Don’t Try and Make the Past Politically Correct

I was reading some reviews on some old books today and it astonished me by how many people gave them a low rating… not because they didn’t like the book necessarily… but they didn’t like the authors view on certain subjects… I believe this to be a terrible thing to judge a book by… now if you can’t get past views that we know today to be wrong then you shouldn’t read old books… but you can’t expect an author who wrote books 100 years or more ago to have the same view on the world as we do today… it’s one of the reasons I do love reading books from the late 1800’s to early 1900’s because they’re up to date in many ways and yet it’s almost like a totally different world… and it’s interesting to see how those people in that time saw their world or even how they dreamed the future might be… and to try and take away from those books because they’re not politically correct I think is a grave injustice… sometimes we need a reminder of where we once were so we can see how much we’ve grown and be glad that we’ve made progress…

Now, I love Robert A. Heinlein’s books… they’re intriguing to say the least… his ideas and views are interesting and they say a lot about that time even though he seemed to prefer to write about the future… in one of my favorite books, A Stranger in a Strange Land, there was a little remark from the woman talking about how she believed that it’s usually the woman’s fault when she get’s raped… I don’t even really remember why that came up but it was such a tiny part and not really what the book was about that it didn’t bother me… even though I know that’s an entirely incorrect statement… it’s what they believed in that time… I’m not going to judge him by today’s knowledge just because he grew up in a time when they thought such was okay… heck, just the other day I read about a Judge being ridiculed for saying such during a rape case… and there was a Norwegian woman who was raped in Dubai and she was convicted and sent to jail for having sex outside of marriage… so such notions may seem ridiculous to you but in other times and other cultures it’s what they believed… and like I said if you don’t like to hear about such then don’t read those books… and definitely do not bash them because of one little blurp that made you cringe… if you’re going to not like a book… then dislike it as a whole… dislike the plot and the genre and the writing… but not hate it because you don’t agree with the opinions that can be expected from someone in that time…

And you know I’m going to bring up Edgar Rice Burroughs… I have too… I read a review of Tarzan of the Apes that didn’t like the book because in that time they believed that nobility was in the blood and that regardless of where or how you were raised if you were of nobility you would automatically know how to act… she did at least seem to give the rest of the book credit but she couldn’t get passed that and that’s her right and I’m not going to lie… that is the prominent idea of the book… but then there was someone who accused Burroughs of being racist… that I will not stand for… anyone who has read the Martian series knows that he actually had black people at the top of the food chain there… in fact they were revered as gods… I don’t see a racist person doing that… and the main thing John Carter did there was bring all the races together to work in harmony… how does that sound racist? but she’s judging him from one book because there was a tribe of Africans that were cannibals and obviously Tarzan didn’t get a long with them… but when he first saw the white people he didn’t really like them either because the main crew were criminals that were killing each other off and not the kind of people Tarzan wanted to get to know… the only thing that drew Tarzan to Jane and the other white people was because he saw them trying to protect one another… because more than anything Burroughs wrote about how important honor and courage was… he was actually ahead of his time because though Jane might seem a bit weak… she shot a lion that was charging her down… and the women in the other books were just as ready to jump in a fight a long side the men… that’s rather progressive thinking… but he’s still writing back in the day when some ideals may not line up with ours… but why should we look down upon him for that…

A book should be hated for the same reason it should be admired… because of it’s content, the authors writing style, the plot, and even originality… if you can’t get passed some things then perhaps you shouldn’t read books from those ages… but the thing I hate most about people trying to be politically correct is that you loose some of the wonder and greatness that can be found in our past… and you loose the ability to see things and accept them for what they are even as you may know that this isn’t something you’d agree with… after all we can enjoy a book about serial killers without condoning the acts… so why can’t we enjoy a book from a different era and accept that their views may no be sound but their stories are still just as thrilling…

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