luciazephyr: Book of the Still, the time traveler's lifeline (Default)
[personal profile] luciazephyr
That was one of the stupider things I have ever done in my life. Now I have a ton of people on Twitter rather... upset.

But I figure I'll share anyway, because ya'll may want to know this about Mr. Butcher.

Tonight's tale begins over here on Jim Butcher's Twitter account when some readers took extreme umbrage with what they saw as whitewashing of crime issues in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago.

There's your background. Let's begin.

JB: Why do some people not understand than I'm the real person, and that the fiction I write is... well, fiction? Fiction means make-believe. I'm not a goddamned socioeconomic historian.

Lucy: .... Wow, Jimmy B. Stand down, you don't have the high road on this topic.

JB: Gotta disagree, since I'm a bit more familiar with my fictional Chicago than anyone else.

Lucy: ... I... Oh wow. I'm pretty sure if you set your novels in a real location with a real living history, you should respect those familiar with the city when they take issue with what reads as apparent whitewashing of extremely serious issues.

JB: I did respect them, actually. Up until the "fuck you Jim Butcher" part. I take that back. Up until the part where they play the racist card. :)

Lucy: Sir, please don't bring up the tone argument. They have valid complaints. Don't delegitimize them for daring to be angry. What you did read as racist. It may not be fair to call *you* a racist, but they have the right to level that to the text. You are a white man. You do not get to tell a marginalized group what they can and can't be offended by.

JB: OH, okay. Now I get it. I'm white, so I need to have that kind of hate thrown my way and STFU.

Lucy: Mr. Butcher, do not take criticism of your text as criticism against you. You have editors, no? You should have thicker skin.

JB: I have no idea who this writer is, their gender, their color, their anything. But it's too much to expect an inkling of humanity? Or courtesy?

Lucy: Again, avoid the tone argument. It's not a valid counter and makes you look unaware of your privilege.

JB: "Fuck you Jim Butcher" is neither criticism, nor criticism of my text.

Lucy: No, but it sounds like the reaction of a person who has had their history and pain erased over and over and is tired of it. It was not aimed at you, you realize? These people don't know you and have likely never met you. They are angry at a society that repeatedly belittles and underrepresents their struggle and suffering.

JB: The "fuck you Jim Butcher!" was NOT aimed at me? Are you serious? :)

Lucy: Yes, I am. I am deadly serious and cut out the smilies. This is a serious issue and instead of engaging meaningfully you and getting caught up in a tone arguement and a perceived attack on you.

JB: I DO perceive "fuck you Jim Butcher" as intentional hostility. Yes.

Lucy: Random people on the internet you, as you say, don't know anything about. People who are simply *venting*. I said "fuck you, Joss Whedeon" every time he killed off a character I like. It was NOT an act of hostility.

JB: I feel that I can at least partly speak on JW's behalf by saying this: IT STILL HURTS.

CyprinellaJ, who is awesome: I hope you get over your kneejerk response to being insulted &actually read what the post is about. Protip: It's not only you.

Lucy: Yes, but you are an author. You should be receptive of criticism (especially legitimate crit) and stop taking it personally. It's not about you, it's not about you, it's *not about you*, it's about a systemic marginalization and whitewashing of real and serious issues. These people mean you no real harm, and I think(/hope) you are aware of that.

JB: Legitimate criticism, in my professional experience, rarely comes with personal invective and F-bombs.

Lucy: That criticism from professionals. This is not, but that does not invalidate it. Please, for the love of god, put aside you personal hurt and realized your (I imagine) inadvertent whitewashing is not an isolated incident.

Lucy: Mr. Butcher, I love your worldbuilding and your characters. I do. But your text has issues, just as *every* text does. Sexism and racism do appear to pop up, though I do not think *you* are yourself sexist or racist. But I sure as hell understand why someone who is faced with these issues *every day of their life* would get so angry.


(@HarriedWizard: Someone's gotta figure out that the Chicago where they live and the Chicago where I live ain't the same goddamned place.
Lucy: Jesus christ, Harry, don't. This is not about that.
Cyprinella: Sigh.
@HarriedWizard: Gonna be one of those nights.
Lucy: No, not really. At least, not from me. Now I'm just... tired. :sighs:
Cyprinella: Don't think I'm not frysquinting you right now. Just you've been a lot more reasonable.)


JB: It. Hurts. Anyway. Maybe I should have a thicker skin, but I have this weird condition where I give a fuck about others. Okay, okay. Woosah, deep breaths, moving on.

Lucy: But you have the white, male privilege of not being hyperaware of how society treats you. That's not a thing to be ashamed of but it is something you need to be aware of. I'm shaking and breathing hard myself, Mr. Butcher. But again. Please. Look at the actual issue, not your momentary hurt.

(After all that:
@HarriedWizard: So educate me now. What WAS that about?
Lucy: It was about Mr. Butcher sadly focusing more on his personal hurt than seeing a valid criticism of most modern American lit. :sighs: Thanks for the magic lesson though. [he gave a rundown of summoning magic to me earlier]
@HarriedWizard: You're welcome. And for what it's worth, Lucy, I admire your passion.
Lucy, now crying just a bit maybe: I... thank you. I don't know why but you saying so just got me tearing up. Dammit, you jerk. But thank you.)



And that's what happened. Thought ya'll should know.

:takes a long, deep breath:


ETA: Okay, I'm sorry everyone, but I'm turning off the email comments option on these posts. I respect you all have opinions, but I'm at the point I no long care because this entire incident is stressing me out. I regret having done it regardless of how decent my intention and cause was. I'm done arguing about this, I no longer care, and this is not worth the stress. Thank you everyone for your comments, supportive or otherwise, and feel free to continue discussing what happened. I will not be monitoring unless one of my friends pokes me to or something.

I'm just done.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-07-07 03:59 am (UTC)
cyprinella: Rosemary sprigs (rosemary)
From: [personal profile] cyprinella
You're a rockstar.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-07-07 04:07 am (UTC)
polarisnorth: a silhouetted figure sitting on the moon, watching the earthrise ([comics] steph batgirl)
From: [personal profile] polarisnorth
*hugs* I'm really, really sorry that happened. It's disappointing to see that reaction from JB, though I wish it was surprising. And for what it's worth, from here it looks like you stayed pretty reasonable throughout all of it, and it's scary to stand up to someone whose work you like and respect. *hugs hugs hugs*

(no subject)

Date: 2011-07-07 04:36 am (UTC)
ghostofthemotif: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ghostofthemotif
I'm going to second Harry on this: I admire you a lot.

-lots of hugs-

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Date: 2011-07-07 05:20 am (UTC)
samjohnsson: It's just another mask (Default)
From: [personal profile] samjohnsson
You really are a rockstar. It's amazing how many author conflate themselves with their work and have very thin skins.

Also, I figured @harriedwizard was ghosted by JB. It's not?

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Date: 2011-07-07 05:51 am (UTC)
killerkaleidoscope: close-up centered on a violet daisy on diagonally-cracked gray pavement (Default)
From: [personal profile] killerkaleidoscope
You are a person of immense fortitude and I would give you a good hug and a medal for your efforts if I could.

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Date: 2011-07-07 06:16 am (UTC)
sarken: leaves of mint against a worn wall (Default)
From: [personal profile] sarken
Maybe I should have a thicker skin, but I have this weird condition where I give a fuck about others.

...what? I think giving a fuck about others would mean paying attention to valid criticism from people who have been hurt, regardless of tone.

Anyway, go you! It's not fun to interact like that with people you admire.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-07-07 11:02 am (UTC)
cyprinella: broken neon sign that reads "lies & fish" (angy betta)
From: [personal profile] cyprinella
I thought when reading that tweet that there should be a "think" on the end of that sentence. hard to say for sure though.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-07-07 06:27 am (UTC)
rosefox: Green books on library shelves. (Default)
From: [personal profile] rosefox
Hi there. I followed a few links from Twitter and found this post. Thank you very much for fighting the good fight.

I have an SF/fantasy blog at Publishers Weekly and would like to link to your post from there. Would that be all right? Usually I figure anything public is fair game, but I would totally understand if you don't want me to send people over here right now (or if you want the chance to turn comments off or something first). Just let me know.

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Date: 2011-07-07 06:29 am (UTC)
karnythia: (Default)
From: [personal profile] karnythia
I'm one of the people in that Tumblr thread & I'll be honest I wish (for your sake) you hadn't bothered to tilt at that particular windmill. Butcher has been called out before & his response has never been to listen.

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Date: 2011-07-07 07:20 am (UTC)
chalcopyrite: Two little folded-paper boats in the rain (Default)
From: [personal profile] chalcopyrite
Wow. Hats off to you: I don't think I would have had the guts to call an author (!) I admire (!!) out on that, and I *really* wouldn't have been able to keep trying to get through to him when he was determined to focus on the part that was, as you say, *not about him*.

At least you got him to knock off the #$%^&* smilies?

(here via network. rattled on your behalf.)

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Date: 2011-07-07 10:30 am (UTC)
everbright: Eclipse of Saturn (Default)
From: [personal profile] everbright
*hugsyousohard*

Oh, Luce, Luce! You did so well; I'm so sorry you had to! You used your spoons wisely tonight, and I hope you don't have to use them that way again for awhile.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-07-07 11:34 am (UTC)
sockich: (Cuddles)
From: [personal profile] sockich
I am impressed that you managed to keep your calm, I just wish I thought you managed to get through to him. *sigh*

*hugs you lots*

(no subject)

Date: 2011-07-07 02:27 pm (UTC)
actiaslunaris: Galileo - Utsumi Kaoru resting her head on Yukawa Manabu's shoulder - text: a line-drawn heart (heart on his sleeve)
From: [personal profile] actiaslunaris
You handled that very well. And like HarriedWizard, I admire your passion. It takes a great deal of courage and integrity to do what you did, especially when most people would have just passed by.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-07-07 02:52 pm (UTC)
mezzanineview: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mezzanineview
I got into an INCREDIBLE argument with my heterosexual life partner over your defense of OP's right to be angry and he went ahead and supported the use of the tone argument. It got ugly :| I still think you were completely right to try and make him aware of his privilege, my dear, even if it didn't appear to get through at all *big big big hugs*

(no subject)

Date: 2011-07-07 04:51 pm (UTC)
rydra_wong: Lee Miller photo showing two women wearing metal fire masks in England during WWII. (Default)
From: [personal profile] rydra_wong
So much kudos. I know from personal experience how distressing it is when an author you admire is Fail-y, and you responded with far more courage and coherence than I ever did. That's an amazing attempt to get through to him.

What you did was worth doing, and it may have changed someone's mind even if it didn't change Butcher's.

Permission to link in a comment at [livejournal.com profile] deadbrowalking, as context for Butcher's tweets?

*braces herself*

Date: 2011-07-07 08:24 pm (UTC)
artimusdin: (Default)
From: [personal profile] artimusdin
I know I'm going to get dogpiled for this, but... there is kind of a difference between scathing criticism for JB's long-standing fails and the rather personal insult that went along with it. Last I checked, you might be able to get away with saying that to close friends without insult, but to say that to someone you don't know? That is a personal insult. He might be an author, but he's still human. Granted, one with a distinct white-male outlook on things, but him being offended when someone specifically tells him to go fuck off? Understandable, imo. You handled yourself very nicely, but I can understand why he'd be upset.

Re: *braces herself*

Date: 2011-07-07 08:56 pm (UTC)
karnythia: (Default)
From: [personal profile] karnythia
Everyone involved is human & to break out the tone argument in response to someone being angry at his ongoing fail seems more than a little disingenuous. Especially since this person isn't a pro, doesn't have the following that he does, & in fact wrote that post on a personal blog a month ago.

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Hey

Date: 2011-07-07 08:35 pm (UTC)
ext_310065: Brown skinned warrior woman, at rest in armor (Default)
From: [identity profile] seeking-avalon.blogspot.com
Just dropping in to say hi, to agree with Yelson & Karnythia that turning off anon comments will save you a world of grief (hoping to squeak in before you do that) and to agree you showed quite a lot of grace and patience.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-07-07 09:31 pm (UTC)
zillah975: Painting of my Night Elf, Tyrnathera Stormcaller (Default)
From: [personal profile] zillah975
I found my way here from Twitter and just wanted to thank you for your terrific comments to JB. It's too bad he didn't listen, but other people will. You might not hear from most of them, but I think that every time one person says to another, "wait a minute, think about this," it helps. I just wish it weren't such a hard thing to do.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-07-08 07:00 am (UTC)
delux_vivens: (eating white peepul)
From: [personal profile] delux_vivens
Your comments and post on this are fantastic.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-07-08 09:09 am (UTC)
roadrunnertwice: Tyr ransoming his hand to Loki's wolf. (Tyr and Fenrir (John Bauer))
From: [personal profile] roadrunnertwice
Nothing to add, just another thanks.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-07-09 03:56 am (UTC)
angelsaves: luna from harry potter wearing silly glasses (luna)
From: [personal profile] angelsaves
hey, i know you probably won't see this for a while, but i'm one of the people involved in the original tumblr conversation (i was wondering where all those reblogs were coming from...), and i just wanted to thank you for trying. i'm really sorry people have been awful to you about it. i think you're a pretty great human being. <3

Ah.

Date: 2011-07-12 12:07 am (UTC)
aeleolus: (Default)
From: [personal profile] aeleolus
JB, you disappoint me a little. *sigh* Lucia, you handled that like a real trooper. I really appreciate you trying to explain such a painful series of issues. Good on you.

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