(Well, during the last few weeks at least. Took a while to collect three, but posting just two seemed silly. Or something.)
1 John Ringo He’s an author who writes military sci-fi novels and the like. Hero and I recently read his Council Wars series, and as light entertainment it wasn’t bad. I actually really like his approach to military sequences; he clearly knows what he’s talking about and he narrates the strategy clearly enough that I can follow the action. And there’s a little sex and all the women have “high firm breasts” (oh my goodness he needs to stop using that exact same phrase over and over) but I’m used to that and I’m willing to put up with sexified characters for decent writing.
But then. I start noticing patterns. Like the fact that of five strong female characters, two are sexually submissive and one has no libido. (There are no sexually dominant females, apparently.) And the fourth is unilaterally monogamous. Not to mention the completely not-okay way some of the rape trauma stuff is handled. (It’s a post-apocalyptic world so some of the woman have been raped. Which is not a bad thing in itself, but the “support”some of them get is terrible.) And there’s other stuff, all of it pointing to the fairly clear fact that John Ringo has no respect for women. So despite his well-done military fiction, I don’t think I’ll be reading any more of his books.
2 People who assume that depression is all in your head. Heard someone who should know better saying that he was surprised to hear depression considered a medical health issue when it’s “primarily emotional.” Idiot needs a remedial course in brain chemistry. I’m not taking fish oil because I like the taste, you know?
3 Pat Robertson Someone was handing out printouts of his “predictions for 2011” at a prayer meeting (which I don’t mind, they hand out random stuff all the time) and I was curious about his prophecy track record (which is pretty lousy, for the record) so I was googling him and I discovered that he sells diet supplements now. Protein shakes and things. There is no way he has any business selling diet supplements. He has no background in nutrition or medicine, and if he consulted anyone who does they would have told him that if you eat a fairly balanced diet of normal food you’ll be just fine. (Protein shakes are occasionally convenient, but I doubt he’s bringing anything to the genre.) The fact that he’s selling them is a manipulative money-grab, plain and simple, and that’s not okay. Before this I’d thought he was rather an idiot but at least honest. Now I’m not so sure he’s honest either.
On a positive note, may I recommend A Brief History of the Apocalypse? It’s a site that I found while googling for Robertson, and it’s pretty awesome.