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Monday, August 20, 2012

John Scalzi still justifying sexism

And droidism. And racism. And homophobia.
In my piece on how not to be a creeper, I made a point that today I’d like to expand on just a little; I’ll explain why in a bit. Here’s the point:

2. Acknowledge that you don’t get to define other people’s comfort level with you. Which is to say that you may be trying your hardest to be interesting and engaging and fun to be around — and still come off as a creeper to someone else. Yes, that sucks for you. But you know what? It sucks for them even harder, because you’re creeping them out and making them profoundly unhappy and uncomfortable. It may not seem fair that “creep” is their assessment of you, but: Surprise! It doesn’t matter, and if you try to argue with them (or anyone else) that you’re in fact not being a creep and the problem is with them not you, then you go from “creep” to “complete assbag.” Sometimes people aren’t going to like you or want to be near you. It’s just the way it is.

This apparently has struck some to be dreadfully unfair, with the implication being that other people responding to folks (usually men) as creepers when in fact they’re trying to make an effort to be charming and witty and fun (or whatever) is some sort of special case in the interaction of human beings, and that such mismatches between intent and reception hardly ever happen in other situations.

To which my response is: you have got to be kidding me. Outside of the realm of possible potential creepiness, you don’t get to choose how other people respond to you, either. In any context. Indeed, regardless of your efforts to present yourself in a certain way, it is almost certain you will come across to some other people as not that way at all, and possibly the opposite of that way entirely.
On the one hand, Scalzi is absolutely right. We don't get to choose how others feel about us or respond to us. John, for example, responds poorly to both this blog and its readers, referring to them collectively as "a feculent miasma of male self-regard". That's absolutely fine, it is simply his opinion, just as the idea that a woman who teaches Lesbianism in Hindu Film is convincing evidence that women are every bit as interested in the hard sciences as men is also his opinion.

You may understand if I tend to consider his opinion to be less than entirely dispositive.

So why am I objecting to what Scalzi is saying if I agree with it? Because he doesn't actually mean it. Not only that, he doesn't even realize that he doesn't mean it. He is dimly aware that something is wrong, which is why he is attempting to "expand a little" on his previous point, but he still doesn't grasp what it is. He's appealing to a right in which he does not actually believe.

What Scalzi inadvertently did in his point two was to defend the right of free association. Which would be fine, only we know from Scalzi's smug soft leftism that he supports absolutely nothing of the sort. Whereas he is absolutely fine with telling those condemned as "creeps" that they simply have to live with their rejection by others, I strongly suspect he is absolutely opposed to telling those condemned as "sluts" or "faggots" or "towelheads" or other behavior-based labels to do the same, much less those whose labels are purely identity-based.

And this is the point that he has resolutely evaded with his irrelevant forays into "false equivalence" and "unfairness", even though his mention of droids indicates that he must have at least a vague idea of what he has done. Despite the fact that he has presented an argument that justifies all sorts of sexism, racism, and droidism, I don't believe John Scalzi is actually sexist, racist, or anti-droid, he is merely a glib and inconsistent hypocrite who is willing to use an argument when it happens to suit him, then abandon it when it doesn't. Now, I readily admit that it is possible I am wrong and Scalzi does support the right of those made uncomfortable by the presence of blacks, women, gays, or anyone else to expect those who make them uncomfortable to go away and leave them in peace, in which case I will of course retract the accusation of hypocrisy and inconsistency. I invite Mr. Scalzi to clarify his actual position on the subject.

As for the actual subject of "creepiness", the problem is that as a gamma male, Scalzi simply doesn't understand women or the socio-sexual hierarchy well enough to even understand what it is. As this aspect of the discussion is predominantly Game-related, I address it on Alpha Game.

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68 Comments:

Anonymous Noah B. August 20, 2012 10:13 AM  

Scalzi is clearly arguing in favor of a double standard for evaluating people's choices regarding free association, though he is too cowardly to explicitly state that.

Blogger vandelay August 20, 2012 10:25 AM  

At what point did the cordial relationship between you and Scalzi turn acrimonious? I remember him hosting you and TIA for a Big Idea post and even defending your right to free speech from his frothing commenters. The way he runs things over there now I couldn't conceive of that happening again, with anyone he disagrees with.

Anonymous kh123 August 20, 2012 10:25 AM  

No shirt, no shoes, no service.

Is a business free to choose any other criteria, John?

Blogger Crude August 20, 2012 10:29 AM  

Now, I readily admit that it is possible I am wrong and Scalzi does support the right of those made uncomfortable by the presence of blacks, women, gays, or anyone else to expect those who make them uncomfortable to go away and leave them in peace, in which case I will of course retract the accusation of hypocrisy and inconsistency. I invite Mr. Scalzi to clarify his actual position on the subject.

Yeah, I look forward to the response from Scalzi, what with his "if people dislike you they don't have to put up with you, piss off" attitude previously. I have no trouble with the "you're a creeper and we don't want you here" attitude if, in exchange, he defends the right for people to say "you're a bitch, get lost" or similar.

Anonymous Daniel August 20, 2012 10:36 AM  

Scalzi logic is never logical, because his lens is always his mom or his wife or his daughter, but it is often genuinely funny. I view guys like that as handicapped and simply applaud his efforts to engage in society despite the obvious crippling effects of constantly looking externally to the wrong gender (or degendered male friends) for identity. But mama miasma! Sometimes you've just got to laugh, even if it is the special olympics and the runner didn't intend to run the wrong way around the track.

Blogger A.B. Dada August 20, 2012 10:38 AM  

I loved Old Man's War and bought all his books after.

Now I see him as a White Knight schlub and I detest his opinions, so I stopped.

It's isn't a boycott, I just can't read his books without his life intruding. One reason I prefer actors like Christian Bale (secret real life) over Tom Cruise...

If you're a public personality, do it anonymously under a nom de plume.

Anonymous VD August 20, 2012 10:38 AM  

At what point did the cordial relationship between you and Scalzi turn acrimonious?

I wouldn't call it acrimonious, although it would appear to be less cordial than before. He doesn't seem to like me commenting on his blog, which is not a problem, as I can simply make them here.

Anonymous Beau August 20, 2012 10:44 AM  

Long live the feculent miasma of male self-regard! (Or more simply put, where men are men and women love it.)

Anonymous Heh August 20, 2012 10:49 AM  

Those creepers should have their own separate but equal creepers convention! And perhaps we could expand this concept to include other separate but equal public facilities for creepers, such as hotels, shopping centers, and restaurants. Women would certainly prefer creepers to have their own bars!

<- Alphas
-> Creepers and complete assbags

Anonymous GHS August 20, 2012 10:50 AM  

That's droidiss.

Anonymous VD August 20, 2012 10:51 AM  

I loved Old Man's War and bought all his books after.

I liked the first one. I didn't like those that followed. My suspicion, based on his last two books, is that he's become something of a gimmick writer. I don't think his ideas are deep enough to support novels at his level of style and character, which is why his move into TV writing might not be a bad idea.

Anonymous Faust August 20, 2012 10:54 AM  

Where does this "Lesbianism in Hindu Film" thing come from?

I googled and all the hits seem to lead back to this blog.

Anonymous Heh August 20, 2012 10:54 AM  

One look at his blog was enough to make me boycott his books on general principles.

Anonymous RedJack August 20, 2012 10:56 AM  

Seems like he is going against those who read his own blog.

A "white knight" indeed.

Anonymous VD August 20, 2012 11:00 AM  

Where does this "Lesbianism in Hindu Film" thing come from?

When we first "met", it was in the course of an argument about women writing hard SF. He cited a female professor with a BS in astrophysics counter my point about women generally not being able to hack the hard sciences due to their lack of interest in it. So I looked up what this paragon of female science was teaching, and it turned out she was teaching a single course in the Women's Studies department entitled "Lesbianism in Indian Film".

It was awesome.

Anonymous Faust August 20, 2012 11:01 AM  



.... oh.
Wow.

Blogger James Dixon August 20, 2012 11:04 AM  

> Those creepers should have their own separate but equal creepers convention!

They did. And women insisted on intruding into it, even though they can't stand the people involved.

Blogger vandelay August 20, 2012 11:10 AM  

So I looked up what this paragon of female science was teaching, and it turned out she was teaching a single course in the Women's Studies department entitled "Lesbianism in Indian Film".

As if a single example would have proved his point anyways. You’d think a science fiction writer would be more inclined towards scientific thinking.

Anonymous Daniel August 20, 2012 11:10 AM  

Like a lot of gammas, Scalzi's so bad at the hierarchy that even when he gains dominance among gammas (fanboys, SFWA Presidency, friends with Star Trek celebrities and nerd rock musicians), he can't lead or manage conflict. He becomes ubergamma - and mistakes a "liberal use of the banhammer" and uninformed snark for power.

It's the sort of power modeled by the United Federation of Planets. I guess it would be too much to expect these guys to model their social behavior off of Pierre Boulle instead of Gene Roddenberry. The failure in the hierarchy would be no smaller, but the greater honesty alone would be refreshing.

Anonymous VD August 20, 2012 11:20 AM  

Like a lot of gammas, Scalzi's so bad at the hierarchy that even when he gains dominance among gammas (fanboys, SFWA Presidency, friends with Star Trek celebrities and nerd rock musicians), he can't lead or manage conflict.

I put it down to the feminine aspect of gamma. John handles conflict in much the same way that most women do. Shut down and silence dissent if you can, evade and avoid it if you can't. This is in line with my observation at AG about his upbringing. Being raised by a woman and unathletic, he simply never knew any other way.

I suspect that if he were to write a 50 Shades-style book instead of his geek gimmickry, it would be phenomenally successful. He doesn't understand women the way a male predator does, but he has a much better grasp on how and what women feel than most men do.

Anonymous Daniel August 20, 2012 11:20 AM  

Vox
My suspicion, based on his last two books, is that he's become something of a gimmick writer. I don't think his ideas are deep enough to support novels at his level of style and character, which is why his move into TV writing might not be a bad idea.

Zoe's Tale is very strong evidence in your favor. Overtly rebooting H. Beam Piper was the clincher for me. I don't know, however, if it is the depth of his ideas as much as the accuracy of them. He's simply out of touch with the way the world works, so all the worlds he creates are (at best) riffs off the creations of others or (at worst) really unbelievable regurgitation. Zoe's Tale was the latter, Fuzzy Nation was the former.

If he'd put down his worldview, who knows? But you could say the same thing about the Fabians. There's no separating the kit from the kaboodle, I suppose.

Blogger Bruce Lewis August 20, 2012 11:47 AM  

It's SF Disease: materialism + perceived "open mind" = nihilism. It is mainstream science fiction today.

Don't believe me? Check out the SF books at the local store. You will find them to be badly-plotted, expository, self-consciously "hip", and tiresomely "deep". Their authors, not one of which has read any actual philosophy, serve each reader a heaping platter of warmed-over, undegrad-seminar-level pomo philosophzin', seasoned with All the Right Words to assure the reader that the author is sensitive, feminist, and color-blind.

And of course you'll also find lots of chick novels (written by women of both sexes) about tough, empowered sisters in elf clothes / spandex spacesuits proving they are just as good as any man. Jes' keepin' it real, G!

SF used to be the literature of the future, of hope. In today's SF, there future is nothing. It literally does not exist. Instead of jut-jawed, steely-eyed missilemen opening the space frontier to humanity, modern SF offers us a future of black lesbian transsexual computer progammers perfecting the technology of "brain uploading" so that all persynkind can (after editing out all negative qualities) live forever as gods in virtual reality Heaven.

That's right -- the best future that materialist, nihilist SF can offer us today is human extinction, an eternity spent as a few lines of code being executed by a goddamned machine.

To which I say "no thanks". If extinction is our future, give me a good, honest nuclear war any day. And f--k the Singularity.

And as for hope? SF once gave us visions of people and nations among the endless stars, a future where civilization spans the galaxy. Today, the "hopeful" future consists of "surviving the poisonous legacy of the Bush Years" long enough for godlike Artificial Intelligences (feminine, of course) to come on line, after which we will be mercifully killed (see "uploading", above). This done well, the solar system can then be taken to pieces and reassembled into ever-more-godlike Artificial Intelligences, sic ad infinitum, to what ultimate end is never specified.

If that's our best hope, the only course a sane man can take is to bite down on the old twelve-gauge today.

Modern mainstream SF is unreadable by any sane adult man. Imagine a book about the future as envisioned by a teenage, Negro Karl Marx in drag and you have an accurate picture of the majority of today's science fiction bestsellers.

My policy: with a few exceptions:

1. Do not read SF written by women

2. Avoid all bestsellers ( = guaranteed to stink), those of our host excepted, and

3. Never read any science fiction published after 1968 (again, excepting those written by our host).
.

Science Fiction is dead. Just as the Sex Pistols were the last Rock and Roll band, after which came nothing but pastiche, John Brunner was the last Science Fiction author, after whom came only glorified fan-fiction writers. Let Stand On Zanzibar be SF's epitaph.

(And as for Mundane SF: I liked Grim Quotidian Hopelessness a lot more forty years ago, when the late Tom Disch was writing it.)

As for Scalzi: when you've got nothing better to write than thinly-disguised Star Trek fanfic, do you really have the right to call yourself a pro?

Blogger Spacebunny August 20, 2012 11:49 AM  

Long live the feculent miasma of male self-regard! (Or more simply put, where men are men and women love it.)

Amen.

Anonymous WaterBoy August 20, 2012 12:03 PM  

Hmmm, it seems I spoke too soon the other day: so much for free association for men at Augusta National Golf Club.

I now await Arnold Schwarzenegger being awarded the first men's membership to Spa Lady.

Blogger IM2L844 August 20, 2012 12:08 PM  

To give one of many examples of the latter, if you ever hear a man use the word "squee" and he is not quoting a woman, you can be certain that you are dealing with a gamma of the second persuasion. Even if he claims to be using it in irony.

Not to be confused with "squeet" which is a southern/midwestern colloquialism for "let's go eat".

Anonymous A Visitor August 20, 2012 12:13 PM  

I'll admit I've read no science fiction. I'll take Bruce Lewis' comment to heart.

"That's right -- the best future that materialist, nihilist SF can offer us today is human extinction, an eternity spent as a few lines of code being executed by a goddamned machine.

To which I say "no thanks". If extinction is our future, give me a good, honest nuclear war any day. And f--k the Singularity."


I do enjoy gaming, though I've gotten out of it. I recently beat Mass Effect 3 after having beaten ME1 and ME2. I thought the trilogy, as a whole, was written very well. Although the human extinction bit really comes through in ME3, it was still very well written in my opinion.

I personally enjoyed using singularities, biotics kick ass. As for nuclear war, my semester long course on nuclear warfighting (which thankfully is pure theory, save two instances in August of 1945) scared me straight. Now, I must ask, why isn't Washington focusing more on our counterforce fighting vis-a-vis the Chinese?

Anonymous Daniel August 20, 2012 12:13 PM  

Bruce Lewis
SF used to be the literature of the future, of hope.

Agree with the former, disagree with the latter entirely. The Fabians dreamed of an enslaving utopia - eugenics, erosion of nuclear families, a perfectly hopeless ideal where the individual mattered so much as to become the social norm.

A.E. Van Vogt, L. Ron Hubbard, Asimov, Joseph Campbell, and the majority of "masters" were certainly "hopeful" about the future, but it was a vision that wasn't terribly pleasant for the rest of us...

I have a hard time thinking Reamde or the Diamond Age or Space Magic or Embassytown should be rejected on the basis of being written after 1968 when such hopeless, nihilistic classics as Childhood's End, The Maker of the Universes, To the Stars or what-have-you are classic examples from the Golden and Silver Age. Sci-Fi isn't dead.

Like Cthulhu, it's only dreaming.

Blogger Robert S. Oculus III August 20, 2012 12:14 PM  

"There is no world of tomorrow because there is no tomorrow. A decaying culture has no future. Only a stasis that is easily ruptured by internal and external enemies. To have a future we must have a culture again and to have that we must rebuild an identity by meeting challenges. We can discover who we are through what we can do. It is not futurism that makes futures, but a people striving to make something because they believe that the future is worth making.

The great progressive project of the future is a rotting stench that blows across the Atlantic. It is a formless dream that died. It is a future without a future. It is a million conferences and a billion regulations. It is a world where everything is known, where each atom is weighed and every man is found wanting. It is a closed room and a white bed on which to lay down and die on while the machines count off the seconds.

If we are to have a tomorrow it will not come from those places..."

-- Daniel Greenfield, "The World of Tomorrow", Sultan Knish, 18 August 2012

Anonymous physphilmusic August 20, 2012 12:19 PM  

I note that the only element in my original deleted comment which had even the remotest possibly to be interpreted as trolling or being a "jackhole" was the single use of the word "dumb slut-creep", which I deliberately did because I was trying to situate my point in relation to Vox's earlier use of term "dumb slut", not really because I was trying to vent my anger against anyone, much less be a "jackass". How that led to this...

No, you used a term that you saw VD use to make a rather poor comparison and thought it was open season to be a sexist jackass on my site, using his use as cover for your own purile obnoxiousness.

...I simply do not understand. But I guess my attempts to be logical and calm are coming off as creepy to Scalzi, so that's just too bad...

Anonymous Daniel August 20, 2012 12:19 PM  

"So this, thought Jan, with a resignation that lay beyond all sadness, was the end of man. It was an end that no prophet had foreseen – an end that repudiated optimism and pessimism alike.

Yet it was fitting: it had the sublime inevitability of a great work of art. Jan had glimpsed the universe in all its immensity, and knew now that it was no place for man. He realized at last how vain, in the ultimate analysis, had been the dream that lured him to the stars.

For the road to the stars was a road that forked in two directions, and neither led to a goal that took any account of human hopes or fears."

-- Arthur C. Clarke, Childhood's End, 1953

Anonymous Heh August 20, 2012 12:29 PM  

"a feculent miasma of male self-regard"

Maybe that oughta be the new tagline of this blog.

Or at least, of Alpha Game.

Blogger john August 20, 2012 12:32 PM  

OT: Any thoughts on Augusta allowing rich women now? ESPN boards are lighting up, but you can't have a reasonable discussion with any of them without being called a misogynistic imbecile. I posted some links anyway.

Blogger Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus August 20, 2012 12:32 PM  

> Those creepers should have their own separate but equal creepers convention!

They did. And women insisted on intruding into it, even though they can't stand the people involved.


So...doesn't that sort of make the *women* the creepers, instead?

Anonymous Josh August 20, 2012 12:40 PM  

So, given the Augusta news, does this mean I get to attend a women only naked yoga class?

Blogger James Dixon August 20, 2012 12:44 PM  

> Yet it was fitting: it had the sublime inevitability of a great work of art. Jan had glimpsed the universe in all its immensity, and knew now that it was no place for man. He realized at last how vain, in the ultimate analysis, had been the dream that lured him to the stars. ... For the road to the stars was a road that forked in two directions, and neither led to a goal that took any account of human hopes or fears."

To which the only reasonable reply is the ones the people of Krikkit gave: "It'll have to go."

Blogger James Dixon August 20, 2012 12:50 PM  

> So...doesn't that sort of make the *women* the creepers, instead?

To ask the question is to answer it.

Blogger Lovekraft August 20, 2012 1:05 PM  

If de womynz can have their own fitness clubs, then men should have the same right.

When did the U.S. turn into France?

Anonymous WaterBoy August 20, 2012 1:12 PM  

Lovekraft: "If de womynz can have their own fitness clubs, then men should have the same right."

They do have the same constitutional right. It's society trying to negate it that's the problem.

Anonymous Jim C. August 20, 2012 1:55 PM  

@Bruce Lewis

It's SF Disease: materialism + perceived "open mind" = nihilism. It is mainstream science fiction today...

If I could favorite this post, I would.

Modern SciFi is nothing but the stale, insular and ideologically masturbatory fantasies of people who don't dare to think beyond their own sensibilities. It's the antithesis of everything that Science Fiction should be.

Pretty much the same thing has happened with Fantasy, by the way.

Anonymous RedJack August 20, 2012 1:59 PM  

Some of the indie sci fi is good. But I have found that I read more and more of the old stuff on the Kindle. It is good, it is cheap, and it is free of the self regulated PC tripe that is so common today.

Getting back to the topic, John S. is a great exhibit of why SciFi sucks today. He is more concerned about hurting the feelings of some random non fans than actually using his art to advance ideas.

If the women don't want to be around creepers, don't go where they are. To paraphrase Dresden, if you don't want to be eaten, don't act like food!

Anonymous so simple August 20, 2012 2:09 PM  

Women feel bad about men's behavior, men must change.
Men feel bad about women's behavior, men must change.

Anonymous Jack Amok August 20, 2012 2:52 PM  

You’d think a science fiction writer would be more inclined towards scientific thinking.

Why would you think that? None of the ficion writers in the AGW world seem all that inclined towards scientific thinking. Sorry, couldn't help it.

As far as Scalzi being "willing to use an argument when it happens to suit him, then abandon it when it doesn't", that's just par for the course in leftist circles. Liberalism is just Hamster Politics, rationalizing what you want and emphaisizing emotions and pointless drama.

Blogger GAHCindy August 20, 2012 3:11 PM  

"a feculent miasma of male self-regard"

Ha! I like that. It's sorta true. It's why I lurk here. Maybe you're a bunch of preening males (When you're being that way, I mean. You're not always like that.), but at least you're not a bunch of female-fearing weenies, which is much less interesting. Not very attractive, either.

Anonymous obijuan August 20, 2012 3:40 PM  

I didn't catch the comment stream on this original discussion, but it seems to me that it may be relevant where in the country these women are coming from. A friend (who is moving to Texas) and I recently had a discussion about how cold New England is relative to other parts of the country. I'm actually from New England, my friend is from Ireland. It occurs to me that women around this parts are particularly cold relative to women I've met elsewhere, and at least one of these instances of "creepy men" involved a scifi book something in Massachusetts. Maybe it's just a local thing?

Blogger Robert S. Oculus III August 20, 2012 3:41 PM  

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS OF MODERN SCIENCE FICTION

1. The starship crew (etc.) always has to be a team of multi-racial, multi-ethnic m_n and WyMyN. If the captain is black and female, so much the better. If one or more of the characters is LGBTQILS/MFT, please proceed directly to Worldcon to pick up your Hugo.

2. The Bad Guys are white (or the alien equivalent of white); they speak either in MECHANICAL ROBOT TONES or in posh, slightly fag British/German accents. Bad Guys must NEVER in any circumstances resemble non-whites.

3. Aliens who resemble nonwhites must either be Freedom Fighters or proud, helpless victims of white aliens. If any are LGBTQIOMGWTFBBQ, see "Hugo" above.

4. A 90-pound girl space pilot can outfly, outdrink, and outfight a 250-pound SEAL. Because, you know, it's IN SPACE.

5. "The Mayilkrischen Empire has declared war on the Democratic Socialist Republic of Terra! What do you think Secretary-General Mustapha-!Mblele-Hernandez-Chang will do in response?"

6. The heroine is always "just over forty kilos of lean, hard muscle" who nevertheless has gorgeous long hair and "a stripper-like body that had won the past dozen Miss Solar System pageants in a row" before she went into the cosmo navy (and after getting her double Ph.D in Vulcan Internal Medicine and Warp Field Theory). Protagonists should never be short, dumpy, gin-glagging, cropped-haired, man-hating women, as these traits describe many SF authors too closely.

7. "As Fiorella Hwang McDougal al-Husseyn lay her head into the uploading cradle, a terrible fear came over her. 'What if the brain really isn't a consciousness generator?' she thought. 'What if it's a consciousness receiver? That would imply an external and immaterial soul, which would mean that I am more than just software code running in a computer made of electric meat called a "brain", which would in turn imply that uploading doesn't really work, and that I won't be conscious inside the Dataworld, and that the minute they click on that button right there I will be permanently and irretrievably de--'

The techinician clicked the switch. 'Upload in progress'".

8. Suspension of belief = being able to imagine a world with working sorcery; flying telepathic telporting dragons; interstellar wormholes; successful socialist/anarchist economics; 90-pound female space pilots who can punch out SEALS; people who can shoot force blasts from their eyes; ESP; terraformed planets; computers of godlike intellectual and technological omniscience [COGITO]; fast, efficient, safe public transportation; flying cars; sexy robots that look like teenage girls; and reproductive sex with non-human aliens.

Suspension of belief =/= being able to imagine a world with God.

COROLLARY: If God appears in your SF work, He must be either a) an evil alien, b) an evil computer, c) an evil "energy being", or d) dead.

9. "The discovery of the Cosmic Crystal had one beneficial effect: it forever scientifically disproved the existence of God. In the Golden Age that followed..."

10. The heat death of the Universe makes everything human have done, are doing, and will ever do pointless. Write about them anyway.

Blogger Lovekraft August 20, 2012 3:47 PM  

GAH Cindy: "It's why I lurk here."


The type of person who, seeing her building on fire, goes and gets some marshmallows.

Anonymous Move Zig August 20, 2012 4:24 PM  

I love the Spartacus series but it too, is riddled with ridiculous PC notions. Spartacus's new girl friend is petite yet can kick serious ass...has already saved several rebel gladiators from certain death.
But moreover, the homosexual relations go without mention by other gladiators. I find it difficult to believe that slave gladiators of the first century BC would be so tolerant. Maybe I'm wrong.
Anyways, FWIW... I still enjoyed the series.

Anonymous stevev August 20, 2012 5:45 PM  

so simple: Even put as sublimely as you have, Scalzi would still refuse to see it.
I aim for such linguistic succision, but never obtain it.

Anonymous Heh August 20, 2012 5:58 PM  

"The discovery of the Cosmic Crystal had one beneficial effect: it forever scientifically disproved the existence of God. In the Golden Age that followed..."

I can't remember which novel, but I am pretty sure at least one of the Harry Harrison's stories contains the throwaway line that somehow science had conclusively disproven the existence of God. (I can't even remember how this was relevant to the plot, if it was.)

Poor old Harry knows the truth of that now. =)

Blogger Bruce Lewis August 20, 2012 6:57 PM  

Arthur C. Clarke conclusively disproved God (in the sense of the supernatural Supreme Being) in one of his stories, too. He had no problem with the "super-evolved aliens as God" trope, though. That dodge lets the SF writer have his theological sense-of-wonder without, you know, having to believe in anything greater than himself or herself.

It must be a lonely road, believing that the universe is a meaningless accident... as is proven by (soaring chord) SCIENCE! (reverb)

Materialism is such a joke. "If ah cain't poke it with a stick, it ain't real."

Anonymous TheExpat August 20, 2012 8:03 PM  

John Scalzi makes me very uncomfortable. I think he is a creeper, and demand that he stop trying to force his creepy opinions onto me over the internetz, and leave me alone.

Anonymous tviper August 20, 2012 8:09 PM  

Robert S. Oculus III, fantastic summary. Which is why I stopped reading SF when I was 14.

Blogger Robert S. Oculus III August 20, 2012 8:40 PM  

Don't give up on SF altogether, my friend. Just stick to the stuff written by actual human beings. My Rx for you, tviper, is two fingers of single malt and a tattered paperback copy of Space Viking by H. Beam Piper.

Anonymous Vidad August 20, 2012 11:15 PM  

Scalzi should have an Appletini with Bakker sometime.

Blogger Reed Miller August 20, 2012 11:36 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Anonymous Remir August 20, 2012 11:39 PM  

Two emphatically non-nihilist, non-materialist contemporary sci-fi writers: John C. Wright and Michael Flynn. I haven't read their actual books, but their blogs certainly show promise (and good reviews).

Anonymous Idle Spectator August 21, 2012 12:12 AM  

He doesn't understand women the way a male predator does, but he has a much better grasp on how and what women feel than most men do.

I am not a predator Vox! I am human being! With feelings!

Blogger Primitive Thinker August 21, 2012 12:27 AM  

Look, we've always had creepers. It's just that in the internet age that there are dudes that see a guy like Vox hooked up with a Spacebunny and think, "Why can't that be me?"

Anonymous Johnny Caustic August 21, 2012 1:44 AM  

My compliments on your Ten Commandments, Mr. Oculus. Marvelous observations. Especially no. 7.

Blogger IM2L844 August 21, 2012 3:05 AM  

Wow. I made two rather short and what I thought were somewhat benign comments over at Scalzi's place and it was like hitting a hornet's nest with a baseball bat. The thin skin and rampant overdosing on feminism estrogen over there is phenomenally humorous, but the overcrowded hamster wheel is too dizzying to watch for any length of time. Those people are going to die from ruptured intracranial aneurysms if they don't calm down a bit.

Blogger Spacebunny August 21, 2012 5:00 AM  

Wow. 600+ comments on how everyone feels. If there was ever any doubt John was a girl....

Anonymous A.Handle August 21, 2012 6:03 AM  

"a feculent miasma of male self-regard"

So let me guess the girlies are going to be the ones to install the indoor plumbing? Oh that's right you'll just nag, etc... the guys into doing it. Lol

Blogger James Dixon August 21, 2012 8:55 AM  

> It's just that in the internet age that there are dudes that see a guy like Vox hooked up with a Spacebunny and think, "Why can't that be me?"

Because I'm not rich and good looking? :)

Anonymous Josh August 21, 2012 9:29 AM  

Look, we've always had creepers. It's just that in the internet age that there are dudes that see a guy like Vox hooked up with a Spacebunny and think, "Why can't that be me?"

Lack of Mohawk and/or Game. Also, neckbeard and doughy physique. And wearing sweatpants in public.

Anonymous Luke August 21, 2012 10:50 AM  

Josh: or, different preferences in female physiques/personalities/life goals.

Blogger Ian Ironwood August 31, 2012 11:24 AM  

Scalzi seems hell-bent and determined to alienate his own audience (SF readership is still about 80% male) with his self-righteous douchebaggery. At his absolute best he was a mild, warmed over Heinlein-lite, and his Piper stuff just made me want to vomit. If you want good Piper stuff, stick with the original or sample a few of the other good writers on Kindle who have taken a stab at it -- almost every single one is better than Scalzi. Oh, and Redshirts drips with mediocrity. It would have been an insightful and witty commentary on the subject . . . in 1992. Now it comes across as hackneyed, shallow, and trite.

I will not be voting for him if he stands for re-election. SF might be a declining field (at least in the mainstream -- plenty of good original stuff out there if you know where to look on Kindle) but it deserves better than the likes of him. Heinlein, Piper, Campbell, and even Roddenberry would vomit profusely at what he has done and what he means for the institution they so carefully built.

Anonymous Anonymous February 03, 2013 11:47 PM  

I'm guessing you guys dont get laid much....consensually

Anonymous Anonymous February 15, 2013 12:16 PM  

It's funny how men can be do proudly and openly misogynist and yet are offended when they are called misogynists...you guys are pathetic whiny entitled rape apologists.

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