WBH Weekly Digest 2023-10-27: Leigh Brackett and Edmond Hamilton

WBH Weekly Digest 2023-10-27: Leigh Brackett and Edmond Hamilton
Leigh Brackett and Edmond Hamilton photo by Dave Truesdale

Time manages to get away from me these days, but I submitted a book review for publication in a magazine and I wrote another one for Starship Grifters this week, so let's keep things rolling with a selection of the Internet's finest links.

This interview with Leigh Brackett and Edmond Hamilton has some great history in it. Brackett talks about being a woman in science fiction, working with famous actors and directors, and has some anecdotes about other writers. I also get the impression that Brackett and Hamilton were very warm and genuine people, who would have been a real pleasure to know in person.

FFVI embodies Christianized Paganism

Sean Malstrom: There are TWO Western Civilizations

Sean Malstrom explains how metaphysics influences videogames:

I was having a discussion about Final Fantasy XVI with another game developer.
“The problem with Final Fantasy XVI,” he says, “is that the game modeled itself after Western Civilization.”
I looked at him and asked, “But WHICH Western Civilization?”
At this, his jaw dropped and was speechless. He didn’t know how to respond.
“You mean there is more than one?”
Civilization is not so much an architectural style but a thought process of metaphysics. And these different metaphysics create different cultures which create different civilizations.
One Western Civilization is a Christianized Paganism. The Second Western Civilization is the Protestation of the former. While you may think these are mere religious differences gone today, you would be completely wrong. There are two Western Civilizations that exist today.
The Christianized Paganism is easier to find its roots. You have the Greeks and Roman Empire metaphysics converted (e.g. instead of an Emperor, you have a Pope). This Western Civilization can mostly be found in non-English speaking countries or in some isolated conclaves of English speaking countries.
As far as the Second Western Civilization, it is better to see it as ‘Anglo-Saxon’ especially with its English language. The Paganism has been rooted out and obliterated in this civilization. It is the civilization of individualism, of hypocrisy, of the Enlightenment thinkers, but also of constant Revolutions. The modern ‘Woke’ culture is a byproduct of the Calvinistic Second Western Civilization metaphysical reality asserting itself. While Christianized Paganism stresses the experience of life, the Western Protestant Civilization stresses the rules of life. Aesthetically, Christianized Paganism bathes itself in the glamour of the ancient arts. Western Protestant Civilization lives in a stark utilitarian mindset and removes all such ancient glamour.

Niall Gooch: What Even is British Culture Then?

Niall defends the Anglo-Saxons against Malstrom's concept of the self-abnegating second Western Civilization.

MechWarrior 3 was a great game. Apparently there some workarounds to get to it run correctly on current versions of Windows.

Rise from your Gwave
It is the Sega Genesis version that had the slightly clipped opening lines, rather than the arcade cabinet that I remember from my youth. But I definitely fed more than few quarters into machine that looks like this.

Starship Grifters Book Review
This is a funny, funny book. It is loveably absurd and ridiculously extravagant. I had this book sitting in my TBR pile for years, but it was just the thing when I finally picked it up. Starship Grifters is a Mad Magazine style parody wrapped around a nugget of another

Rob Kroese is Kickstarting three more books in this funny funny series. You should check out my review and then pay Rob to write more books.

This Twitter thread offers an example of a completely dysfunctional corporate culture and how it was fixed.

The American Prospect: The Amazon Loophole is Driving the Fentanyl Crisis

A generous customs rule allows a sufficiently large number of packages in through without customs inspection that it is possible to simply mail the precursors for fentanyl production from China.

Much like with the Universal Postal Union rules that make it very cheap indeed to mail things from China to the United States, specific businesses have socialized the costs while privatizing their profits.

This is a very funny thread on the ways in which academics have construed and misconstrued folklore. For example, the claim that European peasants remained "pagan" after Europe had been Christianized for centuries or millennia rests on this kind of a claim that explains away the very explicit religious motivations of the people in question.

J. C. Scharl writes in the Acton Institute's Religion & Liberty magazine about the semiotics of gender in C. S. Lewis' books. Scharl is absolutely correct that Lewis would have seen sex and gender as distinct, but also as inseparable, with biological sex as a sign of a deeper reality.

I loved the Real Ghostbusters cartoon. I had no idea how many episodes it had, 147 in total. The YouTube marketing channel has several episodes of the cartoon available for viewing.

There was another cartoon of a very similar name at about the same time that necessitated adding "The Real" to the title of the show. The other cartoon was based on a live-action TV show from the1970s. I remember not liking the other one near so much.