Well that escalated quickly

colored-pencilsSo now I’m researching sketching pencils and I’m in a Facebook group designed specifically to encourage people to create every day.  I actually did buy some new pencils today but, as ridiculous as this sounds, I feel like I need to know more about what the letters and numbers mean beyond the obvious “hey, this one has a lighter line!” and “hey, this one broke instantly when I tried to draw with it!”

So, yeah, the draw every day project is still going and is gradually absorbing more of my mindspace.  In case you were wondering.

Nobody is really crying out for my opinion on this, but there is a deeply stupid little kerfluffle going on on Twitter right now (TwitterTM: The Place for Kerfluffles) about politics and science fiction.  A batch of yahoos calling themselves the Science Fiction & Fantasy Creators Guild was dumb enough to insert themselves into the mentions of N.K. Jemisin, of all the goddamn people they could have chosen, to ask her to join them in their search for… wait for it…

…politics-free science fiction.   Which… come the fuck on.  Witness this dumbshittery:

The backlash and dumpster fire that has followed has been positively breathtaking to behold.

Let’s be real clear here: this notion of “politics-free” science fiction is code for science fiction what doesn’t have those brown people and those gays in it.  The phrase “social justice” is the tell here, if that’s not perfectly obvious.  To these idiots, science fiction is free of “politics” if it only has manly white dudes doing manly white dude things in it.

Which, speaking as a manly white dude: fuck that.  And fuck these guys for trying to set themselves up as some sort of baseline of “non-political” SFF by which everything else must be judged.

I hate these assholes, in all their forms– the Sad Puppies, Gamergate, most of the idiots downrating THE LAST JEDI right now– and I’m going to keep writing, reading, and most importantly promoting science fiction and fantasy that makes them sad, every chance I get.

Oh so that’s what’s bugging me

xhss9So I’m reading this book right now.  It’s the third book in a series that I think is going to be seven or ten books long, it’s 1200 fucking pages long, and the two books before it were both also over a thousand pages long.  I started it right around the first of the year and I’m barely a quarter of the way through the thing.  I feel like I sailed through the first two, and I really enjoyed reading them.  That said, it’s been a while, and I read so much that my recall is not always great.  At first, I thought that was the reason that this book felt like a slog– that I just didn’t remember the story well enough from the previous books and it was holding me back.

There really shoulda been a goddamn recap chapter in the front.  I mean, shit, your book is already twelve hundred pages long, maybe you give me another 15 to recap the previous 2200 pages in the other two books?  It’d be nice.

Something hit me about this book last night.  The big conflict in this one (so far) appears to be that the race (fantasy book, remember, so literal non-human race) that humans have basically been using as slaves since time immemorial have, for lack of a better word, woken up.  They were basically big strong mute servants until recently and now they’ve got their minds back.  And they are, rather understandably, somewhat pissed about the whole centuries of slavery thing, and so there’s a bit of Kill!  All!  Humans! going on out there.

The book expects me to be on the side of the humans in this conflict.  All of the main characters are human.  There’s been at least one, maybe two POV characters from the other side in previous books but he’s either dead or just hasn’t shown up; I literally don’t remember.

I am not on the side of the humans in this conflict.

There are hints that one character is going to take the side of the newly-awakened slave race, but those same hints imply that he is going to lead them, and I kinda don’t feel like a white savior narrative is going to improve this book any.

Oh, and the series has always explicitly associated blue eyes with social status, which I was willing to ignore the implications of previously but now is kinda looking upsetting given recent developments.  Like, characters’ eyes literally change color to blue if they achieve certain abilities.

So right now I’m at war, with my 2500-page investment along with a healthy dose of “give the rest of the book a chance; this may not work out the way it seems like it’s going to” on the one hand, and literally ten other books that I’d like to start reading and nine hundred more pages of this one to slog through on the other.

Feel free to provide advice if you’d like.

(Also: I’m not a hundred percent sure why I’m effectively subtweeting the actual book here; my Goodreads feed isn’t exactly a hidden thing.  But that’s how the post came out.  I dunno.)

On things I’ll never actually do

51AEI3isFiL__SX327_BO1_204_203_200_Let me be clear about something, in case any of you were wondering: I have absolutely no intention of reading this book.  This is true regardless of how I acquire it, in fact; if anyone happens to give it to me I’m going to throw it away.  Until this person’s taking residency at the White House I was somewhat proud of the fact that I owned at least one book about or by every US president; I have now amended that to every legitimately elected US president, and this person does not get to dirty my bookshelves.  I don’t say his name and his stupid face does not get to appear on my website any longer.

It is clear from the excerpts I’ve seenI act that there’s nothing remotely surprising in there, anyway.  It was abundantly clear from the beginning that this person was manifestly and obviously unfit for the presidency in literally every way one might be except for being a natural born US citizen and over 40 years of age.  At this point I need no further evidence. There is nothing any book about him can do to add to my understanding of him; nothing has changed and everything was obvious from the very beginning.  So, no.  I’ve got enough bullshit in my life, and one of my plans for 2018, such as they are, is to spend less time letting other peoples’ bullshit into my skull.  So I won’t be reading this book.

I actually had a brief conversation with my wife earlier today about what might happen were I to try and eliminate paying attention to politics from my life, even on a short-term basis.  I’ve said this before; there would be a lot more political content on this site were it not for Twitter, which is where most of my politics talk has landed– which is probably better for everyone, as Twitter is better for spur-of-the-moment venting and I’ve already done the World’s Angriest Man blog, back during the Bush administration.

You know, the Golden Age.

I hear talk from people about how they’ve Decided to Unplug for a certain period of time; sometimes for a couple of weeks or a couple of months or much longer than that– usually this is in reference to social media in some way or another but sometimes it’s in reference to some topic, like politics, that is causing stress.  I genuinely don’t think I can do that; I feel like paying attention to this shit is something I have to do as an American citizen, and “unplugging” or “shutting off” for a while feels less like self-care and more like an abdication of responsibility.

I dunno.  I’m mostly free-associating.  I might do such a thing if I thought I were capable of it; I don’t think that I am.

On Al Franken

Al_Franken,_official_portrait,_114th_CongressI’m not at work today– I woke up with my head swimming like crazy, a condition that, seven hours later, hasn’t really gotten any better– and I probably ought to be doing something, anything other than sitting in front of a screen.  But seeing as how things like walking around or moving in general aren’t exactly easy at the moment (the decision to call in was made moments after realizing I needed to sit down for my morning piss, and then needing to take a second to not pass out after I did) I’ll just write a shorter version of the post I had in my head anyway because staring off into space until bedtime doesn’t sound super exciting.

So, yeah: screw Al Franken.

I really could make that the entire post, and be done with it, honestly.  There’s been a lot of yammering in Democratic circles over the last couple of weeks– I am paying no attention to what the other side thinks, because fuck them– about whether Franken resigning after multiple credible accusations of sexual harassment, at least some of which Franken admitted to, was going to be a Good Thing for the party or not.  Franken, if nothing else, is at least a reliable vote in the Senate for Our Stuff, and has managed for the most part to buck the trend of former-entertainers-turned-politicians being useless buffoons.  I myself tossed the idea of him running for President around a couple of times,  an idea that I’ve mostly shot down because I’m really dead tired of voting for white men for President and don’t want to do it anymore.

And I dunno.  Maybe I’d feel different– I suspect not, but maybe– if Franken was from a state that didn’t have a Democratic Governor, and maybe I’d feel different if the current lead candidate to replace him wasn’t a woman.  But the idea of keeping a predator in the Senate because he’s currently useful to us is not a look I’m especially happy with.  Oh, you don’t like the word “predator”?  Too fucking bad.  Dude shoulda kept his goddamn hands to himself.  It is actually not hard to not grope people.  In fact, not groping people is easier than groping people!  There’s less to do!

“But the Republicans aren’t about to ask the shitgibbon to resign!  And they’re voting for a pedophile for the Senate right now!”

So?  Fuck them.  They’re assholes, every last one of them, and I don’t want to be like them.  I want every single one of these sex-assaulting shits removed from whatever public role they hold, and I want each and every single fucking one of them replaced in whatever positions they held by women.  And honestly, I’ve seen a few prominent feminists on Twitter posit that they aren’t especially chafed by the idea that a few genuinely innocent men might get caught up in this, and I’m starting to come around to their side of things.  Blow the whole shit up and start over.  I don’t care if Franken gets tossed to the wayside in the process.  Motherfucker shoulda kept his hands to hisgoddamnself.  He didn’t.  Bye, Felicia.

And now my head’s swimming again, so I’m going to go back to lying around and not doing anything.  If anybody else gets busted for sex assault while I’m gone, assume I want them done and dusted and don’t bother telling me about it, OK?  Cool.