Author Archives: Wyrd Smythe

About Wyrd Smythe

The canonical fool on the hill watching the sunset and the rotation of the planet and thinking what he imagines are large thoughts.

Idiot Clowns

Nope. Never liked’m.

Watching the Thanksgiving episode of the rebooted Murphy Brown on CBS, where Murphy decides to cook dinner with easily anticipated and well-worn results, it struck me exactly why I don’t find the show very funny. And why I really don’t find any of the CBS comedies since the 1990s very funny: Idiot Clowns.

In general, it’s why I don’t find a lot of comedy very funny. Idiot Clown comedy requires an idiot clown — someone so stupid they are unaware of basic reality, a blindness forced on them to enable a (typically) lame joke. I find it cheap and easy and without much value.

More to the point, I just don’t like idiots or clowns in my entertainment.

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Fans: Not A Fan

Star Trek wasn’t hugely popular right off the bat, or even for a long time. The first series, after all, lasted only three years and had to fight for survival for most of that time. But it did catch on hugely with us fans; many of us fell in love right away.

From an early point even within the fan community, let alone to mundanes, some of us were careful to identify as Trekkers rather than Trekkies. As I used to put it, “Trekkers are grown ups who love science fiction. Trekkies own a pair of Spock ears.”

Then, because of a little movie, named Star Wars, science fiction went mainstream. And so did the divide between two rather different kinds of fans…

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I’m Offended!

I am offended by people who are offended! It’s like how I am intolerant of people who are intolerant. It’s a challenge. Somehow I have to ignore the self-referential self loathing, but life is paradoxical and ironical, and I’ve always embraced both (and chaos) as personal philosophies.

Irony and paradox aside the whole idea of being offended has become an aspect of society today. We’ve turned it into a cottage industry, and both sides of politics have heavy weaponized it into a WMD.

The problem is often the legitimacy of being offended. When is it right to take offense, and when might the real issue be our own perceptions (and we should just STFU).

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Actors Ain’t All That

As someone whose high school and college education focused on writing and storytelling (through stage, film, and video), I’ve long been askance at how much culture reveres actors while not paying as much attention to the writers who provide their words or the directors who control much of what they do.

I do not at all mean to suggest actors aren’t also artists who bring important skills to the table. In college, I had to find people willing to act (for free!) in my productions — I couldn’t tell my stories without them — so I’m well acquainted with their importance and skills.

My point is only that the stories we love owe as much, if not more, to the writers and directors who create them in the first place.

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Sam’s Song

Father’s Day, 1994
(It really was June 19!)

Back in 1994, when Samantha and I first began living with each other, during our long walks together, I composed this little bit of “doggerel” (to the obvious tune of)…

This little dog, she’s a pup.
She’s got big paws and a tail.
With an arf, arf, sniff, sniff,
chew a rawhide bone.
This little dog came running home.
This little pup, she’s a black lab.
She likes running in the park.
With an arf, arf, sniff, sniff,
chase a tennis ball.
This little dog came running home.
This little lab, her name’s Sam.
She’s getting bigger every day.
With an arf, arf, sniff, sniff,
run around the yard.
This little dog came running home.

(I got a new laptop, so I’ve been going through a lot of old data deciding what to archive and what to transfer to the new machine. Among all those files I found the little dog ditty I wrote 24 years ago. (And I still miss that dog! One of the best I’ve ever known!))

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Texting Subtext

Recent politics makes us, perhaps, overly aware of just how differently from us people can see the world. Recent politics also makes us very aware of how fraught it can be interacting with people who see the world differently. (Although it isn’t the differences that divide us so much as our tribalism.)

Setting politics aside for a moment, I recently stumbled over a difference that I found both bemusing and enlightening. It explains something that’s puzzled me (and caused a degree of head-shaking) for quite a while. What’s cool is how it switches my worldview, because now I understand it’s not a mistake or laziness, but a valid choice.

I’m talking about periods and lower case in text messages!

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Embarrassed

I was tempted to call this post “This Is How It Ends,” because I continue to wonder if I’m seeing the beginning of the decline of humanity. Oh, I’m sure it won’t decline and vanish; it’ll just sink back into the dark ages and start the cycle anew. This may be the human destiny: cycling back and forth between the poles of reason and monkey tribalism, ever rising and falling.

We’re so screwed up politically and socially that we’re not even sure whether Democrats won or lost the mid-terms. Here’s the answer: We lost. Decency lost. Sanity lost. Honesty lost. Kindness lost. Moral values lost. Given the extremes to which Trump has taken us, anything other than a sweeping repudiation of his evil is a loss!

America lost. Basic human decency lost. We lost.

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Election Day 2018!

I Voted

On this most important day of days. You did, too, right?

And now, with bated breath and much anticipation we await the results…

Will we return to sanity and decency or continue the madness?


Vote Tomorrow!


Winter Is Coming

Fall back! Fall back!

Also: Please Vote On Tuesday!!