Tuesday, August 23, 2011

what do failfans think "conversation" means?

I just had the following twitter exchange:

Stephanie Leary
ArmadilloCon comm: clueless or hilarious? They've put Shetterly as the moderator of the Class Issues In SF/F panel.

Will Shetterly

 I proposed it. The identity politics gang doesn't get to claim class is your issue, 'cause y'all usually ignore it.

Stephanie Leary
 ... I'm part of a gang? This is news to me.

Will Shetterly
 Then why are you amused at the idea of a panel about class?

Will Shetterly
 You're not among the folks who invoke "intersectionality" and then ignore class?

Stephanie Leary
 Oh, I'm not amused by the panel's existence. I'm amused at the idea of your being on it, much less moderating it.

Will Shetterly
 Yes, because you're among the folks who prefer to slight class issues. No worries. I'm amused by neolibs, so all's cool.

Stephanie Leary
 No, I just think your history shows that you're the last person to lead a useful discussion on this topic.

Will Shetterly
 Yup, 'cause neolibs hate people talking about class who know anything about it. Y'all are all about shutting down discussions.

Will Shetterly
 Given y'all's history of banning, black lists, and censoring con guests, what do you think "discussion" means?

Naturally, she ducked that question. Can anyone answer it?


  1. Oh boy, is that going to be a panel. Good luck!

    . . . and you already know the answer to that question. A 'discussion' is a contest to see who can use the most buzzwords, and say the most while showing the least amount of privilege. I've read transcripts from Wiscon.

    If people have different opinions and try to express them rationally within the anti-everything community, that's called a 'fail.' (see: E. Moon)

    To be fair, I don't recall seeing S. Leary's name anywhere. She might just be someone who's heard of you as the internet boogieman that the feminist sf blog and K. Tempest like to make you out to be, and never actually looked into racefail. You might want to point her to your history of it, in case she really doesn't know what happened.

  2. (Also, re: internet boogieman, I'm always amused at the way they won't use your full last name, as though doing it might summon you like Bloody Mary. That's a pretty good sign she's not part of the hivemind, she actually used your name.)

  3. Emily, a few of them will use my name when they're feeling very, very brave. It's cute.

    But you may be right. She may just be someone who has an opinion about something she knows nothing about. Ah, the internet.

  4. I think for some people a discussion is "an opportunity to make other people look dumber than you feel", but I cannot be entirely certain that the failfans subscribe to that definition.

    Ah, yes, I wrote a bad poem to that effect once:

    I have decided to implement
    A declaration of sarcasm
    Meant to maintain the greater glory
    Of me.
    I will no longer show any restraint
    When dealing with those who are unarmed
    By lack of a brain.
    Glorification of verbal wit is what matters.
    Actual knowledge may be a bit of a drain
    In such battles,
    It is easily avoided.
    Yes, I will henceforth be the epitome
    Of American debate
    Where the true intent is, and ever shall be,
    To make the other side look stupid.
    And so, all who see me
    Will know
    That I am Intelligent.
    Hear me roar.

  5. It's all very tiresome. I don't know why everybody doesn't just spend their time petting cats or building killdozers or something instead. They'd probably be happier. (Well, they would be assuming they didn't get in the way of one of the killdozers, anyhow.)

    Good luck moderating the class issues panel. I hope it is interesting (in a good way) for everyone involved.

  6. It'll be interesting. I've been on a couple of pleasant class panels, but the last one turned out to be a disaster. As I've noted before and will note again, conventions have been doing panels about race and gender for decades, but class is still new and touchy. I'll try to do a write-up when I get back.

  7. I haven't read those, but I should. Based on things I remember from 'net discussions, Ore is very interested in these issues. Thanks!

  8. (This is st_rev at livejournal. Won't let me post under openID.)

    A lot of the racefailers/SJWs learned their ideology in an academic setting--and there are few relations more abjectly authoritarian in US society than professor/student. A 'discussion' in a classroom is usually a carefully monitored affair directed to a predetermined end.

    I think it clarifies the behavior of SJWs when you realize that many of them are un/semiconsciously adopting the demeanor and tactics of their own teachers.

    cf. the use of the word 'derailing', something I spent a lot of time trying to decipher back during R*c*f**l: http://st-rev.livejournal.com/264856.html

  9. st_rev, excellent analysis. I doubt I would've gone beyond the superficial. My only addition is I suspect some of the failfans are teachers, so they expect the rest of us to behave as their students always have.

    I think their slogan should be, "Shut up—the conversation is about to begin."