Tag: writers

A breed apart from ordinary humans, and responsible for much of their culture. Some would call them the salvation of humanity; others wouldn’t call them a cab.


STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING RIGHT now and read this article by Patton Oswalt about how instant access to everything has brought about the Death of the Fannish Underground. Oswalt speaks to and for those whose fannish identity was built up layer by carefully wrought layer, recalling when one person could consume an entire year’s output of fantastic and science fictional media (and still have room for more). It’s all, he says, in the effort:

The Lord of the Rings used to be ours and only ours simply because of the sheer goddamn thickness of the books. Twenty years later, the entire cast and crew would be trooping onstage at the Oscars to collect their statuettes, and replicas of the One Ring would be sold as bling.

The topsoil has been scraped away, forever, in 2010. In fact, it’s been dug up, thrown into the air, and allowed to rain down and coat everyone in a thin gray-brown mist called the Internet.

More tragic historian than off-my-lawn ranter, Oswalt perfectly captures the sweaty essence of 80s fandom — and makes me wish I’d written it first. I’m not sure I agree with his conclusions, but I do feel a bit sad for kids who’ll never have the fun that we had(1). Something thrilling there is in being part of something secret that yields unexpected connections in unlooked-for places…

– “Wake Up, Geek Culture — Time To Die” by Patton Oswalt
– “Hey Fanboy!” (Fannish posts on Metaphorager.Net)

(1) (On the other hand, they’re probably having some sort of fun that I can’t, so it all works out.)

Pithyism #888

INTELLIGENT DISCUSSIONS ABOUT ART’S ROLE in shaping cultures and individuals have to recognize the difference between censorship (an external restraint based on fear and loathing) and self-control (an internal restraint arising from the artist’s desire to communicate).

Dorothy Parker Nailed It

(From the should-be-better-known blog Letters of Note, here’s a desperate telegram dispatched by a wall-stuck author to her (apparently, or at least in Ms. Parker’s mind) neck-breathing editor. Between this and the previous post my own writer’s block should be…

Words Mean Stuff

A SHORT LIST OF WORDS which, through overuse, have been consigned to the meaning-deficient self-parody heap: Blatant Flagrant Offen(sive/ded) Rabid Sexist Racist Controversy Security Freedom Democracy Republican Terrorism Diva (There are others, but these are what I found in this…

Writer (noun)

A BREED SIMILAR TO ORDINARY humans, but responsible for much of their culture. Occasionally considered too cocky for their own good until posthumous reevaluation shows they were right all along, the bastards. Some would call them the salvation of humanity;…

Harlan’s Secret

“People on the outside think there’s something magical about writing, that you go up in the attic at midnight and cast the bones and come down in the morning with a story, but it isn’t like that. You sit in…