Well, not random, I was catching up on my metafandom and fell on top of the entire Readercon thing, which--
Like pretty much most cons, unless I know the people running it, I kind of don't pay attention (except Dragon and Comic--those I keep thinking one day, one day). So I had no context except as a word, but seriously, I know I have no context for the entire conversation (though I've been reading), and I am--torn.
Not torn as, oh, this is totally me! I should be here!, because no, from what I read (given limited context), so I totally made the right decision to limit my involvement in fan con culture to people on my flist who run them. Which is--I don't know. Uncomfortable? My pride got hit, which is the least important of the problems I picked up, but that's like, life, so totes not my primary irritation.
Context: Entries in this metafandom post - my favorite part was the GRE requirement in there somewhere. GRE. Requirement.
I think at least part of my reaction is my troubling relationship with the concept of academia--half my flist counts as acafen, so it's pretty much utterly an impersonal thing leftover from my loathing of every lit class I ever had to take (nothing fucks you up like wanting to be an English major and absolutely hating every literature analysis ever written)**. I'm not sure I can raise that to the level of a prejudice, but more of an instinctive wariness. So IDK.
I will admit, the petty part of me wants to deny I ever graduated high school just from the waving of credentials. That is petty, but that's reactionary to the specific subject, not most of the acafen I know, who tend to avoid using their degrees as a blunt force instrument or a weapon of mass terror.
** My relationship with lit analysis is complicated. It's not that I hate it as a subject; it's the most fun you can have with a keyboard, a text, and a strong sense of enlightenment that doesn't involve chemical enhancement. It's just that most of it I read during my formative years was like someone, somewhere, was mentally envisioning themselves as Moses carrying a stone-bound Ten Commandments--here is what you are missing. I could feel their glee at enlightening the masses, and trust me, my lit classes at eighteen, twenty-two, and twenty-three dramatically hit me the wrong way like an electric shock. At the end of the day, the goddamn crane was a love story, the chick killed her boyfriend and mummified him while teaching students French, and someone should have figured out a lot earlier what was up with that crappy yellow wallpaper***.
And the Lady and the Tiger was about a no-win sitch; the choice was a lot less interesting than the king who forced that choice on her. Let's talk about what kind of a world encourages the creation of a test that asks "what is the difference between love and possession? Let's examine this concept that via a human sacrifice: totes awesome". Let's talk about that.
[Actually, given a choice, I'd talk about how if it had been The Man and the Tiger, I'm pretty sure there wouldn't have been a debate on which door would have been chosen at all. I still wonder why this story is so damn popular at both high school and college level. I don't think I've ever taken a class that involved lit that didn't drag it out and air it again.]
*** There was this book, Spoils of War? Horribly depressingly bleak book--it was like watching a lifetime of relationship and communication failure post Civil War all packed into a single novel, and there was very little porn, which would have made up for the hopeless depression of every damn character. But there was this one part that stuck with me--the ex-wife is locked up in an institution that force feeds her dairy products because women who think too much are prone to nervous disorders and the next step was circumcision, at which point my fifteen year old self discovered personal feminism in a really big way. The Yellow Wallpaper is no mystery once you have read about a woman forced to eat cheese-filled omelets after a nervous breakdown while they mutter about extreme measures so she will stop hating her life quite so much. From the first diary entry, I could see where this was going and it was not good.
I am drinking high-grade coffee and ignoring two WiPs. What else am I going to do at this late hour? You know what would help? aurora_84 reccing more Pinto, kthx.