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Saturday, July 3, 2010

Two billion years ago, two galaxies were colliding

The World History Blog has an interesting post on how, shortly after WWII, the "Superman" radio show was used to knock the Ku Klux Klan down a peg. Reporter Stetson Kennedy gave the "Superman" writers inside information on how the Klan operated, to be used in scripts. The Klan attempted to pressure the show's sponsors but it wasn't enough to stop the scripts. I commented:

Also, the negative reaction was probably less than it would have been if the information had appeared in a more "serious" form. SF and fantasy have been useful to express ideas contrary to the zeitgeist for a long time, "1984" and "Animal Farm" being examples.

Back in the 1930s, when all "serious" writers were waving a sad farewell to weak democracy and making the best deal possible with their tough new fascist overlords, E.E. "Doc" Smith's Lensman stories subversively depicted the victory of a free, multispecies melting pot over the totalitarian Empire of Boskone.

When the original "Addams Family" TV series was on, with Carolyn Jones and John Astin, one critic noted that it was the only series with an intact family where everyone respected each other. And where but on "Smallville" do we get teenagers who are grateful to their parents.

No, I don't know if Stetson Kennedy was mild-mannered. The title of this post is a line from "Doc" Smith.

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