The Dream Café

Steven Brust: “A masterful storyteller of contagious glee and self-deprecating badassery” —Skyler White

Ye Ha! We done been exposéd!

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Some guy with a blog  has done an entry on my personal life, which is sort of cool; this is a first, and it tickles my vanity to think I’m important enough that anyone cares.

Usually, I would enjoy this quietly, let my ego be stroked, and leave it at that.  There are a couple of disturbing elements, however which incline me to write about it: The first is that he identifies Kit and refers to Kit and me being involved with “a woman.”  “A woman?”  What, she doesn’t get a name?  Is he “protecting” her out of what must be the sickest example of chivalry in the last decade?  Or is it that, as is implied, she doesn’t matter, because, well, she’s just “a woman?”   Think about that.  On my list of Issues To Campaign On, subtle examples of sexism don’t usually appear; but this one is just especially icky.

The other disturbing element is that he identifies me as a “Trot.”  Now, let’s be clear, if you want to make a Trotskyist twitch, or if you’re just ignorant, you refer to him as a “Trotskyite.”  The word “Trot” has a very specific history–it is the word of choice of the Stalinist thugs.  Even the rank-and-file Stalinists used “Trotskyite” in order to imply it was just a little sect of no importance–“Trot” is used by the ones with the brass knuckles outside the meetings, the ones who killed the families of any Soviet worker who even sounded like a Trotskyist, of the ones who murdered the entire generation of Bolsheviks who made the revolution.  That word, “Trot,” moves this all the way from silly to, well, a little creepy.

But, still, it is kind of nifty to think of myself as worth that sort of attention.  Where are the paparazzi?

corwin

Author: corwin

Site administrative account, so probably Corwin, Felix or DD-B.

0 Comments

  1. I did not know that “Trot” was an epithet used specifically by Stalinists! I thought it was just general-use slang. Thanks for that.

  2. It’s because we’re all roughly interchangeable for function, you see. If he’d written that you and Kit had an oven or a washing machine, only a very unbalanced and obsessive person would demand to know *which* oven or *which* washing machine. We women are like that: more or less the same unless we break down and stop doing household work, and then you should just go get a new one.

  3. Well Mris, I can’t wait to tell my wives that I can now replace them. 🙂 Now, can you just bag them and haul the non-working women to the curb, or do you need to take them to the dump on a special trip?

  4. corwin

    S.Smith::3:: Don’t you recycle?

  5. Educational! *I* thought “Trot” was a character from the Oz books.

  6. Recycling guidelines in my area specifically state not to include “cardboard items soaked in grease or oils.”

  7. skzb::4:: I’ve discovered that the local authorities, let alone the HOA, looks poorly on the use of previous partners as fertilizer.

  8. Disposing of a perfectly good woman in landfill is definately not environmentally friendly and recycling should not be the first answer.

    The first of the three Rs is reduce not recycle therefore if you no longer need a woman you stop using them. Most men seem to be incapable of this

    The second R is reuse so you need to mend what is not working if possible. This is also known as fixing the relationship or learning how to make it work. This is commonly a problem as women don’t come with operating manuals and men wouldn’t read the manual even if they did.

    The third R is recycle which would in my mind mean to send your woman to someone who could still find use/value in her. Many women, when forced to deal with men who wouldn’t read the manual even if it existed will automatically enter the recycle mode without any intervention from the man.

  9. Oddly, I found (having gone looking for the entry in question now) the most objectionable part of the whole thing to actually be the smug, rap-on-the-glass-at-the-zoo tone it was written in. I figured he didn’t use her name simply because he didn’t know it. Not knowing where he was getting his information, I don’t know if that’s plausible or not.

  10. Three things:

    I find it a bit disturbing that a guy in his mid 30s has dedicated his life to half hearted fandom bashing. He obviously knows a great deal more than the average person about many of the fandoms that he’s mocking. This qualifies him as a super fandom nerd in my book, not as some super hero pointing out the absurdities in fandom as he’d have his readers believe.

    Speaking for myself, I found the Words, Words, Words blog initially because I’m a fan of Brust’s writing and I have faint aspirations to write myself. I’ve stuck around (probably much to your dismay) because I find the interplay among the various visitors to be lively, entertaining, and informative, rather than a group of mindless Browncoats all parroting the same ideals. There is an interchange of ideas.

    I could go on about the current cultural tendency (which fanboy exhibits) to set up straw men as an accepted form of debate, but I think I’ll save that rant for my own journal for a change.

  11. corwin

    ::touchstone::9:: “I figured he didn’t use her name simply because he didn’t know it. ” Begging the question of how he managed to read Kit’s blog while still remaining ignorant of Reesa’s name.

  12. Same boat as Patrick! I love learning new things.

    If you really want, next time you show up in Dallas I’ll gather up all my photography friends and we’ll blind you with flashbulbs.

  13. Maybe this troll thought he was doing enough of a “service” by not leaving the implication out there that you and Kit were involved with each other. Having exhibited such magnanimity, how could he be further arsed to actually research the name of your Lovely and Talented Associate?

  14. Well, you know, those darned polyamorists, always causing trouble.

    What a weird, rude, intrusive post, though — it would be one thing if the author seemed interested in how multi-partner dynamics worked or something, but instead he’s taken it as just something else to mock you for, like your facial-hair choices.

    Very odd and quite uncivil.

  15. Ashbet, I think that “Very odd and quite uncivil” is far too harsh as a description of Steve’s facial hair.

  16. I suppose it’s inevitable that his google rank is rising, but I’m pleased no one has bothered to comment there.

    I work very, very hard to keep from calling people names, but in this case, I think I’ll relax that: he’s a twit. Anything more vehement only gives him more credit than he deserves.

    And it’s kind of nice that he helped more people learn about the history of “trot.”

  17. Hey Ashbet,

    Actually I read it entirely different as I’d love it if polyamory was just another thing to be mocked for by the general public.

    It would certainly make my life easier.

  18. Also, I try really, really hard to avoid criticizing style instead of substance, but I have to make a second exception. That page about Trotskyists he links to? The worst style traits of obsessed twits: no margins and tiny print.

  19. Why should he worry about referring to her rudely or otherwise hurting her feelings? I mean, it’s not like women know how to read or anything.

  20. Fear the Female! For your own protection, she shall remain nameless… *wicked cackle*

  21. Actually, I just didn’t figure there was any reason to mention her by name, since she didn’t come up otherwise. Also, the quilted-plus-creamy thing might constitute defamation.

    I think you’re wrong about “Trot.” We used that word all the time when I used to do activism, and I wasn’t on the brass-knuckle side.

    Thanks for the mention!

  22. “Where are the paparazzi?”

    Hm. I’m curious… would you enjoy being a REALLY famous writer? Like say Steven King level of fame? Where you can’t really go to public places without being stopped and asked for autographs and such. Or are you happy with your level of fame?

    I would be really uncomfortable being famous. I must be one of the last people in the world that has no interest in fame or celebrity. Because of that I find it hard to imagine other people enjoying it I think.

    I’d end up arrested for punching someone I think or hitting them with a stick.

    I find it very interesting to meet “famous” people or people that have some level of mass recognition and find that they actually enjoy it. Or at least don’t mind it. They tend to genuinely like people in general, which is rare I find.

  23. GWW@22: I would not mind being about Steve’s level of fame, where people read and enjoy my work, where I have ‘fans’, but I would rather not hit Neil Gaiman’s level of fame, where he seems to feel a bit uncomfortable leaving the house. I like people a lot, so I think I would do OK if I did happen onto ridiculous amounts of fame, but I think I’d be happier at the median level Steve calls ‘fumous’.

  24. Oh my, the fellow lives in Chi. My sincerest apologies.

  25. But am I the only one who is glad to have had that little itch of prurient curiousity satisfied? (The one that had me wondering who, if anyone, was in any kind of intimate relationship with whom). So now I know (as much as I need to) I can just get on and read the blog like.

  26. At #25:

    It strikes me as odd that it even mattered to you. I’m not sure why.

    Is it status quo to wonder about things like that about people? I can’t say that I’ve ever had any thoughts, stray or otherwise, about the social lives of authors I read or bloggers which I read about, beyond what they post.

    It’s never entered my mind to be at all curious about their personal lives. Is that weird?

  27. corwin

    GWW::26:: Sicko!

  28. At #26 the short answer is that I like to gossip. I don’t think either of us is weird but.

  29. corwin

    You’re bound to be weird or you wouldn’t be here (port gun, fire!).

  30. People are strange — accepting the charge.

  31. Funny that you’ve all got your knickers in a bunch over the fact that Tuffy didn’t identify Reesa by name yet none of you noticed that Tuffy is in fact … a woman. Huh.

  32. corwin

    Actually, Kit noticed. As for me, mea culpa: I keep forgetting that women can’t be sexist.

  33. This is the Internet. Can you prove that Tuffy isn’t a dog?

  34. I think you mean sexY!

  35. I’m guessing it’s the “… sickest example of chivalry in the last decade …”

    Since Kit identified herself in her blog (kind of hard not to), her name was ‘fair game’. Since Reesa hadn’t identified herself, she still had the right to privacy.

    Wait, I’m giving a troll credit … never mind

  36. corwin

    Well, other than the fact that Reesa’s name is on the blog, and that Kit is a he, I agree.

  37. skzb@32:
    Of course women can’t be sexist.
    Its the same situation as anyone non-white trying to be racist: Un-possible.
    The question in my mind is: How old is said blogger? “Fingercuffs”? Really? Is that at least a Chasing Amy reference? Because I’d swear most real readers are far, far past shock at the personal lives of any author, especially as compared to more ‘mainstreamed’ forms of celebrity.
    I posit that said Tuffy’s perhaps subconscious marginalization of the ‘woman’ (referred to henceforth as “Reesa” in accordance with the said blogger’s self-styling in eir header) is perhaps a result of Tuffy prefering a yaoi fantasy. You’d be amazed the places anime’s tendrils (or tentancles, though that’s usually hentai related) reach.

  38. Bahahaha! I admit, I have on occasion found tentacle porn a bit hot. Seriously!

    Anyway, thanks for all the comments. This is the most interest my blog has garnered since I picked on fantasy readers a couple months back. (Your comments have the same tenor, too.) But I think your focus on the marginalized-woman thing is obscuring the real issue. As a real-life dog — uh, I mean, woman — I just don’t see how there’s anything sexist about not mentioning her. If I *had* mentioned her name for the sole purpose of identifying her (apparent) sexual status, I think it would have sounded like I was calling her a trollop or something.

    Anyway, that’s not the real issue at all, is it? The real issue was that I was mean. Or sounded mean. I actually didn’t intend that post as anything but lighthearted joshing. I just wanted to make fun of family meetings. And, uh, Trotskyism. A little. But yeah, it’s true that I often mock sci-fi/fantasy nerds on my blog. So if you are one, you probably shouldn’t read it.

  39. As usual, the good Mr. Shetterly nailed it with #16.

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