I got a photo in the mail…

I got a photo in the mail yesterday. It was a picture of Jay Maynard (Tron guy) in his Tron outfit. There’s a picture of it over here.

I requested he send me one. He and I met at Penguicon, which was where his costume debuted. When I saw it I thought “Wow. Cool.” Jay and I got a few chances to talk, he sat in on some of my panels, and I remember thinking he was one of the neater people I met at the show.

Imagine my thrill when I found out that his appearance at Penguicon, and his initial LJ entries about it, had rendered him famous. Then I found out he was actually INFAMOUS because there were those who thought the costume was less than flattering on someone of his admittedly middle-aged build.

This bugged me. Hell, he was a NICE GUY who did something very creative to have a GOOD TIME, and he got loads and loads of crap for it. (Granted, he also got to be on TV, so I guess the whole “making lemonade” thing holds up.)

When I was in high-school, kids would occasionally give me crap at parties for not drinking. One belligerently intoxicated 18-year-old went so far as to tell me I was ruining his party, when all I’d been doing was laughing and joking with others while NOT having beers myself. At that party, one of my friends, who ALSO happened to be drunk, strolled up to this plastered troll and explained in no uncertain terms that if he saw ANYBODY giving Howard crap about not drinking, they’d have him to answer to.

It’s one thing to stand by your principles and be persecuted for it. It’s another thing entirely to endure persucution knowing that friends of yours will interpose themselves, even if they don’t share your beliefs.

Jay, thanks for the picture. I’m going to sit down and ink a “cartoon” version of it, and pop that in the mail to you. You’re a great guy, and all the trolltards in the world can’t change that.


31 thoughts on “I got a photo in the mail…”

  1. Reminds me of a bit of Asimoviana…

    In either In Memory Yet Green or In Joy Still Felt, the Good Doctor, who neither smoked nor drank (aside from just after his doctoral defense), wrote about attending a party. A woman who was N sheets to the wind for some rather large N, with a cigarette in hand, looked at him and said “You don’t drink, do you?”

    “No, ma’am,” Asimov replied.

    “You don’t smoke, either, do you?”

    “No, ma’am,” he answered again.

    “Well, what the hell do you do?”

    “I [f-word] a lot, ma’am,” Asimov said, grinning.

    I’m a teetotaler, too (like Asimov, aside from one incident—in my case, realizing the next day how I’d thought throughout that I was perfectly in control, and how it made perfect sense at the time to sing Tom Lehrer songs at high volume and laugh hysterically, drove the point home). I wish I’d had friends like the one you describe during that time of my life.

    1. Re: Reminds me of a bit of Asimoviana…

      *briefly coalesces*

      Singing Tom Lehrer songs at high volume and laughing hysterically always makes sense.

      *vanishes again, singing Tom Lehrer’s ‘Pollution’ to himself as he goes*

  2. It’s worth noting …

    … that tons of random strangers (myself included) popped over to his journal when we heard about it a few months ago and said “Wow! What a great costume!” I loved his little speech for it in the costume show. 🙂

    I got the impression his 15 minutes of fame started with a brief period of net.bastards bashing him, but trailed into a long period of many ordinary folks as well as people like Neil Gaiman and Steve Jackson telling him “That is SO COOL!”

    And he was truly masterful under fire, too, as I recall. Very patient and good-natured. All in all, impressive. 🙂

    1. Re: It’s worth noting …

      Thanks..I don’t feel all that masterful, but I’m trying.

      Every time I think my 15 minutes is up, something else comes along and stretches it out. I don’t know where it will end, but I’m going to keep riding it and see where it takes me. Wherever that may be, it’s somewhere I wouldn’t have been otherwise.

  3. There was a lot of stupidity on /. about him, for the most part driven out of jealousy, I bet. I’m sure most of the people who very vocally derided him would not have dared put an outfit like that on. I thought his concept was fantastic, and his idea about why he wasn’t a slimlined combat oriented program most inventive. I wouldn’t have come up with anything that good, for sure.

    Luckily, as you say, he got lots of good out of it too. In all honesty, I suspect he’ll be rememberd as famous and not infamous once the jealousy dies down.

  4. *blush*

    Thanks, Howard. I happen to think you’re one of the neater guys around the net yourself, and your comments mean a lot to me.

    My roommate put it best today, I think: When you’re in front of a stampede, you can either get flattened, or else hop on one of the leaders and ride it. There’s no in-between. I will say it’s been a wild ride, but on balance, it’s been fun.

    I’m not perfect – as the 50 or 55 comments in the picture entry about CONvergence will attest – but I’m trying to be as good a guy as I can manage. When it’s all over, I do hope people will remember me as a good guy who did something neat.

    I will admit to being mildly surprised at parties with 18-year-olds drinking heavily in a Mormon area. I am not, however, surprised that you stood up for your beliefs. it’s the perfect example of what you said in your entry on the Constitution: you have your own standards, but don’t expect anyone else who doesn’t share your beliefs to live up to them. That’s the ideal way to have things, IMAO.

    1. Re: Parties…

      I grew up in Florida. The place reminds me of the town Troutman is griping about. The kids just don’t have enough worthwhile to do, and aren’t well-enough supervised to prevent them from excess in their chemically-assisted escapism.

      There were beer parties pretty much every weekend, and guys and girls both would boast of how much they could drink. I was in a cheesy little rock band and the Drama Club, that pretty much dictated my social circle. Cliquish, but I was just clever enough to get by without actually being “popular.”


      1. Re: Parties…

        I have had similar experiences as a Mormon in Dallas.

        One of the most memorable was when a close friend was giving me hell at a party because I was over 20 and still a virgin. A homosexual guy came to my defense and told everyone to leave me alone because I was a good person and that anyone giving me grief over my morals and standards was going get their lights punched out by him.

        Having your virtue protected by a gay guy is definitely an eye opener. And yet most of the gay men I have known personally have been willing to do just that, even though they know that I don’t condone homosexuality. Probably because they also know I still think they are people and would help them if they were ever in trouble – because I have.

        Also, as long as it’s between consenting adults, I DON’T WANT TO KNOW what’s going on in your bedroom. You will have to answer to God for that, not me and I’m not about to take His place. I’m not going to go against Him, either.

        1. Re: Parties…

          There’s a lesson here for other religions, although I don’t expect them to notice it: You get a lot more respect and tolerance for your beliefs if you respect and tolerate others’.

          I would not have wanted to grow up Mormon in Dallas, hotbed of Southern Baptism and other fundamentalist Christianity. I’ll bet you heard you were going to go to hell more times than you cared to put up with, from folks less tolerant then yourself.

          1. Re: Parties…

            Dallas wasn’t that bad. All in all, it’s a lot more tolerant place than many people realize. West Texas was a different story. I actually was let go from a job I was good at during the second week because I was Mormon, though they used a different excuse. But the woman I worked with was extremely upset at the whole thing because she thought they were insane to bring back someone who didn’t like the work to get rid of someone who was great at it.

            However, it was a “Christian” day-care and considering that at the time they kept having this guy going from church to church giving lectures on the evils of Mormonism – I can understand the nervousness.

            But really, no one ever told me personally I was going to Hell. I have a rather formal demeanor and I understand I can be a bit intimidating in my quiet way in real life. (I’m not so quiet online and still a bit intimidating I understand.)

            However, one of my roommates was told that by her own dad. Her family never was very religious growing up, but she became Mormon after leaving highschool and two years later her parents joined the Church of Christ. I was appalled that he would actually say that, but she just laughed and said it was okay, because they were still better going to any church than they had been before.

            The two comments I get most often are:

            1) “You don’t look Mormon.” I have no idea what some people think a Mormon is supposed to look like. But once when someone said that to me I felt the top on my head and turned around to see my backside, before snapping and saying, “Darn! I left the horns and tail at the cleaners.”

            2) “You can’t be Mormon – you’re the most Christian person I know.” I got this a lot when I was younger – I’ve gotten less and less saintly in my old age. But this annoyed me more than any other statement. But I try to keep my cool and point out that the official name of my church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

          2. Re: Parties…

            “You don’t look Mormon”: I think this might stem from a lot of folks’ only experiences that they can label that way: with the clean-cut kids in white shirts and black ties and black suit pants on bicycles, doing the missionary thing. (FWIW, that always struck me as slightly weird, as that’s not exactly practical cycling clothing…although I do understand that they couldn’t expect to walk up to people’s doors in bike shorts and be taken as seriously.) From that, one might draw the conclusion that Mormons are usually dressed well, if conservatively and a bit formally.

            “You can’t be Mormon – you’re the most Christian person I know”: uhm…huh? This doesn’t make sense to me, either. Then again, since I’m no fundamentalist, I do not pretend to fathom how the fundamentalist mind works.

          3. Re: Parties…

            Then again, since I’m no fundamentalist, I do not pretend to fathom how the fundamentalist mind works.

            Neither do I. But I do so like challenging people’s thinking. I’ve even been called a “dangerous and evil” woman because iof it. Which was funny because what I was doing was showing a guy why his actions were ignorant and abusive. You can get away with telling people they are wrong usually – they’ll just blow you off most of the time. But PROVE IT BEYOND A DOUBT and you might as well consider yourself Public Enemy #1.

            Most people either adore me or hate me. Anyone ambivilant towards me has never actually interacted with me. And some people actually adore and hate me at the same time. So, I understand the troll attack you got. Be the subject of a few of them myself.

            I know that a lot of people believe in just ignoring them and if it’s small enough, I usually will. But sometimes it’s fun to out-troll the trolls and twist their words, while remaining cheerful and amused. 😀


            Maybe I am a dangerous woman?

          4. Re: Parties…

            I hate to keep this post so off-topic, but I think I can help clarify a couple of things from an Evangelical Christian perspective. It’s always been my understanding that Mormons don’t accept the triune God. That of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit as three parts of the one true God. Our belief is centered around Christ being God in human form, wholly human and wholly divine. I’ll throw in a little scripture, just so it doens’t look ike I’m talking out of my butt. =)

            John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

            This is the verse that lays out two parts of the Trinity the best.

            John 10:30 I and the Father are one.


            John 10:33 We are not stoning you for any of these, replied the Jews, but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God”

            This is way they were is such an uproar.

            Then there are multiple points where his disciples refer to him as their Lord and God, and he never corrects them.

            Let me know if I’m wrong about the Trinity, or if that’s only applicable to certain branches of Mormonism.

            We tend to also be thrown off by the fact that not all aspects of Mormonism are available to all. I am not allowed access to certain buildings, nor to all of the knowledge. We believe that all aspects of Christianity should be open to everyone, whether they are a believer, or not.

            That said, I have yet to meet a Mormon I didn’t like and I don’t want this post to feel like an attack. I’m unappologetic in my beliefs, as I’m sure you are in yours. I’m just trying to clarify a couple of questions you were asking.

          5. Mormonism and The Nature of God

            Mormons believe that most of the doctrine of the Triune God is “teachings of men” rather than actual divine revelation. It’s mysticism originally embraced to “fit” Christianity into the philosophies popular in 3rd-century Rome, and it DETRACTS from our ability to worship Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.

            Yeah, that puts some folks off. But for them to say we’re NOT CHRISTIAN based on that point is fairly petty.

            The temple worship aspect of Mormonism is, admittedly, more reasonable to stumble over. Suffice it to say that everything taught in the Mormon Temples is founded firmly in scripture, and that the doctrines associated with temple worship existed in the earliest Christian church, as well as in the Jewish faith whose doctrines, laws, and practices were fulfilled by Christ.

            The big one that puts off evangelicals and pretty much everyone else, and that didn’t get mentioned above, is the belief that God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith in 1823, calling him as a prophet and instructing him to restore the Gospel of Jesus Christ in our generation.

            The only way, and I do mean ONLY WAY anybody is going to believe any of this is if they read the Mormon scriptures which testify of Christ (The Book of Mormon), pray to know whether they are true, and recieve a divine answer that they are. Any other attempt to “prove” or “disprove” a religion whose fundamental tenets include continuing revelation is doomed to end in petty arguments and general stupor.


          6. Re: Mormonism and The Nature of God

            Thanks for the reply. I still don’t completely “get it”, but I have more info now.

            Anyway, keep up the great work on the comic. And, if you’re ever here in Dallas, I’ll hook you up with a free meal. =)

          7. Re: Mormonism and The Nature of God

            Indeed, any attempt to prove or disprove a religion, period, is doomed to end in petty arguments and general stupor. I worked for a man, not too long ago, who was an evangelical Christian based on a near-death experience he had. For him, it was direct proof that the Christian God exists. Who am I to tell him he’s wrong?

            That’s why, in the final analysis, I think everyone must reach their own understanding of the state of the universe and how it reached that state. No man is in any position to say another’s understanding is incorrect. This is my greatest argument with most of fundamentalist Christianity, and that those the rest of the world call Mormons do not presume to do so is, IMAO, worthy of respect and emulation.

          8. Re: Mormonism and The Nature of God

            I just want to make clear that I’m not here to prove or disprove anything. I’m just throwing an Evangelic Christian perspective on things. It is our “Great Commission” to spread what we believe.

            Matthew 28:19-20 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.

            So, they’re basically just doing their jobs. However, many miss an important part of another passage.

            Revelations 3:20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.

            That was Jesus talking, by the way. It’s important to note that he knocks. Christ comes as a gentleman; he doesn’t kick in the door and force belief, nor should we.

            I’m not necessarily talking about Mormons, in general, as they’ve accepted Christ, but this is some of my insight, especially towards other religions, or those with no religion at all.

            I’m aware that many Christians miss the distinction, but most of the ones with whom I associate certainly don’t.

          9. Re: Parties…

            Actually, when you say Mormon, I tend to think “clean cut”, wholesome, apple-cheeked, disgustingly healthy, fair skinned, white shirt and tie types…though I’ve met MANY who don’t fit that description. So I guess I could see someone saying “funny, you don’t LOOK mormon” if you don’t fit that description in some way.

    2. Re: *blush*

      Having not until now correlated your username with your identity (somehow), I’d like to take this opportunity to express my admiration of your costume. The workmanship was excellent, and quite honestly I would not have had the courage to wear it…

      I saw it at Penguicon, and I was impressed. Nice work.

  5. Heck, if that’s the same Jay Maynard behind the Hercules project,
    he’s got my unending respect for that wizardry alone, no matter
    what he happens to look like or choose to wear. (Not to imply that
    I know more than jack or squat about IBM mainframe architecture or
    the emulation thereof, but to pull off something that ballsy on
    a screwy architecture like x86 must take some deep magic.)

    1. Yes, I’m the same guy. (For the curious, the project’s page is here, on my home server.)

      I can’t claim credit for most of it, though. The original program was written in reasonably portable C by a very smart guy in the UK named Roger Bowler, and a whole bunch of talented folks have contributed as well. Some parts of it are my work, but my main contribution these days is release engineering, serving the home page and CVS repository, speaking about it in public, and getting the occasional classic operating system loaded and running under it.

      There’s no magic there. (In particular, there’s only one piece of x86-specific code, and it’s not required to run the system. My main development box is an iMac.) There’s just a lot of carefully coded C that does the job, perhaps not as quickly as if it’d been written specifically for the x86, but with a much broader audience.

      1. And there’s another connection I hadn’t made. I was running tests on Hercules to try to figure out a problem with some financial data I was mangling a few years ago … and now I can say thank you for saving me a week or so of meaningless drudging through vast paper stacks of data! Of course it didn’t work *perfectly* (since the rather arcane hardware the bank used wasn’t supported – and never ever should have existed, if you ask me), but I could run the basic JCL batches on a few dummy chunks of data and that was all I needed.

        Thank you!!

        1. It’s amazing how much easier debugging is when you have your very own system to play with, isn’t it?

          Let me guess: your bank used one of the IBM check sorters (1279, 1419, or 3890, IIRC), right? $DEITY, those things are kludges. Emulating the 1279’s hideous timing requirements would be next to impossible. Of course, without a stack of checks to feed it, it’s not a big deal in any event.

          I used to be an MVS/CICS/VTAM systems programmer, once upon a time. Even now, I scare myself when I fire up MVS and see just how much I still remember…

          1. I’ve suppressed (actually never fully known) the actual designations involved, but yes, it was an IBM. Hooked to a Tandy, for some purpose, as well (always just known as “the tandy” at the bank). Or possibly just getting data piped from or to it. The setup seemed rather arcane to me. I was just happy when I could grab an image a very friendly admin managed to get on CD for me and run it (barely) in Hercules. The main problem was to feed it data, but the admin had some ideas (and was mightily impressed when my laptop ran his big iron software), and as I mentioned, I got enough to solve the problem in a couple of days as opposed to over a week. Excluding the time the poor admin spent getting an image for me, that was apparently a bit more work than he expected.

            I never was directly involved on Big Iron. I started some 20 years ago on small systems, and have stuck with those. I was always in awe of the VAXen at the university, but never got to play with those. I was stuck on first 8 bit systems, then the SUN workstations and servers (which was nice enough, admittedly).

            On a smilar note, I find it’s very interesting to see how all the smart big iron system solutions are starting to appear on small machines (well, small by todays standard), and being touted as something all new and revolutionary. For all our preogress in computer technology, in some ways we’re not in the least ahead of where we were in the late 60’s. There are even patent applications in the works for technology that has been in common use on Big Iron since the 60’s … and they’re being approved by the patent office. The future just ain’t what it used to be.

  6. Human beings have a herd instinct.

    Any deviation from the norm is looked on with emotions ranging from curiosity to suspicion to hostility. Of course, this is somewhat balanced by the human instinct to stand out from the herd.

    It’s an unfortunately common tactic that some seek to stand out from the herd by attempting to make their aggression out to be their distinguishing characteristic, and use it to further their
    social ambitions.

    Translation for Tagon: Bullies are jerks who seek to make themselves look big by picking on people and stirring up crouds so they can get girls.

    (Darn. I can’t get it into words of one syllable.)

    1. I think Tagon would still get it, though he’d have to repeat it to himself a couple of times. “Get girls” would be the magic phrase.

          1. Re: Speaking Neanderthal

            I’m sending Captain Kerchak straight over to Scott Kellogg’s place for a Few Pointed Words. 😉


          2. Re: Speaking Neanderthal

            Ha! 🙂

            Well, I’ll just have to be careful not to say that in his (or Tagon’s) presence. I don’t want someone going “American Tourister” on my skull. 🙂

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