Jesurgislac’s Journal

June 1, 2009

On saying sorry

It was a lovely sunny day. I was wearing sandals. So was the nice lady right behind me as we both browsed along the bookstall. Unfortunately, I’m a hundred kilos of muscle and fat (“I’m big-boned!” – ed) and I was wearing solid sandals of the kind you go for long walks in hot weather, while she was wearing light sandals of the kind you wear between car and beach.

I noticed a new Who novel in the box below the stall, and, not realising she was there, I took a quick step backwards to kneel down for it – and felt my heel come down quite heavily on someone’s toes, as someone behind me let out a loud gasp of pain.

It occurred to me later that it was an interesting game to play: How would various prominent bloggers have reacted to this situation? Someone’s hurt: they were responsible: they didn’t do it on purpose.

Kathryn Cramer would have stomped on the woman’s other foot, and snarled at her for not being nicer about it.

Will Shetterley would have apologized, stomped on the same foot again, and demanded to know why she wasn’t more appreciative of his apology.

The Nielsen Haydens would have …well, considered as a team, Patrick would have run away at top speed to avoid having to say he was sorry, and Teresa would have spent fifteen minutes upbraiding the woman for being so nasty to poor Patrick, outraging his delicate ears with her noise. She would then have banned the woman from the bookstall, and demanded an apology from everyone who sympathised with her.

BitchPhD would have first of all explained to the woman that she wasn’t hurt, then claimed she was probably just hanging around the bookstall on purpose to get her foot trodden on, then explained at length that it wasn’t that bad a stomp and she hadn’t meant to hurt the woman’s foot and she really didn’t think she had, but she was sorry now she’d trodden on it since it was causing her so much trouble.

(Update: “Anonymous Coward”, er, yes. Very funny comment, but I’m the only one who will ever read it, because WordPress justly sent your sockpuppeted comment to the spam queue and I figure I kinda agree, regardless of what I think of the person you were attacking. If you’re going to launch a personal attack on someone, do it from your usual Internet pseud. )
(more…)

March 15, 2009

Dan joins RaceFail Writers for 2009 Fail

I’m sad and mad: I’m savage. Dan Savage, one of my no-kidding favorite writers, just joined RaceFail 2009. (Debunk Tank, March 12th).

Apparently, Dan says, 3.89% of voters who voted for Yes on 8 is a landslide… because that 3.89% (58% of the 6.7% of the Californian population) are black.

Why does Dan Savage care so much about kicking that 3.89%? Who contributed the millions? Who made the lying ads and web campaigns? Who’s got the power, the political voice, and the funding? Who’s paying Ken Starr? It’s not that 3.89%. Why does Dan want to focus on that small group and call them a “landslide”?

From The Advocate:

The night before Election Day, a black woman walked into the San Francisco headquarters of the No on Proposition 8 campaign. Someone had ripped down the No on 8 sign she’d posted in her yard and she wanted a replacement. She was old, limping, and carrying a cane. Walking up and down the stairs to this office was hard for her.

[Michael Joseph Gross] asked why coming to get the sign was worth the trouble, and she answered, “All of us are equal, and all of us have to fight to make sure the law says that.” She said that she was straight, and she told me about one of the first times she ever hung out with gay people, in New Orleans in the 1970s. “I thought I was so cool for being there, and I said, ‘You faggots are a lot of fun!’ Well, that day I learned my lesson. A gay man turned on me and said, ‘A faggot is not a person. A faggot is a bunch of sticks you use to light a fire.’ ”

She puts Dan Savage to shame: I’m ashamed of him, if he’s not ashamed of himself.

[Update: and with this, 3 days later, Savage Love goes off my blog roll. I’m sadder yet about that: but there is a limit to the amount of racist crap I’m going to read, and Dan Savage just used it all up.]

March 13, 2009

Kathryn Cramer reminds me of fail

Filed under: Internet — jesurgislac @ 12:15 am
Tags: , , , ,

I got a “cease and desist” e-mail from Kathryn Cramer (whose public writings have been referenced on this blog in Stupid Things People Say On The Internet 4960, Kathryn Cramer: fail, fail, and fail, and Verb Noire: this matters) – subject line Ordover, which I presume is something meaningful to her, though damned if I can figure out what. [Update: someone tagged in a previous post because he was mentioned by name.] Nor can I reply, really, since she repeats her request that I “never contact her again”.

I have e-mailed her exactly twice. The second time, in response to an e-mail instructing me to never contact her again (March 4th), I wrote:

Dear Kathryn,

I will certainly never contact you again.

Your request that the name “Kathryn Cramer” should not be used when blogging about you will be given all the consideration it deserves.

Thanks,

Je Surgis Lac

She also claims that I have been “harassing her friends” (at the moment, I have no idea who they might be) and “those who speak positively about her”.

Kathryn, for what it’s worth: while I doubt I would bother to harass someone for speaking positively about you, it’s also true that ever since you outed Coffeeandink, demanded an apology from her for telling people you’d outed her, talked a lot of racist crap about the ‘lizardoid minions’, threatened to sue her for talking about your threats and harassment, and above all since [Update: correction. From a comment Ann Somerville linked to below, it appears Kathryn Cramer is not the person John Scalzi excoriated and banned from his blog for trying again to out Coffeeandink: I withdraw the accusation, and delete it.] you tried to use John Scalzi’s blog to out Coffeeandink again- I truly haven’t seen a single person anywhere who is speaking positively about you. I’m sorry. Even I think that makes you a pathetic toad of a person, in Scalzi’s memorable phrase. [Second update, 14th March: Okay, I take that back. Will Shetterly, who also outed Coffeeandink, but then seemed to regret what he’d done and want to atone for it, has changed his mind and decided that Coffeeandink deserved to be outed against her will and Kathryn Cramer was “falsely accused”. In Will Shetterly‘s world, apparently, being “falsely accused” means (a) you did exactly what you were accused of doing but (b) the person whom you did it to was a lying slut who deserved it and (c) she therefore owes you an apology for telling other people about what you were doing to her, she ought to have shut up and acted properly shamed. This, Will Shetterly identifies as being “unsexist” and “chivalrous”. So I take it back: there is one other person speaking positively about you, Kathryn Cramer, and that’s the person who joined you in outing Coffeeandink.]

Nevertheless, Kathryn: I have not been in touch with you since March 4th. That I persist in using your real name when I blog about the things you do, is your own choice. Indeed, you have been very emphatic in the the recent past that the only name you want to use on the Internet is Kathryn Cramer. So you are and remain: Kathryn Cramer, Kathryn Cramer, Kathryn Cramer, Kathryn Cramer, Kathryn Cramer, Kathryn Cramer, Kathryn Cramer, Kathryn Cramer, Kathryn Cramer. Your problem. Not mine.

March 8, 2009

Verb Noire: this matters

A new small press is in the process of being born.

Verb Noire is being set up “To celebrate the works of talented, underrepresented authors and deliver them to a readership that demands more.”

Donate here.

Jim C. Hines:

With all due love and respect, get over it. You publish your work, you’re going to get criticism. Some will be valid. Some won’t. Most of it will sting. Don’t like it? Stop trying to be a writer.
And as far as I can tell, the only people saying “White authors aren’t allowed to write about non-white characters” are the white authors. And most of the time, “not allowed” seems to mean “people might say mean things”.
Seriously. Get over it.
I’m struggling with a working definition of privilege, and coming up with something like, “In a discussion of racial stereotypes, appropriation of the ‘shiny bits’ of other cultures without real respect or understanding of those cultures, the ongoing underrepresentation/misrepresentation of large portions of the population in fiction and other media, and the need to do better, privilege is when the most important piece of the conversation is your hurt feelings.”

Niall Harrison in Torque Control – which is the blog of the editorial staff of Vector, the critical journal of the British Science Fiction Association. Niall is editor of Vector and also senior reviews editor for Strange Horizons: Reasons to care about Racefail 09.

PS: The People Whites Don’t See: An Open Letter to Kathryn Cramer. Yes: that Kathryn Cramer, of fail, fail, and fail. Also, from Roz Kaveney’s blog: Sometimes things become very clear.

Links mostly courtesy of Rydra Wong’s collection.

March 4, 2009

Kathryn Cramer: fail, fail, and fail

Back in February, Kathryn Cramer announced (Stupid Things People Say On the Internet 4690) that all of us who use pseudonymous identities are “criminals and conmen”. I read, I mocked, I moved on.

(Warning: don’t click on the link from my post to her blog. Kathryn Cramer did something bizarre to it that ensured anyone trying to click through to there from here ends up at one of those spam-friendly sites that promise you FREE MONEY IN YOUR OWN HOME.)

Kathryn Cramer, regrettably, found herself unable to move on. She picked on one specific person active in a recent discussion of racism/cultural appropriation on livejournal, who blogs under the id CoffeeandInk, and decided to out her real name on www.kathryncramer.com. (I’m not linking directly to Kathryn Cramer‘s blog: I see no point, if she’s decided that people who try to check out her blog from mine will be redirected. Update, 3 – In fact Kathryn Cramer, using her pseudonym of Pleasantville, had already outed Coffeeandink on the feministsf wikipedia: when Coffeeandink complained about that first outing, Kathryn Cramer then outed Coffeeandink on www.kathryncramer.com.)

This wasn’t an accident: Kathryn Cramer knew that CoffeeandInk preferred to be identified online only by her chosen pseudonymous identity, and not by her real name.

Following an outpouring of sympathy for CoffeeandInk, and criticism of Kathryn Cramer, the entry in which CoffeeandInk was outed has now been password-protected so that only friends of Kathryn Cramer can read it.

(Warning: don’t click on the link from CoffeeandInk‘s post to Kathryn Cramer‘s blog; Kathryn Cramer did something bizarre to it that ensured anyone trying to click through to there from here ends up at one of those spam-friendly sites that promise you FREE MONEY IN YOUR OWN HOME.)

A couple of people took screenshots (with CoffeeandInk‘s name redacted) of Kathryn Cramer‘s post before she password-protected it.

Kathryn Cramer’s outing of CoffeeandInk – cache of the googlecache”

Kathryn Cramer's outing of CoffeeandInk - screenshot

So yeah. She did it. Kathryn Cramer decided to out someone’s RL identity, linking it with her online handle, knowing that this person did not want it to happen, because – Kathryn Cramer justifies this – she feels CoffeeandInk was insufficiently respectful and nice to two people with whom CoffeeandInk worked thirteen years earlier, at a company where Kathryn Cramer‘s husband now works. Kathryn Cramer used her privileged information about CoffeeandInk‘s legal name, because of some Kathryn Cramer Thing about how one ought always to be polite and respectful to people for whom/with whom one once worked, at all times and under all circumstances.

(Will Shetterly, who is in his own estimation a well-known writer, also outed CoffeeandInk, because she wrote a post quoting things he said and linking to the posts in which he said them and linking to his rebuttal of her post, which in Will Shetterly‘s world is called ‘misrepresentation’) but then changed his mind and deleted her legal name, though he’s been protesting ever since that he was jolly generous to do even that.)

Honestly: I think that even if I’d agreed with Kathryn Cramer in all respects up until the moment she did this, at the point she did this, I’d have to quit supporting her. Because… people have all sorts of reasons for wanting to maintain a pseudonymous identity online. And, no matter how much I disagree with them politically, no matter how rude or offensive they are to me or to people I care for, I know I have no idea what pressure they may be under to keep their online identity covert – whether being outed will lose them their job, lose their marriage, lose their children, lose their life, even. I just don’t know. I have no right to bust in and potentially do damage I can’t measure, to people whom I’ve never interacted with.

So, I consider that a minimal standard of decency in debate: if for any reason or none you happen across information that enables you to link someone’s legal identity to their online handle, you just don’t do it. Not just out of respect to that person’s right to privacy: but out of respect to all the other lives that person’s right to privacy may be protecting.

Kathryn Cramer fails that basic test. Further, I am unimpressed by her attempting to take some kind of high moral ground about this – and yet doing things such as redirecting links to her blog posts to spam sites to avoid people reading the post in which she outed CoffeeandInk‘s legal name. She hasn’t apologized for doing it; she hasn’t taken the post down; she’s just trying to stop people who disagree with what she did from linking to her blog.

We deal with each other on the Internet on a sometimes painful level of honesty, and often with poisonous vituperation. I’ve been awesomely rude to some of you reading my blog now, and frankly, I think I usually had good cause. (Feel free to disagree.) But, there is one thing I would not do, and that is the one thing Kathryn Cramer felt herself justified in doing: I would not link your legal identity to your online identity, unless you had made explicitly clear it was OK to do so. I would not link to a post in which I saw it done. I would protect the frame of our debate, our ability to exchange our views honestly and freely. I may loathe you, but I’ll loathe you on a level playing field.

Kathryn Cramer: fail, fail, and fail.


Update: Kathryn Cramer has posted a demand for an apology from the person she outed on her blog. I cannot link to her blog, because she has set up a redirect to a spam website. I e-mailed her to ask her if she would remove the redirect so that I could link to her demand for an apology: she responded instructing me to never contact her again and to remove the name Kathryn Cramer from my blog. I find this culmination of fail …strangely ironic, really.

–Update 2: Because I am a bad person who cannot resist a good story:

Teresa [Nielsen Hayden] recalls a Readercon Midnight Horror Panel showing that US pros know how to have fun. The title was ‘Is Violence Necessary?’, and ‘a dead-drunk and bizarrely dressed Kathryn Cramer first monopolized the discourse, pacing back and forth in front of the panel while ranting incoherently into her-friend-the-invisible-mike; then assaulted another panelist who’d been holding up signs (“HELP US PLEASE HELP US”) and intermittently suggesting she sit down and shut up (during the early phases of which struggle she inadvertently kicked David Hartwell in the face, whereat David went and sat in the audience); then capped it all when, upon the panelist’s extricating himself from her clutches, she toppled face-first from the dais, too drunk to even put out her hands to cushion her fall, and announced while lying there with her face in the carpet that said panelist was fired from The New York Review of SF. “I quit six months ago,” he reminded her. (That was John Ordover.) After that David collected her up for future use, and the panel ended.’ – Ansible 80, March 1994


February 2, 2009

Banned From Argo

Yes: banned again. This time, most unusually, not for arguing too hard that same-sex marriage is a civil right, or that safe legal abortion is an essential choice. I got drawn into a conversation on Livejournal about race, cultural appropriation, and racism, Patrick Nielsen Hayden jumped in with both feet and Teresa Nielsen Hayden jumped after him with a flamethrower.

There’s a quick recap here. More information here. A timeline of events here.

And a rather brilliant post called Laurels Wither, or, It Just Doesn’t Work That Way by Bellatrys.

(Teresa’s response to my posting these links in a comment at her journal: “Jesurgislac, my only remaining point of curiosity about you is why I didn’t ban you earlier.”

I’m impressed: I normally only get banned for making comments with information the owner of the blog/journal does not wish people to read, at blogs which either (a) are rigidly anti-choice or (b) rigidly against same-sex couples having the right to marriage.)


If the following makes no sense to you, don’t worry about it; I fitted in as many injokes as I could. Potentially NSFW due to one use of a word that, while technically no more obscene than “dick”, is usually regarded as far more offensive.

Banned From TNH

When we pulled into TNH to talk of race and such
The fans set out investigating every little touch
We had high expectations of her hospitality
But found too late she isn’t geared for nithlings such as we
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January 28, 2009

This isn’t a threat.

Filed under: lolcats — jesurgislac @ 1:54 am
Tags: , ,

funny pictures
moar funny pictures

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