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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation


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i'm avoiding my actual work
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
A few days ago, whilst reading poisontaster's meta, Why Is There Not More Shunning, I hit a comment that I'm still thinking about. And not even due to Care Bear trauma for distraction.

vee_fic wrote here (partial quote):
On the other hand, I tend to agree with cryptoxin describing the JournalFen cluster of comms as the "rogue judiciary" -- especially now that UnfunnyBusiness is up. You show up on F_W, it's because you acted wanky; you may know what is silly behavior by what shows up on F_W. You show up on UFB, it's because you acted in a way that makes rage; you may know the borders of fandom's anger by reading that comm. The existence of the two places -- and the distinction between them -- are educations in the (changing) parameters of acceptable behavior within fandom.


One, I'd like to find the post that cryptoxin discusses this in, because wow, that is kind of the nutshell of what I haven't been able to articulate.

I kinda agree. I know Unfunny Business isn't one of the direct wank offspring as stated: more the unacknowledged bastard hate child of OTF by way of Deep Thoughts during a drunken one night stand, but it *does* have the same feeling. In retrospect, I'm also surprised it didn't pop up a lot sooner; the borderlands between snark at pretentious and anger at stupidity can be narrow and crossed easily most of the time, and I think a lot of people go both ways when we get hit with something and we'd like to indulge both. Miss Scribe (bad_penny comm) was funny as hell, but it was also, for those intimately involved, hideously painful either in present or in the past.

Examples: OSBP was enraging and also hilarious by turns depending on what time of day it was, because you couldn't help staring at the arguments and wondering if some of them really were aware what they were saying*. The SPN stealth-comm takeover arrangements leading back to a history of comm-coups in SPN. SVA Vs JKR in all it's weird glory.

Usually, I can get the general tenor how fandom is thinking if I hit Fandom Wank, UFB, Wank Report, and MetaFandom by turns and not just on the fandom-eating issues. Sure, every once in a while, like OSBP, something hits us out of nowhere, but also, I'm not really sure it does. I'd bet money if you traced metafandom over six months, you could work out a fairly good predictive model for blow up probability. Whether it goes all-fandom wide or not is trickier**.

It becomes trickier when I think of dogpile versus shun and why we wince when we see it or do it, and I'm not entirely sure it's Cult of the Nice or Geek Fallacy or even World of Women that's the base theory behind it. I think it's the same reason Miss Scribe lasted so long, why some fanpeople can get away with a *lot* of shitty behavior, and why most of us won't and don't even consider doing a reveal of someone we know who screwed us over outside filter and likely do it only over AIM to loyal parties only. Sometimes, I think no one wants to start a war and find it turned on them. It's a lot safer to wait for critical mass to get hit and have a comm pick it up.

Pretty sure I had a point here. When you find it, that is totally what this entry was about. Not rambling at all.


* - for the rest of my life, I will never understand how the OP could talk about the shy, insecure women who tentatively asked for breast-enpowerment through groping and not realize how fucking creepy that was. I don't think any phrase ever skeeved me as badly as that one in how it was both worded and that it existed at all. And there is no way that could have been worded by anyone that it wouldn't have set off every alarm I have installed, both pre-installed and society-created models.

** - I've often wondered if the explosion in OSBP is related to the Mary Jane debacle that some of us walked out of feeling vaguely shell-shocked and nauseated by turns. At least for me, seeing the same reworded statement in defense of the former that were posted in the latter under anonymous (and those charming flames, fun) was enlightening. I don't often go from zero to DIAF that fast.


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I think your point is, perhaps, fandom is getting better at seeing where some of the lines are, and how not to conflate them?

I agree with the point about unfunnybusiness. There are plenty of people I want to point at and mock, but it's not really a fandom_wank kind of mocking, where I am laughing at the same time. It's more like dear god, how do you continue to breathe with your rampant stupidity kind of mocking. The Rodney McKay School of Horror, maybe.

and I'm not entirely sure it's Cult of the Nice or Geek Fallacy or even World of Women that's the base theory behind it

I think it is. I think women especially are programmed to be mediators, to not delight in the pain of others since we're so "empahtic" or whatever. And to a degree, I agree. I like playing the mediator. It assuages my ego, and there have been times when it's been successful. But the whole dog-piling-is-bad thing really pinged my Cult of Nice buttons because it has the potential to trivialize and sweep under the rug something that really shouldn't be. It's not always used that way, but I think if more people adopt that dog-piling is bad, then it can be. And, in fact, will be.

Oh, Buffyfandom. Your scars are as deep as your joys.

See! I am just that brilliant with my points.

I think it is. I think women especially are programmed to be mediators, to not delight in the pain of others since we're so "empahtic" or whatever. And to a degree, I agree. I like playing the mediator. It assuages my ego, and there have been times when it's been successful. But the whole dog-piling-is-bad thing really pinged my Cult of Nice buttons because it has the potential to trivialize and sweep under the rug something that really shouldn't be. It's not always used that way, but I think if more people adopt that dog-piling is bad, then it can be. And, in fact, will be.

Yeah. But I do think at least a part of our general reaction is very few people want to be hit with backlash or a counterattack, and fandom in general is pretty comfortable fighting a war on both sides. So if you start? There's a better than average chance you will be under attack in short order. And the bigger the issue, the higher the likelihood.

It's a lot safer to wait for critical mass to get hit and have a comm pick it up.

Have FW and other JF comms do the "dirty" work publicly, maybe? Because in the past I've recognized stuff there that has been brewing for a while, but with this LJ thing not being a full time job, I get that most fen don't want to risk a backlash.

Because in the past I've recognized stuff there that has been brewing for a while, but with this LJ thing not being a full time job, I get that most fen don't want to risk a backlash.

Ohhh yeah. And for the average fan who doesn't want to be the center of even a justified flamewar and teh backlash, it's pretty much their only hope.

borderlands between snark at pretentious and anger at stupidity can be narrow and crossed easily most of the time

You can definitely see this in how much crossover there is between the JF comms and the Stupid_free comms.

I was kinda surprised to see the double over, both in topic and users and oddly enough, general feeling.

::tsk:: Camping is horrifying. Duh.

No, seriously, I think that your last paragraph was honing on the point; we often don't speak up because we don't want the horde to turn on us. I've done that.

Precisely. And hoards have very bad sense of direction. They could turn at any time.

Because I am tired and non-brainy today the point I got was - John is hot.

Yeah I fail at fandom feminism. I did spend quite some time looking at your icon, though.

...I don't even know what my points were. I think they were vagueing thataway.

Yes. John == pretty.

Found the original cite: here.

This is why I call fandom_wank the rogue judiciary -- without them, even as a symbolic panopticon, there's no third party to whom you can address [...] objections [against hobbyhorsing].


(My conviction that JournalFen is our pan-fandom knowledge-base was ultimately confirmed by how people used F_W during Strikethrough: it became the home-away-from-home, a gathering-place for news, comfort, organization... and not very much mocking at all.)

I do think it's important, the precedent that has been slowly set that disagreement is not prima facie wank; that precedent did take a while. And I presume there was a lot of effort I didn't really see in bringing that about; anyway I know zvi_likes_tv actively put forward "imbroglio" partly as a way to uncouple the discussions collectively called "racewank" from the concept of "wank (that just happens to be about race)".

We do need a way to talk about discussions that get heated that aren't wank. I think the habit's been too long set, and also, the general feeling that fandom shouldn't be taken too seriously. Which is true, except when it *should* be.

My conviction that JournalFen is our pan-fandom knowledge-base was ultimately confirmed by how people used F_W during Strikethrough: it became the home-away-from-home, a gathering-place for news, comfort, organization... and not very much mocking at all.

Oh yes. It's a very safe place for people to go when things go wrong on lj; that's part of the reason I finally got an account there last year, though I'd been reading it since it opened. I *do* use the journalfen wank comms and related to get fannish news that might not show up normally or even in metafandom. and wank report, in a good week, is fantastic for tracking what's getting people upset. Though what makes it to fandom_wank seems to be more random sometimes (still utterly amazed the spn comm appropriation thing didn't, but that was a bad server week as well), at least one of the comms will have *something*.

And I agree on teh judiciary. I wasn't a huge fan of fandom-wank at the beginning, but I do appreciate the fact it *does* show up seriously mockworthy behavior (mostly) and publicizes things that sometiems should be publicized.

'd bet money if you traced metafandom over six months, you could work out a fairly good predictive model for blow up probability. Whether it goes all-fandom wide or not is trickier

Oh yeah, definitely. Some week when I have a lot of spare time I want to use metafandom and the del.icio.us tags to trace the evolution of one of the big recurring fandom conversations over time, because I am fascinated by how the discussion does shift and prevailing opinion changes, it's just very gradual.

I really really really wanna find an alt. word for dogpiling in a situation like LM and her fucking RPG. Much like Zvi came up with an alt. word for wank.

Because it pisses me off to no end to have legitimate debate- even, no ESPECIALLY emotionally loaded debate- dismissed as 'not being nice'.

I also want to state for the record that I find the OP's post about 'dog piling' passive aggressive as hell. Which is, in my opinion, way less respectable than any of the alternatives already presented here.

Because it pisses me off to no end to have legitimate debate- even, no ESPECIALLY emotionally loaded debate- dismissed as 'not being nice'.

It *is* irritating, but I can see (with only some of them) where they're coming from when they see that. It's easy to conflate legitimate and emotional debate with the more personal fear that if they posted something they didn't mean to be controversial, they'd be hit with a full inbox after waking up in the morning.

There's a discussion about your meta here.

Huh. Didn't expect that one. *thoughtful* Less fannish police, though; more fannish barometer. One day, I *will* have a term for that one.

Thank you!

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