What would a presidential election campaign look like in the Star Wars Universe? Maybe something like this -
I’ve made no secret of my endorsement of the Obama campaign, but it wouldn’t be an election if there weren’t at least two sides involved -
What would a presidential election campaign look like in the Star Wars Universe? Maybe something like this -
I’ve made no secret of my endorsement of the Obama campaign, but it wouldn’t be an election if there weren’t at least two sides involved -
Posted in antiques, Barak Obama, politics, pulp magazines, science fiction, science fiction art, science fiction magazines, Uncategorized, tagged Barak Obama, Joe Biden, John McCain, pulp magazines, sarah palin on October 2, 2008 | Leave a Comment »
We’ll start with Obama. Afterall, he was pretty easy to pick a cover for. Yes, I know the painting was done as a white guy. Not my fault. I’ve yet to find a Hawaiin depicted on the cover of a pulp magazine so this one will just have to do -
If I had wanted to go with a ‘black’ theme, I could have used this one -
But it really doesn’t convey the sense of strength, courage, fortitude, intelligence and leadership that I was looking for.
Biden was pretty easy -
Almost kind of even looks like him.
And now the moment I’m sure you’ve all been waiting for – the Palin covers. (Who? McCain? Oh yeah, the Republican Presidential candidate. He’s still around? Huh.)
In choosing these particular covers, I paid as much attention to the imagery (it needed to be a brunette on the cover and they’re just not as common as blondes. Speaking of which: do we change the blonde jokes to feature brunettes instead or convince Sarah that she really IS a blonde and should get a dye job?) as I did to the names of the stories listed on the covers. You ought to also.
This is how the Republican party would have us see her – democratic meat dripping from her claws.
Reality is so harsh sometimes, isn’t it?
…get elected. Ha ha ha.
I don’t think Isaac would have wanted to grope this particular femme fan.
The Imposter. LOL. LOL.
Empire of Evil. Yep. That’s what we’ll be getting…
An Empire of Evil that will leave a Legacy of Terror. Fortunately for all of us, Obama has transformed himself into a giant black ant.
“I was once a beauty queen, you know. And I’m sooo smart – I went to six different colleges. Hey, is that Putin invading my airspace over there? Oh, no, it’s just dinosaurs strolling across the bridge to nowhere with human beings. You’d think they’d cover that in one of the many newspapers I read every day. But they write about dumb stuff like Supreme Court decisions no one can remember the names of. Stupid Supremes, they should never have broken up. Hey, wanna go wolf shooting from my helicopter while we patrol the border?”
Ok, here’s one for McCain -
Kelly, why do all of the socks look like an old man’s ball sack?
The Conservative. Yeah.
I hate the way the (biased) press and the pundits, not to mention the rabidly-blind partisans, twist the buzz words and get people to accept their new definitions through repeated vocal hammer blows to the temple. Dems hardly dare use the word ‘liberal’ anymore because of its (incorrect) associations in the minds of a lot of the public. Reps aren’t too fond of always be lumped in with the religious right either.
It got me thinking about the non-political usages of the words conservative and liberal.
Common parlance takes conservative to essentially mean – maintenance of the status quo. Of course Republicans would have you believe it means ‘fiscal responsibility’ or ‘small government’ or even, in some cases, ‘traditional family values’, but in essence and in Websters it stands for the preservation of what’s happening now and/or a return to what was ‘good enough for grandpa’. Change is bad, therefore we MUST fear it.
Liberal, to most people, means something like “empty-headed-animal-food-trough-wiper” (if I can borrow from Monty Python). Tree-huggers, do-gooders, people who would allow pedophiles to run rampant in our streets because you really should look at both sides of an issue. In other words, clueless idiocy.
What Websters says liberal really means is – Willing To Embrace Change. Reform. Try new things, examine other options.
I can’t think of any other time in history when the original definitions of those two words – conservative and liberal – weren’t the perfect words to use in describing the two team’s running for office.
McCain/Palin: what else are they advocating except ‘stay the course’ and ‘turn the ship around so we can head back to the previous century”?
They’ve got that fear of change element going on too: things may be bad economically (not that we’ll admit it) but they’ll get worse! Terrorists will be living next door if we leave Iraq! Your child might read a library book (omg!) that will turn him or her into a homosexual!
Obama/Biden: Change. Change. Change. Change. Change. Hey – a campaign funded by the people, not the special interests (OMG – change!) Talk BEFORE saber rattling (OMG – change!) Remember the Constitution. (OMG – BIG change!)
There are plenty of other people who write about these kinds of things a lot better than I can, but what I find truly ironic about the whole situation is that true conservatives – those who hew to the original definition and meaning of both the word and the politics – are well and truly screwed this election. On the one hand you’ve got Palin: A WOMAN! OMFG! CHANGE! and on the other you’ve got Obama: A BLACK MAN! OMbejeebusFG! CHANGE!
No matter how you slice it, Conservatives will be voting for CHANGE this year. Hey, it’s a step in the left direction…
One day late on the update to Skiffy Tube’s SF Purity Rating. I almost missed this unprecedented rise in SFnalness. Slightly more than 40%. Why, that’s really close to FIFTY percent. Which is like, half.
Don’t get too excited though. This temporary increase is only due to incessant airings of Tales From The Darkside (16 episodes on Monday – yeesh!) 8 hours of Doctor Who today (I know, not such a bad thing) and 10 hours of Star Gate franchises tomorrow.
Sarah Palin is presumably Sarah 24/7. If you take a LIBERAL approach to her belief systems, you could reasonably argue that the broadcast in her head is SF, which means that no matter what it does, Skiffy Tube will NEVER equal Palin’s SFPR. Even if they showed TDTESS 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year (which would be an improvement), they’re still gonna break for commercials, and I don’t think Palin ever does.
but not forgotten.
Karen and I took our trip to the Hopkinton Fair today. Pretty darned big fair as these things go. We munched on splitpea bread bowls and beef stew, visited with the 4-H animals (I saw the largest rabbit I’ve ever seen. This thing was the size of a medium dog!), picked up some nice nick-nacks and had a pretty darned good time.
We wandered into a vendor’s stall that was displaying old cast iron toys and such, including a fairly large collection of Aunt Jemimahs and other “ethnically inspired” momentos from a bygone era. Actually, an era that I HOPE to say ‘bye, it’s GONE!’ to.
You can see some of these items below, including the sign that obviously came from an eating establishment that declares “We serve coloreds carry out only”. And if you think about it, that sign itself represents a certain degree of progress. I’ve placed the image beside a picture of the NEXT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA – Barak Obama – who just happens to be black. Or maybe Hawaiin.
Those two images side by side show progress that’s at least an order of magnitude beyond the sign.
More pictures from the Hopkinton Fair later.
Ok, I guess I’m a Libertarian or maybe a LiberUL. I think that government should be seen and not heard and that if Government of the people, by the people, for the people is the reason for being, than it should live up to that and do for the people – not big business and not big government.
So sue me.
Here’s a few political issues – recent or otherwise – that just absolutely make me want to bash my own head repeatedly with a ballpeen hammer:
The LimpQuack Administration and its idiotic attempts to suck the steam out of Obama’s candidacy; first the “proof” that THE SURGE IS WORKING (take that you crypto-commie symp – who happens to be black, by the way, in case you didn’t notice).
I know we’re supposed to operate in the pseudo-Clausewitzian sense of the military being subordinate to the civilian government. I’m not sure exactly how strongly that ‘rule’ is still in effect, so I can’t really focus the accusation here, but SOMEONE needs to go back and re-read that ancient tome on military strategy generally known as Sun Tzu/The Art of War.
Specifically the chapter that says something like: when your enemy is strong, run away, when your enemy is weak, attack.
The Islamic Insurgency can’t (yet) win an outright military victory anywhere, so they’re settling for the next best thing: making us pay in lives and treasure. I wonder if anyone has ever done an economic analysis of the comparitive costs of keeping an Islamo-Fascist in the field versus a US Soldier in the field. Something tells me that the Islam-Fascist is a LOT cheaper.
“Bwana – the Godless Imperialists are sending more troops, oh whatever will we do?”
“Let them pound sand. Tell the suicidal fantatics to step up their operations and send the Madrasa graduates to Afghanistan.”
LimpQuack’s cronies announce ‘victory’ yet again, not because anything real or lasting has actually been achieved (we’ve just handed a tenth Iraqi province over to provincial troops – yippee goody-goody) but to deny the Obama candidacy the high ground of a major talking point. We’re pulling the last ‘surge’ brigade out of Iraq (even tho the troop numbers there remain higher than before the surge).
Who wants to bet a quarter on the inevitable future? Once we up the troop count in Afghanistan and get fully engaged there, things will start to hot up again in Iraq. No takers? Didn’t think so.
I mean, I like ping-pong just as much as the next guy, but not when it involves wasted lives and certainly not when it lets the Islamo-Fascists claim victory after victory. (“Watch this Mohammed – I’m going to make the US send more troops to Afghanistan”.)
Now the LimpQuack Admin announces a new diplomatic initiative vis-a-vis the Iranians. Oh – don’t be fooled, this isn’t a negotiation – after all, we’ve stated as a matter of public policy that we won’t negotiate with THOSE guys until they give up their nukes – our guy is just going to go sit and listen.
(You just have to know something is fishy when Bolton – the guy Bush shoved down the UN’s throat – is objecting…)
Obama’s camp has managed to retain the high ground on this one – I think. He quickly thanked LimpQuack for recognizing the validity of his own stated policy (about the only thing he could do), but regardless, it demonstrated the pattern.
Do you think McCain calls up the Whitehouse and says “Waaa – he’s beating me on the Iraq War – do something! Waaaa – he’s beating me up on Iran – do something!”, or is it just LimpQuack getting jealous of all the attention Obama is getting for policies that tilt 180 degrees away from everything LimpQuack claims history will remember him for?
What’s next – a tectonic plate shift on healthcare?
Speaking of Iran. If China invaded Canada on the pretense of removing the corrupt, oppressive, religiocracy that had come to dominate the country (with widespread UN support, of course) and then a little while later they invaded Mexico on the (mistaken) belief that the regime there was hell-bent on developing weapons of mass destruction (along with a ‘coalition of the willing’, consisting of North Korea, Syria and Somalia) – do you think the US would have reason to be a tad concerned?
Politics aside, when a world superpower drops troops in countries on your left border and on your right border, being a bit miffed, engaging in a little saber-rattling and voicing strong opinions about your displeasure with the circumstances ought to be expected.
When the only response to those little attention-getters is “Talk to the hand” – would you be surprised by a little foot stamping? I know I wouldn’t be.
Which brings me to oil. OY this time, not Duh.
We get ‘energy independance’ as a mantra. We get ‘liberul’ castigation because they’re ‘standing in the way of drilling everywhere’. Hello? Energy independence means getting OFF of the oil bandwagon. OFF. As in – do not use oil or oil-based products for energy production. I hate to tell my drill-everywhere friends this, but there is fundamentally no difference between OIL pumped out of American soil and OIL pumped out of foreign soil. It is still OIL.
Besides, I’ve yet to hear the following argument from anyone on either side of the aisle:
IF, as some claim, it is true that the US posesses more oil than the whole rest of the world combined (which is of course extremely debatable), and IF it is true that demand is going up as supplies run out -
why the hell do we want to start using it now? Aren’t you guys capitalists? Don’t you realize that if the rest of the oil is used up and the US is holding on to all that’s left, we’ll make a killing? Wouldn’t it just be peachy keen if the only member of OPEC was the United States?
Imagine what it would do for our economy; Universal health care, housing for everyone, schools and universities staffed by the best from around the world. We’d get to screw willy-nilly with everyone else’s economy and we could all go back to guilt-free SUV ownership.
Posted in Classic Science Fiction, fandom, space, tagged Adolf Hitler, Barak Obama, core fandom, fanzine, H. G. Wells, Hugo Awards, Iraq, JFK, John Scalzi, Orson Welles, SMOF, When We Left Earth, World Science Fiction Society, WorldCon on June 23, 2008 | 11 Comments »
Well, as I feared, the acquisition of an RSS Reader has caused information overload. There are far too many things to comment on, rebut, extend, investigate, research and write about, for me to know where to start. Considering that I can’t seem to remember more than two pieces of information at a time (and I never got into the habit of taking notes because I used to be able to remember everything) I now find myself twisting in the wind of half-remembered somethings that I wanted to say something about.
Couple that with my personal desire to give credit where credit is due when someone brings nifty information my way and you end up with a large bundle of frustration.
Not to mention that the new personal schedule has now kicked in and I will be awakening at 3:30 am to drive my wife to her car pool (my night owl internal clock insists that I can get by on two to four hours of sleep a night for at least two weeks); we may all have an opportunity to discover (yet again) why my Mother banished me from the breakfast table all those many years ago.
I’m going to try to remember to take notes. Of course, the remembering part wouldn’t be so hard to remember if I could remember what I was just talking about…
One thing I definitely want to write about is a bit of weirdness – but the last three times I’ve posted, I’ve forgotten what the weirdness was, so I’ll have to skip that one for now.
I’m definitely going to have something to say about fanzine fandom, core fandom and the SMOF list, by way of commenting on the proposed change to the Hugo Awards voting rules.
I also want to mention a couple of blogs I’ve recently been exposed to, want to comment on Obama’s impending nomination, do a little review of the documentary When We Left The Earth,mention a nifty interview over at TCSFC Radio Division and – I can’t remember the other things.
So. Fanzines. One of my first pieces of fanac was fanzine writing, editing and publishing. Among my first fannish friends were Big Name Fanzine Fans like Gary Farber, Linda Bushyager, Suzle Tompkins, Fred Haskell and the whole lot of folks that they exchanged letters and APAs with. I hadn’t noticed until recently, but the advent of the internet and programs like PDF have revitalized and extended the reach of these little personal magazines that used to be lovingly cut and hand typed onto mimeo stencils and then printed on twilltone (don’t forget the slipsheets). If you’ve never heard of a Gestetner, you owe it to yourself to take a trip back to pre-Xerox days. You can take a look at some ‘zines here and here: I’m sure there are other archives and collections as well. There’s some mighty fine writing in them thar zines. Several sites have also been/will be added to the blogroll.
Core Fandom. Apparently used to describe the folks who really TRUfanly carry the traditions of fandom with them, direct descendants of Ackerman’s Ackzample. One of those things that if you are one, you know it and the other people who are one know it too.
As usual, fandom is not fandom without a feud or pseudo-feud. Some Core Fans are now warring with WSFS, claiming the mantle of being the ‘real’ fandom and casting WSFS as the upstart insurgents, perverters of the propeller-beanie. The argument seems to be that ONLY those fans involved with fanzine fandom can stake a claim on the mantle of trufandom. Naturally, the trufans over at WSFS object to this besmirching of their honor.
And of course there are folks at WSFS who kinda-somewhat agree with the Core Fandom people and lots of fanzine fans who either kinda agree with the WSFS side or disagree with the Core Fandom side.
Makes me wish we could go back to arguing over whether we should be using SF or Sci Fi…
I subscribe to the SMOFs email list (Secret Masters of Fandom), which is available by application, with said application being accepted if the current members agree that you belong on the list (seems like my con activities in the late 70s, early 80s is still remembered and was enough to qualify me).
The current topic of discussion is the proposed change to the definitions of membership types in WorldCon. WorldCon (TM) is the administer of the Hugo Awards. The only people eligible to vote for these awards are those who have a current membership in WSFS (World Science Fiction Society), which you get by purchasing a membership to a WorldCon.
There are currently two levels of membership – attending member and supporting member. Both types are eligible to cast nominations and votes for Hugo Awards.
There are a number of issues that come up surrounding the awards and memberships; one on-going one is the objection some have to buying a vote (you’re not really, you’re buying a membership that gives you rights and privileges, one of which is the right to cast ballots) and another is the paucity of participation. Votes for particular awards are typically in the several hundreds – not the several thousands you’d expect for a literary genre that has its own category on Amazon.
Now there’s a proposal to amend the membership types, the details of which are boring: Kevin Standlee has the proposal here if you are interested in the details.
The proposal has reignited the fire under Hugo voting issues: big objections are again being raised to the possibility of special interests being able to ‘rock the vote’ (defined as a concentrated effort to purchase enough memberships to effectively guarantee a win for a particular property). Fingers are being pointed at the people responsible for the Star Trek episode nominee this year. Its fans are on a campaign and several SMOFs are objecting – not so much to what this particular group is doing but to the possible future dire consequences.
Here’s my take: first, the Hugos ought to be far more representative of fandom in general, not just the very small numbers who actually vote out of the relatively small number of fans who get memberships in WSFS. (Full disclosure: I can rarely justify the expense of a WSFS membership myself: when I have been a member, I have voted.)
Hugos are respected and utilized by publishers and such for marketing purposes: Hugo winning books have new editions rushed into print, proudly displaying the win on their covers.
So you can’t say they are a meaningless award, despite the small amount of participation. But I believe that they would be MORE meaningful if, instead of winning on four or five hundred votes, a novel, story, artist, magazine or movie won with four or five THOUSAND votes.
In terms of marketing it just makes viral sense: rather than four hundred people telling their friends “I voted for the winner this year, check it out”, you’ve got ten times that number saying the same thing.
Then there’s the ‘buy the vote’ issue to consider. As some have pointed out, future sales of a winning property may very well justify the expenditure of the ten to twenty thousand dollars necessary to buy a win. We’re still discussing the formula (the Hugo voting and nominating process is a complicated one and isn’t subject to the simple solution of merely purchasing a majority of votes), but most of us agree that it is possible to do.
There are really only two solutions available to solve that potential problem. First is to restrict voting with a set of complicated qualifying rules designed to prevent such from happening. Possible and draconian – and still subject to manipulation.
The second solution is to make voting accessible to so many additional people that no single special interest group can possibly put together a large enough bloc to insure the success of their nefarious plans. I’m not sure where the cut-off in terms of dollars is, but I’m very sure that if the total number of voters was in the ten to 50 thousand range, no one would bother to try. And even if they did, their voice would only be one small one among many doing the same kind of thing and it could safely be ignored by those interested in maintaining the purity of the awards.
Arguments are made about the ‘dilution’ of the awards’ significance, but again, I disagree. In terms of common sense, the MORE people there are who vote for something, the GREATER the perception of importance. I believe that opening the vote up will bring in more TRUFANS, who have not participated for one reason or another, than it will people who are only interested in one specific category of award. And even if an initial opening up of the award does bring in hordes of pseudo-fans, guess what? Many, many many of them will quickly become TRUFANS, because by participating in the vote, they will necessarily become exposed to the much wider world of fandom that exists beyond their Star Trek, BSG, Firefly or other special interest doors.
Two final arguments: first, the economic one. Let’s suppose that WSFS makes a ‘vote for the Hugos only’ membership available for a nominal fee like, say, $10. Will this reduce attendance at WorldCon? Doubt. The people who purchase attending memberships in WSFS do so to attend the event and consider voting for the award as an additional benefit. This ought to be made amply clear by the disparity between the total number of attending memberships and actual votes cast. Those who purchase supporting memberships are either die-hard supporters of WSFS (good on you!) and do so regularly because they do so, or are folks who are hoping to attend but don’t think they’ll be able to for one reason or another. Allowing people a ‘vote only’ membership (that’s convertible for an additional fee to supporting or attending) becomes a marketing tool for the convention.
Think about all the bloggers and website publishers who’ll stick a mention of the Hugos on their scribblings. More marketing. Marketing that the customer is paying for the privilege of engaging in.
Not to mention the additional cash flow. Its entirely possible that participation in such a program could being in enough additional cash that WSFS would be able to LOWER attending membership costs, which would obviously have a beneficial effect on actual attendance.
Last but not least: opening up the vote is far more in keeping with the new electronic community/economy. The basic concept seems to be to allow as many people to have a sense of ownership as possible (guided and managed). People who have a sense of ownership spend more money and participate more regularly. They contribute. They give things away for free and add value to already existing products. John Scalzi is doing something along these lines by offering free E-copies of nominees to those who can prove WSFS membership. Imagine something along the same line that’s now available to tens of thousands.
I think, therefore, that WSFS ought to take a good hard look at creating a (managed) way in which many many more people can become eligible to vote for Hugos. I can’t really see a downside, unless you consider raising awarness of the award a bad thing.
I just saw most of the episodes of When We Left Earth (Discovery channel). Its a documentary version of The Right Stuff. Some day, I’m going to gather up my DVDs of The Right Stuff, From The Earth to the Moon, Apollo 13 and this presentation, and sit down for a 24 hour session of viewing “Reasons Why My Childhood Was A LOT More Exciting”.
Which brings me to Obama. I’m voting for him. He absolutely reminds me of JFK. Worry all you want to about ‘inexperience’ (I don’t see it), believe as much as you want to of the BS the right is slinging at him (I don’t). I’m voting for him DESPITE his apparent positions against a robust manned space program (hoping that will change) because, dammit, we need to hope again. I’m sick and tired of the fear mongering. This country has always been at its best when its had a goal to strive for and a vision of the future that’s bigger than our eyes can see. We need to remember that and I believe Obama can give it to us.
Check this out. Academicsare apparently reading me and adding me to their blogrolls. Well, one academic anyway. Of course this particular blog is lauding the virtues of BSG, so I don’t really know how excited I really ought to be getting, but… I’m adding it to my blogroll to return the favor.
You might also want to check out zine dump if my discussion of fanzines interested you at all.
See. Until I re-read the entry, I forgot all about the fact that I wanted to mention this.
This is a radio interview with H. G. Wells and Orson Welles that took place just a few short months before Welles’ (note the ‘E’) release of Citizen Kane, the movie that many regard as THE perfect piece of cinema. (I like the movie, but THE perfect piece of cinema is Casablanca. Sorry, Orson.)
The two things I find most interesting about the interview are: the fact that you can actually hear the voice of a man who was born in the 1800s, who incidentally wrote The Time Machine, War of the Worlds, First Men In The Moon and etc. There he is, right there on the radio, talking and chuckling away, acting all deferential to Orson and the audience, seemingly bemused by the attention and enjoying every second of it.
The second thing I find fascinating is the mention of Hitler’s denunciation of the western democracies, using Welles’ radio production of Wells’ War of the Worlds, and the panic it induced, as an example of why the western democracies are corrupt and doomed to fall.
I wish I could find a copy of Adolf’s speech wherein he makes those accusations. I’d like to hear how he links fear of a Martian invasion to corruption and failure. Second only to the claims made about Hitler is Wells’ own unspoken commentary: Silly colonialists. If you weren’t in the habit of believing twelve impossible things before breakfast, you’d have known the Martians can’t be invading because there are no Martians.
I think he’d be just as amused today, what with school teachers burning crosses in their student’s arms and all. The justifications for the Iraq war were just as impossible to believe as a Martian Invasion and yet our fellow country bumpkins bought them just as readily as they did the Invasion back in the 30′s. Seventy plus years later we’re still running around with pitchforks and pulling the covers over our heads.