Daily Archives: July 27, 2011

Dear People Who Bought a Worldcon Membership

A poll especially for you!

Remember, you can vote until 11:59pm (Pacific Time) this Sunday, July 31. And you can do it online, even! SO GO DO IT. Now. Don’t make me come over there.

Done Deal

“Bush, Obama pollsters see ‘dramatic’ shift toward same-sex marriage”:

In a new polling memo intended to shape politicians’ decisions on the question of same-sex marriage, the top pollsters for Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama jointly argue that support for same-sex marriage is increasingly safe political ground and will in future years begin to “dominate” the political landscape.

The pollsters, Republican Jan van Lohuizen and Democrat Joel Benenson, argue in their memo (pdf link) that support for same-sex marriage is increasing at an accelerating rate and that the shift is driven by a politically crucial group, independents…

The new memo, based on public polling, makes the case that support for same-sex marriage has “accelerated dramatically in the last 2 years” and that the future almost surely belongs to supporters of same-sex marriage.

Well, yes. Because the support for same-sex marriage is the broadest with younger people, whereas it’s the older folks who are opposed to it, so time is not on the side of the opposition. Also, because we’ve had same sex marriage in the US for seven years now, starting in 2004, and the country has not devolved into a cesspool of iniquity, no matter what you might think if you read Gawker or supermarket tabloids with any regularity. And also, because who doesn’t love Ellen DeGeneres and Neil Patrick Harris? No one, that’s who. No. One.

Again, this is not to suggest that same-sex marriage is coming to every state in the US anytime soon — the forces of gay panic spent a lot of money and effort sticking amendments into state constitutions to assure Adam and Steve couldn’t get hitched, so it will take an equal effort to destick them — but the trend line noted above suggests it’s a “when not if” sort of thing. I’m particularly looking forward to Ohio unsticking it. That will make me feel better about my adopted state.

Panels: They Are Not About You

Author and all-around decent person Michelle Sagara has a long post about how not to be a jerk on a science fiction convention panel (particularly if one is a new and/or self-published author), which I suggest you read if you a) ever desire to be on a science fiction convention panel and b) not be an ass when you are. As a bit of disclosure, Michelle uses me as an example of someone who gives pretty good panel, which is flattering; I do try.

If you can’t be bothered to click through and read what Michelle has to say, here’s the takeaway thing to remember:

The panel isn’t about you. Every attempt to make it about you exposes you as a bit of a desperate ass.

This is often a hard thing for new and/or self-published authors to internalize. But they should make the effort. Fact is, the audience for a panel is going to be more interested in you and your work if you say interesting things on the panel topic, are engaged with the audience and gracious with your fellow panelists, than if you build a table fort of your books and view your fellow panelists as blank ciphers wonk-wonking in Peanuts adult voices keeping you from talking about what’s really important, i.e., you and your book. I know, hard to believe, right? Yet, oddly, true.

That said, do read what Michelle has to say.

Update, 5:51pm: Can’t get the LiveJournal link above to work for you? Here’s an alternate version of the same post. Whoops, seems to be down, too. Stupid Internets!

Being Boehner

Pretty much every day is a day I wake up glad not to be John Boehner, but today is one of those days I am especially so. The man has to attempt to reason with the ignorant nihilists that comprise his Tea Party wing, go up against the President of the United States in terms of selling his vision of the debt crisis, and has to deal with the fact that his plan to solve said crisis a) has to be retooled because the Congressional Budget Office pooped all over it, b) probably won’t pass within his own party anyway, because of the aforementioned ignorant nihilists. Man, it really does suck to be John Boehner today, and I’m glad he has to do it, while I get to sit here, writing blog posts and playing video games. Hey, he wanted the job, both the one where he’s Speaker of the House, and the larger existential condition of Being Boehner. This is the gig. Have fun, John.

That’s pretty much all I have for you re: That Debt Thing today.

Update, 3:11pm: Hey, it looks like Boehner’s day might be picking up! Until the bill gets to the Senate, anyway.

Update, 5:46pm: D’oh! Maybe not. Poor Boehner.