I am not going to Readercon, and this is why:
I find it practically impossible to listen to people talk intelligently and substantially without being part of the conversation. I live for intelligent and substantial conversation, and there are few chances to have one in daily life. Therefore, I tend to be that
guygal at panel discussions. You know, the one who keeps interrupting. I didn't realize I was doing it; until recently I haven't been attended enough panel discussions at conventions to understand the proper customs and dynamics of the situation. I thought panel discussions were conversations.
I can't understand why people want to sit quietly and listen to other people have a discussion. If the panelists are discussing a concept such as "Dystopia as Utopia" (or whatever), the panelists are not "oooh, voices from on high!" to whom to listen raptly in silence. They're just people, and I want to be part of the conversation. On the other hand, if they're discussing a concrete topic on which they're the sole experts, such as "this is how we made this movie," well, I just didn't understand the dynamics of the "Q&A at the end of the talk" because it's a discussion, not a lecture! And, er, I'm not good at keeping my mouth shut at lectures either.
(Speaking of which, I continue my rambling after the squiggle.)
In my last post I got a great comment asking "How can you be an anarchist and believe in democracy, too?" To which I replied:
First, I don't believe in "either/or". I don't think there is such a thing as a perfect political theory or form of government because people aren't perfect. (I know that sounds ridiculously obvious to Kossacks like us, but you know very well that there are a lot of people who would be offended by that statement.)
I started to reply to you in full, but then I realized that to discuss my personal beliefs fully would take more than a comment or even a diary; it would probably turn into a hellishly boring manifesto (as these things tend to do).
The thing is, I know what I think would be a more viable sociopolitical paradigm, but I also know that it would be wrong of me to push that on anyone. I don't know whether anarchism would be viable on a large scale; a true anarchist society relies on everyone to do their part, and see above where I acknowledge that people aren't perfect.
I started to add here some of the things I saw and learned as part of the Boston Occupation, but that would be a whole 'nother post (maybe it will be!), and as I said, I'm trying to keep this from getting too long and convoluted.
So basically I'm going to say: I have to play the hand I'm dealt. I work towards a new sociopolitical paradigm, but I know full well it ain't gonna happen before November. In the short term, we have to make sure that the rights of each individual in this country are protected and where necessary restored, and I feel that I have a personal responsibility to do my part.
See the bold part? I know it's way late to the party, but I'm going to give it a go behind the squiggle. Please note that -- as I threatened in the block quote above -- it's gonna get long. Enter at your own risk.
EDIT: I told you it would turn into a manifesto! This has gotten so bloody long even behind the squig that I don't want to bore you by blathering on and on. Believe me, I could keep going for pages, but my thoughts are not so important that I feel the need to submit you to them. In fact -- and this is not about begging for validation or nuffin' -- I won't bother you with more unless you let me know you want to read it. It's all cool.
My friends all know I'm a crazy arse-on-the-line rabble-rousing anarchist. I truly, madly, deeply believe that direct action is the only way to create fundamental change in society. I bet I'm the only person you know who's sad she couldn't be in Chicago for the NATO Summit protests.
Never let it be said, however, that I toe the line when it comes to anarchist political theory (if there even is such a thing as an anarchist "toeing the line" LOL). The thing is, anarchists don't vote: "it only encourages them". On the other hand, I believe (truly, madly, deeply) that it is my most fundamental right and duty as a citizen of this country to exercise my franchise.
(I'm going to save space in your stream, so you if you really want to read more of my thinky thoughts, jump the squiggle. Oh, and there are a couple of f-bombs as well.)