It’s life but not as we know it

Well, I am clocking in from Continuum 7 — or the death thereof (finally done after two hundred and panels….). For a small con it was very well done, and nothing major went wrong except for the plague con, which had 3 people drop out which as two of us were still there, and there were only ever 3 people on it… tells me space-time was bent if not quite broken. 

Was fun to meet Brendan in the flesh!

On of the interesting things that came up was the ownership of material – particularly with myth (and gender, color orientation etc etc…). I was amused to be told by co-panelist (who is the sort of writer who wins awards -lambda etc) that it was just fine if they were the myths of top down cultures but a problem (perhaps) if they were bottom up. (Kate, restrain yourself). While I had delightful mental images at this, I, in the interest of avoiding a GOH flamewar, refrained from sharing them. I gather this means apartheid is fine as long as the ‘right’ people are the beneficiaries. Oddly, when it is convenient, this includes you, but if it’s someone else’s ‘ exclusive’  area it does not apply. Oh well. We muddle on. I shall continue as an equal opportunity offender.

I probably have all sorts of intelligent things to say and debate about but I am suffering from con exhaustion and overstimulation.

I’ll try to reply, folks, but it depends on my ability to get internet access.

13 comments

  1. Good to meet you too Dave, I am so glad you had a good time, the number of official panels you were on must have been exhausting, but to see you volunteer for extra! That is what I call a work ethic. BRAVO!

    AlthoughI hope we aren’t stuck with you for too long, what with the flight cancellations and all. I know you want to get home and hope iyou aren’t held up too much.

    1. I’m safely home, and the programme organisers worked very hard at it too. Writing is my job – which I work hard at. Cons are part of that. With luck I will have made enough people laugh so that I will be a welcome guest at future cons around Australia.

  2. Hey, Dave. Sorry I missed you. Would have liked to be there to cheer you on.

    I spent the weekend sick with the flu, so it is just as well for everyone else that I wasn’t there.

    RE: the myths thing. Was the other author saying it was OK to appropriate myths if the people at the bottom of the pecking order were doing the appropriating?

    I just get confused. I know it is pollitically incorrect, but I figure we are all human beings. Once you look at myths from across different cultures you see the similarities.

    1. Hope you’re feeling better, Rowena.
      I think it went Ok (I’m inside, running on adrenalin, and so it is hard to assess).
      The author was indulging closet racism/sexism. It’s Okay to appropriate Western myth (or language or flush toilets or Breitling watches or Mercedes) (even if you are a native of Tokyo or Mogadishu) because these are the merely the property of bad people who are the descendents wicked male conquerers forced the peaceful matriarchs to recount their myths. And it serves them right, even unto 20 000 000 generation!

      It’s not Okay to use the myths of ‘people of colour’ because they are all peaceful matriachal societies where the myths drifted upwards like the scent of flowers from the gentle schoolgirls and the loving peaceful society, so infinitely superior because it is not Western, just like in Afganistan.
      This of course was the official premise of apartheid: that ‘weaker’cultures had to be protected. In practice of course it was simply an excuse for discrimination and ‘job reservation’ for those commanding the system. This too is the same. To me: the mythology of my ancestors — including some who were not Western european–is a common heritage to a species we call ‘human’. If you want to deny me the right to use part of yours – don’t use any part of mine. I promise I will apply as much sensitivity as I am capable of regardless of your sex religion orientation or skin colour, and I expect the same. And if you don’t like what I write, do, please, write a better version.

  3. Cons and Life As We Know It.

    Nope, no resemblence, and I’m not sure that’s not for the best.

    I mean, a society that was composed of SF/F fen, writers, readers, a few outside spouses (poor things!), and assorted children? The IQ rating would be scary, but imagine calling in the plumber. He or she would probably have a better idea and completely redesign the stuff under your sink into somehting suitable for a space ship. I mean, have _you_ ever seen anything so illogical? Just because it mostly works . . .

  4. I am human and I write humans. I also write mythological creatures and — occasionally — aliens. If the aliens have an issue they can take it up with me.

    1. But the mythological critters and the humans don’t have a say in things? Unfair!

  5. I was amused to be told by co-panelist (who is the sort of writer who wins awards -lambda etc) that it was just fine if they were the myths of top down cultures but a problem (perhaps) if they were bottom up.

    This isn’t quite as stupid as it sounds, because dominant group get to be that way by having people who aren’t nominally part of the group follow its rules and culture.

    For example, see this video from Hamas. Hamas is ideologically about as anti-western as you can get. Yet, not only is Farfur a ripoff of Mickey Mouse, but even the tiles behind him have western digits (Arab digits look different).

    Of course, by that logic if you use materials from other cultures, it is a sign of the growing status of such cultures – and that is why your co-panelist’s comment makes no sense.

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