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Tim Lieder

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Bullies, pt 2 [Aug. 7th, 2012|10:33 am]
Tim Lieder
A more insidious form of bullying is K. Tempest Bradford who is a relatively talented writer and spends most of her time just talking about fandom stuff (apparently not having any friends or family members who aren't in fandom makes it easy) and usually gets a lot of attention for being the Final Arbiter of Racism in Fandom.

Basically, the darling of the Racefail crowd.

So when I asked RH why she hates Jay Lake, she said "read Tempest" but I read Tempest and Tempest does not have anything concrete that Lake said that makes him into a racist. She has him saying that he has a Chinese daughter as if that's the same thing as "some of my best friends are black" and wanting to avoid WisCon because it's full of bolsheviks and her crowd (oh, and Wiscon Rapist Kynn who used to be Tempest's best friend in the whole world until he raped someone - but before that he was the Requires Hate always so toxic and so easy to get into a fight) but that doesn't stop her from going full blown crusade against Jay Lake and figuring that her SAYING that he said things that were racist is the same as him actually saying things that were racist.

And of course she gets more attention than she deserves because fandom is made up of upper class white people who are freaked out over the idea that they might be racist, so she's encouraged to be the one that tells White People What to Think in terms of race and class. Forget when she goes off the deep end and joins in that "Dan Savage is an asshole because he encouraged Bisexuals to Come out of the Closet" crusade. When I asked her about it, she said that he hurt people's feelings. No really. That was her only reason. Of course, she wasn't talking about the fundamentalist Xians that he had been ragging on since 1992. That was cool. Bisexuals on the other hand are precious little flowers who will wither and die if they hear advice that contradicts their long held feelings of victimhood. That's when she stopped talking to me on FB.

But this post on her regular blog (where she's NOT Angry Black Woman) - tempest.fluidartist.com/writing-and-the-art-of-provocation/ is particularly revealing, not just for the easy "There is no beauty in being offensive. Offending someone, especially when you’re coming from a place of privilege and oppression, is not the basis for great art, for beautiful art, even if the beauty you’re reaching for is terrible and tragic and real." line - and beyond the fact that this is the outdated and rusty Gilded Age definition of what makes Art - the definition that Dada came to beat, kill and hide the body behind a dumpster - the sentence itself is terrible. Oh sure, Anais Nin can bitch because her filmmaker friend did not make her look BEAUTIFUL and is therefore not a real artist (woman was in her 40s and hanging parasitically off of a 19 year old Gore Vidal - how does she expect that she's gonna look?) but seriously, Art is Beauty? No. As Adorno put it "to write poetry after Aushwitz is barbaric" (ok the context is more complicated but right now I'm relieved that Amiri Baraka didn't say it as I thought he did. Really hate that fucker)

And this comes from a panel where one of the panelist said that Art should be offensive. Because he's all about the Dada. And she claims that she totally nailed him and kept on pounding away. But he's a PRIVILEGED WHITE MAN so what's he gonna get? After all, his race and his privilege completely invalidates everything that he says unless of course he is agreeing with her as a privileged black woman. Then she can call him brave for agreeing with her. But as it stands now, he's an atheist at a feminist science fiction convention who is talking about how artists should offend people and this sets off her bat signal and puts her into the condescending Tempest mode that everyone who has ever encountered her online can see. Of course, she ends it with a "someone told me that he's a douchenozzle" which is the most amazing insult ever invented by a five year old.

Of course, Tempest has no self-knowledge, no humor, no realization that she's an offensive jerkoff who is capitalizing on racism in order to carry out her crusade of the month. Of course, she's all buddy buddy with Requires Hate because Cultural Appropriation is the greatest sin ever.

Should I mention that the name of the panel was Myth, Midrash, and Misappropriation? And even in that title there's the warning bell of First World Problems (especially when you see that most likely no one on the panel is Jewish? More on Jews appropriating their own culture in order to make themselves seem more exotic than they really are a little later) since using religious Jewish texts for fiction is put at a higher level of cultural imperialism than using religious Jewish texts in order to inspire people to start their own fucking religions that then turn around and start telling Jews how they should be conducting their religions?

Seriously, cultural appropriation in the terms of Judaism means that some dumb Irish writer is describing a Jewish character as "looking like an Old Testament Prophet" (it's always the Irish writers that do it too). Which is a little offensive, but fuck me. When you compare it to truly anti-Semitic works like Mein Kampf, The Merchant of Venice, The Gospel of John, it's a very minor offense and easily forgiven.

So basically, K. Tempest Bradford puts herself up as the source for information on what is offensive and what is not offensive and then goes on little crusades against people for going outside her narrow definition of acceptable behavior and writing. But since her main criteria is "this is offensive" she's standing on a rotten foundation since her smugness, self-appointed race warrior shtick and eagerness to discredit people makes her extremely offensive and unable to admit to the fact that her offensiveness comes from a position of privilege.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: valarltd
2012-08-07 03:06 pm (UTC)
I've tangled with Kynn. The one piece of male privilege Kynn never gave up was telling women they were wrong, and expecting them to listen.

If Bradford is a fellow traveler, I'm not interested. I know where she is coming from and the politics of offense are a sickness.

Just Say No to Offense

(My Jewish characters tend to not look like Old Testament prophets. They tend to be seat-wettingly hot, in point of fact)
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[User Picture]From: marlowe1
2012-08-07 03:39 pm (UTC)
Cute post. I tend to pound on the fact that K. Tempest Bradford was in full support of Kynn up until he (and I am doing that pronoun on purpose as I do not respect his self-identification as a transwoman as anything other than an excuse to harass and rape) pulled that Wiscon rape. Then suddenly she retconned the whole relationship.

Currently, she's a fellow traveler of that Requires Hate idiot. What's bothersome is the fact that she actually gets respect since she knows when to turn it off and on and she is a little smarter about her audience (which is why she gets these guest blog spots on places like Scalzi's blog) and turns back and does that fake rationalist move.

Jews culturally misappropriate Jewish characters and use the tired cliches more often than goyim. Made me so happy when I saw The Believer and saw the kind of Jews you find in Brooklyn who are half-religious (with an argumentative streak) and half-tough guys. And then they had mixed seating in the shul. Oh why did they have mixed seating in the shul? Everything else about these characters was Orthodox (although the main character was seriously off the derekh - but it was obvious that he knew what he was talking about when he was talking about Judaism) but suddenly it's men and women sitting next to each other.

There's also a really cheaply made movie about a Chasidic Jew that starts hanging out with his old friends and smuggling drugs from Israel because he still looks the part to not get searched. And how he has to figure out that non-Jewish women are NOT all whores. It was made by the guy who does Thursday Night Chulent which is sort of a roving party for Chasidic and Orthodox Jews who are more hippie and skeazy than observant these days. And I just spent a half hour looking for the title.

EIther way, I hate that bullshit that comes from books like The Chosen.
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[User Picture]From: jaylake
2012-08-07 03:06 pm (UTC)
I've never bothered to clarify my WisCon remarks, as there is vanishingly little point in me speaking up about this topic in any capacity, but for the record:

The reason I made the observation that I don't feel safe at Wiscon anymore isn't because I'm afraid of Bolsheviks or people of color or anything. Others can project their fantasies of my racism or white guilt or whatever all they want, that doesn't make it true.

I don't feel safe at Wiscon anymore because I've been explicitly threatened with being spat upon, mobbed, shouted down and walked out on by Tempest and her followers. (Actually, the walking out part would be fine with me.) The Wiscon community, including the motherboard, has never to my knowledge disavowed these threats or done anything to discourage them. That effectively sends the message that zero tolerance doesn't apply to this kind of harassment.

Being threatened with abusive and assaultative behavior makes me feel unsafe. Wiscon does not seem interested in curbing those threats, which validates my sense of lack of safety.

As a white man of substantial privilege, most places I go are safe for me. Thus I don't feel this loss keenly, other than missing my chance to attend a convention I used to enjoy a great deal and once held in high respect.

Edited at 2012-08-07 03:07 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: marlowe1
2012-08-07 03:12 pm (UTC)
Damn. You man I actually downplayed Tempest's bullying behavior? Weird. I'm usually all about the hyperbole.
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[User Picture]From: jaylake
2012-08-07 03:14 pm (UTC)
Oh, it gets a lot worse. Me, I just have to put up with persistent Internet harassment from Tempest, RH and their ilk for being of my race and gender. Such is life, I have better things to do with my time than worry about it.

A Jewish friend of mine reports that in the middle of the whole RaceFail crap, Tempest told her that Jews can't understand oppression because they're white.

The degree of profound wrong-ness and racism inherent in that statement is truly mind-boggling.
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[User Picture]From: marlowe1
2012-08-07 03:40 pm (UTC)
Learned already that according to Tempest, only Tempest can understand racism and oppression.
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[User Picture]From: jaylake
2012-08-07 03:53 pm (UTC)
Yep.

What kind of boggles me about RH (though I understand human nature well enough to know better) is that she can conclude I'm a privilege-denying racist based on a handful of Tempest's blog posts featuring deliberately distorted glosses on a couple of my remarks. I have about 2,000,000 words of published fiction, at least that much and more in blogging across thousands of posts. A *huge* paper trail. (So to speak.) If I am in fact a privilege-denying racist, it should be easy enough to support that accusation with citations in my own words.

(Which I'm sure is possible if one cherrypicks dependent clauses out of context and whatnot, but that's a different kind of deliberate dishonesty.)

Yet none of that is worth examining even at a cursory level for someone like RH, since it's easier and more morally satisfying to render judgment up front based on hearsay without any look at the substance of who I am.

When white men do that, we have an appropriately ugly word for it.
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From: littlebbob
2012-08-08 09:33 pm (UTC)
Dunno if y'all follow shetterly's blog, but it APPEARS that there is evidence that RH is a well-to-do ethnically Chinese person living in Thailand. Which has just a ton of interesting implications.
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From: littlebbob
2012-08-08 09:49 pm (UTC)
I guess everyone knows that now..
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[User Picture]From: marlowe1
2012-08-08 10:39 pm (UTC)
When Liz wrote that on her takedown of RH, there were quite a few defenders saying that it was unfair that she would dare bring up RH's financial standing. Because fairness is such a value in these things.
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[User Picture]From: st_rev
2012-08-09 03:17 pm (UTC)
As I noted over on Shetterly's blog, Thai Chinese aren't just a relatively prosperous minority, their economic privilege is comparable to that of white South Africans. Less than 15% of the population, and control more than 50% of the wealth--that's at least a 6:1 disparity in average wealth, and probably closer to 10:1. From what little we know of RH, she's privileged within that subgroup--private schooling in the UK pegs her as wealthy by European standards.

The Han have been a major imperial power in southeast Asia for the last two thousand years or so. Shrieking about Whitey has got to be displacement, because there's no way she could be so immersed in the language of priivilege and miss her own, right? She can't possibly be that stupid.
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