I thought about writing a long, thoughtful post about this recent flare-up of stupidity on the internet. Something a little more coherent than my last one. But, honestly, it isn’t going to make much of a difference. Will Shetterly never listens to anyone, he just rants, whines, cries, and then complains about how hard it is to be poor all the time. I don’t even know what Cramer’s problem is.
But I can’t stop thinking about this issue and I can’t pin down exactly why. Part of it is because, well, Will Shetterly. His mere name is enough to upset anyone. Also, I am upset that coffeeandink is so affected by this. Basically, because she said things that Shetterly and Cramer didn’t like, they get to use their power to complicate her life? And for what? What does that accomplish? Silencing tactics from people who ought to know better. Disgusting.
I was talking to someone earlier today about this issue and she wondered why Cramer and Shetterly were focusing on coffeeandink so much. I’m not sure, myself, except that I think Cramer got off a bit too much on the power of knowing that coffeeandink had some association with tnh and pnh in the past. Cramer seemed to think that EVERYTHING hinged on this fact even though, as has been pointed out, that association ended 13 years ago, there’s no evidence that it ended badly on either side, coffeeandink’s thoughts and postings about tnh and pnh were born out of what was said by those two individuals and, can I point out, if they were the result of a grudgewank, it was a really pathetic grudge since she said some fairly level-headed, if critical things. You’d think if there was some kind of grudge she would have, I dunno, been harping on and on about how horrible tnh and pnh are for years. I don’t think I’ve ever heard coffeeandink mention either of them outside of RaceFail.
I’m getting off track.
Okay, so, a friend and I were wondering why this focus on coffeeandink and not anyone else, including the two of us. I speculated that Will Shetterly knows better than to mess with me. Every encounter we have results in him running away with his tail between his legs and apologizing. Cramer may not have bothered because she knows nothing she considers “incriminating” about me. Another layer might be: they don’t know that Tempest is not my real name.
They might suspect, or perhaps they assume, that Tempest is my middle name, since the K is there in front and all. But even so, would they consider me to be an evil Klan-like con artist if they knew that Tempest is no part of my legal name?
I wonder how the two of them feel about that evil, anonymous Elizabeth Bear whose name is neither Elizabeth nor Bear? Well, those are not her first or last names, but they are part of her extended name. Still, is she being dishonest by not wearing nametags at cons that say “Hi, my name is Sarah”?
I bet if either of them ever met Nora Roberts they would go into an apoplexy of rage at her horrendous cross-burning, money-stealing ways!
Obviously, none of these things are happening because, mainly, their position is untenable and stupid, but also because they can’t hurt Bear or Nora or Me by making it so our real names are attached to our pen/nick/pseudo names. Shetterly is busy crying “hypocrite!” every time someone gives him the chance, but he’s standing right in the middle of hypocrite central, therefore it’s hard to take him seriously.
The thing that really galls me is that they act as if coffeeandink is hiding or something, even though she stands by the things she says both in person and online. What galls me is that they have the fucking giant ape balls to accuse her of having no integrity when their actions make integrity run away crying.
Some people have brought up the fact that if you put something on the internet, there’s always a chance it’ll come up later. Very true. There are things you can do to mitigate that, however, and in a polite online society, most people respect an individual’s efforts to do so, if they desire.
I didn’t create a pen name for myself because I had any notion of keeping my work and SF life separate. But, in the end, I’m glad I did. Until recently it was hard to connect my legal name to my pen name via cursory Googling. (And even then, it’s mostly specific connections, not blanket ones.) It’s not that I’m ashamed of anything I do or say as Tempest, but not every employer looks on what I do with my free time without prejudice. For a long time, only a few people knew about my connection to ABW. I actually make an effort to keep that from being attached too much to my legal name because, no matter how proud I am of that site and the work I’ve done with it, an employer may not look on it kindly. Do Cramer and Shetterly get to decide that I’m not allowed to have that choice? Does anyone?
They also don’t get to call me nasty names and equate me with Klan members if I tell them so.
Still, it’s all so much smoke and mirrors, because the real issue here is that there are some people who can’t debate their position on their own merits. Instead, they have to resort to this utter bullshit in order that people might forget that there was and continues to be a real problem in the center of all this. But it does not completely surprise me that these two people would want to distract people from a discussion about race.