The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter


Saturday, August 09, 2008

Denver Worldcon

In Denver at the World SF Convention. Seeing old friends (that term takes on additional meaning as the years pass...) and just had lunch with two of the sweetest folks in the world: writer John Maddox Roberts (former Green Beret and now crackerjack historical mystery novelist) and his beautiful wife Beth. After that, lunch with my agent Eleanor, where we discussed all kindsa great stuff, including Tennyson, Shadow Valley, the third Lion' s Blood book, and a potential sequel to The Kundalini Equation. Good times. Last night, I had dinner with Greg Bear and Fred Pohl. What wonderful, brilliant gentlemen, the both of them. I feel honored to walk among such giants, and am happy just to listen to them discourse. Life is very, very good indeed. Talk to you when I'm back!

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Saw Costner's "Swing Vote", about a slacker who finds that his vote alone will determine the outcome of the national election. I liked it more than I thought I would, and it operates nicely as a parable about personal responsibility in a democracy. A "B".

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Mild "Sambo" alert. Only one black male with dialogue. Very effeminate and gay. Thanks a bunch.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Have you seen / are you planning to see "Mamma Mia"?

Only one black character -- the groom's best-friend/best-man -- but he gets to come on to Christine Baranski, and is the subject of her song "Does Your Mother Know" -- about the age difference, with no mention/attention paid to the interracial aspects of the relationship.

The movie is also interesting as a rare example of the female gaze in a major Hollywood picture.

Anonymous said...

Saw Costner's "Swing Vote", about a slacker who finds that his vote alone will determine the outcome of the national election.

Hmmm. A spin on Putney Swope?

Christian M. Howell said...

I'd rather they just left the minority out if they aren't showing the quintessential person.

I can enjoy a movie with all Chinese people if it's a good movie that represents quintessential values.

Josh Jasper said...

Did you make it to the Hugo awards? A few of the winners were friend of mine. I wish I'd been there.

Charles said...

A third Lion's Blood book, and sequel to The Kundalini Equation? Tease me more, why don't you!

Steve Perry said...

You'd be staying home from the movies a lot, if "quintessential" means what I think it does.

And good luck defining that when talking about race, too.

Pagan Topologist said...

Yes, WorldCon was wonderful. I am so glad I was able to go.

Michelle said...

Still groggy from Worldcon. Had lots of fun...gaming was a blast.

Dan Moran said...

You'd be staying home from the movies a lot, if "quintessential" means what I think it does.

He could go see Milla Jovovich over and over again, though ... there are worse fates.

The Fierce said...

I went to your session at WorldCon and while I'm still processing a lot of the things you've said, I think there was one important piece that was different from a lot of what's been said on the topic before...

You were talking about the death of ego, and you are the first person who I've ever heard separate it from the death of personality or individuality. (I try NOT to compare buddhism with zombie horror...) Did I get you wrong? If not, I'd like to hear you expand on that sometime, because I think some of the fear that prevents more people from breaking that barrier is that they will be too much part of the universe without anything of what makes them precious/separate.

Steve Perry said...

"You were talking about the death of ego, and you are the first person who I've ever heard separate it from the death of personality or individuality."

You weren't here for the Sixties, were you?

The Fierce said...

Nope, somehow my birthdate just passed them by. But philosophically speaking, death of ego and death of personality seem inextricably linked, as if ego and personality were the same thing. Maybe that's the problem.

T Nichols said...

Steve,
Just catching up on my reading, and saw the comment about a sequel to _The Kundalini Equation_. Please, please, please! You've written better books -- more skillful, deeper, etc. -- but none that tweaked my thinking so sharply. I'd love to see where the novelist you are now would take the story next.

Steve Perry said...

I think there is some confusion with "ego" and "egotistical." And definitions of both vary somewhat, so where you draw the line can be different. Psychoanalysis looks at ego one way, Webster's has other ideas. A lot of people think they are the same, but they aren't.

If "personality" are those attributes that make you you, that's not quite the same as "ego," though certainly there is a connection. By this definition, a person with no personality pretty much as to be dead.

In the old hippie lexicon, loss of ego, whilst sailing upon the stormy seas of psychedelia was usually taken to mean feeling a connectedness with God or the Cosmic All, and losing track of who you were in the doing of it.

That seems similar to religious and spiritual meanings in a number of disciplines.

I don't know anybody who is alive who is without ego and personality.

I know folks who are less egotistical, that is, not wrapped up in the idea that they are the center of the universe, or who are working to get past that notion, but being a zen master or yoga adept is not a guarantee that you leave the monkey brain completely behind. Being full of love and compassion and a sense that you are here to serve can be wonderful, but those notions live in a human brain, and the wetware has an operating system that seems to need somebody in some form at the keyboard to make it work ...