August 2nd, 2010


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.


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.