Today, a round-up of things on my mind.
The Olympics begin in a day or two.
That I don’t know exactly when they begin is a sign of how much I care.
Which is to say that I care about the Olympics not at all.
I’ve no intention to watch them. When I was eleven, back in 1984, I did. I especially liked watching the Winter Olympics in Sarajevo that year. I’m not sure why. But I did.
Since then, no real interest. Oh, I turned it on a couple of times in ’88, wherever that was.
By the time ’96 rolled around, did I watch anything?
To the extent that I care about the Olympics this year, it’s strictly on the politics of the Olympics.
The International Olympic Committee and the world are rewarding China for its deplorable human rights record. The world is turning a blind eye to China’s oppression of its people. China’s Olympics are a Potemkin Village — life in China will look rosy, events will be stage managed to a near-impossible degree, and when the Olympics are done the world will remember the image and forget the truth beneath the surface.
These Olympics aren’t about sport. These Olympics are about the world giving tacit approval to China for its actions.
Fuck the Olympics.
I just learned today that noted science fiction author, Dr. Ronald Chevalier, has a new novel coming out this autumn, Brutus and Balzaak.
I read some of Chevalier’s work when I was in college. I was reading Larry Niven and Philip K. Dick and Orson Scott Card. My friends, they pushed Chevalier’s work on me. I read it. To be frank, it wasn’t very good. Overwritten, overwrought. Listen to Chevalier read an excerpt from Cyborg Harpies on his website and… well, he needed a fucking editor.
But you know what? A lot of my friends like Chevalier’s work. I don’t know why. I hold his work up as an example of what not to do as a writer. Plain, simple language. Why use the word “mammary” when the word “breast” works better? But plain, simple language has passed Chevalier completely by.
Maybe Chevalier, when he was a young science fiction fan, just starting out, went to a mass reading of “The Eye of Argon” and came away thinking, “You know what? I can do that.” But what he thought he could do wasn’t write, but write badly.
I met Chevalier at a convention a few years ago, and I have to say — the guy is a fucking player. The man makes his female fans swoon, and it’s clearly not for his wordsmithery.
I can almost say it with Sean Connery’s distinctive burr from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
I now have a Professor Henry Jones statue on my desk at work.