I was saddened to hear that my favourite anime director, Satoshi Kon, died last week. The link is to a goodbye letter he left behind.
Here are the covers of two different editions of the book Silver Phoenix, by Cindy Pon. One of them is horribly offensive - "like the ugly, stupid, festering toad that you just can't squash no matter how many times you hit it with a shovel" - and the Web logger on whose site I found the pictures and quote thinks it's obvious which one that is.
It should not be thought that Six Apart have completely clean hands here. I'm not by any means a big fan of Six Apart. It's partly because I'm not a fan of Six Apart that I've left Livejournal and given up my paid account. Nothing in the previous section should be taken as my saying that Six Apart are perfect. I think they're basically doing the right thing, but what have they done wrong?
In the previous section I mentioned that fandom itself is considered a perversion. I don't think most people in fandom are willing to admit that they know that. It might be another terrible secret - the terrible secret of fandom. The thing is that fandom is about creating a line that separates Us from Them. That's the point. That's why you joined - remember? You wanted to be among your people and escape from the ones who aren't your people. The trouble is that when we separated ourselves from the mainstream, we created a really good reason for the mainstream to separate from us too.
I'm hearing another round of rumours about Six Apart, the company that runs Livejournal, and its deletion of Livejournal users. It sounds like they've changed their code to make it less obvious when a user has been deleted (by hiding usernames or something, instead of showing them in strikethrough), and they're continuing to not follow their stated policies of issuing warnings and conducting reviews and so on. The fandom community is up in arms, and the current situation is seen as an example of Six Apart not sticking to the promises it made last time there was a round of deletions. I think the time has come for me to reveal the terrible secret of Livejournal - the one big issue behind this situation, that neither side wants to admit even to themselves. Because of this one big issue, I think that fandom is making unreasonable demands of Livejournal. This is a sort of open letter or reality check for the fandom community: you can't expect Six Apart to give you what you're demanding, and you need to recognize why.