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AND WE ARE LIVE.

Many thanks to Eric, for letting me use his phone hotspot while I’m waiting for my friend with the hotspot to arrive.

Usual rules apply; I apologize in advance for all my misspellings. Do not be surprised if personal opinions show up. I will be summarizing at times. Newest items will be at the bottom of the post, so it’s all in chronological order. I’ll be updating every five minutes or so.

Just waiting for the meeting to be called to order.

1009: The business meeting is called to order. Introductions.

1011: Rules are suspended to elect the members to the Mark Protection Committee since the number of nominees equal the numbers of empty spots.

1012: Nitpicking and Flyspecking Committee report. Proposed the amendment to define North America for the purposes of NASFIC that is before us today. No more nitpicking for now, perhaps in future, less contentious years.

1013: WorldCon Runners Guide Editorial Committee. Catastrophic failure on the conrunner website; unable to recover from backup. Mike had PDFs of the site and they have extracted data from those and are reloading.

1015: Katie Rask gives YA committee report. Majority consensus of the previous year’s committee, YA was not feasible based on wordcount (which defines all other categories). This year was focused on considering a Campbell-like award for Young Adult. A Hugo in general addresses a work. A Campbell addresses an author. A YA award would address an age group. Basics of what a YA award would look like is in exhibit 2. (Exhibit 1 is comparison of the Hugo and Campbell.) YA award would be a WorldCon-sponsored award; each Hugo Administration committee is in charge of administering YA Award as with Campbell. Dual eligibility allowed.

1019: (YA Award report continued) Some issues need to be addressed by third committee, particularly naming of award and what the award would look like. Asks that committee is extended to address these issues. A Campbell-like award does solve problems that have come up repeatedly, particularly the definitional issue, and how it would be categorized. Last year had a discussion of how YA is defined. A strong definition of YA is probably not a good idea because trends change; best to leave it to the voters. If it’s not a Hugo, we don’t have the definition problem that has loomed so hard in the past. There is a huge variety of YA wordcounts; this is not a good definition.

1023: (YA Award report continued) Talked to a number of YA authors about Campbell-like award, got a lot of positive feedback. The award would name and honor (at discretion of the meeting) up to five books a year.

1025: Question from Mr Blog. Any feelers as to long-term sponsorships?

1025: Rask–we spoke to the Hugo Committee to see if a sponsor was even necessary. The Campbell has one due to tradition; grandfathered in. Because the YA Award would be added, it would not need to be sponsored. Not included in report since this would be best addressed in the following year’s committee. All expenses associated with this award are essentially the same as you get with a Hugo Award.

1027: Question from Ben Yalow. Has there been any kind of survey of the potential nominating pool? How many people who nominate for the Hugos actually read YA and can competently address this?

1027: Rask gave this in last year’s report. Numbers from LonCon in the YA track, number of panels, authors participating, author interest. The numbers were very large; most YA panels were standing room only. Numbers are very good.

1029: No objection to re-appointing committee for this year.

1030: Best Series Hugo Committee report, given by Warren Buff. Report is on page 67, appendix two. Appendix one is MIA.

1031: Buff–committee report was put online in July. Committee feels that industry has gone from standalone novels to long series over the years. A lot of in-series novels get nominated but don’t win. It would be good for the health of the Hugo novel category. Renewed eligibility because when a work is significantly expanded to effectively be a new work, it gets renewed eligibility. Committee feels that when a series is expanded, it becomes a new work.

1033: No questions for the committee.

1033: WorldCon committee reports. Are there any questions for any of the committees.

1034: Lenore Jones–what is the distinction between the LoneStarCon Reports?

1035: Ben Yalow is not an official representative of LSC. There are two distinct reports, one for LSC and one for Alamo. If any funds are turned over to a successor organization, that successor organization is bound by the funding report rules. Funds were turned over to Alamo, so they decided they were close enough to be bound by the reporting.

1036: Terry Neil commends the granularity of Sasquan’s report.

1037: Geri Sullivan notes that there is money in two reports money is given to the video archaeology project. Thanks all contributors who have given money to this project. More info in the fan lounge.

1038: Dave McCarty this is the final report for ChiCon, the money is gone, as soon as they file the papers with Illinois the corporation is no more, bye bye!

1039: Business passed on commences. First order of business is passed on from ChiCon–Best Fancast. (McCarty, from back: “Hello!”)

1039: Kate Secor for. This category has a sufficient diversity of nominees, and also the podcasts act as great advertisement for the Hugos.

1040: Question called. Ayes have it, Best Fancast is re-ratified and remains.

1040: Bringing up The Five Percent Solution. This will strike the 5% reporting requirements for short story. Kevin Standlee has a modification. Kevin wishes to admit to the body that he made a mistake. He got rid of every reference to 5%, a few of which have nothing to do with the purpose, which is to remove the threshold for being a finalist. He wants to strike the section that has nothing to do with the threshold, is seconded.

1043: Parliamentary Inquiry–if we modify this, will we have to re-ratify? Dashoff: this is a lesser change, so it does not require ratification next year if we pass it this year.

1044: Stephanie Sullivan wanted to clarify that final numbers will still be reported. Yes.

1045: No one wants to speak against Kevin’s amendments. Question is called, his modification passes.

1046: Mr Desjardins speaking for the 5% Solution. Points out that the vote gets divided too many ways for short story and in many years we have had less than a full short list for the category. The magazine market is larger and much more fragmented now. It’s much harder for any one work to appear on 5% of the ballot. Times have changed. The rule is no longer doing any good.

1047: Mr Yalow against the motion. When you get down to that level, there’s a lot of noise and not a lot of signal. The difference between fifth and sixth place is close enough to a random number that he’s not convinced that it’s real signal and not statistical fluctuations.

1049: Mr Quinn in favor. STATISTICIAN IN THE HOUSE BOOYAH. If the difference between 5th and 6th place is a statistical fluctuation, the difference between 5% and 6% might be a fluctuation too. The way we make sure it’s not a statistical fluctuation is the second round of voting on the finalists.

1050: Daniel Rico if no one is bothering to nominate it, it might not be Hugo-worthy.

1051: Chris Gerrib it’s not that there are too few voters; it’s that we’re spreading 2000 votes over a lot of nominations.

1052: Kate Secor (who does not understand statistics, per herself) motions to add a three year sunset clause. This is a lesser change that can be allowed.

1053: Dr Adams points out we have lots of data already and we don’t need a sunset clause.

1053: Kevin Standlee moves to end the debate and call the question. No objection.

1053: We will vote on adding a sunset clause first. Motion fails, no sunset clause.

1054: Now we vote on The 5% Solution. Motion passes, we get rid of the 5% threshold!

1054: On to Multiple Nominations. This will explicitly codify that you cannot be nominated in multiple categories for the same work.

1055: No one wants to speak against. Question called. Motion is ratified.

1056: Nominee Diversity. Mr Eastlake as maker of motion and speaks first. He made a study where duplicates (multiple episodes in same series, etc) have happened throughout Hugo Awards, but this has become increasingly common over the last 15 years. This really crowds out options and limits the choices of the voters. This would limit the slots on the ballot to no more than two per category.

1057: Question from Dr Adams. How will this actually be implemented? Will you be contacting people and saying “you have four finalists, you can only have two, would you like to withdraw two of them?”

1058: Eastlake–this sounds how it would probably be administered; this will be up to the particular administrators of the awards that year. This would leave the decision of what to be on the ballot to the author deciding what is most representative for them.

1059: Mr Matthews asks if there will be instructions on the ballot saying you’re not allowed to nominate more.

1059: Answer is no. People can still nominate as much as they want, though the provisions will be in the packet.

1100: Follow-up would this be up to the creator, or up to who has the most nominations?

1100: Answer is that this would be up to the administrators(?)

1101: Dr Adams is not satisfied with the answers given. Proposes to give to a committee that will report back tomorrow to clarify these things with minor change-type language.

1102: Seconded.

1102: Inquiry–section 3.2.5 is mentioned, what does it say? This is the rule allowing authors to withdraw a work if they feel it is not representative.

1104: Mr Olson against, doesn’t want to write too many of the Hugo administration rules into the constitution. If it is necessary, it wouldn’t be a lesser change.

(There’s some more back and forth, none of the arguments particularly stand out as new.)

1108: Colin Harris points out that every year, nominees are allowed to withdraw more broadly defined than in 3.2.5.

1111: Debate time has run out with regards to referring to committee.

1112: Ben Yalow moves to extend debate time by two minutes. Does not pass vote; debate is not extended.

1113: Vote on if to send to committee. It’s close. BUCKLE UP KIDS, IT’S TIME FOR A SERPENTINE.

1117: Motion to refer to committee passes. Dr Adams will chair the committee.

1118: Ten minute recess.

1133: Meeting called back to order.

1133: Next item is Electronic Signatures.

1134: Speech for Electronic Signatures from Terry Neil. Recommends that both electronic and paper ballots be available. Recommends particularly because international WorldCons are coming up.

1135: Joanie Brill Dashoff site selection administrator for last year. They didn’t accept adobe signatures last year due to a glitch.

1136: Kate Secor for. Enormous desire from the membership for us to do this. “Why can’t I do this online like everything else?” This motion doesn’t force us to do it right away; requires agreement of all parties. But we can tell membership that we are at least working on it.

1137: Geri Sullivan against. Says this would put the pressure from site selection and onto the bid managers.

1140: Cliff against; concerned we will get a flood of votes from people who don’t know anything about the bids. Brings up specter of ballot box stuffing by bids.

1140: For: A voting flood is already possible. Electronic signing might be required in the future. And everyone wants it. Being progressive as an organization is kind of what we do.

1143: Against: electronic signatures will destroy friendships(?). (Sounded like for to me, but hey.)

1143: For: the data privacy concerns are overrated; personal information can be separated out.

1144: Kent Bloom against. The privacy concerns are real. The idea that everyone can agree on my behalf is a false idea. My rights as a member are not having my vote available for anyone else to see.

1145: Seth Breidbart for; as a professional in the field, there are several ways that privacy can be protected.

1147: Proposal to extend debate. It fails. Question is put to the floor.

1147: Motion is ratified! Electronic Signature passes.

1148: The other business passed on has been postponed definitely to Sunday, so we are on to new business.

1148: Dr Adams asks if there’s a way to delay ratification on items not next year but until the year after.

1150: The answer would be no.

1150: Kronengold asks if we can add a major change that could be removed in the next year as a minor change functionally do what we want. Yes.

1151: We’re getting into some parliamentary shit here.

1152: Ben Yalow is the only person I know who can make an entire room laugh with parliamentary procedure. I cannot explain the joke. You had to be here.

1154: “Is there any objection to that resolution?” “Yeah, because I don’t understand it.”

1157: We’re having some delayed ratification problems here, folks.

1158: “Sunrise, sunset clause.” “I made that proposal on the SMOFs mailing list and was rightly shot down as stupid parliamentary gamesmanship.”

1158: We’re referring this ????? delayed ratification thing to nitpicking and flyspecking committee. Maybe? We’re trying.

1159: Kate Secor asks that the committee meeting be open. Nitpicking and Flyspecking FOR EVERYONE.

1200: Objection from Ms Hayes because she would like her husband for at least some of the convention. :)

1201: Motion to refer to committee passes. Those opposed are mostly the members of the Nitpicking and Flyspecking committee.

1203: Next up is Best Series.

1204: Colin Harris on our committee report for yesterday. We restricted ourselves to the re-eligibility criteria. Considered a number of options on merit: 1) Everyone can be permanently eligible with new material, 2) Exclude winners but allow those who had been nominated and lost, 3) Exclude all nominees. After some discussion we got rid of #3 unanimously because it would cause too much churn, and agreed with the original committee on #1. Winners should be perpetually excluded from nomination even if new work is added. Here is the language we propose to clear up things to be more understandable.

1213: Amendment by substitution for our modified language from committee. Ayes have it. Motion has now been amended.

1213: Now let’s actually debate Best Series.

1213: Warren Buff in favor. Commends the committee for improving their language. :) This is an attempt to bring our awards in line with the state of publishing as it has been in the last few decades. Passing this will help improve the best novel category as well as reflect the state of the art.

1216: Point of information from John Dawson, who was on the committee. This does not clearly explain what would happen if an author writes multiple series in the same universe, etc.

1216: Warren Buff says that multiple series would be eligible.

1217: Kate Secor against. We know there are going to be frequent fliers. Concerned this isn’t going to be great for the Hugos with a lack of variation. Also places a massive burden on the voters.

1219: PRK speech in favor. Juror in Australian award that recognizes series. For them, the series had to be finished. Additional works became a new series. Their best series demonstrated a significant difference between best novel and best series.

1220: Question as to how series will be defined.

1221: Chris Gerrib, the answer is, you all get to figure it out. Leave it up to the voters.

1224: Mr Bloom, a speech against in the form of a question. What if series-ception happens? We are getting into some deep stuff here.

1225: Colin Harris — if we vote for this, we are going to accept the judgment of the voters. There is no way to precisely legislate the definition of the series and it’s against the spirit of how we do things in general.

1226: Mr Eastlake points out that per the constitution, all of this is ultimately up to the Hugo Administrators.

1226: Terry Neil moves to add a sunset clause. I second. Amendment passes. There is a sunset clause set to expire on 2021.

1228: Question of moving the second clause from Mr Ilingsworth. Colin Harris points out that we split it up like we did to make it easier to read, but we want to keep all the text together.

1229: Back to the matter at hand.

1230: Best Series is passes at first passage. It will be on the agenda at Helsinki.

1230: Five minute recess.

1236: Back to order, we are starting with December Is Good Enough.

1237: This is a cutoff for which members can nominate, not which works can be nominated. Further clarification on what this all means.

1239: Question gets rapidly called by 2/3 vote.

1239: December Is Good Enough receives first passage.

1239: Unanimous consent for taking up Defining North America now. Insert your continental drift joke here. (Come on people, plate tectonics. We’re not in the 80s any more.)

1241: Kevin Standlee points out that the current definition of North America would require that we had a NASFIC if WorldCon took place in Hawaii.

1242: Question from Mr Matthews.

1243: Question as to why Alaska, Hawaii, and DC? Because something to do with parliamentary stuff. Kevin explained it, I promise.

1245: Warren Buff against the motion. Does away with too much fannish silliness. He opposes this motion because he wants us to keep being silly. :)

1245: Jason Spitzer against, why is this necessary? If we want to hold a NASFIC in a year WorldCon is in Hawaii, why not.

1246: Put question to the floor. The ayes have it. Defining North America passes on to next year.

1247: Motion to adjourn. The ASL interpreter and CART person get a round of applause.

1248: Reminder that site selection closes at 6 today. Informal EPH and EPH+ Q&A immediately after this meeting.

1248: We stand adjourned for the day.

Summary to follow, but I need lunch!

Originally published at Rachael Acks: Sound and Nerdery. You can comment here or there.

katsu: (Default)

AND WE’RE LIVE.

Thanks to Corina Stark for hotspotting her phone so I can use her data for this liveblog.

Rules as usual: I will be updating this post every few minutes once the meeting starts. Newest things will be at the bottom so this will eventually be chronological. Don’t be surprised if I interject opinions occasionally. There may be some misspelled or missing names as I go along, so this post may be corrected later. Apologies in advance if I miss your name the first go round!

The agenda is rather… robust this year. 69 pages. Already hearing a lot of comments about that.

We’ll be starting… soon.

AND HERE WE GO.

1009: Just going over parliamentary procedure for the meeting via a short video…

1016: Jared Dashoff calls the meeting to order and introduces everyone. Tim Illingworth, Linda Deneroff, Donald Eastlake, Lisa Hertel. Reminder that the meetings will be recorded and then loaded to youtube as quickly as possible.

1018: Point of parliamentary code, clarification on how we will be doing serpentines if necessary.

1019: Reminder today is the preliminary business meeting, going over what the next several meetings will be. If we are not done with the agenda on Sunday. we will be in this room UNTIL WE ARE DONE. Today we will be setting debate time for all motions. Any amendments are in order on new items, no amendments in this meeting for items already passed.

1021: We can vote on any resolutions coming out of committee today. Any motions coming from a committee report have to be voted on at the main business meeting. Reminder: we can postpone indefinitely today or object to consideration.

1022: On to business passed on.

1023: Kevin Standlee question of privilege: requests that all questions be spoken or repeated into the mic for recording purposes.

1023: Business passed on. Eastlake reminding us that there is a time dilation issue, so propose brief debate times.

1024: Yes, we can reorder items today.

1026: What if it’s a tie? Jared: Then I get to vote.

1027: Best Fancast. No objection to six minutes of debate.

1027: The 5% Solution. 10 minutes suggested. 4 minutes proposed and seconded. 6 proposed and seconded.

1028: Six minutes debate set for 5% solution.

1029: Kevin Standlee serves warning that he is planning to amend the 5% solution.

1029: 10 minutes suggested for Multiple Nominations. Several other times suggested.

1030: Time set at 8 minutes.

1031: Nominee Diversity suggested at 10 minutes. Time set at 8 minutes.

1032: Josh Kronengold moves to postpone Nominee Diversity definitely until after EPH is voted on. There is no objection to moving it until after EPH.

Everyone is being so agreeable so far.

1033: Electronic Signature has a 12 minute suggested debate time. Multiple objections.

1034: Someone suggested 20 minutes. Everyone else is opposed.

1035: Debate for Electronic Signature set at 10 minutes.

1035: Cliff Dun moves to postpone EPH definitely until after 4 and 6. Multiple objections. Cliff argues that 4 and 6 is the least destructive proposal and should be considered first.

1036: Mr Dejarden is one of the makers of 4 and 6 and argues that the effect cannot be considered until we know if EPH will be in or not. If EPH passes, he will be moving to amend his own proposal.

1037: Jason Spitzer seconds the least destructive point. Also points out that some amendments are much more difficult to implement. It would be a waste of our time to consider more complicated amendments when we could just pass 4 and 6 and end it there.

1039: Motion to postpone EPH definitely until after 4 and 6. Motion does not pass. Order remains the same.

1040: 20 minutes of debate time suggested for EPH. Multiple objections. Someone suggests 30. Oh sweet Jesus.

1041: Time set at 20 minutes anyway.

1041: David McCarty moves to locate 4 and 6, EPH, and Nominee Diversity to the Sunday meeting so we can see the Hugo data. They have a report ready for us (which they presumably can’t share til after the ceremony). EPH is being tested this year; the data is being run both ways.

1044: Gary Rob questions why Nominee Diversity is related to EPH and 4 and 6.

1044: They’re not actually related, but Nominee Diversity has already been postponed definitely until after EPH, so perforce it must move. Anyway, we have five data sets of EPH processed data we can look at on Sunday.

1045: Rick Kovalcik against: we have enough data now to shoot down claims.

1049: Call the question for postponing definitely. Objection because someone has remarks against. Some debate on how this works, moving to vote on the question.

1051: Motion to postpone definitely until Sunday passes. We’ll be looking at 4 and 6, EPH, and Nominee Diversity on Sunday.

(Missed a little bit of stuff here because I had to take a phone call.)

1057: Kate Secor argues that Nominee Diversity is an issue of itself and should be debated on its own merits rather than linked to other amendments that have no direct relation.

1058: I have no idea what just happened. We’re getting into the parliamentary stuff here, baby.

1059: Mr Bloom votes to suspend the rules so we can get ourselves out of this tangle and vote to just move Nominee Diversity back.

1100: We are now going to vote to move it back. Motion passes. Nominee Diversity is no longer on Sunday.

1101: Now we have to set debate time to 4 and 6. Much objection. Such suggestions. Wow.

1103: 10 minutes of debate set for 4 and 6.

1103: Now for the new items.

1105: Meeting back in order after a brief recess.

1106: Best Series. Motion to amend by Mr Kronengold. He wants to add a Best Epic category and some other portions.

1107: Mr Buff says this is the best compromise they were able to work out.

1107: PoI from Ms Seacourt question if this creates two new categories?

1108: Mr Kronengold says this would not create a second category, but would open it up for works in other categories that get substantially longer.

1109: Amendment fails.

1110: I object to the re-eligibility portion of the amendment and move to remove that.

1111: Someone from the committee speaks for.

1112: Kate Secor shares my concerns.

1114: Speech against. Mr Kronengold points out that he wants to strike the thing that prevents the same work from being nominated again.

1115: Question of intent. If we strike this part, will that mean the series can’t be eligible again or will be every year.

1116: Striking this would make it eligible endlessly? I would hope not.

1117: Mr Olson moves to return this to committee and return tomorrow with an up or down motion showing different consequences. Colin Harris will be chairing committee. (I’m going to try to get on that.)

1118: Now we’re actually going to set debate time.

1119: Ben Yalow brings up that the motion has been referred to committee and is no longer under the meeting’s control. Eastlake points out that we are still in control of our own agenda.

1120: How can we set debate time if we don’t know what the actual item will be?

1121: Motion to set debate time independently for the amendment and the motion.

1122: Colin Harris plans to come back with something simple and concise to clear up the intent of the motion.

1124: Setting debate time for the main motion. 10 minutes set.

1126: Setting debate time on my amendment. 6 minutes.

1127: Move to postpone Best Series and amendment definitely to after EPH. On Sunday. (WHY?) Points out that series are particularly subject to slate voting; he cannot vote well without knowing how the slate voting has been addressed.

1128: Rick Kovalcik says there should be as little as possible to do on Sunday. Motion to call the question.

1129: Motion fails. Best Series stays put.

1130: 10 minute recess.

1142: Meeting called back to order. Committee about series will meet after this meeting. Informal discussion of EPH, etc, will occur after the meeting tomorrow

1144: December Is Good Enough.

1144: Motion to suspend the rules to limit debate time per person so if there is 10 minutes, you only get one minute of speaking time. Etc.

1145: Ben Yalow points out that motions are sometimes complex, “I’d rather hear a really good two minute speech than a bunch of really lousy 30 second speeches.”

1146: Kate Secor points out that a motion to extend the entire debate can be made.

1147: Gary Blog wants to hear more opinions rather than just one person dominating the debate time.

1148: Warren Buff moves to amend so that debate time is automatically extended by 30 seconds until five people get a chance to speak.

1149: Kronengold moves to amend so that if fewer than five have spoken on a given side, the voting threshold to extending debate drops to 50% rather than 2/3.

1151: Ben Yalow brings up germaneness. Jared Dashoff rules it is germane.

1151: Question is called. Motion fails.

1153: Okay, now we’re voting on the limitation of debate times per person. This motion fails as well.

1154: Back to December Is Good Enough. Time set at 8 minutes.

1155: Two Years Are Good Enough. 10 minutes debate time set.

1157: This Year’s Hugos, This Year’s Nominators. Ben Yalow speaks for it.

1158: Colin Harris is against. The future year is a moving target with new members being added all the time. The future voters only add a few hundred to an already huge pool. Makes things more game-able(?). Believes it exposes the awards to being much more easily gamed in smaller years.

1201: Mr Kovalcik is for. This would have caused more supporting member income for MidAmeriCon.

1204: I speak against. I’m interested in more participation.

1204: Kate Secor for. Very valid point that it allows nomination, not voting.

1205: Speech against; point that this cuts off people who join after the deadline and they get no shot at nominating ever even if they bought the full membership.

1206: Warren Buff for; Getting people to join early and encouraging that is very good for the planning of the WorldCons.

1207: Adrian Foster against; the reason we started the two year process is because of the cut-off date. If we take the previous years nominators off, we should remove the cut-off date as well.

1208: Ms Rudolph acknowledges that the nomination process is broken/has some serious deficits. This will help focus the nominations on the people who care the most about the outcome of the Hugos. This only impacts nominations, not voting. This will discourage people who are not invested in the process.

1211: Ms Hayes against. Anyone who joined the day of should get something for that membership. (They didn’t get a chance to nominate/vote this year, so…)

1212: Mr Kovalcik when we went from one year to two years, it was hard to buy a membership. It’s easier to buy a membership now.

1213: Debate time has expired. Vote on the amendment by substitution. The amendment fails. This Year’s Awards, This Year’s Nominators FAILS. So we will be considering “Two Years Are Enough” rather than the stricter version.

1216: Three Stage Voting comes up. There is a seconded motion to postpone indefinitely.

1217: Mr Blog really LOATHES this amendment. Points out this will just make Approval Wars basically. Additional stage of voting gives the administrators even more to do.

1218: Colin Harris asks that this at least gets open debate.

1219: Mr Kronengold moves to call the questions. Seconded. Question is called.

1222: Motion to propose indefinitely fails. Three Stage Voting stays on the agenda.

1224: Mark Protection committee nominations. Three retiring members re-nominated.

1228: Moving on to Additional Finalists. Motion to propose indefinitely. There’s some scrambling.

1230: Now a speech against Additional Finalists as anti-democratic.

1231: Ms Hayes as maker of motion. It has numerous flaws. It deserves the chance to at least be debated.

1231: Kate Secor in favor of postponement. This is completely antithetical to the spirit of the Hugos and does not even deserve open debate.

1232: Question of postponing Additional Finalists indefinitely is called. Hands are unclear. IT’S SERPENTINE TIME, KIDS. BUCKLE UP.

1236: 36 Against to 81 For. Additional Finalists is postponed indefinitely.

1236: EPH+ is next. Mr Blog moves that EPH+ is moved definitely to be after EPH and 4 and 6 on Sunday.

1238: Mr Blog declines to give a speech in favor of his motion. Ms Hayes against. Because if EPH+ is better than EPH, let’s just talk about that first.

1239: Mr Quinn even if we pass EPH+, for this year EPH still matters.

1239: Question is called. Mr Dashoff reminds us that the way to show there is no objection is with silence.

1240: Motion passes. EPH+ will be on Sunday. Now time is set for debate. 16 minutes of debate time set.

1242: Defining North America. 2 minutes of debate time!

1243: Retrospective Improvements. Ben Yalow stands to move that the question be divided. He believes that 3.13.1 and 3.13.2 are sufficiently different that they should be divided. Seconded.

1248: Parliamentary scrambling, the conclusion is this is not debatable so let’s vote. The division passes.

1249: Kevin Standlee proposes dividing so it’s three parts and now two. He asks unanimous consent. Mr Buff objects. “I tried!” –Standlee. Then we devote anyway and the division goes through.

1250: Dashoff proposes six minutes per. Objection. Dashoff says debate time will be all three at once though. Four minutes.

1251: Universal Suffrage. Six minutes is adopted with no objection.

1251: Non-transferability of Voting Rights. Eight minutes adopted with no objection.

1251: Young Adult Award. Mr Blog moves to postpone indefinitely. Seconded.

1252: Mr McCarty says he has been opposed to YA awards in the past, but he thinks this should be debated. Applause for him.

1253: Question is called. Motion fails. YA is not postponed. We set debate time now. 14 minutes set.

1254: Motion to adjourn. Seconded. Meeting comes in just under the wire.

I’ll write a summary of this a bit later, time for my committee meeting. Thanks for following!

Originally published at Rachael Acks: Sound and Nerdery. You can comment here or there.

katsu: (Default)

1153: Meeting is adjourned until 1000 tomorrow.

Read the rest of this entry »

Originally published at Rachael Acks: Sound and Nerdery. You can comment here or there.

katsu: (Default)

As a note, all the business (amendments and motions) I’m talking about can be found here.

Read the rest of this entry »

Originally published at Rachael Acks: Sound and Nerdery. You can comment here or there.

katsu: (Default)

So the TV is on and my friencd just turned it to Syfy and Snowmageddon. I think the movie is already in progress. I don’t think it matters. A giant snowball just blew up a school bus and decapitated Santa.

LIVEBLOGGING COMMENCES.

(If only we’d started drinking. Damnit.)

1358: Commercials. A tiny woman is watching a movie on an iPhone. Bowls of fruits are covered by CGI mold.

1400: Back to the movie. Everyone keeps looking up at a mountain that’s shrouded with clouds. I think this must be their displeased god who is chucking giant snowballs with them. Aha. They are in Alaska, I think? The man just said something into the radio about Alaska. The man in flannel is also Park Ranger. You know this because his building says Park Ranger.

1402: Okay so if this actually does take place in Alaska, why is everything green at Christmas time? I thought that was when it was endless night and snow vampires ride moose through the streets.

1402: Norm’s hurt really bad. Apparently. In a green bus festooned with greenery. It has a live power line on it. Which means no one can get in, but somehow Norm and his friend can lean against the metal sides of the bus inside. Because SCIENCE.

1403: Just like that, it’s over. No, blonde girl. It has ONLY JUST BEGUN. We don’t care about your family drama. Give me more snowy death.

1403: The little boy is a fantasy nerd who plays games. CHARACTERIZATION.

1404: Are they implying that the mountain is a volcano? I mean, the ominous look at the fake volcano on the game board seems to imply that. But that mountain sure doesn’t look like a stratovolcano.

1405: What have we got? A helicopter crash, apparently. Two blonde ladies struggle against the elements. Everyone has mouth blood and a head wound because those are probably the easiest injury makeups to apply.

1407: If you don’t touch the bus and the ground at the same time, you can jump free! WHAT?

1408: Two women battle desperately against a seatbelt. Okay then. But hey, you’ve got a snazzy quilt now! AND NOW THE WRECKAGE IS ON FIRE.

1417: We are still trying to figure out where the fuck these people are located geographically. Disaster on the mountain, blah blah. Sad people with head wounds in snow. There’s a guy that’s showed up with a snow cat after maybe ten minutes, so apparently the super snow mountain is like RIGHT NEXT DOOR to the green valley where you only need a little flannel jacket and geography, how the fuck does it work.

1418: Someone is going to attempt to fix the power situation with a pair of wire cutters. Nothing could possibly go wrong.

1419: Oh, we have improved from wire cutters to a sledgehammer. BEST ELECTRICIAN. He whacks the power thing with the sledgehammer. SPARKS!

1421: DOOMY DOOM DOOM SCARY CLOSE UP OF GAME BOARD AND NOW THERE IS AN AVALANCHE

1421: hahaha the guys is driving the snowcat away from the avalanche. Oh thank fucking god the avalanche overtook them or I’d be pissed, it’s like driving a car away from a fucking pyroclastic cloud.

1422: AND NOW THE BUS IS ON FIRE BECAUSE OF COURSE IT IS. This is how this movie rolls. The situation is bad. Things happen. AND THEN IT IS ON FIRE.

1423: The bus has now exploded. I repeat. The bus has now exploded. Farewell, Norm. Norm’s scruffy friend appears to have been thrown free of the conflagration.

1430: You have been buried by an avalanche. You are not going to be able to just drive the snowcat out. Even if you alternate between forward and reverse.

1430: MORE OMINOUS BOARD GAME SHOTS IN THE RUSTIC CABIN OF DOOMY DOOM. Rudy, the nerd leaves a note saying he ruined everything, it’s all his fault. Sure. Why not. Maybe he wrote the script for this film.

1432: No one is coming to help the mysterious town. It’s like they dropped off the map. THAT’S BECAUSE NO ONE KNOWS WHERE THE FUCK YOU EVEN ARE, NOT EVEN THE WRITERS.

1436: The people who were on the giant mountain with the avalanche are, five minutes later, down in the valley that appears to be somewhere in the pacific northwest, maybe. There is no sense of distance or time in this thing. At all.

1442: Wandering around, looking for Rudy. Now it’s the people off the mountain looking for him.

1444: MAGIC SNOW GLOBE OF EVIL EVILNESS. SHAKE IT UP YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO.

1445: “You think this snow globe is cursed, or maybe the globe cursed the town.” Lines that only an actor could deliver straight-faced.

1456: And now a town meeting about the snow globe.

1458: ASK NOW FOR WHOM THE SNOW GLOBE TOLLS. Something is happening. Yes, did you hear the bass rumble of the soundtrack? HAHAHAHA WOODEN SPIKES ARE SHOOTING OUT OF THE GROUND. This is kind of amazing actually.

1459: Derrick is on the ground and bleeding. I would find this a more believable and awesome death if he was actually spitted on one of the spikes.

1500: Oh back to Rudy’s game. It’s based on Hephaestus and Pandora! Pandora’s box contained a snow globe apparently! Yeah! And now it needs to be tossed into the volcano but… where is there a fucking volcano.

1504: THE SHITTY CAR GOT SPIKED AHAHAHAHAHA okay apparently my liveblog has to end because I need to take a shower and we are going to Chuy’s. And Chuy’s? Chuy’s >>>>> shitty movie. But it’s been fun. I got to end on a hilarious note.

Originally published at Rachael Acks: Sound and Nerdery. You can comment here or there.

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0014: Creepy piano music starts. We see frumpy lady in the elevator, startling as the elevator goes ding. Wanna bet that by the end of the trailer she will look supersexyhotinatotallyconventionalway because creepy dude semen has magical wardrobe-improving powers?

0014: “At least everyone’s white. I know that sounds kind of weird, but no one should have to put up with this abuse but white people.” <– my Latina housemate, y’all.

0018: Everything in Mr. Grey’s office is white. Just like the cast.

0020: Sleek blond personal assistant lady in grey power suit reminds me of Portia in Better of Ted a bit, except that was funny and not fucking creepy.

0024: IMPOSING DOORS.

0036: I think this is supposed to be sexy? Apparently he’s intimidating? I guess that’s an intimidating giant hand, rendered in HD on my TV screen.

0036: By the way? Pepper Potts did a much better CEO office.

0045: Worst interviewer ever.

0047: Oh teehee Mr. Creepy Dude! I’m the empty vessel frumpy female character who is here just for you to mold into a thing you like! Teehee!

0051: “Look at me.” “I am.” Presumably not for the first time, I vomit slightly into my mouth.

0051: Also, the big reveal on what Mr. Creepy Dude looks like? He looks like a random creepy dude you might meet in college. You know. The kind you wouldn’t leave you drink unattended around. Presumably he is what is known as “hot” by… someone. I’m guessing.

0051: Also, I disapprove of his tie. With a charcoal gray suit, if he wants to make some kind of dominance statement he really should have gone for the pop of color.

0104: “I exercise control in all things, Miss Steel.” LOL (then wouldn’t you think he’d probably need to loosen the fuck up in the bedroom a bit?)

0111: This has got to be the least sexy supposed-to-be-read-as-dominant-kissing-in-an-elevator scene I have ever witnessed.

0113: OH LOOK HE GRABBED HER WRIST AND PULLED HER ARM UP OVER HER HEAD. SO DOMINANT. MUCH SEXY. VERY STILTED. WOW.

0113: BEYONCE, WHY

0114: Please note that the word “Phenomenon” quite literally only means “a thing that happened.” So yeah. This is sure a thing that happened. Sure is happening. Right now.

0115: Oh god send me help please. Or whiskey. Or pepto.

0118: He has a helicopter. Whee?

0119: As predicted, her clothing is becoming progressively more fashionable and her hair less messy.

0123: “I had a rough start on life. You should steer clear of me.” SOMEONE TURN ON THE MANPAIN SIGNAL.

0124: He’s jogging! In a grey hoodie! SUCH MANPAIN. YOU MUST RESCUE HIM, WOMAN WITH NO PERSONALITY! FIX HIM!

0127: GRRRRR HE IS TERRITORIAL ISN’T HE SO SEXYBARRRRRRF

0137: So like, the thing where he’s touching her leg under the table at dinner. This would be cute or even sexy but this entire trailer is shot like at any instant the officers from Law and Order: SVU are going to come busting through the door.

0139: Oh boy. Lip biting.

0144: He also owns a glider apparently. Double whee? HE IS A RICH, EXCEPTIONALLY CREEPY WHITE GUY. IN CASE YOU HAD NOT NOTICED. SO RICH. RICH AND FULL OF MANPAIN.

0153: “Enlighten me, then.” Could this line have been delivered with less emotion?

0202: The red room. Montage of BDSM stuff one would find doing a google search. Wants to be sexy. Fails.

0222: Bonus for the soft sighs played in the background, which would do nicely if this was a movie about serial killers, I think. Third acidic vurp.

I have no idea who the target audience was for this trailer, but I’m not it. There was nothing romantic or remotely sexy about it. Rather, it read like a tragic cautionary tale about a woman who is stalked, emotionally manipulated, and used by a rich guy who thinks he has it rough.

So fairly accurate to the source material, from what I can tell.

This nauseating creepfest might well destroy my liver next Valentine’s day if my readers hate me enough. Hahaha well considering how I generally feel about that holiday and the way abusive behavior is often depicted as romantic, the release date does seem appropriate, doesn’t it?

(PS: This one isn’t coming up for six months. Wanna make me suffer through something terrible much sooner?)

Originally published at Rachael Acks: Sound and Nerdery. You can comment here or there.

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This has been fun so far, so I’m doing it again!

Later: Hrmph. This episode was really not as much fun as the first two. But I guess they can’t all be winners.

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Originally published at The sound and nerdery of Rachael Acks. You can comment here or there.

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The post game commentary, generally non-spoilery:

You know what I love about this episode? They came up with some bullshit retcon to explain why everyone in Avengers during the Battle of New York was running around and talking to thin air. Nicely done, Whedon. Nicely done.

Agent May (Ming-na) is my new senpai. That is perhaps all you need to know.

But really, this first episode was everything I could have wanted. It was playful, it was full of nerdery and comic book references, there were badass fights. It followed the tone of the Marvel movies well. So if you like those movies, there you go. I also felt, weirdly, like it had a somewhat more PG Torchwood vibe to it. This is not a bad thing, trust me. I liked Torchwood a lot. I cannot WAIT until next week.

And… the Agent Coulson thing. (Oh come on, that isn’t really a spoiler. They’ve been waving that one in our faces since the first advertisements.) I still feel conflicted about it. Agent Coulson was amazing in the episode, and it’s clear that he’s going to be the heart of the team… just like he was in Avengers. If he weren’t there, they’d need someone just like him. But there is part of me that just always resents the “no one ever dies in comic books” thing. Now there’s a bare hint that there’s more to what happened than just Nick Fury being a lying dickbag, so we’ll see. I’m curious where they’re going with this and…

Ugh, I just love Coulson. I can’t help it. Damn you Clark Gregg. DAMN YOU. I can deal with the story fuckery so we can have Agent Coulson, ultimately, even if I’m mad about getting my emotions jerked around in Avengers. I know, I’m the first person ever to complain that Joss Whedon didn’t actually kill a character.

Anyway, liveblog below the fold!

 

1900: OH MY GOD IT’S STARTING MY BODY IS READY.

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Originally published at The sound and nerdery of Rachael Acks. You can comment here or there.

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Well, I think it will be liveblog-ish. I’m actually kind of excited about this episode. We’ll see if I’m disappointed. (Though I already know Sleepy Hollow will never disappoint me like The Following did, because there is always sassiness in it.)

Aaaaand here we go!

Thank you Ichabod voiceover for reminding us what happened last time.

2001: Running through the woods, you’re running through the woods, chased by Blucifer’s family.

2002: Ah, it’s a nightmare. You know, if my dreams foreshadowed plot like seems to happen in TV, I’d have gone to work naked and chased my cats endlessly through the Kroger while being peppered with thrown shoes.

2003: Ichabod’s dead wife is now explaining the whole plot again. You can tell she’s a witch because she’s wearing a sexy black dress. And what do you mean one of you? Didn’t she try to make the point she wasn’t an evil witch?

2004: Hello no shirt and… slightly floppy poopy drawers.

2005: Seriously, they’re claiming that John Cho ran into the mirror so hard he turned into a pez dispenser? DO YOU NOT KNOW HOW ANATOMY WORKS?

2005: The recap continues as we point out what a fish out of water Ichabod is, but that’s okay because he’s being adorable and unable to figure out how showers and lights work. I do love the sticky notes everywhere.

2006: Abbie has been sternly warned to not embarrass the Captain while he’s gone. I smell the inevitable embarrassment coming.

2008: Ichabod likes him some donut holes. Abbie, this is really not the time to go dissing the man’s dead wife.

2009: Ichabod’s main functions, I think, are to look adorably confused and say dark and portentous things while staring moodily at the camera.

2009: Welcome back, Pez Dispenser Cho. He has wrinkly old lady neck now. The vague grodiness of this is weirding my housemate out. It’s lovely.

2010: I like the title sequence, but could we have a color other than gray please?

2013: Someone needs to explain inflation to Ichabod. And I look forward to the foreshadowed story of why his dead wife didn’t like him. And I love his outrage at a 10% tax. I can tell the writers are having some fun with that.

2015: Apparently the healthcare plan you get with being a demonic minion doesn’t come with a plastic surgery option. Poor evil John Cho.

2016: In which Ichabod figures out the thing the audience knew immediately.

2016: What I want to know is how the demon can raise John Cho from the dead and make him barf up a necklace, but can’t manage to put a necklace on a post and deliver his own damn cryptic message.

2018: Geeze, now random people are making evil John Cho feel self conscious about his old lady neck.. Rude. (Though he does look nicely gross and dead, doesn’t he. Apparently so gross and dead that he killed the starter in this guy’s car.)

2019: Well known fact: witches summon their own theme music with their auras. (Hm, I can already smell a music collection for this series…)

2021: More review and backstory, this time about the sheriff. Oh wow, Abbie had a shady past. That’s kind of neat, how she got to be friends with her old partner.

2023: Ichabod apparently knows way more about this supernatural shit than he let on before…

2027: THERE’S BODIES EVERYWHERE CHOPPER GO CHOPPER GO oh wait, wrong thing.

2028: Serilda? Cerelda? She has a name that is impossible to spell, she must be a witch. And an evil witch.

2029: Well, hello man in tight black shirt who is randomly hostile. Hi Luke, have you pissed on the door frame yet? Geeze what a portrait of wounded and back patting masculinity. (Oh, he’s the ex. Oh. Blahblahblah.)

2031: Oh wow, they keep nice toys in their fire cabinets. None of this plain old fire axe bullshit.

2032: It’s a tunnel, Abbie. Isn’t that kind of obvious?

2037: A cache of gunpowder. I’m sure this will not be significant later in this episode or a future episode. Just in case something needs to be blown up. As you do.

2038: Evil John Cho, you are the creepiest police officer ever.

2039: “It’s getting dark.” *puts on sunglasses*

2039: Ah, today Ichabod got eidetic memory from the Power Of The Month Club.

2040: Oh dear… they made her an evil witch and Romany. Er.

2041: OH SHIT THE NOISE WAS JUST THE CAT RUN KID FUCKING RUUUUUUUN

2047: The kid is saved by adoption. COP OUT.

2047: Oh god Abbie never do that again.

2048: Poor evil John Cho. You just can’t catch a break. And all he wants is some thanks from the evil undead witch but nooooooo.

2048: “We’ll cover more ground if we separate.” Okay Ichabod has an excuse, he’s never seen a horror movie. BUT COME ON ABBIE.

2049: Evil John Cho can just stop his bitching now. He might have old lady neck, but he can apparently disappear at will. FAIR TRADE.

2053: And we have returned to the gunpowder cache. That was quick.

2054: HOW ARE THEY NOT COVERED WITH BITS OF WITCH?

2055: Aww, Ghost Sheriff. NO ONE STAYS DEAD IN THIS GODDAMN TOWN.

2057: Well, at least he’s sassy. He’s incredibly unhelpful, though. Number 49, really? COME ON.

2058: Ah, her sister is in room 49.

2059: She’s doing chin ups. That’s how you can tell she’s a tough girl. Getting a definite Sarah Conner vibe from her, and there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with that.

And that’s it for this week. I’m looking forward to next week. If that’s the demon guy, they’ve made him look nicely creepy.

Originally published at The sound and nerdery of Rachael Acks. You can comment here or there.

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Technically speaking, spoilers for the first episode follow.

As pilots go for shows, I felt like this one was incredibly well put together. The show knows what it wants to be, who the main characters are, and laid out the major over-arching plot and premise for the show. Ichabod (Tom Mison) and Abbie (Nicole Behari) had incredibly good chemistry considering that this was the first episode. The special effects are a bit cheesey, particularly whenever they bring in cgi, but they didn’t actually lean on that too much. I thought the writing was pretty good, the dialog was mostly snappy (though it got a bit stilted and you’re trying way too hard to be clever in a few places) and it ought to be fun the same way Supernatural is fun.

And that’s because the concept is silly in the same way Supernatural is delightfully silly. Same Book of Revelations quasi-Biblical stuff, which I know is a wonderful mine for supernatural fun. The Headless Horseman is no longer a nameless Hessian who is just pissed off he took a cannonball to the face; he’s now Death himself, doing his part to end the world. Ichabod is now linked to the Horseman with some sort of magic, and he was also married to a witch apparently, though she never told him. (You can tell she’s a real witch because later in the show she appears in one if his dreams wearing a low cut black dress.)

Considering one of the selling points touted for this show was that it had writers who previously brought us Transformers and the new Star Trek, my expectations were admittedly not high. But I certainly enjoyed the pilot more than I enjoyed any of the Transformers movies. And no one ran away from an explosion in slow motion, so there’s that too. (Okay, I know that one was probably Michael Bay’s fault, not that of the writers.) The characters certainly had enough dimension to keep me interested even if the tropes made me roll my eyes a little now and then. (Gosh, thank goodness Abbie’s partner wad a Scrapbooking Guy so we could hey the back story info dump out of the way.)

What I honestly struck me the most was I felt the show did make an effort to have a diverse cast. One of the main characters is a woman of color, and there were other prominent non-white characters. (This has been on my mind thanks to the recent #DiversityinSFF talk if nothing else.) And I’m really excited about Abbie as a character because Nicole Beharie gave her some depth right off the bat. I’m looking forward to seeing her develop more. I’d be interested to hear the thoughts of others on this point, for certain.

All right, Sleepy Hollow, you’ve got me. You had fun, and you have sassy characters and some silly supernatural bullshit. AND A HEADLESS GUY WITH AN ASSAULT RIFLE. That’s really all I expect out of a Monday night tv show. I’ll keep watching.

(Liveblog below)

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Originally published at The sound and nerdery of Rachael Acks. You can comment here or there.

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All right, I’m coming back for more. Same rules as usual, I’ll be updating the liveblog every five minutes or so. Unfortunately if you want to play at home, I can’t help you at the moment. I’m watching part two on the DVR.

I know you’re terribly sad to be missing this.

WHEN LAST WE LEFT OUR INTREPID ACTORS, a volcano had just erupted because compressed magma (argh what even) and oil look EXACTLY THE SAME to their bullshit made-up technology. And now the entire world might explode because as we know, all volcanoes are actually connected, which is why every time a volcano erupts, every other one in the world does as well. (Wait, that’s not how it works?)

Oh, and the Yellowstone caldera is apparently now part of the Ring of Fire, which is news to everyone except for Dr. Cooper, the hot geologist with an aneurysm that is bad enough to be a dramatic plot device but apparently not bad enough to warrant emergency surgery.

Liveblog commencing in 10… 9… 8….

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Originally published at katsudon.net. You can comment here or there.

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All right, I’m going to do it. Apparently it’s THE COUNTDOWN TO MELTDOWN. Or something.

Same rules as usual – I will update the liveblog every five minutes or so. If you’re reading this on LJ or Dreamwidth you’ll need to come to the blog at katsudon.net to see the updates most likely, though I think edits are now supposed to push through so we’ll see.

If you’d like to play at home, this likely stinker of a miniseries is on Reelz. Yes, with a Z.

Liveblog commencing in 10… 9… 8…

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Originally published at katsudon.net. You can comment here or there.

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I mean. Look at it. Just look at it.

Gratuitous Mt. St. Helens reference? Check.

Ridiculous implication that somehow all volcanoes are connected and therefore THEY WILL ALL BLOW UP AT ONCE EHRMERGAHD? Check.

Gratuitous Yellowstone reference sure to guarantee a fresh crop of concerned people who will ask me when Yellowstone is going to blow up and kill us all? Check (Answer, by the way: “Soon” in geology speak. Which means chances are we’ll probably have killed our own species off before Yellowstone gets around to erupting.)

But best of all – THE ERUPTION OF A BRAZILLION VOLCANOES BLAMED ON OIL WELLS? CHECK BABY. CHECK CHECK CHECK.

Just. Wow.

Bonus for what appears to be a bomb being dropped into a magma chamber. Because everyone knows that the way you keep a composite volcano from exploding is… uh… blowing it up first.

Because science.

Well, there’s my incentive to buckle down and get lots of work done in the morning. Part 1 of this hot (har har) mess is repeating at 4 pm my time tomorrow, followed by part 2. I don’t know if I have the strength.

Originally published at katsudon.net. You can comment here or there.

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Okay, as promised. You guys are awesome and donated over $200 to the Red Cross, so I’m here to take my punishment. I’m going to watch the Ray Comfort “documentary” 180, a copy of which was left on my buddy David’s windshield one day when he was parked near a Planned Parenthood. (That this particular Planned Parenthood is not a location that offers abortion services is neither here nor there.)

If for some perverse and awful reason you would like to play along at home. You can actually watch this entire thing on youtube. Sorry, can’t bring myself to embed this one on my blog.

If you want to watch this update live, you’ll have to go to the blog page and reload it every few minutes. I’ll update entries elsewhere once I’m done with the liveblog.

T-minus seven minutes to suffering time.

This is the cover of the DVD, by the way. I’m thinking there’s some false advertisement to the “hottest movie” on the internet thing. I’m pretty sure porn could be characterized as hotter, for example. And any bootleg of a movie that involves Tom Hiddleston will also win on the hot factor.

But apparently my world is going to be rocked for 33 minutes. Come at me, bro.

1300 – The DVD menu music is a dramatic piano riff that sounds like something you’d expect in, say, The Sixth Sense while there’s a montage going on, or perhaps Bruce Willis walking around and looking really concerned. It ends with the sound of a heartbeat. Hoo boy.

1302 – I’m hitting play now. I just want it to be noted that I will apparently do anything for the Red Cross. Think of me fondly, farewell cruel world!

1303 – The movie starts with a black haired girl who apparently does not know who Adolf Hitler is. What in the fuck. Where did he find this person?

1303 – Ray Comfort is Jewish and deeply concerned about stock footage of Nazis.

1304 – This man has the most nasal, squeaky Australian accent I have ever heard in my life. He sounds as if he’s been huffing helium between takes. Not sure if this is going to make my job more difficult or more palatable.

1305 – Ray Comfort is concerned about people forgetting the Holocaust. He gives some background on Holocaust education in Germany and other countries in Europe.

1306 – Oh look, he’s managed to dig up more people who don’t know who Hitler is! Seriously? I wonder how many people he had to ambush on the street to find these. Because ffs, anyone who has ever been on the internet knows who the fuck Hitler is.

1307 – I know this is jumping ahead since I know what the video is about, but basically this is a 33-minute-long Godwin, right?

1307 – Steve the Neo-Nazi. He has a startling mohawk, which is blue. I don’t think Hitler would have gone for that, to be honest.

1307 – Apparently Christianity is a Jewish trick but Steve the Neo-Nazi is not fooled because he’s Greek. This is a quote. But make no mistake, Steve is an awful human being. An awful, awful human being. And I do think Ray Comfort deserves a small salute for pointing out that Steve and people like him are awful, and also completely incoherent hate spewing horrors.

1309 – Okay. Still asking people who Hitler is. Some of them know. Maybe he ran out of people didn’t know since he already found like the only twelve on the planet who have been living in a box their entire lives.

1310 – The piano riff starts back up as he talks to another awful human being who believes the world is run by Jews. I assume this is to point out to us that this is both Important and Very Bad. Unlike Steve the Horrible Mohawked Neo-Nazi, this guy’s face is blurred out. An awful person with a sense of shame, perhaps?

1311 – I’ll give Ray Comfort this. He’s figured out that just letting the awful people talk pretty much makes his point for him that they are awful. However, I’m still waiting for this to get around to abortion so I can start beating my head against my desk.

1313 – Okay, next question he’s asking people on the street – if you could kill Hitler before WWII, would you? Either by shooting him as an adult or killing his pregnant mom. It’s an interesting ethical question, one which I have a feeling will not be done justice in this film. For some strange reason.

1314 – More stock footage showing the dead of the Holocaust. Starting to feel like those awful PETA videos where it’s intercut with footage of slaughterhouses.

1315 – Well, at least he’s not claiming that Hitler was an Atheist. Ray Comfort touches very lightly on some of Hitler’s religious views (which are very complicated and weird and wikipedia can get you started) that he’s plainly cherry-picked and then calls him an idolater, which is… different.

1319 – More horrifying stock footage. I’ll note that some of it is actually photographs that have had a “old time film effect” run over it. There is also now a quote from a witness to the carnage read in a rather thick, nearly comical German accent, except the content isn’t comical so I feel kind of gross about it.

1320 – Back to people on the street and now Ray Comfort asks if the people would comply with Nazi orders to bury Jews alive and aid in the Holocaust. If I pretend I don’t know the point of the video, I can find it interesting, though I do have to wonder why he’s so stuck on Nazis if he wants to talk about abortion.

1323 – “You value human life? How do you feel about abortion?” OH AND THERE WE GO. Because burying adults and children alive or shooting them is totally the same as a woman having an abortion.

1324 – The music would like you to know this is very sad.

1325 – “Finish this sentence for me – it’s okay to kill a baby in the womb when…” Oh Ray Comfort, you are totally gross.

1325 – So apparently having an abortion is equivalent to blowing up a building that may or may not have people inside?  What?

1326 – Wow, a girl that had an abortion and says she doesn’t feel bad about it.

1327 – More equating burying Jewish people alive with abortion. Gross, Ray Comfort. Gross.

1327 – The safest place on Earth is in a mother’s womb? Maybe we should store jewelry in there!

1328 – So this is the thing Ray Comfort. You don’t get to decide for other people. Fuck off.

1329 – Oh boy and now he’s saying you can’t value human life and believe women have a right to choose. Well, we all know women aren’t actually human life, right? Argh I want to punch this man in the face so much.

1330 – Girl with sunglasses, you are awesome.

1330 – Wow Ray Comfort you are a gross human being. So very gross. Wow and then there’s shots of people being like oh okay I guess a woman choosing what will be done with her own body is the same as Hitler “choosing” to kill Jews.

1332 – Yes girl on the street, it sounds bad when he puts it in those words because it’s a disingenuous false dichotomy pushed on you by a gross person.

1333 – Well, I shouldn’t be surprised that suddenly everyone in Ray Comfort’s video gets argued around by his amazing logical fallacy skills.

1334 – Whee the American Holocaust! Gross, Ray Comfort. Gross.

1335 – Apparently we have low moral standards because we’ve freed ourselves from the Ten Commandments what?

1335 – No Ray Comfort, this is not an honest discussion you’re having to change people’s minds.

1336 – OH HEY GUYS I FOUND THE ATHEIST IN THE VIDEO! It’s… STEVE THE NEO-NAZI. Well, glad we got that out of the way.

1337 – “Have you ever looked at a guy with lust?” “Nah, I’m gay.” Wow, you are awesome, lesbian lady.

1338 – So apparently people don’t want to believe in God because we’re afraid of him because we lie and blaspheme and commit adultery by being lustful. Oh my goodness I just rolled my eyes so hard it hurt. Because people who don’t believe in Hell are totally afraid of it? LOGIC YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG.

1341 – There is stuff written on my heart? I think I might need some medical attention.

1342 – Now we’re just into sheer proselytizing and I’m falling asleep. Can we just get back to the Nazis?

1343 – When is a raven like a writing desk? When Jesus is like a parachute.

1344 – Aaaaaaaaand we’re back to Nazis.

1344 – Talking about people visiting the concentration camps and being horrified. And then he suggests visiting an abortion clinic. Because they are so like in every way. (/sarcasm)

1345 – Ray Comfort would like everyone to see his documentary. And buy his book, Hitler, God, and the Bible. You know. Just putting that out there.

1346 – And we’re done with a dramatic string piece. Well, this wasn’t so much funny as infuriating, since I just wanted to reach through the screen and shake people. This is a bullshit argument that equates very different things in a false, emotionally manipulative, and disingenuous manner. A woman making a decision about what goes on within her own body is in no way equatable with a crazy, awful person taking power and ordering the death of millions of people who were born and living their lives. And frankly, I think his schtick is a pretty shameful appropriation of the suffering of the Jewish people.

HEY RAY COMFORT WANTS TO TALK ABOUT NAZIS!

Needless to say, 33 minutes later my world is un-rocked. I really could have lived without seeing a bunch of ignorant people get unmercifully Godwinned by a giant Australian weasel with a pouch full of fallacies.

I think I’ll do a different liveblog maybe today or next week to cleanse my palate. Maybe Metal Tornado will get a whirl after all.

Originally published at Rachael Acks: Sound and Nerdery. You can comment here or there.

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Tetsugawa Katsuhiro

September 2017

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