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Sunday, June 10, 2018

My new op-ed piece is up at American Thinker (and about Star Wars and Kelly Marie Tran...)

The last time I wrote an op-ed for publishing other than on my own blog was more than ten years ago.  Certainly hasn't been for lack of wanting to.  This is a kind of writing that I first attempted on the cusp of my senior year of high school and it's a craft I devoted myself to developing further in college and beyond.  Then all of the general wackiness of the past decade transpired and that threw everything out of kilter.  Especially being able to engage all the gears required to really feel like I could be the writer that I needed to be to give this my very best.  And now, well... maybe this is an indication that the time for that has come at last.

American Thinker is a commentary site that I've come to appreciate and visit often, and I am very grateful that it has published "The Revolution Will Not Be Finalized".  An excerpt:
Social revolution has no such finite end.  The civil rights movement of the fifties and sixties was not a "social" revolution.  There was no grand upheaval of the common order – only an assertion of what had long been codified in American heart if not law: that all men are created equal.  It began with acts of conscience, and it ended with acts of conscience. 
There are many in our era who speak unceasingly of bringing about "social justice."  They never describe what a "socially justified culture" will look like.  Why should they want to?  Because for big-P Progressivism to be consistent, it must be progressing toward something.  To state conditions for victory?  That would be aborting Progressivism.  That is not part of the plan.

Maybe it's a persistent pattern in my life but this piece does begin with a bit about the state of the Star Wars "social justice" mess going on right now.  That's kind of what precipitated it being written to begin with.  Well, when one is asking the Muse for inspiration then one takes what one can get.  Anyhoo if you want to check it out here's that link again.

Speaking of Star Wars, I've been out of the loop on stuff the past several days but I did hear about what's been going on regarding Kelly Marie Tran.  "Star Wars fandom terrorist organization" is a phrase that I never imagined would telegraph across my synapses no matter how fevered and delirious they might get.  It was easy to sincerely wonder if it was for real or a satire or a covert "false flag operation".  But apparently it's real.  And if you hadn't heard already, the reports are that Tran unhooked herself from Instagram and maybe all the rest of her social media as a result of brutal harassment because some didn't like The Last Jedi or, more darkly, that they think she was cast to fill a "racial quota" or something.

How has this come about?  What has happened to us?  Star Wars fans have been divided on issues before but NEVER like this.  And it is not the result of the 2016 U.S. election (I may forever be shaking my head in disbelief that someone wrote that on a website devoted to this franchise).

I'll try to maintain brevity here.  Personally, I liked The Last Jedi including Tran's character Rose.  There have been a number of "Rose"-es in my life.  That conscientious young lady with spunk and tenacity and she holds everyone around her accountable to themselves whether they want it or not... or realize that they do want it.  There needs to be more like Rose in the real world.  She was a sweet character and Kelly Marie Tran played her wonderfully.

Reiterating what is in the essay on American Thinker, I do believe that Disney and especially Kathleen Kennedy have done a ginormous dis-service and act of destruction against the Star Wars brand by using it as a platform for their own ideologies as opposed to what it's supposed to be: a realm of ideas common to the human condition.  And in the past few days especially we are seeing the horrible fruits of that error in judgment... though obviously Kennedy and her associates are not the ones to be held responsible for the cyber-bullying against Tran.  That's strictly the fault of the "Legends losers" or whatever they're calling themselves.

That being said, I have not seen before and I do not see now how having the cast reflect a wider range of ethnic backgrounds is part of that at all.  Indeed, I wish there had been this much variety from the very beginning.  But George Lucas pretty much used what there was to work with on a then-limited budget and an available pool compromised of mostly classical English actors and American expatriates like Phil Brown and William Hootkins.  As far as I'm concerned, those are NOT "whites" or "blacks" or "Asians" or "Aleutian Islanders" or whatever in that galaxy far, far away.  Those are humans and whatever geography their ancestors hailed from is long forgotten about.  It shouldn't matter at ALL who plays the roles in these movies!  Just find whoever is right for the part and trust him or her to do his or her best.

Miss Tran, if you happen to read this, please know that you are a very lovely and talented young lady and that you provided much-appreciated shine and sparkle in The Last Jedi and I hope you have an even bigger role in Episode IX.  So far as I'm concerned, you weren't doing anything other than play a human of good character.  And that's something that none of these real-life trolls can ever claim to be.  Hope you come back, kind miss!

Okay, that's 'nuff for now.  It's Sunday morning.  Go back to sleep or eat your corn flakes and get ready for church or watch your re-runs of Land Of The Lost or whatever.  At least sometime today look at the outside world and hug your loved ones or just stop and smile and say hello to someone you've never met before.

Know what you believe.  Know why you believe it.  Know how to stand for it.  But also know that there's more to life than that.  We are as but a vapor.  Don't let a moment go by looking for reasons to be bitter and filled with rancor.

And to those discovering this blog: greetings!


RJ said...

Christopher, very good article at American Thinker you've got up. I didn't know Peter Brady was such a conservative writer. /jk

Where are you located presently?

Chris Knight said...

At least once a month the question is asked about if I'm the Chris Knight who played Peter on The Brady Bunch. Sooner or later I'm going to say "yes" just to see what happens :-P

Thank you for the kind words! As for where I am ehhhh... this might better explain the situation and bizarre adventures of the pas two years :-)