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Month: August 2005


The ways in which this is not perfect are very few, very few indeed. P’raps my favorite thing is the comment back in the original post.

“When I was really into Buffy I remember thinking everything in The Waste Land secretly applied — it’s good to know it can shift fandoms so well.”

“Well, I was thinking that, more to the point, the poem doesn’t apply — the essence of the parody is in mapping possibly the most influential poem of the 20th century, with its World War themes and excessive literary references and multiple phrases in foreign languages, onto a children’s book series written by a woman who can’t even conjugate her pseudo-Latin…”


Follow the scan lines

TiVo will be providing video on demand soon. That’s cool; it’s another step in the process that leads to the question, “Why do we care about scheduled TV programs at all?” Doesn’t look like it’ll cost more than the usual subscription. That probably won’t last, though; the free stuff is from IFC, which needs to promote its programs. Someone like (say) HBO doesn’t need the same publicity — we already all know about The Sopranos.

Interesting note for me: IFC is owned by Rainbow Media, which has a few networks, and which in turn is owned by Cablevision. Not at all the biggest player in the cable market but not entirely insignificant. They’re definitely looking forward when it comes to final mile solutions.


You must condemn X. You must condemn Y.

“Islam is proven evil by the failure of mainstream Islam to condemn terrorism.” (Never mind that this is untrue to begin with.)

The problem is fairly obvious; the question is how to get ouf of the trap. How do we avoid falling into the belief that failure to condemn implies approval? Everyone does it.

Of metaphors

Heck, I’ll take a shot at this one.

First off: media whore is a pejorative term. Yes? Yes.

Second: Erick Erickson didn’t call Cindy Sheehan a whore. He did call her a media whore. We can hopefully pretty much stop pretending he didn’t mean to be insulting, right?

Third: if there’s something wrong with Cindy Sheehan using her access to media outlets to promote a particular commercial or ideological message, then there are a lot of people from all sides of the political spectrum who ought to be condemned.

What the Redstate folks are really saying is that they disapprove of her message; however, they’ve chosen to attack the person instead of what she’s saying. There’s a bit of subtext implying she shouldn’t have access to media outlets, but that’s a pretty profoundly unappetizing bit of subtext, so you won’t see it stated clearly. It’s always difficult to say “we don’t believe she should have a platform.”

That's that then`

I no longer need to come up with my own RPG campaign ideas. E.g.:

“The PCs are futuristic ninjas in a large corporation who, with their bare hands, fight corporate wrongdoers for gold in the Renaissance.” Sure, I can run that. The ninjas don’t get to bring their technology back and… the time machine went bad, so the plot arc is them trying to save money to bootstrap technology so they can rebuild.

“The PCs are mystic lawyers in New England who, with captured animals, fight aliens for purposes of fulfilling prophecy in the near future.” Yes. Yes they are.

Rip tear

And the Hugo envelope please…

Best Novel: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke

Best Novella: “The Concrete Jungle” by Charles Stross

Best Novelette: “The Faery Handbag” by Kelly Link

Best Short Story: “Travels with My Cats” by Mike Resnick

Best Related Book: The Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction, edited by Edward James and Farah Mendlesohn

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form: The Incredibles, written & directed by Brad Bird

Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form: “33” — Battlestar Galactica, written by Ronald D. Moore and Directed by Michael Rymer.

Best Professional Editor: Ellen Datlow

Best Professional Artist: Jim Burns

Best Semiprozine: Ansible, edited by David Langford

Best Fanzine: Plokta, edited by Alison Scott, Steve Davies and Mike Scott

Best Fan Writer: David Langford

Best Fan Artist: Sue Mason

Best Web Site: SciFiction, edited by Ellen Datlow. Craig Engler, general manager

John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer (not a Hugo Award): Elizabeth Bear

Special Interaction Committee Award (not a Hugo Award): David Pringle

And the full nominee list, for the curious and nitpickers. Also with links to many of the nominees online. I don’t think the big British book with faeries in it deserved to win against Banks and Mieville, but that’s me. Wow, and that’s an amazingly tough field for Best Dramatic Presentation.

Heh. Mike Resnick has five Hugos. The record for Hugos for fictional writing is Connie Willis, with eight. More here, not updated with this years wins as of the time of this writing.

A salute

Robin Cook died Saturday. I’m… sadder than I can really express. So, for the third time, I’ll link to his March 18th anti-war speech, which only becomes more prescient with each revelation about the Iraq War.

What has come to trouble me most over past weeks is the suspicion that if the hanging chads in Florida had gone the other way and Al Gore had been elected, we would not now be about to commit British troops.

The longer that I have served in this place, the greater the respect I have for the good sense and collective wisdom of the British people.

On Iraq, I believe that the prevailing mood of the British people is sound. They do not doubt that Saddam is a brutal dictator, but they are not persuaded that he is a clear and present danger to Britain.

They want inspections to be given a chance, and they suspect that they are being pushed too quickly into conflict by a US Administration with an agenda of its own.