Pixel Scroll 11/25 Have Space Suit, Can’t Get Through Babylon 5 TSA

In response to a suggestion I am adding subtitles to go with the item numbers. Some feel that will make cross-references to Scroll topics less confusing when they are talking about, say, item 8 from two days earlier.

(1) Royal Treatment. File 770 doesn’t get a lot of press releases, just the quality. Today I received the announcement of a second round of tickets for sale to those wanting to attend the celebration of Queen Elizabeth’s 90th birthday in May 2016.

(2) Radio SFWA. Henry Lien’s instructional video, demonstrating the choreography for his anthem “Radio SFWA”, is rockin’ and ready for you to witness in this public Facebook post.

(3) Read The Comments. The New York Times published a feature about some of its most valued regular commenters. One of them is 95-year-old sf writer Larry Eisenberg.

Larry Eisenberg. Photo by Chad Batka.

Larry Eisenberg. Photo by Chad Batka.

Mr. Eisenberg has made a name for himself by commenting in poetry.

“Today the kind of poetry you see is primarily a prose form of poetry, you rarely see anything of a rhyming nature that’s published,” Mr. Eisenberg said, citing hip-hop music as an exception. “My own feeling is that people like rhymes. There’s something attractive about them.”

He said his poems were inspired by the fight against racism and inequality. “That’s something that really disturbs me,” he said. “The killings that are taking place, that are primarily racially directed.”

“I do get people who say they love what I wrote,” Mr. Eisenberg, who served as a radar operator in World War II, added. “They found it very enjoyable, or they got a laugh out of it. That’s of course very pleasant for me to read.”

Intelligence failure my eye!
A Cheney-Bush-Condi baked Pie!
Media abetted,
The lies weren’t vetted,
And boy, did this mess go awry!

Larry Eisenberg

Larry Eisenberg was an active sf writer in the 1960s-1970s who had a story picked by Harlan Ellison for Dangerous Visions (“What Happened to Auguste Clarot?”), 20 published stories in his “Emmett Duckworth” series, and had his story “The Time of His Life” (1968) included in The Arbor House Treasury of Modern Science Fiction edited by Silverberg and Greenberg.

(4) Loscon 42 is this weekend in LA. The full program is now online.

(5) Once More With Joshi. S.T. Joshi restates his arguments at greater length in “November 24, 2015 – Once More with Feeling”.

It appears that my recent blogs have been somewhat misunderstood: I suppose in this humourless age, where everyone feels at liberty to be offended at anything and everything, satire and reductio ad absurdum are dangerous tools to employ. (How I wish more of us could adopt Lovecraft’s sensible attitude: “I am as offence-proof as the average cynic.”)

Here are three of his 11 points – I suspect many sympathize with #7, if none of the rest:

7) It would help if the World Fantasy Convention committee had presented some—or any—explanation as to why the award was changed. The secrecy with which this matter was handled has done a disservice to the field.

8) No fair-minded reader could say that my discussion of Ellen Datlow in any way constituted “vitriol.” I was raising a legitimate query as to why she has turned against Lovecraft after profiting from anthologies that could only have been assembled because of Lovecraft’s ascending reputation. Similarly, my comment directed at Jeff VanderMeer was in no way insulting to him. It is simply the plain truth that his offhand comment does not begin to address the multifarious complexities of this issue.

9) I do not question the sincerity of those individuals (whether they be persons of colour who have been the victims of race prejudice—as I have been on a few occasions—or others who are concerned about the continuing prevalence of prejudice in our society today, as I certainly am) who genuinely believe that changing the WFA bust might have some positive results in terms of inclusiveness in our genre. I happen to think they are mistaken on that particular issue, but that is a disagreement that I trust we can have without rancour or accusations of bad faith. (I am, however, not convinced that Mr. Older is one of these people.)

(6) Carrie Fisher. CinemaBlend knows “The Blunt Reason Carrie Fisher Returned To Star Wars”.

Leia, who we now know has traded out the Princess tag for General, is one of those roles that is difficult for an actor to escape—much like Luke Skywalker, it casts a long shadow—and this played a part in Fishers decision. But her choice also had a lot to do with a bigger issue in Hollywood, the lack of quality roles for aging actresses. When Time caught up with the 59-year-old actress and asked if her decision making process was difficult, she said:

No, I’m a female and in Hollywood it’s difficult to get work after 30—maybe it’s getting to be 40 now. I long ago accepted that I am Princess Leia. I have that as a large part of the association with my identity. There wasn’t a lot of hesitation.

(7) Attack of the Clones. Michael J. Martinez continues his Star Wars rewatch reviews in Star Wars wayback machine: Attack of the Clones”.

…No, my issue is Padme, as in…what the hell are you thinking?

Anakin is utterly unstable. It’s apparently widely known that Jedi aren’t supposed to get romantic or emotional. So there’s your first tip-off. The stalkerish leering and horrid attempts at flirtation aren’t helping, either. But then, right in front of Padme, he confesses to slaughtering an entire tribe of sentient beings — women and children, too! Sure, the Sand People killed Anakin’s mom, but do you really just sit there and say, “Hey, Anakin, you’re human. We make mistakes. It’s OK. Hugs?”

Hell, no, Padme. You call the Jedi Council on Coruscant and let them know they got themselves a massive problem….

(8) We Missed A Less Menacing Phantom. Meanwhile, we learn “Ron Howard could have saved us from The Phantom Menace, but chose not to” at A.V. Club.

Way back in the mid-’90s, George Lucas apparently exerted some mental energy trying to decide whether he’d rather create a trilogy of bloodless films in order to experiment with his new computer-imaging software, or hire some real filmmakers and make some decent Star Wars movies. He ultimately went with the former option, but—at least according to Ron Howard—it could have easily gone the other way.

“[Lucas] didn’t necessarily want to direct them,” Howard explains in a recent interview on the Happy Sad Confused podcast. “He told me he had talked to Robert Zemeckis, Steven Spielberg, and me. I was the third one he spoke to. They all said the same thing: ‘George, you should do it!’ I don’t think anybody wanted to follow up that act at the time. It was an honor, but it would’ve been too daunting.”

If this story is true, that is some criminally negligent counseling from some of Lucas’ supposed friends.

(9) Theme v. Message. Sarah A. Hoyt works on a practical distinction between theme and blunt message in storytelling, in “Threading The Needle” at According To Hoyt.

Theme, plot and meaning in your work.

Yes, I know, I know.  You’re out there going “but aren’t we all about the story and not the message.”

Yeah, of course we are.  If by message you mean the clumsy, stupid, predictable message you find in message fiction….


1- Figure out the theme and thread it through WHERE APPROPRIATE.

2- Figure out the sense of your novel and thread it through WHERE APPROPRIATE and not in people’s faces.

3 – If your sense of the novel fits in a bumpersticker, you iz doing it wrong.

4- most of 1 and 2 come down to building believable characters that fit the story you want to tell, and then not violating their individuality.

5- if you end in a line saying “the moral of this story is” it’s likely you’re over the top and turning off readers.  Also it’s possible Sarah A. Hoyt will come to your house and hold your cats/dogs/dragons hostage till you stop being a wise*ss.

(10) Today In History.

  • November 25, 1915 — Albert Einstein formulated his general theory of relativity

(11) Supergirl, Spoiler Warning.  Polygon reports “Superman to finally be introduced on Supergirl”

Audiences have gotten quick glimpses of the superhero, but there’s never been an official first look at the man of steel.

Now, however, Superman is set to make his official first appearance on the show, according to a new report from TV Line. Casting has already begun for the character, although some may be surprised to find out that CBS isn’t looking for a handsome, leading man to fill the role, but a 13-year-old boy.

(12) Game of Thrones Spoiler Warning. The Street asks, “Did HBO Just Tease That Jon Snow Is Alive in This Awesome ‘Game of Thrones’ Promotion?”

GoT left off in the Season 5 finale that Snow had been killed by his brothers of the Night’s Watch who rebelled against him as the commander of the group. Avid fans across the world cried and took to social media in outrage.

But since the season finale last June, fans have tossed around lots of theories on whether Jon Snow is actually dead. A prominent theory — at least in the TV series – is that Snow’s eyes change color just before the camera cuts off in the episode’s last scene. Could it mean that while Jon Snow may be dead, he will emerge as a new person, ahem, Jon Targaryen? Or was the eye color change just a trick of the camera?

As well, Game of Thrones blogs and various media articles have noted that Kit Harington, the actor who plays Snow, was seen on the show’s set while filming earlier this year for Season 6.

Still HBO hasn’t confirmed that the character will be returning. And following the season finale in June, HBO insists that Jon Snow is indeed — dead.

(13) Rex Reason Passes Away. Actor Rex Reason died November 19.

Rex Reason, the tall, handsome actor with a lush voice who portrayed the heroic scientist Dr. Cal Meacham in the 1955 science-fiction cult classic This Island Earth, has died. He was 86.

Reason died November 19th of bladder cancer at his home in Walnut, California, his wife of 47 years, Shirley, told The Hollywood Reporter….

In This Island Earth, distributed by Universal-International and directed by Joseph M. Newman, Reason’s Dr. Meacham is one of the scientists recruited by a denizen of the planet Metaluna to help in a war against another alien race. Russell Johnson, the future Professor on Gilligan’s Island, also played a scientist in the Technicolor movie, which at the time was hailed for its effects….

After a few years at MGM and Columbia, Reason landed at Universal and worked alongside Rita Hayworth in William Dieterle’s Salome (1953). He later starred as another scientist in The Creature Walks Among Us (1956), appeared with Clark Gable and Sidney Poitier in Band of Angels (1957) and toplined Badlands of Montana (1957) and Thundering Jets (1958).

(14) Blue Origin. Yesterday’s Scroll ran a quote about the Blue Origin rocket test, but omitted the link to the referenced Washington Post story.

(15) Hines Review. Jim C. Hines reviews “Jupiter Ascending”.

I’d seen a bit of buzz about Jupiter Ascending, both positive and negative. I didn’t get around to watching it until this week.

The science is absurd, the plot is completely over the top, and about 3/4 of the way through, I figured out why it was working for me.

Spoilers Beyond This Point

(16) Cubesats. “United Launch Alliance Reveals Transformational CubeSat Launch Program” reports Space Daily.

As the most experienced launch company in the nation, United Launch Alliance (ULA) announced it is taking CubeSat rideshares to the next level by launching a new, innovative program offering universities the chance to compete for free CubeSat rides on future launches.

“ULA will offer universities the chance to compete for at least six CubeSat launch slots on two Atlas V missions, with a goal to eventually add university CubeSat slots to nearly every Atlas and Vulcan launch,” said Tory Bruno, ULA president and CEO.

“There is a growing need for universities to have access and availability to launch their CubeSats and this program will transform the way these universities get to space by making space more affordable and accessible.”

(17) Nazi Subway Ads. The New York Post article “Amazon Pulls Nazi-Inspired Ads from Subways” has more photos of the subway cars, inside and out.

Andrew Porter’s somewhat Joshi-esque comment is: “The concept of a USA under German and Japanese occupation is apparently beyond the comprehension of most subway riders, and politicians. Note that no actual swastikas appeared anywhere! Next: toy stores will be forced to remove World War II German model airplanes….”

(18) Testing for Feminism: The dramatic title of Steven Harper Piziks’ post “The Impending Death of Feminism” at Book View Café obscures his finely-grained account of a classroom discussion. The comments are also good.

Every year my seniors read Moliere’s Tartuffe. In that play is a scene in which Orgon orders his daughter to break off her engagement with the man she loves and marry the evil Tartuffe.  She begs him not to force this and asks his permission to marry the man she wants.

“Haw haw haw!” I chuckle at this point.  “Tartuffe was written in the 1600s.  Nothing like this happens today!”

Or . . . ?

I bring up a web site on my SmartBoard that asks questions and lets the students text their responses so we can see how the class as a whole answered.  The answers are always a little shocking

(19) Mockingjay 2. Tom Knighton reviews Mockingjay Part 2:

…Now, let’s talk about performances.  Jennifer Lawrence is phenomenal, like she always is.  Personally, I like her better as Katniss than Mystique, but mostly because I prefer rooting for her characters and I just can’t with Mystique.

This is the last film we’ll ever see Phillip Seymour Hoffman in, and that is truly a tragedy.  So much talent, but he had a demon he couldn’t tame and it cost him his life.  To get political for a moment, this is something we should be discussing how to prevent.  Frankly, the threat of prison didn’t stop him, so maybe we should figure something else out for a bleeding change.  </politics>

Liam Hemsworth is great as well.  He’s a young actor I can’t wait to see do more.  My hope is that someday we’ll get a great action movie with Liam and his big brother Chris.  Gail and Thor on the big screen…yeah, I can see it….

(20) Bottled In Bond. James H. Burns recommends, “As folks are celebrating Thanksgiving, they could have a drink, like that other JB….!“ He means, of course, James Bond. For ideas, consult Burn’s article “007’s Potent Potables”.

The virtual explosion of surprise over James Bond drinking a beer in Skyfall was a bit absurd, and played almost like some practical joke from one of the spy’s arch enemies seeking to display just how gullible the media can be. (“Is that a SPECTRE I see over your shoulder?”) Call it a vast victory for product placement: The kind that not only gets the brand a major slot in a movie, but gets folks–including “The NBC Nightly News”–buzzing to the tune of MILLIONS OF DOLLARS of free publicity, for both the film, and the endorsement. But Ian Fleming’s secret agent 007 has been having the occasional brew almost since his very beginnings in the author’s bestselling series of espionage novels, which commenced in the early 1950s!

(21) Trivia. J.M. Barrie, the creator of Peter Pan, was one of the seven people that Antarctic explorer Robert Falcon Scott wrote to in the final hours of his life during his ill-fated return journey from the South Pole. Scott asked Barrie to take care of his wife and son. Barrie was so touched by the request that he carried the letter with him the rest of his life.

(22) Gratitude. “The SF/F We’re Thankful for in 2015” at B&N Sci-FI & Fantasy Blog.

Andrew: Space opera seems to be coming back in a big way. Books such as Nemesis Games by James S.A. Corey, Ancillary Mercy by Ann Leckie, The End of All Things by John Scalzi, and The Long Way To A Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers have been earning acclaim from all corners of the internet. I’ve always been a big fan of stories about expansive galactic empires, ragtag starship crews, and adventure far out into the cosmos, and the genre’s recent resurgence is both exciting and terrifying: there’s not nearly enough time to read all of them!

(23) Scalzi’s Thanksgiving Prayer. John Scalzi has recorded an audio of his science fictional thanksgiving prayertext first published on AMC in 2010.

… Additionally, let us extend our gratitude that this was not the year that you allowed the alien armadas to attack, to rapaciously steal our natural resources, and to feed on us, obliging us to make a last-ditch effort to infect their computers with a virus, rely on microbes to give them a nasty cold, or moisten them vigorously in the hope that they are water-soluble. I think I speak for all of us when I say that moistening aliens was not on the agenda for any of us at this table. Thank you, Lord, for sparing us that duty….

[Thanks to James H. Burns, Jim Meadows, rcade, Andrew Porter, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Credit for this holiday travel-themed title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Daniel Dern.]

199 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 11/25 Have Space Suit, Can’t Get Through Babylon 5 TSA

  1. > “I sing along with Mr. Guthrie everytime Alice’s Restaurant comes on the radio.”

    Heck, yeah.


  2. As I was walking all alane,
    I heard twa corbies makin mane;
    The tane unto the ither did say-o,
    “Whar sall we gang and bank the-day-o?
    Whar sall we gang and bank the-day?”

  3. OK, is Andrew Porter deliberately missing the point, or has he forgotten that people have a lot less choice about whether to ride the subway than whether to enter a toy store’s model airplane department? There is also a real difference between a boxed kit and a poster staring you in the face on your morning commute.

    Also, something he genuinely may not have realized, which is relevant here: there are Holocaust survivors who ride the subway.

  4. I also can’t think of any songs that Indepence Day is particularly associated with…

    “Is anybody there?

    Does anybody care?

    Does anybody see…what I see?”

  5. @Vicki Rosenzweig:

    Oh yes, item (17).

    It’s a pretty asinine argument. No swastikas? Sure, but there were eagles and iron crosses right there on the American flag. And Imperial Japanese flags.

    There are people alive today who spent time in death camps under those symbols, a considerable number of them in New York.

    Whining that one’s toys will be next is unseemly, especially when it is A.) untrue, and B.) regarding removing something horrifying and harmful from something as ubiquitous and necessary as public transportation.

  6. @Lori Coulson:


    “We’ve been from Framingham to Boston and we cannot find a pin!”

  7. Remember, remember, the fifth of November has been set to music, too! Probably more than once, but the version I know is by John Rutter

    *blinks*. Of course there is. It seems an unlikely candidate for his tendency to sound like something from a 50’s feel-good comedy, but I wouldn’t be surprised.

    (Just sang his “All things bright and beautiful” for a wedding – it’s *not* in our usual repertoire, and it defintitely falls into the 50s zone.)

  8. Oh man. I am grateful to this site, Mike, and its denizens, not the least of which are Rev. Bob for the spectacular “50 Plates to Feed My Brother” and Camestros’ bank holiday songs. Happy thanksgiving, everyone!

  9. We have songs for christmas and Lucia (two weeks before). The rest we use generic drinking songs for.

  10. @Jamoche

    He wrote a musical (well, it says it’s an opera, but it feels like a musical) about the Gunpowder Plot – Bang! I performed in it when I was about 13 (along with, due to also being in the Church choir at the time, a huge amount of other Rutter work – dude was seriously prolific). Remember, Remember is the opening and closing tune, if I recall correctly.

    He does have an, um, distinctive style. 🙂 Always quite popular with the congregation, though, even if it did get a bit learn-one-know-most-of-them for the choir itself.

  11. We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving as part of our tradition so we miss out on having it as a stopbank for Christmas advertising which flows back to earlier and earlier in the year. So by mid-November, the (formerly Creepy*) Queen Street Santa has made his return, and malls are festooned with Christmas themed decorations.

    *He used to have a lazy eye and and a motorised forefinger which would move back & forth in a beckoning motion.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  12. even if it did get a bit learn-one-know-most-of-them for the choir itself.

    Oh yeah. The sheet music for the wedding came *way* late – we had one rehearsal for it instead of the planned three – but it didn’t take long to work out which Rutter tropes were at play that time. It would be easier if he’d stop trying to fit as many parts on one staff as possible – I’m all for conservation of paper, but come *on*.

  13. @Soon Lee:

    I am afraid it’s been at least four generations since any store in the US respected the wait-until-Thanksgiving custom.

    It’s commonplace nowadays for Christmas goods to be up by mid-October, and once in a while one sees them even before the autumn school term starts.

  14. In the circles I moved in when I lived in the US, the Thanksgiving _hymns_ which were popular were “Come, ye thankful people” (English), Nun danket (German), Wir pflügen (German again). “We gather together” (Dutch) didn’t show up on my radar until more recently, although the original is a 16th Century hymn, and it’s been popular in the US since the early 20th Century.

    Advent hymns/carols have a reasonable number of pages in the English Hymnal, and a few entries in the Oxford Book of Carol’s. The two which seem to be most popular are “People Look East” and “Creator of the stars of night” (Conditor alme siderum), but I doubt that they are known at all outside churches.

  15. Here’s a handy survey that just popped up on Twitter about racial attitudes among young whites. Upshot: they are not less racist than older cohorts. The application to their attitudes toward gender is indirect but suggestive.

  16. I also can’t think of any songs that Indepence Day is particularly associated with…

    I can, unfortunately. That horrid Lee Greenwood ditty, “God Bless the USA.”

  17. I will note that the local* Macy’s had displays of Christmas presents (including things like chocolates labeled as such at least three weeks ago; if they don’t recognize “wait until the NY Thanksgiving parade reaches the reviewing stand in front of Macy’s,” it’s not surprising that the competition doesn’t either.

    On the other hand, at least they weren’t playing Christmas music that day, which the next store we went into was.

    Here in 4810, we’re fighting a rear-guard action in the War Against Christmas, trying to at least defend April and May.

    *Bellevue, Washington

  18. Here’s a handy survey that just popped up on Twitter about racial attitudes among young whites. Upshot: they are not less racist than older cohorts. The application to their attitudes toward gender is indirect but suggestive.

    Comes as no surprise to me. When you raise kids to be colorblind while using coded language and redefine racism as violent attacks while continuing systemic and institutional racism the kids will pick up on what’s going on. The institution racism prevents us from moving on unless more families take changing the system seriously and set good examples for their children and teach their kids to think critically about what messages the media and friends/extended family send which is lots of really hard work. If the parents are unconsciously biased they can’t do much to prevent their kids from growing up with same or worse attitude.

    In many families, like mine when I was growing up in 1970-80s, while we were told genders were equal girls had, and from what I see around me today, still have, more household chores and taking care of siblings than boys do. This will of course continue on the male superior and female subordinate thinking. This happens due to unconscious bias generation after generation even when we think we are doing better with toys, books, games.

  19. Cassy B: “Come ye thankful people, come” has been rattling in my head since this thread started. However, Thanksgiving was a month and a half ago up here. I often have to mentally reset myself for people griping about Christmas stuff preceding Thanksgiving, since our Thanksgiving is usually swamped in Hallowe’en decor, and it’s Remembrance Day where we have to fight and beg people not to get too Christmassy just yet. (Although I did point out on Facebook that the majority of Christmas-themed images I saw before then were in fact the ones asking people to respect Remembrance day, and thus kind of self-undermining.)

  20. Tasha Turner: Foz Meadows has a lengthy essay called “teaching equality hurts men” Which is about just that: Teaching equality often adds up to teaching that things already ARE equal, rather than that equality is a thing to strive for, which makes it especially easy for people (especially men, who often benefit) to fail to see still-rampant and unchallenged aspects of sexism.

    It rang true for me in that it explained a number of things several men of my acquaintance (who WANT to be allies but stumble a lot) keep saying and thinking.

  21. Mike Glyer: You do realize your explanation for WFC using the busts this year is headcanon? As well as being a speculation I made myself here in comments before? I want WFC’s explanation, I already have our guesses.

    No, I didn’t realize that. I thought when I read it previously that it had been something that was actually said, not speculation on your part. I obviously wasn’t reading carefully enough.

    While many of us may be interested in hearing WFC’s explanation for their decision, as Mary Frances has pointed out, they don’t owe anyone an explanation — not us, not Joshi, nor anyone else.

    My personal take on it is that they made the decision, I think they’re the right people to make that decision, and I’ve accepted it and moved on. Joshi’s utter inability to do either is his own problem — not WFC’s.

  22. Jamoche :

    Oh yeah. The sheet music for the wedding came *way* late – we had one rehearsal for it instead of the planned three – but it didn’t take long to work out which Rutter tropes were at play that time. It would be easier if he’d stop trying to fit as many parts on one staff as possible – I’m all for conservation of paper, but come *on*.

    I… I’m suddenly having high school era flashbacks. Strong ones. There was a year when every *single* chorus I was in was doing the Gaelic Blessing. My high school chorus. That year’s iteration of all-district chorus. The chorus that met for practice once a week on UNO campus. Every SINGLE one.

    Oh, Rutter.

  23. ‘Testing for Feminism’ is fascinating, as well as terrifying; it occurs to me that, whilst location is undoubtedly a significant influence, the fact that the school teaches both girls and boys together tends to get overlooked as a source of gender enforcement in traditional roles.

    I was educated at a school founded by radical feminists in 1875; my daughter was educated at a school founded in 1894 by a radical feminist who happened to be a man. Both of our schools continue to admit girls only, both of our schools continue to expect their pupils to go on to university, to make use of their education in their working lives, and to support those who have not been fortunate enough to grow up valued for themselves as human beings, as opposed to property to be transferred from father to husband. That includes the need to oppose slavery in every form, since the underlying principle is the same.

    I think it’s a great deal easier to do that in girls schools than in co-eds; certainly the academic results are far superior, and life is a lot easier without having to waste time and energy on people who have not yet grasped that human beings are not property. Obviously someone has to convey this fact at some point, but I see no reason why it should be the responsibility of the girls; if the parents have failed to do so then it’s down to the teachers. It’s far from ideal, but it’s a great deal better than allowing the belief to go unchallenged…

  24. @Vicki Rosenzweig, There’s also a Seattle-area radio station that shifted to 100% Christmas music at least a week ago. I truly don’t know what to make of that.

  25. @Camestros Felapton

    Brad’s quite fond of “crybully” at the moment

    That’s Dignity Culture for you.

  26. If I recall correctly, in the animated Peanuts Thanksgiving special, they sing “Over the River and Through the Woods”, so perhaps that might count as a Thanksgiving song.

    The actual title of “Over the River and Through the Woods” is “The New-England Boy’s Song about Thanksgiving Day,” so I think it counts.

    The lyrics also mention Thanksgiving Day twice.

    As for Independence Day songs, I’d offer up “She’s A Grand Old Flag.”


  27. Tasha Turner: Foz Meadows has a lengthy essay called “teaching equality hurts men”

    I believe I’ve read that and found myself nodding my head a lot.

  28. Soooooo. While I’m still stuck in the Wasteland spending faaarrr too much time building settlements (3 so far, but they’re *perfect*!), I have had time for a couple of other things:

    Read Planetfall by Emma Newman. Really good pacing and build-up. Kept me on the “Just one more chapter” mode and finished it last night. However it doesn’t quite stick the ending, which lacked….resolution?

    Watched The Expanse pilot. Much better than I expected. Visually, the only issues would be the dodgy CGI, as well as the fact that the 2 lead Belters (Miller and Naomi) don’t look like Belters (was this handwaved away for Miller? There was something about adjustment surgery?)

    Off to read the latest Sanderson! Also, Happy Thanksgiving! (Is that today? Yesterday? Tomorrow? Timezones are a li’l confusing…Here at 4283 we’ve given on the concept of temporal measurements of less than a year. Makes being on time for appointments a lot easier)

  29. @Harold: (Addams Thanksgiving song)

    I just realized that the actor playing the male camp counselor in that scene was also the minion/art expert with the nutty accent from Ghostbusters II. Small planet, ain’t it?

    In unrelated news, since I was out anyway for Thanksgiving dinner, I stopped by a couple of the wastelands that were once called “retail stores.” Of course, that was before the shambling hordes descended upon them…

    The upside is that I completed a seven-year-long quest. I now own every season of True Blood on DVD, each purchased for $10 as a Black Friday deal and all in matching “fancy slipcase” packaging (as opposed to the “clear clamshell case” repack). The darkly funny downside is that the one movie I bought at full price, the one that was encased in a store-security locked plastic box and actually had a solid Blu-ray case instead of the flimsy “eco-case” kinds – that’s the case that was actually damaged and needs to be replaced. Never fails, right?

    Soon, I get to face a monumentous decision. I have a 40″ flatscreen TV waiting to be hooked up, replacing a fossil of a cabinet-model TV. That means I’ll have to decide on the perfect First Movie to watch on it. So many choices…

  30. @RevBob

    When I got my high-definition TV, the first movie I watched on it was the Blu-ray of Alien. The detail of the Nostromo was stunning.

  31. Saturday in the park…
    I think it was the 4th of July…

    Oddly, we were singing both “We Gather Together” and “Over the River and Through the Wood” in the kitchen as we made the green bean casserole this afternoon. I don’t know why it happened, but there you are. We were also discussing Alice’s Restaurant because I was expressing nostalgia for Thanksgivings past when we drove to my husband’s mother’s house every year and purposely timed it to hear all 20 minutes of Alice’s Restaurant on WXRT just before we got there. We were by ourselves this year — no travel necessary — so I suppose that’s why we were singing Thanksgiving songs from our youth. Although I was never religious, as a child I liked the hastening and chastening business in “We Gather Together.” Rhymey!

    And we just watched Arlo do Alice on a PBS show. Serendipity.

    I associate 4th of July not with Chicago (see lyrics above) but with the usual suspects like the Star-Spangled Banner and America the Beautiful as well as Sousa, especially Stars and Stripes Forever.

  32. “We’re waiting for the chirp, chirp, chirp
    Of that tiny little fellow,
    waiting for the egg to hatch
    On this humid Monday morning in this congressional incubator..,”

    My favorite Fourth of July song by far!

  33. Augh! Misquoted my song – that’s what comes of drinking champagne while cooking Thanksgiving dinner. My apologies!

  34. A friend of mine teaches in an all girl school. He says it’s frustrating.The girls do so well I in maths and physics simply because there’s no one around to tell them that they can’t. But then they get to university and encounter sexism from their classmates for the first time and don’t have the experience in dealing with it that women who went to coeducational school’s do, and it often goes badly for them.

  35. @snowcrash: Planetfall kept me going, totally a page turner. The ending . . . hmm. SPOILERS for those who’ve read it only:

    VZUB Era jnf n eryvnoyr aneengbe, juvpu znxrf zr jnag gb gnxr vg ng snpr inyhr. Gura cneg bs zr guvaxf, hu, qvq fur whfg qvr? Be, jnvg, qvq fur whfg unyyhpvang gur jubyr syvccvat guvat?! Vf fur npghnyyl yvrvat va fbzr enaqbz pbeevqbe, tnfcvat bhg ure ynfg oerngu?

    V fgvyy ybirq gur obbx – guvf qbrfa’g punatr gung ng nyy! Ohg V hfhnyyl qvfyvxr raqvatf gung yrnir guvatf bcra gb vagrecergngvba, naq V srry guvf bar qvq gung. Fb V’z abg fher ubj V srry nobhg gur raqvat, juvyr fgvyy ybivat gur obbx. Qvq V zragvba V ybirq vg? 😉

  36. @Another Laura: ROFL, a congressional incubator! I don’t even know that song, but that misquote (I presume that’s the misquoted part) is hilarious, thanks.

  37. “Alice’s Restaurant” is the Thanksgiving song here. Also the ritual watching of the WKRP episode. Like Peace, “1776” is the Independence Day musical here.

    My first-ever pumpkin pie (usually I eat someone else’s) was a success.

  38. Dinner was a success. (Suggestion: instead of packing the stuffing into a baking dish, roll it lightly into balls and nestle them into a greased baking dish, then bake. Much better toasty-surface-to-custardy/bread-puddingy-inside ratio than other forms offer. This suggestion via the Serious Eats Stuffing Waffles, Stuff-Puppies, and Stuffin’s: Three Ways to Bake Your Stuffing Better article comments.)

    The husband, unfortunately, has been laid low by an incipient migraine, and so we will not have his NYC-raised “THANKSGIVING MEANS KAIJU” sense guiding the rest of the evening. Nor will we be watching The Expanse. Harrumph. [Please insert ALL THE SYMPATHY for migraines, which, second-hand experience informs me, does nothing to mitigate the suffering.]

  39. Nope, Kendall! What I got wrong was the “chirp, chirp, chirp” bit, which should be “scratch, scratch, scratch.” The “congressional incubator” is accurate. I may have compressed it a bit, though.
    I remember being completely floored (and a little aghast) that there was actually a musical about the Founding Fathers and the writing of the Declaration of Independence. It’s a hoot.

  40. BG Hilton

    This can inded be a problem, particularly when girls don’t have brothers around to serve as objective examples of the difficulty. However, my school dealt with this problem by putting the fear of God, or any other deity, into the guys who held down the first teams in their sports.

    As I think I may have commented before, my school played lacrosse; I was flabbergasted when I arrived at University and saw lacrosse players wearing head guards. We didn’t do that at school, apart from the goalie, since it really didn’t occur to us; but we did put a lot of effort into taking full advantage of the fact that fouls are almost non-existent in lacrosse.

    I speak as one with seriously strange fingers, due to the numbers of times they were broken. Thus we enjoyed lounging on the grass, watching the first team taking the guys apart at lacrosse and rugby, which was a sound foundation for our future lives. After all, it’s difficult to believe in the innate superiority of guys when they’ve just been wiped off the pitch, and their exam results are a lot worse than our own

    I’m exceedingly dubious about girls from girls schools not being able to deal with guys when they are older; even for those without male siblings; I am, of course, happy to read whatever scientific papers your friend is aware of, but my school has had girls happily heading for university for science subjects as well as arts, for well over a century, as has my daughter’s, but I’ve yet to come across someone who caved in when confronted with slimeballs. I think the easiest way to deal with this is by seminars in the last term explaining that slimeballs do, unfortunately, exist, and explaining the best ways of easily stopping them in their tracks.

    I’m rather surprised that your friend hasn’t organised something along those lines already; it’s part of safeguarding which actually makes some sense, which is more than can be said for most of their projects…

  41. @Iphinome & @Another Laura: Oh wait, I do know the song! Hahaha, I’d forgotten, though I saw the musical at a dinner theater earlier this year. (I’m not sure I ever saw the whole movie, though.) The line about the congressional incubator still makes me laugh, though. 😀

    @Lexica: Ugh, all sympathy for the migraine; my better half gets them occasionally and – not fun!

    ObThanksgiving: The restaurant dinner was great, but all this talk of pie makes me realize that’s what I was missing! The included dessert was a small pumpkin cheesecake with vanilla ice cream (which I upgraded to berries in cream). Maybe I’ll get pie tomorrow, sigh.

    ObSF: It’s probably not a good sign that the prologue for No Return is a bit tedious, but hopefully the sample gets into Chapter One, at least. The prologue’s kinda long! (Hopefully despite a sluggish prologue, the rest is great.)

  42. @Stevie

    I don’t know what kind of school BG Hilton refers to, but was yours private? Lacrosse to me implies private school – which I expect is quite different from state, singlesex or coed, both in family background and in the school itself. That might make quite a bit of difference to how prepared a girl would be. Having an associated boys school – which it sounds like you had? – to allow some controlled mixing of groups might also make the difference over a near-identical school that never crossed the streams.

    My mother’s education was private (North London Collegiate, I think) and so was my grandmother’s (Christ’s Hospital – the one with the uniforms), but my mother has worked in state schools as a professional librarian her entire career. They’re very different atmospheres.

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