Playpen

Welcome to the Playpen, our space for ferrety banter and whimsical snippets of things that aren't quite long enough for articles (although they might be) but that caught your eye anyway.

at 20:15 on 21-10-2014, Pear
Oh, like, Stop The GR Bullies? YEAH. Hale, one of the authors, seems surrounded by people who have no clue about boundaries and constantly enable her stalking of people. This isn't the first time she's become obsessed with someone and followed her around (though thankfully this time she didn't dump chemicals on her victim. She's written up her account of her own stalking on Thought Catalog, for the morbidly curious.)

Her own mother sent her the link to STGRB. That place is really weird and its authors lack self-awareness. They will actually post things like, 'It has been reported that this awful reviewer works here and has been seen at x place at y times with her husband. She is what we call a stalker.'

Right, then.
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at 18:37 on 21-10-2014, Arthur B
This has a lot of overlap with those people who try to claim that posting a bad review on Goodreads somehow constitutes bullying, hasn't it?
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at 18:12 on 21-10-2014, Pear
It has never been a good time for women to Have Opinions On The Internet, but the mainstream media is covering more and more of GamerGate and the numerous women who have had to flee their homes (hmmm what was it about ~*seeing the good*~ come out of this again), and now there's reports of reviewers (both women) being stalked and, in one case, assaulted by authors they critiqued.

Round-up of incidents here.

There are, unfortunately, a not insignificant number of authors who think the stalkers did nothing wrong, and even some feminists are like YEAH GOOD ON YOU FOR EMPOWERING YOURSELF KATHLEEN HALE or w/e, even though her stalking victim was another woman.

I'm not saying men never get stalked or assaulted for their opinions (I've def heard of a dude SFF author being stalked) but this is an undeniably and dangerously gendered dynamic. I don't actually identify as a woman but I live as one and am usually understood as one, it's pretty scary to think that if I leave a tartly phrased review I might get my privacy violated or a wine bottle cracked over my head.
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at 18:15 on 20-10-2014, Robinson L
Well, that last one did have an awfully strange tang to it ...

Oh dear, that's just given me a thought. I need to check ... Yes, it's just as I feared, Julian's Ferret Food review of Milliways has gone the way of the Cordova biopic. Such a shame; I particularly thought the 38 points out of 30 for ambiance, though mathematically paradoxical, entirely deserved, and under the circumstances, quite appropriate, as well. (Though to be honest, I did think 6 out of 10 for price was a little churlish considering it's all handled by compound interest anyway.)


Arthur: If you're linking to or otherwise crediting your source I don't personally see how that'd be a problem. And more articles from you would always be welcome, Spooktober or not.

Seconded.
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at 00:47 on 20-10-2014, Shimmin
Is that why I've been having these blackouts recently? I thought it was just one too many Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters over the weekend.

You had a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster? That explains virtually anything.
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at 23:05 on 19-10-2014, Arthur B
And of course Event Horizon underscores the whole
"you really shouldn't get involved in Sam Neill's marital issues"
point.
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at 22:37 on 19-10-2014, Alasdair Czyrnyj
I would have thought
"don't build a sex octopus in a flophouse"
was obvious enough, but you can never tell with some people. On the other hand, Sam Neill's method for getting rid of pests with an old shoe, a feather, and the lid off a toilet tank is a very handy thing to know.
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at 21:35 on 19-10-2014, Arthur B
I watched it recently and am planning an article.

For my part, I think it's the most accurate film about divorce ever made and is crammed with useful advice for ways you can navigate the aftermath of a breakup. (Mostly of the "don't do this" variety, but even so.)
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at 19:14 on 19-10-2014, Alasdair Czyrnyj
Well okay then, I can do that.

Also, since you've been delving into the video nasties, have you considered Andrezj Zuwalski's Possession? It got on the list, but was never persecuted. I tried writing something about it, but, well...words failed me.

I will say this, though: I was sold on the movie by the one-sentence summary of "a paranoid schizophrenic explains why they think their marriage disintegrated." This is an accurate summary.
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at 18:44 on 19-10-2014, Arthur B
If you're linking to or otherwise crediting your source I don't personally see how that'd be a problem. And more articles from you would always be welcome, Spooktober or not.
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at 18:40 on 19-10-2014, Alasdair Czyrnyj
I'm actually kinda glad the site went down, since it erased that Tubby Thackerey retrospective I put up. I mean, it was fun to write and all, but that one guy who kept commenting...what the hell was his problem? He kept bitching about how all my facts were wrong, and he kept using leetspeak...I kept getting headaches when I tried to read his damn complaints. Well, whatever, he's in the pa5t now.

On more serious news, I've decided to get into the Spooktober spirit and write some stuff for Ferretbrain. Mostly working with movies, but I've stumbled into a bit of a problem. There's one movie I'd like to talk about, but most of what I think about it is a reinterpretation of what someone else wrote about it, and I'm not entirely sure I'm bringing enough of my own insight to the table. I suppose what I'm asking is: would y'all want to hear me regurgitate some opinions that'll seem totally original to you?
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at 18:15 on 16-10-2014, Robinson L
The anomaly may have prompted pseudomemories leaked from the source timeline, causing belief in the existence of the Files.

Is that why I've been having these blackouts recently? I thought it was just one too many Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters over the weekend.
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at 14:27 on 16-10-2014, Shimmin
This is a message from Shimmin of F19 acting under authority of the MSPA-3. If you are receiving this, the device has functioned as intended. We do not know the details of your timeline. Our readings are unclear.

We believe one of your agents is planning to retrieve the Cordova Files from a deep storage facility. It is very important that you prevent this.

The Cordova Files should not, repeat, should not exist in your timeline. A spatiotemporal anomaly caused their realization a short time ago. We administered emergency intervention to the Ferretbrain server infrastructure to prevent their release. The anomaly may have prompted pseudomemories leaked from the source timeline, causing belief in the existence of the Files.

Readings suggest that during the realization event, storage facilities obtained data from the Cordova Files. With the waning of the anomaly, we are unable to investigate these facilities. Note that accessing these files may trigger a reality cascade and associated metaphysical degeneration.

If R-Sanction protocols apply in your timeline, please administer immediately and isolate the affected agents. If neuroprogrammatics are in place in your timeline, please broadcast signal B339-24-16-R or equivalent termination wave. If the Tieg-Kim Report has been endorsed in your timeline, please refer to sections 2.3.7 and 4.19.4 or ask an authorised adept to do so.
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at 08:13 on 16-10-2014, Arthur B
If you find copies of the missing articles mentioned so far in the Wayback Machine I advise sprinkling your computer with holy water and calling your local Ghostbusters franchise.
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at 07:27 on 16-10-2014, Adrienne
Arthur, et al: have you checked the wayback machine? You may be able to get uncorrupted copies of the missing stuff from there. If you want to get me a list, i can go fishing, too.
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at 09:12 on 15-10-2014, Melanie
...Well, that was fucked up. The bit about npcs being in the "arms out position"[1] is a nice touch.

[1]I.e. the default position for human models that aren't being animated/posed. I mean, I don't know if it's the case for Ocarina of Time specifically, but apparently it's a common thing since that pose is convenient for editing purposes.
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at 08:13 on 15-10-2014, Arthur B
Creepypasta stories based around videogame glitches are not uncommon, but this one is actually really good.
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at 03:00 on 15-10-2014, Robinson L
Hmm, the blowout seems to have preserved my comment on Arthur's ascension to front page dominance, but not my follow-up speculation as to the possible metadigital effects. And I notice the clean-sweep of articles we've been commenting on has preserved that particular state of affairs. Convenient.

Arthur: Given the frankly ugly direction the associated discussions took - really, I'm surprised at some of the commenters' behaviour there

No need to be coy, Arthur. I'm perfectly aware that my later comments were completely out of line. Usually, I'm a mild tempered man, but something about the proscription of mirrors always manages to bring out the worst in me. I realize, of course, that none of this excuses my language, and I hereby apologize for my shockingly offensive statements, and in particular, any use of the phrase "proto-cranial attack squid."

And I know this will be controversial, but if the Cordova entries do turn out to be permanently lost, I for one will be slightly relieved. I've never seen a single Cordova film, but just the description in your articles gave me nightmares for the better part of a week. On the other hand, I'm sorry to see that we've apparently lost your brilliant piece skewering The Navidson Record - sounds like it was all mirrors and trick photography, to be honest. Ditto, your mammoth series on the works of Kilgore Trout, which I feel beautifully complemented and rounded out your Moorcock and Dick retrospectives (you even almost sold me on all the fishing related puns. Almost).

On the subject of stuff I'll miss, despite having no taste in music to speak of and even less interest in following bands, I'm quite sad to see Rami's moving review of the Spinal Tap reunion tour has also apparently been whisked away into the digital ether.

I think it may be just as well that we've lost my in-depth look at the Nintendo Digital Offline Operating Router, which, though it had its good points, was in hindsight far too meta. (Though I'm a bit peeved at having lost Andy's fantastic takedown of the Torchwood episode which to me shall ever be known as "that effing Dalek three-way/shooting spree episode," second only to series one's "Random Shoes" in my personal lexicon of bad Torchwood.)

On a completely unrelated note, are there any veterinarians on hand? I believe this horse is in grave need of medical attention. Or failing that, a priest.
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at 21:17 on 13-10-2014, sotrain515
I missed you, too, Ferretbrain!

Apologies for the technical difficulties over the last few days, readers. Unfortunately, they seem to have eaten my multi-part retrospectives on the Sutter Kane bibliography and the movies of Stanislas Cordova, and the backups I had on Google Drive seem to be corrupted - oh well, maybe I'll get around to reconstructing them later.


Well, if my opinion counts for anything (it doesn't) I'd really like to see these articles reconstructed and posted. Particularly one about "In the Mouth of Madness", one of my favorite horror movies.

...elyts ni kcab emoc ...ot gniog si ekil uoy mug taht ...swen doog tog ev'I


Man, and I just started watching this show on Netflix this past weekend! I marathoned the whole first season in a day. What a cool show.
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at 18:55 on 13-10-2014, Cheriola
Yeah, me too. I was getting worried the site had been hacked beyond recovery, or that you'd given up for lack of funds/traffic and cancelled the contract with your hosting company while I wasn't paying attention. Welcome back!
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at 15:13 on 13-10-2014, Axiomatic
Oh hey, welcome back, Ferretbrain! I kinda missed you.
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at 10:10 on 13-10-2014, Arthur B
We should maybe dish out for that new tech support team that Paul Feig has been talking up.
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at 09:04 on 13-10-2014, Shimmin
I think you're right. I popped up the server info and all I'm getting is "692 Error. There is no data, only Zuul" in every field. Can you ask Rami to check the containment seals?
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at 08:04 on 13-10-2014, Arthur B
It might be a server glitch, I've redownloaded again and this time it's just the bit where I mispronounce the name of the book as Bring Back Our Bodies and everyone laughs, looping over and over and over again with increasing reverb until it's unrecognisable.
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