May 31st, 2007


What are my feelings about fandom?

What are my feelings about being female? Or having hazel eyes and impossible hair? Being a Fan is part of my self-definition. I've been active in fandom since my mid-twenties, but that was because I couldn't figure out how to be active before then.. My favorite reading material was science fiction and, later, fantasy, and I've loved Star Trek since I was three. Nothing felt so right as watching those tv shows or reading those books, except talking about them and writing my own fic about them.

My best friend in junior high school was a fellow Star Trek fan I'd met in a hotel in Pennsylvania - we spent hours in the motel pool quoting episodes and we were delighted to discover she lived in a different neighborhood in Brooklyn. And we had hours long phone convesations where we tortured our favorite characters. Literally. (She loved Chekov and wanted him to suffer.) Gina, are you out there?

It got me through the traumas of high school and college. I wrote reams of Star Trek fanfic in college, and I collected every book I could find.

And when I did find my way into organized fandom (thank you, Debby, for bringing me to that Blake's 7 con, even if it would be over a decade before I set foot in a media con again), I found myself. I found the people I could talk to the best, where I had skills that people appreciated. Where I was considered attractive. And I found friends that I still have, that I hope I always will have.

It's where I found the way into being religious (thank you, Harold and Becky); it's where I found my husband, another Fan. It's where I belonged. Belong. SF fandom still plays a large part of my social life, our artwork comes from convention art shows and we organize our vacations around conventions. Which we attend not to see any particular writer or artist, but so we can see our friends, participate in discussions, buy books from people we know and spend the night singing in a circle.

And when I rediscovered media fandom, I found a different home. SF fandom has lots of women these days - we've pretty much reached parity. It's not the boy's club it used to be. But in media fandom - especially but not exclusively slash - we've carved out a woman's space that is very rare these days. And I've met some of the most amazing women this way, some of whom I consider friends. And I wouldn't have met them at all if I didn't want to see Paris and Chakotay together.

I'm a fan because that's as much a part of who am as being Jewish, as being female, as being *short*.

Mama Deb

Timing of apologies

Even in the best of circumstances - when there is nothing else going on, when there is space for thought - if one makes a major mistake, it takes time to apologize. The worst thing one can do is to just rattle off a statement without considering all the ramifications. In fact, we saw just that in barak25's response to CNET - poorly worded, panicked and, over and above talking to the press before the users, making things worse.

And this was not the best of circumstances. They weren't sitting around thinking, "Okay, that's done." As soon as the suspensions happened, they got complaints, and they had to be operating in complete panic mode from then on.

Panic mode is a bad time to make apologies.

It's even worse when everyone (and for good reason - I especially approve of maxing out the comments in news because it showed we were more than passive users and why we were angry. I still have some doubts about fandom_counts, but this? This was well done.) starts complaining and posting and linking and so on at once.

So - the fact that he apologized in 30 hours? And that he did it well - not perfectly, but well (We made a big mistake. It was our fault. We're very sorry for making the mistake and for all the harm we caused, and we are working to correct it as fast as we can. This is why we made this mistake and we did it wrong, and we are very sorry. No defensiveness, no insulting the users, just sincerity and, okay, fear.) - it's impressive.

I'd rather have a well-thought out apology than one that makes things worse.

And I thank gmth for what she said.
Mama Deb

Well, I was wrong

Fandom on LJ is still a small part of the whole, but it is active and it is loud and it is determined, and it got its collective voice heard.

I'm very happy to be wrong.