Pixel Scroll 10/6/16 Have Fun Storming The Pixels!

(1) MCCARTY REMEMBERS HARRISON. Dave McCarty pays tribute to his friend Howard Harrison, who passed away October 5, by retelling the experience of running the 1999 Capricon.

…I asked what if we weren’t actually throwing *Capricon*?  What if instead, we were holding the annual meeting of the International Order of Villains?  We treat the whole convention like it is some *other* event?  Tracy asked me why that would be and then I hit her with the nefarious money plan.  You see, if it’s a conference like that, when folks sign up, they would tell the convention organizers which kind of villain they were…be it henchmen, lackey, minion, mad scientist, Igor, etc.  We could badge each of those groups differently so you’d know who was who.  The kicker was that you could also choose to register as an Evil Overlord, but this would be a premium membership for which you would need to pay more money.  If you wanted to be an Evil Overlord, you had to pay.  We could work out getting them some tokens and souvenirs for it, but as long as we only spent a couple bucks on that, we were still helping the convention.  The idea excited me and it excited Tracy, so we shared it with a few other folks and it universally got folks excited and worked up….

From that point on we were in a world we’d never anticipated.  We got no small number of people to pay us extra money to be an Evil Overlord and boy howdy did that help us, but holy hell did it make for a convention that’s hard to forget.  See, quite a number of the Evil Overlords were going around the convention recruiting minions, henchmen, and lackeys to their cause.  Even more brilliantly, Howard Harrison was spending almost all of the time he wasn’t in the filk room going around and organizing the Union of Minions, Henchmen, and Lackeys Local 302.  When I asked him why, he told me (in his best Chicago Superfan imitation) “You see, I know that I am going to die in a fiery explosion, or be thrown into a volcano, or just act as fodder for my bosses escape.  I need to know what’s going to happen for my family!“.  These conversations and all the recruiting brought me to freaking tears.  Our whole convention was a LARP and almost everyone was playing and nobody was having a bad time or feeling pressured to participate.  Howard even invented the UMHL salute.  Take your right hand and make a tight thumbs-up, then flip it upside down (thumbs down).  Now, place  your knuckles against your temple in salute fashion.  There you go, union salute!  Howard then took his unionized brothers and sisters and started approaching the Evil Overlords to inquire about benefits and insurance and post-death family care to get his folks the best deal he could….

…At the time, I told him how brilliant he was…but over the years, his playfulness that weekend grew to mean a lot more to me and I don’t think I ever really got to tell him what that grew into for me.  I’m sad that I can’t do that with him now, but I *can* share this story with all of you so that you know what a special guy he was.

(2) MAGIC IN SNORE-TH AMERICA. If you bet against J.K. Rowling writing magical history that’s as dusty and dull as regular history is reputed to be – you lost. New at Pottermore, “The Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA)”.

The Magical Congress of the United States of America, known to American witches and wizards by the abbreviation MACUSA (commonly pronounced as: Mah – cooz – ah) was created in 1693, following the introduction of the International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy. Wizards worldwide had reached a tipping point, suspecting that they could lead freer and happier lives if they built an underground community that offered its own support and had its own structures. This feeling was particularly strong in America, due to the recent Salem Witch Trials.

MACUSA was modeled on the Wizards’ Council of Great Britain, which predated the Ministry of Magic. Representatives from magical communities all over North America were elected to MACUSA to create laws that both policed and protected American wizardkind…


(3) SURVIVING HOSTILITY. Angelica Jade Bastién, in an article for New Republic, says “For Women of Color, the Price of Fandom Can Be Too High”.

I’m open to criticism and discussing my writing with those who respectfully don’t agree with my opinion, but in covering comic properties, I’ve dealt with everything from people accusing me of not reading comics as if I had no idea what I was talking about to being told I was race baiting by acknowledging certain issues in the film. The worst were the very pointed attacks calling me an “idiot” or a “bitch” and far worse epithets from people I blocked. I won’t even go into the Reddit threads about my article that I was once tauntingly sent screenshots of. It’s something I’ve grown almost numb to as a critic. But what was more interesting to me was the level of hurt coming from these men and their routine way of doubting my comic knowledge—a dynamic other female journalists get time and time again.

I’ve watched all of the Star Trek series more times than I can count, and I often whip out Klingon when I’m nervous.

I have been reading comics obsessively since I was about ten years old. I can probably quote from John Ostrander’s original Suicide Squad run in my sleep, I’ve watched all of the Star Trek series more times than I can count, and I often whip out Klingon when I’m nervous. But I’ve found that the love and knowledge I have on these subjects never seems to be good enough for the people who grow furious at a black woman writing about these properties. White male fans often don’t want to face how their beloved properties often have troubling racial and gender politics.  (Just peruse the comments on my review of X-Men: Apocalypse for RogerEbert.com: “The author feels like the X-Men series in general has failed its female characters—ignoring the fact that Mystique is elevated to a leadership and relevance level well above the source material.” Many didn’t want to face a critique coming from a woman, and a fan, who knows them better than they do.) You can only delete emails and block people on Twitter for so long until you feel burnt out. The reason why we don’t see more black women writing about these subjects with such visibility isn’t because we haven’t been interested in them, it’s that publications rarely give us the opportunity, and when we do write, we often find ourselves facing personal scrutiny that has little to do with the actual writing. At times, I’ve been left to wonder, why do I love these stories so much when they rarely care about people who look like me?

(4) HOLD ON TO THE LIGHT. At Magical Words, “100+ Sci-Fi & Fantasy Authors Blog About Suicide, Depression, PTSD—a #HoldOnToTheLight Update by Gail Z. Martin” includes links to the first 40 posts authors have written around the theme.

More than 100 authors are now part of the #HoldOnToTheLight conversation! Our authors span the globe, from the US to the UK to Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Even more exciting is that as the campaign picks up traction and visibility, more authors want to join, meaning a growing, vibrant dialog about mental wellness and coping with mental illness.

#HoldOnToTheLight is a blog campaign encompassing blog posts by fantasy and science fiction authors around the world in an effort to raise awareness around treatment for depression, suicide prevention, domestic violence intervention, PTSD initiatives, bullying prevention and other mental health-related issues. We believe fandom should be supportive, welcoming and inclusive, in the long tradition of fandom taking care of its own. We encourage readers and fans to seek the help they or their loved ones need without shame or embarrassment.

(5) MUSEUM OF SF KICKSTARTER FOR A WOMEN IN SF ANTHOLOGY. The Museum of Science Fiction has opened a Kickstarter appeal to fund Catalysts, Explorers & Secret Keepers, a “take-home exhibit” featuring short science fiction works by and about the women of the genre.

This anthology will showcase how they—as readers, as writers, and as characters—have engaged with and influenced science fiction for more than a century….

The cover of Catalysts, Explorers, & Secret Keepers will feature original artwork by the Hugo winning artist Julie Dillon. Award-winning authors Eleanor Arnason, Catherine Asaro, N.K. Jemisin, Nancy Kress, Naomi Kritzer, Karen Lord, Seanan McGuire, Sarah Pinsker, Kiini IburaSalaam, Carrie Vaughn, Jane Yolen, and Sarah Zettel have already agreed to contribute work to the exhibit.

Upon reaching the minimum funding target, the Museum will open submissions until December 1, 2016. The public will be able to submit original work that fits the take-home exhibit’s theme. Authors of original fiction published in Catalysts, Explorers, & Secret Keepers will receive the SFWA-standard pro-rate ofUS $0.06 per word, while authors of solicited reprints will receive US $0.03 per word. All authors featured in this exhibit will be invited to discuss their work as presenters and panelists in 2017 at Escape Velocity, the Museum of Science Fiction’s annual celebration of all things science fiction.

The appeal has raised $6,068 of its $8,500 goal with 26 days to go.

(6) TOR.COM REOPENING FOR NOVELLAS. Tor.com publishing will take unsolicited novella submissions for three months beginning October 12.

Lee Harris and Carl Engle-Laird will be reading and evaluating original novellas submitted by hopeful authors to http://submissions.tor.com/tornovellas/. You can find full guidelines here, and we highly recommend you read the guidelines before submitting. We will be open for three months, beginning on October 12th around 9:00 AM EDT (UTC-4:00) and ending on January 12th around 9:00 AM EST (UTC-5:00). We may extend this period depending on how many submissions we receive over the course of the open period.

(7) TAKE US TO YOUR CHIEF. From CBC Radio, “Drew Hayden Taylor on why we need Indigenous science fiction”.

Science fiction is meant to take us to places we’ve never been — this is what writer Drew Hayden Taylor is aiming to do with his new collection of short stories, Take Us to Your Chief.

Taylor’s new book filters famous sci-fi tropes such as aliens, time travel and government spying through the lens and perspective of Indigenous people. For him, he is simply taking these familiar stories and putting “some hot sauce on them.”   …

“I pictured myself as a 12-year-old kid back on the reserve, reading science fiction or reading books and not seeing our experiences in this book,” he explains. “I was just taking certain touchstones that we were all familiar with and then using them to take them out of the reserve environment into the larger sci-fi environment, and giving it that sort of resonance.”

(8) POSTSCRIPT TO NATIONAL FINISH-YOUR-BOOK DAY. Camestros Felapton reports there was  third sf novel finished yesterday – Timothy the Talking Cat’s The Confusing Walrus. According to Camestros,

I’ve read his ‘manuscript’ and it says “Copy whatever John Scalzi has written but use find/replace on the words ‘space’, ‘galaxy’, ‘star’ and ‘planet’ with the word ‘walrus’”


(9) INTERVIEW WITHOUT A VAMPIRE. Masters of Horror held a get-acquainted session with Horror Writers of America President Lisa Morton.

Interview With Lisa Morton By David Kempf

When did you first become interested in writing?

I’ve been writing almost as long as I’ve been reading – my first poem was published when I was 5! – but I didn’t seriously consider making a living out of it until I saw The Exorcist at the age of 15. Seeing the astonishing impact that film had on audiences during its initial release made me realize I wanted to do that, too.

How did you make this a full time job?

Well, it’s not my full time job now. I tried that for a while, back when I was making a fair amount of money as a screenwriter, and it didn’t work for me at all. I know most writers dream of being able to leave their day job and pursue writing all the time, but for me it was too isolating. Plus, I really love being a bookseller.

How did you become President of the Horror Writers Association?

By attrition, sadly. I was serving as Vice President when the President, Rocky Wood, passed away. Before that I’d held a variety of positions within the organization. I do find it satisfying to work with other writers and promote a genre that I love….

(10) NEXT BLADE RUNNER. The Verge reports “The Blade Runner sequel is officially titled Blade Runner 2049”.

(11) BROOKS ON WILDER AND FRANKENSTEIN. Mel Brooks got emotional before a screening last night.

Mel Brooks introduced one of the funniest movies ever made, Young Frankenstein, on Wednesday night. But the director couldn’t hold back tears.

Brooks paid homage to Gene Wilder, the star and co-writer of his 1974 classic comedy, before showing Young Frankenstein on the 20th Century Fox lot.

The live event was beamed to theaters around the country and turned into a tribute to Wilder, who died Aug. 29 at age 83. An encore presentation with Brooks’ introduction will screen in theaters Oct. 18.

“I get just a little overcome,” said Brooks, 90, from the stage, dabbing his eyes as he discussed Wilder. “I’ve had a few great memories in my life. But, honestly, I think making Young Frankenstein is my best year.”

(12) SWEET SWILL. ‘Tis the season for Deadworld Zombie Soda! (Turn the sound down when you click on this site.) The sodas come in 12 flavors, with label art created by comic book artists based on the characters and events that take place in Deadworld comic book universe.

  • ORANGE  – Orange Roamer
  • CHERRY COLA – Goon Biters
  • BLACK CHERRY – Royal Rotter
  • CREAM SODA – Brain Sap
  • COTTON CANDY – Zeek Cocktail
  • GRAPE – Grisly Swill
  • VANILLA ROOT BEER – Slow Decay
  • STRAWBERRY – Rot Berry
  • ROOT BEER – Twilight Shuffler
  • GREEN APPLE – Morbid Mix
  • GINGER ALE – Graveyard Delight


Deadworld is the award winning, long running cult hit comic book series published by Caliber Comics that first exploded on the comic scene in 1986. With over 1 million copies in print and over 100 comics & graphic novels released to date, Deadworld is not your typical “zombie comic book or story”.

A supernatural plague has been unleashed on the world. The dead return to walk the earth…but this is no standard zombie story.  The dead are just foot soldiers for those who have crossed the ‘Gateway’ from another dimension. There are leader zombies who are intelligent, sadistic, and in addition to having a hankering for flesh, enjoy the tortuous ordeals they put the surviving humans through.

(13) EERIE OUTFITTER. Tim Burton’s costume designer Colleen Atwood interviewed by NPR (with comments on Miss Peregrine’s…):

From Hannibal Lecter’s mask to Edward Scissorhands’, well, scissor hands, Oscar-winning costumer Colleen Atwood has pretty much designed it all.

Working steadily since the 1980s, she’s dressed characters from the past and the future — the Middle Ages for Into the Woods, the Civil War for Little Women all the way to Gattaca and the 2001 Planet of the Apes. Her latest movie, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, is her eleventh with Tim Burton. It travels back in time to Wales during World War II….

(14) SLOW DOWN, YOU MOVE TOO FAST. The BBC sums up interstellar travel:

Science fiction writers and moviemakers have shown us countless visions of humanity spread out across the Universe, so you might be forgiven for thinking that we’ve already got this in the bag. Unfortunately, we still have more than a few technical limitations to overcome – like the laws of physics as we understand them – before we can start colonising new worlds beyond our Solar System and galaxy.

That said, several privately funded or volunteer initiatives such as the Tau Zero Foundation, Project Icarus and Breakthrough Starshot have emerged in recent years, each hoping to bring us a little bit closer to reaching across the cosmos. The discovery in August of an Earth-sized planet orbiting our nearest star has also raised fresh hopes about visiting an alien world.

Interstellar spacecraft will be one of the topics discussed at BBC Future’s World-Changing Ideas Summit in Sydney in November. Is travelling to other galaxies possible? And if so, what kinds of spacecraft might we need to achieve it? Read on to get up to (warp) speed: …

(15) TREK BEYOND BLOOPERS. CinemaBlend has the story and the video — “Chris Pine Does His Best Shatner Impression In Hysterical Star Trek Beyond Gag Reel”.

As professional as the actors all are on the set of a Star Trek movie, the final cut of the film adds effects and music to the experience which help transport you to the fictional world. Without that, you’re just a guy standing on a set spouting Star Trek gibberish. This becomes all the more clear when an actor trips over their lines, and suddenly everybody remembers that they’re acting again. The best part, though, is when Chris Pine calls for “Full impulse, Mr. Suliu” and John Cho stops to say that he sounds like he’s doing a William Shatner impression. Pine does add a bit of a classic Shatner pause to the line, so it does sound a bit like him to us. As much as we love William Shatner, we hope this doesn’t become a habit.

(16) THAT’S APPERTAINMENT. IanP unleashed this instant classic in a comment on File 770 today.

With apologies to Paul Weller

A pixeled car and a screaming siren
A shuggoth trail and ripped up books
A walrus wailing and stray pup howling
The place of fifths and tea drinking

That’s appertainment, that’s appertainment

A file of scrolls and a rumble of boots
A wretched hive and a bracket ‘head cloth
Ink splattered walls and the award of a rocket
Time machine appears and spews out pizza

That’s appertainment, that’s appertainment.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Chip Hitchcock, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Darrah Chavey.]

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95 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 10/6/16 Have Fun Storming The Pixels!

  1. It is sadly true that behavior from women doesn’t get the same response from men as the same behavior from other men. It’s why helpfully-intended advice to women to address the pay gap by negotiating more aggressively is bad advice.

    Advice to women to respond aggressively to aggressive men is dangerous advice. Sadly. Even though a relatively small, slight man may know from experience that it works very well for him, and be suggesting it based on his experience in a genuine attempt to help.

    I’ll also note, however, that Steve Davidson asked it as a question, and in phrasing that to me pretty clearly indicated he was prepared to find out he’d overlooked or misunderstood something.

    On the third paw, I’ll note that so much of this advice, whether well-intended and thoughtful, or smug mainslpaining, after a while sounds like “it’s easy, just be someone totally other than your natural temperament, experience, and social training have made you. What’s hard about that?”

  2. @Greg: as an former light-plane pilot who has been watching various developments, I argue that energy is the least of the problems with flying cars. Larger problems include that there are no roads in the sky, that there is nothing under a flyer to keep it from rolling over if the driver mistakes the cloud in the distance for the horizon, and that a flyer can’t just pull over when breakage, exhaustion, or bad weather make continuing a bad idea. (A helicopter can do something like pulling over — but a copter is even harder to fly than a fixed-wing plane and needs a lot more energy.)

  3. @Robert Reynolds: Thus your options are to let them live in your head, rent free, or simply go on about your life, enjoying what you like while minimizing their impact. That’s why there are blocking functions on various social media. (emphasis mine)

    Angelica Jade Bastién, in the article to which this is a direct response (well, indirect; it was a response to a response to the direct response), in the very excerpt quoted here, has already addressed this: “You can only delete emails and block people on Twitter for so long until you feel burnt out.”

    The fact that you have faced meatspace harassment, intimidation, and violence, still does not give you the experience of being a woman of color facing constant harassment for the “crime” of having opinions on the internet.

    There are a whole host of reasons you got the sort of responses you’ve gotten. What follows is not an exhaustive list.

    1. You come across as claiming your experience gives you better insight into what Bastién is facing than anyone arguing with you, because your experience was in meatspace…

    2. …which, further, makes it seem that you’re ignoring that harassment against women on the internet, especially women of color, always carries the threat of taking it to meatspace (cf. doxxing, rape and death threats, photos of the victim’s front door, photos of the victim’s children at school).

    3. You also come across as implying that the threats you have experienced are more serious than those Bastién is talking about – that, compared to your experiences, hers are mere pocket change and not worth whining about.

    4. In the quote excerpted above, you present a point which Bastién had already addressed, which makes it look like you didn’t bother reading past the first paragraph of the excerpt–or, if you did, you dismissed her comments about getting “burnt out” as mere whining not worth acknowledging.

    5. You describe your initial comments as seeming to you as “an innocuous response,” which strikes me as completely disingenuous. You began with a great big *SIGH* and ended with ” Enjoy what you like and to hell with the screaming howler monkeys,” giving me, at least, the impression that you were exasperated with having to read yet another tale of someone whining about trolls when it was, you assert, within their power to simply say “to hell with them” and go on their merry way. Your initial comment struck me as contemptuous and dismissive, not innocuous at all.

    Seriously, what did you think you were adding to the conversation with that comment? Helpful advice? If so…

    6. …you do realize women get to hear men explaining this to us all the time? Lecturing us about how very simple it is if only we’d let it be that simple. Telling us that if we’d only deal with the harassment the way they advise, we’d have it so much better. Such advice universally fails to take into account our own experience (of being burnt out, of feeling marginalized, of the trolls being not simply a hoard of stupid people but a symptom of our social marginalization, of being legitimately afraid for our lives), mostly because wen we recount our experience (as Bastién does), such men don’t seem to listen, or they seem far too ready to dismiss as unimportant factors which we feel as tremendously vital (as, I dare say, you seem to). After experiencing this time and time again (cf. microaggressions), our patience gets very short.

    That we get this from men all the damn time, you cannot help. But you can damn well control whether you yourself add yet another damn instance of the same to the load, or whether you refrain from doing so.

    And I’m speaking from the point of view of a white women. Women of color get it so. Much. Worse. And they get it from white women, too, not just from men (of any color), which is especially disappointing (cf. how white feminism fails women of color).

    I am sure others in the community can point out nuances my own response lacks. These are just the reasons off the top of my head. Maybe it will help contextualize for you the tenor of the responses you got, and hopefully make it less surprising next time, or even avoidable.

  4. (2) I came to realize when Pottermore started publishing the magical history of the rest of the world that I outgrew the Potterverse some time ago. I’m still working on the part where I put enough psychological distance between it and myself to maintain a healthy apathy about it. But I read the Scroll last night and managed to not comment on the latest installment until now, so that’s something.

    So the part that really trips me up is the first council being attended in 1693 by “wizards from all over North America”. Why the whole continent? Or why just the continent and not the rest of the Americas, since presumably there were many of the same issues being thought over elsewhere? And if it’s the whole continent, why was it convened in a poky little English-speaking backwater rather than down in Mexico City where the real action was at the time? If it had to be within the future USA for story purposes, why not at least pick a more stable and less conflicted polity to hold it in, like say the Iroquois Confederacy? If it was really just for colonial wizards, why was it just about the relations between them and England and not the other colonial powers which held significant territories in North America at the time? And why how what aaaaaaargh [spontaneously combusts]

  5. @ steve davidson

    Of course, it may also be that male assholes will respect a male with a bat, but not a woman with a bat…and that meeting aggression with aggression will make things worse?

    Others have analyzed this, probably better than I could. But I just wanted to emphasize that our world is filled with examples of people responding very differently to the exact same stimulus from different categories of people. (*cough* Black lives matter *cough*) If you want to know what sort of calculations women make around responding to male aggression, do a search on news stories about women being murdered for responding negatively to street harassment from complete strangers.

    One simply cannot solve the issue of gendered harassment by suggesting that women react like men, because if their harassers reacted identically to the same behavior from men and women, there would be no gendered harassment to be responding to in the first place.

  6. @Steve Davidson

    I think you have it surrounded when it comes to some aspects of male on male reaction; I just think there’s a whole load of male on female dynamics that are present, dangerous, and poorly addressed. After all, we’ve already had one person flounce off when those were brought up already.

  7. @Nicole. Well said and I can’t add anything else to that.

    @Steve Davidson. I’ll also add to the chorus of remarks saying that men respond differently to women being aggressive vs. men being aggressive. In the scenario, you described there are at least 2 points that differ from the internet.

    1) Confronting a group of bullies makes the bullying stop. It doesn’t stop on the internet for women (especially of color) who make the mistake of having opinions. There isn’t any group that they can confront that will stop anything.

    2) Dealing aggressively with a man or group of men with few or no witnesses around is drastically different than doing it with witnesses. The former has a much higher chance of escalating into violence based on my anecdotal experience and those of women I know. As someone described above, women can be murdered or assaulted for responding to catcalls negatively. These types of men have real issues dealing with women who aren’t quiet.

  8. If a guy mouths off to or threatens another guy, and things turn physical, and the mouthy guys gets his ass whupped, or threatened strongly enough he thinks he might get his ass whupped and backs off, he’s been beaten.

    If a guy mouths off to or threatens a woman, and things turn physical, and the mouthy guys gets his ass whupped, or threatened strongly enough he thinks he might get his ass whupped and backs off, he’s been humiliated.

    In the first instance, since the altercation is between “equals” (even if there’s a physical disparity), the mouthy guy can usually deal with it and move on. The odds he’ll come back later with a bat or a gun for another round are pretty low.

    If the mouthy guy has been beaten or intimidated by a woman (who, even if she’s bigger or stronger than the guy, is the “inferior” sex), that’s a contest between unequals. Being beaten in a “fair fight” or argument is acceptable; being beaten or humiliated by someone who’s supposed to always be “weaker” than you isn’t. That can’t be dropped; that can’t be let go. That fight has to be continued at all costs until the man triumphs.

    That’s the dynamic I see in a lot of cases, from Internet trolls to women being murdered for denying the dominance of men. (Spurning their affections, breaking off a relationship, asking for a divorce, etc.)

    I don’t have any good answers or solutions. It feels like society at large is (slowly) moving away from this perceived disparity and more towards a true equalitarianism, but that doesn’t do much for those individuals who have to deal with the die-hard dicks and trolls who see strong women as a personal challenge to their manly macho manliness. I think the number of Manly Macho Men is shrinking, but, wow, they can sure make a fuss when they’re riled. (“screaming howler monkeys”; good description.)

    (When I was growing up in the 50’s and 60’s, there were occasional times when I thought to myself, “Oh, why couldn’t I have been born a girl instead? Girls have it so-o-o-o easy.” With a half-century’s additional perspective, sometimes I feel like I dodged a bullet. Thanks, random Dad sperm!)

  9. Rob Thornton@

    Here’s a link to a 2015 Smithsonian article about the state of the art in hibernation studies:


    Thanks! That was a good article, even if it was a little discouraging.

    Something I didn’t see there (or elsewhere) was whether hibernation actually increased the life expectancy of the creatures who do it. That is, if a mouse hibernates for a few months per year, does it live longer than one that doesn’t hibernate, or is it just sleeping part of its life away?

  10. @Bruce Arthurs

    If a guy mouths off to or threatens a woman, and things turn physical, and the mouthy guys gets his ass whupped, or threatened strongly enough he thinks he might get his ass whupped and backs off, he’s been humiliated.

    I’ve been told that the same dynamic applies with gay men, but, fortunately, I’ve never encountered it personally. Now that I think about it, I’m a bit surprised that the alt-right bullies don’t go after gay men the same way they go after women. What’s with that?

  11. I came to realize when Pottermore started publishing the magical history of the rest of the world that I outgrew the Potterverse some time ago.

    I think that a more universal issue is that J.K. Rowling outgrew the Potterverse some time ago. She seems to no longer have much interest in the whole thing, just occasionally tossing out there a few poorly-researched, poorly-written crumbs to keep the income rolling in, along with the sporadic Twitter comment with a tidbit of Lucasian retconned worldbuilding that she has just thought up (“BTW, Dobbsy the House Elf was a Mormon who did his missionary work in eastern Niger. I hope that came through in my writing.”) She should realize that she already has all the money that she needs to live very well for the rest of her life and let Harry Potter go if she doesn’t care about it any more.

  12. “Now that I think about it, I’m a bit surprised that the alt-right bullies don’t go after gay men the same way they go after women. What’s with that?”

    Milo Yiannopoulos, I guess.

  13. Bruce Arthurs:

    Being beaten in a “fair fight” or argument is acceptable; being beaten or humiliated by someone who’s supposed to always be “weaker” than you isn’t.

    On the other hand, beating someone who is obviously weaker than you is not usually seen as anything to brag about either. I think it’s odd that the traditional rule about “don’t hit girls”, as well as the male’s ingrained desire to look good to females, don’t have more of an effect on the online monkey crowd.

    In my experience, it’s generally easier for a woman to defuse a situation involving angry men, than it is for another man. For example, the student club when I was a university had a mostly-female bouncer staff, and had less trouble with violent guests than most other clubs in town. When a woman asked a rowdy guest to tone it down, or said something to the effect of “you’re acting a bit like an idiot, you don’t really want that, do you?” the drunk complied – while if a guy asked the same there was more of a chance the drunk would see that as a challenge.

    For those who have read Scalzi’s Zoe’s Tale, there’s a scene where Zoe and her friend break up an almost-fight between two groups of boys by basically shaming them. While the scene as written is a bit over-the-top, I don’t think it is completely unrealistic. (Except for taking place on a faster-than-light space ship, of course.)

    I suppose there are differences here between being part of the conflict from the beginning and stepping in to defuse it, and between seeing eye to eye and shouting at each other on Twitter. But I still think it’s odd that so many men seem to think they gain “man points” by being aggressive towards women online.

  14. @steve Davidson – I have experienced a fair number of women, in “male preserves” defending themselves against abuse in an aggressive manner and, while the guys will go off and mutter among themselves about what a bitch and dyke she was, they did back off.

    Please trust me when I say that what men do to and around women who are alone is very different than what they do when other men are around. I suspect there is some lizard brain component that does not come into play in regards to the internet, in that no matter how large the crowd of male commenters it does not act as a deterrent to targeting women for even the most extreme abuse, while the presence of even one man in meatspace makes a material difference.

    And: Here’s what I think I was getting at: part of the male intimidation game is responding to perceptions of weakness. Publicly stating “these threats scare me” fans the flames. Going to the police, re-locating are all perceived as a win in the “game”. I’m wondering if perhaps a change in the language used in responding might not be an effective tool. Unless that’s perceived as change that plays into the whole thing.

    You’re trying to solve a problem, right? Because it is a problem deserving of a solution? That’s great, except you haven’t properly defined what the problem is. You seem to think it is a question of the correct response to aggression, when the actual problem is that there is no correct response that women can make to aggression and hatefulness from men if the desired outcome is to make it stop.

    How many white people understand that it’s a risky activity to walk while being black? Even if you think you really get it, you don’t, because you’ve never experienced the perils of doing so. If you do get it, it’s because you’re black and you know that the solution isn’t to unblack yourself, it is to change the culture so much that it is no longer an act of bravery for a black person to walk around a majority white neighborhood.

    In a similar vein, there is no effective response that women can make to male aggression, not meekness, not capitulation, not equivalent aggression, because we can’t unwoman ourselves. The correct solution, once you understand the actual problem, is to change the culture.

  15. I think that a more universal issue is that J.K. Rowling outgrew the Potterverse some time ago.

    At this point, I would much rather read a new Cormoran Strike book than something set in the Potterverse…

  16. @ Steve D.: I had a much longer response here, but you’ve rendered it irrelevant. I do want to point out, though, that I think Cheryl has the key. The minute a woman tries to respond to aggression with aggression, all the brakes come off and it’s Katy bar the door, and they will treat her (verbally AND physically) far worse than they’d ever treat a man doing the same thing. Make it a woman of color, and you’ve added a nasty layer of racism to all of the above. The word “uppity” describes their perception and response perfectly.

  17. @ Johan P

    On the other hand, beating someone who is obviously weaker than you is not usually seen as anything to brag about either. I think it’s odd that the traditional rule about “don’t hit girls”, as well as the male’s ingrained desire to look good to females, don’t have more of an effect on the online monkey crowd.

    The rule about “don’t hit girls” only ever applied to lady-like girls who know their place and didn’t get uppity. Even the most chivalric Arthurian knight knew it was ok to beat up on witches, female dwarfs, and one’s own lady if she got out of line. [citations can be provided on request]

  18. @ Chip: On the topic of flying cars, my first response is always, “You want to have to deal with all the stupid things people already do on the roads, in 3D and with no lane markings? Not just no, but HELL NO!”

  19. @Mark (kitteh): Thanks for the Tor.com winter releases link! I was already eyeing Cornell’s Chalk and McDermott’s The Fortress at the End of Time, and now I see Emma Newman has one coming out, Brother’s Ruin, which sounds interesting. I hadn’t heard of Ruthanna Emrys’s previous story; was it any good? (I found it at Tor.com but don’t have time to read it right now.)

  20. I think the thing about flying cars comes down to people wanting one, but not wanting everyone else to have one.

  21. Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little and Cheryl S.:

    Thank you for articulating so beautifully why responses which work in real life vs. online, for men vs. women, for whites vs. non-whites, are not “one size fits all, it worked for me, so why shouldn’t it work for you?”, and why “you think you’ve got it bad, look what I had to go through, so what you’re dealing with is trivial by comparison, get over it” is not a useful response.

    We need to spend a lot more time on curing the societal disease, than on telling people they should just adjust to the symptoms. 😐

  22. Women run and hide because they know it’s the safest strategy. Fighting back escalates the trouble. They’ve known that for untold millennia. Short of rewiring men to actually be logical and rational (which will take overhauling all the social systems of the entire world), it’s… the logical and rational response.
    /cosign Nicole and Cheryl’s comments.

    @TYP: Doesn’t Massachusetts still call itself a Commonwealth?

    I also found it exceedingly odd that the US would so strictly require permits for wands when Britain doesn’t. Since they’re analogous to guns and the American wizards were more in danger from others, you’d think it’d be the other way around. Especially in the Wild West. Just more not thinking it through, like having cities appear years before they did and conflating all the Native tribes. Lazy work.

  23. re: flying cars: With self-driving cars looking to become common in the foreseeable future, would self-flying cars be doable? (Like drones and cruise missiles, with strong crash-avoidance programming.)

    And, hey Mike, I noticed this thread is tagged “In Passing” rather than “Pixel Scroll”. Means it doesn’t show up if you click for a screenful of Scroll posts. Took an extra minute or so to find.

  24. “Women run and hide because they know it’s the safest strategy. Fighting back escalates the trouble. They’ve known that for untold millennia. “

    It is absolutely the safest strategy for men also. Just wish more people understood that. A simple check on the statistics of men-to-men violence should make that obvious.

  25. Hampus Eckerman: It is absolutely the safest strategy for men also. Just wish more people understood that. A simple check on the statistics of men-to-men violence should make that obvious.

    Yeah, the men who brag “I stood up to the men who were threatening me, and look how well that worked!” are in total denial about the fact that they, and anyone who was with them, could have very well ended up injured or dead — and the fact that they didn’t was down to luck, not to their masculine prowess. 🙄

  26. “One of the things I like most about the DC TV universe (beyond the fact that the shows are a whole lot of fun) are the many multiracial and same sex couples and the fact that hardly anybody ever remarks on it. I also like that these shows have a lot of “colourblind” casting (James Olsen, Iris and Wally West, J’onn J’onnz, Hawkgirl and Firestorm are all white in the comics”

    Not quite. Wally (well, one of them. Iris now has two nephews, one named Wallace and one named Walter) is black, but that was in response to the tv show. I’m not sure there is a Hawkgirl at the moment (DC’s shifted its continuity twice in the last 4-5 years), but the last one was hispanic. J’onn was shown for a while to have multiple civilian identities, some of which were black and asian, and was retconned into being a black farmhand for Jonathan Kent keeping a discreet eye on young Kal-El. Firestorm had a fairly long period where part of him/one of him (the 4 year ago reboot had multiple Firestorms as individual rather than merged entities) was black Jason Rusch and the Firestorm id appeared black. A few months ago the status quo reverted to Ron Raymond and Martin Stein as Firestorm, with Jason as what looks to amount to support crew.

    As for not being a fan of Barry/Iris on Flash, have to confess I preferred Barry with Patty Spivot in that they had a lot more in common. Iris, if I’m recalling correctly, has pretty much dismissed every geeky interest of Barry’s, including science. In some ways, Iris is a legacy of Barry and her’s creation in the late 50s where pairing Barry up with a fellow scientist probably wasn’t felt as an option, while successful reporter was a more likely at the time occupation that allowed for a strong character, which comics Iris usually was. She was also introduced as in an ongoing relationship with Barry, so you initially viewed them as a couple rather than having to build up to why these two are in a relationship.

  27. I wanted to add my appreciation for Nicole and Cheryl’s comments wrt online WoC harrassment and some of the Filer solutions offered. They expressed my feelings and thoughts more eloquently than I could when I tried to draft a response.

    But the discussion re Rowling and her abuse of Usaian history made me think, “Hmmmm, maybe this is a teeny, tiny, itty, bitty bit like some folks feel when their culture is appropriated.” (Cf. earlier discussion at the File). Anyway, a small light came on in my head with the word ’empathy’ etched on it. (not that I think they are equal ‘affronts’, just that my irritation may have given me a little insight into the feelings of others.)

  28. @Lurkertype

    It does along with several others. Rhode Island is still, officially, the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. (They had a vote about changing the last part a few years ago. They kept it because, ironically, the Quakers who founded the Providence Plantations half were die hard abolitionists from the word go.)

  29. @Mark: I’m occasionally interested in that sort of thing – not really into horror, but I have a soft spot in board games for Cthulhu-esque stuff 😉 so I’ll check out the story. Thanks.

  30. @Bruce Arthurs:

    re: flying cars: With self-driving cars looking to become common in the foreseeable future, would self-flying cars be doable? (Like drones and cruise missiles, with strong crash-avoidance programming.)

    Despite the snarky quote, flying cards colliding with other flying cars is not the main issue (IMNSHO); the problem is colliding with weather and/or physics. (Camestros had an indirect point about energy: planes are built much less sturdily than cars so that they can fly without requiring huge amounts of power.)

    junego: what we’ve been talking about here (as opposed to previous flares about (e.g.) “skinwalkers”) isn’t lazy use of stereotypes but failure to check basic, widely available facts. People who don’t learn about less-known \cultures/ before writing about them are offensive; people who don’t read incipient-dominant history before writing it are just not doing their job. (That’s being polite.)

  31. Thank you Liz, Nicole, Bruce, Cheryl, and Heather Rose for your comments on harassment and responding to abuse. I think you and a few others I missed made all the points I wanted to more eloquently than I could.

  32. I hope it will amuse someone else as much as it did me, in the midst of all this, that I read Tasha’s comment as “I think you and a few others missed all the points I wanted to more eloquently than I could.” Twice.

  33. @Chip Hitchcock
    people who don’t read incipient-dominant history before writing it are just not doing their job.

    Such people aren’t doing their job if they don’t educate themselves about any other people they’re writing about.

    But my point wasn’t primarily about Rowling, it was about the slight feeling of offense I felt that she didn’t check to get the facts of my country’s history correct before writing about it. From examining my feeling, I grokked more empathy for people who feel upset/offended/angry when portions of their culture are misused/misrepresented/monetized by someone else.

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  35. @ junego: Exactly, the same way that taking a French Lit class in the original gave me more empathy for people who can’t read English as easily as I can. After struggling thru 2 pages in the time it would normally take me to read a chapter or more, I found myself thinking, “If reading English was this hard for me, I wouldn’t be doing much of it either.”

    ETA: And I’m reasonably reading-fluent in French, and was more so back then when it was fresher. But that’s “sign-reading fluent”, not “lit-reading fluent”.

  36. @Robert Reynolds —

    ‘Tis a lovely straw man you have there, sir, ‘twould be a pity someone would set a fire to it.

    Anyway, a short reply, to not waste too much of your precious time:

    • on-line and off-line interaction are not different, neither is an imagined fantasy world, no matter how you would like to think it true; yours is not the only point of view on that matter,

    • let me guess, you have never been a target of a prolonged on-line hate campaign that spills all over the off-line elements of your life, have you now?

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