Ruining Science Fiction With Glitter: The Scalzi Chronicles

https://twitter.com/scalzi/status/513814563163496448

157 thoughts on “Ruining Science Fiction With Glitter: The Scalzi Chronicles

  1. ,,,and now a Tweet of mine is featured on Whatever. So happy! :D But… are these my Internet 15 minutes?

  2. As a teacher of young people I’m chiming in to say that objectively glitter is the WORST. There’s a reason why every calls it the herpes of crafting. Once you spill it it never goes away.

  3. Those glitter boots rock, and I would totally wear them. Please tell me this is a real product.

    Also, awesome set of tweets. :-D

  4. I used to work as a bouncer at a live music club, and cleaning up vomit generally was nowhere near as bad as the time someone glitterbombed the bathroom hallway. That took forever to clean.

  5. As the late Ellen Willis once wrote, “Humorless is what you are if you do not find the following subjects funny: rape, big breasts, sex with little girls. It carries no imputation of humorlessness if you do not find the following subjects funny: impotence, castration, vaginas with teeth.” I started quoting this to every male who complained to me that feminists have no sense of humor, and not one of them thought it was funny. Women, on the other hand, would shout with laughter. As did I, on reading this post. I linked to it on Facebook as Exhibit A to someone who’d demanded to know what makes me laugh.

  6. @Marcelo: When I was 19 and had long hair, a friend poured a small tube of glitter over my head. Both she and I were not exactly *sober* that evening, it was done in good fun, and we all had a bit of a laugh. So I didn’t exactly mind it at the time.
    But, I swear to God: Even a week later, despite rigorous daily washing&brushing I was still fishing glitter bits (glitter particles? glitticles?) out of my hair.

    That shit is PERNICIOUS. The government should regulate it, or something.

  7. Are those boots real? My doctor sentenced me to sensible shoes, so I’d like a pair of glittery boots. John should wear his, if they exist, with his green dress.

    You think glitter is hard to clean up, try Easter grass. You can’t vacuum it, it’ll clog the vacuum cleaner, and when you drop the basket those little strands go everywhere.

  8. There is no “cleaning up glitter.” It’s known as “craft herpes” for a reason — once you’ve got it, you’ve ALWAYS got it.

    You may think you’ve eradicated it once and for all and then you’ll find some in your navel fluff, your wallet, or your cat.

  9. My husband was once able to track a friend through an anime con by following her trail of glitter.

    My son is now in preschool and they have begun using glitter, so I expect to be picking it off myself, the carpets and the cats until he goes to college.

  10. > There’s a reason why every calls it the herpes of crafting.

    I’ve always heard it referred to as raver scabies. Just when you think you’ve eradicated it, you find it in places you’d never think to look.

    And Mr Scalzi – you need a matching speedo for those boots.

  11. I once made the tactical error of letting an entire year 6 & 7 of a primary school get their hands on glitter. Oh. My. God. It looked like a glitter bomb had gone off in the school hall. Fortunately I was only a visiting artist, so I didn’t have to deal with the aftermath but I bet the school cleaners were cursing me for months and possibly years.

  12. John you appear to be clairvoyant today!

    I believe the glitter boots are DMs but unfortunately I can’t find anywhere actually selling them at the moment. There’s always eBay I suppose…

  13. And this thread is why I hate Twitter. It’s like William F@#$%^&!! Shatner speech… little tiny bits of talk strung together that don’t make a complete narrative (not that he can’t communicate, its just. in. short, terse. sentence frag.ments, sometimes…). I’ll bet there’s a cool story behind it, but there just isn’t enough signal to noise here.

  14. Two years ago I had to sign a batch of glittery Christmas cards at my desk for the office staff. The mouse at my workstation is an optical mouse, and every now and then it *still* skips as the laser runs over a speck of glitter stuck in something…

    (That being said, well done with the dudebros though I’m not certain even they deserve a glittering.)

    — Steve

  15. I find too much mil-SF unreadable because of the mindless social-conservative-warriorism, even when it’s there as the writer’s core values as opposed to a lazy substitute for plot and character motivation (There’z Alienz Invading! Gotta kill them all to protect Truth, Justice, and the American Way from their insect-like hive-minded collectivism!) And sufficiently shiny space-ship weaponry is indistinguishable from glitter.

  16. When I was a 1st year midshipman (plebe) at the Naval Academy, there was a tradition of pranking the rooms of upperclassmen who were lucky enough to get an entire weekend of leave while we were stuck behind. Normally it was a simple matter to “borrow” the key from the midshipman on watch, and get in their room and pull some shenanigans. However in this case, the 2 upperclassmen whose room it was were engineers. The type of engineers who would make a custom magnetic deadbolt to secure their room while they were gone.

    This challenge did not go unanswered. We had been planning to leave a dead fish in their drop ceiling, but the new plan was much more sinister. We mixed a bunch of glitter with Mop’n’Glo, got a funnel and tube, worked the tube into the gap underneath their door, and poured 2 entire bottles of glitter-mop’n’glo slurry onto their floor. The mixture hardened over the weekend until it was almost as hard as concrete.

    It came to be known as “glitter-decking”, and was banned after the upperclassmen had a surprise inspection from the battalion officer before they could get it cleaned up and had to explain why they had a giant glittery puddle on their floor.

  17. It’s just like what Oppenheimer said, “Now I am become Scalzi, destroyer of worlds.” Or something like that. He was talking about glitter, right?

  18. The elementary art teacher whose classroom is across the hall from mine refers to glitter as “crack for the very young” and has banned it with no exceptions made. Giving it to elementary aged students is something akin to a criminal act.

  19. Glitter combat boots = mod podge + glitter from craft store and clean combat boots. Mix pod podge with glitter, paint it on and top with a layer of just mod podge. According to interwebs works pretty good. For those of uss
    Who can’t find glitter combats in our size.

  20. Some of you have not spent enough time with preschoolers. Glitter glue. All the sparkle, none of the mess. It even rolls out of hair pretty easily.

  21. I work with a volunteer group that mixes storytelling and arts-and-crafts at LA elementary schools. We have banned volunteers and burned them in effigy for supplying glitter or glitter glue to the kids….

  22. “Down to the gutter
    Up to the glitter
    Into the city
    Where the truth lies!”

    Go on destroying Science Fiction, John. Its demise will be glorious, and last for centuries.

  23. MiLady,the fabulous Miss Cherries Jubilee (to be found thus on FB and Steampunk Empire) has a side job as “the Fremont Fairy Godmother” (she does walking tours of Seattle’s artsy Fremont District) while laughing uproariously at your post, asked me to send the following advice:
    “Yes, glitter sticks to EVERYTHING. It’s designed that way. If you make any attempt to remove it, magical elves will come in the night and strew MORE glitter hither and yon.”
    She also wishes it to be known that she has read several John Scalzi books and has yet to grow a penis… for which I am quite gratetful.

  24. To be an SJW in my mind you need to have a very shallow understanding of what would normally be progressive ideals that have also been distorted by the Tumblr echo chamber (like hating on people whose only crime was being part of the majority and having majority privilege.) being perpetually outraged and telling people that you are not there to educate them helps.

  25. I don’t really know if purple peacock glitter is your color. I see you in more of a classic red look: http://thumbs4.ebaystatic.com/d/l225/m/mjhMbajDrIks3100tSWi–Q.jpg

    Apparently, according to some pundits essaying in places like the New Yorker, YA is now destroying adult cultural civilization because adults are reading YA and not sticking purely to adult novels about upper middle class middle-aged straight white men suffering from despair and ennui. Since you’ve destroyed SF and written at least one YA novel, perhaps you can further destroy adulthood in cultural civilization? See what you can do.

    Bravehamster: “glitter-decking” — that is epic.

    Ian Morris: Publicly proclaiming that you’re an asshole is perhaps not wise in a thread containing a lot of tips about destruction with glitter. I mean, the people in your life who don’t have majority privilege and who you feel should continue to be not privileged, quiet about it, and deferential to you might be reading it too, and you know, getting ideas above their shallow station. That could be PROBLEMATIC.

  26. The original version of this sequence, on my twitter feed, mentioned a forthcoming graphic novel. Slip, or announcement?

  27. I’ve been reading YA novels since I was a tween. The percentage of “Hey, let’s make you depressed about the pointlessness of life and the isolation of the soul, depressed person who reads for escape” novels is much lower. Also sex scenes tend to annoy me.

    Re reading for escape, and also glitter: Apparently some types of glitter will create an electrical arc under the right (wrong) conditions. So one of my favorite Transformers fanfics includes an aside that while human personnel are welcome to use the family housing on base, glitter is specifically forbidden. Because it does indeed get everywhere.

  28. Dear god,
    You’ve unleashed the danger dust AKA Glitter
    I hope everyone enjoys the glitter because it’s never going away
    Also I need those boots

  29. So… the link to the “scepter” had a warning that the “media may contain sensitive material”. Is that something twitter does on image recognition software or on report button clicks?

    Either way I was amused by what was revealed once I assured the site that I really did want to see this “sensitive material”.

  30. Ok, you had me until “glitter”. In the future can you piss off the MRAs _without_ getting anywhere near glitter, my little pony, or disco? (Because those boots would go well w/disco. Forget I wrote that FORGET IT!)

  31. Perhaps, for them the best means of travel would be by air, followed
    by a BWI taxi service. Since a wedding is about elegance, the couple should consider the image and reputation of each
    of the company’s they have selected. There are steps involved in running a Toronto limo service.

  32. Kat, that’s not what Ian was saying. Like, at all. He’s saying that Scalzi doesn’t fit the criteria to be a “man-hating, sci-fi ruining” SJW.

  33. Growing up, the rule in our house was “don’t run with glitter” rather than “don’t run with scissors.” Because I did, and the top came off the container, and the carpet sparkled for about a decade afterwards.

  34. So, what prompted all this?

    And: why is a sparkly carpet a problem? People used to pay good money to make their ceilings sparkle.

  35. Whozer:

    It’s fun to mock base stupidity, yes. How utterly pathetic and starved for attention your “someone” must be, that being so openly mocked for such base stupidity would be viewed as some sort of victory for him. His life must be deeply empty of any real achievement. And as you are clearly a cheerleader for such a twit, how much worse yours must be.

    And how even worse for him and you that he, through you, is desperately trying to take credit for the attention I was giving to other mockably stupid twits, and not to him at all. Really, that’s just about the saddest, most laughably pitiable thing in the world.

    Doug:

    The comments on “Bring Poor” have been closed for years. It doesn’t appear to have any bearing on the entry’s popularity.

  36. Was informed I have ruined science fiction by being all social justice warrior-y.

    Sir:
    Harrumph. I should not have to point out that I ruined science fiction by being all social justice warrior-y first, a good century before you, you young upstart.
    Sincerely
    HG Wells.

  37. Monsieur Wells:
    Bon dieu! It is I who should not have to point out to you, espece de drapeur, that I myself ruined science fiction by getting all guerrier pour la justice sociale two centuries before you, by taking a perfectly ordinary trope like a journey to the moon and using it as a way of expressing my own ideas on social reform!
    My friend le capitain de Treville will call on you shortly, monsieur!
    Please accept the assurance, etc.
    Hercule-Savinien de Cyrano de Bergerac

  38. First my SO applies the Fuzzy Bunny Slipper of Authority, now JS goes glitter boots….
    What next?
    Hopefully whatever it is it continues to annoy the MRAs and sad puppies.

  39. As a burlesque bitch (e.g. partner of a burlesque performer who often ends up lugging all their stuff around for them and in my case designing and building cool props and set pieces) I will say that I can step fresh out of the shower without having touched anything yet and already have glitter on me. It gets into fucking EVERYTHING. And drastically shortens the lifespan of your vacuum.

  40. I’m afraid Survivors of Glitter is currently being used by the support group for people who saw the Mariah Carey movie of the same name.

  41. I have a preschooler who regularly brings home glitter bedecked art projects…

    Take off and nuke the site from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.

  42. I wonder if the real john is the one who posts to the blog or the real john is the one spaz on twitter. Makes me wonder if the blog is John on ritalin and the twitter is john between doses. The blog posts are alot more thoughtful. The twitter ones show signs of too much sugar intake and no one to talk to during the day.

    This has nothing to do with the whole SJW thing. You come off different on twitter. I wonder if twitter has that affect on alot of people due to the nature of the really short posts.

  43. JS – lol, hardly… but I guess I should feel “owned” now. Anyway, point proven. Rather surprised the comment bothered you so much. But I do feel all tingly inside and somewhat like I have reached the pinnacle of life to have been spanked by one such as yourself. It must as well fill you with a sense of accomplishment and glee to wield such power on the internet. A crowning achievement in life to be sure.

    Now be a good little guy and delete the post… it has been read

  44. Greetings Mssr Hercule-Savinien de Cyrano de Bergerac, Esq.

    It has come to my attention you are making claims both base and trivial over seniority in the matter of precipitating the ruin of speculative fictions due to exploration, extrapolation, and support of various social mores, in particular, those involving societal privilege and the justice thereof.

    I am consequently writing to inform you of the fallacy of your claims, and to wit, I place my own common text entitled “Utopia” as evidence to support the fact that speculative fiction was ruined long before you came upon it.

    Yours in sincerity;
    The Right Honourable
    Sir Thomas More
    Chancellor to HRM Henry VII, DG Rex

  45. Guess:

    “I wonder if the real john is the one who posts to the blog or the real john is the one spaz on twitter.”

    They’re both the real me, and neither is. Which is to say the are both public versions of me, and the presentation is tuned for the medium. Neither is insincere or false, but I am aware of the strengths and weaknesses of each medium and adjust accordingly. You may prefer one to the other, and that’s fine.

    Whozer:

    “Rather surprised the comment bothered you so much.”

    It’s the pathology of those who desperately seek attention to assume that any response equates to the respondent being “bothered.” You certainly appear to conform to that pathology.

  46. I tend to agree with Alex Hazlett.

    Multi-tweet statements are unsatisfying.

    It breaks the flow of a presentation.

    They tend to lack depth and perception.

    The identifying-info around each tweet is distracting.

    And I can never quite shake the feeling

    that the final tweet in a multi-tweet sequence

    is always going to be

    BURMA SHAVE

  47. ad armigerem nobilissimum Thomas More:

    O most miserable of men! Know ye not that I, Lucian of Samosata (a Roman citizen, though a speaker of Greek) preceded you along this noble path when, having already for many years worked with the pen, I brought myself to write my “True History” in which I, shielding myself behind the fantastical tale of a ship blown to the moon as did noble Odysseus conceal his true intention within a wooden idol, ruined the domain of Philosophical Fiction by getting all republican-justice-hoplite in it and taking the mickey out of colonialism?

    May the gods visit you with remorse, o ignorant one!

    Love and kisses,
    Lucian of Samosata

  48. Charity idea! Oh gamma slave, when next you are nominated for a Hugo (as Lock In will surely make the list) please DO offer to wear the Combat Boots of Sparkle to the ceremony IF an amount to be named by you is raised for a charity/advocacy organization of your choice.

    Also, *Mewling Manlings* is the name of my next band.

  49. I have no idea what spawned this bit, but I googled (I really, really tried!), and all I could come up with was this, from writer Henry James’ “Italian Hours.”

    “The rococo church of the Scalzi is here, all marble and malachite, all a cold, hard glitter….”

    James died in 1916, so there is only one explanation for this: John Scalzi, time traveling glitter terrorist.

  50. We avoid the glitter as much as possible due to it’s inherent “I’m staying with you until you die” sense of self. Do you KNOW how hard it is to avoid glitter when you are gay?

    We call it ‘Glitteria” and antibiotics will not touch it. As in “dear god, you’ve contracted glitteria. Did you go to Capitol hill and catch it from a drag queen?”

  51. ajay is DEFINITELY winning this thread, both humor-wise and as a display of his research/knowledge-fu. I bow before ye.

    (psst, the loser is Whozer. Thanks for the easy rhyme, dumbass.)

  52. One of the best things about the internet is that it allows people like me to connect with and track our favorite authors and artists. One of the worst things is that it often exposes what a bunch of children people whose work I respect really are.

    Seriously. You all need to grow up.

  53. Hear and behold oh world, the aping gasps of outrage from Lucian of Samosata, who merely strides in the foot-prints of such as I, Arisophanes, son of Philippus, of the deme Cydathenaeum who took pen to parchment in order to create plays fantastical in which to cajole correct and challenge the great and mighty Polis of Athens, and its citizenry to establish great justice within our society. Indeed, warrior like my plays bestrode the stage and did battle with such belittled minds as Cleon, casting them as the monstrous and horrifying influences in my comedic offerings, culminating in the Knights, which drew acclaim to be the First of Plays at the Lenaia.

  54. Rob Port:

    “Seriously. You all need to grow up.”

    And you seriously need to kiss my ass, Rob Port. I am an adult, which means I don’t need either your permission or your approval to do whatever the hell I want to do. Nor does anyone else. If you don’t like it, then I suggest you don’t go seek out the people whose work you enjoy. They are human, which means they will inevitably disappoint you. And there’s a small chance you will annoy them in the bargain.

  55. ADSF:

    Kat, that’s not what Ian was saying. Like, at all. He’s saying that Scalzi doesn’t fit the criteria to be a “man-hating, sci-fi ruining” SJW.

    Oh shit, did I miss a piece of satire? In that case, my apologies to Ian Morris. Just pretend it was another bit of continuing the bit, like Sir Thomas Moore. Yeah, that’s the ticket. No, actually, sincerely sorry if I mistook. And if it hadn’t been satire, I should not have responded anyway, so thoroughly my bad.

    More on topic, written fiction is a symbiotic market. John Scalzi’s success in SF, whether he writes military SF or non-military SF, helps military SF and other forms of SF sell, because he draws readers who then browse. If even one of his works optioned for t.v. work out, that will draw in even more readers to SF, allowing SF to expand and fiction in general to have better sales numbers. That’s how YA and the fantasy markets expanded — symbiosis from major hits, browsing of incoming and established readers, and variety to accommodate for the widest spread of different tastes.

    Likewise, the inclusion of more diversity with non-white characters, female leads, etc., has increased (and will increase) the SFFH audience, allowing more titles to be published, as it draws in more readers who would otherwise sit out if only white males is all that is offered. It has not diminished or eliminated books with white males — those continue to be numerous and their sales market has increased because of the success of a variety of books that increase the number of readers and allow for funding of newer titles and expansion of the overall market.

    The idea that one author can destroy an entire category of story is senseless, like believing that glitter can be destroyed.

  56. John Scalzi:

    And you seriously need to kiss my ass, Rob Port.

    QED

    You are a gifted story teller who I genuinely admire, Mr. Scalzi. I also appreciate your insights into other matters such as politics, gender issues and publishing, though I often find myself disagreeing.

  57. Rob Port:

    It’s not ironic; it’s me telling other people how to behave in my house, with other guests.

    However, you may find this to be useful: Site Disclaimer and Comment Policy. This paragraph you might find particularly relevant:

    “I participate in comment threads. Fire away at me. You need to be aware that I respond to tone as well as content. If you’re polite, I’ll be polite. If you’re a jackass, I’ll be a jackass back. If you argue poorly, I may correct you. If you want to gauge my levels of tolerance, watch how others comment to me and triangulate accordingly.”

    Re: Gifted storyteller, etc: Thanks!

  58. If one were collect and examine the complete references by ajay (and others), I think one could spend an interesting and educational week learning literature….stuff. (dammit! it was going so well…)

  59. Kat –
    —————–
    The idea that one author can destroy an entire category of story is senseless, like believing that glitter can be destroyed.
    ——————

    You misunderestimate the power of the Scalzi!!1111!!!! Bow down before his magnificence.

    Really liked your post, by the way – that’s the way I see things too.

    How are dudebros with glitter? Isn’t glitter associated with exotic dancers, too?

  60. @CanukistaniJohn: So you’re comparing SJWs to a hair shirt-wearing, self-flagellating fanatic whose lofty humanist rhetoric didn’t stop him from having men burned alive for daring to challenge the tyranny of Rome? That’s . . . rather apter than you intended, I imagine.

    @Kat: If you can’t imagine why someone would dislike the “Social Justice” movement apart from being an asshole who wants to keep marginalized groups marginalized, I suggest reading any or all of the following links, according to taste. I will note that I do not agree with everything the author says (e.g. claiming that the MRM and feminism are mirror images of each other seems a bit much), but he makes some excellent points, believes in epistemic charity, and has a fabulous sense of wit:

    On turning jerkishness into a principle, circular firing squads, and whale cancers: http://slatestarcodex.com/2014/06/14/living-by-the-sword/

    On the pervasive use of equivocation, and why it demands double-standards: http://slatestarcodex.com/2014/07/07/social-justice-and-words-words-words/

    On gratuitous cruelty to innocent people, and how it strengthens the very worst of the movement’s own enemies: http://slatestarcodex.com/2014/08/31/radicalizing-the-romanceless/

  61. Not in any way shape or form, Christopher H. I was elaborating and expanding on a joke that ajay began – one that references the fact that speculative fiction, and the type that challenges the status quo has been part of society since we pretty much began telling stories.

    As to the attempted disparagement of those who want society to be more equitable or just, well, yes some might be abrasive, but nobody has figured out how to speak to those who are privileged in order to tell them that privilege is wrong without angering some body.

    Perfect is the enemy of good has become so much of a tactic used by those who just don’t want changes made that it becomes a farce trying to dissect whether a person is opposing the idea of equitable society because they don’t like the options discussed, or just hate the idea. Either way, greater equity in society isn’t something to be opposed.

    I think Leigh Hunt said it best about how I look at the Social Justice movement:

    Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase!)
    Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,
    And saw, within the moonlight in his room,
    Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom,
    An angel writing in a book of gold:—
    Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,
    And to the presence in the room he said,
    “What writest thou?”—The vision raised its head,
    And with a look made of all sweet accord,
    Answered, “The names of those who love the Lord.”
    “And is mine one?” said Abou. “Nay, not so,”
    Replied the angel. Abou spoke more low,
    But cheerly still; and said, “I pray thee, then,
    Write me as one that loves his fellow men.”
    The angel wrote, and vanished. The next night
    It came again with a great wakening light,
    And showed the names whom love of God had blest,
    And lo! Ben Adhem’s name led all the rest.

  62. Dear Christopher and CanukistaniJohn,

    I think it was better said in the lyrics to “It Isn’t Nice,” by Malvina Reynolds. They are Google-able.

    Also, every political point of view contains annoying people. In fact, contains very large numbers of them. That’s just the way some people are, and they don’t gravitate to one particular cause or another. Naturally, the ones one disagrees with seem immensely more annoying than the ones one agrees with… which, of course, is no reflection upon reality. People who say “Well, I don’t like such and such a movement because they’re so *rude*,” either truly don’t get this or are trying to shut it down, silence them with the “Politeness Complaint.”

    Sorry. We’re not going to play.

    ~~~~

    Dear folks,

    At the risk of further derailing this thread into seriosity, for which I deeply apologize in advance…

    Something of interest to me in the wording of the “ruination” complaints. The complaints themselves don’t represent a new political viewpoint. The better part of half a century ago (yes, that long) we were hearing how Star Trek would ruin science fiction, and then feminism would ruin science fiction, and, more or less simultaneously, New Wave was going to ruin science fiction.

    There’s a difference. Back then, the Other Side was saying “would ruin.” Now they’re saying “has ruined.”

    In other words, they have admitted defeat. They are acknowledging that they have lost, that they cannot prevail, but that we’re all going to be sorry for that.

    They’re admitting the conflict is over, they’re just unhappy that they are on the losing side.

    I will have to learn to live with the burden of their dismay. Cue the tiniest violin in the world, to play a sympathy dirge for them.

    pax \ Ctein
    [ Please excuse any word-salad. MacSpeech in training! ]
    ======================================
    — Ctein’s Online Gallery http://ctein.com 
    — Digital Restorations http://photo-repair.com 
    ======================================

  63. “So Ozzy, what do you think?”

    “We are your lord, the King of Kings, address us as such or we’ll have you flogged.”

    “Yes my lord, sorry my lord. What do you think my lord, is it not fabulous?”

    “….”

    “You said you wanted to make a statement that’ll last forever and this will, I promise.”

    “Make it bigger, and this time NO GLITTER!”

    “Yes my lord…”

  64. @CanukistaniJohn: I recognized that your comparison was not meant to be taken seriously, but I still found it apt — there are many ways to challenge the status quo, and not all of them are good. Some are downright evil.

    “As to the attempted disparagement of those who want society to be more
    equitable or just [. . .]”

    As to this demon of hell, conveniently incarnated here in a most excellently flammable body of straw . . .

    In truth, I am most passionately committed to justice. So, apparently, are you. And so was Maximillian Robespierre, who famously declared “Terror is nothing but prompt, severe, inflexible justice.” Definitions of justice matter, as do the limits one is prepared to respect in one’s pursuit of that lofty end.

    “[. . .] yes some might be abrasive, but nobody has figured out how to speak to those who are privileged in order to tell them that privilege is wrong without angering some body.”
    The issue is not merely tone, but content as well. For a good example, read the “Radicalizing the Romanceless” link I posted. Certainly, many of the passages the author quotes were written in a needlessly inflammatory fashion — and that mattters! But suppose that it did not. Very well, strip those passages to their most basic meaning, and what is left remains “a response [. . .] so antisocial and unjust that it could only possibly come from the social justice movement.”

    “Perfect is the enemy of good has become so much of a tactic used by those who just don¿t want changes made that it becomes a farce trying to dissect whether a person is opposing the idea of equitable society because they don’t like the options discussed, or just hate the idea. Either way, greater equity in society isn’t something to be opposed.”
    Or, they are in favor of an equitable society, but view your particular vision of an equitable society as fundamentally rotten. My opposition to the Social Justice movement is not a matter of letting the perfect be the enemy of the good, because I don’t see Social Justice as an imperfect good; I see it, like Bolshevism, as an imperfect evil.

    “I think Leigh Hunt said it best about how I look at the Social Justice movement:
    [poem snipped]

    That’s a rather admirable sentiment, but beside the point, insofar as my basic view is that SJWs do not, by and large, love their fellow men, and even those that do, love them unhealthily.

  65. The ruination of Science Fiction, glitter,the scourge of the universe, and a discussion about many authors over the past 2300 years or so.
    This is one of the big reasons I come here, lively discussions. The books and cat pictures are a close second.

    I have a friend that has a tendency to send greeting cards with glitter inside. I finally had to tell her “to cut that shit out right now, thank you very much” when one exploded on me in my work space at the hospital. I still love her dearly but glitter still shows up once in a while and that was 6 years ago.

    I’m not 206 but is it OK to be proud of the 425?

    BraveHamster. Glitter decking ranks right up there with the best of the MIT pranks that I’ve ever heard of. As a Navy Vet, I am proud to have heard this tale. It beats the heck out of anything I was a part of. I won’t describe them as I’m not sure if the statute of limitations cover the UCMJ…

  66. My four year old daughter and I just glitter-painted her sneakers. If I ever find out your shoe size, JS, there will be glitter boots waiting at a book signing for you on your next tour…

  67. Christopher H:

    My outburst was in reaction to what appeared to be a particularly asshole-ish trolling post. It has been explained to me that I misread the post entirely, and that Ian Morris was actually lampooning people like yourself and the views you hold. I’ve already apologized for my mistake to Mr. Morris, which really has got nothing to do with you.

    As for your rhetoric, it’s the same rhetoric used for thousands of years to demonize any activists who are speaking out against institutionalized and systemic prejudice and discrimination in society, that the objectors are unreasonable and too loud and ask for too much, that they hate others, that they will do terrible things if discrimination is decreased, that their efforts are going to be for naught because of their horrendous attitudes, etc. It was used on the Jews, the Irish, the Roma, every sort of immigrants to the U.S., the suffragettes, the Civil Rights movement, the gay pride movement, etc. It’s used to encourage people to shut up about civil rights, to stop insisting that others examine their assumptions, speech and behavior, all of which even in the best of us contribute to institutionalized bigotry, and to keep people from advocating for greater equality and equal opportunity and law — something which actually benefits everybody.

    That advice, your advice, has never helped any civil rights movement ever, whereas the people you find uncivil social justice warriors have, over and over again, and largely by yelling at people and calling them out, no matter how uncomfortable it may be (and how risky for them.) You want to pretend that it’s just an issue of bad guys versus good guys and who gets called what, claiming that the social justice advocates are tarring you bad guys when really you aren’t, therefore meaning that they should live with discrimination for the rest of their lives or leave it up to you, which is to say live with discrimination for the rest of their lives. Reality is far more complicated than that. The discrimination is institutionalized. We live with it. We accept it. It influences us. We let it harm and kill people every day and impoverish our society. And when we don’t attempt to change it, including in our own lives but also most importantly in law, we support it. And since the societies we are in are all still legally and socially discriminating, we are supporting it.

    And you can stick your head in the sand and say “no I’m not” all you like and say that the people telling you to take your head out of the sand hate you and will cut off your head with a guillotine and are incompetent whiners or whatever nonsense you like. All you’re doing is telling them to shut up and leave you alone. Which has never ended social and legal discrimination ever. And you can call social justice warriors or sad puppies or whatever title you like to give them all the names you like. They will not shut up because silence is death. And if that attitude bothers you, tough noogies.

    The reason Scalzi is reveling in the decree that he’s ruined science fiction is first off because such a claim is ridiculous and therefore fun to ridicule. But second, it’s because it’s the same old rhetoric used to support discrimination and demonize people objecting to discrimination, in SFF publishing or elsewhere. (Which is why, Rob Port, this is actually an adult conversation.) So yes, Scalzi destroyed science fiction. And yes, we are coming to destroy all any second with glitter bombs. Because we’re just hateful, hating people like that.

  68. @Kat: I find it deeply amusing, how much you think you know about me and my politics from a handful of rather non-specific posts.

    I’ll probably write a detailed reply later, but right now I have homeworks to grade and little enough sleep that I’m going to get as it is, so for the moment, I’ll just leave you with a few observations:

    1. I spend at least two hours every week volunteering with a self-identified Social Justice organization, because there is no non-SJ substitute available here, I don’t have anywhere near the free time it would take to start my own, and for all their flaws, I think this particular group does more good than harm. I’m perfectly ready to be co-belligerent with SJWs when it makes sense for particular battles, just like I am with Bolsheviks. But there will be no Yalta.

    2. I self-identify as a feminist.

    3. I like the one piece of John Scalzi’s science fiction that I have read (Old Man’s War, for the record), and am planning to purchase and read more. I also like most of his social and political blogging; IIRC, “Being Poor” was my gateway to this blog, which I have now been reading regularly for about a year.

    I wonder how those little fragments of information fit into the picture of me you’ve sketched out in your own mind.

  69. Regarding the last tweet, there is no cure for glitter, but the symptoms can be treated with Glitrex(tm).*

    Why you’d want to treat it, though, I don’t know.

    *As with all prescription medications, this info is now to be followed by a rapid-speaking voice talking about the rare side effects: dry skin, depression, cravings for aluminum and rainbows, and, oh yeah, your face might melt off. But no glitter.

  70. Funniest. Thread. Ever. XD

    @The Next To Last Samurai

    Are those boots real? My doctor sentenced me to sensible shoes, so I’d like a pair of glittery boots. John should wear his, if they exist, with his green dress.

    I WANT PICTURES OF THIS

  71. “You can’t polish a turd. However you can roll it in glitter”
    When you have to use glitter to save the day, it’s usually because everyone else is too unimaginative to come up with a solution.
    The trouble with SF is that it just won’t stay ruined, so keep up the good glitter job, John.

  72. David, it doesn’t have the same connotations in all English speaking nations.

    I’m sure that the people denigrated by it will feel much comforted.

  73. Aristophanes? Feh. A Greek claims he was first to come up with the idea of using fantastical stories in order to promote an agenda of social justice? A Greek yet? It’s like I’m not even here! I mean G-d forbid you should actually have read my book, I know how busy you are, but it was a bestseller in its day.
    Tell Aaron and the boys I’ve gone for a little lie down.
    Moses

  74. @ajay: Aw, you think that the Mosaic laws promote justice, social or otherwise. That’s so cute.

    I imagine that the women burned alive, stoned to death, and/or “taken as plunder” and “used” following the slaughter of their menfolk under the provisions of those laws might have a somewhat different view of the matter (come to think of it, so might those same menfolk), but they’re not here to express a viewpoint, now are they?

  75. Christopher H. @ 10:59: I don’t really know ajay’s opinion of the Mosaic laws, to tell you the truth. However, I suspect that that isn’t really all that relevant. In fact, I suspect that the point of the joke is–as it has been since almost is the beginning of this strand of this thread–that Moses probably believed that he was promoting social justice . . .

  76. Recently I too was accused of being all social justice warrior-y.

    To which I say “Be the change you wish to see.” :-)

    P.S. What size of combat boot do you take? ‘Cause if you were to wear those to receive your next Hugo I would certainly bid in a charity auction for the boots afterwards. I take a US size 11. Just sayin’ ;-)

  77. I was about to say that Christopher H. is rather persistent in his attempts to derail…and I then I realized we are all atwitter over the glitter. Can’t really derail that.

  78. Oh my, is that jumped-up sheep herder STILL trying to claim copyright on my ideas? How distressing. – Akhenaten

  79. David, probably not, but then do we hold everyone in the room responsible for our own cultural mores? Even those not necessarily conversant in such subtleties of language? I happen, by pure chance really, to know what you were talking about. No thanks to you. Guess might have no idea. No thanks to you. Alternatively, you might not be aware of how mild an insult the same word is in other contexts. Either way, you may have to accept that some people literally don’t know what you’re hearing.

  80. Christopher H:

    I wonder how those little fragments of information fit into the picture of me you’ve sketched out in your own mind.

    I don’t have a picture of you in my mind. I don’t know you and nothing you’ve said hasn’t been said by a zillion folk spouting the same rhetoric, so is not particularly distinctive to creating a picture. I don’t care if you identify as a feminist or not.

    What I do know is that you tried to scold me and linked to articles on the blog of a conservative idiot spewing the usual rhetoric. What I do know is what you put in your posts, where you went on about how I and some social activists hate people and some social activists will likely do harm, like the French terror, and bother the nice folk with all their talk. What I do know is that you don’t understand systemic discrimination and societal influence in discussions with individuals and prattle on about innocence and guilt, which means you have totally missed the entire point of social activism. What I do know is that you like to list your credentials and want a cookie for it while spouting and urging me and others to consider from articles the same old diatribes used to present social activism as being or potentially being dangerous, ineffective, unreasonable and vindictive.

    So if you don’t want people to respond to that standard rhetoric as your stated beliefs, try not using it. As for trying to paint me as an unreasonable harpy who is categorizing you unfairly for actually addressing the points you wanted me to look at: “jerkishness into a principle, circular firing squads, and whale cancers, the pervasive use of equivocation, and why it demands double-standards, and gratuitous cruelty to innocent people, and how it strengthens the very worst of the movement’s own enemies” — all of which is standard, repressionist crap meant to devalue social activism, shut them up, be controlling and keep discrimination in place while whining — you’re an amateur at it on this particular board. And it is again a standard rhetorical derail attempt. (Not as good as a libertarian dismount, but even more common.)

    If you want to have an honest discussion about why this stuff is idiocy, we can do that if Scalzi allows. (Although we’ve already done it before in other threads.) But the short bit is that it is no different from the rhetoric that Scalzi has ruined science fiction, although vastly less entertaining.

  81. Dear Christopher,

    Oh, really, you find it amusing that people think you’re just another reactionary trying to trash-talk progressivism using the neoconservative Tone Argument?

    You really don’t care if people get the entirely the wrong impression of you from your writings?

    Strange. It only leads us to discount what you have to say as being the usual reactionary drivel. Which makes you’re writing it rather a waste of your time.

    I’d have thought you’d not wanting to be spending your time so pointlessly.

    Not so by the way, a very good rule of thumb for any writer to remember is that if readers misunderstand what you have to say, it’s usually the writer’s fault, not the readers. Even when it’s not true in the specific, it’s the best place to start. That is, if you, as a writer, wish to get your point across.

    Now, there are some writers out there who are more interested in self-righteous defense than communication, but then they’re largely expending energy to no useful purpose, and I’m sure you are not among them.

    pax / Ctein

  82. @Kat Godwin: I’m going to start by addressing your earlier post in more depth, in order to make this more coherent:

    “As for your rhetoric, it’s the same rhetoric used for thousands of years to demonize any activists who are speaking out against institutionalized and systemic prejudice and discrimination in society, that the objectors are unreasonable and too loud and ask for too much, that they hate others, that they will do terrible things if discrimination is decreased, that their efforts are going to be for naught because of their horrendous attitudes, etc.”
    Oh gods, here we go, it’s fun-with-equivocation time again:

    – I don’t think your side is too loud in any abstract sense, I think that it is frequently guilty of screaming vitriol at people who don’t deserve it. When it comes to the people who do, scream away.

    – I think that your side “asks for too much” when they decide that liberty and equal treatment are not enough, that other people’s liberty must be trampled for the sake of your comfort. That’s hardly the same as claiming that a demand for full equal treatment is “too much,” which I presumably what you were trying to suggest that I was doing.

    – I think that some people on your side hate others because, among other things, a 13 year old boy documentedly received death threats for saying that humor is inherently transgressive, and that rape jokes can therefore be funny. Whatever one thinks of that position, it’s hard to regard the reaction it got as anything other than a manifestation of rabid hatred.

    – I don’t think that your side will do terrible things if discrimination is decreased; I think (some of) you will do terrible things if you’re allowed to define discrimination however you like, and to criminalize anything you so define.

    – A lot of you have horrendous attitudes that result in eminently counter-productive behavior. That this true fact resembles false assertions about other movements that have at times been made is beside the point.

    ”It’s used to encourage people to shut up about civil rights, to stop insisting that others examine their assumptions, speech and behavior, all of which even in the best of us contribute to institutionalized bigotry, and to keep people from advocating for greater equality and equal opportunity and law — something which actually benefits everybody.“
    I am all for people talking (and, when appropriate, even shouting) about civil rights, and encouraging others to examine their assumptions and behavior. I disagree with the Social Justice movement both about what constitutes civil rights and about how to defend them. And I will fight to the death against the idea that if I’ve examined my attitudes or behavior, and come to a conclusion that differs from the SJM consensus, that I am therefore automatically wrong, and probably acting in bad faith.

    ”That advice, your advice, has never helped any civil rights movement ever, whereas the people you find uncivil social justice warriors have, over and over again, and largely by yelling at people and calling them out, no matter how uncomfortable it may be (and how risky for them.)”
    For any version of “my advice” that remotely resembles my actual position, citation badly fucking needed. For the strawman version of my position that you’ve constructed in order to further your dividing of the world into three camps, even if you’re correct, who cares?

    Also, my objections to SJWs are not about their being “uncivil,” unless you expand that concept to include both verbally abusing and seeking to trample on the liberty of the innocent.

    ”You want to pretend that it’s just an issue of bad guys versus good guys and who gets called what”
    This is incredibly disingenuous, given that you’ve tacitly acknowledged that you recognize me from the discussion in which I highlighted the very real threat of sexual violence for a woman who goes around nude or “underclothed” in public as an important issue that manifests how blatantly fucked up society is.

    “claiming that the social justice advocates are tarring you bad guys when really you aren’t”
    Well, yes.

    “therefore meaning that they should live with discrimination for the rest of their lives or leave it up to you, which is to say live with discrimination for the rest of their lives.”
    Wow, it sure is getting smoky in here. Where on earth did I ever say that members of marginalized groups shouldn’t fight for their rights? By all means, they should — but not for “rights” that aren’t actually rights, nor by attacking those who aren’t actually enemies. They should fight for the right cause, fight against the right people, and fight like hell.

    ”Reality is far more complicated than that. [. . .] [through end]”
    This would all be much more relevant, if only I were against fighting against discrimination, or not involved in doing so myself. As it is, I’m starting to wonder what percentage of your daily discretionary spending goes to purchases of straw.

  83. @John Scalzi: From my point of view, I would imagine that that largely depends on whether my primary interlocutor is willing to accept that there are more than three basic categories of sociopolitical views, one of which is “evil” and another of which is “ignorant and/or stupid.” From hers, or yours? I couldn’t say.

    @Kat Goodwin (again, regarding her more recent comment to me):
    ”I don’t have a picture of you in my mind.”
    Your description of “my advice,” going well beyond (and in some places directly contradicting) what I actually said, certainly suggests that you do.

    “I don’t know you and nothing you’ve said hasn’t been said by a zillion folk spouting the same rhetoric, so is not particularly distinctive to creating a picture.”
    If you sand off any bits that differ from what those zillion folk say, and glue new bits on in their place, then yeah. Otherwise . . . not so much.

    ”What I do know is that you tried to scold me”
    Just as you have done to me. And?

    ”and linked to articles on the blog of a conservative idiot spewing the usual rhetoric.”
    The fellow in question views MRAs as just as bad as feminists; has written an “Anti-Reactionary FAQ” that asserts that the two basic trends of society over time are toward greater equality and a greater focus on allowing individuals to truly thrive, rather than merely cling to survial, and that that’s a good thing; and has written an eloquent defence of trigger warnings, and why they should be consistently used wherever possible, including on books. “A conservative idiot spewing the usual rhetoric,” he is not.

    But this does reinforce my previous theme: You fundamentally see the world as being divided up into three camps: Those who accept your movement’s basic doctrines, those who do not understand them and/or are ignorant of the evident facts about the world that they describe, and those who oppose everything you hold dear. The idea that someone could care about many (albeit obviously not all) of the same things as you do, understand your position, and still sincerely disagree seems to be utterly alien to you. And so a broadly liberal man of high intelligence becomes “a conservative idiot,” because you like any other box that is suitable to put him in.

    ”What I do know is what you put in your posts, where you went on about how I and some social activists hate people and some social activists will likely do harm, like the French terror,”
    My point in discussing Robespierre was not that I think you and your allies are ready to get out the tumbrels (although I do wonder about some of them, like those involved making the aforementioned death threats), but that having a worthy goal, at a broad level of abstraction, is not enough to be in the right, or someone whom others ought to ally themselves to. I choose Robespierre rather than a more familiar example like Stalin precisely because I view the former as much more sympathetic — as far as I can determine, he sincerely tried to do what he believed was necessary in order to achieve broadly commendable ends, without any thought to personal enrichment or other such venal ends. And yet he ended up being the chief architect of the first true totalitarian state.

    ”What I do know is that you don’t understand systemic discrimination and societal influence in discussions with individuals and prattle on about innocence and guilt, which means you have totally missed the entire point of social activism.”
    What you have missed is that I understand your points just fine; I simply disagree with them on a profound level.

    “What I do know is that you like to list your credentials and want a cookie for it”
    One of the recurring themes in my arguments with others, which I’m pretty sure I have at one point or another posted here, is that one should place no value whatsoever on the esteem of those who don’t respect one and whom one does not respect. Why should I “want a cookie,” in the sense of desiring your gratitude?

    What I desire from you is intellectual honesty. You have repeatedly stated things about me that are not true, and so I have cited bits of information about my life that demonstrate their evident falsehood. That is all.

    ”while spouting and urging me and others to consider from articles the same old diatribes used to present social activism as being or potentially being dangerous, ineffective, unreasonable and vindictive.”
    Not “social activism” as such, but the social activism associated with the SJM and adherents to its memeplex.

    ”As for trying to paint me as an unreasonable harpy who is categorizing you unfairly for actually addressing the points you wanted me to look at”
    Except that you haven’t.

    What are your thoughts on Arthur Chu’s support for lies and tolerance of fundamentally unpleasant people, as long as they serve one’s ends, and Scott Alexander’s counterargument?

    What about equivocation on words like “privilege,” “racism,” or (my personal favorite) “objectification?”

    How about this idea: Lumping anyone who dares (in pain over not having a fairly basic psychological need met) to suggest that there is something unfair about their doing worse, romantically, than people who are far worse human beings than they are — into the category of “Nice Guys,” and suggesting that they all believe that women are basically sexual vending machines — is not only profoundly unfair and cruel, but also counterproductive, since it encourages those who are thus labeled to go looking elsewhere for solace, and often to find it in the ugliest parts of the MRM?

    You haven’t actually addressed any of those points, you’ve just dumped the shorthand labels I slapped on the articles containing those points into the most convenient “enemy” box you had to hand.

    “If you want to have an honest discussion about why this stuff is idiocy, we can do that if Scalzi allows.”
    And here we are again. We can’t have “an honest discussion on the merits of our respective positions” because those are already known a priori, simply from the fact that my position disagrees with yours. We can’t even have “an honest discussion of the subtle points that [I am] missing,” because it is impossible, a priori, for subtle errors to lead anyone to disagree with you. Instead we must have a discussion of why my views are “idiocy,” because that’s the more charitable of the only two boxes you have for ideas that do not accord with your own.

    “But the short bit is that it is no different from the rhetoric that Scalzi has ruined science fiction, although vastly less entertaining.”
    Really? The assertion that John Scalzi, by writing the sort of fiction he wants to write, has somehow managed to destroy all that is good about an entire genre is no different from the claim that a movement that explicitly aims to change society at a fundamental level has a flawed set of principles and goals, and therefore cannot succeed without making (fundamental) changes that are very bad indeed?

  84. @John Scalzi: I should add that I am (at least in principle) willing to make some concessions of my own in terms of style or topics examined, if that will allow this conversation to be productive where it otherwise wouldn’t. I’m not going to dishonestly yield a point where I believe myself to be right, but I can agree to set it aside as a topic of debate for the time being. But I’d need to know what was required, and I’d need the other people involved to be willing to treat me neither as a crypto-conservative nor as an idiot.

  85. I’m wondering if this current conversation is going to go anywhere productive.

    No.

    Probably due to individual effort.

  86. Dear Christopher,

    If you want to set it aside, other people will not continue to rag on you.. or if they do, our ‘Steamed Malleter will remind them, more or less gently as needed, that you have agreed to disengage and they must honor that.

    If you want to try to pursue this, I cannot see it going anywhere you’ll be happy with. But, not my problem; it’s your call.

    pax / Ctein

  87. @John Scalzi: From my point of view, I would imagine that that largely depends on whether my primary interlocutor is willing to …

    I think he means he’s wondering whether to ask you to knock it on the head.

  88. Christopher H:

    I should clarify: That was me saying that I don’t think this particular conversation was going anywhere useful and that it should be wrapped up, phrased in such a way that it would look like everyone picked up the hint rather than me having to tell them directly to do it.

  89. If LARPing has taught me one thing, it’s that glitter is pervasive. (One of my friends plays a light elf who uses glittery skin lotion as part of her costume. And then she hugs people. It’s amazing.) I’m lucky in that I like it and don’t actually give a damn what people at work think.

    Spirit gum, OTOH, is just as hard to get out and worse because it’s actually uncomfortable.

    What is best in life? To coat your enemies in glitter, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their lonelyboners.

  90. Glitter has many uses, but I have experienced one I had never counted on.

    We were back home visiting an elderly couple. He had been the department head at my college during my undergraduate years and I was back from grad school to catch up on old times. To celebrate our visit, his wife had made cookies. She was a lovely lady, but was slightly near-sighted and extremely absent minded. She had failed to notice the difference between the bottle labeled “sprinkles” and the bottle labeled “glitter”. Yup, the sugar cookies were covered in glitter. To be polite, my wife and I ate the cookies while we were visiting. We were both a-twitter hours later as the glitter made its passage through the GI tract.

    For one mercifully brief moment in time, sparkley poo was what was found in the loo.

  91. Curious exchange over the propriety of “social justice war,” since in my experience SJW is never a self-description but always a dismissive accusation applied to people who point out (and preferably silence) people who are pointing out clear injustices.

    So, no, I don’t self-describe as a “social justice warrior,” but won’t shut up when, for instance, rape is dismissed in any of the countless ways invented over the ages.

    And, on a lighter note: we replaced all of the flooring and all of the plaster. We might have gotten rid of the glitter, but I’m not counting on it.

  92. dismissive accusation applied to people who point out (and preferably silence) people who are pointing out clear injustices.

    Grrrr. Should be:

    dismissive accusation applied to (and preferably silence) people who are pointing out clear injustices.

  93. Thass still not right, yer trying to use “to” as both a preposition and part of an infinitive. I’ve seen “social justice work” as a self-description of what people do. “Warrior” is clearly mockery, SJW is just a fairly recent variation on “PC” AFAICT.

  94. Yeah, still not what I’d have written if I’d been concentrating but at least it doesn’t invert the sense.

  95. Desperately trying to maintain macho credibility: That’s not glitter! It’s an experimental chaff countermeasure system for millimetric-wave radar!

  96. @ajay: See, now I’m just going to produce a bunch of books/games where glitter is an essential part of all major weapons systems, or required in magical rituals, or similar.

    Like how theoretically you can use a ring of salt to keep demons away except sparklier.

    I invoked the magical law of contiguity to justify a dude being shirtless; I will totally do this.

  97. Clearly I have little to add to the discussion but:

    GET UP AND SHAKE THE GLITTER OFF YOUR CLOTHES NOW
    THAT’S WHAT YOU GET FOR WAKING UP IN VEGAS!

  98. See, now I’m just going to produce a bunch of books/games where glitter is an essential part of all major weapons systems, or required in magical rituals, or similar. Like how theoretically you can use a ring of salt to keep demons away except sparklier.

    Well, you could presumably make glitter out of silver foil. And silver’s magical.

    And, er, let’s see, vampires have OCD according to some myths – you can repel them by chucking rice on the floor because then they have to stop and count all the grains. (Hey! Is that why we throw rice at weddings? To stop any lurking vampires getting too close to the bride’s decolletage?) So you could do the same thing with glitter, I suppose.

    And glitter is really just lots of tiny mirrors. So if you blast a lot of glitter into the air (from your 51mm glitter mortar) it could work as an anti-medusa/basilisk device, or anything else with a gaze attack.

  99. @All (a bit belatedly, because losing the ability to fight things out tends to reduce my motivation to keep posting): As this is John Scalzi’s blog, I will accept his order to wrap this up. I will note, for the record, that communication-by-implication is a poor means of interacting with people on or near the autism spectrum, for multiple reasons.

    I’m going to leave this link here, as it’s not about the merits or evils of Social Justice, but is rather relevant to the dynamics that have cropped up in this discussion: http://slatestarcodex.com/2014/09/30/i-can-tolerate-anything-except-the-outgroup/

    @ctein: Just in the interests of clarity, let me state that my offer was not that I would put the “is SJ good or evil” debate aside, but that I would put specific subtopics (e.g. “do SJWs actually love their fellow men?”) aside if that would make the broader debate go more smoothly. But, as it turns out, this is all a moot point, at least for this comments thread.

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