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So, has everybody's heart started again?

I mentioned last night to the roomie (as she crouched with her laptop in the six-foot-square area of our apartment where we can receive wireless (this was before we got our service re-connected), calling out updates on fandom_counts, that this whole debacle made me feel a lot like the last U.S. election. And of course I'm not an American, but being their hat Canadians are uniquely concerned with what foolishness their administration gets up to, so I stayed up until half-past-two in the morning watching the map turn slowly red. It was the same sort of twisted-gut feeling I got all day yesterday at work, after two days with no internet, checking in every so often and watching the body count go up.

I don't know how I feel about this. I know how I partly feel about this - uncomprehending outrage, puzzlement, indignation, and all the other obvious ones. A deep troublement on the subject of the principle, here, and here is where I ramble about what I can only categorise as politics for a paragraph, if you want to skip ahead.

I said it in a comment elsewhere - Fandom is about free speech. It's about a lot of other things, too, but I can't think of anywhere else I've been where the freedom to say whatever you like without undue repercussions is so jealously guarded. Where the whole point of the place is to create whatever reality pleases you best, and to carefully set out the boundaries of what a human being may or may not do in a civilised environment without getting bitchslapped. We've had to make these boundaries, because we tread on such very uneven and uneasy ground by the very nature of what we do and what we are. All writers do this. All makers of art that reference the world exist in this precarious state. Anyone who's ever witnessed a fandom-wide slapdown on this topic, knows this. Think about the few people who have tried to break our unwritten rules, one of which is: "YOU DO NOT MAKE MONEY OFF OF FANFICTION, EXCEPT WITH SANCTION FROM THE RIGHT PEOPLE." It's a sacred clause. We don't break it. When people try and break it, they get their asses kicked. They get run out of town. They're condemned, and ostracised and they are removed. You only have to look at how fandom in general reacted to FanLib. This was not only someone trying to make a profit off of something that is not only done for free but specificially not for profit, but an outsider. I've seen it referred to (I think on Fandom Wank) as a "collective gob of spit in the eye". We looked at this, and we decided it was unacceptable, and that we weren't going to take it.

So while I was watching LJ work itself into a froth (and doing so myself, I readily admit) of panic and fury and recrimination, I was also getting a funny little feeling of warmth. Belonging. Community. Twice yesterday, I said to myself, once out loud, "Holy crap, Kielle would have loved this." We did exactly what she drove us to do. We pulled together. I saw only a handful of ridiculous rants yesterday. The bulk of the responses I read were reasoned and, for ficcers, relatively calm. People looking at LJ, saying "You've made a mistake. Please fix it." And then turning to each other, and saying: "So what do we do now? How do we fix this?"

Which is just a really roundabout way of saying how impressed I was and how proud I am to be a member of fandom this week.

And they've apologised. Which I guess is the bit that has me feeling confused. It was a good apology, granted, but it should have come sooner, and it shouldn't have been necessary. I'm uneasy about LJ now and I think I will be for a long time, and I hate that.

But I'm still proud of us.

And now, to distract from the angst and the drama, I will share with you what is possibly the best thing about our new apartment, aside from the three hundred extra square feet, the working bathroom fan, the frighteningly competent landlord and the conspicuous lack of home-office callgirls as next-door-neighbours.

Namely, the view from our balcony.

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chandri
Chandri MacLeod
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