Selah March

August 5, 2005

Trash Like Me

Filed under: blah blah blah,Romancelandia,RWA — Selah March @ 9:32 am
Tags:

UPDATE: link to official letter from RWA Board of Directors. Please note that this letter was sent WITH PERMISSION TO FORWARD. Also, please note that the AWARDS CEREMONY BOARD LIAISON referenced in the letter is RWA President Tara Taylor Quinn.

And check out Jenny Crusie’s take on the sitch. I should’ve shut up and let her say it. She does it so much better.

(8/6/05 at 11:30 AM EST)

*******

“Blame it all on my roots…I showed up in boots…and ruined your black tie affair…”

The backlash has begun, as we knew it would. I, and others like me–we bloggers in the romance community who just couldn’t keep our mouths shut in public–are being told we’ve betrayed our sisters with our candor. We’re being called disloyal. Unladylike. SHRILL.

Is this the part where I’m supposed to apologize for possessing both an opinion AND the temerity to express it where I believed it would do the most good?

“Keep it private.”

“Don’t air our dirty laundry in public.”

“…for the good of the organization…”

“Protect the image of romance fiction…”

I’ve heard this before. Every product of every dysfunctional family in the world has heard some form of it.

“If anybody asks, your father is out of town on business.”

“Tell Grandma/your teacher/your best friend that you fell down the stairs.”

“If the people from the electric company call, tell them I’m not home.”

“Shhh…nice girls don’t tell.” Not even when the guidance counselor keeps them late after school and sticks his hand down the fronts of their shirts and his tongue down their throats? Really?

Really. Four different nice girls in my high school graduating class didn’t tell. And believe me when I say we were ALL “nice” girls. He knew how to pick ’em. We were the ones who knew our place, and knew how to keep it.

I quit being a nice girl the day I ratted him out. I took quite a bit of shit for that, too. Our small town didn’t know too much about sexual abuse or harassment in 1983, so we played a few rounds of “blame the victim,” and then I graduated and went on to college and never looked back.

I haven’t been very nice ever since. And I’ve learned to despise the tea party politics that allow shit like the Graphical Standards mess, the Definition of Romance gibberish, and now the 2005 GH/RITA Awards Ceremony disaster to fester.

People are saying we shouldn’t be talking about it off the RWA loops. They’re saying we shouldn’t be pointing fingers and asking for explanations and demanding that the guilty parties stand up and take responsibility for their screw-ups–not even ON the private loops. Because what good will it do? Why hurt people’s feelings? Can’t we just move on?

(Ken Starr didn’t seem to think so. But that’s different, of course. TOTALLY different.)

Who’s afraid of the light of day? If we have to protect the image of the RWA from the truth, then is that image worth protecting? How about if we start from scratch, right out here in front of God and everybody, and build a new image? One that doesn’t include the panicked secrecy and furtive machinations that have so obviously been a part of the most recent incarnation?

This will be my last post on this subject, unless something else of significance happens. There are more important matters to talk about, like the tragic loss of author Marianne Mancusi’s home to fire while she was at the national conference. You can find out more and discover how you can help rebuild Marianne’s lost library, or make other donations HERE and HERE.

Lest I leave the impression that I’m being persecuted, my mail and blog comments are running about fifty to one in the “you go, girl” category. The Ladies Who Lunch may have no use for trash like me, but I’m pleased to note that I’ve got friends in low places.

48 Comments »

  1. You have friends in all KINDS of places.

    You go, girl. We love you, Cleveland, Rock On! Good Night!

    Comment by Donald Francis — August 5, 2005 @ 9:56 am | Reply

  2. Hmmm, this must be on the lists, right? I don’t visit many tea-lady blogs because they’re too damn boring.

    That’s another common tactic. Shut up the dissent. It’s amazing how our culture is getting more and more like communist Russia’s used to be the more right we slip.

    Comment by Monica — August 5, 2005 @ 10:11 am | Reply

  3. Yes, this would be on the lists, Monica. The nice girls aren’t blogging the topic at all.

    “Least said, soonest mended.”

    Pardon me while I boot my breakfast.

    Comment by Selah March — August 5, 2005 @ 10:18 am | Reply

  4. How about if we start from scratch, right out here in front of God and everybody, and build a new image? One that doesn’t include the panicked secrecy and furtive machinations that have so obviously been a part of the most recent incarnation?

    I’m definitely looking forward to the new administration. I know there are some very fine members on the BOD right now who have been outspoken about this summer’s hoopla. I admire them greatly, and agree it’s time to move forward.

    Comment by Alison Kent — August 5, 2005 @ 10:47 am | Reply

  5. Absolutely, Alison. A handful of BoD members have stated on the private loops that they’re appalled with how the planning for the GH/RITA ceremony was handled, how the entire event went down, and how the individual(s) responsible for the disaster is/are refusing to take responsibility.

    Luckily, most of these fine women–who seem to have both the sense God gave cabbage AND the courage of their convictions–will continue to serve on the board for another year.

    November can’t come soon enough.

    Comment by Selah March — August 5, 2005 @ 10:58 am | Reply

  6. Just a thought…

    We sit and complain about how things are done…and rightly so in this case as far as I can tell. But generally,complain is all we do. Let’s all join RWA…write letters, talk to people, get involved in the organization..let our voices be heard on the matter. Let’s not quietly sit on the sidelines and let others ruin the organization.

    And, no I’m not a member at this time but my application is printed out and ready to be mailed:-)

    Comment by Jean — August 5, 2005 @ 11:55 am | Reply

  7. Jean, it’s precisely why I feel the right to erm, air my opinion *g* so vociferously. I’m a member– and beyond that, I’ve served on committees and as a president of a chapter.

    They don’t want crap like this going public, then don’t wait until it’s become the Dumpster speeding down the steep hill and put a flimsy wood barrier in place at the last second and think it’s going to help. (Okay, it’s a crappy metaphor, but I suck at those.) Point is, if the individual(s) responsible would have spoken up on MONDAY, when all of this broke and said a simple, “You know, we’re very sorry and we’ll make sure this never happens again,” I’ll lay money this wouldn’t have turned into the disaster it’s become– and why we’re all complaining.

    However, I’m all about putting your money where your mouth is, which is why I told (President-elect) Gayle Wilson if there’s any way in which I can help keep a disaster like this from happening again, let me know.

    Yeah, I’m certifiable. Fit me for the fashionable jacket with the extra long sleeves and decorative metal hardware.

    Comment by Barb — August 5, 2005 @ 12:19 pm | Reply

  8. Jean,

    If you know what’s broken, sure.

    But they’re not telling. They won’t even tell where things started breaking down. How are we supposed to fix it if we don’t know?

    When people say things like “Be positive! Offer constructive criticism!” I feel like a surgeon operating on a patient whose cause of illness is a complete mystery to me.

    Comment by Angelle Trieste — August 5, 2005 @ 12:58 pm | Reply

  9. I see it like this.

    “It they wanted to keep it private, for the good of the organization, to protect the image of romance fiction and to not air dirty laundry in public”

    They should have never let it happen in the first place. OR apologized PROFUSELY. IMMEADIATELY. AFTERWARDS.

    Angelle, I think the breakdown hapened with the President when the board gave her the complete authority to control the whole thing herself. There were no screamers of,”FIRE!!”

    And seriously Selah, you have had some serious blog linkage from this. It’s petty jealousy.

    Comment by Eva Gale — August 5, 2005 @ 2:58 pm | Reply

  10. Damn what typo’s. And I write? Shit.

    Comment by Eva Gale — August 5, 2005 @ 3:00 pm | Reply

  11. Briana–AT the start of this week, I doubt as many as fifteen people read my blog with any regularity, and that includes family and close friends. I had no idea this issue was going to explode as it did. Graphical Standards didn’t. Definition of Romance surely didn’t. I’m as amazed at how much attention this is getting as anyone else. It’s a little disconcerting, to be honest.

    So I suppose some small portion of the backlash could be attributed to jealousy. But today alone, I–and other bloggers who’ve been talking openly about this–have been called obnoxious, unprofessional, nasty, and said to reek like roadkill. I find it hard to chalk that kind of animosity up to simple envy at what I’m sure will be a temporary spike in blog traffic.

    We’ve broken ranks. Exposed the not-so-white underbelly of romance community politics. And for that, we must be made to SQUIRM.

    See me squirmin’?

    No?

    Oh well. Maybe tomorrow. 😉

    Comment by Selah March — August 5, 2005 @ 5:04 pm | Reply

  12. Believe me, I know you didn’t do it for the linkage explosion. You were the first to break rank.

    “obnoxious, unprofessional, nasty, and said to reek like roadkill.”???

    Now see, I would think that not having the moral fortitude to admit your wrong and apologize would make a person belong to that grouping.

    I am beyond amazed at how hard a freakin apology is. This is the crap I deal with from my twin toddlers. Not grown women.

    They demeaned the who genre of romance itself. It should be public. That way the public knows that not all romance writers agree with it, and MAYBE we can somehow redeem ourselves from the cesspool they have sunk us into.

    You? Dissemble? Please.

    Comment by Eva Gale — August 5, 2005 @ 5:22 pm | Reply

  13. Selah,

    I’m putting myself firmly in the YOU GO GIRL camp. T-Shirts and smores for us!!! I sat in the front row of that fiasco, and I’m just thankful I wasn’t the only one sitting there thinking, WTF!

    -Tonda

    Comment by Anonymous — August 5, 2005 @ 5:51 pm | Reply

  14. Thanks for the support, guys. It means a lot. But in fact, I wasn’t quite the first to break ranks–the title of Bravest Little Toaster goes to Corrina Law, who was the first to post Nora’s letter.

    http://www.livejournal.com/users/corrinalaw/9282.html

    Comment by Selah March — August 5, 2005 @ 6:33 pm | Reply

  15. So what are they calling Nora Roberts, who was one of the first to make a public statement? She published her letter on her website.

    Please. The shame, embarrassment, guilt, or other self-punishing emotion should lie with anyone who would actually suggest it’s your fault for discussing the event (what about those Bravo folks by the way — you know, the ones FILMING the event?). Frankly, I think it’s time for the “good girl” fantasy in Romance to be brought to its knees — the fantasy, folks, not the girl.

    Comment by Anonymous — August 5, 2005 @ 6:34 pm | Reply

  16. You GO GIRL and don’t let them shut you up!

    The time to worry about the RWA’s image was BEFORE some religious, misogynistic, right-wing bigot (s) hijacked the show, or RIGHT AFTERWARD when those responsible should have resigned or been shown the door.

    Please let’s NOT shut up about this, NOT keep quiet or protect the folks who did this.

    I’m FURIOUS that our celebration was corrupted by those entrusted with it.

    THEY are the ones drawing horrible, embarrassing attention to THEIR ACTIONS at Nationals.

    Do not fall for the plea to help them get away with it.

    Is the RWA here to celebrate and support writers?

    Or to protect and aggrandize a religious, republican, bigoted political platform for Ms. Q? She owes us — each and every one of us a personal apology, right before she resigns.

    Please, folks, don’t resign your membership — we need to make sure this cannot happen again.

    Comment by Anonymous — August 5, 2005 @ 7:01 pm | Reply

  17. I was at the event and I, too, was appalled by the video images and accompanying music. However, I think what I object to in the blogs is that the term RWA is being bandied about when 7000 RWA members weren’t even there (no guilt there!) and another 2000 of us were sitting there in horror. It’s not RWA, it’s a few individuals that make us all look like a bunch of ninny’s.

    I don’t think we should hide it, I don’t think we could if we tried, but it was only offensive, not murderous. No crimes were committed (except crimes of the heart). And I do think the organization will take care of this in no time flat….no one is going to get away with anything they shouldn’t.

    But really, a video montage in poor taste doesn’t hold a candle to Marianne’s loss, or the issues in Niger, or the true celebration of the achievements of the real winners that night. Nora was awesome in her stance for integrity, and believe me, there hasn’t been one note that I’ve read where anyone thought she was wrong or sought to defend the evening.

    Comment by Anonymous — August 5, 2005 @ 7:52 pm | Reply

  18. I’m so furious I should not be posting this, but you know, the consensus seems to be we should not censor ourselves, so here goes.

    1. My fury stems from the fact that you took MY words off a PRIVATE list-serve that frequently and loudly states its rules that prevent you from doing that without permission. I hope you get banned from the lists for it.

    2. Since you’re using my words for this post, I’ll address a couple of things. I never said no one should complain. There was a big problem and there are some rational, smart, professional people discussing that problem. I questioned the value as published authors in posting such things on blogs meant for readers, which is why I haven’t posted anything on my own blog. And I decried the habit of CERTAIN INDIVIDUALS, not ALL BLOGGERS, of spreading lies, stating rumor as fact, being hateful and calling people names.

    3. I’ve never been here before. To assume that my comment on CERTAIN INDIVIDUAL BLOGGERS meant you is exceedingly arrogant and self-centered. Something that also happens when discussions about big issues get out of hand.

    Comment by Natalie Damschroder — August 5, 2005 @ 8:04 pm | Reply

  19. My fury stems from the fact that you took MY words off a PRIVATE list-serve that frequently and loudly states its rules that prevent you from doing that without permission….

    …I’ve never been here before. To assume that my comment on CERTAIN INDIVIDUAL BLOGGERS meant you is exceedingly arrogant and self-centered. Something that also happens when discussions about big issues get out of hand.

    Whoa. First of all, I quoted no one directly. I took the sense of several statements and included them in my post. You believe you’re the only one out there who’s called me obnoxious this week? And I’M self-centered?

    I never said no one should complain. There was a big problem and there are some rational, smart, professional people discussing that problem. I questioned the value as published authors in posting such things on blogs meant for readers, which is why I haven’t posted anything on my own blog. And I decried the habit of CERTAIN INDIVIDUALS, not ALL BLOGGERS, of spreading lies, stating rumor as fact, being hateful and calling people names.

    Show me where, exactly, I said anybody was persecuting ALL bloggers? If I gave that impression, I apologize. It wasn’t intended.

    On your other point, we’ll have to disagree. I see no reason to keep a lid on this kind of nasty, festering wound, only to watch the infection spread. Sunlight and fresh air are good for what ails you, whether you be a sick body or a sick organization.

    But I’m talking to myself, aren’t I? You’ve said your piece and you won’t be back.

    Ah, well.

    Comment by Selah March — August 5, 2005 @ 8:22 pm | Reply

  20. Touché for calling me arrogant back. I knew you would, but it’s okay, I probably am.

    I never called anyone obnoxious. I just recognized specific phraseology from posts I made in a private forum.

    And you missed the part where I said I never read this blog before, therefore I couldn’t have been talking about you.

    We don’t disagree. I think what happened was unfortunate and should be talked about, yes. I think the person responsible needs to take responsibility and offer an apology, and she still might, in an official outlet. I think anyone who disliked the awards ceremony has every right to say so, and should.

    I expressed an opinion that I personally don’t think it is a good idea to spew bile, spread lies, state rumor as fact…wait, I’m repeating myself.

    Anyway, I don’t post and run.

    Comment by Natalie Damschroder — August 5, 2005 @ 8:38 pm | Reply

  21. I never called anyone obnoxious. I just recognized specific phraseology from posts I made in a private forum.

    I don’t remember who called me or anybody else obnoxious or who used the word unprofessional and who it was that said something about dead animals anymore. That’s why I consider it paraphrasing and not quoting. The basic tenor of the conversation was that we were BAD girls for airing dirty linen in public. As for “spewing bile”… well, we see it differently, as I said.

    I expressed an opinion that I personally don’t think it is a good idea to spew bile, spread lies, state rumor as fact…wait, I’m repeating myself.

    But my real concern is your repetition of the “lies and rumors” thing. I’ve been taken to task for having a big mouth on this, but not once has anyone stepped up to tell me the details I’ve posted are incorrect. And, in fact, as more and more of the truth comes to light via various members of the BoD, my take on the situation appears to be pretty close to accurate. Perfectly so? Probably not, and I’m willing to eat my moutful of crow for the little bits I got wrong.

    If you or someone else can point out a factual error in anything I’ve posted…I’m listening.

    Comment by Selah March — August 5, 2005 @ 8:58 pm | Reply

  22. Selah, please listen.

    IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU.

    I never ever ever ever said YOU posted lies or spewed bile. I said other people did. My ONLY problem with your post is your assumption that I was talking about you!

    Maybe other people who have said similar things have been talking about you. I have NOT.

    Comment by Natalie Damschroder — August 5, 2005 @ 9:14 pm | Reply

  23. My ONLY problem with your post is your assumption that I was talking about you!

    We appear to be at cross-purposes.

    I don’t know which phrases you believe are quoted from your comments, because, as I said, I was paraphrasing the general tenor of the conversation.

    You insist you don’t know me from Eve (and I believe you).

    If you’d like to email me (link at bottom of any post) and identify the specific phrases that make you uncomfortable, I will be happy to rephrase.

    Comment by Selah March — August 5, 2005 @ 9:21 pm | Reply

  24. How DARE you call yourself “trash,” even in snark. You are a romance writer, a wondrful person, someone we value. Don’t do it again.

    Robin

    Comment by Robin D Owens — August 5, 2005 @ 9:30 pm | Reply

  25. There are no incorrect facts on this particular blog entry so much as a certain degree of inflammatory spin. I say this never having visited this blog before thirty minutes ago and having been privy to the actual posts on the RWA loops being “paraphrased” here.

    There are, however, exaggerations and assumptions herein which imply there’s a concentrated, “tea lady”, large scale attack on folks who dare to blog about the RWA ceremony. Not precisely true. However, I can’t speak for any private emails Ms. March might have received. I can only speak for what I’ve read with my own two nearsighted eyes on the PRIVATE RWA loops — what it was in its original form, what it’s being spun into here, what it will doubtless be spun into all over this insular portion of the blogoverse in the next couple hours.

    Now keep in mind that, like the other posters here, I agree the awards ceremony sounded painful, not to mention boring, and there’s obviously a communications issue with the RWA Board this year. So don’t assume I’m trying to come in here and enforce my wingnut Republican agenda on anybody because I’m not all, You Go Girl. I read the originals and the paraphrase and I clearly see the spin — and I know how it’s going to continue to spin until the end result bears minor resemblance to what transpired on the PRIVATE loops wherein a discussion is taking place that is increasingly constructive about how to prevent an RWA ceremony from going awry in the future. Best of all, lots of people are volunteering and getting interested instead of just, you know, blogging about it. Spinning stuff so it’s louder and more impressively outraged.

    As for me, yeah, I want to know what the hell happened, but I can wait for the official posts and explanations that I have faith will come. If they do not come, you bet your bippy I’ll be sending some emails — to the BOARD, though, where they’ll do the most good.

    Comment by Ellie M. — August 5, 2005 @ 9:31 pm | Reply

  26. If you’d like to email me (link at bottom of any post) and identify the specific phrases that make you uncomfortable, I will be happy to rephrase.

    Thanks, but I think I’m going to let it end here. My fury has dissipated, I like the way you’re handling me {g}, I’m a bit ashamed of letting my anger take control of me, and I’m so, so tired of it all.

    Comment by Natalie Damschroder — August 5, 2005 @ 9:31 pm | Reply

  27. I think what bothers me the most– (and I was there and I’ve written to the board and I’ve crossed my t’s and dotted my i’s and all that Polite Girl Scout stuff) is the assumption and boy howdy, this is an assumption I feel fairly safe making, that Selah hasn’t mailed an email to the Board or to any individuals. Does anyone know if she hasn’t for sure? Hm… didn’t think so. As far as spin? No, not seeing so much as I’m seeing opinion. Remember those? Those things we’re allegedly allowed in this joint? Free speech and all that?

    Feh.

    I mean, really. You work your ass off (and trust me, Selah has and still does work her ass off for the various chapters she belongs to) and you’re not allowed to say what you feel in whichever terms you choose in a space you pay for? And she does so fairly politely, compared to some of the real vitriol spewing blogs out there.

    Feh, again.

    People have faith they’re going to get an apology? I’m still waiting for the one about the Graphical Standards. *hears crickets chirping* Oh, I mean the sincere one. And yes, there’s probably an “apology” circulating out there as we speak. Believe me. It’s not the last we’re going to hear.

    It’s really, really not. And it won’t have a darned thing to do with bloggers.

    Comment by Barb — August 5, 2005 @ 9:46 pm | Reply

  28. Thanks, but I think I’m going to let it end here. My fury has dissipated, I like the way you’re handling me {g}, I’m a bit ashamed of letting my anger take control of me, and I’m so, so tired of it all.

    That makes two of us. Actually, I bet it makes a whole lot more than two. Good night, Natalie. 🙂

    Comment by Selah March — August 5, 2005 @ 9:46 pm | Reply

  29. Lest I leave the impression that I’m being persecuted, my mail and blog comments are running about fifty to one in the “you go, girl” category.

    Do you mean that anyone who disagrees with you is persecuting you? I hope not.

    Comment by Anonymous — August 5, 2005 @ 9:48 pm | Reply

  30. How DARE you call yourself “trash,” even in snark. You are a romance writer, a wondrful person, someone we value. Don’t do it again.

    Robin

    Hey, no fair making me cry! Thank you, Robin.

    And Barb? Nobody works as hard as you for as little respect, and we both know it. *smoochies*

    OooooKAY. How ’bout them Red Sox, huh??

    Comment by Selah March — August 5, 2005 @ 9:52 pm | Reply

  31. Do you mean that anyone who disagrees with you is persecuting you? I hope not.

    Hardly. Open debate is a lovesome thing, wot?

    Being told to sit down and shut up sort of sucks, though.

    Comment by Selah March — August 5, 2005 @ 10:01 pm | Reply

  32. And Barb? Nobody works as hard as you for as little respect, and we both know it. *smoochies*

    Nah… I’m good. I get what I need from those whom I need it most. That’s all that counts in the long run.

    Well, that and a good slice of cheesecake. 😉

    Comment by Barb — August 5, 2005 @ 10:15 pm | Reply

  33. Hey, if Ms. March and everyone concerned writes constructive ideas to the Board, volunteers and runs for office, that’s awesome. Maybe we’ll have more than one candidate to choose from for a change. I’ll probably ask them with tons of questions. There are many things I am concerned about right now that effect RWA.

    However, there’s a difference in stating opinions and stating opinions as fact.

    What Ms. March says here today, slanted into a nicely outraged package, will be repeated as fact tomorrow. The next day somebody is going to be saying the RWA president contacted her and told her she had to shut up or else. I’ve read some stuff today stated as “fact” that has just made me shake my head.

    (Unless, of course, the president actually contacted her offlist and ordered her to shut her yap, which is pretty sad, because Madame President should be working on the Board’s official statement to the membership, not emailing random bloggers!)

    My “opinion” is that what the “people” are saying, as portrayed here, does not entirely represent what or how it was actually said. (On the aforementioned private list, mind you, not in Ms. March’s overflowing inbox.) And the problem is that tomorrow Ms. March’s spin will be further spun until it’s one wack job of a tilted washing machine.

    Everyone has the right to gab. Everyone has the right to spin. Everyone has the right to rage against whatever enrages them. But at what point does public raging about issues of this ilk become, hm, less than constructive? Perhaps when we claim RWA’s membership, when a few of them wish for moderation on the blogs or hope that RWA can repair its communcations problems internally, is akin to sexual predators?

    There are all sorts of mob mentality. “You must play nice”, as everyone decries here, demonstrates one type. I myself am obviously not a nice person. You may repeat this as fact, as it it quite true :). However, blog entries that delve into specious comparisions demonstrate another stamp of mob mentality.

    And yes, I’ve seen much worse. I’ve seen absolute untruths repeated as facts, crap that gets out of the insular RWA blogging circuit and to be mocked even more than we’re normally mocked for writing romance of all stamps. I don’t buy the argument that “RWA deserves it for the crap they’ve been pullling”. What RWA deserves is for its members to make sure it remains the vital organization we need it to be by proactively seeking change and helping out where needs are not being met.

    Is hysteria on the loops and blogs the way to get what we need? Hm. Not so sure about that, especially not since hysteria breeds hysteria.

    Comment by Ellie M. — August 5, 2005 @ 10:23 pm | Reply

  34. Hey there, Selah.

    The “roadkill” was my description. However, it wasn’t in regard to your particular blog. Heck, I have you LINKED from mine. In fact, the blogs I was referencing – none of them were RWA member blogs.

    My only problem with RWA members blogging about the issues with Conference is that so much of what was fabulous is being totally overlooked. Aside from the awards, rest of it was the best I’ve ever experienced. I hate to think that three hours of imperfection would so overshadow how great rest of it was.

    Even the hotel food. And that’s saying something.

    Comment by Brenda Bradshaw — August 5, 2005 @ 10:28 pm | Reply

  35. Is hysteria on the loops and blogs the way to get what we need? Hm. Not so sure about that, especially not since hysteria breeds hysteria.

    Not gonna argue with you there. Total truth and I’m in total agreement.

    However, I’ve said it since Sunday, on the flight home, when I was speculating with my seatmates just what might happen, and I’ll say it again now, on Friday, when what I thought might happen did happen.

    And my basic consensus was, if the President waits too long to address this, she’s going to have a shitstorm of controversy. The members are fed up with being caught in the middle of these controversies, morever, they’re fed up with having to wait for explanations that aren’t really explanations and apologies that aren’t really apologies, usually delivered with a nice helping of condescension and defensiveness (IMO) from the individual who is ostensibly our leader.

    In this case, I’ve been loudly applauding the other individuals who have stepped forward and tried to offer what explanations they felt they could. Had this not been the only controversy this summer, it might well have sufficed. But given what’s already gone down? People are waiting to hear from the person they feel is responsible and the silence has been pretty much deafening. As it has been most every time we’ve wanted an explanation.

    Again. I argue that people are simply fed up. This whole spring and summer’s been like a pressure cooker building and about to explode.

    Boom.

    Comment by Barb — August 5, 2005 @ 10:36 pm | Reply

  36. Barb said: >>they’re fed up with having to wait for explanations that aren’t really explanations and apologies that aren’t really apologies [snip]

    I just promised Selah I would leave her blog alone, but I did want to point out that the convulsions now aren’t any more or less hateful than the convulsions during the other RWA poopstorms. (This one is more widespread as it began at a public ceremony, but the vitriol is the same.) Should we take a risk and assume the loudest individuals — not pointing fingers, no idea of names or secret identities — were fed up a long time before that and looking for a platform? But some folks just like to be fed up, and one wonders if some of the worst offenders are among this fascinating and versatile group. Not pointing fingers there, either, as recently lost psychic abilities in the microwave pudding incident.

    Ellie M (again! and quitting now, I swear!)

    Comment by Ellie M. — August 5, 2005 @ 10:59 pm | Reply

  37. Hey, Brenda.

    The “roadkill” was my description. However, it wasn’t in regard to your particular blog. Heck, I have you LINKED from mine. In fact, the blogs I was referencing – none of them were RWA member blogs.

    Okay, okay, I get it. It’s really not ALL ABOUT ME. See? I can be educated.

    Seriously, what I said was “I–and other bloggers who’ve been talking openly about this–” were being given a hard time in various places for coming forward in public. We’ve been scolded on other blogs, on lists, etc. The general tenor of several conversations has been “shame on them, the disloyal bitcas.” And I have a problem with that, on behalf of EVERYONE who stepped forward and publicly decried the fiasco, so I talked about it.

    My only problem with RWA members blogging about the issues with Conference is that so much of what was fabulous is being totally overlooked. Aside from the awards, rest of it was the best I’ve ever experienced. I hate to think that three hours of imperfection would so overshadow how great rest of it was.

    Even the hotel food. And that’s saying something.

    And you make an excellent point. My larger problem stems from the fact that the GH/RITA disaster wasn’t an isolated incident, but the culmination of a lot of bad underlying tension that’s been going on for far too long. (See Barb’s previous comment.)

    Had it been an isolated bad event, I never would’ve said a word. People make mistakes. (You should see my latest haircut.)

    But I don’t believe it was an isolated event, nor do I believe that keeping it a private matter would necessarily be better for the organization. The publicity has brought a great deal of pressure to bear on those who would otherwise prefer to let the entire mess blow over.

    But, like my haircut, this too shall pass.

    Comment by Selah March — August 5, 2005 @ 11:12 pm | Reply

  38. Not pointing fingers there, either, as recently lost psychic abilities in the microwave pudding incident.

    Ellie M (again! and quitting now, I swear!)

    Ellie–Your essays make my brain hurt. Thank God Barb took it upon herself to answer you, because I’m not up to it.

    But anyone who can make me laugh at this hour of night is welcome here anytime. We can always use a devil’s advocate in the house. 🙂

    Selah

    Comment by Selah March — August 5, 2005 @ 11:17 pm | Reply

  39. Just doing my part to further the shitstorm, but has anyone noticed that Ellie, who is pointing fingers at sundry non-specific persons for spin and citing opinion as fact, is spinning our words at quite a remarkable rate?

    For instance, on Smart Bitches, I used the phrase “rumblings and murmurings” to describe the censure, and on your blog entry, you posted the disclaimer about how you’re getting 50-to-1 positive vs. negative messages. Then in a comment on Smart Bitches, she notes “there’s no huge movement of people leaning on anybody who dares to post displeasure about the RWA ceremony or RWA in general on their blogs.” This heavily implies that SOMEBODY out there is saying that there’s been widespread censure. Who? From what I’ve read (and admittedly my blog rounds are far, far from comprehensive) the two people who have made note of the censure are you and me.

    So what gives, Ellie? Why the spin?

    And another snippet of a comment by Ellie on Smart Bitches: “RWA’s the wellspring of right-wing, religious, republican, bigoted, misogynistic racists with an agenda to get rid of anybody like they are.”

    Who the hell is SAYING that? Some fringe-type lefties might be, but I thought we were pretty clear that the vast majority of us were talking about specific people with specific agendas.

    I’d love it if Ellie could point out which blogs specifically blame ALL of the RWA for being the wellspring of Republican propaganda, or which blogs have the temerity to claim that the brave little bunnies who are speaking up are now facing a firestorm of collective disapproval.

    I’m feeling pretty fucking peeved right now. Is it showing?

    Comment by Candy — August 6, 2005 @ 2:52 pm | Reply

  40. Well, yes, one can tell that I’m pretty fucking peeved. My sentences go all to shit and I forget to include pertinent links.

    *headdesk*

    Anyway, the snippet of a comment by Ellie when viewed in context was meant sarcastically. Those of you who are interested in reading the comments in full, click heah.

    Comment by Candy — August 6, 2005 @ 3:02 pm | Reply

  41. I pontificatd on Selah’s blog enough already….I’ll respond to this and the other on the SBTB blog. If you don’t want me to blogmix, just del my upcoming post or email me (email on my site).

    Comment by Ellie M. — August 6, 2005 @ 5:17 pm | Reply

  42. Candy, if you’re out there…sorry to reply so late. I actually went outside and allowed the sun to touch my face today.

    1)There isn’t a huge movement to silence or censure those who have blogged about the RWA’s recent issues. There ARE some folks who wish we’d shut up, though, and aren’t shy about saying so.

    And they are entitled to their opinions.

    And we are entitled to our opinions about their opinions.

    2)The RWA membership encompasses a broad range of political/social/ religious affiliations, which is why it’s not okay for one or two or three individuals to turn what’s supposed to be a non-political celebration into a platform for ANY agenda, other than “ROMANCE ROCKS–LET’S GET WASTED!”

    I don’t believe I’ve posted anything to the affect that certain bloggers are being hunted with torches and pitchforks. Nor have I ever said that the RWA, as a whole, is a hot-bed of rabid right-wingnuts. I can’t be responsible for what people choose to see when they visit here or anywhere else.

    Reading comprehension: it’s not just for third-graders anymore.

    Comment by Selah March — August 6, 2005 @ 8:57 pm | Reply

  43. And yes, that would be “effect” and not “affect” because I’M not in third grade, either.

    Comment by Selah March — August 6, 2005 @ 8:59 pm | Reply

  44. Selah, if you’re trash, then please hang with me! The people others labeled as “trash” were usually the most loyal group of friends I ever had.

    Comment by Anonymous — August 6, 2005 @ 9:54 pm | Reply

  45. You see, I really hope she listens to some of y’all. Because if she’s “trash” I don’t even want to think of where it puts some of the rest of us. *G*

    See? I have the benefit of actually knowing this lovely, kind, talented lady.

    Trash? No pet. Not at all. No matter the context.

    Comment by Barb — August 7, 2005 @ 9:38 am | Reply

  46. What I know about RWA-related trash, from my three years of wading through it: the authentic trash is what’s being cleaned up, apologized for and fretted over by those whose apathy and fear allowed it to grow into this huge stinking mess.

    You are a breath of fresh air. I wish I had known you when I was still a member; maybe I’d have stayed and fought instead of running for my sanity.

    Anyway. Having said my bit about trash, I second focusing on helping Marianne Mancusi. I had a wonderful time packing up my box of books and things and sending it off to her, and now I’m watching the first set of auctions to benefit her fire fund getting a very gratifying amount of bids. I’m also itching to know what else was donated; I can’t wait to see what comes up in the next batch of auctions.

    Comment by PBW — August 7, 2005 @ 9:35 pm | Reply

  47. I can tell you some of what’s coming up– critiques from Jenny Crusie, Suz Brockmann, & Steve Axelrod. And a bunch of other stuff I can’t even remember because this community has been so generous and has given so very much.

    So YAY for the good guys!

    Barb

    Comment by Barb — August 8, 2005 @ 8:16 am | Reply

  48. “I can’t be responsible for what people choose to see when they visit here or anywhere else.”

    You hit the nail right on the head, Selah. Too bad I was too peevish to actually articulate it, heee!

    Comment by Candy — August 8, 2005 @ 5:42 pm | Reply


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