The arrogance and the ignorance

http://www.goodshowsir.co.uk/2010/10/a-slow-train-to-arcturus/

Yeah well. Not my fave cover, although to be fair I was asked for a description of the Aliens and their space suits by the artist (it’s supposed to be a hi-viz suit for a species that is red-green colourblind).  It’s not quite what I envisaged which was purple and dayglo lime greeny yellow/ 🙂 It’s a fair comment, and goes with the turf, and the luck of the draw.

Rant alert: It was however the guy who decided to have go at it because it was a Baen book who really got up my nose and itched. He/she plainly has no idea what the book is about, or who the authors are. However: We must be some kind of far right nutters to be abused.  This is on a charming par with deciding someone’s skin colour means they’re stupid or dishonest. Baen, to their credit, are possibly the ONLY major house who can fairly be said have a tolerant open policy to who and what they publish. Yes, they’ve published the far right… and the far left. Find another major sf/fantasy publisher who can honestly say that. So: for the only publisher doing the right and honorable thing… the arrogant and ignorant get a free pass to have a go at the authors and their books. Heck, it’s easy enough to shred my work, and that is fair enough.  But have the grace not come come up with the equivalent of ‘all blacks are stupid’ when you do it. At least read some of it. This on the other hand was a fine parallel to the guys who had never read Harry Potter but tried to get it banned because they’d heard it was Satanist.

Baen’s attitude is something anyone who believes in free speech should praise and respect them for -regardless of which party they support.  But to the type who feel that free speech and tolerance are only important when it applies to them (and you get them on the left and right – on the left they produce Pol Pot and the right Adolf Hitler) they’re bad because they didn’t take the ‘right’ side and discriminate against.   That’s neither liberal, tolerant, nor a belief in free speech.  Tolerance is and always will be: when it something you do not approve of, and is not said by someone you like or approve of, and you still support their right to say it.   ‘I disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.’  This, and not blinkered narrow bigotry (no matter if that bigotry is in favor of NeoNazis or Gay Liberation) is intrinsic to Western Liberal Philosophy. Without we’re just a shade of totalitarian intolerance. And it doesn’t matter who you are being intolerant of.

rant endeth

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