Skip to main content

In the world of Science Fiction there are two main traditions of storytelling: "What if?", and "If this goes on..."

The new TV Show "Revolution," asks what if the lights go out?  And in the oft alluded to "The Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood, we are confronted with a future in which women are prisoners of their fertility or lack thereof.

In homage to this tradition, I often wonder "what if," and "if this goes on."  It's an interesting game to play, because it takes the conversation away from standard talking points.  It leads to interesting questions.  And in the questions, we might find a way to communicate with the folks whose identity is bound up in their tribal affiliation with the right.  

So, you’re in an argument about Social Security. I would invite you to abandon logical debating as a tactic.  The only people who care about debates are kids in speech programs where trophies are on the line.  Give all the talking points up.  Those are forms, a call and response that lead precisely nowhere.  Consider, on the other hand, what happens if you meet a potential sparring partner aching for a win with a story instead of an argument.  The idea is to not play… by playing.

“Social Security needs to be fixed to save it,” they might say.

“I always worry when they start tinkering with things.  There are always consequences.  I expect if Social Security goes away or changes too much… Mom will be okay.  She’s 80 and worth a fair amount with a defined pension, so even if they cut at it bit by bit, she’ll do okay.  But my brother?  He is on the autism spectrum.  He’s 52 and a diabetic with neuropathy and liver damage from chemical exposure in the Gulf War.  I suppose he’ll move in with me or my sister when that time comes.  What about your family?  Who will be moving in with you?”

Your opening story shifts the debate from the abstract to the concrete. It ignores the gauntlet in favor of an invitation to personal exchange.  Although, in the SF tradition the narrative form requires that once the point of view character is identified and given a problem to solve, the issue must be further complicated.  

If your partner identifies someone, ask who they will press into service to care for that aging relative if there isn’t Medicaid to help with the costs of a nursing home and they need full time care.  Would they or their partner stay home?  Would they press an underemployed child into service?  How would that work if family was far away?  What happens if family isn’t speaking or doesn’t get along?  What is the obligation of family if a social safety net doesn’t exist?

What conflict would drive that story? The sacrifice of one person’s desire to another’s need?  The plight of the non-prodigal son, when the prodigal returns home?  
Regardless of their answer, your final observation could be, “It would probably change things in some pretty fundamental ways.”   And they would probably have to agree.

All you can do it plant a seed.

When the argument goes the other way… story also gives you way to weave  through the discussion, a way to tread lightly but still engage.   If you have someone who is vehemently opposed to marriage equality, you really can’t tell them what they believe, or how to feel.  But you can carry them through a narrative.  The idea is to baffle, befuddle and deflect, filling the silence with words that don’t quite give them anything to hold onto, without being confrontational.  It only works if your tone is neutral, questioning or wondering… more a meditation than an answer.

“I believe marriage is between one man and one woman,” they might say.

“I always worry when they start tinkering with things,” you say, nodding.  And you assume the conversation is secular… since that’s the way the assumption is phrased. “There are always consequences.  But then I think about my cousin Carol and her partner Marsha.  Did you know they’ve been together 23 years?  I heard from her the other day.  We figured out my granddaughter is her first cousin twice removed.  Anyway, I’ve thought about it.  And I would hate to know that Carol might not be allowed to visit Marsha in the hospital if she got sick.  I can’t imagine how I would feel if I couldn’t see my spouse.  That just seems unnecessarily hurtful to me.   So I asked myself what happens, really, if Carol and Marsha get married?  And it seemed to me that it would probably allow Carol to stay in the house if Marsha died, or vice versa.  And it would allow them the opportunity to get insurance for one another.  Or maybe benefit from one another’s social security.  All the same sorts of things I anticipate would happen for me and my spouse.  But really, I couldn’t think of anything bad that would happen.”

“But the bible says it’s an abomination,” they might say.

“Leviticus, yes,” you might agree, nodding affirmatively.  “I’m sure there are priests and pastors and rabbis and imams for that matter who wouldn’t feel comfortable performing a religious ceremony for Marsha and Carol. Although, I know there are congregations here that don’t see that as an issue, so I’m sure if it came to it, they could find someone where they live to perform an appropriate ceremony, if they wanted one. ”  

”But I don’t want my tax dollars to pay for that,” they might say.

“Can you imagine if we started down that path?” you might reply, amiably.  “The vegetarians wouldn’t want to pay for farm subsidies for folks who have cattle.  The pacifists would deduct for their portion of the $203.8 billion is for Procurement and Research, Development, Test and Evaluation programs for the Pentagon.  We’d probably have to defund the public TV and Radio stations every year for a decade to allow all the folks who don’t want to give them money to get their buck fifty back, or whatever it is and feel good about it.  The childless by choice could object to education.  The Christian Scientists could object to the CDC. I could decide not to fund anything beginning with the letter R.  We could all get a menu instead of a tax form, and check what we wanted to fund.  Rand Paul could turn in a list with nothing checked.  I’d probably check the bridge stuff twice.  The one over by my house has stuff falling off the underside.  Have you seen it? I’ll bet a bunch of rich people would be happy to have their money fund stuff that had their names on it.  Instead of stadiums we could sell bridge rights.   Or install trolls under all the bridges who can take tolls and who are responsible for upkeep.  I kind of like that idea.  But of course, they’d have to fund the folks who make the check list.  Do you think it would look like a sushi menu?  Do you like sushi?”  

Let’s try this with the king of all Thanksgiving political discussion disasters.  

“Abortion is murder,” they might say.

“I always wonder where that leads,” you might respond.  “I mean, if it’s murder, then you have to lock someone up.  Do you just lock up the doctor, or do you lock up the woman?  And if you lock up the woman, do they have to have a D and C or does a chemical abortion count.  No really.  It’s kind of interesting.  I mean it leads to such important questions.  Do you lock up the pharmacist, too?  If someone does something that doesn’t work, and you know about it, should they be locked up, too?

“ If you do a raid, and there is evidence of abortion going on and someone is in the stirrups, do you assume they are pregnant and arrest them?  And if they are pregnant, do you hold them until they are a certain number of months pregnant, or until they give birth?  Or do you assume they would have aborted and keep them in longer than that?  What happens if you find someone in possession of RU46?  Do you treat that like cocaine?  Or crack?  I mean there are harsher sentences for crack, I think, so maybe that.

“But once you decide it’s murder, what are your obligations, since you can’t tell if it took place.  I mean, mostly you can’t tell by looking at someone if they had an abortion or not, right?  Do you have to make emergency rooms report?  I mean at that point you probably meet the requirement that a physician report suspected harm to a specific person.  But does an OB have an obligation to report if someone answers truthfully about their health background?  I assume we can believe all the reports that say that abortion rates don’t go down if it’s illegal, so I wonder how much enforcement we’re going to put on this?  Will it be a war on abortion?  Like a war on drugs?  Where would it be on the priorities of law enforcement?  There would probably have to be pregnancy squads like vice squads or robbery squads.

"That would be what we’re talking about?  Right?”

In Revolution, I find the sets unrealistic and the clothing 10 years after to be really funny – as pristine as the costumes are.  It doesn’t all quite hold together.  Sometimes a true tale… helps clarify the chinks, or leads us to new thoughts.  

I invite you to consider “what if” or “if this goes on” next time you choose to smite your foes with a verbal truth stick.

Originally posted to Els on Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 03:58 PM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Thank you for the diary (18+ / 0-)

    There's a reason most great moral teachers through the ages used narrative often -- it works. And the two basic plot devices are good ones to use.

    Glad I stopped by and read it. Thanks for sharing!

    Bruce in Louisville
    Visit me at,, or
    Follow me on Twitter @brucewriter or @ThreePols

    by bmaples on Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 04:50:26 PM PDT

  •  Conservatives do science fiction, too (6+ / 0-)

    Conservatives do science fiction, too.   The great Larry Niven has been described as conservative.   Gene Wolfe is a practicing Catholic, and on occasion it shows in his work.

    And of course there are the writers who publish via Baen Books: John Ringo, Tom Kratman, etc.

    I respect their contribution to literature in general and the genre in particular.    I just wish some of them could be more humorous about it.  

    •  Humor is actually the hardest sell. (6+ / 0-)

      Only a few folks make a living at it.  It's very hard to maintain at novel length and you can't make much of a living at short stories.  Connie Willis, Esther Friesner, the late K.D. Wentworth... all do humor.  Of course, the Brits, Gaiman and Pratchett.  New weird is full of funny, but demented.  But it's not legion on the shelves by any means.

      And yes, the field is populated by folks of all political stripes, but they all do tend to cluster around the central questions... what if, and if this goes on...

      •  My personal favorite for humorous SF (7+ / 0-)

        My personal favorite for humorous SF is Bruce Sterling.  

        I love love love his work, especially Holy Fire.  Zeitgeist and Distractions and Islands in the Net are good, too.

        My beef with conservative science fiction is that far too often it is humorless and too blunt.   It tries to be a truncheon to bash liberals, and it turns me off when it's used that way.

        •  I actually have his collaboration with (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Aunt Pat

          William Gibson on my next to read shelf.  I do like his stuff.  If you like that, you might try some of the other Texas guys... Joe Landsdale, Brad Denton, William Browning Spencer...

          •  John Scalzi (0+ / 0-)

            Yes Willis does humor well, although often in the context of complete chaos.  I'm stuck on who else to add except Scalzi.  Need my coffee.

            Diarist, the word you want in the title is dystopia.  Dystopian teen novels are really big now.  

            Thanks for the reframing of how to deal with the Conservative point of view.

            In capitalist America, bank robs you!

            by madhaus on Tue Sep 25, 2012 at 08:01:32 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  heh, i've trick-or-treated at Bruce Sterling's... (0+ / 0-)

          house in austin

          "A union is a way of getting things done together that you can't get done alone." Utah Phillips

          by poemworld on Tue Sep 25, 2012 at 10:26:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Can't mention Humorous SF, without DNA (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          RIP.  Douglas Adams.

          And as far as conservative SF goes, some of it is decent (I still love Heinlein, especially "Job: A Comedy of Justice")

          But overall, yeah, the entire "Parasites bringing down the economy/governement/etc" theme gets a bit tiresome.

          I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

          by detroitmechworks on Tue Sep 25, 2012 at 12:23:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Tim LaHaye's Left Behind Series (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bontemps2012, Aunt Pat

      Republican faith-based science fiction has been some of the best selling science fiction of all time - and scarily influential in US culture.

      It always baffles me when the GOP accuses Dems of immanetizing the eschaton when the GOP's every move is about immanetizing the apocalypse.

      Le nirvane n'existe pas. - Etienne Lamotte

      by breakingranks on Tue Sep 25, 2012 at 12:51:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, t'was Bill Buckley popularized that there (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Aunt Pat, paccoli, breakingranks

        immanetizing the eschaton Utopian gerfloogie. He and the YAF-konks. Blamed Deomcrats for it.

        The humor of the situation was that Dems go for practical government again and again, the sort of problem solving you see with SCHIP, Lilly Ledbetter, and gay marriage. Utupian fantasies, no way.

        Republicans are the utopians. Ryan's worship of Hollywood party girl and editor-infuriating dullard Ayn Rand is one example. "Atlas Shrugged" loonacy. And that man Ryan whose wife had a medically justified abortion -- which he would now vote against -- calls himself a thinker.

        Immanentizing the Eschaton

        Eric Voegelin coined the phrase in the 1950s. It applies to trying to force a Heaven on Earth by whatever means and in service of worldly slogans.

        He objected that the big "Ism" movements failed because they tried to force change on the world, taking a few ideas each and making totalitarian messes of ordinary societies. The ideas are wrong because they are worldly, not spiritual. They must fail. This he blamed in large part on the ideas of Gnosticism, which already had been assigned status for mainstream Christians as a source of heretical raves.

        Voegelin's reading of Gnosticism simplified matters several steps too far and added fantasy with respect to gnostic social organizations. The prime aim of that body of thought was to elevate intuitive knowledge, gained directly in this world, ahead of traditions and received texts. We might have gotten to modern science 1,000 or even 1,500 years earlier if Gnosticism had held center stage in the Roman and post-Roman world.

        At its best, Christian Gnosticism originated the perception that this world is infused with Grace as of the Holy Spirit. Prayer and the sacraments were the means to connect with Grace, recognized now (after the work of Karl Rahner and his great popularity among the Catholic priesthood) as standard doctrine.

        In the details these sects agreed that no god had created this world -- at most manipulating pre-existing matter.  Gnostic communities in the Eastern Mediterranean area suffered the historical fate of Buddhism in India: conquests from Islam resulted in forced conversions.

        As usual, Republicans as loud mouthed conservatives get these things wrong. Here, backwards. Evaluating evidence is difficult for them. Voegelin, a smart writer, is one of the pack where he departs from realistic treatment of Gnosticism.

        As usual the GOPers like to stick with a few simplified ideas that they can listen to over and over, exaggerate, and memorize.

      •  The average Republican can't even pronounce (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        "immantize the eschaton," let alone know what it means.

        Shouldn't that be "imminentize," if we're going to verb the adjective?

        •  Hunh? (0+ / 0-)

          Immanent: Naturally part of something; existing throughout and within something; inherent; integral; intrinsic; indwelling.

          Imminent: about to happen, occur, or take place very soon, especially of something which won't last long.

          Eschaton: the day at the end of time following Armageddon when God will decree the fates of all individual humans.

          Immanentizing the Eschaton - attempting the bring about the Kngdom of God on Earth - used ironically to describe secular attempts to improve man's lot in life by implying its impossibility.

          (Ironically, some fundementalists wish to actually make the literal eschaton imminent by backing Isreal in a thermonuclear war against Islam but at the time he adopted the expression Buckley had never dreamt of that!)

      •  One of the funniest things I ever read... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cassandra Waites

        Was an evangelical takedown of Left Behind as not only bad books, but bad Theology.  And this was coming from a Evangelical Christian.

        Went through the book, page by page... forget the link, but it was awesome.

        I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

        by detroitmechworks on Tue Sep 25, 2012 at 12:27:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  John Ringo is a disgusting schmuck. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aunt Pat, dejavu

      I enjoyed reading a number of his books, but then I ran into Ghost, where he revels in his obnoxious hateful attitude.  I won't touch anything with his name on it, now.

      As for conservative SF, wouldn't Orson Scott Card qualify?  His work, I will continue to read.  Nothing he's written since Ender's Game has risen to that level, but it's still good.

      I am become Man, the destroyer of worlds

      by tle on Tue Sep 25, 2012 at 07:15:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  OSC had one novella in particular that dealt with (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Conservative and religious themes, where pain and free will are removed for one population.  I like his writing but his essays on current events are so homophobic and triumphalist that I refuse to buy it.  He's a very aggressive Mormon, btw.

        In capitalist America, bank robs you!

        by madhaus on Tue Sep 25, 2012 at 08:08:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm still convinced that OSC is gay and closeted (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          some other george, madhaus

          and too brainwashed, sorry, bound up in his fringe religion's culture, to admit it. Or maybe he was leaned on by the elders to keep the gay thing under wraps or lose his family and everything he held dear.

          I won't buy his books new, but the used bookstore gets money from me for used copies - since he won't benefit from those sales.

          "Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism." - Hubert Humphrey

          by Killer of Sacred Cows on Tue Sep 25, 2012 at 06:12:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Robert A Heinlein and plenty of politics (0+ / 0-)

      Look at the government in The Moon is a Harsh Mistress and continue from there.  I don't think he was as effective at it as he thought he was, with his militarian/libertarian paradise, along with a bunch of weird rules he was convinced would work. One was that only women could carry weapons as civilians.

      In capitalist America, bank robs you!

      by madhaus on Tue Sep 25, 2012 at 08:18:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Ex-great Larry Niven. (0+ / 0-)

      That guy lost it years ago, when he started writing puzzles instead of stories.

    •  I think they're more libertarian than conservative (0+ / 0-)

      And often the storylines have humankind joining together to fight off babies-for-breakfast carnivorous invaders,  I suppose that might be called conservative, but not GOP-conservative.  And so I can enjoy the stories without guilt.

      Real plastic here; none of that new synthetic stuff made from chicken feathers. By the morning of 9/12/2001 the people of NYC had won the War on Terror.

      by triplepoint on Tue Sep 25, 2012 at 12:49:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Awesome diary (10+ / 0-)

    I so love thinking through how to discuss and persuade without alienating. This is a great guide. Very thoughtful.

  •  A discussion of SciFi & Politics with a conversion (4+ / 0-)

    of the (perhaps) willfully ignorant to a more reasonable line of thinking about subjects of common public debate, via the not-as-easy-as-it-looks narrative form of prose?

    Damn right it is.

    Loved the narrative trap that plays on the conservative penchant for personal storytelling as a way to convey ideological memes, and turns it on it's head.

    Now, all I have to do is memorize those two examples, and I'm set 'till election day....


    "Taxes are what we pay for civilized society.''
    -- SCOTUS Justice O.W. Holmes Jr
    "I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization"
    -- Angie in WA State

    by Angie in WA State on Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 10:13:59 PM PDT

  •  Yes, this show is kind of dumb. I am watching it (8+ / 0-)

    right now. the characters go 15 years without technology and then suddenly say, "hey, maybe we can turn the power back on" ... you know, like, "wow, I could've had a V8?!"

    •  Thank Gawd, I went to bed early. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aunt Pat
    •  Kind of? (0+ / 0-)

      I could barely stomach the pilot. First, turning off all electricity in a sort of "rolling wave" which somehow defies the laws of physics so that airliners stop going forward on momentum, and instead twirl around like badly made paper airplanes. And the fact that animal life, which is dependent on electrical impulses in the nervous system is completely unaffected is counterintuitive to say the least.

      But the best part is a little magical thingy that can suddenly turn it back on. Now, even the stupid plot lines don't make up for the illogical premise. Science fiction readers, who are often also fantasy readers, want the writers to play fair, and have some internal logic.

      Sorry. Rant off. Don't want to deny the premise of the diary with my hobbyhorse. As to the diarist, absolutely, people who want to allow the republicans to dismantle the SS and medicare safety nets really need to think about the consequences, which would be devastating.

  •  yes.. the old soft shuffle two-step (5+ / 0-)

    The goal of the soft technique is turning the attacker’s force to his or her disadvantage, with the defender exerting minimal force.With a soft technique, the defender uses the attacker's force and momentum against him or her, by leading the attack(er) in a direction to where the defender will be advantageously positioned (tai sabaki) and the attacker off balance; a seamless movement then effects the appropriate soft technique.


    "We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals; we know now that it is bad economics" - F.D.R.

    by biscobosco on Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 10:52:35 PM PDT

  •  I have really been wondering about all of the (6+ / 0-)

    dystopian movies and television shows that are out now....The Trilogy of The Hunger Games; the Zombie fascination; the vampire fixations----and if it is true that the artists are the weather vanes of society...I think they are truly ominous.

      Artists sense what could possibly be around the corner if the right wing fascists take over our government.  The metaphors of the "living dead" being threats to the truly alive....the seduction and fascination with people who literally suck the blood out of you in order to survive....the idea that our children are routinely sacrificed for some obscure political goal and we have little to say or are powerless to act to save them....

    I think that we are living in the time of choice....between electing Mordor and Saurian....or siding with Gandalf and an unlikely Frodo who have little on their side but the right and the good....with a vision of beauty and peace to guide us.....but no matter all of these tales....we must fight to make it so.....

    "Fear is the Mind Killer"--Frank Herbert

    by vmm918 on Tue Sep 25, 2012 at 12:26:09 AM PDT

    •  The sea change in American attitudes... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aunt Pat, Cassandra Waites

      I will tell you, nearly every male and 1/3rd of every female has a zombie apocalypse or general doomsday survival plan. And has likely discussed this at length many times.

      Its a sea change from the positive attitudes of our childhoods. Many of us being "90's kids" and remembering fondly the era that to us seemed so bright and then now, the era of dystopia planning and grim dark fantasy. Perhaps its why Obama's campaign of "Hope" resonated so soundly is because my generation wants desperately to believe in it. But protracted unemployment and the idea that our efforts are meaningless have really sunk in to those of us who call ourselves "90's Kids." The idea of an immanent dystopia, sudden social collapse or the outbreak of undead fleshing eating ghouls seems so real to us that we spend a good chunk of time planning where we would go, where we would meet up, who wields what weapon and who knows how to grow food. The only reason were not on doomsday prepers is because we lack the funds to have elaborate survival schemes.

      •  I was born in 1950, and we worried about being (0+ / 0-)

        vaporized instantly, or dying fairly fast of radiation poisoning (tho not without agony). Not that people didn't write post-apocalyptic fiction back then, but I think the Zombie etc. themes recognize that now we could live past the apocalypse, and have to deal with all the horror and moral choice that would arise (rather than simply be incinerated).

  •  LOL Dis-topia? XD (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bontemps2012, Aunt Pat, tle

    The future as a place of dissing! XD

    Anyway, there used to be a Kossack who was very into this sort of "near future" speculative fiction project. Her name was J.E. Schwartz and she published her book Doublethink before Amazon Createspace and all the other current desktop publishing tools were available. Now it's a lot easier to publish your own book, and people should try it!

    BTW, her futuristic novel was set right before the election of 2012! XD

    Her book is still on Amazon.

    The ending is kind of over-the-top, but really this book is an exposition of the author's political views. I think it was a cool way to manifest her activism.

    Le nirvane n'existe pas. - Etienne Lamotte

    by breakingranks on Tue Sep 25, 2012 at 12:43:31 AM PDT

  •  Is S.M. Stirling Suing The Producers Of Revolution (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat

    For stealing his idea?

    This head movie makes my eyes rain.

    by The Lone Apple on Tue Sep 25, 2012 at 02:57:12 AM PDT

  •  Thanks for this. (0+ / 0-)

    Your approach is certainly better than what mine had been.  Even today, my tone is very likely to slide over into aggression, as I push people to think through the consequences that will arise from implementing policies reflecting their dogma.  I encounter too many people who fervently embrace their positions, and drag their thinking capacity along as a support mechanism.

    Especially abortion.  I no longer discuss anything to do with abortion.  It's reached the point where supporting the legal right to get an abortion is seen by many as tantamount to claiming Jesus was married to Judas.

    I am become Man, the destroyer of worlds

    by tle on Tue Sep 25, 2012 at 07:25:26 AM PDT

  •  dystopia (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    madhaus, shanikka, Cassandra Waites

    Dys = pain

    topia = place of

    Dis is latin for apart

    Dis cuss comes from Shake Apart

  •  Dystopias have been popular (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cassandra Waites

    for quite some time now.

    I often joke we already live in one.

    (Revolution is a terrible show, though. Unwatchable.)

    pseudoscience can kill

    by terrypinder on Tue Sep 25, 2012 at 08:54:44 AM PDT

  •  I'm boycotting JJ Abrams until he stops pissing on (0+ / 0-)

    Star Trek.

    Progressive Candidate Obama (now - Nov 6, 2012)
    Bipartisan Obama returns (Nov 7, 2012)

    by The Dead Man on Tue Sep 25, 2012 at 09:49:41 AM PDT

  •  I love the apocalypse as much as the next guy (0+ / 0-)

    I only saw the pilot episode of Revolution, but from what I could tell it was pretty laughably bad! First, there is the bad guy, a 40-ish looking light-skinned black man with short, salt and pepperish hair- who comes to conscript the white guy, and take everyones guns. Of course all the debauchery happens in Chicago, (where Obama is from!) and where the way you know its Chicago is they show Wrigley Field- one of the places tourists and people from the suburbs recognize. Oh- and when the black man(Obama? You decide!) tells the young white man, who has a gun, that gun ownership is "a hanging offense." I also love the little suburban utopia where everyone lives, and grows corn, in between their subdivision houses, which appear pristine, except for the picturesque, rustic looking fences around them. Everyone also has really nice hair. So much is wrong with this show, its hilarious.

  •  I wonder how well this will work (0+ / 0-)

    With the current moderate purge and the Audience shouting "Let him Die!" at the GOP debates one has to wonder just how far any narrative device can move a person who literally believes people who ask for help are dependent, irresponsible moochers who can never change, and therefore deserve to die by what is supposedly their own incompetence.

    One other thing; the point of most modern debate is not to change the opinion of your opponent it is to change the opinion of the audience. I really do like your narrative technique but we need to be realistic about what it's good for; swaying audience members.

    The point of the debate should be to make your opponent sound like a rhetorical monster. (By appealing to the real, human consequences of their beliefs) At that point the only people who will willingly side with them are the ones who are likewise unreachable. It'd take a trained therapist to dig in and really change someone's deeply held beliefs like that. Best we can do is make holding or expressing those beliefs as socially toxic as out and out racism.

  •  But, you assume someone raises these topics (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    A wonderful diary.  But my situation is that the most right-wing social hatreds in my family, or communities I have lived in, are what are never discussed with Democrats.  The Republicans just go to the polls faithfully and vote in the G.W. Bushes, the Cheneys, look at Pat Robertson on TV, and laugh at Rush Limbaugh.  "He is so funny," they say.

    They go to Sarah Palin's church.  They can smell a Democrat a mile away, and they just never, ever exchange views with "those people."

    They totally ignore gay family people, as though they were simply air.  The Homosexual members know this, and none comes out because they do not wish to live a life of shunning, and subtle remonstrance.  So everybody is happy, everybody gets along, and it's fairly sick.  I am guessing that this story may be typical, but I would still love to have your conversation skills on sensitive subjects.

  •  Christian Theocracy Dystopia (0+ / 0-)

    I'm a big fan of the dystopian society genre. "Handmaids Tale" of course. But "1984" and "Fahrenheit 451" are the top of the list for me.

    The last issue of "After Twilight" - the graphic novel is coming out next week. Yes, shameless plug here - I helped write it.

    After Twilight Graphic Novel

    It takes place in a near future when Texas secedes from the union - and is ruled by a theocratic regime. I have to say, that when we wrote the feature film script- upon which the graphic novel is based - We sometimes told ourselves 'No, this is not realistic - this is not possible - no one will believe this society devolving in this way..." But we wrote it any way. Only to have life imitate art with frightful regularity.

    The Graphic Novel is getting rave revues - and pushing a lot of buttons. We're working on getting funding in place to shoot the feature script. So drop by and show some 'likes' to the page on Facebook if you have time.

    After Twilight Fan Page

    The GOP Prime Directive: Be Silent - Consume - DIE!

    by Lance Bearer on Tue Sep 25, 2012 at 04:11:43 PM PDT

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site