off the pages to make way for another group is not diversity.

Example: Marvel did a run of the X-Men where the team was all women. That’s not diversity that’s gender segregation. Essentially they took a team that had characters from nearly every region on Earth, as well as a fairly balanced gender percentage, and made it less diverse in the name of diversity.

Stan Lee and Chris Claremont, both pain the idea to age out their old and create new ones to replace them as time went on and the need arose. This would have enabled Marvel to bring in far more characters from Minority backgrounds that they otherwise wouldn’t have. This would also have had a lot less people taking issue with it. Instead they took the disastrous approach of altering characters with no explanation other than it’s an alternate universe we can do what we want. Well you can to a point, but once you’ve reached the majority of your audiences suspension of disbelief, you’ve gone too far. What’s worse is that Marvel apparently doesn’t know how to write these characters. I’ve read some of the Iceman comics, and they are so stereotypical that I can’t imagine any homosexual person reading them wouldn’t be offended.

America Chavez has been openly criticized for being offensive in a stereotypical manner towards Latinos. So their efforts to become more diverse by throwing what they considered diversity in people’s faces, they’ve actually created archetypal stereotypes of actual characters, that could easily be compared to their respective representations version of black face.

The problem is that these writers do not treat these characters as people. They treat them as a means to promote an agenda. As a result though this may not be the intention, they’re not seen nor treated as people. Thus they are never viewed as equal in the eyes of the other characters or in the readers. 

This was not the case in the old comics. Yes they had their problems but for the most part every character was treated as a person. They were looked at as living breathing people first, and while they’re superficial traits were addressed they did not take Center Stage. Instead the focus was on telling a good story.
Marvel Comics has, for all intensive purposes lost this ability. Every single Marvel subscription that I have had through my local retailer, I have cancelled after a few comics for this reason. The story simply aren’t good, the politics is in your face and offensively preachy, and Marvel either doesn’t seem to care or doesn’t understand that. So while I think Marvel for seven decades of great stories, I think I’ll be sticking to independent comic books and in some cases DC for my reading material.
My only advice to Marvel going forward would be to keep the writers working on your Comics away from your Cinematic Universe. It is pretty much the only thing keeping you afloat at this point.

But that’s just my opinion, readers what do you think? Is it time for Marvel to cut ties with the comic book industry? Has their day in the Sun come and gone? Can they bounce back? Let me know in the comments.



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

The Devil in the Pages: How to Play Devils Advocate

Hi Jim,

I saw that you give out writing advice and was hoping you could help me. See I’m taking my first shot at writing a political satire story, but am finding it increasingly difficult to write from the perspective of someone I don’t agree with. It’s getting very hard to write without sounding superficial or condescending. Do you have any suggestions?

Best-
Maria


Hi Maria,

That’s a good question and one that isn’t always easy to answer. As human beings, we all have preferences, beliefs, biases, and worldviews that are specific to us. Many of our core values and beliefs are deeply integrated into our personalities and often very difficult, if not impossible to change.

So with that in mind, how do we work through them. How do we betray our own senses and beliefs and become the devil’s advocate?
The way I see it, there are a few ways…
1. Get involved in debates. On my private facebook profile, I’ll often post a political question or issue based either on current events or something I’m writing about. My friends list is full of people from both sides of the isle… some more mature than others. Most of the time, I’ll get a couple of troll posts, as well as childish name-calling going back ad forth. However, then one or two people who are looking to have a ‘drop the mic’ moment come in with an intellectually sound, cited argument. Reading through these arguments can often give you the answer you’re looking for whether you agree with them or not.

2. Have someone else write it. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with collaborating on a work with another person if you’re completely stumped. Just make sure that this other person has the maturity to post their views without going into attack mode.

3. Do a little soul-searching. This is something I typically do when I debate points. I come up with my argument and then carefully examine it to see where someone could poke a hole in it or use a piece of their own logic to refute it. In that way, you start thinking as they do and very quickly, you can form a cohesive argument.

Remember though, just because you’re writing it, doesn’t mean you agree with it. There is such a thing as playing devil advocate and its a perfectly reasonable thing to do in order to get a point across.

I remember back in college, trying to write a short story from a German soldier’s perspective during WW2. My goal was to have the soldier condemn what Hitler did, but defend WHY Germany let him come to power in the first place. This soldier wasn’t supposed to be the moral or ethical right, but I at least wanted people to know that perspective in order to gain a bigger understanding of the context behind World War 2. In the end, the soldier would be executed following the Nuremberg trials.

Well… I live in the United States. All of the known Nazis have long since been deported. Any that could still be left are likely either dead or in hiding. However… their children and grandchildren remained. Most didn’t want to talk about it, but a few were able to give me some insight into the how and why that we aren’t really taught in school.

So I was able to find some information that helped me make a decent argument.

Anyway, I hope this helps.
Readers, what do you think? Do you have any advice for Maria? Let her know in the comments.


Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

 

Star Trek Discovery: The Elephant in the Room

I’ve really wanted to tackle this one for a while, but the issues with Discovery seemed a lot more wide-spread than just the show. As a result, I had to address the more global issue first.

To give a little background into my experience with Star Trek, I started off watching seasons 2-3 of The Next Generation. Then my father introduced me to Wrath of Khan, which is to date, my favorite of the movies. After discovering that there was an entire other cast from TNG (no, I didn’t know this) I went back and watched the original series. At first, I was taken aback at the low production quality (I was ten, give me a break!). However, the series eventually grew on me. ‘Wolf in the Fold’ and ‘The Conscience of the King’ remain my two favorite episodes to this day.

I then began religiously watching DS9 and eventually Voyager. Admittedly my wife likes Voyager far more than I do, but its passable. DS9 was boring as sin until Michael Dorn joined the cast and the Dominion War broke out. I was never a fan of the Marquis story line nor the constant religious themes of the Bajorans. Sorry, this species is not that fascinating!

Then Enterprise came out. At first I hated it. I thought the theme really took you out of what was going on and the whole show seemed way too interested in catering to a new audience instead of the loyal base, a mistake in my opinion. As the seasons went on and we started getting into the formation of the Federation, as well as the seeds for the Romulan War, I started to get into it. Unfortunately the show was cancelled, leaving us with mere tidbits of what could have been.

I actually loved the Kelvin movies, despite them being sexed up, and having way too much emphasis on action. There is only so many times you can shred the Enterprise before it gets old.

Now admittedly, my fandom has shifted greatly over the years. They say there are three camps; The Star Trek Camp, The Star Wars Camp, and the Lord of the Rings Camp. I am firmly in the Lord of the Rings Camp, being a huge fan of folklore, fantasy, and mythology. This isn’t about to change any time soon. That being said, I still love Star Trek and Star Wars and do go back regularly. However, my outting from the Star Trek camp has allowed me to take a look at what’s been going on.

Star Trek has an insanely loyal fandom, one that even the creators have learned to respect (or fear, I’m not sure which). Their near cultist following of the show has earned them a reputation for being picky. However its this fandom that has kept the genre alive for so long with fan films and movies. The problem lies with the fact that Star Trek fans have a history of shooting themselves in the foot. Every time a new series or movie comes along, they gripe about every little inconsistency to the point where the show/movie is pushed into oblivion. Only after the show/movie is destroyed do they turn around and say how they missed it and how ‘at least it respected canon, etc.’ I hear this all the time about Enterprise.

So what about discovery?

Well… yeah even from the outside, one can see that it has a lot of problems. The ship designs, species designs, uniforms, technology, etc. etc. etc. all do not look right. The story appears to be a mess and the studio is in a panic. So from the outside looking in, it almost appears that the fans might have a legitimate gripe THIS TIME.

However there is one more problem with this one that really makes the controversy surrounding it stand out….

Let me preface all of what I’m about to say with this… I want to be very clear now… MOST, IF NOT ALL, OF THE STAR TREK FANBASE HAS ABSOLUTELY NO PROBLEM ACCEPTING A MINORITY CAST MEMBER OR A WOMAN IN A LEADING ROLE!

We had Uhura, Number One, Rand, etc. in the original series, TNG had several women and diverse cast members in and out, Avery Brooks led the charge in DS9, and Kate Mulgrew in Voyager. So really, the fandom has never had an issue with this.

However, recently we’ve seen a lot of concern and backlash over the fact that the leading character is a, as CBS put it ‘non-white female’. There is also a lot of talk about the apparently lack of any white cast members in the show. I can’t speak to this as I have seen quite a few white cast members, including Jason Isaacs, portraying the captain of the Discovery.

So if my initial statement is correct, then why are we having trouble accepting these particular cast members in Discovery. Well… I don’t think the problem is as simple as black or white. Let’s explore…

First, lets look at the timing of this show coming out… The current state of American Culture is in complete disarray. On one side, we have an extremely regressive movement that has placed a rather unhealthy emphasis on identity politics. What I mean by this is that the political ideology of these people seeming places a higher value on the color of ones skin or the type of genitals they have, then on their personality, morals, or values. Meanwhile on the other sides, we have an equally regressive isolationist movement that wants us out of world affairs and a small minority of these people have issues with race and gender as well, though its a lot more age-old. Then we have the people in the middle on both sides of the isle who are getting torn between the two. Verbal threats from both sides compels these moderates to pick a side and… because so many of them felt left behind, we currently have Donald Trump as the populist representative of the people…

Unfortunately, a great deal of our media including news, movies, comics, and TV shows, fall into the first camp of regressive leftists. A lot of people call them ‘social justice warriors’, however I’ve decided to take that phrase out of my vocabulary. It’s a euphemism, an ineffective term, and gives someone on the outside looking in the wrong impression of these people.

As a result, we’ve seen a lot of our mediums fall from good story-telling to regressive propaganda machines… again, focusing on agenda and skin color, while letting the story suffer. I covered this in another post called ‘Diversity and Writing‘, which I highly recommend for context on this issue.

So what does any of this have to do with the objections to the cast of this Star Trek show?

Well to be honest, I’ve followed the twitter, youtube comments, and other criticisms of this show very closely. I try to keep tabs on the general issues people seem to have with this series and I think I have a grasp on the current trend…

It’s not the fact that the cast is diverse, it’s how the shows creators are handling it. Star Trek has always had a diverse cast and they’ve always been heralded as progressive for a few major reasons; 1. the minority cast members are treated as equals with everyone else, 2. none of the modern issues with race, diversity, or gender are an issue in their time because humanity have evolved beyond such issues. In other words, we see people of all walks of life treated as people and having access to all the same resources as everyone else. They’re respected and their personalities, morals, and values are explored. Because the focus is on the character and not their race or gender, these characters are dynamic and beloved. They aren’t simple archetypes that have to fit into perceived stereotypes.

But Jim, those issues did come up!

They did only in the context of looking back in time. Either by Sisko looking back at segregated America, or by others exploring Nazi Germany and other issues, and how much we’ve grown since then.

Now let’s take a look at Discovery… for starters quite a few elements of Trek have adopted the regressive mindset. Trek against Trump, being one of the more egregious examples…

Next we have the show’s original front runner, Bryan Fuller.

Brian Fuller is a huge Star Trek fan and cut his teeth writing for Voyager and Enterprise. He also said that he would drop everything to captain a new series if ever asked. However, he also appears to be in pretty big with the regressive left…

In 2016 he commandeered the SDCC Star Trek Panel turning it into, as many called it ‘an hour-long social justice rant’ much to the chagrin of many patrols:

 

Not helping matters, when the show was first announced, little to nothing was mentioned about the setting, plot, or story… placing a higher focus on the fact that one character would be transgender and the lead would be a ‘non-white female.’

The wording of the identity of the lead, as well as the main focus of the creators seeming to be on the characters’ identities over the story led many to refer to the new series as ‘Social Justice’ Trek. Many feared that Star Trek would begin tackling social issues that should be out of date in the Star Trek universe and essentially follow Marvel, Hollywood, and much of Sony into becoming a regressive leftist propaganda machine.

In essence, its not the characters’ races or gender identities that is the problem, it’s the seemingly out-of-place focus on them that people seem to have a majority of the problem with.

In typical fashion, things have been made much worse by the media. Several news sites have pulled a Sony and taken a single digit percentage of the show’s detractors (seriously google the articles, they all use the same 5 hateful tweets!), namely racist individuals, and passed them off as the majority of the show’s criticisms, despite almost a million other comments going through legitimate criticisms of it. I’ll give a few examples you can look into below:

Some white ‘Star Trek’ fans are unhappy about remake’s diversity

Racist Star Trek Fans Decry Discovery’s Diversity, Revealing They Know Nothing About Star Trek
(Why Gizmodo, WHY!?!?!?)

Keep in mind, a lot of these news organizations are owned by the very companies that are producing a lot of the shows and movies that we now see. So its not entirely unreasonable to assume that the show’s creators had a hand in this.
Essentially what these people are doing, are dismissing the show’s detractors and driving a the hard social divide even wider for their own gain, either through contracts for later interviews, or clickbait.

I’ve noted in my previous post that this should be a crime against humanity. However, dismissing critics as bigots, or silencing critics through threats of sexism and racism have been a trend of the regressive left for a long time now. Sony did it and completely insulted the fanbase for Ghostbusters. Marvel tried to do it with new Fantastic Four movie, and, while CBS hasn’t come right out with anything, several of their supporters have. In essence, when Geek Culture objects to anything, we’re labeled as being basement-dwelling, unwashed, unmarried, introverts that are crying because our toys got taken away.

So how are they allowed to get away with this? Based on what you’ve said, these companies are misrepresenting gender/identity issues for their own gain and insulted a large group of the general populace. 

Well… honestly its in part because geek/nerd culture doesn’t have a collective voice. We come from all walks of life, genders, races and beliefs. We’re all over the place, so it’s hard to have anyone to speak out on our behalf. The people who could have been those voices have long since joined the ranks of the regressive left, leaving the majority of geeks/nerds (moderate-left/center of the line) with no voice. Its like a microcosm of the political moderates in the U.S. today. There is no voice.

However I would argue that these people aren’t getting away with it. The detractors from the Ghostbusters movie in many cases had to do a soft walk-back on the things they said. (Not actually apologizing, mind you, but the bare minimum they had to do when public opinion turned on them).

Paul Feig Corrects Quote Regarding Assholes in Geek Culture

Stay classy guys…

However though we don’t have anyone to speak out on our behalf and our outrage is often dismissed… for people who live in their mother’s basements, we do have oddly large wallets (strange how that doesn’t add up). Ghostbusters flopped at the box office, there is no plans for a sequel and Feig won’t be touching another ‘nerd flick’ any time soon (thank God). Fantastic Four outright bombed at the box office and Marvel comics are in a death spiral.

To all of the show’s detractors…
Guys, give the show a chance. The first episode is going to be free to watch, so you don’t have to pay for it. It may be good. Midnight’s Edge’s videos portray Bryan Fuller’s exodus as a bad thing, but I disagree with them. His departure from the series and lack of further involvement means that this may not be the ‘Social Justice’ Trek that a lot of people fear. Give it a chance, if the pilot is really bad, well you don’t have to pay for it. Speculation is that CBS is already gearing up for a potential cancellation anyway. So just see what its like and go from there. That’s all anyone can ask.

So readers, have you seen the same trend I have? Do you agree with me that the focus on identity, not the actual race/genders, are the issue or are the detractors actually racist? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to engage with you!



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

 

The Importance of Freedom of Speech

Okay… You would think that such a post would be unnecessary, you would think that people would understand why a universal right to express your opinion is so vital to a free society… nay one of its truest cornerstones.
Once again, you would be going backrupt on your estimation of societal intelligence.
Don’t get me wrong, the majority of people out there are fairly intelligent, but the intelligent majority is also not very vocal. There’s a reason the term ‘vocal minority’ exists.
With the recent rise of violent outbursts at colleges surrounding Milo Yiannopoulos, police afraid to go after child sex traffickers due to fear of being label racist, and a government refusing to label terrorism what it is out of fear or a narrative… suddenly the problems become very clear.
Plus Milo’s speech was cancelled due to riots at UC Berkeley, arguably the birthplace of student Freedom of Speech movements in the U.S. I couldn’t come up with a more eyebrow-raising example if I tried!
Anyway, as a writer who has created stories dealing in social commentary, religion, and to a very minor extent, politics, I can’t stress enough how important free speech is.
Regardless of the content, Freedom of Speech is one of the most important rights we have, second only to the right to life. You don’t have to agree with the content of a person’s message, but as a free person, you do need to acknowledge their right to say it. Why? Because someone may feel the same way about what you have to say, but guess what? He can’t stop you from saying it except under very specific circumstances which I will address below.
So in your opinion, ALL speech should be protected?
 No not ALL speech. Inciting violence which can get someone hurt or killed must never be protected. Yelling ‘fire’ in a crowded place is absolutely unacceptable and so on. That should speak for itself.
So what about hate speech?
Yes… Hate speech MUST also be protected.
Hear me out! Let’s take a look at movements here in the United States. Look at the KKK, Neo-Nazis, Black Panthers, Black Lives Matter, 3rd Wave Feminism, and most terrorist organizations.
They are all free to express themselves and express their opinions openly without fear of being prosecuted in most Western nations. People can hear their opinions, read their literature, and see for themselves what these people actually stand for.
As a result, most KKK and Neo-Nazi movements are a very tiny minority. Their marches are usually tiny, consisting of only a few  to a few hundred people brought in from miles.
Most media that show their support today for BLM or most forms of identity politics are met with extreme scrutiny, see their rating flushed down the drain, and their mediums die. The individuals find themselves locked in small echo chambers surrounded by their like-minded cliques, because there is no other way for them to survive.
Because of this, the main stream media is beginning to fall apart and alternative media is on the rise because people are seeing these people for who and what they are.
Case and point, allowing these people to spew their bile and show what they truly believe and who they truly are is the best weapon we can wield against them. Don’t believe me?
Remember this charlatan?

For the longest time, she hid her bigotry, misandry, and flat out racism under the blanket of social justice. But then on election night, it came out for all to see, and to be honest, I’m glad she said it. I’m glad she has the right to… why? Because everyone saw her for what she is, and they let her know it:

People do actually notice. That’s why these movements aren’t getting bigger and why they’re quickly losing ground. Trust me, let the Laci Greens, the Al Sharptons, and the Fred Phelp’s out there spew their hatred. When they do, smile, nod, and turn your back on them and walk away.

Afterwards, vote both with your ballots, your words, and your wallets. Let people know what you think of these people. Vote for candidates who are in YOUR best interest, not who they tell you to, and finally do not endorse them in any way. Stay away from their organizations, their sponsors, and whatever products or companies are behind them.

Do that, and sooner than later, they’ll find themselves alone in a room with the shadows of the people they’ve tried to hurt… suddenly, all their power is gone, and they have to face the specter of what they truly are and what they’ve truly done.

This from the guy who railed against MTV News for their racist New Years Resolution video???

Did you see what I wrote to MTV News about it?

I didn’t want them to take the video down. I recognized their right to say what they said… and I also knew how damaging it would be to their business.

Yeah Jim, that philosophy worked out REALLY well with the Nazis, didn’t it?

Sigh… okay points off for Goodwin’s Law!

In all seriousness though, this is true, so let’s put that into context, shall we? First of all lets look at the National Socialist German Workers’ Party of Germany. Prior to Hitler, they were very small and even after he joined, they were considered by most to be a fringe group.

Hitler was able to gain popularity by spewing well-worded incitement, not only against the Jews, but against society as a whole. The government back then had little power to do anything about it and the people were so poor, so destitute… sadly, a lot of the pictures we see of working-class people from the Weimar Republic are often mistaken for Holocaust photos. These were people desperate for a change and willing to take it in whatever form it came. Not to mention that the culture and climates were considerably different in those days.

In the end, we don’t have to like what people say, but we do have to recognize their right to say it and understand that if what they say is truly despicable, they will be digging their own proverbial graves.

I take it that you’re against political correctness?

Let’s take a look at the definition of it, shall we?

po·lit·i·cal cor·rect·ness
pəˈlidəkəl kəˈrek(t)nəs/
noun
  1. the avoidance, often considered as taken to extremes, of forms of expression or action that are perceived to exclude, marginalize, or insult groups of people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against.

It’s one of those things that looks good on paper… however… even in its earliest history, it has negative connotations:

– The phrase “politically correct” was associated with the dogmatic application of Stalinist doctrine, debated between Communist Party members and American Socialists.
Project Muse

-“throughout the 1970s and 1980s, the New Left, feminists, and progressives… used their term ‘politically correct’ ironically, as a guard against their own orthodoxy in social change efforts.” –Debra L. Shultz

– “political correctness actually began as an in-joke on the left: radical students on American campuses acting out an ironic replay of the Bad Old Days BS (Before the Sixties) when every revolutionary groupuscule had a party line about everything. They would address some glaring examples of sexist or racist behaviour by their fellow students in imitation of the tone of voice of the Red Guards or Cultural Revolution Commissar: ‘Not very ‘politically correct’, Comrade!’ ” –Stuart Hall

 

-“What has come to be called “political correctness,” a term that began to gain currency at the start of the academic year last fall, has spread in recent months and has become the focus of an angry national debate, mainly on campuses, but also in the larger arenas of American life.” –Robert D. McFadden

-Political correctness is one of the brilliant tools that the American Right developed in the mid–1980s, as part of its demolition of American liberalism…. What the sharpest thinkers on the American Right saw quickly was that by declaring war on the cultural manifestations of liberalism – by levelling the charge of “political correctness” against its exponents – they could discredit the whole political project. — Will Hutton

The list goes on… on paper it looks like an okay idea. A philosophy by which people self-censor when they think that what they say may hurt another person. However, like so many things that look better on paper than in practices, this philosophy is one of those things that is easily perverted and/or corrupted, particularly in a society where people are far too easily triggered and where we are slowly plunging into the dark area known as ‘thought-policing.’

Yes, forcing people to self-censor… and when they refuse to, assuming that their words are meant to be bigoted or racism… when you get to the point where you don’t only have to worry about what you say, but also what someone might perceive you to be thinking… that is extremely dangerous to the point of an Orwellian threat to a free society.

So yes, in its current societal form, I am against political correctness. Because even in its most basic definition is it anti-free speech.

So write on friends! Write what’s on your mind just write true and don’t do anything that can directly harm another human being.  You are free! Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!

I would like to close with one of my favorite speeches from a sci-fi fantasy universe that I grew up with. Given the recent climate surrounding this particular universe… the quote is very ironic, but very true nonetheless:

“With the first link, the chain is forged, first speech censured, first thought forbidden, first freedom denied, chains us all irrevocably. Those words were utter… as wisdom and warning. The first time any man’s freedom is trodden on, we’re all damaged.” – Captain Jean Luc Picard, Star Trek The Next Generation



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Meaningful Quote.

Lifted from BleedingCool.com:

“Publishers, get your politics out of my stores!

We live in a climate of polarity, with people being violently opposed to issues and events. Note the word “violently” and then think about what you’re bringing to our stores.  With every new proclamation from either the White House or CNN we have a new round of vitriol coming from the opposing side. 

I’ve always told my staff that we are the safe zone from what’s outside our doors.  I’ve been touting this policy before safe spaces were a thing, not because we need to be protected but because we provide entertainment. To be crystal clear, we provide entertainment. We are not mouthpieces for any polarizing cause nor is our shelf space for rent to any organization, left, right, or center.  If you want to support fighting cancer or bullying, all good. No one is fighting for worse cancers or more bullying.  If you want to put Planned Parenthood or the NRA on my stands, you’re getting no traction in my stores.  We are not for sale and we’re not going to undermine our store’s tranquility for your cause-of-the-month.

Get your politics off my stands.  Get political figures off the covers.  Get poorly disguised villains out of your books.  Get back to telling stories that don’t remind people of the vitriol and bile being spewed from every direction; we have enough outlets for that. You’re not being clever.  You’re not being altruistic.  You’re costing me the carefully built atmosphere that has allowed me to sell your books over the last 3+ decades to people of all races, creeds, genders, and sexual orientation as well as Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, and no doubt a few anarchists as well.

Don’t screw that up.”

Rich Johnston

Fight the good fight Rich, I’ve been saying the same thing for quite a while.

Ask you about your feminist agenda? I could really care less…



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

You Want More Trump? (Part 2)

Yeah Marvel is at it again… no narrative, no use of metaphor, no nothing… just straight up preaching and political activism. So glad I stopped collecting marvel. What’s more, it’s a false narrative based on hate and fear mongering.

The ban isn’t a muslim ban. It’s a travel ban against nations that harbor terrorism. That’s all. There are plenty of other countries that Muslims control that we aren’t banning.

… … … There really is nothing more to say about this. I’ve already said everything I can about marvel.

We don’t like being preached at, Marvel writers. Keep it up, it’s just another brick in the road to a second Trump term.



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.
jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com
I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.
Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!
Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

And… I’m Done With Star Trek

Go ahead, oust me from the Geek Community with pitchforks and torches. I don’t care. This is the final nail in the coffin.

First it was the 2016 San Diego Comic Con Star Trek Panel that was nothing more than a boring Social Justice tirade by Producer Bryan Fuller. I watched it online, but everyone who was there that I know, told me that it was boring as hell and if you didn’t agree with their politics, it was painful.

Then Trek Against Trump reared it’s ugly head, spewing falsehoods, hyperbole, and talking about a path to the future… while shilling for Hillary Clinton… do you see the irony?

20150801_230605

But I’ve already given them enough exposure on my blog… moving on…

Then they blunder into identity politics by making Sulu gay in the latest movie… which would be fine… had he been gay all along. Even George Takei, one of the biggest Gay spokespeople out there, took issue with this…

“I’m delighted that there’s a gay character…Unfortunately, it’s a twisting of Gene’s creation, to which he put in so much thought. I think it’s really unfortunate.” 

… So basically Star Trek has gone the way of Marvel.

Now we have the new show, Star Trek Discovery. Which honestly… what tidbits we’ve seen so far look like crap, the ship is based on a design that was flatly rejected by Gene, and the makers of it seem more interested in talking about how there’s going to be an LGBT character, and the star is a non-white first officer instead of talking about the FREAKEN STORY!!! So you can kind of see where the focus is going to be…

Agenda > Story.

This falls under my rule about people not liking being preached at when they sit down to read, listen, or watch a story! They want enjoyment and the people who would enjoy that kind of thing are too busy out protesting Trump or hiding in their racially exclusive safe spaces (God I can’t believe those exist in this day and age) to give a care!

Again, I don’t care about the inclusion of these characters, but if they plan on focusing on them for the shallow point of pushing an agenda, the story will suffer. I will admit in the last Star Trek movie yes Sulu was gay, but it wasn’t a major plot point or point of contention. It was there, they showed it, and they moved on. That’s fine, I didn’t take issue with that. I thought it was kind of silly, but whatever.

I may watch an episode or two simply to see just how bad the show is.

Okay, now honestly, I could get past all of this, ALL of it, and continue to watch new movies coming out, and maybe attend conventions where Star Trek is present… if it weren’t for this last piece.

Star Trek Axanar’s lawsuit…

Now I’ve talked to a lot of people on either side of the line on this….

“Alec Peters went too far, he dug his own grave when he gave himself a salary, funded a studio, and said Axanar would be professional….”

That’s fine. Those people have great points and I don’t disagree with them. My issue comes with the settlement with CBS:

“Terms of the settlement agreement include an agreement to allow Axanar Productions to continue showing PRELUDE TO AXANAR commercial-free on YouTube and to allow Axanar Productions to produce the AXANAR feature film as two fifteen-minute segments that can be distributed on YouTube (also without ads).”

So basically CBS and Paramount are sticking to their guns on their fan film guidelines.

Which means no actors that have previously worked with Star Trek, no ability to raise enough funds to produce anything more than something set in someone’s basement, no longer than two 15 minute segments… it just gets worse and worse…

Essentially the fans are getting screwed over in every way. The fans that donated to Axanar will now not get the full length movie they wanted and will have to dream of what ‘could have been,’ future fan films is extremely bleak. They’ve stomped out things like Renegades, The New Voyages, among others…

People… this is not how you do it. If fans love your IP so much, that should be celebrated! Say what you will, Lucasfilms did it right. They put a few, nonrestrictive guidelines out there, and even offer rewards for the best fan films made every year. As a result, we have a plethora of fan films that look almost professional, they add immersion to the Star Wars Universe, and give fans a little something to enjoy between the official stuff. It’s simply an unspoken rule that everything produced by fans is NON-CANON and not recognized by Lucasfilms.

Has the Star Wars Franchise suffered because of this? Given that the toy stores continue to sell out of the figures I’m collecting on a regular basis (Grrr….), the movies set records when they hit the box office, and a continuous fan base that enjoys Star Wars from an almost religious standpoint.

Does Star Trek have that?

… … .. well put it this way if there is one constant at every convention I go to, it’s that for every 1 person that comes dressed as a Star Trek character, there are at least 15 people dressed as Star Wars characters.

CBS and Paramount has completely handled this the wrong way, their movies are met with uncertainty and they’ve completely overrun their IP with identity politics, which no one is going to tolerate for long.

So… I’m not replacing my copies of the Star Trek movies I own as the DVDs wear out. My collection of Star Trek items has been reduced to three model ships, and pretty much the only movie I watch from them is Star Trek II Wrath of Khan. My wife loves Voyager, but that’s another issue. Maybe that’s extreme, but I’m not putting money into the pockets of the people I view as ‘The Wrong People.’

Anyway, let me know what you think in the comments! I’m curious to hear the thoughts of other nerds/geeks.

Seriously Jim, it’s their IP. They own Star Trek, they have a right to decide how people use it, and how they want to use it. You’re really criticizing them for that?

Yes, they have every right to do with their IP as they see fit… that is their right by law. However it is also MY RIGHT to decide that I don’t like what they’re doing, that I don’t like how they’ve handled it, and not give them my business.

If they decide to steer their ship towards an iceberg, I’m not going to run into the pilot house, start yelling at the crew, and grab the wheel to turn it away. Nope, I’m going to jump into a lifeboat, yell ‘F#&% this ship,’ and row away shaking my head as I watch it sink. That’s my right, plain and simple. They can do what they want and so ca I.



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.  I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.
Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!
Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim