Monday, May 11, 2009

Never Expect Better

Lois McMaster Bujold:

The other and more hopeful point is that never before have so many Readers of Color existed to *have* the conversation, or been able to communicate with each other to do so. When I went to my first midwestern convention in 1968, there was exactly one black fan, male; it's only in late years that I've had cause to wonder how brave he must have been to venture in. Octavia Butler, at a library program, once described a young black reader meeting her as a black SF writer, and saying in some wonder, "I didn't know we *did* that!" As far as I can tell, the biggest single factor driving the current shift and growth in diversity in genre readers has been the invention of the Internet.


I have started and deleted a couple of snarks. None fit. Let's just leave her own words up there. Emphasis (both of them) mine.

Oh. And this. First Issue: PoC in SF & Fantasy Blog Carnival

Wait. Wait. Can't leave things quite so bare. The Snark has come back to me.

"If a PoC/NWP reads a SF book in the woods, apparently, it doesn't count."

ETA: I'm now wondering if Viacom and Paramount Pictures when it comes to dealing with Avatar: The Last Airbender (live action) are just like LMB. They haven't set things up to see what PoC watch, so they're all surprised to find out that the fans of the animated series weren't primarily white.

Or maybe I'm just being too generous? And it's not about them fixing the Asian cartoon to make it more palatable to the poor little white children who had to endure a heroic fable without seeing anyone like them in it.


  1. Trouble:Somebody will top it. They're having a competition. I think the prize is a brand new toaster oven. 'The White Privilege Wank! Work It Like P0rno! Brought To You By The Makers of ____ Soap'.

  2. I feel compelled to follow the link to and try to find out if all their writers are so special.

  3. Willow,

    I think you are being too generous here.

    Fade In Magazine interviewed a number of Black Screenwriters, Agents, Managers, and so on. They help to shatter the myth that Hollywood "follows where the money is" when it comes to viewers of color and women in general.

    The interviews are found here:

  4. Another bit of proof that perception is reality, and that even quite intelligent people can be so so so blind to things that ... they never saw. It never occurred to them that what they saw wasn't reality.


  5. ...


    ... need sleep. Or have choice paralysis. Or something.

    cannot think of words taht don't amount to WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK?

  6. Boy, sho's a good thing that White man gone and invented tha Intanet! Now me and my peoples can read n talk to each other about them thar books! 8D

    I think it's amazing (in a morbid way) that she *really* believes that. But again, that entire conversation with Lois B is just *augh*
    And her response to the Livejournal Fiction_Theory linked to was just as bad.

    As for the Avatar audience results; we're an extremely diverse bunch! The 5000 something survey results we got were spread all over the board, so I don't know what the hell Paramount is thinking. Hopefully the project could help Paramount see the diversity, even if it is in hindsight. :/

  7. Heavy Armor:

    Oh yes. I saw this link earlier this year, possibly sometime last month or late March. I'd momentarily forgotten it.

    You're right. I was being too generous. Wow, how often does that happen? ;)

  8. I keep deleting my comments. They are all too sarcastic about Bujold and I don't have time to deal with stupid white people this week.

  9. Bridget:It's a little like stupid pet tricks, except no one's laughing or entertained.

  10. Too bad I can't get a rolled up newspaper, smack them on the nose and say, "Bad dog. No! No!" It would make things a lot easier.

  11. Just that whole comment, readers of colour, hurts my head. It does not sound right at all and even seems to suggest a difference between a person of colour and a reader of colour. I'm pretty sure that there were millions of people of colour who read LONG before the Internet came along. Just, you know, call it a hunch since the amount of melanin in one's skin does not dictate how much they read or not. ;p

    This is what one would call that naive, stupid racism, isn't it?

    As for Avatar, I saw the pictures up on S_D and... yuck. I'm not watching the movie. Makes me wonder if the studio will do something stupid like have them tan a whole lot.