Things I am reading:
The Washington Frickin' Post, or stories from the first couple of pages of each section, anyway. Their app arrived installed on my Kindle Fire 7 and it makes for interesting reading, as their utter horror at Mr. Trump, glee over every stumble from Gov. Johnson and not-quite-concealed disdain for Secretary Clinton makes it clear that they, too (and by their own dim and twisted lights) are trying to put the best face they can on an election with less-appealing main contenders than a back-alley bumfight.* Good luck with that.
Crap about clowns: someone needs to start running a clowns-in-the-news aggregator, because it is becoming a regular item and not in a good way. Seriously, WTF, over? Juggalos run amoker? Fans (ew, squick) of John Wayne Gacy? Idiots? A "news flap," largely self-sustaining, fueled by hoax and rumor? --Logic favors the last two on the list. We were better off with Bigfoot and flying saucers. Remember when clowns were merely creepily cheerful and amused children? No? Me, neither.
Bloody Acquisitions, Drew Hayes: the third book in a series about Fred, the Vampire Accountant. A bit dry, perhaps, but Fred's a decent guy whose concentration on business -- even the undead have to keep financial records and file taxes -- blinds him from seeing just what an inadvertently brave and stand-up fellow he is. Luckily his friends, a mixed bag of parahumans, do notice. Scary hijinks ensue. These are fun books, best read in order, and if you were wondering what the less-apocalyptic side of Larry Corriea's MHI universe might look like, this is it. Well-written pulp, interesting characters, engrossing plots and, hey, accountancy. What more do you want?
Lionel Shriver, The Mandibles: A Family 2029 - 2047. Speaking of the Apocalypse, or an apocalypse, near-future calamity novels faded away as the Cold War and The Bomb came to feel routine. Shriver's brought the sub-genere back on a wave of bad debt rather than radiation, and it may be more frightening than Fail-Safe, Alas, Babylon or On The Beach. This future is mostly-linear extrapolation and the prediction perhaps errs on the gentle side -- but it's no walk in the park. I'm about a third of the way in. Turk Turon sent me the book with a note, "I read it thinking you'd be fascinated." So far, he's right: fascinated like a rabbit mesmerized by a snake, knowing the strike is inevitable and hoping it won't hurt too much. Every time I fill up an old-fashioned paper bag at the grocer's for over $50, I think thoughts of the sort Shriver puts on paper elegantly and well. I don't know how it ends, so don't spoil it. But it can't end well and we'd be wise to heed that.
* Look, if you are finding yourself favoring one of the Big Two candidates, I'm happy for you; just try to bear in mind that, rightly or wrongly, they are two of the least-liked people to ever run for President, and I'm including Richard Nixon in that tally. The people who don't like them -- and there are a lot who don't -- really don't like them and we're all going to have to live with that. Invest in an effigy factory and you can't go wrong. Make sure they'll burn nicely!
BUILDING A 1:1 BALUN
2 years ago
Who the hell names their daughter "Lionel?: --Britons. Geez. I'll fix it, unless Shriver's willing to change teams and save me the trouble. The jacket photo is seriously androgynous; I thought Lionel was just a skinny hispter.
I say it's well past time to put Nixon's likeness on a "Miss me yet?" billboard.
Roberta, it's not how many others dislike the leading candidates, it's how much I dislike them and their positions.
The same kind of people who name their daughters Grayson....
The clown thing: I don't know. I would have chalked it up to "there are too many fake news websites running too many fake news stories" but it does seem to be a real-world meme. I'm guessing it's idiot copycats who think they'll gain 15 minutes of fame.
Several local schools have closed for a day over "clown threats." You know what closing school for a day over a vague unsubstantiated threat gets you? More vague unsubstantiated threats from kids (or employees, I suppose) who want a day off.
That said: if I saw someone dressed as a clown lurking on property I owned, the cops would be called and hopefully the person would be read the riot act about trespassing. (Better that than what MIGHT happen to a "creepy clown" on someone's property)
I'm no fan of either candidate, but I look at it this way:
Which of the two will congress do everything in their power to thwart at every turn, and which one will pretty much get a rubber-stamp machine?
Conversely, which candidate will rubber-stamp congressional actions, and which one at least has a possibility of yanking congress' chain?
People talk about a do-nothing congress as if it's a BAD thing...
The Department of Justice and the Treasury are now the property of the Democratic Party. The IRS has begun fresh audits of TEA party groups, and the FBI "investigation" of Hillary Clinton turned out to be an obvious coverup to protect her. The Secretary of Homeland Security keeps making noises about taking over the November election. The current regime despises the notion that being an American citizen is an exceptional thing to be, as demonstrated by their frantic efforts to naturalize foreigners who do not belong here, and officials at the state level rushing to give felons the franchise.
For some of us, trying to keep the Executive branch out of the hands of such an organization becomes the a matter of some urgency.
I would not vote for Donald Trump if the ignorant thug offered to set himself on fire. Hilary Clinton, likewise.
And the worst thing, the very worst thing? They're *not* criminal masterminds. They're figureheads. A straight-up frikkin' Bond villain (I do not utter the name "Putin") has at least got a bit of flash and can be removed to the great detriment of his or her enterprise. But the Great Gray Beasts Of The American "Two-Party" system? Forget it; you're fighting fog. "[T]rying to keep the Executive branch out of the hands of such an organization...?" Too late! Too late by *decades.*
If you vote for evil, you're opting in. You're making yourself a part of it. You're approving it. The blood is on your hands. I'm not going to do that. It's almost certainly futile but it is all that's left that sits well with my conscience.
Turns out *she* named herself Lionel. Okay, look, I'm sorry, but you don't get to stand yourself in the middle of the road *and* complain about nearly getting hit by traffic coming from both directions.
I'm a contralto with a flat Midwestern accent, working in a male-dominated field. I get "sirred" on the phone all the damn time, no matter how much I smile and flutter. I cope. Lionel can cope, too, and I'm sure she does.
Writes awfully darned well, I'll tell you that. A bit Vonnegut, possibly for similar reasons: "Critics tend to mistake the drawer marked 'SF' for a urinal." Less true than it was but still hardly unfounded.
Rickn8or wrote: "[I]t's not how many others dislike the leading candidates, it's how much I dislike them and their positions."
That determines your vote come a Tuesday in November. Your neighbors who loathe the eventual winner -- and you will nearly-certainly have some, no matter who wins -- will still be there Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday...and so on.
I'm telling you right now, Mr. Obama had it *easy.* Most decent people were reluctant to get too harsh with the county's first President of noticeably African ancestry. Trump's a grumpy super-rich white dude, fair game for *anybody,* and Clinton's a vindictive rich white woman, almost as allowable a target for criticism. Both of them have less-than-pristine histories. Post-election public discourse is gonna be ugly and paranoid.
Bobbi, my wife also has a deeper-than-normal voice. She can make (and has made) phone calls on my behalf before and nobody was the wiser... :)
As for the rest...faugh. A pox on all their houses. These are the Crazy Years.
I like this speech. Bear in mind the Shriver is coming at this largely from the Left and it was published, of all places, in the Grauniad, and you'll see she's got her head screwed on pretty damn straight withal.
A quote, for those who will not be sullied:
"Most writing sucks. Most things that people make of any sort suck. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t make anything.
"The answer is that modern cliché: to keep trying to fail better."
Cliches often hang around because they've got a tacky, sticky lump of truth in 'em. "Keep trying to fail better." NaNoWriMo is coming and I need to remember that.
"That determines your vote come a Tuesday in November. Your neighbors who loathe the eventual winner -- and you will nearly-certainly have some, no matter who wins -- will still be there Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday...and so on.
I'm telling you right now, Mr. Obama had it *easy.* Most decent people were reluctant to get too harsh with the county's first President of noticeably African ancestry. Trump's a grumpy super-rich white dude, fair game for *anybody,* and Clinton's a vindictive rich white woman, almost as allowable a target for criticism. Both of them have less-than-pristine histories. Post-election public discourse is gonna be ugly and paranoid."
Nothing to argue with there, the major difference being is that Trump wouldn't have the media running interference for him. I'd expect to hear a lot of "You're only picking on Hillary 'cause she's a girl!"
"Ugly and paranoid" indeed.
I read the Fred the Vampire accountant stories recently.
Found them some fun light fare.
Also seems to be a theme of Monsters helping win the Revolutionary war in some supernatural books. No complaints just something I've noted.
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