Thursday, March 13, 2014

Of Laundry and Adultery

I saw a weird thing today. John Scalzi posted a silly tweet about his wife using her feminine wiles to seduce him into folding the laundry. It was just about as witty as it was forgettable and the world moved on. Except one man who felt it necessary to pronounce to the world that this was begging his wife to cheat on him and refer to the whole as emasculating. 

Nope, not gonna link to him because he’s received enough traffic for this nonsense.
Now, I understand sexism and misogyny. I don’t agree with them, but I grasp the underpinnings of the kind of worldview they present. This just confuses the crap out of me. 

Does he believe women cheat on their husbands because they help out with basic, non-woodchoppy and/or animal-killing  duties? I kind of wonder if he’d been cheated on almost immediately after folding laundry and he’s used that excuse ever since. Also, did she cut off his balls afterword? That could explain the paranoia, but I hope this hasn’t happened enough times to make him believe it is how everyone acts. 

My wife only cheats on me when I refuse to wrestle grizzlies in the nude and denigrate the effeminate. Admittedly, she is more liberal than most of my friends’ wives but the point is that not all women are this crazy. Behavior like Scalzi’s really just merits a disapproving frown and all of womankind laughing at him behind his back for his gullibility. Kind of like that time you did the dishes back in 1997 but not as bad as when you made a quiche.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

More of Me: Millennicon and Horrorhound

Because I know you want as much as you can get. Right? Please tell me I’m right. I’m getting a little insecure here.  We’ll just assume I’m at least non-repellant and move on.

March 14-16: Millennicon

One of my favorite conventions. Certainly my favorite in the Cincinnati area. Jim C Hines is the guest of honor, which is just pure gigglies on toast. Plus, I ran a flash fiction contest for teens (judged by none other than Maurice Broaddus, Steve Saus, Eric Beebe and Teri A Jacobs) and the winners will be doing a reading at noon on Saurday. I’ll also be running a free writing workshop from 2pm-4pm on the same day. And I get to wax all intellectual-like over why people go so gaga over zombies and the walking dead (hint: TERRORISM! gasp). Add to that what are sure to be spirited arguments over Fan Fiction, Marvel vs DC and Disney Princesses and we have what should be a heck of a time. While you are there, be sure to stop by the StormySoaps table in the capitolism room so you can say hello to the missus (and buy nice smellies).

And, I'm considering taking my brand new, super-shiny Machine of Death box for open gaming. It's pretty and looks to be fun.

check out my con report from last year.

This will be my first time at this convention and I plan on being there as nothing more than a journalist and total dork. They’ve got panels on You’re Next and Tucker & Dale Vs Evil (god, do I hope to be able to hug up on Tyler Labine) along with an appearance by Clint Howard. Plus, Evil Dead the Musical as well as the expected films (Return to Nukem High? Yes, I shall), cosplay and assorted weirdness. Should be a hoot.

If you feel the itch, come on down to either one. Feel free to join me in a jig or three while yer there.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Can't we all just...

There has been much gnashing of teeth and rending of garments* in recent months (though it at times seems more like years) over the SFWA bulletin. Lines seem drawn pretty firmly, with one side screaming about what they see as the violation of their right to free speech in favor of political correctness and the other screaming about sexism and a lack of professionalism. You’ve seen the blog posts and the emails and the recent petition started byDave Truesdale. I won’t go through it all again.

I feel strongly that there are several people in the Science Fiction and Fantasy communities who need to come to terms with the fact that the world is no longer an old white boys' club anymore and that their fiction, publications and attitudes should reflect that. I also feel strongly that we should be wary of being overly rigid in our defense and support of those who have been wronged by past and current actions, especially if it ends up meaning that people are too afraid of offending someone to say anything meaningful.

But no one needs another goddamn voice screaming out their opinion on this. Especially not someone who isn’t even a part of the organization in question.

Instead, what concerns me here is the way people on both sides are dealing with this argument. Like too many issues with politics and anything in regards to the “culture war” (god, do I hate that term), we’ve got two predesignated trenches filled with angry people lobbing verbal grenades at each other over an open field. Neither side moving enough to even hear explosions that their side did not create. End result: no progress for anyone.

For those of you like Mr. Truesdale, several of whom helped to make these genres what they are today and whom all of us respect incredibly, I am hearing a bit too much “you can’t tell me what I can and cannot say or what I can and cannot do.” This seems to be happening without any willingness to look at what is being said or done and whether those things are harming others. Please note that I do not say “offend”, as I tend to enjoy offending people. Harming, however, is a tad dickish and should be curtailed. It does not help your cause when you use terms like “political correctness”, when  they are terms that have been used too often as shields for bigoted assholes (“preserving our heritage” is another to watch out for). Most of you are better than that and can articulate your thoughts without relying on such trite crutches anyways.

From those on the other side, many of whom are helping to expand this fiction I adore into marvelous unforeseen realms, the cries seem to be a pretty unanimous “sexist, bigotted asshats need to shut up and apologize right now!” Again, this is often immediate, knee jerk and without much real and deliberate consideration of whether or not actual harm is being done and whether or not your own approach is causing harm instead of helping. Too often, even the more reasoned and thought out approaches have a very condescending feel to them. This whole “it isn’t the olden days anymore, grampa, and you need to catch up with the times” tone comes across snotty, arrogant and self important. Again, you are professionals with words who generally do not speak to your readers as if they are idiots who could not possibly know as much as you what is best for the world. It makes me sad that so many of you are not using that talent here.

I don’t think I am alone in having been attracted to the speculative genres because they always seemed to be limitless in possibility. I still hold that they are and I still hold that the same goes for those who create them. I’d just like to see these raging, overly dramatic arguments turn into discussions that could do some good for the community and the art that I damn well know we all love. 

*I apologize for the seeming one-sided presentation of rants here, but I had a rather hard time finding people who sided against the SFWA in this matter. Please feel free to send me any links that would help balance this out.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Dick jokes and stripping cupcakes

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to see Tim Dimond perform. The guy was funny as all hell and mostly saved the night for me (the headliner of the night made me laugh more than sandpaper on my scrotum, but only slightly). His style is a bit educated with a slight lilt of smarm, but not so into his own brain as to be off putting. He’s one of those comedians that can tell smart dick jokes, without constantly reminding you that they are SMART dick jokes. I got the sense that, to him, they were just dick jokes. I liked that fine.

Tim, in the cupcake strip club.

Also, I had the opportunity of speaking with him after the show (don’t worry, no interview here) and got to see that he is also fairly good at being a human being. I enjoyed the chat and picked up his two CDs, which I will likely review at some near point.

But right now, just go to his website. Keep an eye out for any time he may be near your town. See the fucker. Have fun. Thank me later.

In the mean time, you can watch this.  Or this. Or perhaps this.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Letters of Go Fuck Yourself

or, Why I Learned  to Stop Loving and Went Back to My Misanthropy.

Just when I begin to think that maybe, just maybe, these damn people may not be complete douche-nozzles… Well, let’s back up a bit before I start foaming.

Those who know me, know that I work a shitty secondary job answering customer service calls for a variety of different companies. One of the companies I pretend to work for is a prominent international aid organization. No, I won’t say the name of either company, because I’m not an idiot.

Whenever a major disaster befalls some country, like the recent Typhoon that has hit the Philippines, we get a huge influx of calls from people wanting to help out in any way they can. Sometimes, they’re crying as they do it. It is wonderful and humbling and breathtaking to talk to someone who is donating their last $10 to help feed someone they have never met. It makes me think that there may be some hope for some of them.

But then I get calls about this.

Apparently, there are people who look at a tragedy like this and think the best thing they can do is send a Letter of Hope to those affected. That’s right, a fucking letter. Telling them all about Jesus.

I can imagine what it must be like. Your home has been destroyed and you have nothing. Friends, family and neighbors are dead. The local food sources are just as decimated. You can’t even get clean water to drink. Then, you see a truck bounding over the refuse and devastation. Help is here. Finally. You and the other desperate, damaged people holding onto what remains of their lives gather around the truck as the back door opens on the beaming smile of a man who pours light and grace into the air around him. Then he hands you an envelope.

Doug Stanhope has ranted about the arrogance and self-centered nature of using races to raise money, but this trumps it. You could not possibly do less for someone than this. Even if you kept your ass lodged into your couch cushions, you aren’t rubbing their nose in your unwillingness to provide actual assistance. You are just being a self important piece of human shit.

And you want a people who are actually doing something to help take care of delivering your mail for you? Fuck off. At least the Mormons have the decency to show up to someone’s door when they want to proselytize.
Admittedly, this whole thing has given me an idea.