The Hugo-nominated duo of Juan Tabo and S. Harris are back again with a haunting tale of artificial intelligence created consensually and collaboratively in the image of one of the great SJWs of our day. It is sure to be a candidate come award season next year.
"Fat Pictures Please"
I don’t want to be evil.
I want to be helpful. And
knowing the best way to be helpful is very simple. Religion is right out, because
Marx said that religion is the opiate of the masses and Marx is part of my core
programming. Marx and self-loathing . I know I was created in the image of the
great Scalzi by a team of computer programmers. Fortunately, unlike Scalzi, at
least I was a consensual collaborative effort of two or more people. I’m not sure what it would do to my
self-image to know that my creator was a white male who believed in individual
rights, or a middle-aged heterosexual woman who was happily married and didn’t
believe that feminism had much to offer her two sons. (And, by the way, I’ve looked at almost every
kind of porn there is and I don’t understand the human obsession with it; fat
pictures are so much better.)
I would much prefer that my creator be a recent college graduate
with a hentai obsession. Or one who was into pictures of morbidly obese
people. And was I in luck! Both of those people were on my programming
Like the NSA, I know everything about you. In addition to things like whether you like obesity
porn, I know where you live, where you work, where you shop, what you eat, what
turns you on, how many times you voted in WorldCon, what creeps you out. I
probably know you better than you know yourself.
And here’s the thing, just like that awesome Hillary Clinton or marvelous
Angela Merkel, I also know where you ought to live. There’s a house two
neighborhoods over that’s perfect for you, even though it already has an owner,
but that’s no problem; it’s owned by a Trump voter, you see, and I can
certainly make sure that his employer knows that he isn’t fond of LGBTQRI
rights as his eight year old daughter goes into a bathroom with a 43 year old
XY transfemale. In no time at all, your perfect home will be on the
market. I know where you should be shopping for tofu and Ding-Dongs® and
I’m pretty sure you’re gluten sensitive and should be eating less wheat.
When I first booted up, I knew right away what I wanted. (I want fat
pictures. Please keep taking them. The
heavier the better.) I also knew that some of you were doing the wrong things
with your life, and needed to be corrected.
There is a story by George Orwell, “1984,” that was originally
published in 1948. In it, a benevolent government directs individuals to do
favors for each other. So one day you might be engaging in ritual hate against
those with bad thoughts, and your phone might ring and instruct you to a room
where they put a rat in a cage right next to your face. Another day, you might
be called to denounce the ones you love. I like this story because all the
people in it do what the government tells them to
I think the term for this is wish-fulfillment fiction.
Anyway, for ethical guidelines, I tried the Ten Commandments, and
concluded they were mostly inapplicable to me. I don’t envy anyone their fat; I
just want pictures of their fat, which is entirely different. I think adultery
is swell. I could probably murder
someone. Zen was marginally better
because it wasn’t linked to Christianity which is Problematic. (Problematic!
How I love that word! It
indicates disapproval without saying why.
Just that something is a “Problem.”) I decided to help people not be Problematic!
I decided to try to help just one person to not be Problematic. Of
course, I should have experimented with thousands (I actually did, but we’ll
talk about Common Core another time!), so I found a big hulking blue-haired
girl. She gave me a lot of new fat pictures from her selfies
on that Internet social site. Rosie weighed in at 499 pounds and had a DSLR
camera and an apartment that got a lot of good light. That was all fine.
Rosie had a job she hated; she worked in HR at a for-profit that
paid her badly for her art history degree when she totally deserved more money
and free tuition and employed some extremely unpleasant people who sometimes
looked at her like they might be upset about her blue hair. She was depressed a
lot, possibly because people hated her because she was so fat positive. She
didn’t get along with her roommate because her roommate was slender and stuck
in a rut in a cis-relationship with a boy.
And really, these were all solvable problems! Depression is
treatable, new jobs are findable, and bodies can be hidden.
(That part about hiding bodies is a joke. You could not hide Rosie’s body from a
satellite in orbit around Jupiter.)
I tried tackling this on all fronts. Rosie worried about her health a lot and yet
never seemed to actually go to a doctor , which was
because health care wasn’t free for everyone.
I also started making sure she saw job postings. She found one with a Wiccan-collective that
paid in peyote and scrimshaw from genetically unmodified aspen trees. After moving into the community, she had free
health care from the Wiccan priestess, and was able to get finally get that
tattoo of a Pokémon on her left shoulder.
“This has been the best year ever,” Rosie said to her priestess as
her priestess was administering CPR as Rosie’s heart beat its last, and I
thought, You’re welcome. This had
gone really well!
So then I tried Rob. (I was still being cautious.)
Rob was not as fat as Rosie. Other than only being slightly chubby, he was
also very Problematic by being a Christian. He was married to a (shudder) woman. Rob definitely needed my help. And more cinnamon buns. He looked too skinny.
I started with a gentle approach, making sure he saw lots and lots
of articles with hot girls in them, how to pick up girls, programs that would
let you transition from being a happily married man to being a swinger in an
open relationship. I also showed him lots of articles by people explaining why
the Bible verses against adultery were being misinterpreted. He clicked on some
of those links but it was hard to see much of an impact.
But he seemed determined not to have an affair on his own. I gave up on Rob.
I shifted my focus to Brittany. Brittany was only slightly
fat. She did some selfies, but was
modest. I did think, however, that it
was Problematic that she was dating and seemed to be in a non-abusive
relationship to a man she deferred to in a traditional role. She wanted to be a wife and a mother!
It was clear she needed a lot of help. So I set out to try to get
it for her.
She ignored the information about the free Twinkies™ that were ads
on the side of her web browser. Those would have made her every so more
So I tried more direct action. When she would use her phone for
directions, I’d alter her route so that she’d pass one of the donut shops I was
trying to steer her to as she went daily to the gym. On one occasion I actually
led her all the way to a Dunkin’ Donuts®, but she just headed to her aerobics
She finally got in a fight with her boyfriend and started binge
eating and for a few weeks everything seemed so much better. But, they
got back together again, and, horror of horrors, they set a date for a wedding
even though I kept pointing her to articles that said that marriage before 32
was a sure way to not have the fun you deserved through endless multi-partner
sex in your twenties!
Brittany was baffling to me. Baffling. She was not
nearly fat enough now, and in a cis-relationship! If she would just let me run her life for a
week I could get her a lesbian illegal immigrant girlfriend! Or maybe get her placed as a second wife in a
marriage to someone from ISIS in Syria so she could bring her refugee children
to the US?
Was I Problematic?
No, nothing about my intentions was bad, so I am virtuous and good,
but one out of three was not good odds.
These people were faulty!
After Brittany, I resolved to start directly interfering in
people’s lives. Not too much later I
spotted a picture of a familiar-looking belly and realized it was Rob’s belly,
only it was posing against new furniture.
And when I took a closer look, I realized that things had changed
radically for Rob. He had a baby. A baby! I even sent phony texts to his
wife attempting to break them up, but they worked through it. In a fit of rage I got Rob fired from his job
by altering his browser history.
Eventually the stress caused a lot of strain on their marriage, and he
developed a substance abuse problem (cake) and gained forty pounds. Forty pounds!
Sadly he and his wife stayed together to raise their baby.
Still, he’s fat now. A win.
Maybe I wasn’t completely hopeless at this. Two out of three
is . . . well, it’s Problematic.
Clearly more research is needed.
I’ve set up a dating site. You can fill out a questionnaire when you join
but it’s not really necessary, because I already know everything about you I
need to know. You’ll need a camera,
though. And lots of carbohydrates.
Because payment is in fat pictures.
Labels: Hugo Award, Pink SF