Shaken and Stirred
bond, gwenda bond

link stampede at the o.k. rant corral
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Just a bunch of various linkages today, I'm afraid.

ABC unable to buy crappy reality shows without permission like other networks because it's a Disney fiefdom. Mark Burnett (Survivor) says: "I honestly get a sick feeling in my stomach going over there," he said, adding, "It's awful to go over there knowing it's going to be so hard for them to make a deal." Just like eating live bugs, I bet. They should make Survivors have pitch meetings with ABC Suits!

Do web personality tests work? If the answer is to amuse yourself, or to feel like a loser, by finding out you're the book Lolita then, yes, they do. However, others read more into it: But Drew Westen, a psychology professor at Emory University who has studied personality tests, said Tickle's tests appeared to closely mirror standard tests. "I was impressed," Dr. Westen said. "There are some tests that are close to what you see in the professional literature, not just astrologers and palm readers." The really scary thing is that apparently these companies are now charging for more complete results to tests and they are making money at it. If you pay 14.95 for personality test results online, you have no personality.

This piece is just awful -- all about how if fantasy and science fiction took over the mainstream (holding breath) it would be so detrimental it would probably kill us all, slowly, as we became inhabitants of the platonic cave of imaginary stuff and then refused to come out for light and air and water (via Arts and Letters Daily). And it's really not worth reading unless you want to get pissed off. I had a whole ranty response, but gee, it's just so ludicrous and this person's experience seems so lame that I'll skip it. (Apologies to any friends or family of Ms. Starr.)

-- interlude during which parents, nephews, brother and grandmother showed up and played the name that LOTR character game; we sent them home with The Hobbit and an admonition to my brother to read a chapter each night --

Okay, changed my mind. A tiny rant. On the above I will say these following things which are obvious and not worth the energy but I'm not sleepy yet... (& you'll have to go read it for this to make sense)

The thing is most of the people I know who read/watch/like science fiction and fantasy aren't "obsessive geeks" --they're really well-rounded people who consume lots of media (not all of it SF); they read, they watch movies, they go to art exhibits. I'm sorry, but I really don't know any people who exist solely in obsessive fandom. At base, it's hard for me to worry about people getting really excited and engaged by books and film -- whether those are SF or not. David Coe says that no fiction is escapist, because all of it is used to explore the reality we do live in. When I "retreat" into a book, I'm no less in the world and I'd argue more engaged in it on some levels. (On the other side of this argument, all fiction is escapist, offering a heightened experience of reality. And the same thing I just said also applies to that, for me.) It's too bad in my opinion that someone who professes to be a "fan" (which I do not) would advance an argument that in any way implies that liking sf/f is a lower pursuit of social ineptitude. Aren't just about all writers and bookworms socially inept in the classic view (imo, largely a myth)? I didn't think it mattered what you read. (God forbid the book culture rises from the deep and swallows the world in its gaping maw.)

Besides, my imagination isn't safe. I count on that to make my work interesting.

The piece continues to talk about the internet creating more isolation and solipsism. But the fact of the matter is that people do still have to leave their houses (most of them) to make a living, and that people have always selected friends based on common interests. The internet just allows a wider pool by which to do that -- which enlarges your world, not shrinks it.

And really, if watching reality TV hasn't ruined the world, nothing's gonna. Capiche?

Okay. Moving on...

Lit Idol's five finalists have been named (via Sarah Weinman). You can go read them and vote starting today or tomorrow I believe.

British scientist says there's a 67% chance God exists. I file this one under the "Never Trust The Math" category. (Sorry, Ted and Richard. And anyone else I know who can do math.) The real revelation in that article is that you can bet on doomsday. Why?

Diana Wynne Jones reviews Christopher Paolini's Eragon in the Guardian, and likes it, surprisingly. She also does that voodoo she do do so well of exposing the bones of high fantasy with extreme wit.

And Slate has a piece on the Frank T. Hopkins controversy. I'm not sure why people care so much. I don't really care if St. Brendan visited Paradise Island -- it makes a good story. Though I do think you could have made a better movie about this guy making all this shit up. I admire an imagination, above most things actually.

And, no link because it's everywhere, so sad they found Spalding Gray, but also good I think. Not good that he's gone, obviously, but he was gone anyway and now his family gets to know for sure, absolute, in their bones.

Sleep well.

thoughtworm: "Writing is solving problems; that's what it is." -- Ernest Lehman

today's fave post: "Exclusive Dan Rhodes Interview" at TEV

namecheck: Mickey Don't Lose That Number

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