Writers in a Dangerous Time

I am finding this post a necessary respite in the midst of all the dreadful news that bombards us day in and out – it is hard not to feel that times are now the worst they have ever been and battling depression is difficult. Writing seems like an indulgence in times like these and this blog post reminds us of why it’s important NOT to abandon our art. Please note that it is a patreon site so I have made a (small) rolling donation and if you can spare it you might like to consider doing likewise.

Story Hospital

Dear friends,

I am committed to giving advice to any writer, anywhere, but today’s post is specifically for those of us in the U.S. and elsewhere who are deeply distressed by the thought of President Trump and deeply anxious about what comes next for the U.S. and the world. It’s a modified version of my post-election piece on goals and deadlines in a time of strong emotions. This one is more general, without the NaNo-specific content, and I hope it will be a post that you can come back to again and again.

As we face difficult times as creators of art, we will face a lot of pressure from different sides, and from within ourselves. We will be pressured to make art. We will be pressured to stop making art. We will be pressured to make different art, to be more radical or more moderate, to be commercial or to…

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Writers in a Dangerous Time

An Offensive Article

I condemn without reservation the decision by the Irish Times to publish yesterday, in its online edition, an article to which I will not link purporting to be a “glossary of the alt-right”. This article contains the most infantilely racist and offensive terms, articulated with glee. Such language has no place being presented without comment on its harmful and ignorant nature.

To treat the “alt right”, a group of angry white men suffused with preening, terroristic vanity, as if they’re just one big laugh altogether elides the harm and nastiness caused by their depredations online and off. Just recently the curator of the @ireland account was harassed and abused by a swarm of trolls egged on to attack her by masterminds on white supremacist forums – on account of being black and plus-size. It wasn’t that the trolls were wittier, or that she was over-sensitive or not resilient enough. It was that there were deliberately so many of them that she could not continue with her curation for a while. By sheer numbers they make their target look weak for not being able to rebut them all. They silence by this kind of swarming and people might decide it is not worth the hassle of confronting them. Twitter facilitates the folk who mastermind their attack and that’s another part of the problem.

It is a grievous dereliction of editorial responsibility to treat this group of people, and the vile racist slurry it spews out, like just another interest group. I hope other authors will agree that this is unacceptable, and that the editor of that section will drop his ridiculous idea that airing this stuff in any way constitutes “challenging debate”.

An Offensive Article