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Christian

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Christian last won the day on September 17

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About Christian

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    The Last One
  • Birthday 02/22/1975

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    Brigadoon
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    I work as a short fiction writer
    reading
    Communism
    certain music
    religion & mythologies
    World politics
  1. Librarians, Liberals and Lesbians* (Books)

    Seventh-I am a fan of Von Daniken. I read Von Daniken in the same way I would read other pulp fiction. It is fun to me. Do I take any of his ideas seriously? No. I'm sticking up for Von Daniken, because I have never agreed with the assessment that Von Daniken's theories are wrong because they are racist. I think there's enough other reasons for saying that Von Daniken's theories are wrong, other than casting aspersions on Von Daniken's character. Thor Heyerdahl's theories are much more believable than Von Daniken. Heyerdahl just have some unfortunate overt racist ideas in his theories, which hamper his ideas. Heyerdahl does make some very interesting points, which, in a broad sense, are probably accurate. It was just that he took those ideas from the generic to the specific to prop up some racist views. I would say that Heyerdahl is the exact opposite of Von Daniken, in that his theories deserve a closer look, unlike Von Daniken's fictional-realism. However, I'd argue that Von Daniken's obviously fraudulent theories have been mischaracterized as racist, whereas Heyerdahl's much more believable arguments are steeped in racism. Out of the two, though, I'd choose Von Daniken to read, because I have a soft spot for his writing. I first bought a copy of Chariots of the Gods when I was about 12 years old, so you can see how I might have some fond memories of his writing.
  2. Librarians, Liberals and Lesbians* (Books)

    I think it's just simplistic to dismiss Von Daniken as a racist. I'm pretty sure that Von Daniken does reference some cave paintings in France as evidence of space alien visitations in ancient times. As far as I can remember, Von Daniken never mentions China in his books either. He cannibalized a lot of his information, and wrote about ancient sites that he had visited. He does explicitly state that "all cultures and religions" showed this influence, even if he doesn't give the amount of examples that you would like in the European world. It could be a case of not finding enough references in the books he was copying, and not actually going to visit those sites. I've never found anything outright racist in Von Daniken's writings, like I have found in certain other "ancient astronaut" theories, which concern "master races", and shite like that. If these highly advanced aliens who are far above anything humans could imagine, and they solely came to "primitive non-European cultures" and lived with them and started teaching them wisdom, I mean, isn't this sort of the opposite of racism? Wouldn't this mean that Europeans were stuck as backwards barbarians, because they weren't in access to the wisdom of the space gods? That's the reasoning used by fascists who embrace "ancient astronaut" theories, that the wise, advanced aliens taught the noble white race, and that's why the white race is so superior to all other races, because they have the blood and heritage of the space aliens. Meanwhile, other races are lacking in this alien blood-line, which makes them inferior. Sure, by your reasoning, Celts could build this or that structure by themselves....but, they wouldn't have the moral and ethical teachings of the space aliens to civilize them. Remember that Von Daniken's idea were that all religions were the result of interaction with aliens, not just "space aliens came to Earth and built a bunch of junk, and that's why those nice structures exist in lands full of savages". It's easy enough to debunk Von Daniken without needing to resort to "he's a racist!".
  3. Librarians, Liberals and Lesbians* (Books)

    That's probably why Heyerdahl is considered pseudo-science. Yeah, he explicitly states that when the Spaniards first came to Peru, they asked the rulers about the monuments erected there, not able to believe that such a primitive people could build such things, and the Incans told the Spaniards that "white gods" had come to their land before the Incas took power and built all the monuments. They taught the people everything that the "savages" knew about architecture, morals, and manners. Then, something must have happened, because the "white gods" left suddenly, going towards the West. Heyerdahl expressly makes the point that the "white gods" had white skin and long beards, like Europeans. The "long ears" are in reference to Easter Island. Heyerdahl claimed that the original inhabitants of Easter Island (the "long ears") came from Peru. He explicitly makes the case that the "long ears" had lighter skin and beards. He doesn't come right out and say it, but he makes the case that the white race interbred with the Natives in Peru, which gave them some of the superior bloodline. He then said that the Polynesian people came to Easter Island later, being brought as a workforce by the original inhabitants of Peru. He said that there was no way that the people of Polynesia had the skills necessary to build what was found on Easter Island, and that it showed the craftsmanship shown in Peru.....by the "white gods" who taught the "primitive" Natives everything that they knew. He went on to say that what happened on Easter Island was that the "short ears" rebelled against the "long ears", slaughtering them in a massacre, and that the sorry state of Easter Island now was caused by this uprising of the Polynesian "short ears", which eliminated the superior "long ears" originally from Peru, who had some of the superior white blood-line, unlike the Polynesian people. Trust me, white supremacists wouldn't be reading Thor Heyerdahl's work because he has such nice things to say about the "savage races". As I said, if you remove his racist claptrap, Heyerdahl has some interesting points. However, he was definitely writing with an agenda. You're also wrong about Von Daniken. He did make mention of Stonehenge. Also, Von Daniken's theory was that the origin of monotheism was based in misunderstandings about the alien visitations to Earth also. He explicitly mentions that the origins of all human culture and religion can be traced directly back to the ancient aliens, he never says that "white people were able to do everything for themselves, but it was space aliens who did everything for the lesser races". That's a misrepresentation of Von Daniken. It was the competing esoteric diffusionist "prehistoric white world empire" theory which claimed that everything positive that has ever happened in history has been caused by an elite white race.
  4. Just Got into Hellblazer...

    I think it depends on your brand of horror. I would say that Ennis was pretty effective with writing horror fiction, if you look at the type of horror in mainstream modern horror movies. It's not what I enjoy, but it's a populist version of horror fiction. Ennis' brand of horror is closer to something like Stephen King's sense of horror. Jamie Delano's type of horror was much more cerebral. Delano was influenced by horror writers like Ramsey Campbell, whose idea of horror is far more psychological. Ennis had his "splatterpunk" moments. Say what you will about that sub-genre of horror (and I will probably agree with your sentiments, because it's not my thing either), but that was the type of horror fiction which was so popular in the early-1990s, and that was when Ennis was writing HB, so he was with the zeitgeist.
  5. Librarians, Liberals and Lesbians* (Books)

    I guess you missed Thor Heyerdahl's "white gods" thesis then, which is far more racist than anything Von Daniken could ever write. Heyerdahl, which having some interesting ideas (to be sure), is about in the same catergory as Von Daniken (as far as "primitive cultures" are concerned, I mean). Heyerdahl was picked up by the competing "pre-historical white empire" thesis to Von Daniken. Both schools of pseudo-science hold to basically the same ideas, except one school says that rather than ancient aliens, it was an ancient Imperial white race (sometimes claimed to be from Atlantis) which accomplished everything that Von Daniken claimed space aliens did. While Von Daniken says that all ancient people were under the tutelage of space gods at one point or another (to explain paganism and world mythology), the "white empire" exponents make the point that everything good that "savages" ever did was accomplished thanks to the teachings of this benevolent and advanced white race. When the world cataclysm occurred (Atlantis sinking, the Ice Age, or whatever), the white empire was wiped out, and the white race, forced to live in Nature as the "savages" did, forgot about their glorious past, which the white race has only started to rebuild again with the Industrial Revolution. Heyerdahl, while perhaps not including ideas like a superior white race before recorded history (ala Atlantis), does promote the idea that "white gods" visited South America before the time of the Incan Empire. These "white gods" who sailed from the West taught the South American people everything they know and did all the wonderful achievements that South American "savages" performed which "science cannot explain". Then, the "white gods" left South America back to the West, and the Incans took power, leading to the decline of the South American people back to "savagery". The knowledge of this marvelous past when the "inferior races" were under the tutelage of the "wise white race" is kept alive in the South American peoples' mythologies. I'm pretty sure Heyerdahl was picked up by the "esoteric" white supremacist camp as proof of a "white genocide" committed by Native Americans in North America. That North America was originally the home of a more advanced white race, and that when the Natives arrived in North America, they wiped out the peaceful white inhabitants. Therefore, North America did not belong to Native peoples when white Europeans colonized the continent, and the genocide against Native Americans was acceptable, because it was just paying them back for what they did in the past, and was a way to prevent another "white genocide" now that the continent's original inhabitants were coming back. However, for all of Heyerdahl's personal racism, I do enjoy his books about his journeys. He also made some discoveries as far as the statues on Easter Island.
  6. Comics Shipping the Week of Sept 25th

    This seems like a very small week, and I'm pretty sure a lot of comics are running late. At least Black Monday Murders is finally shipping.
  7. Marvel's One World Order

    You did know there was a Drax series written by professional wrestler C.M. Punk, right? Because....that sounds really close to what you just described. Yeah, it's a shame that Abnett's run on GotG was when that book was a C-list title, which did allow Abnett to be so creative on the book and, in the process, he reinvents it so that they would want to make a movie out it, and then when the actual movie premiered and made the characters so popular, Abnett was long gone, and Bendis was put on the book to continue to tell his horrible stories instead.
  8. Just Got into Hellblazer...

    Ennis certainly had an axe to grind, as a lapsed Catholic. I can't blame Ennis for deciding to put himself in to the character of John Constantine, as that has often been a recurring motif for different writers on the original Hellblazer series. Just as Delano made John a socially-aware, Existentially despairing, Socialist because those are the concerns that Jamie Delano has as a person. Most of the Western esoteric tradition was based on Christianity too. From the Church turning competing deities in to the demons of Hell, the usage of the angelic powers, or the invocations of the countless demons who were dreamed up to try to explain how things in Nature worked to a fearful populace during the Middle Ages. The idea of earlier multi-ethnic (as opposed to Hellenism) pagan ideas or Eastern concepts being incorporated in to the Western esoteric tradition didn't come along until later. Of course, Delano is the far better writer and a much more cerebral person, but what better character for Ennis to work out his own frustrations and questions about his own organized religion with than a character like John Constantine? Not that this makes me enjoy the Ennis run anymoreso. It's a pale reflection of what Delano and Jenkins brought to the title.
  9. Just Got into Hellblazer...

    Rick Veitch was in the middle of a story-arc in which Swamp Thing was being cast backwards in time. He was stopping in different time periods....World War I, the Middle Ages, etc. Veitch's next planned issue was to see him arriving in the time of Jesus Christ. The story was going to be about how Jesus Christ was a ritual magician, involved with Hermetic and Kabbalistic esoteric magic. DC's editors decided there was no way they were going to publish a story like that, completely rejected it, and Rick Veitch left DC Comics, not returning again until the 21st century. While it might generate some controversy, it's hardly something beyond the realms of being publishable, especially if you look at a novel like The Man Who Died by D.H. Lawrence (for example), which is considered a classical work of literature (although certainly it is controversial also). DC Comics was basically laying down the case that comic books cannot deal with sensitive subject matter in a similar way to Literature.
  10. Just Got into Hellblazer...

    Unfortunately, deciding to write a story where the conclusion seems to say, "Hey, these kids are asking for it!" is probably not the way to go about addressing a serious issue, even though, as I said, Ellis did make some good points in the story. There's also a question as to whether such a heavy work of social criticism, at the expense of the character of the series, actually belongs in the Hellblazer comic book. Look at how well Delano usually managed to blend characterization and a sense of the series moving forward with politically aware commentary, compared to something like "Shoot". It was the equivalent of Delano's heavy-handed "Don't Eat Meat!" two-parter, which was the low point of Delano's run. You could argue (and I'd agree with) a commentary about the way we humans treat animals and barbarity of factory farming is an important message. Yet, the way Delano went about that story was moving away from "this is a story about John Constantine and it shows how he feels about an issue" to "I'm Jamie Delano and I have something very important to tell you!". Anyway, you could go back to see how DC censored Rick Veitch's Swamp Thing story as a more egregious example, pre-dating "Shoot". Yes, you could argue that happened before Vertigo existed, but I'm pretty sure the same editors were involved with the decisions, and Swamp Thing was a "mature readers" comic book, and the issue being addressed in Veitch's comic was far less contentious than a school shooting story which almost seemed to blame the victims in the end (and I'm not saying that everyone who died was innocent either). Plus, I'm sure Veitch's story was probably a better actual story than Ellis' "after school special" approach to speaking on an issue. So, it's not without precedent, I would argue. EDIT: I'm not favouring censorship in any way, in case that comes out as the point of what I wrote above about "Shoot". I believe that the story should have been published originally. I'm just saying that "Shoot" really isn't an important story, and I can understand why DC (a corporation) did what it did, even though I completely disagree with the decision.
  11. Marvel's One World Order

    I'm not really sure what you're looking for in comic books, but a lot of the newer Marvel stuff isn't worth reading. Most of the newer Marvel titles that are really good are ones that flew more under-the-radar, rather than their more popular books (like Avengers or X-Men*), and definitely not their "big event" cross-overs. *Grant Morrison on X-Men from way back in 2001 or Jonathan Hickman on Avengers being the most notable exceptions. Also, avoiding most of Millar and Bendis' work at Marvel is usually for the best, although they did each write a few books worth reading (Bendis on Ultimate Spider Man, Alias, and half of his run on Daredevil, or Millar's Ultimates). I enjoy older Marvel Comics, myself. I am a huge fan of Marvel from the 1960s through the 1980s. I'm not sure if that's to your tastes or not as a comic book reader though.
  12. Librarians, Liberals and Lesbians* (Books)

    I have never come across a copy of Sarah Canary. I thought the name was really stupid and never actually bothered to even look into it, until I saw it included in Lethem's book, even though I am a fan of Fowler. I would probably have to order a copy used from Amazon. It does sound like an interesting plot and theme. Truthfully, I've never come across any of Fowler's novels, except We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves. I've only read her short fiction otherwise.
  13. Marvel's One World Order

    The concentration camps I was referring to with Jason were the ones from Secret Empire, where Hydra put all the Inhumans in America. No, I agree with you that Civil War is an awful comic book. I didn't really like it, and don't recommend that other people should read it. I really feel like it was the beginning of Marvel's downhill slide, doing stories like Civil War. And, it pretty much culminated in Secret Empire. While not quite as awful a read as Civil War, Secret Empire was a pretty awful comic book also, and I don't recommend it as a Marvel comic that someone should read either.
  14. Marvel's One World Order

    Well, so far we haven't put anybody in concentration camps..... It would be closer to what happened in Nazi Germany after the war. Except, I expect that Marvel won't ever mention it again going forward. Which is sort of awkward. Nor do I really want them to, honestly. I'd rather the Marvel Universe be a place I can escape to, not a place where I have to be reminded of things like Donald Trump or Charlottesville again. Where the hell am I supposed to transmogrify myself to in 2012 when the world ends? I guess there is some precedent with the Japanese-American citizens put in to interment camps in the US, where after WWII, everyone just sort of pretended that it never happened.
  15. Marvel's One World Order

    Eh, that wouldn't fit with Steve Rogers either. They used the fascist mind-set with Steve Rogers just now with Secret Empire anyway. Rogers was never a blind patriot who followed whatever the government said. You can go back to the Steven Engelhart run on Captain America, when Steve Rogers gave up being Captain America after the events of Watergate with Nixon. Then, in the 1980s, Steve Rogers gave up being Cap again, when Reagan wanted him to work for the federal government. The "super-patriot" US Agent took up the mantle of Captain America.
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