Tag Archive: The LEGO Movie


The week isn’t over, but it’s just getting crazier. Aside from the “No True Fan” argument, publications like Entertainment Weekly (though the editors almost immediately retracted the hit piece), Salon, the Telegraph, the Guardian, and more, as well as numerous websites like Cracked and various blogs, have been saying over and over that the Sad Puppies campaign is vile, vicious, vulgar, and villainous. It seems that the campaign that nominated works by liberal, female, non-white, and gay artists did so out of a strong desire for a right-wing utopia dominated by straight white men. Who knew?

But I’m not going to get into that right now. I’m going to leave that up to others. For now, if you want my opinion on the subject, I invite you to look at my previous blog posts. In “Piers Plowman and the Hugo Awards,” I discussed the problem of putting a message before the story. I followed that with a look at those who argue differently, with “G. K. Chesterton and the Social Fiction Warriors.” Finally, after the Hugo ballot was released, I talked about the effort to deny the validity of opinions, and what makes a fan a fan, in “You Are All Fake Geek Girls.”

According to the trackbacks and referrals I’ve been getting, these are all considered moderate opinions, and as unbiased as someone who’s taken a side can get. I’m flattered, everyone, and I’m glad the posts have been useful.

However, unless and until more specifically writing-related topics come up, I’m leaving it there. I’ve been enjoying the extra traffic, but my focus here, on this blog, is on writing and reviews. I’ve said as much as I can really think of about that in relation to the Hugos.

. . . well, almost. I still have to get on to reviewing Hugo nominees. I fully intend to crank out as many reviews of nominated material as I can get before the end of July, when the final ballot is due. I already have non-spoiler reviews of Jim Butcher’s Skin Game (nominated for Best Novel) and Captain America: The Winter Soldier and The LEGO Movie (both nominated for Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form).

But, for now, I want to talk about the voting process. Continue reading

Something Good at the Oscars

Note: If you’re not interested in a breakdown of why I don’t think the Oscars matter, scroll down to the end. You’ll know what I mean. I admit, it’s more like two stories in the same blog post, but there’s a reason I’m stringing them together.

I don’t watch the Oscars.

I really don’t care much about them at all. Usually anything that wins is something I’m not interested in anyway.

I remain convinced that this is the only reason that The Lord of the Rings won.

I remain convinced that this is the only reason that The Return of the King won.

The Academy is voted on by a relatively-secret elite, usually solidly upper-class, and who typically live in a Hollywood-shaped bubble that has a rather warped image of what the rest of the world is like. Becoming a member is basically about being popular among the membership committee, rather than having any knowledge about what movies are like as an art form. (Though I should point out that Mother Delores Hart, the semi-famous actress who kissed Elvis and then became a Catholic nun, scrupulously watches every film to cast an educated vote.)

That leads to an odd collection of what they consider worthy of a prize. Since the membership is so insular, it seems to me a good recipe for voting for a movie because you know someone who was involved with that movie; or because you don’t want to face someone at the metaphorical watercooler after voting for something that was merely a good film rather than the right film. Continue reading

As I noted before, AwesomeCon is much bigger this year. I forgot my camera and didn’t want to just use my phone, so I’ll take pictures tomorrow; but I found myself looking around the dealer hall in disbelief. That room alone would convince anyone who didn’t know better that this was an established con, and not something in its second year. The staff and other volunteers were doing a top-notch job, and the convention center staff were extremely helpful to everyone.

Also, I was amused to hear one of the screens playing “Everything is Awesome” (from The LEGO Movie) on continuous loop in the library. Despite its ultimate meaning in the movie, I was still appreciative! Continue reading

Readers of the blog know I like Lego. It’s a great toy, arguably the best single toy investment you can make for a child. Unlike a video game, its operating system doesn’t go obsolete in three years; every Lego brick you buy today is compatible with the same company’s products going back decades — and they’re not going to change that in the future. It rewards creativity, teaches spacial and structural awareness, and can be combined in so many different ways that you can never say you’ve beat the game.

And then, as an adult, you can stick with it and turn it into a genuine art form. Years of experience, an adult’s funding and patience, and that little kid inside of you that still shouts “THIS IS SO COOL!” — all joining together to show kids that art can be fun, and their fun can be true art.

Well, there’s a movie out this weekend that’s based on the toy. I got to see the press screening last weekend with Wamalug (the Washington Metropolitan Area LEGO Users Group), so I’m here to give you my review. Continue reading

In a rare public appearance, I appeared for a TV interview this last Monday.

And I managed not to break the camera!

And I managed to not break the camera!

Having attended a press screening of The LEGO Movie on Saturday, I and fellow brick enthusiast Bret Harris were invited on Let’s Talk Live for a quick appearance to give our impressions of the film as well as show off the sort of thing you can do with Lego bricks.

As you can see in the interview, I went in expecting to be underwhelmed and wound up impressed. (That’s right, I expected a movie based on one of my hobbies to suck.) It deserves its own review, but I figured I should at least put up the interview so you can see what your friendly neighborhood novel ninja looks like and sounds like.

Yeah, I’m sorry, I should be kinder to my fans rather than subject them to me in living color. But hey . . . Lego!

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