PROGRESSIVES VS PROGRESS: When Science Fiction Stopped Caring About the Future That's the title of an article from The Atlantic, that ran the whiny piece this week extolling artistic elitism and decrying popular culture. Come to think of it, that's pretty much the content of The Atlantic every week. Anyway, Noah Berlatsky, the author of the piece, trots out Ursula Le Guin and her recent hysterical rant at the National Book Awards. Le Guin, who has become the go-to person for those opposed to free enterprise and the indie-author movement, called to reinstituting the censorious reign of officially sanctioned publishers to act as gatekeepers, ensuring that only the correct voices are heard and the correct authors are published. Le Guin wants special privileges extended to those creators who know "the difference between the production of a market commodity and the practice of an art." In other words, she and her cronies (like her publisher Hatchette) should decide what is art, not the unwashed mouth-breathing readers and viewers. Like so many other "progressives," Le Guin and Berlatsky are actually opposed to real progress. They want to turn back the clock, undoing the new freedoms found in today's markets. Unfortunately for them, the world moves forward despite their efforts to preserve the status quo.
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Steven Tinel is an old school science fiction fan & blogger.
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