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From Weirdo to Leading Edge in Just 28 Years 
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Joined: Fri Jun 05, 2009 9:00 am
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Post Re: From Weirdo to Leading Edge in Just 28 Years


Sun Aug 09, 2009 4:14 am
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Heinlein Nexus

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Post Re: From Weirdo to Leading Edge in Just 28 Years
Y'know, I'm not sure if we aren't missing a cultural strain we've let go, because of the creep factor. There are any number of movies and books from that period (twenties through fifties) wherein an older man plays the game of being the "boyfriend" or "fiancee" of a much younger girl. True, these days we go "ick" and take the child away, but back then, when sexual abuse was largely left out of the public discourse, it was seen as charming and normal to have that kind of relationship.

It still floats up here and there -- my daughter used to tell everyone she was going to marry me when she grew up, until she discovered that wasn't allowed.

I think it's more likely Heinlein is playing with that fairly common event, and as he so often did, carried it to its logical limit (and beyond).

One might also consider that these two people were the only ones who were in a trusting situation, where they weren't betrayed by each other. They're both hurt by Belle and the marriage....

I still find it unsettling that an 11-year old decides on the course of her life with such certainty, but then, they do that...until reality intrudes. But the object of her crush disappears, and this prevents the natural process of growing out of it. Rikki lives her adolescence with an idealized lover, who isn't around to disappoint her, and whom she might have compared each boy her own age with unfavorably, as there was no opportunity for comparison with the real thing, only her idealized image.

Now, none of that's in the book, and I am more unsettled by Dan saying it's what he wants...but then, he's turning to Rikki precisely because of the unconditional, asexual nature of the relationship. It's love he wants, not sex; in no way does he violate the taboos Heinlein always followed between minor and adult. Rikki is a free agent when they reunite, and she could have turned him down then....

That said, and given all the conversation about the nature of this relationship, I have to suspect Heinlein did this all deliberately, to get his readers pondering the nature of adulthood and love, and all the other things we've kicked around....


Sun Aug 09, 2009 11:13 am
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Post Re: From Weirdo to Leading Edge in Just 28 Years


Sun Aug 09, 2009 12:28 pm
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Heinlein Nexus

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Post Re: From Weirdo to Leading Edge in Just 28 Years
This would be a perfect example of what I was talking about. It also runs the opposite way, so to speak, when you have grown men describing their mothers as their "best girl."


Sun Aug 09, 2009 6:12 pm
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Sun Aug 09, 2009 6:40 pm
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Post Re: From Weirdo to Leading Edge in Just 28 Years
Again, it may be a gay thing now, but back in the twenties through the fifties, you find straight men saying it in movies. Gary Cooper, "Pride of the Yankees", for example.


Sun Aug 09, 2009 7:00 pm
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