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Sunday, December 6th, 2009

Time Event
1:55p
Buffy vs Edward, a Watchers RPG, and the power of the Editor

I post this partly because it is so amusing.

I had something like this happen in my roleplaying game once, where the Slayer and the HIghlanders were asked or coerced by the Watchers Council (in my game, the Watchers of BUFFY and the Watchers of HIGHLANDER were one and the same, secretly run by angels called Grigari) to investigate the strange goings-on in Smallville, Kansas. The Watchers naturally thought a hellmouth was forming in Smallville. What else would explain the oddities?

But I also post it because I want to draw your attention to how easy it is, with clever editing, to make something look real.

I read a transcript of the Sarah Palin new interview that bought her so much criticism, for example. My impression was positive. People who saw the interview as televised, who saw the things I did not (the timing, the emphasis, the facial expression of the interviewer -- in other words, all the elements clever editing can slant) came away with a negative interpretation.

Likewise, people who heard the Nixon-Kennedy debates on radio back in the day thought Nixon won the debate, whereas people who saw it televised thought Kennedy won -- there was no difference in what they heard, only in what they saw.

Once I was interviewed on television, and was asked a question I could not answer without some pains-taking lawyerly qualification. The editor left out the (to him, boring, to me, crucial) qualification, making my judicious answer sound simplistic. There is a difference between saying "to a degree, in certain limited circumstances, I believe that" and saying "I believe that."

Seeing is not believing, folks, not when someone else decides what to leave in and what to leave out.

* * *

FOLLOW UP COMMENT (added 12/7/09): Speaking of what to leave out, I read here that the major news broadcast networks, ABC, CBS and NBC have simply not mentioned, not at all, not once, the news that global warming is a fraud based on doctored data. Oddly, I would have thought that this was the biggest news story of the last ten years. They are just humming and putting their fingers in their ears.

I don't own a telly, so I don't watch broadcast news, so I have no idea how bad it is. Let me tell you how bad it is. ABC, CBS and NBC have just been scooped by Comedy Central.
2:06p
Explitive Deleted
I think people use swearwords more these days in part because we are a cruder, most blasphemous, uglier-soul people than our forefathers.

On the other hand, some things that happen these days cannot but provoke exclamations related to copulation, divinities, and the evacuation of the bowels, and the other things we hold sacred.

This is the national debt of the United States. twelve TRILLION and climbing. This is more debt than all previous debt in history combined.

When I posted this debt clock on 11/20, only a fortnight ago, it was eleven trillion.

That means your elected representatives, O ye generation of profligates, just ran up on the credit card the amount of money it would take to fight a five or ten wars the cost of World War II, $2091.3 billion (adjusted for 1990 dollar values) or run fifty or one hundred space programs the cost of the Apollo program, which was $25.4 billion. In two weeks, that is how much they spent of the money of your grandchildren and great-grandchildren.


7:56p
CLOCKWORK PHOENIX 3
When I announced that I had sold a short story, someone guessed the editor and the anthology correctly, so there is no point in keeping it secret longer.

Here is the tentative line-up

"Tomorrow Is Saint Valentine's Day," Tori Truslow
"Lucyna's Gaze," Gregory Frost
"Crow Voodoo," Georgina Bruce
"Lineage," Kenneth Schneyer
"Eyes of Carven Emerald," Shweta Narayan
"Hell Friend," Gemma Files
"Your Name is Eve," Michael M. Jones
"Dragons of America," Stacey Hirons
"The Gospel of Nachash," Marie Brennan
"Braiding the Ghosts," C.S.E. Cooney
"Murder in Metachronopolis," John C. Wright
"Fold," Tanith Lee
"Where Shadows Go at Low Midnight," John Grant


Jimmieny Christmas! I am going to be in a SECOND anthology with Tanith Lee! w00+! I am sure she is ashamed of being seen with me, as I am pleased with being seen with her.

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