Pixel Scroll 6/2/18 I Can’t Pixel That – It’s More Than My Scroll’s Worth

(1) BEA ACCESS ISSUE. Black comic book artist Tee Franklin, an invited Book Expo America panel participant who uses a wheelchair, arrived at today’s item and found there was no ramp allowing her to get on the platform with other panelists. She wrote a Twitter thread about the experience — it starts here:

The moderator — who probably should have been aware in advance of the panelists and their backgrounds, who the panelist says knows her, and knows that she’s disabled — wasn’t paying attention and didn’t think as soon as they arrived to call the con management and say “we need a ramp in this room, STAT”.

Here’s one of the many tweets in support.

Franklin adds that this is chronic occurrence:

(2) YOUNG PEOPLE RETURNS! James Davis Nicoll launches a new round of Young People by having them listen to a radio adaptation of Frederik Pohl’s “The Tunnel Under The World”.

Welcome to the first installment of Young People Listen to Old SFF, an experiment to see if old science fiction and fantasy radio shows aged better than old science fiction and fantasy. Unsurprisingly, my first selection is from that classic old time SF radio show, X Minus One.

To quote from my tor dot com piece: NBC’s Dimension X (1950-1951) and X Minus One (1955-1958) shared a network, some staff and initial source material for scripts. The first fifteen scripts for X Minus One were repurposed Dimension X scripts. Although the shows began by adapting stories from Astounding, X Minus One turned to more sophisticated material from Galaxy Magazine. I prefer X Minus One over Dimension X, so I’ve snagged two episodes from the first and none from the second. As I’ve said before, DX had the all time best ad lib: immediately after a character in one play made an impassioned plea for world peace, the news broadcasters broke in to announce the outbreak of the Korean War.

Among other things, the panel says this show failed the Bechdel Test!

(3) SILENCED, Heather Altfeld explains how “Every Day, Another Language Dies” at Lit Hub.

…Recent broadcast from the terrarium of sadness and destruction: it will take between ten and fourteen days from now for another of the world’s 6,900 languages to die out. So let’s say that today the last speaker of something somewhere is dying.

Exhibit A: Alban Michael. Out of the 7,700,000,000 people on earth, he was only one left who could speak Nuchatlaht. He lived near Nootka Island, he spoke to his parents in dreams, as there was no one left to speak to him. And then one year ago, he was gone, himself a dream, his language buried with him….

(4) POLITICS IN SF? YES. The Village Voice’s Carol Cooper is “Catching Up With the Next Generation of Sci-Fi Writers”.

…Surely in a community that attracts atheists, Wiccans, CIA agents, physicists, semioticians, libertines, libertarians, and unrepentant Trotskyites, one might anticipate a few political debates. More recent controversies have centered on fears that “political correctness” is taking the field too far away from the kinds of themes and characters that ruled SF in the 1930s, ’40s, and ’50s. Evidently, gay, non-white, and feminist themes and writers were getting too much attention in the 21st century, leaving straight, white protagonists with conservative plot lines unfairly ignored. But gathering to learn and play at regional and national conventions is one way these schisms in the larger SF community are addressed and eventually healed.

At Nebula Con, we discussed these questions of diversity in SF on panels like “How to Decolonize Your Fiction” and “Collaborations: More Than the Sum of Their Parts.” For the former, book agent DongWon Song asked a roundtable of non-white authors if it’s possible to write fiction free of the influence of Western imperialism and white supremacy. Bill Campbell, a middle-class, half-Jamaican author and publisher, described how after a white agent accidentally told him his work “wasn’t ghetto enough,” he reacted by self-publishing the satiric Koontown Killing Kaper, a gumshoe fantasy in which vampire crack babies are accused of murdering local rappers. Frustrated by the overly narrow expectations of existing publishers, he started Rosarium Publishing in 2013 as a home for multicultural SF, comics, nonfiction, and crime fiction that doesn’t pander to the “white gaze” and disregards stereotypical assumptions….

(5) THE COCKY CROWS. Here’s the Authors Guild update on “Cockygate” — “Authors Guild and RWA Prevail in Court Defending Authors in “Cocky” Trademark Dispute”.

The Authors Guild and the Romance Writers of America (RWA) joined forces in this case to defend the principle that no one should be able to own exclusive rights to use a common word in book or book series titles. In ruling against the author Faleena Hopkins, who claimed exclusive rights to “cocky” for romance titles, Judge Alvin Hellerstein of the Southern District of New York, stated that he did not believe that Hopkins was likely to succeed on the merits.

…When Hopkins’ trademark registration was issued in April, Hopkins sent notices to multiple authors telling them to change the titles of their books and asked Amazon to take down all other cocky-titled romance books (not just series).

That is when the Authors Guild stepped in to defend the authors whose books were targeted. The Guild and the RWA separately requested that Amazon put the books back up, since the trademark claims were disputed, and it promptly complied. The two groups then jointly hired the Authors Guild’s outside counsel, Cowan Debaets Abrahams & Sheppard, to write a letter to Hopkins on behalf of Tara Crescent, author of another “Cocky” book series (and an Authors Guild member).

In response, Hopkins filed a lawsuit in the Southern District of New York against three people: Crescent, author and lawyer Kevin Kneupper (who challenged Hopkins’ trademark registration), and book publicist, Jennifer Watson. In doing so, Hopkins asked for a temporary restraining order to prevent the May 26th publication of a collection of stories by different authors, entitledCocktales: The Cocky Collective (Hopkins incorrectly named Watson as the publisher). The Guild’s attorneys prevailed in court last Friday the 25th to prevent the temporary restraining order and again today in a hearing on Hopkins’ motion for a preliminary injunction.

We opposed the attempt to block publication of a book, arguing: “Any order that restricts creative expression in favor of promoting the tenuous (at best) purported rights of a single author is simply contrary to the public interest in freedom of expression.”

Judge Hellerstein agreed and found that Hopkins was not likely to succeed on the merits because the word “cocky” is a common and weak trademark, there was no evidence of actual confusion, and romance readers are sophisticated consumers—meaning that they are not likely to confuse Hopkins’ and Crescent’s books.

You can read our papers here, filed jointly with attorneys for Kneupper and Watson.

(6) GRIDLOCK. The Ogden UnCon takes place June 7-9, 2019 in Ogden, Utah. That means there are three general SF cons scheduled within the same month — UnCon, FyreCon, and Westercon — all within 10 miles of each other.

(7) NOT TAKEI TOO? Washington Post op-ed writer Eric Berkowitz considers “The case against George Takei was always weak. Why were we so quick to believe it?”.

… But there was always a lot wrong with the Brunton story. Unlike Weinstein, C.K. or Spacey, Takei had never been known — even in whispers — for sexual misconduct. And Brunton’s tale didn’t quite hang together. He didn’t accuse Takei of drugging him until days after he first contacted the media, and, as detailed in a recent Observer article , he hadn’t even suspected that Takei had spiked his drink until years after the incident, when he read about the accusations against Bill Cosby. According to Shane Snow’s reporting, if Brunton had been given one of the date rape drugs in use back then, he probably would have no memory of what happened. Finally, Brunton told the Observer that he didn’t recall any touching by Takei. What began as an accusation of sexual assault was now, for Brunton, “a great party story” and “just a very odd event.” Takei responded to the Observer article with relief, tweeting, “I wish him peace.”…

The result is that we are too ready to believe that George Takei committed sexual assault and to assume that gay men are prone to it. We don’t know exactly why there was a rush to judgment against Takei — in the immediate wake of #MeToo, there were so many accusations being hurled, it was hard to keep track — but we can reflect on why so many of us are inclined to think the worst.

(8) DABNEY OBIT. NPR reports “Ted Dabney, Co-Founder Of Atari And Video Game Pioneer, Dies At 81”. He also co-founded the ancestor of Chuck E. Cheese’s.

Dabney, who generally went by Ted, and Nolan Bushnell had been working together at an electronics company called Ampex back in the mid-1960s, and Bushnell had an idea for a “carnival-type pizza parlor,” Dabney recalled in 2012.

“It’s one of these things, you have these ideas and no way you could ever make it happen,” he told the Computer History Museum. “I mean, you could barely afford the pizza, much less buy a pizza place.”

Turns out he was right — they couldn’t afford to start a pizza place, at least not then. But those conversations did start a tumultuous partnership that would, within just a few years, go on to create Atari, introduce Pong as a cultural phenomenon and help blaze a trail for the very medium of video games as we know them today.

(9) TODAY IN HISTORY

  • June 2, 1977  — Capricorn One premiered

(10) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS

  • Born June 2, 1915 – Lester Del Rey, sf author
  • Born June 2, 1945 – Jon Peters, Executive Producer of Batman Returns, Producer of Batman, The Witches Of Eastwick and the Wild Wild West film.
  • Born June 2, 1977 – Zachary Quinto, the new Mr. Spock
  • Born June 2, 1978 — Dominic Cooper (Jesse in Preacher, Howard Stark in Agent Carter and  Captain America: The First Avenger and a role in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.)

(11) HIRSUTE KNOWLEDGE. Camestros Felapton has posted the answers to his sff author beard identification quiz. How did you score?

(12) A FRIGHT AT THE OPERA. Broadway World says a Bradbury-inspired opera will open this summer: “Sci-Fi Opera THE BRADBURY TATTOOS To Premiere This July”.

In the nearly 70 years since late author Ray Bradbury published “The Illustrated Man,” various short stories in the classic science fiction anthology have been adapted for film, stage and television. Now, four of them serve as the basis for “The Bradbury Tattoos,” an ambitious new rock opera, scheduled to premiere July 13 and 22 at Memorial Hall in Cincinnati.

Written by composer Zac Greenberg and librettist Michael Burnham, “The Bradbury Tattoos” will be presented by concert:nova, a contemporary-classical ensemble founded by musicians from the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Partial funding for the production is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.

“The opera is in four movements,” Greenberg explained. “The first three movements happen simultaneously, in different rooms. The audience moves from room to room, and then everyone comes together in the main hall for the grand finale.”

Stylistically, the movements range from classical string quartet to avant-garde classical, folk and big band. Though the stories are different, they share a common theme of humans coping with a frightening future:

  • “Kaleidoscope” – The crew of a disabled spacecraft reflects on their lives, while drifting toward death.
  • “Zero Hour” – Children play a game called “Invasion,” which turns out to be more than a game.
  • “The Highway” – A husband and wife who live near a highway help refugees fleeing a nuclear war.
  • “The Last Night of the World” – A married couple goes about their normal routines, despite realizing that the world is about to end

(13) CAREFULLY TAUGHT. The BBC asks: “Are you scared yet? Meet Norman, the psychopathic AI” — another demo that data matters when teaching an AI.

Norman is an algorithm trained to understand pictures but, like its namesake Hitchcock’s Norman Bates, it does not have an optimistic view of the world.

When a “normal” algorithm generated by artificial intelligence is asked what it sees in an abstract shape it chooses something cheery: “A group of birds sitting on top of a tree branch.”

Norman sees a man being electrocuted.

And where “normal” AI sees a couple of people standing next to each other, Norman sees a man jumping from a window.

The psychopathic algorithm was created by a team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as part of an experiment to see what training AI on data from “the dark corners of the net” would do to its world view.

(14) SCARE THE HELL INTO YOU. The hype machine says “Hereditary: The ‘scariest film for years’ is coming”.

It’s been described as “the singularly most terrifying horror film in years” and “a new generation’s The Exorcist”.

Horror movie Hereditary has become one of 2018’s most eagerly anticipated releases after scaring and impressing critics in equal measure.

Actress Toni Collette is coming in for particular praise as a woman whose family has demons in its DNA.

Bustle said it’s “truly unlike anything you’ve seen before”, while The AV Club called it “pure emotional terrorism”.

The film is released in the US on 8 June and in the UK a week later.

(15) CAT HELP WANTED. In San Diego a “Beloved book store closing after 53 years” – and the bookstore cat, Bartleby, is unemployed!

It’s the end of an era on Adams Avenue in Normal Heights. After 53 years, the Adams Avenue Book Store is set to close its doors.

(16) ROAD ROCKET. Messy Nessy shares its photo album of “Fantastic French Publicity Caravans of Yesteryear”, which begins with this epic vehicle:

My wormhole began with this photo of the world’s first (possibly only) vehicle-shaped pen, the BIC mobile, photographed at the Tour de France in 1953. I’ve never been an avid follower of the annual cycling race that was created in 1903 by a French newspaper as a gimmick to sell more papers– but this? Give me a parade of the wackiest concept cars and publicity vehicles, and you’ve got my attention!

[Thanks to Robin Reid, Chip Hitchcock, Cat Eldridge, John King Tarpinian, JJ, David Doering, Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, Greg Hullender, Carl Slaughter, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Andrew.]

152 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 6/2/18 I Can’t Pixel That – It’s More Than My Scroll’s Worth

  1. It was a very long sprawling building in a rural area and the two function spaces were on opposite sides of the sprawl. I’m really not exaggerating about the length. There was a theater in the middle somewhere, I think….

  2. Ingvar on June 5, 2018 at 3:30 am said:

    The convention centre where Dublin 2019 will be held is newly built, so should (I hope) be pretty accessible.

    The convention centre is very accessible. There are well equipped restrooms (better than the ones I see here in the US), lifts, wide doors. The tram appears to be accessible with a stop before the centre where there are restaurants and a stop after the centre that’s closer but no restaurants.

    Dublin in 2019 has an accessibility page.

    I hope they can use the side doors, because those are closer to the tram stops than the front doors.

    Jeff Jones on June 5, 2018 at 5:37 am said:

    @Cassy B: For an able-bodied person, a half-mile is a 10 minute walk. That’s worse than most Worldcons. I wonder why the committee couldn’t find a more suitable venue.

    The New Zealand bid says there is a 10 minute walk between their two main venues, which are about a 10 minute walk from most of the nearest hotels. It’s way more than 10 minutes for someone with my walking speed, and are there hills in between? So that’s 2 miles a day at least. More if you have to go from TSB Arena/Shed 6 and the Michael Fowler centre more than once. A walk that requires you to cross a major … freeway? from looking at the map. (And the route they’ve got marked out from A to B on that map appears to be a driving not a walking route, unless one walks down the center of the lanes. Or maybe it’s an elevated divided highway and there’s pedestrian space under it? Can’t tell.)

  3. @ultragotha I drove on that road, it’s not an elevated highway. There are plenty of hills in Wellington, fortunately not right there between the two venues, but to your hotel, likely.

  4. @lurkertype:

    No, I did not miss the fact that you occasionally use a wheelchair.

    Perhaps you missed that I (I thought) clearly stated that I don’t go to cons any more because the logistics of doing so have made it not worth doing so for me. Not for others in general, but for me specifically. YMMV, but for me, at 58 years of age, with CP and arthritis in most of my joints, among other things, going to a con is so much effort that it’s no longer enjoyable. Accessibility is a significant part of that, but not the only part.

    I must thank you for at least being polite in our exchanges. I’ve been told that I’ve been “making excuses” for cons and that I have a “wearily dismissive attitude” on the subject of accessibility by two people here. It’s like being patted on the head as though I were five.

    For the record, as I’ve pointed out elsewhere in other comments, the way Tee Franklin was treated at BEA was inexcusable, that Franklin pointed out that this was the third straight time something like this had happened and that was why they quit the panel at BEA.

    That last bit is why I said that experience tells me that it probably wouldn’t be the case that things would improve for Franklin on that score. For that observation, I’m told I exhibited a “wearily dismissive attitude” toward accessibility.

    Meredith got what I said, but she’s in a chair.

    If it seems I’m dumping on you here, that’s not my intention and I apologize if it comes across that way.

  5. Robert Reynolds: FWIW, having watched the exchange, I think you can feel justified in feeling a bit dumped on, and I’m sorry it happened. I can also say I don’t think it was the intent of the other parties, and that they likely regret causing the feeling — but intent doesn’t magically make ill feelings go away.

    _____________

    Everyone has a line what they’re willing to suffer for the sake of an event they might otherwise enjoy. it’s only fair if different people in different locales and with different disabilities and experiences, each choose to handle it their own way. it would be nice if we were to the point where only the utterly mutually incompatible issues (as discussed above) remained a problem and all the rest of the access issues were fine.

    A friend of mine lives fairly high in an apartment block with no elevators. Their husband broke his foot recently. And I live near an old neighbourhood where many of the restaurants and shops are old enough to be grandfathered in with all kinds of steps and stairways and lack of elevators or ramps. Very pretty and all… but even negotiating with a stroller had occasional issues. I have no idea how people in wheelchairs might cope with some of these places — and yet I see multiple people with wheelchairs in the neighbourhood.

  6. ULTRAGOTHA on June 5, 2018 at 8:16 am said:

    A walk that requires you to cross a major … freeway? from looking at the map. (And the route they’ve got marked out from A to B on that map appears to be a driving not a walking route, unless one walks down the center of the lanes. Or maybe it’s an elevated divided highway and there’s pedestrian space under it? Can’t tell.)

    I think that Google Maps is your friend here. GMaps says the distance door to door is about 180m, with an altitude difference between the end points of 9m, which they describe as “mostly flat.” Using StreetView, I find that the route has sidewalks all the way. The large road is a four-lane surface street (not a freeway) with a traffic light. The sidewalks are modern brick (not cobblestones, but not flat concrete either). Once you cross that road, you’re in a mostly pedestrian area. (There’s a small driveway, but not a major street.)

    The path marked on the bid’s map is a simplified walking path. There are sidewalks on both sides of the street. It looks pedestrian-friendly to me, with large plazas and curb cuts at the intersection.

    How one gets from the venues to each specific hotel I haven’t worked out.

  7. Lurkertype: re the Takei business, Brunton didn’t recant the whole story, but he changed it some. As I posted on a friend’s thread on Facebook, “Okay, so Takei probably didn’t drug Brunton, and the kind of problematic behavior he apparently did engage in (both from the part of Brunton’s testimony that hasn’t changed, and from Takei’s own admission in the Howard Stern interview) was not generally considered assault by other men (at least, none whom we know to have come forward). I will admit that’s better, but I’m still not happy about the situation.”

  8. @Lurkertype:

    Grocery delivery also tends to be pricy. My local Walmart Market now offers pickup service, though, which is free and almost as convenient. (You place an order, specify a pickup window, drive over to the store, and call them when you arrive. They pick everything before you arrive and load it into your car.) You still have to drive both ways and get the stuff into the house, but it saves you the time and trouble of going into the store to do the shopping. Plus, as a bonus, you can drive through the pharmacy lane and pick up prescriptions as you leave.

    The downside is that you can’t take advantage of sales and markdowns, because you don’t know about them. My local market’s deli makes excellent ribs, but they’re too expensive for me unless they’re on markdown… so going inside gives me the chance to cruise over there and see if any discounted packages are available.

    @Cassy B: “My husband and I are not (so far) disabled, but we were traveling with at least a hundred pounds of portable photography studio, not counting our actual luggage.”

    That was my situation while I was a game demo guy, except that the studio was replaced with lots of games condensed into two rolling totes, each the size of a “letter by legal” file box, plus another box of similar size to hold prizes and giveaway items. I gradually went from being able to lift them out of my trunk and wheel them in over a couple of trips to snagging a luggage cart, getting someone to help me with the lifty part, and thereby condensing it into one trip. (Once at the room, rolling them off the cart is fairly easy, as is lifting them a couple of inches at the end of the stay to put them back onto the cart. I eventually got wise and started doing that late Saturday night. I’d snag one of the straggling gamers at the end of the game and get him to help me load most of the games into the trunk, holding a few portable things out as Sunday games.)

    Anyway, I showed up at one of the local cons to find that the gaming room was upstairs… which I mean quite literally, as a large staircase was the only way to get there. I never saw the inside of that room. Even if a couple of volunteers were willing to tote my stuff up on Friday and back down on Sunday, that didn’t help get me up and down. The worst part is, I know that one of my regulars relies on a wheelchair. Even if I’d made the climb, no way in hell could he have done so.

    @Jeff Jones: DragonCon’s even more walky, occupying half a dozen hotels on multiple blocks, all of which fill up fast (minutes, not weeks) when reservations open. When I attended, I stayed at a motel which was only a couple of blocks away from the hotel which hosted gaming. I was able to stow my games in the gaming area, but getting from my hotel to that one required a couple of rests, and that was back when I was in better shape than I am now. Once in there, five of the hotels were connected by “habitrails” that made going outside much less necessary, but I would still plan my panel attendance in terms of “take the habitrail, rest for several minutes, proceed.” Two habitrails in one go was just not happening.

  9. Kevin –
    That’s the route from the Intercontinental Hotel to the TSB Bank Auditorium/Shed 6. It does indeed look like a 3 minute walk.

    I was talking about the route from the TSB Bank Auditorium/Shed 6 to the Michael Fowler Centre. That’s ~700 metres and a “10 minute” walk.

    The bicycle route is even longer. I don’t know if it’s different because bikes aren’t allowed on part of the pedestrian walk, or because the pedestrian walk has stairs.

    If I’m fortunate enough to get a room at the Intercontinental, then I walk “3 minutes” to the TSB Bank auditorium for any programming that might be there, then 700 metres to the Michael Fowler Centre for, it looks like, the Hugos and the Masquerade (“Main Events”) Then back to TSB and/or back to the hotel. They’re also putting Admin/Volunteers and one panel room there. As well as a Green room, which I *assume* is the Masquerade/Hugo Green room as there’s another Green room space at TSB.

    According to the bid site, there’s five or six panel rooms in the Intercontinental, six in the TSB building and one in the Michael Fowler building.

  10. @Cassy B: “It was a very long sprawling building in a rural area and the two function spaces were on opposite sides of the sprawl.”

    Egads. Sounds like a worse version of the Chattanooga Choo Choo complex, where three local cons were hosted until they converted two of their three hotel buildings into apartments. If you’re so inclined, you can find that on Google Maps – if the name doesn’t pull it up, the address is 1400 Market Street. Security used golf carts to get around, and a shuttle bus ran up until about midnight to get people from the convention center plaza to the hotel buildings and back.

    @Lenora Rose: “Robert Reynolds: FWIW, having watched the exchange, I think you can feel justified in feeling a bit dumped on, and I’m sorry it happened. I can also say I don’t think it was the intent of the other parties, and that they likely regret causing the feeling — but intent doesn’t magically make ill feelings go away.”

    It is not “dumping on” anyone to observe that taking a “nothing’s going to change, everything is futile” approach is the best way to ensure that nothing changes by dismissing pro-change efforts as futile. It is dumping on someone to assume (despite evidence) that they’re abled and therefore oblivious and/or hostile to accessibility concerns, which is how Reynolds treated me by playing the “more disabled than thou” game.

    So, no – I do not regret possibly making someone who has been rude to and dismissive of me feel bad. (See also: “Screw Larry Correia.”) Tee was horribly mistreated, and we all agree on that. The difference is that I’m willing to agitate for change, and he has given up in favor of lambasting those who have not. That’s not merely unproductive, but counterproductive, and I feel no regret for saying so.

  11. @Lurkertype

    @Ultragotha: I got sympathetic hyperventilation just looking at what passed for “access” at Helsinki, either in stills or video. Sooo glad I didn’t go.

    Messukeskus, the Helsinki convention centre, was a fairly new building, The main problem here was the bottleneck caused by the infamous corridor of death and that they had too few lifts to accomodate that many people.

    Regarding the city, cobblestones and old buildings are not exactly unique to Helsinki. The public transport system was generally good with one exception: Some tram lines (not the ones to the convention centre, but the line to my hotel) still used the old raised trams where you have to mount a few steps rather than the modern accessible flatbed trams. Most places in Germany phased out raised trams sometime in the early 1990s, so I was surprised to still see them operating in Helsinki. Also the ones in Helsinki were worse than the ones I remember from (West) Germany, probably because the Helsinki trams use the narrower East European gauge and the trams were like the ones used in East Germany pre-1989. The first time I saw one of those old trams, I thought it was a nostalgia tour tram. Mounting those steps was unpleasant even for me, when I was wearing a skirt, and for my Mom it was very difficult.

    Might have to turn up at the Fannish Inquisition this year to ask New Zealand what gives — maybe they figure that since it takes forever on a plane to get there, nobody outwith the country who’s disabled is going to show up? Which won’t help @Soon Lee if the other knee gets broken. Also wondering what Dublin is going to be like — old stone and brick buildings with tiny roads.

    Going by my experience at the Fannish Inquisition at Helsinki, the New Zealand people will ignore or evade those questions.

    As for Dublin, the convention centre is new and in a generally newer part of town. And as far as I know, Dublin only had modern flatbed trams.

  12. Dear Techgrrl1972,

    “Like Al Franken, who I think got screwed over and falsely accused by right wing operatives. Not saying Franken never ever in his life didn’t do anything gross, but it’s amazing how all the accusers faded quickly into the weeds when he resigned.”

    Uhhh, there were pictures. Or are you claiming they were photoshopped? Franken didn’t broadly deny accusations, either; he either acknowledged them or said he didn’t remember. Do you have any evidence that he was being falsely accused, aside from wanting that to be the case because he was one of our guys?

    As for him resigning rather than getting “due process,” that’s a legal phrase that doesn’t apply here. This wasn’t about legal standards or “fairness.” This was a political issue, a Party issue — does it work better for the Democratic Party and for anti-harassment campaigns, if Franken fights it out or if he resigns? That’s a fair debate, and cases can be made both ways. That is a very different concern than yours

    Once the accusers feel that he’s been sufficiently punished, why shouldn’t they fade back into the weeds! It seems to me that’s exactly what they should do! Are you arguing that any MeToo accusations should be pursued forever, until the accused is ground into the dust? This is one of the the biggest complaints that’s been levied by obstructionists, against the nascent movement, that it doesn’t know how to modulate its response to fit the transgression.

    Your statements don’t sound like ones that support MeToo. At least, not when it’s applied to someone on our side.

    – pax \ Ctein
    [ Please excuse any word-salad. Dragon Dictate in training! ]
    ======================================
    — Ctein’s Online Gallery. http://ctein.com 
    — Digital Restorations. http://photo-repair.com 
    ======================================

  13. The photos were posed publicity shots in which all participants were complicit. Tasteless, but not the same as unasked-for molestation. The dates on the shots show that the accuser misrepresented where and when they were taken.

    I wish he had been given the hearing he’d asked for. It’s right that her charges were heard and not rejected out of hand, as so many have been, but they should have been checked out. The whole thing smells like an organized smear campaign.

  14. @Ctein: “Uhhh, there were pictures. Or are you claiming they were photoshopped?”

    The one Franken photo everyone talks about was Photoshopped. The evidence was right there in the EXIF data. I cannot say to what extent it was altered, but it is beyond question that the image was indeed edited (with Photoshop 8.0, on a Windows machine, if you want to be precise – and I believe it was at 10pm, although I’m going from memory and am less certain of that) between being taken and being cited as evidence of wrongdoing.

    It may well be that the alterations were nothing more than resizing the image, or it could have been a complete fabrication. The EXIF data doesn’t store that kind of info.

  15. Dear folks,

    I am disturbed that only Lurker and Robert brought up the ADA (and only in passing). Everyone else here discussing accessibility seems to be acting like the ADA doesn’t exist.

    I feel like this is a disaster waiting to happen for some convention. I’ve been feeling that way for years.

    The ADA applies to our conventions. The law not only says that hotels and convention centers have to be ADA compliant, but conferences and conventions held within them also have to be ADA compliant for the parts of the space they control. ADA compliance for the whole facility does NOT equate to compliance within the conference or convention. Those events need to take whatever additional measures are necessary to achieve compliance for the functions they are providing.

    Contrary to what the scaremongers say, the ADA is nuanced, respectful of issues that exist for those who fall under the act, and most importantly tolerant of reality. It requires accommodations to be made, but it does not require any that would be unreasonable nor excessively burdensome on the event or facility.

    Yes, those are vague words. That’s by intent — you can’t define every circumstance. Sure, it’s a big gray area, the same way there’s gray area around plagiarism and fair use. That’s stuff you just have to figure out on a case-by-case basis.

    But, there are lots of very readable online guidelines to the case law on this matter and which practices are generally accepted by the Justice Department. Along with the Justice Department, there are websites from differently-enabled organizations that spell this stuff out in clear understandable language, with good examples. National Association of the Deaf, for example.

    The ADA spells out what kinds of information you can and can’t demand from your attendees. It also establishes that there is a certain minimum level of accommodation you must provide on the assumption it will be needed — you cannot wait until it is demanded.

    Any convention that doesn’t familiarize itself with this stuff before it even starts to establish its physical plant and operations is a legal accident waiting to happen. That would be most of them.

    I’m really hoping conventions get a clue about this before something bad occurs.

    (For the record, I don’t need any of the accommodations the ADA provides for. I am merely a concerned and interested fan. But, to coin a phrase, “some of my best friends are…”)

    – pax \ Ctein
    [ Please excuse any word-salad. Dragon Dictate in training! ]
    ======================================
    — Ctein’s Online Gallery. http://ctein.com 
    — Digital Restorations. http://photo-repair.com 
    ======================================

  16. Dear Kip and RevBob,

    OK, then I may well be wrong about the photos. My new learning for the day!

    The rest, that this was a political question of tactics and strategy, I’ll stand by.

    pax / Ctein

  17. Ctein,

    Rather than make a snarky remark, I’m biting my tongue, and I’m just going to say that many of your posts seem intended to school the commentariat here on things of which they are well aware. I think that you vastly underestimate the intelligence of the people who comment here (which is not surprising, since you have not been participating here for the last 3+ years as many commenters have and thus are aware of each others’ backgrounds). Asking a simple “Are you aware of…” question, rather than launching into lengthy condescending lectures, would probably be a better approach.

  18. @Ctein:

    On the political aspect, I think it is worth examining the asymmetrical reactions to allegations of sexual misconduct, as well as the results of those reactions.

    The GOP denies, denies, denies and claims that the allegations are slander ginned up by the Left. They defend their accused as long as possible, until the evidence becomes too great to deny, at which point they dump ’em and claim they never stood by ’em to begin with.

    The left ousts and condemns its people at the slightest whiff of a hint of misconduct.

    The GOP wins that engagement over the long haul. This is not an outcome which would please me.

  19. Dear JJ,

    After reading well over 100 comments — dozens of which went to accessibility issues, several of which demonstrated they were ignorant of the ADA — I don’t feel my post was remotely out of line. I can sure as hell tell you that an awful lot of the conventions I attend aren’t even aware they are subject to it.

    So, yes, I am lecturing. For the uninformed, which contrary to your optimistic assessment, are amply present. If you are not one of them, then you are not the audience.

    Move along, move along.

    And rather than make a snarky remark in return, I will merely observe the tone of a lot of your posts rubs me the wrong way (even though I often agree with the facts you present) but I refrain lecturing you upon that.

    What I would suggest is that you don’t police me and I will not police you. We can politely ignore each other, since clearly neither of us much cares for the other’s online persona**.

    On the other hand, if you have any FACTUAL disagreement with what I said, I’ll be glad to hear it.

    **(noting, so it is on the record, that one’s online persona is not the same as who they are in realspace)

    – pax \ Ctein
    [ Please excuse any word-salad. Dragon Dictate in training! ]
    ======================================
    — Ctein’s Online Gallery. http://ctein.com 
    — Digital Restorations. http://photo-repair.com 
    ======================================

  20. Dear RevBob,

    Indeed, that is one of the very good arguments against summary dismissal.

    I’m not sure if it is a stronger argument than the moral police/Caesar’s wife argument (for summary dismissal).

    On the third hand, it means losing an extremely progressive vote in Congress.

    On the fourth hand…

    Political calculus.

    Math is hard [wry smile].

    No way, though, is it about whether or not it is fair to Franken as an individual. If this were about about Franken the person, we wouldn’t even know about this. It is all about his role in the political system.

    (PS you got my email about the history of gay essentialism, right? Not that you’re obligated to reply, just want to be sure it survived the passage through cyberspace)

    – pax \ Ctein
    [ Please excuse any word-salad. Dragon Dictate in training! ]
    ======================================
    — Ctein’s Online Gallery. http://ctein.com 
    — Digital Restorations. http://photo-repair.com 
    ======================================

  21. @Rec. Bob:

    *SIGH*

    You have drawn an erroneous conclusion which I have corrected before to no avail, so this probably won’t help, but I’ll try again, one final time.

    I did not and do not take the position that “Everything is futile and nothing is going to change”. You made a statement that cons should be 100% accessible in an exchange with lurkertype (IIRC, it was lurkertype).

    What I did was make the observation that 100% accessibility was not possible at present because the facilities often used by cons aren’t themselves 100% accessible and it’s not likely that cons leasing facilities for a few day could do the retro-fit on all the function space.

    You replied by saying I was “making excuses” for cons.

    Interestingly enough, Meredith then posted and pointed out that I wasn’t saying anything of the sort and said that what I was saying wasn’t wrong.

    Further, I did NOT say “able” or “abled”, but “ambulatory”-which are not the same thing. I know you use a cane and thus have a dog in this hunt. My point (which, interestingly enough, Meredith also got) is that accessibility is a different matter for someone who can walk, even with aids, as opposed to someone in a chair. It was never my intent to disparage your use of a cane. I’ve used one. That’s why I said “ambulatory”. I apologize for that, as I didn’t make that clear enough.

    I’ve gone from controlled crash to cane/crutches to crutches/wheelchair and each change has meant a new learning curve as well as a loss of mobility. I’ve watched what I can do shrink every shift. I have less accessibility in a chair than I had on crutches or with a cane. There are bookcases I have trouble getting to because spaces which I could manage on a cane I can’t easily reach on crutches and a cane is no longer a safe way for me to go, even indoors.

    The plain fact is, “accessible” means different things to someone using a cane, to someone on crutches and to someone in a chair.

    Finally, I don’t feel “dumped on”. I dislike having my statements misunderstood and perhaps misrepresented, but I’ll live. I’ve been “gimp-splained” before, doubtless it will happen again. Meredith got it in one, so I apparently wasn’t that far off the bag that the ump could call me out. 😉

    Again, I apologize for any hard feelings I caused, as I do like your posts and think you’re one of the better commenters around here. I’m simply a bit touchy on the subject. It’s the tenth round on this fight for me and my legs hurt.

  22. Ctein: After reading well over 100 comments — dozens of which went to accessibility issues, several of which demonstrated they were ignorant of the ADA — I don’t feel my post was remotely out of line.

    I think that you mistake pragmatism about the actual level of compliance with, and enforcement of, the ADA, for ignorance of it. I don’t see any ignorance of the ADA in the comments in this thread. I see recognition that, most of the time, the ADA has very little effect on reality for people with disabilities.

    The people here are a lot smarter, on a great many subjects, than you credit them being.

  23. @JJ:

    “…most of the time, the ADA has very little effect on reality for people with disabilities”.

    Sadly, this is one of the most accurate statements in this whole discussion on accessibility. I wish it weren’t true.

  24. Dear JJ,

    I disagree.

    On what you said in both paragraphs.

    Especially suggesting you know what I do or don’t think of the people, here. Many of whom, not so by the way, I know in real life. I’ve been around a long time.

    Once again, I recommend disengagement. Since we tend to be in agreement on political positions, we can co-exist without direct contact.

    pax / Ctein

  25. I’m on the concom for a moderately-sized regional SF convention. We’re aware of the ADA, and our head of programming is wheelchair-bound so programming isn’t likely to ignore accessibility issues. <wry grin> That said, last year we had to do a last-minute re-arrange of the tables in the consuite to allow full wheelchair access because the hotel staff set them up with insufficiently wide gaps between the tables. Sometimes it really isn’t the convention staff’s fault. (Sometimes, of course, it is, but we really DO try to learn from our mistakes.)

  26. @ctein:

    My comments so far as the ADA and accessibility have been limited principally because of the time and energy required for me to cover it properly. Not enough spoons at the moment.

  27. Dear Robert,

    I get that! And I did not mean “…only in passing” to suggest that you weren’t intimately familiar with the ADA. You don’t get that privilege, unfortunately. If you took it that way, it’s entirely the fault of my poor writing and I apologize.

    Too many concoms, unfortunately, do live in that privilege and they exercise it without even knowing it.

    I really am concerned for the sake of cons, as well as the attendees like you. I know of one case that came closer to a lawsuit that I would like to see. Unlike fans wringing their hands over being sued by someone who was banned, a suit that is not likely to prevail, an ADA lawsuit has an unpleasant possibility of succeeding when you look at how badly most cons do this.

    And yes, unfortunately, as noted, in the real world the ADA too often doesn’t make a significant difference.

    – pax \ Ctein
    [ Please excuse any word-salad. Dragon Dictate in training! ]
    ======================================
    — Ctein’s Online Gallery. http://ctein.com 
    — Digital Restorations. http://photo-repair.com 
    ======================================

  28. @Ctein: I did get the email, yes. Wasn’t quite sure how to respond, but it was enlightening reading.

    @Robert Reynolds: “What I did was make the observation that 100% accessibility was not possible at present because the facilities often used by cons aren’t themselves 100% accessible and it’s not likely that cons leasing facilities for a few day could do the retro-fit on all the function space.”

    You did indeed say that… after the message where you said that Tee’s been mistreated that way three times in rapid succession and things aren’t going to change. That was an expression that everything is futile and there’s no point in trying. You may not have meant it that way, but… what’s that line about intent vs. impact again?

    And yes, various levels of disability present different challenges. You were still extremely rude to me in the way you assumed what my experience does and does not include, an offense which I have yet to see you even acknowledge.

    Again, I apologize for any hard feelings I caused, as I do like your posts and think you’re one of the better commenters around here. I’m simply a bit touchy on the subject. It’s the tenth round on this fight for me and my legs hurt.

    I live in constant pain myself. Sometimes better, sometimes worse (better at this moment), but always present. I understand how that can shorten one’s fuse. It does not, however, lower the standards of polite conduct. Not for me, not for you, not for anyone. Alcohol can also change one’s online persona, but saying “I was drunk when I wrote that” does not excuse an incendiary comment.

  29. @Cassy B: I have never seen a hotel do a precision-dependent setup precisely enough that it didn’t have to be shuffled (or worse) by con staff. (I have once seen a decorator turn a CAD plot into markings on the floor and then follow those markings, but that was exceptional.) Sometimes it’s possible to make a plan with enough elbow room that measurements don’t have to be precise, but I suspect such elbow room is especially rare in con suites.

  30. @Ctein
    Some of the cons discussed such as the Helsinki and Dublin WorldCons and the likely New Zealand WorldCon are also not subject to the ADA, though they are subject to the equivalent local laws.

  31. Ctein: Once again, I recommend disengagement. Since we tend to be in agreement on political positions, we can co-exist without direct contact.

    Instead of demanding that I not point out when you are being Captain Obvious, consider the novel concept of just not being “that guy”.

  32. Dear JJ,

    And you continue to go for the ad hominem, so I’m just going to tell you to Eff Off at this point.

    Go police someone else.

    Jerk.

    Ctein

  33. @JJ

    I realise at this point it’s probably gone too far to salvage, but… I’m not sure it’s a good idea to start bringing “you haven’t been here since 2015!” in as part of a rebuke. Not very welcoming to newer and irregular members, even newer and irregular members that it isn’t being aimed at.

    @Ctein

    Not everyone here is American. The ADA does its bit – assuming the USA government doesn’t succeed in gutting it – but it’s only relevant to some of the people in this conversation, and I’m not one of them. I try not to opine too much about the laws of other countries. Generalities, sure, but specifics gets onto shaky ground.

  34. I’m not sure offering a precis on the ADA is an offense worth this much persistence. Among other things, it assumes a weird lot of bad faith in the act. Not all acts of explanation are splaining.

  35. Dear Cora and Meredith,

    Sigh, yes, very good point. ADA is strictly a US thing. You can tell where I live (rueful smile)– occasionally I pratfall into egocentric geography.

    Mea culpa and thanks for pointing that out.

    pax / Ctein

  36. Meredith: I’m not sure it’s a good idea to start bringing “you haven’t been here since 2015!” in as part of a rebuke. Not very welcoming to newer and irregular members, even newer and irregular members that it isn’t being aimed at.

    That’s not what I’ve said, that he’s not a valid contributor because he hasn’t been here the last 3 years. I’m not rebuking him for that. My point is that he’s charged in here, mansplaining left and right in thread after thread, without even bothering to ascertain whether the people he’s assuming are ignorant actually are.

  37. JJ: mansplaining left and right in thread after thread

    You sure it wasn’t just regular old ‘splaining — like so many people do here?

  38. The mansplaining does feel heavy in this thread. I’ve considered commenting a couple times but frankly I’m not up to having my crip credentials questioned as well as my knowledge of the ADA (USA only) as well as how frequently I attend cons in order to participate in a conversation which is relevant to my life by a couple of white men.

  39. @JJ

    Hence the “as part of”. I, personally, read a comment that brings that into it as aimed more generally than you intended it to be – I think partly because duration doesn’t really change anything. If you think he’s condescending, you’ll probably think he’s condescending three years from now (his manner here doesn’t seem noticeably different from his comments on Whatever), and certainly the intelligence of the commentariat here hasn’t changed much in that time, so mentioning it makes it seem like you think longevity is a big deal, even if you don’t.

    I don’t think I’d read it that way if it wasn’t part of something critical, it’s the combination that feels off to me.

  40. Mike Glyer: You sure it wasn’t just regular old ‘splaining — like so many people do here?

    Either way, as you know, it’s something for which I have very little patience at this point. 😐

  41. Meredith: duration doesn’t really change anything

    It does — if, during that time, you pay attention, gain an understanding of the people with whom you’re interacting and what their backgrounds are, and you’ve observed just how knowledgeable they are (or are not) about things. That is the point I was trying to make.

  42. @JJ

    Only if you assume it would lead to a change in behaviour. Otherwise, I think I’ve said my piece, and I don’t wish to belabour the point.

  43. @JJ:

    Take a fresh look at this statement, if you please:

    (which is not surprising, since you have not been participating here for the last 3+ years as many commenters have and thus are aware of each others’ backgrounds)

    Regardless of the point you intended to make, I must agree with Meredith that it comes across as a snobbish message to newcomers that “we don’t want your kind around here” – that File 770’s commenters are an elite clique whose gate is closed to new members.

    That’s certainly not the type of community I would ever want to see this become.

  44. Not saying anyone else is right or wrong, but I first saw that as consonant with an old Usenet policy of suggesting that newcomers should lurk for a few weeks before commenting, just to take the temperature of the room and get familiar with local dialect.

    Still and all, I can see how it would sound if I said it, so I probably wouldn’t. In fact, I didn’t even say this. I think Camestros’s cat probably wrote this comment in my name, just to get me in trouble.

  45. Rev. Bob: Regardless of the point you intended to make, I must agree with Meredith

    I can only apologize for not saying more effectively what I meant, which is, as I said:
    you pay attention, gain an understanding of the people with whom you’re interacting and what their backgrounds are, and you observe just how knowledgeable they are (or are not) about things, before deciding to take on the role of lecturer or teacher.

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