Followed an hour of hammock time with a robust discussion with Ellen Klages re: reading widely, WisCon, conflict, etc. and so on. If you're in the field, you're familiar with this kind of thing. I'm trying to draft my intro to the Chronicles and really, what I want to write is probably a 20,000 word essay, which will not fit.
In some ideal universe, I'd like to touch the way human social interaction has not caught up to the permanence and vast audience of the internet -- we still act as if we're in our own private little echo chamber, often performing wittily for our little coterie of like-minded friends. I'd like to talk about the out-of-scaleless of public response (see also prior posting of Monica Lewinsky article in Vanity Fair), and the way we forget that there are real people on the other side of the screen / page. I'd like to talk about the ways we argue, and how a wide variety of approaches are useful, and how anger, while perhaps initially off-putting, can also wedge open a door that had been previously shut, letting the light into a pustulent, festering sore. I'd like to talk about how that same anger can drive people away, and what the costs are that we're paying, right now, and examine whether there are better ways through these fights. Maybe there aren't, but let's talk about it.
It's time for the meta-discussion about how we fight, about whether we are fighting fair, whether we should care about fighting fair. I want to bring in Jay Smooth, and ask whether we can de-escalate our personal responses to being called out for racism, sexism, etc. Etc. and so on and it's a truly HUGE discussion and there's no way it's all going to fit into an introduction, not when I also need to address why there aren't any pieces in this year's Chronicles that directly address what happened at WisCon last summer. (Because people are raw and bleeding still -- there are some pieces that address it obliquely, but I think it'll be for next year's Chronicles editor to really take on those pieces; people should be ready to write them by then.)
Anyway. This is the sort of thing I think about while lying in a hammock; even Max's lovely story can only temporarily quiet the conversation in the back of my head. Maybe swimming will help -- I have about two hours before I need to leave -- time to get in one more set of laps before I go. Tomorrow will be a quiet day at home, and then the cancer round starts up again on Tuesday, with biopsies, then echocardiogram, then chemo class, then port insertion. Just a bit more sunshine and water first, please. And maybe a final margarita for the road.