Monday, July 27, 2009

San Diego Comic-Con 2009: Rewards & Revelations

Back in the eighties I was a regular for Comic-Con. Had some great times, but just fell away from going to it when I "fell away" from collecting comics. Because back then, it really was more about comic books.

Last year I took my kids to Sunday and this year the entourage doubled. My kids, my love and two of hers. It made for crazy logistics, especially since the majority of them are not of an age where we can go "everybody scatter and meet here at 3 pm." But it also made for a day with the added perspective of a madhouse through a child's eyes.

There's something wonderful about a child realizing that she is not going to get in trouble for yelling along with the opening of Spongebob in a crowded room. In the giggles of the two girls as they snag freebies or pose for a picture with Barf from Spaceballs. Of the teenager grinning every time someone compliments his pink shirt with the "+10 Shirt of Masculinity" graphic.

For the adults, it was wonderful to see our friends. We made a point to search out Berkeley and Spice author Eden Bradley and Load World Comics Sam Saturday. The few minutes I spent with them would have been worth all the hassle. But they didn't have to be, because there were other things.

Panel highlight of the day for me was a discussion with Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson. Dune fans, take note. There are several more books in the que and, perhaps most excitingly, there is talk of a new feature production. Brian was careful to point out that it is very much in the preliminary stage. It might never get beyond script doctoring. But even the prospect of a film produced in the post-Peter Jackson LOTR environment is enough to tingle the fanboy hairs on the back of my neck.

We ended the day at the Buffy Sing-Along, which was thoroughly enjoyed by all. The teenager, as we were leaving, pronounced Comic-Con to be "pure undiluted awesome sauce." More than enough motivation for us to return, and next time for more than one day. One day is too hectic. You need a minimum of two.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

I'm So Tired of The "I Can Shout!" Version of Political Discourse

I originally wrote this on a discussion board in response to specific claims. Then I realized that, even without changing the specific claims, it actually can fit with so many other similar discussions.

I want an end to the tactics of Karl Rove. I want to hear a political discussion where some research is evident. Where no one is called names, where no one repeats a stretch of an assumption ten times to make you think it must be true.

I want accountability. I want facts. I want something measurable, said by someone unafraid of the idea that if they put something out there that can be measured or tested they might end up being embarrassed because a mistake was found.

I'm getting so tired of the way certain people on these boards, when confronted, retreat into opinionated statements of doom and despair that have no component that can be discussed in a concrete manner.

Please provide evidence that there is a dictatorship or tyranny being planned. Please reference the definitions of dictatorship and tyrant while doing so. Please show examples of elected officials in this country who are legally entitled to hold their position "until death."

Please show evidence that the "far left" is a homogeneous group and that it is funded by a certain individual. In particular, expand upon claims that politically-motivated organizations with large memberships are the tools of a shadowy demagogue rather than the voice of a segment of the population.

Please be specific about which propaganda, please define socialism and compare and contrast it with the ideals in these publications and then please tell me how ANY political belief that is pursued through the current political system can actually be un-American when it is clear that public debate from all sides was considered to be an asset by the Founding Fathers.

Please define "myriad forms of welfare." Please discuss how certainty that medicare and medicaid will bankrupt the country fits with opposition to the establishment of a national healthcare system that would eliminate them. At the same time, please show why eliminating the significant cost to business that is currently imposed by supplying health insurance would be a negative upon the health of those companies... since I can't think of a single small to medium business owner I know who would not immediately point to health care and workers comp as their two biggest costs associated with employees other than actual wages.

Please provide examples of failed policies and programs that would indicate that this President is ineffectual rather than effective in a manner that disagrees with your personal goals.

Please provide examples of international failures and losses of territory and influence that would show that the global status of the United States has been weakened in the last six months.

And finally, please provide evidence that any and all of these individuals you scream against "hate America" rather than that they have certain beliefs that do not align flawlessly with your own.

I want stuff that can be proven or disproven. I want something besides the opinions. I want to see if you can actually quit screaming long enough to have rational discourse.

Forgive me if I don't believe that any of that will happen.