Cities and suburbs, real and imaginary.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

All Shall Be Well and All Shall Be Well

I don't spend much time on the internet these days with one exception. I use Google Drive for much of my fiction writing these days because it protects me from disastrous equipment malfunction and let's me access my work wherever I happen to be. Beyond this, I'm relatively quiet.

Contributing to my desire not to be so active on-line is the toxicity of discourse on the web, in general. As a white, straight male, I only get tiny slivers of the bile and threats that are heaped upon some other folks I know. But, I was surprised with my last post last week how little bad things came washing ashore in my general direction.

A woman who quoted me was taken to task for bad-mouthing WorldCon, when, in fact, all she was doing was quoting me. She gets the negativity, though, not me.

Admittedly, I turned off comments, because I have other things to do where I cannot watch the comments with regularity, and I have to be careful when I know I will be away for a long time.

It doesn't take a genius to figure out that the internet can be screechingly toxic. Why bother with the toxic parts if you don't have the time for the bollocks? Whatever I have to say is better said in fiction, anyway, and it disturbs me that the seedy underbelly of our culture's misogyny and racism reveal themselves so quickly on-line when people don't even think twice about the relationship between what they say and how it is perceived.

I guess what I am saying is, the internet drives away a lot of the people who have something to say in much the same way that culture drives them away. It is a hothouse where discourse runs hot and any perceived weakness (women, minority, sexually non-cisgendered) becomes the blood that the sharks smell in the water.

My opinion on places that have become puddles of toxic discourse is to just walk away, and never look back. I prefer to focus on the positive. There are bigger problems in this world.

At Mass today, we prayed for peace for Syria, and prayed to stop the war. I live near Lackland AFB. The jets were wooshing overhead. There seems to be a lot of jets flying lately. More than usual.

In my inbox today, I am trying to come up with terms I can accept for a short story in an anthology, and I am looking at early images of Jeff VanderMeer's WONDERBOOK, and I am recommending books to people and sending stories and novels out into the world. I am reading, too, fascinating history books about Julian of Norwych, the Gnostic/Catharrian Heresy, and Theresa of Avila. There are wonderful things in this world, and I would prefer to focus on the things that make me happy. What makes you happy?

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