Friday, December 03, 2004

Two New Essays on the Site Help Outline Purpose

Posted by Trent Walters at 1:26 PM
Because Martin Lewis is still dubious , I shaped up two essays:

Would Karl Marx Have Been Mundane? (You don't have to be Marxist to be Mundane or be Marxist-friendly to appreciate the finer points related. This parenthetical is crucial only because the term "Marx" is too heavily sand-bagged with widely variable personal meaning.)

Also, since these mostly address Lewis indirectly, this should more directly correct one of Lewis' hasty judgements about classifying older works as Mundane if some of the earlier posts here don't help (or perhaps we were too hasty to put up the site without more supporting theory): Is Blade Runner Mundane?

8 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The essense of the manifesto seems to be: "Earth is all we have. What will we do with it?" Yet one of the fundamental facts of Bladerunner (though it is less explicit than in the book) is that the majority of humanity has left for the stars, leaving the dregs and misfits behind on Earth. These two things do not seem compatible.

What the two essays do bring out is that much of the manifesto is tangential to the thrust of what you wish to achieve with the movement. Clearly there is a strong political intent behind the movement but this is pretty much hidden in the manifesto, which instead concentrates on tropes. I would suggest this is why you have included a writer (Dick) who in no way meets your stated criteria: because in fact these criteria aren't of central important. This also explains your co-option of Marx, something that otherwise would be baffling.

I mean what is the Governance page all about? "We have ambitions to bust the electronic legal databases onto the public internet, from the private ownership of Lexis-Elsevier." Great, so do a lot of people but very few think that an sf movement is a good way to do so or even related. I assume this is Ryman in full flow? Why not donate time and money to actual advocacy groups in this area?

Martin

12/03/2004 09:58:00 AM  
Blogger Trent said...

"one of the fundamental facts"

I disagree that it is a fundamental fact. I agree it is a fact, but certainly the main thrust of the story has little focus on the matter. As I said, Dick was a product of his age, which is why it is Mundane only loosely.

As I wrote, though, this side element is certainly there but not the Mundane element. We're merely trying to guide people closely to our intent.


"What the two essays do bring out is that much of the manifesto is tangential to the thrust of what you wish to achieve with the movement."

Not at all. There is a reason why Geoff discards these certain tropes and not others. It is not arbitrary. This is the essence of the Mundane movement. I'll try to work on my theory essay over the weekend that will explain this better.


"I mean what is the Governance page all about?"

Geoff did not post that--someone else. I thought that it was not public, pending revision but it appears I was mistaken. Although our theory will impinge upon the political, we're trying be as safely apolitical as possible, hence, the need for revision. Thank you for pointing out that it was visible.

Best,

Trent

12/04/2004 06:54:00 AM  
Blogger Trent said...

Martin,

How did you find the Governance page? The site lists it as unpublished.

12/04/2004 07:00:00 AM  
Blogger frankh said...

Anonymous said...
"Yet one of the fundamental facts of Bladerunner (though it is less explicit than in the book) is that the majority of humanity has left for the stars"

The movie is quite ambiguous about what's going on "Off World" other than that's where the replicants belong. For humans, going "off world" seems to have all the attractions of "Join the Army!"

The book is clearly a post-apocolyptic work that might not be all that mundane.

and

"I would suggest this is why you have included a writer (Dick) who in no way meets your stated criteria:..."

The Manifesto references the greater part of the works of PKD. There are plenty of PKD stories that break the rules (even allowing for his not having written in 2004 when many of the items on the forbidden list are especially stale like time travel) but the GREATER PART are stories about humans on Earth, which to me is what Mundane SF is about in a nutshell.

An underlying leftist political agenda is not necessary to appreciate the Mundane ruleset. Just a disgust with how tired those "forbidden" notions have become. A genuinely conservative approach would appreciate that the Earth is not easily discarded, nor at all discardable if humans wish to thrive without the arrival of a Technology Christ.

12/04/2004 07:02:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trent,

The governance page shows up on the site map.

Martin

12/04/2004 10:21:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Frank and Trent, I take your points regarding Blade Runner. I do view it as a mistake to have included Dick (albeit with caveat) rather than some of his individual works.

I agree that tropes can get stale but I worry that you are throwing out the baby with the bathwater. I look forward to the expanded theory essay because I feel I'm still not getting to the root of Mundane SF.

Frank, I didn't really follow your final paragraph (if its relevant my politics are leftist and think there is lots of useful stuff in Marx). I don't share your disgust so I guess its no surprise I don't appreciate the movement.

Martin

12/04/2004 10:43:00 AM  
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