What a field day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly saying, "hooray for our side"

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Linkee-poo just can't get beyond the WTF existence

Elizabeth Bear is running a book sale. If you've been looking for something of her's, now might be a good time.

Jo Walton on the violence inherent in the system. A refelection on the use of violence in literature (and specifically the genre) and what it gets you and what you can do without it. There's a lot in there about how we interpret conflict (in the literary sense), and the desired to "ramp it up" and how that leads to violence or the threat of it. My first book is exceptionally violent, IMHO. It has pretty high body count by the end.

Writers in wax. 'Nough said.

With the nuclear problem, been there, done that. Like I've said, I've been on this ride before. Trust me when I say it gets worse. (Pointed to by John)

Because this is what advanced degrees and web 2.0 is for, damnit! Well, really, it is pretty cool. The Junkyard Jumbotron, what will they think of next? (Pointed to be John)

The Onion on solving the economy by cutting NPR funding. This is satire that cuts too close to the truth (which only makes it funnier).

When Harry Met Sally 2. Slightly NSFW, but a pretty good send up. Plus, Crystal and Reiner, I'm thinking Hope and Crosby, Laurel and Hardy, and Bill and Ted.

Dear Representative Blackburn, I'll agree to this if you also agree to stating you're a subsidiary of the Federal Government and pass legislation forcing all the companies that receive benefits, grants, and tax loopholes to state in their press releases and annual statement that they're wards of the State. You know, I think this Congress may do well to have a giant banner of Weaton's Law hung from the Washington Monument.

Especially when you have this duplicity surrounding the Ryan Budget (which I'll address later when I have time). That article is interesting on two points, one, about how the Republicans were against a specific cut that now Ryan's Budget does as well (and nary a peep of protest). Also for this line, "Medicare Advantage was intended to use private insurers to bring down health care costs, but its higher overhead actually ended up costing more than Medicare." Privatization has never succeeded in its publicly stated goals of reducing costs. Instead, they magnify the cost and drain your tax dollars away from programs that are actually efficient and bring benefits to citizens. Instead, the Ryan Budget Fiasco is nothing but a major corporate giveaway of your money while eliminating a program that helps. It is classic, "Got mine, screw you" politics.

And even further evidence that conservatives have no idea what the words they are saying actually mean. Dear Rep. Walsh, "compromise" and "bipartisanship" do not mean, "do it my way or else." And why doesn't the Senate come back with a proposal? Because it's the House's constitutional job to make the budget and spending bills, not the Senate's. As someone who was elected on the TP Wave, I think you would have read the Constitution and figured that out. Please, Mr. Walsh, buy a clue. Because it's obvious you don't have one. TP, proud of your representatives yet?

Persecution complex much? It's getting to the point I think reporters should say, "Pictures, or it didn't happen" as press conferences.

Reality, it's not on the side of conservatives. Maybe they should see to that? Nah, Never Never Land is so much prettier. Unfortunately for us, we have to live there. Fortunately for me I've mowed lawns and polished cars for a living before this. I was just hoping to not have to do that in retirement. In a world that now will consider McJobs as self improvement... It's almost beyond words. I wonder if WalMart will have human greeters when I retire, or if they'll have Japanese robots do the job instead?


Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, I can't hear you over the sound of clomping coconut shells.

Asimov said, probably mid '80s, that he reread The Foundation Trilogy with dismay - nothing happens in it. It's all talk, all the time.

It's... like AM radio!

Sorry about my digression there.

I have read a few of those Jo listed -Lois McMaster Bujold, Connie Willis, Sheri Tepper in particular. All books were non-violent, very readable, enjoyable reads that I've never gone back to.* But ask me how many times I've reread The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress and I can't give you an answer that's at all reliable because I've lost track.

Conflict is the heart of story-telling. While it's clearly possible to have a non-violent story, why is it ideal? I'm not familiar with Jo's work or her philosophy, so I'm not sure what her point is. You heard a couple of weeks ago that the Universe is out to kill us. If that's not violence (and apparently she doesn't think so; I'm mystified by that attitude) I can't even think what would be. Is impersonal threat of death less violent?

Well, it's something to think about while driving my daughter to her drum lesson.

*I'll also submit Ursula K. LeGuin as another example. The Tombs of Atuan is pretty much non-violent despite the ending.

Anonymous Cassie

Steve Buchheit said...

Cassie, conflict is the heart of the story, but conflict is not just fighting. It's an easy trap to fall into. Her argument is similar to the discussion of "why are there guns everywhere in TV and movies." Obviously there aren't, but it can certainly feel that way.

Just something to think about for those who create the stories.