Jun. 16th, 2010

merricatk: (Bell of Freedom)
[Note: I saved this so I would never forget, and so no-one could ever persuade me I was remembering incorrectly. I'm posting it now (6/16/10) because I'm cleaning off my desktop, and because I'm no longer afraid to post it. But this is the post--this is the issue--that finally got it through my head that I'm not a part of fandom. All names redacted.]

Some are posting this under lock. I'm so, so not.
NO. Fucking. Way.

[lj username redacted] has posted an entry in which she asks fans to each send her the cost of a book, in cash, so she can quit her job and write novels. Oh, and the reason you should do this? Because hey, she's got all those WIPs you want her to finish and if she can quit her job, you'll get the fanfiction you've been clamoring for!

I suggest we let her know what we think of this idea. In strong language.

I clearly need a stronger icon than my "WTF", "CLUE!" and "HULK SMASH!" icons; none of these do my current reaction justice. Perhaps a FUCK YOU YOU FUCKING FUCK, AND BE SURE TO HAVE A SIDE HELPING OF ANAL RAPE icon....

ETA: She's made a second post, with comments open, explaining that *prayer* helped her come to the decision to ask strangers for money so she can quit her job. Well, I guess that makes it all right, then! Can't argue with that - you'd be going against God's will! I better send money!

Interestingly, the other people on my flist who posted about this . . . well, the posts are gone. Or gone from my sight, anyway. So is the one I quoted above, at least as far as I can tell. But the others disappeared very quickly.

I have to say that my feelings about asking for money for fan fiction have changed. I understand that it puts the author in a more precarious legal position, though I don't think it endangers fandom at large. And I understand the asking for money, not because times are hard, but because so often writers are getting nothing in return for their hard work and talent. In the zine days, I wrote to support my fan fiction reading habit. Write a story, get a zine, have something to read you didn't have to pay money for. Life was good.

Now I don't know why to write. To connect with other fans, only I seem to have developed attachment issues. I've watched people find Wiseguy fandom, then wander off after the new big thing. They'll happily read your stories--and happily pillory you for saying you need some human contact. (Not that I handle human contact well anymore; again, attachment issues.) It isn't any prettier if you post saying you can't keep writing if no one will talk to you--the same over the top anger will be spewed forth upon you. So I say, fuck it. Ask for money, because when fandom dumps you for the next shiny, new thing, maybe you'll walk away with at least the price of a hamburger.

And besides all that (see? I warned you I'd been thinking about this!) where is all the moral outrage regarding people who make their livings off fandom? They drown one poor girl in anger and ugliness, but do they use any of that against someone like [name redacted], who is apparently living off her zine sales? Of course not! And you know why not? Because she's one of their suppliers, because she publishes their friends, because they have a use for her. If any of this outrage against making money off fandom was real, there'd be a hue and cry at every con she attended, instead of just nasty snarking behind her back. But too many people want what she's selling.

I've become very cynical.

The original post--the whole lj--is gone. She had disappeared by noon the day she made the post. I think she drowned under a torrent of just plain meanness. I wrote her a private email, telling her (before the shit hit the fan) that she was going to want to duck and cover.

It was suggested that sexual assault would be an appropriate response, though I'm unsure as to just what this was supposed to teach her. I'm assuming that the reason this suggestion was met with such glee was that the suggestion did not come from a man. In fact, I'm assuming that if it had come from a man, there wouldn't have been much glee at all, that those standing on their soapboxes would have switched topics, and those whose soapboxes hadn't been in evidence would have got them out.

I am so tired.

For all of the holier-than-thou attitude fans possess, the truth is we're just like mundanes. If you're a small-time crook, you'll be punished, and harshly. If you're big-time, you'll be rewarded.


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