Saturday, May 10, 2008

This is why I avoid forum discussions

The latest slap fight in the science fiction and fantasy community is over the short story The Stolen Word by Lisa Mantchev that was in Fantasy Magazine. Was I offended? No not really. Did I like the story? No not really. I don't like phonetically spelled out accents. I do find the discussion [all 130 comments of it at this point] very interesting.

They appear to be stuck in some sort of time loop. At this point they've cycled through this series of responses at least four times. I wonder how many more they'll manage before the admin throws up their hands and shuts down the thread. It could theoretically go on forever. In brief the cycle looks like this.

"I'm offended!"
"I'm not offended calm down!"
"How dare you invalidate my anger!"
"Calm down!"
"I'm offended!"

Along the way there are occasional sidebars about European history, race relations and debate etiquette. It's exhausting just reading the thing let alone actually participateing. In the end it won't matter nobody's opinion is going to be changed. I probably would have stepped in and pulled the plug after the first cycle but it's not my bandwidth.

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