The internet can be a depressing place

Particularly any parts relating to geek culture. Oceania’s progressives constantly at war with Eastasia’s conservatives, because war is the only thing that can support the power structures on either side. Everyone’s in favour of using the exact same whips, often against the exact same people… the only disagreement is over who should hold the whip. Redact a few names and banner-words, and they all look the same. The more I see of young people on the internet (including, perhaps primarily, my own generation), the more I’m afraid that liberalism is on a fast path to extinction, or at least toward centuries of dormancy (who knows what might happen in the long run? Every hegemony falls eventually). Any gesture in the direction of liberalism, rationalism, consensus, understanding, mercy, anything like that is denounced instantly and vituperatively as the work of the enemy (whether the enemy is a progrervative or a consegressive, depending on the denouncer); liberalism has few enough defenders among the old, and seemingly none among the young. “I may disagree with your beliefs”, as Voltaire memorably said, “and therefore fuck off and die you fucking white/black misogynist/feminist/socialist/fascist.”

I’m fed up of people trying to make me feel ashamed of not being sufficiently hate-filled and rage-fountaining, and of ‘geeks’ who act the same – no, worse, because they have the self-righteousness to remove all doubt from them – as the geek-baiting bullies who tried to make life miserable for me as a child. Maybe the only sane way to deal with other humans is to nod politely, say nothing and move on to somewhere quieter.

 

 

EDIT: in particular, I think I may have just given up the idea of ever wanting to get anything I write published. Write a book – at least a genre book – and you’re almost guaranteed to get treated as a human turd. It’s all very well being abstractly, theoretically, in support of Socrates and Oscar Wilde and so forth – it doesn’t matter what they do to you, it’s the beauty/truth that matters – but I don’t think I actually have the mentality for a warzone, or for genre fandom which amounts to the emotional/psychological version of the same. Write, sure, but showing what you’ve written to anyone else is just asking for trouble. Even just as a reviewer/blogger/wanderer-around-on-the-internet who nobody has heard of, I’m glad that nobody knows my real name and address.

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