Robert E. Heinlein and the hubris of the present, part II

Apropos of the last post on Robert E. Heinlein and modern intellectual fads, here is an interesting article from Sarah Hoyt discussing many of the same points. Key quotes:

Part of this is the blindness of those who–with blythe certainty and missionary zeal–undertake to tally the color of characters’ skin and the thoughts of every female character in Heinlein’s books.

Perhaps because I’m not American by birth or education (though I am American by choice—more on the Americanism of Heinlein later), I see this for what it is:

The blinkered notion that the American customs, obsessions and–yes–intellectual vices of this place and time are laws of the universe.

Exactly!

And this:

Beyond all that, it is to impose on his writing the customs of a tribe: the academic, literary, gender/race/orientation obsessed tribe.

And I have to say, that tribe is boring. Boring, boring, boring, with a chewy boring center and a crispy crust of boredom – and being boring is the one unforgivable sin for a writer. Heinlein, whatever else he may have been, was definitely not boring.

Comedy gold, of course, results in the article’s comments, where members of the tribe issue forth to make their ritual denunciations of Heinlein’s and Hoyt’s sexism and racism.

-JM

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