Michael Crichton–Hero of the Al Fin Republic

Ever since The Andromeda Strain, I have followed the story of Michael Crichton–his life and works.

Michael Crichton graduated from Harvard Medical School, and chose a career in publishing and the entertainment media over medicine. Although Crichton would have made a very good physician, his impact has probably been much greater through the world of entertainment. American mythology is written in bestselling books, highly rated TV series, and box office hit films. Crichton has scored big on all three fronts.

But Crichton is certainly much more than fiction writer, TV producer, and motion picture screenplay writer and producer. He has become something of a cultural icon. Crichton has been the boogeyman of radical feminists ( Disclosure), and the hated villain of the environmental left (State of Fear). Nanotechnologists did not appreciate his novel “Prey,” and it is certain that Biotechnologists will not like his latest novel “Next.”

Crichton attracts controversy, and although media controversy may annoy him at times, he does not fear controversy. Contrast that relative fearlessness of Crichton’s with Al Gore’s refusal to appear on an interview with anyone who even has equitable relations with Bjorn Lomborg. Talk about a limp wristed controversialist! It would be wonderful to see a debate on catastrophic anthropogenic global warming between Al Gore and Michael Crichton. Do you think Charlie Rose could arrange it?

Hat tip Fatknowledge Blog.

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One Response to “Michael Crichton–Hero of the Al Fin Republic”

  1. Anja Flower Says:

    And attract controversy he should. I’ve loved The Andromeda Strain for years, having first read it around the age of 11, but the reactionary anti-progressive views underlying much of his work make it difficult for me to like him or take him seriously.

    A great example of this is the central straw-man argument behind State of Fear: that ALF/ELF-type earth-first environmental fundamentalists are murderous, or could easily become murderous. While I do not in any way support ALF/ELF or associated organizations such as PETA, or ascribe to any form of environmentalist fundamentalism, I know many people who do, and it makes me wonder how much experience Crichton has with the kneejerk pacifist culture that is hard-left environmentalism. I have been to and participated in many left-wing protests myself, being a more moderate leftist (of the social democratic variety), and am quite familiar with the social circumstances and chains of events that lead to violence on the part of hard-leftists. I know well enough to be able to say fairly definitively that while they may well resort to a variety of violent methods, mass murder – or, for that matter, any sort of organized warlike behavior – is not one of them. There is such a taboo against such behavior in that culture that State of Fear is really a fairly laughable novel to anyone with any firsthand experience in the matter. Not a single environmentalist I know – not even the hardest of hard-leftists, the anarcho-primitivists – supports the actions of the Unabomber, and if that’s not a litmus test, I don’t know what is.

    As for his anti-feminist stand, he doesn’t even touch on radical feminism, a school of feminist thought that never survived the coming of third-wave, sex-positive egalitarian feminism, remains small to this day, and was never terribly large in the first place. And what he does touch on, the ability that women now have to abuse the desire of the people and the government to grant women equal rights and opportunities, still remains fairly distant from feminism per se; it remains safely within the “oh no! Men are the victims now!” territory of popular gender attitudes on the part of people and government and the manipulation thereof, and fails to address any actual feminist theory or gender theory.

    So Crichton is a smart cookie, but he frankly is a better novelist than he is a social critic. I hate to say this about such an accomplished writer, but he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

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