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Some thoughts
This should really be a post about how I spent today - my birthday - and yet it isn't because I have something else on my mind instead.  Fandom and more specifically the fact I am feeling totally disillusioned with giant aspects of the SF community right at this minute.  Not only disillusioned but really quite angry and really, is it worth being angry about?  Probably not, so I will get it off my chest here, in my own little space and just move on with my life.

There are discussions, rants and accusations going on around the place on LJ and Facebook about the Ditmars at this last Swancon in particular.  Things are getting very personal and frankly not making anyone look much good at all.  In the past few months I have seen a very ugly side of the fan community and it's processes and of the people who are supposedly its leaders - the ones who are meant to guide the ship with good thought and fairness.  And now this ugliness.  Taking the shine off people's hard work and achievements and leaving it smeared in poo.  For what?

I have always felt a bit like a spectator in fandom. I don't really belong to any faction within it but always felt safe and respected for just who I am and I have been respectful of what people were doing around me.  I loved the fact there were writers, publishers, avid collectors, readers and people who just knew extensive random stuff amongst us...and that people seemed cool with that.  This last year I have seen too much evidence of hierarchy, rank pulling, name calling and just generally calling people out and this makes me feel really sad.  This is not the inclusive community I thought it was, the one which appreciates volunteers or people who do things for the love of it.  When did it all become about not only being the best but also making others look or feel bad in the process?

The thing is, I really believe all this anger and heartache really isn't worth it.  What is a Ditmar at the end of the day?  What is a Swancon?  These are fun, nice things to have in life but they aren't life changing.  Nobody involved in any of these pursuits is doing anything life changing or important in the scheme of things.  They aren't saving lives, the environment or bringing world peace.  Granted many are doing such things in their private and professional lives including myself as a mother and I see these achievements as far worthier than any piece of paper or perspex handed over in a brief ceremony once a year.

On that note, I just want to say that these recent events really are making me question whether this is a community which represents me well, whether these are people I want to share time with and whether I really want my own child to be a part of it in the future.  No doubt between this Swancon and next my thoughts will settle...

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I don't know about Ditmars. But I think Swancon was lifechanging for me. I'd been pretty much alone with nobody with similar interests around until I hit university. There I found MARS and some with similar interests, but it wasn't until Swancon that I was surrounded by people with similar interests. Some of the people I met there I still know and am friends with today. Others, in Swancons to come would become best friends, and change my life in ways I could not have dreamed of when I was that lonely teenager. Who knows. If I hadn't had Swancon and the friends I got through it I might not have made it through the last twenty years.

I do however acknowledge that however much we love having a place that seems like home, it is created by all of us, and we are all humans, and we all make mistakes. There is always politics, and the best we can do really, is to try and be aware of who we are and what we do, and not be one of the people that makes things harder for others.

Edited at 2011-04-28 03:46 pm (UTC)

Do keep in mind that this Ditmar controversy is generated by an astonishingly small part of the community. And that YOU represent the community far more than they do.

Well said.

Thinking of you.

I agree with Robin too.
You far more represent what I see as important to Swancon than what the Ditmar discussees do.

I think you're awesome, all of you. A lot of your hard work has made this convention happen too, and while things didn't work out the way we would have all liked them too, your work helped make this con amazing.

Am obviously not in the network because who is accusing who of what? Thought the Ditmars were a lovely display of fannish celebration. Hate this aftermath.

I don't know what happened during the year, but I hope that you are still able to find some pleasure in future Swancons.

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