06 March 2014

In Which I Remove My Foot From My Mouth and Apologize: An Open Letter To Seanan McGuire

Dear Seanan,

This is my 200th post on this blog. I was going to try to come up with something cool to put here, an overview of past posts, maybe a history of myself and how I got here, maybe a chat about my doings from the past week. But all of that sort of pales next to what I need to do here.

On Tuesday I ran a post here that was ostensibly about the LonCon/Ross fiasco. I say “ostensibly” because it was really just a bunch of scoldish bullshit that had little if anything to do with reality. I won’t go into the specifics of what I said; suffice it to say that it was a wrong-headed attempt to make sense of the situation by taking both sides to task, an unconscious attempt to silence by pointing out the reactions of a certain contingent of people I generally have no time for (hey there, warning sign), and calling for civility without actually calling for civility, which is just fucking stoopid, as we say in Brooklyn. Worse, I did it all without actually naming you, which is just fucking passive aggressive nonsense.  

In short: I was a thorough and complete asshole to you. More, I was a hypocrite: I committed the very sin I was scolding you about, i.e. running my mouth without knowing the Actual Facts.

You probably didn’t see it; I don’t get a lot of hits here, and the ones I do get are usually my friends and my wife (Hi honey!), but that’s beside the point. When I posted the entry, I had kind of an uneasy feeling in my stomach about it. I read it over and felt the language was shaming. I changed a few things, and let it stand for the morning and the afternoon. I looked at it again, still felt uneasy, and made a few more alterations. The uneasy feeling remained. I couldn’t put a finger on it, but usually that’s a sign that I’ve fucked up somewhere along the line. So while I left the post up, I was at best ambivalent about it.

Then I got on Twitter, and started seeing people tweeting and retweeting things that were actually said, instead of what I had been led to believe was said. And it turns out I was far too willing to believe the Official Narrative about what happened with the Lunacon mess. Rather than looking into things myself I bought what others were saying wholesale--and as a former journalism student I am disappointed in my own failure to do some basic research and look shit up. It took Tempest Bradford (however indirectly, and to whom I am very thankful) to convince me that I was most likely incorrect in what I had posted.

Actually, let me clarify that: Tempest said a few things that made me realize I was completely full of shit.

I went back and read the post again. I somehow managed not to headdesk. And I erased about 80% of it. The first few bits I allowed to stand because they were correct. And after that I left things alone, because honestly I needed some distance from my own stupidity. But even then I knew I didn’t want to just let things stand. When I deal a problem I’m like a puppy with a shoe--I won’t stop chewing on the damn thing. While tweeting with Kameron Hurley this afternoon I realized I had to come back to this, because I had left something undone--I needed to apologize.

So, here I am. If I still wore hats, mine would be in my hand at the moment. And Seanan, I wish to tell you the follwing:

Tempest was right. Kameron was right. You were right. And I was very wrong. And given the things I have posted and shared here and on Twitter and Tumblr in the past, I should have known better.

You don’t know me, really--we’ve interacted a total of maaaaaybe five times online and have never met in person. But I love your work and I have tremendous respect for you--and I did you a great disservice this week through my thoughtlessness. And I can’t respect myself for having done so.

I was abominable to you, whether you know it or not, and I sincerely apologize. I will try harder in the future to think a little more, and a little harder, before I fertilize the ground with my words.

And that’s all I have to say. Thanks for reading, and remain in light.

Respectfully, Jay


  1. Lunacon? Do you mean Loncon or is there another aspect to this that I'm missing?

    1. Sorry, no. Loncon is correct. Thanks for catching the error.

    2. And correction: made. Thanks again.

  2. That is the way to apologize. You have my respect for that.

  3. I agree with ekwhite. No padding, no waffling, just a heartfelt (and very specific!) apology. This is admirable.