Pixel Scroll 6/5/19 En Pixel Cerrado, No Entran Scrolls.

(1) THE LAST DAY. Macmillan Publishers is moving from the Flatiron to the Equitable Building and taking Tor.com with it. Seanan McGuire commemorates the departure in her story “Any Way the Wind Blows”.

“Captain?”

I turn. Our navigator is looking over his shoulder at me. Well. One of his heads is. The other is still watching the curved window that makes up the front of our airship, crystal clear and apparently fragile. Most people who attack us aim for that window first, not asking themselves how many protections we’d put on a sheet of glass that size. The fact that it’s not a solid mass of bugs doesn’t seem to be the clue it should.

“What is it?”

He smiles uncertainly. “I think I see the Flatiron.”

Tor Books also posted a group shot taken outside the building here.

(2) PITT THE YOUNGER SEEKS PITT THE ELDER. Ad Astra comes to theaters in September 2019.

Astronaut Roy McBride (Brad Pitt) travels to the outer edges of the solar system when he finds his missing father, played by Tommy Lee Jones, has been doing threatening experiments in space. He must unravel a mystery that threatens the survival of our planet. His journey will uncover secrets that challenge the nature of human existence and our place in the cosmos.

(3) FROM DEEP IN THE FILES. Baen Ebooks is distributing the English translation of a nonfiction work Judgment in Moscow by Vladimir Bukovsky on its retail ebook site, as well as offering a selection of other ebooks from Judgment in Moscow publisher, Ninth of November Press.

Bukovsky spent years in the Soviet gulag, finally being released to the West in 1976. In 1991, Boris Yeltsin’s government asked Bukovsky to serve as an expert witness at a possible trial of the Communist Party. Bukovsky combed through the archives, scanning and copying much of the material there, and, after the trial became a dud, smuggled the material out of Russia. Judgment in Moscow is a behind the scenes look at these original documents which detail how the Soviet leadership and the Communist Party kept the Russian nation enslaved, accompanied by Bukovsky’s commentary elucidating the extent of the evil recorded therein.

Judgment in Moscow is based on the trove of Communist Party archives that Bukovsky spirited away before access was shut down. These contain elaborate details of Soviet meddling in Western politics, and it also details Western complicity in Soviet Russia’s program of totalitarian oppression. Originally written in Russian, Judgment in Moscow was seen as a major indictment of political treachery both inside and outside the USSR.

Baen’s press release says:

Western publishers, including Random House in America, backed down from publishing an English translation out of what appears in hindsight cowardice and fear of offending the emerging new Russian oligarchy. Now after years with no translation available, a new English version has finally been created with Bukovsky’s wholehearted participation.

(4) THE HITS OF SIXTY-FOUR. At Galactic Journey, Cora Buhlert details the unexpected popularity in West Germany of movies adapted from the crime novels of Edgar Wallace – someone better remembered in America as the creator of King Kong. [June 4, 1964] Weird Menace and Villainy in the London Fog: The West German Edgar Wallace Movies.

…Wallace villains are never just ordinary criminals, but run improbably large and secretive organisations with dozens of henchmen. At least one of the henchmen is deformed or flat out insane, played either by former wrestler Ady Berber or a charismatic young actor named Klaus Kinski, who gave the performance of his life as a mute and insane animal handler in last year’s The Squeaker.

The crimes are extremely convoluted, usually involve robberies, blackmail or inheritance schemes and are always motivated by greed. Murder methods are never ordinary and victims are dispatched via harpoons, poison blow guns, guillotines or wild animals. The villains inevitably have strange monikers such as the Frog, the Shark, the Squeaker, the Avenger, the Green Archer or the Black Abbot and often wear a costume to match. Their identity is always a mystery and pretty much every character comes under suspicion until the big reveal at the end. And once the mask comes off, the villain is inevitably revealed to be a staunch pillar of society and often a member of Sir John’s club.

(5) GLORIOUS COVER. Alex Shvartsman posted a cover reveal for his debut novel, Eridani’s Crown. It’s a beauty.

The full wraparound cover was drawn and designed by Tomasz Maronski.

(6) HE’S IN THE HALL. SYFY Wire reveals “Batman first inductee to Comic-Con HOF”.

Holy Hall of Fame, Batman! The Caped Crusader is robbin’ all the other comic book superheroes to seize the illustrious distinction of becoming the very first inductee into the new Comic-Con Museum’s inaugural class of honored comics characters.

The Dark Knight will hold the door for all the rest of the museum’s first, still-unannounced heroic batch, DC revealed in a press release announcing “The Gathering,” a July fundraising event for the new museum. Located near the site of San Diego Comic-Con in the city’s Balboa Park, the Comic-Con Museum (or CCM) will be a 68,000-square-foot shrine to all things heroic and villainous, drawing on decades of rich history from the pages of comics, graphic novels, and more.

“On the occasion of Batman’s 80th anniversary, a ceremony honoring DC’s most popular super hero will be the centerpiece” of the July 17 event, which is timed to help kick off this year’s San Diego Comic-Con.

(7) DARK PHOENIX. On Jimmy Kimmel Live, Sophie Turner, James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, Jessica Chastain, Nicholas Hoult and Tye Sheridan talk about making Dark Phoenix together and reveal some of their on-set antics.

(8) FINANCIAL OMENS. Our Designated Financial Times Reader Martin Morse Wooster peered behind the paywall at Dan Einav’s interview with Michael Sheen and David Tennant about Good Omens.

Stars are usually personally held accountable when a series fails to meet the expectations of the fans–and lovers of fantasy and sci-fi are often notoriously implacable,  To say that a screen adaptation of “Good Omens” has been hotly anticipated is to understate the extent of the fervour Gaiman’s devotees have for his work.

Do the actors feel anxious about a potential backlash?  ‘I read the book when it first came outm so I’m one of those fans and I’ve felt the weight of expectation,’ says Sheen.  “But Neil has said all the way through that he’s not making it for the fans, he’s making it for Terry.”

Tennant, who is no stranger to opinionated fans from his days as Doctor Who, is a little more blunt,  ‘You can’t make TV which pleases what people’s preconceived notions might be.  You just have to make something you feel proud of and works for people who haven’t read the book.

(9) WHERE IS EVERYBODY? Likewise behind a paywall, at Commentary, astrophysicist Ethan Siegel argues in “Are We Alone In The Universe?” that the likelihood there is life elsewhere in the universe is vanishingly small.

When we ask the big question–where is everybody?–it’s worth keeping a great many possibilities in mind.  Aliens might be plentiful, but perhaps we’re not listening properly.  Aliens might be plentiful, but they might self-destruct too quickly to maintain a technologically advanced state.  Aliens might be plentiful, but they may choose to remain isolated.  Aliens might be plentiful, but they might purposely choose to exclude Earth and their inhabitants from their communications.  Aliens might be plentiful, but the problems of interstellar travel might be too difficult to overcome.

But there’s another valid possibility that we must keep in mind, as well:  Aliens may not be there at all.  The probability of the three vital leaps, as described above, is enormously uncertain.  If even one of these three steps is too cosmically impossible, it may well be that in all the universe, there’s only us.

(10) BRADBURY REMEMBERED. [Item by Robert Kerr.] “Ray died 7 years ago today. I know he’d like to be remembered, but he’d like to be remembered with joy. Among Ray’s many accomplishments was writing the script for the Epcot attraction Spaceship Earth. This picture was taken in 1982 at the opening of Epcot. Ray took a bus or train to get to Florida, but he had to get back to L.A. faster than a bus or train could get there. Ray was a self-proclaimed coward who didn’t conquer fears very well. He never drove a car his entire life, and at 62 he was going to get on a plane for the first time. He said they put a bunch of martinis in him and loaded him onto the plane. To commemorate the occasion of Ray’s first time on a plane, some Disney animators drew a piece showing Ray on a plane, martini in hand, with Mickey Mouse sitting next to him. Ray kept that piece on display in his study for the rest of his life.”

(11) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born June 5, 1908 John Russell Fearn. British author and one of the first British writers to appear in American pulp magazines. A prolific author, he also published novels as Vargo Statten and with various pseudonyms such as Thornton Ayre, Polton Cross, Geoffrey Armstrong  and others. As himself, I see his first story as being The Intelligence Gigantic published in Amazing Stories in 1933. His Golden Amazon series of novels ran to over to two dozen titles, and the Clayton Drew Mars Adventure series that only ran to four novels. (Died 1960.)
  • Born June 5, 1928 Robert Lansing. He was secret agent Gary Seven in the “Assignment: Earth” on Star Trek. The episode was a backdoor pilot for a series that would have starred Lansing and Teri Garr, but the series never happened.  He of course appeared on other genre series such as The Twilight ZoneJourney to the Unknown, Thriller and Alfred Hitchcock Presents. (Died 1994.)
  • Born June 5, 1946 John Bach, 73. Einstein on Farscape, the Gondorian Ranger Madril in the second and third movies of The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. Also a British body guard on The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. And he was the body double for shooting for Saruman in place of Christopher Lee, who was unable to fly to New Zealand for principal photography on The Hobbit film series
  • Born June 5, 1960 Margo Lanagan, 59. Tender Morsels won a World Fantasy Award for best novel, and Sea-Hearts won the same for Best Novella. She’s an alumna of the Clarion West Writers Workshop In 1999 and returned as a teacher in 2011 and 2013.
  • Born June 5, 1976 Lauren Beukes, 43. South African writer who’s the author of a number of SF novels. Zoo City won the 2011 Arthur C. Clarke Award, The Shining City, about a time travel serial killer and the woman who catches him, is being adapted as a series in South Africa, and Moxyland is a cyberpunk novel set in a future Cape Town.  Very impressive! 

(12) WHO WRITER OUSTED FROM ANTHOLOGY. Gareth Roberts has been “dropped from an upcoming Doctor Who anthology over ‘offensive’ transphobic tweets” BBC Books has confirmed.

Parent company Ebury confirmed that Roberts’ contribution to Doctor Who: The Target Storybook, will not feature….

Ebury’s decision to drop Roberts over his tweets, which it says conflicts with its “values as a publisher”, has sparked debate on social media.

Gareth Roberts defends and explains himself and the terminology he used in a “Statement on BBC Books and Transgenderism” on Medium.

(13) CURRENCY EVENTS. In “If We Told You Neal Stephenson Invented Bitcoin, Would You Be Surprised?” on Reason.com, Peter Suderman says, in a survey of Stephenson’s novels, says that in The Diamond Age and Cryptonomicon, Stephenson “described the core concepts of cryptocurrency years before Bitcoin became a technical reality.”

For nearly three decades, Stephenson’s novels have displayed an obsessive, technically astute fascination with cryptography, digital currency, the social and technological infrastructure of a post-government world, and Asian culture. His novel Anathem is, among other things, an elaborate investigation into the philosophy of knowledge. His new book, Fall; or, Dodge in Hell, pursues these themes literally beyond the grave, into the complications of estate planning and cryogenics.

(14) CALLING LONG DISTANCE. Drop by the Richard M. Nixon Presidential Library and Museum between now and January 12, 2020 to see the phone he used to call the Moon in the interactive exhibit Apollo 11: One Giant Leap for Mankind.

Artifacts and objects featured in the exhibit include:

  • Buzz Aldrin’s penlight used in the Lunar Module and Apollo 11 patch worn on the surface of the moon
  • NASA X-15 silver-gleaming pressure suit used to train Neil Armstrong and America’s first astronauts in the 1950s
  • Moon rocks from the lunar surface, acquired during the Apollo 15 and Apollo 17 missions
  • Oval Office telephone that President Nixon used to call Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin as they explored on the lunar surface
  • Presidential Medal of Freedom Award presented to astronaut Michael Collins by President Nixon
  • Original of President Nixon’s draft speech prepared in the event of a “moon disaster”
  • A 3-D printed, life-sized statue of Neil Armstrong in his space suit, as he climbed down the ladder of the Lunar Module on the moon
  • A giant, exact recreation of an Apollo mission command module

(15) HUGO CONTENDERS. Garik16 progresses with “Reviewing the 2019 Hugo Nominees: Best Short Story “.

6th Place On My Ballot:.  “The Secret Lives of the Nine Negro Teeth of George Washington” by P. Djèlí Clark (Fireside Magazine, February 2018)

This Story can be found HERE.

Thoughts:  This story won the Nebula Award, and I don’t think it’s a bad pick for the award, which is a testament to the strength of this ballot.  It’s a fantasy story about nine slaves’ lives and hopes, with the teeth taken from them as the gateway to their stories (and the effects of those teeth on George Washington) – with those slaves’ lives having various degrees of fantasy elements, all fitting the themes of those realistic slave-lives.  Still, I think it probably works the least of these six as a cohesive whole, even if the individual parts of this story are excellently done (with the final part reclaiming the supposedly noble action of Washington to free his slaves on his deathbed, in a really nice touch).

(16) NOT EXACTLY THE BURNING BUSH. NPR discusses the means of “Getting Fire From A Tree Without Burning The Wood”.

A scientist walks up to a cottonwood tree, sticks a hollow tube in the middle and then takes a lighter and flicks it. A jet of flame shoots out from the tube.

It seems like a magician’s trick. Turns out, there’s methane trapped in certain cottonwood trees. Methane is the gas in natural gas. It’s also a powerful greenhouse gas.

So how does it get inside towering trees like the ones on the campus of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee?

“The wood in this particular species naturally has this condition called wetwood, where it’s saturated within the trunk of the tree,” says the lighter-flicking scientist, Oak Ridge environmental microbiologist Christopher Schadt.

This wetwood makes for a welcoming home for all sorts of microorganisms.

…Some of those organisms turned out to be species of archaea that are known methane producers. So it’s not the trees themselves that are making the methane, it’s the microbes living in the trees.

…Because methane is such a potent greenhouse gas, Cregger says, it’s important to see how much of it the trees are actually producing.

This raises the surprising notion that trees could actually be contributing to global warming. Yes, these trees remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, but could the methane be making things worse?

(17) CLARKE’S FOURTH LAW? BBC wonders “Does pornography still drive the internet?”.

Consider the opening lines of The Internet is for Porn, a song from the Broadway musical Avenue Q.

Kate Monster: “The internet is really, really great.”

Trekkie Monster: “For porn!”

…Credible-seeming statistics suggest that about one in seven web searches is for porn. This is not trivial – but of course it means that six in seven web searches are not.

The most-visited porn website – Pornhub – is roughly as popular as the likes of Netflix and LinkedIn. That’s pretty popular but still only enough to rank 28th in the world when I checked.

But Avenue Q was first performed in 2003, an age ago in internet terms, and Trekkie Monster might have been more correct back then.

New technologies often tend to be expensive and unreliable. They need to find a niche market of early adopters, whose custom helps the technology to develop.

Once it is cheaper and more reliable, it finds a bigger market, and a much broader range of uses.

There is a theory that pornography played this role in the development of the internet, and a whole range of other technologies. Does it stack up?

(18) GIMME THAT REAL OLD-TIME RELIGION. Beer helps: “How Iceland recreated a Viking-age religion”.

The Ásatrú faith, one of Iceland’s fastest growing religions, combines Norse mythology with ecological awareness – and it’s open to all.

…The ‘blót’, as the changing-of-the-season ceremony is known, began with the lighting of a small fire, which flickered in the breeze as the congregation listened to Old Norse poetry and raised the beer-filled horn to honour the Norse gods. Elsewhere on the island, similar ceremonies, I was told, were taking place.

The blót had been organised by the Ásatrú Association of Iceland, a pagan faith group that is currently one of the country’s fastest growing religions, having almost quadrupled its membership in a decade, albeit from a low base of 1,275 people in 2009 to 4,473 in 2018.

The congregation, which comprised a few dozen souls, including a Buddhist and a Hindu guest, had gathered near a sandy beach on the outskirts of Reykjavik, next to the city’s domestic airport, to celebrate the first day of the Icelandic summer. It was 25 April, slightly chilly and mostly overcast. Rain looked likely….

(19) WITH WINTER COMES ICE. The whole Game of Thrones cast raps in A Song of Vanilla Ice and Fire – Game of Thrones x Ice Ice Baby.

[Thanks to Lenore Jean Jones, John King Tarpinian, Mike Kennedy, Cat Eldridge, JJ, Chip Hitchcock, Carl Slaughter, Martin Morse Wooter, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories, Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Jayn.]

123 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 6/5/19 En Pixel Cerrado, No Entran Scrolls.

  1. rcade says “It seems a bit churlish to not note the birthdays of notable SF authors whose politics you may not care for.”

    I didn’t make the churlish remark. J Allen did.

  2. @Hampus

    You had the right reading, I see. Optimism’s a hard habit to shake.

  3. rcade correctly says I didn’t make the churlish remark. J Allen did.

    My deepest apology. I’ve asked OGH to correct that terrible mistake.

  4. Dear Harold,

    So, beyond an entirely unwarranted drive-by on your part…

    “… would defend herself if attacked …”

    My recollection (and it wasn’t all that long ago) is that is precisely why a certain famous local author was banned from attending a certain famous convention, for asserting the same thing. Because his notion of “attack” was vague, to say the least, and there was historical example to show that his concept of “defense” was neither acceptable nor legal.

    I’m afraid you will have to forgive me if I come across as a little skeptical of your spin. That would be due to bad writing on my part — I am a lot skeptical.

    It’s quite clear you didn’t bother to read Gareth’s defense. While you possibly have been unjustly labeled as trans-phobic (I do not know and I do not care, just in case you are inclined to rehash old battles) it is abundantly clear that that label is appropriately applied to Gareth.

    If by some bizarre line of reasoning, you think that means that UK gender politics are nuts, well maybe you haven’t been unjustly labeled.

    Tread carefully here, should you be inclined to respond. Self-righteous indignation over the deep injuries you feel you have suffered will not play well.

    Think shovels, holes, deeper.

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

  5. Dear Cat,

    You didn’t mention my birthday, either.

    Henceforth, you shall always be associated with churlishness in my mind.

    [vbg]

    pax / thoroughly-churled Ctein

  6. Churly to bed and Churly to rise…

    Poul Anderson’s “The Man Who Came Churly”

    David Gerrold’s When C.H.U.R.L.I.E was One

  7. Ctein says and I feel obligated to quote the whole thing:
    Dear Cat,

    You didn’t mention my birthday, either.

    Henceforth, you shall always be associated with churlishness in my mind.

    [vbg]

    pax / thoroughly-churled Ctein

    Cute, very cute.

    This conversation has actually been a great relief on a day that I got the news that the blood clots in my right arm are completely blocking one artery and mostly blocking the other one.

    Jenner, my NP, is arranging for me to see Vascular at Maine Medical as soon as possible. It looks like surgery is the only way to deal with the blockage, not something I’m looking forward to.

    BTW I only use five sources for these Birthdays but they pretty much cover the gamut up everything from early pulp writers to contemporary film performers. If I miss anyone, that’s in part why.

  8. (Fellow BritFilers, if you see this once it’s a sensible hour, please tell me I’m not alone in thinking “well, I mean, who hasn’t wanted to shout at Julie Bindel from time to time”. Because. Definitely the first reaction I had.)

    Today I got official doctorly permission to go up to the next dose of my baseline painkiller after a couple of years of leaning ever more heavily on my top up painkiller to make up the shortfall. Hopefully just going up the one will be enough, because I like to try and keep it low, but it didn’t seem like it would be out of the question to go up another if I end up needing to, which is nice to know. It’s both expensive and controlled, so I wasn’t sure how they’d feel about increasing it at all.

    Also, got official doctorly reassurance that as heavily as I’ve been leaning on the top up, I’ve still been using it appropriately and well within recommended bounds, which I was also a little worried about. (Hmm, maybe next time my left shoulder decides it would like a holiday from being properly attached to rest of me I can reduce the pain a little more than I usually do…)

    So yay! Productive GP visit. Even if I did spend the whole thing croaking because of a throat sproing in the waiting room (silly mistake: I swallowed while my head was turned to the side, never ends well for me, but no choking or broken-glass feelings so it could have been worse, just sore and croaky which is no big deal).

    @Cat Eldridge

    You’ve not had much luck with arms lately, huh. Hope it goes as well as can be expected.

  9. @Cat:

    This conversation has actually been a great relief on a day that I got the news that the blood clots in my right arm are completely blocking one artery and mostly blocking the other one.

    I hope you are able to get this cleared up as soon as possible.

  10. J Allen: It seems a bit churlish to not note the birthdays of notable SF authors whose politics you may not care for. Orson Scott Card’s politics are horrible, but he’s still an important writer.

    I see that you don’t understand how things work at File 770. Mike Glyer writes a lot of the content himself, and he gets to decide which news items to include, and what to say about them. I am sure that you are shocked and horrified to hear that his editorial choices sometimes reflect his views, and that he is not required to cover anything unless he chooses to do so.

    A lot of the people in this community, including me and Cat Eldridge, contribute content to Mike for use on File 770. I’ve spent hundreds of hours on the things I’ve given him to post over the past 4 years. Cat has spent many hours doing the Birthdays over the last year. “Churlish” would be Mike or anyone else insisting that we were required to spend our personal time creating content we did not want to create. Instead, Mike is gracious and thankful when I provide him with content to post, whatever it is.

    There are a lot of authors and works which will never feature in the Novellapaloozas and Reviews which I give Mike for File 770. Partly this is because those works don’t interest me, partly this is because there are some authors whose behavior has been so appallingly-bad that I refuse to give them any of my precious reading time or any bandwidth in the pieces I supply to Mike.

    While I am sure that your opinion of which author is “important” is of utmost priority to you, it is irrelevant to me — and I don’t imagine that it carries much weight with Cat, either.

    Like everyone else, you are always welcome to submit comments about pretty much anything here on File 770. I have found Mike to be far more patient and tolerant of some of the comments which he has allowed to be posted than I would be — comments which would have never made it through moderation and whose posters would have been met with the banhammer, if I had been in charge.

    Cat has done a fantastic job on the Birthdays over the last 10 months, and I greatly appreciate the immense amount of work he has put into them, with no reward other than the enjoyment of those of us who read here regularly.

  11. Cat and Meredith, I am sorry to hear about your recent medical travails, and hope that you will be feeling much better very soon. I’m sending good thoughts your way. 💐

  12. Dear Cat,

    I’m glad I could cheer your day a bit.

    As for the medical news, I can’t offer much solace, save a virtual hug. On the left side, the LEFT side!

    pax / Ctein

  13. JJ says Cat has done a fantastic job on the Birthdays over the last 10 months, and I greatly appreciate the immense amount of work he has put into them, with no reward other than the enjoyment of those of us who read here regularly.

    Thanks much JJ, it is both a lot of work and a lot of fun. It should be stressed that Mike has the final say on which Birthdays get used. Indeed there was one in the last few months that he decided not to use, and I full agreed with his decision, as he felt it’d raise too many ugly issues concerning that particular individual.

  14. I just want to express the hope that everyone remain as healthy and as pain-free as they reasonably can, without medical objection. Please. As a gesture of goodwill, I promise to do the same myself.

    Cat. Meredith. Everyone.

  15. Meredith says to me: You’ve not had much luck with arms lately, huh. Hope it goes as well as can be expected.

    The not so bittersweet irony of the blood clots is that they’re a direct result of the treatment for the staph infection in the left arm that gave me a forty three day in hospital stay for most of March and April. The RN that took out the PICC likely caused the blood clots and now I’ll most likely need surgery to get rid of them. No, I’m not happy. Let’s hope I don’t get another in hospital stay.

  16. @bookworm1398

    Stephenson also described holding computer data for ransom in REAMDE before it became a thing.

    Wikipedia says that ransomware dates back to the late 80s. Encrypting ransomware was designed around 1996, and was seen in the wild by 2005.

  17. Dear Meredith,

    Glad to see you called out who it was who was “attacked.”

    For those on the side of the puddle who may not know who Julie Bindel is, she is one of the most persistent and vocal and well-known (I hesitate to use the word respected) anti-trans activists in the UK. She is a truly vile bigot.

    The headline linked to by J.A. (to what end, I don’t know — let them dig their own grave) would be a lot like a headline, here, that read “Neo-Nazi Assaulted by Jew” or “David Duke Assaulted by Black Man.” (Pay attention to the difference between assault and battery.)

    As a pacifist, I don’t believe in punching out Nazis or — for that matter — anybody. Which is very much not the point!

    If you use the actions of one individual to justify denying basic rights to an entire group, there is a standard-dictionary-definition word for what you are. That word is “prejudiced.” Or to put it less obliquely, you’re a bigot. Because there is no more basic and fundamental definition of bigotry and prejudice.

    If someone wants to say, “Well, she shouldn’t have attacked Julie,” or “He shouldn’t have assaulted David Duke,” a civilized discussion might ensue. If their position is, “that justifies discriminating against trans or black folk,” nuh uh, not gonna happen. And I don’t want you living on my block, either.

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

  18. My deepest apology. I’ve asked OGH to correct that terrible mistake.

    Thanks for the apology. You can make it up to me on my birthday, assuming I become notable before then! It only had seven people this time around. If an eighth becomes famous I feel like I can nudge aside Peter Davison since you don’t like him that much.

    Wishing you a fast recovery on those clots. They run in my wife’s family. She got some once while pregnant when she fell because a landscaper left a hole in our yard. I was ready to dig a hole for him.

  19. “Thanks for the apology. You can make it up to me on my birthday, assuming I become notable before then! “

    You’re notable to me. I still have the first version of your book somewhere.

  20. Oh! I managed to watch the Spiderverse film the other day, thoroughly enjoyed it. Use of the possibilities of animation was exciting, and the use of music was the best I’ve seen (heard?) in awhile. I’ve got this faint dubious feeling that maaaaybe the plot and pacing didn’t quite live up to everything else, but I had such a good time and so much of the rest of it was clever that I’m not sure I care. I haven’t seen any of the other Dramatic Presentation Long Form finalists yet but I kinda think this one will be hard to beat for sheer joy and inventiveness.

    @JJ & Andrew

    Oh, thank you, but no need! Throat sproings happen semi-regularly, I’m just not usually dumb enough to cause one. And this one really isn’t that bad, mostly just loss of voice and a bit of a sore throat. I’ll be back to normal-for-me in a day or two, nothing that needs immediate intervention like Cat’s arm.

    (And the painkillers are just a standard thing, for me. I’d just been on the same regime too long and while quitting pregabalin — which I was taking for pain, but had a wide range of terrible side-effects, including two which lead directly or indirectly to more pain — awhile back let me put off the increase a little longer, it was just a matter of time. So no big deal! I was just excited about the possible improvement in quality of life.)

    @Lis Carey

    I do try..! I’ve been a very responsible little Filer and getting my flu jab every year and everything. (All that stress about not quite meeting the rules for free flu jabs and it turns out my local GP office doesn’t care at all.)

    @Cat Eldridge

    Yeah, I’m not surprised you’re annoyed. Always a pain when someone manages to cause damage in the middle of trying to fix it. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that you avoid the hospital stay!

    PS. I don’t think I’ve ever said so before, but I really appreciate how your birthday round-ups prompt discussion!

    @Ctein

    And, y’know, even Julie Bindel made it really, really clear in her later statement that she didn’t consider the incident (which involved no physical contact whatsoever, so far as I can tell) to be representative of trans folks. “One person did a thing” just isn’t a strong argument about the behaviour of a large group, and it sure isn’t a justification for disliking that large group.

  21. rcade saysThanks for the apology. You can make it up to me on my birthday, assuming I become notable before then! It only had seven people this time around. If an eighth becomes famous I feel like I can nudge aside Peter Davison since you don’t like him that much.

    Well I do like him better than Colin Baker whom I assume you don’tshare a Birthday with. Colin is the worst of the Doctors in my opinion.

    Wishing you a fast recovery on those clots. They run in my wife’s family. She got some once while pregnant when she fell because a landscaper left a hole in our yard. I was ready to dig a hole for him.

    Yeah I’m hoping Vascular can treat them promptly. I’m hoping hear something tomorrow. The Elquist didn’t have any effect at all on them. Mind you with my autonomic nervous system disorder, expecting anything to behave the way that it really should is a leap of faith that one shouldn’t take for granted.

  22. Cat & Meredith, good wishes on the assorted medical travails; and my days are made much the brighter by the birthday listings and the assorted Moments.

    And I’m currently rewatching Wolf Hall and, at risk of repeating myself, I desperately want to see Mark Rylance in an adaptation of Katherine Kurtz’ Camber of Culdi books.

  23. Dear Meredith,

    Did she?

    I suppose I have to give her one point, then, he said grudgingly.

    (still plenty in the minus column– I can afford to be generous)

    pax / Ctein

  24. CTein–I’d actually meant that part about the lesbian being arrested for saying she’d defend herself as an example of how crazy gender politics is there; the idea of being arrested, charged and having a court trial for saying on a stage that you’d defend yourself is, in my opinion, just nuts.
    Sorry if you consider that a drive-by; in my head it all tied together.

    I actually agree with some of his statements–from what I’ve read,I don’t think children should be given puberty-blockers because, among other things, it affects the growth of the brain; I also have a real issue with insistence from some people that being interested in “girl things’ as a boy (or ‘boy things’ as a girl”)means that they’re trans and just need encouragement to realize it. I know that such people tend to be more on the fringes; but there’s no push-back on that from the trans community-just gay men and lesbians who know that such an ideology would have erased us.
    FWIW, I’ve known a couple of transsexual women since the 70s and they’re not quite comfortable with this new day, either.

  25. Hope Cat & Meredith’s medical situations get properly sorted soon. I am still in the midst of DC Universe’s Doom Patrol and it has definitely been worth the time. So why did DC cancel Swamp Thing after two episodes? The world may never know.

  26. @Sophie Jane

    Hope you’re coping okay with this thread.

    @Ctein

    Yeah, it surprised me, too, and I didn’t much like the possibility that it would seem like I was defending her by bringing it up. But I thought it was a useful thing to know: If even Julie Bindel, who has said a great many terrible things about trans folks, and had just had what was likely a personally upsetting experience (I can extend empathy for that), openly and publicly stated that it had nothing to do with trans folks as a whole… Well, then there’s probably no strong argument to be made otherwise.

    @Joe H. and Rob Thornton

    Appreciated!

  27. @Cat: hoping the clots are dealt with expeditiously. (The ones in your arm, that is; I’m about out of hope that we’ll be able to deal with other clots in anything like reasonable time.)

    @Meredith: that is fascinating, in a gruesome way; I’ve been watching my voice erode by atoms for decades, and can usually assign causes to dips and recoveries, but I’ve never seen or heard of trouble from turning one’s head oddly. Hoping it too will resolve quickly.

  28. I’m not a Brit, but I have frequently wanted to yell at Julie Bindel, pretty much from the time I first came across her.

    @microtherion
    Nope, Edgar Wallace was a real person and writer so I can’t blame you for not realising that.

    @Kenneth Mann

    Kim Newman reviewed all the Edgar Wallace films in a mammoth article for Video Watchdog. In his introduction he said words to the effect of “imagine that you had never seen a Hammer film and then were given all of them in a box set”

    That’s a pretty apt quote. Also thanks for mentioning that article. I must check it out.

    @rcade
    I can do you one better, cause I shares a birthday with a Doctor and a Master (and a demon, too, it turns out).

    Get better soon, Cat and Meredith.

  29. @Chip Hitchcock

    My sympathies on also having voice issues, they’re a real pain.

    There’s a ton of connective tissue that holds the throat together, and the primary feature of my main health thing is that I’m not super great at making functional connective tissue. Swallowing while my head is turned pulls bits of my throat in bad-wrong directions pretty reliably (which is why I don’t usually do that), but yeah, sometimes just turning my head can be a problem if I’m not careful. I doubt it’s something anyone without either prior damage that weakened that connective tissue or similar problems producing connective tissue would have to worry about.

    This throat sproing’s not too bad though, it was a rubber-band sproing (popped out of place, but popped right back in without me having to put it back myself), and no choking at all. Even the croaking is better than I manage with some throat-sproings; I can make some sound and it doesn’t feel like I’m talking around a golfball made from broken glass when I do. I’ll probably be back to me-normal by the day after tomorrow so long as I don’t do anything to make it worse. I’m being really careful about swallowing! 🙂

    @Cora Buhlert

    I didn’t want to assume Bindel was well-known anywhere else! But I am reassured that I’m not alone.

    ETA: And thank you.

  30. You can make it up to me on my birthday, assuming I become notable before then!

    You’re notable to me, too; I fondly remember cruel.com from back in the mid-early days of the internets.

  31. Dear Harold,

    Wow, I can barely hear you, you’ve dug yourself so deep a hole. And, so quickly! I am impressed.

    So many wrongs in so few words. I wish i could be that concise.

    pax / Ctein

  32. Harold Osler:

    “I’d actually meant that part about the lesbian being arrested for saying she’d defend herself as an example of how crazy gender politics is there…”

    If you don’t give a name or a link or more information, then you aren’t giving an example. You are only spreading a rumour.

  33. I did a web search for the “arrested lesbian”. My guess is that it is about Linda Bellos – who hasn’t been arrested at all. US conservative media has a tradition of misrepresenting all these cases.

    What has happened is that one person has brought a private prosecution against Bellos for inciting violence. What Bellos said was “But I play football and I box, and if any one of those b******s comes near me I will take off my glasses and thump them.” She then added ” I am quite prepared to threaten violence because it seems to me politically what they are seeking to do is piss on women.” While she herself has said it was about self defense, a transophobic rally had earlier been attacked by trans activists, her language points to the threats being made because of peoples political opinions. The police investigated the case and did not prosecute her afterwards.

    So. She has not been arrested. She has not been convicted. The police chose to not prosecute. And the private prosecution is not about her “defending herself”, but about her threatening violence to trans activists. Most likely it will lead to nothing, but it the justice system still has to handle it.

    Not so hard to understand UK politics now, is it?

  34. Additional info: The private prosecution case was moved to the Crown Prosecution Service that promptly discontinued it.

    Honestly. I have a hard time understand what was crazy with this. This could have happened in any country.

  35. @Meredith Hope you’re coping okay with this thread.

    I am, thank you. And I’m tremendously grateful to you and Ctein and Hampus for pushing back when I don’t have the energy or the patience.

  36. I very rarely post on File 770 but I read it every day. I am posting with some trepidation because the political discussions here are very clearly passionate and strongly felt.

    The discussion of Julie Bindel is disturbingly close to saying she ‘was asking for it’ and calling her a “truly vile bigot” is so very far from my understanding of her position that I felt compelled to write. Julie Bindel is a lifelong feminist campaigner who has spent her life fighting for justice and imprisoned women, against male violence and exploitation, and for lesbians.

    I recognise that the political debate around gender in the UK is incredibly sensitive – but I would ask that people reading it try to consider it from the starting point that most people on both sides are starting from a position of deeply held, and emphatically not hate filled, beliefs. Generally gender critical women in the UK are left wing / liberal lifelong feminist campaigners, including campaigning against homophobia and transphobia (the founders of A Woman’s Place for example). They are second wave feminists saying what the 2nd wave have been for a long while: that gender is a system of control created by patriarchy to marginalise and control women. They deny that being a woman requires a person to feel like a woman / be feminine and ground their concept of womanhood in female biology reflecting the fact that women still face discrimination on the basis of their biology. They recognise that transgender people also face discrimination but believe there are specific differences that need to be catered for in the protections society provides. They do not deny transgender people’s right to exist, or to be gender non conforming, or deny their human right to live free from violence and to live full and satisfying lives the same way as everyone does in society. They do not call for violence against or physically attack transgender people.

    They separate the concepts of sex (biological) and gender (social / experiential) and argue that in UK law there needs to be protection on the basis of both. This is in a context where several LGBTQ organisations such as stonewall are campaigning to remove existing legal protections on the basis of sex which are designed to protect and counter discrimination against women. There are also several prominent transgender and gay/lesbian campaigners who are gender critical in the UK such as Debbie Hayton and Miranda Yardley.

    Anyway, I suspect that the lines on this issue are so deeply drawn that I am shouting into the wind. But I think there is no political solution that doesn’t involve discussion and trying to start from a position of understanding where the other side is coming from, so I thought I would try to share my understanding of the position so many of you strongly disagree with.

  37. Dear Sophie,

    De nada!

    Although it is of very small consolation, the (minimally) positive thing I have to say is that at least the TERFs are no longer coming after people I love with guns.

    pax / Ctein

  38. @Ctein …at least the TERFs are no longer coming after people I love with guns.

    Oh, absolutely – all this fuss in the UK is just standard generational conflict being amplified by a few bigots. No fun to live through – especially for younger trans people – but it’s not widespread or deep-seated. I expect it to settle down eventually.

    (Lots of trans people have regrets about missing out on their teenage years… I balance that against the thought of trying to transition in the 1980s and it doesn’t seem so bad.)

  39. “Once upon a time, there were three little Scrolls who went to the Pixel academy. And they were each assigned very hazardous duties but I took them all away from all that and now they work for me. My name is Churly.”

  40. @Harold: “I also have a real issue with insistence from some people that being interested in “girl things’ as a boy (or ‘boy things’ as a girl”)means that they’re trans and just need encouragement to realize it. I know that such people tend to be more on the fringes; but there’s no push-back on that from the trans community-just gay men and lesbians who know that such an ideology would have erased us.”

    As a cishet tomboy who was always interested in boy things, but who is neither gay nor trans, your erasure of straight people here is confusing and a little annoying.* That doesn’t mean I get to dispute your right to exist or say that you’re existing incorrectly.

    Such an “ideology” (if it exists, which, good luck proving that) would not erase LGB folks. Why? Because gender identity and sexual orientation are *different things* and people who fall into one of those categories generally understand that. There are threats to the existence and safety of LGB people, particularly on a worldwide scale, but the existence of trans people, and the attempts of trans people to point out that trans children also exist, is not one of those threats.

    *Yes, my tongue is firmly planted in my cheek.

  41. You’re notable to me. I still have the first version of your book somewhere. — Hampus

    You’re notable to me, too; I fondly remember cruel.com from back in the mid-early days of the internets. — Chris R

    Thanks to you both for that recognition. It’s starting to feel like my birthday here.

  42. So far I have found far more people in the trans communities (And non-binary communities) than in the general population who are emphatic that say, a boy who finds skirts useful and freeing and stylish is still a boy if he says so. In the general population, people seem to be much more likely to react with concern if their child likes a toy or an item of clothing to which gender has been inappropriately applied. And I’ve seen a lot of trans women annoyed when people assume their transness and their fashionista tendencies were inherently linked traits and not two unrelated aspects of personality. (I also distinctly recall three separate trans women in a row in one conversation saying “I’m a jeans and t-shirts girl myself” or equivalent about their favoured fashions, when someone pulled out the “…in dresses” insults, but that is somewhat orthogonal to the point).

  43. With respect to gender, the ideal is where one is free to be a femme man, or to be a butch woman. The heart of the matter here is that men who want to be feminine believe they have to masquerade as women. This tells me the problem isn’t simply the acceptance of trans-gendered folk, but of a patriarchal culture that insists men must be manly. So trans-gender men feel they must colonize women’s country. That some women, including lesbians like Julie Bindel, see this colonization as a violation of their female space is a valid concern, IMNSHO.

  44. J Allen: With respect to gender, the ideal is where one is free to be a femme man, or to be a butch woman. The heart of the matter here is that men who want to be feminine believe they have to masquerade as women.

    The ideal is where people are free to be who they know they are, without having massively wrong people like you thinking that you’re entitled to tell them how they feel and what they believe.

    Please. Just. Stop. Digging. Your bigotry is appalling, and the hole you’re in is already so deep you can’t even see daylight.

  45. J Allen starts so well, with a line like

    This tells me the problem isn’t simply the acceptance of trans-gendered folk, but of a patriarchal culture that insists men must be manly.

    (NB, what makes that sentence true is the “Simply”, which implies on first reading that the acceptance of trans people is valid but this other thing is also a problem. Which, yeah, patriarchy’s a toxic culture. Glad you agree.)

    Then he goes off the rails.

    He begins by arguing for the acceptance of femme men, which is awesome … then assumes trans WOMEN are femme men. No.

    Femme men are femme men. I’ve met some, they were quite sure they were men.

    Trans women are women (And some of them are butch women and some are femme women, and some of them, like all women, are somewhere between, or have different approaches to their presentation on different days.) I know several, they are very clear they are women.

    Conflating the two is what TERFs do.

    And trans women are not colonizing or violating spaces (Borrowing anti-colonialist language for TERFery is an extra insult added to injury…). Julie Bindel is just a terrible human being.

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