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I've a long record in editorial work in book and magazine publishing, starting 1974, a variety of other work experience, but have been, since 2001, recurringly housebound with insanely painful sporadic and unpredictably variable gout and edema, and in the past, other ailments; the future? The Great Unknown: isn't it for all of us?

I'm currently house/cat-sitting, not on any government aid yet (or mostly ever), often in major chronic pain from gout and edema, which variably can leave me unable to walk, including just standing, but sometimes is better, and is freaking unpredictable at present; I also have major chronic depression and anxiety disorders; I'm currently supported mostly by your blog donations/subscriptions; you can help me. I prefer to spread out the load, and lessen it from the few who have been doing more than their fair share for too long.

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"The brain is wider than the sky,
For, put them side by side,
The one the other will include
With ease, and you beside"
-- Emily Dickinson

"We will pursue peace as if there is no terrorism and fight terrorism as if there is no peace."
-- Yitzhak Rabin

"I have thought it my duty to exhibit things as they are, not as they ought to be."
-- Alexander Hamilton

"The stakes are too high for government to be a spectator sport."
-- Barbara Jordan

"Under democracy, one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule -- and both commonly succeed, and are right."
-- H. L. Mencken

"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves."
-- William Pitt

"The only completely consistent people are the dead."
-- Aldous Huxley

"I have had my solutions for a long time; but I do not yet know how I am to arrive at them."
-- Karl F. Gauss

"Whatever evils either reason or declamation have imputed to extensive empire, the power of Rome was attended with some beneficial consequences to mankind; and the same freedom of intercourse which extended the vices, diffused likewise the improvements of social life."
-- Edward Gibbon

"Augustus was sensible that mankind is governed by names; nor was he deceived in his expectation, that the senate and people would submit to slavery, provided they were respectfully assured that they still enjoyed their ancient freedom."
-- Edward Gibbon

"There exists in human nature a strong propensity to depreciate the advantages, and to magnify the evils, of the present times."
-- Edward Gibbon

"Our youth now loves luxuries. They have bad manners, contempt for authority. They show disrespect for elders and they love to chatter instead of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants, of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up their food, and tyrannize their teachers."
-- Socrates

"Before impugning an opponent's motives, even when they legitimately may be impugned, answer his arguments."
-- Sidney Hook

"Idealism, alas, does not protect one from ignorance, dogmatism, and foolishness."
-- Sidney Hook

"Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"We take, and must continue to take, morally hazardous actions to preserve our civilization. We must exercise our power. But we ought neither to believe that a nation is capable of perfect disinterestedness in its exercise, nor become complacent about particular degrees of interest and passion which corrupt the justice by which the exercise of power is legitimized."
-- Reinhold Niebuhr

"Faced with the choice of all the land without a Jewish state or a Jewish state without all the land, we chose a Jewish state without all the land."
-- David Ben-Gurion

"...the proscribing any citizen as unworthy the public confidence by laying upon him an incapacity of being called to offices of trust and emolument, unless he profess or renounce this or that religious opinion, is depriving him injuriously of those privileges and advantages to which, in common with his fellow citizens, he has a natural right; that it tends also to corrupt the principles of that very religion it is meant to encourage, by bribing, with a monopoly of worldly honours and emoluments, those who will externally profess and conform to it;[...] that the opinions of men are not the object of civil government, nor under its jurisdiction; that to suffer the civil magistrate to intrude his powers into the field of opinion and to restrain the profession or propagation of principles on supposition of their ill tendency is a dangerous fallacy, which at once destroys all religious liberty....
-- Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, Thomas Jefferson

"We don't live just by ideas. Ideas are part of the mixture of customs and practices, intuitions and instincts that make human life a conscious activity susceptible to improvement or debasement. A radical idea may be healthy as a provocation; a temperate idea may be stultifying. It depends on the circumstances. One of the most tiresome arguments against ideas is that their 'tendency' is to some dire condition -- to totalitarianism, or to moral relativism, or to a war of all against all."
-- Louis Menand

"The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis."
-- Dante Alighieri

"He too serves a certain purpose who only stands and cheers."
-- Henry B. Adams

"The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to beg in the streets, steal bread, or sleep under a bridge."
-- Anatole France

"When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle."
-- Edmund Burke

"Education does not mean that we have become certified experts in business or mining or botany or journalism or epistemology; it means that through the absorption of the moral, intellectual, and esthetic inheritance of the race we have come to understand and control ourselves as well as the external world; that we have chosen the best as our associates both in spirit and the flesh; that we have learned to add courtesy to culture, wisdom to knowledge, and forgiveness to understanding."
-- Will Durant

"Glimpses do ye seem to see of that mortally intolerable truth; that all deep, earnest thinking is but the intrepid effort of the soul to keep the open independence of her sea; while the wildest winds of heaven and earth conspire to cast her on the treacherous, slavish shore?"
-- Herman Melville

"The most important political office is that of the private citizen."
-- Louis D. Brandeis

"If we desire respect for the law, we must first make the law respectable."
-- Louis D. Brandeis

"We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both."
-- Louis D. Brandeis

"It is an error to suppose that books have no influence; it is a slow influence, like flowing water carving out a canyon, but it tells more and more with every year; and no one can pass an hour a day in the society of sages and heroes without being lifted up a notch or two by the company he has kept."
-- Will Durant

"When you write, you’re trying to transpose what you’re thinking into something that is less like an annoying drone and more like a piece of music."
-- Louis Menand

"Sex is a continuum."
-- Gore Vidal

"I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibit the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and state."
-- Thomas Jefferson, letter to the Baptists of Danbury, Connecticut, 1802.

"The sum of our religion is peace and unanimity, but these can scarcely stand unless we define as little as possible, and in many things leave one free to follow his own judgment, because there is great obscurity in many matters, and man suffers from this almost congenital disease that he will not give in when once a controversy is started, and after he is heated he regards as absolutely true that which he began to sponsor quite casually...."
-- Desiderius Erasmus

"Are we to have a censor whose imprimatur shall say what books may be sold, and what we may buy? And who is thus to dogmatize religious opinions for our citizens? Whose foot is to be the measure to which ours are all to be cut or stretched? Is a priest to be our inquisitor, or shall a layman, simple as ourselves, set up his reason as the rule of what we are to read, and what we must disbelieve?"
-- Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to N. G. Dufief, Philadelphia bookseller, 1814

"We are told that it is only people's objective actions that matter, and their subjective feelings are of no importance. Thus pacifists, by obstructing the war effort, are 'objectively' aiding the Nazis; and therefore the fact that they may be personally hostile to Fascism is irrelevant. I have been guilty of saying this myself more than once. The same argument is applied to Trotskyism. Trotskyists are often credited, at any rate by Communists, with being active and conscious agents of Hitler; but when you point out the many and obvious reasons why this is unlikely to be true, the 'objectively' line of talk is brought forward again. To criticize the Soviet Union helps Hitler: therefore 'Trotskyism is Fascism'. And when this has been established, the accusation of conscious treachery is usually repeated. This is not only dishonest; it also carries a severe penalty with it. If you disregard people's motives, it becomes much harder to foresee their actions."
-- George Orwell, "As I Please," Tribune, 8 December 1944

"Wouldn't this be a great world if insecurity and desperation made us more attractive? If 'needy' were a turn-on?"
-- "Aaron Altman," Broadcast News

"The great thing about human language is that it prevents us from sticking to the matter at hand."
-- Lewis Thomas

"To be ignorant of what happened before you were born is to be ever a child. For what is man's lifetime unless the memory of past events is woven with those of earlier times?"
-- Cicero

"Hypocrisy is the homage vice pays to virtue." -- François, duc de La Rochefoucauld

"Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it." -- Samuel Johnson, Life Of Johnson

"Very well, what did my critics say in attacking my character? I must read out their affidavit, so to speak, as though they were my legal accusers: Socrates is guilty of criminal meddling, in that he inquires into things below the earth and in the sky, and makes the weaker argument defeat the stronger, and teaches others to follow his example." -- Socrates, via Plato, The Republic

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, represents, in the final analysis, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children."
-- Dwight D. Eisenhower

"The term, then, is obviously a relative one; my pedantry is your scholarship, his reasonable accuracy, her irreducible minimum of education, & someone else's ignorance." --
H. W. Fowler

"Rules exist for good reasons, and in any art form the beginner must learn them and understand what they are for, then follow them for quite a while. A visual artist, pianist, dancer, fiction writer, all beginning artists are in the same boat here: learn the rules, understand them, follow them. It's called an apprenticeship. A mediocre artist never stops following the rules, slavishly follows guidelines, and seldom rises above mediocrity. An accomplished artist internalizes the rules to the point where they don't have to be consciously considered. After you've put in the time it takes to learn to swim, you never stop to think: now I move my arm, kick, raise my head, breathe. You just do it. The accomplished artist knows what the rules mean, how to use them, dodge them, ignore them altogether, or break them. This may be a wholly unconscious process of assimilation, one never articulated, but it has taken place." -- Kate Wilhelm

"The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed."
-- Albert Einstein

"The decisive moment in human evolution is perpetual."
-- Franz Kafka, Aphorisms

"All of old. Nothing else ever. Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better."
-- Samuel Beckett, Worstward Ho

"First they ignore you. Then they ridicule you. And then they attack you and want to burn you. And then they build monuments to you."
-- Nicholas Klein, May, 1919, to the Third Biennial Convention of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America (misattributed to Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, 1914 & variants).

"Nothing would be done at all, if a man waited till he could do it so well, that no one could find fault with it."
-- Lecture IX, John Henry Cardinal Newman

“Nothing is more common than for men to think that because they are familiar with words they understand the ideas they stand for.”
-- John Henry Cardinal Newman

"Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives."
-- James Madison

"Those who are free from common prejudices acquire others."
-- Napolean I of France -- Napoleon I of France

"Our credulity is a part of the imperfection of our natures. It is inherent in us to desire to generalize, when we ought, on the contrary, to guard ourselves very carefully from this tendency."
-- Napoleon I of France.

"The truth is, men are very hard to know, and yet, not to be deceived, we must judge them by their present actions, but for the present only."
-- Napoleon I of France.

"The barbarous custom of having men beaten who are suspected of having important secrets to reveal must be abolished. It has always been recognized that this way of interrogating men, by putting them to torture, produces nothing worthwhile. The poor wretches say anything that comes into their mind and what they think the interrogator wishes to know."
-- On the subject of torture, in a letter to Louis Alexandre Berthier (11 November 1798), published in Correspondance Napoleon edited by Henri Plon (1861), Vol. V, No. 3606, p. 128

"All living souls welcome whatever they are ready to cope with; all else they ignore, or pronounce to be monstrous and wrong, or deny to be possible."
-- George Santayana, Dialogues in Limbo (1926)

"American life is a powerful solvent. It seems to neutralize every intellectual element, however tough and alien it may be, and to fuse it in the native good will, complacency, thoughtlessness, and optimism."
-- George Santayana, Character and Opinion in the United States, (1920)

"If you should put even a little on a little, and should do this often, soon this too would become big."
-- Hesiod, Work And Days

"Your Honor, years ago I recognized my kinship with all living beings, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on earth. I said then, and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it, and while there is a criminal element I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free."
-- Eugene V. Debs

"Reputation is what other people know about you. Honor is what you know about yourself."
-- Lois McMaster Bujold, A Civil Campaign

"All that we have to do is to send two mujahidin to the furthest point east to raise a piece of cloth on which is written "al-Qaida," in order to make the generals race there to cause America to suffer human, economic, and political losses without their achieving for it anything of note other than some benefits for their private companies."
-- Osama bin Laden

"Remember, Robin: evil is a pretty bad thing."
-- Batman


Gary Farber is now a licensed Quintuple Super-Sekrit Multi-dimensional Master Pundit. He does not always refer to himself in the third person.
He is presently single.

The gefilte fish is dead. Donate via the donation button on the top left or I'll shoot this cute panda. Don't you love pandas?

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Contents © 2001-2013 All rights reserved. Gary Farber. (The contents of e-mails to this email address of Gary Farber are subject to the possibility of being posted.)

And you may find yourself living in a shotgun shack
And you may find yourself in another part of the world

[Blogroll now far below the sea line! Dive, dive, dive!]

You Like Me, You Really Like Me

Gary Farber! Jeez, the guy is practically a blogging legend, and I'm always surprised at the breadth of what he writes about.
-- PZ Meyers, Pharyngula

...Darn: I saw that Gary had commented on this thread, and thought: oh. my. god. Perfect storm. Unstoppable cannonball, immovable object. -- Hilzoy

...I think Gary Farber is a blogging god. -- P.Z. Myers, Pharyngula

...writer[s] I find myself checking out repeatedly when I'm in the mood to play follow-the-links. They're not all people I agree with all the time, or even most of the time, but I've found them all to be thoughtful writers, and that's the important thing, or should be.
-- Tom Tomorrow

‎"Gary Farber is a gentleman, a scholar and one of the gems of the blogosphere." -- Steve Hynd,

"Well argued, Gary. I hadn't seen anything that went into as much detail as I found in your blog." -- Gareth Porter

Gary Farber is your one-man internet as always, with posts on every article there is.
-- Fafnir

Guessing that Gary is ignorant of anything that has ever been written down is, in my experience, unwise.
Just saying.

-- Hilzoy

Gary Farber gets it right....
-- James Joyner, Outside The Beltway

Once again, an amazing and illuminating post.
-- Michael Bérubé, Crooked Timber

I read Amygdala...with regularity, as do all sensible websurfers.
-- Jim Henley, Unqualified Offerings

Okay, he is annoying, but he still posts a lot of good stuff.
-- Avedon Carol, The Sideshow

Amygdala - So much stuff it reminds Unqualified Offerings that UO sometimes thinks of Gary Farber as "the liberal Instapundit."
-- Jim Henley

...the thoughtful and highly intelligent Gary Farber... My first reaction was that I definitely need to appease Gary Farber of Amygdala, one of the geniuses of our age.
-- Brad deLong

Gary is a perceptive, intelligent, nice guy. Some of the stuff he comes up with is insightful, witty, and stimulating. And sometimes he manages to make me groan.
-- Charlie Stross

Gary Farber is a straight shooter.
-- John Cole, Balloon Juice

I bow before the shrillitudinousness of Gary Farber, who has been blogging like a fiend.
-- Ted Barlow, Crooked Timber

Favorite.... [...] ...all great stuff. [...] Gary Farber should never be without readers.
-- Ogged

I usually read you and Patrick several times a day, and I always get something from them. You've got great links, intellectually honest commentary, and a sense of humor. What's not to like?
-- Ted Barlow

One of my issues with many poli-blogs is the dickhead tone so many bloggers affect to express their sense of righteous indignation. Gary Farber's thoughtful leftie takes on the world stand in sharp contrast with the usual rhetorical bullying. Plus, he likes "Pogo," which clearly attests to his unassaultable good taste.

One of my favorites....
-- Matt Welch

-- Virginia Postrel

Amygdala continues to have smart commentary on an incredible diversity of interesting links....
-- Judith Weiss

Amygdala has more interesting obscure links to more fascinating stuff that any other blog I read.
-- Judith Weiss, Kesher Talk

Gary's stuff is always good.
-- Meryl Yourish

...the level-headed Amygdala blog....
-- Geitner Simmons

The only trouble with reading Amygdala is that it makes me feel like such a slacker. That Man Farber's a linking, posting, commenting machine, I tell you!
-- John Robinson, Sore Eyes

...the all-knowing Gary Farber....
-- Edward Winkleman, Obsidian Wings

Jaysus. I saw him do something like this before, on a thread about Israel. It was pretty brutal. It's like watching one of those old WWF wrestlers grab an opponent's face and grind away until the guy starts crying. I mean that in a nice & admiring way, you know.
-- Fontana Labs, Unfogged

We read you Gary Farber! We read you all the time! Its just that we are lazy with our blogroll. We are so very very lazy. We are always the last ones to the party but we always have snazzy bow ties.
-- Fafnir, Fafblog!

Gary Farber you are a genius of mad scientist proportions. I will bet there are like huge brains growin in jars all over your house.
-- Fafnir, Fafblog!

Gary Farber is the hardest working man in show blog business. He's like a young Gene Hackman blogging with his hair on fire, or something.
-- Belle Waring, John & Belle Have A Blog

Gary Farber only has two blogging modes: not at all, and 20 billion interesting posts a day [...] someone on the interweb whose opinions I can trust....
-- Belle Waring, John & Belle Have A Blog


Gary is certainly a non-idiotarian 'liberal'...
-- Perry deHaviland

Recommended for the discerning reader.
-- Tim Blair

Gary Farber's great Amygdala blog.
-- Dr. Frank

Isn't Gary a cracking blogger, apropos of nothing in particular?
-- Alison Scott

Gary Farber takes me to task, in a way befitting the gentleman he is.
-- Stephen Green, Vodkapundit

My friend Gary Farber at Amygdala is the sort of liberal for whom I happily give three cheers. [...] Damned incisive blogging....
-- Midwest Conservative Journal

If I ever start a paper, Clueless writes the foreign affairs column, Layne handles the city beat, Welch has the roving-reporter job, Tom Tomorrow runs the comic section (which carries Treacher, of course). MediaMinded runs the slots - that's the type of editor I want as the last line of defense. InstantMan runs the edit page - and you can forget about your Ivins and Wills and Friedmans and Teepens on the edit page - it's all Blair, VodkaP, C. Johnson, Aspara, Farber, Galt, and a dozen other worthies, with Justin 'I am smoking in such a provocative fashion' Raimondo tossed in for balance and comic relief.

Who wouldn't buy that paper? Who wouldn't want to read it? Who wouldn't climb over their mother to be in it?
-- James Lileks

I do appreciate your role and the role of Amygdala as a pioneering effort in the integration of fanwriters with social conscience into the larger blogosphere of social conscience.
-- Lenny Bailes

Every single post in that part of Amygdala visible on my screen is either funny or bracing or important. Is it always like this?
-- Natalie Solent

You nailed it... nice job."
-- James Lileks

Gary Farber is a principled liberal....
-- Bill Quick, The Daily Pundit

December 2001 January 2002 February 2002 March 2002 April 2002 May 2002 June 2002 July 2002 August 2002 September 2002 October 2002 November 2002 December 2002 January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 December 2011 January 2013

Blogroll is Always In Progress:

Roger Ailes
Alas, A Blog
The American Street
The Aristocrats
Avedon Carol
Between the Hammer and the Anvil
Lindsay Beyerstein
The Big Con
CantBlogTooBusy The Center for American Progress
Chase me Ladies, I'm in the Cavalry
Doghouse Riley
Kevin Drum
Fables of the Reconstruction
Gall and Gumption
Gin and Tacos
House of Substance
The Hunting of the Snark
If I Ran The Zoo
Lawyers, Guns & Money
Lotus: Surviving a Dark Time
Matters of Little Significance
Nancy Nall
Charlie Stross bastard.logic
Daniel Larison
American Conservative
American Footprints
Andrew Sullivan
Angry Bear
Balloon Juice
Beautiful Horizons
Bitch Ph.D.
Brad DeLong
Crooked Timber
Cunning Realist
Daily Kos
Debate Link
Democracy Arsenal
Edge of the American West
Ezra Klein
Glenn Greenwald 13th Floor
Hit & Run
Juan Cole
Kevin Drum
Lawyers, Guns and Money
List Project (Helping Iraqis who worked with us get out)
Marc Lynch
Mark Kleiman
Katha Pollit
Market Square
Matthew Yglesias
Megan McArdle
Metro Green
Pam's House Blend
Paul Krugman
Philosophy, et cetera
Radley Balko
Sadly, No!
Southern Appeal
Stephen Walt
Steve Clemons
Ta-Nehisi Coates
Taking It Outside
Talking Points Memo
The Poor Man
The Progressive Realist
The Sideshow
U.S. Intellectual History
Unqualified Offerings
Volokh Conspiracy
Washington Monthly
William Easterly
Newsrack Blog
Ortho Bob
The Poor Man
Prog Gold
Prose Before Hos
Ted Rall
The Raw Story
Elayne Riggs
Sadly, No!
Texas Liberal
Think Progress
3 Weird Sisters
Tristram Shandy
Washington Monthly
Ian Welsh
James Wolcott
World o' Crap
Matthew Yglesias
Buzz Machine
Daniel Larison
Rightwing Film Geek About Last Night
can we all just agree
Comics Curmudgeon
Dum Luk's
Glenn Kenny
Hoarder Museum Juanita Jean
Lance Mannion (Help Lance!
Last Words of the Executed
The Phil Nugent Experience
Postcards from Hell's Kitchen
Vanishing New York
a lovely promise
a web undone
alt hippo
american street
city of brass
danger west
fierce urgency of now
get fisa right
great concavity
happening here
impeach them!
kathryn cramer
notes from the basement
talking dog
uncertain principles
unqualified offerings
what do i know
crooked timber emptywheel
ezra klein
The F-Word
glenn greenwald
schneier on security
ta-nehisi coates
talking points memo
tiny revolution
Roz Kaveney
Dave Ettlin
Henry Jenkins' Confessions of an Aca-Fan
Kathryn Cramer
Monkeys In My Pants
Pagan Prattle
As I Please
Ken MacLeod
Arthur Hlavaty
Kevin Maroney
MK Kare
Jack Heneghan
Dave Langford
Onyx Lynx Atrios
Rittenhouse Review
Public Nuisance
Scoobie Davis
Nathan Newman
Echidne Of The Snakes
First Draft
Rising Hegemon
Cab Drollery (Help Diane!
Southern Beale
The Kenosha Kid
Culture of Truth
Talk Left
Black Ag=Q< Report
Drug WarRant
Nieman Watchdog
Open Left
Meet the Bloggers
Dispatch from the Trenches
Crooks and Liars
Campaign for America's Future
Iraq Today
Daily Kos
Lefty Directory
News Hounds
The Brad Blog
Informed Comment
UN Dispatch
War and Piece
Glenn Greenwald
Schneier on Security
Jim Henley
Arthur Silber
Julian Sanchez
The Agitator
Balloon Juice
Wendy McElroy
Whoviating (LarryE)
Scott Horton
Tennessee Guerilla Women
Looking Glass
Charles Kuffner
Brad DeLong
Busy, Busy, Busy
Oliver Willis
The Carpetbagger Report Shakesville
Down With Tyranny
Professor B
Monkey Media Report
The Grumpy Forester
Ian Welsh
Pacific Views
Booman Tribune
Matthew Yglesias
The American Street
Media Bloodhound
Liz Henry's Composite
The Heretik
Arizona Eclectic
Sisyphus Shrugged
Interesting Times
Talking Dog
Liberal Desert
Under the Lobsterscope
Seeing The Forest
Sean Paul Kelley's The Agonist
King of Zembla
Mark Kleiman
Liquid List
Elayne Riggs
No More Mr. Nice Blog
Fanatical Apathy
Blue Gal
Mark Evanier
Roger Ailes
Suburban Guerrilla (Help Susie with money!)
The Mahablog
Brilliant at Breakfast
The Group News Blog Scrutiny Hooligans
Respectful of Otters
Max Blumenthal
Two Glasses
Running Scared
Sadly, No!
WTF Is It Now?
William K. Wolfrum
Rox Populi
Angry Bear
Crooked Timber
No Capital
Alternative Hippo
The Rude Pundit
Ezra Klein
Trish Wilson's Blog Jon Swift, RIP
Jeremy Scahill Mercury Rising
Cup 0' Joe
Lance Mannion (Help Lance!)
Lawyers, Guns and Money
Feministe SF
Progressive Gold
Paperwight's Fairshot
Biomes Blog
Progressive Blog Digest
A Tiny Revolution
Yellow Doggerel Democrat
Pros Before Hos
Michael Bérubé
Notes From Underground
Bob Geiger
Adam Magazine
Reptile Wisdom
Steve Gilliard archives
The Poor Man
Neal Pollack
Jesus' General
Running Scared
Paul Krugman
Hendrik Hertzberg
Murray Waas
Katrina vanden Heuvel
Kevin Drum @ MoJo
Political Animal
The Big Con (Rick Perlstein)
Talking Points
Dan Perkins
TomPaine weblog
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Jim Hightower
Chris Floyd
Michaelangelo Signorile
Naomi Klein
James Wolcott
Bear Left
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Left i
The Left Coaster
Upper Left
Here's What's Left
Left in the West Daily Howler
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Make Them Accountable
Failure is Impossible
White Rose Society
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Meryl Yourish
Blogwise Paul Krugman
Gene Lyons (or)
Joe Conason
Sadly, no!
Walter Jon Williams
Stiftung Leo Strauss
Crooked Timber
Gordon's Notes (John Gordon)
Bruce Sterling
Ian McDonald
Antick Musings (Andrew Wheeler)
I, Cringely
I Blame The Patriarchy
LawClanger (Simon Bradshaw)
Carrie Vaughn
The Sideshow (Avedon Carol)
This Modern World (Tom Tomorrow)
Jesus's General
Mick Farren
Dave Clements
Early days of a Better Nation (Ken MacLeod)
Terra Nova
Whatever (John Scalzi)
Michael Swanwick
Demography Matters
Justine Larbalestier
The Law west of Ealing Broadway
Inspector Gadget
The Yorkshire Ranter
Kung Fu Monkey
Pagan Prattle
Gwyneth Jones
Brain Windows
Informed Comment: Global Affairs
RBN Exploits
Progressive Gold
Kathryn Cramer
Halfway down the Danube
Fistful of Euros
Joe Conason
Frankenstein Journal (Chris Lawson)
The Panda's Thumb
Martin Wisse
Wave Without a Shore
Scrivener's Error
Talking Points Memo
The Register
Plagiarism Today
Juan Cole: Informed comment
Global Guerillas (John Robb)
Information Warfare Monitor
Shadow of the Hegemon (Demosthenes)
Simon Bisson's Journal
Ethan Zuckerman
Encyclopaedia Astronautica
Warren Ellis
Sociopath World
Brad DeLong
Hullabaloo (Digby)
Jeff Vail
Jamais Cascio
Rebecca's Pocket (Rebecca Blood)
Mark Safranski
Dan Drake
Geoffrey Wiseman
Libby Spencer of The Impolitc
Zeno is always HalfWay There
Aaron Krager may Have A Point
Scholars & Rogues
Blog Sisters
Better Things to Waste Your Time On
Taking Barack To The Movies
Not An Accident: Peace To All
Scott McLoud
The Secret Recipe Blog
Terri Windling's The Drawing Board
Damn Dirty Hippies Are Everywhere
Progressive PST
Ryan Harvey's Even If Your Voice Shakes
Matthew Cheney's The Mumpsimus
Jazz From Hell
The Angry Black Woman
Computational Legal Studies
Laure lives at Apt. 11D
Vylar Kaftan
Spocko's Brain
Twistedchick's Wind in the trees
Greg Palast
Jeff VanderMeer has Ecstatic Days
Nadyalec Hijazi has Velvet Migrations
Emily Jiang is Writing with Iceberg in Tow
Global Voices Online
Ethan Siegel Starts With A Bang
Don Herron goes Up And Down These Mean Streets
Punditry Nation
Frank Denton still has a Rogue Raven
Geri Sullivan is On The Funway
Emily L. Hauser – In My Head
The League of Ordinary Gentlemen
Carl Brandon Society
John Hodgman
Streetsblog San Francisco
William Cronon is a Scholar As Citizen
Right Wing Watch
Democracy For America
Hoyden About Town
Bernard Avishai Dot Com
RealTimeSatelliteTracking &ISS
Rachel Holmen's Maple Leaf Rag
SF Signal
Tachyon - Saving the World One Good Book at a Time
The Duck Of Minerva
Abu Muqawama
Abi Sutherland's Noise2Signal
Clarisse Thorn
Whirled View
Adam Serwer
Stuff White People Like
Berkeley Today
The Disorder Of Things
Howling Curmudgeons
The Gun is fired by C. J. Chivers
Raven Brooks's Coffee Is For Closers
Spin Your Web
More Red Ink
Rickety Contrivances Of Doing Good
Brad Ideas
Asking The Wrong Questions
Ambling along the Aqueduct
Committee To Protect Journalists
The Bloggess

People I've known and still miss include Isaac Asimov, rich brown, Charles Burbee, F. M. "Buzz" Busby, Terry Carr, A. Vincent Clarke, Bob Doyle, George Alec Effinger, Abi Frost, Bill & Sherry Fesselmeyer, George Flynn, John Milo "Mike" Ford. John Foyster, Mike Glicksohn, Jay Haldeman, Neith Hammond (Asenath Katrina Hammond)/DominEditrix , Chuch Harris, Mike Hinge, Lee Hoffman, Terry Hughes, Damon Knight, Ross Pavlac, Bruce Pelz, Elmer Perdue, Tom Perry, Larry Propp, Bill Rotsler, Art Saha, Bob Shaw, Martin Smith, Harry Stubbs, Bob Tucker, Harry Warner, Jr., Jack Williamson, Walter A. Willis, Susan Wood, Kate Worley, and Roger Zelazny. It's just a start, it only gets longer, many are unintentionally left out. And She of whom I must write someday.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010
BIG ANNOUNCEMENT is what will be coming this way in a few days, with a major update on what's going on with me, what's been going on, why, wherefore, what I'm about to do, what I'm about to ask for tips and guidance and help with, and all that there.

Move finally going to happen. Please bear with me at least a bit longer. Thanks, if so.

8/25/2010 12:01:00 AM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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Tuesday, August 17, 2010
BETTER LUCK THAN YOU WOULD HAVE HAD WITH ARTHUR CLARKE. Ray Bradbury is not my greatest sf writer ever, though I do greatly admire much of his work, but he's certainly the greatest sf writer to many.

And we all have our chosen ways of showing our appreciation.
View The Rest Scale: only if you're amused by potty-mouthed songs about ancient skiffy writers. NSFW, primarily via language.

Ed Earl Repp just doesn't get the respect any more.

Digressively, your newfangled idea of "written language" sucks:
[...] But when they came to letters, This, said Theuth, will make the Egyptians wiser and give them better memories; it is a specific both for the memory and for the wit. Thamus replied: O most ingenious Theuth, the parent or inventor of an art is not always the best judge of the utility or inutility of his own inventions to the users of them.

And in this instance, you who are the father of letters, from a paternal love of your own children have been led to attribute to them a quality which they cannot have; for this discovery of yours will create forgetfulness in the learners’ souls, because they will not use their memories; they will trust to the external written characters and not remember of themselves.

The specific which you have discovered is an aid not to memory, but to reminiscence, and you give your disciples not truth, but only the semblance of truth; they will be hearers of many things and will have learned nothing; they will appear to be omniscient and will generally know nothing; they will be tiresome company, having the show of wisdom without the reality.
Plato putting words in the mouth of Socrates.

In sum, people who can't memorize all their literature are weak-minded, and your so-called "writing" is simply a crutch for those unable to memorize and truly appreciate literature. Our society and its standards continue to collapse.

ADDENDUM, 8/22/10, 8:23 p.m.: The story behind the video.
[...] What is it about Ray that you find so attractive?

First of all, the number one thing I am earnestly attracted to is intelligence. Writers are thus the pinnacle of intelligence. While actors are great and awesome, writers literally create new worlds from scratch. What is sexier than that? Personally, I don't know why every person out there isn't dating a writer.
[...] 12:48PM Update: It has been reported to me that Ray Bradbury has watched the video twice and liked it.
ADDENDUM, 8/23/10, 11:14 p.m.: David Barnett has comments and links. Picture of Bradbury watching. (Or see here.)

And another interview.

ADDENDUM, 8/25/10, 2:15 p.m.: Penn Jillette says Rachel Bloom should be President of the United States, and explains his views about the video are at length, while confessing he didn't know if Ray Bradbury was alive or not.

ADDENDUM, 9/10/10, 5:51 p.m.: Rachel meets Ray:

Via Rachel Bloom Fan Page on Facebook.

8/17/2010 07:52:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010
WATCH THE SKIES! Say hello and goodbye again to Swift-Tuttle!
[...] The peak of this year's Perseids is forecast (for North America) to come during the afternoon hours on Thursday, which means that greatest number of meteors will probably be seen late that night into the predawn hours of Friday. At these times a single observer might count anywhere from 60 to 100 per hour.

But don't overlook late tonight into early Thursday morning, when about two-thirds of that number might be seen. And even late on Friday night into early Saturday hourly rates will still be respectable, though probably numbering about one-quarter to one-half of the numbers seen on the peak night. Over this weekend you can still probably catch sight of a lingering few.
View The Sky Scale: 4 out of 5.

8/11/2010 12:51:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

1. I am an old fan, and tired.

2. Some things in conventions have changed, but many things plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose. Significant numbers of fans still like to go by one name on their name tag, like "Doug" or "Jane," which certainly helps make them memorable. Not so much.

3. I have no significant complaints or criticisms of the con committee or con; generally I commend them on a job pretty well done, as viewed from the outside.

4. The primary problem of the con was the smallness; I gather there were about 700 attendees, perhaps 800 max, and walk-ins amounted to in the neighborhood of 100 or a bit more. (If this is wrong, please correct me!)

5. As a result, spreading the con out over two hotels and a convention center ended up being... highly excessive. Ditto with that many programming tracks, audiences tended towards the the small, as in 8-40 or so, in the rooms I looked in, which I must say was a very sporadic sampling, and I did not attend any of the relatively Big Events, such as opening or closing ceremonies, or any of the GOH presentations.

6. Parties -- sorry, there were no parties, only "Meet and Greets" allowed -- were, as a rule, not overwhelmingly crowded, and were almost entirely conveniently grouped on the 16th and 17th floor, save for Bill Patterson's on the sixth floor, all in the Marriott, which was directly connected to the convention center, so the party circuit could hardly have been more convenient.

7. I ended up skipping the SFWA suite, since I really have no particular business being there these days, and skipping Toni's Baen Party, as it was the one party that seemed crowded, and I'm just shy, and didn't want to be presumptuous, and all that there.

8. Established that James Bacon doesn't know me from a hole in the wall, which is no surprise. All con long I played "do you recognize me?" with everyone. Most didn't. Said "hi" twice to David Hartwell, until on the third time, when we were chatting briefly, I made sure to let his eye catch my name-tag, and we had a couple of nice, if brief, chats after that.

9. Most of my chats tended to be brief. I really didn't know more than a couple of dozen people at the con, it felt like, although I also had that experience of quite a few people I either don't know, or have forgotten, greeting me with considerable familiarity, and as if we knew each other, so it's a two-way street. Still, there at least a dozen folks I'd hoped to run into, and never did, much to my regret, including particularly Brett Cox and Ranger Craig. Would have loved to have talked more with most of the folks I did talk some with, including Mike Walsh, Ben Yalow, Elspeth Kovar, Bill Patterson, Ed Dravecky, Bernadette Boskey, Arthur Hlavaty, and a number of others, but, oh well. Some folks I barely got to speak with in passing, such as Bruce Newrock, Tony Parker, Tim Illingworth, Joni Dashoff, a bit more with Judy Bemis; chatted very briefly with Steve Miller (see photographic proof on my Photo Album). I got to say only hello and goodbye to a few, such as Dave Cantor and Bruce Newrock. Saw, but did not get a chance to speak to, Joel Zakem, since I saw him at Bill and David's little biography panel, and not again. And so on.

But mostly I'm as not-very-comfortable-at-parties, unless I really know a bunch of people, and the party is pretty quiet, as ever.

And I think I was reverting to a considerable degree of shyness that I used to have in my early years, but have gotten vastly better at having less of, in the past twenty years. But the environment somehow made me much shyer again, in some curiously environmentally-induced way causing me to revert to older, poorer, habits.

11. Programming doubtless pleased many folks. I'd more or less say that I've certainly seen worse, and I've seen better. Off-hand, I'd call it kinda middling, but they also had a relatively limited number of folks to use. On the other hand, I couldn't help but notice that there were at least a couple of panels where I knew a hell of a lot more about the subject than the panelists.

Notably, a very nice seeming woman named Jennifer Liang, and Chris Garcia, did a panel on "Efanzines and blogs," which although I missed the first fifteen minutes of, by half an hour in they were saying they'd run out of things to talk about, after already engaging in a lot of digression into talking about online fandom in general, with very little talk about blogs. I did learn more about Robert Jordan fandom than I previously knew.

I tried a bit of goosing from the audience with leading questions, such as "so what would you say was the first sf blog, or the first significant sf blog?, and got "uh, I have no idea" responses. Man, they needed a moderator. And, you know, if you feel you're running out of things to say, you can go to questions, rather than repeatedly declaring the panel is probably over half way through, and every few minutes thereafter. Also, just not a great practice in general.

I may have misunderstood Jennifer Liang explaining that was now a blog. Doubtless she said that the front page showed blogs, and the site had much else besides; my hearing isn't great, and my attention may have wandered for a moment.

12. Tiniest art show I've ever seen at any sf con of any sort.

13. The Chicago bid party had, among other decorations, a quite large blow-up of the program book of Chicon IV (1982). I was chatting with Mr. Yalow and Mr. Walsh at the party, and established that with Ben having been the Services Division head at Chicon IV, where I wore two hats as both Assistant Division head, and head of the three department Operations sub-division, and Mike was one of my Shift Supervisors, that we were the only three members of the Chicon IV committee at the party, and apparently at the con. (I'm probably wrong on the latter, so please correct me!)

14. Britain probably had the nicest party overall, although the frequent repeats on the very large screen tv of the bid video was slightly problematic for those well familiar with it online months ago, who found crowds of people constantly crowding in front of the screen.

There was a nice other video of famous British sf writers, though.

It couldn't help but occur to me that I had been the original American agent for the Britain Is Fine In '79 bid for Seacon '79, where I had even bent fannish ethics slightly by giving the bid a free function room at SunCon to throw the bid party -- although I would have done the same for the competition if they'd asked -- but none of the current British bidders would know that. As I said, old and tired. As ever, always amused to have other people explain fandom to me, or fanzines, or how conventions are run, or what they're like, etc. I pretty much nod and smile.

Not a soul at the British party recognized my D. West art tee-shirt. Or my BSFA tee-shirt. Or anyone at the con, for that matter, at least in terms of mentioning it to me.

On the other hand, my "RTFM" tee-shirt got a bunch of comments about how wonderful it was. And my "I'm not ignoring you; your comment is awaiting moderation" tee-shirt also got a few compliments, and one person's request to take a picture.

15. Overall, I had an okay time. I suppose it was worth two room nights, and the $120 membership; I was very glad to see some old friends.

I also realized that smoffing talk is of limited interest beyond a certain point when one isn't working on cons any more, but primarily because it's the exact same smof talk about how to run a con, what's gone wrong and right, etc., I already filled up on in the Seventies and Eighties, and very little has changed since then, save for some proper nouns, and relatively trivial details.

16. I remain unconvinced of the need for a NASFiC. But, hey, as long as enough people want to go to one, and put one on, it's fine with me.

17. Slightly regret not taking the cane, as a visual sign to folks that I needed to sit, not stand, and also for minor use, but was lucky that the hip pain and twinging stayed minor enough to merely make for mildly painful slight limp, with occasional oww twinges; no gout, yay.

18. Established that my preferred temperature in my hotel room is 63 degrees F.

19. I can make a few nitpicks about room for improvement in what the con did, but they're pretty nit-picky. (I would have made more spots where the daily newsletter could be found, but, as I said, this is highly trivial, and in any case, there wasn't much vital news, anyway. Stuff like that.)

20. I'll try to fill in the names of more folks I at least briefly chatted with, as I remember: met Nancy Collins finally. More to come. LATER: Saul Jaffe. Dick and Nicki Lynch. Warren Buff. Said hi to Scott Dennis. Said hello and about twenty seconds of conversation with John Hertz. Said hello to Hank Davis and received expected nod and slight grunt. Chatted at mild length with George Wells on Friday afternoon in the Fanzine Lounge, after not having seen each other since approximately 1976 or so. Heard Don Lundry was at the con! But never ran into him, drat it. Missed running into Tom Veal, unless, as is likely, I didn't recognize him; I was in the Chicago party several times on both nights, but only asked if he was there once or twice, I'm afraid. Exchanged a sentence or two with Brad Foster at the British party, but didn't get to any kind of "hello, nice to finally meet you."

21. Further random observations to come after I've rested some; I didn't have the sort of con experience that makes for a funny or amusing narrative -- I'm not saying I had a bad time, and insofar as there were negatives at the con, they were almost entirely personal, not the fault of the concom; but the con didn't provide a storyline for me worth writing up in more organized form.

22. My #1 insecurity: I have stained, bad, teeth at this point. Very visible if I open my mouth; this makes me terribly self-conscious about that until such time as I can at least get a cleaning. Also constant worry about bad breath and administering of breath minty things and mouthwash, but I'm sure some folks must have thought "ew, bad breath"; I did what I could.

Hey, and Joni Dashoff, I think it was, pointed out at one point that my fly was open, and was not being metaphoric. Oh, the shame of it all. Not to mention I noticed it happening slightly two other times; damned shorts zipper.

23. I reverted terribly to wandering self-centered anecdotes and losing my train of thought in substantial conversation; this is why I prefer to express myself in writing if I wish to be clear at any thought more complicated than a one-liner. Which even that I can mangle through the accidental word-substitution I'm more and more prone to in recent years.

24. Chatted twice with Rusty Hevelin! (If you don't know our history, I ain't tellin' ya now.)

25. Bagpipes should always be barred from sf cons as dangerous weapons. Jeebus fucking Ghu and Roscoe screwing together.

I'm talking with Elspeth and Mike at their table in the huckster room, when no less than about twelve feet away, at the table opposite, this motherfucking bagpiper opens up, and golly that helps conversation nearby.

Someone later confessed to me that he was the person who asked the guy to start performing right then, but I'll pretend I've forgotten who, for their sake, and because I have definitely forgotten that it was Steven Silver, since he has repented; so let's all pretend we don't know it was Steven's Fault. (Alternatively, to quote one of the late rich brown's favorite sayings: Or Maybe Not.)

26. Doing balloon sculptures for people is great; doing so by parking yourself in front of the escalator down to the huckster room/art show could work fine if you stood more than a foot away from the escalator entrance. Two whole feet would have been nice; three, outstanding. (Subnote: someone from the convention might have mentioned this to the fellow, but to be sure, traffic was so light it was merely a trivial annoyance, and nothing resembling in the faintest degree any kind of serious traffic blockage; you just had to say "excuse me, please," every time.)

27. Oh, yes. Many of you are familiar with: "The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that the English language is as pure as a crib-house whore. It not only borrows words from other languages; it has on occasion chased other languages down dark alley-ways, clubbed them unconscious and rifled their pockets for new vocabulary."
—James Nicoll, can.general, March 21, 1992

This has long been passed around as by anonymous and typically shortened to "English not only borrows words from other languages; it has on occasion chased other languages down dark alley-ways, clubbed them unconscious and rifled their pockets for new vocabulary."

A couple of women whose company was selling tee-shirts (one of several such tables in the huckster, room, Not That There's Anything Wrong With That) had a tee-shirt with that. No attribution. I asked them if they knew who had written that. Nope. Heard of James Nicoll? Nope. Suggested they might at least send him a courtesy copy. They took down contact info for him; I took down their contact info.

Belatedly, I realize I should have taken a picture.

To be clear, they said they were selling this particular tee-shirt as produced by a third party, and it's entirely possible, and far and away most likely, that James has always known about this.

28. Two conversations with Chris Barkley. He put me on the Worldcon subcommittee mailing list to Officially Recommend WTF To Do About The Semi-Prozine Category (without my in the least asking, which I didn't have the chutzpah to do!), which pleased me no end, since I'm one of the four co-writers who created that category. That is, I wrote a motion and got Craig Miller to co-sign it, and, I think, and I need to check this against the BM minutes, because I may be garbling slightly, and Marty Cantor and Mike Glicksohn had his version, and also Dick (I know his last name perfectly well, and it will come back to me momentarily [LATER: Richard Russell]) of Madison threw in some modification, and the resulting kludge came from a compromise between these motions, and produced the Best Semi-Prozine Hugo we have all loved and cherished for centuries now, worshipped beyond reason, particularly since I co-wrote it.

29. Was disappointed to miss the "Men Write Feminist Fiction" panel, as it clearly sounded like the panel with the most potential for disaster. Alas, missed it. Heard one second-hand version that made it sound dire, but it was only a single source.

30. Link to pocket program.

31. I amused myself in the Fanzine Lounge, particularly on Friday, while the SFC part of the display was still there, noting of zines: yup, mentioned there, loc there, mentioned there, mentioned there, several dozens of times.

I'm reluctant to note that the Fanhistory Display and Fanzine Display (incidentally combined with my invention of the independent fan programing track, and also combining the Fanzine Fan Lounge, which I also invented), all in one mini-area of the hotel, I did at SunCon in 1977, with only Susan Wood's "All Our Yesterday's" room at Torcon II as any kind of precursor (unless you count the N3F), was, er, a heck of a lot more elaborate than what Reconstruction had. Ditto the fanhistory display I did for Avedon Carol at Constellation in 1983, or the one I co-did with Joe Siclari in 1986, and even the ones I did at Lunacon in 1976 and 1977.

I'm talking major displays of material from the 1930s and 1940s, partial runs of Hyphen, Quandry, Dimensions, Spaceship, Skyhook, dittoed Psychotic, Roger Ebert's Stymie, a zine by Gene Klein, aka Gene Simmons, and on and on with so many more zines from every era, but a focus on the older the better, along with elaborate displays on apas, an entire major section on Lee Hoffman, and just dozens of immensely rare items of the pre-1960 era, as well as wall displays, pictures, mimeos, historical artifacts, program books of the forties, distributions of current fanzines, a separate display of popular recent zines, on convention history, and on and on; I had a considerable amount of granularity, and explanatory text for context, as well as carefully considered exhibits, rather than a purely random spread of zines.

Chris is a lovely and enthusiastic man, and I certainly can't say that I think NASFiC overall would have benefited in any significant way from any kind of more significant fanhistory display; I doubt more than a dozen or two dozen people at most would have cared, if that many.

But it did seem a bit on the minimal side.

Lastly, the hours seemed to be "whenever Chris or someone decided not to leave." It was open a fair amount of the time, but a heck of a lot less than the posted hours. But, again, in fairness, aside from a brief hour on Friday, when some 20-25 people were there, I never again saw more than 8 or so folks in the room at an given time, if that many. But let me stress that my sampling, which certainly amounted to well over fifteen times over the course of Friday and Saturday, and four times Sunday morning, was hardly comprehensive. And, again, not any kind of major criticism, and no kind of complaint! Just, you know, observing. And although I would have been agreeable to holding down the room for an hour or two if that would have helped, no one asked me, but it's my fault for not specifically saying any such thing to Chris.

32. My photo album.

33. Holy shit, J. J. ("John") Pierce was there!

And, of course, Filthy Pierre. Whom I said hi to, noting that he wouldn't remember me, but we'd been at many cons together in the Seventies, and he indeed noddedly blankly, which is perfectly fair, because I don't remember ever having a conversation with him of much more than a handful of words, more than, hmm, come to think of it, that time I had to tell him (at either 1976 or 1977 Lunacon, or Iggy or SunCon; probably not Chicon IV or any of the others)) that I couldn't help him get his portable organ back from the hotel until the morning, after he'd left it locked up in a now-locked function space. Or something like that.

34. Local tv news video report.

35. Other notable parties included a Capclave party, Texas in 2013, ASFA (didn't get to that), something for or by "1984" that I didn't go into and don't know who they were, a Renovation party (where Ben Yalow was mostly glued), Friends of Liad, the aforementioned Chicago bid party, and, um, a couple of others.

36. I maintained discipline, and did not spend a single penny in the huckster room, or buying anything at the con whatever!

I did this exactly by swearing to myself that I would buy nothing, or I'd have trouble drawing a line thereafter. I gave brief consideration to the notion of a lesser rule, such as "nothing subsequent to 1972, or 1960, or 1950, and over $5 a piece" but that might still have been dangerous.

And you know what? I again, over the course of the past decade, between books sent to me for review, and purchases of books for $.01 and $3.99 shipping, own several dozen yet unread books, many of them door stops, all of which I desperately want to read. So there's no point to adding to my to-be-read shelves, and I damn well don't do myself well by owning more possessions to move.

So my sense won out: go, me.

Although, y'know, still wistfulness and some frustrated lust. Booooks. Fanzines. Pulps. Old paperbacks. My first loves. Great fiction I haven't caught up to. Nonfiction on sf I haven't caught up to. So many books by friends I haven't caught up to.

But, hey: sense over compulsive fannishness. Yay.

37. I wish I could remember who it was who I met in person for the first time who was telling me how they'd heard so much about me, and it was all either really really good, or really really bad; I agreed that I had one of those polarizing personalities.

I had one or two other variations of that conversation over the weekend, which was fine, because it's true.

Photo (©) David Hartwell.

Photo (©) David Hartwell. Saturday, August 7th, 2010. Dealer's room of ReConStruction, North American Science Fiction Convention, Raleigh, North Carolina. I'm standing by David's table.

ADDENDUM, 8/10/10, 6:23 p.m. [modified at 9:06 to delete some now pointless information]: Specifically to entry #27: Unsurprisingly, this turned out not to be true. That is, James Nicoll's permission had not been asked, nor had he been even sent a courtesy copy.

Here are the folks whom the people at the table said they got the shirts from.

James gets a cut from these: buy these! He comments here.

The unauthorized shirts are here and here and here.

It does give off-shirt credit -- but the shirts are still unauthorized, and James Nicoll gets nothing from them:
English Doesn't Borrow from Other Languages T Shirt
100% Cotton Ash Shirt
This shirt has a paraphrase of a quotation made by James Nicoll. "The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don't just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary."

Design ©Pegasus Publishing. All Rights Reserved.

8/10/2010 04:40:00 AM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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Monday, August 02, 2010
ATTEMPTING RECONSTRUCTION WITHOUT OBSTRUCTION. I expect, barring problems, to be here this coming Friday, Saturday, and at least through Sunday afternoon, though probably not very late.

I'm not on any programming, or throwing any parties, or planning on doing anything more ambitious than either wandering as much as I can, or mostly planting myself in a couple of at least semi-public spots, and seeing what happens.

I'll be the fiftyish greying chubby guy in the tee shirt with the beard, so you can't miss me.

If you have ever read stuff by me, please feel free to come up to me and say hi, and then make up something flattering to say, and, best of all, slip me an envelope with a hundred dollar bill before you go. In return, I will be happy to offer vacant stares, grunts, sexual favors, mentions on my ever-so-currently-frequent "blog," political rants, acceptance of your Facebook Friend request, and tediously prolix self-centered anecdotes whose punchline I will forget. I may also pretend to be interested in you.

Also on offer: demonstrations that I'm 1000% more articulate in writing, where I can slowly consider what to write, then edit, rewrite, consult references, and Google, while refraining from stammering, mumbling, pausing, repeatedly saying "er," "you know," "and, uh," and "uh,I forget the details, but." Those come free to all.

Read The Rest Scale: as interested in possibly attending the North American Science Fiction Convention, held when the Worldcon is out of North America that year.

If you want to get in touch with me at the convention, to make arrangements to greet and meet, I do hope to check email as frequently as I can get access to both WiFi and being within 40 minutes or so of an electricity socket.

ADDENDUM, 6:51 p.m.: I'll be looking for a ride, if anyone happens to be going my way, or feeling generous, from the con, back to North Raleigh, near Falls of Neuse Road and North Ridge Center, Sunday afternoon, evening, or night, at your convenience, if anyone happens to be offering; I will be happy to pay any added gas costs.

ADDENDUM, 7/4/10, 6 p.m.: I'm reminded that the local #2 CAT bus doesn't even run at all on Sunday, so if I can't find a ride, I'm SOL, since a taxi ride of something like $50 would be the only alternative, although Google Maps says it's only about 8 miles.

ADDENDUM, 7/8/10, 1:20 p.m.: Gary has left the premises, and is back home. If I didn't meet you at the con, I most likely regret it. :-)

8/02/2010 12:46:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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