Tidbitty Goodness

What I’m thinking about a bunch of things:

* Mel Gibson’s Anti-Semitic Meltdown: See, this is why I don’t drink. Not that I harbor long-suppressed anti-semitic inclinations, or (perhaps more charitably) have a holocaust-denying anti-semite father who drilled his prejudices into me deep enough that they burst out when I’m stopped by the cops from driving down Highway 1 at 80mph with a bottle of tequila to keep me company. I mean to say that booze has a tendency to take one’s least nice qualities — the ones we have enough sense to keep stuffed into a hole — and let them out for a run, especially when booze is consumed in quantity. I have enough bad qualities that I barely keep beaten down as it is. Also, I’m not a big guy. The first time I’m a jerk while drunk, I’m going to get flattened.

Alcohol isn’t an excuse for Gibson’s Jew-baiting tirade, and I think drunk or not he’s going to have to well and truly answer for the outburst. People are rejecting Gibson’s apology as not nearly enough to make up for the tirade, and while I think he’s getting short-changed for the directness of the apology, I think the general consensus is also correct; the man’s going to spend some time in desert, and how long depends on him. I’m not going to front the idea that I think the man doesn’t harbor some anti-semitic prejudices, but I think would be tragic would be if Gibson, whose father, as noted, is a noted holocaust denier, had been generally struggling against that early-inculcated prejudice and had much of that progress wiped out, as far as the public is concerned, anyway, in a moment of drunken stupidity. Gibson can work his way back, but it’ll be a lot of work.

Aside from the anti-semitic thing, I wonder what possessed Gibson to go on his drunken drive in the first place. My understanding is that he’s struggled with alcohol for quite some time, and if that’s the case, it’s possible something stressed him out enough to hit the bottle. Again, not an excuse for doing and saying stupid and hateful things, but possibly an explanation.

* Call me crazy, but I think announcing that the FDA is re-considering letting the Plan B pill be sold to adults without a prescription a day before the nominee to lead the FDA gets grilled by the Senate is possibly the height of gross political cynicism. How will we know? We’ll know if Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach gets confirmed, and Plan B goes back in regulatory limbo, as I fully expect it to.

* Men are like dogs — they raise the pitch of their voices talking to men they intuit are socially superior to them. That’s the idea being presented here, anyway. I’m not entirely sure how I feel about that one myself, since I have a somewhat naturally high-pitched speaking voice, and there’s not a lot of men I think are socially superior to me (equal? Sure. Better? Nah). On the other hand, maybe this explains why people always say they expect my voice to be lower, and possibly why I talk with a lower voice when dealing with annoying phone calls. Oddly, I sing baritone. I don’t know what that means.

* Speaking of men, I found this NYT story interesting: It’s about men who have decided that between not working, and working at a job they think is below them, some men will choose not to work. Max Weber must be twisting in his grave. I’m sympathetic to this impulse — I’ve been known to leave jobs when I didn’t like what I was being made to do — but I’m not sure I could do it myself. I would be very reluctant not to have an income of my own, unless Krissy was doing so well in her work that we could comfortably survive on her single income alone. And even then, I expect Krissy would be saying to me “you damn well better be writing some pay copy,” which of course I would be feverishly endeavoring to do. But in all seriousness, I can’t imagine not working at something if it came to the point where the income was needed, or not working started eating into what we had for retirement. Fortunately it’s theoretical at the moment.

Coffee Shop Rescheduled

A note for the folks who have preordered You’re Not Fooling Anyone When You Take Your Laptop Into a Coffee Shop: Scalzi on Writing: Subterranean and I are pushing back the release date to February 2007. The pre-production took a little bit longer than we had anticipated, which would have pushed back the the release date to late September/early October, which would have been uncomfortably close to the release of The Android’s Dream.

Rather than have two books pop out on the market at the same time, we moved Coffee Shop back a bit. Now it rests comfortably between The Android’s Dream, which debuts on Halloween (w00t!) and The Last Colony, which arrives in May. This also gives us time to polish the book to a high sheen and to get it out to reviewers and what not. The content will likely remain the same, although it’s possible I might add a piece or two. I will tell you I’ve seen an early design version of it, and from that I can say it looks really great. It’s going to be worth the wait.

In any event, re-mark your calendars: Coffee Shop in 2/07. Maybe I should do a tour of coffee shops then, eh?