Update 8/14/2013: Well, one day short of a year since I originally published this. And wowzers did I catch a lot of heat for it. Someone even started a blog specifically to trash me about my "misogyny," laf. Man, those were the days. I just read through it again for the first time since the couple of times right after publishing it and do you know what?
I. Stand. By. Every. Fucking. Word. Maggots. Now go fuck off for a second time.
When I wrote my wrap up the other day I hadn't seen any other takes on the festivities by anyone who'd actually attended it. I assumed I was going to see pretty much the same enthusiasm I felt, expressed in different ways here and there. AHS11 received such a uniformly positive response and I didn't see why this time would be any different.
Ah, but grasshopper, you were so dumb. AHS11 was a one-off affair conjured up by Aaron Blaisdell and Brent Pottenger (two white men, incidentally; and as such, how dare them) that against all odds was a smashing success not only in terms of the length, breadth and quality of the presenters, but in terms of attendance and plain solid work in pulling it all off competently. In my presentation there, I opened by mentioning how when they first contacted me about the idea, I basically humored them in support—not really believing it would come to pass.
But you see, now that it's a bona fide success, it's just a great target for attack and criticism—by people who did fuck all to make anything like that happen. Yea, there was a volunteer (who helped to make things happen) at this last one who wrote a scathing piece on the whole affair, and then there are posts elsewhere—and the commenters who love to pile on for the party.
I served as a last minute volunteer, and although I attended several of the presentations, of which one was the Moore panel, I mostly served as a gopher and registration assistant. To that end, I took the opportunity to observe the behavior of attendees, the conference leaders and the vendors, and it was enlightening. I was already disturbed about the logo that AHS uses – it’s obvious that the two body outlines are of white northern Europeans – the male holding a spear, and the woman, a basket. The demographic at this event was almost all white, child bearing age, healthy, wealthy, highly educated, libertarian, racist, sexist and bigoted. People were largely and obviously judged on their external appearances. Those who weren’t of the demographic were left alone – they were shunned.
Shame on Brent and Aaron for not bussing in uneducated, unhealthy, post-menopausal, fat people who could not pay...and who were also black, hispanic, asian, but comprised mostly of lots and lots of sexually undesirable women—all screened to make sure they they're lefty democrats: racist while protesting to be not, sexist while protesting to be not, and bigoted—but the life of the party sort of bigot.
Was AHS12 by invitation only? Did one have to fill out a demographic questionnaire prior to purchasing a ticket?
I appreciate the volunteer service of that person and I hope her name was included in my wrap up because I endeavored to get the names of everyone who made it all look easy.
You see, I really don't much like those who remind you always of how hard it is to do what they do. The ones I like are the ones who do the hard stuff and make it look easy. This is the true proof of their competence. That's how I felt about the volunteer organizers and movers of both AHS11 and AHS12. For all her criticism of all the behind the scene conflagration and confusion, I didn't notice a whiff of it ever. And it's beyond me why someone as part of an organization that pulled off a success finds so much need in airing all the behind-scene dirty laundry publicly, when I believe the vast majority of paying customers were happy. Does every single thing that can be said, need to be said?
Oh, yea, I forgot: "The demographic at this event was almost all white, child bearing age, healthy, wealthy, highly educated, libertarian, racist, sexist and bigoted."
Perhaps, at base, she wanted it to go off badly for all those awful folk.
As you've probably guessed by now, I could go on and on with that whole deal, but let me cut it off here with just one more "quibble."
The male conference directors and chairs often made unilateral decisions with no leadership or management. I’ll call it intentional incompetence.
I'm not really sure whether she means that all that'd be fine if females did it, or that what needed to happen in every critical moment was to pull all volunteers off station, for a committee—ensuring to include equal representation amongst poor, unhealthy, fat, black, hispanic, asian, women, lesbian and a transvestite—to vote on it.
Yea, it's laughable and that's why I'm amplifying it to hyperbolic proportions.
I think at base, there's a couple of types of folks in the world. For the most part, those attending the AHS events know that they'll see 50% of the presentations at most, but that means they can pick and choose and what that means is: was there enough value for me, there? Yes? I'll be back. No? Maybe not. Simple. That's dealing with things as they really are, not as some ridiculous ideal fantasy. Then there's the other sorts who look at it and conclude this isn't how they would do it, and so they set about to attack and criticize those who do things that they have neither the ability or wherewithal to do themselves. And they've most likely never accomplished a notable thing in their lives...and so there's an element of self loathing.
...The patriarchal criticism annoys me the most. Two guys created this. To my knowledge, they have never, ever excluded a single woman because she's a woman. What they did was take all comers willing to help them make this real. That most of them were men is a criticism of women, and deserved praise of men. Did you hear me, laddies? Get off your asses and take what you think you can handle, or shut the fuck up and stop your whining.
It's there for the taking. For you. I'll be there to applaud every single success (of individuals, regardless of superficial skin color or genital arrangement).
But that's not what some of you want, is it? Now that the really hard work is done, beginning almost 4 years ago, created by two white, privileged men, and it's a success, some of you want it all just handed to you on the proverbial silver platter. Aren't I right?
Last I noticed, the WAPF is pretty much dominated by women. You've got Sally Fallon who I believe heads the thing, and a couple of its chief cheerleaders and promoters are Ann Marie Michaels of CheeseSlave and Kelly the Kitchen Kop, both with hugely popular WAPF blogs. I'm gonna stick my neck out and guess that never in the history of the universe has a single white male ever protested the matriarchal bent to WAPF. Prove me wrong, or shut the fuck up.
...I don't give a fuck about skin color or genital arrangements when it comes to merit or prestige. Sally Ride was the first time in my life that I really took cognizance of the harm the women's "feminist" movement does to women. She was, to me, an astronaut, not "the first female astronaut." It sorrows me to think she had to endure the notion that she got that gig because of how here genitals were arranged, and not because she was damn good at what she did being a physicist, and better than enough others at the time to get what she wanted.
Similarly, for Barak Obama. It's sad for him that he's going to go down in history as "the first black president," and not the gig the white guys get: a skilled politician, more cunning in lying, deception, obfuscation, popularity, dynamism, money raising than everyone else at the time.
Full disclosure of conflicts of interest: I'm a white guy, northern European descent. I attended private school through HS. It was mostly white people like me. There were plenty of females, though none fat. They all believed in fairy tales, though. Lived in a co-ed dorm in college and boy did I love love love that! In the first true home I could call my own, I split rent with a black guy, Annapolis grad and football player. My wife is Hispanic, and when I met her, she made way more money than me. The company I eventually created employed 3/4 females to males and 3 of the 4 top management positions below me were manned by non-men. I have a lot of gay and lesbian friends. I remain chauvinistic, bigoted and racist...so they tell me.