Sep. 2nd, 2011

lowkey: (Default)
So first off, when it comes to Artistic & Fannish Thoughts On The Internet, I really do try to ascribe to Moff's Law. I've internalized said internet law as "I should aim for meaningful and good-spirited engagement with artistic stuff", and even if I don't always live up to that ideal (because, man, sometimes someone is WRONG on the internet), I generally try really hard to be nice. Unsurprisingly, the men* that best adhere to Moff's Law -- the sterling posters over at Threat Quality, which includes the eponymous Moff -- are basically the internet posters I want to be.

Anyways, I was just saying that as a sort of disclaimer. Not that I'm immediately going to abandon it and say "check out these here intarnet opinionzzz." It's just that I really wanted to post about this whole Sady Doyle thing, but I also wanted to make it clear that I really don't have a horse in this race.**

You might ask, what is this whole "Sady Doyle thing"? Well, apparently, Sady Doyle is a journalist/outspoken internet personality, who writes for The Atlantic, on top of running a blog, Tiger Beatdown.

She wrote a piece calling George R.R. Martin out for, among other things, being a sexist prick.
George R. R. Martin is creepy. He is creepy because he writes racist shit. He is creepy because he writes sexist shit. He is creepy, primarily, because of his TWENTY THOUSAND MILLION GRATUITOUS RAPE AND/OR MOLESTATION AND/OR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SCENES.
I didn't read the whole thing -- which automatically disqualifies me from commenting, really -- because I've not read the series; I really can't add anything meaningful.

But she, uh, also had some bitting comments for internet fandoms in general:
Because here’s how it goes, when you criticize beloved nerd entertainments: You can try to be nuanced. You can try to be thoughtful. You can lay out your arguments in careful, extravagant, obsessive detail. And at the end of the day, here is what the people in the “fandom” are going to take away: You don’t like my toys? I hate you!

So, get it out of your system now, because, guess what, George R.R. Martin fans? I don’t like your toys. Deal with that. Meditate for a while. Envision a blazing bonfire in a temple, and breathe in its warmth and serenity. Then, imagine me dumping all your comic books and action figures and first-edition hardback Song of Ice and Fire novels INTO the bonfire, and cackling wildly.
ANYWAYS, I didn't know anything about this internet debate until [personal profile] owlmoose's post on the matter alerted me to it, and also to what is apparently the internet retort par excellence, a post by Alyssa Rosenberg over at ThinkProgress.

This thread of the debate is easier for me to follow, because it doesn't rely on intimate knowledge of or strong opinions about A Song of Ice and Fire. Because Rosenberg's main contentions are with how Doyle structured her argument.

BUT THEN ALSO Chris Braak at Threat Quality posted an ambivalent defense of A Song of Ice and Fire, which amounted to "Sady, I think we should be on the same side, but you've sorta definitionally excluded me from being your ally." AND THEN you should check out the comments, because Doyle posted a comment, and Braak responded.

And one more thing to take away from this: when Doyle criticizes internet fandoms, she knows what she's talking about. Take, for instance, her recent piece criticizing gender and race in Moffat's season and a half of Doctor Who***, and the comments it received. I think (?) many of the worst comments have been deleted, but the point stands: internet people suck, and in her piece on ASoIaF, Doyle preemptively called the Internet and Internet fandoms out. But where does that leave people like Rosenberg and Braak, or hell, me -- people who are fans but want to, you know, follow Moff's Law?

Anyways: the long and short of it is -- thanks to this, I learned what MANSPLAINING is.

* I said men because, to the best of my knowledge, the contributors at Threat Quality really are all men.
** Even though a claim to neutrality is still a choice. And also, a slightly ungenerous reader might note that, as a white male, my "neutrality" is a vote for the status quo. But it isn't as if Sady Doyle needs Internet Male #63587 (i.e. me) to come to her rescue; that's completely antithetical to the kind of position she wants to argue. So... I just don't know? I think most everyone involved in this has really valid opinions?
*** For the sake of full disclosure: I'm a white male, and I really like Rory Williams. It's unfortunate that Amy's character development has suffered so that he could become awesome (in my opinion), but also: the season isn't over yet. Case-in-point, there was a good half season of Castle where I felt Rick was basically completely useless, but the show's come a long way since then. Anyways, this is a post for another time.