Malacandra.me

American Conservatism’s Shitty Science Fiction


"Perhaps the crispest definition is that science fiction is a literature of 'what if?' What if we could travel in time? What if we were living on other planets? What if we made contact with alien races? And so on. The starting point is that the writer supposes things are different from how we know them to be." 
-- Christopher Evans
Back when I used to lead writing groups, when we tackled science fiction, this is the definition I would begin with, because it's so easy to understand. After all "If" was the name of one of the genre's early, pretty-good magazines, and "If This Goes On -- " is an early novella (serialized in 1940) by Robert Heinlein.

So you get it.

At its best, the question of "What if...?" it is the hallmark of a delightful literature of speculation and possibility.

However at its worst, "What if...?"is the death rattle of a political ideology that is suffocating on its own vomit.

From The American Conservative:
What if Russiagate is the New WMDs?

Democrats, certain in their accusations of guilt, sound a lot like Republicans in 2002.
First, with a monumental shrug that puts itself far beyond the jurisdiction of history or accountability, The American Conservative marks down Dubya's Operation Endless Clusterfuck as huge failure of those other Conservatives waaaaay over there.
In the wake of the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, conservative pundit Ann Coulter accused war opponents of “treason” and insisted of Saddam Hussein, “We know he had weapons of mass destruction.”

Coulter was confident and she wasn’t alone. Virtually the entire mainstream American right—from pundits like Coulter and Sean Hannity to President George W. Bush and the Republican Congress—was deeply invested in the notion that Hussein possessed WMDs and that the Iraq war was justified based on that unshakeable premise. This belief was so ingrained for so long that many excitedly rushed to pretend that chemical weapons discovered in Iraq as reported by the New York Times in 2014 were somehow the same thing as the “mushroom cloud” the Bush administration said Saddam was capable of.

Unfortunately for the right (and America, and the world), that premise turned out to be false. There were no WMDs...
And then, leaping completely over both the entire history of the paranoid, racist Limbaugh/Gingrich Right that led up to the Iraq War, and the entire history of the paranoid, racist Hannity/Birther Right that followed the collapse of the Bush Administration, The American Conservative lands here (emphasis added):
The post-2016 left’s most dominant narrative is arguably their deeply held belief -- with all the ferocity and piety of yesterday’s pro-war conservatives -- that Russia colluded with Trump’s campaign to undermine the presidential election.
This, dear readers, is what very bottom of Conservatism's very grubby barrel looks like.  The unholy, idiot spawn of "Both Siderism" and whataboutism.  An attempt to compress and deflect 40 years of the Right being wrong about everything into a stupid "What if...?" argument over, well, font sizes.

After all, history shows that the Right used 72-point Trebuchet bold font to lie us into Iraq.  And now that the Left is also using 72-point Trebuchet font to talk about Trump/Russia!  

Wake up, sheeple! What if the Left is just as wrong as the Right was!?

Of course, if your audience are Conservatives whose willing suspension of disbelief is already cranked up to Heaven's Gate, then the "What if...?" trope works great as a lazy,  all-occasion bullshit cannon.  I mean, what if every available fact is somehow completely wrong and backwards?
But isn’t it also possible that the left is reading far too much into Russiagate?
Then Libtards would end up looking pretty stupid wouldn't they!
We don’t know what evidence of collusion between the Trump camp and Russia might yet come forth, but it’s easy to see how, even if this narrative eventually falls flat, 15 years from now some liberals will still be clinging to Russiagate not as a matter of fact, but political identity. Russia-obsessed liberals, too, could end up on the wrong side of history. 
Ha!  Stoopid Libtard bitter clingers!

And then what if Jebus comes back tomorrow?  And shakes Donald Trump's hand and tells him what a terrific job he's doing.  And then shits one billion gold doubloons into the pool at Mar-a-Lago! Then Libtards would end up looking pretty stupid wouldn't they!

Ha!  Stoopid Libtards!

However, in the interest of fairness, let me say right here and now that should any of this this come to pass -- either Trump/Russia being a snipe hunt or the Second Coming turning out to be a soft reboot of The Apprentice --  I am willing to accept exactly the same kind of professional sanctions that were meted out to the most ardent Iraq War Pimps after  Bush Administration collapsed.

For example, I believe I have what it takes to suffer the indignity of being handed extremely lucrative employment as a Respected Teevee Program Host.

Or very lucrative employment as a Respected Teevee Pundit.

Or job-for-life at The New York Times or the Washington Post or the Wall Street Journal.

Or a profitable arrangement by which I extrude shitty books and get paid for them.  Or a permanent slot on the 15K-35K a pop lecture circuit.  Or my own syndicated radio show.  Or my own syndicated national newspaper column.  Or my own syndicated national magazine column.  Or any of the other dozens of wingnut welfare sinecures and scams which have been created to ensure that members of the Club never miss a meal regardless of how routinely and catastrophically they are wrong about everything.

But since I doubt any of that will ever happen, I'll happily go right on being thankful for whatever my readers choose to kick in to my tip jar.


Behold, a Tip Jar!