Pixel Scroll 4/9/16 Little Old Lady Got Nominated Late Last Night

(1) HERE’S THE PLOT. Ursula Vernon cultivates history in her garden. Read “Sowing History: A Gardener’s Tale” at Tor.com.

When people think of gardeners, many of them tend to picture little old ladies in straw hats with bright green gloves, pottering among the roses.

When people think of gardeners who are also children’s book authors, they go straight to Beatrix Potter and assume that not only are these little old ladies in straw hats pottering among the roses, but they are also greeting the friendly woodland creatures by name—“Hello, Mister Robin! You’re looking very feathery today!” “Why, Missus Tiggywinkle, how have you been?” “Oh dear, that naughty little cottontail has been at my lettuces again!”

Well, I am a gardener and a children’s book author. I am also under forty, tattooed, and the owner of a mostly black wardrobe, and when I greet a happy woodland creature by name, there is an excellent chance that the sentence will end with “touch that and I will end you.”

(2) THE FIRST STAR WARS FANS. The Skywalking Through Neverland podcast discusses “The Early Days of Star Wars Fandom with Craig Miller”.

Our spe­cial guest Craig Miller was the Pub­li­cist and Direc­tor of Fan Rela­tions for Lucas­film dur­ing the hey-day of the 70’s and 80’s. Ever won­der how fans knew what was going on in fan­dom before social media? Whose job was it to tell the world about this new movie called Star Wars? Craig shares some awe­some stories.


episod116square Craig Miller

(3) KAMERON HURLEY. Asked where his inspiration came from, lyricist Sammy Cahn said “When the check arrives.” Kameron Hurley’s check has arrived, but she explains what else she needs besides, in “Kameron Hurley: Cultivating Inspiration on Deadline” at Locus Online.

Instead of spending all that time feeling guilty about what I wasn’t doing and scrolling through Twitter, I needed to release myself from the ‘‘I should be writing’’ mentality and let my brain start connect­ing things on its own. I found that the more I actively thought about plot problems, the less my brain wanted to fix them. It kept trying to avoid the problems I’d put to it. For instance, instead of fixing a plot problem on my current book, my brain recently offered up a solution to a subplot problem in the next book I’ll be working on. At some point I have to give in and let my brain make the connections it needs to make, without getting in its way. More and more, I have to let my brain go more than I’m used to, or it just retreads the same old story paths.

I would like to tell you that giving up everything to write is the only way to write. I enjoy spouting that whole ‘‘fall on your sword’’ advice time and time again. Giving up activities that waste your time while you should be writing is beneficial, but I can only burn hard like I have for so long before the flame gutters out. I don’t want to be that writer who just writes the same story over and over again.

(4) A LECKIE FANTASY. Rachel Swirsky’s April 8 Friday Fiction Recommendation is “Marsh Gods” by Ann Leckie.

I’m a fan of Ann’s fantasy universe in which gods must be careful to speak the truth, lest they lose their power. I hope we get longer work in it someday, or at least more. (Publishers: Hint, hint.)

Read “Marsh Gods” at Strange Horizons, or listen at PodCastle.

(5) WRITERS OF THE FUTURE. There was a bit of drama during “Day 5 – Writers of the Future Volume 32 Workshop”.

First up was Liza Trombi from Locus Magazine, the foremost professional publication in science fiction and fantasy literature. She discussed Locus, and then moved on to the vagaries of self-publishing, traditional publishing, and going hybrid. Liza recommended trying traditional publishing before attempting self-publishing. She also mentioned that publishing your first novel is rare, and that the best thing you can do for your future writing career is to always be writing a new book.

Robert J. Sawyer was up after Liza. With fresh copies of Locus in the winner’s hands, Robert took the opportunity to point out that his latest book, while having been well reviewed by Publisher’s Weekly and the Washington Post, was disliked by Locus. And while the book is doing extremely well, the reality is that someone will always dislike your work. He stressed that you should never write to please everyone because you never will. Your job, he says, is to identify what it is you do. You should know what your brand is as a writer, and write to please those people.

(6) WRITERS OF THE PRESENT. The bestselling authors are walking between the raindrops at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books this weekend.

Stan Lee kept dry.

Other ornaments to our genre were on hand.

No Scalzi food photo today, but it played an important part on the program.

He also found time to practice his starship hijacking skills, on a modest scale.

(7) BINDER FULL OF LETTERS. Doug Ellis shares a few more historic letters in his post “Otto Binder on H.P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard” at Black Gate.

In late December 1935, science fiction author Otto Binder moved from Chicago to NYC to represent Otis Adelbert Kline’s literary agency. Among the authors he represented for Kline’s agency was Robert E. Howard. Binder had been to NYC previously, in late June and early July 1935, with his friends Clifford Kornoelje (better known in SF circles as Jack Darrow) and Bill Dellenback.

As I’ve mentioned before, back in 2001 I bought a few boxes of correspondence from Darrow’s estate, including dozens of letters that Binder had written to Darrow over the course of many decades. In going through them last month, I pulled this one and thought I’d post it today.

Once in NYC, Otto quickly resumed his friendships with Mort Weisinger and Charles Hornig, and rapidly met more figures involved in the local science fiction community. Less than two weeks after he’d arrived, he was invited to a gathering at Frank Belknap Long’s place, which was held on Friday, January 3, 1936. Binder and Long were fellow Weird Tales authors, with Binder and his brother, Earl, having sold WT some stories under their Eando Binder penname.

Among the others at the party were Donald and Howard Wandrei, Kenneth Sterling and, most interestingly of all, H.P. Lovecraft. Lovecraft impressed Binder greatly, as he relates in this letter to Darrow dated January 12, 1936. That would have been some gathering to attend!

(8) HAMPUS, IS THAT YOU? Not a toll-free call! CNN has the story: “The Swedish Number: Random Swedes are waiting to hear from you”.

Are you there, Sweden? It’s us, the world.

To mark the 250th anniversary of Sweden’s abolition of censorship, the Swedish Tourist Association has launched a phone number connecting global callers with random Swedes.

Think Chatroulette meets the United Nations.

Sweden’s new ambassadors don’t receive any training and their time is voluntary. They simply download the Swedish Number app, register their number, and signal their availability by switching themselves on or off.

As for the cost of ringing up, it’s charged as an international call so check with your provider before chatting with your new Swedish buddies late into the night.

There have been nearly 14,000 calls since the service launched on April 6, with nearly a third coming from the U.S. and a fifth from Turkey.

(9) GAME MAKER YIELDS. Crave reports “Baldur’s Gate Developer States They Will Change Trans Character and Remove GamerGate Joke”.

After an inexplicable amount of press was placed upon their team by angry gamers, Baldur’s Gate: Siege of Dragonspear‘s developer Beamdog has stated that they will be altering the dialogue of transgender character Mizhena in a future update, along with removing a reference to GamerGate.

In the game, which is an expansion to the original Baldur’s Gate, there is a line of dialogue in which minor NPC Mizhena explains the origins of her name, revealing to the player that although being born a boy, she and her parents “came to understand [she] was truly a woman” later in life. This entire exchange, which is limited to four sentences, led to the game being bombarded with negative user reviews online, despite critical reviews of the game being positive. Another point of contention for its detractors was a line at the expense of GamerGate, in which popular character Minsc says “really, it’s all about ethics in heroic adventuring.”

(10) CARPENTER ON GALAKTIKA PAYMENT OFFER. Anna Grace Carpenter, who surfaced the story (“Galaktika Magazine: Theft on a Massive Scale”) expresses her views about Galaktika’s response in “Galaktika Magazine: By Way of Explanation”.

Let me pause for a moment and say that the offer of compensation is a step in the right direction. However, neither Mr. Burger or Mr. Németh have addressed the underlying issue.

This is a chronic and widespread issue of theft. It is not just the stories published in 2015 (of which there are many), but work that was published as far back as 2008….

This pattern is more than a lack of diligence or caution or speed on the part of the publishing staff at Galaktika. It is not an occasional oversight or misunderstanding of previous contracts. This is habitual theft.

Remember that the vast majority of these authors never submitted their work for consideration, there was no implication of giving their permission for the translation and publication of their stories in Galaktika. Rather, their work was copied from other, paying publications online without any attempt to contact the original publisher, editor or author, and then printed for profit in Galaktika. That is not a mistake, that is theft.

Cat Rambo, current president of SFWA, said she is still trying to obtain a copy of István Burger’s statement in English and there are still questions to be answered. (How soon can authors expect to receive payment? Will authors be able to request their work be pulled from Galaktika? Will Galaktika contact all those involved to arrange compensation or will they put the responsibility on the individual to contact them and make a claim?)

And the question remains, what will Mr. Burger and Mr. Németh do going forward?


Deby Fredericks on “The Dragon Awards” at Wyrmflight.

One of the distinctions I believe Dragon Con is trying to make, is that the existing prestigious awards are decided by a limited number of people — a jury, members of a particular convention or group — while the Dragon Awards will be nominated and voted by all fans. This sounds fair and noble, but I’m remembering that time when DC let fans vote on whether Robin should be killed by the Joker. They were aghast that fans wanted Robin dead. Was the outcome fair? Perhaps. But was it noble?

Already, some in the community responsible for the Hugo Awards Kerfluffle have been heard to gloat that now they will win because no bunch of snobs can vote them down. As you probably can tell, I’m a little tired of hearing privileged majorities play the dismartyrdom card. We’ll all find out in time.

I don’t necessarily agree that SF/media/everything needs another set of awards. However, I do believe Dragon Con is a large enough and inclusive enough organization to credibly present such an award. It will be interesting to see the outcome, and where it aligns or doesn’t align with the other awards.

Brian K. Lowe posted about “The Dragon Awards” at Graffiti on the Walls of Time.

“Another trophy,” you say, possibly enthusiastically, perhaps dismissively, maybe with a touch of boredom. Or maybe you say it with an appraising tone, as do we authors who think, “Hey, there’s another award I can aspire to (and probably never win)…” Regardless of your personal reaction, the awards are here and presumably they’re going to stick around a while. (America’s thirst for awards ceremonies is almost as impossible to slake as its thirst for reality shows, or sleazy political drama. If it ain’t a competition, we’re not interested.)

All of these reactions are quite understandable. What I don’t understand is those who believe that this development somehow spells trouble for the Hugo Awards given out every year by the aforementioned Worldcon.

Cirsova takes the whole thing rather less than completely seriously in “Genrefication and Dragon Awards”.

This isn’t a victory, unless your aim is creating genre ghettos.

In response, I propose an alternative.  If I ever get the reach to make such an endeavor feasible, I will give you the Brackett Awards:

  • Categories will include, but are not limited to, in Long and Short Form:
  • Best Space Princess/Classiest Dame
  • Most Dashing Swordsman/Gunman
  • Creepiest Monster/Alien
  • Most Exotic/Erotic Xeno-hominid
  • Best Explosion
  • Coolest Spaceship
  • Best Empire (domineering, crumbling or otherwise)

Will these categories end up punishing certain books under the SFF umbrella?  Probably, but not the most awesome ones.

Ian Mond says live and let live at Hysterical Hamster.

And a day or so ago Dragon Con launched its own genre awards.  To reflect the size of the con there’s about fifty billion categories ranging from best Apocalyptic fiction (my personal favourite) to Best episode in a continuing science fiction or fantasy series, TV or internet (take a deep breath).  I don’t begrudge any organisation, individual or entity organising and administering their own awards.  More power to them.  Personally though, I think I’ll give this one a miss.

Martin C. Wilsey’s sentiments about “The Dragon Awards” are shorter but not as sweet.

Well it was bound to happen. The Hugo Awards process corruption scandal has finally led to the inevitable conclusion. A new award that has fairness baked in. The Dragon Awards.

–Let’s hope that this award is all about quality of the fiction.

(12) RECAP. I don’t watch Sleepy Hollow so it’s hard to explain how I got sucked into reading this spoiler-filled recap of the final episode. This paragraph will give you the gist of what SciFi4Me felt about it:

Bloody Hell. I don’t know what they are thinking. And I don’t know how a show based on such a flimsy premise could jump the shark, but they did.

(13) DEAN KAMEN. The inventor of the Segway is the son of E.C. Comics’ Jack Kamen. Read about “Inventor Dean Kamen’s Big Ideas” in the Wall Street Journal.

Mr. Kamen, 65, is known for coming up with the Segway (the two-wheeled electric vehicle), the iBot (a stair-climbing wheelchair) and a portable dialysis machine. He considers the First Robotics Competition, now in its 25th season, one of his best ideas yet…

In the competition, teams of students have six weeks to build a robot from scratch. The robots must then complete various tasks, working in teams. In this year’s challenge, they have to get through their opponents’ fortifications and take over territory in a space set up to look like a medieval battlefield with castles and towers. More than 400,000 students are competing this year, up from about 100 in 1992. “More and more, kids are starting to see that technology is cool. It’s not for nerds,” he says.

Mr. Kamen grew up a self-described nerd in New York’s Long Island, the son of a comic-book illustrator and a teacher. His engineering career started early; in high school, he earned more than $50,000 a year for designing and installing light and sound systems for musicians and museums.

Mr. Kamen, who is unmarried and doesn’t have children, spends most of his time working. “I get up in the morning, and I start working, then I keep working until I can’t work anymore, then I fall asleep,” he says. His idea of a vacation is going from one project to another when he’s stuck.


  • April 9, 1833: First tax-supported U.S. public library founded, Peterborough, New Hampshire
  • April 9, 1959: NASA introduced first seven astronauts to press.


  • Born April 9, 1926 – Hugh Hefner.

(16) KEEPING THE HARD IN HADRON. Ladies and gentlemen, the LEGO Particle Accelerator! JK Brickworks says —

This is a working particle accelerator built using LEGO bricks. I call it the LBC (Large Brick Collider). It can accelerate a LEGO soccer ball to just over 12.5 kilometers per hour.


(17) A CASE OF PHYSLEXIA. As most of you already guessed, I picked the previous item’s headnote because it references a typo that made news this week.

The BBC get overexcited by the world’s largest atom smasher.


(18) ATARI FLASHBACK. RPF Pulse brings us “The Art of ATARI Book Preview Images”.

Co-written by Robert V. Conte and Tim Lapetino, The Art of Atari includes a comprehensive retrospective collecting game production and concept artwork, photos, marketing art, with insight from key people involved in Atari’s rich history, and behind-the-scenes details on how dozens of games featured within were conceived, illustrated, approved (or rejected), and brought to life!

Includes a special Foreword by New York Times bestseller Ernst Cline, author of Armada and Ready Player One, soon to be a motion picture directed by Steven Spielberg.

Atari is a touchstone for many people. Their games and game system exposed many to video games for the first time. Whether you’re a fan, collector, enthusiast, or new to the world of Atari, this book offers the most complete collection of Atari artwork ever produced!

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, JJ,and Soon Lee for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Will R.]

217 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 4/9/16 Little Old Lady Got Nominated Late Last Night

  1. Drama/theatre related note. My High School included the football team’s quarterback in the cast of several (including Major Bullshot Gorgeous where I got to threaten to castrate him playing an old man he ticked off). We did do some odd things like that and Marat/Sade. This was early 70’s, so that type of stuff was not the usual fare in small town Kansas.

    For a professional snafu, I caught Spamalot in previews in Chicago (where they had a couple of numbers that got cut before the Broadway run) and at one point, a cow needs to be thrown back over the wall, and it took several tries before they were successful. Unless that is what they did every night…

  2. @GSLamb

    She’s her Sister and her Daughter.

    Seriously?? That’s rather squicky, isn’t it?

  3. @Bonnie McDaniel:

    Yes. Yes it was.

    (’tis a twist from another movie, directed by a very squicky man.)

  4. Stage fails: a “rocket sled” that was supposed to simulate blowing up on stage by having the following happen in the correct order:

    Lights down
    Back half (with actor seated in it) hauled back by grips
    Flash pot just behind front half goes off.

    Opening night, what happened was
    Lights down
    Actor stares in horror as immense jet of flame emerges from between his legs.
    Back half of sled is pulled back by grips

    But he wasn’t flash-castrated and the next night they got the timing right.

    As a grip, I once trod on some yogurt someone spilled on the stage and traveled in a very smooth slide a surprising distance. And there were stairs involved….

  5. Rev. Bob; the only immediate difference in the Robin lives/dies was Batman digging the Joker-with-a-crowbar beaten body from the rubble from the explosion (if they were going to kill him, they were *really* going to kill him) and going “He’s alive!” or equivalent. Yep, that’s from the page they did in case he did win the phone poll. Presumably the dialogue for the next issue would’ve been slightly changed to have Robin in critical condition rather than dead, and then he would’ve been written out as recovering until they got things back on track.

  6. Nigel, yes, indeed; I’ve seen it in theatrical productions at least four times (from four different companies), and the movie is brilliant.

  7. Cathy Palmer-Lister on April 10, 2016 at 8:20 am said:
    Re (8) HAMPUS, IS THAT YOU? CBC reporter phoned the random Swede live on radio. He said the noise in the background was because he was at an ABBA party, but it sounded more like traffic. Asked if he used IKEA furniture, he responded that no, he didn’t, not since his student days.

    This morning, the DJs on the local rock station rang the line, and asked the guy

    1: if they really paid that much tax (but were impressed by joint parental leave. He and his partner had a young daughter and he was at home while she went to work)

    2: Did he work in IKEA.

    Afterwards one of them joked about forgetting to ask him about ABBA

  8. Lenore Jones, if you can’t get to a stage performance of Noises Off, I strongly recommend the movie. The movie adds a very small framing story, but for the most part, it’s the stage play.

    (If you can see it in a theater, it’s a real hoot. It’s a farce about a mediocre theatrical troupe putting on a farce. Very meta. And laugh-out-loud-in-a-room-by-yourself-and-scaring-the-cats funny. And watching actual A-list actors (Christopher Reeve, Carol Burnett, Michael Caine) playing C-grade actors is hilarious.)

  9. Thanks for the info about squash pollination. I may be getting better results this year from a combination of the lavender I planted last year attracting more pollinators, and that my (rather patchy) front lawn seems to have attracted some ground nesting bees. (Which, Googling, I find are supposed to be pretty placid and non-stinging unless you step on one or mess about with their burrows. So I’ll let them stick around.)

  10. Tasha Turner on April 10, 2016 at 6:43 pm said: Did a troll miss the consequences of participating on File770 again?

    Didn’t you apologize rather fulsomely to me a while ago for going after me? For my part I have stayed completely away from everything you have said since then.

    Is your word worth nothing?

    As for the accusation that I am “trans-phobic” or that I hate trans people, this is a heinous lie. I defy any of you to go find evidence in my copious writings to back it up. Have fun, watch out for the Iron Finger. It hungers.

  11. My new Kindle/Nook (about 7 weeks old) looks like a Samsung Tab A (8-inch). I’ve got about 50 Kindle books available, but mostly prefer epub format and the Nook reader (except for them screwing up the storage location for the actual Nook books).

    I owe gratitude to whoever (Tasha?) mentioned BookBub as a source for info about ebook sales.

    I haven’t actually used my ebook much since finishing the 3 of last week’s new releases that I cared about. I realized I was losing track of some of the characters in Schlock Mercenary, and began an archive binge — I have about 2 years to go, so I’m getting to the section where I got confused. (I usually read web-comics on the big screen on my laptop).

    Damn, there’s a lot of Schlock! Seven days a week for 16ish years adds up to a LOT of comics.

    And sometime soon I need to figure out whether my hardcopies of the older stuff were casualties of the 2013 flood or are just hiding inside the event horizon of the pre-ebook mass of paper. Not sure when I’ll find the time for that.

  12. I defy any of you to go find evidence in my copious writings to back it up.

    I recall that you compared having a trans character in a game to spitting in someone’s coffee. Where was that? Oh, here, I found it:

    Because when you spit in the coffee right before you hand it to the customer, people generally react with passion.

    That’s a quote from you, about a controversy over having a trans character in a game. You’re a transphobic ass. You’re not going to be able to lie your way out of this one. I mean, you haven’t been able to lie your way out of any of the many bigoted and or simply idiotic remarks you’ve made in the comments here, so this one isn’t that different, but you keep trying. You are kind of pathetic really.

    Have fun, watch out for the Iron Finger. It hungers.

    That’s a metaphor that doesn’t even make sense. You need to work harder on your trolling.

  13. watch out for the Iron Finger. It hungers.

    Oh wait, we’re back to talking about when theatre descends into farce again, aren’t we?

    (Exits, pursued by a bear)

  14. As for the accusation that I am “trans-phobic” or that I hate trans people, this is a heinous lie. I defy any of you to go find evidence in my copious writings to back it up.

    Here’s something you said just a few hours ago. It’s the one that starts “In truth, the whole trans-gender thing seems to be a very dangerous mental disorder…” and then proceeds further down from there.

    Look. You are what you are. You may not (rightly) be proud of it, but why deny it? Especially when it’s so obvious even to yourself?

  15. Favorite audience reaction from literally decades of Nutcracker performances was when the attentive silence attending the male Arabian’s rather lovely solo was broken by a young boy’s loud and plaintive question: Why is that one showing off?

  16. @snowcrash

    That comment by the Phantom was revealing. And it answers my question I put to him whether he was upset at the Gamergate joke, or transgender people in general, or both. It’s at least the latter, if not both.

    Such hate. Such vile. Much wow.

  17. @snowcrash

    That comment by the Phantom was revealing. And it answers my question I put to him whether he was upset at the Gamergate joke, or transgender people in general. It’s at least the latter, if not both.

    Such hate. Such vile. Much wow.

  18. Well, that was pretty damn vile of him.

    But he’ll tell you he’s not transphobic. But that’s because he lies.

    I am somewhat amused by his assumption that he represents the majority of book buyers. I’m sorry Mr. Phantom, dim-witted, truth-challenged, racist, sexist, and homophobic transphobes like you are not the majority of book buyers.

  19. I hate seeing this continuous idea that I might only care about Trans people, or indeed any group of people, because of some political points.

    One of my favourite cousins is trans. I babysat her way back when. She is vastly happier as a woman than she was trying to pretend to be a boy.

    There’s a trans woman I have known for years running in our provincial election in the riding just across the river. I am cheering her on.

    There are, I think two trans people in my church membership. (And over 50% of the choir is in the GBL range).

    There’s a trans man in my SCA group.

    There are four trans people (men and women) on my facebook friends list and more on places I hang out online, plus some genderqueer.

    I care about these people because I KNOW THEM. They are real human beings, and when I say I hate seeing awful things happen to them, or people ranting about how they’re just a mental disorder (You do know the suicide rates are mainly from one of three things: being forced to live closeted, being rejected by family and friends when they try to come out, and intense abuse and bullying and denial of their reality and humanity by trans-phobes? Maybe not being one of the causes of those numbers would make your use of them as a problem more convincing?) or people losing their shit because one of them exists, briefly, in a GAME.

  20. @The Phantom

    Didn’t you apologize rather fulsomely to me a while ago for going after me? For my part I have stayed completely away from everything you have said since then.

    Is your word worth nothing?

    I didn’t go after you. My comment was a simple observation on how things work on File 770. You seemed in need of a primer. I admit I was condescending while providing facts but your comments in this thread were provoking. I believe Aaron and Snowcrash cover the problems with your statements fairly well.

    As the last line of my comment said sometimes I end up feeding trolls. I’d apologize for being condescending but first I require you apologize for your insulting statement regarding transgender people. This could become a 5-year-olds like fight (you first, I didn’t do anything, rinse, repeat) but I’m not responding to anything but an apology so it won’t. Well I guess you could continue on your side like a child. The only people to stop you are you or OGH.

    Have a nice day. 😀

  21. Re: Lego Particle Accelerator:
    I was actually chatting with the creator of this on Saturday. He was up at Yorkdale Mall in Toronto signing copies of the Lego Maze set that just got released from the Ideas line (a Lego remake of those old wooden tilt mazes where you had to navigate a ball around by using knobs on the sides of the box).

    He has high hopes for the accelerator becoming an official set, but admits that it’s likely to be a hard sell to Lego just based on the part count and the space it takes up.

    (I ended up not getting one of the Maze sets to sign, as the last copy they had in stock sold while I was standing at the front of the store chatting with people about the old puzzle box I made out of Lego back in high school.)

  22. @Lenora Rose

    I care about these people because I KNOW THEM. They are real human beings, and when I say I hate seeing awful things happen to them, or people ranting about how they’re just a mental disorder (You do know the suicide rates are mainly from one of three things: being forced to live closeted, being rejected by family and friends when they try to come out, and intense abuse and bullying and denial of their reality and humanity by trans-phobes? Maybe not being one of the causes of those numbers would make your use of them as a problem more convincing?) or people losing their shit because one of them exists, briefly, in a GAME.

    Exactly. I feel the same way you do for similar reasons. I know transgender people and most of their problems come from family, friends, and others not accepting them for who they are and people losing their shit when one of them exists in media. I’ve had no problem accepting them for who they are.

  23. I care about these people because I KNOW THEM.

    This. Trans people are my friends and co workers. One of the regular members of my game group is trans. Another friend who would be a regular member of my game group if she lived closer is trans. One of my coworkers is trans. A friend my my extended circle of friends in Indianapolis is trans. These issues directly affect real people that I know and care about.

  24. @Phantom

    So the Truth Kicker Extraordinaire’s “inarguable facts” are…a little lacking, shall we say?

    Quelle surprise.

    From your Mad Genius Club comment:

    Nobody on the Left gives two shits about trans-people, except as an opportunity to beat me up if I dare object.

    In truth, the whole trans-gender thing seems to be a very dangerous mental disorder, leading to suicide in an alarming number of cases.

    This is vile, and you abso-freaking-lutely do not know what you’re talking about. Discrimination is what leads to transpeople’s suicide (Leelah Alcorn anyone?), not transgenderism itself.

    (And by the way, I provide links to back up my statements. Without being hounded for them!!)

    I agree with Tasha. You, kind sir [sarcasm], need to apologize for what you said.

  25. For theatre improvs, James Nicoll might remember this one:

    FASS’ 1989 production, Another Damned FASS Show. I think it was the second to last night of the run, and the person playing the female lead had her voice give out halfway through the show. The understudy switched on for the next scene.

    Near the end of the show, one of the characters is ranting about various other people, finishing up with ‘and Satan’s girlfriend!’. Except this time, he switched that to ‘and Satan’s girlfriend’s understudy!’

    (My understanding is that it wasn’t an on-the-spot improv, that the person in question had asked to swap the line earlier and got approval for it. FASS tended to dislike people doing too much actual improv on stage. Then again, FASS had an official policy of ‘anybody who wants one can get a part’, with lots of little cameo parts to support that. Stamping down on improv was pretty much self-defense if you wanted a show that would run a known length of time.)

    I believe there was at least one case where the orchestra pit didn’t work properly in that run, as well. The show basically had a framing story about a trial, with the main play being presented as flashbacks. The trial was done in the orchestra pit area which could be raised and lowered; it would be raised, the framing sequence would be done, and then it would be lowered and the main curtains could open. This allowed time for scene changes behind the curtains while still having things going on for the audience to watch. (Then, as a stylistic bit, they decided to do the trial scenes in as much black and white as possible like the old Perry Mason show. The fact that one of the actors and scriptwriters was actually an albino helped.)

    Of course, that only worked cleanly when the raising and lowering of the orchestra pit happened without incident…

  26. redheadedfemme on April 11, 2016 at 1:20 pm said: @Phantom So the Truth Kicker Extraordinaire’s “inarguable facts” are…a little lacking, shall we say?
    Quelle surprise.
    This is vile, and you abso-freaking-lutely do not know what you’re talking about.

    So, post-op trans patients -don’t- commit suicide at ~ double the rate of pre-ops? Trans and gay people -don’t- have alarmingly higher suicide rates than straights? That’s an interesting claim, one which I usually don’t see people making.

    If those things are not true, and appalling suicide numbers are not an issue for the LGBT community, I will of course re-examine my opinion. Mine is a public health based view, I prefer that people not be be so miserable in life that they whack themselves just to make it all stop. What is being done at the moment is not making those number drop, they keep going up. Therefore I suggest the keeping on with what’s not working isn’t going to achieve improvement. That’s all.

    However I find it interesting that no one talks about suicide when the subject at hand is transgender, whereas nobody will shut up about it when the subject is gun control. It is almost as if they don’t care about the people who die, just about scoring political points.

    Truly, a vile thought.

    I find it best to take people one at a time. I have never met a gay or trans person I felt compelled to mock, beat up or otherwise abuse because of who they were, what they were wearing or what they were doing. I cannot say the same for Leftists and similar violently objectionable individuals.

    You, kind sir [sarcasm], need to apologize for what you said.

    I’m sorry that Reality refuses to conform itself to your requirements ma’am. I’ll get right on that. [/sarcasm]

    You forgot the end-sarc tag, fixed it for ya.

  27. Aaron on April 11, 2016 at 1:16 pm said: These issues directly affect real people that I know and care about.

    Yeah, me too Aaron. I’d prefer they not DIE, if it’s all the same to you. They generally prefer that outcome as well, if you ask them.

  28. Several of us commented on suicide rates. We also talked about real people. You’re the one using real people as a gotcha game.

  29. There is a higher suicide risk among LGBT people, yes. Mostly among younger people. They ate more likely to be attackef, beaten and harassed. More likely to be threatened. The risk for all if these lessebs the more accepting the enviroment around them are and the less prejudices against them they meet.

    Homo- and transphobic assholes are the highest risk factor.

  30. Haters gonna hate. That is all there is to it. Lets leave the hate-troll to himself.

  31. I’ve sat with and stopped too many would be suicides. It’s painful. It hurts. It’s hard when their family isn’t there for them. It’s so hard to convince them life is worth living. They want to die because of asshats who wouldn’t accept them. Who made their life miserable. Who beat them up and abused them for not being properly straight/what they were born. Family, friends, religious place of worship, school, strangers, the Internet. My heart goes out to all transgender people and LGBTI who have to deal with bigots. I wish I could do more. But I live in reality where trolls are allowed to spill their venom instead of being banned and I’m just an ordinary human being.

  32. When one is raised with the belief that their authentic self is defective or perverted, is it any wonder that they want to die? When their choices appear to be faking it, or belittlement and harassment for their entire life? Or the awesome third option of trying as hard as possible to change their authentic self and not be defective anymore by sheer force of will?

  33. @Dawn Incognito – The garbage Phantom is spouting is in line with all the excitement over the Scalzi/Delany hit piece on VD’s vanity publishing blog. A bunch of smirking assholes pretending concern over people they care nothing about (or people they loathe, in the case of the trans-gendered), and projecting their lack of empathy onto everyone else. They think they’re cute.

  34. @The Phantom

    At a certain point, my compassion and sympathy for the evident fact that you are so very alone runs up against how completely hateful you are.

  35. @TYP
    But The Phantom is not alone. They have a number of places they hang out online with like minded people. There is no reason to believe they don’t have real life friends and family they get along with either. Why do you assume they are alone?

  36. @Tasha

    I had meant personally alone. I guess the optimist in me dislikes thinking that someone with any decent people in their life or any decent relationships to other people could be such an ass. I realize this is wildly optimistic.

  37. And to provide actual facts along with snark:


    A quote: ” For example, when transgender people had affirming parents, the rate dropped by 57 percent. Access to legal documentation consistent with their gender identity dropped rates by 44 percent. Trans people who experienced low levels of anti-trans hate were 66 percent less likely to attempt suicide. And perhaps most importantly, the further along individuals were in their transitions — i.e. the closer they were to having a body and outward identity that matched their internal gender identity — the less likely they were to attempt suicide.”

    And here’s one quoting the actual person who did the study that Phantom is referencing if they’re actually going on sources other than their doubtlessly dubiously hygenic ass: http://www.transadvocate.com/fact-check-study-shows-transition-makes-trans-people-suicidal_n_15483.htm

    Note that the researcher in question refutes any claim that GRS or trans identity itself is responsible for suicide. Several times.

    And, indeed, the transgender people I know have largely said that accepting their identity as trans made them stop wanting to die as much as they did beforehand.

    Now, there’s a valid conversation to be had (from what I’ve read) about reasons any individual transgender person might not want GRS as it exists now or in general, how we maybe don’t want to tie trans identity to GRS or people’s genitals in general, and so forth. But none of that adds up to “being transgender is itself a mental illness”* except in the minds of illogical, bigoted little sheetstains.

    * And also, you know, if it *was* a mental illness, that is also a thing that deserves more representation and less shame, so either way I’m not seeing how including trans characters in a game is comparable to hocking a loogie into coffee except q.v. above re: bigots.

  38. @Tasha – Eh, I tend to think as a general rule that people who have a lot of friends and loved ones in their life tend to have relatively little time or inclination to hang out with people they detest.

  39. And to provide actual facts along with snark

    Thank you for the links Isabel. To the surprise of no one, it turns out that Phantom doesn’t know what the hell he is talking about. I cannot recall a single time that Phantom has made an assertion that didn’t turn out to be a falsehood. You would think he’d learn to double check his facts before spouting his bigotry to the world. Then again, if he cared about facts, he probably wouldn’t be a bigoted ass.

  40. Now I want to watch “Noises Off” again. Lenore, I agree, if you think this thread is fun, you’d love the movie.

    Every trans person I’ve known has been much happier “after” than “before”. They’re better people, and the suicidal depression clears right up without drugs or therapy as long as their friends are accepting. They are also very kind when I screw up the pronouns for a while (for some reason, I don’t have problems remembering their new names, but the pronouns get me).

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