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Aug/Sep Editorial

(89 posts)
  • Started 5 years ago by John Joseph Adams
  • Latest reply from BrianJackson

  1. Gordon Van Gelder
    Editor/Publisher

    Assuming the workshop gets off the ground, we will pay beginner's rates for any stories from the workshop that Gardner selects for publication. It never occurred to me to do otherwise and I'm sorry no one asked me earlier.

    Sam Hidaka, I assume you've heard the saying, "Steal from the best," yes?

    ---Gordon V.G.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  2. BrianJackson
    Member

    SJT-

    I think ambiguity is the most important thing in the world next to oxygen & food, or something to sleep under when it rains.

    Ambiguity is more valuable than literature itself. With the right ambiguity I could rob you blind or take over the world entirely.

    Ambidexterity, however, is highly overrated.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  3. CalebGolen
    Member

    BJ: "I should be *teaching* workshops, after reading the average poster's messages compared against mine."

    Just change your name to "Sour Grapes" already and be done with it...

    Posted 5 years ago #
  4. BrianJackson
    Member

    CalebGolen-

    With a capacity for gold standard one-liners like that, and in the absence (vaccuum really) of Henny Youngman; have you ever considered a career in television or on the radio?

    Because that way I could turn you off completely or just hit mute.

    See there, how I did that? I bested you literarily here. Don't you feel weak of words against me? Like I could think circles around you at light speed and get you all bamboozled & flummoxed enough to post such a lame message as you did? That's just one of the many things that makes me awesome.

    At the end of the day, you're reacting to me; I worked for and earned an emotional response from the reader.

    Is that not the goal of all non-hack writers?

    Posted 5 years ago #
  5. CalebGolen
    Member

    Sour Grapes: "With a capacity for gold standard one-liners like that, and in the absence (vaccuum really) of Henny Youngman; have you ever considered a career in television or on the radio?

    Because that way I could turn you off completely or just hit mute."

    Pathetic...

    PS: Learn how to use a semi-colon, you "brilliant" little essayist...

    Posted 5 years ago #
  6. SFMurphy
    Member

    Brian, that you placed the blogger choice first implies that you understood who I was referring to.

    Standard science fiction PC Nazi crap. Frankly, I'm not surprised by any of it. Nor am I surprised by the deliberate attempt to misinterpret the editorial and imply some unethical behavior.

    Given the fact that many of these PC Nazis are bullies of the first order who have no qualms accusing anyone and everyone of racism and sexism, I'm surprised that one hasn't been chucked out for consumption yet.

    I give it about twenty-four hours before it evolves into another accusation of "racefail" or something else.

    Respects,
    Steven Francis Murphy

    Posted 5 years ago #
  7. PatrickM
    Member

    "I'm sorry no one asked me earlier."

    Some of us thought it might be reasonable to simply sign up for the email notification of when more detail was available, since it might be covered under "membership prices and other information".

    Posted 5 years ago #
  8. BrianJackson
    Member

    CalebGolen-

    First off, let's learn to spell it correctly. You don't need a hyphen in there. It's simply "semicolon".

    From wikipedia:

    "A semicolon ( ; ) is a conventional punctuation mark with *several uses*"

    Note the term several uses. One of which is:

    To indicate interdependent statements within the context of a single line; so suck it.

    I most commonly use the semicolon for this reason, but sometimes I use a comma to denote a short pause, and a semicolon to denote a longer one; get it?

    So I suggest that *you* learn how to use a "semi-colon" (and to spell it), and get "brilliant" yourself.

    The only other thing you did there really was to copy and paste the solid gold slam I used to smack you down like Superfly Snuka off the ropes c. 1982, so what can I say to that? Yeah, you're right; my words are pure like the long kinky black hairs that nuns have hiding all over them.

    Pathetic? How about exciting? Aren't you excited? Work on a better comeback. That will thrill you and occupy your mind; sharpen your edge.

    You see that?

    Brian Jackson

    Posted 5 years ago #
  9. BrianJackson
    Member

    SFMurphy-

    I am a non-standard science fiction PC Nazi. I am automatic science fiction PC Nazi.

    I certainly understood your meaning. You misunderstood mine: sarcasm.

    By the way, I took your meaning to mean that you are another up-and-comer in the creative writing field and you don't want to rub the editors the wrong way. You probably have a submission in the slush pile or you've got one coming up; and you want to be noticed by the editors/publisher who frequent the board and to go on record as a staunch defender of The Magazine against all "PC Nazis". You've got sweaty palms and fingers crossed up hoping they remember your real name when they see it on the envelope among a stack of thousands.

    I might be in some of those games myself, but if ever I awoke and bit my lip because I was fearful that an editor would form bias against my true opinion and disregard my work... Well, we wouldn't live in America, now would we?

    Brian Jackson

    PS.) I'm going to give you free advice, and you can take it or leave it. It's an insult to Jews and Polish people and many others down to gypsies even, equating anything to Nazis. Like Rush Limbaugh trying to link Feminism and Nazism. You start reading up on the motherscratchin' Nazis and you'll find out real fast that nothing equates to that, trivially. Look up "Treblinka extermination camp" on wikipedia and just read that single article, let alone all the ones it hyperlinks to; and you will feel like an ass for throwing the word Nazi around in such a foolish manner. There's nothing funny about the Holocaust.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  10. SFMurphy
    Member

    Brian, to be honest, I haven't sent Gordon's publication a story of mine in years. I honestly can't remember my last submission. For that matter, I haven't sent the Big Three Mags anything in nearly two years.

    So, umm, no, I don't have anything out in their piles.

    As for calling someone a politically correct fascist, frankly, the only thing these people lack is an oven and a submachine gun. Which, if they were given the opportunity, I suspect they'd cheerfully use on their ideological opponents.

    So I don't have a problem calling them fascists.

    Because in my mind, that is precisely what they are.

    S. F. Murphy

    Posted 5 years ago #
  11. SFMurphy
    Member

    Oh, and Brian, I don't have any trouble getting the editors to remember my name.

    They know who I am.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  12. BrianJackson
    Member

    SFMurphy-

    Yes, "Fascist" is definitely the word I would use. Nazi is more of a hot button.

    See? You're learning from me already! Keep it up, and you'll get there!

    Keep in mind, though, that it was I who you called a Nazi, just for teasing you. I don't think I would have gone into my arsenal for the oven or submachine-gun to best you as my ideological adversary, but I would be remiss if I didn't point out how you flew to an illogical extreme by calling me a Nazi for essentially nothing. The Nazis did much worse than playfully critique people's prose stylings.

    And I wonder what your problem with political correctness is? Does it bother you so much that you must now use the term "Asian" instead of "Oriental"? "African-American" or "black" instead of "colored" or worse?

    People who have a problem with being politically correct are basically bigots who lament the loss of an archaic world where you could be white and insensitive to anyone with strong pigmentation.

    Also, I notice your name is Murphy: In Great Britain back in the day, they hung signs that said "No Dogs, No Blacks, No Irish" in that order. "Political correctness" wiped that out. You're free to celebrate being a leprechaun now, because of one of your biggest pet peeves. Congratulations.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  13. Anonymous

    Brian-

    I'm actually having a little problem with PC here. (Thanks for the commentary about the mis-use of the word 'Nazi'by the way- I don't think the word should be bandied about either).

    My problem is that I loved the Gary Jennings reprint in the June/July issue although some of the language and stereotyping was, to my modern Australian ears, hugely offensive. The only person I've ever heard use the word 'abo' was a red-faced fat old fart of a bigot who thought single mothers should be compulsorily sterilised, factory workers should have to work six days a week etc and who generally lamented the loss of the Great British Empire with the accompanying little brown hot-and-cold running servants.

    I re-read the story yesterday and still felt a bit guilty about laughing at it- but laugh I did! I know we're a bit off-topic but if the science fiction PC nazis had got to this story it would have had to be re-written or not re-published- and this would have been a shame.

    Where's the line? Are we back to: it's OK to be non-PC if it's funny but not OK at other times? Does PC mean "sensitive to other groups' feelings" or does it read more like a government department's booklet on "guidelines for non-discriminatory language"

    T

    Posted 5 years ago #
  14. BrianJackson
    Member

    A character or narrator in a story can flat-out be a bigot, tiger. That's the line. You can have it in fiction, but you can't preach it and practice it.

    Such is characterization. I can write a real terrible racist, but it doesn't mean that I am one.

    And the guy the other day that defended pederasty! It's okay if one of my characters is a pederast or believes strongly in it, but I can't get behind it (so to speak) myself.

    So in the Gary Jennings reprint, I'd say the gray area becomes black when you consider it's only characterization. Now if you read it and take it to heart and repeat it as an opinion or belief of yours, you've crossed the line.

    The line is fiction.

    Otherwise, you're SFMurphy, dancing while he reads the instructions on how to use the space-toilet in Kubrick's 2001. It's only an issue if you make it one. Try defending political incorrectness just for fun and listen to how stupid it sounds. Or wait for Murph to post.

    Brian Jackson

    PS.) Thanks for backing me up on the Nazi thing. I hate when people use that word to denote something counter-ideological to their own beliefs. If I don't believe in what you do, I am a Nazi. If I try to stop you from doing dumb stuff, like smoking in a building that I am trapped in with you, then I am a Nazi. People have to stop underselling the evil of the Nazi party by softening it up to where "Nazi" will eventually just be a simple synonym of "adversary". We should not forget the Holocaust or we could relive it. That was only 70 years ago, seriously.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  15. Anonymous

    I have a problem stomaching some things- such as pederasty- no matter how well it is embedded in the fiction/characterisation. Some things do in fact go acroos the line.

    I am still feeling a bit odd about the 'abo' comments in the story though- I think maybe it was more acceptable in 1970-something (it was only in 1968 that Australians agreed via referendum to admit Indigenous people to the human race via such measures as the census etc- I find that datum mind-blowing).

    I have given this naughty little thrill a lot of thought- I wonder if it would have been possible to reprint a story that could have been as offensive to sub-sectors of the american market, for instance- what if the story was set in 1960's Alabama?

    I also hate the freedom with which some people throw around the word 'Nazi'

    T

    Posted 5 years ago #
  16. Anonymous

    Oh- today is the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of WWII- how can we do this (People have to stop underselling the evil of the Nazi party by softening it up to where "Nazi" will eventually just be a simple synonym of "adversary")

    T

    Posted 5 years ago #
  17. BrianJackson
    Member

    tiger-

    I listen to Howard Stern. I could help it, but I don't.

    When Gilbert Gottfried sits in as a guest, he says 'nigger' again and again and uses an offensive "hello-dere" Amos & Andy dialect throughout, as Robin Quivers (a black woman) tries to read the news. Gilbert is the voice of animals in Disney cartoons and gets commercial voice-over work all the time. He is as racially offensive as you could take it in 2009 and it's just laughed off. It really gets under my skin, and I'm a redneck cracker from the central valley!

    That's radio, and not print media, but I could probably cite a few contemporary novels, not just reprints and old stuff that feature the repulsive N word.

    Also, I dunno about down under, but in American supermarkets they sell syrup that comes in a black glass Aunt Jemima. I'm not kidding.

    I like your comment: "it was only in 1968 that Australians agreed via referendum to admit Indigenous people to the human race via such measures as the census etc"

    Good stuff

    Brian J.

    PS.) Let me clarify: People should stop underselling the evil of the Nazi party, softening it up so that "Nazi" might eventually just become a simple synonym of "adversary", which would be disastrous.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  18. Anonymous

    Brian- you're going to think this is funny but I'm actually unaware of most of the personalities you quote- the Pacific may be wider than either of us thought- but I'm fairly sure I've caught your gist which is:

    you're experiencing stuff in 'entertainment' that could well be offensive to some members of minorities?

    We get 'nigger' here and I well remember it used in Bermuda by both 'colonial' white people and more longstanding residents of african descent towards (comparatively) recently arrived people mostly lately from caribbean islands. However, it was always clearly a term of abuse.

    I don't like this sort of thing. Occasionally I've felt the brunt of it myself due to a marked non-local accent and I like it even less then. At least I can pass for a local if I keep my mouth shut- I can't even imagine how things are for people that have distinctive looks and therefore fall foul of the nearest bigot driving the bus.

    Oh- sorry, my control c cut the end off your fine quote-

    T

    Posted 5 years ago #
  19. BrianJackson
    Member

    As a stated manic fanatic of ambiguity T, I kind of like how I can't tell if you've misunderstood me and are angry or if we're Kool and The Gang.

    When you write:

    "Oh- sorry, my control c cut the end off your fine quote-"

    It's like Maverick buzzing the tower in Top Gun, right over my head!

    I like it. Kind of non-sequitur. My fave rave.

    Is everyone down there really named Bruce and do they all wear pith helmets and toast Fosters to Australia like on Monty Python's Flying Circus?

    Posted 5 years ago #
  20. SFMurphy
    Member

    Brian, I call them Nazis mainly because the politically correct fascists are all about thought control. They use fear and intimidation in order to achieve that thought control, namely by means of veiled accusations of improper behavior (ask Gardner about that one). If that doesn't work then they have other means, such as boycotts, rumor mongering and the like.

    At the end of the day, like the original Nazis, I suspect a politically correct fascist would have no problem removing their ideological opponents by any means necessary. And yes, that includes sending them off somewhere to be reeducated if needs must.

    We've seen examples of this sort of behavior on the Left wing of the spectrum, notably in Stalin's Russia and Mao's China. While the US has not run to that extreme yet, there are those who do make life difficult in fields such as academics and yes, science fiction, for those who do not mouth the correct platitudes.

    And I know what the German Nazis were, Brian. They promised a lot with platitudes. They had a vision which did not tolerate any other point of view and they liked to find a scapegoat upon which they could fix most of their problems upon.

    PC Nazis do essentially the same thing. They alienate potential allies with blanket accusations of improper behavior (I think the "Unpacking the Knapsack" nonsense concerning White Privilege is probably the best example of that) and they work to create a perpetual environment of guilt among their chosen target.

    And because I express that opinion, I automatically fall under the "racist-sexist-homophobe" category. I am not any of those things in my opinion but that doesn't matter because in this new era of political correctness, one is guilty until proven innocent and the crime is in the eye of the beholder.

    Not what our country is supposed to be about, Brian.

    So I deliberately chose to call them Nazis. I'm fully aware of the historical context of my word choice and I make no apologies for it.

    S. F. Murphy

    Posted 5 years ago #
  21. JohnWThiel
    Member

    Well, let's see, what would be an incorrect platitude? I'd say both Nazis and Fascists resemble Jews as visualized by themselves. I ain't worried about what they can do. The reason is, they can't do anything at all. Though if anyone criticized this posting, would you say that the critic was a nazi or a fascist?

    Posted 5 years ago #
  22. SFMurphy
    Member

    John, I think the main criticism of my usage is that the Original Nazis were pure evil and since they exterminated whole populations using the term to describe another group of people is unfair, cheap, simplistic and so on and so forth.

    Which is, umm, sort of the reason I use the term.

    Here is what I am trying to do when I call someone a PC Nazi. I am trying to get them to feel the experience of what it is like to be called (unfairly mind you) a racist, a sexist, a homophobe, etc.

    Nazi is about the only term that sticks in their hide and causes them to scream.

    In other words, like so many net engagements I've been in, my standing philosophy is very simple.

    What is good for the goose is good for the gander.

    Now, I'll be more than happy to quit slapping the PC Nazi term onto the side of certain individuals the very momemt those people stop tossing baseless accusations of improper/unethical conduct about like so many hand grenades. Accusations which are often chucked about with no proof whatsoever.

    Gets back to that "Eye of the Beholder" nonsense which instantly leads to a guilty until proven innocent standard contrary to the way we do things here in the US.

    And I've said this before. Maybe if a few more people stood up to these twits and called this for what it is, maybe it would come to a stop.

    But I doubt that is going to happen.

    S. F. Murphy

    Posted 5 years ago #
  23. BrianJackson
    Member

    SFMurphy-

    Wow, you're really backward and closed minded. You've almost got me spun into a circle because I have a hard time reasoning or being logical with illogical, unreasonable people.

    I can tear all your BS apart really simply though:

    Just tell me what you would like to say or do that is impeded by the concept you call "political correctness".

    Make me a list of all the things you want to do and say that political correctness keeps you from doing or saying.

    I'm waiting,

    Brian J.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  24. BrianJackson
    Member

    In Kubrick's 2001, there is a very subtle joke as Dr. Floyd examines a long list of directions on how to use the outerspace toilet. There's like, 10 paragraphs.

    Now, you could dance around reading instructions with a hot one in the chamber, or you could just run in and poop on whatever looks like the thing you're supposed to crap into.

    Political correctness is that. It's a list of rules where no rules need apply. It's a non-issue.

    There is no political correctness, only social Darwinism.

    We cannot all agree about the use of certain terms or concepts, theoretically or hypothetically.

    But if you go into a black neighborhood and start shouting "Nigger!" to express how the "PC Nazis" have no control over your thoughts, you'll probably get your dumb ass shot.

    Brian Jackson,

    Still waiting for that list.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  25. Kyte
    Member

    I once did an online newsletter for a social studies class. The details don't really matter, but I would put together various links on the topics we were studying and distribute it by e-mail. Once I was careless and managed to accidentally paste an advertisement into the thing (just text, actually).

    The response I got from one student was an e-mail laced with profanity. When I asked him why, he said, "I wanted you to feel as bad as I did when I was subjected to an ad in my e-mail." (To me, he was a sad case; I cut him off the mailing list nonetheless.)

    I never did understand the "I want you to make you feel as badly as I do" business, but I do see that you must feel overwhelming anger and resentment to equate yourself with the victims of the Nazis.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  26. Kyte
    Member

    P.S. That last message was brought to you by McDonalds and the new Ford Focus.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  27. SFMurphy
    Member

    Ah, Brian. Why bother? If you dropped the N-bomb (a word I am not in the habit of using, ever) then I suspect you already have some idea as to what is on that list. :)

    Kyle, I don't care for people who tie my hands as a writer. The old saw is, "Write your truth." Look it up and see how many writers have said as much.

    And like a lot of writers, I have to be picky about writing my truth, not because I am racist or sexist, but because someone will say that I am without any real cause.

    Anyone falsely accused of a crime they didn't commit certainly has a right to be angry.

    I still feel, getting back to the original matter, that the individuals who raised the ethics issue were engaged in a personal vendetta. I've got no desire to loop back into these other arguments, especially when there are better ways to spend my time.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  28. BrianJackson
    Member

    Kyte-

    I think you make a terrific point... God I wish I could come up with the punchline to that setup.

    SFMurphy-

    What of my own point about your Irish heritage and how political correctness made it (somewhat) okay (or at least tolerated) to be Irish in Great Britain? You kinda side-stepped that potato. Thought I'd bump it.

    Also, while you're flummoxed over the list I asked you to draw up of bigoted comments and racist jokes that PCism will not allow you to make (in public) anymore, check out this link and tell me, truthfully, if liberals or politically correct Nazis ever did anything like this to you:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treblinka

    Brian Jackson

    Posted 5 years ago #
  29. Kyte
    Member

    Not sure that I understand how "Write your truth" plays into this discussion, but I agree that anyone wrongly accused has a right to be angry. The anger reaction that I've never been able to understand (whether the anger is justified or not) is the behavior of "By god, I'm going to make you feel as badly as I do." I do see it a lot; I just don't grok it.

    I do, however, think that you've spotted the right path in not being pulled back into a loop because someone (possibly mean-spirited) wants to ride around again. The mean-spiritedness may be imagined, but it's still best to avoid, and I wish you success in steering away from that merry-go-round.

    --Just Kyte (no L :)

    Posted 5 years ago #
  30. BrianJackson
    Member

    Kyte-

    (I am impossibly mean-spirited)

    I will make more declarative statements.

    Brian J.

    Posted 5 years ago #

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