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

5 comments:

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

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

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    2. And correction: made. Thanks again.

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

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

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