I spent the afternoon reading Robert A. Heinlein’s Starship Troopers, a book I had never gotten around to reading even though I have been a Heinlein fan for many years. Now, I am also a fan of the 1997 movie, Starship Troopers. I even like the animated Starship Troopers.
I just had not, until today, realized how very, very different they were.
The movie is very campy and a lot of fun in that so-bad-its-good sort of way. Lots of psuedo-patriotic, psuedo-political doctrine and lots of blood and guts. Good watch, if you have a large bucket of popcorn and no expectations.
The tv show is fun and a good adventure. It’s one of those great cartoons that is suitable for older kids and adults alike. Good story, good characterization, good animation. No politics or philosophy what-so-ever.
The book, on the other hand, is all politics and philosophy. I was a bit surprised but still went through the book very quickly. The politics are very…radical and conservative at the same time. Reading through the book, one gets the idea that Heinlein really believed that public flogging and spanking children was the best, if not only deterent to a life of degeneracy and violence. Additionally, the book seems to be saying that military service should be the only way one should be allowed to vote.
The book was shocking to me, and I knew what to expect, but, still, it’s something to think about.
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