Welcome to the Playpen, our space for ferrety banter and whimsical snippets of things that aren't quite long enough for articles (although they might be) but that caught your eye anyway.
Thanks to video games, I have a vague familiarity with the basics of firearms, so I was a little surprised that I was able to identify a:
*Nerf assault rifle
*Nerf sniper rifle
*Nerf machine gun, complete with blast guard and optional extended magazines
The most impressive, however, was the Nerf pistol that could be converted into a Nerf submachine gun, complete with shoulder stock, laser sight, and extended barrel. Seriously, it looks like the gun you get when you join the Nerf Mossad.
Then I found this product list. THERE'S NERF ANTI-MATERIAL RIFLES!!!! THE MIND BOGGLES!!!
As for the ComicsAlliance list, wow. That all just sounds dire.
However, I am tempted to take a look at this comic, if only because (God help me) I kinda like the Lizard, and it sounds like the writers actually tried to do something interesting with the character.
But not as odd as Super Hornio Brothers.
Second, didn't Colin Wilson try infusing the Lovecraftian mythos with erotic elements in a few of his stories? And weren't those stories generally considered to be failures?
Thirdly...huh. That's...well, that's something you don't see everyday. Puts me in mind of things I've seen on deviantArt that I kinda regret seeing.
Obligatory TV Tropes reference: Did You Just Romance Cthulhu?
But, um, really? "Cthulhurotica"? Really?
I think it's an example of a progressive novel being outpaced by social change.
Oh, absolutely, it's kind of ironic that it's fallen victim to precisely the same thing it was portraying. But then again, there's plenty of stuff from 1973 and earlier that hasn't dated in such a way that it's become offensive - look at Delaney's Dhalgren or LeGuin's The Left Hand of Darkness, in the same field of SF taking a look at evolving attitudes to sexuality and gender.
But the interview has at least convinced me to give it another try; at least Haldeman acknowledges that he goofed and he wouldn't have given it the same spin this time around. And I suppose it's likely to get less offensive as it gets further and further into the future and modern-day issues become more and more distant and irrelevant.
Or it could be all "gay hiveminds are undermining marriage". :P
It doesn't help either that Haldeman likes to harp on about how effeminate so many of the male homosexuals are. Or that the whole "homosexuality is becoming mandatory and heterosexuality is treated as a disease" angle is clearly a response to the American Psychiatric Association taking homosexuality out of the DSM (officially declaring it Not An Illness) the previous year.
And, again: widespread homosexuality, race-mixing, and a UN-dominated centralised economy is pretty much exactly what the American far right was fearing even back in the 1960s.
From what I've skimmed of the book, Haldeman isn't writing in a dystopic vein so much as an evolutionary one. His depiction of a societal shift towards homosexuality isn't a slur, but as a sign that the future will become such a radically altered place that someone from the present day (well, 1960s America) will simply be unable to cope with the changes. Sort of Stephen Baxter lite.
For what's it's worth, things on Earth get even stranger after Mandella gets back out into space.
A shame, because up to that point the book had been pretty well-written.
So...I guess that answers that question for me. Though I'm still tempted to check it out of the library and read it for a laugh. So long as it is more "ridiculous bad" as opposed to "rage-inducing bad".