A pairing war is different from racism because racism is a serious real world issue that has real-world implications and affects many people's lives outside of fandom. It is understandable to be bothered by racism. Taking a pairing or any other part of fandom too seriously that isn't a serious issue? That's funny. That is what F_W is about. Laughing at people who are taking issues seriously that should never in a million years be taken seriously. If you life is affected by shipping wars, there's a serious problem there.
On top of all of that, racism isn't funny. While some of these wanks are technically "wanky", they are not actually funny and "funny" is the whole point of F_W. There's no moral authority on it. Many of us simply don't find it in the least bit funny and seeing as this is fandom_wank
and not [Bad username: Fluffy_Happy_Get_Along_Time]
, we voice this feeling. Also, even when the situation could be sort of humorous on its own, it somehow devolves into SRS racism thoughts on F_W, which nobody wants.
I understand that racism by itself isn't a 'funny' topic,
although people mocking it can be hilarious
Okay, in theory, we can mock anything. In practice, we can't. Racism wanks almost always turn into "my God, I hate these racist pigs" or "my thoughts on racism, let me show you them!" These are not funny. Now, to be fair, most wanks are filled with similar sorts of comments, and they're not funny either, but... and here we get to the real problem:
The third option, mocking people for taking things too seriously-- which, you know, is what we do-- doesn't apply, because you can't claim that racism shouldn't be taken seriously. You can't mock someone for saying, "Hey, this is racist, and it's offensive, and it infuriates me that you're not acknowledging that."
Even if the way it's stated is overwrought, the *most* you can do is mock the mode of expression-- and that's very difficult to do without inherently expressing some sort of mockery of the sentiment. Which means that three or four people can do it successfully.
In the end, that means that maybe three or four people make mocking comments, almost everyone else has figured out they aren't capable of it-- though they would be inclined to try to mock another subject-- leaving only the "my God, I hate these racist pigs" and "my thoughts on racism, let me show you them!" crowd.
In the end, the wanks themselves are not funny.
I'm getting more tired of the moral pronouncements that it should never ever be touched by F_W
It's not a moral pronouncement, if you will, but as close as most f_w members get to the statement that these wanks are almost never funny.
Reading the linked arguments makes me hate a bunch of the people involved, and reading the comments on f_w is no better. I've gotten to the point that I don't click on them at all except to glance through and slot them into memories. I despise them too much, and they're an excellent way for me to come to despise various members of f_w as well.
...Seriously, have there been any racism wanks that have been funny besides the HP icon wank? And even that one is funnier in retrospect (in the knowledge that it's yet another time msscribe was trying to play f_w) than it was at the time.
A few reasons actually:
A) As you say, there have been way to many
B) It very often leads to very srs bzns thoughts on racism and that isn't what F_W is for (think HP and daily_deviant, or Doctor Who and Martha Jones)
C) It often results in F_W members showing their asses and proving themselves to be privileged asshats unable to grasp "Why anyone would think there's anything wrong with that!" (think yuletide wank, that stupid Heroes wank
D) It occasionally results in levels of F_W member asshattery as to boggle the mind (think BJR and HSM
, really, BJR in general)
I come to F_W to be entertained, not to see srs bzns, come to the realization that I am quite often surrounded by bigots and not to go into a frothing fits over serious stupidity.
The answer to your question is another question: What the hell is Fandom Wank for, anyway?
Racism wank is very rarely funny. The original wank isn't funny; the comments on the wanks aren't funny -- or funny enough to make up for it. If you think it's funny, you're probably wrong.
The reason why everyone is saying to shut the fuck up with the racism wank is that almost none of them have been funny, but telling people to just post the funny racism wank doesn't work because (a) there's always the one guy who thinks a cat being set on fire is funny, and (b) there are too many idiots in fandom wank who think that we're some sort of news service for reporting any and all fandom kerfluffles regardless of their entertainment value, not a site where people come to laugh at silly shit. The concept of "funny" is beyond all of them.
If you find funny racism wank and post it, somehow I think that the "anti-racism wank" crowd will laugh and mock along with you.
Funny. fandom_wank I think is getting tired of the moral pronouncements that it's meant to be the fandom_police, or fandom_priests, fandom_JUDGEMENT or even! Fandom_Newsletter.
When... It's not. And repetitive attempts to force it into that sort of position, are going to be. Well mocked.
It's also tiring when of late quite a lot of people who just don't get it. It's not just the racism wank - where we have been getting *a lot* of late, and will probably get still more. But the dumbasses that go forth and troll the wank, or treat fandom wank, as if it was metafandom.
So much like when the Harmony wank got to be unfunny and was banished to the cornfield - when the racism wank is being repetitive and the same fricking arguments, the same fricking stupidity, the same Srs Business, well then, yeah it's going to be dogpiled.
I understand that racism by itself isn't a 'funny' topic, although people mocking it can be hilarious, (I love me good satire mocking humanity's stupidity).
Creating satire in any way related to race is like performing heart surgery. If the practitioner isn't very good at what they're doing, and being very careful, the results aren't funny. The results are also covered in blood.
The opposite of saying "Encore! Encore!" is to boo.
Jeering at unfunny wank reports is a way of discouraging future bad performances; think of the members of f_w as being similar to the audience in that comedy club when Michael Richards (Seinfeld's Kramer) got up and did that awful racial tirade. It is not the responsibility of the audience to find humor in something that is innately horrible. Trying to make the best of an unfortunate situation is one thing, but when bad comedy becomes a train wreck, there is nothing wrong in having the audience shut it down. And there is no responsibility of the audience to be funny while they are doing so, either.
Although I can see your point that the moral prononcements are not funny, they would not be happening if people posted more funny wank to begin with. If really funny race-based wank is possible, I'm sure f_w will embrace it as if it were freakin' Sarah Silverman or Margaret Cho.
I sort of see where you're coming from (that it seems ridiculous to set rules like this, even if not official, on any topic being taboo because it's f_w and technically anything goes!) but at the same time I agree with the consensus.
Mocking any racism wank would sort of seem to boil down to saying "Hardy-har, you are such a racist!". Commenting on it - srs bznss - also just ends up being all, "Wow that's pretty racist." or even worse, revealing the commenter's own hidden prejudice (circle of wank but when the topic's racism, it mostly just hurts my head).
I admit I scroll by racism wanks, even in fandoms I would normally be enormously entertained by the wank (like HSM, roffle!).. Because they're simply not entertaining. I'll read a pairing war over that crap any day.
Yes, I think metafandom is encouraging a lot of this stuff to be very big discussion. Some of that is a good thing, because I think some of it is educating, but a lot of it is becoming a bad thing, because I'm really at the point where I want to scream and turn in my fandom card.
However, the point isn't "racism is verboten", it's "where is the funny". Cats being lit on fire are also unfunny. Racism is a fact of life for a lot of people. It's not funny to them. It's not funny to me. It's not a kerfuffle, or a wank, or entertaining. It's painful and sick.
Yeah, I know where you're coming from. I've seen plenty of anti-yaoi fanficrants posts hit f_w, which at the core are often homophobic. Why is homophobia wank not as bad as racism wank? What about the misogynistic Supernatural wank from a few days ago? Why is racism wank special?
Well, there's the issue of privilege? With purely fannish kerfuffles we're all pretty much in the same boat when it comes to judging what is a hilarious, batshit insane overreaction and what isn't. (Substract the wanker and their loyal friends who would beg to differ, perhaps).
With racism wank, you have the problem that the strength of your privilege goggles will directly influence your judgement if something is batshit insane or offensive or a reasonable demand or what.
And that makes it incredibly likely that a FW post on racism will turn into yet another discussion of what's privilege and what's racism and blah blah blah and unfunny inhouse wank, just the same as the original wank and all the other racism wank posts before.
That is the long answer. The short answer is we have too many idiots and people who don't get the point of the community around. They aren't always the same people.
To me it's not just because racism is not funny and is an incredibly serious problem, it's also because we should actually converse about it. And conversations like that aren't always easy to have. Mocking and treating racism like wank means people who travel in the same fandom circles are less and less likely to have those important conversations. It's tremendously frustrating to see these conversations derailed with the cry of "Wank, wank, you're wanking. Let bring it to F_W to mock you." Sure, there are plenty conversations that are going to go nowhere and reach no one. None of them are going to bring racial world peace. But they might have made a little crack in a closed mind. And that's serious and important enough that it should go forward without all the commentary on how it's being said.
2007-11-20 06:32 pm (UTC)
Because it's not funny, and most of the ones I've seen posted seem a) grudgy, b) acting like F_W is the place to report these things, c) it inevitably leads to everyone posting their oh-so-important thoughts on racism, and d) IT'S NOT FUNNY. It's depressing and ugly, and I'm at the point of defriending all the wank comms AGAIN because I'm tired of seeing it. I come to F_W to point and laugh, not to be eternally depressed at how bigoted people in fandom are.
2007-11-20 07:02 pm (UTC)
I think it's also because there have been so damn many wanks about racism. Pretty much every major fandom has had one. Doctor Who, Stargate Atlantis, Harry Potter, and now Smallville.
It's like the wank reports on anon hate memes people had in their LJs and the communities set up for fandom hate memes. F_W got pretty tired of those too because it was the same thing over again.
Perhaps in due time people will go 'ah, racism wank, haven't had that in a long time, how refreshing', but not at the moment.
Racism has many sides to it and inevitably, no matter who you are and no matter how knowledgeable you are, you are going to mess up and say something that pisses someone off without meaning to. People will take away from online things what you say but not always how you meant it or an honest mistake. It leads to a lot of people getting pissed off at each other and a whole lot of us trying to justify to each just how not-racist we are. It's not funny. It pisses people off. F_W is for fan-ish absurdities and racism doesn't fall into that category. It's something people have to deal with on a daily basis and IT'S NOT FUNNY.
I've begun avoiding these wanks not only because of the topic, but also because of the people yelling "NOT FUNNY!! NOT FUNNY!!" That's not funny either, and I don't think it's doing much good.
Maybe there should be a moratorium on racism wanks, at least until we find the right ritual sacrifice to appease the wrathful Elder Gods of Unfunny. It appears that boobie icons aren't enough. :(
It's not so much that racism is taboo, and more like, people seem to have lost sight of the fact that "funny" and "wanky" are not mutually inclusive. Something can be wanky without being funny- and F_W is here for the funny. If it were homophobia, or sexism, or any other such issue, I'm quite sure similar reactions would be occuring. But since racism wanks are coming more often, they are the current hot button. Sure, it's fine to discuss racism. It's a harsh reality, something people deal with every day, and is a real issue that there should be dialogue on. But f_w is NOT THE PLACE FOR IT. F_W is for making the funny. It's for making people laugh. We're here to be entertained, not get into heated arguments, or become wankier than the subject being wanked, or have to take deep breaths and step away from the computer because the discussion is pissing us off. This is not the place to be doing it. There are plenty of other ways and places.
I'll agree with the post that point out that there is nothing funny about racism. And given that f_w is about poking fun at the people who take events in fandom way to seriously f_w is not place for a mocking a serious discussion of something that really is a serious topic. Or for mocking people for talking about it in a serious manner. Racism - sad as it is to say - still is a serious matter.
Just speaking for myself, I have a Serious life and a Serious job and Serious issues. I come to fandom_wank to point and laugh and have a break by watching idiots get horrendously riled up over shit that isn't important.
Racism is important. It makes me angry and tired and depressed, and that doesn't consititue "a break". You could probably argue that I shouldn't be wasting my time taking a break, that I should be doing Serious Things all the time, but since that's how I've chosen to spend this portion of my time I get pretty narked when it's encroached on by Seriousness.
And then there's boobies and recipies and it all gets better.
Basically. Basically. Even though it has already been said.
The process goes like this: racism wank gets posted to F_W. Some people say, "That isn't really racist, those people are insensitive." Some people say, "This is just like my experiences, let me explain." Some people reply to these and wank. The people who are disinclined to wank on F_W in either way are just unhappy. So racism wank is only good for people I hate, so therefore I hate it.
Basically what everyone has said: I'm here to have fun and mock and learn random facts about Not Serious Bussiness stuff. I'm not here to be depressed or angered at random people on the Internet because I can have that without F_W.
Ridicule is a way of putting people in their place, isn't it? I don't want People who point out racism in their fandom to be Dissuaded by fear of F_W of not saying what they want to Say. I want to Learn things even if they are Painful or make me uncomfortable. It's a Question of priorities I am thinking.
The HP racism wanks were funny because the fandom entitlement/batshit/absurdity trumps the racism in the wank and makes it funny, the "Harmonians are just like slaves!" is an example of that.
We mocked the slavery wank by creating the Harriet Tubman icon(Me and NarissaM said it, ahiru made the icon) and the fact that everyone got that but msscribe(who tried to get the blackfolk community against us without explaining the icon and why we did it) made the wank absurd and amusing(hell least I thought it was).
The recent wanks are different because we didn't have to explain to anyone why Blaise is black omg and Harmonians are like slaves was bad to people in the wank, we all got it you know? When several people have to explain to someone who just doesn't understaaaaandddd why someone's hair isn't unkept and doesn't look like a sheepdog, that kills the wank for me. :\