I love paranormal fantasy. There is no other genre like it. Where else can authors think up the most extreme, fantastical scenarios to make a point about good old fashioned reality? Nowhere else will you find such Truth in Fantasy. In today's ripped-from-the-headlines post, we are discussing the almost inconceivable—to me—phenomenon of zealotry and the ridiculous lengths to which idiots will go to conform to beliefs that defy logic. Before you argue too quickly with me, I do understand that a man rising from the dead after three days defies logic, as does a burning bush and a hat that talks, but I'm talking philosophy not mythology. What I don't understand and cannot possibly relate to is the idea that there's a deity out there that espouses hate, marginalization and violence. Or that any world view worth fighting and dying for would advocate genocide or racial enslavement. Who are these people and is every single one of them suffering from small-penis issues? Must be.
And to what do we owe my rant on racism, white supremacy, antisemitism and other, equally odious forms of zealotry? To a book about dragon shifters, dontcha know? Bring the Heat by G. A. Aiken is the latest and greatest novel in the Dragon Kin series, one of my all-time favorites. This particular book is more about the series arc than a particular couple (although there is a romance to be found between Branwen and Aidan). Between its pages we learn about the Zealots—the followers of a blind god who tear their own eyes out to prove their dedication to their bloodthirsty deity. True believers one and all. Blind fools. As Aidan says, he never could understand how anyone would want to give their souls to a being who fed off hatred and bigotry. The Zealots "happily wallowed in their hatred," which made no sense to Aidan. Me either.
I know there are a lot of people who would rather spend their days finding fault with others than making something of their own lives. It may be easier to blame others than to take responsibility for ourselves. But I don't see it; if you are the cause of my troubles, then how can you be the source of my salvation? Huh? Fuck that. I want to make my own success, not rely on someone else who may or may not get it right. I mean think about it: if the white supremacist morons got what they say they want, racial purity and wholesale homogeneity, then what? They would still be stupid failures who can't walk and chew gum at the same time, so how would racial cleansing help them advance? It won't. But it's easier to work toward a goal that can never be achieved and then chalk inevitable failure up to the inability to achieve the impossible goal. Nifty plan, right?
Wrong. Stupid plan. This country was never lily white and Christian, so we need to let go of that particularly dangerous fantasy immediately. It's not helping. The good old days weren't. And the ability of white Christian males to exist at the top of the heap by virtue of their pale, uncircumcised penises is over. It's the equivalent of a class system where one's birth guarantees one's position. Give it up already.
But not without a fight. Apparently, there are those who think it's okay to walk around with like-minded folks spewing hate and discontent. And, actually, it is okay—it's a free country, after all, so you can support doomed causes ‘til the cows come home. But then you get to suffer the consequences. Like getting ostracized from polite society. And losing your job(s). And having everyone know what a completely pathetic loser you are. Just like the Zealots in Bring the Heat. They don't end up so well. Truth in Fantasy.
I've yet to meet an author or read a book in this genre who isn't open minded, tolerant and socially conscious. I've never read a paranormal fantasy book that espoused any principles I would associate with Hitler, or Amin, or Assad (a name I always associate with "asshat," but I digress). I wonder why that is? Oh, yeah—because people who write and read paranormal fantasy are smart, and accomplished, and sophisticated and successful. The total opposite of the imbeciles who vomit venom and malignity.
So, I plan to ignore the ignoramuses and continue reading my intelligent and insightful fantasy novels. Such a better use of my time and effort. And I learn a lot, too, about the ways of the world and how to make it a better place.