My Weekend Adventures

The weekend, in bullet point form:

* My weekend was primarily taken up with the ConFusion convention up in Michigan, which most of you know I consider to be my “home” convention (it was the first non-Worldcon convention I ever attended and the only convention I’ve been to each year since). The convention for me was generally lovely and also low-key. As I’m mostly taking the year off from official convention activities, I only did a couple of programming items. I unfortunately had to skip out on my last programming item and leave the convention early for a reason I will detail in a moment. Regardless, an enjoyable time as always, with some of my favorite people, and I’m glad to have gone. The above photo, incidentally, taken by Sam Sykes.

* My weekend was unfortunately cut a bit short because this morning I woke up at 5am with my mouth feeling as if someone had taken a chisel to one of my bicuspids. This is a not fun feeling, in case you are wondering. Because of it, we headed home early so I could be attended to by my dentist, who rather graciously came into office on a Sunday so that I would not have to be in agony until the next business day. The end result was a root canal, which while not fun was also not nearly as awful a procedure as I had always assumed it was, which I chalk up to expert dentistry. Now I’m at home, pumped up on amoxicillin and ibuprofen. This is the life, I’m telling you. It is, at the very least, far better than alternative.

* One of the things that I did at ConFusion was do yet another cover pose for Jim C. Hines Aicardi Foundation fundraiser, and this time Jim and I were joined by some friends: Charlie Stross, Pat Rothfuss and Mary Robinette Kowal. The results of this cover pose are available for your perusal here. Please note: At least fifty shades of pasty await you. I’m totally not kidding.

* On the way home from ConFusion today I received a concerned phone call from a good friend, who informed me that someone had just posted something about me online that to his eye was entirely libelous; he then gave me a brief rundown on the piece. It appears the racist sexist homophobic dipshit who has an adorable little mancrush on me has been spinning up his racist sexist homophobic dipshit blog readers yet again with a typically gibbering gout of stupidity, with my name inserted into it at some point.

I told my friend not to worry about it. Aside from it being just another example of this particular racist sexist homophobic dipshit trying to work out his adorable little mancrush issues in public, it’s probably not libel. One of the pillars of libel is that what’s being written has to effect material damage on the person allegedly being libeled. I experience no material damage in this case, because no one actually gives a shit what this particular racist sexist homophobic dipshit has to say about anything, other than his merry band of racist sexist homophobic dipshit readers. And why would I care what any of those racist sexist homophoblic dipshits think about me? They’re racist sexist homophobic dipshits. The racist sexist homophobic dipshit market is one I’m willing to lose.

I imagine that one day the racist sexist homophobic dipshit with the adorable little mancrush on me will finally figure himself out. Until then, I suppose his adorable little mancrush on me is cheaper than therapy. So mancrush on, you racist sexist homophobic dipshit. Because it’s adorable, and I get a giggle about just how much you can’t quit me.

247 thoughts on “My Weekend Adventures

  1. A couple of notes:

    1. Please be aware that I did not name the racist sexist homophobic dipshit for a reason; please do likewise. Also, please don’t link to this particular racist sexist homophobic dipshit’s blog. He’s a racist sexist homophobic dipshit. I’d prefer not to link in.

    2. To the racist sexist homophobic dipshits who will inevitably show up to defend their racist sexist homophobic dipshit leader and/or attempt to troll: GO HOME, RACIST SEXIST HOMOPHOBIC DIPSHIT, YOU ARE DRUNK. i.e., don’t bother, I’ll just mallet your racist, sexist homophobic dipshittery. Save us both some time.

    3. Everyone else: If you see someone being a racist sexist homophobic dipshit in the thread, don’t feed the racist sexist homophobic dipshit troll, please. Just ignore the sad little manling and leave the disposal to me.

  2. Also, there’s the Streisand Effect to consider. If you actually tried to sue this racist sexist homophobic dipshit for libel, you’d probably only bring more attention to said RSHD’s racist, sexist, and homophobic rantings.

  3. He really is kind of adorable in his own way, isn’t he? Just makes you want to pat him on the head and say “That’s nice dear, but the grownups are speaking now.”

  4. I can’t help but be curious about the racist sexist homophobic dipshit and the apparently lengthy chronicles of his racist sexist homophobic dipshittery. But I also recognize the folly of wasting perfectly good oxygen on said dipshittery, given the associated smell.

    Glad the con went well and the root canal experience as well as such things can go.

  5. Good dentists are worth their weight in gold. I needed a root canal maybe ten years ago. I was prepared for the worst, but I actually felt much less pain than I was expecting. Granted, I have an extraordinarily high pain tolerance, so that probably helped. The only blip in the radar screen came almost exactly a year later, when I bit down on something and the crown cracked. Went back to the dentist, who told me they’d quit using the crowns from that particular manufacturer because apparently they have a history of cracking. They replaced my crown (for free, even!), using a different manufacturer’s product, and I’ve been trouble-free ever since.

    I’d love to know who the RSHD is, but per your request I won’t press for details. I’m sure the RSHD will get theirs in the end (pun not necessarily intended); they always do.

  6. I love hearts and flowers and pretty bows! I could dance in sparkly showers all the day long! Fa la la la la la!*

  7. I’ve never had a full on root canal, but I had a partial when I had a cracked root before they just took out the whole tooth. I think the difference is they kill off the nerve in one root instead of both. The point is I was in so much pain before hand that when I left the dentists office after the partial I was feeling great. Even though I’ve sort of gone through it I’m not getting the whole “root canal’s are awful” thing.

  8. I should note, incidentally, that I am trying a new setting on the Mallet of Loving Correction, borrowed from The Bloggess, in which certain sorts of racist sexist homophobic dipshits discover their comments subtly altered. I’ll try it on this thread and see what I think for future use.

  9. Glad you have a great dentist. Dental problems are no fun. You do think this twit is all mouth, and wouldn’t ever try anything physical? It just seems that there are more and more unstable people doing violent things.

  10. I have a very low tolerance for pain (in my mouth and throat anyway) and have needed several root canals. As has been said, they are really not that bad. They sound very scary, but they are much better than the alternatives (living in intense pain or having the tooth pulled).

  11. Root canals used to be awful. Progress is wonderful. Unfortunately, lots of people are still thinking about early 20th century dentistry, and waiting far too long to take their problems in.

  12. How do you say “Go home, racist, sexist homophobic dipshit. You are drunk.” in Latin, anyway?

    Hmm? Oh, just wondering…no reason.

  13. When I think about all the kittens in the world that need to be cuddled, I just break down into wee little sobs.*

  14. Root canals do beat the alternative.

    As regards the linked picture: Jim proves that you should leave this to pros, Scalzi didn’t get the pose, Stross is all wrong, and Mary looks great as always.

  15. I’ve had I think three root canals at this point, in three different teeth, with two different dentists. I can’t say they’ve ever been anywhere near as bad as their reputations.
    On the other hand, the apicoectomy, which has no reputation to live up to…. Well, I’d be surprised if just the description of the procedure wouldn’t leave most people whimpering in the corner.

  16. John, in order for that pic to be legit you and Stross need bra tops. Fail. Otherwise, not a whole lot of DerMannPelz, so thank my lucky stars. Glad your tooth situation is improving.

  17. I was the person who marched across the room to see why you had a styrofoam cup on your head (because Steven Harper wanted to know), which of course became very obvious once I got there. Good to see you. Sorry to hear about the tooth and RSHDs.

    Love the subtle comment modifications. heh.

  18. “Mary’s Angels” is now my desktop background.

    Racist sexist homophobic dipshit is surprisingly fun to chant to yourself. Kind of like if supercalifragilisticexpialidocious got fed through the Horrors of the Internet.

  19. I, too, am full of unsatisfied curiosity in regards to “the racist sexist homophobic dipshit with the adorable little mancrush”. Unfortunately, a googling of that phrase only leads me back here,

  20. Once again you win. Too many people link to these kinds of idiots and then they give them FAR too much attention, which is of course what they crave. So the VERY subtle pseudonym is the best way to go.

    Also, it reminds me of Stephen Fry’s advice to young gays being bullied. “Stop it, you will give me an erection!”

  21. According to Google, that would be: Ite domum racist, sexist homophobic dipshit. Ebrius es. Strangely enough, the ancient Latins don’t appear to have had words for racist, sexist, or homophobic… Hmmm…..

  22. While accurate, racist sexist homophobic dipshit’s name is a bit of a unenjoyable mouthful.

    We need to Charlie Pierce this unenlightened sod’s identification. The Pale Trembling Fanboy? Mirror Universe Wil(l) Wheaton? Aspiring Anxious Freelance Teen BOP Writer?

  23. idiosyncronic:

    I think racist sexist homophobic dipshit works, because that’s what he is, and that’s how he should be identified, to the extent he is identified at all.

  24. Geoff Thorpe: I saw the BBC article the other day–how cool was THAT! The pose-off makes the big-time!

    John: Sympathies on the pain and the root canal, and keep that dentist! Came in on Sunday! Keeper.

    Good decision about the troll. It’s always worth asking oneself, “Is my credibility actually harmed by the rants of this ludicrous jackass?” And if the answer is, “no, of course not,” then much valuable time, focus, and energy is conserved by just ignoring it and moving on.

  25. That photo is hilarious! I also followed the earlier link to the BBC story on Hines’s cover poses and found something that sums it all up for me:

    “Many science fiction and fantasy readers are disappointed to encounter everyday sexism in a medium that is supposed to offer an escape.”

    I read my favorite genre to get lost in a world where anything is possible, not to bang my head up against the same old walls.

    So thanks, Mr Scalzi for doing silly things that make me laugh and help the genre!

  26. Well, it did take the RSHD more than a month to notice what was going on. So I suppose that could be taken as an improvement. Not as much as him getting a job, or at least a hobby, that doesn’t revolve around racist sexist homophobic dipshittery. But, you know, baby steps.

  27. Sometimes all I do with my day is brush my hair and sing Gilbert and Sullivan tunes in as high a voice as I can possibly manage.*

  28. Agh, looked at the RSHD’s site to see what he was on about, and now I’m thinking about all the better ways I could have spent that time. Like giving myself a lobotomy. John really is doing everyone a favor by not linking.

  29. John, it was wonderful to meet you and Krissy, finally, at the Con. I saw you at the last Penguicon, but didn’t have the nerve to go say hi. My new friends from Canada told me I was being a dork. (they didn’t say that, but that was what was meant.) They said if they could get up the nerve to talk to Patrick Rothfuss, I could certainly talk to John Scalzi.

    You were very gracious and completely you. I don’t really like waffles, but you made me want to try them.

    I enjoyed your Sunday morning panel, and even enjoyed the panel that you missed about professional criticism. Yanni Kuznia took over as moderator and did a great job. I had a wonderful time at the Con, and I now vow to go to many more.

    I am glad to hear that the tooth thing is taken care of. You did a good job but you did not look happy at that Sunday morning panel.

  30. I now fear that, at some point, I’m going to refer to some act as “setting the Mallet to ‘kitten,'” and I’m going to be institutionalized.

  31. I feel your pain with your bad tooth, John. Literally. I’m certain there are things that hurt worse than a bad tooth, but I have, thank Christ, not experienced any of them. And this coming from someone who’s passed kidney stones, endured gall stones, survived (barely) bacterial spinal meningitis, and just recently had about 1/3rd of his thumbnail torn off. Tooth pain sucks, big time.

  32. John glad your tooth is feeling better. Personally I thought you nailed the facial expression, and although the pose wasn’t exact I’m thinking you made the right choice not wearing a halter. I also think there should be a screen saver that has ALL of the pose offs’ gathered in one shot! Just forgive me if I keep it from the eyes of the children. I just don’t think I have enough words to explain it to them. Seriously thank you for cheering me up.

  33. So . . . very sexist pose. The original covered up her boobs . . . apparently, you are proud of yours.

    . . . . don’t know why, but not important; the important question is this:

    Don’t you guys have the original pose as reference? I see so many discrepancies . . . I try not to notice them, especially given the disturbing nature of the shoot, but they’re so glaring!!

    Although, a huge improvement from your previous attempts.

  34. MRAL:

    Yes, by about 20k words.

    Disperser:

    If you want to try to hold those poses exactly, for as long as it requires to take the photo, you are most welcome to do it. Indeed, I encourage it!

  35. Oh. Oh. Wow. That is a lot of white sci-fi man flesh right there (that I can’t unsee). And Jim Hines has clearly refined his “coy gaze” with 10,000 hours of practice.

    Re: Root canals: I got my first root canal at the hands of an NYU grad student and grew to know the exact feeling of someone digging around in my skull for hours with a probe. One step removed from a barber, some alcohol, and a decreased lifespan. Life has gotten so much better since I found my Russian dentist who doesn’t talk, takes insurance, and believes in computers.

    Re: Dicksmack trolls. I think I need a root canal for my brain.

  36. Sorry about the tooth. Delighted with the cover. All that man flesh pictured is what we refer to in this house as “fish belly white”

    (and “setting the mallet to kitten” is the name of my next band)

  37. Doesn’t sound like the amoxicillin and ibuprofen are doing their job . . . you seem a tad on-edge.

    So, it’s the photographer’s fault? A slow photographer does sound like something that would wear on a guy. OK, I’ll stop picking it apart, and just admire the guts (more than I’m comfortable with) it took to execute.

    On a side note, was the male model for the original cover Ashton Kutcher? Well, Kutcher “roughed-up” a bit.

  38. Disperser:

    Sorry, not trying to sound on edge, more mildly snarky. Because, that shit’s hard, man! It’s not the photographer’s fault at all, it’s the fact that those poses are not designed for humans to hold for any length of time (there’s a reason why the cover art is painted, not posed). Ad in the fact that all the men in the photo are at or near 40, and you’ve got some trouble.

  39. As per Kay’s comment that “racist, sexist, homophobic dipshit” fits to the tail end of “Supercalifragalisticexpialidocious”, I wound up trying to figure out the correct four syllables to fit at the beginning to get the cadence right. “Inadequate” doesn’t work – four syllables, but it’s trochaic rather than iambic in metre. “Inarticulate” is iambic in metre, but comes to five syllables. At present I’m sticking with “frightened, little, racist, sexist, homophobic dipshit”, but I’m open to further suggestions.

  40. Jim Hines has the most amazing coy gaze indeed. I love that picture so much, right down the strategically placed saran wrap. I would so read that book.

  41. Please a request – no altering of comments.
    By all means scrub them, or if altered, please make the fact that they’ve been altered obvious.

    I’ve been on a site where comments of mine have been altered from
    “You say there’s no scientific evidence. Here’s a list of some of the papers…. (list)”
    to the equivalent of
    “F*ck off you ***** b*tch, There’s nothing wrong with having sex with toddlers you C*NT”

    Said comments then being linked to and re-published by the blog owner elsewhere to show what an awful person I am, and to discredit me- including sending them to my employer. Disproving I wrote such a thing is difficult, and many think there’s no smoke without fire. Complaints to wordpress.com have FINALLY got that site frozen (repeated DMCA violations though, not for this), but there’s still a lot of such stuff up there – along with photos of myself.

    Proving financial damage would be hard, especially cross-jurisdiction. Proving malice is easy.

    Anyway – please don’t give in to the temptation to alter comments, not even of RSHDs with adorable little mancrushes.

  42. Sorry to hear about your tooth. May you have a speedy and complete recovery.

    Great group pose. Love the cause you all are supporting. It’s great seeing men in the business taking the issue seriously while having fun at the same time. I love how you talk about how difficult the poses are to hold as they look easy. Great job.

    Not feeding the trolls is a good policy. As is not linking to them as they get validation through their blog stats that way. You are an inspiration.

  43. Megpie71 wrote”
    ” At present I’m sticking with “frightened, little, racist, sexist, homophobic dipshit”, but I’m open to further suggestions.”

    May I suggest a little alteration – it works better with a different word order:

    “Nauseating, homophobic, racist sexist dipshit
    If his IQ doubled then he still would be a nit-wit
    Couldn’t write a sane comment if he was in a pink fit
    Nauseating, homophobic, racist sexist dipshit”

    Ok, I filk. And I’m GLAD, GLAD YOU HEAR ME!

    Sorry.

  44. Idiotic racist sexist homophobic dipshits
    Typing from the dankness of their gym sock-scented man pits
    Even though we thought the world already full of nitwits
    We’re happier when we ignore the homophobic dipshits

  45. John

    Congratulations! Not only have you brightened our lives, and possibly saved some lives with the fundraising, but you have pissed off a “racist sexist homophobic dipshit with the adorable little mancrush” as well, all in one weekend whilst simultaneously suffering with a root canal. No wonder he just can’t get over his mancrush; you’re being so alpha male, sorry, daddy wolf, that he can’t help himself.

    Disperser
    I think the point about the photographer is that when someone is hideously uncomfortable in a contorted pose they experience time flow rather differently to someone luxuriously lounging on their sofa. And sadly it does take a little while for antiobiotics to actually work, due to the fact that it isn’t magic.

    On the other hand, I’m thrilled to have spotted the original cover spiel about authentic genius; I’ve never met someone who’s an inauthentic genius…

  46. R.W.Ramsey: “But of course the dipshit has a crush on you, you’re adorable. I’m surprised you aren’t fighting off women and gay men with a stick.”

    John doesn’t need a stick for that … he has Krissy.

    I’m enjoying the new setting on the Mallet.

  47. Ooh can I play?

    Nauseating, homophobic, racist sexist dipshit
    Cranial trauma like a tragic accident
    Conflating social science with the Greek alphabet
    Nauseating, homophobic, racist sexist dipshit.

    White girl rapping!

  48. I dunno how I feel about the ‘kitten’ setting.

    First, there’s Poe’s Law. I think ya gotta have some kind of flag on there to indicate “comment has been altered”, otherwise nobody will have any idea.

    Relatedly: …how am I supposed to gloat about the Gilbert & Sullivan duets I taught my cat? People will think I’m kidding. Do you have any idea how hard it is to teach a cat to sing? Stupid little bastard doesn’t even understand the circle of fifths, has no music theory background whatsoever. Practically have to start from zero AND spend a fortune on liver treats. THIS IS HARD, SIR.

  49. Zoe Brain, Huey:

    Excellent points re: the Kitten setting. For the nonce, I have gone in and added asterisks to the Kittened posts, with asterisks linked to a comment explaining what’s going on so there’s some evidence of what’s happening. The goal is to subvert, not deceive.

  50. Oh, and the “Go home, you’re drunk” reminds me, per our conversation about the phrase from Friday: “Go Home, Weeping Angel. You’re Drunk.

    Also, Kittens? Kittens are vicious. They will totally scratch your face off. “Kitten” should be the super-hardcore setting wherein you ban someone from the whole internet for a week, or something.

  51. Huey

    I know, but don’t worry because I got your back.

    Well, for another ten minutes or so because I need some sleep, what with being in a different time zone, but justice will prevail, I’m sure. Have you considered getting in touch with John’s cats?

  52. When I came across the first Kitten Malleting, I was a bit baffled and wondered if the guy was being sarcastic or just weird and then when I figured out what Scalzi was up to and the thought of ugly, racist, sexist, homophobic comments being transformed into kittens and rainbows by the power of the Mallet of Loving Correction filled me with SO MUCH GLEE. It is refreshing to see the power to modify comments being used for good instead of evil.

  53. Mary’s Angels——- But is she going to write it? Man I want a copy bad!!!! Maybe a compolation piece with all five of you doing a short collection of bad ass bitches with bullets! And dudes!!!! Like sidekick dudes!!!!! You know, like Jane Sagan and her sidekick John Perry? Idea free to you as long as you shamlessly let me beg for an ARC. And I mean BEG!!!!
    Dave

  54. I think I prefer the scansion of “racist sexist homophobic dipshit-alitosis” or even “racist sexist homophobic nauseating dipshit”. I shall teach it to my kitten, who will sing it in a high voice while I cuddle puppies and dance on rainbow-sparkling dewdrops.

  55. Would somebody better at this than I am care to take a crack at “I Am the Very Model of a Racist Sexist Homophobe”?

  56. Amazingly, root canals these days don’t hurt nearly as much as you fear they will (I’d had a few done over a one month period thanks to a couple decades of never visiting the dentist – made me practice good dental hygiene going forward!). They are, however, disconcerting, because it feels like there are at least four hands and several pounds of metal in your mouth constantly for a few hours’ time….

    Tammy and I were at Marscon in Williamsburg, VA this weekend – very fun, relaxed con. Sadly, it means we’ll be driving back home the long way to avoid the traffic snarls of the Inaugural in and around Washington, DC.

  57. I found my way to racist homophobic sexist dipshit’s blog(s) and I am completely dumbfounded. I just don’t…understand. I know, I know, I need to stop trying to understand people. But, as a writer, it’s kind of my job…? Oh, well. I do very much agree. He is obsessed with you. And so PROFOUNDLY insecure about his masculinity that I believe it must be a deeply repressed homosexual attraction. Lucky you!

  58. Mr. Scalzi:

    Pardon what might seem a dismissive comment, but . . . I’m sixty, so I can’t muster up much sympathy for the difficulties of 40-years-olds. Besides, if you were to but glance over to the original cover art for a moment . . . how is it that those women can hold those poses for the amount of time it took the artist to draw them, and you guys find it so strenuous to do so for a fraction of the time? Surely, they must have posed far longer than the required time to pose for photograph!!

    Note: I’ve been told my humor sometimes is indistinguishable from the babbling of a perfectly serious idiot. I feel obliged, although it diminishes the impact of the above, to point out I am, in fact, attempting to use humor. And no, me feeling the need to point it out is not an indictment of your ability to potentially recognizing as such. Rather, I’m playing it safe; I don’t want your rabid fans to turn on me in a misguided attempt to protect you from someone they may perceive as yet another dipshit/troll.

  59. I am also on antibiotics and in pain at the moment. Thank you and Jim and the gang for making me laugh. I love the kitten mallet setting, though I understand the points that have been raised on it. But it’s priceless. Hope you feel better.

  60. Taking on wonderbink’s challenge:

    I Am the Very Model of a Racist Sexist Homophobe,
    The information’s scrambled from my distal to my frontal lobe,
    I know the big name bloggers and I quote their Randian code,
    From MRAs to PUAs and douchebags ‘cross the globe…

    (Okay, that’s as far as I can go.)

  61. @Megpie: Have you tried alternating between:

    “Supercalifragalisticexpialidocious”
    and
    “racist, sexist, homophobic dipshit is atrocious” ?

    I have, and now it is on endless loop in mah brainz. Could someone please make it stop?

  62. I went with “self-deceiving racist sexist homophobic dipshit,” because I think that best captures the real dynamic at play. But I applaud all attempts, particularly the ones that continue the song(s).

  63. I had a root canal in 1975. It was every bit as bad as you can imagine one to be. In 1986, I had a root canal in a tooth where the root was so deformed and twisted that the dentist declined to do it sent me to the local dental school to have it done by a specialist. In the intervening 11 years, the art advanced considerably, as the specialist told me before started. I did not believe him, but he was right.

    The only bad thing about the 1986 root canal was that no one in the dental school had ever seen a tooth deformed in my particular way, so there I sat with dental dams everywhere as every single person associated with the school came by, looked at the pre-procedure x-ray and then went “ooh! Can I just poke around inside the tooth for a minute to see what something that looks like that feels like?” The upside was that they eventually realized how obnoxious they were being, and decided not to charge me for it. As a grad student at the time, I appreciated that.

    I don’t know what dentists figured out between 1975 and 1986, but it seriously made the difference between a horrible ordeal and a slightly annoying procedure.

  64. Catherine Schaffer: I feel ya. I first discovered the RSHD about a decade or so ago. i was in this phase were I perused some of the columns on World Net Daily for teh lulz. Based on the content and style of his writing, I figured the RSHD for a disaffected 24-year-old undergrad philosophy major. It’s one thing to as desperately wrong as he is. Hell, damn near everyone on WND is. But in his quest for an original thought (and the occasional lay) he had twisted the meaning of everything he’d learned until he’d completely lost the plot. He doesn’t seem to have ever advanced beyond that stage. Recently, though, I come to find that he isn’t 5 years younger than me, he’s 5 years older. So, the guy hasn’t developed an ounce of maturity or intellectual introspection in 20 years. At this point, his very existence gets under my skin. I have to try to take John’s high road, and remind myself that he’s a small man with a smaller audience of even smaller men.

  65. megpie71 – You’re right that the meter doesn’t match, but you have the meters reversed. “Racist sexist homophobic dipshit” is trochaic (/u/u/u/u/u). Iambic would be like this: But soft. What light through yonder window breaks?/ It is the east, and Juliet is the sun (u/u/u/u/u/u/u/u/u/).

    Bob – Dammit! I have a screenplay (buried deeply) in a drawer entitled Norse Code. It’s a parody of The DaVinci Code, but it involves the Kensington Stone, a secret cadre of Vikings hiding in Lutheran Church basements, and everything about it is stupid. Especially the hotdish jokes.

  66. I love the Kitten setting almost as much as I love Chris Kluwe calling his new book of essays “Beautifully Unique SparklePonies”

  67. I have to say that I appreciate the asterisks of Kitten Setting since I rely on knowing that certain people declare their douchebaggery in bold neon letters and I can therefore avoid them. The asterisks now serve that purpose.

  68. Catherine Schaffer & Doc RocketScience: I found the RSHD after Scalzi’s piece on the mind of a rapist. The RSHD decided that this post meant that Salzi himself was a rapist. The rest of his thought is on a par with this gem. I’ve been looking at his blog with a kind of horrified fascination ever since. Each time I think it can’t possibly get worse; it does. I find him thoroughly dispiriting, rather frightening, and in the end just inexplicable. He presents as a well-educated, articulate, functioning kind of guy, and yet he traffics in vile racism, a sexism so absolute that women seem not to exist as real people, weird conspiracy theories, and general religious crackpottery. I don’t get it at all. Is he insane? I wonder. Are all his readers insane as well?

  69. Why John, it’s _almost_ like you’re taunting the RSHD, but I know you’d never do that.

    #snicker

  70. Hurrah for emergency hours dentistry!

    Another member of the multiple root canals club here. And yes, with a good dentist they are simply tedious rather than the horror stories you hear about.

  71. It was a nice Confusion. Please get to the Fan GoH parade some time for some historical local color.
    Sorry about the tooth, of course. I gather that root canals are as various as roots.

    And Zoe Ellen — see “disemvowel”.

  72. Aw, man, sorry about the root canal. Those things can really, really suck. Here’s wishing the drugs last longer than the pain.

  73. Wow. I figured out who the RSHD is, and unfortunately read some of his shit. Why did I pursue that? Now I have nobody to blame for my disgust for humanity. What a slimy turd. And the sycophants who comment on his site . . . wow.

  74. “John Scalzi says:
    January 20, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    I should note, incidentally, that I am trying a new setting on the Mallet of Loving Correction, borrowed from The Bloggess, in which certain sorts of racist sexist homophobic dipshits discover their comments subtly altered. I’ll try it on this thread and see what I think for future use.”

    Is this serious? You would actually fuck with people that comment here? I seriously hope you were just being whimsical, or else that’s just levels of assholery that as a heterosexual male I decline to contemplate.

    I saw one person object (good on her), and at least one person praise this as an example of desirable forum policing. Everyone else just accepted it. What the hell is going on?

    I’m going to test your integrity as forum police (and as a human being), to the extent honestly possible. I’m also going to save this web page, then see what you do. I honestly hope that your comment is either a joke or a facade to deter posters from Vox Popoli (of which I guess I am one), and that you’ll restore my (or create a newfound) faith in the integrity of your blog.

    – I believe that homosexuality is an abomination to God as mentioned in Leviticus. I think it is a dangerous, unhealthy practise, and that homosexual normalisation is ultimately destructive to society, and that it is, if not the source of AIDS, then responsible for it’s prevalence. I also believe that it is detrimental to children’s ‘society’ (to use an old-fashioned term) if they are raised by a doubling up of one gender as parents, rather than the co-operative male and female pair. All things being equal of course.

    – I think blacks are a different colour than whites, and they have statistically higher proportions of violence attributable to them, in contemporary American culture. I believe their penises are on average, not exceptionally larger than the white American’s. (Hmm. Maybe that’s going a bit far. Best I can do.)

    – I think women are fundamentally different from men, and that this misguided feminist attempt to achieve equality through male imitation or usurpation is also fundamentally flawed, and that women should embrace that which makes them distinct from men, instead of resenting what there is no reason to resent, and that feminists should cease attacking those women that adher to notions of ‘traditionally feminine’.

    – I’ll just assume you’ll automatically append ‘dipshit’ to this comment, so I don’t need to strain my creativity there.

    I’m a Christian, Young Earth Creationist, who detests feminism, abortion, secularism, the attempts to dislodge God from all areas of human necessity. I believe that one can only obtain the hope for a perfect future world, is through Christ, and that all others are literally doomed to oblivion. I believe there is hope for all, but guarantees for none. I believe that the core philosophies that seem to constitute ideologies involving atheism, materialism, secularism, pro-choice, feminism, are pernicious and self-destructive, and that the world would be incredibly better off even to be subject to a universal Catholic Church (although I am not Catholic myself), that was concerned with training people to be moral citizens, not self-interested ones, and had no irrational fears of the Divine that stunted and perverted science.

    How’zat?

  75. RHSD doesn’t seem to be a particularly nice person. I suspect he needs to get laid more often, and to adjust his tinfoil hat, as it may be a little tight.

    For the record, I like rabbits. They are very tasty.

    Also, if I’m a gamma male, does that mean I am likely to turn green and go “Hulk smash”? Cool!

  76. Mudz. Nice satire. The bit about the catholic church and moral citizens was the giveaway, it was almost bbelievable until then. Or did you sleep through the endemic child abuse scandals?

  77. No, I believe I was around at the same time as humanity. At the time of your specific example, I think I even joined in pretending that Catholics included ‘Thou Shalt Molest Children’ as part of the ritual of ordaining priests.

  78. But it’s nice that you accepted the credibility of the first 90% of the post. It does actually speak well of you.

  79. Mudz. To address the only serious point you made:
    Since the intention to alter sexist, racist, homophobic asshattery is clearly stated, and the altered comments clearly marked, in what way does any issue of integrity arise?

  80. For clarification, Mudz, believable as satire on an outdated and distasteful worldview, not one that I consider

  81. I’m testing what he considers to qualify as sexist, racist, and homophobic, and his response if so triggered. I didn’t realise he intended to clearly mark his alterations, which mitigates it a fair amount actually, but doesn’t change the other half of the problem.

    Everything I said was 100% honest, 95% serious, relevant to the topics I was addressing, and was no more than reciting facts, or a reiteration of Judaeo-Christian beliefs that have been around for thousands of years.

    To ban a commentator that you feel is abusive, sure, to delete his comments, fine, it’s your (his) blog. But to alter the content of contrary messages to play bitch games or play to ones own sense of ego, is an unforgiveable internet sin, punishable by being told you’re an asshole. You are thus served. (Pending conclusion.)

  82. Can’t say I understand the objections to Kitten Setting. At all. If your door doesn’t lock and someone insists on repeatedly coming into your house and taking a dump on the carpet, you have every right to not only remove the offending material — not only to spray Glade and cleanse with Lysol — but also to attempt to diaper the offender ASAP.

    I would agree with concerns about the integrity of comments ONLY if they are signed with a real name, e-mail and web site. Own your incontinence, you coward. Signed with a handle? Blast ‘em. (And, yes, I’m signing with a handle. I also believe this is a matter of respect. You troll under a handle, I don’t owe you the respect of replying with a real name. Vicious circle, innit?)

    If Mudz isn’t wearing a gingham frock and weaving daisy necklaces by 9 a.m., I’ll be disappointed.

  83. Lol, ‘Mudz’ is my everyday name. But if you like, my name is Maru Tamehana, and I have a public all-access facebook account which you can look up (I hardly use it). My junky email address is nzwizkid@hotmail.com. Direct your additions there if you like.

    I am 24 years old, a male, a virgin, an aspiring writer and film-maker, a half-caste New Zealand maori, I own (sort of) a cat, a laptop, a computer, and I like girls.

    I assume that you want this information to, I don’t know, send abusive emails to me, I don’t really give a shit. I live in an area where I see dogs running past with axes in their heads.

    What you’re advocating is a pretext to ban all scary comments without any real justification. The impression I have is that any comment that is anti-affirmative of homosexuality, etc, etc, will likely qualify as ‘undesireable’ and thus ‘abusive’ and devolve into ‘hate speech’ from there. I would love to be proved wrong. Honestly. I’ll take all the examples of human decency I can get.

  84. I’m Sure it goes without saying that putting the Mallet to Kitten setting should be spoken out loud in the exact same intonation as James T Kirk ordering “Arm All Phasers”, Because The Kitten Setting is serious business, yo.

    Granted, I’m also a huge fan of TNP’s devowelization approach to comment moderation, but I’m sure that takes more time (Although I think there’s a web app for it) and not nearly as amusing in the results.

    For those being Kittenated — remember the golden rule – don’t be an @$$hole.

  85. Oh, hell, if all it is is replacing letters with symbols that look the same, then that’s fine! Consider my objection withdrawn if so. (I’m still curious about responses to the post itself, now, though.)

  86. Dude, I’m not going to send you anything. If you’re legit, I don’t want anything to do with you. I will say that if your bio is true, you have A LOT of living, learning and growing up to do. (If it was all up to me, I wouldn’t allow anyone to pipe up and embarrass themselves on the web until they were at least 25. “Children should be seen and not heard” was good advice back in the day.)

    I fully expect to be malleted myself, by the way, having engaged in this side rail. I like puppies and apple dumplings, fwiw.

  87. Whatever is #1 on Google for “racist sexist homophobic dipshit.” I’m not sure if that’s a good thing.

  88. I’m not really interested in your personal details, to be honest. I say that as kindly as possible. This is just a discussion forum after all, I’m not looking for a date.

    I don’t disagree with the initial sentiment. I look forward to at least 76 more years, or a zillion if I’m lucky, and I imagine I’ll be much wiser in that time, if everything goes well. But I don’t believe that you’re being entirely honest if you’re trying imply that’s a sufficient pretext to dismiss what I have to say now.

  89. Deep breaths, everyone.

    Mudz, you should go read the Comment Policy. It clearly notes that I reserve the right to remove or edit any post here, and has for years. If you’re not comfortable with that, don’t post a comment here. It’s that simple.

    I didn’t have any problem “Kittening” the particular person I did, because the dude posts here only to be an obnoxious dickbag; he adds nothing to the conversation other than obnoxious dickbaggery. If changing his posts in a kittenish fashion is the thing that finally causes him to abandon his policy of obnoxious dickbaggery around here, then that’s a plus for the policy in my eyes.

  90. [Deleted because it's indeed off-topic; this is the sort of thing best asked of me in e-mail, not posted to an unrelated thread. The short version of my response is: As president, it happened on my watch and is my responsibility, so: Sorry, folks. Won't happen again. We're taking some steps to address it. I may respond to it in a more detailed manner in the reasonably near future -- JS]

  91. Damn John, you got demoted(?) from beta to gamma male. I wonder if the RSHD knows more of the Greek alphabet, because if it does, it won’t be long before you are…the Omega Man!

  92. @ John Scalzi

    I completely accept that you have the right to enforce whatever rules, sensible or arbitrary, that you like. I’m making it clear that this will elicit the given judgment, and that I don’t agree with a policy that (assuming this is the case) would literally hijack a dissenter to become a puppeted spokesperson.

    I give zero craps if you decide to shoot, wound or maim posters you don’t like on a megalomaniacal whim (and who doesn’t have that whim on occasion?), or if you just want a fuzzy echo chamber for those of fellow ideology to rest their weary ideas, or if you want to string flowers and kittens all over your page. But mind control just isn’t cool. Not when it could be used to appropriate my virtual (and real) name that I use everywhere, and make it spout nonsense completely antithetical to my beliefs, and invalidate and reverse all my efforts to reason with people whose fates and beliefs, believe it or not, I genuinely care about. I would like to be able to share, calmly, why I believe that the people who accept the ideologies I protest, are motivated by a genuine desire to be a positive social success, but for reasons not necessarily of their own, have been misinformed or misguided.

    If that’s not what you want, that’s up to you, but that’s my position.

    Americans prize the freedom of speech highly I’m told. I would accept simply ‘don’t screw me with the internet’. I cannot force you to this particular policy, but it’s the only internet ‘right’ I think should be utterly sancrosanct. The internet is bad enough without adding more layers of deceit.
    I don’t even know who it was you ‘kittened’, I was speaking purely of my own volition.

    (It’s late here, I’ll check back tomorrow.)

  93. Congrats on having a nice dentist – I have the best guy in the world, the things he has gone out of his way to do for clients is astounding – a good dentist is worth his or her weight in trillion dollar platinum coins. As has been noted above, root canals are not painful. Its the events leading up to them that are unbelievable.

    Sorry I missed the subtly changed postings – I almost wanted to post something horrible just to see what the changes were, for a laugh. then you went and ‘spoiled’ the fun by just using astrics. Thanks for putting up with those @holes and keeping the doors open on your place.

  94. The only problem with setting the mallet to Kitten is that now I want the RSHD to post *more* so that I can read his kittened comments and be amused thereby.

  95. Mudz – you obviously don’t stop by often or you would know that John allows a wide variety of opinions and disagreements here. What he does not tolerate is flaming @ssholes. Perhaps you should read the site for a while before you cast a judgment that only displays your extremely limited knowledge of the subject matter.

  96. Mudz, the part that you don’t get about free speech is that it doesn’t apply everywhere. You have the right to say whatever you want to *in public*. This is John Scalzi’s blog. It is emphatically *not public*; it is the virtual equivalent of his parlor, where he has graciously allowed us to stop by and visit for a bit. As this is *his* home, we must abide by *his* rules.

    Put another way, would you be OK with it if someone you didn’t know came into your house and started showing “A Serbian Film” using your TV and DVD player? That’s the situation here. The RSHD is the vocal equivalent of that film, minus the redeeming qualities.

  97. Regarding the psyche and motivations of the RSHD, there’s some disturbing stuff on his collective blogs/pages. I found one post that showed an unhealthy fascination with the phenomenon of women having orgasms when raped. RSHD’s take was that they must secretly want it. (Ugh. Just because you get a soda when you put a quarter in the vending machine does not mean the vending machine consented.) Based on that and the fact that RSHD accuses John of being a rapist based on his satire piece from a while back, I’m getting a “the lady doth protest too much” vibe out of RSHD with respect to rape. That’s one dude I don’t want driving me home from the kegger on a Saturday night. Creepy creepy creepy. Also don’t miss his thoughts on short hair on women. So nuanced. So informative. It’s amazing when wrongthinking ignorant twits paradoxically possess verbal skills. It’s like having a dog suddenly and unexpectedly give you a dissertation on the joys of eating garbage and poop.

    The kittening is totally hilarious.

  98. John, I think you need to add Fundamentalist to that list. I found the nameless one’s blog and frankly he and his “Ick” scare the crap out of me. Given their frightening fanatical love of guns, legal or otherwise, mixed with their righter-than-thou brand of religion I am truly concerned that this RaSHeeD will be providing inspiration to the next wave of domestic terrorists. God, how can these people breath the same air I do.

  99. If the true test of someone reasonably public is the kinds of enemies he attracts, I think you’re fairly laudable for having an enemy the likes of RSHD. I made my way over to his blog again, and damn, that guy is just nuts. I keep trying to convince myself that he’s pulling some elaborate troll, but it seems he’s sincere. Poor fellow.

  100. Mudz:

    “I’m making it clear that this will elicit the given judgment, and that I don’t agree with a policy that (assuming this is the case) would literally hijack a dissenter to become a puppeted spokesperson.”

    Mudz, what makes you think I care what you think about it? Bear in mind it’s not just you; I don’t actually care what anyone else thinks about how I run my site. It’s my site, and I run it as I please. No one else gets a vote. I’ve always been clear about that.

    Appealing to my Americanness regarding free speech shows that you don’t know exactly what the right to free speech means in the United States Constitution; in any event, the constitutional right to free speech here in the US doesn’t mean someone has the right to be an asshole on my site. When someone comes in and decides to be an asshole, I will happy Mallet the crap out of them.

    Again, this is all covered in the comment policy for the site. Won’t you read it, please?

    Chris:

    “If the true test of someone reasonably public is the kinds of enemies he attracts, I think you’re fairly laudable for having an enemy the likes of RSHD.”

    No. He’s standard issue racist sexist homophobic dipshit. I don’t gain anything from his attentions.

  101. Understood John, and thanks. Next time I will use email. :)

    As to the actual topic: Love the kittening. Better by far than unleashing the kraken!

  102. Glad to hear that you do not think whatever it was the person in question said was libel. I seem to recall political postings here that might be just as vile?

  103. Eek, for what its’ worth a googling of your phrase “racist sexist homophobic dipshit” leads right to the other ones website. You gotta love the interwebs

  104. Your RSHD reminds me of the line from the song “Thank you, Hater” – “Sexually aggressive racist homophobe misogynist cowardly illiterate waste of human skin!”

  105. So what about his point that you’re primarily mocking covers for books marketed almost exclusively to women?

    Ie, at least some of the covers you mock aren’t supposed to, and doesn’t, attract men at all, but women.

  106. Agree with Zoe, I’m afraid. Deleting comments is acceptable. Altering comments to make it appear that somebody wrote something that they didn’t is not.
    Although I have to admit it is cute, you should apply the reversal rule: if the people whose comments you altered were able to alter *your* comments (in ways that *they* thought was hilarious), would you find this acceptable? Is a policy of “comments can be altered without recourse” one you’d like others, including racist sexist homophobic dipshits, to adopt?

  107. Quick awareness note:

    I have errands to run today and will be away from the site for a significant amount of time, but there seems to be a higher than average forecast for trolls, so Kate Baker will be around for malleting purposes. Please respect her authority.

  108. Geoffery
    If it’s obvious the comment has been kittenised – no harm, no foul, and somewhat hilarious.
    It’s JS’s blog after all, his rules. I just pointed out a serious ethical issue, he’s taken care of it.

    Mudz – I disagree with some of what you say, and in a few places, severely disagree.

    And? If you wish to debate these issues, here isn’t the place, but I’d be glad to elsewhere. Your blog or mine?

    Now…Where were you unkind? Gratuitously rude? Obnoxious? Sorry, your attempt to provoke a mallet of correction of any kind was a dismal failure, because you’re not unkind, gratuitously rude, or obnoxious. Wrong, even harmfully wrong, maybe… but I’m not infallible.

    To put it crudely, you didn’t break the Platinum Rule “Try not to be an asshole”.. You tried to be provocative, but you didn’t try to harm anyone for the lulz. I don’t think the idea of doing that occurred to you. Without that spite and malice, the mallet will remain in its draw, if I’m any judge of JS..

  109. It’s too bad that the RSHD (and subsequent comment policy discussion) has distracted folks from proper appreciation of the cover photo. There’s a whole lot of ridiculousness to like about that photo, but to my mind it’s somehow Stross’ glasses that really take it to the next level.

  110. having found the “offending” blog I have booked it and this one and will be making some popcorn. I sense this will be like a bum fight!

  111. I’ve never been here before. Just followed the link from the RSHD to check out what the site was about. It seems like an awful lot of fuss, when the point made seems rather reasonable. Are the novels you are spoofing the covers on not written by women and for women? Is it unreasonable to suggest that it’s a bit strange to charge male sexism at these particular novels because of their covers?

    I’m perfectly willing to believe you have a reasonable answer to the charge – but it seems like a valid point to me. Of course – this will probably be edited or deleted anyway, even though I’ve said nothing inflammatory. We’ll see.

  112. CS, et al:

    Just as a general note “I bet this comment will be deleted” neither causes me to rush to defend myself against charges of censorship nor causes me to fulfill the prophecy by deleting the comment. Comments stay or go based on the content of the comment.

    As for what’s going on with the covers, why not visit Jim C. Hines’ site and find out? He’s running it and has all the details there.

  113. Why did I think I might gain something from looking up this asshat? I formally regret my decision and thank you for withholding links to his blog.

  114. @amergina: The criticism wasn’t directed at the Poul Anderson cover. It was this one: http://www.jimchines.com/2012/12/pose-off-with-john-scalzi/ and another one. I’ll have to hunt down the other one if this one isn’t enough.

    John – I’m not quite sure why you’ve deduced my expectations of your response to my comment to these particular options, but I can say that neither was anywhere close to my own thought process. I really only said it out the mild frustration that comes with the expectation of wasted effort.

    Regardless – delete, edit – don’t delete, don’t edit. Whatever. I just thought there might be room for some discussion and I was interested to hear your side.

  115. CS:

    “I’m not quite sure why you’ve deduced my expectations of your response to my comment to these particular options, but I can say that neither was anywhere close to my own thought process.”

    It was a general comment; I get a fair number of people who end their notes with something along the line of “I expect you’ll delete this,” regardless of whether their comment in itself was delete-worthy, or the history/pattern of deletions on the site. It comes off as a combination of a dare and low-level reverse psychology after a while.

  116. I’ve had two root canals, or one root canal with a followup. I forget which. During the first one I knit the second of my first pair of socks, two colors, by feel. During the second one I dozed off. On one of those visits I suggested the dentist put a screen on the ceiling and set up a camera so that patients could watch their own procedures. The dentist seemed to think I’d be in the minority for having interest in doing so though. Clearly the root canal experience was much improved from when it got its fearful reputation.

    Someone way up there said that kittens will scratch your face off. I can tell you that this is not the case for our current kitten. He prefers to lick my face off, with his coarse-grit sandpaper tongue. If he ever decides he’s tired of the housepet gig he has a promising future ahead as an exfoliant.

    Regarding the influx of nonregulars from elsewhere, their most conspicuous unifying trait to me is their self-righteous conviction that “of course” their comments will be deleted due to not saying what Scalzi wants them to say, even though that sentiment is clearly just repeating what they read on another site rather than the product of inspection of actual contentious conversations on this site. Good way to show one isn’t just a follower, yep.

  117. John, I believe Chris’ point about “true test of someone reasonably public is the kinds of enemies he attracts” is that if you have RSHD as an enemy, it means you’re pissing off the right people. Which should, hopefully, correlate with being a decent human being doing the right things. It’s like judging a politician based on whether the NRA and JBS love or hate him (if those two endorse a candidate, it’s a giant red flag for me).

  118. “It was a general comment; I get a fair number of people who end their notes with something along the line of “I expect you’ll delete this,” regardless of whether their comment in itself was delete-worthy, or the history/pattern of deletions on the site. It comes off as a combination of a dare and low-level reverse psychology after a while.”

    Oh, ok. As I said, this is my first time here – I was just basing my expectation on the first comment to this post.

    @Robin – what was written on another site that might lead one to believe his comments would be edited or deleted? In my case, the sentiment came from reading the first comment to this post. Since I came from the website of the accused, that was my supposition.

    I do see that some dissenters’ posts have not been deleted – though I can’t tell if they’ve been edited. At least in so far as I don’t say anything offensive to anyone in any of the preferred categories, it doesn’t appear that my posts will be edited or deleted either.

    I am curious, though – and this was the reason I posted in the first place. This post: http://www.jimchines.com/2012/12/pose-off-with-john-scalzi/ seems to be spoofing the cover of a book written by a woman, for women to read. As the purpose of all of this seems to be about how the sexuality of women is objectified for the pleasure of men, I wanted to know how this applied to book written by a woman for women to read.

  119. CS: I do see that some dissenters’ posts have not been deleted – though I can’t tell if they’ve been edited.

    Did you not read the full thread before responding? One of Scalzi’s helpfully-green comments addresses this:”For the nonce, I have gone in and added asterisks to the Kittened posts, with asterisks linked to a comment explaining what’s going on so there’s some evidence of what’s happening. The goal is to subvert, not deceive.”

    Note that the asterisk itself is a link to his comment saying what he’s doing. And, of course, see the follow-up post.

    @Robin – what was written on another site that might lead one to believe his comments would be edited or deleted? In my case, the sentiment came from reading the first comment to this post. Since I came from the website of the accused, that was my supposition.

    I think you just answered your own question — though remember that It’s Not Always About You. That is, I was commenting on a behavior seen across many people (as Scalzi was in his reply to you), not just your own. And I don’t know if you saw the post a few below your first one before it was deleted, but it indeed claimed that Scalzi deleted dissenting opinions — which is false, as even a cursory examination of a complete thread here would show. So yes, the owner of another site tells his community that Scalzi deletes comments on the grounds of not following Scalzi’s party line, and members of that community believe that without checking for themselves and post here stating that expectation. Which I suspect you’re still doing, intentionally or not — the first comment to this post says Scalzi will Mallet trolling and RSHDtery. Are you being like that? No? Then don’t worry. Again, this is all spelled out in the comment policy, the reading of which before posting, should be common netiquette.

  120. Funny thing, a little while after I’d had two rabidly unpleasant wisdom teeth
    out I overheard two women talking about my dentist.
    All that I remember was: “…Uses to much anesthetic.”

  121. @CS: The whole set of “Pose-Off” posts are part of an overarching discussion about how women are posed versus how men are posed in science fiction and fantasy cover art. This discussion has been taking place on Jim Hines’s blog for some time (i.e., you’re examining a conversation based on one sentence taken out of context).

    During the discussion, covers poses from multiple novels, written by both men and women for… well, humans… have been featured. Some of those novels can be thought to have more of a male audience or a female audience, but eh. Both men and women read SF/F books.

    While the author of the particular novel chosen for that particular pose-off is a woman, the actual novel is a dark urban fantasy, categorized as either fantasy or horror. Judging by the names of folks reviewing it on Amazon, the book is not just being read by woman.

    Unless RSHD believes that all books by women that feature woman protagonists are written only for women?

  122. CS

    But you can tell if they have been edited, as you would know if you had bothered to read the posts…

  123. I cross posted with Robin, who obviously has more patience than I do with people who can’t be bothered to read the posts…

  124. Giraffe

    In order for there to be a debate there has to be two parties capable of gathering evidence and presenting a reasoned argument based on that evidence.

    Unfortunately the dipshit is incapable of doing that…

  125. @Robin – “Did you not read the full thread before responding?” I read through most of it, but I’ll admit to missing the bit about the asterisk. Too much multi-tasking. So, I’ll trust that edited comments will be marked thusly – though I know that Scalzi is under no obligation to do so.

    “I think you just answered your own question — though remember that It’s Not Always About You.” I didn’t answer my own question. I haven’t seen this accusation at the site I came from, which is the site that was targeted in the initial posting. So it appears to me as a naked assertion without support – after all, you haven’t cited evidence for the assertion. As I said, my own expectation was derived from the original comment to this post – not from anywhere else.

    As far as it not always being about me – sure, I get that. But I don’t think it’s unreasonable to assume that when someone posts my handle and what I wrote and responds to that in particular that the response might be directed to me and not a general audience. In my experience, comments directed to a general audience don’t specify a particular individual – or, if they need to identify an individual’s comments to respond to a more general trend, they will usually point out as much in their response to be clear. As far as your comment is concerned, I asked the question because I know I didn’t read it on the site that sent me here and I was curious where you had seen such an assertion made. I could tell your comment was addressed to a general audience, which is why I used the phrase, “In my case…” in my response. In your comment you assert that this particular behavior is clearly because the individuals in question read that this would happen somewhere else. I had not read it somewhere else. Hence, it’s not so clear. Because of this it seemed that my case was particularly relevant to the discussion.

  126. I just realized that my phrasing was unintentionally and perhaps humorously ironic and illogical-sounding here:
    And I don’t know if you saw the post a few below your first one before it was deleted, but it indeed claimed that Scalzi deleted dissenting opinions — which is false, as even a cursory examination of a complete thread here would show.

    To clarify, I mean that it’s false that Scalzi deletes posts on the basis of containing dissenting opinions. He deletes them for being trollish, RSHDish, etc. Dissent or assent is immaterial. It does read as spectacularly clueless the way I wrote it though. >_<

  127. CS: I did mean the general sense of “Clearly they claim enforced groupthink here on the basis of received groupthink elsewhere” somewhat sarcastically, in the sense of people claiming to see and condemning behavior X in group A when they belong to group B which exhibits X blatantly. Sorry that didn’t come across.

    Do check out the various threads here to see examples of the diversity of opinion and relative consistency of civility here. Heck, even in this thread, note the feedback Scalzi received on the kittening which led to the addition of the asterisk, and of course the subsequent thread with the feedback on the implied nature of his replacement. Disagreement is welcome; it’s deliberate obnoxiousness which is not (and even that tends to have a fairly high bar before Scalzi gets involved, though if he’s feeling particularly quick on the draw for a given topic he’ll say so at the outset). Poor arguments tend to get dismantled by other commenters, with or without Scalzi’s participation.

  128. @amergina: It seemed to me, by reading the description of the book, that the book was being marketed to women – but what do I know. However, after looking through the reviewers names I found 21 that were clearly women, 20 of which were unclear and 6 that were clearly men. Seems to me that the book is being read mostly by women.

    So, the point is this: The book uses a scantily clad woman on its cover. The book is written by a woman. The book is marketed to women. The book is mostly read by women. Hence, this clearly appeals to a good segment of the female population. The reason it appeals to women is because it portrays the image of a strong, sexy woman – and women tend to like to view themselves this way. So, it would seem, that by setting this book aside for particular disapproval, that the author of this blog and Mr. Hines would prefer that women not like to view themselves this way. Though I’m not exactly clear on why.

  129. @Robin: Duly noted. It seemed to me that all dissent was addressed by the first post. This is clearly not the case as my posts seem to be unblemished.

  130. Girraffe: I have. Stevie’s point stands.

    CS: you really are on the wring thread. And probably the wrong site, especially if you want to take passive-aggressive swipes at Jim Hines.

  131. The book uses a scantily clad woman on its cover. The book is written by a woman. The book is marketed to women. The book is mostly read by women. Hence, this clearly appeals to a good segment of the female population.

    Why do you think that these facts are related? I’d suggest looking up what Charlie Stross has to say about the subject of the author’s input into book covers and he’s been badly screwed by covers he didn’t like and didn’t want. Although he did manage to get them to change the skyline of one from London to Edinburgh, where at least it was set.

  132. @ CS, re the book cover thing: I can see where you’d get the idea that the books at whose covers Hines is taking aim are “by women for women” based on that one data point. But as others have noted it’s only one data point. At the same time, you are doing rather a lot of unsupported extrapolation based on it — that the cover appeals to women, that it portrays the image of a strong, sexy woman, that this is why it appeals to women, etc. There are a lot of unexamined assumptions in your post, e.g.:

    1) that books written BY women are FOR women, rather than for “people” — this is pretty obviously problematic
    2) that the book is marketed to women — presumably based on the above assumption, therefore equally problematic; in fact, this is the principal problem the pose-offs are addressing, that the marketing is aimed, as so much marketing is, to men
    3) that the book is mosty read by women — the review sampling you took only says that more women than men reviewed the book, not why that is the case
    4) that the cover appeals to women — marketers are notorioulsy tone-deaf on this point, and again this relies on the first idea that the book is for women, therefore the cover was selected to appeal to women

    Actually, as I try to do this (and I am definitely ill-qualified to do so compared to many of the commenters here) I keep coming back to that first one. It seems to me that all of your impressions, right down to the “why do Scalzi and Hines not want women to see themselves as strong and sexy?” are based on the idea that this book is for women, which you specifically associate with it being written by a woman. Which again is just wrong. There have been some pretty good discussions on this, here and at Hines’s blog; again, I encourage you to look for them. The search function here works pretty well.

    Also, the ridiculousness of your conclusion about Hines and Scalzi should suggest to you that you’re not getting all of the context and/or employing faulty reasoning to get there. Because if even you yourself are wondering why they would want to do X then it’s probably a good time to consider that you’ve arrived at X in error.

  133. So, the point is this: The book uses a scantily clad woman on its cover. The book is written by a woman.

    These seem to be easily checked and accurate facts.

    The book is marketed to women. The book is mostly read by women.

    This bit I’m quite a bit less sure on. A huge percentage of reviewers in general are women, just as a huge percentage of literary agents are women; it doesn’t follow that mostly women read the books they’re reviewing and/or representing, though when it comes to fiction it is true, last I looked at the stats, that women read more than men do. So I’d want hard facts on this.

    Hence, this clearly appeals to a good segment of the female population.

    This doesn’t logically follow at all. Even leaving the “clearly” out of it, and assuming that you’re hypothesizing that it maybe possibly appeals to “a good segment of the female population”, you haven’t proven your point at all. You haven’t even proven that mostly women read those books; you haven’t proven that the books are being marketed specifically to women; you haven’t proven that women are actually actively interested in such books, as opposed to, say, like many women I know, gritting their teeth and muttering at yet another horrible cover while they go ahead and read the book anyway because they like the content; and you certainly haven’t defined “female population”. If your’e talking about the female population of the planet, that’s ridiculous. Adult female population? Of the English-speaking world? Specifically in the United States? Among those who read frequently? Among those who can afford to buy books, and are inclined to spend their money on such? Among those who are already interested in this particular subgenre?

    The reason it appeals to women is because it portrays the image of a strong, sexy woman – and women tend to like to view themselves this way.

    This doesn’t follow. This is not accurate. This is inaccurate on several levels, and doesn’t even follow from what you said before, even if I assume everything you said before is accurate, which it clearly is not.

  134. @CS: Women are often marked at with unrealistic pictures of what women ought to be (usually with imagery designed by marketing departments not headed by women). It’s not because we all want to be unrealistically and photoshopically thin, tall, and bend in ways inhumanly possible, I can assure you. So the assumption that this pose represents what women want (or see as a strong female) is… not necessarily correct. But that’s a different conversation for a different time and way off topic, so I won’t get into it.

  135. CS you clearly do not have all the facts regarding these pose offs. I was going to go into a large explanation of why you are wrong with your conclusions but decided that if you really cared you would have read not just the full thread here and the others re: the pose off , but also Jim Hines who also explains the idea behind this. BUT I will say one thing: who wrote the book or who it was aimed at has nothing to do with it. Especially since authors usually have little to do with the choice of covers for their books-unless they are really successful like our host, or so I am given to understand. You do realize that this is not the only book cover they have satirized right?

  136. @cs et al:

    As John clearly pointed out before he left the mallet to me, Jim C. Hines has all of the details on the event on his site. Cover Posing for a Good Cause. More specifically: Striking a Pose.

    From that link, you can delve further into the “why.”

    At this point, I think the conversation is starting to turn rather ugly and on the way to derailing completely. Considering it’s already on a slant from the original topic, (related, yes, about, no) if you can’t discuss without angry fingers, I will start up the mallet.

  137. Not wanting to link I understand, but FYI, using a special turn of phrase is almost as good. A google search of said phrase brings up that blog, I think. Feel free to delete my post if it’s a bit of a clue by four to finding said blog.

  138. I enjoy seeing a troll (and nb I said “troll” not “person who disagrees with me”) being put to shame without any sh-t getting flung. Let’s fling rainbows. The internet needs more rainbows. And hilarity.

  139. For CS:

    As the purpose of all of this seems to be about how the sexuality of women is objectified for the pleasure of men, I wanted to know how this applied to book written by a woman for women to read.

    Okay, this is Feminism 201 stuff (not quite 101, but not super-advanced either). Bear with me.

    Women and men in this culture grow up in a world which is culturally and socially dominated by the patriarchy. As such, women are taught almost from the moment they emerge from the womb that they are secondary, that their sexuality exists for the purposes of male sexuality, and that they exist primarily as objects for the male gaze. Our society depends, to a very large degree, on women and men internalising these arguments and not contesting them. Women are taught to evaluate each other in terms of how they appeal to men. This is part of how women’s sexual behaviour and sexual objectification is used to sell products to both masculine-identified and feminine-identified consumers.

    With me so far?

    So, when women see another woman in a sexualised pose on a book cover, or a movie poster, or the cover of a video game or whatever, the expectation is they’ll respond in a manner which corresponds with the internalised attitudes of the culture, and regard this as merely a selling point, something to get people to look at it. The sexualised posture of the woman posing is merely a marker of certain qualities of the product – the image of the woman is being used as a semiotic marker for “adultness” in much the same way that images of flowers are used to mark “freshness” on cleaning products.

    When feminist scholars (who are mostly women) argue that women are being used in this way, the response (from both women and men, because both genders internalise these messages) is generally that said feminist scholars are taking things too seriously.

    Now, the initial point which I think Jim Hines was tackling in these re-poses was one which has been raised in various locations around the internet (I first ran into it on “Go Make Me A Sandwich”, which was a blog about video game art considered from a feminist and anatomically sane perspective). This point was as such: due to the distortions of the artistic process in the interests of “sexiness”, the poses these book-covers depict are not anatomically feasible to be undertaken by normal humans. A similar point has been made about female poses depicted in comic books (the most recent iteration of this I’ve seen is “The Hawkeye Initiative”, where artists replicate various female poses depicted in comic books or on covers, only with Hawkeye taking the female role). Basically, the point is that these images aren’t depicting real humans, they’re a form of supernormal stimulus depicting a hyper-sexualised figure which only bears a vague resemblance to a genuine human being.

    In the process of attempting to replicate the postures, Mr Hines also attempted to replicate the props and outfitting of the characters depicted on the book covers, and in so doing, also raised the questions of “why are these characters always dressed in a sexually provocative manner?” and “why does sexually provocative dress on a female figure look ridiculous on a male figure?”

  140. One of the pillars of libel is that what’s being written has to effect material damage on the person allegedly being libeled.

    Generally speaking, the exception is defamation “per se” – there are some things you can accuse people of that are so universally agreed-upon as defamatory that we don’t make the defamed person prove actual damages (though of course you’re likely to get much greater damages if you offer such evidence). Wikipedia isn’t legal authority, and really neither am I, but there’s a basic summary here. Accusing someone of being a rapist is a pretty good way to put yourself in those crosshairs.

    The Kitten setting is putting me in the uncomfortable position of agreeing with trolls! I, too, sob when I think of all the uncuddled kittens in the world.

    @Chris, the particular doucheclock in question reputedly has a history of trying to boost his signal by trying to pick fights with well-respected liberal male bloggers, apparently unaware that one of the ways these people became well-respected is that they don’t waste time and mental energy engaging at length with every attention-seeking doucheclock who wanders by farming for pagehits.

  141. @megpie71: Beautifully put. I think the assumptions of “teh wimmins haz this on their books, therefore they LOVE this!” is also wrong. Teh wimmins are buying books IN SPITE OF this crap, and being glad for ebooks so they don’t have to see it.

    @Robin: My elbows get icky in winter. My cat likes to lick me. Best exfoliation ever. Keep up the good work with your kitten. I desperately admire your sang-froid about root canals. Would that I was so cool.

  142. @ John Scalzi
    Mudz, what makes you think I care what you think about it? Bear in mind it’s not just you; I don’t actually care what anyone else thinks about how I run my site. It’s my site, and I run it as I please. No one else gets a vote. I’ve always been clear about that.
    Appealing to my Americanness regarding free speech shows that you don’t know exactly what the right to free speech means in the United States Constitution; in any event, the constitutional right to free speech here in the US doesn’t mean someone has the right to be an asshole on my site. When someone comes in and decides to be an asshole, I will happy Mallet the crap out of them.
    Again, this is all covered in the comment policy for the site. Won’t you read it, please?

    I did. As soon as you mentioned it the first time. And your feelings are immaterial. I don’t believe I’ve violated any of your rules, but I notice that you don’t place any absolute restrictions on yourself, allowing ‘margin of freedom’.
    You don’t get it. You can do what you like. There is no material way I can prevent you. I don’t care if you put ‘I grant myself powers to molest children on weekends’ into your comment policy. I hold you responsible as a person anyway.
    As I said, I find the following perfectly fine: Banning, Deleting, Mocking, Hating, Jeering, Crying, Whinging, and all manner of self-inflicted wounds.
    What I will happily protest till the end of days is: Hijacking Dissenters.
    My ‘exact’ understanding of free speech notwithstanding, I would assume that the integrity not to screw with other’s people’s commentary would be included.

    @ zoebrain
    Now…Where were you unkind? Gratuitously rude? Obnoxious? Sorry, your attempt to provoke a mallet of correction of any kind was a dismal failure, because you’re not unkind, gratuitously rude, or obnoxious. Wrong, even harmfully wrong, maybe… but I’m not infallible.

    That was kind of the point. This was not a provocation, but a test. So long as he refrains from altering my comments, he passes.
    Scratch that. So long as he never alters any one’s comments, he passes. He’s already failing.

  143. @mudz… I’m sure he is devastated. :)

    But to return to the private property argument, which having glanced at the Racist Dipshit’s blog, I know ‘he’ approves off. John Scalzi is pretty much free to do what he likes here, up to and including making stuff up as he goes along and changing his own terms and conditions.

    To paraphrase our host and, I think, Charles Stross (among others) – you want to do the same, get your own blog and a quarter of a million uniques a month :)

  144. Lurkertype: Thanks, but it was probably more that for some reason I had made the appointment for 7am, when I am emphatically not a morning person. So I was monstrously sleepy. Also, I’ve had so many cavities in my life (though no other tooth issues besides the root canals and an impacted wisdom tooth) that I’m pretty calm about the dental chair by dint of long familiarity. This method of accustomization not really recommended; it’s expensive.

    The kitten was tube-fed and then bottle-fed by his foster mom from when he was about a week old. Even though he’s two or three months past that stage (we got him at 9-10 weeks), he still wants to suckle on my face and neck. If he’s an exfoliant, I’m a pacifier. One of our other cats (kitten is #8) used to do the same to my arm but she grew out of it sometime in her first year. I wonder if Aliquot, the current kitten, will.

  145. >>Giraffe says:
    >>So why doesn’t Scalzi debate this dipshit?
    >Stevie says:
    >Giraffe
    >In order for there to be a debate there has to be two parties capable of gathering
    >evidence and presenting a reasoned argument based on that evidence.

    Yes, that.
    But more, ‘Don’t try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig.’
    (Wow, I don’t seem to have _any_ Twain here.*) Which would be fine except for the
    wasted time. (Annoyed pigs run around more, which results in leaner bacon. Ticked
    off pig? A good thing. (nom, nom, nom….))
    These types of people don’t respond to reason. Most can’t (they’re a type of insane),
    some won’t because they are having fun being dicks (IMO, not a type of insane, just
    dickitude).
    What I mean is I dare you, walk up to somebody who just converted to a religion and
    say something like “God is just a Santa Clause fairytale and your new religion has it
    so horribly wrong.”
    But please don’t. You have better and safer things to do with your time.
    SDT
    *Which is actually good, sorta, because I was thinking of the Connecticut Yankee
    one which was a library book for me.

  146. @ Mythago
    Chris, the particular doucheclock in question reputedly has a history of trying to boost his signal by trying to pick fights with well-respected liberal male bloggers, apparently unaware that one of the ways these people became well-respected is that they don’t waste time and mental energy engaging at length with every attention-seeking doucheclock who wanders by farming for pagehits.

    I have to be honest, I don’t think that’s what [Racist Sexist Homophobic Dipshit - KEB (All named references are hereby to replaced with RSHD as per John's instruction)] is thinking of at all. He just seems to genuinely enjoy giving you guys shit. You even have a full-grown man giggling in the OP, for crying out loud, it’s bound to attract some mockery.

  147. Mudz, your reference to the First Amendment reminded me of the very first post I read on this site:
    http://whatever.scalzi.com/2008/07/25/another-entry-in-the-annals-of-people-who-havent-the-slightest-idea-what-theyre-saying/
    There are even giraffes in the comment thread.

    As a side note. while “testing” people. especially on their own site, is rather childish to begin with, doing so after the action for which you are testing has already occurred is just dumb. And makes it more definitively attempted provocation, whether you own up to it or not.

  148. Mudzi

    Please do provide the evidence to substantiate your statement that you know what’s going on in [Racist Sexist Homophobic Dipshit - KEB (All named references are hereby to replaced with RSHD as per John's instruction)]‘s mind, bearing in mind that you are not a telepath.

    Otherwise you do look like a sock puppet…

  149. @ Robin

    Why do you think that concerns me? I would be happy to provoke him for the sake of the argument, but I just submitted an example contribution. Your objection is also foolish. My ‘testing’ makes perfect sense, and I cannot time-travel.

    @ Stevie

    How do you know I’m not a telepath. Have you read my mind? I don’t mind saying that I’m sympathetic to [Racist Sexist Homophobic Dipshit - KEB (All named references are hereby to replaced with RSHD as per John's instruction)] arguments, and I’m happy to express any evaluation I like.

  150. Because I am curiouser than generally is good for me I had to ferret out and visit the blog of the RSHD to get a sense for what the kerfuffle was all about. And I feel stupider for having done so. :(

  151. @mudz John’s blog = John’s rules. You do not have to keep commenting if you don’t like them. In fact, I can certainly arrange that for you if you so desire.

  152. Mudz:

    You appear to persist in the delusion I have any concern whether I meet any standard you might have. To be clear: I don’t, nor do I care what you think about that. Your opinion doesn’t count in this matter.

  153. We love kittens. It so much fun sitting around stroking a little tiny pussies in the rain. Poor little kitties get frustrated when they’re wet. But once they dry out they are all better.

  154. MUDz

    Once you get to the stage of claiming you might be a telapath then you are holed below the waterline; it’s just a matter of time before you sink.

    I have to say, though, that if this is best that the dipshit can field then he is in deep, deep trouble…

  155. @Robin: Aliquot! What a fabulous kitten name!
    I’ll ponder the early morning dental technique. If nothing else, it guarantees the rest of your day is better.

  156. My cat tends to lick fingers & hands. I just think she disapproves of my lack of self-bathing and doesn’t think I lick myself enough. So she steps up to correct my grooming. “Oh here, let me help!”

  157. On the pertinent subject of Root Canal’s I’ve had 3, two emergencies and 1 elective after we found a 20 year old rugby injury had killed a tooth.

    The two emergencies were welcome relief. Apart from the vicodin for the pre-RTC pain relief it was so much better to have them done that I couldn’t begin to describe the relief. The elective one was more or less the other way around. Apparently stirring up 20 odd years of dormant bateria in a dead root and exposing them to oxygen is freeking horrible.

  158. @Andrea – Wh-what happened? When is it? HOW MANY HOURS WAS I WATCHING THOSE KITTENS! So adorable. Maybe if I go back to the site it will tell me. Yeah. ::clicks away:: Awwwwwwwwwwwww

  159. CS says: “seems to be spoofing the cover of a book written by a woman, for women to read. As the purpose of all of this seems to be about how the sexuality of women is objectified for the pleasure of men, I wanted to know how this applied to book written by a woman for women to read.”

    Your confusion is common among people who don’t know how the publishing industry works, and it’s based on your mistaken assumption that a book written by a women and for women is necessarily -packaged- by women or for women. For example, probably 99.9% of romance genre readers are women, the genre was -packaged- for about 2 decades -by- men and -for- men. “Packaging” refers to the outer presentation of the book (marketing strategy, cover copy, sales text, and–most of all–the book’s COVER). The men in question were publishing company presidents and CEOs, vice presidents, marketing VPs, sales force guys, male art directors, male artists, male designers, male head buyers, male distributors, male truckers (who has an influence on the shelving of books in jobber outlets for years). Thus the romance genre–a genre whose contents were aimed as WOMEN–typically featured half-naked women on the covers flashing cleavage thigh. It’s a well-known packaging look that dominated this virtually ALL-female genre for over a decade.

    But the romance genre is primarily (not entirely, but primarly) populated by heterosexual women. They bought the books for the female-centered love stories, not for the tits-and-ass covers. The tits-and-covers that dominated this female-centered genre for about 20 years were aimed at pleasing (and getting the attention of, the support of, and the good shelving from) MEN who were dominant throughout industries that affected the fate of a book–getting it from the writer’s desk into many readers’ hands.

    The popular urban fantasy look–a scantily-clad women showing a lot of flesh and holding a phallic weapon–isn’t ABHORRENT to women readers, but it’s also not created by women (this widespread look was launched by a successful male cover artist). What women like about the covers is what they like about the books: the portrayal of a strong female protagonist. In general, women aren’t buying the books because of the cleavages and swathes of naked female flesh and sexualized poses on the covers; those elements have a different purpose than attracting women.

  160. [Deleted as an object lesson to Mudz that any belief he has that he can control the terms of discussion here, or make demands of me about the parameters of the discussion, are sadly mistaken. To accentuate that point, he's now in the moderation queue and his posts will show up only if I decide they will -- JS]

  161. Mythago,

    I beg to differ; if the latest offering from Mudz doesn’t qualify as pretentious verbosity then I’ll eat my iPad :)

  162. I want you to recant the proposed policy to edit dissenters.

    Scalzi doesn’t edit dissenters per se. He edits rug-dumpers; whether they are engaging in dissent or just gibberish doesn’t matter. Dissenters who don’t dump on the rug don’t get edited just for dissenting.

    BTW, I second the suggestion that Kittened comments should feature a picture of Ghlaghghee as a kitten for added transparency, but most importantly for extra Kittening.

  163. Mudz, remember yesterday when I said you had so much growing up to do, based on just a comment or two? You have, in the intervening 24 hours, helped to make me the dictionary definition of “perspicacious.” Thanks!

    Scalzi has no test of integrity to pass here — at all. You do, and you’re failing spectacularly.

    Scalzi is a known quantity. His integrity is without question, not only here, among his most vocal supporters*, but in the publishing industry, the SF community, and in his neighborhood. And he has over more than a decade set a standard in online community-building. He’s more than a little full of himself, sure, but I think that’s in his job description.

    You, on the other hand, are completely unproven. I’ve been reading Whatever daily for more than five years and never saw your name before yesterday. You’re the one who has to show he has something to contribute to the conversation and so far … nuthin’. You seem to have all the judgment of a petulant brat with a wall of participation ribbons, spinning on the floor in a fit because you got the blue truck in your stocking instead of the red hotrod.

    Did I say you are completely unproven? Correction: you’ve proved to be a complete bore. Your name on a comment is one my eye will glide past from now on.

    (But, as long as we’re here together one last time: You’re a Kiwi, right? Do me a favor. I’ve always wanted to try this Ze Frank gag. Go outside in 10 minutes and put a slice of bread on the ground. I’ll do the same here and we’ll have an Earth sandwich!)

    * And detractors, to be honest. Ask Coolblue or Billy Quiets or Scorpius if they think John has integrity. I’m 100% certain they’ll say he’s an idiot, but one with integrity.

  164. “Go outside in 10 minutes and put a slice of bread on the ground. I’ll do the same here and we’ll have an Earth sandwich!”

    Eating planets. Now I’m picturing Mudz as Galactus. But, the Honey, I Shrunk The Kids mash up version of Galactus. I only hope this confluence of events can bring Rick Moranis back to my television. I understand why he left. But, a man can dream. Until then, I live the Strange Brew life. Hoser.

  165. Mudz sounds like a guy who, after tagging along with a friend to a party at a stranger’s house, starts screaming angrily about his disapproval of drinks being served. “I demand that our host start serving 7-Up and lemonade!” he screams. When the host politely informs him that he doesn’t give a crap what Mudz thinks, Mudz replies “This is a matter of what I have told you what I expect, and how I intend to proceed, and on what criteria I am judging you.”

    Um, yeah.

    Hey, Mudz, here’s a suggestion: If you really are appalled by the editorial policies being employed here, maybe you should ask for a refund of Whatever‘s subscription fee. I’m guessing Scalzi would be willing to refund every penny.

  166. Mudz’ posts are interesting. Every now and then, some bloke of his ilk will attempt to assert his “natural authority” over women on the internet, using precisely this sort of language: what he expects, what criteria he is using to judge the addressee, and how any deviation from his script is just feelings, to be discarded and ignored.

    I get the feeling he’s taking his pack leader’s assertion that Scalzi is a…whatever Greek letter he’s got to (can’t be bothered to keep track) male a little too seriously, and is trying some weird-ass pack dominance trick.

    It’s interesting, in a kind of anthropological/sociological way. It is not, however, particularly impressive or productive of respect.

  167. Simpler Mudz: “I don’t like what you’re doing. You should stop doing it cause I say so, and if you don’t stop doing I shall stomp my feet and whine and tell everyone you are big ol’ meanie, cause you are, because I say so!”

    Simpler Maygra: ” I love the Kitten Setting on the Mallet. I think you should use it more because verily it is awesome and improves the local level of civil discourse a hundred-fold, and if you don’t continue to use it, I shall stomp my feet and whine and tell everyone you are a big ol’ wuss.”

    Straw man is made of straw, Mudz.

  168. Mudz does seem to be a representative sample of a person who does not understand when he is a guest in someone’s home. Either he’ll learn or won’t.

  169. He’s more than a little full of himself

    Not to indulge in shameless toadying, but I don’t get a sense of it being out of proportion myself.

  170. It does occur to me that anybody who feels they have to throw around Greek letters to explain what kind of man they and others are, has kinda missed the point about how it works….

  171. Oh come on, Mudz was fun. For the record, Scalzi didn’t alter the Norseman’s posts. He simply deleted them and replaced them with a nonsense sentence clearly not written by the poster, the same as he does in deleting posts and leaving a message as to why the post was removed. It’s a message to the poster to alter his manner in posting or the posts will not be allowed. But Mudz knows that already. The goal was simply to attack and he did it in an entertaining way (although saddening if what he said of himself is true.) But it was getting repetitious, I suppose, and it’s Scalzi’s choice what he allows on Whatever.

  172. I miss all the good stuff when it’s happening live. I’d love to have had a chance to give Mudz what for. Oh well.

  173. Mudz, I know that New Plymouth is not the most exciting town in the whole wide world and that there is nothing to do when it rains there and it rains every single blessed day. I feel your pain, cuz. I also know that while staying indoors and concern-trolling on somebody else’s blog is a good way to stay dry, you are still concern-trolling somebody else’s blog. Wait, you’re not from New Plymouth? Then what’s your excuse again?

    Setting the mallet to Kitten reminds me disturbingly of the creepy creepy creepy plates in the 5th Harry Potter movie.

  174. Adrian Smith: that was noted with affection. As I said, it’s part of how he gets the job done, and kinda key to his personality. And it’s just so ADORABLE when that fuzzy melon swells, don’t you just want to grab it and drag your knuckles across it and give it the biggest smooch?!

  175. This seems to be a good occasion to share a wise internet social guideline I learned (though, I admit, do not practice to perfection) in my halcyon youth: Don’t feed the beast.

    Because I logged on here today and see that the discussion on this thread has by now become all about Mudz. Thus Mudz’s apparent goal for participation here has been achieved.

  176. Because racist sexist homophobic dipshits are actually quite common, and not particularly worth the recognition of recording their names, but pointing out that racist sexist homophobic dipshittery makes baby kittehs sharpen their claws is nonetheless worthwhile?

  177. Really? It doesn’t strike anyone else here as childish to attack someone but refuse to name them like they’re the Harry Potter villain? Sorry but it seems like a little bitch move to me to go on and on about why someone sucks but refuse to name them cause “they’re not worth it”

    But maybe that’s just me.

  178. Thebechtloff:

    He’s not being attacked, he’s being accurately described. He’s not being named because it’s not necessary, and because I don’t want his name here, because he’s a racist sexist homophobic dipshit.

  179. Back in the day, John helped the guy out, providing him with the opportunity to plug his book on John’s blog. In return, the fellow given John nothing but abuse. In this case, John is mentioning him (though not by name) because of the fellow’s latest tirade. I see no reason why John should increase the fellow’s Google ranking by actually naming him.

  180. I think I’m a telepath because before I was was even half way
    finished answering her I knew that I was going to get punched
    in the solar plexus* and be so _Very_ ‘the creeked’ without a
    paddle that it would be like I’d taken a sleeping pill and a laxative.

    Social animals read each other from what their bodies do.
    Smarter ones (humans are one) have the ability to figure out how
    members of a different species will react.
    It makes us better hunters, and, among us, better able to bend the
    knees so that the fist hits that chest bone, not the solar plexus.
    But not always smart enough to duck the follow up.
    SDT

    *She was having trouble with some guy.
    I told her that I was going somewhere with this and gently poked her
    naval and sternum and kept halving the diff until she said “oof!”
    And she grinned at me and said nothing at all.

  181. And it’s just so ADORABLE when that fuzzy melon swells, don’t you just want to grab it and drag your knuckles across it and give it the biggest smooch?!

    Not especially but that’s probably just me.

    It doesn’t strike anyone else here as childish to attack someone but refuse to name them like they’re the Harry Potter villain?

    Yabbut, they didn’t name Voldemort because they were afraid of him. In this case, not so much.

  182. I dreamt last night that our host and he-whom-we-are-not-naming had agreed to settle their differences with a contest. A contest to see who could most quickly fill an (empty) wading pool with kittens. My boss and I were tasked with engineering the kitten delivery system for maximum cuteness–rainbow swirly slides, elevators that looked like soap bubbles, and the like. Kittens are hard to transport reliably. :)

  183. racist sexist homophobic dipshit. Can we add “with psychosis” to this? Then I think it has 14 syllables just like supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. That makes is much easier to sing!

  184. >>Doug Cadmus says:
    >>Because I am curiouser [*] than generally is good for me [I checked out the ferpluffle person's site] :(

    Yeah, I stopped doing that about ten years ago. (I /am/ capable of learning. Who knew.)
    Interesting thing about Goatse [Don't, don't dont, just don't, really don't look] is that the nature guy
    who was killed by a stingray (uhm, google is saying Steve Irwin) showed something uglier on USA
    broadcast TV involving intestinal parasites in IIRC a water buffalo.

    >Daveon says:
    >@Doug… I know the feeling. :)

    Me to:
    !!OH GOD!! !!MY EYES!! Followed by whimpering.

    SDT
    *Probably not an intentional Alice reference, but still, I may have reached the lost-in-books person’s
    ideal: I’ve forgotten so much that I don’t need to buy more books and can just re read! S.

  185. Off-topic (and concerning Mudz so doubly off-topic) but I just thought I would point out that the term “half-caste” has some really creepy racist overtones (here in New Zealand as much as anywhere else) and that while I totally support Mudz’s right to identify himself by whatever term he chooses, I would strongly suggest that other people not use that term to describe anyone ever(again unless they wish to define their own identity).

  186. Yanno…I got about three posts in to the other guy’s blog when I realized the whole thing reminded me of “12 Monkeys.” For me, the movie was boring drivel wrapped up in pretentiousness and smugness. Time spent reading that blog is time I’d rather spend having my guts wound on a spool while being liberally sprinkled with Tabasco. As always, YMMV.

  187. When someone comes in and decides to be an asshole, I will happy Mallet the crap out of them.

    John, I can’t decide if you meant “happily”, or if “happy” should be capitalized. But you’re the writer guy. I kinda like the “Happy Mallet” moniker. I can see it in my mind’s eye, the smiley face on the round surface of the working end as it descends ….

  188. About racism.
    The best race is the hundred yard dash.
    Because it combines fast with endurance and so is the best of both tests.
    Shorter races just check how speedy the racer is while longer ones depend on
    endurance.

    Yeah, I know, in this modern age it’s all about meters and I gotta tell you that
    my electric meter is half the size of my gas meter which is about six times
    bigger than my water meter, so how can they use meters!
    I mean, does the water company’s racist always win because /they/ have the
    smallest meter?

  189. “Racist sexist homophobic dipshit is surprisingly fun to chant to yourself.” My son was explaining English class to me recently, and allowed that poetry is “not awful” when focused on how words sound. He was quite pleased to learn that the notion of reading poetry is apparently very modern (as I was).
    Now I know how much fun trochees interrupted by anapests are, and yes, they are surprisingly fun to chant to myself. It’s another great day in English Towne!

  190. I know things have moved on, but I just wanted to note that “setting the Mallet to Kitten” for me is evoking the Arkenhammer from the first book of Erfworld, which when used to crack nuts every so often produced a pigeon…

    –Dave, random thoughts of kindasortaness

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