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[personal profile] holzman_tweed
I concur in full with [livejournal.com profile] rozk in her recent statement regarding RaceFail 2009, specifically in her criticism of specific bad behavior on the parts of Kathryn Cramer and Elizabeth Bear.

Also? This, from [livejournal.com profile] bossymarmalade (via [livejournal.com profile] stoneself on [livejournal.com profile] debunkingwhite) is useful, instructive, and quite elegant.

I haven't participated in RaceFail 2009, largely because of time constraints, largely because of the number of people calling specifically to tell me not to even read it because I have enough trouble with high blood pressure as it is. That's an odd space for me to be in as part of the [livejournal.com profile] deadbrowalking modstaff.

But goodgoddam, I've lost alot of respect for alot of people I really thought were wiser than they have shown themselves in the last few weeks, and that's kinda painful no matter how many times I tell myself you can never guess where The Clue Ends for any given person. ([livejournal.com profile] rmjwell wrote an excellent piece on this a few years back, I think talking about Jimmy the Greek and what might be termed "RaceFail 1988."

For all of my adolescent and adult life, I've had two refuges from the crushing pressure of mundania: Heavy Metal and Fandom[1]. Gaming, Comics, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Filking, Costuming. Fannish parties, fannish friends, fannish lovers, fannish art, fannish music alongside the Metal[2], fannish this, fannish that, fannish the other.

In short, fen culture.

My current gaffiation from Cons does not change that.

Like [livejournal.com profile] truepenny says, I "do not want science fiction/fantasy/horror to be a white-only domain." I'll even go so far to say that to the extent that fandom is not welcoming of all fen, we fail as a community and as a culture. I've lived through us struggling to figure out what that means when the fen who don't feel included are female fen, LGBT fen, foreign fen, old fen, young fen, vanilla fen, kinky fen, Christian fen, Jewish fen, Pagan fen, Athiest fen, Liberal fen, Conservative fen, ad nauseum. I've lived through that same struggle when the fen who didn't feel included were Klingons, Furries, Media fen, Hall costumers, Trekkers, Gamers, LARPers, ad nauseum.

And I've lived through that on both sides amidst controversies great and small.[3]

Maybe the takeaway from Race Fail 2009 is that there's a bunch of fen that fandom is failing, and maybe we should be doing better about that? We write and dream of futures wherein we build better cultures than we have today. Those don't just happen, we build them.

[1] Don't get me started on how sad it is that we don't have more filk based on Metal.[4]
[2] And a great big shout-out to the fannish themes of bands like Hawkwind and Tarot!
[3] I still use "Boskone" as a verb akin to saying someone did a "heckuva job".
[4] And another shout-out to Barry and Sally Childs-Helton for "Stairway to Fandom."
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