Showing posts from October, 2010

And Now I Have a Bird Head

When I found out I was nominated for the Last Drink Bird Head award, I thought the other folks in my category were so immensely talented and deserving that it was inconceivable -- INCONCEIVABLE! -- that I could win. Jeff VanderMeer asked me to appoint someone to accept the award in my absence should I win, and also to write an acceptance speech in case I happened to need one. I got busy and forgot about this request, and remembered a couple days ago and thought, "No, there's no way." And then I won . So here I am, like the occasional Oscar winner who doesn't write a speech because there's just no way in heckapalooza they could win, and then they do, and they speak extemporaneously and bizarrely, and everyone then thinks, "Wow, that person is a bird brain!" Here, after the fact, is my extemporaneous acceptance speech upon winning the Last Drink Bird Head award in the category of "Expanding Our Vocabulary": Oh wow. Gosh. Wow. Okay.

Theater of War

I began watching Theater of War with low expectations.  Documentaries about the making of plays usually disappoint me for a variety of reasons, not the least being that what works well on stage seldom works well on film -- in so many ways, the art forms are the opposite of each other.  The process of making plays is also not inherently dramatic -- it's generally slow and repetitive, often frustrating, and the best rehearsal processes, at least in my experience, are ones all about doing as much wrong as possible in order to find, through experiment and elimination, what's right. I often found Theatre of War gripping, however.  Partly, this is because I'm interested in the people involved -- Tony Kushner, George C. Wolfe, Meryl Streep, and, especially, Bertolt Brecht.  The film uses the opportunity of chronicling the 2006 production of Mother Courage and Her Children  put on by the Public Theater in Central Park to chronicle much more than that -- to explore Brecht&

A Comment, Briefly

So, after lots of kerfluffle, Elizabeth Moon is no longer invited as Guest of Honor to WisCon . And, rather quickly, Juan Williams is no longer employed by NPR. Good. Some people are crying about free speech and all that, but that's silly.  If an avowedly feminist, anti-racist, and progressive/left/whatever convention doesn't want to honor somebody who posted what seemed to lots of folks (including me) an Islamophobic and blazingly ignorant screed ... that seems like a fairly predictable outcome, one that maybe should have even happened sooner .  It's not like Moon had been invited as guest of honor to the Newt Gingrich Sing-a-long -- it's WisCon!  (And as Nick Mamatas points out , this is not the first con to disinvite a GoH.)  She's welcome to attend WisCon if she wants, she just can't do it as a guest of honor. With Juan Williams, NPR doesn't want to pay a guy who says he's scared of Muslims when they get on planes.  NPR's not destr

Putting the "Man" in Sandman ... and Everywhere Else...

Since I've been spending the past few weeks preparing a Gender & Science Fiction class, there's very little I seem to want to write about at the moment other than the thing Kate Bornstein calls "the gender cult". Thus, we have yesterday's Strange Horizons column (written a week and a half ago), "The Failure of Masculinity"  and today's latest episode of the Sandman Meditations , "Men of Good Fortune" .  They are in many ways companion pieces. By the way, I haven't had a chance yet to mention that Strange Horizons is holding their annual fund drive .  SH has paid contributors, volunteer staff, and no advertising revenue other than that which comes through Amazon Associates links to books.  This is SH's tenth year of putting out a new issue nearly every week.  It's an amazing endeavor, and the archives are rich with a wonderfully varied collection of material.  They are able to do so because each year lots of readers th

Horror Countdowns

It's the month of Halloween, and a couple of websites are running countdowns of great horror movies, providing essays in justification of their ideas.  Well worth reading are those at Wonders in the Dark and Gestalt Mash .  We'd all rank our favorite such films differently, of course, and it will be fun in the end to see which films get missed (I'm on the edge of my seat waiting to see if one of my own favorites, Blood Feast ,  gets included on either list!  One must always use exclamation points when talking about Blood Feast!!!   I love it as much for its poster as for the film itself!!!!)  The rankings are interesting, though -- for instance, Wonders in the Dark lists the seminal, original Texas Chainsaw Massacre as #25, and I would be inclined to put it in the top ten; I'm impressed that the writers think there are 24 horror movies superior to and more important than the original TCM .  (And I Walked with a Zombie is all the way back at 85?!?  Insanity!  I'

Checking In

Egads, I knew October was going to be a slow month for blogging, but this is my first post since September 24... What have I been up to, you ask?  (Well, no you don't.  But I'm going to pretend you do.  Allow me a few of my delusions, please!  I gave up on world peace and my imaginary friends, so can't I at least have this?!?) What I've been up to is mostly just the ordinary stuff of life, which for me right now primarily means teaching at two different schools, one a university, the other a high school, in a schedule that's leading to a bit of brain discombobulation.  A lot of preparation for next term's classes, too, particularly the Gender & Science Fiction one at Plymouth State -- all the suggestions from folks were helpful, because even in the case of things I was already considering, it's helped me focus.  I still have a week till I have to turn in book orders, so I haven't settled on much yet, but I do know I'll be using The Left Hand