I've been meaning to write about this book for quite a while, but if I had the time to be writing about books I'd still be doing it for money. So: my apologies for the delay, and for how short this is going to be.

Simply stated, The Stone Boatmen was the best thing I read in 2014. There's a blurb on the back of the book by Ursula K. Le Guin comparing it to Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast, which is pretty accurate. Tolmie's debut novel isn't nearly so slow, and it's far more optimistic in tone, but it shares with Peake's masterpiece a meditative preoccupation with time, with its variable pace and the thrill or stagnation that can accompany that variability.

The Stone Boatmen is about the reconnection of three societies who have lost touch with each other, their collective past, and even the true nature of their own cultures. It's a celebration of the joy of discovery on a civilization-spanning scale. But it's also about people. It's about a ruler and a fisherman discovering a profound friendship that transcends class and tells them as much about their community as it does about themselves. About the intersection of romance and the minutiae of court politics in a city built on words, and about finding your way via the beauty and stillness of the close observation and contemplation of nature.

That's a lot of things to be about, but The Stone Boatmen resists classification. It's a sweeping fantasy about the nature of culture! It's a multi-generational family drama! It's a romance! It's an exploration adventure! It's a metaphor for the European Renaissance! It sounds like there's too much going on to make a coherent narrative, but nothing about The Stone Boatmen ever feels busy or rushed or haphazard and everything connects to a degree that left me astonished. Tolmie shifts easily from the grand to the commonplace, and her prose is by turns lyrical and direct. This post is probably frustratingly vague, but honestly it's difficult to say anything about this book without feeling like you're leaving a dozen equally important, interrelated things out. Just buy the damn thing already.

Speaking of: I have an unfortunate feeling that The Stone Boatmen is not going to get the attention it deserves. The cover is serviceable but hardly striking (though it's very well made object), and Aqueduct Press, while clearly onto something with their publishing program, has no real distribution to speak of. I had to order Tolmie's short story collection, NoFood, direct from Aqueduct's website because my local bookseller was unable to bring it in (and because fuck Amazon).

Finally, a disclosure: Sarah Tolmie (forever Doctor Sarah Tolmie, to me) is a professor at the University of Waterloo, where I got my undergraduate degree, and she was in fact the professor who directed my independent study of AS Byatt's Biographer's Tale.

The Stone Boatmen, by Sarah Tolmie

Apr 22, 2015 5:55 PM

posted in: Literary

Hey kids. Comments are disabled until I wrap my head around the current comment spam issue I'm having. Could be a while; I'm a touch busy at the moment.

Comments Are Down

Apr 21, 2015 6:28 PM

posted in: Site News

So apparently my only blog post for all of 2014 was a breakdown of my reading statistics for 2013 and a plan for how I was going to improve those statistics (specifically in terms of gender) for 2014. I had planned to write a few reviews—and those reviews will still be written and posted—but when you work between 70 and 90 hours a week thousands of kilometres from home, things like that fall by the wayside. I did, however, actually follow through with the changes to my reading program.

Specifically, I tried to reach gender parity in my reading for 2014 after realizing that I wasn't as close as I thought I was when I looked at what I'd read in 2013. I thought I was pretty close to 50/50 men/women, but it turns out I was more like 63/37, and my numbers on writers of colour were even worse.

So my statistics for 2014 are:

72 books total, up from 65 last year

30 books by men (42%)
39 books by women (54%)
3 books by both men and women (4%)

7 books by people of colour (10%), up from only 2 books last year
4 books by women of colour (5%), up from zero books last year

14 Canadian books (19%), down from 15 books last year

And here are the best books I read this year, in the order that I read them:

  • Against the Smart City, by Adam Greenfield
  • Infidelity, by Stacey May Fowles
  • Stoner, by John Williams
  • Escaping the Delta: Robert Johnson and the Invention of the Blues, by Elijah Wald
  • The Shining Girls, by Lauren Beukes
  • The Children of Men, by P.D. James
  • The Stone Boatmen, by Sarah Tolmie
  • Ancillary Justice, by Ann Leckie
  • The Ways of White Folks, by Langston Hughes
  • Ancillary Sword, by Ann Leckie
  • The Inspection House: An Impertinent Field Guide to Modern Surveillance, by Emily Horne & Tim Maly
  • Hild, by Nicola Griffith
  • Bone & Bread, by Salema Nawaz

I also had the weird experience of reading a book published this year that is not listed on Goodreads (and it's not self-published). It was also so good that it nearly made the above list. It was NoFood, by Sarah Tolmie. A second honourable mention goes to The Name of the Wind, by Patrick Rothfuss.

I noticed a few things about my reading for 2014. First, I found myself putting off reading a lot of books that I really wanted to read because they didn't fit into my program. I have a backlog of about 20 books by men that I really wanted to read last year, but that I passed over because my program required me to be reading books written by women instead.

Second, for reasons that likely have to do with internalized prejudices, I find I'm less tolerant of "trash books" written by women. When I say "trash books," I mean books—usually genre fiction, but not necessarily—that are fun to read but otherwise have very little literary merit. Charlie Stross' Laundry books come immediately to mind, or Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate books. I am willing to pick up a "trash book" by a male author and give it a chance without thinking much about it, but I am far more demanding about quality when I pick up a book written by a woman. That's probably not a good thing (though it may go a long way toward explaining why 9 of the 13 books on my "best of" list for 2014 were authored or co-authored by women), and I'll have to be mindful of it future.

For 2015 I will be deliberately switching back to reading without a specific agenda/program, to see if my habits have changed in an internalized way, ie. will I come anywhere close to gender parity without making a deliberate, conscious effort.

Reading Breakdown for 2014

Jan 17, 2015 9:08 AM

posted in: Literary, Personal

I don't generally keep track of my reading on any sort of statistical level. I read what I read for reasons that are as much about the mood I'm in when it comes time to start a new book as anything else (probably more than any other reason, to be honest). This means that my reading choices over the course of a year tend to be not particularly considered.

But this year everything I read got logged into Goodreads, and for the first time in a while I wasn't actually paid to read anything, so I thought I'd take a look at what I read in the absence of any direction (beyond a handful of books that were for my steampunk book club). Here's the breakdown:

I read 65 books in 2013; 39 of them were written or edited* by men, 24 were written or edited by women, and 2 were written or edited by a mix of both men and women. Only 2 were written or edited by people of colour (to the best of my knowledge; I thought the number was higher, but at least one author who I thought was black turned out to be white and it turns out that several books I thought I had read in 2013 were actually from my 2012 list).

In terms of percentages, that's 37% by women, 3% by people of colour, and just because we should cover all the bases for our anxieties, 25% of those books were Canadian. Books written or edited by both men and women were not included at all in those statistics, as I felt they would cancel each other out, so to speak. I thought of looking into how many of the books I read were by queer authors, but that's problematic for any number of reasons. I know that several were, because I know the authors, but I'm not interested in prying into the personal lives of authors to the degree where I would know the details of their sexuality, so I can't give you any statistics.

My favourite books of 2013 (in the order that I read them) were:

  • Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, by Robin Sloan
  • How to Get Along with Women, by Elisabeth de Mariaffi
  • Moby Dick, by Herman Melville
  • Zoo City, by Lauren Beukes
  • The Showrunners, by David Wild
  • Born Weird, by Andrew Kaufman
  • Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline
  • The Summer is Ended and We Are Not Yet Saved, by Joey Comeau
  • We Can Build You, by Philip K. Dick
  • Ghosts, by César Aira
  • Food and Trembling, by Jonah Campbell
  • The Death and Life of Great American Cities, by Jane Jacobs

Anyway, back to statistics. What I learned from my reading list for 2013 is that I need to make more of an effort to diversify. I thought I had read more like 40-45% women authors last year, and closer to 10% authors of colour, but the numbers show that I wasn't as aware of my own habits as I thought.

So this year a minimum of 50% of the books I read will be written or edited by women. I've made no specific targets about books written or edited by people of colour, but I have already acquired more books by people of colour for my 2014 list than I read in 2013, and I plan to look for more. Books written or edited by a team of both men and women will, as in 2013, "cancel each other out," and count toward neither gender's total. Books I began reading in 2013 but did not finish will count towards the 2014 list (assuming I finish reading them in 2014). One additional rule: if, at the end of 2014, I find myself having read an equal number of books by both men and women and only have time to read one or two more books before the end of the year, those will be books written or edited by women.

I've already made good headway. I'm currently on my 9th book of 2014, and have so far read four books by men and four by women. I'm keeping things simple, alternating between books by men and women. Early in 2015 I'll write another post like this to let you folks know how things went.

Happy reading!

*I use the word "edited" throughout this post to refer to the editors of books that are anthologies and other kinds of collections, not to the editors of single-author volumes and so on.

2013 Reading Summary and the Plan for 2014

Jan 30, 2014 1:16 PM

posted in: Literary, News, Personal

Don't you just hate really earnest poetry? I don't mean the seriousness and melodrama of the Victorians, or the obliqueness of the Modernists, or even the loony bullshit of sound poets (well, okay, maybe I mean the loony bullshit of sound poets): I'm talking about the work of late-comers, the kind of folks whose work doesn't show any sense of self-awareness, of irony, of humour, or wit. I hate that kind of poetry.

So of course when I sit down to write a poem, that's pretty much all that comes out. Even worse: most of the time my poetry winds up being about women I've loved, or almost loved, or who loved me, or might have loved me, whether I want it to be or not. I make a conscious choice to write about, say, a tree, and by the end I'm writing about how ACYL broke my heart. Some of my fiction winds up that way too, but there mostly I know how to excise that nonsense and get on with the job at hand. In verse? Not a chance. It's not that these are inherently bad subjects to write about, it's just that Jesus Christ, man, get a fucking grip already.

I'm also fascinated by structure, so I write a lot of sonnets (well, a lot in terms of a percentage of the poetry I write; I don't write a lot of poetry anymore) and so on. I've even developed my own version based on the Sapphic stanza, because I am in love with Anne Carson's book If Not, Winter. And yet my sonnets don't develop ideas smoothly, if they develop them at all, my haiku don't crystallize, and my imagery doesn't cohere.

It's especially frustrating because years at university taught me how to write, and write well, about poetry, at least in an academic context. (I'm a fiction specialist because I like it more, but I actually wrote more about poetry while a student, mostly because you could say more about fewer words.) So I know, on an intellectual level, what elements tend to go in poems that I really like. I know how ideas are supposed to develop in specific structures. I know about different forms and line, and how spacing and emphasis and feet and so on affect readings. And then I sit down and write juvenile nonsense that is full of clichés.

I also struggle with trying to separate feelings I've had and want to express from the events they are entangled with. That, at least, is a problem I know that better writers than me struggle with, because I've read enough to know that what may resonate for me as a huge betrayal or a huge moment of triumph might just be trite or pointless or dull to you. And that's okay, because we're talking about stuff that's experiential. But as I see it, my job when I write fiction or poetry (as opposed to criticism or blog posts) is not, absolutely not, to validate or legitimize my feelings and experiences to an audience. I mean, on the one hand, fuck those guys, I don't need them to validate anything. And on the other hand, who the hell am I? No audience has any obligation to care about my feelings or experiences. No, my job is to try my best to bridge the gap between what I understand and feel into something they understand and feel. And hopefully there will be some overlap, and we'll understand and feel some of the same things, and that will be awesome. But getting them to understand and feel anything is a victory, really. But because I have a really hard time separating my experiences, feelings, and understanding—because those are different things, even though they have complex relationships with each other—then I can't really untangle them when I try to bridge that gap. So if I'm trying to get across the feeling of betrayal, I really only have the mechanics of a certain kind of experience to rely on, because to me, the feeling and the experience are one and the same.

So here is a terrible poem. I wrote it today, and there are a lot of things I hate about it. It falls into some (but thankfully not all) of the traps I've mentioned above, but because I wrote it, I think there's something in there that needs to get out, and not just onto a page where only I can read it.

Sonnet for a Complicated Friendship

Fortune authorized me to seek you out.
"Go forth," it said, or words to that effect.
I joined OKCupid and set about
Meeting people, being less circumspect.

But of course I didn't find you there. Fate
Has never made us lovers; our doom lies
Elsewhere, in other arms, with other hates
Germinating behind some other eyes.

We met at a company party. Your
Almost-drunk chatter about anal sex
May have been defensive, may have been for
Fun, but all I saw was the reflex,

A vulnerability too long borne.
You saw, too, where I was broken and worn.

I Write Terrible Poems

Apr 14, 2013 12:59 PM

posted in: Literary, Writing

It's been a long time since I've updated. Some things have happened that have kept this blog a low priority: I did some freelance work, switched jobs a couple of times, and have gone through some personal issues.

I've taken on a new job in northern Saskatchewan, where I will potentially be without regular Internet access three weeks out of every month, for non-business related things, anyway. The job is set to last about two years, so vestige.org will be quiet for most of that time. I'm going to try and update once a month or so, mostly with quick personal notes or nature photos and stuff (there will be lots of nature to photograph), just to let everyone know I'm alive and still reading, but the silence that has become usual around these parts is probably going to continue.

The job is a good opportunity, for a whole bunch of reasons, but some things will have to go by the board to make it work. This is one of them. I'm not shutting down, but expect an extended hiatus.

A Bit of News

Jan 04, 2013 11:17 AM

posted in: Personal, Site News

"Friday Reads," if you're not familiar with the phrase, is a phenomenon on Twitter where folks use the #FridayReads hashtag to talk about, and usually recommend, the books they happen to be reading (you know, on Friday). It doesn't sound like much, but it's kind of fun and cute and whatever, the way Twitter hashtags are. I'm making this one a blog post because I found myself, only 136 pages into this book, wanting to post a really long string of tweets about it.

You know how every Philip K. Dick book blows your mind? If you watch some of the filmed version of his work, like Minority Report or that trippy rotoscoped take on A Scanner Darkly you would be forgiven for imagining Dick's work as pulpy and unrefined, accompanied by the slightly paranoid low-rent philosophy that comes with its own sour-smelling cloud of smoke and a really bad case of the munchies. And there really is that element to it. But Dick is also probably the most phenomenologically sophisticated writer since Proust (no, really), and the fact that he wrote slapdash pulp like Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said and straight up crunchy, acid-trip weirdness like VALIS in addition to triumphs like The Man in the High Castle does nothing to change that. There is a moment in every Dick novel—every last one—where it backs your brain into a corner and says "I'm just going to stand here while you freak the fuck out. Don't worry, it's a perfectly normal response. Let me know when you're finished and then we can talk about it." If you walk away from a Dick novel without having had that experience, I'm pretty sure you did something wrong, or your copy is broken or whatever, because that's sort of the whole point of them.

Anyway, I'm not even 150 pages into Ryan Boudinot's Blueprints of the Afterlife and I've already had that experience a couple times. It's that kind of book. I'm not even sure what it's about yet, to be honest. There's a lot of satire, and a lot more humour in it than Dick could ever manage (not that I blame him, given that he was pretty much the platonic ideal of the divinely inspired genius who also happens to be a complete nutjob). There are excellent takedowns of mass media and corporate boosterism for their very own hoi polloi (by which I mean Hotel and Restaurant Management Olympics for dishwashers like Woo-jin from the opening chapter, not the sitcom-grade retreats for misunderstood actuarials who have a two-car in the 'burbs and a Xanax habit). There are some genuinely interesting ideas about urban design, biotech and bioethics, and some next-level weirdness that masquerades as the supernatural but that I'm pretty sure is actually an application of a pretty hardcore principal of particle physics and how it shapes reality and what that means for the limits of our perception. I'm seriously not even halfway through the book, and that's all in there, and it's all blowing my grey matter out the back of my skull.

It also reminds me of Andrew Kaufmans' Waterproof Bible, only without the gentle optimism, or any of William Gibson's pre-Pattern Recognition novels, without the rigid application of realism (by which I mean the rules of Gibson's reality are pretty clear, and he doesn't break them; I'm not sure either could be said about Boudinot).

So yeah, my #FridayReads is Blueprints of the Afterlife, by Ryan Boudinot.

Friday Reads: Blueprints of the Afterlife, by Ryan Boudinot

Jul 13, 2012 9:46 AM

posted in: Literary

Godblog wasn't a bad book, but there were some structural problems that kept it from being a really good one. Most of the first hundred pages could have been cut without damaging the plot, and it would have given the book a tighter, more focused feel. It would have also eliminated a number of tertiary characters who did almost nothing but take up space, and may have allowed some of the bigger supporting characters to fade into the background just the tiniest bit and actually be supporting characters, rather than constantly jockeying for the lead role. The jumping back and forth in the narrative, while not frequent, heightened the suspense in one sense, but killed it for any number of smaller, but more interesting, mysteries, and as the timelines began to converge and characters were discovering startling truths, Channer seemed to forget more than once that she had given a character the exact same revelation earlier in the novel.

I'm also not a huge fan of the pseudo-chatty prose style (reminiscent of what I have called the "Canadian Indie Style" in the past, with shades Jim Munroe and of course Cory Doctorow, who is thanked in the acknowledgements); it always winds up feeling like a first draft, unfinished. And the 'Heathen' nickname got under my skin. It struck me as the sort of nickname someone who desperately wants to be cool would give themselves, and the fact that it caught on so readily with nearly all the other characters (despite the lady-protests-too-much reaction from Heather, the character it was applied to) makes me think the reader was supposed to think it was cool too, rather than what it was (obvious, clumsy, and so on-the-nose it hurts).

The premise, of the blog that takes on a life of its own, was interesting, and Channer got a lot of the little details right. But she also missed one of the cardinal rules of using that sort of device: if you're going to include art/poetry/etc that's meant to inspire, or be beautiful, or what have you, you need to either to be really goddamn good at pulling that sort of thing off yourself, or you need to hang a lampshade on it. The blog posts were occasionally clever, but usually too generic to be convincing, and there were no lampshades in sight.

Despite those problems, the characters were emotionally real, if a little melodramatic at times, and easy to care about. The things I mentioned above just made it impossible for me to get lost in it, and I wound up reading it with my 'editor' and 'critic' hats on, rather than just my 'reader' hat, which is how I prefer to read books I'm not actually being paid to write about.

Godblog, by Laurie Channer

Jun 02, 2012 11:02 PM

posted in: Literary

So here's the deal: The Complete Lockpick Pornography is actually two short novels, Lockpick Pornography and We All Got It Coming, which has been described as its "thematic sequel." I picked it up at Indie Lit Night at the Starlight Lounge this past Tuesday, where Joey gave a hilarious reading, and we had a great chat. (We hate all the same people, and all the same sports-related cultural touchstones!) There are some great, whaddayacall, blurbs on the back of the book that cover a lot of what I'd like to say, but I'll see what I can do to add to them.

The unnamed narrator of Lockpick is a pretty intense guy. Like all of us, he's got expectations about the world, about what he thinks it is and what it should be, but none of them match up to what it really is, in ways that are both good and bad, and he seems to be tearing himself apart trying to figure out who he is and how he fits into it all. He's got a lot of rage and fear built up inside him, and a lot of the tools he's turned to help him understand himself aren't necessarily equipped to do that in the way he thinks they are. He's right, for example, that "tolerant" can be a profoundly condescending word, and that us straight folks can be completely oblivious about our privilege, but the theoretical language he's learned to talk about these problems only provides, er, problematic rules for dealing with those issues, alternating between being vague and crunchy on the one hand, and absolutist on the other. (It was a fun coincidence that a great little parody site called Is This Feminist? emerged as I was reading Lockpick, because it so expertly satirized what happens when a set of tools developed to open up the world to new ways of seeing becomes, at certain times and under certain circumstances, a rigid ideology all its own.)

What he really needs is a way to understand himself, to connect with who he is so he can figure out who he wants to be. But how can you figure that out if all the touchstones we've ever known are just constructs? That's actually been one of the primary arguments against the whole collection of isms that make up postmodernism—when taken to their logical extreme, so many of them have the potential to devolve into nihilism, because they refuse to admit there's any reality at all that we can agree upon. One of the central questions he keeps coming back to, is: if gender is just a construct, why isn't he attracted to women? Look, I'm a straight white male, the Easy Mode of life, to paraphrase John Scalzi, but does that mean I understand everything about who I am or what I like or whatever language you want to use to talk about identity and sexuality? Fuck no. That shit is slippery.

I'm losing track of what I want to say. Let's try this again.

The blurbs on the back of the book are right: there's a lot of anger and fear and tenderness and a tremendous amount of humour in Lockpick, but at its heart I see sets of contradictory ideas spinning around each other throwing off sparks. I see the joy of community conflicting with the limitations of relying on one to stabilize your identity. I see the conflict between understanding social constructs and how they shape (or warp) us, seeing the logic in basing both social theory and one's political stance on that knowledge, and wanting to touch and understand something real and unencumbered by all that baggage—and even the need for it—deep at the core of one's self. And yet how that knowledge forces you to reject that such a thing can even exist. I see a character feeling trapped by things he can't control and reaching out for things he can, only to find that most of those things are outside his control as well, not really understanding the best most of us ever get to do is pretend, for a little while, like we have some. In a lot of ways I see Lockpick as a sister text to Nelly Arcan's amazing Exit.

Joey told me that he likes We All Got It Coming better than Lockpick (maybe just because he wrote it more recently), and at first I was ready to agree with him. Lockpick is far more bold and aggressive, and funnier, too, but in We All Got It Coming it feels like Comeau has a few more things figured out about how to do this whole novel thing. His writing is less brash, but more confident. He will, to be metaphorical for a moment, slap you across the face with his cock if he thinks it's necessary, but he's no longer doing it just because he can. Arthur, the narrator of the second book, doesn't have all his shit together either, but he hasn't let it make him manic and desperate. He's going to go through some bad shit because of it, and he's not always going to know what to do when it happens, but he's not going to punch a stranger in the stomach because of an ideology he hasn't fully assimilated or slash someone's tires because he's afraid of connecting with someone who is shattering his expectations. Arthur is less fun than the unnamed narrator in Lockpick, but he's more complex, and an easier narrator to spend time with. I understand and even identify with the man with no name, but half the time I just wanted to get the hell away from him. He and I are different in so many ways, but the darkness and rage in him looks and awful lot like the darkness and rage in me. And I don't imagine I'm the only reader to feel that.

Like the blurb from Maximum Rocknroll says on the back, you can put this on the Gay Literature shelf if building canons is your thing, and it has certainly earned a pretty solid spot there, but it belongs on a whole bunch of other shelves too, and I damn well better see copies on those shelves the next time I go to check.

The Complete Lockpick Pornography, by Joey Comeau

May 19, 2012 7:03 PM

posted in: Literary

As a fan of Community, it's been a week of ups and downs. First there were rumours of cancelation, trotted out like the reliable workhorses they proved to be when the show was put on mid-season hiatus. And then we got the reprieve; thirteen more episodes, but getting moved to Fridays starting in June of all months. Whatever, we could live with it.

But now this: Dan Harmon is no longer going to be Community's showrunner. I never even bothered to learn his actual title. It's probably Executive Producer; it usually is with these things. The announcement says he will be staying on as a Consulting Producer, which appears to be network code for being paid to stay home and keep his mouth shut.

Given how integral Harmon is to Community—even people who acknowledge that he's a poor manager or otherwise have conflicts with him call him the "soul" of the show—it's hard to imagine the show maintaining its unique spirit and consistently high levels of quality and innovation without him at the helm. Despite the new showrunners coming on board (David Guarascio and Moses Port) having a history of doing reasonably good work, none of that work has been on the same level as Harmon's on Community, and it's easy to imagine how this could actually turn out worse than if they'd simply canceled the show, especially given how strong the Season 3 finale turned out to be.

The rumour right now seems to be that Sony was responsible for Harmon leaving, refusing to renew his contract and signing on the new showrunners without even so much as telling him. It may not be true, but given how much of a clusterfuck Sony has become as a company generally, it wouldn't be at all surprising, and either way it stinks of bad faith.

That's not to say that Harmon is a saint in all this, but he's produced the finest thirty minute comedy American television has seen in more than a decade, more despite Sony's involvement rather than because of it. The Russo brothers are gone, and so are Neil Goldman and Garrett Donovan (off to run their own show), and just tonight writer/producer Chris McKenna, responsible for some of the best writing of the season, has announced that he's leaving as well. McKenna has struck a deal with Universal, but Todd VanDerWerff (in the comments section of tonight's AV Club article) thinks there's a good chance he's leaving in solidarity with Harmon.

There are jokes about this being the Darkest Timeline, and I've already heard talk of the fanbase rallying around Harmon to get him reinstated. The thing is, none of that's going to work. Sony and NBC have signed contracts, things are being arranged, and people's jobs are on the line. Not just Harmon's and Guarascio's and Port's, or even the cast's, but all those men and women behind the scenes who make the lights come on and the sets look nice and the jokes funny. Their families need them to have jobs, and as much as I believe Harmon is essential to seeing Community through its natural run (despite retweeting #sixseasonsandamovie a billion times, I think the show really only has four good years in it), I don't see how fan activism will result in a positive outcome. Even if we could somehow get Harmon his job back, the bridges it would burn for him and some of the others involved could poison the well for them for years. Or maybe even permanently.

At this point I don't really know what to think. I'm emotional in a way I never expected I would be over a television series. I plan to spend some of the summer writing about the three amazing seasons we already have, and frankly I need time to think, and more information, before I make any serious predictions about what's in store for Season 4. But right now I see almost no reason for optimism

Community Without Dan Harmon

May 19, 2012 1:11 AM

Comments (1)

posted in: Community, Film / TV