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Rednecks in Space

You see that there Confederate flag?

Yes, sir.


That's the one that they strung over the spaceport in Richmond, Virginia.

After you all took over from NASA?


Yeah, it was poorly funded thing, NASA. Run by scientists and a government that was long in failing its people. When the Confederate took it over, we did so with one goal: taking our people into those new frontiers.

A bar that sold cheap whiskey on every planet, that was the motto.


Haha.

Well, we did start off thinking it'd be good whiskey.


People being what they are, though, it's the cheap and raw stuff that's like drinking gasoline that is out there.

Was it the whiskey trade that funded the space program?


You know well and true that it was slavery that funded it, young man. Ain't no need to be polite.

There's no black people in space, after all.


It doesn't shame you?


Look, I'll--I will sit here and tell you that slavery is all about wrong, that another person being under another's will is bad, but it ain't no different to rampant capitalism that had seen all kinds of people under the thumb of others. Wasn't even the purity of race that separated them. Just the almighty dollar.

Is that not what separates you now, though?


It's just a little more controlled, is all, son.

'Sides, black people ain't got nothing to complain about. They got Earth to live on.


Which is now giant plantations.


Don't sass me, boy.

My apologies, sir. Back to the flag?


Of course. I could talk about this flag and our beautiful history all day.




So, yeah, I played Starcraft 2, at least a bit of it, and it starts off with what is essentially Rednecks in Space. The gameplay isn't bad, and if you dug the first, I reckon you would dig this, but as I sat there watching the cut scenes, all I could think--and wonder--was why it was that in so many science fiction settings that rednecks are out in space, working that frontier? What is it that drives authors and film makers and, hey, even in this case, game designers, to take what is essentially the shit stain of humanity and make them the heralds of a civilisation?

I don't know, but then I started thinking about how there weren't many black people there, and the next thing I knew, I had this.

Comments

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exp_err
Aug. 2nd, 2010 04:57 am (UTC)
I recently made the mistake of reading Footfall. Aliens vs. Republicans. In case you care either way, the Republicans win. With nukes.
benpeek
Aug. 3rd, 2010 04:31 am (UTC)
lol

well, it's a good thing i never really dug larry niven.
hollowpoint
Aug. 2nd, 2010 02:19 pm (UTC)
For what it's worth, the backstory to the original StarCraft game is that Earth swept up a bunch of troublemakers, criminals, seperatists et al, stuck them on five prison arks and shot them into space. One of the five arks survived and went on to generate the various small polities of the StarCraft universe. Between that and Blizzard's obvious desire to portray a hodge-podge rag-tag quasi wild-west frontier setting I think the "white trash" kinda thing makes *some* sense.

Not that the white trash cliches are particularly awesome or whatever, and the absence of non-whites in the StarCraft 'verse is a much more reasonable thing to pick them up on. Though between the various games & expansions there have been more black guys than any other non-white group. I can recall precisely one Asian chap from a cutscene and there are no women with the exception of the 'Ghosts'.

S'not a game of great narrative depth, in any case, though I have to admit that when I was 15/16 I adored Starcraft and it's hard to be too critical through that sort of retrospective nostalgic haze. I'll be playing the sequel soon though so may have more coherent thoughts then...
benpeek
Aug. 3rd, 2010 04:32 am (UTC)
i'm not hugely worried about the backstory or whatever for starcraft. the game is fun enough,and if you adored the original, i have to say, i suspect you will adore this new one quite the same.

it just hit me as i was playing it how common hicks in space were.
hollowpoint
Aug. 4th, 2010 03:15 pm (UTC)
My copy just arrived, so I'll be sampling it myself tonight. :)
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