Thursday, February 2, 2017

An Equal Opportunity Satirist



Muhammad Rasheed - The Destroyer novels used to have the reputation for an equal, merciless satirizing of both conservatives AND liberals, this being the reason a person like me could be a fan in the first place. That didn't stop until William Patrick Murray left the books in the late '90s, and then shortly there after the properties took a dramatic Right-leaning, exclusively pro-GOP focus. The difference was equally sudden and dramatic for me.

I'll admit that the way they are now disappoints me, and in my own TALES OF SINANJU: THE DESTROYER comics, I made sure to return the stories to their roots with the equal "both political sides get it" format.

Chris Ivanovich - I noticed the transition. I figured it would swing back and forth based on who was in office, but it didn't necessarily seem to go that way. I'm a HUGE fan for 3 decades now. I powered through "the dark times" (you guys know the stories). But one I couldn't power through was the novella "Number Two". That was leaned so hard to the right all of the humor fizzled and it was, essentially, a political scree. Politics is secondary in a Destroyer book (at least for me). First is always the relationship between Remo and Chuin.

Muhammad Rasheed - Agreed. Politics is the background of the novels as filtered through CURE and the Legend of Sinanju. It should never overpower the latter two, which are the heart & soul of the Destroyer-verse.

Todd Pack - Agreed on both counts.

Max Warden - I agree. I'm a left wing weenie but had no problem with the 70s and 80s swipes, they were funny and made me laugh. I also think P.J. O'Rourke is funny but not Dennis Miller.

William Patrick Murray - Warren told me that we were equal opportunity offenders... I followed that dictum religiously....

Muhammad Rasheed - I certainly appreciated it.

William Patrick Murray - Satire to be valid must not have any blind spots...

William Patrick Murray - Most importantly, we were entertainers first. Turning off readers of any stripe was tantamount to suicide, especially in a series that was aging....

William Patrick Murray - I also noted from reader comments that many readers were oblivious to some of the politics.

Todd Pack - I started reading in the early/mid '80's when I was in my early/mid teens. I noticed and enjoyed the "both political sides get it" format early on.

Randolph John Carter, Author
- Probably depends on when you came in. That vision colored the view from that point forward and backward.

I think you'll like 152 then. :)

Joel Yohn - @Muhammad... thanks for bringing this up. It has been bothering me for a while now too. Nice to know I'm not alone.

Dennis C Patterson Jr - This is something I just consciously noticed in the most recent Legacy novel.

Victor Donald Smith - I tend not to write aboujt current events, but right now there is incredible material for satire coming from both sides.

Victor Donald Smith - You have raised an interesting question. I have been thinking about it. And of course I am handicapped, as my books are in storage away from here.

My wife is planning on moving later this year, of course when, and to where except for a general location, in Arizona, I have no idea what that will be. As I am much dieabled, my role is saying “Yes Dear,”

So I only have memory at this time. But in the time frame you mentioned, the books were mainly written by writers not much connected with the series origins. Following the formula. More or less, the greater use of liberals as targets of satire, might have been the idea of the writers, or it may have been the editors ideas who you had to pay attention too, or even the preferred bias of the publisher.

Then again there were fewer books, which would not help highlight the anti-liberal bias. I know that downturn, it caused me to begin my fan fiction to a large part.

I know there were targets from both sides, but I cannot verify how many and who.

Of course the far fewer volumes the past few years didn’t help either.

Then current events often spawned ideas throughout the series. And the last 8 years the US has been under democratic rule, so it makes for obvious targets for books to use.

Unfortunately I do not have more to go on. I tend to read the books and then shelve them for later years review. I don’t keep notes on them from initial readings.

That is the best I can offer at this time.

Joseph Patrick - Almost every medium is liberal...we get AM radio and a book series. Deal with it. LOL

Muhammad Rasheed - lol I'll deal with the GOP's appropriation of my beloved Destroyer stories by fighting it, Joseph. This doesn't make the books better for them to be written that way, to make Rush Limbaugh's opinions to be the focus of the series. That by default makes the stories garbage.

Joseph Patrick - That's your opinion. My opinion is that anything liberal is trash.

Muhammad Rasheed - You don't believe that. The fact that most of your demographic is on welfare/food stamps and really needs the "safety net for the poor" item of the liberal agenda, means you would be a self-hater to really think that way.

The problem is that you've been brainwashed to believe that the GOP ideas should be pursued, and liberal ideas should be vilified, no matter what. No matter whether it conflicts with common sense, or your own people's self interest.

Joseph Patrick - It's a known fact that most people on welfare are Caucasian... It's also a known fact that 300 people have been shot in liberal stronghold Chicago in the first 30 days of 2017. Most blacks in prison were illiterate high school drop-outs when they entered prison. I could keep going if you want to do a tit-for-tat race thing. But it's ugly, and I don't like it. Pointing out liberal idiocy all day to a liberal who embraces the trash they do kinda wrecks my Friday vibe.

Muhammad Rasheed - 1.) The Prison Industrial Complex, and the 'War on Drugs' laws and policies that are its life blood, were mostly put into place by conservatives, and capped off by Bill Clinton, who was doing his "tough on crime!" impression of the conservatives at the time. These same decades old policies and the multi-connected industries that build wealth from them, are responsible for the increases in poverty, class warfare, revolving door school-to-prison-pipeline and the resulting violence that comes with them. This has nothing to do with the liberal agenda and everything to do with the wealth & power hoarding agenda of the conservative side.

2.) Most Blacks are in prison because of unfair laws and policies that target them in order to feed the Prison Industrial Complex. Lighter sentences for cocaine possession compared to crack possession was a hallmark of this Black-targeted unfairness that even Newt Gingrich acknowledged. Your belief that all those Blacks are in there because they can't read is an ignorant one. To say the least.

3.) You're not equipped for a "tit-for-tat race thing" with me because the facts of history are on my side in such a debate. You prefer to be indoctrinated with GOP ideology because you enjoy the low-level White Identity Politics aspects of it. That's all.

Joseph Patrick - Sorry... I fell asleep after something about prison pipe-line. All I heard was, "Wah-wah-wah...I'm a victim." LOL

Muhammad Rasheed - That's adorable since your demographic is the one currently cowering behind guns & walls, while also the one MOST dependent upon the government free money teat.

No one bitches and whines more than you lot. That was the background noise of Trump's campaign, remember?

Michael Sa - Personally, I don't want a political diatribe, monologue or theorizing on current politics in the series at all... I don't read fiction to think about reality; I want to go on a wild ride with Gerald Welch, Randolph John Carter - Author, Warren William Patrick Murray, and any of our other beloved authors involved and see what happens to my favorite characters. If it adds to the book, great; if it adds a chuckle, even better, but if the book gets too politicized, I just smile, nod and move on.

Todd Pack - Well said. Like Mr. Rashid pointed out, politics might be the backdrop, but it's about the characters. Which are some of the best ever in my opinion.

Todd Pack - My apologies, Mohammed Rasheed, for spelling your last name wrong........

Joseph Patrick - What I like about the conservative slant is that the book's hands aren't tied by politically correct namby-pamby limp-wristed bed-wetting bleeding- heart tripe.

Max Warden - Harold Smith was always a little uncomfortable with working outside the Constitution. He never voted for a President but served the country. I always liked him as a moral compass.

Muhammad Rasheed - The conservatives have their own version of "PC" that they've always operated under; they only pretend to celebrate limitless free speech. As usual, they believe in it until it checks their behavior, then they have a namby-pamby, limp-wristed, bed-wetting tantrum.

Michael Sa - Politically correct? Uhm... We're talking about Remo; his job is to assassinate with a smile.

William Patrick Murray - If you're reading a novel and find yourself on the receiving end of a lecture, whether or not you agree with the lecture, you are reading the work of either an amateur or a crank...

Michael Sa - How about Ayn Rand: Atlas Shrugged?

William Patrick Murray
- Both

Michael Sa - Amateur and Crank? Ayn Rand... ouch! :(

Bryan Hassenpflug - As a confirmed Liberal Democrat I actually loved them, started reading them when they first came out, and was lucky enough to have short story published in the New Blood book. the equal irreverence of the books was one of the main drawing points.

John Nielson - leftist thinking was always something Remo despised (for the obvious reasons), to not have noticed this for all these years is as odd as not grasping what 'obvious reasons' means

Muhammad Rasheed - The established opinion of the individual characters is different from the tone of the series itself. The longest running Destroyer novel ghost writer admitted in this thread that Warren instructed him to be an "equal opportunity offender." Recently the series took a different turn, alienating many in the fan base. That's not right, nor is it good business practice. Continuing to satirize both sides of the aisle when politics comes up is the best way to write these books.

William Patrick Murray - Longest-running and most prolific. 40 books, most solo....No one else comes close....

Muhammad Rasheed - The way Will wrote the series IS the Destroyer as we know it. It doesn't make sense to not use his approach as the template to how it should be done, as I have with my comics. To force the series into a radical, strictly partisan direction will deliberately cut the Destroyer property's throat. At that point the larger fan base can only hope that Shane Black's film version would be able to return it to an intelligent and fairly balanced center to rekindle the readership to new heights.

William Patrick Murray - The way Dick & Warren wrote the series is the template. But the audience for these books was changing and I wrote consciously for the 2nd generation of new readers...the ones who few up on Rock & Roll & Marvel Comics. My generation. I was 20 years younger than the creators and I had to hold onto the old readers as well as capture new ones. Hence my promoting the series in venues for comic book readers and in the pages of Starlog magazine....

Remo Williams - As is only correct!

John Grace - I think if you can read Mugger Blood and still stick with the series, you can handle any direction the series takes without being offended. But I don't care for the politics of either side being blatant in the books. I prefer re-reading the Pinnacle run because of their brevity, and I'm too young to know the politics of the era, so that stuff is easily ignored. It also doesn't get in the way of the action, humor, sex and myth; the elements that drew me to the series when I was 13. I noticed the sex was seemingly non-existent in many of the post-Pinnacle books. Maybe they noticed all the young readers?

Muhammad Rasheed - For me the negative aspects are easily ignored when the series' writers stick to the "equal opportunity offenders" of it's roots. It only becomes out of line when the series is usurped by Rush Limbaugh mouth pieces in an unprecedented one-party partisan direction.

Victor Donald Smith - Having lived through the era, they skewered everyone equally, and often it could be perceived as offensive, I just saw it as satire. For myself though I don't choose to use much social satire, not my skill.

Muhammad Rasheed - As long as the "equal skewering" fairness is maintained, any offense is easily dismissed.

Joseph Patrick - The 8 years Obama was in office, did CURE disband? I'm not that far along in the series.

Muhammad Rasheed - No spoilers! Grow up.

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