Okay, so I chimed in on this round of RaceFail. Over on Dreamwidth, because I'm tinkering with the idea of using it for essays and stuff, and I haven't disabled the include-in-search-engines option over there.

Cultural Assumptions vs. Cultural Appropriation (AKA How a Midwestern Gal Wised Up And Started Hating the Tone Argument)

In non-serious content, the new Star Trek is still SHINY. And was it just me or did the engine room look straight out of 70's British SF rather than USian? I.e. what refinery did they borrow this time? And there is goodfic and fun conversations.
AKA How a Midwestern Gal Wised Up And Started Hating the Tone Argument.

First, before I cut for the fact that this is going to get long:

If you are new to the whole thing we call RaceFail, or to discussions of cultural appropriation and racism in fiction, go somewhere else. If me saying "the tone argument" doesn't ring any bells, this is not the post for you. Not because I don't want you here, but because there are many, many more important things for you to read.

(Capsule definition of what I mean by "the tone argument": It's when an argument gets heated and someone says something like: "you'd be so much more effective at arguing your cause if your tone wasn't so angry".)

Read Ann Somerville's timeline and follow some links. Go to [livejournal.com profile] rydra_wong's tagged linksummary posts.

Because the last thing I want to do is derail. Years and debates ago, I learned that "the tone argument" was a bad thing because it derailed serious conversation. And that made sense -- especially with the latest round, since you throw a discussion about language and linguistics and interpersonal psychology into a room of geeks and it's like a cartoon ferret with a disco ball. And this is definitely a spur topic. Which is why I'm putting it here, on my own little piece of siding, rather than stuffing it into a comment in someone else's space, in the middle of a worthier argument.

I've told you who my intended audience isn't -- let me also say who it is. I'm writing this for other people who are in my six-months-ago shoes -- people for whom the "tone argument" feels valid, and who are having trouble realizing why it's so pernicious. And for anyone playing 101 professor who wants some insight into why people like me are being such dingbats.

And now we go behind the cut. )
valentinite: The Seventh Doctor: experiencing a significant gravitas shortfall (seven & ice)
( Jan. 7th, 2008 10:28 am)
With all the random slamming of acafen I've been seeing lately around ([livejournal.com profile] metafandom, why do I read all your links?), I'd been feeling kinda down on fandom.

Then Kotaku linked this, a mostly-fluff but still fun piece on how RPG/MMORPG quests parallel classical oral epics. *hugs* the internet. I miss being able to be a recreational classicist. (It was my minor in college; those classes kicked my ass up one side and down the other and I loved them to pieces.)

And for the PW folks reading this, I really ought to write up how closely the games follow several patterns in classical tragedy. Video games *are* a literary form, and thankfully some bits of academia have started to see that.
I never really quite believed authors (fanfic or otherwise) when they said the characters talked to them in their heads.

Somehow, managing to actually post a few things appears to have opened a floodgate in my head.

At least Dahlia Hawthorne has SHUT UP, 'cause that was getting more than a little disturbing. Though the fact that she's been replaced by Ron DeLite singing U2's Vertigo in my head is not especially encouraging.

The kink meme is kind of awesome, just for making me actually write something. Writing is both craft and art; I don't think I'll ever be an artist -- I just don't have that much raw creativity, but I can work on craftsmanship. (The last is not intended to be self-deprecating; it's true. I am an engineer by training, trade, and inclination; most of my intellectual pursuits are analytic, not creative.)