Celebrities are easily seduced into thinking they have a right to speak out. They are singers, dancers, athletes, comedians, talking heads. Their strengths are beauty, voice and the ability to pretend. They make a lot of money and the the masses worship them. How does that qualify them to be authorities on the environment, taxes, defense, Islam or poverty? They start to believe being able read a script transforms them into fountains of wisdom.
What is equally amazing is how many people take them seriously.
I came across this quote in the introduction to a book I was starting to read.
“Science-fiction authors such as myself sometimes look at large issues like this and make dire warnings hoping our stories will be read widely enough to make a real difference to humankind - that people in decision -making positions will take our words to heart.”Do you feel the hubris? Do you see it in writers other than sci-fi? I am amused reading old science fiction and coming across the predictions they made about overpopulation, pollution, nuclear destruction and the repeated attempts to come up with explanations of how life originated and where our intelligence comes from. In reading historical fiction you come across anachronistic characters who could have never survived, let alone existed, in their time. These authors are frantic to force their view of the world onto a paradigm that doesn’t fit. Herbert joins that long tradition.
I quit reading, not because of the hubris in the introduction or because of his obvious anti-Christian bias. I am used to that. If I only read authors I agree with I would have a lot of nights when all I could do is scrub the toilet again. I closed the book because his writing was too cute. He wrote well, but in the first chapters it was just too clever and cute. I am getting too old for cute, I want beautiful.
Herbert, Brian. The Race for God. New York: Dorchester Publishing Company, 2007, page 10.
homo unius libri