Pixel Scroll 5/18/17 For I Am A Bear Of Very Little Files, And Long Scrolls Bother Me

(1) NO NEED TO SAY MORE. Michael Swanwick recounts what he labels the shortest and most succinct discussion about the horror genre in the history of the speculative fiction community:

MICHAEL SWANWICK: “I don’t like horror because it scares me.”

ELLEN DATLOW: “That’s why I love it.”

(2) A FINE ROMANCE. Welcome to 21st-century dating. “This Man Is Suing His Date For Texting During ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy'”.

Texting during a movie is rude.

Brandon Vezmar from Texas is taking a stance on the issue by suing his Bumble date after she used her phone during a movie. The Austin American-Statesman reported that Vezmar filed a small court claim for $17.31, the price of a 3D showing of “Guardians of the Galaxy 2.”

“It was kind of a first date from hell,” he told the local newspaper.

The 36-year-old said that his date was on her phone “at least 10-20 times in 15 minutes to read and send text messages.” According to Vezmar, he told her she should text outside, so she left and took the car in which they both arrived.

Ouch.

Vezmar claimed he tried to text and call his date before taking the matter to court. He tweeted a screenshot once his date sent a statement to KVUE anonymously to say that, while she felt bad that his feelings were hurt, she chose to leave because he made her feel unsafe.

“His behavior made me extremely uncomfortable, and I felt I needed to remove myself from the situation for my own safety,” the statement read. “He has escalated the situation far past what any mentally healthy person would.”

Director James Gunn, who might have stayed safely out of this, unfortunately decided to show his ass, as if texting in the theater was the entire issue.

(3) TRAILER PARK. Aziz H. Poonawalla goes into deep analysis about the Star Trek: Discovery trailer.

But really, hairless Klingons? With a H.R. Geiger armor aesthetic?

It’s not like we haven’t seen the 60’s aesthetic embraced by modern television. Deep Space Nine went there and did it brilliantly — they arguably made the TOS USS Enterprise look even more gorgeous than any of her successors, and they didn’t change anything about her at all — just lighting and texture. Enterprise itself managed to authentically portray a pre-Kirk technology chic that had a more industrial feel, which was utterly believable as the ancestor to the softened look of the Kirk era. I do not accept that the Kelvinization of the Prime timeline was necessary to modernize the production. After all, the aesthetic of The Expanse and Dark Matter is thoroughly modern but doesn’t have the same Kelvin fascination with chrome and glass. Not that I want any Trek to go the grunge-fi look, but I do at least want Trek to honor it’s own identity. This feels like a rejection — purely a Han shot first decision.

(4) MESSAGE TO THE PAST. If the term “calendrical rot” hadn’t been invented for a different purpose, and we had a way to send it into the past, it would find the perfect Petri dish in this incredibly technical discussion of alternate timelines in Star Trek held on Reddit in 2015.

(5) SASQUATCH APPROPRIATED. In the Walrus, Robert Jago introduces his op-ed about Canada’s latest cultural appropriation controversy with an sff illustration: “On Cultural Appropriation, Canadians Are Hypocrites”.

Harry and the Hendersons is a 1987 fantasy movie about a Seattle family’s encounter with a friendly bigfoot (Harry) and their efforts to protect him from harm before releasing him in the mountains of the Pacific northwest. It’s a forgettable film, but it has undoubtedly been seen and heard in more Indigenous homes than has the story of Sasq’ets–the original sasquatch.

Sasq’ets, whose name was one of the few Halkomelem words to make their way into English, was one of a host of other legendary “wild people” living in the forests on the Pacific coast. For hundreds of generations, Salish and Kwakwaka’wakw children were raised on the stories of the wild people and taught to listen for their characteristic hu-hu-hu calls. Sasq’ets, along with Dzunuka, were said to capture wayward children, take them away from their families, and eat them. With their supernatural healing powers, the wild ones were thought to be invincible; only once was a wild person taken by angry villagers and burned alive. But to the mortals’ horror, the ashes began buzzing in a tiny chorus of little hu-hu-hu’s, and each particle sought out human flesh. This was the origin myth of mosquitos.

Sasq’ets taught our children to stay out of the forests at night. It connected us to our part of the world, in the same way that Hansel and Gretel or Little Red Riding Hood connected Europeans to their ancient forests–and possibly for the same purposes. Our stories are works of genius and beauty, and vital to our relationship with the land. By no means do I want to restrict our legends to Indigenous people. I want you to know about Sasq’ets, and the psychedelically odd stories of the spirit of the South Winds, and all of the legends of our country.

But when the story is taken from us and told by outsiders without our involvement, its identity can be lost, and Sasq’ets becomes Bigfoot. The cultural dominance of non-Natives means that a B-movie like Harry and the Hendersons can have more influence over Salish children than the legend that inspired it.

(6) WESTLAKE’S BOND. Daniel Dern says be on the lookout for copies of Donald Westlake’s James Bond novel(ization) released last fall. “I’ve already just put a reserve-request in to my library.”

Forever And A Death

In the mid-1990s, prolific mystery and crime thriller author Donald E. Westlake submitted two treatments for the 18th Bond film (which would ultimately become ‘Tomorrow Never Dies’)….Never one to waste a good story, Westlake turned his treatments into a novel.

Dern adds:

Fewer Filers than normally expected might be familiar with Westlake, since he wrote near-zero scifi, by choice. OTOH, he wrote lots of great mystery/thriller/crime and other novels and stories, ranging from humorous, e.g. his John Dortmunder stories, and his tabloid-reporter ones, to serious, notably the ones written as Richard Stark.

See the Donald Westlake site.

My favorite Westlake book: Up Your Banners

(7) MACE WINDU GETS HIS OWN BOOK. The Jedi have always been the galaxy’s peacekeepers — but with the Clone Wars on the horizon, all that is about to change.

This August, writer Matt Owens (Elektra) will team with artist Denys Cowan (Nighthawk, Captain America/Black Panther: Flags of Our Fathers) to unveil the exciting story of one of the Jedi’s greatest warriors in STAR WARS: JEDI OF THE REPUBLIC — MACE WINDU #1!

One of the most accomplished and storied members of the Jedi High Council, his wisdom and combat prowess are legendary. Now, in this new story, readers will get to see Mace Windu lead his Jedi into battle, and face the ultimate test of leadership!

(8) PETER OLSON OBIT. SF Site News reports that Boston area fan Peter Olson (1949-2017) died April 28. He was active in NESFA and participated in the Ig Nobel Awards.

(9) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY GIRLS

  • Born May 18 — R. Laurraine Tutihasi
  • Born May 18 — Diane Duane

(10) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY BOY

  • Born May 18, 1897 — Frank Capra

(11) COMIC SECTION. John King Tarpinian says Ziggy has a point.

(12) WHIP OUT YOUR ROLL OF HUNDREDS. Nicole Pelletier on Good Morning America has a piece called “Classic Disney animation art featuring Snow White, Pinocchio headed to auction” about how a tranche of Disney cels from the 1940s is headed for auction in an event sponsored by Bonhams and Turner Classic Movies.

Bonhams Fine Art Auctioneers and Turner Classic Movies (TCM) will present the movie memorabilia auction, “An Important Animation Art Collection, The Property of a Gentleman” in New York City on June 5.

The sale will feature more than 290 original Disney animation drawings, storyboards, posters, concept art and celluloids, according to Bonhams’ press release.

(13) WARNING LABEL. While I was browsing Bertie MacAvoy’s Amazon page, I especially enjoyed this self-introduction:

Robert A.MacAvoy

If you are young to the S.F. field and don’t know who I am, I will prep you by warning that I often kill off my heroes, sometimes at the most unexpected times. But never in a depressing manner. I’ve never wanted to depress my readers. My outlook is essentially comic.

(14) DRYING OFF. This may be the first good news I’ve ever heard about a convention associated with the Ozarks. Nerd & Tie’s Trae Dorn reports how some fans are overcoming a natural disaster: “West Plains, MO Based Oz-Con Plans Game Day Event to Make Up For Canceled Day of Con”.

I think any reasonable person would forgive the con, considering this was an extreme, unpredictable situation where homes and lives were literally lost. What’s the Sunday of a con compared to that? To the extreme credit of the Oz-Con organizers though, they still want to try to make it right.

Yesterday Oz-Con organizers announced an event they’re calling “Flood Con.” It’s a free game day the con is hosting from 9:00am until 10:00pm on June 17th at the Missouri State University-West Plains Student Rec Center. Admission is free, but they’ll also be accepting cash donations and canned food items to help with ongoing flood relief in the area. There will be video games, tabletop games, and fellow geeks to have a grand old time with.

Admittedly, I haven’t heard much about sff in the Ozarks — just that famous story about the time Larry Niven arrived expecting to be GoH of Ozarkon only to find out the con had been cancelled. (Fans involve swear they tried to get a message to him, but in those pre-internet days it failed to reach him on the road.)

(15) FAME IN PIXELS. Who needs a monument when you can be an answer on Jeopardy!

(16) LOVECRAFT COUNTRY TO TV. Get Out writer-director Jordan Peele and J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot and Warner Bros Television are teaming on Lovecraft Country, a one-hour drama that has been given a straight-to-series order by HBO.

There is connective tissue to Peele’s breakout genre feature Get Out, which brought a Black Lives Matter theme to the horror genre. Lovecraft Country, the 2016 novel from Matt Ruff, focuses on 25-year-old Atticus Black. After his father goes missing, Black joins up with his friend Letitia and his Uncle George to embark on a road trip across 1950s Jim Crow America to find him. This begins a struggle to survive and overcome both the racist terrors of white America and the malevolent spirits that could be ripped from a Lovecraft paperback. The goal is an anthological horror series that reclaims genre storytelling from the African-American perspective.

[Thanks to Carl Slaughter, Andrew Porter, JJ, Dawn Incognito, Daniel Dern, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Ky.]

122 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 5/18/17 For I Am A Bear Of Very Little Files, And Long Scrolls Bother Me

  1. Sheesh, that’s just one generation newer than a telegraph key for sending Morse!

    I think it’s only one generation older than the phone I have now.

  2. Clint – I see more discussion about the texting only because there are different opinions on when it’s appropriate to text in a theater, if ever. While no one is arguing that it maybe sometimes ok to stalk and sue a person for doing so.

    People might be divided on the appropriate public cell phone usage in a larger social context but what this guy did was so over the top wrong that it doesn’t leave much to talk about other than agreeing that it’s bad.

  3. People might be divided on the appropriate public cell phone usage in a larger social context but what this guy did was so over the top wrong that it doesn’t leave much to talk about other than agreeing that it’s bad.

    And if the exact same thing didn’t happen over and over again every time somebody gets stalked or attacked or harassed or murdered, I’d figure it was just that people today react cell phones the way people used to react to television or moving pictures or bicycles or novels. This is not one event in a vacuum. This is part of a larger social pattern.

  4. Clint: My point was that saying “Oh, of course it’s worse, but let’s spend 90% of our time focusing on the thing that is not by any stretch of the imagination worse or even remotely as bad!” seems to happen an awful lot, and it shouldn’t.

    Do you know why that is what’s happening in this particular case? It’s because no one here is attempting to defend the behavior of the unhinged guy who engaged in stalking and harassment.

    The people who continue to defend and excuse the incredibly rude cellphone behavior are the ones driving that.

  5. @JJ: In 2001 my grandfather died. He was a well-liked man from a large family, so there were lots of people at the funeral service. During it, a phone rang. Okay, someone forgot to turn it off.

    And then it rang again. And the person took the call. (In fairness, I have to admit they did at least go out of the room.) I couldn’t believe the disrespect both to Grampa and to everyone else there.

    I never did find out who it was, or what it was about. It’s probably just as well: if I hadn’t gotten a really really good answer, I might have thrown a punch.

  6. The people who continue to defend and excuse the incredibly rude cellphone behavior are the ones driving that.

    And why is that, do you suppose? There were, what, two people who said they could imagine cell phones being okay during a move, and they didn’t really press very hard. So why is continuing to rage about cell phones so very critical and so very reasonable? I get that having a light source in a theater is rude, but why are people so keen to go on and say that she has issues and that she is an idiot? Is it really just that somebody is wrong on the Internet?

  7. Clint: There were, what, two people who said they could imagine cell phones being okay during a move, and they didn’t really press very hard.

    Along with a number of other people complaining about the people who said the cellphone usage was rude, and claiming that was equivalent to blaming her for the guy’s unhinged behavior (which it was not), or to saying that her behavior was worse than his (which they did not). I’m not sure why you’re not including that in your count; I guess it’s because you’re one of the people who did that.

    Seriously, you are one of the people perpetuating what you claim to be upset about, the continued discussion of whether cellphone usage in a dark movie theater is rude.

  8. I guess it’s because you’re one of the people who did that.

    That’s just childish, but I guess it is answering my question for me.

    Along with a number of other people complaining about the people who said the cellphone usage was rude, and claiming that was equivalent to blaming her for the guy’s unhinged behavior (which it was not)

    See also: pointing out bigotry is the same as bigotry.

    Seriously, you are one of the people perpetuating what you claim to be upset about, the continued discussion of whether cellphone usage in a dark movie theater is rude.

    I’m not sure why you think I’m arguing that it isn’t rude. I’m mostly here because (a) I’ve always been annoyed by how childish people become while arguing about cell phones, (b) I’m gathering some really fantastic bits for something I’m writing about how people react to cell phones, (c) I’m really, really sick of people acting like* any flaw in one person automatically makes them just as bad as the other, and (d) I honestly expected better from some of the people in this conversation.

    *: I say “acting like” here. I said it before. Actions matter.

  9. Clint: I’m really, really sick of people acting like* any flaw in one person automatically makes them just as bad as the other

    Who has done this? Where?

     
    Clint: See also: pointing out bigotry is the same as bigotry.

    See also: claiming people have said things that they haven’t said, and blaming them for those things.

    It seems to me that you are quite intent on trying to blame people for things that they haven’t actually said or done, deciding for yourself what they actually meant and blaming them for that, and I’m wondering why.

  10. I just reviewed the thread out of idle curiousty. I only see one person who suggested that it might be possible to use a phone unobtrusively during a show if you were careful. JJ responded with some irrelevant horror story about a friend of his who was clearly not trying to be unobtrusive at all, and has spent the next three pages of discussion yelling about how horrible and evil using your phone during a movie is. Fine, we get it, dude. You’re obsessed. But the rest of us may not be quite as interested in the topic as you. And frankly, it does come off as a touch creepy in this particular context, even if you’re just being sincere about your undying hatred for people who use phones in an inappropriate place.

    (Heck, I routinely watch movies in well-lit rooms full of screaming children and music playing in the next room, and it doesn’t particularly bother me. But I realize I’m more sanguine than many.) 🙂

  11. Xtifr, I’ve already replied to your points in my previous post to Clint.

    I’m really not interested in trying to respond to any more untrue accusations about my motivations. If you’re not able to accept what I’ve said at face value, there’s nothing I can do about that.

  12. See also: claiming people have said things that they haven’t said, and blaming them for those things.

    You have got to be kidding me. I quoted you just before I said that.

    Honestly, I hate dealing with angry people on the Internet. I hate watching people who generally seem to have their heads screwed on right behave badly, throw around ableist slurs, make things up, and argue that actual physical violence is a good response to rudeness. So, I’m out. You have fun now.

  13. Lee:
    @ Soon Lee: But dinner-and-a-movie is the traditional first date!

    I know! The dinner part is a good idea: you talk, get to know each other, find out if your culinary tastes are compatible (important, at least to me).

    And then, you go to a movie? On a full stomach, to sit in the dark for a couple of hours, and not talk to each other? Or does the movie part involve sitting in the back row & “not watching the movie”, *nudge* nudge* *wink* *wink*?

  14. Clint

    I hate watching people who generally seem to have their heads screwed on right behave badly, throw around ableist slurs, make things up, and argue that actual physical violence is a good response to rudeness.

    He said, without a trace of irony.

  15. Soon Lee: I always figured the movie was originally meant to come before the dinner, and give them something to talk about if it turned out they didn’t have much else in common. I have continued both dates and friend-gatherings at a coffee shop or at home after just to keep talking about the movie (No euphemism).

    Dinner as a tradition seems to have moved earlier so they happen in that order less often.

  16. Lenora Rose: I always figured the movie was originally meant to come before the dinner, and give them something to talk about if it turned out they didn’t have much else in common.

    After one dinner which was just excruciating, I learned my lesson, and my dating strategy very quickly became “meet for a drink, and if we get on well and are both amenable, that can seque into lunch or dinner; if not, we’re each only out a half hour to an hour, and not subjected to a lengthy painful experience”.

  17. @JJ,

    I favour the “let’s meet for coffee” approach as the lower stress, less investment icebreaker. If coffee works out, you can arrange to meet again at a later date, or if it’s working out really well at the time & both parties are amenable, you can keep going.

    The coffee approach is less commitment than dinner. It’s also a lesser commitment than “drinks” which to me implies alcohol. Alcohol can be a social lubricant but if over-indulged, can lead to unintended (unwanted?) outcomes. I also prefer if we each pay our way, so that nobody feels entitled to anything more “in exchange”. (Mind you, it’s been many years since I’ve been in the dating game, so I’m sure it’s all done differently these days.)

  18. Start with coffer, if it works out, take a walk together and then dinner afterwords. Or ny preferred way: Meet for a drunk at one of our munches where there are several more people around. See how they interact with others and have the possibility to skip out and talk to other friends instead.

  19. @JJ

    Again, I agree with the vast majority of what you have said but,

    If you’re not able to accept what I’ve said at face value, there’s nothing I can do about that.

    Lots of luck. If there is a way to take something in a way not intended, it’s done been took there already.

    @Jon

    I really ought to be in your corner. I think enjoyable reading is a positive virtue. I’m certainly willing to listen to (and evaluate) arguments suggesting back room activities where politics may influence outcomes to some extent.

    But I’ve read what you have posted here, on your blog, and one or two other spaces we inhabit together.

    Most folks don’t worry about separating fly poo from pepper when it smells like a stack of pepper. The reverse? Not so much.

    @Clint

    It is not okay when people say “* That’s just as bad!”

    The only ones doing that are the ones that did something much worse in the first place. That doesn’t stop folks from equating people doing really nasty things with other people that don’t do such things, don’t defend doing such things, but have legitimate points to discuss.

    The false accusation of “you said ‘That’s just as bad'” is a wonderful way to shut down open discussion.

    Regards,
    Dann

    *Trying not to get dragged down the rabbit hole of any of the specific examples.

  20. @John,

    You are probably right. I get responses via email and thought he was engaged in this thread. Sadly, I’ve deleted those messages. Erg.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *