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You know, I wasn't paying much attention to racefail'09 when it first started cropping up here and there as passing mentions in other people's livejournals. I figured it was another fandom drama thing that would implode in a colossal poof of wank after a week or so, and then we'd all as a collective internet move on. I do don't really do fandoms precisely to avoid this sort of ignorant wank in the first place.

But it's still going on, and proving worth paying attention to as more fans and readers and writers coming in to toss their $0.02 into the discussion. Much of it is so facepalm inducing that I'm on my way to developing a callous on my forehead to rival Wesley Willis'. And some of it is really thoughtful commentary on why it is indeed important to have more perspectives, cultures, and ethnicities represented in SF/F.

Some good has come out of it, and I don't mean established writers inadvertently proving themselves as jackasses. I mean things like karnythia starting verb_noire. Things like the effort to get readers of color to collectively tell the fandom/genre that yes, you know, we'd like a few books that didn't trace back to Tolkien and European folklore. and despite the fair amount of IM NOT RACIST KTHXBAI, it's actually a pretty damned interesting dialog on how pervasive internalized racism actually is. So... out of blue comes green. Its also jump-started the gears for my own writing projects... I spent most of the time today waiting for Dad to finish his doctor's appointments scribbling, and damn, that was a good feeling.

Some links:
Reasons to care about racefail
Racefail: the beginning
A tale of layers
So, racefail... (commentary on Patricia Wrede's The Thirteenth Child)



( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 15th, 2009 05:20 am (UTC)
LJ: the most tempest-prone teapot since Usenet.
May. 15th, 2009 05:23 am (UTC)
I'm saying. Swine flu == somebody sneezed into [info]cdc_wank
May. 15th, 2009 05:37 am (UTC)
As always, xkcd puts it best.
May. 15th, 2009 11:14 am (UTC)
..what the hell is all this?

In simple, please? the internet wank is raising my urge to kill.
May. 15th, 2009 05:03 pm (UTC)
I don't even know if I can sum it up succinctly because it's is a many tentacled creature of wank. The "Reasons to care about racefail" is a good place to start.

Long story short, writers and fandom of the genre are finally getting called on the overwhelming Eurocentrism of the whole scene, and in well intentioned efforts to backpedal and be all "What, we aren't racist at all! What you talkin' about Willis??" various people within the community are inadvertently making themselves cases in point. See a couple of posts back where Lois McMaster Bujold basically said that science fiction readers of color didn't exist before the internet (and how wonderful it is that they finally do!) and the collective facepalm that ensued.
May. 15th, 2009 08:53 pm (UTC)
Lemme get this straight. people went "why don't these folks write about people of color" the writers went "OMG We're Not Racist KTHXBYENEGRO" and People got all pissed off?

Well..I wouldn't write about white people..cause I couldn't properly portray a white person without probably hitting a TON of cliche and insulting non-sense. It's probably similar with science fiction writers. stupid comments aside, you (and by you, I mean the people continuing this inter-wank) are asking socially inept people to sympathize and be insightful about people outside of their race (and not a completely made up race) and not either white wash them (which would happen..) or create insulting caricatures.

*blinks* Personally I'd tell ya'll negros to go to hell, and I write about what I want. don't like it? don't buy the book.

May. 15th, 2009 09:09 pm (UTC)
I couldn't properly portray a white person without probably hitting a TON of cliche and insulting non-sense

Ohhh trust me that happened too.
May. 15th, 2009 09:57 pm (UTC)
Frankly, I tend to find it more amusing than anything. Japanese portraying Americans, Americans portraying Russians, and Russians portraying Americans = lulz. Japanese portraying Russians = epic lulz. "zodoraasutobuite"
May. 15th, 2009 02:27 pm (UTC)
I guess this is to be expected. And *welcomed*, really. Our norm is deviating, our cultural cheese is being moved. There's going to be a flurry of yeas and nays, some resistance, some insistance, and eventually we open our minds a little bit and take that small jump to the left. Wash rinse repeat. It's a *good* thing to grow up, but it involves a lot of hubbub.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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