Five Things, 1/25/21
I’m back on my novel-writing thing now, but for you — just for you! — I took a quick look at the news and world to see if I had thoughts on any of it. Here’s what I’ve got for today:
Rob Portman retiring from Senate: He’s Ohio’s Republican senator, and he says he’s retiring because things have become “too partisan,” which I think is his polite midwestern way of saying “The GOP has become entirely batshit and I don’t want its traitorous stink on me any longer than it has to be.” I’ll be curious to see who in the Ohio GOP steps up to take his spot, and whether it will be someone like Jim Jordan (shudder) or someone somewhat more moderate. Given the current state of the GOP, I suspect it might be more toward the former than the latter. I also suspect that if someone like my own district’s Warren Davidson gave it a shot, he might do reasonably well. I’m not happy with Davidson at the moment — he’s part of the brigade that voted against certifying the election — but I’m not exactly his ideal voter anyway. On the Democratic side of things, I have no idea who they’ll run, but whoever it is will have a reasonably good shot; note Ohio’s other senator, Sherrod Brown, is a Democrat. Should be exciting, to the extent that Ohio politics is ever exciting.
Harry Potter, the TV series (maybe): A very preliminary report in The Hollywood Reporter suggests something is afoot at HBO Max. This strikes me as not entirely unlikely, given the enduring appeal of the series, even in the face of JK Rowling’s divisive public statements regarding transgender issues (disclosure: I know JK Rowling a bit, and it’s safe to say she and I don’t see eye-to-eye on these matters). I don’t have any inside or personal knowledge of any plans or negotiations with regard to a HP series, or anything else regarding the Wizarding World, and I’m not saying that what I’m about to suggest is likely to happen, but I would be surprised if Warner Bros/AT&T hasn’t offered Rowling a huge friggin’ pot of money — like, billions — to buy up all the IP of, and rights to, the Wizarding World, similar to how Disney bought LucasFilm from George Lucas. The franchise is that important to Warner Bros, and buying it lock, stock and barrel would get the franchise out from under any controversy regarding Rowling’s opinions. I don’t think Rowling has an interest in that (she certainly doesn’t need the money), but, again, I would be surprised if the offer wasn’t at least in the air out there.
Biden repeals Trump transgender military ban: Speaking of transgender issues, Biden tossed out Trump’s bigoted and awful executive order barring transgender folks from serving openly in the US Armed Forces. And, obviously, good on him for doing so, because a) it was bigoted and awful, b) it stole rights from our citizens, c) it made us less safe in a military sense, not more so. I do realize some folks are upset and/or scandalized about transgender folks once again being able to serve openly in our armed forces, but, you know what, fuck ’em. Being in the military is hard enough without being able to be fully one’s self. Biden continues to make me reasonably pleased with his policy decisions. Sure, it’s less than a week in, but so far, so good. Oh, and:
Majority of Americans approve of Trump impeachment and conviction: Which makes sense because Trump was an awful human who fomented an insurrection against our nation’s government, and more news comes out daily about how all the shocking things he tried to do in order to illegally stay in office. That said, I’m not betting the Senate actually convicts him, because the senate Republicans are cowards and even now you still have someone of them who can’t admit that Biden fairly won the election. Prove me wrong, senate Republicans! I know you won’t, but I’d be thrilled if you did.
State of the Scalzi: As noted last week, my plan is to get back into the fiction writing groove starting today, and while it’s waaaay too early to say anything about it, I will say that so far I’m feeling good, and somewhat more focused than I was. Again, part of that is not feeling like there’s a possibility that the world will fly apart if I take my eye off of it — honestly, it’s amazing what a decent, sane president in a decent, sane administration can do, even in the space of a few days — but a lot of it is some psychic impatience at not having the work done already, inasmuch as I’m already so late with it. My brain wants to get going on it, which is… nice!
And that’s five things for today.