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(October 31, 2001)

a bit of a rant you would probably be better ignoring....

I used to like Jeanette Winterson. A bit pretentious, I thought, but some good books and her heart is basically in the right place....Jeanette writes in The Guardian about Stephen Hawkins:

"Stephen Hawking lives inside a body maintained by machines and medicines, which may be why he seems not to care about the future of a healthy planet Earth. For him, an artificial life has been entirely possible - shifting himself to a space station would probably feel fine. Is this why he is telling us that life on Earth is so threatened that our only hope is to leave it behind and colonise space?"

- is it me or does this seem a little bitter? I mean, (as previously noted in Accidents Aren't Naughty), Stephen does not have the subtlest of media presences but he is hardly Davros.

(off on a tangent briefly - one of Simon's proposed games of many years ago was centered around the Hawkins/Davros polarity - proposed title- "Battle of the Wheelchair Geniuses" - for more on Hawkins/Davros, go here ).

Winterson, howver, comes across as the sort of woman who would rather have a migraine than an analgesic because paracetamol isn't natural (and anyway, positing natural as a moral descriptor would, you would think, stick in her craw) Her grip on the reality of modern living is laughable - dependency has been an inherent part of living since the industrial revolution. The same industrial revolution that led to massive improvements in sanitation and disease prevention and began the steady decline of infant mortality rates.

The main thrust of her argument seems to be that both wars and science are Bad and men invented both and therefore men are bad....weak stuff indeed. I thought we'd sorted all that out in the 80's - women's press science fiction and so on, but jeanette seems trapped in her own little I Love 1979 show. And to think she tries to pass herself off as an intellectual....
posted by snip 22:19
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