With Six You Get Sleigh Dogs 7/2

aka My Enemy, My Alpo

Today’s roundup ropes and brands Peter Grant, Mike Glyer, Anonymous, John Seavey, Adam-Troy Castro, Lou Antonelli, Shaun Duke, Sarah A. Hoyt, Duncan Mitchel, John C. Wright, Larry Correia, Gef Fox, Laura “Tegan” Gjovaag, and Brian Niemeier. (Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editors of the day James H. Burns and Kyra.)

Comments on Bayou Renaissance Man post “The State of the Tor Boycott (And SJW’s)” – July 2

Peter Grant

I’d say it’s certain that we’re on track to cost Tor a six-figure sum this year, and probably that will continue for the foreseeable future.

Mike Glyer

Could you share the calculation behind this estimate?


If he’s talking gross sales and not net, the calculation is simple: X people not buying Y books for an average price of Z.

Lets say that, the boycotters normally buy…. 10 Tor books each, 3 HC, 7 PB (or ebook equivalents). That’s about what, $130 in gross sales by Amazon prices? 800 people boycotting * 130 =104,000.

John Seavey

Well, first off, you’d need to cut those prices by 30% or more, because Tor sells the books wholesale to retailers who mark it up to SRP. Retailers would be taking that hit, but it’s spread among all retailers.

But more importantly, where is Peter getting a figure of 800 boycotters who spent $130 per year on Tor books pre-boycott? The number of people willing to send an email, thr absolute minumum in time and effort, topped out at 765. And many of those admitted they didn’t like or buy Tor books. I’d say you can half that number, probably even quarter it. Then take another 30% off for the wholesale discount. So it’s probably hitting Tor to the tune of $20,000 a year.

Peter Grant

@John Seavey: Those figures are not mine, but another commenters. My figures, based on actual e-mails and many conversations, plus discussions with others involved, are considerably higher in terms of the number of individuals involved. The amount they used to spend on Tor books ranges from $10-$20 per year all the way to a couple of hundred dollars.

Multiply your guesstimate of $20K by at least seven, and you’ll get close to what I consider to be the current impact of the boycott. The word is still being spread by supporters, and more people are joining it. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the financial impact rather higher by the end of the year. Time will tell.


Adam-Troy Castro on Facebook – June 25

Rabid-puppy moment of the day: John C. Wright, who is now advising readers that he really doesn’t want anybody to boycott Tor because it would hurt him, wants “Mr. {Moshe} Feder, Miss Gallo, and Mr Nielsen Hayden to get back to the their job of editing books, and cease moonlighting as…” {among other things} “Christ-hating crusaders for Sodom.”

To be sure, he represents this as something he would say if he wasn’t keeping firm control of himself in order to avoid escalation, something he (heh heh heh) Isn’t *quite* saying, at least not at this point, but something he would say if he were to offer an opinion, so please don’t misrepresent him as actually saying it.

But he does make it clear that he would say this, quite happily, in a parallel world not very far removed from this one.

No, he’s not saying any of that, not really, but you, his alleged followers, can say whatever you want, nudge nudge, wink wink.

Putting this in perspective, John C. Wright is trying to stave off a boycott of the publisher who pays him, because of a creative director there who dared to suggest that some of his movement are neo-Nazis, and he’s doing this by applying the adjective “Christ-Hating” in part to an editor named Moshe who wears a yarmulke. He’s doing this while closely allied with a small press writer/editor who thinks we might all want to thank a racially-motivated spree killer someday.

“I’m not a Nazi, but damn the Jews, and mass murder is fine with my buddy here.” ….


Lou Antonelli on This Way to Texas

“Spell my name right” – July 2

Since I am a fellow traveler, not a ring leader of the Sad Puppies, I’ve never felt the same emotional investment as other people. I do know that I have a temper that can be set off by punching the wrong button, and I’ve always tried to control that. Some bystanders to the ongoing controversy have noticed that, too.

When I was growing up I was called Pollyanna by my mother because I refused to punch out people who disagreed with me. My father considered any discussion that ended short of gun play as cordial. It was an atypical childhood.

In a discussion yesterday on a web site about my blog post yesterday, one person said:

“I find Antonelli a bit more reasonable than the rest of the puppies. He has stated that the slate was a big mistake, has said that he doesn’t like the use of the word SJW and has said that it shouldn’t be a SP4 next year.

“I think he’s one that it is actually possible to have a discussion with and not just getting talking points back. Main problem is that he seems to have the temper of an irritated grizzly that missed his morning trout.”

In light that I am Italian, have diabetes and the body build of a bear, this is the most insightful thing anyone has ever said about me. Got me down, cold.

P.S. I still think any incarnation of Sad Puppies next year is a bad idea, and I will certainly not participate in any manner.


Shaun Duke on World in a Satin Bag

“On Unofficial Blacklists: Why I Keep a Mental List of Authors I Won’t Read” – July 1

To be clear, I don’t stick someone on my DNR list for having different political views than myself.  I DNR authors because of how they express those views.  There are a lot of authors who don’t share my worldview.  Most of those authors aren’t on my DNR list because they have never given me a good reason to put them there.  We disagree.  That’s it.  Big woop.  They’re not actively trying to have my mother’s rights stripped away, nor are they arguing that women should be assaulted for their own good or defending acid attacks or claiming that people of color are half-savages.  We just disagree with me (or other people) about things.  If we ever discuss those differences, it’s most often a discussion.  No rants and figurative rock throwing.

Sarah A. Hoyt on According To Hoyt

“Why Are You So Angry?” – July 2

….Last time I rose above peeved was reading Irene Gallo’s comments, and fortunately being on this side of the keyboard, I couldn’t reach through the monitor. When hands started shaking on keyboard, I went upstairs and perpetrated violence on waxed floors, which more or less fixed it. Or at least got rid of the strength to do anything.

But I think the trolls who as “Why are you so angry?” though it’s mostly an invalidating technique are also aware that we have reason to be angry. H*ll, they’d be angry if they were us, right?

And so… and so, I’ll give the reasons we have to be angry.

  • Anyone who goes against the Marxist line and points out that they’re lying gets persecuted and there are attempts to destroy them, ranging from professional to real destruction. Peter Grant and I should be grateful all they did was tar us with racist, sexist, homophobic and neo-nazi, particularly when those accusations are risible to anyone not deep in koolaid guzzling territory.


Duncan Mitchel on This Is So Gay

“An Area Which We Call The Comfort Zone” – June 22

Bradford concludes by asking the reader, “Are you up to this challenge?”  I wonder who she imagines her reader to be.  A straight white cis male could reasonably respond that he reads primarily work by straight white cis males in order to avoid writing that he actively hates, or that offends him so much that he rage-quits reading it.  (Something like this is the expressed motive of the Sad Puppies / Rabid Puppies who enraged a lot of science-fiction fandom by stacking the Hugo Awards ballots with work that didn’t offend their sensibilities or politics.)  The challenge she offers her readers is not the challenge — which is not the right word — she offered herself, and I’m not sure she realizes that.  My problem with Bradford’s piece is not that she focuses on race, gender, and sexuality illegitimately, as some of her white male critics accused her of doing, but that she’s not clear in her own mind about what she’s doing, or what it means.  To non-straight-cis-white-male readers, increasing the number of non-straight-cis-white-male writers they read means something quite different than the same program will mean to straight white cis male readers.  I must say, I was taken aback by her claim that she began reading only “stories by a certain type of author.”  It seems to me that she chose to read stories by several different types of authors, unless she read only stories by queer transgender women of color, and it doesn’t appear that she did….

Paradoxically, narrowing her focus in one respect broadened it another: by deciding to read more work by women, by people of color, by non-heterosexuals, and so on allowed Bradford to encounter writing and perspectives she might otherwise have missed.  There is too much to read out there, and no matter what we choose to read, there is vastly more that we can’t.  But even straight white cisgendered men aren’t all alike, and there’s as much range among their work, as much to learn and discover in it, as there is among queer trans women of color.  And if Bradford hasn’t discovered plenty of offensive, infuriating content in the work of non-white etc. writers, maybe she hasn’t been paying enough attention…..


John C. Wright

“Larry Correia and his Twit Service!” – July 3

The world reeled in flabberghastizement to read this generous announcement from the International Lord of Good Sense, Larry Correia:

So the author of 50 Shades of Grey did a Twitter Q&A, and in a series of events that came as a shock to exactly nobody on the internet except for the author and her publicist, trolls showed up to mock the hell out of her. The author was unprepared and it was a public relations disaster.

Meanwhile, I am an author who loves to fight with morons on Twitter.

That is why I am excited to offer an exciting new free lance service to publicists. The next time you want to do a Q&A wi…th your author on Twitter, simply retain my services and give me temporary access to your author’s Twitter account. The author can answer all the legitimate fan questions, and I’ll respond to the trolls as if I’m the author. Trust me. Fans love it when an author takes on a whole internet and wins.

For a low fee of $1 per character I will handle all of those pesky idiots for you. Is your author too kind to tell them to shut their stupid hipster faces? I’m not! Order now, and I will throw in the F word absolutely free! That’s right, every time I use the F word in a tweet it costs you nothing. This means huge savings for you.

But wait, there’s more! Retain my services now, and I’ll give you half price on special terms like Douchebag, Goony Beard Man, Rainbow Haired She Twink, Assclown, and more!

For more information and a collection of my greatest hits, contact my spokesmanatee, Wendell, at CorreiaTech headquarters, Yard Moose Mountain, Utah.


Brian Niemeier on Superversive SF

“Transhuman and Subhuman Part XII: The Big Three of Science Fiction” – July 2

The twelfth essay in Transhuman and Subhuman by John C. Wright corrects the popular misconception that the third member of the Big Three Campbellian authors, alongside Isaac Asimov and Robert Heinlein, wasn’t Arthur C. Clarke or Ray Bradbury, but A.E. van Vogt…..

Hard science fiction, says Wright, “consists of two elements…first, a social or philosophical commentary about man’s place in the universe…second, a fascination with the nuts and bolts of legitimate speculation into the near future of technical advance…” Campbell was the first to popularize stories combining both elements.

Describing the definitive mood and spirit of Campbellian tales is difficult these days, Wright contends, because they were “an extension of the scientific optimism and classical liberalism of the time.” A further characteristic of Campbell’s stories was “…a touching childlike faith in Theory, and, for conservatives (in the brilliant words of William Briggs) ‘Love of Theory is the Root of All Evil.’”


Gef Fox on Wag The Fox

“Chasing Tale [July 2, 2015]: Hugo, I’ll Stay”  – July 2

I received my Hugo Voter Packet last week, and with it were the majority of nominated works which I must now attempt to read before the end of July so that I can place an informed vote on which books are most deserving in my view of receiving awards. After reading a half dozen or so thus far, it is … a mixed bag. So … yeah. I’m not reading a bad book cover to cover. No way. So, depending upon how many of these erroneously nominated works fail to hook me, it may not be such a slog to read through the entire packet after all.


Laura “Tegan” Gjovaag on Bloggity-Blog-Blog-Blog

“Hugo Reading – Novelette” – July 2

  • “Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust, Earth to Alluvium”, Gray Rinehart (Orson Scott Card’s InterGalactic Medicine Show, 05-2014) I quite liked this one. It felt like it needed one or two more go-rounds with an editor to finish polishing it, but it had good ideas, a functional and nasty threat and a character I liked as the lead. It was a good length for what it was trying to do. There were some questions and plot holes, but the set-up was good enough I didn’t really worry about them until thinking about the tale in reflection. In short, a solid story. I’m not sure it’s Hugo worthy, but it was good.
  • “Championship B’tok”, Edward M. Lerner (Analog, 09-2014) This story made me very upset. Not because it wasn’t good, but because it was moderately ok and interesting… and then it just ended. No conclusions, no solutions, no answers. It just ended. I don’t know, but I kind of expected the novelettes to be self-contained, or at least be the end of a chapter and not stop before any resolution. I wouldn’t call this the best story even before the abrupt ending, but with that ending? No. Just no.
  • “The Day the World Turned Upside Down”, Thomas Olde Heuvelt, Lia Belt translator (Lightspeed, 04-2014) A charming little story with a little bit of whimsy along with some very odd science. It’s also a romance story gone bad. It’s an ok story, but I’m not sure it really deserves the Hugo.
  • “The Journeyman: In the Stone House”, Michael F. Flynn (Analog, 06-2014) I tried to read this. I started it three times but just couldn’t get into it. The language turned me off, I guess. I just couldn’t do it. I’m seeing people referring to this as “bouncing off” a work. I suppose that’s descriptive enough. This work was not for me and will not be on my ballot.
  • “The Triple Sun: A Golden Age Tale”, Rajnar Vajra (Analog, 07/08-2014) This one came oh so close. It’s almost there. It was a good tale, written with a lot of sarcastic wit. It was the wit that amused me the most, but it almost went over the top multiple times (which I guess would mean for some folks it did go over the top). It almost nailed the landing, but the impact wasn’t nearly as great as I expected. I’m not sure where it stumbled, but it missed something in there that made it not quite as good as it ought to have been. Hugo worthy? No, not really.



549 thoughts on “With Six You Get Sleigh Dogs 7/2

  1. So, I come home from work to find I’d missed the weekly visit by John C. Wright. Well, I’m not one to let that stop me. So here goes:

    What a vile and cowardly ort of feces this is. I see the method here is merely to make so many false and outrageous accusations that no one can possibly refute them.

    And, yet they did. Also, we are all adults here, you can use the word shit … we won’t tell. I get that the thesaurus lists feces as a synonym, but it lacks the same visceral impact. There is a good reason to be wary of thesauri.

    Since I am an open philosemite, active supporter of the State of Israel, an unapologetic Zionist, and married the daughter of a Jew, and since I immediately ban any holocaust deniers who dare to show their subhuman snouts on my blog, the accusation that I am an antisemite is beyond libel, beyond madness.

    You referred to an openly Jewish man as a “Christ-Hater”. You are an educated man, and a Catholic. Certainly, you are familiar with church’s long standing historical tradition of blaming Jews for the Crucifixion. While the Catholic Church has renounced that position, and rightfully so, there are still bigots who use the Crucifixion the way that medieval bigots used Blood Libel. Even if it was not your intent to paint Jews with a brush dipped in centuries of antisemitic rhetoric, it is easy to understand how an outsider with necessarily limited knowledge of your intent would read it that way.

    Why not simply accuse me of being a one-eyed, one-horned, flying purple people eater while you are at it?

    Because there is no evidence in support of that statement.

    The Christ-haters hate Christ because they are Social Justice Warriors, which is a religion that is jealous, and excludes the practice of Christian and Jewish faith alike.

    The term Social Justice was originally coined by Catholic theologians. Plenty of those you have called Social Justice Warriors, either as a group or as individuals, are practicing Christians. By denying that, you are denying their own personal relationship with Christ. I’m not Christian, but even I can see that’s fucked up.

    It was the God of Abraham, the God worshiped by all practicing Jews, who destroyed the city of Sodom and outlawed the practices which made that name a curse. I am being reviled precisely because I love and fear the God of Moses.

    Nope. There are Christians and Jews who disagree with you. More to the point, no one has attacked you because you have declared faith in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. People have criticized you because you have called gay people perverts, endorsed brutally murdering them with bludgeons and claimed that we are at war with all of Islam, a religion which also worships the God of Abraham. People have also criticized you because you are belligerent, and wave your honor around as a cudgel to club those who disagree with you, and use your faith as a shield to deflect those criticisms.

    I am against the SJWs precisely for the same reason I am for the Jews. I hate bullies and cowards, and I hate liars, and I hate antisemitism with an unquenchable burning hatred, and I love the people that God loves.

    And yet you associate with Vox Day and his ilk, who behave as craven bullies. You use violent rhetoric and intimidation tactics, reducing yourself to a common thug. You have made it clear that you regret not hitting Terry Pratchett. You backed down from your convictions for fear of the consequences. That makes you a coward. Those convictions were to sucker punch a sick old man and a knight. That makes you twice a coward.

    Mr Glyer, for a while, you had won my respect, as you seemed to be an honest fellow, trying to maintain some sense of fairplay. I called your blog a wretched hive of scum and villainy as a joke, which you took up.

    And I am a morlock. But I would rather be a morlock, lurking in a hive of scum and villainy then bow before the false idol you have crafted in your own image.

    But this is beyond the pale, that you should print such things of me, or aid and condone these libels. I trust you will reprint these remarks of mine in a prominent place.

    John C Wright

    These words are not libels. They are the truth told plainly. If you disagree then take us all to court, or challenge us to a duel, or what ever else will sooth your bruised honor.

  2. @Harold Osler

    “It just never came up” is privilege. Treating your ethnicity as neutral/default is an option that is not available to dis-privileged groups.

  3. Snowcrash : You’re right in that you have to be drunk to enjoy a meat pie floater, but the level of drunkenness needed is close to liver-failure levels.

    What you call “close to liver-failure levels”, Australians call “Friday night”.

  4. Paulcarp —

    It’s obvious John C Wright uses a thesaurus (if only that were a dinosaur, my love).

    If only you were a thesaurus, my love, my dear, my dearest, my darling, my beloved, my love, my lover, my pet, my fancy, my duck, my pudding, mon amour, ma cherie, my petit chou, my angel, my coquette, my sweet, my sweetheart, my heart, my paramour, my transport of desire, my delight, my honey, my flame, my treasure, my sugar, my lamb….

  5. @Cpaca – Nah, Friday night is actual liver failure. Thursday nights are close to liver failure – Ladies Night after all (in Adelaide City pubs anyway)

    @Chris Hensley – well said.

    @John C. Wright – Your comments are certainly not wanting for amusement value. Others, like Chris above, have already addressed your substantive (or lack thereof) comments, but I will just add that I too don’t revile you. To be honest, I have some (OK, possibly a lot of) feelings of contempt for you, but that’s mainly because I find most of your acts fits in a range between “pompous buffoon” and “total arsehole”. Your religion, or lack thereof, doesn’t influence it beyond me feeling particularly sorry that you seem to define it by what you hate.

  6. My ancestry is Irish, German and Dutch. It’s pretty well documented, because one of my grandmothers spent her post-childraising lifetime writing snail-mail letters to relatives and then to people whose names were given to her by distant relatives as further contacts. We have notebooks full of details. I dug through it all some years ago and entered it into a genealogy program.

    There were some sordid notes about adulterous affairs, illegitimate children, drunks and domestic abusers. One distant relative, in her 50s, was in the nearby correctional facility during a census 70 years ago; it would be interesting to go through county criminal records and find out why. One whole branch of the family (including numerous people in the town where I grew up) have the last name of the captain of the ship on which a relative came over from the old country rather than the relative’s last name; the captain died en route, and the relative took on his identity so as to sell the ship upon arrival and reap the proceeds.

    Some of it is even grimmer; lots of babies died in childbirth or soon after, and the names were used over and over until one lived. My grandmother, as a child, watched her own mother burn to death; grease from a hot frypan caught fire and spattered on her apron, and no one back then was teaching people to stop, drop and roll to put out fires. I found out from a cousin that my grandfather on the other side was a domestic abuser of his wife and kids (including one of my parents).

    If asked, I will say my heritage is is Irish, German and Dutch — but I consider myself American, unhyphenated (I have that luxury, being white). I think that the ongoing tendency of Americans to self-identify as Irish or German or Dutch or whatever is a perpetuation of the “Well, yes, I’m an immigrant, but I’m of a better sort than that type of immigrant” — because of course, the first thing lots of ethnic groups did when they got over here was — as humans always do, big surprise — to try to set themselves up as being better than other ethnic groups so they could feel superior.

  7. My favorite pizza: ham, onion, green pepper, black olive, mushrooms and mozzarella, with spicy sausage a bonus. Tangy, not sweet, tomato sauce, with a healthy dose of garlic, on a thick herbed crust. The best pizza I ever had was at the Wig and Pen in Iowa City, opened by a couple of attorneys who retired after getting wealthy on medical malpractice suits, which makes the most fabulous two crust deep-dish pizzas with slices of tomato on top — so thick a pie that one-eighth is a full meal for any but the biggest person. (I think they have a second branch open in Des Moines now.)

  8. I’ve updated my previous post with a few more votes, including Nick Mamatas and Brian Z from here. The result is to strengthen the numbers for No Award in short fiction, and The Three-Body Problem for Novel. I will hope to do another update before the end of voting.

  9. Asimov’s has “published” a SFFnal filk recording by Janis Ian of her own song “At Seventeen” entitled “Welcome Home (The Nebulas Song)”. Her voice is still spectacular, and the lyrics are inspired.

    I learned the truth at Seventeen,
    that Asimov and Bradbury
    and Clarke were alphabetically
    my very perfect ABCs.

    While Algernon ran every maze,
    and slow glass hurt my heart for days,
    I sat and played a sweet guitar
    and Martians grokked me from afar…

    lyrics, and explanation, here

  10. Milano’s on 9th Ave used to be about the best pizza in SF; unfortunately after being a neighborhood staple for about the last 30 years they got bought out and turned into a hipster cracker crust place. Bambino’s in Cole Valley still does a really nice pie.

    Bearing in mind that I think there’s something intrinsically wrong with any slice of pizza that you can fold.

  11. My favourite topping at the local Italian place doesn’t have cheese – Pizza Marinara. I don’t know if its traditional but it is delicious. 🙂

  12. Back and mostly caught up, tho I do admit skimming comments on most of the missing days and skipping a couple altogether…

    Ireland was wonderful and gorgeous and I want to go back ASAP. My partner of 20 years (one day soon to be wife, woot!) celebrated the 26th by buying claddagh rings for each other. (Cue actual Irish people explaining how the whole claddagh thing is not really Irish and a tourist scam…).

    The Hyphenated American discussion is particularly apropos because much of the trip led to thinking about what that all meant. I was brought up with Irish -American Catholic resentment of anti Irish discrimination, anti Catholic discrimination, the Protestants, as well as the other ethnic Catholics (especially the Italians and the Poles)…all of which I am now seeing as a product of my parents’ working class Catholic Philadelphia upbringing in the 1950s (where Catholics apparently self-segregated from interaction with other faiths and ethnic and neighbourhood rivalries based on parish of origin were the main way of sorting people into groups) and not anything inherently Irish or even Irish hyphen American as I grew up believing.

    We had a custom tour (our whole extended family went, 32 in all) with a bus and driver for the whole 10 days. Philip was a fount of information about Irish culture and history and could go for 20 minutes extemporaneously on any topic you threw at him, including the Greece situation, the Irish government system, the education system, Irish regional accents, and Oliver Cromwell. His knowledge of US current events was thorough and he could discuss them with more nuance than many of my Fox-fed family members, and he definitely knew US history (at least in terms of relations with Ireland) better than many of us on the trip. I majored in history and I never knew that President Polk sent famine relief food shipments to Ireland in the 1840s. Philip even knew the name of Polk’s VP , whom I had never heard of.

    Thanks again to Lorcan for all the great Dublin advice, though I wasn’t able to visit any of the comic stores due to the hectic schedule of activities the tour included. We tended to collapse and grab naps when we had unscheduled time, especially the first two jet-lagged days.

    In the 1980s my parents took part in a program that sent kids from Northern Ireland to spend summers in the US with families here. We had a 10 year old boy named Eamonn the first summer and he got on so well that he returned for 2 more summers and our families have continued to stay in touch. A really special treat was that Eamonn made the trip from Derry to Dublin to join us on our last evening–it was amazing to see him as a grown 40-something with kids of his own, and to catch up some on the years between.

    ObSF – I finished re-reading Ancillary Justice and am about 2/3 of the way through Ancillary Sword, which was less reading than I thought I would do on the trip, but I did get sidetracked by a gorgeous book on Irish birds that I picked up there. tried hard to see a corn crake or a kingfisher while there but didn’t, other than the pictures in the book.

    Having returned to Georgia with temps in the 80s and 90s, I am missing Ireland terribly though I understand that there is a heat wave there at the moment as well. 10 days of temps in the 60s and 50s was a treat when used to Atlanta’s summers!

  13. OMG That was long. Yow! TLDR: Ireland was amazing, I’m home now, and engaged to my girlfriend of 20 years. Also, haven’t finished Ancillary Sword.

  14. I saw a rather good bird book for American birds recently. I’m quite tempted to get it – Bird’s We’ve Seen, vol. 1.

    I liked Ancillary Justice/Sword, although not as much as Goblin Emperor (which I loved), and it beats the pants off Turncoat for an AI main character and assorted themes.

    Its funny, I have Irish catholic heritage, but the catholic half-stuck (my Dad, the atheist half of my parents, was raised catholic until his Irish grandmother died, and that was if not a major part of his life something that stuck until my eldest sister died as an infant) and the resentment didn’t. Perhaps because we were in England, and therefore dealing with bombs and bomb threats on a regular basis rather than hearing about it from across an ocean.

    Its hard to be resentful against protestants when its the catholics trying to blow you up and getting your supermarket closed down semi-regularly and being vaguely threatening outside tube stations and getting public bins removed in case someone shoved a bomb into them.

    (My mother’s side, according to family legend, is descended from Oliver Cromwell’s sister. Awkward family union is awkward! :D)

  15. On US Irish famine relief: it was actually a private effort though Bostonians convinced Congress to loan a pair of warships to a private enterprise for the first time. It looks like there’s an article online:


    I first learned about it in:

    Chronicles of the Frigate Macedonian

    Not a great book but an interesting one. A British warship captured by the U.S. Navy; later rebuilt and served in the civil war; and ended it’s days as a hotel that burned down. Something for fans of Patrick O’Brian and similar (of which I am one myself) wanting to read non-fiction naval history.

  16. NelC, I laughed out loud and scared the dogs. You, sir, have won an Internet.

    Pizza: I prefer my own, with or without tomato sauce. A ten-minute dough, whatever fresh toppings and cheese (usually mozzarella di bufala and something else) that can be had, and a quick bake.

  17. Cmm on July 4, 2015 at 4:17 am said:

    OMG That was long. Yow! TLDR: Ireland was amazing, I’m home now, and engaged to my girlfriend of 20 years.

    Oh hey, congratulations!

  18. @Wanderfound –“It just never came up” is privilege. Treating your ethnicity as neutral/default is an option that is not available to dis-privileged groups.>>

    You’ve apparently misunderstood–“treating your ethnicity” makes it sound like an active on=going thing. My grandfather would never talk about his family; it never crossed conciousnesses; no one ever said ‘where are we from’; it was a non-event. Hell, we didn’t even know there was a photo of my grandmother’s younger brother who died at 12 until this year. Even though our mothers knew we were doing this project. It never came up.
    You can call it privilege all you want but that won’t make it true.

  19. Harold: I think you may have misunderstood Wanderfound’s point. Very often, privilege (or any other term for the same concept) is not at all concerned with what you and yours do, but what others to do and about you. Very much so in this case. There are a lot of our fellow Americans who never get the opportunity not to talk about their background, because others keep bringing it up. They get the “no, where are you really from” questions, and the insinuations that they’re not real Americans, and harassment by bigots who’ve decided they must really be Iraqi or Chinese or whatever the target of the day is. (I remember Armenian-American friends of mine being really boggled when some of the local bigots decided that anyone who looked like the conventional Armenian image was actually Chinese and therefore worth badgering on that ground. I was boggled too.)

    That’s stuff that happens to people regardless of what they’re own family chooses to do. Nobody’s going to go around asking me where I’m really from, or insinuating that I’m not a real American, or telling me to go back to Iraq/China/Mexico/you name it, or saying that people like me deserve extra attention as potential terrorists (even though it’s my ethnic group that commits most of the domestic terrorism). So I have liberty to think – or not think – about my heritage any way I choose, because others leave me to it. And that, regrettably, is a privilege not given to all, and it’s denied to (among others) some of the Americans commenting in this very thread.

  20. Jim Henley on July 3, 2015 at 7:19 pm said:

    I have considered JCW a man of low character and feeble morals for some time, and today’s bounce-and-flounce doesn’t change that. But it also offends me on behalf of our gracious host.

    It did show a remarkable lack of good sense and character on Wright’s part. Mike Glyer has been pretty scrupulously fair about assembling source quotes. Treating him in this supercilious and imperious manner is downright offensive.

  21. Cue actual Irish people explaining how the whole claddagh thing is not really Irish and a tourist scam…

    If any actual Irish person tells you that they are a grouchy grouch and you should feel free to ignore them. Claddagh rings are lovely. Congratulations, and I’m delighted you had a lovely time.

  22. Speaking as an Irish person, there are few things as infuriating as people who’s great-great grandparents left during the famine claiming that they’re “Irish”. I’m with you 100% on this one.

    “I’m Irish on Saint Patrick’s Day, / The rest of the year, I’m not. This accent isn’t real, But it’s the realest one I’ve got.” — Steve Patterson

  23. Cmm on July 4, 2015 at 4:17 am said:
    OMG That was long. Yow! TLDR: Ireland was amazing, I’m home now, and engaged to my girlfriend of 20 years. Also, haven’t finished Ancillary Sword.

    Congrats on the engagement and I’m glad you had a great time, even if you couldn’t get to the comic shops!

  24. Thanks y’all! It’s a little anticlimactic since we’ve had an ” understanding” for 2 decades and a mortgage for almost that long. And I’m dreading the idea of actually planning and throwing a wedding, something I’ve watched 6 siblings go through and have been happy to be exempt from. As marriage equality has come to more and more states, people have been asking when, and I kept saying, when it will be recognised where I actually live. So now it is, and we have to proceed. Aside from the part where I’m not really an entertainer, party-throwing person, and it’s terrifying to get ones feet wet with the Big One, there is the sticky wicket of key family members not wanting to deal with it all, and the fact that if we do a big do and invite gobs of relatives, there is a certain…standard of massive party (with open bar, eep) that we just can’t afford. So our natural tendency is to procrastinate.

    Hell it took us this long to get rings!

    But the 26th was truly an amazing day I’ll always remember, and it was a bit weird to be so far away when it happened, so it was important to us to commemorate it!

  25. Glad to see this thread is still active (been off grading papers and writing an overdue essay).

    First: Cmm: Congratulations to you both!

    Second: PIZZA! OMG, pizza. One of my jobs during university was at a pizza parlor, a small one. I was a counter-person, but was taught prep and pizza-making during slow times by the one cook, and after a while, ended up doing both jobs on Sundays since business was slow (I worked Friday/Saturday evening shifts, and Sunday day, with early closing at night). I enjoyed it, and started experimenting with making my own pizza for my free meal. I ended up with what I consider the Platonic Ideal of pizzas, and have actually convinced others to try it: thin crust, Canadian bacon, extra cheese, and fresh tomatoes sliced and put on *after* it comes out of the oven. HEAVEN! (I didn’t realize I actually liked pizza until that job because of school lunch pizza SHUDDERS). If for some reason that’s absoutelynot gettable, I will fall back on mushroom, but grudgingly. One thing I learned while working two or so years there was that pizza is a religion!

    One summer, New York actors were hired to work with the university on summer theatre –great productions, but BOY did they lecture me at length about the superiority of NY Pizza.

    Everybody not from the west coast had a lecture on the importance of THEIR regional/home pizza over “west coast pizza.”

    I smiled and nodded and gave them the pizza we made.

    (On occasion, there were beer strikes in Canada–this was when I was in Bellingham, which is only an hour or so from the Canadian border, and when the strikes hit, business leaped, since we were on the main drag right off the highway, with the Canadians mostly interested in whether we had beer or not, as opposed to the pizza).

    Third: ethnicity and American-ness. Fantastic discussion, lots of good points being made. Gertrude Stein said in one of her works (I forget which) that it takes four generations to “make” an American (counting the immigrants as the first generation). (Obviously this generalization applies only to certain immigrants both in national origin, religion, class, and language.)

    I’m that fourth generation on my mother’s side: her grandparents, all four, were from Wales (Merthyr Tydfil area) who were married before immigrating to West Virginia. Johns and Harrises. They didn’t stay long because they were able to get land grants in what was then the Washington territory (pre-statehood). The land was, of course, taken from the indigenous peoples, and given to the right class of immigrants. So they settled in an area that became Lincoln County (not far from Spokane!).

    My father’s side was a bit more complicated–Scots and German and who knows what else, settling in the same area (lots of ethnic conflict as I gather, especially against the Germans in the first half of 20th century). There’s also a branch of the patriarchal tree that moved to Canada and became Mormon, not sure in what order, but apparently a somewhat heretical version of Mormonism.

    I heard more about my mother’s family because my father’s family only tended to count males who could carry on the name as true family member (plus there was an estrangement since his parents disapproved of the marriage to my mother–think of Romeo and Juliet playing out in a wheat-farming town of approximately 700 fer crying out loud), so I didn’t really meet my paternal grandparents until I was well into grade school. Seriously, they cast him out: my mother’s parents helped them from paying for summer work on the farm, to downpayment on house, the whole thing. I’ve never quite understood what fueled the feud, other than my paternal grandather being a total asshole (something about family status, my mom’s dad lost his wheat farm in the depression so was in effect a tenant farmer, plus WELSH ICK, etc.). At one point after my parents divorced, Mom told me they once offered her $10,000 to divorce him early on in the marriage (she had dropped out of college and was working fulltime to pay for his doctorate–given that he ran off with his graduate student 25 years later, I’m not so sure that she shouldn’t have taken the offer!)

    My mother remembers her grandmothers speaking Welsh so the grandkids couldn’t understand when they wanted to talk about something private, but the language was not passed on (common in many immigrant groups, especially if they’re not in a fairly large enclaves of the same language group). Other than a few recipes handed down (suet pudding–much better than it sounds–and current bakes), and stories about black lung, and the children who died in Wales, and my grandfather being one of fourteen children put out to work after completing 8th grade so that his father could donate money to send ministers to school as opposed to his own children, and a few things, like a trunk and some old books), there wasn’t much there–but enough that when I read Rebecca Harding Davis’ Life in the Iron Mills, much touted as a feminist work, I was completely shocked and offended by the imagery used to describe the Welsh iron workers.

    And THAT was another “click” moment (because some of that imagery about their dirtiness, brutishness, inarticulateness, is commonly used for other marginalized groups that are stigmatized by their inferior ‘race’ as “savage”).

    But I would never describe myself as even a Welsh-American–it’s always my mother’s family came from Wales. When I took the chance to visit Wales when I was doing a summer stuby abroad, I was embarassed by my friend who was travelling with me who keps referring to it as England, and being ever so politely corrected by the people we were talking to–and by ME when we were alone. And there was a fairly small but intense fandom imbroglio a few years back when comments about one of the shows–Torchwood?–showed again how white Americans don’t understand the prejudices against the Welsh (and Scots, and Irish) in the UK, and persist in seeing all those “British” people as more or less white.

    If you want a fascinating take on the complexities of “identification” and identity terminology, check out the Deadbrowalking’s post (during Racefail) on the “Wild Unicorn Herd Check-in.” It’s also useful to keep in mind that the categories for “race” and “ethnicity” on the U.S. census have changed every time it’s been administered, so the complaint of some people that the “names keep changing” is short-sighted at least.


  26. Cmm: Aside from the part where I’m not really an entertainer, party-throwing person, and it’s terrifying to get ones feet wet with the Big One, there is the sticky wicket of key family members not wanting to deal with it all, and the fact that if we do a big do and invite gobs of relatives, there is a certain…standard of massive party (with open bar, eep) that we just can’t afford. So our natural tendency is to procrastinate.

    Ah, I totally understand (while I was glad for marriage equality to be passed, my partner and I of 21 years do not plan to get married because as the children of divorced parents and some other personal stuff, neither of us wants that, and well, we’re lucky enough we don’t feel the need/pressure to).

    Two friends of mine, years ago, had a similar situation (more due to the fact that she was ten years older than him, and it was her second marriage, his first, and his family was all freaked out), and yeah, broke graduate students, so they set it up where they went into the Seattle court house and had the very simple marriage there, and then next day threw a big potluck at home where they supplied some of the basic food, and invited all their friends and family members to come help them celebrate their wedding. It was fantastic, and got around a bunch of sticky wickets.

  27. Aaron @ 6:08 am- Unsurprisingly, we disagree. I think Hoyt is both intelligent and knowledgeable. And I believe Correia does more than just holds his own.

    I don’t know much about Antonelli or Grant.

    I agree that Dark Between the Stars is difficult to get into. I’m only about 110 pages into it after weeks of effort.

    Liz Bonesteel @ 6:59 am- Kung Fu Hustle is one of my favorites. Have you tried Shaolin Soccer?

    Mrs. Emma P @ 7:28 pm- So under the definition you cited, John McCain is a Latino? He was born in Panama.

    NickPheas @ 7:53 am- This is a much better definition.

    rcade @ 10:18 am- I think you have it right. My first “American” ancestor to immigrate was Richard Moss in the 1640s. He was on the losing side of Charles 1 v. Cromwell. His descendant, William Henry Moss, fought the English in the Revolution. His son, William Moss, married Martha Wright, also of English descent, around 1802. None of my direct male ancestors have married a woman of English descent since.

    So my “English” is limited to Henry Moss (William’s son) 6 generations ago. The percentage gets very small, being divided by half every generation over 6 generations, though I suppose the Y chromosome stays intact.

    Which is way I’m an American, not an Anglo-American. If I engaged in that foolishness, I’d could just as easily hyphenate the Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Irish, Scottish and Dutch portion over those 6 generations. It makes no sense. I’m more ethnically Scandinavian, than anything else.

    And my American heritage 100+ years ago was Southern. Since then its Western. None of which matters. If I identified with a culture other than American, it would be USMC.

    Rick Kay @ 10:25 am- I agree 100% about Tim Powers and Poul Anderson. They’re great.

    Mike Glyer @ 10:38 am- Spot on. Your statement pretty much mirrors what I’ve experiences in the 3 generations of my elder family I’ve interacted with, and how they described their parents and grand-parents.

    Kurt Busiek @ 10:50 am- Funny and true.

    Amina @ 10:51 am- We disagree. I’m the eldest of 7. My sister married a Hernandez. One brother married a Martinez. Another brother married an Italian citizen (from Milan or Milano). My Hernandez niece is fair skinned, blonde haired and blue-eyed, despite her father looking like an over-sized Mexican biker (though his mom looks likes my sister). My Martinez nephew is dark. But he’s tall, thin and speaks not a word of Spanish (unlike my niece). My 1/2 Italian nephew is dark haired but pale skinned and blue eyed (and speaks a lot of Italian). Despite running the color spectrum, put all three of them in the same room and you can see the family connection, if only in build and bone structure (and in my biased opinion, intelligence). Absent some inner cities (which I admit have truly serious problems that need to be addressed), America is truly a melting pot and advancement has nothing to with skin color or ethnicity.

    People are people. Some good, some bad, some just trying to get by, regardless of skin color.

    Pete @ 3:17 pm- “Because One Bright Star to Guide Them” was very good, as is most of Wright’s stuff?

    And, in my non-expert opinion, the best pizza in the world is Bart’s Pizza in Williamsport, PA.

  28. @rrede

    And there was a fairly small but intense fandom imbroglio a few years back when comments about one of the shows–Torchwood?–showed again how white Americans don’t understand the prejudices against the Welsh (and Scots, and Irish) in the UK, and persist in seeing all those “British” people as more or less white.

    I remember that, it was infuriating. It was the only British show included on a long list of American shows they were criticising for being insufficiently diverse. Meanwhile, its importance as being a show watched all over Britain with Welsh cast members who were heroic – totally ignored, and a refusal to listen when someone (very politely) explained to them why that was important. Sigh.

  29. Because I can, reposting something from my Google+ stream. I’ve been posting American music I like, including Grofé’s Grand Canyon Suite, and doing commentary on them. I mentioned Grofé doing the first film score with a theremin, for the awful Rocketship X-M, and that reminded me of the story of my Dad’s grudge with the film. Here it is.


    OK, as a special 4th of July treat, “Why Harold W. Baugh Hated Rocketship X-M”. Dad was an sf junkie in his day – he read the stuff as a teen, and as a Caltech student, and in his days in the Army Air Corps during World War II, and thereafter. Let me digress to talk about The Asylum and the horror movies they make. This is relevant.

    If you’re a fan of horror movies, you know about the Asylum. They make generally awful knockoffs of current horror films, and package them to look as much as possible like the original: Paranormal Entity to prey on the market for Paranormal Activity, The Da Vinci Treasure to sucker folks looking for The Da Vinci Code, Jack The Giant Killer to mooch off Jack The Giant Slayer, and so on. They also make originals that are utter junk, and likewise packaged to look like something better that you might actually want.

    Well, it’s not like that’s a new thing.

    There was a lot of buzz in the sf world about Destination Moon, which was going to be a rigorously accurate effort to portray a mission to the moon. And it was, in lots of ways. Heinlein contributed to the final draft of the script and acted as technical consultant, back in the day when that meant something good. Chesley Bonestell did matte paintings after his customary thorough research. It was looking exciting.

    But it got delayed in production, for reasons not very interesting. And in that interval, Rocketship X-M’s makers bashed it out in a month on essentially no budget, and got it to market a month before Destination Moon with ads designed to rip off Destination Moon’s pre-release publicity as much as possible. So it was that Dad, along with a lot of others, went to see it thinking they were getting Destination Moon with a last-minute title change.

    They weren’t. Boy howdy they weren’t.

    So it was, decades later, that I’d gotten hooked on MST3K and thought to see if he’d like it too (since after all my sense of humor comes from somewhere). I fired up season 2, episode 1, Rocketship X-M…and Dad said, “Hey! That movie ripped me off! Let’s see what they do it it.” He told me the story during commercial breaks.

    And now you know.?

  30. Meredith: Meanwhile, its importance as being a show watched all over Britain with Welsh cast members who were heroic – totally ignored, and a refusal to listen when someone (very politely) explained to them why that was important. Sigh.

    Thanks for confirming–I wasn’t sure I trusted my memory, but didn’t trust myself to google because omg timesuck! And I don’t watch the show.

    But yes, the PROBLEM arose when the person making the prejudiced statement doubled down and refused to acknowledge that there could be any problem with what they said, or with their very American and uncritically examined view of “whiteness.”

    My partner’s parents are from Ireland and Scotland, respectively, met during WW II, married, and moved to New York, so she is a first-generation immigrant born in an Irish and Italian neighborhood in either Queens or the Bronx (they moved boroughs), so she has that very different perspective.

    She introduced me to How the Irish Became White in the context of a paper she was doing on Star Trek’s problematic portrayal of Irishness over the years.

  31. rrede on July 4, 2015 at 1:47 pm said:

    She introduced me to How the Irish Became White in the context of a paper she was doing on Star Trek’s problematic portrayal of Irishness over the years.

    While I’d be willing to forgive TOS for characters like Reilly and Finnegan because ot the time they were made, that one TNG episode with the space Oirish was cringeworthy to say the least.

    And then there was The High Ground, which was banned here for a long time for mentioning an IRA ceasefire.

    At least O’Brien was mostly well-written in DS9…

  32. I don’t really understand where the modern USAmerican view of race came from, because it seems to me that Irish and Italian and Polish prejudice and tensions are all recent enough that I remember it (well, the latter two) being fairly commonly mentioned in Due South fandom.

    Anyway, we in Europe have had a ton of practice at drawing lines between different shades of pale pink and beige and different hair and eye colour combinations and bone structures and it shows no signs of slowing down. I saw a post fairly recently from a British Asian talking about how she suffers far less overt prejudice in the UK than anyone who looks or sounds even vaguely Eastern European. (I’m afraid I don’t have a link to hand.)

  33. Cnn

    If it will help at all, I’ll describe our wedding. We married under the care of our local Monthly Meeting (Quaker) so the ceremony was very simple. Quaker tradition has a document with the wedding vows the couple has written that everyone signs after the ceremony. We had a friend calligraph and decorate it.

    We had cake and coffee and soda from a well known local company afterwards (tasting the cakes to choose a flavor was the best part of the prep!). The Meeting house doesn’t allow alcohol.

    After that, we all went to a restaurant where we’d reserved a room with a buffet.

    I think the whole thing cost ~$700, which includes the clothes, document, cake, soda and catered dinner for 25ish people. (And we were eating leftovers for ages afterwards. Yeah freezer!)

    I’ve also been to weddings that take place in a church with everyone retiring to a park or someone’s back yard for a potluck. The couple or their parents provided Costco main dishes and cake and every one else brought the extras.

    I don’t know if any of that appeals to the two of you, but there are lots and lots of ways to celebrate your union that don’t involve free bars and expensive receptions. Do what the two of you *really* want to do. The day is your celebration after all.

    Congratulations and may you have an even longer married life together!

  34. I don’t really understand where the modern USAmerican view of race came from, because it seems to me that Irish and Italian and Polish prejudice and tensions are all recent enough that I remember it (well, the latter two) being fairly commonly mentioned in Due South fandom.

    Like most everything else that doesn’t make a lick of sense about the United Sates going that far back the answer is slavery.

  35. Meredith on July 4, 2015 at 2:51 am said:
    My favourite topping at the local Italian place doesn’t have cheese – Pizza Marinara. I don’t know if its traditional but it is delicious. 🙂

    It is indeed.

  36. Chris Hensley: Like most everything else that doesn’t make a lick of sense about the United Sates going that far back the answer is slavery.

    Yep, and the ongoing insistence that it’s over, past, forgotten, “those people” should get over it, blah blah blah. I’ve had students in rural Texas inform me solemnly that slavery only last 100 years, and it ended longer than that ago, so why were they still talking about it. Of course they also informed me that Texas won the Battle of the Alamo, so…….Shrub (AKA George Bush) started his educational reforms (AKA standardized tests) in Texas before the country ignored Molly Ivins and elected him president.

  37. @rrede:

    I have a shelf of Molly Ivins books. She had a good head on her shoulders.

  38. Thanks for the wedding-throwing advice. It was very encouraging. Gotta sit down with my sweetie and hash this out.

    Sigh. Molly Ivins. gone much to soon, and when we needed her most.

  39. Cmm: Thanks for the wedding-throwing advice. It was very encouraging. Gotta sit down with my sweetie and hash this out.

    When I got married, the hotel event liaison with whom we were planning the reception said, “I can always tell the difference between younger couples and older couples. With younger couples, it’s always about putting on a big show, and with older couples, it’s all about spending time with and enjoying their friends and family.”

    Years from now, what you remember won’t be the outfits, the flowers, or the food or the location; it will be all the people with whom you spent time and the conversations you had. My advice is to concentrate on the latter, and simply ensure that the former is conducive to the occasion.

    Additional advice: my wedding reception still ended up being a bit of a blur. Make sure that you are very well-rested ahead of time and get the opportunity to truly enjoy the time you spend with those people, instead of having to worry about the details while the reception is going on.

  40. Also, Cmm, whatever you decide to do about photography of the wedding party and families, I highly recommend hiring a casual photographer for the reception to stand at the entrance and get photos of all the guests.

    Back when a lot of people I knew were getting married, I did this on my own initiative for a number of couples, then put the photos in an album for them as their gift. It seemed to be a universally-raved-about gift: I got comments along the lines of “Oh, thank you so much, the reception was such a blur, and the professional photographer didn’t really get many photos of our guests, and I love being able to remember all the people who were there.”

  41. @Cmm:

    I can beat that $700 figure easily, if you get up to my neck of the woods. (I’ll be in Dalton at the end of October, but I don’t live far from the border.) If you bring your IDs and license, I offer a $4.95 special and a $9.95 commemorative deal. They both begin the same way, in an exaggerated version of my standard drawl:

    Me: “Okay, so you wanna get married, huh? You know it’s a serious committment, and you’re gonna treat it like one, right?”
    Both partners: (some indication of agreement)
    Me: “All righty, then. Y’all got rings?” (modify below as needed if not)
    Me, to first partner: “Do you?”
    First: (agreement)
    Me: “Okay, put a ring on it.” (to other partner) “And you?”
    Second: (agreement)
    Me: “Okay, make with the ring thing. Y’all sure about this? Last chance.”
    Both: (agreement)
    Me: “Okay, kiss and y’all’s hitched. Pass me a Coke and show me where I sign.”

    The commemorative version adds this after I receive the cold drink, delivered in my best bad Elvis impression:

    Me: “Thank ya. Thank ya verra much. Take care of business.”

    Remember my motto: “If you need a preacher real bad, I’ll be a real bad preacher.” 🙂

  42. That’s something I really like about the USA. Here you have to have a religious official or a government registrar to make a wedding legal, but in the US you can get a friend or family member or anyone really to do it with some hoop jumping. Its very appealing.

  43. @Meredith:

    That title in front of my name isn’t entirely fake. Next best thing, true – but good enough for most states. (ULC will ordain anyone who asks – and as ObSF, I discovered when I met him at a convention a few years back that ULC ordination was something Fred Pohl and I had in common.)

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