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Lakeshore
An author of no particular popularity

Jay Lake
Date: 2009-03-05 05:51
Subject: [links] Link salad comes back to Oregon
Security: Public
Tags:art, conventions, culture, funny, links, movies, music, personal, politics, publishing, science, tech
Steampunk Song #1 - The God-Clown Is Near — Previously linked to this in a beta state.

Selling Worldcon to the Publishers — Cheryl Morgan sticks her hand in the sausage mill, but I think she has a very good point.

Is writing for the rich? — I certainly don't make a living off it.

Hard Working Fail — So very not safe for work, so very funny.

Frank Plant, man of steel — Fun with art. I'd love to own this particular piece.

Roger Ebert reviews Watchmen

A Nameless Intra-Irish Pene-Enclave — Map geekery.

Centauri Dreams on subglacial lakes

Portable powerTechnology Review on new-to-market tech, in this case, affordable fuel cell chargers for portable devices. If true, this is very cool.

The Superior Civilization — Ants: the aliens among us.

Republicans Threaten to Block Obama's Judges"But it was only a few years ago that the GOP was willing to blow up the Senate in order to eliminate the filibuster entirely. They told anyone who would listen that every judicial nominee deserved an up-or-down vote without exception. Apparently, the Senate Republicans have the collective memory of a goldfish." I hope one of my conservative readers can tell me why core Republican principles now require this minority opposition when just a few years ago core Republican principles utterly dismissed this minority opposition.

?otD: Where in the whirled is Carmen San Diego?




3/5/2009
Body movement: 45 minute stationary bike ride
This morning's weigh-in: 222.2
Currently reading: The Confidence-Man: His Masquerade by Herman Melville; Black Blade Blues by John Pitts


Originally published at jlake.com.

Post A Comment | 15 Comments | | Link






Edward Greaves
User: temporus
Date: 2009-03-05 14:45 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
It certainly seems to me that writing for a living as a sole source of income is an uphill battle these days. Based upon what appears to be a stagnant pay rate for authors.

I'm not sure, though, that it means it is going to become only the province of the rich.
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Rose Fox
User: rosefox
Date: 2009-03-05 15:57 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
If you have a moment, I would love to hear your thoughts on this.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2009-03-05 22:03 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I reached a point quite some time ago where any possible comment I made on that topic (including simply being silent) was interpreted very negatively by a fair number of people.

Since my name is inextricably placed in the number one slot on the RaceFail list, about the only thing I can do is remain silent.

My sympathies and convictions, as always, are very much on the right side of this, but my ability to credibly express myself in the eyes of most observers is long gone.
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Rose Fox
User: rosefox
Date: 2009-03-05 22:12 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Since my name is inextricably placed in the number one slot on the RaceFail list

Hahahaha! I think Elizabeth Bear, Teresa Nielsen Hayden, Kathryn Cramer, and W**l S*******y have you pretty thoroughly beat by now. You're probably not even in the top ten.

I'm sorry that fear of negative interpretation is getting in the way of speaking your mind on the issue. I suspect there's quite a lot you could say that would be easy to respect and difficult to misinterpret, but I certainly support you in your choice to disengage if that's what you need to do.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2009-03-05 22:20 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
You misunderstand me. My name is quite literally at the top of list, on rydra_wong's timeline.

A post which was meant to acknowledge cultural appropriation and white privilege quite explicitly (and still does on my own multiple re-reading of my words) was widely interpreted as racist and a denial of white privilege. And those were the people who were being nice about me.

When I tried to speak to it, I was told that in speaking, I wasn't listening.

When I tried to listen, I was told that in being silent, I wasn't engaging.

When I tried to talk about my own (substantial) experience of race, I was told that I was displacing. (I was also told my experience of being a parent of a person of color was irrelevant, which was both grossly insulting and flatly untrue.)

When I tried to talk about others' experience of race, I was told I was misappropriating.

So in the end, disengagement was the only option.
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Rose Fox
User: rosefox
Date: 2009-03-05 22:39 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Please let me know if at any point you would prefer to take this discussion to email, or consider it closed. I'm happy to follow your lead there.

Having said that, I think I have two separate responses to the above.

As someone who is personally quite fond of you, I think it really sucks that that experience was so difficult and demoralizing for you, and I especially think it sucks that it discouraged you from further efforts to speak up against racism and oppressive behavior. That must have been really hard for you, both being shouted down and feeling that the opportunity to be a useful ally was taken away from you. You have my sympathy.

As someone who is interested in encouraging all allies to be out, loud, and proud in useful ways, I would respectfully suggest that if lots and lots of different people repeatedly misunderstand you, you should reconsider the ways that you're communicating, as Occam's Razor suggests the fault is most likely to lie with the single broadcast rather than the very varied and numerous members of the audience. Of course your initial post makes sense to you and sounds reasonable to you. If it doesn't make sense or sound reasonable to all these other people, though, does it serve your purposes? Maybe it's just a matter of clarifying those purposes, for yourself if not for others. I still don't really have a sense of why you made that post when and how you did.

This whole ally business is hard, hard work, and we all screw it up sometimes, but for me, the risk of screwing up and being called on screwing up--even being called on it in ways that are offensive or otherwise difficult to listen to--is still lower than the risk of feeling like crap about myself if I don't keep trying. I may disengage sometimes, but I always come back. I hope you come back someday too, and reclaim your soapbox with a renewed, sharpened intent to name your purposes, name your intended audience, and say your piece in a way that will be heard.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2009-03-05 22:47 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I certainly take your point about being perceived a certain way by a number of people, and have thought that through, a lot. Insofar as I can tell, almost everyone who took that view of me came to the post already looking for the offense, and found it there, as I was -- not to put too fine a point on it -- set up as an example early on.

Which is another reason for my disengagement.

The initial branding of me was done by someone I had long considered a friend, who knew perfectly well I am (or try to be) an ally, but was using me (and the initial commentors on my post) to make a point. Much of the rest of the discourse where my name cropped up was from people inside the activist community to whom I was just another apparently clueless white man, with no knowledge of my positions or history on this topic, either in the blogosphere or through my fiction. All they had was an accusatory label, and a white face in an icon.

While my words obviously communicated this reading to those folks, I was thoroughly framed in both the Lakoff sense and in the more casual sense. Another reason for my withdrawal from the discussion was that the frame rapidly became impossible to defeat, given that to all appearances I was nothing but a white man arguing against accusations of white privilege.
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Rose Fox
User: rosefox
Date: 2009-03-05 23:07 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I just went back and reread your post--working from primary sources and all that--and I think the problematic content was there all along, in the reductio ad absurdum of the third paragraph. I certainly agree that sparks were thrown by some pretty inflammatory comments, but that strawman was fuel for the fire. And while many commenters weren't aware of your history, your post made little reference to the history of such cultural appropriation discussions, so there was a lot of missing context that got filled in (as so often happens) with guesswork and assumptions.

All of that said, I don't think this is something that can't be recovered from. I think every single person who's screwed up in this discussion can recover from it, maybe as easily as by making a single one-paragraph post, and that most definitely includes you. (I'm happy to make suggestions along those lines if you want them.) The only question is whether it's a priority for you.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2009-03-05 23:13 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Frankly, I'm way too burned by the whole thing to have any desire to address it publicly in the foreseeable future. I've actually broken my own rule-of-silence wide open in this discussion, which I probably should have taken to private as you suggested.

It's profoundly frustrating to have spent my teen years and my entire adult life working very hard to be a good guy, an ally, and be taken down so utterly by a combination of my own words and the misinterpretations of others.
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Rose Fox
User: rosefox
Date: 2009-03-05 23:17 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I'm sorry, I didn't realize you had a rule of silence, or I wouldn't have raised the topic in the first place. I will drop it, and leave you with my sincere sympathy for your frustrations.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2009-03-05 23:20 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Oh, this is fine. You didn't break my rule of silence, *I* did... All good, my friend. But I think I am recloaking now, on this topic.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2009-03-05 22:49 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Note that I have experienced neither a failure of nerve nor a loss of my own convictions. Rather, I have been brutally convinced of the pointlessness of my speaking out on this topic, even as an ally, in the recent and current environment of the blogging community.
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Rose Fox
User: rosefox
Date: 2009-03-05 22:55 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I am really sorry to hear that, especially as I've seen several other allies speaking up in ways that seem productive and helpful, so I do know that it's possible to do. I hope you can find some way to go about it someday.
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Danny Adams
User: madwriter
Date: 2009-03-05 18:18 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I think writing is far less the province of the rich than it used to be, at least when you look at history overall. Take the patron system, for instance: it existed through much of written history (no pun intended), and while the writers themselves may not have been rich their patrons certainly were. Writers may be getting paid less now than they used to relatively speaking, but I think overall more writers are getting paid now than before.
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wyld_dandelyon: dragon reading
User: wyld_dandelyon
Date: 2009-03-05 19:36 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:dragon reading
I also would love to hear the Republicans' justification on the judge thing. After all, there wouldn't have been any "crisis" of having too few judges when W took office if the Republicans had been willing to approve President Clinton's nominees. From here, especially with them apparently planning to filibuster to block Obama appointments, it looks like they deliberately created a crisis and then took advantage of it, betting that the American people will forget their prior stance in favor of an up or down vote for all judicial appointees. But maybe I'm missing something.
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