Alexandra Erin Profile picture
Jul 23, 2018 12 tweets 2 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
I know it must seem weird to be talking about science fiction and fantasy convention politics in 2018, but: fascism doesn't just walk up the steps of the capitol and declare it's in power.
Gamergate and its brother movements of the cultural alt-right like the Sad/Rabid Puppies have been described as "trial runs" and "recruiting grounds" for the political far right, but it would be more accurate to say they are and always have been a part of it.
One of the techniques we have seen applied by the cultural alt-right again and again is to try to create an illusion that they are much bigger than they are, that their ideas are widespread and accepted, that they represent the majority of a community.
And because humans are social animals and we look around at other members of our herd or flock or pack to figure out what's going on and how much we need to be alarmed by it, these illusions can become reality if they aren't challenged.
The stance of WorldCon2018's programming people has been that, well, "their attendees" just aren't interested in the Hugo nominees or the new up-and-comers or things like #OwnVoices.
They're saying this to people who are or were planning on attending WorldCon, who participated in the creation of programming, who nominated people to the Hugo ballot, etc. Telling them that "attendees" (a group that must exist distinct from "everyone who is going") don't care.
It's the same playbook. The same gaslighting, the same freezing of a demographic definition in order to claim control of a space.
We are not going to defeat Trump by confronting erasure in science fiction conventions.

But "defeating Trump" ultimately isn't going to accomplish anything if we're not changing the culture that brought us here.
And here's the thing. A lot of people like Feel-Good Fascism Fighting. They like when there's a recognizable distinct group like the Puppies and a cackling supervillain like Vox Day, someone they can stand up to and measure themselves against.

There is Evil, and here is us.
But with the power of the "baddies" broken and the obvious villains scattered, now it's back to business as usual. The usual faces, the usual topics, the usual names.
"Big smiles, everyone! You beat the bad guy!"

No need to do anything else. No need to keep going. Certainly no need to turn into... *looks around, drops voice* WisCon.
If you saw James Comey calling for liberals to "not lose their minds" and go to the left and you saw WorldCon people talking about how they're not going to be WisCon, you should understand what the micropolitics of fandom culture have to do with the macropolitics of the country.

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More from @AlexandraErin

Oct 8, 2018
So, electric kettles. Let me see if I can't convert some other white US-born people over.

Here are some reasons:

1. You can set specific temperatures, not just heat things to a boil. Get closer to the ideal temperature for your tea, spend less time waiting for it to cool.
2. If you need boiling water to pour into or over something, not just like a single serving for instant whatever, you've got it in a nice kettle with a spout and an insulated handle.
3. You never have that thing where surface tension has stopped the water from actually boiling even though it's at temperature, and when you move it and disturb the water it explodes all over your hand (Google it, if you don't know this thing.)
Read 10 tweets
Oct 8, 2018
Twitter's specific policy on Dehumanizing Speech is better than I had feared; it's more specific, covering only comparisons to animals (vermin, pests) or tools for a specific purpose. You can give feedback here. Mine focused on implementation.…
The Dehumanizing Speech policy being specific is important because if (let's dream big here) it is enforced as written, you can avoid getting suspended for talking about TERFs by saying their beliefs are garbage or their actions are garbage.
My feedback focused on the unequal way in which Twitter's existing policies have been supported. White guys making clear references to genocide, murder, stalking children, etc., get "We have to look at context, this was clearly not serious" replies while their victims get banned.
Read 6 tweets
Oct 7, 2018
For the record, I do hope Brett Kavanaugh's life is ruined. I hope his marriage has been irreparably strained. I hope his social life is in the toilet. I hope he feels no joy at his win. I hope he only stops waiting for the other shoe to fall when it does, like a guillotine blade
My ~*preference*~ would be that he suffer some sort of institutional consequences, even if it was merely not being confirmed to a lifetime position on the highest court in the land, where he will have power over millions.

But the right decided that's off the table.
I hope anyone who comes before the SCOTUS who is even tangentially liberal, left, or Democratic makes an issue out of his participation in the case so that he has to spend his whole career justifying and defending his presence on the bench.
Read 8 tweets
Oct 7, 2018
Well, @RadioFreeTom thinks saying "No problem." implies there's a problem so forgive me if I'm not crowning him a king of situational analysis. What he's calling Trump's "rhetorical excess" is largely projection. The idea that we win by *not* pointing out what they're doing...
...just gives Trump and his party the full benefit of that projection, in that they get to smear their opponents while being insulated from accurate accusations. We've been ceding control of the narrative to them for decades now and it hasn't worked.
The reason @RadioFreeTom wants the Democrats to settle down and be good little children is because up until two hours ago HE WAS A REPUBLICAN and when this is all done he hopes there's a slightly more couth and presentable version of the Republican Party that's still in charge.
Read 6 tweets
Oct 7, 2018
We've got GOP voters talking about drinking liberal tears with their beers, we've got a GOP president lying his backside off to his rally and then telling Jeanine Pirro he wants to hold women "liable" for talking about rapes... I don't see the centrists asking them to be civil?
Isn't it weird how absolutely no pundit wrote an editorial saying that Lindsey Graham's fire and brimstone sermon isn't going to win over the middle? Isn't it strange that no one tells Chuck Grassley that his angry interruptions are going to hurt his party?
There was a lot of talk about whether or not Kavanaugh's vitriolic testimony would hurt him but I didn't see a lot of neutral or centrist-identified people saying that it *should*.
Read 5 tweets
Oct 7, 2018
So let me tell you another reason we need to not back down, not sit down, not be quiet: coward that he is, Donald Trump is at his most dangerous when he feels like he's on top of the world.
The horse race headlines are saying that Donald Trump had his best day as president, and I'm sure he felt it. He just came through a knock-down, drag-out fight and won a battle that people had been telling him to drop for weeks, so right now no one can tell him anything.
If he gets it in his head that maybe he should fire Rosenstein? No one's going to be able to talk him out of it. He might even do it just to extend the high, or see how far he can take it.
Read 8 tweets

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