Ramblin’ Man

Hey, hey, gang.  Don’t really have a whole lot to write about at the moment, but since it’s been a little while I’ve posted anything.  This blogging stuff is part of my job, strange as that may seem.

Ninja Assassin looks like it could be fully awesome.  I love the title.  No screwing around.  No confusion.  This is about a freakin’ ninja assassin.  Deal with it.  I hope it has a lot of butt-kickin’ in it.

The new Clash of the Titans looks promising as well.  Monsteriffic, even.  I was on board the second I saw the giant scorpions.  You can never go wrong with giant scorpions.  About the only thing more kickass than giant scorpions is giant scorpion robots.  (Note to self:  Write giant scorpion robot story.  Include mummies if possible.)

Watched Up again yesterday.  I love that movie.  I’ve said it before.  I’ll say it again.  Animated films (from Up to Kung Fu Panda to Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs) are the current pinnacle of film.  Every time I say that I damage my credibility as a serious novelologist, but I lost that battle a long time ago.  I’ll probably never be anything more than a “goofy, comic” writer to the general public, and I’m cool with that.

By the way, my people (AKA “Mom”) went to an advanced screening for Planet 51 and gave it a big thumbs up.  I’m looking forward to it.  Especially since this is apparently the closest to action / adventure that The Rock is going to get.

The other day, I had Chinese food delivered to my new apartment.  I know it’s a little thing, but I felt very sophisticated.

Okay, I hate to get political, but I gotta say I’m absolutely depressed by the gay rights struggle.  How long can we deny rights to adults just because they like to kiss the “wrong” folks?  Apparently, a very long time.  And don’t give me that “sanctity of marriage” nonsense.  Straight people get divorced every day in this country, have affairs, and step on that sanctity all the time.

Here’s the thing from my perspective.  It seems like everyone against gay rights is motivated purely by religious conservatism.  I’m sure there are one or two secular individuals who dislike “the gays”, but how many of these people would actually go to the trouble of standing in their way?  No, it’s powerful religious groups who fight these fights.  But there’s this little thing called separation of church and state.  It’s why we don’t have an official state religion.  It’s also why we don’t make laws making it illegal to work on the Sabbath.  Or worship graven images.  Or arrest people for eating meat on Fridays.

I know that religion does a lot of good things, but sometimes I wonder if it balances out the bad.  Between failing abstinence-only sex ed, millions wasted on keeping “the gays” from living like the harmless human beings that they are, and the war on science they often wage, it can seem like a wash at best sometimes.

Oh, I hate typing stuff like that.  Not because I don’t believe it.  But because I don’t want to offend anyone, religious or not.  I’d hate to scare away any readers because of differences of personal philosophy.  Novelology was a hell of a lot easier in the good ol’ days when nobody had blogs and nobody cared what a writer thought.

I had this discussion with my agent recently.  As a writer, I only want to be judged by my books.  I don’t want anyone out there to buy my those books because they like me.  I am certainly a cool dude, but what if I wasn’t?  Would it make my books any less fantastic?  Of course not.

Yet these days, when everything is a brand, even a writer has to develop his name into something recognizable, and I suppose this is even more important for me because I don’t write series or sequels.  Hell, I even jump around a bit in genre.  The only thing linking my books together is me.  (That, and tendency toward slime monsters.) 

So I guess I don’t really have a choice.  If I’m going to blog, I’m going to have to occasionally let something “controversial” slip out.  I don’t really think gay marriage is controversial.  Then again, I could be wrong.

Well, that’s all.  I’m sleepy.  Think I’ll retire for the evening.  Hope you enjoyed this rambling post.

Fighting the good fight, Writing the good write,


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  1. Nik
    Posted November 17, 2009 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Come on, Alex. Stop thinking like a liberal and smarten up. Religious based? Really? We’re talking California here. Are you saying that California is a religious state? I mean, if we’re talking Utah or something, sure, you’re probably right, but we’re talking Maine, Pennsylvania, Washington, Oregon. These are states that voted in Obama. These are liberal states. Even Joh Kerry is on record and opposing same-sex marriages. Religon? You know me, Republican voting Pentecostal, and I’m FOR same-sex marriage. It is possible not go to church and still not like gays. These things are not tied together. To lump the two in the same pile is actually pretty insulting.

  2. A. Lee Martinez
    Posted November 18, 2009 at 3:14 am | Permalink

    Well, not to be too argumentative but these things are indeed tied together. Your point is accurate, of course. Not everyone who is religious is anti-gay marriage. But I do think you’d be hard-pressed to find an anti-gay marriage person who wasn’t religious.

    Yes, I agree that there are plenty of homophobic non-religious people out there. Yet I have a hard time believing that these people are organized or concerned enough with gay marriage to impede the issue.

    The point I’m making is that, for good or ill, organized religion has a lot of power over policy in this country because they have money and organization and legions of followers who will do what they say without question. This doesn’t really make them any better or worse than any other large, wealthy organization out there. But oil companies and the NRA don’t give a damn about gay marriage. The only organizations fighting this are religious in nature, and there’s really no denying that.

    I don’t believe though that all religious people are sheep, blindly following. But I do believe that religion (like any organization) has a vested interest in pursuing its own goals. And organized religion doesn’t generally like gay marriage and has the money and power to do something about it.

    Of course, I believe this is a losing battle for the anti-gay rights people, and that when gay people have the same rights as everyone else and the world doesn’t blow up and everyone gets used to the idea, the hardcore religious dogmatists will say that the Bible doesn’t really mean it when it suggests stoning homosexuals and that God was for the idea all along. I’m sure many religious folks will even take credit for the transition after the fact. (Just as we conveniently forget that many religious people were pro-slavery and anti-women’s suffrage now.)

    It’s not insulting to acknowledge that organized religion has a tremendous influence over our society. It doesn’t mean that being a religious person makes you responsible for the abuse of that influence. Any more than it says I, as an American, am responsible for everybody killed by a war waged by America. I am part of a country, an organization, but just because I’m a part of it doesn’t mean I’m responsible for its every action.

    So it is that religious folks should not necessarily be blamed for the actions of their religious leaders, and if that’s the impression that came across, I apologize for it. But I won’t apologize for saying that, in my opinion, if you took away the influence of the church, this would be a non-issue.

    Is it purely a religious issue? I don’t honestly know. But aside from biblical arguments, I’ve never heard anyone seriously bash gay marriage. But that’s just my own limited experience. Still, type gay marriage in a search engine right now and I’ll bet you that 99 out of a 100 anti-gay marriage websites are going to be founded by religious folks. I’m sure many pro-gay marriage websites will also be founded by religious folks as well, but the ratio is probably a lot slimmer.

    I guess it just comes down to this. I don’t think it’s fair for religious people to claim only the positive aspects of their church’s actions without admitting that this very same church has been an impediment to progress too. This isn’t a liberal or conservative viewpoint. It’s a fact. To say otherwise, is to wear blinders to the reality we live in.

    So I’ll admit that religion isn’t all bad IF you’ll admit that there are times when it is indeed bad. Or at least misguided.

    Oh, and one more thing. The Mormon Church, based out of Utah, has spent millions of its dollars in anti-gay rights advertising and lobbying. It was, I believe, the single largest spender in the anti-gay rights advertising in California. And, yes, just because they advertised that doesn’t mean people have to automatically go along with what they say. But advertising is powerful stuff. Why do they advertise movies like mad and convince us that drinking beer will make us the life of the party if it didn’t work? So a commercial that makes gay rights seem scary that is played day and night is more than enough to push many people over the edge. People who ordinarily wouldn’t even care about this issue.

    Wow. Long response. Hope it makes some kind of sense.

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