Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

This is easily the longest thing I’ve written for Needless Things, and certainly the longest thing by far I’ll ever write for Needless Things. It is, however, a matter that is important to me.
I should give a word of warning. Most of you reading this will find yourself largely in full agreement with me while reading the first 1/3 of this. Although, anyone who finds themselves in an easy full agreement with much of that first 1/3 may start to find the remaining 2/3 to be uncomfortable. However, the last 2/3 of this may be more important than the first 1/3.
There’s a sickness in parts of fandom. In some bits of fandom, it’s nothing more than a mild fever. In other bits of fandom, it’s more like a gangrenous lower limb that needs immediate amputation. Unfortunately, while the other parts of fandom have rightly jumped up and spoken out against some of the most egregious actions by some parts of fandom acting like a gangrenous lower limb that needs immediate amputation, they’ve been, perhaps willfully, less observant and/or forceful about other parts of fandom that seem to have similar issues. We’ll be addressing both of those here.


That was a name you could say in many circles without having to add the last name, and no one wondered which Harlan you were talking about. If you brought up that name in literary circles, science fiction circles, or convention panels, almost everyone who had been around for longer than a cup of coffee knew you were talking about Harlan Ellison.


How do you describe someone like Harlan Ellison? I’ve already seen many attempting to do so by calling him one of the greatest science fiction writers of his time or simply the greatest science fiction writer of all time. But, honestly, that diminishes the man to a degree. Yes, he wrote some of the greatest and most well-known science fiction stories of a generation, but he was far more than just a science fiction writer. His work covered almost every genre and every medium of entertainment. Harlan Ellison, as he sometimes made very clear himself, was a writer– full stop.

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Harlan Ellison (1934-2018)

Posted: June 28, 2018 in Fiction, Life

Today (assuming you’re reading this on the day it goes live) is Thursday 28, 2018. Within the next 24 hours, the last Toys “R” Us in the United States will be closing its doors for the very last time. A business that Charles Lazarus started in 1957 (or 1948 if you go all the way back to Children’s Supermart) will cease to exist. But, more than that, and unlike with so many other businesses that leave us in the ever changing consumer landscape, a piece of our collective childhoods will cease to exist this week.


“It’s our turn now!”

Posted: June 25, 2018 in Life, News, Politics

Cracker Barrel

Okay, now that I’ve gotten to laugh my ass off about Huckabee and crew’s hypocrisy for the weekend… Some (mostly) more seriously constructed thoughts.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders got requested to leave a restaurant called Red Hen this weekend because the owner felt that she wasn’t simply an average person with opposing points of view, but rather a public figure and representative of an administration that has been hostile to various minority groups that included her staff and that Sarah Huckabee Sanders worked in the service of an “inhumane and unethical” administration.


This is certainly going to be one of the more… different… pieces I’ve ever written for Needless Things. I’m usually fairly direct when it comes to things I’m writing about, but, at least right now, I’m being courteous about the matter. I’m not going to risk stirring up a hornets nest for someone/a group of people by addressing the matter directly and in detail. I will, it’s just going to have to wait a half dozen or so Thursdays before I can. In the meantime, I’m going to comment on various groups of people out there, sadly some in fandom, by discussing their mindset. Well, discussing might be the wrong word…

It might well be a version of what we’ve come to call First World Problems. Sadly, it’s a particular problem that ultimately doesn’t have the comical edge to it that Al manages to so successfully attach to so many of the others despite the seeming stupidity of it.

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The news started trickling out Saturday morning that Art Bell had passed away at the age of 72. By later in the morning, the sad news had been confirmed. A lot of people out there likely don’t know who Art Bell was; although they still may have heard him on the radio or seen him on TV more than a few times. However, for those of us who knew the man’s work well the news hit like a ton of bricks even though he’s largely been off the airwaves for some time now. That impact is not even dependent on you being a believer in any of the subject matter Art used to discuss on his show.

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