Elon Musk is proclaiming the rapid approach of the fulfillment of the terrible warning that is the story of The Terminator. He’s flat out said that machines will be able to do everything better than people can. He believes we’ll all lose our jobs and that the government will have to pay people a living wage assuming the AI’s don’t just flat out declare war on humans. What can we do to stop this impending doom?
I have no doubt that all these fears are unfounded. We’ll never reach the point where machines and artificial intelligence will destroy us. I have little doubt that we’ll manage to destroy ourselves long before then. Personally, I’m surprised, given current affairs, that all the world hasn’t fallen to anarchy and chaos already and that we’ve plunged ourselves into another dark age where we’ve lost the ability to make even the simplest machines. So, there’s that.
Isn’t it bad enough that they ruined a classic film like the Ghostbusters with that lame all chick remake? Now they’re talking about a bunch of hooey involving having the franchise address ghostbusting around the world. What in the name of all that’s holy is that all about? Why in the world would I want to pay money to see those girls playing like they know a thing about catching ghosts let alone a bunch of people in places like Korea or China going after ghosts from other cultures? Are they trying to completely ruin the franchise? I, for one, am unwilling to suffer silently.
I’m going to take a shot in the dark here and say that you’re a man over the age of 50? Maybe you reminisce fondly of the days when women stayed in the steno pool? Maybe Murray and Ramis are what first drew you to Ghostbusters after seeing Stripes? I’m guessing you
either didn’t see or didn’t appreciate another classic of that decade since you don’t seem too jazzed on exploring the paranormal of different
cultures. There are many answers to your question about what this is all about possibly including, but not limited to, creativity, a desire to share a vision, giving people of more the more marginalised variety the chance to play BAMF heroes, keeping a franchise alive, and making money. Which the last is most likely on anyone backing its mind. Why you might want to see it, I have no idea. You obviously don’t have any taste, any intellect, any sense of adventure, or any sense of tact. So, feel free to crawl back into your hole and leave the movie theatre free of your stupidity and stench so that the rest of us can enjoy something that could reasonably become a new classic…or a flop…either will be made more palatable by your absence.
Why do you people insist on contacting me with you petty concerns and poorly written drivel?
With Mother’s Day just around the corner, I wanted to do something special for my mom. I mean really special. I asked to take her out for the day. Just the two of us. I planned out a wonderful day of fun for us and when I told her about the plan and asked her to spend the day with me she was less than thrilled. I wanted to take her to see the matinee for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 followed by lunch at this nice little restaurant that has this killer Star Trek vibe to it with burgers named after characters and ships from the show. Then I wanted to take her to a day at Marcon to see the sites and maybe take in a panel or two, tool around the dealer’s room, maybe listen to some Filk, and definitely see the masquerade. She turned me down flat. Said she didn’t want to waste her Saturday watching a bunch of grownups play pretend and “at 36 years of age, Pat, the best gift you could give me would be to clean up your room, mow the lawn, make dinner and take your gaming group to someone else’s house for a change.” I’m heartbroken. Why doesn’t my mom love me enough to spend a day with me?
Your mother obviously loves you very much or she would have clubbed you like a baby seal by now. I know that I would have. If she didn’t love you then she wouldn’t let you live in her house and from the sounds of it not do anything a responsible adult would do. Buy the woman flowers for Mother’s Day like a normal kid, for God’s sake! She might want to spend the day with you, although, there is no accounting for taste. What she clearly doesn’t want to do is spend the day that’s supposed to be all about her doing what you want to do then returning home to cook for you and clean up your messes as normal. Really it doesn’t seem like too much to ask. So, stop blowing snot bubbles, pull your head out of that dark orifice of yours, and treat your mother right numbnuts.
This is why I never wanted children,
Oh, my God! It appears that the future is going to be a rehash of all kinds of Eighties movies…good and bad. Russians are going to destroy us after all only this time their focus isn’t nukes yet, but give them time. They’ve already brought out and used a bomb four times more powerful than the MOAB’s the United States used. No, instead that futz president of theirs has taken robots with artificial intelligence that were being created for rescue work and is teaching them to shoot guns. His justification? Well, the creator says (whatever I want him to say) that it will improve their motor skills and decision-making ability. Who in their right mind is going to believe it can improve anything’s “decision-making abilities” when we’ve seen the increased number of mass shootings…obviously, that right there proves that it doesn’t mean knowing how to shoot makes you make better decisions! You know what else he plans to do with them? Send them to man the space station and colonize the moon! Okay, so let’s recap…he’s looking to create the Terminator and is likely working towards eventually either building a Death Star or just using the moon to the same effect. Oh, and don’t forget the mega bombs because he thinks Red Dawn was an excellent movie! Fantastic. If you don’t think he’s serious you missed the fact that he’s already replaced human greeters in the Moscow Metro with robots…yes, really.
Pair all that with advances in the scientific field to improve the growth of skin that is now looking towards growing skin, tendons, and ligaments on robotic bodies to improve the use and durability of the tissues for use in medical grafts along with the fact that we’re seeing evidence that Google’s Deep Mind gets aggressive when it’s stressed and I suddenly feel like the Eighties might not have been as full of foolish fears as I thought. Skynet? WOPR? HAL 9000? Is any of this ringing a bell with anyone else?
Where’s my fallout shelter?
I really don’t want to know where your fallout shelter is, Harry. After all, I’m certain our government has a firm grip on the situation and failing that surely these folks have seen all those same movies and read plenty of Asimov and Clarke. So, really A.I.’s in all these places and roles? What could go wrong, go wrong, go wrong?
I’ll be on the beach with all the rum from here on out.
Crabby’s FYI :These are all totally real news stories from the web…the robots are a program called FEDOR “Russia’s space-bound humanoid robot FEDOR (Final Experimental Demonstration Object Research) is being trained to shoot guns from both of its hands.”
The robots in the Moscow Metro? “Creepy blue-eyed robot ‘greeter’ replaces human staff on Moscow Metro in bizarre Russian technology drive. Metrosha – whose cousin went on the run from its testing ground last summer – will “greet passengers and lift their spirits” at the city’s main station”
The freaky skin thing? “Enter the stuff of nightmares – a humanoid cloaked in human tissue, which could be used to harvest muscle and tendon grafts.”
And the big ass bombs…
They’re trying to give animals the same rights as humans! It’s ridiculous! I thought that them giving corporations rights was insane. Next, they’ll be trying to say computers are people too! Where does it all stop, Crabby? They’re taking our rights away and giving them to the animals and the businesses. What are we going to do in a future surrounded by a bunch of people who aren’t even human?
Trapped Like A Human
If you were half as informed as you think you are then you would know that what is currently being petitioned to the court is the right of animals with a high level of self-cognizance to not be owned or detained without reason in unreasonable conditions. This is a far cry different from saying a corporation has rights. A corporation is not an entity possessing self-awareness. It is a creation held together by words on paper and run by people intent on making money. As for computers, if we every reach a stage where computers become self-aware enough to constitute personhood then I hold tightly on to the hope that they will be more intelligent, compassionate, and wise than we mere humans. Reading your letter makes me think that the chimps are probably smarter than you are anyway and I believe I’d rather live in a world side by side with citizens of a different species than with close-minded fear mongering idiots like you. Alas, for not ’tis but a dream.
Hoping for smarter animals,
What do you think Doc Brown and Marty McFly would say about how long it’s taken us to catch up with their tech? Airbus is finally getting us to the flying car! Why did it take so long for us to catch up, do you think? What do you think the next great break through for tech, reflecting what’s available in sci-fi, will be?
Is “Psyched” code for “In the psych ward”? I think that the first thing is that they wouldn’t say anything because they are, in fact, fictional characters unable to actually react. I do understand though if you’ve never moved past imaginary friends on to having real live people friends that this could be confusing. Second, you’re old and slow or you didn’t actually read the story you pointed me to. I say this because if you read the intent Airbus is proposing the vehicles will be used for it’s basically and Uber or taxi. That means instead of referencing Back To The Future from the 80’s, The Fifth Element from the 90’s would have been more accurate.
As for why it took us so long to make this break through it’s because it works like this much of the time. Someone has an amazing idea. They or other people then spend a lot of time, money, and effort figuring out how to actually make that work through a lot of grinding trial and error until they have a eureka moment of their own. Then they’ve got to sell that idea to someone else who will pay for it to be produced. This too can take ages until you finally find someone with the money, desire, and vision to do this and no vested interest in keeping the new tech from hitting the market and stealing the profits of what they’ve already put all that into.
Lastly, I sincerely hope that the latest and greatest invention that comes our way to revolutionize a way to get rid of stupid people. All praise to the Great One’s noodley appendage.
I sincerely hope you get hit by a flying bus.
Hollywhite has done it again. White wash. It happens far, far too much. Ghost In The Shell is starring Scarlett Johansson. Look, I’m as much a fan of Ms. Johansson as the next person but The Major is not a white girl. Look at what they did to Doctor Strange! The Ancient One is a Tibetan man – NOT Tilda Swinton! Last Airbender, Gods of Egypt… Is there anything we can do to get Hollywood to stop whitewashing films?
Dear colorfully disappointed,
I agree that it’s ridiculous that Hollywood still insists on turning films with a focus on another culture or a major character who isn’t
Caucasian into one portrayed by people who look Caucasian. There is no shortage of talented actors of all races available if Hollywood would only give them a shot. This isn’t new though. Face the fact that it’s no more ridiculous than putting up pictures of a blonde haired blued man to represent a man born in the middle east, but people have been doing that for centuries. There is power in using something familiar to your audience to woo them to your cause. The more people you have power over the more money you can get from them. The more money and power you have the more choice you have in who you share that power with by including them. Those with the most are the ones that control equity, so ask yourself this– if there is no shortage of talented actors from all backgrounds then why aren’t there more on screen? The
answer is simply that there is still great of inequality in our culture. Is there anything we can do to change how these things are handled? Yes, but it means standing up for inequality where you see it and using what power you have to correct the situation, whether it be by using your voice or your money. A lot of times it will mean letting go of your comforts. Don’t go see that movie you were waiting for that they ended up whitewashing. Don’t let other people be marginalized in your presence. Speak up because my usual advice won’t work. The people who run Hollywood are often like roaches and killing them off is a never-ending process without bug bombing the whole place. Plus, they have really good lawyers. You wouldn’t believe how long a restraining order can end up lasting.
Right there with you,
Recently Metropolitan Magazine posited that one of our 2016 presidential candidates is an alien, but nobody can agree on which one. Do you think it’s Drumpf with his orange skin and unnatural hair or Clintstone with her long trek to actual
human expressions and reactions? Maybe both of them are really aliens from separate races and they’re vying for our planet winner takes all? How will we fight off the alien
invasion? Do you think it will begin promptly on Inauguration Day or do you think if an alien wins they’ll wait to lull us into a false sense of security? Do you think they’ll try to wreck the country to weaken Earth’s resistance?
Fearfully Freaked Out
Okay, first in a laundry list of comments in reply to your obvious instability is the fact that you’ve made it clear why so many people in other countries hate Americans. Don’t you think it’s pretty presumptuous that you’d assume that a) Aliens would come to America to start an invasion, b) that taking over
America would in some way weaken the rest of the world, and c) that an alien could possibly do more harm to our country than we ourselves are doing? As if anyone in this country would even notice if our president was an alien. Have you
actually not noticed the deterioration of our government over the last 75 years? That’s rhetorical because if you had I might possibly have a hope that if an alien were to be elected that someone else in the country might actually recognize it instead of considering drowning myself in a vat of caramel like a
candied apple this Halloween before I can see any more of this horror story unfold. In the meantime I suggest you lay off the trash magazines, stop binge watching the horror movies, and cut back on the psychotropics…in that order.
Quit trying to think,
My roommate keeps stealing my dice and miniatures. It’s worse than how my girlfriend steals my shirts! When I’ve tried confronting him he always says that I’m crazy and that what he took has been his for many years. We do both have quite a collection of gaming paraphernalia but, I’ve even started painting the numbers in my dice sets specific colors and painting my initials on the bottom of my miniature bases. You can see traces in the numbers on the die of the paint that’s been scraped out. The initials wiped off. He’s a really good roommate otherwise. Pays his half of rent on time, cleans up after himself, is overall easy to get along with. Since the direct approach didn’t work can you suggest something to help?
Pulling my hair out
Congratulations on being an adult. You went to your roommate and straight up confronted him. It didn’t work. So, you could regress to a toddler and grab your stuff back and have a screaming fit. You could go back to being a passive aggressive teenager and just start taking his stuff and your stuff back without saying anything. You could approach it like the recently graduated man child and threaten bodily harm if he doesn’t knock it off. You could kick him out on his can and lose what sounds like decent roommate other wise or you could just consider it a dry run for what it’s like to be married because shirts are just the start of things.
Good luck anyway!
What do you think of the differences between the Harley Quinn of Batman: The Animated Series & The New Adventure of Batman, the Harley Quinn of Suicide Squad, and the Harley Quinn of Batman: Arkham Asylum? Are we going backwards in our recognition of women as superheros and not just scantily clad eye-candy?
Lower your blood pressure for just a minute. We haven’t actually seen the new movie for Suicide Squad yet, only trailers. Trailers can be deceiving. I thought Gosford Park would be funny. Margot Robbie is definitely hot in this role and the character is highly sexualized as the character is in Arham Asylum. However, isn’t it as important that we change our perspective to allow women to embrace their sexuality without tying it to anyone but, themselves? Pro-woman does not have to mean anti-sexy woman. The whole point is it being each woman’s choice what makes her happy and feel good regardless of other people’s thoughts or expectations. Honestly, what I find more disturbing is the suggestion by the newest trailer that instead of Harleen Quinzel making a decison (however bad it may be) to follow a life of crime to be closer to a literal abusive clown who she allows herself to fall in love with is that the choice is no longer hers and rather Harley Quinn is who she is transformed and molded into by The Joker. The same abusive fool but, now with all the power instead of just what Harley has given him over her. I find it much more offensive to have a woman with no choice guided by the will of a man and his twisting of her mind and emotion than I do to see a woman who makes horrible choices based on her own flawed character and if she wants to wear booty shorts and show lots of cleavage while she does so, as long as it’s her choice, I can in some way respect it even if I can’t support it.
Basically, I think you’re missing the bigger picture. The idea I see as important here is that female characters get to be as real as women are in real life. That means in all their amazing, flawed, wonderful, sexy or modest or asexual glory. Just like male characters should and more often do get to.
Glad we got to clear the air.
There has been a lot of hub-bub lately about the use of bathrooms and who should and shouldn’t use which ones. In all of this I think we’re missing a very important question…which bathroom should Diva Plava Laguna (the Fifth Element) be using? I mean I don’t personally care who uses which bathroom to relieve themselves, but when you start talking 6+ foot aliens who may have both sets of equipment or something totally different I can’t help being curious.
Dear Dead Cat,
Like so many others that seem to be wrapped around the axle about where people go to the bathroom your priorities are really screwed up. If Plava Laguna walked into any bathroom I was in my first thought would be to swoon while trying to get an autograph. Second, I would give the diva some privacy and go about my business because it’s obvious that the singer didn’t end up in there to check the acoustics and I’m not an idiot. People and aliens just want to pee or whatever they do with some dignity and privacy. Anybody doing anything else in a public bathrooms issues aren’t about gender identity and yours shouldn’t be
You people give me a headache.
I recently attended my first fan convention in Baltimore to see George R.R. Martin! It was a wild ride and I had a lot of fun. Only after the con was done and I had regained my wits it occurred to me…how can you in good conscience invite George R. R. Martin to a science fiction and fantasy convention when he should be writing that Winter book instead?!?! If you really loved us fans you wouldn’t tempt him away from his writing!
Dear Sad Sack,
Easy, not all of us are interested in those particular books. It may amaze you to know but, the man has written an awful lot more than what HBO has taken to reinterpreting for your visual enjoyment. Songs of Stars and Shadows, anyone? The Glass Flower, maybe? Geez, read a book!
Imagine a world where Darth Vader is actually…Winnie-The-Pooh! I mean he’s sinister! Maybe he’s got Darkwing Duck under his command! Think of the terror…the destruction…the vile lunacy!!! All with a really cute bumbly sound. I really think now that Disney owns Star Wars that this is the cartoon that needs to happen. Wouldn’t you go see it?
I’m going to make a prediction here that you work in some kind of factory with heavy chemicals and poor ventilation. That is one of the craziest things I’ve heard in ages and if you follow this you see some of the crazy things you people send me. I have trouble picturing a round Darth Vader…Darkwing Duck does seem to fit better though…naw, you’re still an idiot.
What is wrong you people?
How cool is Fujitsu?!? They’ve created a technology that mixes hard copy paper and digital. With this we can highlight images or text then automatically digitize what they select and it can either be a flat page or the curve of an actual book. Can you imagine the number of things we can use that technology for?
Alright, smart boy. What exactly can we do with a mix of hard copy print and digital that we can’t just do by making it a digital document to begin with? Because I can’t think of all that many thing it would be helpful with as opposed to putting that time and energy they used to create this technology into something like say robotic applications to aid people who cannot move their limbs on their own. Possibly, the resources used could have been better spent creating a way to safely and practically clean all the junk the cesspool that is humanity keeps throwing into the ocean that keeps us all alive? Just saying…
PS ~ I don’t want you to be mine. I want you to go away.
There’s this guy I met in my cosplay group. He’s smart, funny, handsome in a Seth Rogan kind of way. I really, really like him but, I get tongue tied around him. I was thinking about
getting a group of us together and just giving him drinks until he can see how perfect we are together. Do you think I could aim cupid at his heart with this plan?
Look, Smitty. Giving someone alcohol until they are unable to make an informed choice is never okay and despite the fact that they have found that alcohol produces the same effect as the so called “love hormone” Oxytocin the half life on alcohol is only until the morning after. If you’re lucky the only thing he’d wake up with was a hangover. If not he may consider gnawing off body parts to get away from you. If you can’t find your voice around him why don’t you try
writing him a letter or a poem for God’s sake? Buy him one of those boxes of chocolates so popular at this time of year. Wait until the day after Valentine’s Day and they’ll be half off. Just don’t roofie them and be prepared to take no for an answer.
You kind of disgust me.
Why in the world would The Martian be put up for Oscars in the Best Actor and Best Picture in the Comedy categories? I mean really? Whiskey Tango Foxtrot! It’s clearly a drama. It’s about being stranded on Mars and a group of his comrades risking literally everything to get him back. It’s a survival story! I just don’t understand how the Academy can put that under the title of comedy. It makes no sense to me.
Well, I’d have to say that the most likely answer was that while the Academy desperately wanted to acknowledge the film Comedy was the category that Damon’s performance and the movie over all were most meritorious of.
I am in a relationship with a great girl. She’s amazing and the love of my life. We share so many things but, the one thing we seem to be having trouble sharing is our space. There simply isn’t enough room for all our books, dvds, cds, and collectibles. While our tastes are similar in genre they are very diverse in the actual subject matter. I for instance have a bitchin’ collection of premo Batman memorabilia. She on the other hand is a Marvel fanatic with a bent towards Hawkeye and now this thing with Coulson. I don’t get it but, I also don’t want to strain such a perfect relationship. Help! What can I do?
Almost Perfectly Happy
You seem like a decent guy and I get where you’re coming from. No matter how great a mate is nobody wants to give up or box up their treasures. So, here’s what you do. Put a moratorium on all conventions, collector’s shows, and shopping excursions for at least one year. Take all that money you would have spent…seriously, count it up…and put it in a savings. Use that money to move into a bigger place with enough room for everything because neither of you is ever going to be happy giving any of it up.
I desperately want to get the new tech I saw at the
Dusseldorf’s Cyborg Fair! They have implants that can not only light up under your skin in patterns but, they have implants that can monitor your bio information like blood pressure, pulse, etc. and send it out via blue tooth. How cool is that! The guys who’ve had NFC/RFID chips put in can do things like open car doors, interact with their smart phones…it opens up a whole new future! I just realized I’m bio-curious!!! I know my parents are going to freak but, it’s just who I am. How am I going to tell them? What tech would you most like to wear in your body?
Finally Free To Be Me
Oh, I’m sure your parent’s have already figured out that you’re a special snowflake. Parents always know even if they don’t want to admit it to themselves. What you need to make sure of is that you don’t alter something more than your physical appearance and capabilities. Personally? I’d consider laser beam eyes a real plus to make my death stare accurately named but, to each his own.
Make sure what you end up isn’t deleted.
I think I’ve found the love of my life. Oliver is so smart and creative! He constantly amazes me with the things he can do and make and he’s French! Right now he’s working in miniature but, I know he’s destined for bigger things and with me there by his side we will soon be taking the galaxy by storm! I just hope that a full size Millennium Falcon will be ready in time for the honeymoon. So, my question to you is this: How do you get a man you’ve never met but, know is perfect for you to propose?
I take it, in light of the content of your email nattering, that you mean Oliver C the guy who does the super cool mods to drones? The guy who has put together mods to turn drones into the Millennium Falcon, Tie Fighters, The Imperial Destroyer, and now X-Wings?
While this is a worthy celebrity crush how about you start with “Hi, my name is _____. I’ll be your stalker this evening.” and lay off the wild mushroom pizza, yeah?
My kid just went back to school and it left me
thinking about my own school days as we compared notes on things he does now and things we did way back when. I was wondering exactly what scientific basis there is behind a number of the safety measures practiced and drilled in schools to prepare for disasters. My boy was telling me about how they did a tornado drill by having them all gather in the hall way outside their classrooms. This would make fine sense if I didn’t know for a fact that the hallway he’s talking about is capped at either end with big glass double doors at either end effectively turning it into a meat grinder should those doors shatter by the force of the wind or fallen trees…blown debris. It hearkened me right back to the brilliant drills where we hid under our desks to prepare for a nuclear event. So, can you explain what the thought process is here?
Your first mistake was in thinking that there are great minds thinking about policy. A dangerous and ill advised assumption. My best advice is to follow by example since this one is out of your control and just don’t think about it too hard. Let’s face it the whole thing is much like a Wile E. Coyote and Roadrunner cartoon. Didn’t you know that a desk will protect you from a megaton force of
explosion and fierce heat? Until, of course, the blast passes and the building drops on you.
Yesterday I got into a fight with my brother-in-law about the latest sightings of The Flying Spaghetti Monster and what they mean as his noodly appendages reach ever closer to the faithful. We’ve seen him deep in the ocean and on Mars proving he is everywhere as he watches over us. When I celebrate and show my faith by talking like a pirate my family becomes enraged. They are heavy believers in another religion and have called me a heretic and announced I will never be welcome in heaven so long as I believe in FSM. I know that I will see them all in heaven where they will be welcomed by all us pastafarians and FSM as we celebrate around the beer volcano. Unlike many other religions we know that we are correct and welcome all as their belief is appreciated, but not necessary, as they will one day see the truth for themselves. Still, their comments are hurtful. Can you suggest a way for me to bridge the chasm in our
May his noodly appendage touch you.
Pasta Pirate Forever
Dear Noodle Lover,
Look, lay off the Captain Morgan. Rather than worrying about this issue why not just learn to let it be? Who says either of your imaginary friends are better than the other’s? If any of the “deities” out there can’t stand up to a little sticks and stones on the playground of the cosmos then their gonna get their butts kicked. How strong is your faith if you don’t believe they can hold their own? Personally, I’m holding out for a deity that offers endless fountains of coffee and chocolate and punishes the stupid until they stop being idiots. You and your family would be welcome after you were encouraged to see the endless errors of your ways. I do have to hand it to the Pastafarians though…the stripper factory is a nice touch and awfully tempting but, not while stupid people still roam free. Besides, who wants a deity with a limp noodle?
Take your imaginary friend and go home.
Comic-con has become nothing but a dumping ground of pop culture. Seriously, why is Bill Murray there? Whatever happened to this being about comic books?
Do you read comic books or do you rely on other people to tell you what you know? While Rock The Kasbah isn’t exactly related to comics Bill Murray certainly is. Zombieland, Ghostbusters, and Little Shop of Horrors have all spawned comic books. Actors do in fact
promote their current movies with a goal of continuing to be cast and make more movies based on their popularity. The truth of the matter is that comics, books, television, and movies are all by their very nature entwined. They are all vehicles for us to tell and share stories. Everyone seems to want to complain because the stuff they love isn’t available in a wider venue and then when it is they want to complain because it is somehow sullied by being shared in a large scope. If everyone enjoys it then it must be garbage suddenly? Frankly, I think a lot of it just sounds like sour grapes over the “cool kids” trying to steal our identity. You know what? If you’ve graduated high school you should take a minute to look around and realize that there are no “cool kids” any more. There are a bunch of people set adrift in suddenly being grown ups with bills, jobs, responsibilities, and often very little idea of how to do all those things. One of the things that can bring us all together is sharing stories; giving us not only common ground but a way to empathize together. If it so happens that what seems to be the story style everyone wants and needs is fantastical in nature some how then maybe that says something about humanity. So, suck it up buttercup! You don’t like it go be
anti-social, complain about how nobody understands, and shake your fist at the world…just be sure to tip when you’re done.
George Lucas is doing it again. He’s messing with the Star Wars universe. It’s worse than the crap he pulled with the second
installment of movies. How can he give us something so powerful and then mess it up on a whim? He’s changed the rules of being a Jedi for some kid who wrote a sappy letter. https://youtu.be/Ta6a78WnrI8
What can we do to stop him?
Make it stop!
Dear stopped up,
Make him stop doing what ever he decides to with his own intellectual property? Where exactly do you think we live? China? Russia? Many places in the Middle East? I watched the video you sent me the link for. I’m not the worlds biggest George Lucas fan. He can by turns be amazingly generous and kind of a jerk when it comes to his films. Totally his prerogative and totally mine to discard or
embrace his public offerings. Not anyone’s place to tell the man what to do with his ideas so, bugger off! As for this particular change not only does it make me think better of George it cements my opinion that you are a heartless imbecile. He gave permission to an 7 year old boy that he could get married and also be a Jedi at the same time. How exactly does this impact you beyond your own fear of change and selfishness in holding onto something that isn’t yours instead of sharing it as it’s been shared with you? Furthermore it sounds like you might have delusions of being a Jedi yourself but, as the man said it is the Sith that think inward and only of themselves. Maybe you need to sit as padawan at young Colin’s feet and learn about the true way of the following the force for good?
Quite your whining,
PS ~ I’d also bet all this fear and this insecurity rests in how small your light saber is.
I heard a bunch of folks being excited about a TV show from the 90s coming back. Is The X-files really the show anyone wants to see make a comeback? Isn’t this excitement over an old show from the same group that thinks Hollywood is devoid of new ideas and complaining constantly about how the good stuff never gets made? Why don’t we skip this old idea and spend that money on developing something new?
First and foremost, if you are going to write to ask me anything spell my name right. I’m assuming you have read my column at least once before. As for the show’s return verses something new I would rather see something new if you could assure me it wouldn’t be crap like Sharknado. Since that seems to be the quality of most of what’s new these days I would much rather watch a small jump back to a good solid classic with the original stars. A flash of the continuation of a first rate story done in a short and classy way that won’t waste my time the way say someone like you does? I’m down with that. So, shut up and if you feel that strongly about it go contribute something.
X-cited to see you go away.
Where do you come down on the current conflict about the Hugo awards?
The same place I came down on this kinda’ of juvenile BS when I was in high school which is exactly where it belongs. I think both “sides” are a bunch of whining morons. “What I like is better!” “I’m more popular!”. They are all a bunch of feminine hygiene products that fail to make anyone feel fresh as a summer’s day. Grow up, please. Barring that at least stop inflicting yourselves on the rest of us.
So over it,
I work for a hot games company and I’m set to go for business in Tokyo soon. I want to stay at the Godzilla hotel but, the boss says no. How unreasonable do you think it is to ask to stay in a hotel where you can get a room with a giant statue of Godzilla looking in your window or a giant clawed hand coming through the wall? There is an entire wall showing decades of movie posters! It’s so cool! If I were your employee wouldn’t you at least let me stay there if I paid the difference between the average room rate and the cost of the Godzilla hotel? Check it out! https://youtu.be/EMgujv90Y1o
No, I can honestly say that I would not let you stay there if you were my employee. I can also say that while I admire your enthusiasm for being a total geek that if you came whining to me about how you were desperate about spending your “off” time on my business trip you would be back in the mail room at best. Do you actually think that during a business trip to Tokyo you have anything resembling time not dedicated to closing the deal the business has already forked out the money to send you to take care of. If you want to spend your time in a city as rich, full, and exciting in substance as Tokyo in a room fondling lizards and things then I’m not sure you aren’t too much of a loser for me to send in the first place. If you want to spend your own time and money on a vacation to do such things I don’t want to know about it but, if you’re on my dime you be prepared to schmooze, woo, and otherwise amaze our clients.
If you’ll excuse me you’ve befouled my inbox and my brain. I suddenly feel the need to shed my skin so to speak.
There has been lots of talk recently in the fiction community about diversity, gender, and equality. I have a wide variety of acquaintances both male and female and a few are in various minority groups. I have come across a range of reactions and some of them I found surprising given the sources. Two of the most recent articles to make the discussion rounds through out the majority of the group was one about someone calling for an increase in the diversity of most people’s reading list by simply reading authors who are not white/male/straight/cis (meaning in this case males whose gender identity conforms to general social expectations of maleness) and one about how to write a strong female character and some of the pitfalls many writers encounter. At it’s most basic the second article boils down to write a strong character with imagination and empathy rather than focusing on their gender. There has been some positive discussion and a fair amount of support for these topics but there have also been a number of people who seem to feel that there is no reason for there to be such a big deal made out of these subjects. Rather some seem to be of the opinion that too much is made out of these issues and not everyone who voices negative opinions differs from the minority group. This strikes me as odd but as a straight middle aged white man I feel reluctant to jump too deeply into the debate even if I feel it’s in a positive manner. Would you be able to make any helpful suggestions?
Witness to this gender fender bender
Bite my shiny….no, no, no…sorry. I went on autopilot there for a moment. You actually bring up an interesting and valid topic. Also, bonus points for being smart enough to specify a request for helpful suggestions. First and foremost you never know what another person has experienced to form their opinions. The key to most things is communication and empathy. If you can communicate what you think and feel and why then you have the chance to put yourself in the other persons position and empathize with what they feel and think based on those experiences. This leads to yet more communication. Pretty soon all kinds of problems fall by the way side and Agony Aunts like me end up out of a job. Oh, no wait…there are always people too stupid to follow even these specific directions. Never mind. Try getting your friends and acquaintances together in a relaxed social setting and see if you can get some respectful dialog going between them. If the topics are hot it should be easy enough to bring the conversation around to them. Never be afraid to voice a respectful opinion or ask a respectful question no matter your statistics. It is okay to be a middle aged white man who happens to be heterosexual as long as you’re not also a jerk. Anyone who shoots down your opinions or is offended by a sincere question based on who you are is willfully ignorant and a big part of all of today’s problems. That speaks to their insecurities and close mindedness. Tell them I said so if you like.
There has been a lot of talk recently about who to nominate and vote for with the Hugo’s open for this year. Particularly, there has been a lot of talk about it being a popularity contest and a lingering example of “the old boys club” mentality. A lot of people have put up lists of
suggestions of who to vote for in their opinion and some have helpfully listed works that they have helped publish that are eligible for nomination this year. I find all of it a bit overwhelming. Who do you suggest I vote for?
Did you actually just ask me who you should vote for? Are you brain dead? How about you vote for who you’ve read and liked? Go through those lists of eligible works and read/listen/check them out. Then pick the one you think is best and vote you numskull. As for the rest -since when has anything based on nomination and voting not been a popularity contest? It’s kinda the definition, don’t you think? My only other piece of advice is this. For God’s sake whoever you vote for make sure they aren’t up against Beyonce. None of us need to hear another word out of Kanye West. Ever.
Pitying the unwashed masses,
I am so sick of celebrities dripping in mainstream approval proclaiming how much of a geek they really are in a bid to seem cool to the fans of the movies they’re in based on sci-fi, fantasy, or comic book stories. It makes me sick how people like that think that they are due even more admiration than they have without having earned it. What do you think it will take to stop this foolishness?
Yes, there are people out there that are claiming to be what they are not. I think you may have overlooked just how far our geekery has come in its representation across all fronts. Contrary to your fear that all people in the media spotlight are just jumping on the geek bandwagon in the face of successes like the Marvel movies and the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogy’s there are plenty of hot stars out there that have earned their claim to geekdom and have the geek cred to prove it. Let me give you some examples to store up in your little brain for the next time you decide to open your mouth on the subject.
- Vin Diesel – This studly action hero is such a geek that he had them paint his D&D character’s name on him as part of his character’s tattoos in his movie XXX. The man went so far as to help found video production studio Tigon Studios with the primary goal of developing video game adaptations of movies that are good from a gamer’s point of view as Vin is also a big video game fan.
- Danica McKeller – While this actress stared in many adolescent fantasies with her portrayal Winnie Cooper on The Wonder Years and is now helping kids to find ways to love math like she does with four books so far which have made the NY Times bestsellers list. Including one titled Math Doesn’t Suck: How to Survive Middle School Math without Losing Your Mind or Breaking a Nail. She graduated Summa Cum Laude with a B.S. in math from UCLA for
goodness sake and more impressively has her name on a mathematical theorem.
- Rosario Dawson – This smoking hot lady is a huge Star Trek fan and speaks perfect Klingon in addition to English and Spanish. More than that she loves comic books so much that she’s created her own comic called Occult Crimes Taskforce. She also founded Voto Latino only one of the many humanitarian organizations she’s involved in and I do mean many.
- Nicolas Cage – The man’s stage name is a tribute to Marvel Comics star Luke Cage and he had probably the largest celebrity comic book collection containing over 400 issues before he sold it at auction. The man is enough of a Superman fanboy that he named his second son Kal-El.
So, yeah…apparently hot, talented, famous, and geek are not in any way mutually exclusive attributes. Despite this small sampling I can assure you that the list of truly geeky celebs is a long and distinguished one. Don’t worry about the ones jumping on the bandwagon…any geek worth their salt should be able to verify their geek cred with a little research. Pretty girls and hot guys can like gaming, comics, genre television and books, science, math, computers, and all the other various and sundry things that make us geeks at heart…they can even be charming and socially graceful. Try to remember to breath in through your nose and out through your mouth while your tiny little brain tries to reconcile this information with what you’ve been telling yourself all this time. When you’ve done that embrace our geeky kin in all their configurations.
Seriously, why are you people still so thick? Do you not read the information I keep sending you in my replies?
The Internet is all alight with pictures and commentary about Kim Kardashian’slatest bout of public nudity. What does it mean to us as a society that a majority of people are literally more interested in and more educated about a pseudo celebrities birthday suit escapades than Rosetta’s monumental landing on a comet?
I am shocked and perplexed by the current tempest of feces exploding in the science/speculative fiction community online regarding Benjanun Sriduangkaewa.k.a. Requires Hate a.k.a. Winterfox. What happened and how do we support minorities in such a predominantly white male dominated venue while dealing with such hateful and damaging behavior?
Why in the world would a feces fight in the monkey house of the Internet shock you? You’ve just described half of all the communication inspired by and done on the Internet. Please, don’t tell me that you expected there to be less of that in the sci-fi/fantasy community? Even you couldn’t possibly be that naive. Let’s take a few minutes examining a few of the key factors in this situation. A troll is someone who gets pleasure or increased feeling of self-worth by attacking other people… because they’re schmucks. The ease of this practice is increased by the distance offered by the Internet along with the ability to make yourself anonymous. It takes next to no guts to attack someone where they a) can’t pinpoint who you are to call you on your behavior in any meaningful way or b) punch you in the nose for being an ass. Now trolls have always existed and always will. Increased population of the species engendered by the fertile environment of cyber space. These people thrive on inciting people who either will blow straight up in anger or that they view as weak and easy to shut up/shut down/torment. Hopefully, this assists with your confusion.
As for how it should be handled. In my opinion the best way to handle these folks is to simply stop giving them what they want. They want a reaction. Either from the person they’ve attacked or from others joining the attack or defending the attacked. Ignore them. You can’t go away or stop posting because of them or they get what they want but if you simply don’t deign to answer their stupidity they will eventually get tired and go away. I’m not saying it’s easy to do but it is extremely effective and satisfying. It’s easier if you realize that these people’s opinions are of absolutely no value to you. Nobody who goes out of their way to be nasty to you in place of a civil conversation based on an opinion you gave needs to be heeded. You can reinforce this for others by sending them support outside of the public forum since within the public forum you give the troll what it craves…attention.
Last but, not least how does the writer at the center of this particular controversy need to be handled. Well, first thing that I would say matters is that the writer came out and apologized for much of her behavior admitting to a lot of inappropriate comments and acts and denying others. So, at least those parts are undeniably founded. I would also say it matters that the author is now associated with those words and actions. Those two things make it possible for the readers to make some kind of informed decision. I believe that you can say whatever you want but when it comes to a product or service your money and your vote matter the most. If you are offended don’t support her work. If you feel forgiving and positive about her work if not the garbage spewed then support her work. You get that choice just like she gets the choice to her opinions and expressing them as long as she doesn’t step all over other peoples rights. Stalking people (cyber or not) to harass them is stepping all over their rights. If you think you can maybe forgive and forget if she meets your standards from here on out then watch and see before you commit.
I would like to think we’re smart enough to take the minority status out of the equation. I don’t support people whose actions disagree with my morals. I vote with my money. I don’t go around telling everyone why I dislike/disagree with them but, I will share if you ask and I won’t recommend them to anyone. I don’t want to make it about minority status. I want to make it about talent and decency. So, I will. You don’t get my support just because you match my statistics.
It’s not really that hard folks.
I am shocked, dismayed, sickened, and outraged to find out that yet another miscreant is trying to corrupt our precious children and push forward the gay agenda. Neil Gayman’s new childrens book is worse than that horrible Frozen movie going so far as to describe and illustrate two women kissing. What happened to the wholesome children’s stories of my youth? It’s disgusting the way innocence is being twisted.
I really wish I could find a copy of this supposed agenda because really it’s just so hard to plan without these things. I have yet to be able to find one though. I’m still baffled at the brouhaha over Frozen too. I mean the girls were sister’s and nobody was screaming about the snow man’s phallic nose, right? As for The Sleeper and the Spindle, Mr. Gaiman’s new book, at least there I can see that the kiss is what’s got your panties in a bunch. Obviously, no women in you life have shown one another affection and it’s left you scarred. Fair enough.
I would question your perception of wholesome and innocent children’s stories though. The Queen in this book is based on Snow White who’s story is not exactly happy or wholesome. Did you forget the part where her jealous mother (or step mother depending on the version) wanted her heart cut out and brought back in a box by the woodsman? As a matter of fact pretty much if you went through and looked at the vast majority of the princess movies and then apply them to real life situations they’d be pretty freaking creepy. Someone bending over a young girl, who is more or less magically drugged, so that they can kiss her…no really it’s to help her out…she needs it. That reads like a text book example of a college date rape scene and pretty much occurs in both Snow White and Sleeping Beauty. We could skip to the whole Beauty and the Beast story…abusive boyfriend much? Separates you from your friends and family, tries to rule your life telling you what you can and can’t do, emotionally blackmails you with his need of you to keep on living. That’s very innocent, don’t you think?
Personally? I’m less worried about people like Neil corrupting our youth than folks with the small minds, short attention spans, and the strange morals that you have. I’d say that the only thing in your letter that can actually be called innocent is the kiss between the two main characters of The Sleeper and the Spindle.
PS ~ Was there a question in there anywhere?
Troll somewhere else,
I read an article that really disturbed me. There was an African American gamer who wrote a piece discussing the racism and racial exclusion in the gaming world at large, at Gen Con in particular. I disagree. I don’t care if he’s black or Latino or Asian or Indian or whatever. I only care that he’s a good gamer. Why would anyone feel that they’re not welcome in such an open and accepting community?
I have no trouble believing that you are in fact disturbed. It’s wonderful that you feel open to gaming with anyone. That really is great. Good for you. To wonder why anyone would feel awkward or uncomfortable in a setting mostly made up of a combination of mostly white people, older people, and male people if they aren’t any, let alone all of those things? That’s just foolish and naive. Many women, regardless of race or any other element of their makeup that puts them in the category of minority, still struggle with feeling either safe or welcome in the same situations. That fight has been going on for ages and considering that pretty much everyone has women in their lives so, it should be easier.
That being said, I do believe a lot of people don’t see the issue because they truly feel that they are welcoming all people into their hobby and passion with open arms. There is a problem with the diversity of representation in the materials of gaming. The biggest obstacle I see to remedying this inequity within gaming is two fold.
Regarding games and source materials, how do we get more diversity in our products? Well, how much material for gaming is being offered by minorities of any flavor? Are they giving us a different view as an option? I ask if they are because if the white males are the majority of game producers then I’m not sure they should be creating material they don’t know anything about. The first rule of writing is to write what you know, right? Maybe some of them would be great at it…if they aren’t, how badly does this compound the problem? “Well, you have representation in the game…but it sucks and is full of unintentional clichés and stereotypes. Not because the person who wrote it meant any harm but, just because they’re clueless. It’s not the life they live.” Yeah, that would help. I certainly wouldn’t want to take that on. I have no idea what it’s like to live as a person of color. I have no idea what it’s like to be perceived as anything other than white in a country where that still seems to make a difference to many people. How do I do justice to that experience and what it means to the perspective of a character of color? Not to mention that my white bread background leaves me completely culturally bereft in background and what the differences in heritage should bring to the experience.
Then my next question is where are the minorities? We have some, but how and why don’t we have more than a few? How can draw more minorities to join us in the wonder of the world of possibilities and fantastic adventures we love? If we have more minorities who are part of the gaming culture doesn’t that give us a stronger base of people to help guide our events and planning and to design games and materials that help properly represent them?
So, then is the problem a cycle? Minorities don’t feel comfortable because they aren’t represented which leads to a lack of people involved to help provide the representation that will make them feel welcome?
I don’t know. I wish I had an answer, because like many people I want everyone to share my passions. I think everyone would love the worlds I’ve discovered and I’d love to discover new worlds where the experience isn’t guided by the sensibilities of folks with white Anglo-Saxon backgrounds.
So, someone smarter than me hurry up and figure this crap out already! The void is taking away from my having the full experience I wish to- fix it!
My friend was telling me that there is a new study researching how playing angry birds can
improve your health. Do you think it’s only games like Angry Birds or do you think first person
shooters will do the same thing?
It took me ages to figure out where you’d gotten this cockamamie idea from. I can only assume you are talking about the research going on at Georgia Tech where they are working with a system where kids with disabilities are using games such as Angry Birds to teach special robots how to play in order to encourage and make fun repetitive gestures and such for rehabilitative
purposes. You need to re-evaluate your friends, your listening skills, and probably your mental health.
Hopeful you aren’t breeding,
The apocalypse is nigh! They’ve found a spacecraft full of zombies and it’s headed to earth! Get your shotgun and chainsaw ready!
Dear Dead Head,
You’re an idiot…that’s with a capital I. It took me a minute to figure out that you weren’t just babbling but, were in fact babbling about something you were too stupid to understand. The “zombie spacecraft” is a spacecraft that we launched 36 years ago and instead of turning it off like we usually do someone screwed up and let the transmitter on. It wandered away and is now coming back in our direction. Since the transmitter is still on they are working on figuring out how to use the 36 year old tech on board to bring it back to us to see what we can find out from it. It isn’t filled with space zombies, that was just a name because of it wandering around aimlessly, but if it did I hope they’d eat you first…that way they’d starve from a lack of brains.
Guess this makes me the Dummy Slayer?
It looks like Star Trek is leading the way for us again. Verizon is working on glasses that will be able to help the visually impaired to “see” things by identifying them for them…things like color, currency, barcodes, and even familiar faces! It’s a mobile application suite that uses the Verizon 4G LTE network and smartphones with advanced cameras and sensors. Can you say Geordi La Forge? How long do you think it will be until they manage transporter tech?
Imagination has always led us. You don’t think it took imagination to decide that picking a fungus growing in rot or feces up and eating it might be good? The glasses and app. are very cool. It’s nice to see tech actually being used for something worth while instead of playing games and trying to be come the mayor of your bathroom or something. I somehow doubt that it’s going to quite turn into that painted banana clip we saw on LeVar Burton but, it is cool…I just hope it doesn’t drop like calls do and end with a cartoonish drop into a manhole or something equally tragic. It’s almost as cool as LeVar bringing Reading Rainbow back to us. As for transporter tech I don’t know but, it can’t get here soon enough for my taste. If you suddenly find yourself transported to the vacuum of space you’ll know that I’ve gotten it. Now stop bugging me…I’m trying to rewind my VHS tape of Reading Rainbow episodes.
The unthinkable has happened! There has been a freighter full of chemicals and dangerous products run aground on the Galapagos Islands. Given the already freaky mutations that have occurred there I foresee the start of the kind of horror shown in movies like Godzilla and the blob. This is why we have to stop the terrifying road we currently tread with all these so called “technological advances”. It’s unholy and unnatural. Do you think it’s too late to stop?
Witness to Righteous Revenge
Dear Self Righteous,
Somehow, I think you are probably up close and personal with unholy and unnatural. It’s always the ones that scream the loudest, ya know? I also think you watched a few too many B movies as a tot. What I don’t think is that there is any possible way that you could live without all these terrifying technological advances. I imagine you penned your rant while sitting in some new age cafe sipping over priced over doctored coffee and reading on your laptop. Is it too late? Only for losers like you. I hope you are attacked by a mutated galapagos sea lion in full rut with prehensile private parts because ah, irony. Creatures on this planet are already scary – watch a nature program.
Great news! IBM has managed to come up with a new class of polymers that are self-healing and stronger than bone! Isn’t that great??? They’re cheap to make (relatively), lightweight, and durable. Best of all they’re completely recyclable back to their starting materials. Isn’t that great! Imagine the things we’ll soon be able to make from such things. Not just the things regularly made out of plastics already but, things like emergency housing for places after events like natural disasters and war time destruction. Isn’t this great?
Bubbling with Excitement!
So, what you’re saying is you want to live in a giant plastic bottle? Have you always had dreams of being a ship?
After 80 years a theory about turning light into matter has finally found it’s way to being provable. The original theory was put out there by Gregory Breit and John Wheeler back in 1934. The idea being that by smashing two photons together at a high rate of speed an electron and a positron could be created. Well, now with modern tech three physicists working at Imperial College in London think they’ve worked out a relatively simple way to prove the theory. Isn’t that amazing? Can you believe the things we’re finding ourselves able to do by relative leaps and bounds? Imagine being able to come one step closer to proving how the universe could have been created.
I hate to make light of the situation but, does it matter?
I heard recently that the syphilis channel will be putting a weekly show on about “geek culture”. Can this possibly be worth it after all the ways they’ve gone wrong? Can they possibly do better than a couple of minute segment from Sci-Fi Buzz back in the day?
Buzzing with Anger
First and foremost Harlan Ellison(tm) is a force unto himself and has to be side lined for this conversation. The man is a master.
That said I am of two minds on this. One is that Syfy screws up everything. It is possible that they are “under new management” to an extent where they can rediscover their roots and actually take an interest in sci-fi once again. Monkeys could also conceivably fly out of my butt in the right circumstances. On the other hand if anyone can pull this particular simian out of said orifice it would be Will Wheaton and his child-like love of all things geek.
So, I say turn the dial down on that rocket you’re riding Buzz. Watch and see. Give it a chance and your support and if it sucks we can always retain the right to bitch and moan about how there is never anything good on.
Pass the aspirin.
For your reference: Wil Wheaton’s post about his new show is here http://wilwheaton.net/2014/04/the-wil-wheaton-project/
And I’m talking about Harlan Ellison(tm) from his
segment in the 90s here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtdEIG5OTjY
(just in case you want to see how the master of ‘crabby’ works it out).
For the record, I really hope Wil’s show is crazy
successful and lasts for many years to come (and is
accessible on the internet not just on cable TV).