Much of my novel, Dogland, is autobiographical, though I compressed things that happened as late as '65 into '63 for what seemed like good artistic reasons at the time. I was beaten for speaking out for civil rights. My family could not get fire insurance because word was out that the Klan would burn us down. And still, I continued to march in protests and to speak up in school, because I knew that you should not cower before cowards.
So, when I invoke the Klan, I do not do this lightly. I do this because I've paid dues that most failfans are incapable of imagining.
Now, I don't mean that I'm not at all afraid of failfans. After all, they use tactics that the Klan would approve. Here's the short list that springs to mind:
- Death threats, delivered to people's work places (see the terrorizing of Rachel Moss) and transmitted electronically (anonymous phone calls then, anonymous email now).
- Black lists.
- Threatening the family and friends of their targets.
I completely understand why most of the people they attack will dive for cover. They've never faced a self-righteous mob, and they fear that if they don't submit, they'll pay a professional price.
That's a price I'm happy to pay. Compared to the Klan, failfans are pikers. They're children of privilege whose definition of privilege preserves their own privilege. They hide behind anonymity and pseudonymity because they love to hurt and hate to accept responsibility for what they do. They mock because they are afraid to engage. They should be beneath anyone's notice, and most of the time, they're below mine.
But when they do something especially egregious, I'll document it here. There's a book someone should write about subfandoms gone feral. I may not write it, but I'm happy to keep the notes.