Pixel Scroll 6/12/18 Your Mother Was A Scrollster And Your Father Smelt Of Pixelberries! I File In Your General Direction!

(1) ON WITH THE SHOW, THIS IS IT. Deadline learns “‘Looney Tunes’ Getting Short-Form Revival At WB Animation”.

Warner Bros Animation is creating a new series of short-form cartoons based on the studio’s iconic Looney Tunes Cartoons franchise featuring the likes of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and the gang that will harken to the original Looney Tunes theatrical shorts. The studio said today multiple artists will produce 1-6 minute shorts “written” and drawn by the cartoonists allowing their own personality and style to come through.

The plan is to produce 1,000 minutes each season, with the content to be distributed across multiple platforms including digital, mobile and broadcast…

(2) ADVANCE WORD. “How incredible is Incredibles 2? The critics give their verdicts” in a BBC roundup.

Fourteen years on from The Incredibles, a sequel to Pixar’s hit animation has arrived – and it’s “worth the wait”.

That’s the verdict of the Hollywood Reporter, which praises its “engaging” characters and “deep supply of wit“.

Screen International lauds the film’s “kinetic elan“, while Forbes called it “funny, thoughtful and thrilling”….

(3) GOOD POINT. Concern for passing on a legacy is surprisingly absent from many corners of fandom.

(4) BULLIED. ScreenRant tells the story of “5 Actors Who Were Bullied Off Social Media By Angry Fans.”

Let’s kick this whole thing off with a very obvious and very simple fact that shouldn’t even need stating: Actors are NOT the same as the characters they play. When they’re in movies or television shows, they’re ACTING (the clue is in the word “actor”). And if you’ve ever bullied an actor because of something their CHARACTER did – online or otherwise – you really do need to take a long hard look at yourself! That being said, sadly, cowardly bullying of that nature happens all the time in the modern world – it’s particularly easy to do from behind a computer screen when you have a picture of a cat as your profile picture – and, rather unsurprisingly, the actors on the receiving end don’t like it very it much. In this video, we’ll take a look at five actors who were ruthlessly and senselessly bullied off social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc) by angry so-called “fans” of their movies and TV shows who simply didn’t think before they spoke (N.B. You’re absolutely NOT a fan if you’ve ever done this). The actors in question are; the Star Wars sequel trilogy’s Daisy Ridley, Star Wars: The Last Jedi’s Kelly Marie Tran, Ghostbusters’ Leslie Jones, The Walking Dead’s Josh McDermitt and Game of Thrones’ Faye Marsay.


(5) JACKPOT HGHWAY. What do you get when you combine Heinlein’s “Let There Be Light” with “The Roads Must Roll” (give or take a few details)? Roads paved with solar panels! The New York Times has the story — “Free Power From Freeways? China Is Testing Roads Paved With Solar Panels”.

On a smoggy afternoon, huge log carriers and oil tankers thundered down a highway and hurtled around a curve at the bottom of a hill. Only a single, unreinforced guardrail stood between the traffic and a ravine.

The route could make for tough driving under any conditions. But experts are watching it for one feature in particular: The highway curve is paved with solar panels.

“If it can pass this test, it can fit all conditions,” said Li Wu, the chairman of Shandong Pavenergy, the company that made the plastic-covered solar panels that carpet the road. If his product fares well, it could have a major impact on the renewable energy sector, and on the driving experience, too.

(6) EMERGENCY BACKUP SIXTH ITEM. (Someone noticed I left a gap in the numbering.) Syfy Wire calls these The 13 best friendships in sci-fi & fantasy.

As we alluded to earlier, it was Sam who literally carried Frodo at a critical point in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. But Frodo would have been lost to the ring long before that if his best friend hadn’t accompanied him. In terms of trios, Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, and Ron Weasley could face almost anything together. The original Star Trek also had a core trio of friends: Kirk, Spock, and McCoy.


(7) ALTERNATE UNIVERSE NEWS. Kevin Lincoln, in “What If Star Wars Never Happened?” at Polygon, has an alternative universe where George Lucas passes on Star Wars to direct Apocalypse Now (which comes out in 1976), which begins a chain of events including the election of Al Gore in 2000 and the non-existence of Netflix.

The 1970s

Hot off the runaway success of 1973’s American Graffiti, which becomes one of the most profitable movies ever made, 29-year-old George Lucas tries to write a script about a moral, expansive universe filled with mysterious power and mythological heroes and villains. The first treatment he produces is, by many accounts, incoherent. Discouraged by the negative response, he decides to take up his friend Francis Ford Coppola’s offer to direct a Vietnam War movie called Apocalypse Now, written by their other friend, John Milius.

Lucas brings the film in on time and just barely over budget, delivering a well-reviewed movie shot in cinema-verite style that draws comparisons to The Battle of Algiers and Z. But audiences are tired of the Vietnam War, which had finally ended in 1975, and when the movie comes out in 1976, it’s a modest success rather than a breakout hit like Graffiti. However, combined with the success of The Godfather II in 1974, it’s enough to impress the holders of the rights to Flash Gordon, who earlier refused Lucas’ offer to adapt the property. They agree to allow him to make a movie based on the character, produced by Coppola.

(8) SNAP, CRACKLE AND PLOT. Atlas Obscura tells about the importance of some low-tech effects: “Why Foley Artists Use Cabbage and Celery to Create Hollywood’s Distinctive Sounds”.

In one of the final scenes of James Cameron’s Titanic, Rose (played by Kate Winslet) clings to a floating headboard, a piece of debris from the shipwreck that claimed over 1500 lives. A delirious Rose, adrift in the freezing ocean, sees a rescue team in the distance and moves her head. As she lifts her frozen hair off the wood, it crackles audibly.

But Rose’s hair never actually crackled, and the sound wasn’t made by hair at all: It was the sound of frozen lettuce being peeled by Foley artists in a studio. While subtle to the ear, and almost unnoticeable amidst the dialogue, score, and other sound effects, the crackle is critical to amplifying the scene’s drama. And it’s the responsibility of Foley artists to forge these unique sounds in post-production, often from lettuce heads, coconuts, and other foods.

It’s an uncharacteristically overcast May day in Culver City, California—an enclave within Los Angeles where many production studios are found. I’m at Sony Pictures, where two of the studio’s resident Foley artists, Robin Harlan and Sarah Monat-Jacobs, recount the struggle to make Rose’s frozen hair sound like frozen hair. First they tried freezing a wig, but that didn’t work. Velcro didn’t do the trick, either. Later, Harlan was at home and, while making herself a sandwich, found that a head of lettuce’s crackle worked perfectly. “They really wanted to hear the sound of frozen hair pulling off of this wood bedstead, but I mean, you can’t really freeze your own head,” says Harlan.

(9) PETERS OBIT. Only just announced… Luan Peters (1946-2017): Actress and singer, died December 24, 2017, aged 71. Genre appearances include Doctor Who (two episodes, 1967 and 1973), Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) (aka My Partner the Ghost, one episode, 1969), Lust for a Vampire, Twins of Evil  (both 1971), The Flesh and Blood Show (1972), Vampira (aka Old Dracula, 1974), Land of the Minotaur (aka The Devil’s Men. 1976).


  • June 12, 1987 Predator premiered on this day
  • June 12, 2012 — Ray Bradbury’s Kaleidoscope went into general release.
  • June 12, 2015 Jurassic World debuted


  • Frazz discusses an application of Sturgeon’s Law but Mike Kennedy doesn’t think the math works.
  • Lise Andreasen asks if you can pass all four of the Turing Tests posed in Tom Gauld’s comic?

(12) POINT OF EXCLAMATION. Do not miss Camestros Felapton’s “Beard Subgenres (Crossover event!)” unless you have something important scheduled, like sorting your sock drawer. Just kidding!

Combining our occasional series of pointless infographics, with our occasional series of misclassifying mundane things by sub-genres of SFF and our occasional series of pictures of beards, Felapton Towers presents: beards by subgenres!

(I have no idea how I am going to justify linking to this. There’s not even a cat this time.)

(13) LEVEL-HEADED. This amazing movie technology advance is still news to me – million dollar idea:

instead of spending thousands of dollars on steady-cam equipment, filmmakers should just attach a camera to the head of a chicken and carry the chicken around as you film.

(14) ERRANT PEDANTRY. Marko Kloos volunteered these examples –

(15) TIDHAR. Jonathan Thornton reviews Candy by Lavie Tidhar” at Fantasy-Faction.

Candy is Lavie Tidhar’s first book for children. It is a perfectly pitched noir take on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964). Its delightful premise following a twelve-year-old private detective in a city where chocolate, candy and sweets are banned. As such the book is both fun and amusing. However, as with Tidhar’s earlier work, his playful approach to genre is in service to the story’s hidden depths. He uses the trappings of noir detective tales to tell a subversive children’s story about corruption, the exploitation of vulnerable communities, and the limits of justice. The end result is a novel that for all its joyous sense of fun still packs a surprising emotional and philosophical punch.

(16) OUTCOME OF SENSITIVITY READ. At The Book Smugglers: “Between the Coats: A Sensitivity Read Changed my Life – an Essay by Sarah Gailey”.

I’m queer, which is why I always thought I’d be dead by now….

… I was a new writer, alien to the writing community, completely unaware of the conversations about queer representation that had been developing for years before I’d thought to write a single word of my story. It didn’t occur to me that queer tragedies like that are part of an agenda, and that the agenda had been working on me for a long time. That agenda had succeeded at keeping me quiet and scared and lonely in ways that I thought were fine, just fine, thanks, how are you? That agenda had succeeded at making me hold my breath. Because of that agenda, I spent my days hoping that no one ever noticed me.

None of that entered my mind, not even once. I thought I was writing in-genre. Fantasy stories have magic. Science fiction stories have rules that I don’t always understand because I somehow got through high school without taking a physics class. Queer stories have death.

And then I got some feedback on the story from a sensitivity reader. They had volunteered to make sure I wasn’t screwing up on a particular point of representation — but they took issue with the story as a whole. They told me emphatically that I should reconsider writing a queer tragedy; that it was a trope, that it was harmful to readers, that it was overused and dangerous. I took the feedback with mortifyingly poor grace. I was lucky enough to be quickly corrected on my behavior. In the wake of that correction, trying to figure out which way was up, I asked friends for help processing the critique.

My straight friends said it was bullshit. They said there was nothing wrong with queer tragedies — that queer people dying again and again was fine. Queer people are just people, and people die, they said. That’s just how it is. Really, it’s best not to overthink it. Go ahead and Forget.

My queer friends didn’t tell me that. Instead, they pointed me to articles and blog posts and callouts pointed at the Bury Your Gays trope. They talked to me about representation with more patience than I deserved. Many of them said that it was okay that I didn’t know, because a lot of straight writers don’t think about these things….

(17) HORRIFIC SCENARIO. In “‘Rosemary’s Baby’ at 50: How the horror classic is more relevant than ever in the #MeToo era”, Yahoo! Entertainment writer Nick Chasger looks at Rosemary’s Baby on its 50th anniversary in the wake of both director Roman Polanski and star Mia Farrow’s role in the #MeToo movement.

Focused on a powerless (and physically slight) female who’s marginalized, assaulted, and controlled in equal measure, Rosemary’s Baby soon becomes a terrifying tale about misogyny’s many guises. As the thing growing in her womb makes her sicker and sicker, her face so ashen that friends can’t help but remark upon it, Rosemary is made to feel crazy as well as helpless. That’s most evident when, after getting into an argument with Guy over her description of Sapirstein as “that nut,” she makes sure to assuage her husband that she’s not going to have an abortion — an option that, it’s clear, she doesn’t have the right to choose, even if she wanted.

(18) VOICE OF COMMAND. A new scheme for playing video games….

For the very first time ever, take your rightful place as the Dragonborn of legend (again) and explore Skyrim using the power of your own voice…your Thu’um!


[Thanks to Martin Morse Wooster, ULTRAGOTHA, Steve Green, JJ, John King Tarpinian, Lise Andreasen, Cat Eldridge, Chip Hitchcock, Mike Kennedy, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day jayn.]

125 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 6/12/18 Your Mother Was A Scrollster And Your Father Smelt Of Pixelberries! I File In Your General Direction!

  1. I started a file
    Which started the whole world scrolling
    But I didn’t see
    That the pixel was me-ee-ee

  2. Second fifth is the best fifth! Neither fifth nor second fifth, alas.

    @4 This is why we can’t have nice things. <sigh>

  3. 16) I am of two minds about this. On the one hand, I am sick and tired of “bury your gays” as a trope; on the other hand, tragedy is my preferred genre and I would like to be able to read tragedies that include people like me. My objection to “bury your gays” as a trope is that, one, it’s often found in stories that are *centered* on straight people, in which the dead gay people are a Tragic Object Lesson To Others (and fuck that shit), and, two, it often involves queerness *as* the tragedy. But I don’t want the solution here to be “let’s only write stories in which LGBT people have happy endings.” I mean, yes, let’s write those stories, sure, people who like happy endings deserve stories just as much as I do. But I also want there to be room for stories centered on queer people, who happen to be people who, for reasons that have nothing to do with their sexual identity or sexuality, have tragic, fatal flaws.

  4. Ambyr, of course that’s true, but authors will only get there once they really see LGBT people can have happy or sad or mediocre endings. Once they get there they can write any sort, and will, I hope.

    I remember an early Nicole Hollander cartoon that made the same point about single moms – that their stories, or their kids’, were bound to end in tragedy. I expect that’s true about a lot of non-SWM people.

    I found the essay very moving.

  5. @7: I suspect I’m missing a lot of context for his assumptions — but I wonder whether Close Encounters (which he doesn’t mention) might have caught (even?) more attention without having SW to precede it. (Like SW, it privileged feelings over thought — but in a rather different way.) I also wonder whether anyone would have noticed Carrie getting a Hugo (instead of IIRC coming in 2nd to No Award due to SW showing what a movie could be); my guess is not, but I don’t know enough about the attitude of the rest of Hollywood at the time (vs Kurtz showing up to receive the special committee award for SW).

    @8: fascinating geek detail — including the observation that using library recordings still doesn’t cut it. I wonder if they’ll do when actors are completely replaced (as in the Willis story), or whether some corroborative versimilitude will be needed.

  6. Whoops, guess that’s a YouTube video instead of an article. My bad.

  7. (14) Etymology is fun but we probably shouldn’t get too attached to old meanings (even if they fundamentally make more sense based on the word at hand), because the way words are used can change over time and can take on new meanings. We don’t have to be happy about it though, I guess.

    (8)Reminds me of Berberian Sound Studio – a horror movie kiiiiind of in the style of an old Italian “giallo” film. But anyway it’s set in a sound studio (as you may have guessed) and there are some scenes wherein you see sound effects being made.

    Edit: also there appears to be no number 6, nor even two 5s to make up for it…

  8. 18 – while it may seem like parody Skyrim is available as an Echo app for real on Amazon

  9. According to Merriam-Webster, “reduced by 1/10” was the original meaning of decimate, but it is not the current meaning.

  10. @JJ – Thanks for posting that thread. I couldn’t remember the details, but I remembered it happening. I saw Kloos’ tweet and thought “ugh, I remember a long-ass argument about this on File770 not too long ago. I hope nobody comments on it…”

    (16) Wow, I’d never thought of it that way. I also gravitate toward tragedies. I’d never considered that maybe there are too many tragic endings for certain groups of people. I’ve long been annoyed with the pat and obvious tragic endings, but hadn’t thought about the cumulative effects.

  11. (14) thanks, Marko Kloos. Other examples: “flaunt” when you mean “flout” and especially “fine tooth-comb”, when the correct expression is “fine-toothed comb”. Though it might be worth it to watch people comb their teeth …

  12. (13) I’ve heard that the reason birds appear to bob their heads as they walk is that they actually prefer to keep their head in one place for as long as possible, but I’ve never seen such outstandingly clear photographic evidence. Those are great images.

    Should work with pigeons too, although they may not be able to support as large of a camera.

  13. Larry Gonick, in Cartoon History of the Universe, had a good Sapir-Whorfian comment about “decimate”: “How many languages even have a word for ‘kill every tenth person’?”

    Less funny when you realize that’s the culture that most of Europe was derived from…

  14. Heinlein’s rolling roads were powered by solar panels, weren’t they?

    (I still want to know what his intersections looked like.)

  15. Steve Wright: I still want to know what his intersections looked like.

    Well, they’d have to be mixmasters, wouldn’t they, with on-ramps and off-ramps of adjacent paths of graduated speeds, that were a tad slower or a tad faster than the one next to them.

  16. If I were more talented, I’d be writing “Blowups Unsatisfactory” right now.

    16) I still remember reading The Front Runner in the mid-eighties. (I mean, I can remember sitting in that car reading it.) It was a story of its time and was useful then. That I was reading it not too far from where Harvey Milk was assassinated added a little punch to it.

    But it wasn’t a Bury Your Gays story, as I understand it. It wasn’t about death from queerness, but about death from homophobia. That seems quite different.

  17. It wasn’t about death from queerness, but about death from homophobia. That seems quite different.

    Hm. What would be an example of a death from queerness that’s not a death from homophobia?

  18. @Ghostbird: If this is an area where I’m far enough outside current usages, I’ll try to learn something, which requires showing how I understand it.

    When I think of ‘death from queerness’, I think first of the various stereotypes (no offense intended to the stereotypes) by which gay men were known before and during the AIDS crisis, and how narratives were shaped to implicate them in their own deaths.

    When I think of ‘death from homophobia’, I think of gay-bashing and murder. That’s death because of queerness, but not death from queerness. External, not internal.

    Am I on the right track here?

  19. @Ghostbird Hit by a stray glitterbomb?

    (But seriously, I agree with you – and that’s a very powerful article from Sarah Gailey, very grateful to her for writing it.)

  20. Ghostbird, in a word, AIDS in the 1980s. (Although I suppose that’s death-by-homophobia once removed; they didn’t start really researching the disease for a criminally long time because of homophobia.)

  21. In case it’s of interest: after a long period of procrastination, I’ve finally started putting together some Hugo ballot thoughts over on my site. I’m starting with Novel today, because it turns out I’m not very inventive when it comes to ordering things…?

    So yes, there’s a thing.

  22. Anyone who thinks “decimated” can’t mean “mostly/entirely wiped out” isn’t being clever and smart, they simply don’t understand how language works.

  23. @Cassy B: Two words–Ryan White.

    I don’t say that with scorn. It was exactly that sort of example that gave me an entry point into people with otherwise hardened hearts. But to have to resort to it!

  24. Or, to put it a different way:

    You think decimated can only mean 1 in 10 being killed? Aw, that’s nice (which, since words apparently cannot ever change meanings, means foolish.) My position seems silly (which means innocent). I feel just awful (worthy of awe) for a myriad of reasons (*exactly* ten thousand reasons, no more and no less). I guess I didn’t have a clue (ball of yarn). My usage has been egregious (distinguished or eminent). Have a fantastic day (a day that exists only in your imagination).

  25. But who knows? Maybe the dog wasn’t actually dead, it was just resting. ?

    No sound was there in that high presence chamber in Filing till in a minute’s space the serving man returned with startled countenance, and, bowing before Lord JJ, said, “Lord, it is an Ambassador from ScrolLand and his train. He craveth present audience.”


  26. I actually clicked on Arifel’s handle above and was able to access her interesting reviews that way.

  27. @John A Arkansawyer

    I don’t think there’s a single “right track” to be on here, but I’d call all of those deaths from homophobia. All the old tropes of suicide, self-destructive behaviour, and desperate relationships are about the experience of living in a world that hates you, which is to say homophobia. The best you can do is talk about the different ways homophobia manifests.

    And in the context of the Bury Your Gays trope, the pattern is more important than the details. There are plenty of ways to kill off your queer characters but the point is that they keep dying.

  28. Xtifer: A cartoon I still haven’t made a final drawing of shows one pigeon on the sidewalk telling another “Man, I’ve been walking around here all day, and my neck is killing me!”

  29. @Steve and Stephen: urgh, that’s not the first time I’ve failed to use the comment link button properly – I think it goes funny when I use the URL WordPress gives to copy instead of getting it out of my own address bar. But anyway, yes that’s it!

    By the way, I’ve been inspired in no small part by the daily Hugo updates I currently get from your blog, Steve – although I regret to inform you that you’ve been terribly, objectively wrong on a couple of occasions 😉

  30. @Cassy B Although I suppose that’s death-by-homophobia once removed

    That was my original point, but I’ve realised I was trying to make two arguments at once. One is that real-world “deaths from queerness” are in fact deaths of homophobia; and the other is that if we’re talking about fictional deaths(*) then what we’re actually talking about is the choices that writers make.

    (*) Or even real ones, once we start looking and what gets reported and how.

  31. @Ghostbird: It’s that second point that I was getting at. The story of a death can implicate queerness; it can implicate homophobia. It’s a narrative choice.

    ETA: I agree that’s true of choices in non-fiction as well as in fiction.

  32. @Kyra

    You think decimated can only mean 1 in 10 being killed? Aw, that’s nice (which, since words apparently cannot ever change meanings, means foolish.) My position seems silly (which means innocent). I feel just awful (worthy of awe) for a myriad of reasons (*exactly* ten thousand reasons, no more and no less). I guess I didn’t have a clue (ball of yarn). My usage has been egregious (distinguished or eminent). Have a fantastic day (a day that exists only in your imagination).

    You win all the internets today.

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