And we keep on plugging away!
First of all, I need to revise and extend my remarks from the other day, regarding what fictional planet I would like to live upon. I don’t think I gave the question enough thought at the time, so here are some additions:
The Mars of Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars trilogy (note to self: you’re way overdue for a re-read) strikes me as an amazing place that I would love to see, especially if I, like the long-lived characters of his books, get to see Mars all the way from dead red planet to verdant, ocean-covered blue world. I’d love to see that. I saw these photos om Tumblr the other day, comprising what Mars might look like were it completely terraformed:
I’m not sure about any one specific planet, but the Commonwealth of Peter F. Hamilton’s Commonwealth novels (one duology and a later trilogy) is an amazing place. Hamilton takes the idea of wormholes between star systems and does something amazing with them: he puts them right on the planet surfaces, so that one can travel from one world to another by train.
I also very much would love to live in Iain M. Banks’s Culture setting. I can’t remember any specific planets (I’ve only read two of the books thus far), but I find the idea of a post-scarcity world deeply interesting.
Ultimately, though, I think I’d be that strange soul who doesn’t really live on any one world. As long as it had room for my books, I think I’d want to live on…a ship. Yup, a ship. A good ship. With a good crew. You can’t take the sky from me!
OK, and now, back to new questions that I haven’t answered yet. These few will be short answers, just because I don’t have long answers to offer on them.
Roger continues his queries as follows:
You get to vote for the Baseball Hall of Fame. How do you deal with the steroid era players?
You get to vote in the Football Hall of Fame. Do you pick a punter? If so, who?
For any Hall of Fame, who has been woefully ignored?
I’ll package those all together.
First, the steroid players. I let them in, if their achievements seem to really merit inclusion. McGwire? Bonds? Yes. Sosa? Palmeiro? Ehhhh…maybe not. Maybe those guys wait.
The problem is that Major League Baseball had no real policy for how to deal with steroids in that era. In the absence of a specific policy dealing with banned substances, I just don’t see a compelling reason that a bunch of sportswriters should get to appoint themselves Keepers Of Baseball Morality. (And besides, I’ve grown quite tired of sportswriters in general. I love good sports writing, as much as I love all good writing, but sportswriters in this country have, in general, become an entire class of sanctimonious asses who get offended if you question their brilliant insights. The idea of some of these jerks standing up as moral bulwarks against the horror of a guy who took drugs to increase his home run production? Who cares?
To me, if we’re going to decide that those players are all ineligible for the Hall, then we also have to basically vacate the results and standings of every season played during the steroid era. Otherwise, it’s just selective morality.
Punters in the Football Hall of Fame? Absolutely. And special teams players, too. Those guys are football players, they contribute to their teams’ successes and failures, and they should he in the Hall, if they’re good enough.
That said, who has been ignored? The Bills’ Andre Reed and Steve Tasker leap to mind. Every year they’re eligible and don’t get in, and inevitably I hear a very deeply silly argument about “How can a team that lost the Super Bowl have that many players in the Hall?” It’s the Hall of Fame, not the Hall of Super Bowl Winners, or the Hall of Stats. Tons of guys should be in who never even got to the Super Bowl.
And for my money, if there’s any debate as to whether Kurt Warner is a Hall of Famer, it should end the second he’s eligible. That guy goes in, or the Hall is a joke.
Finally Roger asks:
Did you watch the Super Bowl? If so, did the refs blow the (non-)holding call at the end of the game?
I watched all of the first half and a good chunk of the second half, after the blackout ended. We attended a Super Bowl party at The Wife’s boss’s house, and he lives…out there. Way out there. You go to the Boonies, take a left, drive past East Bumf***, and then another eight miles and you’re there. We left a little after the blackout began, and got home for most of the fourth quarter. Had the blackout not happened, we would have missed almost all the second half. (Interestingly, on the way home, I got to drive through my first ever sobriety checkpoint! Luckily, I hadn’t been drinking at all that night.)
As for the play in question, I was only partly paying attention at that point. I’ve heard arguments both ways on that non-call, and I honestly am not sure. The refs blew quite a few calls in that game, but then, Jim Harbaugh’s play-calling in that situation was awful. I don’t know what possessed him to get first-and-goal that late in the game, when his running game had been clicking all night and when the Ravens’ defense was tired, and then throw four times. And frankly, Harbaugh’s post-game demeanor was pretty douchey. So even if it was an egregiously missed call, I personally am not terribly offended. Karma, and all that.
We’re getting closer to being finished! Great questions this time around…the gauntlet is thrown down for August!
I have read several of the Culture novels. The citizens of the Culture mostly live on either space ships, space stations or "orbitals" which are sort of like Larry Niven's Ringworld, but not exactly, and they tend to disdain planets and planet dwellers.