fridgepunk: (KITTENSES!!!)
2015-05-08 09:02 am


Scotland has managed to return their one and only Tory MP, and left only one libdem and one Labour MP.

In Scotland's defense, that seems to have only happened because the scottish labour voters acted as a spoiler for the SNP vote allowing the Tory MP to sneak back in.

As of right fucking now there's 17 seats left to declare and the tories are 8 seats from a barest of slim majorities.

This means a few things:

One, the country is a little bit fucked, as in we may exit the EU which would have the glorious effect of crashing our economy as the rest of europe shuts us out of 90% of our foreign trade.

Two, the anti-blairite wing (i.e. the lefter wing) of the labour party has effectively lost this election, and thus there's going to be a return of the Torier-than-thou Mandelson types to power in the Labour party (AKA the bit of the party that tried to hound Mo Mowlem out of the party by spreading rumors that her brain cancer was affecting her judgement), which means the main opposition is effectively Charybdis to the Tories' Scylla at this point.

Even worse than that is that it'll be fairly easy for Labour to win the next election - the electoral tea leaves can more easily tell where UKIP or the SNP are going to have major effects on the vote, and you're not going to have as strong a Libdem presence next time now they're a distant 4th party in UK politics, they were coasting on inertia as it wasn't entirely clear that it was going to be a choice between Labour or the Tories in a lot of the old Lib Dem seats, so they were spoiling Labour's vote more than they are likely to next time. Which given how close a lot of the Tory wins this time were and how slim their majority can be, means that Labour should be fairly easily able to get a majority next time, even if their leader is an actual toad, or Nigel Farage (but I repeat myself).

Find a comfortable crash helmet, because you're gonna need to wear it for the next decade, at least.
fridgepunk: Queen Elizabeth X of Great Britain, guns akimbo and with the legend "keep calm and carry on" in white. (Keep Calm)
2015-05-08 02:40 am

Exit polls are horrible, time to post reasons why they must be wrong

As is traditional when someone sees the exit polls not go there way, I am going to explain why it's totally not as bad as it looks from the exit polls because the exit polls of OBVIOUSLY completely wrong (unlike all the other times when they're fairly accurate):

To put things in context, the exit polls at this point are giving the Tories 10 MPs short of a majority, and the Limp Dems 10 MPs, so we're possibly fucked for another 5 years.

However, the SNP are playing them down, and they're right to do so; The exit polls are giving them ALL BUT ONE of the Scottish Westminster seats.

This is unlikely given that Glasgow Central and North tend to go Labour and I doubt that'll change, and I'd be really surprised if the fucking Scottish borders went to the SNP.

What I suspect has happened is that Exit Polls work when you can reasonably extrapolate from a hundred or so seats to general trends, and in this election SO MUCH hangs on votes being split by third parties AND fourth, fifth, or even sixth parties, who are gonna get notable amounts of seats and the fine differences in the specific spread of the vote across all of those parties in individual consituencies is so important this year that generalisations are gonna be wonky.
As a test of this hypothesis, watch out for the Glasgow seats, and the scottish border seats of "Dumfries and Galloway", "Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale" and "Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk".

If those go... Are SNP yellow? Really? Weren't libdems yellow? With the pissbird logo and all?

Anyway, if those seats all go yellow, then the exit polls are right and we're all fucked.

Indeed, I'd be surprised if the English border seats don't also go SNP if they get all but one of the scottish seats, leading to the SNP getting >100% of the seats they actually stood candidates in. And it should be pointed out that there's a few seats in scotland outside of those heavy Labour friendly areas where the Libdems had a majority and I'd be surprised if those didn't go Labour rather than SNP.

So take the projections with a pinch of salt.

Also: Squee for the Greens getting another MP if the Exit Polls are right! Woo!
fridgepunk: (Laughing Man)
2015-04-25 11:58 am

Standalone Puppies

Kary English has thrown down a challenge to people (memetic prophylactic warning: Kary English is herself a bit of a nitwit AND THEN WILL SHETTERLY APPEARS IN THE COMMENTS WTF!? you have been warned):

I don’t see a lot of anger directed at, say, Jim Butcher, who is a high status monkey – er, individual. ;) Or at Kevin J. Anderson, also a successful, high status person. No, Jim and Kevin wouldn’t make good targets for displacement.

So all those people out there with long pent up criticisms of Jim Butcher's weird misogyny, sexism and subtle racism and anyone who wants to bitch about exactly how consistently terrible Kevin J. Anderson's writing is in all respects, feel free to do so at Kary English's behest, because she's been fiddling with her googles so hard they fell off, the poor thing.

I'd ACTUALLY love to drop a link here to the Requires Only That You Hate review of Butcher's Stormfront. Because regardless of whatever else she's done, RequiresHate's reviews were damn good. But Benjanun has blocked the Wayback Machine with her old site's Robots.txt file, again, so no dice.


Did find this one by Ronan Wills that's really on point and gets to the heart of the problems with the Dresden Files books.

It is really insulting and daft to honestly assert as true the notion that NO ONE has criticised the Great and Powerful Jim Butcher and Kary English can go fuck herself for not granting her critics the decency of honestly disagreeing with the words she wrote, and instead sticking a pole up Freud's long dead corpse and misusing the concept of "displacement" instead. No deary, It's not displacement, we're angry because of those WORDS that you WROTE, because you're a WRITER, of WORDS, that make us ANGRY. This is not a hard idea, stop overthinking things.

I'd also like it noted that Butcher's first novel was called "Storm Front", and that in this whole sordid affair he's currently associated, by dint of inclusion on the Sad Puppies 3 vote slate, with neofascist white supremicists from white supremicist website "stormfront". It's like poetry innawai.

For Kevin J. Anderson I simply point to his Star Wars EU novel "Darksaber". That novel, in the huge pile of crap that often were the Star Wars EU novels, is infamously bad in the way that the Voyager episode with Warp 10 that ended with Paris and Janeway devolving into lizards and having lizard babies was. For all that Star Wars EU fans will have grumbles and complaints about the general direction of the overall meta-plots in the EU stories, when you press any of them on which particular book was the worst book out of them all, they will almost always say "Kevin J Anderson's Darksaber", because Kevin J Anderson is just that bad of a writer. Then he did those shitty Dune Prequels and Sequels, and the rest isn't even history yet.

If you're not familiar with Kary English, she has the Ignoble honor of being one of the Sad Puppies 3 nominations for the Joseph Campbell Award (AKA The Not-A-Hugo Award). Remember folks who might have dealings with Brad R. Torgesen; If you know him too well he will mock your writing and spit in your face by putting you on a slate with Kevin J. Anderson. And he'll act like he's doing you a favor as he insults you too! What a nice guy.

If you're not familiar with the Sad Puppies and the whole disgusting mess they've left on fandom's carpet then the best quick and dirty summary of the fiasco itself I've seen is this Naomi Kritzer post on the subject. That post, by the way, lays out quite exhaustively the large amount of planning and coordination between the so called Rabid Puppies and Sad Puppies, that makes the current fictive seperation the Sad Puppies are claiming between SP3 and RP1 especially sad and pathetic - The piece especially goes into detail about the close cooperation and seeming friendship between Brad R Torgesen and overt white supremicist and neo-nazi/dominionist Theodore "Vox Day" Beale.

Beale himself and his many moments of nonsensical barbarism are exhaustively summed up by this piece by Philip Sandifer I saw via Cherryh's blog. The Sandifer piece is hyperlinked fairly well, so if you want just a list of monstrous things VD has said, follow this link instead. elsewise read the whole thing, it's fascinating and the last part is titled after a quote from a Janelle Monae song, so it can't be bad.

It does do one thing I do consider a mistake; namely it tries to add unearned and non-existent gravitas to the eternally sad and pathetic figure of Theodore "Vox Day" Beale. This is a guy with access to a few million dollars and who, throughout his entire life has been able to score gigs and opportunities due to his family connections in the publishing and entertainment businesses. Now and finally, after fucking up literally every single unearned opportunity He has ever been given, he's finally arrived in the hilarious position where he's arguing that there is an elaborate conspiracy of bookish nerds persecuting and censoring him.

It is said that oftentimes you can judge a man by the quality of his enemies, and VD's greatest nemesis is John Scalzi; A former advertising man turned SF novelist.

Make of that as you will.
fridgepunk: image originally captioned "Ideal female body", has woman who is a skeleton below the clavicle (The Ideal Female Body)
2015-04-08 02:58 am
Entry tags:

Procrastinating, not reading

With the intention of getting my head around the entire genre of romance this year I have, as is often the case in trying to get to grips with new experiences, fallen down the research rabbit hole.

Thus I am currently reading up on Medieval literature a little (but not actually reading that stuff because; No grasp of french, medieval or otherwise, and yeesh, Chaucer, yikes!).

The purpose therein is to try and get to grips with that weird transition from the Victorian sense of a "romance" in the sense of often fabulous fiction with an adventurous or historical or general escapist bent, to the 20th century sense of a story about two (or so) people hooking up.

So far my best hypothesis for how this transition happened, so far at least, is that medieval literature had this notion of "the three matters"; The Matter of Britain, the Matter of France and more pertinently the complete misnomer that is The Matter of Rome.

The Matter of Rome was basically pre-medieval classical literature and tales regardless of whether it was Roman or Greek; Your Iliad, your Odyssey and even histories like Pliney the Elder's were all bundled into "the matter of Rome". The other two matters make up Arthurian myths and things like the Song of Roland, respectively.

Then in french translations or rewritings of the classical classics, the author would dub the things as being the "Roman de [classical setting]", with the "roman" used as a term to denote that it was in french rather than Latin, see for instance the Roman de Troie by Benoît de Sainte-Maure. Except these versions were the francophonic equivalent of the hollywood bowlderised version of those classical stories, with the stories of greek and roman heroes massively rewritten (as Chaucer does in Troilus portrayed as righteous christian knights in tights doing cavalry charges against saracenic trojans while everyone wears chainmail and steel plate armor and lops off people's heads with zweihanders. Another part of this bowlderisation was the insertion of the "courtly romance" from the Arthurian and Song of Roland romances - so the various manly gay warrior lovers of the greek and roman corpuses were carefully matched up with any female character they could find (or those they just made up), so you'd have Cassandra, who is often raped by Ajax in the original greek sources, sending Ajax on a fetch quest to prove his armoire (and to show that christianity is the one true religion and convert her from her pagan trojan ways, naturally)

So what then happens is, MOTHERFUCKING CHAUCER rides into English fiction, riding an eight legged monstrous horse called "the middle English vernacular" and starts first rewriting Italian retellings of these classical stories with his own spin, before then writing stories about contemporary people that aren't based on the older classics. Then there is a wall made up of both french and English being total mantisfucks as far as written language are concerned. So somewhere between the war of the roses and the Victorians, the term "romance" comes to be applied to original fiction that apes the tropes and milieu of those weird francophone Knight Errant versions of Greek and roman literature, and is set in either that mythical other-world that such tales ended up painting or in the knightly realms of the British and French "matter" fiction.

Then it was a small step for these "romances" to deal with settings beyond that which might have been seen in "the three matters", and thus in a single leap Romance of the Victorian kind emerges, wearing its predecessor's baggy clothing and looking sheepish in the light of day.

Now we are but one small century from this current genre of "romance", and carrying this traditional sense of the literary "romance" forward was the Victorian period's twin popular writing formats - on the one hand there were the magazines with their short and serial fictions, and on the other there lay The Novel.

These two formats were, on paper at least (if you'll excuse the pun), at war with each other, the Novel benefited from being big and chunky and appealing to a large range of people, while the magazine made bank from having a steady, but niche, readership whose tastes could be catered to with specialised stories - of course in practice these two formats were both controlled and profitable for publishers, who could sell more novels by putting adverts to those novels in their niche magazines, and in turn sell more magazines by putting a mixture of short fiction for the target demographics alongside the more general fair provided by serialisations of novels.

So where the novel would, aping the romances of the medieval period, include a romantic plot thread within its wider story, a short story might have only the romantic plot thread, which leads to the development of writing styles, stories and then tropes dedicated to expanding upon that particular plot thread - of such things are genres born, and so you eventually have what we currently recognise as the genre of romance. least that was my theory until I looked up the etymology in english (rather than medieval french or latin) and found that uses of the term "romance", both in the sense of "wooing" and in the other sense of a a vernacular fiction, date to the 15th century, which blows all that nonsense out of the water in lieu of it all being a weird coincidence.
fridgepunk: Image courtesy of webcomic Octopus Pie, available now at all good googles! (Oh Noes!)
2015-03-12 03:28 pm
Entry tags:

Sir Terry Pratchett, 1949-2015

Well the embuggerance escalated suddenly, at least it wasn't a slow death:
fridgepunk: (Laughing Man)
2014-12-10 04:24 pm
Entry tags:


From the flag fading across the title bar, you find yourself wondering where the other cliches of satirical hyper-patriotism are; Whither the bald eagle crying the single tear? Where the references to 'murka's freedoms and its love there of? Not to be found here, alas. Though it does refer to the memoirs by the former CIA wonks who were directly responsible for getting CIA really publicly into the torture game, and who presumably are entirely happy having their names placed immediately next to what is clearly marked as NOFORN documents on the world wide web, where FORN'ers like myself are able to access them.

But to summarise the general line of argument these wonks (and by extension the pro-torture camp inside the CIA they represent) are making, you have to just follow the, by now, tried and true four fold path of torture denialism which goes:
  1. We didn't do anything wrong.
  2. If we did something wrong, we checked if it was okay first and were told it wasn't wrong
  3. If we did something we knew and were told was wrong, but it was okay because it was useful.
  4. If we did something we knew and were told was wrong and it wasn't useful, well you have to understand the historical context, 9/11, imminent attacks with nuclear weapons, ticking time bombs, etc...
They reach #4 on the site's main page fairly quickly;

Absent from the report is any discussion of the context the United States faced after 9/11. This was a time we had solid evidence that al Qaida was planning a second wave of attacks against the U.S.; we had certain knowledge that bin Laden had met with Pakistani nuclear scientists and wanted nuclear weapons; we had reports that nuclear weapons were being smuggled into New York City; and we had hard evidence that al Qaida was trying to manufacture anthrax. It felt like a "ticking time bomb" every single day.

You will, like I, be entirely familiar with that time nuclear weapons were smuggled into New York City, such was the deep trustworthiness of the CIA's intelligence and their ability to assess that intelligence for its actual threat potential at that time.

Of course this incompetence on their part is then reiterated again and again[LINK IS PDF] as their key defense; They sucked at actual HUMINT work, so they panicked when it suddenly became really important and then used torture as the equivalent of cramming for a test to make up for their complete lack of information about Al Qaeda.

So for instance they make the claim that after the Vietnam war the CIA had lost most of their capabilities to perform human interrogation programs due to how they let their vietnam era interrogators leave and then began out-sourcing interrogations to countries with terrible human rights records, which in all cases led to human rights abuses.

Indeed, they acknowledge that when they finally caught a major potential HUMINT source in the form of Abu Zubaydah, who is credited as the "mastermind" of the 9/11 attacks. They first of all sent him to be interrogated by intelligence forces in [REDACTED but probably Pakistan] before the lack of progress and the inability of the CIA to properly micro-manage the torture sessions prompted the CIA to create the infamous "Black Sites" in the middle east where CIA interrogators could interrogate detainees in-country.

And of course the vital information[LINK IS PDF] they got from torture? How the people they'd detained had been, prior to detaining them, planning on organising attacks, and basically a flow chart of the internal management of AQ based off of guesses made by low ranking underlings in the organisation who'd seen Osama Bin Laden in the distance a few times.

Really saving lives out there guys, great success.
fridgepunk: A sign on garrus' back reading "Shoot a rocket into my ugly stupid face" (Default)
2014-12-02 08:57 pm

Police Computers set to contains millions of images of child pornography "for investigative reasons"

Mr Hofmann said the software would help automate more of the process.

"We want investigators to spend more time looking at the new material, instead of looking at the same images over and over again," he explained.

Being snarky in taking that out of context, but it does mention that this Child Abuse Image Database (CAID) is a rehash of the Childbase system from 2003:

A similar system, called Childbase, was launched in 2003 by Ceop and the Home Office.

It contained seven million images and used ground-breaking facial-recognition software.

It was rolled out to police forces across the UK, but in 2011 it was switched off.

Sharon Girling received an OBE for her work on the scheme. She believes it failed because of a lack of trained officers.

"We have increased numbers of offenders since 2011. How the heck are we going to get sufficient officers today?"

She fears that Caid may "fizzle out" unless it is properly resourced.

"Childbase ceased to exist because of a lack of resources, because there weren't sufficient officers."

"I can only see that happening again with Caid, as much as I don't want that to happen, I fear that it may well do".

The idea that the Police honestly don't even have the equivalent of reverse image search for all their kiddy porn is kinda bizarre, as is the idea that it needs especially "trained" officers to use the thing. And adding to the bizarreness is that they'd implement it so it used regular officers rather than having a system like for the dispatch boards where it's not regular police officers operating the bloody thing but people who's job is to do nothing but operate it is equally bizarre, if only because it means it'd be very easy for a handful of coppers to shut down an abuse investigation by just going; "Yeah, checked the harddrive against CAID and got a green light, no kiddy porn there" rather than bagging up the hardrive and sending it to the computers division for analysis.

Evidence is one of those things you don't want being analysed in house by police after all, you want it bagged up, sent off to experts rather than... well, rather than coppers, for examination, if only to keep them honest and stop them from cleaning blood of guns before sending it to the ballstics lab ala the Ferguson PD, but also seriously to minimise the risk of accidental fouling of the evidence by incompetent handling.
fridgepunk: cat plays with cord of an iron while sitting on an ironing board (Irony)
2014-12-02 07:38 pm
Entry tags:

"Wrathful god of our own creation may strike us all down", says Chronos

Aunty Beeb got an interview or something with Stephen Hawking, and it was about the new autocorrect-kinda software he's got in his cyborg rig to help him communicate, so of course the article is about how he thinks robots will doom us all, even though it's pretty much a rehashing of views he gave to the independent back in May of this year.

Little is actually discussed about the intrinsic problems and daily annoyances Hawking probably has with these sorts of programs, because that'd be interesting.

When there is no more finite silly season, it is because there is only a trans-finite silly season all year round.
fridgepunk: (Laughing Man)
2014-12-01 08:31 pm

OH! Moment courtesy of Bruce £terling

Nonetheless, I think we can safely identify certain aspects of cyberpunk’s aesthetic vision common to all its examples.

1) “No Future” (the punk in cyberpunk) – the sense of a collapsed future, i.e., the replacement of progressive modernism’s sense of constant material and social improvement by the sense of a failed project, leaving behind ruined infrastructures as its Ozymandian monuments;

Which hit me like; Ah! Oh! Righty, so that's what the punk suffix was about, which sort of makes sense in the case of steampunk, where it employs a false technological history to avoid dealing with the present in various ways and thus renders the notion of our "future" irrelevent to the textual setting.

Oddly enough it also means a lot of most post-apocalyptic and even dystopian settings, from 1984 to the Oryx and Crake books or even the Lillith's Brood books, are all "punky" due to that "tales from after the end of history" element of them that defines the stories mood.

Then even HG Well's The Time Machine can be seen as a precursor to "punk" as a literary concept, with the final message from a deep future there the sun is fixed in the sky and life is but blobs devouring each other on beaches with waveless shores, in contrast to the approach of say the Professor Jameson stories with its "human race is dead, oh well, life goes on, let's explore the stars as awesome cyborgs! With Wings!" attitude.

Then again, we have Mary Shelley's The Last Man before even that, with an attitude that both makes it "punky" and seperates it from earlier religious themed apocalypses by taking the stance that ultimately there is no Elect, no saved, as indeed there is no salvation; For even the ideals of the enlightenment were for naught, mere wan abortions quickly strangled by its own umbilical cord even as the forces of theo-idiocy smothered its child* science under a pillow of regressiveness and nostalgia.

Looking at my own nascent writing and my thinking about the future I find myself rejecting that notion entirely as too morose and indeed too pretentious to really accept - the ultimate end point of a viewpoint such as cosmicism is not only that we are so insignificant that the universe may yet wake up tomorrow and grind us in its fathomless gearing, but also that even if Cthulhu wakes up someone will likely oversleep, miss the end of the world, and go about making themselves breakfast muttering to themselves about the horrible dreams they had and get on with shit. Simply because as the universe's vastness is unimaginable to the human mind, so too is most people's complete indifference to that universe's vastness vaster still. Even if we're all gone and have taken the bastard cockroaches with us, the world will turn and the cats will probably learn how to get the dogs to sow seeds in the fields to draw the mice to the farms again. Shit will continue inevitably continue, and history ain't gonna end, either with us or without us.

* I think the point where a fetus has had a child is the point in any good metaphor where you realise that you should stopped the damn thing a long time ago.
fridgepunk: (Exoticising the otter)
2014-11-17 12:49 pm

Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzpatrick

I read Margaret Atwood's Handmaid's Tale about 6 months ago and have been trying to read various more "literary" books, in part to find other sources of good prose, Atwood's good writing having made reading my usual supply of SF like eating stale rice cakes.

So I start a few books, and can't finish them because I kept finding weird ones like Steinbeck's East of Eden where you get an entire novel into the book and the actual story still hasn't started, and in East of Eden I might have continued on if, after getting the novel worth of backstory of two brothers, Steinbeck hadn't proceeded to start telling the backstory of a female character.

Said female character's only character trait being that she's a manipulative, amoral monster, which is bad. Note however that in the preceding tale of the two brothers, one of them is also an amoral monster, but a more physical and introverted one rather than a socially manipulative one, and he at one point even nearly murders his brother with an axe over fuck all, but he's presented as just a gruff man and so having violent rage attacks is just a (well, his only) character quirk and thus renders him morally neutral; Like a tornado or flashflood. Meanwhile the female character is presented in a much more negative light for doing milder stuff.

The prose was nice but the multiple levels on which it others women made me just decide it wasn't worth my time, a common response I'm having to supposedly "serious" literary fiction. Not least because 90% of the books I keep finding appear to be terribly written romance fiction aimed at literature professors, all of which are specifically about a middle aged academic having an affair with a much younger woman. I think the problem with Literature is, unlike the other main genres of fiction, that the tiny and ultra-narrow demographic the writing is aimed at has, like in "christian literature", led to most of the actual books in that genre being terrible simply because none of the writers have sufficient competition that they really have to bother putting engaging stories or interesting characters in their books. Instead, more often than not, it's crap where the writer has just focused on pandering to their audiences ultra-specific prejudices and weird fetishes.

Tender is the Night of course is notable in that the author, who may be familiar from his earlier book "The Great Gatsby", did tell people that this book was a "romance", because it mostly follows the relationships between the unfortunately named Dick Diver, his supposedly schizophrenic and incredibly rich wife Nicole Warren, and a young movie starlet called Rosemary Hoyt.

Dick Diver is a psychologist, unfortunately this is a book written during the interwar period and the reader is doubly-unfortunate because Fitzgerald did his research, and thus the psychology presented to the reader is almost comically Freudian.

Thus Nicole Warren's schizophrenia is given a clear cause at the very start of the book when her father explains, to the clinic doctor who he's handing Nicole over to, how after her mother died he and Nicole became close and prone to cut for lewdness and child molestation )
fridgepunk: A sign on garrus' back reading "Shoot a rocket into my ugly stupid face" (Default)
2014-11-15 10:21 pm

A negative review of some bad arguments currently in use against Benjanun Sriduangkaew

Peter Watts is not a very smart person.

This I have learned from his overly long screed in which he does his damnedest to other Benjanun Sriduangkaew and deny her personhood. Because what this clusterfuck needed was more incoherent racism. woo.

Especially wonderful are the bits where his basic ability to understand how percentages work just falls off, like so:

Go, if you haven’t already. Look at Mixon’s figures. See for yourself. The fact that RH occasionally went after the Bakkers and Bacigalupis of the world let her claim that she was Speaking Truth To Power, but in fact People of Color were four times more likely to be targeted than us privileged white boys.

For the record, if you DO go and look at Mixon's figures you find a small issue; The actual pie charts show that of the sample population she examines more than half are white, and more than half were straight (though the queer piechart is an abomination unto statistics; Never. Ever. Present your data as saying something when more than a quarter of your sample data is "unknown"). Only when you look at "gender" that kyriarchally dominant groups stop being picked on by BS, with less than a quarter of the people BS fucked with over the years being male sexed, and the majority being female.

(Mixon unfortunately mixes up gender with sex in this one case, hence the quote marks because it's a quote, not a statement on transgender politics)

Mixon of course points out that such a demographic spread amongst BS's victims are still disproportionate when compared to... US published children's book authors... and despite that being a nonsensical thing to compare Sriduankaew's victims to, I can see what Mixon is trying to get at there and while I disagree with the precise methodology she uses, I'd be utterly unsurprised if, should someone figure out how to obtain even rough demographic data for the various communities in which BS was being a complete fucking asshole within (which is obviously the ideal thing to use to work out the true proportionality of attacks, i.e. potential victims vs. actual victims), it would likely be found that she was still disproportionately attacking POC... because there was a period when she pretty much appointed herself as grand sheriff of Skiffy POC and was doing lots of "authenticity" policing, like it's the 80s and she was a fucking punk groupie.

But that's speaking in proportional terms, not absolute ones, and Peter Watts goes and fucks his own gnarled and inbred feet by not bothering to talk in anything other than absolute numbers. Even though if you do look at what mixon's brightly coloured pie charts say in terms of absolute numbers then yeah, if you were a person attacked by her then you're statistically more likely to be a straight white lady from the US while she herself is, no matter how you cut it, a queer POC from Thailand. Kyriarchal power dynamics ain't exactly on her side there and pretending that she wasn't doing a lot of uppercutting in amongst her bullshit is disengenous and a huge fucking lie.

And those last points are kind of a big one when you're a scrotumfaced american buffoon who is amazingly beardhurt about having his fiction criticised. Especially when you look at a legitimate problem in our community and see an opportunity to advertise your work AND to exploit a rare opportunity to practice you best othering skills on a POC, now that he's got a black president.

So to start with, Benjanun Sriduangkaew is, according to Peter Watts, a changeling. She's also an artificial hive mind entity Watts dubs the "Winterfox Colony Creature". Hell, he ends on a fucking quote referencing the fucking holocaust, for is not Sriduangkaew like the entire vast edifice of Nazi germany?

Why? Because on several different social mediums she used different names.

Watts, and a lot of other people for some reason, are treating this as highly abnormal.

Why the very idea of having a different name on livejournal than on some old BBcode forum, another on your main wordpress blog and to use a different one on twitter!?... Okay, to be fair it is for Charlie Stross who's been Autopope/antipope since the early 90s and a lot of the other USEnet folks, but for everyone else, especially the fucking anonymous people who need to look up what irony is in the dictionary, that's just how most people who have been on multiple different internet forae over the years have operated - they change as people as they shift from forum to forum, they choose different names when migrating often to reflect specific interests unique to a particular forum, and while some people may settle into one or two pseudonyms and try to keep them between services, often times people just pick new ones when they migrate or someone else already had that name so they have to.

She did not, or at least I have seen no actual evidence to show otherwise, use multiple account on a given service. Which is what you kinda have to do to sockpuppet and I see you fuckers referencing Cassandra Claire so I know you know what actual sockpuppetry looks like. So everyone pulling ANY of that nonsense:

Go fuck yourselves.

And I can say that with a fair bit of confidence that I'm not telling actual victims of Sriduangkaew to go fuck themselves because for the most part they're not the ones trying to make fucking mountains out of molehills just to score cheap internet points.

Because that is primarily who I'm talking to here, not the legitimate victims but the vultures, the wankers, and the scum who are hovering around this thing and trying to turn such cheap point scoring against Sribuangkaew into a weapon they can weild against anyone else they just don't like.

Which brings us neatly back to Peter Watts being a not very clever person:

I was a minor target for a while, but only because I spoke out in defense of a colleague. RH didn’t even know who I was until I mentioned her on my own blog. I was, as they say, asking for it.

Mr. Watts, actually lets not dignify you with your chosen name you sanctimonious pus bucket, I'm calling you Petey from now because fuck you;

Petey, you did not just appropriate the post-assault societal victimisation of rape survivors with that "I was... ...asking for it." line? Did you? You didn't just scrape that shrivelled walnut you call a brain and decide; "Am I like a rape victim in all this? Yes I am."

That's where you decided to take this? When the SFF community is fucking knee deep in actual rape victims at the moment, you really went there?

It pissed me off to see Valente blatantly misrepresent what I’d said, it pissed me off to get a lecture on the power imbalance between Powerful White Authors and Poor Vulnerable Fans in a world where five minutes with Google reveals my home address to any anonymous darling who wants to take a rusty meathook to my scrotum. (Being called a racist by someone who publicly rhapsodizes about “killing all white people”, on the other hand, was just funny.) Caitlin will attest that I wasn’t very nice to be around sometimes.

What Cat Valente "misrepresented" in this particular case was that whole thing where he called Sriduangkaew a rabid animal - what he of course meant was that she was like a broken fire hydrant, or a raging wild fire, or a machinegun with a stuck trigger.

But he, as a writer, chose "an animal who should be killed because it is a danger to real people" as his metaphor. Which is totally reasonable, you see, because Petey is part of that darling bit of SFF fandom that shares a single braincell amongst themselves, and when he said that particular thing someone else was trying to button their shirt.

He's now choosing this particular clusterfuck centering around a person using way too much eliminationist hyperbole, as an excuse to whine about how unfair it that he, a professional writer, should be expected to not use eliminationist rhetoric that also involves calling a POC an animal.

Petey here isn't even making the childish argument that "she did it first"; He's straight up playing his privilege cards to say that because Sriduangkaew has since been found to have been an even larger doucehcanoe than he, he is therefore retroactively immune from all criticism in relation to himself being a douchecanoe to her.

This is a grown ass man claiming: "no backsies!"

So let me try to break it down so all the little Peteys out there can understand this:

Sriduangkaew is an asshole.

She is also a Person of Colour, and please note that first word; Person.

She is not an animal, she is not an amorphous thing or a fucking robot. PoC are just as able to be collosal assholes as white people without being animals, without being super-scary criminal geniuses who are planning their asshollery out 5 steps ahead of everyone. PoC are as capable of sincere hypocrisy as white people, as capable of telling people "do as I say, not as I do", without it all somehow being an elaborate decade long scheme to keep her potential rivals down so as to ascend to the dizzy heights of... being published.
I think she attacked Cindy Pon because she hated her book. I legitimately think she said Silver Phoenix had rape apologetics in it because that is her opinion. I think she attacked other PoC in various communities because she is an asshole without any regard for decent netiquette. I do not buy that she planned much of anything out. This is a wholewheat, dolphin friendly, kale enhanced, organic, free range, farm fresh clusterfuck if ever I saw one.

We can have a conversation about what the reasonable limits of employing violent and eliminationist hyperbole and rhetoric are within the context of a society in which real eliminationist actions are a thing people have legitimate fears of because it is a common tool to keep people down, and how the mere rhetoric can create a chilling effect even should the eliminationist hyperbole be employed as an obvious and conscious act of comedic irony, and even when it's all pointed towards kyriarchally domineering groups and does provide the highly addictive immediate gratification in the form of lackwitted arses like Petey getting roiled up and digging a tunnel to the earth's core because their fee-fees got trod on.

(Which is not to say that "it was all just hyperbole guys!" ala Nick "doxxes you for your own safety" Mamatas, it's just there's not much conversation to have about the inexcusable stuff; It's inexcusable, duh.)

Maybe as a community we need to take this as yet another of life's lessons on how we need to treat each other as friends rather than enemies, while also getting better at telling the obnoxious fuckers at the back of the cinema to shut up because we're trying to watch the goddamn picture.

But the starting point for that conversation, or indeed ANY conversation, is simply this: Benjanun Sriduangkaew is a person, not a dog, not fu man-fucking-chu, any more than I'm magically one of her "minions" or her "horde" because I think this stuff is more complex than Petey's poor little brain can fucking handle.

Sorry about not having anything more productive than that to say; Go read Mixon's report if you haven't already, Keep an eye on Safe, also The Radish has some productive links in the form of ways to support authors affected by all this shit... though don't buy Liz Williams' stuff because she's an ableist little shit and her books are shite too.

Wistfuljane is also an intelligent person with a fair counter-point to Mixon's report with other good links.
fridgepunk: A sign on garrus' back reading "Shoot a rocket into my ugly stupid face" (Pony Jerusalem)
2013-07-02 12:39 pm

More Problems in the Scottish Football Writer's Association

Wow, the Scottish Football Writer's Association is full of complete bastards, glad I don't have anything to do with them /wryface

One of the reasons why I haven't been doing much on dreamwidth over the past few months was that I got distracted by shinies elsewhere and didn't have the emotional energy to say much on people's stuff (largely because it would have come out as largely "YOU GUYS ARE GREAT DON'T BE SAD YOU ARE AWSUM I LOVE YOU GUYS DAAWWWWWWW{{{{{{youguys}}}}}}" and I'm apparently too english or too jewish to feel able to do that in public.

One of the shinies that comes to mind reading the Elder of Scotch Football Writer fandom is a cool place that's worth checking out if you have the spoons/forks/sporks to put up with the stuff they document; Shit Reddit Says (SRS).

Basically all Shit Reddit Says does is find comments on other high traffic reddit subforums (henceforth to be referred to as "subs" or "subreddits") that are 1) nasty as fuck in a misogynistic, classist, racist, ablist, transphobic, homophobic etc... and 2) have been given at least 10 upvotes by other redditors.

people on SRS then repost these comments, with links to them and generally how many upvotes they got, and then the rest of the people on SRS see these, and start mocking them in the thread created in the SRS sub.

They have strict rules about "touching the poop", i.e. going over to the original comment and mocking it there, and very strict rules about upvoting/downvoting these comments - the strct theory SRS runs off of is that it's a "museum of poop, do not touch the exhibits", so all the mockery takes place in the well moderated venue of SRS rather than the rest of reddit.

This sounds pretty innocuous right? Pointing and laughing at fools in a subfora that fools have to do out of their way to find?

Well the mere existence of SRS has prompted at present count 5 dedicated subreddits run by misogynistic, racist, homophobic and frequently pedophilic (not joking about that btw) trolls and try hards who are dedicated to combating the "censorship" and "attacks against the foundations of reddit itself" that SRS supposedly does.

Can't think why I should be reminded of that when reading up on the SFWA, oh right.

For the full documenting of the irony involved in this let me just point out:

Many of the people kvetching and moaning in those threads are the same people who kvetched and moaned about the damage to public discourse caused by "anonymous" critics who "don't have to risk their real identity by connecting it to what they say". These same people are of course deathly afraid of public criticism and are hiding in private fora lest they get teased for their honestly held views.

Jerry Pournelle was one of the 70% of SFWA who, after Lem criticised Philip Jose Farmer's writing and, along with Phillip K Dick, was responsible for Stanislav Lem being kicked out of the scottish football writers association. Phillip K Dick at least had the excuse of being an unmedicated paranoid schizophrenic who thought Lem was stealing monies from him by being involved in the unlicensed production of polish versions of Dick's books, and also Dick apologised for this misconception later on so it's hard to begrudge him too much for that, PJFarmer is a snotty git though and always will be.

Pournelle on the other hand went on record, after Ursula K LaGuin criticised this literally reprisal against Lem for his criticism of western science fiction, wanted Lem out of SFWA because:
Lem was Polish;
Polish people are different (and all devout communists, back in the day);
Therefore Pournelle wanted Lem out of the SFWA.
(Lem being a far better writer of hard science fiction, and fiction in general, probably didn't help)

And of course Pournelle's never apologised for that, and in fact argues to this day that it was really because of a technicality in the SFWA's bylaws that got Lem kicked out... because apologising would require humility or a sense of decency or selfwareness or a functioning brain that isn't filled with the swirling phantasms of demoniacal environmentalists maliciously hugging trees and thereby impeding the development of human spaceflight.

But remember that; Jerry Pournelle is on record as saying that you can get kicked out of the SFWA for technicalities caused by SFWA's leadership having to operate per a Rules-As-Written reading of the SFWA's bylaws, but not for violating those bylaws in the way Beale recently has because...

Of course I'm being facetious there; Anyone who knows Pournelle knows that he doesn't want Beale to be kicked out because Beale violated the SFWA's bylaws in a way that involved Beale's white supremicist views, and kicking him out would obviously have a rather chilling effect upon Pournelle and his own public stating of white supremicist views, and ultimately Pournelle looks after Pournelle, ergo; THIS IS THE CENSORSHIP-SHOAH!

That the people trying to get beale kicked out of SFWA are very carefully linking it to his flagrant abuse of the twitter retweeting service doesn't matter to them because they aren't listening to anyone... not even to themselves!

Take for instance the way that, in amongst all that whining and the beardhurt about how being politely criticised for your actual opinions is a fate worse than the shoah, you ALSO get the defense of con-groping and editor James Frankel's harassment of Elise Mattheson, because sexual harassment of female writers is fine, but CRITICISM!? My word, they're as different in severity as night and day! (which is technically true, but those fools have their polarities mixed up).

And of course there's the ur-irony in amongst all of this: Beale ran for president of SFWA on a plank that included removing the right of female members to vote in SFWA election - so we literally have a guy on one side, who wants non-white members of SFWA to shut up because he believes that they're not as evolved as white people like him are and thus have no right to speak aloud in public, and this guy furthermore campaigned on a literally policy of having taxation of female members of the SFWA while depriving them of representation and a voice in SFWA elections... and the censors are the people who are publically criticial of him? - They're not trying to take away his ability to say things out loud, and even if he was kicked out of the SFWA, he'd have his membership monies refunded for the loss of membership privileges (and membership is a literal privilege, not a right).

But the REAL censors are the people trying to get him kicked out who are being very careful to get him kicked out for the right reasons so as not to create a chilling effect from setting a dodgy precendent.

Like say if an honourary member had been kicked out for being too foreign for Jerry Pournelle's liking.

("clown car of fail" tag stolen shamelessly from Solarbird's post on this subject)
fridgepunk: A sign on garrus' back reading "Shoot a rocket into my ugly stupid face" (Default)
2013-07-01 01:36 am

A defense of Science Fiction Romances, and an offense against their opponents

Sorry about this, gonna rant a bit about the current continuing SFWA sausagefest, ignore if you quite rightly don't want to have to read anything about this shit, because there's basically nothing new if you've been anywhere near a misogynistic sub-culture, and you have if you've ever been near a sub-culture.


Anyway, the story so far for those who are morbidly curious but know better than to dive into any of this for sensible reasons:

fridgepunk: A sign on garrus' back reading "Shoot a rocket into my ugly stupid face" (Default)
2012-11-26 04:34 pm

The Name of The Tory Election Advisor is "Michael Fabricant"

Once again reality proves itself to be a giant cliché held together with irony. Bonus points for it also being one of those things where the election advisor is just trying to agressively elbow nudge the government into holding an EU referendum (AKA any story involving the tories talking about UKIP ever).

For those across the seas who have so many better things to care about than the english and welsh #batmanreference elections... I mean the local police commissioner elections; Basically what you need to know are that UKIP are a single issue party that wants "out of Europe" (while never explaining what that means exactly) and the brand new position of "Local Police Commissioner", that Nick Clegg invented to ensure that england sees one election done by AV*, involves an elected person being in charge of local police finances or something.

Now you may think that there is literally no reason why UKIP would stand candidates in that election and you would be right, but they did anyway because Nigel Farage has too much money and his family really wants him to retry the plane stunt he did during the last general election.

You may also think that in an election where national voter turnout couldn't even break 20%, a party that got almost as many votes nationally as Ms. Spoiled Ballot (former-MP for Staines) wouldn't be considered a threat by the party in government, even if in this particular case where the party in government have lost every byelection since the last general one to the only remaining rival and they couldn't even get a majority in the general election in the first place.

It's almost as though Mr. Fabricant is making shit up in a sad parody of political maneuvering, but how could anyone not trust someone with what appears to be Micheal Hesseltine's face and Boris Johnson's hair? (aside from "very easily", obviously...)

* Ironically the last election I've participated in that used the first past the post system was the AV referendum, and I've voted in 4 elections since with 3 of them using the AV systems and the fourth using I think was the transferrable vote system... literally clichés held togehter with irony...
fridgepunk: A sign on garrus' back reading "Shoot a rocket into my ugly stupid face" (Default)
2012-11-23 01:49 am

I had a dream... in the form of a movie

So there's these three old japanese professors, from this japanese institution that never gets named which is all about vague sciencey stuff. The important take home however is that the institution is set up so that its main buildings also function as multigenerational fallout shelters, which is important because this is a movie from the 80s.

How 80s is it? One of the Professors' students is Kurt Russel. The rest of the students are also all quite muscley 80s action movie stars but I only recognised Kurt Russel.

it's really long beneath the cut, don't say I didn't warn you. )

Of course for the people who stuck through that (I basically wanted to get it down before I forgot it for good) or those who have better things to do with their time; here's a video of Karen Gillan (Amy Pond) in a bikini and shooting an american in the face to cheer up the americans who are suffering from the giving of thanks and everyone in southern england who's gotten wettened over the past few days.
fridgepunk: (Laughing Man)
2012-10-02 10:36 pm
Entry tags:

Socialist Cyborg Medicine in the UK

Not sure how watchable this is for people from outside the UK, but from the Beeb: Man from Hull recieves bionic hand from NHS
fridgepunk: A sign on garrus' back reading "Shoot a rocket into my ugly stupid face" (Sparkles Fuck yeah)
2012-09-29 11:57 am

Do you think that somewhere in the Farenheit 451 universe...

...there is a collaboration between Green Peace and the Underground Literati to create and operate a floating library/naval activist mothership called the Reading Rainbow Warrior?
fridgepunk: A sign on garrus' back reading "Shoot a rocket into my ugly stupid face" (Default)
2012-09-26 11:18 am

Dragon*Con takes a bold stance against unicorns, as eye-logs impair con-organiser's vision

From the official livejournal account of Dragon*Con, the con co-founded by a serial pedophile who is still using his connections with Dragon*Con and the money he gets from Dragon*Con attendance fees to enable his continued molestation of child actors (trigger warnings on that link), takes a bold stance against... the backup project? (Trigger warning on the comments, obviously)

Dragon*Con has become aware of a potentially dangerous situation involving a self-started project that provides ribbons for fans identifying themselves as people who are able and willing to help another fan in the event assistance of any sort is needed in a difficult situation. While we absolutely believe that the creation of this movement was done with the best intentions to protect fans, we feel that it presents a possibility for a person coming in as a "wolf in sheep's clothing," perhaps luring someone in distress to an even more dangerous situation. Providing a ribbon for someone to wear to give them any type of "official" sanction when no screening has taken place is quite frankly, scary to us.

Of course he's missed out the much greater threat, of a giant ontological death spiral as the as yet non-existent creepy backup projectors lead to a backup-backup project that itself attracts creepers, requiring ever more backup projects until eventually a significant enough fraction of the human race ends having to use all their resources just to operate backup-backup-backup projects, at which point human civilisation as we know it will surely grind to a halt and our species as a whole will go extinct!

Which is no less silly a threat than the backup project in general is. Bearing in mind that paying money to Dragon*Con really does mean your money is going to be used by a serial pedophile to continue to molest children (which means the real problem with a backup project at dragon*con is that it might lead to more people being able to go to Dragon*Con, which is terrible).
fridgepunk: A sign on garrus' back reading "Shoot a rocket into my ugly stupid face" (Pony Jerusalem)
2012-09-24 10:51 pm

Beware the Ides of...uh... September

General election seems to be about a year away, judging by the sudden Tory propaganda shoved through the letter-box titled "Family voice". Which is bumf about how the "Conservatives" (not the coalition) are "protecting you and your family", where your family is represented as you'd expect from an eight page A4 party political leaflet on behalf of the tories by the whitest couple on earth and their two creepy golem-faced children.

Of course, because technically a general election has not been scheduled, the back does not contain propaganda, but a quiz on the phonetic alphabet and a little "Chatroom safety" list, as camoflage to decieve the stupid into thinking it is some sort of official leaflet, despite the noticable lack of official attributation any where in or on the horrible thing.

But despite that, you don't have to be a rocket surgeon to tell it's Tory propaganda because, despite the current government being a coalition and many of the things touted in this pamphlet being things that only made it through government due to the coalition agreement (the criminalisation of stalking – which is touted by this thing as one of "10 Conservative policies to protect your family" I kid you not – wasn't even a lib dem policy, it was a EU treaty thing that the lib dems merely approved of and the tories opposed – unsurprising really given that its actual passing into law led to all the newspapers going on a "Political Correctness Gone Myaaaad!!!" binge and Tory back benchers mumbling feircely about the injustice of it all, as it would clearly criminalise wolf whistling and verbally abusing strangers! oh noes.)

There is also an alleged "interview" with Home Secretary Theresa May, who is pictured with an expression of "I have just farted on Clegg's biscuits"-grade smugness and is asked such hard hitting questions as "Q: You are also reforming police pay, how will this improve the service the police provide?" And as is mandatory for any bit of tory advertising bumf (like PMQs), there is a pre-amble to the "interview" that mentions, can you guess? Why yes; "Given the financial mess that Labour left the country in..."

So yeah, as with the AV referendum, which as the keen eyed folk will remember began, several weeks before it was clear there was going to be an AV referendum, with the No to AV campaign releasing billboards all over the show as the tories used being in government as a way to do the political equivalent of insider trading.

Which means a general election is impending, oh goody. Everything is, was, and shall now be proclaimed to be Labour's fault (to quote Pinky Pie) FOOOOOOOOOOOOOREVEEEEEERRRRRRRR!
fridgepunk: A sign on garrus' back reading "Shoot a rocket into my ugly stupid face" (Default)
2012-09-22 02:12 pm
Entry tags:

Optimism and Muslim Rage

From the Beeb:

Witnesses say supporters of Ansar al-Sharia [the group many think to be responsible for the embassy attack that killed american diplomats and marines] gathered outside its Benghazi headquarters, in front of the crowd, waving black and white banners.

They fired into the air to try to disperse the protesters, but fled with their weapons after the base was surrounded by waves of people shouting "No to militias".

Buildings and a car were set alight and fighters evicted.

That sound you can hear is the traditional islamophobic news narrative wobbling precariously.

Earlier, some 30,000 protesters marched through Benghazi calling for an end to the armed groups and a return to the rule of law.

There has been a wave of hostility towards the militias since US Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three others Americans died in last week's attack on the Benghazi consulate.

"I don't want to see armed men wearing Afghani-style clothes stopping me in the street to give me orders, I only want to see people in uniform," said university student Omar Mohammed, who took part in the takeover of the Ansar al-Sharia compound.

Many Libyans have expressed outrage at the attack on the US consulate. Ansar al-Sharia denies being behind it.

Libya's interim government has since come under renewed and intense pressure to rein in well-armed extremist militia groups and force them to disband.

Friday's march was the largest seen in Benghazi - considered the heartland of Libya's uprising - since Col Gaddafi was deposed.

Armed militia groups which helped to defeat Gaddafi remain powerful in many parts of the country.

They are better armed and more numerous than Libya's official army, and there have been reports of militias intimidating and carrying out killings against rivals.

First comes the civil war, then comes the civil peace, which *spoiler alert!* is always the harder part.