November 16, 2008

(with apologies to children of the '90s everywhere)

"Hey, Rocko! How's your novel coming for National Novel Writing Month?"
"Not so good, Hef. I'm still stuck on Page 1. I can't figure out what comes after 'It was'."
"Oh, you should try my technique! It's working great so far."
"Really? What's your word count?"
"I have... 150,462 words."
"That's fantastic, Hef! And only on week one! What's your secret?"
"Oh, it's easy, Rocko! I just write one paragraph, and then I copy and paste it 50 times. It's post-modern! Check it out: Copy... and paste. Copy... and paste. I just got another 378 words!"
"Heffer! That's cheating!"
"No it's not! There's no rule against it! I looked in the Official Rules and there's no rule against it."
"But you're not writing a novel at all! You're just copying the same thing over and over again."
"I dunno, Rocko. I think maybe someone's a little jealous of my shiny purple Winner bar. Maybe you should work a little harder on your novel instead of trying to be a literal critic or something."
"What?! I am not... I never... And it's literary critic, Heffer! LITERARY CRITIC!"
"Hey, Rocko, I think maybe you're taking this NaNoWriMo thing a little too seriously. I'm gonna go over to Filbert's and show him my work-in-progress."
*sigh* "National Novel Writing Month is a very dangerous month."

November 04, 2008

Time to Ring Some Changes

Yeah, this is about how I'm feeling right now:

Yes. We. Did.

November 03, 2008

Yes I said yes we can Yes

Want to talk about conspiracies of entrenched power? I'll give you one: decades of work, and the money to pay for it, have been spent on pounding the idea into your fuzzy little heads that all politicians are sleazeballs, political action is hopeless, no one goes into a public service career for idealistic reasons, democracy isn't a thing to be proud of, and your vote doesn't matter.

Are you aware that most elections in the United States are decided by fairly narrow margins? I am amazed that an online population that's watched Flickr, Digg,YouTube, FaceBook, and Twitter grow up out of nothing can doubt its own potential political clout.

The powerlessness-and-despair trope is one of the two or three nastiest headtrips the bad guys run on you. And why do they do it? Precisely because it isn't true. Your votes do matter. Political action can change the world. Faith and hope aren't private vices. They're forces to be reckoned with.

- Teresa Nielsen Hayden, here.

And, what the hell, while we're at it, this is pretty much still true too; also, what he said.

You know what to do.