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December 19, 2005

Outside Sources and Etc.

The Philadelphia City Paper picked up my "Defending Dubya" piece from the other week and printed in their fine alternative weekly, so if you're in Philadelphia, please do pick it up; if you're not in Philadelphia (or are in Philly, but just lazy) here's the online link. Also as a head's up for Philadelphia area folks: I'm going to be coming to your town for a wild and crazy publicity event in the second half of January, the details of which I will entice you with after the new year. For now, just be aware that Scalzination is imminent.

Speaking of the President, last night was one of his better speeches regarding Iraq, not in the least because he's acknowledging what most of the rest of the country already knew; it's always nice when the reality distortion bubble around the White House flickers a bit. Expect "defeatists" to become the new catchphrase when one is discussing folks who object to the current disposition of the Iraq situation; I would imagine those folks will move fast to nip that one in the bud.

As positive a step as I think last night's speech was for the president, I have my doubts as to what it means in terms of what goes on on the ground in Iraq. Bush didn't give that speech because he wanted to have a moment of candor with the American people; he gave that speech because his administration's had the rug pulled out from under it, and his moment of candor was damage control. If we know anything about George Bush, it's that he resents being made to do something he doesn't want to, and he doesn't like having to explain himself. So the question is whether he uses this acknowledgement of difficulties as an opportunity to adjust strategy, or whether his adminstration uses it to say "look, we said it was going to be difficult," and then just keeps doing what it's doing. If it's the latter, I don't expect his popularity to go up much, particularly in light of other current events.

We'll see how it goes.

Posted by john at December 19, 2005 08:13 AM

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Tracked on December 19, 2005 11:08 AM


rochelle | December 19, 2005 10:31 AM

Never mind about Dubya, but are you going to be making a stop by the American Library Association Midwinter meeting (late Jan) as part of your series of wild and crazy publicity events? We'd love to see ya!

John Scalzi | December 19, 2005 10:35 AM

When and where is it?

Edward | December 19, 2005 10:59 AM

I'd like to send you an eMail about something but can't seem to find your address (my bad, no doubt) Can you send it to me so I can relate my problem to you? Thanks

John Scalzi | December 19, 2005 11:15 AM

My e-mail address is in the sidebar -- keep scrolling and you'll find it. Be warned, however, that I am spectacularly bad at solving other people's problems; I have a hard enough time with my own.

rochelle | December 19, 2005 11:26 AM

We'll be in San Antonio, Jan 21-24. I just checked the exhibitor list, though, and I don't see TOR listed. Are they part of a larger publishing group? If we won't have the pleasure of a book signing, best of luck with the tour. I'm still amazed that I'm actually looking forward to the release of a SF title! Maybe I should ask others here: Old Man's War was the first SF book I ever read, and I really liked it. What other SF authors should I try?

John Scalzi | December 19, 2005 12:11 PM

"We'll be in San Antonio, Jan 21-24."

Ah, I'm already committed to an appearance that weekend. Rats.

Re: other SF -- as it happens, we have a long and involved thread about that from just the other day. Here's the link.

rochelle | December 19, 2005 12:47 PM

Bummer about San Antonio (there's always Annual, in New Orleans!). Thanks much for the link to the SF thread--I missed about a week of blog reading due to various family crises. Good stuff!

Erin Hartshorn | December 19, 2005 01:34 PM

Ooh! I live about an hour north of Philly; now I'm looking forward to January.

Plin | December 19, 2005 03:04 PM

Philly, huh? I will keep an eye out. Funnily enough, I very nearly picked up a City Paper on my way home this afternoon, but my hands were full. I'll be sure to grab one the next time I go out.

BTW, I've been reading the thread about intro SF with interest, since I am one of those people who has never been drawn to science fiction (or fantasy) at all thus far, and would be curious to try something out. Preferably something that doesn't involve space or battle scenes, but that may be pushing it...

John Scalzi | December 19, 2005 03:27 PM

Hi, Plin. At the risk of self pimping, try "Agent to the Stars," which is the book I have up on the site here (it's also available in traditional book form). No battles and very few space scenes. Most of it takes place here on earth in current time.

Alice | December 19, 2005 04:11 PM

The link above is broken. Here is a better one.

Alice | December 19, 2005 04:13 PM

#(@$%! Okay, I don't know why this won't hyperlink, but here is the URL: http://citypaper.net/articles/2005-12-15/slant.shtml

Plin | December 19, 2005 07:48 PM

Heh, John, I'd say self-pimping is definitely allowed in your own journal. And you know, I remember when you first posted Agent to the Stars, and it looked interesting to me even then, but for some reason I never got around to reading it.

Sounds like just what I'm looking for. Thanks for the reminder.

Brian Greenberg | December 20, 2005 12:08 AM

Getting back to the president for a second, John - I think you're spot on here.

It's a shame, too, because I thought the president (or, more accurately, his speechwriters) drew an excellent distinction between those who offer honest criticism/disagreement of administration policies, and those who browbeat it no matter what it does or says. The former is welcomed, the latter is "defeatist.". As you say, though, that nuance will be glossed over and turned into "Bush thinks everyone who disagrees with him is a defeatist" by folks on both sides of the ball, who will then start arguing the point. All the while, those of us who remember what the prsident actually said will sit on the sidelines yelling, "Hey - wait a minute! That's not what the man said!!"

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