Various & Sundry 5/26/08
Posted on May 26, 2008 Posted by John Scalzi 9 Comments
Bite-sized things for your consideration:
* First, look what arrived while I was out:
It’s the ARC for Agent to the Stars (in case you couldn’t guess) and it looks great, and it’s out waaay ahead of the October 28 release, but like I care because now I have a copy for myself. I’m greedy that way, I am. I only have two copies so I’m not doing any contests. If I get any more I might, though. We’ll have to see.
* I feel vaguely guilty I was not on top of the Phoenix landing on Mars, but Phil Plait’s been on top of it over at the Bad Astronomy blog, so you can just go over there and see pretty much what I would say if I had been at all paying attention this weekend. In particular, a “what he said” to this entry.
* Shorter Hillary Clinton: It’s Obama’s fault people are focusing on the fact I said I’m hanging around just in case he gets popped. Well, no. The reason people are focusing on the fact that Hillary Clinton invoked political assassinations as even a tangential factor in why she’s still in the race is because it’s was an appallingly tone-deaf thing to say, particularly in the context of a presidential candidate that Fox News commentators feel comfortable casually suggesting that it would be cool if someone could take him out. As with Clinton, it’s nice the commentator apologized for her dumbass remarks, although it’s worth noting that in neither case do the apologies appear to extend to Obama himself, i.e., the guy who would actually, you know, die.
In any event, it’s not too much to hope that we can get through the rest of the election without people suggesting how cool it would be to have Obama murdered and/or imply even tangentially that his assassination would be a real boost to another candidate’s election hopes.
To get back to the original thing here, though, I don’t think Clinton’s attempt at blaming Obama for her own asstardery, or the subsequent blow-up, is going to fly very well, particularly since Obama’s comment about it is that he takes her at her word about the whole assassination thing. Which makes him look good (and even, dare we say, presidential), and makes her look calculatingly petty by trying to whack on him further. She’s trying to kick him while she’s down, basically. It calls attention to their relative positions.
Also, let’s face it: If you say something so stupid people pay attention to it all through Memorial Day Weekend, and of the great, abyssal sinkholes of the entire news year, you’ve really stepped in it. Trying to scrape it off on the other guy isn’t going to work particularly well.
* Married for 80 years. I wouldn’t mind beating that record. I also think this couple’s advice for a marriage’s longevity is both simple and correct. It’s pretty much what we do, too.
It seems to me that one aspect of how the Clinton and McCain campaigns are being run is an extreme lack of awareness of what era they are running in, ie they have no idea what the Internet is, how to use it to their benefit, or what it does to them when they say stupid things (over and over again). It’s like they think that they can say any ole stupid thing, and if caught, can simply say something even more stupid and people will just forget about it all, not realizing that it’s going up on YouTube a few minutes after they say it, and will be endlessly linked-to for months and years afterwards. Meanwhile, Obama’s campaign is using the Internet to raise more money from the little guy than ever before. McCain’s not the only ‘old’ candidate this time around…
About long happy marriages…..
In a recent Ask Amy column, she printed this letter:
Dear Amy: My grandparents were married for 73 years. When asked what was the secret to their happy marriage, my grandmother replied without hesitation: “We’re both in love with the same man.”
Thanks for the link lurv, mate. I’ve been pretty excited watching the Phoenix mission… I was listening to the NASA announcer giving the altitude, and it was still dropping damn fast at a few hundred meters. That was heart-stopping. But now the images being returned are incredible.
Yep. That little outburst of Liz Trotta’s was so mind-bendingly disgusting, my jaw just hit the floor when I first heard it. Then again, I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised to see someone on Fox suggesting the assassination of a Democratic presidential candidate.
Still… That crossed a line in my book, and she should be fired.
Hey, cool, John got a telescope!
Oh, yeah, the book, right.
There’s a lengthy tirade in the Arts section of the Chicago Tribune this past Sunday about how the media keep using images of death about Hillary, that it’s time for the DNC leadership to “take the family dog for that final trip to the vet,” etc. The author of the piece gets pretty impassioned about how that obviously means that the country is still so pervasively misogynist that a woman seeking high office is automatically identified with gorgons and Grendel’s mother and other female monsters with whom there can be no negotiation, but whose terrifying threat can only be stopped by the death of the monster.
Umm. Okay. I wonder what that author would make of this remark, then.
Here’s another amazing picture of the Phoenix lander under its parachute:
View the enlarged picture — it’s stunning to see a mission while it is happening! Whew, so excited.
You know what’s funny about the marriage advice? I just saw an article in a magazine (some random thing I was flipping through at the gym) about marriage myths, and one of the big ones they targeted was “never go to bed angry with each other.” The reason they gave was that staying up late and losing sleep in order to “finish” an argument is not necessarily a good idea. We just celebrated our 14th anniversary, and I have to agree. After many years of pursuing stupid arguments late into the night, counting coup, scoring points in the heat of anger, etc., I am very much in favor of a “cooling off” period, and in NOT trying to resolve everythinig before you go to bed. If it matters, it will still be there in the morning, and it’s amazing how often by the light of day we can’t remember what we were fighting about the night before. Also, we are both people with hot tempers, and we both sometimes need some time to cool down before talking out a conflict. For people with mellower natures, or serious conflict avoiders, it might be a good idea to keep at a discussion even if it means missing bedtime.
I hope to achieve that same level of marital longevity, although I’m only 17% of the way there so far. When asked I how I did it, instead of giving the standard (and correct) ‘don’t go to bed angry’ answer, I’ll say “Dude, just look at her. She’s totally hot, and (just between you and me) an absolute wildcat between the sheets.”