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Throughout my life, I have been extraordinarily traditional while most of my friends have been remarkably progressive. Perhaps it’s the curse of an orthodox artist. Perhaps God thinks it’s funny. In any case, experience has taught me to be diplomatic and to choose my battles with care. But while my hippie friends and I have generally gotten along because we share an interest in life’s frivolities (even though we differ on nearly all serious matters), I find it’s increasingly difficult to maintain such friendships. With each passing year, philosophical differences intrude further and further into our casual pastimes.
These days, every other film, novel, or game is linked to some public controversy. Does the story lack gay characters? Unacceptable! Does it involve hunting? Outrageous! Why can’t player-characters in the game be cross-dressers? How can the book be respectful of the nefarious oil industry? How racist of them to choose a white man as the hero! How irresponsible to show a character smoking! Why doesn’t this sport have more diversity? You know what I mean. Even Superman, who used to explicitly fight for “the American way,” is now a globalist, an environmentalist, and probably a secret bisexual like all superheroes must be.
Electronic Arts advertised a black man and an Arab woman as two protagonists in its upcoming WWI game, Battlefield 1, but even that hasn’t stopped many gamers from complaining that they can’t play as female soldiers in the history-based shooter’s multiplayer mode (history must be racist and sexist). The hero on the cover is at least rooted in reality.
The Passion of the Christ was accused of anti-Semitism for daring to dramatize millenia-old scenes straight from the book of this country’s most popular religion.
And today I find myself having to defend the proposal of whaling as an acceptable feature in a light-hearted pirate adventure game called Sea of Thieves. Never mind that every player in the cartoonish game is cast as a thief and a cutthroat (that is, a pirate) or that we’re talking about a game with krakens and mermaids.
When did progressives abandon the liberty to have fun?