Sunday, April 19, 2015


ISIS affiliates in Libya have released video of their members executing Ethiopian Christians en masse. Below is a non-graphic image from the video. Does anyone else notice something remarkable about the image or is it just me?

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Why I'd never want to join the fandom.

Over at George R. R. Martin's Not a Blog blog I've been following the latest blow up in the SF community - the Sad Puppies "Scandal". Essentially, a group of writers and fans believe that the Hugo Awards voters only hand out awards to the SJW crowd. (I've followed enough of this in recent years to believe that there is some truth to it, though the WorldCon isn't quite as monolithic as presented by the Puppies.) So they banded together, put together a voting slate, and stuffed the ballot boxes for Hugo nominations - all in a way that was perfectly legal by the regulations governing the awards. They did such a superb job of it that ONLY their approved candidates are up for any awards this year. [Edit: That's not true. But some categories ARE all Puppies, and most if not all categories are majority Puppies.] Doh!

(The Hugos are the biggest award in SF. They're voted on by the fans that attend the WorldCon or buy a voting membership, or something like that. If you really care you can look up the procedures here.)

Anyway, the SF community is having what has become a rather expected event: a complete and total breakdown along political/ethnic/gender/orientation/[insert alleged marginalized status here] lines of bilious factions trying to destroy each other. No point going into prior events, as I don't care that much, but I've seen them roll through the SF community of fandom and authors regularly for what seems like several years running now. (At a guess they come about every nine months or so.)

I'm on the periphery of fandom, by way of a few blogs that I occasionally read and occasionally from something someone else (mostly my wife*) will tell me about it. So I'm not in the depths of it. But everything from rules to make conventions 'safe' to trying to drive out writers and editors who have "genuinely offended" someone to the latest ballot stuffing actions and responses to it** have left me wondering, "Why would I want to be a part of THAT?"

I think I'll just stick to reading the damned stories and leaving it at that.

* Kim's not really in the fandom, not anymore in any event, but like me she pokes around in it occasionally.

** Personally I find the latest kind of funny. The people who have been campaigning for everything to be divvied up by ethnicity, gender, orientation and/or oppressed status, in other words, the voices of factionalism, just took both barrels to the body when the biggest faction of all (straight white guys and allies) decided to act in concert. Balkanization is a bitch.