Nice of you to come! Welcome to my permanent home on the web. Feel free to read my posts, and I’ve got a game here if you’re interested. I’ve also got a novelette about a Japanese pop star and an English Puritan teaming up to fight a demon.
Recently, Brian Niemeier put up a post criticizing conservatives for abandoning their ideological allies in the workplace whenever SJWs demand their firing. He asserts that conservative claims of high principle are masks for cowardice, and that any conservative seeking to dissent from the SJWs — who hold influence in all major institutions — will receive no support from their supposed allies.
This got me thinking on how this applies to art, because as many a commentator has noticed, all artistic institutions, from film and television to music to comics to fine art to book publishing, are stuffed with people of the Left (though not necessarily SJW extremists.) The few non-Leftists in those industries tend to be libertarians, not flag-waving, God-fearing patriotic types. I think I have an idea of why this is the case, and it is related to the points Niemeier made.
Mainstream conservatives are too practical, and this is why they ignore the arts.
Here’s some footage of me playing a game from a while back. It’s called Fairy Bloom Freesia, and it’s available on Steam. In this beat-em-up, you play a fairy with martial arts skills who has to guard a magic tree from monsters and mages who seek to steal its power.
Unlike the beat-em-ups of the 90s which follow the Double Dragon model of side-scrolling, this one takes advantage of the advances in computer technology since then to deliver an experience more like Super Smash Bros.; remember that the gameplay of older games was largely dictated by technological limitations. Today, it is purely a matter of the desired style and the developers’ skills.
Now, enjoy the video. There’s no commentary, though, just me playing for a couple of minutes.
Neo Yokio is one of the worst shows on Netflix. The voice acting is poor, the plot is unfocused, and the characters are flat. The main character Kaz Kaan is emotionless and uninspiring, as if going through the motions, and the Neo Yokio setting is interesting but painfully underutilized.
However, one particular episode of the show stands out as the worst of the lot, the most terrible episode in this most terrible show. That episode is Episode 4: Hamptons Water Magic.
Kaz Kaan is an aristocratic mage in the city-state of Neo Yokio. Descended from a long line of demon hunters, he patrols the city at the behest of his aunt Agatha, earning money to support his lavish lifestyle. Considering himself to be a true gentleman, he embodies the values of the city he calls home.
A storied family history. Demon attacks. Magic powers. Sounds like an awesome series, right?
As I said before in my analysis of Deku, My Hero Academia is one of the best anime out right now, and it is well worth your time to watch it. That being said, however, My Hero Academia is destined to remain a cult hit; it will have a very devoted and very active fanbase, but it will never reach the generalized recognition that Dragonball Z got (Here, I’m using “Dragonball Z” to refer to the entire Dragon Ball franchise.)
I know what you’re thinking — MHA is a great series with interesting characters and amazing plotting. It has great buzz, and it’s just plain fun to watch. If we just give it time, it will be seen as the equal of DBZ. However, that will not occur for one big reason: broadband internet.
It was the early 2000s. 9/11 had happened, and the War on Terror dominated the news. Broadband was only beginning to spread. Facebook, Youtube, and Twitter did not yet exist. Most video games were still purchased physically, in stores. I was still in high school.
And Borders Books was still around.
It was at this time that manga first boomed in the US market, and it was these books, not Marvel or DC, that shaped what “comics” was for me.
My Hero Academia is one of the best anime currently in progress. It is not a grimdark bloodbath. It is not a trippy experimental piece. It is not a harem. It is an exciting, action-packed series with an optimistic bent that gets better with every episode. You can watch the series for free on Crunchyroll, where it is officially licensed.
However, I’m not here to talk about the series generally; rather, I want to talk about its protagonist, Izuku Midoriya, called “Deku” by most of the characters. What makes Deku interesting is that in spite of how he got his powers, he is the polar opposite of a special snowflake.
Before we get to the story, let me tell you how it came to be. Just so you know, I wrote this story long before I read any pulps or Appendix N work, and long before I had any contact with Jeffro Johnson.
When researching the consequences of automation, I came across a work called Manna by Marshall Brain, founder of the HowStuffWorks website. In this story, a protagonist comes to grips with a world where robots are used for more and more tasks until there is literally no work for humans, and humanity is reduced to living in housing projects overseen by the corporations that control the robots. However, he learns of a society in Australia where the robots provide for a human being’s every need on the spot using renewable energy.
I found the work unsatisfying, since it asserted that humanity’s attitude toward work wouldn’t change in all that time; for example, the protagonist spouts cliches about hard work, and another character berates him for it, railing against not only the protagonist but the larger society. Second, it imagined that a post-scarcity society would be physically possible to begin with, ignoring resource limits while paradoxically showing concern for the environment.
Then I started thinking of something else — something all these articles and stories about automation never bring up.
“[The “Nation of Immigrants” idea] is actually more of a modern conception. The first few great waves of immigration…were actually tightly controlled affairs. And the integration was not as smooth as we’re lead to believe.”