June 24, 2004

Todd James, Pierced

Last month, Teresa Nielsen Hayden wrote a brace of posts addressing the issue of a fellow named Todd James Pierce who had, to frame it kindly, publicly advocated some very dodgy advice for aspiring writers. The ensuing threads resulted in the usual erudite and entertaining discussion among the Making Enlightened.

Last night, Todd himself showed up. With, so to speak, a vengeance.

Get some popcorn, and watch Teresa, Patrick, John Scalzi, Jim Macdonald and others put the righteous smackdown on this oily, whining twit.

Word to the wise, Todd: Don't bring a knife to a gunfight.

June 23, 2004

He Resounds in Valleys

There's a common suspicion among religious folk of a certain inclination that those of us who are agnostics or Buddhists or perky nihilists or some other philosophical bent that doesn't have a Sky Bully to keep us in line have no basis for any kind of ethical code restraining us from running amok like bacchantes in Babylon.

If there's a better refutation to this nonsense than the one articulated (in a most gentlemanly fashion, it should be noted) by Umberto Eco, I don't know what it is.

(Incidentally, the term "Sky Bully" is one I nicked from the famously atheistic Joss Whedon - and anyone who doesn't think Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a deeply moral show isn't paying attention.)

June 10, 2004

His Hand is Everywhere

Today's moment of Illumination brought to you courtesy this fine establishment, located a mere stone's throw from the nation's capital.

(It's like they're not even bothering to hide it any more, you know? I thought half the point of being a Secret Master was being, well, secret.)

The world just gets goddamn weirder every day.

UPDATE: More Saint Germainia cropped up the other day on Snarkout, who links to the same page on Count Welldone as your humble author (not that it's the first thing to come up on a Google search or anything). Weirdness abounds.

June 07, 2004

See, On a White Horse He Comes

For those of you who have been flashing on images of naked emperors in the wake of the recent ubiquitous Reagan memorializations, some useful correctives by lefty bloggers of note can be found here and here.

Interestingly, both use the word "hagiography" to describe the current round of fireside tales being spun about the deeds of the Teflon Cowboy. Apt, very apt.

"Not peace but a sword," and don't you forget it.

June 01, 2004


I spent much of the long weekend getting my geek on at Balticon 38, thus ending my overextended SF-convention virginity, and had a terribly grand time.

Too much to go into now, but some highlights: an enlightening chat with Darrell Schweitzer in the dealers' room on the yawning gulf of horror that is vanity publishing; attending a panel with Mark Wheatley, and having him validate my comics-writing impulses by saying "Don't wait for permission to create"; and learning regency dance without falling down and killing myself. Oh, and Jane Lindskold called me handsome, which was pretty well worth the price of admission, as it's not every day you get your starstruck Famous Author encounter and your ego-strokage all in the same moment.

Also had the pleasure of getting a cool con-buddy on Saturday night, in the form of the lovely Aiglet, who was nice enough to not only tool around with the dorky n00b but also drag me off to the stuff I needed drug to. We were very much on a wavelength, and I think we shall keep in touch. (But between me and the Mystery, this newfound talent I seem to have for getting attractive, geeky young women to want to hang out with me would have been very fucking helpful ten goddamn years ago thankyouverymuch.)

(No, of course I don't really mean that. Whatever losses I totalled in my misspent youth are more than balanced out by having a wife who asks me, "What'd you do at the con yesterday?" and being able to answer, without fear of my life, "Made friends with a cute girl.")

One frightening revelation came out of the whole event, though, and that is the discovery that I am, apparently, a filker. I suppose I could resist the label, but in light of my canon - "Lord Vlad," "Dragon," "Miskatonic U," "Cocteau, Goya, Blake," among others - it'd be like that Roy Cohn line from Angels in America: "I'm not a homosexual. I'm a man who has sex with other men." And anyway, I was up doing it until five in the morning, so I may as well suck it up and embrace it.

It's very odd to be back among the Naturals now. I may be addicted. When's Philcon, now?