Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Is Battlefield Romney empty?

Last year, I speculated about the seeming emptiness of Mitt Romney's inner core ("Romney: A mirror with no reflection"). To egregiously quote myself, "Sometimes one can glimpse the inner man by perusing his bookshelf." Now that Romney is the de facto Republican nominee, it is worth revisiting. Mitt's favorite novel is "Battlefield Earth," the universally panned tome by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. Besides the Bible (Romney's favorite book), let's hope there are other books on that shelf, too. Science fiction magazine Analog criticized Battlefield as "a wish-fulfillment fantasy wholly populated by the most one-dimensional of cardboard characters." Per Wikipedia, sci-fi critic David Langford trashed the novel's "plot, style and scientific implausibilities" and concluded: "From this, Battlefield may sound almost worth looking at for its sheer laughable badness. No. It's dreadful and tedious beyond endurance". Ouch. To be fair, acclaimed sci-fi author Robert Heinlein called Battlefield "a terrfific story." And Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction praised the book as a "rather good, fast-paced, often fascinating SF adventure yarn." But one freelance writer probably captured the novel best: "If you’re just looking for a good roller coaster of a ride without any depth and without learning anything new whatsoever, pick up Battlefield Earth." With a little tinkering, those words might well summerize Mr. Romney, too. You can't judge a book (or Mr. Romney) by its cover. But you can by its content -- especially if, as Romney's book pick suggests, there's nothing there.

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