12 thoughts on “RIP Michael Crichton”

  1. Crichton was correct on climate change in saying that rational analysis should be applied to the evidence on an ongoing basis, rather than prematurely closing debate due to political influences.

    Try to at least hold the snark from the man’s obituary, FGS.

  2. I didn’t think Tom’s comment was snarky. He merely noted that the man had controversial opinions. A simple statement of fact.

  3. It was in poor taste. Rather like damning with faint praise. Either do it right or don’t do it at all.

  4. Who is Bruce Sterling? If he lives another hundred years he won’t achieve one tenth of what Crichton has done. Sterling is a graceless hack. Sterling has lost whatever talent he ever had, and was never in possession of sound scientific judgment. The ugliness of Sterling’s sniping seems to fit with Raven’s ugly tone above.

  5. At the risk of fueling a flamewar (but … someone is wrong on the Internet!)…

    When somebody dies, and that somebody is a person who I think did a lot of damage while he lived on this planet (c.f. Nixon, Falwell, Helms, etc.), I think of Donne’s line: “Each man’s death diminishes me…” We hate to speak ill of the dead. They were human, and they leave mourners behind.

    IMO Crichton did some decent work — I was addicted to ER for years. And I certainly wish I’d thought of a few of his cooler ideas (like the one about the dinosaurs). That said, Crichton was a wingnut on topic of global warming. He could have used his bully pulpit thoughtfully and constructively on that topic. He chose otherwise. So it goes.

    I’ve never met or corresponded with Bruce Sterling, and I kind of prefer to admire high-energy people like him from a distance. He is a once-in-a-generation visionary, lateral thinker, an whose work gets better with every book, and a genuine force for good in this world. From his nonfiction book Shaping Things:

    We wake up, and we go about our daily affairs, free of shadows of imminent apocalypse and secure in the objective knowledge that our activities as civilized beings are expanding our future options and improving our current situation. This is how we would interact with time if we human beings were really on top of our game.

    I can’t think of another writer who’s summed up our dilemma and potential in a way quite so startling or moving.

    Sterling will never reach as large an audience as Crichton did, for the same reason that Kenny G. sells more CDs than Coltrane. He demands more mental energy on the part of the reader. But some of us know the real stuff when we hear it.

    IMO, of course.

  6. Interesting. I can easily see both sides of the argument.
    Sterling’s rant about Crichton sounds extremely tenuous, almost senile. Perhaps that is what can happen to even “decent” minds when they obsess on a topic that their minds cannot fully grasp. They are reduced to harsh opinions which they feel they must enforce by any means necessary.

  7. Or, perhaps, opinions are just opinions. Both Sterling and Crichton are far more lauded than any of us commenting here will likely ever be, and it has been their own choices that have shaped the way they are perceived by their audiences, positive and negative. There’s no debate there; you either liked Crichton’s work, or you didn’t, and no amount of arguing will change that.

    Where there is a debate, of course, is over the matter of whether or not one should speak ill of the works, opinions and achievements of the recently deceased. Evidently I don’t see a problem with it – it’s no different to doing the same while they’re alive, surely – but I’d be genuinely interested to hear a defence of the opposite stance.

  8. Pissing on graves of those we envied is merely a statement of survival. He who laughs last, and all that. No one expects bloggers like Paul, Tom, or Bruce to be above that sort of thing when faced with hugely greater achievements of a man they could never measure up to. Let them die. Let them all die. We have enough piss to last a long time.
    Heh! A good joke and a good laugh was had by all.

  9. I wasn’t pissing on Crichton’s grave, Vlad, I was pissing on his books, and I did that when he was still quite alive. Don’t let that get in the way of your sense of moral superiority, though; it’s nice to see you’re keeping Crichton’s spirit alive in your own way. 😉

Comments are closed.