Me in Other Places
Posted on October 30, 2008 Posted by John Scalzi 19 Comments
Because I know you love following links to other places online where I’m talking about stuff, here’s two, from yesterday:
* Over at SF Signal, I am one of many responding to the question “Is Science Fiction Responsible for the Lack of Public Interest in Space Exploration?” Because Buzz Aldrin says we are. And Buzz Aldrin went to the moon! So he knows everything.
* I participate in Reason magazine’s online polling of notables regarding for whom we all intend to vote for president. Inasmuch as Reason is a libertarian magazine, you’ll see Bob Barr being selected for president in disproportionate numbers, although, I confess, not by me. Also, it’s the first and I suspect last time I’m in a list of notables with Grover Norquist.
I was please to note your comment was a little facetious.
I like the variety of responses to the question about SF vs. space exploration. There’s much food for thought there. As for the other bit, I consider myself to be a libertarian, but I am not a Libertarian. Thus, I am not that familiar with Bob Barr or any of the other names they mentioned.
“Dude, waterboarding is so 2006!”
That might end up becoming a signature.
Only a little?
::ominous voice-over guy intones ominously::
John Scalzi. He *says* he’ll vote for Barack Obama. But who is he palling around with?
Just this week, a respected national magazine linked Scalzi to none other than arch-conservative and McCain supporter Grover Norquist.
Can we really believe that Scalzi would disagree with his fellow “notable” and “thinker”?
John Scalzi. Who’s he *really* voting for?
Buzz Aldrin also wrote two science fiction novels. Do those negate his two space flights with regard to his positive influence on space?
Actually, the books were pretty good.
On the general topics at hand, I have two comments to make.
(I generally don’t comment, because I can never think of anything interesting to say. I’m not promising that this will be interesting or anything, but I want to comment more than usual.)
1. Look, I have nothing but respect for Buzz Aldrin: the man did some incredibly difficult things and did them well, dealt with depression and addiction and came out the other side relatively whole, and is a genuinely odd duck who managed to survive in an institution — indeed, in two, NASA and the Air Force — who are all about the rigid conformity. We could use more outright nerds in public life.
That said, man, is he wrong. I think John pretty much nailed why, though.
2. I’m at a loss, reading the linked interviews, to comprehend about 2/3 of what was said in most of them, not counting variations on ‘and’ and ‘the.’ I mean, I know the interviewees must have been speaking English, and I’ve been reading English for about twenty-six years now, but I feel a bit like someone translated a few of those answers from Martian.
This is a flaw of mine, I admit. I’m a bit of a cliched lefty/liberal — center-left by world standards, far left by American ones — and I just do not get why anyone would hold some of those views. But then I don’t get why anyone would want to vote for John McCain, either, so I’m not claiming to speak for anything noble here. Just my own confused ignorance. I suppose them’s the breaks when you read about politics.
Well, they didn’t ask me for *my* opinion, but your readers can have it. You were more succinct then I was, John, but we agree.
Merging the two themes together, I’m sure you’ll be dismayed to know that The Alien has switched his support from Obama to McCain.
Given that it has been reliably reported by Jack @4 that Scalzi has been seen paling around with McCain, we can reasonably conclude that he has been abducted by aliens at some point in his past.
Which is why he is on this Sci-Fi kick to begin with.
So tell us Scalzi, is The Alien your agent? Have you sold your books to Alpha Centuri yet?
Inquiring minds need to know.
What I find appalling about these interviews is the number of people who aren’t voting.
The statement “if you vote, you have nothing to complain about” is especially egregious. The whole point about the democratically elected forms of government is to make your opinions known through voting.
If you don’t vote, you have failed in your responsibility to your country and shouldn’t complain about the resulting political situation.
David Brin had the best comment to both questions. (sorry John, yours were pretty funny too..) When will that guy write some more novels?
On a 100% unrelated note, do you think it’d make a good story if some political alchemist transmuted the U.S. DOD budget into a space program for 20 years? I wonder how far we’d get… (note to self: drop squid on NYC to find out)
What kind of a poll is that? And how did you end up in it? “We asked a whole bunch of people who work for reason, and John Scalzi, and David Brin, how they’d vote for President.”
Next up: a poll for President taken at McCain/Palin campaign headquarters. And John Scalzi. What, oh what, will the responses be?
OK, that Reason Magazine feature blew my mind completely. I had no idea there was this organized crew of people out there, including a lot of authors I respect(ed), who had such completely insane political views. All the people who talked about how important the Reagan/Carter election of 1980 was… HUH?
The thing I have to admit I was impressed with in the Reason interviews is the sizable minority of folks that said in some way or another, “Dude, waterboarding is so not cool, hypothetically or otherwise.” Of course, Scalzi had the most succinct way of putting this…
The thing I found disconcerting was how many of them said they had voted for “the Libertarian” candidates in 2000 and 2004, but apparently couldn’t come up with their names.
Thanks for the linkage to awesomeness.
“Is Science Fiction Responsible for the Lack of Public Interest in Space Exploration?”
… slow Mind Meld day over at SFSignal? Although the chances for dogpiling amusement are enormous. And also the amount of verbiage from other writers, which I think is actually on average (throwing out the outliers like you John Scalzi) longer than for previous Mind Melds.
And you’re a notable now!
I was disturbed at how many listed people they’d be willing to torture. It was about half I think.
I was also dismayed by how many Libertarians couldn’t remember the name of the Libertarians they had voted for. On the other hand, I suppose that’s to be expected from a bunch of people who regard not voting as a noble act of defiance.
Hey Brian Doherty, you know who has even less right to complain than people who vote? People who don’t vote.
Aldrin’s opinion seems so self-evidently nonsensical, that I’d have liked to see it presented at some length in his own words, so that we could understand what point he was making, before people slagged off on him for it.
Maybe he was saying that too much flash and dazzle in SF has dulled the public appetite for the sense of wonder in the (often duller) real world. In which case he might have a point.