Pixel Scroll 9/8/16 Happy Birthday Star Trek

A modest Scroll, but mine own.

(1) WORLD FANTASY CON EVOLVES. Meg Turville-Heitz posted a statement about potential changes in World Fantasy Con on Facebook on August 26.

Apologies for the length of the following, but it is in response to a lengthy letter to the board from Andy Duncan and thus requires some length in return…..

Since we are in the process of agreeing on a new structure for the board, issues of board make up and authorities will be discussed as part of our larger conversation about what we will look like in the wake of David’s passing, and thus will be addressed when that is finalized.

We’ve heard, as well, a number of concerns that we as a board have been non-responsive. This is a product of time scales. We approve conventions two to three years out and thus requirements that we put in place in a given year required already seated conventions to react, which can appear like disorder, when it is not. In 2012, a series of incidents regarding harassment, beginning at other conventions, led us to add a harassment policy to our guidelines and a requirement that upcoming conventions draft one. The word, harassment, however, became a problem. Some of the jurisdictions require anything that can be called harassment be reported to the police for incidents that, in convention culture, wouldn’t be appropriate. We modified this to a requirement for a code of conduct and have been building upon the code of conduct language from DC in 2014. We’ve shared this language with upcoming committees as we work through what we want in place. We are limited, again, by local jurisdictions that could supersede our policy regarding something such as, for example, concealed weapons.

Additionally, concerns about the hotel setup in Saratoga Springs in 2015 (board members were participants on panels where the issues were evident, and were also highly dissatisfied with the hotel’s response to an inaccessible dining room) led the board to add the requirement for accessibility guidelines be provided by incoming conventions and as part of upcoming bids. Board members were working on drafting an acceptable guidance document when David died.

Our difficulty with that document comes from the fact that as a mobile convention, we are landing in places where other laws again supersede our guidelines. We have guidance that we will be looking at that suggests language and kinds of policies, but it must remain flexible.

Regarding Columbus’ program, we have looked at the guerilla site and agree that there are great ideas there. Some topics are not relevant to WFC (e.g. science fiction); others clarify topics we have and we plan to steal from it liberally. Darrell’s role in programming is far advanced, and the timing in the convention planning process does not allow for Columbus to seek a replacement. Ellen Datlow has worked with him to vet and build a better and more diverse program. Critical errors were a draft, unvetted program being published.That’s partly due to disrupted leadership as David had always assumed final authority on the program. We aren’t flush with volunteers who know how to program. If we were, some of these issues wouldn’t even need to be debated

And continues at great length.

(2) SNAIL MAIL SALUTES STAR TREK. Classic Trek went on the air 50 years ago today, and the US Postal Service has issued a sheet of stamps in commemoration.

On September 8, 1966, Star Trek premiered. Centered on the interstellar voyages of the U.S.S. Enterprise, the prime-time television program’s mission was to boldly go where no man has gone before.With an intricate futuristic setting, multicultural cast, and story lines that touched on social issues, Star Trek pushed past the boundaries of popular science fiction and became a worldwide phenomenon. Each of the 20 self-adhesive Star Trek stamps showcases one of four digital illustrations inspired by elements of the classic TV show…

Star Trek

(3) PLANETARY POST.  Robert Picardo’s latest Planetary Post for the Planetary Society.

In this issue, I share my journey to San Diego Comic-Con, where I quiz Trekkies and NASA scientists with trivia to celebrate Star Trek’s 50th anniversary. Engage:


(4) A TRIBE THAT FITS THE DESCRIPTION. Meir Soloveichik makes a Tolkien-endorsed case in “The Secret Jews of The Hobbit” for Commentary Magazine,

…The dwarves of Middle Earth, the central characters of one of the most beloved books of all time, are indeed based on the Jews. This was confirmed by Tolkien himself in a 1971 interview on the BBC: “The dwarves of course are quite obviously, [sic] couldn’t you say that in many ways they remind you of the Jews?” he asked. “Their words are Semitic obviously, constructed to be Semitic.” Similarly, in a letter to his daughter, Tolkien reflected, “I do think of the ‘Dwarves’ like Jews: at once native and alien in their habitations, speaking the languages of the country, but with an accent due to their own private tongue.” …

(5) NO CHILLS. The Guardian reports on a study that found “One third of parents avoid reading children scary stories”.

A psychologist has stressed the importance of scary children’s literature, after new research revealed that a third of parents would avoid reading their children a story containing a frightening character. A survey of 1,003 UK parents by online bookseller The Book People found that 33% would steer clear of books for their children containing frightening characters. Asked about the fictional creations they found scariest as children, a fifth of parents cited the Wicked Witch of the West from L Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, with the Child Catcher from Ian Fleming’s Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang in second place. Third was the Big Bad Wolf, in his grandmother-swallowing Little Red Riding Hood incarnation, fourth the Grand High Witch from Roald Dahl’s The Witches, and fifth Cruella de Vil, from Dodie Smith’s The Hundred and One Dalmatians…

(6) DROPPED IN THE PUNCHBOWL. Don’t let the birthday party stop you. Cheat Sheet fights another round in a timeless culture war: “’Star Wars’ vs. ‘Star Trek’: Why ‘Star Trek’ is Losing”

Star Wars versus Star Trek. The classic debate continues to rage on. But while Star Trek has gained popularity in recent years with both Star Trek (2009) and Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) achieving mainstream appeal and box office success, it’s still nothing compared to what The Force Awakens (2015) did this past December both at the box office and when it came to popular culture. In fact, to date the Star Wars series has made $2.8 billion with eight films compared to Star Trek’s $1.2 billion through 12 films. So why has Star Wars continued to be such a juggernaut in the cultural landscape compared to its sci-fi foe? Here are six reasons why Star Wars might be winning the long battle with Star Trek.

(7) MARTINSON OBIT. Leslie H. Martinson, a ubiquitous TV director who was active for decades, has died at the age of 101 reports the New York Times.

Just a partial list includes, from the 1950s, the live drama series “General Electric Theater” and “Chevron Theater,” the sitcom “Topper,” the drama “The Millionaire” and the westerns “The Roy Rogers Show” and “Tales of Wells Fargo.” In the ’60s, he directed episodes of “Surfside 6,” “Maverick,” “Hawaiian Eye,” “The Roaring Twenties,” “77 Sunset Strip,” “No Time for Sergeants,” “Run for Your Life,” “Batman,” “Mister Roberts,” “Mission: Impossible” and “The Green Hornet.” His output in the ’70s included “Ironside,” “Love, American Style,” “The Brady Bunch,” “Room 222,” “Mannix,” “The Six Million Dollar Man,” “Barnaby Jones,” “Wonder Woman” and “Dallas.” He wound up his television career in the ’80s with, among others, “Eight Is Enough,” “Quincy, M.E.,” “CHiPs,” “Fantasy Island” and “Diff’rent Strokes.”

 [Thanks to Andrew Porter and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to contributing editor of the day OGH.]

Discover more from File 770

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.

178 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 9/8/16 Happy Birthday Star Trek

  1. @James Davis NIcoll: yes, he did go a bit wonky towards the end. But I don’t think that impacts his earlier assessment.

    Campbell was editor of Astounding/Analog from 38 to ’71. Even if we give him a pass on the Duke U psi crap (which I am disinclined to do), he championed Dianetics in Analog in April, 1950, twelve years into his thirty three year run. He spent most of his career as editor a crank. And his readers lapped it up.

  2. @Dawn: Crap. That’s awful to hear. What a horrible roller-coaster to be strapped into :-/
    Thinking of you, and wishing your father a full, speedy, and smooth recovery.

  3. @ lurkertype

    “Watership Down” listed as “recent”

    I read Watership Down in 1976–as I recall, beginning in a campground somewhere near Venice, or perhaps it was Pisa. It was that halcyon “gap” year I took between high school and college because my dad had a sabbatical year and it seemed the most useful way to handle it. While my pre-college years may seem “recent” in a “where has the time flown?” sense, I’m now staring retirement planning in the face.

    Recent, it is not.

  4. Thanks to everyone, specific reply to @Standback:

    wishing your father a full, speedy, and smooth recovery.

    I don’t even care about speedy, as long as it’s smooth. On an uphill trajectory, please. Yes yes.

    Fortunately no overnight bus, he’s stable and I’ve talked to him. He told me last night that he was feeling better so I didn’t need to worry. Awww. He probably feels bad that he scared the hell out of us. I’m just so grateful that family was with him.

    (I’ve feared for years that my daddy would die alone, and it came real close to happening.)

    Obviously I’m going to visit. I’ll have to figure out my reading material. Next novel will probably be Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer.

    Finished Obelisk Gate today and I enjoyed it, but there was definitely a little Middle Book Syndrome. I felt like it meandered a bit in the back third, though maybe that was just my brain. Will try to sort my thoughts and do a Goodreads review later today.

    (I was thinking of starting up a blog for Hugo-related reading, but that’s seeming pretty big all of a sudden.)

    Oh, and I remember reading “Stone Hunger” some time ago and thinking it was really interesting. Time to reread that sucker!

  5. Bill said:

    “Tractor beams” go back to E. E. Smith.

    “And there were tractor beams and pressor beams and adamantine shields,
    Rays of all descriptions, and gigantic battlefields…”

    From a Duane Elms song about Smith’s works whose title I’ve forgotten. (“Space Opera”, possibly?)

  6. @ JJ: For people who continually express the utmost contempt and ridicule for Worldcon members and their Hugo Awards, it really is astonishing the many hours and keyboard efforts the Puppies continue to devote to those subjects.

    You do realize, I hope, that they say exactly the same thing about the amount of time we spend talking about them. Personally, I’ve become rather bored with the Puppies; they’ve had their fangs (such as it were) pulled now, and are of only historical interest going forward. And there’s really no candy left in that piñata that isn’t stale.

    @ Kurt: I may be misremembering. I thought the line was, “Give it to Mikey, he’ll eat ANYTHING” — but it’s been a long time.

  7. @Lee: It’s something like:

    “I’m not gonna try it, you try it.” “I’m not gonna try it, you try it.” “Let’s get Mikey!” “Yeah, he won’t like it – he hates everything!” …(Mikey gobbles it up)… “He likes it! Hey Mikey!”

    I loved those ads, not sure why. I kinda hate most advertising these days.

    ETA: The point of the Mikey ad (IMHO) was that if Mikey, who hates everything, likes this cereal then everyone will like it.

  8. @ Petréa: The title is “E.E.”; I found the complete lyrics here. There doesn’t appear to be a recording on YouTube.

  9. @Lee: That commercial was on the air at exactly the right time for me to see it many times and memorize it.

    My memory goes like this:

    Boy 1 and Boy 2 are sitting at a kitchen table, looking at some Life cereal in a bowl. Naturally the box is prominently displayed.
    Boy 1: What’s that?
    Boy 2: Some new cereal. ‘Sposed to be good for you.
    Boy 1: I’m not gonna eat it.
    Boy 2: (shoving the bowl towards Boy 1) I’m not gonna eat it. You eat it!
    Boy 1: Let’s get Mikey!
    Boy 2: (excitedly) Yeah! He won’t eat it! He hates everything!
    Cut to:
    Same table, with a new boy sitting there. He’s chowing down.
    Boy 2: (astonished) He likes it! Hey, Mikey!

    Aaaand…here’s a version I found on YouTube.

    My four-decades-old memory wasn’t perfect, but pretty close.

  10. Lee: You do realize, I hope, that they say exactly the same thing about the amount of time we spend talking about them.

    There’s a very big difference though — the Puppies are doing it because they want to take over the Hugos. Worldcon members do it because they just want the Puppies to leave Worldcon members and the Hugos alone.

  11. @Kip W: yes, but the off-white pulchritude is never seen again, as Captain Christian White (TM Adam-Troy Castro) jets off to his next adventure. Eventually he settles down/goes home to the lily-white babe, although sometimes she’s a brunette.

    @Heather: Exactly. You have a few years on me, but lack a few on Mr. lurkertype, and we have twice-yearly meetings and weekly emails from our retirement investment advisor. Google and Wiki tell me that 53.7% of the US population is younger than “Watership Down”.

    @Darren: Surely the first “Drag-on” would go to Jordan and Sanderson.

  12. Personally, I’ve become rather bored with the Puppies; they’ve had their fangs (such as it were) pulled now, and are of only historical interest going forward.

    I am interested in puppies who show some interest in making the Hugos or Worldcon better, even if I disagree with their means of doing so. Kate Paulk has made some gestures that left me viewing her efforts more favorably.

    But when puppies are in a perpetual unquenchable rage I have trouble wading through it. I haven’t been able to make it through a Brad Torgersen blog post or long Facebook rant. There’s so many better ways I could spend that couple of minutes.

  13. I think Lee has a point about Puppy-obsession. Whatever people’s individuals stances and motivations, I find myself squirming a lot about the amount of verbiage and attention that people I mostly agree and sympathize with spend on mocking the puppies. And much of it is mockery. I’m particularly uncomfortable with the regular setting up of straw-puppies for the purpose.

  14. Mocking them? Yeah, it happens.
    But I suspect there will be less of it as they become increasingly irrelevant.
    Me, I’m simply over all the assorted pups.
    With the various voting system improvements in place they should be unable to dominate the ballot.
    So, give it a year or so and I won’t need to worry about their slating activities ever again.
    They remain a legitimate portion of fandom, but now they will have only their legitimate share of the ballot, and life goes on.

    A couple of years ago when I started reading here I was trying to find out what all the fuss with the Hugos was about.
    I made my first few posts, read here and other places.
    One day I followed a link? or maybe someone mentioned a site? so I went to some puppy site to see what it had to say.
    I had to create an account to have access to read the board; I think maybe it was at Baen; but I really don’t remember for sure.
    I looked around at the discussion for a while, maybe went back once or twice, but never posted anything.
    Then I got a notice from them that I was banned – since I’m always the same name everywhere I have to assume they saw me commenting here.
    (Unless my Twitter cats set them off.)
    But it all pretty much made it clear that they did not see me as their intended or desired audience.
    And that’s fine, because I’m not.

    Everything does not have to be to my personal taste (and I have more than enough reading to keep up with already).
    But once I can stop having to watch assorted puppies lest they attack, I pretty much won’t be attending to them at all.
    I did give them a chance, you know – not just the banned site, but a fair amount of poking around.
    I go online looking for stuff to read, looking for discussions that make me think, entertain me, tell me things I didn’t know.
    So I read the packet selections, I’ve looked at their blogs, and… meh.
    Nothing for me there.

  15. @lauowolf: That’s a really tough banning, before you even posted! That there is some Pre-Crime stuff.

    I figure EPH and 5/6 will mitigate the slating and then Worldcon won’t have to worry about Puppies any more, and they’ll be ignored. Will they return the favor and stop attacking the non-existent Worldcon cabal? Everyone would be happier.

  16. lurkertype: I figure EPH and 5/6 will mitigate the slating and then Worldcon won’t have to worry about Puppies any more, and they’ll be ignored. Will they return the favor and stop attacking the non-existent Worldcon cabal?

    At this point, they’re just recycling the same old fallacious arguments over and over… and I’m at the point where I’m thinking, “yeah, yeah, call me if and when you actually manage to come up with any real evidence that any of your false claims are true, otherwise, I’m just going to ignore you now and keep on reading and nominating wonderful SFF”.

    They’ve pretty much used up everything in their bag of tricks at this point, and I think that most of them are aware of it. The whole outrage blogging thing attracts a certain kind of fans and garners some book sales — but like drugs, after a while you have to keep escalating the outrage level to get the same response. And I don’t think that there’s really any further for them to go — especially as long as they insist on clinging to that tainted Puppy brand.

  17. “I think Lee has a point about Puppy-obsession. Whatever people’s individuals stances and motivations, I find myself squirming a lot about the amount of verbiage and attention that people I mostly agree and sympathize with spend on mocking the puppies. And much of it is mockery. I’m particularly uncomfortable with the regular setting up of straw-puppies for the purpose.”

    Fully agree with this.

  18. Speaking of commercials we hate…

    Does any else get squicked out by the Toyota commericals with actor Pat Finn as an obsessed Toyota fan? These are a long-running series of commercials that began funny; the first one, way back when, had Finn holding his wife’s purse outside a restaurant while she goes back inside for something, with Finn looking uncomfortable as he gets “funny looks” from bystanders seeing a man holding a purse, but then the valet brings his Toyota around and Finn’s masculinity is restored.

    But successive commercials have moved Finn’s character from an amusing insecurity through increasing obsession into outright mental disturbance. Judging from the commercials, Finn’s character seems to compulsively purchase new Toyotas every few days; he neglects family, work and other responsibilities, he has manic fits of Toyota-centric enthusiasm, and in the latest commercial, he treats his newest Toyota like an infant baby, singing it a lullaby in the garage.

    I watch these commericals and I think: “This guy doesn’t need a Toyota; he needs a freakin’ intervention!

    (“Now, now, Bruce, it’s just a commercial. Take your meds and calm down….

  19. There’s a series of local radio commercials featuring someone being an ass to various customer service people that makes me snarl. He calls a golf course and the guy at the pro shop asks if he’ll need golf carts, and he says “no, we’ve got [dealership] BMWs” and the pro shop guy says “you can’t drive a car on the course” and the guy is all oblivious and suggests that everyone should drive [dealership] BMWs on the course and they go back and forth a few times and then he (rightly) gets hung up on. And another commercial where he’s buying plane tickets to Germany and wants to take his [dealership] BMW on the plane. “Don’t you have seat belts big enough”?

    They’re very much the failure mode of clever. Yes, I know that the customer service people are actors, but they sound realistically stressed out. These are commercials designed for people who have never been, and will never be, customer service people, teaching them that making unreasonable demands is “funny”. And it’s really, really, not.

  20. Pingback: AMAZING NEWS OF FANDOM 9-11-2016 - Amazing Stories

  21. So we’re supposed to buy cars from people with rapidly deteriorating mental states, or entitled assholes?*

    I think not.

    *(Insert your favorite “new/used car dealer” joke here.)

  22. lurkertype: Yeah, every time I hear one of these commercials (and they’re in fairly heavy rotation on a local news station) I get angry. Not what they’re probably looking for, but then I’m not in their “rich entitled asshole” preferred demographic.

  23. Cally: So it’s… an effective ad? Yay?

    Don’t think “These cars will drive you to madness!” works for Toyota, though. I live in a 40-50% Toyota neighborhood and we’re a pretty calm lot.

Comments are closed.