Thursday, July 14, 2011

quote of the year if you care about the many fails of scifi fandom

"The interwebs have far too many wannabe undergrad/grad lit-crit radfem queer-theory politicos out to nail 'race-gender-class-fail' even if it means becoming exactly what they think they hate, and I, for one, couldn't care less what they believe. They are Nil. Remember how the Wicked Witch of the West met her end in Victor Fleming's 1939 adaptation of The Wizard of Oz? Well, toss a bucket of indifference on these fools, same thing happens." —greygirlbeast from "Kids want to be so hard..."

Why didn't I figure that out in 2007? My best guess: My egalitarianism has meant I meet everyone as an equal and argue with them the way I would argue with Steve Brust: at full speed with no body protection. I forget there are people who say they want equality and actually want privilege.

14 comments:

  1. Yeah, that's a good post. The best way to deal with those people is probably to quietly ignore them until they either go away or shout at each other in their echo chambers.

    Though it's unfair to lump all academics with an interest in genre or fandom in with the failfans. Some are reasonable and don't throw a fit when an author disagrees with an interpretation of their work.

    BTW, did you notice that the incident that prompted this response was an author arguing (politely) with a failfan's deconstruction of their work and daring to do so under an openly pseudonymous livejournal handle (much like coffeeandink in the old days), which infuriated the failfan. I guess pseudonymity is only for failers now.

    Anonymous for obvious reasons

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  2. I'm sure greygirlbeast would agree that those folks are not representative.

    I did track it back to its source. Last I checked, my politics and Steve's were as different as could be, but there, he was right and Jha was wrong. I left a comment, but Jha is another of the folks who locks herself in a box, then shouts what she thinks to anyone who will listen while pretending she's brave, so I doubt it'll appear. It was short, basically saying that I agree the author doesn't always know everything that's going on in a book, but when it comes to basic matters of what's in the text or barely below it, screaming about the author's privilege doesn't make the reader win.

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  3. Rather than giving up on reading fantasy, I think the reasonable response would be to give up reading fantasy criticism. But these people are hardly reasonable.

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  4. I could be wrong here, but I think that in order to be reasonable, you have to be able to reason.

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  5. I am unable to parse your best guess in the last paragraph, but am unpersuaded that anybody who doesn't want to argue with you the way Steve does is demanding privilege rather than equality.

    P.

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  6. It might be they want shielding rather than privilege. I dunno. Special treatment of some form, anyway. What I do know is that if you plan to dish it out, you have to be prepared to take it. The game isn't played with us naked and you in full armor.

    I understand why the sentence is tricky, but I don't see a fix tonight. Maybe I'll look again at it in the morning.

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  7. Pamela, I changed a comma to a colon. Maybe that'll help.

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  8. Excellent. I'll add that as another label for posts currently tagged "failfans".

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  9. Gawd, every time I read one of these "arguments" about people arguing I get sick to my stomach. (And I love a good clean argument in RL.) I don't see how name-calling is helpful. Good grief. And anti-intellectualism, which that quote might be--I can't tell with all the name-calling--anti-intellectualism makes me nervous. It makes me think of Stalin and Pol Pot who used anti-intellectualism as an excuse to kill millions. And anti-intellectualism is so prevalent in our country now. Anyway, just saying...

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  10. Kim, she's referring to a very specific subset of academics who delight in name-calling. If anyone's like Stalin or Pol Pot, they are--their targets refer to them as McCarthyites and Maoists because of their desire for ideological purity.

    It is not anywhere to go for anyone with a weak stomach, so I don't recommend following up on this. If you have any friends or acquaintances among them, I don't know who it would be, but I know their "shit lists" have included people you care for.

    I hope I haven't intrigued you, because that's not my intention. It's a malicious clique who believe their ideology will improve the world. They're not worth your time and soon, I hope, they won't be worth mine.

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  11. I see: it was specifically about sf-fandom. I didn't notice the title of the post. Duh. Sorry. I guess I should be grateful I am completely under the radar. I detest bullies of all stripes. And I don't like name-calling. Although I do it myself sometimes. But you know my feeling about all this: arguing online never goes anywhere. No one is really listening to anything except the sound of their own fingers over the keys.

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  12. Kim, I wish that was completely true. But they delight in setting google-bombs for folks who're playing under their own names, so when those people are googled, their accusations come up. It's very ugly, and you have enough ugliness in your life, so don't worry about it now. They mostly have power to hurt people who care, and my caring has gone from 100 to 1 in the last couple of years. It'll be zero soon.

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  13. Thanks for the punctuation. It was useful.

    I don't think all of your interlocutors approached you as if there were going to be that style of argument, but there is no point in rehashing the entire business. There's been too much of that already.

    P.

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  14. aspyre, she made an excellent point. I'm going to stop mocking LOTR from now on--though I only mocked bits 'cause I loved so much of it.

    Pamela, true, and I'm sorry for them. I always try to answer people in the style they address me, but when dealing with a mob, the mob's actions outweigh those of any individual within it alas.

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