Killing Us Softly

According To Hoyt

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A friend of mine who might or might have been reading college program application essays felt a need to vent, particularly in the wake of Marshall’s essay yesterday.  Call this “the other side.”

Now keep in mind he works for a prestigious humanities program, which means he attracts a certain type of person, but all the same the essays are worrying him.  He says the problem is how “nice” these kids have been taught to be.  And how the “worrisome thing is when they try to be tolerant.”

I.e. the essay that worried him the most was the one that said we shouldn’t all pile on on people who give offense or hurt others.  It’s when they persist in using hurtful terms or saying things that they know will hurt people that they need to be — kindly — reeducated.

Talking to him, I felt these were the GOOD kids. …

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The Value of Pain

According To Hoyt

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Look, I’m not a masochist.  I hate pain.  No, I mean I really hate pain, particularly emotional pain.  Not that I’m fond of physical pain, but it’s easier to just lean back and endure than emotional pain.  Also ibuprofen does bloody nothing for emotional pain.

But I figured out when I was giving birth to younger son that there is a purpose to pain, a purpose to effort and struggle.  You see, without it babies wouldn’t be so incredibly important to mothers.  No, really.  I think if you could have a kid with absolutely no, or very little pain, you’d not value them so highly.  (Yes, I explained this to the doctors WHILE I WAS GIVING BIRTH.  I’M A BIT NUTS.)

When I was young and stupid I created a gengeeniered human subspecies (you’ll see) who give birth with next to no pain.  Since a lot of them are nomadic…

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Bad Bad Futures Which Didn’t Happen – The Serial Number Version

According To Hoyt

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The other day husband and I were in front of the computer that’s used as a TV, and he was looking at trailers (I think I was writing, but I might have been painting something.)   After about the third “science fiction” movie trailer, my husband said “Do they realize all these futures are essentially Maoist?  They all dress alike, they’re addressed by their rank in society, they have completely scripted lives?”

And I realized he’s right and it’s not just the dystopias, even.  In all imagined SF futures, STILL, everyone dresses alike and is some kind of cog in a big machine.

Okay, I give Star Trek a pass, as what we’re seeing is more or less the military in this society.  (Or perhaps the Peace Corps. Or yes. I never figured it out, fully.) But even then you have a feeling private citizens live pretty similar lives.

Why?

Well…

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Paying It Forward

According To Hoyt

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Paying it forward is a well known principle of all Heinlein fans, since he advocated it so strenuously.

I know why too.  Coming up in writing, even now, but particularly under trad, you needed so many people to give you a hand up that it was impossible to pay them all back.  Impossible, particularly, unless you became a mega bestseller, since a ton of the people who helped were bestsellers.

Sometimes you managed it, little by little.  The first person to give me a chance at magazine sales eventually asked me to be in an anthology that didn’t pay but was HIS labor of love, and I could say yes (even if it came at the worst possible time, as I was very ill.)  Other friends I’ve helped promo or done work with.

But that’s not the idea anyway.  In the field as it was — and to an extent…

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How to Combat Depression

According To Hoyt

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I hate chaos, which is weird because most people perceive me as working best in the middle of chaos.  But it’s not … precisely true.  I love the “controlled chaos” of very, very, very busy. My happiest years (except romantically.  I didn’t have Dan yet, and I can’t even imagine that now) were in college, when I was going to school, tutoring AND had a busy social life.

Partly, of course, it’s that I am a depressive and also an introvert.  These two feed off each other, because if I get my wishes, I sit in a room, with my own thoughts, and when they turn to depression, there’s nothing I can do. And the depression feeds the introversion.  The bottom stage of this is me in a dark room both physically and metaphorically.

And my portion of hating chaos can also feed depression, because I can lock myself into…

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Thoughts on Explorers and Pioneers— Past and (Possibly) Future – by Hank Davis

According To Hoyt

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Thoughts on Explorers and Pioneers—
Past and (Possibly) Future – by Hank Davis

Let’s get Columbus out of the way first. But don’t worry, he’ll be back for a curtain call.
Two things: first, Columbus did not decide, against the prevailing thinking of his day, that the Earth was round and go off in three little ships to find a new route to Asia.
(Speaking of which, is there still anyone who thinks that Columbus set off to discover America, or even a new land? In the seventh grade, I actually had a social studies teacher write that on the blackboard and had to correct her–but then she was fresh out of college, this was her first teaching job, and she realized I was right and took it well [in spite of my being a snotty little brat back then], which was a relief since she was certainly the prettiest…

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RAH!

According To Hoyt

birthday-1114056 This should be a serpent eating its tail, but I don’t feel like looking for an image, so twisty candles will have to do.

It is Heinlein’s birthday.  It is also coincidentally my oldest son’s birthday.  It is one of those things that makes me believe I’m living in a novel, as it connects me simultaneously to the past and the future. The man who molded my thought, and the man I helped mold (a little bit.  It will shock all of you that he’s a stubborn cuss, right?) both sharing the same name and born on the same date.  (Though our Robert started the being born thing on the fourth of July, he hung fire till the seventh early morning.  Go figure.  And yeah, I loved the three days hard labor.  Not.)

Lately I’ve been giving a lot of thought to what it means to be a writer, and…

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