Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Terry Goodkind is awesome when you're 16

Then you grow up and read it and it's like, wow, it's a Mobius strip of shitty 'mature' content.

Before anything else, no I haven't read Goodkind in ages. This is all very shaky knowledge from eons ago. If you feel the need to bitch, there's a comment section below. 

You include violence, objectivism, a boring Mary-Suetastic hero, and then just pick your favorite Horribly Evil Act from the Wheel of Cliches. Early in the books it gets into child molestation and political outlooks, and the note only gets higher. It's like Goodkind didn't want to bother himself with actually coming up with villains you love to hate and instead filled them with as much disgusting qualities as possible.

So he starts off with child molestation and fascism. Then he gets into mind control and rape and all sorts of other horrible abominations are on the Wheel of Evil. At one point he basically abandons subtlety in favor of making someone who hires prostitutes and, while they bang, stabbing them in the spine so they die while he fucks them. It's murderape! See, it's like murder and rape at the same time, and, um...Yeah, fuck you Goodkind. 

There's also the fact that every time there's some sort of ~secret power~ that Richard needs to pick up it ends up being a thin veneer of Objectivism the book is trying to push towards you. Understanding is the power that he gains. The truth is what he seeks and therefore he is uncorruptable. Adding is the good magic, subtraction is evil. And so on and so forth. 

The reason I make this post is because when I was 16 I thought it was awesome. The problem is with an ongoing series I read the entire thing and just wanted to know more about the characters and where they were going, but it kept meandering as it pumped them full of power filled with thinly disguised morals. Objectivism was cool and interesting back then, when I was frustrated by the society structure I was forced into.

Like, Fight Club also did this. When you're young you look at society and think, man, I want something else. And nihilism is sexy as hell - nothing really matters, everything is falling apart, so let's remove emotional attachments because they are Illogical and just do something to piss corporations off, consequences be damned.

By the end of the movie/book, however, you realize that not only is nihilism completely crazy, but being uncompassionate is something you really don't want after all. Living without feelings is a shadow of what people should do - being a singe cog in something greater than yourself with no understanding or control is a life not worth living, and you've traded low-income jobs with no meaning for the same Goddamn thing.

Goodkind does not do this, because he believes objectivism to be right and good. Cut, he says, ignore all else and just do what you think is right because you are right. Live for yourself. Be a fucking horrible human being because the rest of the free world can go fuck itself. That is not living. That is being a piece of shit.

And he tries to disguise it all by making everyone in the world even more of a worthless pile of shit than Richard is. Rapists and murderers and fascists are far far worse, so objectivism's 'do what you must because it is right' is far preferable. It's like ad hominem in a novel. 

Bioshock blank-facedly told you that objectivism was totally neat and nifty cause it let you get access to ADAM and EVE so you can shoot lightning out of your hands, but this is all while Rapture is covered in civil warfare and homicidal maniacs who spliced themselves into insanity. It doesn't work. Objectivism is a nice idea in theory that's got its Bible rooted in fiction Ayn Rand wrote almost half a century ago. Hell, have you even read them? It's basically one woman's rockin' Mary Sueadventures of making everyone feel guilty about wanting things for themselves while Rand's author-self insertion fantasy persona soaks up all the awesome stuff for herself. 

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