(urth) Pirate Freedom notes

David Stockhoff dstockhoff at verizon.net
Tue Nov 27 06:23:08 PST 2012

On 11/25/2012 1:13 AM, Gwern Branwen wrote:
> On a sidenote, the speech about the many Church sex abuse scandals is
> disgusting. I don't take this as Wolfe deliberately giving us evidence
> of Chris being a depraved monster, it reads too sincerely and is
> consistent with the crankery I've documented elsewhere (although I
> fully expect someone to reply saying 'no, don't confuse the text with
> the author, let's interpret it as charitably as possible', just like
> they did with the *non*fiction predictions I posted); the leadup to
> his speech is itself misleading and slanted, completely ignoring the
> central enabling coverup role the Church played for decades upon end.
> There is no reason to not mention the Church's role, since the Bishop
> is not otherwise portrayed sympathetically and mentioning it would
> both be factually accurate and continue characterizing the Bishop...
> The setup is also, shall we say, curious for making the victims
> adolescents and not younger still as they so often were. It's also a
> little strange that Wolfe expects the 'Communists to fall'. Even when
> this was being written, Cuba's government had been substantially
> liberalizing and privatizing. There's pretty much no reason to expect
> them to 'fall' as opposed to follow a gradual transition to being,
> like China, Communist in name-only.

I agree that the mention of Cuba comes across as very odd, a bit like a 
1950s judgement transplanted to the 1990s, or something like 
that---disconnected and out of place. I took it as a hint to not take 
the history stuff (aside from timelines) too seriously, since we can't 
tell whether Chris ends up in our own past or in the past of a future 
that is itself a consciously made-up "alternate history" that is not our 
own. That's the best way I can put it.

As for the Catholic molestation cover-up stuff, I was also alarmed by 
its basic dishonesty. The facts and true extent of the official 
conspiracy were widely known in 2007. One could argue that Chris simply 
didn't want to "go there" or that he himself is blind to true evil, but 
come on. Chris is a murderer many times over---he should recognize evil 
in others, at least. More likely that Wolfe himself didn't want to "go 
there" but, as you say, not for any good reason. Again, why not bring 
true evil into a story about evil? (And Chris himself was not writing in 
the 1990s, so ... )

One is forced to at least suspect that Wolfe doesn't get it and doesn't 
want to. Which would be understandable if also unfortunate and 

More information about the Urth mailing list