Selah March

August 3, 2005

Give ’em the old Razzle Dazzle….

Filed under: blah blah blah,Romancelandia,RWA — Selah March @ 12:37 pm
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Do you remember the scene from the show/movie CHICAGO, in which the character of Billy Flynn does a long, long, LONG-assed tap dance, moving faster and faster as the score speeds up behind him, ending up looking a little desperate and out-of-breath near the end?

Certain individuals closely associated with the recent RITA/GH awards debacle have that air of desperation about them now, as they dance as fast as they can away from any responsibility for the fiasco. I can’t quote what’s been said on RWA email loops, due to confidentiality agreements and such, but I can paraphrase.

*It’s not my fault. Yes, it’s true, I volunteered to head up the committee in charge of organizing the event, but I was so busy cleaning up the Graphical Standards mess and the Definition of Romance muddle, that I had no time to actually supervise…*(remember–paraphrased, not quoted)

Someone seems to have forgotten her history. Does “the buck stops HERE” ring any bells? It’s a motto that served at least one popular president well.

*I didn’t write it. [INSERT NAMES OF OTHER PEOPLE WHO MAY VERY WELL HAVE HAD A HAND IN CREATING THE DISASTER, BUT ARE NOT PRESENT TO DEFEND THEMSELVES] wrote it. It’s not my fault.*(again, paraphrased, not quoted)

Hmmm. Funny. That’s not what certain of your own board members recall as being the facts of the case. And they’re willing to call you on it, in public. That takes some balls, and kudos to them.

But who needs facts anyway, when we’ve got TAP DANCING??

As an aside, specifically for Kate Rothwell…the dirt on the AGM? A weird-ass speech from Madame President, referencing child molestation, adultery, and nasty language. Those with whom I’ve spoken didn’t get the point of it. But they DID get the part where a member stood up and asked if the board was considering implementing an erotic romance RITA/GH category, and was shot down, real quick-like.

Barb Ferrer‘s description of that stellar moment on Smart Bitches:

“Someone got up to ask about possible future inclusion of an erotic romance category in the Ritas and GH and was shot down so harshly and coldly by Ms. Quinn, that I think they were still scraping the ice off walls some time later.

I don’t write within that particular genre, but I’ll be damned if I want one individual saying that our organization will not consider including it as part of its most prestigious contest.

What kind of message does that send? It’s okay to include the numbers for our percentage and marketing purposes? It’s okay to take their money for ads, but hey, when it comes to showcasing your ability… uh, no, sorry, go to the back of the bus and don’t dare speak up again.”

So, to recap…

NOT. HER. FAULT.

And NO, dammit. Erotic romance in the RITAS/GH is OFF THE TABLE FOR DISCUSSION. But if you’d like to chat about child molestation or adultery, she might pencil you in.

I’d like to believe we’re nearing the end of this reign of terror, and that those who have been responsible for the recent nonsense will, at some point, be held accountable for what they’ve wrought. (And by no means do I believe that Tara Taylor Quinn is the sole perpetrator here. The Intolerance League may not be a huge presence in the upper levels of RWA, but its numbers are larger than one.)

I’d like to believe it…like I like to believe in truth, justice, and the American Way.

But if you’ll recall, at the close of that tap dance scene, Billy Flynn was winded and perspiring, but unbroken. And in the end? He got Roxie off for murder, using pure, unadulterated deceit and bravado.

And we were glad, weren’t we? Because who wants to see the cute little blonde thing suffer?

14 Comments »

  1. Selah, you get the best scuttlebutt.

    Dayum.

    We need to have you Guest Bitch more often, heh heh.

    Comment by Candy — August 3, 2005 @ 4:25 pm | Reply

  2. Meh. My scuttlebutt’s no better than that of anybody else on the RWA loops. I’m just more willing to air the dirty linen in public.

    It’s not making me as many friends as you might suppose. 😉

    Comment by Selah March — August 3, 2005 @ 4:43 pm | Reply

  3. Well, see, you have the best scuttlebutt that I have access to. (And it’s all about me. Of course.)

    And I dunno, this sort of dirty linen seems like it needs to be aired. We’re not talking some deeply personal problems suffered by individual BOD members that have no real bearing on romance–we’re talking public events that are related to the genre.

    Comment by Candy — August 3, 2005 @ 5:07 pm | Reply

  4. I hate to say it, but half this shit would NEVER happen in an organization made up primarily by men.

    Know why? They have no problem calling each other asshats in public, and knowing that makes them think twice about fucking up.

    But when you believe the well-brought-up ladies with whom you’ve taken High Tea at the last conference–I shit you not–would NEVER be ill-mannered enough to confront you publicly about your poor taste or judgment…

    Well, you see where it gets us.

    Comment by Selah March — August 3, 2005 @ 5:16 pm | Reply

  5. I’m all about airing it. I just have to be careful how I do it right now because of my position as a chapter president, but as I said very openly to the President-elect this week, “I’m honest and critical, but I’m polite.” Which earns me more responses in private than acclaim in public– after all, I’m kind of boring, but it’s what I have to do for right now.

    It’s a trait I’ve had to learn by very painful experience as Selah will attest– she also says if I get truly pissed, watch out. 🙂

    Comment by Barb — August 3, 2005 @ 6:37 pm | Reply

  6. Ms. Ferrer speaks the truth.

    I get cranky over this amateur-hour bullshit and lash out like a rebellious pubescent at the Powers That Be.

    But Barb? Barb will eviscerate you with a well-turned phrase and poach your internal organs in a spicy, piquant broth before forcing you to take a seat and CHOW DOWN, baby.

    And you’d better use your best table manners while you’re at it.

    Don’t cross the Fashionista.

    Comment by Selah March — August 3, 2005 @ 7:16 pm | Reply

  7. I can’t wait until we get rid of TTQ and her gang.

    It’s ridiculous that NOBODY was in charge of QAing the stupid video and the script. And that email from the Award Chair meant nothing. It merely showed that she had only ONE meeting with the production company — woohoo!

    I sometimes wonder why I pay over $100/year for the “privilege” of being a part of this mess.

    Comment by Angelle — August 3, 2005 @ 9:12 pm | Reply

  8. I wasn’t there, but I feel the need to make one comment. I’m conservative, Christian, white, and Republican, and I was appalled. I’m not a member of RWA yet, and I’m starting to seriously doubt if I should become one. What a horrible mess. I live near Oklahoma City; even after ten years the memories are fresh. If they’d shown footage of the bombing I would have walked out.

    Comment by Robyn — August 3, 2005 @ 9:38 pm | Reply

  9. Robyn–and yes, I know how this sounds–some of my dearest friends and most beloved family members are conservative Christian Republicans. I would’ve had the same reaction to ANY political bias in an awards ceremony–been just as appalled if the organizers had made Clinton look like a god and the Presidents Bush I and II looks like fools.

    There’s simply no place for politics in an event like this one, much less the horrible replay of one tragedy after another during what was supposed to be a celebration. And members of ALL political persuasions are protesting it, believe me. Which is as it should be.

    Please reconsider joining RWA. There are some excellent, welcoming people within the organization, and some wonderful benefits to be had. 🙂

    Comment by Selah March — August 3, 2005 @ 9:50 pm | Reply

  10. Angelle, I hear you. But I think the situation has reached critical mass. Things are going to change, and change quickly, especially with a new administration on its way in.

    Don’t give up hope.

    And on that Pollyannaish note…

    Comment by Selah March — August 3, 2005 @ 9:51 pm | Reply

  11. Well, I’m totally sick of people (men and women) unwilling to accept any responsibility or to tell the truth. Too many go into their dance (just like in “Razzle Dazzle” – one of my favorite numbers in “Chicago.”)

    Comment by Kathy Holmes — August 4, 2005 @ 9:14 am | Reply

  12. Like Robyn in the above post, I’m a Christian and Republican and find the awards fiasco appalling as well.

    It amazes me that the author of the “script” is being so well protected –I find it hard to believe none of the board members wrote nor reviewed the presentation before the event.

    Comment by Robin Bayne — August 4, 2005 @ 10:04 am | Reply

  13. I heartily agree that this would not be happening in an organization run by men. I’ll go one step further and say that if this happened at a conference for another genre that was dominated by men, people would have gotten up and left.

    I know it’s a busy job and all, picking meaningless things to expend effort on like defining romance to push out people we don’t like and keeping naughty words out of books – but really, a bit of time thinking about how the combination of certain events and themes might affect an awards show would have been a positive act.

    But you know, I’m one of “those” writers, you know, making porn and dragging the genre down and all so my opinion doesn’t count.

    Comment by Lauren Dane — August 4, 2005 @ 12:41 pm | Reply

  14. I love you all, but even if my primary interest was romance writing, I wouldn’t join the RWA right now if it was the only chance to get a publishing deal short of actually setting myself on fire to get some CNN coverage.

    But Selah and I have had this discussion, and she’s not yet ready to admit her wrongness. 🙂 (And that is said with tongue planted firmly in cheek…the one in my mouth, I mean…no, wait, that doesn’t sound better….never mind.)

    Comment by Donald Francis — August 5, 2005 @ 10:02 am | Reply


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