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17 December 2007 @ 10:20 pm
YAWN... and meta on OTW  
taking a break...

Must stop listening to "Prelude to War" from the BSG soundtrack eventually, but man, you have no idea how PERFECT it is for my fic.

I also bought as a treat for myself the latest Joseph Ellis book on the American Revolution, American Creation because I loved his book "Founding Brothers". I get to read it AFTER I upload. (I'm still holding Empire of Ivory for my reel_sg1 fic. yes, still.)

y'know, I'm all about changing my bulbs to Compact flourescents. BUT, I have to say - the bulbs massively SUCK. For something that's supposed to last a gazillion years, I'd say 25% are defective out of the box. I've had to replace THREE that stopped working almost immediately. AND they contain mercury so you can't toss 'em in the trash like with regular bulbs. No cookie, CFL makers!


Also, I can't believe FANS are bitching about the Organization for Transformative Works. Jeez, the fanfic genie bottle is way the fuck out of the bottle, people. Hoping the mean nasty corporations will go away if we just close our eyes isn't going to work anymore (just ask the WGA). This isn't about mid-list authors being terrified of fanfic messing with their pretty dolls, despite what those authors and half of fandom seem to think. Seriously, unless it's Harry Potter, there aren't many novels whose fandoms are too big for yuletide

But OTW isn't about that anyway; it's about the prospect of NBC forming a partnership with Fanlib and making that the ONLY place they will accept Heroes fanfic archived, except the fanfic can't contain any of the main characters or graphic sex (rather like Scifi.com's BSG "video" contest, where you couldn't use any clips from the show). That'll leave the rest of us with even LESS legal ground to stand on.

Look, I thought of entering the Stargate novels contest. I write long plotty gen stuff, as a general rule, so I figured I should give it a go at least, right? But there were so MANY RULES, it was utterly stifling (that some tie-in writers manage to produce stuff that is NOT crap when hemmed in by all that is downright amazing). I seriously couldn't come up with a single idea that didn't break at least one of the rules (or was awful, but that's a different problem).

But fandom isn't (and shouldn't be) about becoming tie-in novelists. I don't want corporate owners to dictate to me what I can write.

Funniest thing to come out of all this is the Anti-Fanfic Bingo Card by ithiliana. Next time you're reading some blog that mentions fanfic, just whip out this handy card and see how soon you can get BINGO from the entry and its comments... *lol*

I don't want some corporation dictate what I can write, but I do completely let ficathons push me around (FOR FREE!), and I need to get back to it.
mamaboolj on December 18th, 2007 01:52 pm (UTC)
You knew I'd pick up on the CFLs, right. Unfortunately, you're 25% defective is probably close to right. Maybe a little less overall, but the lighting manufacturers allow a huge amount of "failure" because the products are so cheap to produce. Some of the info I have is quite literally classified by the testing agencies, but I was shocked when I read what an allowable failure rate is.

Where are you buying and what brand? The Home Depot bulbs tend to have fairly high failure rates. TCP bulbs are more expensive and not as readily available but are generally good, as are Feit.

As for the mercury, it's a pain in the ass, and they have been continuously reducing the amount in the bulbs. It's actually *less* mercury per bulb than what is produced by a coal-fired power plant for lighting an incandescent (I can send you a link if you'd like). But the coal plant is distributed pollution while the CFL is point source. While point source is easier to take care of - it still puts the responsibility on us, the buyers. There are deals in the works to return them to the manufacturers in pre-paid envelopes and stuff like that.
lizardbethlizardbeth_j on December 18th, 2007 05:48 pm (UTC)
heh, I figured this would attract your attention. *g* but after my third one popped on me I was a bit ... ticked.

That the bulbs have mercury and I have to dispose of them properly wouldn't be a big deal IF the failure rate weren't so high. I mean, I happen to know not to put them in the trash, but I can bet some ungodly high percentage of people don't know that. So if 20% of bulbs are broken and have to be thrown out in their first month, and say half of those people just toss them in the landfill... I guess it's the law of unintended consequences at work, but it sucks.
mamaboolj on December 18th, 2007 05:54 pm (UTC)
I have public survey data that puts that number going into the landfill at more like 80% - mainly because they have no clue the mercury is there. If they do, they still toss - just like people do batteries. I've not had any fail on me, but one did get broken. We have sealed in a ziploc to take it to the next "hazardous waste day" in our city. The manufacturers and promoter really need to get on the ball with a safe disposal plan.

Here's that link I told you about:
mamaboolj on December 18th, 2007 06:06 pm (UTC)
One other thing. Are these all from the same pack? If so, it might have been damaged on the long voyage from China. If they are all the same pack, you should take them back to the store, and, in all your copious amounts of spare time, call/e-mail than manufacturer and complain. If you got them for really cheap, you might also call your electricity company (SCE? SDG&E?) because they could be supported through a "markdown program" and the company will want to know the manufacturers/retailers are pushing shoddy products. Finally, I *know* these markdown programs are being evaluated *right now*. If you should be lucky enough to get a phone call for a survey over the next few months - answer it and tell them how pissed you are about the quality/mercury issue.

This pisses me off to no end. Yes, unintended consequences but also capitalism run amok! They manufacturers get away with pushing crappy products on us - when all we want to do is something good for our kids and our world.
lizardbethlizardbeth_j on December 18th, 2007 07:14 pm (UTC)
negative on the same pack. They weren't even all the same kind. One of them was an expensive floodlight replacement which is the one that pissed me off. grrr.

And oh boy, if I get one of those surveys, I would LOVE to give my .02...
mrsdrjacksonmrsdrjackson on December 18th, 2007 04:15 pm (UTC)
y'know, I'm all about changing my bulbs to Compact flourescents. BUT, I have to say - the bulbs massively SUCK. For something that's supposed to last a gazillion years, I'd say 25% are defective out of the box. I've had to replace THREE that stopped working almost immediately. AND they contain mercury so you can't toss 'em in the trash like with regular bulbs. No cookie, CFL makers!

Wow, that really does suck. I've never had one of those bulbs die on me, let alone not work when just out of the package. Apparently I am incredibly lucky...of course, now that I say that I will have trouble with the next set I buy. lol

So what are we supposed to do with the bulbs we're trying to discard, since we can't just toss them?
mamaboolj on December 18th, 2007 05:56 pm (UTC)
You should store them - or if they are physically broken - seal them in a ziploc or other bag. Then, check with your local city to find out about hazardous waste disposal days. Most communities - even rural ones with dumps instead of trash pick up - have a day to turn in old paint, thermometers, batteries, etc.

Check out the link I put in my reply to lizardbeth_j
mrsdrjacksonmrsdrjackson on December 19th, 2007 02:10 pm (UTC)
I had no idea...thank you!!
Just Another Nutty Fangirlaudreyscastle on December 18th, 2007 07:41 pm (UTC)
Where is the link to all these psycho rules? Me must see.
lizardbethlizardbeth_j on December 18th, 2007 09:22 pm (UTC)
oh, I don't remember anymore. It might still be at the stargate novels site, since they ran it. Might still be running it for all I know. They weren't really psycho, IIRC, just the usual tie-in rules: no relationships, no changing of canon, etc. But it's a small box to someone used to playing on the fringes of the sandbox... *g*

Trek got to loosen up their restrictions a bit once the canon closed, but for awhile they were just as bad. And of course all the tie-in plots have to be approved by the studio's licensing people, so there's an extra layer of bureaucracy and chance that someone will say no, along the way, especially for unknown freelancers.
crowdaughter: Crowdaughtercrowdaughter on December 19th, 2007 12:48 am (UTC)
But fandom isn't (and shouldn't be) about becoming tie-in novelists. I don't want corporate owners to dictate to me what I can write.

You are right, of course, although, as somebody pointed out on another blog, when OTW comes and supports a hapless writer in court against a Cease-andDesist of Nasty Company x, then other Nasty Companies may stop seeing fanfic as a thing they can beningly ignore, but as a threat they wish to come down on hard. And while that won't stop fanfic, it may destroy our best and most prospering, easily to find archives, and harm the community that has formed by making their life hell as soon as they get online and visible.

So, I am not sure if we can win this fight... and therefore, if what OTW does is indeed a good thing (since there is no guarantee they will win this fight, and if they lose, we all will have to pay for it).

Or maybe I am just a pessimist.
lizardbeth: xmas kermitlizardbeth_j on December 19th, 2007 03:48 am (UTC)
I think that mistakes the cause, though. OTW isn't raising the visibility of fanfic, that's already happening. Fanlib proves that the corporations are already trying to feel their way into controlling the distribution of fanworks on their own terms. Right now, it's true many corporations don't care - because there's no money in it. But when there IS money in it, no amount of head-sand is gonna help.

This complaint reminds me of a similar objection regarding the visibility of fanvids that went around last year (stop sticking your head up or we'll all get smacked down!). And in the end, people kind of agreed: either you lock 'em down and put password protect, or you open them up as wide as possible, explain what you're doing, and try to get the public behind you. There's no middle ground - fans are visible, fanworks are visible NOW. But until we have someone publicly articulating why fanworks are valuable (in terms that non-fans can understand), we have no protection.

Or, IOW, I think the era of benign neglect is over anyway, so I'd rather have some structure to try to keep it from steamrolling us all. *g*