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Listening So Hard That It Hurts

When I was very young, and was first introduced to science fiction, I read a lot of things that objectively (and metaphorically) hurt my feelings and outraged my received opinions.

… Most things I read, actually.  It’s part of what attracted me to science fiction, the ability to put myself in another situation where the givens I had in my world weren’t the same, and therefore I could sometimes see the logic of the other side.  And sometimes I could see why the other side wasn’t being logical, which is just as valuable.

It’s not necessary, precisely.  If you’re going to live your entire life in one region and among one circle, your life might be best optimized by retaining the opinions most common among your friends and never questioning the way things are done.  However, you’ll also have to be lucky in your choice of time to be born and die, particularly now a days, because we have a whole lot of disruptive technologies changing our every day life every year.  And that in turn changes opinions and how people view the world.

Years after I started reading SF, I was an exchange student, and the experience is very similar.  Even between two technically western cultures, you find that are enough differences, between how you react, how you talk, modes of being in the world, that either your host family is offending you or getting offended by you, for no reason you can figure out.  And yeah, some of the things they tell you will be hurty.  (Did you know in my generation in Portugal no one wore deodorant.  Yeah.)  But if you don’t run home with your tail between your legs, at the end of the year, you find you have an enhanced view of the world and you can see both places clearer.

Although ultimately I chose to return to the US, the truth is that going back to Portugal (for the four years in between high school and getting married) I found I could fit in better than I did before coming to the US.  you could “back engineer” what you’d done to fit into the host country and do the same back home.

By the way, I found that the most irrational bits of your culture are the ones you hold onto buckle and tongue.  Because if you don’t you feel like you’re coming apart.  Say, the way you dress for certain occasions.  The way you think people perceive you.  The “accepted opinions” that are taken as revealed truth in your circles.

Much of the science fiction I read growing up was like that: very hurty, much feelings bruised.  Interesting.  Sometimes fascinating.  But it challenged a lot of my base assumptions, and not just because it was mostly written by and set in anglo-saxon countries.  It was also because a lot of it made me question what I was being taught.  No one, truly can defend “equality of outcomes” when they just read Animal Farm, or the idea of forever improving/scientific rule over men when you’ve read Brave New World.  And please, let’s not even talk about the number Martin Caidin’s The God Machine did on my young and stupid’s brain certainty that we’d get computers that would run everything perfectly.

Now, I’ve been known to shut down idiots on my blog, particularly ones that are so stupid as to ask me who runs society and insist SOMEONE must run society (by which he means everything that gets thought, written, etc.) or the ones who start calling names, brandishing religious passages apropos nothing in my general direction (though did appreciate the one who dropped by to inform us we were born condemned because something or other with the Pope a hundred years ago.  Seriously.  I mean, we couldn’t do anything about it, but I suppose it was in the nature of a PSA?  I think?) or the ubiquitous name-changing troll who answers with out of the blue one sentence idiocy.  All in all, I think in my total time running a blog I’ve banned 20 individual people.  (More IPs though.)

And on one memorable occasion I banned someone by mistake as he seemed to be posting out of a known “bad IP” then unbanned him when he emailed me and proved he was a real person.  He’s become a regular.

My banning is done very carefully.  Sure, my blog is private.  So I can ban whomever I want.  But some of the most memorable moments on my blog, not to mention some regulars acquired came from someone coming in breathing fire and holding a different opinion: then staying around, honestly, to debate.

I only ban people when they become a detriment to conversation and are the equivalent of a drunk uncle at a wedding, feeling up all the bridesmaids.  Then they must go so the rest of the regulars and invited guests can enjoy themselves.

I’m not going to report on what started this post, because someone else has asked for the rights to cover this for MGC. I’m going to mention the precipitating incident is mentioned here, and that I found the proximate cause and it’s stupider than even I, myself, could imagine.  At least it’s stupider, unless they were intending to Truesdale the young man.  If they were indeed planning to do that, then well… what they did is only logical.

However, I made the mistake of going to the convention page and reading the comments.  Yes, yes, I know.  Never ever ever read the comments.  I’ll also point out that the comments are what is culled after they delete everything “hurty.”  A friend of mine had commented extensively and politely, citing the philosophical and legal difficulties with what they were doing, and was not only banned, but every comment erased.  (And my friend doesn’t even know the gentleman at the center of this.  I know him and he’s in mine “he’s young” file.  Heaven knows I went through a lot of twerpitude before arriving at my only somewhat less twerpy state now.  But the reaction to him is completely out of proportion.)

And what set me off were all the comments saying things like “there are limits to free speech” and “some speech must be banned so we feel safe.”

Speech is not a physical attack.  Feeling “hurty” doesn’t mean you’re actually hurt.  Your feelings don’t bleed, no matter how much you think they do.

Those who say “free speech is important but–” have earned themselves the medal for most stupid statement of the century.  Free speech is important, PERIOD and I’d thing people devoted to an often misunderstood and misrepresented branch of literature would know that.

NO ONE, not even I, needs protection for speech everyone agrees with.  If I say the sun rises in the morning, some of you might quibble about “not during an eclipse” or about the term “rises” because, let’s face it, you’re geeks.  But you’re not, any of you, going to demand I be shut down for “the sun is bright” and “I love chocolate” and “I like cats.”

The only speech that needs protection is that speech which offends a vast majority of those who hear it.  Speech like, once upon a time “Black people are as human as the rest of us and shouldn’t be enslaved.”  Or “Women aren’t any stupider, on aggregate, than men, and they should have the right to suffrage.”

If you shut down speech that hurts because it violates the “codes” of your group, your family, your society, you’re shutting off a safety valve.

Every human group and society can spin off and become… well, weird.  Societies, large and small develop blind spots.  You need the outliers and their pointing out — now and then — that the king is naked.

Yes, a lot of the outliers are twerps.  What, you thought that the type of personality that defies societal rules was sweet and well adapted to social approbation?  What have you been smoking?

But if you shut down your gadflies, your questioners, the people who say things you find obviously reprehensible, you are shutting down the mirrors that inform you there is something in your blindspot (sometimes not even the thing you think is there.)

And when the environment around you changes — and it will, particularly now — and your daily life changes, you’ll be stranded, incapable of adaptation and lost.

Tolerating the outliers and the gadflies is what makes for an adaptable and vibrant society.  We hear a lot about the vibrancy of a million skin shades, but guys, seriously, under the microscope, the difference between the palest of scandinavians and the darkest person from deepest Africa is virtually non-existent.  As a species, and coloration notwithstanding we’re remarkably uniform.  To pretend otherwise is a form of insanity that both sides of the political spectrum are prone to.

HOWEVER when it comes to the head equipment, the opinions and the ideas?  There we can be very different.

And while I can — hey, I write SF, okay — envision a future in which being very pale or very dark makes a huge difference to survivability, I can GUARANTEE that it’s more important to have different ideas, different approaches, different means of tackling a problem because those can solve even a lack of/too much melanin.

We need free speech, not just as artists — or in my case a more or less competent crafter — but as people: as a complex society of barely functional apes, we need free speech.

Sure, those who speak truth (real truth) to power (real power) or even popsicle to zapadeedo are usually going to come across as completely insane.  They have put themselves completely outside our circle of comfort.  And what they say hurts.

You can choose not to associate with them, not to break bread with them, and even not to read them.

But it is not your right to shut them down.  Once you start talking like it’s best to shut some people down, you’ve lost track of what an important mechanism free speech is.

That way lies not only madness, but the inability to correct your course.  For a group, a family, a field of endeavor, a nation, a culture, that is the beginning of the end.

 

 

88 Comments
  1. Free speech versus unwanted speech. Living in a country with “Hate Speech” enshrined in our criminal code it’s frightening. Someday you might say something over the top and outrageous in a fit of anger or pique and if the right(wrong) person sees it the whole weight of government can come dropping down on your life. It’s happened before and some of the punishments have been anything from bizarre to harsh.
    I have railed against this aspect of Canadian law and people have stated that, “Some things shouldn’t be said or allowed to be said.” My counter has always been that those who are truly despicable and peddle hate learn how to word their hate to sound reasonable and become a viral worm in the minds of those that haven’t been prepared for it. Allowing people to spout their vile opinions in the wide open for all to see is the best thing to do. Sure they will have supporters, not as many if they have learned by evolution to cloak their poison in honeyed words.
    The downside like I said is that if you have enemies or have opinions that aren’t considered “correct” people can use the cudgel of law against you. Two Canadian examples that are recent. Professor Jordan Peterson and Lindsey Shepard. Both have voiced “incorrect opinions”, and both have been driven from the leftist plantation for incorrect thought and speech. Professor Peterson is a supporter of the Liberal Party of Canada (left wing). Lindsey Shepard interests and philosophies (environment, vegetarianism, and so on) are more to the left of the Liberal party. Both have been lumped in with Neo-conservatives (what is a neo-conservative anyway?) just for espousing free speech principles.
    In order to have a diverse society we need to hear diverse opinions. Whether we agree with them or not.

    January 3, 2018
    • And under one of its newer snowflake laws, California is now prosecuting someone for “harassment” for saying mean things about Islam in a public forum. Because under a broad interpretation of this law, anyone who says something you don’t like more than once is harassing you.

      So being a douchenozzle is now illegal in California. Well, that ought to incarcerate the entire Bay area in short order… /sarc

      January 3, 2018
      • Been like that in Canada now for decades. So called “Human Rights Commissions” can and will prosecute offenders at the barest minimum of accusations. They are known by many on the right as true kangaroo courts. part of Trudeau the Elder’s legacy. *spit*

        January 3, 2018
      • Zsuzsa #

        Not just the Bay Area. I’m thinking that a good 75% of the population of the state (conservative estimate) is guilty.

        I know that the Prison Guard’s Union is powerful in CA, so perhaps this is a payoff for them.

        January 3, 2018
        • It’s California – wouldn’t a liberal estimate be more appropriate? 😛

          January 3, 2018
    • BobtheRegisterredFool #

      Originally, Neo-conservative was a conservative who had come to that position from an originally more left wing position. A certain number of US Jews went that route as the American Left became more committed to wholly supporting the Arab extermination of Jews. Obviously, this somewhat offended conservative purists, who thought the neo-Conservatives were liberal squishes. Even more offended were the Left. Soon the anti-semites picked it up as a safe label to disparage Jews with. These days it is a meaningless term, considered insulting by the Left. You could probably use it and Koch as synonyms in the typical wordsalad.

      You could call Trump a neocon, or declare that he is too much of a liberal squish for even that label. But it may be as gauche as calling Trump a Jew-lover.

      January 3, 2018
    • Well, before the word was turned into a slur, *originally* “neoconservative” meant “a former liberal who was mugged by reality [and turned conservative in response]”. By that definition I am a neocon myself, and I suspect those two people will soon be.

      January 3, 2018
  2. Speech is not a physical attack. Feeling “hurty” doesn’t mean you’re actually hurt. Your feelings don’t bleed, no matter how much you think they do.

    You can be a “strong, empowered individual” OR you can need a “safe space” from views with which you disagree. Pick one because you can’t have both.

    January 3, 2018
    • OTOH, while some Iranian students in the US in 1979 did not physically hurt anyone by burning a US flag, the lesson of why it’s not wise to do that in the US was most painful. Freedom of speech isn’t freedom from consequences.

      Yes, I’m skirting toward the snowflake zone. But there’s a huge difference between a law that dictates what you can and cannot say, and the decisions of an individual or group. Said decision may strike us as loathsome, but they have the freedom to act loathsome if they so choose.

      Of course, that freedom has consequences as well, such as choosing not to associate with loathsome individuals, as is pointed out above. But if I want to be just as loathsome and not invite someone I think has said something reprehensible to a gathering, that’s my right. I don’t want to muzzle those involved in the Shame of Spokane, but I wouldn’t want to go where they’re the guest of honor, either.

      The thing that really nags at me, though, are that words can be deeply hurtful, and before everyone reaches for a snow shovel, I say this as someone who has, in the past, said words in anger that I had calculated would hurt the most. That’s not the same as getting your knicker in a bunch over any little thing, such as discovering people thinking that what you value, and, by extension, you, are downright deplorable. One of the things I’ve found dealing with the public is that someone, somewhere, can be offended by anything you say. And yet, some words can be genuinely hurtful.

      Then I wind up at the start of the circle. There should be no law to protect from hurtful speech, but that doesn’t shield from the private consequences of saying it, even if those consequences are ticking off some inane people.

      I’ll stop now before making another lap.

      January 3, 2018
    • BobtheRegisterredFool #

      Logic is the patriarchy, racist.

      Fiction needs more strong female characters, in desperate need of safe spaces, in order to combat homophobia.

      January 3, 2018
    • Exactly. You are a strong, open-minded person … or a terrified, shrinking violet. One or the other, not both in the space of an hour.

      January 3, 2018
      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard #

        There is “speech” that I hate but I see no reason for the speaker to go to jail.

        Of course, in many cases I avoid “telling them what I think of them” mainly because of my blood pressure. 😉

        January 3, 2018
      • hey, if thinking is good, then doublethink is doubleplusgood 😉

        January 3, 2018
  3. Eowyn #

    Minor comment: should “bling spots” be “blind spots”? Because if not, that becomes a fascinating food for thought little sentence right there … 🙂

    January 3, 2018
    • Yes. I wrote this really late. I’ll fix later.

      January 3, 2018
  4. Brand new format; same old WordPress. Second attempt;

    OTOH, while some Iranian students in the US in 1979 did not physically hurt anyone by burning a US flag, the lesson of why it’s not wise to do that in the US was most painful. Freedom of speech isn’t freedom from consequences.

    Yes, I’m skirting toward the snowflake zone. But there’s a huge difference between a law that dictates what you can and cannot say, and the decisions of an individual or group. Said decision may strike us as loathsome, but they have the freedom to act loathsome if they so choose.

    Of course, that freedom has consequences as well, such as choosing not to associate with loathsome individuals, as is pointed out above. But if I want to be just as loathsome and not invite someone I think has said something reprehensible to a gathering, that’s my right. I don’t want to muzzle those involved in the Shame of Spokane, but I wouldn’t want to go where they’re the guest of honor, either.

    The thing that really nags at me, though, are that words can be deeply hurtful, and before everyone reaches for a snow shovel, I say this as someone who has, in the past, said words in anger that I had calculated would hurt the most. That’s not the same as getting your knicker in a bunch over any little thing, such as discovering people thinking that what you value, and, by extension, you, are downright deplorable. One of the things I’ve found dealing with the public is that someone, somewhere, can be offended by anything you say. And yet, some words can be genuinely hurtful.

    Then I wind up at the start of the circle. There should be no law to protect from hurtful speech, but that doesn’t shield from the private consequences of saying it, even if those consequences are ticking off some inane people.

    I’ll stop now before making another lap.

    January 3, 2018
    • TRX #

      > Brand new format; same old WordPress.

      Except now fugly font and double-spaced lines…

      January 4, 2018
  5. BobtheRegisterredFool #

    Speech is totally a physical attack. Which is why we need a common sense extermination of the Mexicans. (Fine. and the Canadians.)

    January 3, 2018
    • Hey, several of the Huns are Canadian. Only the Canadense need to be exterminated! That and the Canada geese. Because parks are becoming poop depots.

      January 3, 2018
      • As a Canadian I was only slightly offended. Seeing most of my co-nationialists I am hard to refute his argument. As to the Canadian Geese, I am all for it. There’s a beach near where I live that’s unswimmable due to the amount of goose fecal matter floating in the water. Then there’s the bike paths that require knobby treads to properly navigate at speed in the summer.

        January 3, 2018
        • Are they at least tasty geese? Or are they foul fowl in all respects?

          January 3, 2018
          • Honestly I wouldn’t know. I think I would only eat a Canada Goose that’s purely migratory versus one that’s camped it’s whole life in a city park.

            January 3, 2018
          • I have been told they are tough. Maybe a job for a pressure cooker?

            January 3, 2018
            • Alas, they are a protected species in my state. Stupidly

              January 3, 2018
              • ISTR Canada Geese are protected by a century-old migratory bird protection treaty between the US and Canada.

                January 3, 2018
                • they were protected, but that changed back in 2011 or 2012 I think. There’s a season (mid august to mid september) now when they are hunted here. Lots of people hunt them, though I don’t know if they like the taste of them or not. They probably have to be quite fat (like when eating snow geese) in order for them to be any good to taste.

                  January 3, 2018
                  • Starting sometime in the 1990s, we started getting local populations of Canadian Geese. They used to be strictly migratory. That raises the question: If Canadian Geese are permanently moving South, what does that mean, weather-wise, for the North?

                    January 3, 2018
      • BobtheRegisterredFool #

        And we have at least one Mexican, IIRC.

        January 3, 2018
    • Christopher M. Chupik #

      I am firmly, but politely, offended.

      January 3, 2018
      • Whoa, whoa, whoa, getting a little aggressive there, Chris.

        You should probably apologize.

        I’m sorry for having to tell you this.

        January 4, 2018
        • He’s been hanging out with us too long. I want him to write a Canadian Usaian story….

          January 4, 2018
          • Christopher M. Chupik #

            You do?

            January 4, 2018
            • THAT would be cool as a toque, eh?

              January 4, 2018
              • And I bet someone would sing about the maple leaf.

                January 5, 2018
                • Should have been our National anthem. :/

                  January 5, 2018
  6. Honestly, I’m surprised anyone not a screaming, hair on fire SJZ even bothers attending a Worldcon anymore after what the committee allowed in Spokane. That Worldcon are preemptively excluding people again over what they think might happen surprises me not at all. My own feelings are that they will never again get money from me, that bridge burned.

    Nor am I surprised that a large group wants to shut down speech and control what everyone else says and thinks. They’ve been trying for decades now. I can only hope that as they get ever more stringent on what they think is “allowed” that they end up self marginalizing themselves.

    January 3, 2018
    • This. I’m done with Worldcon, and don’t care what they do. They are simply not worth it.

      January 3, 2018
    • I assume you heard Jon Del Arroz got banned from A/r/g/o/ Worldcon for (secondhand info here) saying he’d wear a bodycam to document any harassment.

      Whatever happened to “listen and believe” ?? /sarc

      January 3, 2018
      • Only because I followed the link in the blog post. Doesn’t surprise me though.

        January 3, 2018
      • How dare anyone Not Them collect evidence!

        January 3, 2018
      • Draven #

        And i would not blame him. I’d likely have one if i for some reason went there.

        January 5, 2018
    • Zsuzsa #

      At the rate things are going, I’m pretty sure that WorldCon is going to be a meeting of dozens* of Sci-Fi fans from around the globe.

      * = Okay, maybe it’s more like a dozen and a half or so, but that rounds up to two dozen, so the plural is justified.

      January 3, 2018
    • This– I haven’t sent a dime to WorldCon… and at this time I won’t.

      January 3, 2018
    • Yesterday, I once did stare
      At a little Con that wasn’t there.
      It wasn’t there again today.
      And now it’s busily fading away.

      January 3, 2018
    • I am going. I had a good time for most of Spokane (somewhat soured by some of the stuff that happened, because even though I avoided the direct issue some people wouldn’t let it drop.) If I don’t have a good time at this one, it will be my last, which is a shame since the local conventions are not literary in the least. (My husband is less interested than I am; if I lose interest, he has no reason to push.)

      January 3, 2018
  7. Christopher M. Chupik #

    I predict this will work about as well as SFWA’s expulsion of Theodore Beale.

    January 3, 2018
    • Yes indeed. He disappeared completely from the face of the planet, cast into the outer darkness weeping, wailing, and gnashing his teeth… Oh, sorry, that was the committee that tossed him out in violation of their own rules. He’s the one running the publishing business, writing games, and overseeing InfoGalactic, among other things.

      NeVErmind.

      January 3, 2018
    • Christopher, you may be amused (or appalled) to know that your one-line comment has generated a whole barrage of posts from Floppy Cameltoe.

      He’s all for the banning of speech, in case anyone didn’t see that coming.

      January 4, 2018
  8. I am an equal opportunity reviewer, and I have my own opinions. I like Chuck Wendig’s other writing (couldn’t read his Star Wars book because it wasn’t KU), and ‘wibble-wobble’ didn’t bother me. I raved about how great the Mixon Report was, and didn’t like “If You Were A Dinosaur, My Love” because it ruined a series of sweet children’s books for me.

    On the other hand, SOME actions and speech WILL so alienate me that I won’t touch a word written by that person; most in my thoughts about this are MZB.

    However, I don’t advertise my availability to review books in places where leftists hang out. At least part of that is because I don’t know those places, but I don’t try to find them because I don’t want to wade through ‘I-Hate-Trump’ speech. That’s not because I love Trump; it’s because political stuff bores me.

    All of the above was an attempt to make this request somewhat pertinent to the topic for the day:
    I am restocking my queue for books to review. Kindle Unlimited lets me get it myself; otherwise, I’ll need a review copy.

    January 3, 2018
    • Zsuzsa #

      I can put up with a lot of stupidity from an artist as long as that stupidity doesn’t make it into their work. MZB is one of the few who has made that list; much that I’ve heard about the woman is reprehensible, but more than anything, it’s the fact that one of her novels considers the attempted rape of an 11-year-old girl to be a minor social faux pas that put me off her for good. Reading that is what made me realize that not only she but also her characters operate in such a different moral universe than mine that there’s no point in us talking to each other.

      January 3, 2018
    • “That’s not because I love Trump; it’s because political stuff bores me.”

      I suspect you’re like I am, in that it’s not that political stuff is inherently boring, but that hearing the same things over and over from The Outrage Factory™ gets old really fast. (I liked social media when it was all about the kids and cats. I’m still there, since the kids and cats still are, but I wish I didn’t have to wade through so much stuff.)

      January 3, 2018
  9. Mike Glyer #

    Is there a way in this new format to make the contributor’s byline more prominent? That would be a plus.

    January 3, 2018
    • Christopher M. Chupik #

      Right on cue.

      January 3, 2018
      • Like clockwork. I guess he sent a man to do the job Chinese click farms won’t do.
        No one forget the IRS inquisition!

        January 3, 2018
      • I was under the impression that ChinaMike was banned from here for chumming the waters for his sharks… Or is he taking new lessons from the stalker with the thousand aliases?

        January 3, 2018
        • Mayhap he could have given that one pointers… I don’t think this is the first time he’s skirted a ban here.

          January 3, 2018
          • I remember Dave giving him the boot a couple months ago I think. Then I remember seeing CM drop in a couple times after that. He’s been on my scroll past list though once I found out who he was.

            January 3, 2018
          • Perhaps we have stumbled on the reason why ChinaMike keeps a vile racist and misogynist stalker like Clampsy around.

            The Vileprogs keep their useful scum safe, after all.

            January 3, 2018
            • In very deed. On the other hand now all the bloggers here are likely to be looking out for his ban-circumvention and games of whack-a-ChinaMike will ensue every time he crops up.

              January 4, 2018
        • Honestly I thought he was banned too, but maybe not. My co-bloggers are way too lenient.

          January 3, 2018
      • Aw, let’s make him feel at home:

        “Ni zenmeyang?”

        January 3, 2018
    • It is right under the title of the post, Mike. How much more prominent do you want it?

      January 3, 2018
    • Piss off. ChinaMike. You eventually got banned for repeated lying, remember. You did try everyone’s patience for some years first.

      January 3, 2018
      • I banned him again.

        January 3, 2018
        • Draven #

          *puppy whines*

          but i need a new chew toy….

          January 5, 2018
  10. MattB #

    My hypothesis is that the SJW types were never taught or learned the idea of shame as a proportional societal feedback mechanism. Which means they probably have no sense of internal honor or integrity, and all actions are calculated on their external utility ( to wit: what makes them look good; external rather than internal honor system).

    January 3, 2018
    • Sort of.
      The problem with “shame” cultures is that all too often they tend to be external rather than internal honor systems–“Man looks at the outward appearance” and all that. As a result, the shaming was A. often dealt out unjustly and B. oftentimes for things that weren’t really shameful.
      However, the attempts to redress this issue were hijacked by people who were doing things that were genuinely shameful and taken far beyond their original intent.

      January 4, 2018
    • Bjorn Hasseler #

      Certainly the Ctrl-Left was not taught about double standards. Worldcon banned someone for announcing he would do something in the future, whereas Mike’s been banned here for repeated actions—and yet he posted in violation of that. It really conveys the attitude that rules don’t apply to them.

      January 4, 2018
  11. C4c

    January 3, 2018
  12. First off, nothing here changes my mind. After Spokane, WorldCon is off my list. Any work awarded a Hugo (in the last decade) is off my list. Any publisher, author, or other “figure” that appears at, or supports, WorldCon is off my list.

    Second off, a bit of whining. Okay, the multiple posts on the page is fine; I liked the old way, but then I read it every day. With more people writing, I could miss some…

    BUT you shrank the font on me. Now, I do know how to make it more age-appropriate – but then I just about lost poor Shadowdancer off the right side of the page. Can you possibly boost it back up a couple of points, anyway?

    Definitely bigger bylines. My normal sequence is ATH, MGC, Cedar’s, and then either Passive Voice or Kris Writes. But I need to know when Dave is up, and I need to put MGC at the end – hot coffee through the nose is painful!

    January 3, 2018
    • Dashed off to pick up son. Meant to add that my favorite blog theme, for “nice looking,” convenient, and readability, is Cedar’s current one.

      January 3, 2018

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