Io9 gets it wrong again. – William Lehman

Io9 gets it wrong again. – William Lehman

In this ever-changing world in which we live, it’s nice that there are a few absolutes.  Like Walmart is always vilified, Starbucks coffee is always over roasted, and io9 can’t get it right to save their ass.  In the Navy, we had a scale for questions and answers. From 4.0 knows and explains answer when asked, on down…2.5 if I remember right, was recognizes right answer when prompted.

Poor little io9 can’t even score that.  In an article based on an interview of David Gabriel (Marvel’s VP of sales) http://io9.gizmodo.com/marvel-vp-blames-women-and-diversity-for-sales-slump-1793921500, David explained that one of the primary reasons Marvel is in a sales slump, according to their customers is that people are tired of all the diversity BS.  Well, these clowns (I’m sorry Pennywise, I realize that’s an insult to clowns everywhere.) demand to argue with David, and insist that it’s not that, it’s the abundance of crossovers, and events, and … then they throw in the screwing over of beloved characters, as if that isn’t part of the very “diversity” bullshit people are tired of.  Making Thor a woman? Oh no, that’s not about diversity, and that’s not what people are bitching about, David, you’re lying to us!

These guys are the gang that couldn’t shoot straight…No, that’s not fair, they’re more like a gang made up completely of Cuntsman clones, that can’t shoot at all for fear of developing PTSD.  They throw out the red herring of “it costs more”, (Yeah it costs more, everything costs more.  The only place that hasn’t seen inflation, is the federal economic index) they throw out the loss of talent, well, it could just be, that the artists are tired of the diversity train too!

Then, just to put the cherry on top of the sundae of silliness, they claim that “Shelving the blame onto diversity ignores all the aforementioned internal problems in favor of one they have no control over.” As if the owners of the comic book empire can’t control whether they try to push diversity at the cost of story or not.

Ya know, all of this seems REAL familiar… Where have we… Oh, yeah, the Hugos, the wooden assholes and the publishing empires… Which of course io9 is also on the wrong side of, thinking that story needs to be driven by message.  This seems to be a common theme.  Well, if you’re going to be wrong and a fool, I suppose it’s best to be consistently wrong and a fool in the same manor.

People, here’s the thing.  If I want to be educated, I’ll read a news source (I just wish I could find one without bias, instead of having to read 4 and fair the results based on which way the publisher leans) or I would read a nonfiction work.  If I’m reading fiction, or watching fiction, or looking at fiction, I want to be ENTERTAINED.  If you want to educate me too, you better do it in a way that I find entertaining, or you’re not going to get my hard-earned dollars.  It’s that simple.

273 responses to “Io9 gets it wrong again. – William Lehman

  1. c4c

      • That was a nice version of the D5 – lots of drones, only problem was no scout channels so it couldn’t serve as a backup scout. 🙂

        • Scout channels are too expensive on a ship that’s expected to survive for less than six months.

          • Which is why I didn’t build many in my campaign, I had D6Ds and D5Vs. Of course, my F6s were like rounds of ammunition – they had a nice punch before they died. The F5 was too weak.

            Sigh, it is a great game, but the rules are just too much to get anyone new interested in it. I tried to get my local game store to carry some of their new stuff but they aren’t available through their distributor. But the local store owner has said that I can run an event there for SFB to see if people would be interested.

            • You might want to check out Federation Commander. It’s a more streamlined, faster to play version of SFB.

              Of course, the last time I checked in on it (which was at least several years ago), the rules bloat was starting to turn up again…

              • My gaming group actually wrote a set of “SFB-lite” rules (first, delete the tractor beams….) that worked pretty well (we also used speed 64 plasma, which given the way we played was useful but not overpowering) and I go back to that as the kernel of a new ship combat game a few times a year – but with 3 little kids it is just easier to grab a board game and run with that.

                But my 12 year old is a gamer, so I bring her to the game shop. It was great, I could tell the other games (all >30) were humoring me (of course the 12 year old girl can play…) but then she came in second place (2 points out of first) and everything changed.

                Then we played an evolution game and she was the first predator and took much glee in eating many a species until the last turn when all of us had horns and shells and she couldn’t eat us and her species starved…

                But that SFB rulebook always beckons….

  2. I have X amount of dollars a month to spend on entertainment. I have to budget for movies and those take all my monthly (or three monthly) budgets. Comics more the same. I stopped reading comics about 20 years ago due to the sheer number of crossovers, reboots, retcons, etc. Glad I don’t have to put up with that diversity crap now. As to books and stories. The minute I read a badly concealed message piece it gets walled (these days virtually vs. reality. Kindles can get expensive). I saw a lot of this BS message crap when I had an Analog subscription over 10 years ago. Needless to say I didn’t renew it when it ran out. More and more I am getting intolerant of big name authors (Robert J. Sawyer being one) that have not just drank the koolaid, but have started snorting it and mainlining it.
    Marvel can take their message fiction, along with Hollyweird and fold it till it’s all sharp corners and …..

    • Exactly. Wasn’t it Heinlein who said that writers are competing for their readers’ beer money? If you don’t get sufficient enjoyment out of the written material you buy, you aren’t going to buy it anymore, preferring other products that provide more bang for the buck.

      • I liked the original Wolverine, et al, and Doc Strange (through the Vampiric Verses.) Enough so that I wrote Wolverine fan-fic. That stopped around the mid 1980s, with the message, the cross-overs, and re-boots/new origins, and so on. I want to be entertained. History has enough grim-dark morality tales in it, thank you. I want escapism and entertainment, or I fold my money and put it right back into my pocket.

        • Elizabeth Creegan

          I really liked the early 1980s X-Men, up until a couple months after Storm lost her powers, and then it started going downhill, escalating downhill and falling off a cliff with the Moorlock Massacre. (Storm losing her powers, and what they did with her when she didn’t have them, was actually really cool; it’s just a concise way of describing the timing.)

          I still noodle around with alternate universes set with divergence points in the Uncanny X-Men185-190 range. Wouldn’t want to lose much before then, and while there are occasional cool bits worth incorporating, wouldn’t want to keep anything after Secret Wars 2 starts.

      • Like good beer. Sometimes even bad cheap beer depending on the story.

      • That’s my measurement of entertainment, one drink. Most paperbacks cost about the same as a drink (usually a little less) and PC games are about 10x.

        • But, a good book or PC game can be read/played over and over, whereas a good drink can give pleasure only twice, once when you drink and then when you piss out the residue……

    • I stopped because of the “tolerance” BS– you know, where they pick the groups it’s acceptable to abuse, and do exactly what they accuse the “intolerant” of doing, sometimes while giving the same reasons they accuse the “intolerant” of having for their supposed actions, and being dumb as a board at that.

      There are so many ways that the “Nightcrawler’s dad is proto-Satan” could have been interesting, but noooo it was a lame “display ignorance about Christianity while stripping one of the few practicing religious of their faith” thing.

      I had the money, at the time– but I won’t pay to be spat on.

      I’ll read message fiction, even if it’s obvious, so long as the characters are doing something interesting that makes sense. YMMV on if that rules out message fic or not. 😀

      • “be spat on”

        If they’re being polite.

      • I think sometimes message fiction can be read for the message — but it has to be a special message, one that not many people are harping on.

        It’s my understanding, for example, that “Atlas Shrugged” succeeds so well, despite being message fiction, because it’s an important message that people are either disparaging or ignoring.

        One major problem with SJW messaging is that the messages are so pervasive in our culture. It’s difficult to make a message interesting when it’s everywhere; particularly when the people who haven’t got the message do so because they reject it straight out, rather than because they have never heard it before.

        • Atlas Shrugged also benefits from being able to skim the overt message parts. 😉

        • Ayn Rand also said, explicitly, that the goal of her writing was not to convey a message, even if she had one; rather, it was to portray an ideal man, which I think has a subtext of “somebody I think is really hot” (though I’m surely not the only reader who thinks Francisco d’Anconia, Hank Rearden, and Ellis Wyatt are all actually hotter dudes than John Galt). She also said that whatever the philosophical meaning of romantic fiction (in the sense of “exciting stories about adventures and conflicts,” not of “love stories”), its psychological meaning was *making life and the world interesting*. In fact, I’ve thought for some time that Atlas Shrugged is the greatest pulp novel ever written . . . and it fits all the more closely when you realize that John Galt is cast as the villain and follows the classic villainous pattern of making a long speech where he explains his motives and his master plan.

      • Yeah, I liked that Kurt was a Catholic, but I never had the money to splurge around for the various different X-titles to find out more.

        I kind of stuck to Excalibur because Kurt and Kitty were my favorite characters, but started drifting away once they stuck Meghan and Feron into this depressed fugue state at the waterfall (They had a good chance of developing the Feron character but I think they generally lost the plot and forgot about him. For all I know he’s still back at that waterfall, which is one of the things I started getting annoyed at – like, really? y’all just leave someone there because he was trying to do something nice and got caught up in Meghan’s despair instead?)

        I think one of the last few comics copies I got was the one where Mystique revealed that Nightcrawler and Rogue were siblings, in a fashion, through her ‘motherhood.’ I liked that story, because it became about the characters instead over an overarching thing.

        I have to admit that the X-men series of movies just don’t catch my attention the way the MCU ones do. MCU has all the stuff I remember enjoying about comics back when I read them – entertainment, human characters who were trying to be heroes despite their flaws, a story that was compelling and swept you along, awesome lines. You understand the motivations of the characters, why they do stuff, and why it’s consistent with the character you know as well. (Seriously, I feel HORRIBLE for Tony; man needs a hug, because he went from the rich dude who didn’t care that much to someone who cared too much and paid a high price.)

        Batman VS Superman, I’d watch just coz Wonder Woman shows up. And I will watch the Wonder Woman movie because the trailers at least make it interesting (and I’ve found Chris Pine will make movies fun to watch.) I’ve liked Wonder Woman from the comics I read (which was the run where she was with Dr. Kapetalis (sp?) – which I never got to finish, to my dismay.

    • I stopped reading comics regularly in the early 2000s, and even then, I’d moved more to alternatives like Girl Genius and The Desert Peach.

      But I did get back with Straczynski’s Thor, followed by Keiran Gillen’s run, and enjoyed them immensely (especially the Kid Loki series). That’s why it’s especially distressing to see that title’s deterioration – I think that’s why it’s top of the list with the dissatisfied customers. A woman picking up Thor’s hammer while Thor has to become worthy again could have been a really good story, but not the one that’s being told.

      I admit to a feeling of deep smug satisfaction to hear how much of the market Marvel has lost.

      • Straczynski’s Thor was awesome. And if you saw it, you weren’t really surprised by Iron Man in the latest Civil War.

  3. I going to say that the real answer is D: all of the above.

    I use to read and collect. I stopped due to increase in prices right about the same time as I had a decrease in funds, deteriorating plot lines, and Marvel (DC to some extent) requiring me to read titles I didn’t collect just to follow one story, and too much “realism”. I don’t want grim/dark in my comics, I want entertainment. All of that made it easier to put them down when I got into a fight with my mom about how much I was spending (in time, money and storage space) on comics.

    When I tried to pick up a comic a while back, I found garish art, more “realism” (aka grim/dark) and characters I could not relate to. The push to be more inclusive (PC) only increases my desire to stay out of the comic book scene.

    • Stick with manga if you want to scratch that comic book itch. For the moment there’s not much push for PC stuff in the Japanese scene. Well, there is a push from the outside, but the Japanese don’t seem to be having any of it. Not on a mass scale, anyway.

      • I have a small manga collection. The biggest problem I have is find good English translations. One series I have is a English translation of the Spanish version. Drove me nuts since they changed a couple of the character’s names – for no reason I could understand.

        • Manga, yes. Anime, eh, you have to be picky. Sometimes the translation from manga works, sometimes they dork it up. Especially if it’s been dubbed. My Japanese sucks, but I have managed a couple of times to hear what was said in native tongue was totally different from what was dubbed in English.

          • I much prefer the subtitled to the dubbed. I understand a few words of Japanese and have laughed at some of the word subsitutions.

            • Oh, yes. Sometimes, there’s not much resemblance, not that my Japanese is proficient enough to catch too many of these discrepancies.

            • I could understand “word substitutions.” It’s the sense translations– where they try to change the story so it “makes sense” to the translator– that gets me going.

              For heaven’s sake, it’s a FANTASY STORY. Stop trying to make their culture make sense to 21st century paper pushers! Some people know just enough about Japanese culture to go “huh?”

          • FanSubs are awesome. Seriously, they need to just go “Hey, we will put your name in the credits if you fan sub these for us” and release the best ones as a special edition.

            The first time I saw Inu Yasha in Japanese, the fansub was so intense that they explained that the spider-creature was a comb that had been used to prepare corpses, which I sort of knew from the manga (back before they started binding them backwards to cash in on the “but that’s how it is in Japan” thing) but actually gave me the CORRECT WORD to look for more folklore.

            It’s like if someone talked about their Indian in a TV show and the subtitles explained “that is a motorcycle” with some of the implications.

            • Animeigo’s liner notes include that sort of information. Unfortunately, Animeigo hasn’t acquired a new anime license in a *long* time.

            • I still wish I could get into Inu Yasha. I bounced off HARD off the series because I knew an incredibly, destructively toxic woman who took the ninja girl’s appearance and name as her username and icon. Just could NOT disassociate, despite years of distance. Similarly, I couldn’t get into Fate/Stay because of someone in a forum I used to go to was so freaking annoying, every time I saw Saber, I wanted to see her die a horrible, horrible death. (Finally got over it by the time Fate/Zero came out.)

              Who are your favorite ‘subbers? I like Horriblesubs, Baked/Deadfish, and I remember getting RH before.

              Log Horizon we got in DVD, and it’s one of the few times I’ll actually listen to it dubbed (I prefer subbed) but the dialogue and lines were actually great fun! “Villain Behind Glasses” seems so awkward to me though, versus “Villain With Glasses.”

              • Unfortunately, Inuyasha suffers from the inevitable problem that all Rumiko Takahashi stories do – it goes on for a lot longer than it probably should have. The initial set up was fun, though. It’s too bad you couldn’t have at least enjoyed that.

                As for fansubbers, I’ll just note that I avoid commiesubbers just on general principle.

                😛

              • No clue, my husband procures the anime. 😀 I have trouble sitting still long enough to watch anything, but the subs work to get me to actually sit still…and my husband loves watching stuff.

        • Have you read the scanlation of Silver Spoon? My new favourite manga.

        • I’ve been given to understand that some importers/translators don’t believe that their local audience will accept Japanese names. I don’t see the problem, personally, and sometimes the Japanese names are either simple puns or in-jokes – the Sailor Moon characters being the most obvious case I know.

          • There’s also been a tendency by some companies to add profanity to the dialogue because they think the US audience will like it better that way. I don’t know enough about the licensing companies these days to know who might still be doing it, but ADV was particularly notorious for it back when they existed.

            • Which is dumb. Depending on the show, there’s swearing already, there’s no need to add MORE.

              Log Horizon‘s dub actually cleaned up the language a little but sort of left the implications in the Getting Crap Past The Radar sort of way, or using more colorful and entertaining descriptions that worked without using a swear.

      • Not enough money involved from the US, I would imagine. I mean, there’s money there. But not enough to make it worthwhile to bother with. Who cares if the SJWs blow a fuse? It’s not as if they’ll make *that* big of an impact on the bottom line.

        Japanese video game makers, on the other hand…

        Unfortunately, there have been a number of instances of Japanese video game developers self-censoring content that might not go over well with the SJW crowd, or just plain not bothering to sell the game in the US.

        • Didn’t that backfire on the SJW crowd to some extent? Like, that game wouldn’t be released in the US but could be bought from a Japanese distributor in English, so they could actually say “Well, don’t freaking buy it if you don’t want to,”?

          • If you’re willing to spend $90 plus shipping and handling to get Dead or Alive Extreme Beach Volleyball 3 (to pick one game that wasn’t released in the US due to the SJWs) from PlayAsia, then yeah, you can go ahead and get it even though it never got released in the US. But that’s 150% of the usual cost of a video game in the US even before the S&H costs are thrown in. Plus, you have to be familiar with companies – like PlayAsia – that specialize in shipping content to foreign countries. And you have to hope that there’s a version in a language you can understand (that does happen to be the case with the game I mentioned). Fortunately, region locks aren’t a problem like they once were (I think there might still be some issues for people in Europe, but I’m not certain of that). But translation issues can still be a problem.

            But just because a game is released doesn’t mean that it’s not affected by the SJWs. While not provable (the developers always deny it), there’s often suspicion that certain changes to a game are due to fears of SJWs. And Japanese game developers do get caught up in the latter.

  4. Ah, yes, oral boards where you survive with “2.5, student recognizes correct answer when told”…good times.

  5. it’s the abundance of crossovers, and events,

    In all fairness this is what ran me off Marvel years ago and I suspect is a big factor in the long term decline. When 6 months of the year I have to buy the entire line plus 2-3 limited series to understand the plot of the one or two books I want to read I’m pretty much going to spend the beer money elsewhere.

    The diversity stuff was supposed to “fix” that issue and only killed off those who had survived the crossover/event BS.

    • Hrmm… I used to have an Analog subscription. Now I have a Shiner Homespun. Yup, in the competition for beer money, Analog’s signal shorted to ground. A while ago.

    • I’ve been trying to recall who it was that first screwed the crossover pooch. It may have been Spiderman but it seems more likely that it was The Punisher, followed by Wolverine. Then DC got the hots for Lobo, jamming him into every book this side of Sandman. You know a marketing ploy has been beaten to death when the promotion of a crossover character evokes annoyance and dread.

  6. Shorter IO9: “The stories don’t suck, YOU do for not buying them!”

    (Facepalm)

    Since Gawker closed, IO9, Gizmodo and the other sites like Kotaku have gone SERIOUSLY downhill. I don’t WANT politically infested tech reporting, SF/Fantasy or game reporting – I want FACTS, not the writer’s opinion on the cause du jour!

    And the blasted click-bait headlines – “Trump’s going to kill us all because he’s rejected the Paris accords”. (Slight exaggeration there, but not by much.)

    They used to be daily go-tos – now I rarely check out anything but Kotaku.

    • Didn’t IO9 start out as, explicitly, Huffington Post for the Big Bang Theory crowd?

      • the Big Bang Theory crowd

        Oh, for people who think BBT is what smart and educated people with geeky pursuits are like instead of realizing it is Seinfield with techno-babble?

        I love that show and what it portrays and anyone trying to cater to that set gets what they deserve.

        • Seinfield with techno-babble

          Thank you! I need to remember this line to explain why Big Bang Theory is NOT something I am into or care to be. (I couldn’t stand Seinfeld, either, fwiw.)

          • I could stand an episode here, an episode there. “The Sandwich Nazi” – now that one, I enjoyed.

            Thing is, for that, you need someone around who loves every episode, so you can “drive by” and decide that this one among several hundred is actually funny. I had that with Seinfeld (the wife liked it for some reason). Nobody here watches The Big Bang Theory, though.

            • Hey, as a regular fan of TBBT I take exception to that. No, the show is not a particularly realistic depiction of fangeek culture, but it takes the depiction of geeks as real people more seriously than most mainstream shows ever did before it, and unlike Seinfeld its characters actually grow and change and learn and love each other — not something to dismiss lightly. So few comedies these days manage the knack of being funny without being explicitly misanthropic.

              • Maybe, but after one too many, “You should love, it’s just like you” I quit giving it a chance (sometimes around season two).

                • Well, I’ve found those characters are a lot like me, which may be why I like it so much. Even Sheldon’s exasperated impatience with the irrationalities of normal human life strikes a more than occasional chord with me, I have to admit, comically exaggerated pseudo-Aspergian as it may be.

              • TBBT is as much a realistic portrayal of fangeek culture as S&TC was of Urban Lady culture, or Two Broke Girls is of whatever the heck cultural niche it occupies, or Buffy was of High School, or Friends</I was representative of yuppie (?) culture, or any police show is of LEO culture or Mr. Ed was of horticulture.

                The most notable thing of TBBT is its fondness for its characters and its willingness to allow them growth. I ain’t watching TV for realism, just as I don’t read comics for accurate portraits of life in the urban jungle. Such entertainments fall into the broader category of “jiggle shows” — nobody went to Burlesque houses for witty humour or terpsichorean excellence; those were just welcome additions when they happened to occur. It is a serious mistake to fashion yourself an exotic dancer and forget that the customer is paying to see your tatas shake.

                The lyrics are, like, really really profound was an endorsement rarely heard on American Bandstand and counted far less than “it has a nice beat and is easy to dance to.”

                • … or Friends was representative of yuppie (?) culture, or any police show is of LEO culture or Mr. Ed was of horticulture.

                  Stupid flingers — why can’t spellwreck spot HTML tag fails?

                • Re. Buffy. I don’t know, as far as I could tell, both my Junior High and High Schools really could have been hell-mouths and it wouldn’t have changed things. Might actually have improved certain aspects.

                  • As far as I could tell, the premise of Buffy is that high school is both literally and figuratively Hell (part of why the show ran into trouble in the later seasons after she left Sunnydale High). In an actual high school, you don’t have to worry so much about vampires and demons and witches, of course, but most of the rest of it rang true. The nice boyfriend who turns into a monster after you sleep with him? The childhood friend who suddenly starts hanging out with a new crowd and turns nasty? Ending up at a party where things turn out to be way more than you bargained for? Yeah, we’ve all run across those. It almost reaches the point where you wish your ex-boyfriend had turned into a soulless vampire, because then you could kill him. And handling a giant snake-demon would in someways be a piece of cake compared to handling those nasty rumor-mongers in the flute section at band practice.

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      I’ll admit that if Spike or Angel offered to make me a vampire when I was in HS, I’d have been tempted just by the thought of “getting back at people”.

                      Mind you, it would harder to resist the temptation if Angel asked, Spike would likely remind me of the bullies so I wouldn’t trust him.

                    • Spike jumped up and down on the “Goblin King from Labyrinth” button– you’re not the target audience, there. 😀

                    • I never thought of Spike that way but it works…then again, I wasn’t the target audience…now Evil Willow…:)

                    • James Masters loved playing Spike as a character, but thinks that anyone who would want to actually meet Spike is bonkers.

                    • MaRsters. Auto-corrupt…

                  • I had a school or two like that growing up. Darn clever extended metaphor. I just wish Mr. Wharton’s philosophical grounding of the show had been as good as his storytelling ability.

                • terpsichorean Wow. Just wow.

                • I think most of the people I’ve seen describe it have not perceived much fondness for the characters, but knowing somebody does makes me feel slightly less weird about how often my in-laws seem to have it on.

              • SEMAV (Someone Else’s Mileage Always Varies).

                I am sure there are shows that each of us watch – and that send others of us scrambling for the remote. And a vast majority on which most of us just comment “meh.”

                Five people in my family – there are maybe three things that all of us love – and maybe another three things that all of us hate. So much for nature or nurture…

          • Same here, on both counts. And I will also have to remember that description! Well said, HerbHN.

          • So I ain’t the only one. Dilbert is real. Bbt is just stupid geek fetishism.

          • TBBT is actually a fine example of the artcrit concept of “appropriation,” if you think about it. . . .

        • That should be “I loathe that show” but I think people got that.

        • Totally unfair to the BBT.
          Seinfeld didn’t have likable or sympathetic characters. Friends would be a better comparison.

          Random aside, am I the only one who thinks Friends was largely inspired by St. Elmo’s Fire?

      • Perhaps – I don’t know the history of them. when I found them they had pretty good reporting on IO9, Gizmodo, Kotaku and Jalopnik. Gawker was full-on clickbait, and Jezebel was just plain playing to the hard-core SJW Feminist crowd.

        Then Gawker closed, and the rest of the sites went downhill.

        • I was excited when they launched.

          I was worried when I heard their self-discription– I don’t rememer if it WAS actually what I said, that’s what sticks in my head; the BBT part might be interpretation, but I’m pretty sure about the Huffington Post part– I was worried.

          I didn’t think much of the three or four articles I read…probably different interest areas, if you like their news?

        • Christopher M. Chupik

          Pretty sure they were already going downhill. Now they’re going downhill on rocket-propelled skis.

    • Since Gawker closed, IO9, Gizmodo and the other sites like Kotaku have gone SERIOUSLY downhill.

      And Sarah’s theory about why organizations “roll hard left and die” is proven* yet again! See, all the editors and journalists article-writers at Gawker, having rolled their previous organization hard left, got picked up by the other sites (IO9, Kotaku, etc.) since they had the right virtue-signaling in their resumes. And now that the other sites have hired them, they too are rolling hard left and getting ready to die.

      * Well, not proven, per se, but the evidence is pointing pretty strongly in that direction here.

      • Close enough to proven for my taste!

        (Now I need a good IPA to wash out that taste, after a hydrogen peroxide rinse.)

      • It’s like when people move out of high-tax, high cost-of-living states but fail to leave their ideologies behind. Then they move to a lower-tax, lower cost-of-living state and immediately start voting for people who will raise their taxes because “the children” or something.

      • It comes from a disparity between what the customer wants and what impresses your peer group. Hollywood has suffered it most notably, with very little willingness to direct their attention to audience preferences, especially when audiences are disinclined to pay attention to credits for screenwriter. The peer group is who hires you, so of course their approval matters, but if there is not attention to pleasing the audience the peer group becomes irrelevant. (Gee, you’d think these Apostles of Diversity would practice it themselves and let a few disparate voices into their chambers — and not just to empty the trash bins.)

        • “The peer group is who hires you, so of course their approval matters, but if there is not attention to pleasing the audience the peer group becomes irrelevant.”

          No, it doesn’t. That’s what “roll hard left and die” *means.* You blow off your customers to further impress your peers–who will hire you *after* you’ve destroyed your present company.

          Think of it as a variation on Jesus’ joke about the dishonest steward.

          • They don’t understand what good salesmanship means. They are quite contemptuous of their customers. They don’t even know them. I think that they consider their customers as marks to be fleeced.

            I’ve recently gotten back into reading comics. I read one title only: Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps. The issues are usually ok. They are too short and sometimes have a bunch of stupid in them. I read on my kindle. I feel like I’m reading a story one paragraph at a time. The issues have maybe 3 scenes per issue.

            • Not even that. They don’t CARE about their customers. At all.

              They’re not there to sell anything. They’re not there to earn money. They’re there to *receive* money, as their due. Along with fame, adulation, adoring fanboy/fangirl sex, and whatever else they think they deserve as the natural leaders of mankind.

              The company doesn’t exist to serve its customers. It exists to give you a stage on which to display your magnificence. Your decisions are not made to accomplish a purpose, they’re made to show the whole world how superior you are. Which you do by “curing” the “evil” corporation of its racism, sexism, materialism, dayism, nightism, matterism, anti-matterism, or whatever. If the cure destroys the company, that’s no more than it deserved. The important thing is to use its destruction as a springboard to a newer and better opportunity to display your superiority.

              (Please do not misinterpret the above. The use of the pronoun was simply to keep the grammar readable. I would NEVER insult you by comparing you to the Great Ones Looking in the Mirror…)

      • Not “hired” so much as “transferred”, I suspect. They are all owned by Gawker Media, after all.

  7. It is interesting to note a common thread to all leftist failures…IT’S NOT my/OUR FAULT!!!!…..Wreckers, capitalist plots, incompetent staffers, etc….

  8. They must source management from the same gene-pool running Hollywood. Comics are all about imagination and they have zero.
    Guys……People are stupid. Half the population NEEDS those warning on things like taking your clothes off before you iron them. But depending on those people for your business plan means you need new customers from what you had before. They’re already spending their discretionary income on Monster Trucks and Pro-Wrestling.
    Hard to believe, but they KNOW the difference between education and propaganda. Good propaganda should be subtle and sugar coated. You totally suck at making effective propaganda.

    • Or if blatant, a LOT of ‘sugar’ – See some of the Dr. Suess stuff. Message? Yes. But… a delivery worth the time anyway.

      • I was at a kids’ dentist where they were showing the CGI Lorax movie. (Screens in the waiting areas, on the theory that if you have one kid at the dentist, you have others needing to be entertained.) I saw most of the movie, and it had a very heavy environmental message to it. In that case, I didn’t mind, because the original has a very heavy environmental message to it, and they weren’t really changing anything for the movie. (Except for expanding the background of the Once-ler.)

        But from what I heard about the live-action version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, it’s one I will happily avoid fro the rest of my life. Seems they completely missed the point of the original book, no matter that they got approval from Geisel’s widow.

        • I saw the Grinch movie.
          You are NOT missing anything.
          Oh, alright, there is ONE memorable/explanatory bit.
          SPOILER (yeah right, it comes spoiled)
          The sign(s?) about keeping Whoville clean, so… “Dump it to Crumpet”.. and a system sends Whoville trash to Mount Crumpet, where the grinch is. Trash, of course, is a matter of opinion. To the Whos, it was garbage. To the grinch, it was was high-grade ore.

          • Now, there are days when I feel like going through the phone book in alphabetic order myself.

            Well, maybe not that ambitious. But the SFWA membership list, perhaps that could be accomplished in a reasonable amount of time…

        • But the brilliant thing about the original is that it works whether you read it as environmental mysticism, or the tragedy of the commons.

    • Did you know that DC HQ moved to California last year? I don’t know whether they moved to Hollywood or not.

      I think that Marvel’s profits come from their movies.

      • DC’s been owned by Warner Brothers for a very long time now. They probably wanted to move the DC HQ closer to the WB HQ.

  9. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    Once upon a time, I was purchasing subscriptions to Lightspeed Magazine but I noticed that I wasn’t finding the time to actually read them.

    Then Lightspeed had these “theme issues” with the theme of “::Group:: Destroys Science Fiction”.

    I decided that I would let my subscription die and not renew.

    • I’ve never understood why the various diversity initiatives keep calling themselves “X Destroys Science Fiction.” I mean, the name is accurate, but you would think that if they wanted to be taken seriously as science fiction writers and read by science fiction readers, they wouldn’t advertise themselves as trying to destroy the genre.

      • SheSellsSeashells

        From reading the (slightly) saner of my SJW friends, the thought process seems to be “Racistsexisthomophobebaddies say X is destroying science fiction! We will put together an all-X issue and title it thusly as an example of our ironic detachment and unflinching badassery!”

        Never mind that there have usually been multiple distinguished Xs contributing to science fiction for a Long Time, and never mind that no self-respecting SJW has ever spoken with a living, breathing racistsexisthomophobebaddie; it’s far too useful to rally the troops with the latest Emmanuel Goldstein quote.

        • One of the few bad spots in the writer’s panels last weekend was a woman old enough to know better (as in she was around) saying sci-fi barely had women characters 50 years ago much less strong women.

          I was sitting there thinking, “For fuck’s sake, Weyr Search and Dragonrider” were published 50 years ago this year. They won the Hugo and the Nebula respectively (and when those awards meant something as those are still read today). There is no way in hell you can claim Lessa isn’t female or isn’t strong.

          • At least not 1) around Old-school McCaffrey fans, 2) around Lessa, or 3) around anyone who was around Lessa. that woman’s revenge fixation was scary. Dang effective, and she got what she wanted and a whole bunch more, but scary.

            • Yep…I have a rant up on my blog about it…had to after writing one here. Last two sentences:

              Well, I’m sick of it. Call me a misogynist. Call me a dudebro douchebag. Call me whatever and then go fuck yourself.

              But you damn well will respect Lessa. You will respect Jirel. You will respect Wyo, Hazel, and all their sisters. They are your betters.

              • Excellent post indeed!

              • Then there was Manora – who ran the Weyr with an iron fist, without a dragon to back her up.

                Later, Menolly – overcoming a family that belittled her dreams, an injury that should have ended them permanently – and (in the end) rose to become one of the ten most powerful people on the planet herself.

                Yep, weaklings all…

                Of course, the one woman in SF that I would least like to have mad at me is Hilda Corners-Burroughs. Brrr… Might as well just fall on my not-metaphorical sword right off; far less painful.

                • The Harper Hall trilogy was my introduction to Pern. I wandered across it in my high school library in the late 80’s. I had one librarian suggest that I just purchase a copy of them, since I was wearing theirs out. If the local Stars and Stripes (book store) had carried them, i would have. So, she surprised me. Ordered all three from their sources and gifted them to me at the end of that school year. I still have that set, though I’ve worn out at least two other sets, as well as several copies of various others in the series.

                  Strong women all over the place. Lessa, Moreta, Manora, a bunch of the other non-dragonriders.

                  The series even have large numbers of gay/bi characters (though, they tend to be minor characters, due to the dragons they ride). But they are there and there unapologetically. You’d think that the folks who spout about needing these types of characters would point to them as proof that it can work. What they don’t like is that they’re organic to the stories, not the PURPOSE of the stories.

                  • Actually, what I really think the don’t like is if they acknowledge all these women and bi and gay characters then they can’t just their fiddly bits (owned or preferred) as an excuse for why the can’t get ahead.

                    We are well past the point where these things are impediments in the West and often they are advantages. I have yet to meet the person who can look me straight in the eye and tell me a white male with Obama’s resume could have gotten the VP nod much less elected President and Hillary’s resume would be a stretch for a white guy after the nomination.

                    I would also note those whining about this the most are graduates of elite schools with high prestige jobs and thus are people with a leg up already.

                    Most, not all, but most diversity complaints and “women never got to do this” is either excusing laziness or the result of being lied to about what women have already done.

                    • I have yet to meet the person who can look me straight in the eye and tell me a white male with Obama’s resume could have gotten the VP nod much less elected President and Hillary’s resume would be a stretch for a white guy after the nomination.
                      ———————————–

                      It’s worth noting the university group in New York that redid the 2016 presidential debates, but with gender-flipped participants. The group used segments of the debate verbatim as a script, and had the two “debaters” train in mimicking the mannerisms and speech patterns of the two presidential candidates. The goal was to get as close as possible to having a “female Trump” and a “male Hillary”. Some of the participants admitted that one of the reasons why they got involved in this to begin with was because they were convinced that it would show that Hillary’s performance was hurt by the fact that she was a woman. And then they discovered that, if anything, the opposite was true.

                      The viewers were left with an overall impression that the male Hillary character was a horrible candidate. Meanwhile, the female Trump was described by at least one person as a “Jewish mother”. The impression was that you might not agree with what she said, but you *knew* that she had your best interests at heart.

                    • BobtheRegisterredFool

                      Trump apparently has a lot of ‘Jewish’ vocal cues. We know the real reason people have a problem with Trump is widespread antisemitism in America.

                  • Keep in mind, though, that McCaffrey and same-sex attraction is a touchy subject due to some thoughts that she shared on the topic.

                    • I was unaware that she had made any comments pro or con. MZB we knew mostly where we stood (although we only learned the horrid after her death) but I knew of none from McCaffrey.

                      Please tell me I’m not about to learn more of the same from her, Lee, or Norton.

                    • Nah. To the best of my knowledge, she was never involved in anything inappropriate. The problem is that she said had some odd and strongly disliked opinions on the subject (specifically causes of it, iirc). Unfortunately, I don’t remember the gist of her comments.

                      So bringing her up in anything resembling a positive light where pro-gay topics are being discussed is probably not a good idea.

                    • According to Robert Graves, the cause of same sex attraction is drinking excessive milk. I wonder if I should tell my boys they’re doomed. (Sorry, I cackled outloud when I read Graves on the subject, and yes, he was serious.)

                  • I loved Harper Hall; and The Masterharper of Pern… Ah, Robinton. ;_;

                    It was a given that green/blue riders were gay men; the idea being that women who ended up pregnant due to mating flights would miscarry and be taken out of the ready fighting wings, and thus not be an effective fighter. (An actual valid reason why they tended to not have female dragonriders, bar the gold rider.) That’s why it was a huge uproar with Path choosing Mirrim; and until the dolphins could tell her that she was pregnant, she would often miscarry her children and was a source of sorrow to her.

                    What I found interesting was that McCaffrey portrayed that the gay men could be just as aggressive and as temperamental as their dragons, especially if the green was close to mating flight.

                    I remember reading somewhere that something that the feminists dislike about Dragonriders of Pern is how, essentially, there is no sexual choice for the Queen rider. F’lar is aware that if it hadn’t been for their dragons, Lessa’s first sexual experience may well be called rape and he made a point of being a gentle, considerate lover to her since. What the feminists miss is that 1) Lessa had sex with F’lar AFTER the mating flight, willingly, and 2) afterward learned to love him in her own way to the point that she insisted that nobody else’s dragon would fly Ramoth.

                    Feminists miss that most Queen riders are expected to have no permanent attachments to the Weyrleader, as the Weyrleader changes depending on who flew the Queen and queen riders in general were encouraged to not form permanent sexual attachments and were encouraged to be somewhat promiscuous because of dragon mating flights – they don’t get a choice about who their current mate is any more than the bronze rider has a choice about the woman. Feminists focus entirely on ‘the woman rider has no choice’ but ignore that the male riders have no choice at all, even more than the women, regardless of their sexuality or preferences, because only bronzes fly the queens and the browns and blues fly greens – which were usually ridden by other men, so it didn’t matter if the brown or blue or green rider was heterosexual, you had to become bi because once you bonded with your dragon, that was what dictated your sexuality even for just a day or two.

                    They ignore that F’nor’s attachment to Brekke was why their relationship was considered a hopeless one (Canth was a brown, Wirenth a Queen), and that Lessa’s and F’lar’s relationship – which lasted their lifetimes – was an unusual one for queen and bronze riders. Green dragons eventually getting opened up to female riders was somewhat revolutionary for the established culture for the Weyrs; ergo, open to women who were willing to risk that they might never have children or form permanent families.

                    • The burdens of power, eh? The Queen cannot make choices according to her whims because the consequences can be catastrophic far beyond her personal life. She can be gay but must still bear an heir – and that requires heterosexual action, because the consequences can be catastrophic far beyond her personal life.

                      Of course, much the same holds true for a king, a point similarly lost upon feminists.

                      That the Dragonriders series chose to note these facts in somewhat different circumstances does not change the fundamental rule: with great power comes great responsibility. Those who demand to “have it all,” who argue against that rule, who refuse to accept the responsibilities of their power are super-villains.

                    • Of course, much the same holds true for a king, a point similarly lost upon feminists.

                      They hand-wave that as the king being able to have someone else father his heir by the Queen– because mere RUMORS of that have never been any sort of an issue, right?

                • I’m not sure…I might be more afraid of Hilda’s step daughter and their car is right up there with both of them.

                  • Deety will just shoot you. In a tender spot, mind… Same with Gay Deceiver (well, she can’t shoot – but could pop the cabin seals in vacuum, or run the magic toilets backwards).

                    Hilda, you’d never why you suddenly have a very long life to look forward to – one filled with constant misery.

                    Like I said – brrr….

            • Ye gads could she plot revenge. What was it, 10 years that she plotted and manipulated? That girl could have brought Pern down if F’lar hadn’t shown up, or more correctly Ramoth.

            • SheSellsSeashells

              I am still seething over people insulting Mike Resnick for being a misogynist. I find his female characters one hell of a lot more interesting than Heinlein’s, and I *like* Heinlein’s women in a comic-book sort of way. (“Damn, I wish I could be that awesome that effortlessly! I will play with that notion in my head during the boring bits of Making Life Work.”) But I want to be Winifred Carruthers when I grow up.

          • Truth cannot exist. Truth destroys the narrative. The Narrative is all.

            • I’m going to beat their narrative like I was Friday and their narrative isn’t built to handle that.

            • They don’t believe in Truth, or rather, what they believe about Truth is nonsense:

              THE NY TIMES AGREES WITH POWER LINE
              No sooner do I repeat my theme here about how the left created the “post-truth” era, than the New York Times comes along to ratify my thesis. Writing in the Times today, Duke University student Casey Williams wonders, “Has Trump Stolen Philosophy’s Critical Tools?”

              For decades, critical social scientists and humanists have chipped away at the idea of truth. We’ve deconstructed facts, insisted that knowledge is situated and denied the existence of objectivity. The bedrock claim of critical philosophy, going back to Kant, is simple: We can never have certain knowledge about the world in its entirety. Claiming to know the truth is therefore a kind of assertion of power.

              These ideas animate the work of influential thinkers like Nietzsche, Foucault and Derrida, and they’ve become axiomatic for many scholars in literary studies, cultural anthropology and sociology.

              From these premises, philosophers and theorists have derived a number of related insights. One is that facts are socially constructed. People who produce facts — scientists, reporters, witnesses — do so from a particular social position (maybe they’re white, male and live in America) that influences how they perceive, interpret and judge the world. They rely on non-neutral methods (microscopes, cameras, eyeballs) and use non-neutral symbols (words, numbers, images) to communicate facts to people who receive, interpret and deploy them from their own social positions.

              Call it what you want: relativism, constructivism, deconstruction, postmodernism, critique. The idea is the same: Truth is not found, but made, and making truth means exercising power.

              Game, set, and match. But if you hope that the writer will have second thoughts on postmodernism, you’ll be disappointed. The rest of the article is mush—a perfect display of how today’s liberal intellectual class is trapped within a prison of their own making, utterly unable to see beyond their own short horizons. Which shows how defective higher education is today. Students aren’t acquainted with even the most basic tools to defend the Enlightenment (let alone antiquity) from its willful destroyers.

              • “Will to power” they do believe in.

                • “Will to Power” is all well and good right up to the point where you’re sitting in a besieged bunker directing the movements of armies that no longer exist.

                  • An amazing number of people who believe in “Will to Power” seem to believe a) will is sufficient b) there are not far more (and far more competent) people with a will to deny you power.

                    • Yeah, no matter how much willpower you got, you can’t will things like armies into existence.
                      As it says in the Bible, God fights on the side of the heaviest artillery.

                    • The only use I found for “The Will to Power” was in creating an alternative to alignment in a Space D&D campaign described as, “1000 years after Luke slew the Emperor and ruled with his father while his Sister and The Solo fled beyond the galactic rim you beat the setting heavily about the head and shoulders with God Emperor of Dune and Heretics of Dune to create a story about the return of the decedents of Solo, Leia, Lando, etc to over throw the Empire.”

                      Will to Power was the Dark Side crossed with The Anti-Life Equation from DC comics. I forget off hand all of them but there was a Will to Knowledge for Mentat types, one for Bene Geserit types (who were women who when captured would say, “My name is Leia” then will themselves to death), one for Bene Tillex types, and so on. Each was keyed to a kind of power.

                    • But lots of people believe that everything and everyone else is just a prop in their psychodrama.
                      Unfortunately, I’m related to a few examples.

              • Trump stole the philosopher’s tools? No, the philosophers threw them away long ago. Modern philosophy is to the love of wisdom as the Parthenon is to worship.

                • Isn’t that what the man told Winston?


                  And we know he would not lie.

                • Reality Based Community, what?

                • Y’knw, this is a really good question:

                  If there’s no objective truth, then why should I ever care that you’re oppressed?
                  by David Freddoso | Apr 18, 2017
                  “What is truth?” This question is probably the most famous phrase attributed in the Gospel to Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor who went on to condemn Jesus Christ to death with a show of washing his hands.

                  He was specifically questioning Jesus’ assertion that he had “was born and came into the world to testify to the truth.” But he went on to do something that puts the question to the very idea of truth. Despite believing Jesus to be innocent, he knowingly handed him over to be crucified, despite having the power to prevent it. This is very much in keeping with his implication that there is no truth. Jesus is just one man, after all, whose death was in keeping with popular opinion. Why should Pilate care about the innocent and guilty being crucified together?

                  I’m reminded of this not only because we are in the octave of Easter, but also because this “might makes right” concept of truth — or rather its rejection — has bizarrely taken hold with people who clearly and demonstrably believe the opposite. For activists who try to spread the gospel (sorry, “awareness”) of oppression, the notion that their oppression should matter to anyone besides themselves depends entirely on the idea that there is truth.

                  But don’t go explaining that to them, because they’ve decided the very idea is rooted in “white supremacy.”
                  [END EXCERPT]

              • Exactly why I’m glad I took my one and only philosophy course when I was young, and had far more patience.

                Ah! Side note to Orvan – you are not the slowest among us. I just realized that this is what the great Hugo Winner was all about. Gravity is just a social construct! Now it makes perfect sense.

                (That is, it now makes sense why I have this urge to invite those who voted for it to take a walk off of a 30th floor balcony…)

                • No, no, no; Gravity is a toxin; just ask David “Avacado” Wolfe…

                • I took philosophy from the Jesuits. They don’t let it get watered down.

                  I regret that I did not know how close I was to a philosophy minor until I was a senior. Those were some good classes.

              • And yet, these aresults the same individuals who will claim that conservatives and other people with whom they disagree “hate” scuence, and are clearly evil liars if they state that scientists just might, possibly, have an agenda beyond merely “doing science.”

          • *face palm*

            Does the name Jirel of Jory ring a bell?

            Oh, and I double dare anyone to say that Clarrisa Kinnison or Jane Clayton were not strong women. *grin*

            • Usually Jirel is the start of my rant because I have a particular affect for her due to non-story reasons.

              However, given the 50 year mark cited I went with Less who appeared 50 years ago come October.

            • Or Jaelithe in the Witchworld books. Simon Tregarth kicks but, but his lady, later wife… yeek. Another good character not to mess with.

              • BobtheRegisterredFool

                None of these are strong women or strong female characters, because those terms are technical jargon partly defined by a test of political utility. One can only qualify if doing so is convenient to a modern leftist.

              • Simon Tam is a nice guy, but don’t mess with his sister.

                In fact, I think it would be simply a very bad idea to challenge any woman named River, be it Tam or Song.

              • Can’t believe I haven’t seen Granny Weatherwax mentioned yet. *chuckle* There’s strength there, and I double dog dare you to try and tell her she’s not female. *grin*

            • Clarrisa Kinnison?

              No way would I try to push around the Red Lensman.

              I pity the fool tries telling her it ought be Red Lenswoman.

              As for her daughters … I would rather get crosswise of Urðr, Verðandi, and Skuld.

              • Trying to remember which one of the girls took care of the wolf with something like “Fortunately for you, I’m not hungry right now. But stick around – I might be in the mood for a light snack later.”

            • And Signe Mallory was Honor before Honor was…..

          • Or any of James Schmitz’ female characters, including the “little old traveling lady” who happened to be an intergalactic agent preventing an alien attack.

  10. “Lightspeed Editors Destroyed Science Fiction” then?

  11. Customers. What do they know about what’s good for the company? It should fire them all and hire new ones.

  12. Call me crazy, but I would guess that the people whose job it is to analyse customer demands/preferences have processes and procedures in place to help them gather a broad range of information about customer response and don’t need Joe SJW to tell them, based on peeking through their own tiny crack of a statistical window, why the dogs aren’t eating the kibble.

    I know — there’s plety of evidence that publishers across the board are convinced they know better than their readers what their readers want, but when the evidence runs counter to the narrative the smart money bets the evidence. People tend to be surprisingly sharp when they think their ferkaktah jobs are on the line.

    An unfortunate aspect of the internet is it gives the illusion of broader sampling than is actually occurring, so that the voices heard inside any individual cubby seem more numerous and representative of broad public opinion than is actually the case. That is how “can’t miss” presidential races trip and go splat. It is also how intellectual cul-de-sacs like i09 become lost in pursuit of will-o-the-wisps in their echo chambers.

    • One election season I worked for a company that did mostly political opinion polling. The supervisor of our office would go through a briefing before every new survey, explain some of the various techniques the company would use to minimize bias, and discuss things that the interviewers should and should not do that would tend to bias the respondent.
      After a while, the interviewers got to where they could tell the difference between a well-constructed, fairly neutral survey and one with a built-in bias that would tell the poll’s customer what he wanted to hear, rather than what the population that was being sampled really thought.
      The same principle applied to marketing research..There are a lot of ways to get it wrong, some of them more disastrous than others.

    • Most large businesses have some sort of quality or statistical analysis department; and they do analyze customer demand and process data.

      In these wonderful days of high powered computers, you can even analyze the entire population, rather than merely sampling. But population analysis is dependent on data gathering; and for an entire population, that’s resource intensive (time, people, materials, etc.) For the U.S. census, not a problem since nobody expects answers to any question the day after the census starts. For people trying to predict an election the week before? Very problematic.

      I don’t know about publishers, but I doubt they’re much different than news editors or pollsters. They’ll look for survey’s to confirm their biases far more often than they’ll opt for a real, true, reliable survey. Especially if they’re in a time crunch.

    • It’s more general than that. A metastudy published about 10 years ago in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded with these words:

      “Yes, some patients are complaining that they still don’t feel well, but we don’t believe patients know what they feel.”

  13. yes well at this point, i don’t expect io9 to do anything other than kick puppies…

  14. Raises hand:

    Excuse me, but since the I09 article in question dismissed the “diversity” excuse; the author pointedly saying she would not “thumb his nose” at readers preferring their core characters to remain the same; and also pointing out talent drain at Marvel from what sounds like indie, then what’s the problem with it?

    Frankly, I don’t have one. The article doesn’t attack what passes for diversity at Marvel, but it does call BS on David Gabriel’s claim.

    • Clarification request:
      author pointedly saying she would not “thumb his nose” at readers

      Emphasis added.

      • Because it’s the Current Year, and if one wishes to change one’s gender in the middle of a sentence and back again before the end….

        ^_^

        • Be that as it may, no one has answered my question, and that is disturbing to me. Either there is something in the IO9 article I didn’t pick up on, or there’s bad feelings toward IO9 from articles in the past. Yet the issue in the post is the IO9 article itself, not past deeds. It looks like an IO9 pile-on.

          There’s no nice way to put this, and I’ve tried to think of one for several minutes, but pile-ons are something I associate with SJWs, not here. Either there’s a reason in the article for this much ire, or there’s not. And if there’s not, do we really want to do this?

          Remember, the issue is the article, not Mr. Gabriel’s statement that’s the basis for the analysis for the article. So what’s so horrible about it?

        • I enjoy reading Ranma 1/2 fanfiction. If you’re unaware, it’s a manga/anime series in which he’s a teenage boy who’s cursed to turn female when doused with cold water, and returns to being male when douse with hot water.

          Sometimes, I’ve seen just that sort of thing in sentences when the author tries to keep track of Ranma’s gender diligently.

    • Kevin, the point is that both the VP of Sales at Marvel and the article writer are wrong.

      Marvel does have many problems – “diversity” is definitely one of them. The one wants to blame it all on “diversity,” the other wants to blame nothing on “diversity.”

      Of course, the real problem is that they are doing “checkbox diversity,” not real diversity. A problem that we are all quite familiar with…

      Apparently, some lines are doing OK, like Ms. Marvel. If it has continued the same way as the Hugo nominated premier issue, I can see why – it really doesn’t hit “checkboxes” – it develops as a fairly decent plot line. (Now, I rejected it because it starts from a premise of a very atypical “Muslim” family. There are some “Muslim” families out there that are like Kamala Khan’s – but they are “Muslim” like a “Jew” that has a BLT for lunch, or a “Mormon” that takes an after-work beer.)

      • Yes – the problem is not diversity, it is bad story-telling.

        I don’t really know of any readers inclined to complain about diversity, per se — their complaint is that there is no story, no characterization. Those are the meat & potatoes of fiction; diversity is simply so much parsley.

        When readers complain about the Diversity ruining comics, what they mean is that the books are all parsley and no substance.

      • I’ve wondered if the VP of Sales meant to say what he said. I’ve also thought that iO9 for once sort of got it right. Because I think it *was* all those things, and not “diversity” that put people off. But when it’s put the way William did, that all of those off-putting things were done *in the name of* diversity… well that makes a lot of sense.

        I know almost no one who dislikes diversity or wouldn’t like to have more ideological diversity, who wouldn’t like to have a greater variety of opinions. (Writing tip, from a reader POV, if you’ve got ideological diversity you can get away with more without offending people.) But I know a lot of people who very much dislike what is being done in the name of diversity.

      • When you say the author of the article is wrong, that also takes in her assessment that Mr. Gabriel’s blaming it on diversity is BS. It takes in that they don’t have the talent anymore, and have increased prices and played havoc with releases. It even takes in her statement that she’s not thumbing her nose as those who dislike monkeying with core characters.

        Honestly, the only possible thing I see for coming down on this article is she didn’t make all the right noises, and that can condemn any of us. That sort of thing is exactly what is going on at the hands of the SJW in publishing. If the same thing is expected here, then I’m in the wrong place.

        • Got to go with you on this one. The article’s written from a leftist perspective, sure, (as can be seen in the obligatory remarks about white male characters) but it takes the complaints about cheap, tacked-on diversity seriously, and points out that there are other factors involved in the slump. Said factors might have something to do with the cheap, tacked-on diversity, but the only real similarity is that they share a common root cause–creative bankruptcy.

        • I’m not sure it’s not so much as “didn’t make the right noises” as it is Pavlovian training to sneer when someone says, “It’s not the diversity; it’s not the diversity.”

          Plenty of us in the comments have agreed that the crossovers and events have been a big issue even before the diversity which is something the author mentions. That said she is trying to say it is not the diversity in response to someone from Marvel is saying that is the feedback they are getting on the past couple of years. I suspect that the crossover/special event damage was done over the past decade or more and if we’re talking the past two years the faux diversity is the big driver.

  15. “Diversity” in and of itself isn’t even close to the problem at Marvel. The problem is “BADLY DONE DIVERSITY”.

    With all the authors that hang out here (secretly, I’m a wanna-be and am hoping that some of that talent rubs off), I’m probably preaching to the choir here. But what are the basic building blocks of a story? Character, Setting, and Plot. Did I forgot to add “Diversity” to that list? NOPE, I didn’t. Diversity is just a tangent. A flavor ingredient. Like oregano, or sage. It isn’t even as important as SALT. Can it make a story better? Actually, yea… it can. Just like Oregano can make dinner taste better (depending on what you are making… work with me here), having a diverse cast can make your story better. The problem comes when an author focuses on diversity rather than a good story. I know a woman who LOVES her some oregano. Her sauce is HORRID. You can’t even taste the tomato. Nobody wants to eat her cooking. Same thing happens in writing. if an author concentrates too much on diversity, and not enough on plot or character, the story suffers. And NO, “diversity” IS NOT a substitute for character (any more than the oregano in our example is a substitute for Tomato.) Unfortunately too many people seem to think it is.

    • Free Range Oyster

      THIS!

    • Hell, think about last week or two ago when someone posted an awesome outline for a “Four lady Ghostbusters” movie that I ready to put my ass in a theater for.

      Why? Because in two dialog snippets and an elevator pitch he had more plot and actual characters than that whole movie did.

    • Diversity is just a tangent. A flavor ingredient. Like oregano, or sage.

      More like cilantro.

      • You may be right. However, I don’t really cook with cilantro, so I didn’t really think of it.

        Well that and I had a built in “too much oregano” example. Unless you’ve tasted it, you have NO IDEA how horrible that can be.

        Admittedly sage there because my family all but banned me from growing sage a few years ago… I LOVE SAGE… the fam? Not so much.

        • Heh. The only meat I ever had that was totally inedible was pronghorn antelope that was put up with WAY too much sage. I have fairly eclectic tastes, but that just wasn’t palatable.

        • SheSellsSeashells

          As one of the resident foodies, I will poke my head in to gently mention the possibilities of a prosciutto/sage/aged cheddar combination. It is a happy, happy thing, especially as applied to grilled cheese sandwiches.

          Just saying… 😀

      • Turner Ashenden

        In other words, anyone who doesn’t think everything needs to be more diverse is wrong.

      • It tastes like soap, and I say to h*ll with it.

    • Better put than I managed to Kevin.

      These days, anyone who is not writing actually diverse characters is not characterizing well. That is not a dig against earlier authors, either – but while I can still re-read, oh, say, the Skylark series, I have to put myself into an early 20th Century mindset, much like when I decide to watch a favorite old musical.

      By actually diverse characters, I do not mean the “checkbox” characters. You know, the “Not White” – check! “Differently gendered – check!” “Physically and/or mentally impaired – check!” And – most important of all – “Victim – check!”

      • “These days, anyone who is not writing actually diverse characters is not characterizing well”

        I disagree. As I said before, diversity for the sake of diversity almost always destroys a story. If the story calls for four strait white dudes, the author should write four strait white dudes. Diversity does not equal good characterization. Lack of “diversity” (in the SJW sense of the word) doesn’t always mean bad characterization.

        All the hue and cry for “diversity at all cost” doesn’t take that into account. So what you end up with is badly done “diversity” because authors feel like they have to check off that all important check box. Story by checkbox is almost always bad bad very bad.

        • “These days, anyone who is not writing actually diverse characters is not characterizing well”

          “If the story calls for four strait white dudes, the author should write four strait white dudes.”

          These two things are not mutually exclusive.

        • Four “straight white dudes” can, and should be, diverse too.

          Okay, okay, it might just be one Coors, two Buds, and a Corona…

          But if they aren’t different people (which is what I’m getting at) – they aren’t people.

          • Turner Ashenden

            It could be diverse in the way the Mad Genius Club is: three extreme constitutionalists in that they want to undo any reforms made after 1865 and one alt-right.

            • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

              Shakes head and walks away.

              • To be fair, we don’t have many SJWs or leftists around here, but that’s more a factor of the ones who show up essentially flouncing away when asked to justify their positions in the face of argument.

                • And they don’t flouncing very well…it is kind of embarrassing.

                  • Have any been banned for anything other than serious trolling?

                    I mean, it’s not like we exactly welcome their ideas, but we’re generally willing to engage with them and show why those ideas tend to be bad ones – personal insults come later, generally after we’ve been called horrible.

                  • Not to my knowledge but I have little.

                    I was making fun of their flouncing because, well, I’m pretty good at it and in certain contexts (not ones I encounter here) it is expected of me.

                    I am just sick of people not taking what they do seriously, even trolling or flouncing.

            • Citation needed, given that there have been precisely no alt-right views expressed on MGC at any point–beyond, perhaps, the idea that SJWs are detrimental to the society they live in.

              • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                Also the “who wants to undo reforms after 1865” seems suspiciously like calling people racists. 😦

                Of course, this person seems to be a “drive-by-poster”. IE Nobody to be concerned about.

                • I was wondering about but it misses a point beyond that in most “extreme constitutionalists” are quite happy with the most recent amendment passed in 1992 so even if they were racists and sexists (you forgot the sexist part of not liking the 19th).

                  However, the real tell they are and idiot is MGC has more that four writers on it.

                • BobtheRegisterredFool

                  They may be deliberately confusing amendments and living constitution crud.

                  Picking post 1865 seems targeted to suggest that MGC writers object specifically to the fourteenth and maybe fifteenth amendments. Perhaps they also want to suggest that MGC writers have a problem with the thirteenth, but that apparently passed in 1865.

                  My position is that amendments, which go through a particular process, are correct even where I disagree with them, and that living constitution handwaving is incorrect even where I might otherwise agree with the results.

                  Off the top of my head, I only have two objections to the 13th, 14th, and 15th. The first is procedural, how they were passed. That is mostly overruled by the fact that the dissenters were Democrats, hence evil, who had effectively opted out by [Redacted]. I would not see that process repeated ever again. The second is section three of the fourteenth, which I have two reservations about. This permits persons elected to federal legislature to be excluded if they give aid and comfort to enemies of the constitution. The first reservation is that the Democratic Party has not yet ceased to give aid and comfort to enemies of the constitution, and the votes to rescind their exclusion might be considered illegitimate. The second reservation is that it is a tool too powerful and too easily abuseable to leave in any one’s hands.

                  I should perhaps skip discussing my opinions of the 17th, 20th, 21st, 23rd, and 26th.

                  Dave Freer, Amanda, Sarah, Kate, Pete, IIRC Jason, Pam, Cedar, Dorothy, and Brad are only current MGC writers that I can recall. Dave’s a foreigner and doesn’t count. (I care no more about his opinions on US politics than he does about mine on Australian politics.) Sarah, Kate, and Pete are immigrants, hence agreed to the current constitution when they naturalized. I can’t speak for the politics of the rest, but I haven’t seen any strong evidence that they have those specific opinions about the amendments in question.

                  The only evidence I’ve seen among them for Alt-Right is a certain tendency towards leftism, and willingness to vote for Democrats. But that may simply be because I do not know all of them very well.

              • Or he’s read some of Sarah’s comments during the election that came perilously close, IMHO, to calling anyone who supported Trump too enthusiastically “alt-right”. But hey, it’s politics…

                “Alt-right” is the new raaaaacist.

                • BobtheRegisterredFool

                  There was a faction or group or at least a ‘spokesman’ which vocally identified as alt-right, and was vocally an early advocate for Trump.

                  The heart of the matter is a cascading series of questions. Is society best managed by a centralized bureaucracy; if so, is ‘race’ a useful metric for the bureaucracy to collect and make decisions based on; if so, in which directions should the decisions be made?

                  The specific early pitches for Trump I saw from a source or sources which identified as alt-Right seemed to argue his suitability on the basis of the last question. (This despite the fact that Trump has twice married women who grew up in the Soviet Union, which undermines the case that he would be usefully xenophobic.)

                  There is a case that alt-Right means someone who picks the leftwing answer to the first two questions, and does not pick the leftwing answer to the last. As opposed to someone who cares much less about the last question, because they answer ‘no’ to the first or second.

                  • Hmmm…the closest person I can remember to that is me and that isn’t me.

                    I argued the reason Trump was doing well is even so called conservatives have, in terms of policy if not of rhetoric, been answering ‘yes’ to the first two. Evidence for ‘yes’ to the first one was the actions of the GOP when it had all the elective branches a decade and a half ago and gave us NCLB, Medicare Part D, and the record regulations and spending. Evidence of ‘yes’ for the second was the push from 2006 on for “comprehensive immigration reform” that was essentially amnesty for Spanish speaking illegals to get more of the Hispanic vote.

                    Once even the nominal ‘no’ part/faction on questions one and two start effectively answering ‘yes’ it is only a matter of time until all races start looking for someone to fight for them to be the answer to number three.

                    I also argued the alt-right is the logical outcome of the surrender mentality of the mainstream right.

                    That said I didn’t support Trump until he won the nomination (having gone Walker->Jindal->Cruz as the first two dropped out and as the first gave us a hint at Ryancare). When I did it was openly as a middle finger not to the left but to the GOP and Mainstream conservatives. That middle finger was due to the one agreement (or two depending on how you slice it) with the alt-right: that movement conservatism is a bunch of surrender monkeys who have conserved nothing.

                    However, I’m not alt-right despite some sympathies. If you go back to my early political posts here you’ll see me run off under suspicion I was a false flag for my idea. When the GOP surrendered after victory in 2014 I advocated for a third party via the GOP method: GOP office holders at all levels (starting with Cruz and Mike Lee at the Federal) and GOP volunteers leave and form a new party (which I wanted to call Whigs for the historic irony) that would already have sitting office holders and a base. It was modeled on the formation of the GOP out of (mostly) Whigs.

                    So, perhaps it was me you’re remembering but I am far from alt-right even if I agree with some of their analysis of current American conservatism and the GOP.

                    • BobtheRegisterredFool

                      No, there is a very specific person I have in mind, and neither you nor Steve are him. To the best of my knowledge.

                  • In order:

                    No. Although, for certain values of “best” the answer could be yes.

                    No, but if that is going to be the basis on which decisions are made despite it being an astoundingly stupidly inappropriate metric …

                    Meh. Better Trump than Hillary.

    • “Pickled Garlic” fiction?

      Pickled garlic is awesome…if you like garlic and don’t dislike pickles, anyways.

      But it’s pretty dang one-note.

      Call it the “message fic you agree with CAN BE awesome” thing…. After all, the scifi I grew up with was mostly about “people can be awesome even if they seem different, good people are good people,” and that’s a message. Christ’s, sorta. But it can be awesome for a story…unless you reject it on a base level, if that truth is bitter in your mouth.

  16. i09 gets it wrong. In other news, dog bites man, and new scientific discovery, water is wet!

    Marvel Comics is losing sales because of nerd racism, no other view is permissible. Hail Gaia, roll Left and die.

  17. On that note… message fic hits gaming (again, I suppose):

    https://hollylisle.com/racism-at-ubisoft-far-cry-primal/

    • I…have a hard time getting worked up over this. I wouldn’t be particularly upset if it were the other way around, so I see no reason to be peeved that the situation in Far Cry Primal is as described by the author, particularly given that (if the archaeologists are to be trusted) the Neanderthals were overrun by southern invaders. Therefore, the game is accurately rendering the history, and flipping out over it like she is is, frankly, SJW-worthy.

      • The flip-out, yes. But she has a point. If the hero was white and the “crazed savages” were black, there would be *such* a crowd flipping out with her. So why the silence (as if we didn’t know)?

        An equal opportunity flip-out is at least a step in the right direction. For that I will commend her.

  18. I’ve always wanted to read comics because I appreciate the artistry and sometimes the story. But I can’t justify paying money for something that will take me about 10 minutes to read through. This whole diversity nonsense certainly isn’t likely to change my mind. I think I’ll stick to the MCU movies where at least I get popcorn out of the deal.

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