I'm home, but I got nothin'. It was somehow very demoralizing to come home but not get into our house yet. I still haven't had time to binge the 'net and catch up on the interesting things other people are saying about the outrageous things other people are doing. But you're all smart people who read and say smart things, maybe you could show that off.
What about a Hobby Lobby/ISIS/antiquities thread? I know it was dropped in the comments already, but I certainly found it to be an unexpected way for a shithead fundie company to branch out from scrapbooking women's wanton fertility.
We were recently in Glacier, and I recommend it heartily. It's beautiful and majestic and quite accessible even with kids. The trip also scratched my itch to go to Montana, which I've had ever since I saw A River Runs Through It. It sure is pretty, and, as I said to some friends, the people are so friendly that it made me think race-mixing really is a bad idea. (Don't out me, CNN.)
These are the states I have never at least driven through:
Points of interest, recommendations, your own damn travel stories, have at it. I'm personally only interested in the US right now, since I don't want to deal with "born in eye-ran" hassle at the border.
Mossy Character writes: It is a melancholy object to those who read the books available for purchase or theft on this great internet, when they see the forums, the reading lists, the shopping carts and hardrives crowded with works more numerous than mortal reading time can encompass; which, as they accumulate, burden the fine reader with guilt over volumes unperused sometimes surpassing in weight even the pleasure gained from volumes read.
I think it is agreed by all parties that this prodigious number of books in the arms, or on the desks, or in the download folders of our laptops, and frequently of our mobile phones, is in the present deplorable state of the world a very great additional grievance. Unfortunately I have grappled in the recent past with several monographs originating in the halls of anthropology: works managing somehow to render soporific the French nuclear programme; or to bury their insights so deeply in verbiage that more may be gained from the cover copy than from the book itself; or, on the notorious Guianas, to present the reader with such a gem as this:
I provide a governing voice to guide the main text and I assign the words of others to a constellation of positioned quotations, footnotes, and epigraphs
which is to say, that the gentleman has written a book; and while one may applaud his kindness in bringing this fact to the reader's attention, adequate proof thereof may reasonably be thought already to have been presented in virtue of the presence of said book before the reader's eyes; and many other offenses to efficacy and common sense, which I omit, being studious of brevity.
I do therefore humbly offer it to the blog's consideration that anthropologists cannot write for shit; that their original research should be turned over to historians, appropriately trained in the arts of marshaling and organizing facts; or perhaps better, to those underemployed journalists who have been trained to concision in the rough school of the 128-character limit.
Heebie's take: I think I'd enjoy a job where I took unpenetrable bullshit and made it readable. Where I didn't have to wade through multiple sources and assemble it all into a single framework - someone else did all that - I just had to make it more pleasant to read. Not editing someone else's work and trying to preserve their voice, more like a makeover into my own voice.
Young People Read Old SFF is a blog collecting reactions from a bunch of teenagers to selected SFF works from before 1982 (well, 1980, stretched to let in Connie Willis's Fire Watch, which I was never crazy about.)
Mostly, it all falls completely flat -- the teens' comments make it look as if they're not getting the point of what makes any of the stories enjoyable at all. I am guessing that there's something specific about the genre that has made it date worse than realistic fiction of the same era. SF is largely about shock, or surprise, or 'sense of wonder' -- an experience where as you're reading it, you are led to figure something out (often something idiotic, of course). And when the frame of the story is alienating or distracting enough, the reader never gets the kick of realization the author was aiming at.
This is all stuff I grew up reading myself, and enjoyed a great deal. But it never occurred to me to suggest it to my kids, who do read modern SF -- it seems completely fossilized in a way that non-SF from even a century before isn't.
Greetings from California. The hotel internet is terrible. Open thread?