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PAD Reality Check

COMMUNISM!!
So scans daily was suspended, which means comic book fans everywhere are exploding with rage and pain and feelings of deprivation and whatever okay it's a little hard for me to get behind all this anger and organization, etc, for a livejournal community. I'm sorry. Lately most of my energy is going towards tackling problems and injustices that happen in the real, three-dimensional, not-hosted-on-a-server world.

For instance, I went to Peter David's blog to see what he was saying about his alleged involvement, and I found out some things:

1. Peter David never reported S_D to LJ abuse; he reported it to Marvel.
2. Marvel never did anything about it because it didn't have time to before the comm was shut down.
3. Peter David is kind of a racist.

Guess which point I thought was most worth discussing! Go on. Guess. First two guesses don't count.

Scroll on down past the post about Scans Daily and take a look at that second post down. Peter David talks about someone who essentially called Americans cowardly for the whole "racism is TOTALLY OVER now that we've elected a black dude!" thing. Peter David responds by essentially saying that electing a black guy is ENOUGH, JEEZ, WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT, and summarily dismissing further race-related issues by saying that black people are just too darn hostile to talk about race with. (Must be all those years of, um, having to deal with racism on a personal level, but Peter David is white and thus apparently gets a pass on even trying to understand this.) Seriously, this is special:

I mean, what should we discuss? Racial epithets that whites can only refer to as "the N word" whereas blacks use the term routinely in rap songs? The word "niggardly," the utterance of which in a private staff meeting resulted in a mayoral aide in Washington, D.C. being forced to resign? What about off-hand jokes by radio personalities that wind up getting them fired from their gig no matter how much they endeavor to apologize for it? How about rioters in LA who express their dissatisfaction with what they see as racism by smashing into local electronics stores and stealing televisions and air conditioners? How about everyone from the ubiquitous Al Sharpton--as big a racist as there ever was--to the National Association of Black Journalists (were there an Association of White Journalists, such an entity would be declared racist by its very existence) declaring that the only possible interpretation of a NY Post cartoon was one that had racist overtones?

The fact is that black leaders, black activists, black organizations, have made it clear that any slight, real or imagined, is cause for condemnation, retaliation, and media pillorying of the highest order. Under the current atmosphere, who would WANT to discuss racism? Well...Barack Obama did, back when he gave that superb speech about Rev. Wright. I don't recall whites rioting over it. I don't recall whites going on TV in droves and screaming for censure. My recollection is that it was a major turning point for white voters to assess Eric Holder's future boss and deciding that they liked what they saw.


Blaming black people for racism! That's class with a super double dose of white privilege, right there.

He goes on to ask:

If you touch a hot stove, get burned, and say, "Whoa, I'm not touching that stove again," is that an act of cowardice?

Um, gee, PAD, that would depend. Did you leave the stove on in the first place? Did several people explain to you why the stove was on? Did you deliberately poke at it in a way that you knew would get your hand burned, then blame it entirely on the stove? Okay, this stove metaphor is stupid, I can't even keep it going because IT IS STUPID TO COMPARE THE ANTI-RACISM MOVEMENT TO AN INANIMATE OBJECT LIKE A STOVE.

But, yeah, you know, I can totally see how his involvement or non-involvement in the shutting down of a livejournal comics community is a bigger deal here.

BONUS SECTION: titles for this blog entry, as suggested by my boy:

X-Factor Doesn't Care About Black People
I Ain't Sayin' Peter David Is A Gold-Digger
Peter David Was a Hero To Most, But He Never Meant Shit To Me

Feel free to suggest your own.

EDIT: Hello people from other journals and places! It is really cool to hear that there are other people who are upset by this and think I'm not "picking the wrong battle" or whatever (as it was implied elsewhere that I am!) and that Peter David kind of needs to be destroyed. (Then we go after Frank Miller! Ahaha, I kid, there's no way we could destroy Frank Miller any faster than he's destroying himself.) Please know that I screen comments from folks I don't know, in no small part because I am obsessive-compulsive as fuck. But I usually unscreen comments as soon as possible, as long as they are not inherently oppressive an shitty! So don't let the screening stop you from sounding off. I also rant about feminist issues and homophobia!

Comments

( 88 comments — Leave a comment )
annlarimer
Feb. 28th, 2009 07:56 pm (UTC)
He devoted an entire issue of Supergirl to how hypocritically racist black people are. He's a ginormous, douchey dick.
angrylemur
Mar. 1st, 2009 12:33 am (UTC)
oh god he's the one responsible for the skanking up of Supergirl, isn't he? ISN'T HE?

Fuck, he's racist AND sexist! Not that it doesn't stand to reason that someone who's racist would also be sexist, but man. Ugh.
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thehefner
Feb. 28th, 2009 08:58 pm (UTC)
It's true, issues like this are far more important in the real world than comics.

But at the same time, his post about race was just yet another know-it-all ass posting racist and idiotic thoughts on his blog. The race thing was an indirect attack of asshattery on an important issue.

But the scans_daily thing was a direct attack of asshattery on a relatively trivial issue. One that matters/d to me for reasons both important (in terms of what I think it did and could do for the betterment of comics and sequential storytelling in general) and sentimental (it's where we met, after all).

That said, I did lol irl at the "TO AN INANIMATE OBJECT LIKE A STOVE" bit.

Also also, hi.
angrylemur
Mar. 1st, 2009 12:29 am (UTC)
I'd argue that racist statements are a direct attack, given how many peoples' lives are affected by racism every day.

I think that the S_D thing seemed more like a direct attack to you, because it was on something that you had personal stake in. Not that you don't have stake in ending racism - it's just not super-personal for you, so it's easy for you to see racist statements as indirect rantings rather than attacks.

Me, I feel more strongly about racism than I do about Scans Daily. Sure, it was an enjoyable comm, and yeah, we met there, but ultimately this has the potential to be for the better anyway, as people will likely set up a bunch of different comms run by people with differing tastes, which could lead to a bunch of smaller, more manageable comms with specific focuses within comics and thus generally more diversity in what comics are being circulated on the interwebs. If that makes any sense. I'd actually really like to see that happen.
(no subject) - thehefner - Mar. 1st, 2009 07:30 am (UTC) - Expand
cheezdanish
Feb. 28th, 2009 09:27 pm (UTC)
I am so totally throwing out my trashy Star Trek TNG novels now, man.

RIGHTEOUS INDIGNATION
angrylemur
Mar. 1st, 2009 12:32 am (UTC)
Don't throw 'em out, give them to a local independent bookstore. Since there's no shipping or distributor fees for used books, local bookstores can actually make a profit on them, and I guarantee you your local indie bookstore could use the help. Plus that way no money from the sales gets back to PAD, it all goes to a local business, and one that provides a service (used book sales) that big chain stores can't. :3
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princessebee
Mar. 1st, 2009 12:13 am (UTC)
What. A. Douche.

There are really no words for the deoth of stupidity and ignorance expressed there. How old is this person? It doesn't matter, he's obviously white and therefore protected. Insufferable freaking jerk.

I'm not jumping on the mobilising bandwagon at all with this one; sure the comm was a great resource and the suspension of it is ridiculous but I wasn't that invested in it.

Nonetheless, I empathise with the people who feel outraged about it and don't blame them for getting passionate.
annlarimer
Mar. 1st, 2009 01:19 am (UTC)
He's a bit older than I am, so in his fifties, I think. More than old enough to know better.
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jeditigger
Mar. 1st, 2009 03:30 am (UTC)
Interesting. Very. I keep thinking something changed him, marriage, something, in the last five years, but this is just inexcusable douchery on his part. :P

I'm guessing S_D was taken down for copyright infringement?
angrylemur
Mar. 1st, 2009 03:41 am (UTC)
Looks that way.
amit
Mar. 1st, 2009 03:35 am (UTC)
I'm just....mortified.
angrylemur
Mar. 1st, 2009 06:01 am (UTC)
There, there. No one actually reads comic book writers' blogs except for obsessive-compulsive dorks like me.
najika21
Mar. 1st, 2009 06:48 am (UTC)
"My recollection is that it was a major turning point for white voters to assess Eric Holder's future boss and deciding that they liked what they saw."

Well, thank goodness those white voters finally got justice after all those decades of oppression! Remember when white voters couldn't even vote without fearing for their lives? No? Oh right; that's because THAT TOTALLY NEVER HAPPENED!

That is some serious dickery right there. I love how all these racists are like "A black man is president now so I don't want to hear any more about racism." Like racism just got wiped out on election day. Personally on election day at the hotel I work at I watched 2 good ol' boys openly laugh at the picture of Obama on the cover of USA Today right in front of me (I'm white, so I guess they figured I'd be on their side. Having voted for the man, I was quick to let them know how wrong they were).

Sorry for rantin' up your blog. I just hate it when white people start talking about how THEY are the ones who are so oppressed, especially when they try to speak for all white people.
angrylemur
Mar. 1st, 2009 07:04 am (UTC)
No apologies for ranting up the place! The place exists to be ranted all up in.

Personally whenever a white person starts talking about "reverse racism" I shut down and stop listening - and if I'm on my very best behavior I'll leave it at that, but usually not. It never ceases to amaze me how people with privilege will seek to try and make themselves out to be the victimized ones - from men who complain that feminists are big ol' meanies to men to straight people who complain that gay people are somehow threatening the sanctity of their marriages or whatever. I just. I don't know. I don't get it. Fuck.

My brain is really fuzzy today, I'm being so fucking pedantic. Sorry, new person. Usually I'm marginally more precise.
Oops, lost me - silverbrood - Mar. 4th, 2009 03:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Oops, lost me - angrylemur - Mar. 4th, 2009 05:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
grayarcadian
Mar. 1st, 2009 06:09 pm (UTC)
My public apologies
See post

This story should get more mileage. I don't agree with everything here about how you perceive the situation overall, but the main point he's a racist? That you covered and thank you.
lovessacrifice
Mar. 1st, 2009 08:41 pm (UTC)
Oh my God.

I got here from grayarcadian's post and wtf man? I used to think Peter David was cool when I found out he wrote comics and Star Trek books AND Space Cases (that's what really got me thinking he was cool- Space Cases!) but dude.

Does this guy actually research anything? Or see anything for that matter. Does he live in a little bubble with all the rest of the people who think "oh, just because a black guy was elected racism is now over." Uhm, no. I want to spell out all the ways racism is NOT over but it'd be impossible to list.

Did he not hear the wince worthy jokes about President Obama at the pearly gates? "Who are you?" "I'm the first black president." "Wow, when did that happen?" "About five minutes ago." Cause I did.

I now really want to make an icon that goes "X-Factor doesn't care about black people."
lovessacrifice
Mar. 1st, 2009 10:48 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I couldn't help it.
PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket
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browngirl
Mar. 1st, 2009 11:02 pm (UTC)
Thank you for putting this information out there.

(Also, argh.)
angrylemur
Mar. 2nd, 2009 10:26 pm (UTC)
Well, to be fair, the information was already out there (in the form of him being really blatant about it). I just really hope to, you know, get some people to actually care, by calling attention to the information.

Which it looks like I'm doing! So yay.
flusterbunny
Mar. 2nd, 2009 02:59 am (UTC)
This is depressing.

I wouldn't have expected it from the man who wrote Incredible Hulk #420, one of the first mainstream comics to deal with the AIDS crisis. Then again... that issue did kill off Hulk's only black supporting character. Bleh.
angrylemur
Mar. 2nd, 2009 10:58 pm (UTC)
Did he have the doctors in that issue refer to AIDS as "black gay cancer"? Because that might have been a tip off.
delux_vivens
Mar. 3rd, 2009 02:07 am (UTC)
I... He...

Wow.

Do you mind if i link this at deadbrowalking?
angrylemur
Mar. 3rd, 2009 02:24 am (UTC)
Not at all! Go right for it. I figure the more people who hear about this, the better.
(no subject) - delux_vivens - Mar. 3rd, 2009 04:44 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - angrylemur - Mar. 3rd, 2009 06:35 am (UTC) - Expand
yeloson
Mar. 3rd, 2009 02:44 am (UTC)
Seriously.

Reading his post and the inability to differentiate between a) racist behavior being punished and b) talking about race issues is... special.

But then again, dialogues based in white privilege are anything but.
angrylemur
Mar. 3rd, 2009 06:45 am (UTC)
Oh man that article there is fantastic.

It is hilarious because it's 100% true - it's even PERFECTLY illustrated in the comments at PAD's blog.
dreamburnt
Mar. 3rd, 2009 03:39 am (UTC)
"Oh yeah, I wait tables too"
My favorite part was when he virtually compared Don Imus's firing to Christ's crucifixion. Cos, yanno, it's not like he called them tattooed whores as well as jiggaboos.

*fumes*

Please tell me it's a Yankee thing. If anything, it's gotten worse down here since the inauguration.
angrylemur
Mar. 3rd, 2009 06:58 pm (UTC)
Re: "Oh yeah, I wait tables too"
I could not tell you if it's a Yankee thing, I am from the frozen North. And by "North" I mean Vancouver BC. And by "frozen" I mean rainy.
fuzzybluemonkey
Mar. 3rd, 2009 03:02 pm (UTC)
*quietly removes Peter David books from her bookshelf*
Okay, so there were only 2 because apparently I left most of them at my parents' house, but now I feel dirty for having them.

Also? I, as a white person, am 100% okay with not being able to use the N-word because why would you want to?
Like, what situations have you found yourself in, Mr. David, where you so desperately wanted to use the N-word, but could not? And what does that say about you?
angrylemur
Mar. 3rd, 2009 07:17 pm (UTC)
Well, you know. Oppression for successful white men is when you're not allowed to use a hurtful racial slur!
(no subject) - fuzzybluemonkey - Mar. 3rd, 2009 08:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
mishalak
Mar. 3rd, 2009 04:25 pm (UTC)
Hey, in from Scans Daily via a crazy circuitous route.

I think I understand and agree with the concept of 'white privilege', but I think the name that whatever academic came up with is a bad one. I think this because privilege has connotations of upper crust lordly special rights and while Caucasians have what is fairly described as white privilege using those words to describe it makes it even less obvious to the people who have it. I think it makes them go, "But I don't feel privileged."

I wish some other word had been used other than privileged. And for that matter that "white" was not so strongly linked up with it in these sorts of discussions. It seems to be a universal human thing for the members of an in group to not see the ways they oppress people of out groups. And it tends to be very contextual. While a white atheist (for example) will get "white privilege" much of the time there will be times and places where he or she has to do the same sort of suffer in silence thing that blacks do much more often.
angrylemur
Mar. 3rd, 2009 06:53 pm (UTC)
I disagree with you. I think the point of white privilege is that it's something you don't realize you have until someone points it out to you.

I grew up in a poor family in a small town, I'm a woman, and though the person I'm dating now is a guy (which affords me straight privilege!) I'm queer and have dated women, so I generally don't FEEL super-privileged, but the fact is, I am. That's how privilege goes. It's sneaky and invisible until it ends up hurting people.

Being able to hear someone talk about white privilege and go, "Oh, I'm white, but I'm not privileged" is kind of a symptom of white privilege. It's the luxury of being able to ignore something.

I'm not explaining this very well. There is a really good article about it here. You should read it! But to sum up:

Generally the word "privilege" is assigned to people towards whom the power imbalance is tilted - men, white people, straight people. People who enjoy privileges that others don't due to factors beyond their control. (That's why it's silly to compare atheism to being black - atheism is something that most people choose for themselves.) This is so much a part of our every day lives - if you live in North America, you live in a country that's very INCEPTION involved the ruthless oppression of First Nations people, that's how ingrained it is in the foundations of our society - that it is kind of impossible for me to see it as being something that is largely "contextual". It just always exists.
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marydell
Mar. 3rd, 2009 06:43 pm (UTC)
Wow. What an utter asshole. Thanks for the heads up.

And the (stupid) stove metaphor...a stove is for cooking on. If you touch a hot stove and get burned it's because YR DOIN IT RONG.
tevriel
Mar. 5th, 2009 06:50 am (UTC)
Heya. I may be friending you because you seem interesting, by the way, but I swear I'm not all stalkery. :)

This makes me rather sad, because I remember loving some of his books (about 15 years ago now, but still) and now I probably won't enjoy them ever again, because, yes, he's been a totally self-absorbed, privileged jerk.

I want people who produce things I like to be good people. And I know there's often the argument to be made about how racists are made, not born, that carrying the racist influences of your upbringing and environment doesn't make you a bad person...

... except, no, because anyone who's lived in the modern world, who's internet-accessing and intelligent and capable of empathy and things like that (which PAD is, or his books wouldn't have been as enjoyable) has no excuse to have maintained this kind of idiocy. They've just got to have spent too much time deliberately avoiding thinking about this, or learning.

I mean, there are things on which I give a pass. I know there are things I occasionally say that seem racist to some people, because there's just different cultural context involved. I once upset someone by referring to Aiden Ford, of Stargate: Atlantis, as "that boy"; to them, this was racist, because calling a black man "boy" reads that way to them... whereas I didn't think about it because in Australia, it just *doesn't* have that meaning. Referring to grown men as "boys" is an indicator of fondness, and has no race-coding at all. (Which is why one of our television personalities almost got clocked by Muhammad Ali when he said of him: "I like the boy!" before Ali realised that he didn't mean it in a racist way.)

Obviously this is the kind of thing which it's also good to learn about, so as to avoid miscommunication, but I give a pass on honest innocence of intent.

However, you don't get to claim that innocence in perpetuity, and you don't get to keep taking the path of least resistance, ignoring all of these issues, and still be a good person rather than a jerk.
angrylemur
Mar. 5th, 2009 07:45 am (UTC)
I rarely turn down friendings! Friend away. I'm afraid I'm often fairly uninteresting, though. It isn't always fifty-comment-posts.

Anyway, good point on the innocence thing - I know some Eastern Canadian folks who refer to people as "boy" as part of their dialect. But while that is an unfortunate oversight that someone who didn't know better could easily make - and then rightly feel shitty for and hopefully not make again - there's also the troubling problem that we do "learn" racism as we're growing up, to a degree.

I feel that, while making a few clueless mistakes doesn't make a person a racist asshole, one should be made to feel kind of bad upon making those mistakes. Just for the sake of learning that they are thoughtless and often hurtful. Kind of like, um, aversion therapy, or something. I don't know. I'm like five minutes away from going to bed here.
(no subject) - tevriel - Mar. 5th, 2009 07:53 am (UTC) - Expand
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candidgamera
Mar. 5th, 2009 02:01 pm (UTC)
This is a tough one for me, because I agree with a couple of the things he said. Like the loss of the word "niggardly" to the forces of political correctness.

Personally, I draw a distinction between 'racist' and 'oblivious dumbass' and I'm having trouble categorizing this rant between the two.
angrylemur
Mar. 5th, 2009 07:03 pm (UTC)
Synonyms for the word "niggardly" which can be used just as easily in it's place:

cheap, close, close-fisted, costive, hard-fisted, mean, miserly, parsimonious, penny-pinching, penurious, petty, pinching, tight, tightfisted

And that's just from one thesaurus website. I'm sure there are more. So I don't feel it's a huge loss to stop saying an ancient word that has the power to potentially hurt someone, albeit through misuse or misunderstanding - but come on, how many people actually KNOW the definition of the word "niggardly"? It's not "the forces of political correctness" - it's a combination of the current cultural context and the fact that most people just don't have very big vocabularies.

Given that racism is something we're actually taught, largely, by society, I think there is a correlation between oblivious dumbass and racist. But even given that... an off-colour comment, taken out of context - that might count as obliviousness. Several paragraphs of ranting about how he can't use the n-word and how mean black people are? That's, well, racist.
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shaxberd
Mar. 10th, 2009 02:03 pm (UTC)
I just wanted to say that no matter what his personal failings, he is still a talented writer, and his work is still worth reading. I say this because I'm reminded of some arguments back in college where I was constantly berated not to read Hemingway or Faulkner (amongst others) because their work was misogynistic and therefore not worth reading. Perhaps it was, but that doesn't mean it isn't still REALLY good writing that deserves to be read. Any educated person is fully capable of reading Hemingway without becoming a misogynist or suddenly deciding that it would somehow be cool to become one. So please, don't anyone suddenly feel guilty for enjoying his work. Appreciating an author's writing doesn't necessarily mean that you also support his/her personal views, and reading comic books will not suddenly turn you racist, sexist, or even communist as was once suggested back in the days of Senator McCarthy.

That said, it should also be mentioned that Peter David is in fact Jewish and may not think of himself as white. Being 52 years old, he probably does remember what it feels like to be somewhat socially ostracized for his ethnic heritage, his grandparents having been lucky enough to escape to America from Nazi Germany. He may consider his opinion to be that of a neutral third party. According to Wikipedia, Peter David had been a practicing conservative Jew until 2003, from which time he began attending a reform synagogue.
angrylemur
Mar. 11th, 2009 12:37 am (UTC)
I've had this discussion with friends of mine before, actually.

Personally, I find myself surrounded by enough racist/sexist/homophobic/ablist bullshit as it is without taking time to appreciate the work of people who I KNOW are racist/sexist/etc. I simply have limited time and money and so I choose not to spend those on racist jerks, no matter how good their writing is. There are many, many people who are wonderful writers who also are NOT racist jerks. And as much as I hate to admit it, we live in a very competitive consumer-based society, which means that what you buy often determines who and what you give your financial support to. I choose to not give financial support to racist jerks (as much as I am able).

That said before I arrived at this conclusion I read a lot of canonical stuff, and I did read some Hemmingway and Faulkner, so whatever. I think the point there is somewhat moot since those writers are not currently blogging openly about their sexist ideologies. You don't even support them financially when you buy one of their books. So. Yeah. Kind of different there.
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