Thursday, June 10, 2010

about failfen, failfans, facerailing, and facerailers

Failfen and failfans both mean "fans of fail." Fen is an old scifi fannish plural for "fan." Lately, so many people are fans of fail—there's even a failblog—that it just seems like time for the new words.

Brad R. Torgersen coined facerail:
The word rail when used as a verb means, “to utter bitter complaint or vehement denunciation (often followed by at or against.)” During RaceFail, such railing was the hallmark of the discussion, with the self-appointed guardians of SF community political propriety railing at length against various authors, editors, publishers, other fans, and so forth. The attitude was one of, “in your face!“
Facerailer is useful because there's not a single subject or community to identify the subset of the scifi community that rails in the many Fails. The core group once centered on LiveJournal and Wiscon, but many have migrated to Dreamwidth, and some have never been to Wiscon. They became most visible during Racefail 09, but they were involved in earlier and later fails that had nothing to do with race, so facerailers or failfans are convenient names for them.

I also like facerailers because so often when I hear what failfans have done, I want to facepalm.

Added 6/11/10:

The most objective place I know to see what failfans are excited about is Fan History Wiki. Unlike the failfan sites, Fan History lets all sides add to the record. They've covered:

But no one site can keep up with failfandom. If you don't mind one-sided histories, Anti-Oppression Linkspam Community is useful, though it's currently on hiatus.

Some especially amusing fails:

Amanda Palmer and Ableism: Failfans do not believe in writing about conjoined twins.

Amanda Palmer and the KKK: Failfans do not believe in joking about the Ku Klux Klan. Whether you can joke about Nazis has not been determined. Hogan's Heroes and The Producers were before the failfans' time.

Mammothfail: The premise of an alternate history novel: Humans never came to the Americas until a few centuries ago. Failfans think this is genocide, even though the descendants of the people who came to the Americas are alive and well in Asia in that history. Whether alternate histories like The Man in the High Castle in which the Nazis won are anti-Jewish has yet to be determined.