Can’t stand it, I know you planned it

I do wish Blogger would let you when it’s going out to lunch and isn’t registering a post, and when it is simply taking it’s own sweet time. Hence the double-dribble, sorry. Anyhow, Bruce, fronting is a basketball term which simply means “stay in front of”. So, if you’re fronting someone, you’re keeping yourself between them and the ball in an attempt to prevent a pass.

“Fronting the post. We front the post when the ball is below the foul line extended and the offensive player is on the block. If the ball goes above the foul line extended then we three quarter the post with an arm and leg. Remember you should have weak side help against any lob pass. If the offensive player goes off the block then we play behind the post.”

The danger of fronting is that if the other team can manage to pass in to the post anyhow, it’s an easy basket. So a short player can’t effectively front a taller player, Steve Nash can’t front on Kevin Garnett. From this derives the tangential concepts of an inability to effectively deal with or defend against something, or, alternatively, to portray a false image.

What I wrote yesterday was, of course, a direct quote from the Beastie Boys awesome “So Wat’cha Want”, off 1992’s CHECK YOUR HEAD. While I was down with PE, Big Chilly was a huge Beasties fan. I can’t hear them without thinking of the old days in the Digital Ghetto. Good times.

Where’d you get your information from, you think that you can front when revelation comes? Yeah, you can’t front on that.

Discuss amongst yourselves

Okay, I’ve got some actual work to do, so Bane, try not to scare any visitors to death. Nate, if Jamie shows up, tackle him before he goes over there and they take out a restraining order against us. Gregg too, for that matter. Crystal, if the wolves start to get out of hand, drop the A word, or if the need is really dire, the CW word, to distract everyone.

Always outnumbered, never outgunned

So a few sciffy-sissies still have their panties in a bunch over the fact that I said that “no women write hard SF” when it would apparently be more precise to say “nine women write hard SF”. (Bloody hell, I should have written that, just because it would have actually been much funnier to spell it out like that.) Although it’s hard to be precise, as not a single Electroloon was able to answer what I thought was a simple, straightforward question: how many women are writing hard SF? How many women published a novel best characterized as hard SF in 2004? But amidst all the hissy-fitting, they did come up with around nine names, so nine out of three billion is 0.000000003, or as those of us who are capable of normal human interaction would say, zero.

Since they consider me a vile bigot and I consider them to be sexually repressed, socially retarded lunatics in dire need of an exercise regime, but we belong to the same organization, the answer is obvious. They need me. They need my leadership. I need to take these poor neurotic souls under my wing and help them. Unfortunately, it is too late to declare my candidacy for the SFWA presidency in 2005, but next year – assuming I haven’t completely forgotten about it, maybe someone can try to remind me – the campaign begins! Bane, Nate, it’s time to step up. Get published, join, and be my wingmen. I’ll need a Vice-President and a Secretary of Defense. They don’t have that office yet? No, but they will…

After a year of suffering through the stewardship of a nice, painfully well-intentioned gentleman who all but promised to lead the organization to new heights, (with a straight face, no less), I figure that they’ll turn to me like Italy turning to Mussolini at the moment of its greatest need, at which point I will institute the following program:

1. Weight-training for all the scrawny math guys. How can you expect respect from your publisher when you can’t kick his ass? You want to see fear on the other side of the desk, or at least an awareness that you can crush his throat in your hand if you’re so inclined.
2. A forced exercise regime for all the carbohydratively challenged. The first time I did a book signing, this kid looked at me and said: “you don’t look like a writer, you’re not fat.” It’s a Fashion Emergency! We’re changing our look and my good friend Giorgio will be hired to handle the designs. Yes, it will use up the entire Poor Writers Insurance Fund, but we’ll make it back 4x on licensing the knock-offs within three years.
3. All beards and goatees will be subjected to the newly established Facial Hair Committee, and all whispy tufted chin and cheek growths will be shaved. This goes for the women too.
4. The extensive SFWA lesbian collection will be required to participate in Jenna Jameson Hits the Books, the first in a series of SFWA adult entertainment DVDs. (Great, now I’ll end up winning the stupid election and someone will expect me to go to meetings.)
5. All agents will be taken out and whipped, receiving five strokes for each host upon whom they’ve been parasitically feeding, then exported to China. That should slow the bastards down a bit in their construction of the Greater Co-Prosperity Spere Part II: Bend Over And Smile, Tanaka-san. A good word from a former host will reduce the sentence to re-education at a vocational school in an attempt to reclaim what could eventually turn into a useful member of society. Actually, this could work for stockbrokers too, come to think of it.
6. A Nebula Award Ridicule Jury will be established. Its job will be to examine the Nebula ballots and throw off any novels, novellas, novellettes, short stories or scripts and throw out any that don’t pass the laugh test. Great, so you’ve got ten little friends, go have lunch with them and they can vote you queen of the prom. Now go home. Only individuals who never bother to nominate anyone for anything will be permitted to serve on this jury, which will be liberally supplied with alchohol.
7. Speaking of scripts, Nebula Awards will no longer be given out for scripts. I’m sure Peter Jackson is keeping the week of April 28th free just so he can fly into Chicago on the off-chance he wins the big trophy. Who are we kidding?
8. Joan Rivers and Isaac Mizrahi will be flown in to comment on the fashions worn by attendees at the annual Nebula awards weekend. “And this year, aged brown corderoy jackets with leather patches on the sleeves appear to be all the rage!”

That should do for starters.

UPDATE – I almost forgot. I told a woman “you can’t front on that” after she demonstrated a failure to understand non-Webster English, some dude named Steven Gould wrote: “What language is this guy speaking? Is he from this dimension?” Right, I’M the one on the fringe.

UPDATE II – Also, when I first looked up the guy, I spelled his name incorrectly, and the web site indicated rather strongly that he was dead. My first thought was, well, no wonder he’s so out of it.

The frightened rabbits of SFWA

John Scalzi, author of precisely one “conventionally published novel”, leads the hopping mad flock of rabbits over at Electrolite:

I have a degree in philosophy from the University of Chicago (specializing in the philosophy of language), and therefore have ample training in rhetoric, so I doubt that rhetorical deficiencies on this end are the issue.

I read your column Vox, and I grasped your obvious rhetorical device. It doesn’t impress me. As continually stated, your rhetorical device is obviously bad: Poorly stated, poorly supported, and rheorically incoherent. To restate: Your thesis is wrong and you lack the rhetorical skills to present your thesis in a coherent fashion. Your latter-day attempt to brush off your sexist and ignorant statement as sarcasm is baldly transparent as backtracking; even if it were true, it shows that your use of such devices is appallingly clumsy. Again one wonders how you got your columnist gig, or, alternately, if anyone bothers to edit you, as you so clearly need.

He’s taking exception to my statement that “women do not write hard SF today”. I guess he’ll be after Maureen Dowd this morning after the opening line of her column in the New York Times: “Arabs put their women in veils. We put ours in the stocks.”

Or perhaps she isn’t using a rhetorical device and I’ve been shamefully remiss in not keeping Space Bunny locked up. Handcuffs, hmmm…. That doesn’t really sound all that bad, if you just come at it from the right perspective.

By the way, don’t post there. The host has declared the subject closed. You can make your points here if you like.