Wednesday, January 24

Hmm.

A deafening silence from the Moral Certainty tubthumpers. How about that?

Y'know, Nicholas Kristof of the NYTimes had a nicely turned phrase in his column comparing Bush to Ahab of MOBY-DICK fame:

"The siren call of moral clarity."

Which got me thinking about just exactly what seems to be so seductive about it, and what kind of people are so easily seduced that they will cheerfully ignore reality.

More on that later; I have to get to work.

As for the couple of folks who claim that firefighters, cops and soldiers risk their lives out of moral conviction, I say: Pshaw.

Love, compassion and courage are related only peripherally to moral conviction, clarity or certainty. I don't need moral certainty to dive into freezing water or dodge among speeding traffic to save an endangered child (or even some drunken asshole who staggered the wrong direction). Shit, I'd do the same for a dog or a cat. But not for a squirrel or a raccoon. Well, maybe a raccoon. Or a coyote. But not for squirrels, opossums, or deer.

That's not a moral distinction; it's just a matter of taste.

Hmp. On reflection: it srikes me that many of our Tubthumper Moral Clarity Elite are really only trying to elevate their tastes to the status of Laws of God. More on that later, too.

34 comments:

Justin said...

There's two camps in this world:

Those delighted that MATT SLACK PEN has finally handed in a draft of CAINE BLACK KNIFE; and those who are not...

There's two people in the second camp.

Goldberg and Matt's wife.

May you always blow the cobwebs from your blog with a 'skull-fucking of a fucktard'... it is after all, what you do best.

jT

Shane said...

Well... plus, you know, that whole novel writing thing you do in between the fucking of the skulls.

That's pretty good too.

Justin said...

Not so, Shane... I believe 'skull fucking' is a staple in any Stover novel... in fact, without being controversial, I might even suggest that Matt's single mindedness in his desire to 'skull fuck' his audience, is bordering on moral fuckin certainty... bwa ha hahahahah

MWS said...

Justin, you are a very bad man.

I approve.

Chris said...

Touché, JT - we must drink again soon!

On the subject of firefighters, [most] cops, and [most] soldiers, I'd say they risk their lives out of a primarily emotional conviction (then, with experience, logical conviction). It's something a little deeper and more flexible than a moral conviction, and it's far more natural.

Anonymous said...

I am a high school English teacher in Upstate New York, and I know this isn't the right place for this, but I figured you'd be interested to know this. The NYS ELA Regents exam used you in an anchor paper for it's "critical lens." The writer's paper was used as an example of a high score, the other English teachers were running into my room asking if I wrote it because I am a SW freak. It's not on the Regents page yet, but when the link is up I'll provide it. Thanks.

Stone
http://ebenstone.livejournal.com/

MWS said...

Fer real?

You shittin' me?

This I gotta see.

Is the above roughly exemplary of the sample in question?

Ebenstone said...

I am that English teacher....signed up for a blog to link to my main blog....I will try to scan one to show you, as of 10:35 pm its not on the state site yet.

Justin said...

Ha, that is awesome!

And whilst we're discussing where the Stover Tendrils (or Stovedrils) are reaching in the academic world, you also appeared in my MSc thesis, the published paper that followed at the 4th International Conference on the Book and in July this year if my abstract is accepted, you'll also be cropping up at the International Conference on Cybernetics and Information Technologies, Systems and Applications in Orlando... the fact you are in academic journals means academics of the future may reference the work and the Stovedrils will go on and on and on...

God help us all...

jT

WarlordGrego said...

As a soldier, I can say with certainty that I don't risk my life because I'm a good person. There are alot of types of soldiers. Some people join the army out of moral conviction (I did, somewhat. I've aways views soldiers as my personal heroes, an wanted to be one.), and then there are those who just joined the Army because they thought it'd be cool to have free college.

Those are the guys that make up the majority of soldiers. There are guys, like Pat Tillman, who are real patriots. Guys who gave up everything to serve.

But most people these days use the service as a tool. And it should be, because we do give a lot. But Like you said, Matt, Morality doesn't really come into play that much

-Squall Chitose

Mastadge said...

Perhaps off-topic, but just popping in to say Happy Birthday.

Can't wait to read Caine Black Knife!

Chris said...

Shit, it's that time of year? Happy birthday, Matt.

Shehzad said...

Happy one-year-closer-to-death day, Matt.

Yeah, I can be like that.

MWS said...

The really significant thing is that I've finally beaten Nietzsche: I made it through my 44th year without a career-ending breakdown.

Huzzah!

Azrof D said...

Happy belated birthday Matt. Here's hoping the forthcoming year is rife with rewards and accomplishments.

Justin said...

Yea... and Nietzsche never met Lucas... heh!

Anu said...

Wow, have I ever missed this blog. You're making me laugh when I should be asleep (big day for the Bears tomorrow).

Anyway, I agree about the moral conviction. My parents didn't become doctors because they wanted to save lives. They became doctors because the elders in their families said, "You're going to medical school." In fact, that's the same way they ended up in this country: "You're going to America."

More than twenty years later, sure, they like their jobs and like helping people. But my dad's first reason for wanting me to go to med school was always, "It's a stable profession."

Anu said...

Whoops, forgot to say happy belated birthday!

And I bet that even if you did have a career-ending breakdown, legions of fans would remain hunched over their keyboards, refreshing the blog page every 10 seconds in the hopes that you've written a new rant to bring a little joy into our humdrum lives. After all, your hard work "ain't been in vain for nothin'."

KnnOs said...

(I find that now that I finally figured out why I couldn't post, I really have nothing to say. Suffice that I've become a huge Stover fan and that I'm new here)

KnnOs said...

(and happy birthday as well, wishes for a year filled with the best challenges and their just rewards)

Ebenstone said...

Here's the link to our "teacher guide." Its NYS, we take forever in everything. You have to turn to page 49 to read the essay.

http://www.nysedregents.org/testing/engre/2rg-107.pdf

Hammy said...

Some people never change. Hope you and Robin are well. Those few people I'm still in touch with from Drake are all thriving.

I really enjoy your work, especially Blade.

http://ham-salad.blogspot.com/

Justin said...

Hmmm...

So, you've disappeared again, Stover.

you're such a prick-tease!

MWS said...

Ham Salad?

That's great, and thanks, and who the hell are you, anyway?

Justin said...

Matt,

Care to comment on this:

http://www.sffworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15954

Joe Abercrombie and James Barclay have had their say...

jT

Willows said...

Please forgive the off-topic question Matt, but I'd really appreciate any advice you could give for an aspiring writer.

Arvindh.Rao@stern.nyu.edu ( Arvindh Rao) said...

Hello Mr. Stover

I just had a very refreshing course last semester called " Conversations of the West: Antiquity and the 19th Century" by Prof. Cyrus Patell...and our central book was Moby Dick. I'm interested in your..involvment with the book

I admire your style Sir...I would love to know your literary um..inheritances and allegiances :-). I would love to talk to you more about the character Vergere from the Star Wars Universe because her apprentice Jacen Solo is following an " interesting" path. Have a good Day/Evening.

Azrof D said...

Matt - I seem to recall that you were an actor before writing? If I'm not wrong, could you share with your esteemed fandom what you did?

dave said...

hey matt!

i just wanted to say i've read all your SW stuff as well as most of the caine series and i just want to say i love your works. it's freshing to see an author who takes you on an adventure every time you read their books.

as an aspiring writer and a fan of good literature, i just want to say thanks

Luthias said...

Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor.

That sounds like a SW fanboy's dreams come true! Just hope it doesn't mess with the release of CBK much...

MS said...

I'm a fireman. Do I act out of "Moral Clarity"? No. I like the time off, and the money is decent. I also do it because I CAN do it - if that makes any sense. It's a job that not everyone can do, and I take some pride in that. Moral clarity, no. Moral Imperative/Categorical Imperative, maybe.

Anu said...

"Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor" sounds like it should be the title to a 1940's pulp serial, like Indiana Jones.

In other words, I love it. Made my day.

Azrof D said...

So, I just read the legend of nightfall and the return of nightfall - and Nightfall is strikingly like Caine (cool uber assassins tend to have things in common, I guess). Of course, Caine is a much more robust character imho.

I am curious if anyone else has read those books - and how you think the Nightfall character compares to Harry?

Matt, any insight? (I know you are probably biased and may not have read the books, but I am intrigued)

Anonymous said...

Update you blog, you lazy bastard! It's been like 4 months!