Eurocon – Day 1

The first day of Shamrokon has come and gone. Thus far I am still upright. This is progress.

There are copies of Airship Shape & Bristol Fashion in the dealers’ room if anyone wants them. They are on the Swan River table.

There are Jim Fitzpatrick prints in the Art Show. I want all of them. I suspect I cannot afford any of them.

I went to two panels yesterday. The first was on Mediaeval Women and had some expert panelists. I need to sit down with Gillian Polack and get some leads to follow up on. The other was on Celtic Gods and was more playing to the tourist market. There are basically only two ways such a panel can go: either you say, “we know nothing, Jon Snow”, which is basically true; or you run headlong into von Daniken territory, which is fun. Thankfully we managed to avoid any mention of the Irish Potato Goddess (Google it, it is a real thing).

Later in the evening I was on a panel about boycotts. No, not Sir Geoffrey, though I did come prepared with a list of his career statistics. The erstwhile subject was fannish boycotts of particular creators works, for example refusing to go to see the Ender’s Game movie because, so I learned last night, Orson Scott Card has promised to donate some of the proceeds to the fight against marriage equality.

Right at the start I tried to establish that there is a difference between some people not wanting to support certain creators, and the work of those creators being banned. Sadly there was one person in the audience who made comments about “witch hunts” and boycotts being “undemocratic”. I object strongly to being told that I have a moral duty to listen to all instances of people abusing me, otherwise I am guilty of “censorship”. (And, yes, I see this pretty much every day on Twitter from white feminists who think that trans people have a moral duty to submit humbly to any abuse aimed at them.)

Having said that, the whole issue is immensely complicated. What I tried to get across on the panel is that what is offensive to one person may not be offensive to another, and there are no hard and fast rules that can be drawn as to when it is, or is not, legitimate to take offense. Just because you are not offended by X, it doesn’t mean that no one has has a right to be offended by it. Equally, if you are offended by X, you can’t expect everyone else to share your objections. All you can ask is that they acknowledge and respect your views.

One thing I mentioned in the panel is this post on How to be a Fan of Problematic Things. I recommend it here as well.

One thought on “Eurocon – Day 1

  1. When someone starts calling boycotts “undemocratic” (they’re not, they’re direct democracy in action), they’ve demonstrated enough stupidity that it’s time to pull out my favorite quote on the subject: “Market forces, bitchez!”

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