by Gary Farber
My name is Gary Farber. You killed my father. Some of you are familiar with me, and some are not.
Who the hell am I?
I'm the FNG as an Obsidian Wings front-page blogger.
My first appearance at Obsidian Wings was via a post by Katherine R. on December 16th, 2003, when she linked to a post of mine, and named it Post Of The Week. This attracted my attention to Obsidian Wings, with its first set of bloggers, Moe Lane, Katherine R, and Von.
Set the Wayback Machine, Sherman!
5. This one is somewhat political, but I have deemed it Blog Post of the Week, so I am posting it anyway:
Amygdala, via Ted Barlow, on the War on Straw--the trend of using stupid comments by stupid political opponents of yours to prove that all your political opponents are stupid:
Sites to avoid trolling and citing: Democratic Underground; Lucianne .com; any blog's comments section.
See, it's arguing against straw because random people you've never heard of who are foaming at the mouth, scientific studies reveal, turn out not to be spokespeople for a given Party or position.
Posted by Katherine R at 01:05 PM in Nothing Else Fit
And thus my first appearance in the attached comment thread:
All sagas have a beginning. I started commenting on other posts here that day.
[...] PS Why the heck Amygdala isn't already in the blogroll I don't know either. Fixing it right now...
And within a day and a half we were already mixing genres and politics when Katherine decried using The Lord Of The Rings as a talking point:
"I'm not one of the last hopes of Middle Earth, but I play one on TV!"
Okay, can I pre-emptively call a halt to the inevitable use of the new Lord of the Rings movie to prove points about the Iraq war? Andrew Sullivan's post--which you have to scroll down a bit to get to from that link--is the first example I've seen of this for Return of the King, but I remember countless examples when The Two Towers came out last winter. [....]
And I was responding in comments:
You are entirely correct, Katherine. It is far more compelling and convincing to stick to using Star Wars movies to make relevant analogies to the Islamist-West situation.
The mix was there from the start.
I started blogging at my own blog, Amygdala, on December 30th, 2001, and have made 8907 posts to date.
Prior to that, I'd been ranting the same rants, complete with extensive citations and quotes, on Usenet, to the point where I was known enough for my extensive use of search engines to fact-check that, on a few newsgroups, "farbering" became a joking way to refer to "googling."
Prior to that, I'd been writing in sf fanzines since 1971, when I was 12.
I'll be 52 on November 5th.
I've been a very junior book editor. I've worked a lot of different jobs in my time. I'm an sf fan, a news junkie, a history buff, a political obsessive and activist, a reading fanatic, and a writer. I have a variety of obsessions, including with Richard Nixon. I'm not a member of any organized political party, I'm a Democrat. I wander back and forth in the byways between leftism and liberalism, depending upon what year it is, and what events I'm reacting to.
I believe in many causes, but civil liberties are a passion.
I started working in science fiction in 1974 as a slush reader for Amazing Stories and Fantastic Stories. My first publishing job, however, was with Teen Beat magazine, and its affiliated publications. I was 15.
I soon started working as a freelance reader, proofreader, copyeditor, copywriter, editorial assistant, and dogsbody for various mass market publishers, mostly, but not entirely, in science fiction, fantasy, and horror.
After 1978 through 1985 in Seattle, during which time I worked a mess of jobs, after The Pacific Northwest Review of Books went out of business, I returned to NYC in '86, and again freelanced,for publishers including, in no particular order, Ace, Baen, Bluejay, Avon Books, the Science Fiction Book Club, Scholastic, Berkeley Books, Tor, Penguin, Dell, and various others.
Soon I turned down offers from Jim Frenkel to be Assistant to the Publisher at Bluejay Books, from Tappan King to be Managing Editor of Twilight Zone and Night Cry magazines, and took a job working for John Douglas at Avon Books, working on not just mass market sf, fantasy, and horror, but a wide range of fiction and nonfiction, including a Vietnam War line of both nonfiction and fiction (Michael Herr's Dispatches was one of the best known of the line), the Latin American line (One Hundred Years of Solitude being the best-known), a military history line, mainstream fiction, mystery fiction, and every kind of fiction but romance and YA, and every kind of mass market nonfiction but cookbooks, business books, and sports books.
By 1988 I crashed into major clinical depression, and got myself fired.
I became active in sf fandom in 1971, age 12, doing fanzines, working on conventions, including as Director of Operations for two Worldcons and retroactive Vice-Chair of the 1978 Worldcon. I institutionalized Worldcon displays on sf fanhistory, and created the concept of the fan lounge, and the concept of a separate track of fannish programming at Worldcons, in 1977, along with doing a bazillion other things in the sf community in the Seventies and Eighties.
I've also had lifelong major chronic depression, am diagnosed as bipolar, and believe more people should talk publically about their experiences with emotional and mental illness.
I've been twice a delegate to County Democratic Conventions, once In Washington State, and once in Colorado, and once elected to the Colorado State Democratic Assembly (the gathering of the political party, not the legislature), and as alternate delegate to State Convention.
My sense of humor runs to the extremely dry and deadpan. I'm in a twelve-step program for the terminally sarcastic, but I slip constantly.
I've been a political and news junkie ever since at least the Six Day War of 1967, and all the other events of 1967 and 1968, that got me reading the New York Times every day at the age of eight. By 1968, I was a fanatic about knowing what was going on, and combined with my sucking every book I could out of every library I got near, my thirst to read more about what happened before that, so I could know what happened before that, so I could know what that was, was boundless.
Since then, information has been my life. Occasionally I spit some up for others.
I'm happy to have been asked to join Obsidian Wings as a full member of the blogging team. I hope to help the blog thrive, nurture the community, and make the debate as interesting as I can.
Thanks for having me.
Here's what I'm looking to do with you:
Okay, now let's argue!
Do we want public libraries privatized?
“There’s this American flag, apple pie thing about libraries,” said Frank A. Pezzanite, the outsourcing company’s chief executive. He has pledged to save $1 million a year in Santa Clarita, mainly by cutting overhead and replacing unionized employees. “Somehow they have been put in the category of a sacred organization.”
The company, known as L.S.S.I., runs 14 library systems operating 63 locations. Its basic pitch to cities is that it fixes broken libraries — more often than not by cleaning house.
“A lot of libraries are atrocious,” Mr. Pezzanite said. “Their policies are all about job security. That’s why the profession is nervous about us. You can go to a library for 35 years and never have to do anything and then have your retirement. We’re not running our company that way. You come to us, you’re going to have to work.”
All the librarians I know are lazy bums. Sure.
[...] "Library employees are often the most resistant to his company, said Mr. Pezzanite, a co-founder of L.S.S.I. — and, he suggested, for reasons that only reinforce the need for a new approach. “Pensions crushed General Motors, and it is crushing the governments in California,” he said. While the company says it rehires many of the municipal librarians, they must be content with a 401(k) retirement fund and no pension."
Pensions are for wimps.
And: Open Thread!
UPDATE, 9/27/10, 3:33: p.m.: I've decided to try doing a daily link-dump post at my personal blog, Amygdala. I'll simply keep updating the post throughout the day, and I'll try to do such a post most days, if I can.
Here's the first post: I SPY WITH MY LITTLE EYE. Check back for more links to it until the next post, after midnight.