Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wiscon + Moon + Things Certain People Do

First, some exerpts (Wiscon On E.Moon):

As many in our community are aware, Elizabeth Moon, one of WisCon 35's Guests of Honor, recently made a highly controversial public post about the planned Islamic community center for lower Manhattan, about Islamic Americans, and about immigrants, assimilation, and citizenship.

It should go without saying that Ms. Moon's personal sentiments are her own, and do not necessarily represent the WisCon community, but in this case the co-chairs of WisCon's planning committee would like to take the additional step of making it clear that we were each to varying degrees dismayed, angered and offended by some portions of her comments, which seemed antithetical to the philosophies and ideals held dear by the WisCon community.

Even though we strongly disavow these elements of Ms. Moon's post, we have not rescinded her invitation to be a Guest of Honor, nor do we plan to do so. The WisCon planning committee selected Ms. Moon earlier this year based on her past work and our feeling that she would make a positive contribution to WisCon. After extensive conversation in recent days, and having spoken directly with Ms. Moon on the subject, we continue to believe that her presence will contribute to the Con.

We know that opinions are not changed by running away from them, but instead by engaging with them, challenging their assumptions, sharing knowledge, seeking understanding, and by lively and candid discourse. And we think that provides a pretty good short description of a typical WisCon.

One might say that WisCon excels at the difficult conversation -- and sometimes the hardest conversation is with an idol who turns out to be human. We have begun addressing our difference of views with Ms. Moon directly, and will continue to do so over the coming months and at the con itself. We hope you will join us in this difficult conversation.


We are currently working on ways to productively engage with this issue at the convention itself. The WisCon programming committee is already accepting panel ideas dealing with Islam and Islamophobia, and we hope to take further steps to welcome new voices from the Muslim world, immigrant communities, and others who might feel threatened by nativist swings of the political pendulum.

I was never going to attend Wiscon - Racefail 09 pretty much cemented that for me. But this puts a nice marble topper on the grave.

One might say that WisCon excels at the difficult conversation

My laughter is currently being appreciated by hyenas on the Serengeti Plains.

Seriously Wiscon Coordinators? "We have decided that this can be a learning experience for those of us in the majority, no matter and irregardless of the cost to others."

How many times in life and face to face interpersonal dialogue, does someone punch you in the face or stomach, the crowd around you gasps, and the hosts of the next party who invited the puncher decide that you can come too - and talk in detail about how it felt to get punched in public.

"I'm sorry our guest of honor assaulted you in public and treated you as less than human. But you can/should TOTALLY come to our party and talk about what happened to spice things up!"