Tonight’s Context-Less Sigh of Exasperation and Mild Depression

Here it is:


Yes, I’m fine. No, I don’t want to talk about it at the moment, since I’m still working with it, other than to say:


Thanks for your patience. As you were.

53 Comments on “Tonight’s Context-Less Sigh of Exasperation and Mild Depression”

  1. I believe it’s high time you had some Scalzi time. Break out an appropriate beverage and sink into a recliner with some tunes. At least that works for me.

  2. Perhaps you need a cat that doesn’t want to maim you? Maybe the other two fit that requirement.

  3. At times like this I always find it best to lure a child-like alien into my house with a popular bite-size snack, and then help it return to its home planet with a group of unlikely friends.

    Nothing says “life is great” like a child-like alien reaching out in gratitude to you with a glowing finger and saying “Scaaaalzi” before it gets on its ship and goes home.

  4. Yeah, over 600 replies on a topic you really didn’t want to get into. I gave up reading it all after the first 200, but you’re stuck with it.


    Oh well, here’s a topical little Tom Lehrer ditty to get you over the hump:



  5. Just rip a big ole fart in front of Athena. Will help you out with just her reaction.

  6. I think a context-less sigh of exasperation and mild depression requires a hmm of indeterminate level of interest and concern. So:


  7. Re #8: To which the only possible response is (a la the original The Producers):

    “Vhere, vhere?”

  8. Was it that comment on A. Somerville’s blog about you having a face “like a shaved wombat’s arse”?

    Try not to let it get you down–I mean…it’s not like everyone who’s ever shaved a wombat hasn’t already been startled by that fact years ago.

  9. Finally hit you that your true calling is as a feng shui consultant, huh? Mm, hmm. Mm, hmm. Can’t say we didn’t see that one coming. I sympathize, man, but I can’t help. That stuff’s just … shweew. I know it’s bad to have a staircase aligned with the front door — like in my house — but that’s it.

    Now, straight-up interior design? Sure. You go to your fundamentals: contrast textures, repeat colors. But that feng shui stuff is crazy.

    Am I warm?

  10. Hmmm no farting.. then this must be serious.

    Battlestar Galactica ending in 2 weeks is something to be depressed over.

  11. That’s about as far as I got too, Jonathan, and I almost gave up several times prior to that. I shouldn’t be surprised by the amount and degree of rancor that can be generated on the internet. I certainly participated in it a decade or so ago. Still, wow.

    Hang in there, Scalzi. If it helps, you should picture a kitten, hanging by its tiny paws from a branch. Imagine that it climbed into a tree, perhaps for adventure; perhaps to escape a racoon. Imagine that it made its halting way to a low-hanging branch, then slipped, and is now holding on for dear life.

    I mean, if that’s not hilarious, I don’t know what is…

  12. Scalzi:

    Yep…it’s in the “Scalzi Fanboys read this before you comment” section. Item number 2:

    “# You coming over here to castigate me for being mean to your Internet boyfriend won’t change my mind. Scalzi isn’t the first smug, rich white male author with a face like a shaved wombat’s arse who I’ve publicly criticised and he sure as hell won’t be the last.”

    Needless to say, I’m hoping to see “Face like a shaved wombat’s arse” at the top of your home page soon.

  13. What you need to do is turn on some sad music and stand by a window that has raining trickling down it.

    If there’s no rain a garden hose should do the trick.

  14. I’ll add a *sigh* to the collection too.

    I suggest whiskey, in fact, I’ll have some extra for you.

    In lieu of that, spend some extra time with your lovely family. That always helps. :-)

  15. You sound like my kitten. Sighingest little bastage I’ve ever had.

    Me? I’m more of one for the gallic shrug. No real way to do that on-line… but it would be a great name for a French superhero, no?

  16. I just plotted out a 100,000 word epic fantasy brick of a novel. I have never written anything close to that length before (50,000 words is my record), so now I am bummed.

  17. If it hits 1000 I say close it down–you’ve done your bit, and it seems as if your moderating has helped the situation some.

  18. If you’re looking for mercy, you’ll get none from me. I still haven’t forgiven you for waking me up and photographing me. You could try kicking Zeus, it always makes me feel better.

  19. >> It’s up there right now.


    >> Be sure to thank her for me.

    Uhh…that would require me going back to her blog ((shudder))

    Though I would like to ask her why she evidently shaves wombat arses. (Perhaps to keep wombat hair from getting stuck in her teeth?)

  20. Me too.

    There seems to be a lot of the blahs going around right now. Mildly contagious? Possible. Could be any number of reasons, or multiple reasons have ganged up on us individually and are collectively beating us down.

    Weather, job or joblessness, health, being sprung forward several weeks early, Comcast’s new set of annoying earworm commercials, the economy…yada yada yada, the list goes on and on and on.

    Well, we’ll all be blah together and hang out and amuse each other and eventually I suspect we’ll get through it.

    Hang in there. I do believe we’re with you on this one. Or will be just as soon as we figure out what one that is.

    Think I’ll try a baking and spring cleaning binge this weekend to see if that helps. Owe a friend a chocolate cake…

  21. I’m sorry that the sheer volumes of discussion on this have come here and derailed you for the time being. I appreciate how reasoned the discussion here has been, but yeah, the sheer amount of it is kind of daunting (I’m not even up to 500 on that thread myself) and I’ve been trying to read more of the original stuff!

    I will say this much, though: It’s pretty obvious that a discussion like this, in this subculture, has needed to happen for a long time, and even though it’s been contentious, emotionally exhausting and confusing for a lot of folks, I think the overall educational value has been worth it.

    Yeah, I think a lot of white folks are going to just dig themselves deeper into their Caves of Denial and use this as an excuse for why they shouldn’t have to listen in the future. And yeah, I think PoC authors and readers as a group have taken some critical hits from which they will be recovering for a long time (which is–or should be, at least–really depressing for the SF/F community as a whole.)

    But it’s out there. People aren’t sitting on their hands anymore, and I think that’s very valuable, and far preferable to the largely unspoken animosity and mistrust that’s been the existing state of things for far too long. I think the volume and anger involved in this were entirely unavoidable given how long some of this stuff has festered.

    There’s no way this will be fully over anytime soon. But I think the fact that it’s even happening is a good sign. Painful though it may be right now for, IMHO, all involved.

  22. I was just remarking to my husband last night that with all the events of the last week, you are a man in serious need of a hug. And, should I get up the nerve, at the next con at which we intersect, I’ll behave as you’ve outlined previously and ask if it is okay with you first. I probably won’t even get up the nerve. But, there you are. I know it’s been a week for you that you’d like never to repeat. If it’s any solace to you, I read through a few of the comments when it was only around 300 and found some of the more constructive ones educational. I avoided reading anything more directly involved and hoped your blog entry would have a more sane discussion.

  23. I was having a ::sigh:: sort of week too, and I have to say daniel b’s comments have cheered me up immensely. Tho that may have something to do with also taking Brandon’s advice about the whiskey.

    Ultimately, you should be feeling better soon. Mild depression brought on by exasperation rarely lasts more than a few days. Even less if you just give the kids the cookies and send them outside to play.

  24. Mr. Scalzi – you’ve handled this with far more grace and patience than I would have. You deserve all the rest, hugs and respect that you can get.

  25. i stopped reading to actually do some, you know, overdue work. Sorry if things got weird. I think it’s pretty damned cool that you had at least 400 comments that were mostly civil discourse. Takes a lot of work and good will and trust to get that.

  26. I can understand the need for a good sigh. Just please remember one thing. While there may be tens of people on teh Internets who are ready to hate, you have had hundreds here to back you up. The haters are loud. The friends are often quiet, but that’s usually just because we’re too pissed off at the haters to actually know what to say.

  27. I don’t want to step on toes, so I’ll keep this non-specific. It’s odd to me how making a claim (say: I don’t think discussion x is productive, or even: I want to stay out of discussion x) somehow demonstrates that one is an awful monster who is trying to CENSOR and SILENCE others.

    On a happier subject, a cute guinea pig in a costume.

  28. Jonathan@7,

    I don’t know if the Lehrer worked for Scalzi, but it’s definitely cheering me up!

  29. Hey, it’s my birthday and my wife made me chocolate brownies *and* yummy coffee cake.

    Your existential depression has no power over me. None, I say.

  30. While I compliment you on effectively firewalling the front page of Whatever against well, whatever is going on, to paraphrase Milhouse, at some point I was really hoping to go to the fireworks factory.

    This too shall pass, John, whatever it is.

  31. Oh… my… god…

    Thank you. Thank you so very much!

    I’ve been trying to meet new people, and have been going to wombat arse shaving meetings for a while now, and I keep coming home from meetings feeling like there is unresolved business. Really important business that I’m not attending to. That’s been really bugging me.

    Thank you! There’s a thought that I’ve been feeling after I grasp a fresh wombat and hold it struggling while I move the shaver over its hindquarters, and ponder the freshly shaved landscape therein revealed.

    And now it’s clear, “This is your WombatPal”

  32. Okay, John. Go to your happy place. Now, fill that happy place with flame throwers and zombie versions of the people who’ve pissed you off this week.

    Oh yes. Burn those zombies, John. Burn them all.


  33. @Daniel B:

    “I would like to ask her why she evidently shaves wombat arses.”

    Several reasons. Makes them easier to go bowling with. They’re more aerodyamic that way. And it’s cheaper than buying a Scalzi action figure.

    “(Perhaps to keep wombat hair from getting stuck in her teeth?)”

    Australians will eat many things but the crutch out of a low flying wombat isn’t one of them.

    Mr Scalzi, glad my response to your ‘angry feral cats’ remark amuses you, though it wasn’t my intention at that point to do so – as you probably gathered. Now you’ve had a change of heart, it can stand, like your original post, as a record of emotions at a point in time from which we moved on.

  34. Ann Somerville:

    Things are often amusing independent of their intent, and this was one of them.

    My question, actually, is whether the entire wombat was shaved, or just that one part of it.

  35. Could be worse. That whole “eaten by bears” thing from not too long ago might have been the truth.

    Which would cause Chang (who apparently is not Chang, but we’ll humor him) to curl up in the fetal position as he’d be cut off from his source of Ghlaghghee photos.

    And frankly, bears get enough crap from Stephen Colbert.

    Not to mention that idiot who made the Alaska film, who, in fact, was eaten by bears.

    (Actually, I found that one funny in a “Darwin was right, and God is laughing about it” sorta way.)

  36. “My question, actually, is whether the entire wombat was shaved, or just that one part of it.”

    All of it of course. Else I would have said ‘wombat’s shaved arse’.

    I hope your daughter gains some solace from her friend’s funeral. I remember at that age going to my best friend’s funeral and being completely confused about what was going on – but that was nearly forty years ago and I think people are more enlightened about how to explain matters to children and involving them. I’m sure she will remember you being there, and be grateful when she is older for that.

  37. Frankly I think that a whole lot of kudos are due you Mr. Scalzi. Just the fact that you effectively moderated a massive tributary of a interweb-wide discussion that has elsewhere turned toxic, and have so effectively helped keep it civil and level-headed, I think is a very powerful counter-argument to the folks who want to critique you.

    It’s also a testament to the folks who hang out here.

    But what do I know. I just lurk.

  38. Take a cruise. I just took my first one in Tampa in January. Now, like today, when I see the ship, I just want to go back and enjoy the peace of the sea.

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