Thursday, April 18, 2019

Bonus Dad Post: Misused Words

Since he's clamoring for it, I'm going to let Dad have the floor again:

I DISAGREE and refuse to go along.
-- Spike Souders

If you control the language, you can control the dialog. The leftist (Socialist/Communist) elite has known this truth and used it for more than 40 years. The time has come to take back our "common" American English from the misuse and changes pushed on us by our leftist "betters". Here are several examples of overstretched terms I refuse to use any longer:

FIRST - Racism/Racist and the very wrong expansion of race to way beyond:

"a category of humankind that shares certain distinctive physical traits; or : an actually or potentially interbreeding group within a species; also: a taxonomic category (such as a subspecies) representing such a group"

I refuse to subscribe to the growth of the term RACE to apply to any cultural sub-group seeking preferential treatment from our government -- or the growth of the pejoratives "RACIST" and "RACISM" to apply to the perceived privileged class (like me).

(My privilege was to work steadily for 45.5 years before retiring. One job was 7 days a week -- with a shift from 0645 until 2300 on 6 of those days. I used to joke I had 23 good days in that job: the 22 days of leave my boss allowed and the day I left.

On another job, meanwhile, I carried a pager and was on call 24/7. I was paged away from dinner with my wife multiple times to handle a problem with a sensitive, high-value system for a national agency. And by the way, I was on salary, so I got no bonus for answering middle-of-the-night calls.)

Hispanic or Puerto Rican or Islamic are different CULTURES -- and often several races are included in each culture. (Remember the "white Hispanic" when the liberal propaganda machine got a muscle cramp trying to demonize a law-abiding citizen assaulted by a thug of color?)

SECOND (and more subtle): JUSTICE.

That word is misused as a more palatable substitute for RETRIBUTION. Frequently those calling for "justice" don't want that, as it would result in a long prison term or execution for serious crimes (like aggravated assault or battery or attempted murder). They want retribution without any examination of the facts and undeserved punishment meted out to the people protecting ME from their mob -- or to the people who happen to share an immutable characteristic with historical malefactors.

I will just use retribution when discussing the leftist mob's desires from now on.


An important military leader (who happened to be black) once remarked:

"there is nothing more benign than the color of a persons skin; nor anything more fundamental to human behavior than their sexuality . . ."

The leftist elite's effort to broaden the definition of sexuality to cover an ever-widening array of alphabet soup identities (LGBTQPAN+) makes most of us confused and on the defensive lest we impugn a privileged sub-group. Foo on that. What you do among yourselves is of no concern to me -- but try to demand special status for your sub-group and I JUST SAY NO. There, I knew I'd find a spot to say that.

Further examples of corrupted words are welcome in the comments.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Communication Disorders

For many years, the verbal portion of the SAT has featured a question type with the following format:

In line [#], the word […] most nearly means...

In the thirteen-plus years that I've been an after-school tutor, I have come across this question so often that my advice to students has become automatic: "You have to look at the sentence in the passage." What the College Board is testing here is not the student's ability to parrot the common dictionary definitions of words; instead, it is testing the student's ability to understand context.

Meditating upon a task such as this - a task beloved by bubble-test writers - reveals something very important about the way we converse. Words are not completely comprehensible on their own; they also take on additional - or sometimes even new - significance from the gestalt in which they sit -- much like tofu soaks up the flavors of the other ingredients in an Asian dish.

Take a sentence like "I love my mother." This sentence is composed of four utterly prosaic words -- yet do we really know what it means? Don't we need to hear the inflection with which it was said? Don't we need to see the speaker's body language? Don't we need to know why/where/when/etc. it was said? If this sentence appears in a poem lauding the beauty of Mother Earth, "mother" likely does not mean our female parent. If this sentence is uttered with a particular stress after a long sigh, most of us effortlessly intuit that it's meant to be ironic.

What I'm talking about here is pragmatics -- the transcendental, often non-linguistic aspects of our communication. These features seem to be preferentially processed by the right hemisphere of the brain -- at least if the peculiar deficits of patients with right hemisphere injury or hypofunction (for example, loss of the ability to understand sarcasm, idiom, and metaphor) are anything to go by. Their comprehension is also essential to our social functioning and the development of our common sense.

They are also the very features that the radical left seems bent on forcing us not to recognize.

Thus, we have Rep. Ilhan Omar (and her apologists) defending her speech at a CAIR event by comparing it to President W. Bush's extemporaneous speech at Ground Zero immediately after 9/11 -- as if a superficial similarity in word choice means anything at all. No: Bush's "people who knocked these buildings down" was uttered in the context of remarks that took the attack very seriously indeed -- remarks that honored the anger and grief of the devastated New Yorkers picking through the rubble. Omar's "people did something," on the other hand, was part of a speech that focused on the grievances of her own identity group -- a speech dripping with the bitter self-righteousness that is typical of activists of her stripe. To be sure, I certainly don't think all Muslims should be held responsible for terrorist attacks like the one perpetrated on 9/11, nor do I think they should be denied the right to practice their religion as they see fit (with, of course, a few important exceptions). But when you insist that the story of the post-9/11 world is all about your people and their pain, then yes -- I think you deserve criticism. Respect should be a two-way street. If radical Catholic terrorists were killing thousands across the world, I wouldn't urge my fellow Catholics to "raise hell" and "make people uncomfortable." I would feel convicted, I would be humble, and I would do whatever I could to make amends.

Moving on to another manifestation of the left's induced communication disorder: the okay hand sign hysteria. As everyone knows, it was originally trolls on 4chan who invented and spread the meme that the okay hand sign really stood for "white power." But according to Blizzard (and others), now that idiot white supremacists are using the symbol to signal their group identification, suddenly the gesture is permanently tainted and should be forever banned. So quick question: If white supremacists decide to start signaling each other with the code-phrase "I like cupcakes," does that mean we have to radically change how we announce our dessert preferences? No, that's ridiculous!

Over at The Post Millennial, Roberto Wakerell-Cruz has it exactly right (his column is in fact one of the inspirations for this post):
In one sense, of course words matter. Words are incredibly important, and a tool that we as humans are incredibly fortunate to have. To convey a message to one another in such detail is a unique trait. But what are words without context?

Which sentence is worse? “I think it’s retarded that fags can’t get married,” or “with all things considered, and it is indeed my own personal opinion, I believe that those who engage in homosexual acts and wish to marry their lover should be forbidden to do so!”

Although the first sentence contains naughty words, the second sentence actually contains far less progressive ideas. In my opinion, the first person is actually forward thinking, whereas the second is stuck in their old ways.

Context is incredibly important. Sentences are like icebergs. There is what appears on the surface, the letters you see printed on paper. But underneath the words, there’s more than what appears. Sentences can be extrapolated to no end, and interpreted in countless ways.

Focusing your attention purely on which words are being used is just wrong, and unproductive.

Amen, good sir! Condemning any word or sign in isolation is deeply foolish. We don't have to pretend we're suffering from right hemisphere dysfunction; we're perfectly capable of parsing when the use of a certain word, phrase, or gesture is innocuous and when it is not, and we should go on exercising that faculty to its fullest extent.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Geeky Recommendations, 4/10/19 (One Day Late)


Voices of the Fall, Ed. John Ringo, Gary Poole

This is the second anthology in the Black Tide Rising universe - collecting short stories based on radio transmissions from the Fall (aka, the zombie apocalypse) - and I'm happy to report that the story quality here is consistently solid and in keeping with the thrust of the series as a whole. What is that thrust, you may ask? I'll explain it in two words: competence porn. From the straggling NASA scientists trying to rescue their astronauts on the ISS to the nukes trying to avoid sinking in their damaged submarine, the heroes here are neither nihilistic nor incapable of getting stuff done.

The Green Ember & The Black Star of Kingston, S.D. Smith

Youtuber #1 Marmaduke Fan pointed me to this series, and oh boy, am I so glad he did! S.D. Smith is a magnificent storyteller; indeed, I don't think it's overblown to say that he gets everything right.

World building? His rabbit civilization has a lore so thoughtfully conceived that it feels real. Obviously, Smith has studied the mythological archetypes -- or he simply has a natural understanding of their primary features.

Main characters? All sympathetic -- including Picket, who starts off a brat but at least has the self-awareness to feel guilty about it.

Plot? The action scenes - like, for example, the several-chapters-long flight from Nick Hollow in The Green Ember - are exciting as hell. And when the story in said novel quiets down, Smith still expertly maintains our interest by emphasizing the questions surrounding Heather and Picket's true heritage.

Themes? The Black Star of Kingston - a novella that recounts one of the legends of Natalia - features a positively Petersonian hero who decides he must leave the safety of his coastal settlement to confront the darkness of the mountains beyond. The principle story, meanwhile, explores the reality of a fallen world in which evil lurks and life is not always fair -- and counsels us all to cope with the tragedy of being by fixing our sights on a goal beyond ourselves. What a beautiful, universal message!

Oh, and one last thing: Smith knows how to nest smaller stories inside a larger cycle! The Green Ember - despite being the first of a trilogy - feels complete on its own.

Am I going to read the rest of this series and discuss it further in the coming weeks? You betcha! This is probably the best middle grade/YA series I've come across since The Wingfeather Saga. I wish I'd read it sooner.

Now Playing

I went to see Shazam early this week and liked it. While I wouldn't call it the film of the century, I enjoyed its sly lampooning of selfie culture and its emphasis on the importance of family. Also notable? The fact that the main character has to grow into his role. Unlike, say, a certain overrated female Marvel hero, Billy is initially overwhelmed - and tempted - by his new powers, and he ends up doing a lot of stupid and/or reckless things before he learns to be mature and take responsibility. That is a focused, decently-crafted story with a healthy moral core.


Daredevil: To Know Fear, Chip Zdarsky

Issues 1-3 of this story are out as of this week, and they are good. The mystery is compelling - did Matt actually kill somebody by accident, or is someone framing him? - the action scenes are excellent, and the Catholic elements are respectfully handled. I stand with Our Boi Zack in crowning Zdarsky the once and future "kweeng" of Marvel.

Weeb Stuff

World Trigger, (Vol. 1), Daisuke Ashihara

This straightforward sci-fi adventure story doesn't seem particularly groundbreaking so far, but it presents a few intriguing questions that have convinced me to read the next few volumes (at least). First of all, why is Yuma in Japan? Secondly, why are the monstrous "Neighbors" attempting to invade, and why are they appearing outside the emergence area? Are they following Yuma? And lastly, just what sort of world lies beyond the interdimensional portals? I suppose I'll have to see!

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Dad's Corner: JUST SAY NO (Again)

I was pretty busy this week, so I'm going to allow my father to take the floor today.

Liberals would like to move my country away from a Federal Republic of the Several States organized as a limited government and into a pure "Democracy" where the enlightened majority of "right thinking" people will set the laws for all of us.


Changing the Constitution is a non-starter, as too many states would be effectively disenfranchised by the large, liberal states like New York and California and their foolhardy policies that are already wrecking their state's economies and causing smart people to flee. Let's NOT make those policies national so we can wreck the whole country's economy and so there is no where to flee to.

Too many of the smaller states would NEVER approve a constitutional amendment that effectively signs away their voice. Thus, the sneaky way the left is attempting the subversion of our Constitution is to get the individual states to assign their electoral college votes to the winner of the national majority vote. So far, fourteen states have already agreed to do this. (Including mostly Democratic (or Socialist) bastions like California.)

So far Virginia (my current home) and Pennsylvania (the state of my childhood) have not fallen for this. I want the citizens of the states I'm associated with to JUST SAY NO.

I've said it before and I'll keep saying it: the winner of the presidential election should be (and always has been) the individual who got the majority of votes of the citizens IN THE MAJORITY OF THE STATES*. The last two times the Republican "lost" the national popular vote, they lost overwhelmingly in California but "won" the net majority in the other 49 states. The "National Popular Vote" is a propaganda construct of the leftist (Socialist) elite and their propaganda arm and is correctly of no importance in a diverse country. That is why we have the electoral college.

We need the electoral college to prevent the tyranny of a CALIFORNIAN super-majority from controlling the other 49 states.

-- Spike Souders

* Except for John Quincy Adams, who was elected by the Congress when no candidate won a majority of electoral votes (according to our constitutionally prescribed procedures).

Sunday, March 31, 2019

More Boring Rhetorical Tics the Left Needs to Retire

(Consider this a continuation of the post here.)

5. Incel

Ever since Elliot Rodger, SJW's have been using this slur to insult every man who dares to disagree with their opinions on pop culture. But like "alt-right," "incel" describes a fringe group of radicals with a clear ideology. Actual incels believe they are failing in the dating rat race because women are shallow bitches who just want attractive "chads" with money and fast cars. People who hate The Last Jedi or Captain Marvel, on the other hand, are often happily attached men with kids -- or, shocker of shockers, they're women.

Sorry to be crude, but last time I checked, I had tits and a vag. And yet - and yet! - when I went to see Captain Marvel, I found it to be, at best, an aggressively average hodgepodge of ideas that could've been good if their treatment had been more than cursory. Carol's discovering that she's been fighting on the wrong side of an intergalactic war all this time, for example, could've led to some intense guilt and soul searching that would've made her interesting as a character; instead, the twist in question is just thrown in there without any exploration of its implications. Similarly, the movie never really gives you a chance to appreciate the past relationship between Carol and Mar-Vell; thus, when Mar-Vell dies, there's no emotional impact.

When it comes to recent female-led superhero movies, I believe Wonder Woman is far superior to Captain Marvel. Not that Wonder Woman is perfect, mind you; I do think the development of the romance between Diana and Trevor is oddly abrupt. But on the whole, Wonder Woman is a more unified, more epic story. Hell, even Wonder Woman's score leaves Captain Marvel's 90's nostalgia in the dust.

So, SJW's: Given that I fiercely disagree with you and yet cannot, by definition, be an incel, isn't it possible that those hated men on YouTube also don't like the things that you like for perfectly valid reasons that have nothing to do with sexual frustration and misogyny?

6. Educate Yourself

Whenever an SJW makes an over-the-top claim that, say, they "struggle to survive" every day in a country that's irredeemably -ist and filled with -ism, their favorite way to worm out of explaining what they mean is to spit that their doubters are not entitled to their "emotional labor" and that, instead, said skeptics should "educate themselves." What a diabolically clever way to render their worldview impervious to critique!

Of course, we should never feel guilty for asking for evidence whenever one of these ideologues alleges something extraordinary. We should never feel guilty because most of their assertions are patently ridiculous. It's reasonable to say, for instance, that police officers are more suspicious of black men for reasons that are complex and generally not conscious and that perhaps this should be mitigated by better training or more community involvement. It is not reasonable, however, to say that, in 2019, racist police are routinely gunning innocent black men down in the streets and that therefore all black men should be in constant fear for their lives. It's horrific whenever a genuinely innocent black man is killed by the cops, but it turns out such cases are pretty rare -- so rare, in fact, that the Washington Post has to add clearly justified killings to its database to maintain the left's preferred narrative.

We lead remarkably comfortable, safe lives here in the United States; vanishingly few of us are actually "struggling to survive" in any real sense. Does that mean there aren't still ways we can improve? Of course not. But if you're a well-dressed, well-groomed college student with an iPhone, I consider it my right to question you when you scream that you feel endangered -- and if all you can do is condescendingly tell me to "educate myself," I'm going to dismiss you as delusional. I'm not obligated to believe you're oppressed simply because you say so.

7. White Privilege/Systemic White Supremacy

Since #MyWhitePrivilege is trending on Twitter this weekend, let's talk about why the left's obsession with this concept is both aggravating and unhelpful.

First of all, many supposed "white privileges" don't even exist. Nude bras and Band-Aids don't match my almost translucent Northern European skin tone. And I hate to break it to you, but unless you're named "Mike Smith" or something, whiteness won't necessarily protect you from the horror of having your name mispronounced. Trust me: When I was growing up, my last name (whose first syllable rhymes with "cow") became "Saunders", "Sounders", or "Sooders" during many a roll-call. I shudder to think what might've happened if I were Polish or Czech!

Secondly, "white privilege" is often better described as majority privilege. If you are one of the few people of color in a majority white society, then yes: often times, you will be the only non-white individual in the room and you will feel like the odd man out. But most of the time, this imbalance is not malicious, and your feeling of "otherness" is not being purposefully imposed upon you; it's just the result of a combination of raw chance and your own insecurity. How do I know this? Because, thanks to the unique demographics of my neighborhood, I've been the only white person in the room many times and have also experienced that sense of being on display as some sort of exotic specimen. Don't worry: the feeling eventually goes away if you don't dwell on it.

Then, of course, there are the "white privileges" that are really just indicators that you're rich. Yes, some white people have gotten off lightly for criminal behavior that would guarantee prison time for others. But as Jussie Smollett has taught us, you don't have to be white to escape sixteen felony charges despite the overwhelming evidence arrayed against you; you just have to have connections. By the same token, the fact that a white kid can slip into an Ivy League school despite less-than-stellar credentials as long as his parents pull out their checkbook and make a phone call is also not evidence of his "white privilege"; an equally white coal-miner's son in West Virginia certainly can't pull off the same cheat.

And lastly, there are the "privileges" that are the consequences of people's good choices. I had no control over the fact that my parents were happily married and invested in the education of their two children, so yes, in that sense, I suppose I am privileged. But that doesn't have anything to do with my being white. As it turns out, Asians have even lower unmarried birthrates than whites, and they're kicking our asses when it comes to median income and educational attainment. Are Asians the beneficiaries of "white privilege" and "white supremacy"? That's a bizarre proposition in light of the Chinese Exclusion Act, "yellow peril," and the Japanese internment.

I'm not suggesting here that there aren't some lingering racial issues that require thoughtful response (see my comment above regarding police bias). What I am suggesting is that SJW's radically oversimplify what's happening instead of examining the complex truth and crafting reality-based solutions.

Of course, clinging to a simple, univariate explanation for apparent racial disparities makes it a hell of a lot easier to gin up conflict and seize power for yourself.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Geeky Recommendations, 3/27/19


Ella Minnow Pea: A Novel in Letters, Mark Dunn

The main characters in this epistolary novel live in a fictional island nation that has organized its religion around the composer of the sentence "The quick, brown fox jumps over the lazy dog", which - as you know, I'm sure - contains all 26 letters of the alphabet. When letters start dropping off the nation's monument to this sentence, the governing council, in its infinite lack of wisdom, decides that the island's revered icon is commanding everyone from beyond the grave to stop using the missing letters. As time goes on and more essential letters are lost, life on the island becomes increasingly repressive -- and communication becomes virtually impossible.

Dunn handles the conceit of his premise in an able and engaging way. Eventually, he does have to cheat and use homophones once too many letters have been lost for him to proceed with his plot, but no matter: the theme here is remarkably timely.

Today I Am Carey, Martin L. Shoemaker

This novel is an expansion of Shoemaker's award-winning short story "Today I Am Paul", in which an android is tasked with caring for a patient with dementia. Here, Shoemaker follows the android over several decades as he/she integrates into a family and becomes progressively self-aware.

To quote my review on Amazon: "This is a quiet, beautiful SF novel that gets the essence of love exactly right. While it may frustrate the reader who is more action-oriented, I was hooked from the start by the title character and the well-drawn family who welcome him/her into their home and their lives. If you're looking for slice-of-life sci fi written with competence and, even more importantly, humanity, this is the book for you!"

(By the way, I see now that another reviewer has compared this novel to "Flowers for Algernon." I believe this comparison is apt.)


Saga (Vol. 1), Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples

From the blurb: "SAGA is the sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the worlds. When two soldiers from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war fall in love, they risk everything to bring a fragile new life into a dangerous old universe."

My impression: I doubt the creators of this series share my views on art or politics, but it doesn't - and shouldn't - matter. The story, at least so far, is very well told. I particularly like the balance between Marko's pacifism and Alana's more belligerent, defensive stance -- but even the other characters (including the narrator, their child) have voices that are distinct and interesting to read.

One caveat, though: Don't give this trade to your kids. The language, violence, and sexual content is quite explicit.

Fighting American & Fighting American: The Ties That Bind,
Gorden Rennie, Duke Mighten, & Andie Tong

These two trades take an old Jack Kirby hero from the 1950's and transport him to the modern day -- quite literally, through time travel. They are also a veritable workshop on how to do humor correctly. The story takes the piss out of Fighting American's earnestness (and the superhero genre in general), but it also makes fun of conspiracy theories, the news media, the alt-right, and - delightfully - communists. In every way, the satire is balanced, fun, and written with love rather than mean-spiritedness.

Weeb Stuff

My Love Story!! (Vol. 1), Kazune Kawahara & Aruko

I didn't think I'd like this shōjo romance (the two exclamation points in the title were a huge red flag), but gosh darn it, it charmed me anyway. First, I love that the big, awkward main character gets the girl by being heroic and properly masculine. Second, their budding love is so damned pure. At one point, the girl is ashamed because she wants to hold hands, for goodness' sake! Such a thing would never fly in our own over-sexualized, cynical culture -- which is why it's so refreshing.

From Far Away (Vol. 1), Kyoko Hikawa

This older portal fantasy is also deeply counter-cultural -- and therefore fresh. When Noriko is transported suddenly into a bizarre parallel world, she isn't instantly competent. Instead, she's fearful and struggles to make sense of her new surroundings. But we can see even in this early stage that she has the intelligence to be a heroine when she eventually calms down and starts learning the locals' language. I can't wait to see where the story goes from here!

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Another Week That Was

A Civics Lesson

Quick question: In the late 1780's, when the US Constitution was written and ratified after lengthy argument, which state was the most populous? Children?

Yes, that's right, Sarah: my home state of Virginia. Virginia was enormously influential during this period; except for my boy John Adams, all of the first five presidents were Virginian. But for certain strictures (ahem), Virginia could've used its bigness and reputation to curb stomp little states like Rhode Island and Delaware and drive the entire country according to its interests. Given that Virginia was a slave state, how do you think that would've turned out?

Thank the holy God that the Framers had the wisdom to realize that a nation ruled by Virginia and its allies was less than ideal. Thank the holy God that they therefore created institutions like the Senate and the Electoral College to kneecap the tyrannical majority and force politicians to appeal to national - rather than regional - concerns.

Right now, roughly a fifth of the US population is rural. If we switch to a national popular vote - or dispense with the Senate - this minority will be effectively silenced. If you are among those agitating for the complete destruction of our republic, I beg you to reconsider. You would never treat any other minority of comparable (or even smaller) size in this manner.

Our federal system, with all of its weird complications and roadblocks, was born of careful deliberation and years of assiduous examination of human history. Forgive me, then, if I trust it more than the fanciful ideas of ill-educated Current Year politicians and activists who are pissed they lost an election.

Regarding the Importance of Careful Deliberation...

The message of this video needs to be tattooed on certain people's eyeballs.

No, it's not admirable that New Zealand is rushing to confiscate guns, ban books, and squelch speech after Christchurch. It is, in fact, yet another terrifying demonstration of the importance of our Constitution and its Bill of Rights.

In Other News: Dissatisfied Fans Are Not "Entitled Manbabies"

Last night, I saw another manifestation of this attitude in a Facebook group I follow, and to be quite blunt, I'm fucking sick of it. If you're a game developer, a comic book writer or artist, a genre film maker, or any other creator in pop geekdom, you are not some grand ah-teest who can spit on his audience and do whatever the hell he wants. Dial the arrogance way, way back, bucko. You are, effectively, a guy in a rubber mask screaming at a green screen like it's chasing him. And if you're working with an established IP - as many of you are - you're playing with something that, ultimately, is not yours to "fundamentally transform".

Do the fans want you to do the same thing over and over again? No: just to take one example, the principal critique I've seen of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens is that it's a weaker copy of A New Hope that strips out all the struggle of the original story. In other words, what we hate about the film in question is that it lacked creativity and heart -- not that it failed to perfectly replicate something we've already seen. So go ahead: as long as you respect the history of the IP you're borrowing, you can - and should - tell an entirely new story. We love evolution; what we don't like is rupture. 1990's Star Trek? Good. Rian Johnson's Star Wars? Bad.

Do the fans want you to completely avoid political themes? No, this is another strawman. What we hate is inorganic, in-your-face politics that stacks the deck in favor of one worldview. What we hate is boring, predictable politics; we hate the thousands of "Orange Man Bad"/"America is -ist and -phobic" stories that all unfold in identical fashion and therefore are never insightful and never surprise. What we love are things like DS9's "In the Hands of the Prophets," which tackles the theme of science versus religion in a manner that respects (and reveals the flaws of) both sides.

Do the fans hate diversity? No: we hate toxic diversity.

I don't think fans have the right to completely control what creators do. I respect artistic freedom. But the vast majority of fans aren't asking for that power. What we're asking for is craft and professionalism. Within those boundaries, multitudes can exist.