Oct. 5th, 2009

pine: picture of big pine tree in California vineyard (Default)
What do you do after a flaming row? An intemperate remark (or 10)? When the bitter anger of a wank dies down, there is occasionally a fleeting wish that some of it could be unsaid, or at least that you could apologize and agree to move on. Or sometimes, there are things you didn't do - the "sins of omission" - and you wish you could say what you didn't say, and explain why, and apologize, and move on.

quinfirefrorefiddle on Dreamwidth came up with one interesting solution:

[info - community] meaculpa

Because if we don't move on... we're stuck. Not changing, staying the same, is being stuck, too.

In the aftermath of every fail there are some who wonder, Is fandom getting wankier all the time? What happens when you follow the Geek Social Fallacies too assiduously (or your whole flist seems to) and can no longer be "friends" with anyone who didn't totally agree, jump in on the "right" side, join the drama, care deeply, get the point?

Eventually the only friends you dare have are those who (a) don't talk, (b) don't talk publicly, or (c) are newbies. The friends who don't talk - well, hello? They're gone. The ones who no longer talk online - why stay, then? We're gone. As for those newbies, they will soon go through the same trial-by-fail, resulting in most of *them* becoming polarized or silenced or silencing or walking away from fandom... do the math. It's a never-ending turmoil with smaller and smaller circles of trust, and larger and larger circles of former friends and lifelong enemies.

Woah. This is not my shiny fandom! This is not the online community we say we want! Instead, it's a steadily shrinking space of love and trust and diversity, of civil discourse. It's ever less of the squee, and teh shiny, not to mention my beloved meta. Yes, it's good that fandom becomes ever more aware of important issues - but not if it becomes ever less willing to just *talk*, and resolve them, and move on with an increase in both awareness *and* community. Because dude, regardless of how right the path is, if it goes into the big empty desert without that loaf of bread, jug of wine, and especially *thou* - the rest of the community - it's a lonely, empty place.

Sure, there's that whole "different drummer" shtick, taking "the less travelled path". But there's also the old "No woman is an island." It reminds us "for whom the bell tolls": it's for *us*. That death knell always, in some way, signals a loss from our community. Because hey, we are social animals, and if we can't take care of each other? We die a little inside. Sometimes social animals, cut off from healthy community, just die.

This web 2.0, this fandom, our shiny jewel in the online sea, this splintered isle - it's no good if we can't learn how to get along.

Sometimes, you want to say you're sorry for your actions or inactions, for words spoken or unspoken, information divulged or topics shied away from. This can be regardless of whether the others involved are interested in dialogue or forgiveness. Sometimes, *you* need to make an apology for your karma or serenity, your self-respect or sense of closure or whatever.

Here's a way )

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pine: picture of big pine tree in California vineyard (Default)
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