Well stated, and very true. And the bad part is, not all tribalism is bad. It stems from a very deep part of our psyche that recognizes that sometimes, ‘the other’ is very much out to get us. And if we aren’t on our guard, they’re likely to punish our lax attentiveness.
That said, we jump far too easily in fandom into these camps of ‘extreme otherness.’ Where our disagreements over politics (ideological and personal) become reasons to doubt the intent of others, and pile all sorts of vitriol upon them.
I can remember when all of us dreamed of having a BIG sci-fi/fantasy tent. Well, here we go. Can we check ideology at the door enough to keep it a big tent? I would like to think so. Note, I’m not saying don’t read or write anything ideological. I’m just saying I would love it if we didn’t go down the road of so-called ‘lit-fic’ which has become nothing BUT ideological shilling at the expense of all pretense of story. Because the tent will get very small then. No matter ‘whose’ ideology wins the shouting war.
I told George R. R. Martin I’d be writing this post — as a result of some of the polite dialogue we had at his LiveJournal page. His basic question to me was, “How can you, as a guy in an interracial marriage, put up with some of the racist and sexist stuff (a certain person) writes on his blog?” I thought this a valid question. How indeed? I didn’t have the space on LiveJournal to unpack all of my thoughts and feelings on the dread ism topic, so I thought I would do it here.
When I was a teenager, concepts like racism and sexism seemed easy to understand. People who are sexist, think the opposite gender are inferior human beings. People who are racist, think people of opposite ethnicities are inferior human beings. Both concepts are morally wrong. What seemed obvious, was obvious. I’d had this idea spoon-fed…
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