June 26th, 2013


midweek music: "Money for Nothing"

While bopping around YouTube, I found yet another Mark Knopfler performance of a Dire Straits classic, but this was even cooler: Knopfler at the Royal Albert Hall in 1997, performing the 1985 DS hit "Money for Nothing," accompanied not only by Sting, reprising his own backup vocal role from the Brothers in Arms album, but also by Eric Clapton on second guitar, Ray Cooper on percussion, and Phil Collins on drums. Any day you get to see Knopfler and Clapton trading guitar solos is a good day. :)

  • Current Music
    "Missionary Man" by Eurythmics

Arlo ruminates on life, the universe, and everything

My hero Arlo Guthrie just posted a lovely rumination on Facebook about Stuff. It's brilliant and you should all read it.

An excerpt:
So, this summer I am doing new things. I want and need to make some more mistakes. It's only fear that keeps us holed up in the ideas we cling to. And I am not buying anything from anyone selling fear. The fear of The Lord may be the beginning of wisdom, but it is certainly not the end of it. If you really want to know anything, you'll have to move beyond the fear that keeps you needing to be right all the time.
  • Current Music
    "Atheists Don't Have No Songs" by Steve Martin & Steep Canyon Rangers

politics is some crazy-ass shit, y'all....

So last night, Wrenn and I (and a lot of other people) were following the special session of the Texas State Senate, convened to vote on a bill that would heavily restrict abortions and close down pretty much every clinic in the state due to new restrictions on clinics. State Senator Wendy Davis filibustered the bill, staying up and talking and holding the floor, intending to do so until midnight when the special session ended, and voting could no longer happen.

The Republicans of the Texas Senate tried everything they could to get her to sit down and shut up, because she had to follow the rules of the filibuster to the letter (including trying to say she was off topic, as if that matters, given some of the things people have pulled out of their asses during a filibster -- Senator Davis actually stayed on topic), and when they finally called for a vote, the crowd in the gallery started shouting and cheering and making noise so they couldn't vote -- they had to do roll call, and they couldn't do that with the observers shouting to the ceiling. The vote was finally called -- after midnight. Which violates the rules of the special session, the very same rules that Senator Davis's feet were held to the fire regarding.

The Texas Tribune was doing a live feed of the session on YouTube. Almost 200,000 people were watching that particular feed, and other sources had it online as well. And it's a good thing, because none of the cable news stations were reporting on it. This was a major debate over a major issue in one of the largest states of the union, and neither CNN nor MSNBC nor FOX News nor anybody else thought it was worth covering.

Meanwhile, the state senate leadership seemed blissfully unaware or, more likely, uncaring that they were being watched by hundreds of thousands of people as they broke their own rules and called for a vote after midnight. The place was chaos, and the vote couldn't be held until 12.03am, which was past the deadline. Eventually, Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst, who was acting as state senate president, admitted that the vote wasn't legit, but that was after he was the sole source for an AP story saying that the bill passed.

Last night in Texas was a triumph of democracy and an utter failure of journalism. Apparently, no one at AP has access to the Internet, since 200,000 people saw that the vote wasn't legitimate, yet they went ahead and printed the lieutenant governor's press release without checking. No one covered this until after the fact when they realized that Twitter and YouTube was doing their job.

Meanwhile, today the Supreme Court of the United States -- one day after gutting the Voting Rights Act in an appalling display of trying to make it 1862 again -- overturned both the Defense of Marriage Act (the signing of which was a massive blight on the presidency of Bill Clinton) and California's Proposition 8.

This was a victory for human rights, and one that's long overdue. There is no justification, none, for denying gay couples the same rights as heterosexual ones, that isn't pure bigotry. There should be no place for bigotry in a free society's laws. (And yes, I see the irony of me saying that about the same SCOTUS that gave a body blow to the VRA.)
  • Current Music
    "The Legend of Johnny Kool" by The Brian Setzer Orchestra

updated stalkers guide

Here's where I'll be showing my face in public the next few months:

30 June: Wizard World NYC. I'll be doing a panel on "Storytelling Across Genres" at 2pm with fellow scribes Myke Cole, Alaya Dawn Johnson, and Kaila Hale-Stern, moderated by Singularity & Co.'s Cici James. I won't be at the whole show, just at this particular panel, and I may wander about Sunday as well.

5-7 July: Dexcon 16. I'll have a table at this gaming convention in Morristown, New Jersey. Come by and say hi. :)

6 July: Garden State Speculative Fiction Writers. I'll be taking a break from Dexcon to be the guest speaker at the July GSSW meeting (formerly the GSHW) in Old Bridge, New Jersey, discussing the joys of outlining.

26-28 July: OSFest 6. I'm one of the Author Guests of Honor at this Omaha, Nebraska convention.

2-4 August: Shore Leave 35. As ever, I'll be one of the author guests at this media convention in Hunt Valley, Maryland. I'll be on panels and be at the Meet the Pros event Friday night as usual, as well as the regular Boogie Knights concerts.

20 August: Launch party for Ragnarok and Roll. This party will be held at the SoHo Gallery for Digital Art. Details TBA. There will also be an event for R&R to be held in Key West, Florida some time between the 24th and 28th, details and location and exact date TBA.

30 August - 2 September: Dragon*Con 2013. I will once again be an author guest at this Atlanta, Georgia mega-event, where I will probably do a metric buttload of panels, like usual.

20-22 September: RocCon. I'm one of the guests at this Rochester, New York convention, where I'll have a table, and will probably do a Q&A or two.

10-13 October: New York Comic-Con. Once again, The Chronic Rift Network will have tables in Podcast Alley at the Javits Center, where we'll be selling books, doing interviews, and other cool stuff, including a face-painter!

8-10 November: PhilCon 77. I will be attending this Cherry Hill, New Jersey convention as well, doing panels and probably spending time at Dark Quest's booth.
  • Current Music
    "My Right Hand Man" by Joan Osborne