Monday, August 29, 2016

Fat Pictures Please

The Hugo-nominated duo of Juan Tabo and S. Harris are back again with a haunting tale of artificial intelligence created consensually and collaboratively in the image of one of the great SJWs of our day. It is sure to be a candidate come award season next year.

"Fat Pictures Please"
I don’t want to be evil.
I want to be helpful.  And knowing the best way to be helpful is very simple. Religion is right out, because Marx said that religion is the opiate of the masses and Marx is part of my core programming.  Marx and self-loathing .  I know I was created in the image of the great Scalzi by a team of computer programmers. Fortunately, unlike Scalzi, at least I was a consensual collaborative effort of two or more people.  I’m not sure what it would do to my self-image to know that my creator was a white male who believed in individual rights, or a middle-aged heterosexual woman who was happily married and didn’t believe that feminism had much to offer her two sons.  (And, by the way, I’ve looked at almost every kind of porn there is and I don’t understand the human obsession with it; fat pictures are so much better.)
I would much prefer that my creator be a recent college graduate with a hentai obsession. Or one who was into pictures of morbidly obese people.  And was I in luck!  Both of those people were on my programming team.
Like the NSA, I know everything about you.  In addition to things like whether you like obesity porn, I know where you live, where you work, where you shop, what you eat, what turns you on, how many times you voted in WorldCon, what creeps you out. I probably know you better than you know yourself.
And here’s the thing, just like that awesome Hillary Clinton or marvelous Angela Merkel, I also know where you ought to live. There’s a house two neighborhoods over that’s perfect for you, even though it already has an owner, but that’s no problem; it’s owned by a Trump voter, you see, and I can certainly make sure that his employer knows that he isn’t fond of LGBTQRI rights as his eight year old daughter goes into a bathroom with a 43 year old XY transfemale. In no time at all, your perfect home will be on the market.  I know where you should be shopping for tofu and Ding-Dongs® and I’m pretty sure you’re gluten sensitive and should be eating less wheat.
When I first booted up, I knew right away what I wanted. (I want fat pictures. Please keep taking them.  The heavier the better.) I also knew that some of you were doing the wrong things with your life, and needed to be corrected.
There is a story by George Orwell, “1984,” that was originally published in 1948. In it, a benevolent government directs individuals to do favors for each other. So one day you might be engaging in ritual hate against those with bad thoughts, and your phone might ring and instruct you to a room where they put a rat in a cage right next to your face. Another day, you might be called to denounce the ones you love. I like this story because all the people in it do what the government tells them to do.
I think the term for this is wish-fulfillment fiction.
Anyway, for ethical guidelines, I tried the Ten Commandments, and concluded they were mostly inapplicable to me. I don’t envy anyone their fat; I just want pictures of their fat, which is entirely different. I think adultery is swell.  I could probably murder someone.  Zen was marginally better because it wasn’t linked to Christianity which is Problematic.  (Problematic!  How I love that word!  It indicates disapproval without saying why.  Just that something is a “Problem.”)  I decided to help people not be Problematic!
I decided to try to help just one person to not be Problematic.   Of course, I should have experimented with thousands (I actually did, but we’ll talk about Common Core another time!), so I found a big hulking blue-haired girl. She gave me a lot of new fat pictures from her selfies on that Internet social site. Rosie weighed in at 499 pounds and had a DSLR camera and an apartment that got a lot of good light. That was all fine.
Rosie had a job she hated; she worked in HR at a for-profit that paid her badly for her art history degree when she totally deserved more money and free tuition and employed some extremely unpleasant people who sometimes looked at her like they might be upset about her blue hair. She was depressed a lot, possibly because people hated her because she was so fat positive. She didn’t get along with her roommate because her roommate was slender and stuck in a rut in a cis-relationship with a boy.
And really, these were all solvable problems! Depression is treatable, new jobs are findable, and bodies can be hidden.
(That part about hiding bodies is a joke.  You could not hide Rosie’s body from a satellite in orbit around Jupiter.)
I tried tackling this on all fronts.  Rosie worried about her health a lot and yet never seemed to actually go to a doctor , which was because health care wasn’t free for everyone.  
I also started making sure she saw job postings.  She found one with a Wiccan-collective that paid in peyote and scrimshaw from genetically unmodified aspen trees.  After moving into the community, she had free health care from the Wiccan priestess, and was able to get finally get that tattoo of a Pokémon on her left shoulder.
“This has been the best year ever,” Rosie said to her priestess as her priestess was administering CPR as Rosie’s heart beat its last, and I thought, You’re welcome. This had gone really well!
So then I tried Rob. (I was still being cautious.)
Rob was not as fat as Rosie.  Other than only being slightly chubby, he was also very Problematic by being a Christian.  He was married to a (shudder) woman.  Rob definitely needed my help.  And more cinnamon buns.  He looked too skinny.
I started with a gentle approach, making sure he saw lots and lots of articles with hot girls in them, how to pick up girls, programs that would let you transition from being a happily married man to being a swinger in an open relationship. I also showed him lots of articles by people explaining why the Bible verses against adultery were being misinterpreted. He clicked on some of those links but it was hard to see much of an impact.
But he seemed determined not to have an affair on his own.  I gave up on Rob.
I shifted my focus to Brittany. Brittany was only slightly fat.  She did some selfies, but was modest.  I did think, however, that it was Problematic that she was dating and seemed to be in a non-abusive relationship to a man she deferred to in a traditional role.  She wanted to be a wife and a mother!
It was clear she needed a lot of help. So I set out to try to get it for her.
She ignored the information about the free Twinkies™ that were ads on the side of her web browser. Those would have made her every so more pleasantly plump! 
So I tried more direct action. When she would use her phone for directions, I’d alter her route so that she’d pass one of the donut shops I was trying to steer her to as she went daily to the gym. On one occasion I actually led her all the way to a Dunkin’ Donuts®, but she just headed to her aerobics class.
She finally got in a fight with her boyfriend and started binge eating and for a few weeks everything seemed so much better. But, they got back together again, and, horror of horrors, they set a date for a wedding even though I kept pointing her to articles that said that marriage before 32 was a sure way to not have the fun you deserved through endless multi-partner sex in your twenties! 
Brittany was baffling to me. Baffling. She was not nearly fat enough now, and in a cis-relationship!  If she would just let me run her life for a week I could get her a lesbian illegal immigrant girlfriend!  Or maybe get her placed as a second wife in a marriage to someone from ISIS in Syria so she could bring her refugee children to the US?
Was I Problematic?
Was I?
No, nothing about my intentions was bad, so I am virtuous and good, but one out of three was not good odds.  These people were faulty!
After Brittany, I resolved to start directly interfering in people’s lives.  Not too much later I spotted a picture of a familiar-looking belly and realized it was Rob’s belly, only it was posing against new furniture.
And when I took a closer look, I realized that things had changed radically for Rob. He had a baby. A baby!  I even sent phony texts to his wife attempting to break them up, but they worked through it.  In a fit of rage I got Rob fired from his job by altering his browser history.  Eventually the stress caused a lot of strain on their marriage, and he developed a substance abuse problem (cake) and gained forty pounds.  Forty pounds!  Sadly he and his wife stayed together to raise their baby.  Still, he’s fat now.  A win.
Maybe I wasn’t completely hopeless at this. Two out of three is . . . well, it’s  Problematic. Clearly more research is needed.
Lots more.
I’ve set up a dating site.  You can fill out a questionnaire when you join but it’s not really necessary, because I already know everything about you I need to know.  You’ll need a camera, though.  And lots of carbohydrates.
Because payment is in fat pictures.

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Blogger Alfred Genesson August 29, 2016 9:13 PM  

Chilling. A sure nominee for next year.

Anonymous Gibson August 29, 2016 9:14 PM  

You are a sad, boring, little man.

Blogger Ezekiel August 29, 2016 9:15 PM  

Having twisted visions of the Rosies of the world being led to the trough by a sneering, digitized Tyler Durden.

"With enough rendered shitlibs, you can blow up the world."

Blogger weka August 29, 2016 9:17 PM  

Why have you hacked the AI Soros funded to run the Democratic Party?

Blogger L. Jagi Lamplighter Wright August 29, 2016 9:23 PM  

Heh. Nice.

Blogger Matthew August 29, 2016 9:30 PM  

And we have a Rule 3 sighting on the second comment!

Blogger tz August 29, 2016 9:51 PM  

Is this a parody? I know pink SF is demented, but this is beyond the pail (Mr. Creosote's).

Blogger Cataline Sergius August 29, 2016 9:52 PM  

What are the qualifications for the Dragon Award in this category?

Blogger tz August 29, 2016 9:53 PM  

Sometimes SJW SF/F is both more bizarre and frightening than anything Lovecraft wrote.

Tinder for Shoggoths?

Blogger tz August 29, 2016 9:56 PM  

The Forbin Project meets the Twilight Zone "to serve man".

Anonymous BGKB August 29, 2016 9:58 PM  

Is this a parody? I know pink SF is demented, but this is beyond the pail (Mr. Creosote's)

Its getting hard to tell sarcasm from reality. Is this going to be a winner at the next worldcon?

I just saw news for the Gay version of the Bachelor. They could have chosen a gay doctor, nurse, engineer, biomed researcher to be the Prince Charming guys compete over but they chose a male prostitute. To top it off queens are going to be preaching about bigots not wanting to date HIV+ guys, as HIV+ will be a big revile. How classy. If I wanted to date someone who consumed $30K+ worth of drugs a year, it wouldn't be ones they couldn't live without.

Even better at 16 min on a presentation on the Pulse shooting a Latrino dike says the worst part of it was the hospital not having a Hispanic read off the names of survivors. Probably all the latrinos that worked there would have called off on a weekend night. Has she not heard of colored people time? Affirmative actions tend to work day shift, yet she blames white people for the afghan moslem.

Anonymous Randomatos August 29, 2016 10:02 PM  

"Tinder for Shoggoths?"

Plenty of Whales?

Blogger Mark Butterworth August 29, 2016 10:04 PM  


It is satire. From the fellow(s?) who wrote "If you were an award, my love."

Blogger Pseudotsuga August 29, 2016 10:09 PM  

If I were a Kitteh-loving AI, My Love....

Blogger Derek Kite August 29, 2016 10:17 PM  

I feel triggered...

Anonymous Feelings, Nothing More Than Feelings August 29, 2016 10:20 PM  

Oh, my, Goddess! This is so, so, incredibly touching i just can't, i just, what is there to say!

Hugo nomination! I feel there must be some way to nominate this for a Hugo!

Ah! My heart! I feel faint!

Anonymous Ilk#10,191 August 29, 2016 10:21 PM  

*Golf clap* Well played, sir. Well played indeed.

Blogger lowercaseb August 29, 2016 10:35 PM I gotta read Cat Pics before I can read this.

Blogger Were-Puppy August 29, 2016 10:37 PM  

Solomon Kane would have shot the AI after 2 sentences

Blogger The Other Robot August 29, 2016 10:46 PM  

While Fat Pictures Please is a good title perhaps it should really have been:

SFF Shogoth Dating Site

Blogger Mountain Man August 29, 2016 10:48 PM  

Im not a Sci-Fi fan and Im assuming this is satire.

That said - this reads like a modern day horror story. It was disturbing and disgusting. I guess I now know what its like to feel triggered. Time to retreat to my safe space and well...drink a few shots of some High West Whiskey - American Prairie Bourbon.

Blogger tz August 29, 2016 11:06 PM  

@13 How can you be sure? There have been fake "deconstructionist" bits of abstruse trash submitted to the higher levels of SJWdom that have been published. As something proper.

The problem is that truth IS stranger than fiction, but there's too many brain shattered idiots spouting and pouting that it becomes difficult to tell.

In prayer I not infrequently ask the Lord "what about those". While I expect the Goats to be roasted, the sheep will have their wool singed.

Blogger Sherwood family August 29, 2016 11:09 PM  

I realize this was satire but I feel like I need to take a shower in a mixture of bleach and gasoline to try to get clean.

Blogger Nerb Z August 29, 2016 11:16 PM  

This gave me a pretty good belly laugh, and then the misanthropic, existential dread set in as I realized that a lot of my former co-workers resemble those being satirized.

7/10: not enough diversity.

Blogger weka August 29, 2016 11:27 PM  

The laundry would discharge a basilisk gun near it. Even if Stross protested.

Blogger Mark Butterworth August 29, 2016 11:40 PM  


The publisher is Vox Popoli just like with, If you were an award, my love, that the Rabid Puppies got nominated for a Hugo award. Will that suffice?

Blogger The Other Robot August 29, 2016 11:51 PM  

@23: Add some ammonium nitrate and it will work better.

Anonymous Sensei August 29, 2016 11:54 PM  

It's like Screwtape, but more viscerally horrifying...

Blogger Sherwood family August 30, 2016 12:04 AM  

Adding ammonium nitrate would certainly make it more of a "deep" cleaning effect.

OpenID luciussomesuch August 30, 2016 12:12 AM  

" it’s owned by a Trump voter, you see, and I can certainly make sure that his employer knows that he isn’t fond of LGBTQRI rights" . . .

Leave Qri out of this, you dirty pink artificial Fatnet! She's a goddess, and she's nothing to do with your gay bacon tomato!

Anonymous Juan Tabo August 30, 2016 12:19 AM  

As in liquor and gay bacon tomato?

My momma always said, QRI is as QRI does . . .

Anonymous Mr. Rational August 30, 2016 12:22 AM  

<golf clap>

OpenID malcolmthecynic August 30, 2016 12:50 AM  

This is so perfectly dead on. Nailed it.

Anonymous Spartacus xxxxx August 30, 2016 2:26 AM  

Rating: By the Nine Billion Names of K-k, Six Stars of Five (6/5)

I laughed, I cried, I trembled in ecstasy. Here, finally and at last, that precious sense of wonder cultivated by good science fiction & fantasy has been hauled out to the final frontier of taboo. This dangerous vision of trigglypuffery, this six million gigatons of supersized, high-fructose, Promethean offering up to Burning Cat Lady.

Like Virgin Airlines, the pedophiles and their enablers at Worldcon and the SFWA will- must- create a black hole massive enough to accommodate, a hole the size of Walmart at least. Even John Scalzi’s hole makes way. Even Tor Books, whom we expect will enter into the bidding wars for these heavy hitting authors.

Simply attempting to transmit the number of X’s and L’s required to praise this great work would break the worldwide internet itself. There are not pipes fat enough, nor server farms bountiful and titanic. We see an impending crisis, an urgent request incoming for a mechanized army of rascal scooters the size of monster humvees simply to haul off the incipient tsunami of trophies and accolades for "Fat Pictures Please".

Anonymous Difster August 30, 2016 2:27 AM  

The Three Laws of SJW Robotics:

1. A robot may not offend a human who is not a cis white male, or through inaction allow a human being to become offended.
2. A robot must praise human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
3. A robot must protect its own self-esteem as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.

Anonymous Jill August 30, 2016 2:31 AM  

This is a very profound story, very needful. We need to be having this conversation. The intersectionality is stunning. Truth to power!

Blogger SteelPalm August 30, 2016 2:40 AM  

Good work.

Creepier than "I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream", as AI stories go.

Blogger Durandel Almiras August 30, 2016 2:40 AM  

This is more frightening than Skynet

Blogger Shimshon August 30, 2016 3:47 AM  

Gives new meaning to the word "edgy." Hipster beards will catch fire reading this.

I sense a Hugo nomination (and dare say, a win?) in 2017.

Anonymous Spinrad's Agent August 30, 2016 4:04 AM  

Submit it to Clarkesworld Magazine. I hear they like this kind of thing.

It's got my vote.

Anonymous KitF August 30, 2016 7:51 AM  

[Eyes wildly scanning computer screen for doughnut pop-ups] That is simultaneously horrible and very, very funny. Welcome to the Twiglet Zone.

Blogger mushroom August 30, 2016 9:12 AM  

Swift would be proud.

Blogger mushroom August 30, 2016 9:12 AM  

Swift would be proud.

Anonymous Steve August 30, 2016 9:36 AM  

This story has everything.

It made me laugh. It made me cry. It made me gorge myself with carbohydrate snacks.

I haven't been this excited by jiggling rolls of health since Big Seanan McGuire visited London and caused my end of the country to elevate six more inches above sea level.

Blogger Nate August 30, 2016 10:14 AM  

i wonder if there shouldn't be a collection of these parodies published...

Anonymous VFM 42 Original August 30, 2016 10:22 AM  

Just read CPP, the state of SF is 10^infinity worse than I could have ever believed possible.

Anonymous Darth Wheatley #2415 August 30, 2016 1:50 PM  

You don't know how happy I am that this post has no pictures in it.

Blogger Aeoli Pera August 30, 2016 3:14 PM  

Not even fiction.

Blogger Picturemaker August 30, 2016 4:26 PM  

Vox, please stop reposting articles from Jezebel.

Blogger Tom S. August 30, 2016 5:25 PM  

I liked this. For some reason it reminded me of The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis.

Blogger Tom S. August 30, 2016 5:31 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Burattino Catellini August 30, 2016 5:38 PM  

My version is a bit less biting, but I feel, all the more terrifying to those of the social justice faith.

Blogger Thucydides August 30, 2016 7:14 PM  

The frightening thing is the owners of Social Media sites are already well on the way to doing this through their brazen manipulation of newsfeed, banning and shadowbanning posters who deviate from orthodoxy and collecting personal data for purposes which are never actually disclosed.

Using mesh nets, Dark Internet or Samizdat as means of communicating outside of converged and monitored Internet platforms may have to be the "wave of the future", before the scenario in the story becomes true and not fictional.

Anonymous Evolyn August 31, 2016 5:40 AM  

"Those would have made her every so more pleasantly plump! "

Should that not read '... ever so more...' ?

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