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Silence Exile and Crumpets
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Monday, November 20th, 2006

Time Event
Or why people dislike moderates
I have just been watching the second part of the BBC's quite good series about British SF and came away snarking at some of the talking heads - not of course any of the current sf great and good, like Banks and Newman and the people's Ken (why no fjm or Justina Robson say the Plain People of Hackney) but the appalling John Carey and the irritating Margaret Atwood. Carey was doing his usual thing of representing Wells as a man who never changed his views and can be seen as a racist and eugenicist throughout his career, which is not entirely true, and also said some quite remarkably soppy things about the redeeming power of love as a way of holding off the state - to which I find myself snarking because of his appalling behaviour to various formerly favourite pupils when they came out. Love only redeems, apparently, if it is heterosexual.

Oddly, it was Atwood who got to me. She said, at one point, roughly 'We have lived in a period of extreme license and are heading back to a period of extreme repression - the best place to live is when the balance is hit and before things start to turn.' May I say what a staggering piece of idiocy that is.

It has taken all of this 'period of extreme license' for lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, trans people and poly and SM people to start getting treated with human respect, and we are supposed, are we, to look forward to going back to a period when we are only a little bit oppressed, because it is somehow our fault that there will be other periods when we are very oppressed indeed.

Well, frak that, Atwood. We just have to resist repression and all the religious nonsense and state control that tends to produce it: I refuse to believe that anything is inevitable or that there is a cycle in human affairs that can never be broken.

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