Saturday, July 6, 2019

Problems in Science Fiction No. 1-Continued

On May 11, I wrote about a problem in science fiction, which is this: In the future, nothing will be named for anyone or anything that is not politically correct or that is in any way connected to a period in history that has been, must be, or will be relegated to the memory hole. (That's the first reference today to 1984.) That means no names or references to anything Classical, Western, Christian, European, American, etc. You can name things after supposedly oppressed people, or people who are sufficiently high up on the ladder of victimhood to warrant it, or those who are sufficiently woke. You will also be able to name things after communists, socialists (the international kind), Marxists, and believers in other leftwing totalitarian systems. If you doubt that, just think of the places and commercial products currently named for the Marxist murderer and thug Che Guevara. Along those lines I thought of a couple of commercial products of my own with great potential, products that can be named after such people:

Buttigieg Boots--Perfect for Stamping on a Human Face Forever!

(There's the second. By the way, Mr. Buttigieg doesn't know who Alfred E. Neuman is, but I guaran-damn-tee you, as older generations might say, that he knows who Antonio Gramschi was. Just another way that he's out of touch with ordinary Americans.)

Here's another:

Biden Shampoo--Makes Your Hair More Sniffable!

(The problem with that one is that Mr. Biden himself appears to be edging his way towards the memory hole and will probably soon be gone.)

One problem in all of this is that what is okay today will be verboten tomorrow, and there isn't any way of knowing who or what will be shoved into the memory hole. After all, we're all guilty and merely waiting for our crimes to be uncovered.

Anyway, almost on cue, a story came up just six days after I wrote, on May 17, about a "controversy" over a celestial object named Ultima Thule. That name comes from the Classical world and has been used for centuries to describe places in the farthest north, beyond the bounds of the known world. Unfortunately for those two harmless words, the Nazis glommed on to them, and so they are, in the minds of the politically correct, forever tainted and must be removed from human memory. (What a phrase, "minds of the politically correct.") I'm not sure that any sensible person is troubled by the words Ultima Thule, but The Atlantic is. That's where I read about this issue in an article by Marina Koren called "A Nazi Controversy Deep in the Solar System," from May 17, 2019. You can read more about it yourself by clicking here. There may be some resistance among astronomers to doing away with the name, but I suspect that they will give in and that Ultima Thule will ultimately be renamed. For a new moniker for this object that looks like a split cell, how about Meiosis or Mitosis?

Copyright 2019 Terence E. Hanley

No comments:

Post a Comment