Living for the Revel (catvalente) wrote,
Living for the Revel
catvalente

Fucking Boring

So people have been pinging me, asking what I think about the recent Apex blog post by Gustavo Bondoni, in which he makes the tired, treadworn, dare I say fucking boring argument that the PC hellhounds are going to force us all to have quotas in all anthologies (just like corporations do! Which is why upper managment and CEO ranks are just full of women of color! Wait...) and those icky untalented, universally unqualified girls and POC will force out deserving white dudes.

I had no intention of acknowledging that thing, because it's tired and fucking boring to see a guy (who is not white, let's note, and who has at least once been published in the World Book of SF, benefitting from some anthologist's sadly misguided attempt to bring diversity to the field) stand up and pretend he's a maverick for defending the old system and the status quo because we live in Backwardsville now and somehow it's radical to say no one should ever have to think about anything ever. The Apex blog is a group blog with equal access to a lot of opinions and none of them necessarily reflect the opinions of the company I work for--I just edit the fiction, kids. It is literally impossible to work for an idiot-free company.

It surprised me that people asked what I thought about it. Y'all know what I think. I'm not going to wake up and be all: you know what? He's right. Those table of contents, free of female, queer, and non-white voices, are really the way it should be, with maybe the occasional Le Guin--but you have to be a literary giant to play ball in the minor anthology leagues that mediocre male writers mess around in every day. Otherwise, why bother with them? It's not like they're real writers. More like lettuce. In fact, I hereby resign from writing forever so that some poor, unheard, marginalized white straight male voice can have a moment in the sun before being swamped by the aforementioned hellhounds.

Yeah, not going to happen.

So really, y'all just want to see me drop some truth on that fool, and you know, I'm ok with being a truth-dropper. So here it is.

That post? Was designed to piss us all off. It was designed to get a nearly completely unknown writer on a little-read blog a whole lot of pageviews and the kind of attention little kids want when they smear jelly all over the walls for the fifteenth time. They know they're wrong, but mommy and daddy yelling at them is better than being ignored and lonely. There is a certain kind of (usually guy--not to make vast generalizations about groups of people or anything) that gets off on angering people on the internet, and it usually comes down to the fact that they don't get pageviews and comments for being nice. It's hatecrack, and they can't put down the pipe.

I don't think what ensued was "spirited discussion." That's like calling McCain and Palin's repetition of the word "maverick" stirring rhetoric. It's tired and it's fucking boring. And the thing is, we have to apply the Stupid or Evil test to it. Is Bondoni so stupid that he genuinely thinks, despite no one in any ToC debate calling for quotas that small press anthologists are in thrall to an evil cabal of women who want to be published and somehow called down the moon to get the power to do so (because we just aren't talented without our feminine magicks)? Or is he evil, promoting exclusion, mockery, and a completely uniform literary landscape where only the culturally powerful are ever given space? You be the judge.

I'm not saying "ignore the bully and he'll go away." Nope. Shred away. It's what he wants, so he can continue to feel persecuted, and very likely keep believing that the mythical PC harpies are why he's not a star of page and screen. It's fun to feel persecuted--if you're persecuted, it usually means you're right, and at the mercy of wicked souls. It's not actually fun to be persecuted, but if you can get that feeling while sitting at home with no one oppressing you? Profit. He's using us--because he knows he can't get the internet crowds to look at him any other way, he simply calls us playground names. And that's what the phrase PC is these days--name calling. No one who actually believes in not intentionally hurting other humans uses that phrase anymore. It's pretty much solely used to insist that mobs of people who don't look like the user are constantly beating down his door to force him to be nice. Poor fucking baby. My heart bleeds for you, sweetheart.

The thing is, I'm tired of reading those arguments. No one who says that shit is the daring maverick they think they are. Congratulations, dude. You have aligned yourself with the Sith the most mainstream, incurious, undemanding, hateful, damaging part of Western culture, and told us all you're proud to do so. You are not speaking truth to power. You are speaking shit to the marginalized. We're all so proud of you. There ought to be a parade. What a brave fucking precious soul.

So yeah, that's what I think. I think I don't have time to educate and have "spirited discussion" on topics that are fucking boring and banally evil. I have all this writing to do. For anthologies that somehow, magically, without quotas, manage to publish my queer female ass without passing out from the PC vapors. And reading to do for the magazine I edit that somehow, magically, has no problem publishing women and PoC every month out of hundreds of submissions from those very groups alongside white straight men--it's actually not that hard, and I've never used a quota. (Just last month I was worried I had no good submissions from men and would be publishing all women until a great story by a man came in at the last second--but see how I was worried about diversity? And how my submissions are mysteriously not utterly free of women and PoC as is so often claimed? And yet I am FINE and not oppressed? FUCKING HARRY POTTER UP IN HERE.)

If you want to see it all taken apart point by point, I suggest nihilistic_kid 's comments on the original post. All you're going to get here is a Cross Cat and some f-bombs.

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