Pixel Scroll 2/5/18 I Get No Pixels From Champagne

(1) CHRIS GARCIA LOOKING FOR MATERIAL. And not for just any old zine — Chris is bringing back The Drink Tank, the 2011 Best Fanzine Hugo winner that he had retired after 400 issues. Here are the themes of his next two issues —

I wanted to get a call out to folks that I need article/art/stuff! I’ve got two themes working, Heavy Metal Music (co-edited with Doug Berry) with a May 10th deadline, and the 1980s (co-edited with Alissa McKersie) with a July 1st deadline. garcia@computerhistory.org is where folks can send stuff!

(2) NEW CONGRESSIONAL SUPPORT FOR SPACE SCIENCE. The Planetary Society sent the news to members: “Announcing the Planetary Science Congressional Caucus”.

I’m excited to share with you a major step forward for the support of space exploration in the U.S. Congress: the official formation of the new Planetary Science Caucus.

A caucus is a formal interest group made up of members of Congress. Having a caucus allows legislators form new relationships and organize a core voting block of political support for an important issue, in this case, planetary science and space exploration.

According the caucus’ official charter, its goals are to:

  • “Find life in our lifetimes,” by advancing federal policies that support the search for life in our solar system and beyond.
  • Raise awareness of the benefits to the U.S. economy and industrial base resulting from federal investment in space science, technology, exploration, and STEM education.
  • Support private industry, academic institutions, and nonprofits that support space science and exploration.

… The co-chairs of the caucus are Rep. John Culberson (R-TX) and Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA).

The Planetary Science Caucus will also be open to members of the Senate with Senator Gary Peters (D-MI), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) already signed up as original members.

Additional members in the House of Representatives include: Rep. Ami Bera (D-CA), Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA), Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL), Rep, Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA), Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL), Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-IL), Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-CT), Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA).

Bill Nye responds to the news in this video —

(3) THE CORBOMITE MANURE. A.V. Club warns “This may be the final frontier of obsessive Star Trek cataloging”.

Over the decades, fans of the Star Trek franchise have come to represent the prototypical obsessive sci-fi nerd. This is due, in large part, to Trekkers’ penchant for going beyond just an intimate knowledge of the show’s lore and characters, and delving into fastidious cataloging of alien species, uniform designs, ship schematics, and Riker beards. But now, we may have finally reached the final frontier of Star Trek cataloging with this exhaustive collection of “video errors” that appeared throughout the show.

Organized by blogger and Trek fan Ashley Blewer, Signal Loss is an ongoing project that’s attempting to map every scene where an audiovisual signal loss is being conveyed to the audience. This can occur when the crew is attempting to contact a planet or ship that’s in trouble, when some sort of virus is infecting the ship’s interface, or when someone gets stuck half-way through teleporting. Basically, if a character is looking at a glitchy screen, it’s going to be on this list.

(4) THE BOOM TIMES. John Clark’s memoir of chemistry in the developmental age of liquid propulsion, Ignition!, is being brought back into print. Ars Technica has the story: “The funniest, most accessible book on rocket science is being reissued”.

The dry wit with which he recounts these history lessons will be the bigger shock, for this is a truly funny read. He snipes about the US’ failure to use the metric system, grumbles about then-new computers in a way that would still be familiar today, and numerous anecdotes have reduced me to tears. (The story about an Admiral who wanted Clark’s Naval Air Rocket Test Section to drop a rat—sex not specified—into a 10,000-gallon tank of 90 percent hydrogen peroxide is a good one, as is the one about the rocket scientist sitting next to Scott Crossfield on an airplane.) That humor helps the accessibility, and as long as you remember some high school chemistry you shouldn’t have a problem with the science, either.

Clark is also a minor sf writer, with stories in the 1930s pre-Campbell Astounding.

(5) PICACIO BEGINS CHOOSING. John Picacio has started announcing recipients of the Mexicanx Initiative Worldcon memberships.

(6) CUSTOMER FEEDBACK. Are standards slipping here? A tweet from Damien G, Walter —

(7) NOT EASY BEING GREEN. Can a slate handpicked by Jon Del Arroz and friends impact the 2018 Hugo ballot? We’ll find out: “Happy Frogs OFFICIAL Hugo Awards Slate” [Internet Archive page].

The Hugo Awards Nominations are open, and the Happy Frogs board of trustees have worked tirelessly to bring you a slate of the best science fiction of 2017. Below are the nominees for your ballot consideration, to support making science fiction a fun, inclusive place again, the best of the year by far…

Daddy Warpig for Best Fan Writer?

(8) DEATH WILL NOT RELEASE YOU. From National Geographic: “Exclusive: Dinosaur-Era Bird Found Trapped in Amber”.

The squashed remains of a small bird that lived 99 million years ago have been found encased in a cloudy slab of amber from Myanmar (Burma). While previous birds found in Burmese amber have been more visually spectacular, none of them have contained as much of the skeleton as this juvenile, which features the back of the skull, most of the spine, the hips, and parts of one wing and leg. (Help us celebrate 2018 as the Year of the Bird.)

The newfound bird is also special because researchers can more clearly see the insides of the young prehistoric creature, says study co-author Ryan McKellar of the Royal Saskatchewan Museum in Regina, Canada.

…The team was lucky to acquire the bird for the Dexu Institute of Paleontology in Chaozhou, China. Birds in amber can sometimes sell for up to $500,000, putting them beyond the reach of scientists, says Xing, a paleontologist at the China University of Geosciences in Beijing.

(9) MAHONEY OBIT. Best known as the dad in Frasier, John Mahoney (1940-2018): British actor, died February 4, aged 77. Genre appearances include 3rd Rock from the Sun (one episode, 1996), Antz (voice, 1998) and The Iron Giant (voice, 1999). He also provided the voice of Preston Whitmore in the video games Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001) and Atlantis: Milo’s Return (2003).


  • Mike Kennedy says, “So that’s what ‘A.I.’ means…” — Monty.
  • Then he spotted “A cause for sleepless nights that some fans may recognize” in Pickles.

(11) MOORCOCK ON COMIC ADAPTATION. February 20, 2018, sees the next instalment of Titan’s Michael Moorcock Library series – The Chronicles of Corum Vol. 1 – The Knight Of Swords.

Hellboy creator and artist Mike Mignola, Batman artist Kelley Jones and Eisner award-winning writer Mike Baron bring Michael Moorcock’s timeless story of order versus chaos to vivid life in this brand-new hardcover collection.

To celebrate this exciting new edition to the Library series, Titan are releasing a special video interview with Michael Moorcock, where the acclaimed science fiction and fantasy author shares his thoughts on comic book adaptations of his best-selling novels.


(12) ELLISON STORE JOINS THE INTERNET. Tomorrow at noon Pacific time, Jason Davis launches HarlanEllisonBooks.com, taking the Ellisons’ long-time book business online.

Over the last few weeks, my tech-savvy associate Bo Nash has built the online store as a  self-contained entity housed at HarlanEllisonBooks.com/shop. I’ve stocked the virtual shelves with items from the catalog of the Harlan Ellison Recording Collection (HERC), treasures from the bowels of the Lost Aztec Temple of Mars, and even a few items from the early days of HarlanEllisonBooks.com. Tomorrow, the store will open for business. For the moment, I’m manning the imaginary counter until we work out all the inevitable bugs; we beg your forgiveness for any infelicities you experience in your initial visits. Once all the bugs are worked out and I’ve  streamlined the processes, I’ll hand off to Susan.

(13) NO MORE ELLISON AUTOGRAPHS. Davis also gave his mailing list a health update about the author.


Harlan is retiring from the autograph game. Due to the lingering effects of the stroke he suffered several years ago, Harlan will no longer be signing books. As HE explained, “Though I’m left-handed, my right side is paralyzed from the stroke. When I sign, the effort to steady my hand becomes very exhausting, very quickly.” Harlan is not ruling out the possibility that continued physical therapy won’t improve the situation, but with ongoing interest in signed books via HERC and recent announcements of extremely limited signed editions from Subterranean Press, Harlan felt it was time to publicly address the matter.

(N.B. Though Harlan won’t be signing any books for the foreseeable future, signed items will be in the shop’s inventory at its launch, which is why we’re doing our best to make sure everyone—HERC members, HarlanEllisonBooks.com customers, and Kickstarter backers—is aware of the store before it goes online and the signed items sell out. My apologies if this is the third time you’ve read about the store.)

(14) VIDEO GAME CAREERS. At SyFy Wire, Tricia Ennis reports how “#GirlsBehindTheGames aims to inspire diversity in the video game industry”.

If you’ve been on Twitter in the last few days—especially if you spend any time in the gaming side of the site—then you’ve no doubt seen a brand-new hashtag popping up in your timeline. #GirlsBehindTheGames is a brand-new initiative aimed at inspiring young women to pursue careers in video game development by highlighting those women already making their mark on the industry.

Since January 25, women from all over the world, and from every facet of game development, have been using the hashtag to share their own stories and their work with the world, putting a few faces to some of the work that’s gone into our favorite games.

(15) ENGINES OF CHANGE. Daniel Dern advises, “Lady Augusta Ada Byron, Countess of Lovelace (along with Chuck Babbage) gets some screen time in PBS’ Victoria Season 2. As do her (and other?) of their analytical engines, done up in lovely shiny metal.”

Here in the USA, the second season of Victoria premieres tonight on PBS with a double episode. In “The Green-Eyed Monster”, the emerging science of mechanical computation gains the attention of the palace early in the young queen’s reign. But it is Lady Augusta Ada Byron, Countess of Lovelace, who gets center stage, not Babbage, even to the presentation of the analytical engine. Even though she serves the drama as the female object of the queen’s unwarranted jealousy, hers is a strong, positive portrayal.

(16) GENDER STATS FROM MINNESOTA SURVEY. “Not just boy and girl; more teens identify as transgender” says Minnesota Public Radio News.

Far more U.S. teens than previously thought are transgender or identify themselves using other nontraditional gender terms, with many rejecting the idea that girl and boy are the only options, new research suggests.

The study looked at students in ninth and 11th grade and estimated that nearly 3 percent are transgender or gender nonconforming, meaning they don’t always self-identify as the sex they were assigned at birth. That includes kids who refer to themselves using neutral pronouns like “them” instead of “he” or “she.”

“Diverse gender identities are more prevalent than people would expect,” said lead author Nic Rider, a University of Minnesota postdoctoral fellow who studies transgender health.

The study is an analysis of a 2016 statewide survey of almost 81,000 Minnesota teens.

Nearly 2,200 identified as transgender or gender nonconforming. The study found that these kids reported worse mental and physical health than other kids, echoing results seen in previous research. Bullying and discrimination are among possible reasons for the differences, Rider said, although the survey didn’t ask.

(17) ANOTHER TECHNOLOGY ON THE BRINK. Cat Eldridge sends this link along with an observation: “Bullmoose, the Maine based music chain with a dozen or so stores sells more vinyl revenue wise than anything followed by DVDs (which mostly get ripped to digital) and CD sales are dead last.” – Billboard reports “Best Buy to Pull CDs, Target Threatens to Pay Labels for CDs Only When Customers Buy Them”.

Even though digital is on the upswing, physical is still performing relatively well on a global basis — if not in the U.S. market, where CD sales were down 18.5 percent last year. But things are about to get worse here, if some of the noise coming out of the big-box retailers comes to fruition.

Best Buy has just told music suppliers that it will pull CDs from its stores come July 1. At one point, Best Buy was the most powerful music merchandiser in the U.S., but nowadays it’s a shadow of its former self, with a reduced and shoddy offering of CDs. Sources suggest that the company’s CD business is nowadays only generating about $40 million annually. While it says it’s planning to pull out CDs, Best Buy will continue to carry vinyl for the next two years, keeping a commitment it made to vendors. The vinyl will now be merchandised with the turntables, sources suggest.

Meanwhile, sources say that Target has demanded to music suppliers that it wants to be sold on what amounts to a consignment basis….

(18) GOING TO LAW. John Scalzi chimed in on Metafilter’s discussion of the false claims by Antonelli, Torgersen and Freer that Camestros Felapton is a pseudonym used by Foz Meadows’ husband. He commented about the prospects for a defamation lawsuit

Slightly baffled that Lou Antonelli et al aren’t drowning under what would appear to be a slam dunk of a defamation lawsuit right now.

It’s not a slam dunk, at least in the US, because among other things, one would have to show quantifiable damages — usually economic damage to one’s livelihood. It would be difficult to prove in this case, with regard to Foz Meadows, at least, because in the field of science fiction and fantasy literature, no one considers proclamations from puppy quarters to have much truth value. They have a years-long history of spinning up bullshit, bigotry and flat-out lies. When Freer, et al spun up this one, the general response was various flavors of “Christ, these assholes,” plus concern/outrage for the hate and bigotry Meadows and their husband had to deal with. It’s laudable that Mr. Antonelli has finally admitted he was wrong and offered an apology for it, but it should be clear that nearly everyone knew he was wrong long before he admitted it.

(Ironically, if Meadows and their family wished to pursue defamation, the person they would most likely have the best case against is Freer, who if memory serves lives in Australia, as they do, where the libel laws are slightly less stringent than here in the US. Freer’s best defense in that case would be “triviality,” ie, that he’s not important enough, nor his audience large enough, to have done Meadows and her family harm.)….

And more follows…

[Thanks to JJ, Steve Green, Cat Eldridge, John King Tarpinian, Bill, Kathryn Sullivan, Andrew Porter, Chip Hitchcock, Martin Morse Wooster, rcade, Will R., Jason Davis, Daniel Dern, and Carl Slaughter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Daniel Dern.]

118 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 2/5/18 I Get No Pixels From Champagne

  1. Rob Thornton: We have liftoff — of the extra “n” I put in Ignition!

    Do appertain your favorite beverage….

  2. (7) How nice of JdA to give us a bunch of affiliate links to this stuff on Amazon. Just a reminder for all here – if you click through his links, anything you order on Amazon in the next 24 hours gives him a cut. Even if it’s not his stuff.

    As to his actual list: I generally like Jody Lynn Nye’s writing, but she’s usually on the “fun but not good” end of the spectrum for me. I read X-O Manowar, but it’s not even close to being Best Graphic Story for me (I am really enjoying the Rivers of London comics, based on the Hugo-nominated Best Series by Ben Aaronvitch). Beyond that, I grabbed a few samples for my Kindle and couldn’t even get through the samples. And I like MilSF.

  3. Greg:

    A) The people I have seen using Latinx (And Latin@) and now Mexicanx are mostly American, yes – but they are mostly Americans of the described heritage. Are you really telling John Picacio he’s more wrong than you are?

    B) Mexican means a different thing from Mexicana/Mexicano/Mexicanx. A person of Mexican heritage who does not live in Mexico is NOT Mexican (and in these days of very fraught immigration issues, implying an American or Canadian citizen is not really a citizen by calling them a Mexican has many more reasons to offend ), but may be Mexicana/Mexicano/Mexicanx. Or you could go back to the good old hyphenate, I suppose.

  4. Greg:

    I think the safest thing for anyone writing in English would be to just use “latin” or “Mexican” unless you’re an active part of the Hispanic community and are completely certain of what you’re doing. Otherwise, you’re bound to offend someone.

    Are you saying John Picacio is not “an active part if the Hispanic community” and/or is not “completely certain of what (he’s) doing”? I think that’s another hole you’re digging there.

  5. so I looked around to get a feel for what the story is with “latinx” and “Mexicanx.” In particular, I wanted to learn how to pronounce them, since they’re very alien to Spanish orthography.

    As discussed in a recent thread:



    Like “Latino” and “Mexicano,” but with an “-ex” sound at the end.

    I think the safest thing for anyone writing in English would be to just use “latin” or “Mexican” unless you’re an active part of the Hispanic community

    So you’re saying Picacio’s use is fine, then.

    And perhaps others not necessarily looking for the “safest thing.”

  6. I was hesitant to comment on the perception of the Mexicanx label. I find Greg’s comment that Mexicans perceive that term to be (yet another) cultural imposition by an Imperial American to be interesting.

    IME, Mexicans living most in Mexico have a very different perspective on the world. At the least, they have a perspective that differs from people living in the U.S.

    A few years ago I had the professional occasion to break bread with a group of visiting Mexicans. They were almost uniformly aghast at the notion that the Speedy Gonzalez cartoons are no longer broadcast within the U.S. They viewed him as a hero as he always won. They dismissed “our” concerns about further endorsing racism as being misguided. (“silly” was the initial response.)

    So which group should be more influential with regards to the Mexicanx designation? Mexicans living largely in Mexico that view the term as an imperial imposition created by the U.S., or people of Mexican heritage living largely in the U.S. that have been immersed in our hyper-P.C. culture?

    my 2018 Hugo Noms – in progress

  7. I was simply responding to Laura Resnick. I strongly advise against using “latinx” or “Mexicanx” unless you’re part of the Hispanic community. At least for now.

  8. Greg Hullender on February 6, 2018 at 8:19 am said:
    I read Spanish pretty well (I can read novels in Spanish), so I looked around to get a feel for what the story is with “latinx” and “Mexicanx.” In particular, I wanted to learn how to pronounce them, since they’re very alien to Spanish orthography.

    Here’s what I learned: these terms are only used in the United States, mostly within the LGBT community. Native speakers outside the US often see it as US imperialism destroying their language. (Or they’re unaware of it entirely–if Spanish is all you speak, “Mexicanx” looks like a typo, not a word.) It seems really clear that the push for this comes from people who speak a little Spanish, but whose main language is English.

    Here’s an English-language article on the subject: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/latino/are-you-latinx-usage-grows-word-draws-approval-criticism-n651396

    I think the safest thing for anyone writing in English would be to just use “latin” or “Mexican” unless you’re an active part of the Hispanic community and are completely certain of what you’re doing. Otherwise, you’re bound to offend someone.

    Speaking as a speaker of a Romance language, Greg, I would let the speakers themselves to decide whether to become offended or not. Some of these speakers, of course, are Americans. Spanish is not confined to Mexico, Spain, or Latin America. Personally I don’t particularly like lantinx, but there ARE movements to ameliorate the sexism inherent in Romance languages, some of them initiated by the speakers themselves. The fact that somebody whinges about that is predictable and unsurprising, and also not a good reason to ignore the reasons of those that would prefer a less sexist grammar.

  9. For the avoidance of doubt, what the people living outside of America feel is racist or not doesn’t really have a lot of weights on whether you should use a racist stereotype or racist language. Italians use the N word with innocent abandon, but that is not a good excuse to use it yourselves. Please do not use a fake Italian accent, or depict Italians as playing the mandolin or eating on a red and white checkered cloth, or being volatile or criminal. Even if Italians will tell you they have no problem with it.

  10. 4) I’ve read Ignition!, and, well, it’s one of a very few books that actually deserves to have an exclamation mark in its title. Applied chemistry, as described by someone who looks at red fuming nitric acid and thinks to himself, “Aww, yeah! Now what can I mix with this to make a really big FWOOSH?” Highly entertaining.

  11. So which group should be more influential with regards to the Mexicanx designation? Mexicans living largely in Mexico that view the term as an imperial imposition created by the U.S., or people of Mexican heritage living largely in the U.S.

    Here in the US and Canada? The Diasporans who live here. While in Mexico? The locals.

    I can BOTH see Speedy Gonzales as an entertaining and victorious figure to Mexicans and as a problematic one to Mexican-Americans. It’s not a matter of one being right and the other being wrong. It’s a matter of context.

    Chinese people had no problem with Matt Damon having one of the lead roles in the Great Wall. (They were unimpressed with the movie on other fronts). They live in a country where the culture and story depicted are those of the majority culture and people, and they thought it was a nice try to do a crossover between the Chinese and Hollywood film industries, and ultimately to help sell more Chinese movies to a large and lucrative foreign market.

    People with Chinese heritage *here* did have objections. Because they live in the middle of the culture that demeans and erases them, that features them as extras and sidekicks even in stories set in their ancestors’ homelands, and they saw the advertising showing it as another White Saviour goes to Exotic Land and Saves the Hapless Locals.

    Who is right? The person who lives WITH the problem of erasure and continuously rubs shoulders with white people who make all kinds of assumptions about who they are and what they like to do, or the person who lives far away from the issue at hand, in the depth of their own cultural primacy?

    Unsurprisingly, I can think that both are right in their own contexts and worlds.

    But I happen to live here, where the primary cultures are white, where “What those people need is a Honky” is a real trope, and a sick one, where PoC get typecast into a tiny sliver of roles, mostly stereotypes, and where they have to actively fight those stereotypes from all sides.

    So yes, I support the diasporans’ wishes to find language for themselves and use it for themselves that maybe their source-land doesn’t feel is necessary.

  12. (7) Ill see a disappointment incoming for JDA, as I doubt he will be as successful as VD in hijacking.
    (18) Speaking off… VD is not important enough to be sued by Scalzi and a known liar, that cant spread falsehoods, because nobody believes him anyway… Ouch, that must have hurt Mr. ego aka Day. Because its true.
    Congratulations Mr Scalzi, you win my internet today!

    Pixels, pixels everywhere and not one file to scroll!

  13. In space news: Falcon Heavy launched successfully, the boosters came back and landed – simultaneously! – and the Tesla is on its way to a long orbit. (The universal comment on the boosters landing was that it didn’t look real.)

  14. our hyper-P.C. culture

    That sounds nice. Where do I go to experience this outburst of courtesy and respect? I haven’t noticed any excess of them recently.

  15. NickPheas: Just a thought about the Best Pro Artist. Obviously this comes from people being lauded for book covers for the most part. Is there history of a comics professional getting nominated?

    Sana Takeda (Monstress) was a Best Professional Artist finalist last year, as was Fiona Staples (Saga) in 2014, as was Phil Foglio (Girl Genius — although he has also done the covers for Myth Adventures) in 2008.

    So yes, there is some precedent for it.

  16. @Soon Lee – I have read those, it just went and read a few again because of your link. Love those blogposts.

  17. “I didn’t understand this new-to-me piece of language, so I googled it and now I’m making proclamations about whether other people should use it.”


    (And what a surprise! It’s over a word which seeks – among other things – to be inclusive of non-binary people.)

  18. Regarding the charmingly nicknamed Daddy Warpig, he also blogs at Castalia House under the name Jasyn Jones. Most of his posts are some variation on [Insert franchise here] hates its audience.

  19. Wait- I *have* heard of somebody on JdA’s list! I’ve read another novel by the… recomendee(?) for Best Novel.

    The Ember War. It was… serviceable. For a free Amazon Unlimited explodey-spaceship book. I had to go and poke through it for a while before I was sure I had read it and not just the sample.

    Now, I have much more plebeian standards than most of you here. I love me some exploding starships. I’m not too highbrow for this book – It just isn’t that great. Physics are a bit of a mystery to the author, plus he appears to think that hacking as described in Battlestar Galactica is accurate. That part made my brain hurt. The Chinese characters are just evil because they’re Evil and why did you not already expect that?

    There were better mil-sf books this year just in the Kindle Unlimited space! Sheesh.

  20. @ Dann

    If only the contents matched the packaging so well.

    Well, only you can say, as I haven’t seen the thing you mention anywhere. Still, Mike Glyer got a scroll title out of your remark.

  21. All our books are done
    Here but now they’re read
    Hugos don’t fear the Froggies*
    Nor do any science fiction fans
    We can be like they are
    Come on baby, don’t fear the Puppies
    Baby read a book
    Don’t fear the Godstalk
    We’ll be able to rec
    Don’t fear the Hugos
    Baby I’m your Scroll

    – With apologies to Blue Öyster Cult (Don’t Fear the Reaper)

    * IMHO “the Froggies” scanned better than “Happy Frogs,” though both are three syllables.

  22. @Matt

    I’ll have to have another look at Bright to see if there is something I’m missing. One quality (among several, obviously) that I look for is if it can engage people outside of the genre. My beloved bride is more a fan of romance novels and movies. Definitely not one of our tribe.

    She surprised me by watching Bright with me. She enjoyed it quite a bit. Not the only basis for being “great”, but a feature that should be considered, IMHO.


    All of you vote for people who want me dead.

    You know this without knowing any of the people that I have voted for…or chosen not to vote for…as well as why I voted (or not) for them. Impressive.

    That de-humanizing approach is precisely why the 2016 election turned out the way it did.

    @Lenora Rose

    I try to support treading lightly when it comes to changes that force a broadscale cultural change. There are several hundred million people that speak Spanish as their nation’s language. For better or worse, most nouns are gendered. As we know…at least I think we know this…languages are the building blocks of understanding of the self and how one perceives the world.

    As “Mexicanx” is largely an American convention that could inevitably force a linguistic and cultural change on hundreds of millions of people, I suggest caution.

    Would we insist that speakers of endangered language modify that language to satisfy modern cultural sensitivities? Would those changes irrevocably alter that language and how those people perceive themselves and their world?

    Insert tag filled with wit, wisdom, and humour here….

  23. Dann:

    It is a mystery to see you “quote” Ultragotha:

    “All of you vote for people who want me dead.”

    When what she really said was:

    “Almost all of you vote for people who want me dead.”

    Do you think something still is a quote when you leave the important words out? But I do agree that faking what others said most likely had a part in the election win.

  24. Hampus, to be fair to Dann, he’s quoting what showed up in the notification e-mail. What you saw was my immediately-after-I-hit-“Post Comment” edit.

    I stand by that, though. Anyone still in the Republican party is voting for and/or supporting candidates who want me and mine dead. That’s increasingly obvious.

  25. That sort of confusion is why I usually try to read the actual thread before replying to something I see in the e-mails.

  26. @Hampus

    I was working from the comment sent to my email. My quote was accurate based on that notification. I’m assuming that Ultragotha amended/revised their comment with “Almost”.

    I’ll stand by my statement even with that amendment added to their comment.

    ETA – Thanks, Ultragotha, for that clarification.

    Money is the root of ALL Evil! Send $20 for more info

  27. Dann – I mean I enjoyed it as well, mostly because I like the ‘Will Smith as a smart ass law enforcement character’ genre. I just thought (rot13 for spoilers):

    Gur jubyr bep pbc nf na bep zrffvnu natyr sryg cbvagyrff nf vg qvqa’g tb naljurer, uvf qrngu naq erfheerpgvba jrer whfg fbeg bs cbvagyrff, yvxr gurl’q jevggra gurzfryirf vagb n pbeare jvgu gur fprar naq arrqrq n jnl bhg bs vg. Gur jubyr jnaq tvivat crbcyr havzntvanoyr cbjre qvqa’g frrz gb nssrpg gur jbeyq nyy gung zhpu be zrna zhpu bhgfvqr bs orvat gur guvat rirelbar unq gb trg va gur cybg.

    Ohg yvxr gur qnexarff tebjvat ba Gvxxn naq gur zntvp sbhagnva ner guvatf whfg arire rkcynvarq, V gubhtug vg jnf tbvat gb or erirnyrq gung Gvxxn jnf n pbaqhvg sbe gur Qnex Bar be fbzrguvat gur zber fur hfrq zntvp. Fzvgu vf n Oevtug, znlor? Ur unq n qvssrerag yvtug naq vg ohearq uvz fb jub xabjf. Jura rfpncvat Wnxbol ybfrf Fzvgu fbzrubj naq unf gb eha onpx vagb gur oheavat ohvyqvat gb fnir uvz va bar bs gur qhzorfg naq pbeavrfg guvatf rire.

    Gurl znxr fher gb fubj gung gurl’er haqre thneq orpnhfr gurl xabj Fzvgu vf n Oevtug, n bar va n zvyyvba uhzna jub pna hfr zntvp jnaqf gung ner gerngrq yvxr n pebff orgjrra ahpyrne jrncbaf naq jvaavat ybggrel gvpxrgf, naq gurl whfg uryc uvz frg hc n cynhfvoyr yvr naq yrg uvz tb. Juvpu frrzf vapbafvfgrag nf uryy, gubhtu vapbafvfgrapl vf bar bs gur srj guvatf gung jrer pbafvfgrag nobhg gur jbeyq va Oevtug.

    Gura Gvxxn, jub jnf cerivbhfyl jnagrq nf n xabja zrzore bs n greebevfg betnavmngvba gelvat gb oevat onpx gur Qnex Ybeq naq jubfr Fuvryq bs Yvtug npgvivgl jnf pbirerq hc nybat jvgu gur riragf bs gur avtug, whfg jnyxf guebhtu na nern pebjqrq jvgu pbcf naq gurve snzvyvrf whfg gb fubj Fzvgu fur’f nyvir?

    There was just too much ‘Wow, that’s just dumb’ at the end for me. Though I gotta say the cops willing to kill for self gain to get the wand while that gang member named Poison just wanted to walk again and was just like ‘you can give me the wand and just go’ made him one of the more sympathetic characters in the movie 🙂

    But I didn’t pay for it and I liked some parts of it, and it made me want someone to make a Shadowrun series. But for long form there was enough bad about it that I can’t put it in the same weight class as Logan, Punisher Season 1, Thor, Guardians 2, Kong: Skull Island, War for the Planet of the Apes, Okja, Blade Runner, Stranger Things 2, etc.

    Stuff that bothered me may not bother others though and I’m glad you and your wife enjoyed it together.

  28. Dann: That de-humanizing approach is precisely why the 2016 election turned out the way it did.

    No, the reason the election turned out the way it did (apart from massive voter suppression efforts and gerrymandering by the GOP) is that a significant number of Americans found that Trump’s racist, misogynist, homophobic, anti-intellectual rhetoric and lies resonated with their own beliefs and thought voting for him was a good idea.

    But that you and they continue to dishonestly claim that those choices are the fault of others, rather than the responsibility of the people who made the choices, is unsurprising. 🙄

  29. @Dann–

    Sadly, we do know that if you do vote for Republicans, you are voting for people who either actively want to, or are willing to go along with:
    1. Ending easy, affordable access to birth control. And no, I’m not taking any shit about $4 a month birth control from Walmart, because that’s only true if you can safely and effectively use the cheapest, most generic birth control pills, which many, many women can’t.
    2. Exclude Ob/gyn & maternity care from the category of essential medical services, despite making it harder for women to avoid pregnancy. (See #1 above.)
    3. Reimpose annual and lifetime caps on insurance coverage, resulting in babies born with serious medical conditions becoming uninsurable shortly after birth, even assuming the mother’s insurance was required to cover that baby even briefly after birth, which is not guaranteed under “maternity care is an optional extra” policies.
    4. Effectively deny effective treatment for serious and extremely painful medical conditions such as endometriosis, because birth control pills are considered “abortion,” and the treatment for those conditions is, wait for it, what people who’ve never had to familiarize themselves with “female complaints,” think of as “birth control” exclusively, and they don’t want “their” money, i.e., the woman’s medical insurance, covering what they’re sure is just a sneaky female trick to have illicit sex.
    5. Any health care for people who don’t have jobs good enough to provide health coverage. Seriously. Republican leadership has been quite open about Medicare and Medicaid being next on the hit list.
    6. End affordable health care for children whose parents may be covered through their jobs, but the kids aren’t. Again, seriously. If the Republicans had actually wanted to extend CHIP, they could have done that months ago, with lots of Democratic votes to make up for the few Freedom Caucus assholes who would have voted against it regardless.
    7. They want to ensure the right of pharmacists to override doctors by refusing to fill prescriptions they disapprove of on religious, not medical grounds.
    8. They want to protect the right of doctors and hospitals to refuse medically appropriate treatment to women experiencing miscarriages. Oh, and they also want to treat every miscarriage as a potential crime, with the woman as tthe criminal suspect.
    9. They want hospitals to be able to not only refuse to treat miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies appropriately, but also to refuse to refer the woman to a nearby hospital that will. Fuck every asshole that claims to be pro-life but supports this kind of refusal of care, because the only thing this refusal does is kill–and it’s a really horrible death.
    10. Allow medical professionals to refuse to treat people they believe to be gay, transgender, or whatever it is they disapprove of, on grounds of “religious freedom.” Not, mind you, for directly related conditions that might bed outside that particular professional’s medical expertise, but for anything. And no, there isn’t always another medical professional available, with the right specialties–especially in the rural and small town settings where the far right’s voters are more likely to live.

    Denying people actual access to real medical care, for the conditions that actually affect them, is not distinguishable from wanting them dead, except by resorting to pure sophistry.

    Re: Your comments to Lenora Rose: Firstly, nice try, but Spanish is not remotely an endangered language, and you can’t in almost the same breath talk about the hundreds of millions of people who would in some hypothetical sense potentially be affected, and about doing this thing to an endangered language.

    You do know, don’t you, that we can deal with different situations differently?

    And that languages change, over time, because the people speaking them, and the cultures they speak them in, change?

    The Spanish spoken in Mexico isn’t the same as the Spanish spoken in Spain. It’s a different dialect, influence by Aztec and other Native American languages, and by the fact that Mexico ain’t Spain. Another example to my own heart and family history is that the French cross their eyes in amusement and horror when they hear what the Quebecois speak when they say they’re speaking French. English is subtly but significantly different, in Britain, South Africa, Australia, and the US.

    There is absolutely no meaningful reason why Mexican-Americans and others of Latin American background in the US should not decide that they need or want a more gender-neutral term for themselves, living as they do in a culture where they much of the time speak a more gender-neutral language, and which is moving toward greater neutrality and equality.

    They’re not Mexicans. They’re Mexican-Americans. And like everybody else, they get to decide what they want to be called.

    Mexicans may have opinions on it, but they aren’t the ones who live here. They don’t get a vote.

    I’m surprised at the idea that the Spanish would even have an opinion, and astonished at the hypocrisy of claiming the Spanish should get a vote on what it’s okay for Americans of any ethnicity to call themselves.

    Just as I’m not at all bothered by the fact that, south of the Rio Grande, people may find it appropriate to call me a Norte Americano , or Norte Americana, or whatever, and people elsewhere in the world may prefer ugly neologisms such as “USian,” (which I will concede has some utility in some contexts), but call myself an American.

    If Americans of Mexican ancestry feel they want a new term, how is that any skin off your nose? And why should you be so tender of the feelings, real or imagined, of foreigners about something that doesn’t concern them, while being do indifferent to the feelings of your fellow Americans?

  30. @JJ Because I strive to be among the most pedantic of pedants who ever pedant …ed, I’ll note that gerrymandering has just about zero effect on presidential vote tallies – many/most(/all?) states use the statewide #s.

    Carry on.

  31. Maximillian: Because I strive to be among the most pedantic of pedants who ever pedant …ed, I’ll note that gerrymandering has just about zero effect on presidential vote tallies – many/most(/all?) states use the statewide #s

    The 2016 election results didn’t include just the President.

  32. That de-humanizing approach is precisely why the 2016 election turned out the way it did.

    What is this, the bloke who beats up the wife and then says “look what you made me do”? No, the 2016 election went the way it did because too many Americans are racist and finally found somebody who was willing to say racist things aloud instead of dog-whistling them.

    I try to support treading lightly when it comes to changes that force a broadscale cultural change. There are several hundred million people that speak Spanish as their nation’s language.

    There are several million Americans who speak Spanish.

    For better or worse, most nouns are gendered. As we know…at least I think we know this…languages are the building blocks of understanding of the self and how one perceives the world.

    Which is why people who speak Romance languages have a problem with gendered nouns.

    Would we insist that speakers of endangered language modify that language to satisfy modern cultural sensitivities? Would those changes irrevocably alter that language and how those people perceive themselves and their world?

    Spanish is not an endangered language. It is thriving and in no danger whatsoever of dying out.

  33. @JJ Gotcha. In the Trumpocalypse, I forget that there are other things going on.

    @Anna I’ll go so far as to say that I would feel uncomfortable using that terminology unless with a Spanish-speaker who used it first.

  34. Maximillian: In the Trumpocalypse, I forget that there are other things going on.

    Yes, that’s easy to do… at least right up until the “other things” throw a big baby tantrum and harm hundreds of thousands of Americans by shutting the government down. 😐

  35. @Matt Y

    I can understand why those might be issues that are troubling.

    From my perspective:

    V gbbx zbfg bs gubfr vffhrf gb whfg or zrpunavpf bs gur jbeyq gung arrqrq gb or rkcynvarq. Guvatf whfg jrer nf gurl jrer naq zvtug trg rkcynvarq yngre vs arrqrq. Fbeg bs yvxr ubj gur jbeyq bs gur Zngevk hasbyqrq bire guerr zbivrf.

    V sbhaq gur pbagenfg orgjrra Jneq naq Wnxbol gb or cerggl pbzcryyvat. Jneq orvat oynpx fubhyq unir xabja gung ur jnf orvat ovtbgrq gbjneqf Wnxbol. Vg qvqa’g fgbc uvz sebz orvat jung ur vf/jnf. Riraghnyyl ur raqf hc rkcrevrapvat fbzr tebjgu. Ur qbrfa’g orpbzr npprcgnoyr, ohg ur qbrf pbzr gb n cynpr jurer ur pna or npprcgvat bs Wnxbol naq npprcgvat bs uvzfrys ertneqyrff bs uvf synjf.

    Ng gur fnzr gvzr Wnxbol arire nonaqbaf gelvat gb or n orggre crefba guna fbpvrgl rkcrpgf uvz gb or. Uhzna fbpvrgl rkcrpgf uvz gb gnxr gurve nohfr. Uvf bja crbcyr rkcrpg uvz gb gnxr gurve nohfr. Naq ur xrrcf gelvat gb or fbzrbar orggre.

    It is those kinds of character-driven perspectives that I thought really drove it up in my estimation.

    Although I have to say…King: Skull Island????? I think I’ve had enough of the Michael Bay school of film to last a lifetime. But that’s just me. (I haven’t had a chance to see some of the other items on your list, but I enjoyed Logan a great deal.)

    You might enjoy the CinemaSins send-up of Bright. I haven’t watched it yet, but their stuff is usually hilarious and occasionally accurate.

    [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_OZJ03OBJj4&w=560&h=315%5D

    Tronatology 101 – Never let the smoke out.

  36. Maximillian on February 7, 2018 at 1:27 pm said:
    It affected the presidential results, because Electoral College, along with other not-gerrymandering-but-political-actions like limiting polling places and voting machines in less-conservative areas, and making it harder for people to vote.

  37. @Lis – I’ll have you know that it is an article of faith among my father’s generation that French Canadian is the pure ancien Français from before it was contaminated by modernity and let down by L’Academie Français.

    So there.

  38. @Maximillian–

    Hey, my father’s maternal line is French Canadian, and I don’t doubt for a second that what the French Canadians speak is the real deal!

    But the French, speaking modern Parisian French, for some reason make so bold as to disagree. The issue here is that Dann thinks we should, for some strange reason, privilege the contaminated, “modern” dialects spoken in the Old Countries, and not the pure, uncontaminated dialects that have made correct additions to the language. 😉

  39. I for one think the norwegian word for ”hedgehog” is extremely weird. But even if we have very like languages and conmon background, I’m not allowed to dictate to them how they should name the creature.

    It is up to then to decide. Even if we in Sweden would be placed in some horrible danger to have to rename our own hedgehogs.

  40. @ Hampus Eckerman:

    There’s nothing wrong at all calling a leech-cone a leech-cone. They each leeches and snails, and they look vaguely like a prickly pine cone. And they’re mostly cute as buttons. Although “hedgehog” does look better in English than leech-cone does.

    I’m now wondering if Norwegians can distinguish porcupines and hedgehogs? If they can, that is a counter-example to the strong Sapir-Whorf hypothesis… Unless they also speak Swedish or English.

  41. Dann – I’m a sucker for giant monster movies and Sam Jackson movies so a movie that has both? Heck yeah.

    Didn’t know CinemaSins did one for Bright, will check it out.

    I agree on the character perspectives, there was stuff I did enjoy and I’m hoping a new writer/director combo for the sequel will expand on the good parts.

  42. @Dann & @Matt Y: BTW I liked “Bright,” though it had problems and I’m not actually into tons and tons of violence. A lot wasn’t really explained (or at least, not explained well), which was a little frustrating.

    Still, I’d watch a sequel.

  43. @P J Evans: the Electoral College is not subject to gerrymandering outside of Nebraska and Maine (per Wikipedia data), which assign the population-based votes according to results in House districts. Since Maine has only two districts, ISTM that gerrymandering is unlikely; Nebraska, with 3 districts, may have gerrymandered a vote away from Clinton — but Trump’s margin of victory (>5:3) suggests that that is unlikely. I don’t disagree that the existence of the College is what cost Clinton the election, but that’s separate from gerrymandering.

    A note for anyone who has to deal with someone claiming that Clinton’s margin doesn’t count because it all came from one state. I did some crude spreadsheeting (cut/pasted/edited from Wikipedia state-by-state results) and concluded that throwing out CA and enough seriously-red states to match CA’s population leaves Clinton with a slightly larger margin of popular-vote victory. However, this only took out ~12 red states; Trump still takes the EC with these exclusions. Note that I didn’t spend a huge amount of time with this; others should feel free to post actual numbers/methodologies.

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