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A Short Statement About the Recent Unpleasantness

October 22, 2014
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Given the recent spike in searches and the (wonderful, unexpected and slightly overwhelming) barrage of emails I have been receiving, I feel as though I should make some sort of public statement about closing my Twitter account on Saturday night. If only to let people know that I am okay. I am okay.

I closed my Twitter account because I felt extraordinarily intimidated by certain people’s actions. I reasoned that by shutting down my Twitter account I would not only be removing myself from an environment in which I no longer felt safe, I would also be helping to defuse what felt like an escalating situation.

My decision was also informed by the realisation that while I may deeply regret the hyperbolic and divisive atmosphere of genre culture, I myself am something of a divisive figure. It is hard to speak out against those whose words have destroyed communities and driven people to the brink of emotional collapse when your own tendency to make your opinions known also puts pressure on friendships and communities.

I have no intention of walking away from genre culture or cutting my genre-related writing back any further but I realise that it’s probably a lot harder for me to be divisive when I limit myself to longer-form posts. I regret my tendency to be a complete cock on social media and I accept full responsibility for any bad feelings that might have resulted from interacting with me on Twitter when I’m in one of those moods.

Naturally, I reserve the right to return to Twitter at some point in the future either under my old name or a new one (depending upon how long I leave it) but regardless of which handle I may wind up using, I will always make my identity clear so as to ensure that I remain subject to the full social consequences of my past. I value genre spaces and the people who devote their time and energy to them, even if I do not always remember to show it.

20 Comments
  1. Matt permalink
    October 22, 2014 1:34 pm

    I read your blog here, I read every post even though I’ve watched very few of the films you talk about, and mostly have little intention to do so (though I have spent good money on seeing films based solely on your recommendation). I read your posts because you write fabulously – I’d far rather read your words about things I have no interest in than anyone else’s words on topics I care about. I honestly can’t think of any other non-fiction writers I’d rather read. This is testament to your ability to write well and insightfully.

    I’ve no idea about the unpleasantness, and that’s fine – I just want to say that while you may feel there are knives out for you, there’s surely a huge silent majority of your readers who think you’re a great writer. I can imagine it’s stressful to be in your position, but fundamentally there’s a good brain in your head, I look forward to seeing what comes out of it.

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  2. October 22, 2014 2:55 pm

    Hi Matt :-)

    Many thanks for your astonishingly kind and very touching words, they really do mean a lot.

    – J

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  3. October 22, 2014 4:14 pm

    I’ll echo Matt. I’ve not been on twitter much recently so I have no idea what this is about, but I continue to read your blog and longer pieces with interest and I don’t see that changing. You write good stuff.

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  4. October 22, 2014 7:59 pm

    I understand how different media formats may not be ideal for everybody — I don’t use Twitter at all — but I know that you write well and insightfully in the long format, and I very much enjoy your analysis in Ruthless Culture even when I may not agree with all your conclusions.
    Do continue to write here! Please.

    (And may I suggest you read up on McLuhan? A powerful antidote to the feelings of stress and confusion brought on by today’s frantic media landscape…)

    Like

  5. October 22, 2014 9:09 pm

    Hi. Let me just add that, like the others who’ve commented here, I am pleased to hear that you will keep writing (here, at least), precisely because I’ve so often found your Ruthless Culture posts worthwhile.

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  6. alishki permalink
    October 22, 2014 9:48 pm

    Jonathan,

    I haven’t an inkling of what you’re referring to, but since your discussions here are mainly on films I hope you mean something other than films by genre culture and the Twitter incident. I get annoyed by Twitter too but for reasons possibly different from what you’ve alluded to. Feels like only narcissists, the self-promoting and attention-grabbing are on there.

    Do your thing here, though, and don’t go nowhere, man. And you’re right, the longer format here does help limit your chances of being misconstrued. Here, most people are too short-winded to keep up with everyone in the C-section, let alone share their two cents. Unlike on Shitter. It’s too bad, I read the Gomorrah post, and had an overdue #FF coming your way. But I will leave you a comment there soon.

    Ali

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  7. October 23, 2014 2:38 am

    I hope you’re okay. *fistbump*

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  8. October 23, 2014 4:08 am

    I will second the comments made above. I think you’re an extraordinary writer. Like Matt I’ve read many posts without watching the movie, or watched movies based on a post I loved. I’ve even googled things like “other blogs like Ruthless Culture” because I just couldn’t get enough (Google didn’t come up with squat).

    I’m sure you know that Twitter’s natural propensity for trolling and unpleasantness is being noted by many. Regardless of how you interact with social media, I do hope you’ll continue your writing here.

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  9. October 23, 2014 5:03 am

    Don’t know what happened on Twitter but I echo everyone here on the worth of your writing.

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  10. Ian Mond permalink
    October 23, 2014 6:52 am

    Shit, had no idea you’d closed your account. Twitter is worse off for it – or my feed at the very least.

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  11. October 23, 2014 12:39 pm

    Gosh… I hadn’t expected this type of response!

    Thank you all for your kind thoughts and support, it really does mean a lot to me :-)

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  12. z_boson permalink
    October 23, 2014 2:34 pm

    I’m glad you didn’t abandon your blog for twitter instead ;) Thanks for your writing.

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  13. October 23, 2014 7:28 pm

    I could hazard a guess at the general topic that has led to this, but I shan’t. There’s clearly a reason you’ve not mentioned it!

    Hope to see you on Twitter again one day – especially as I only recently began to use it again. Hey – is that the real reason behind this?!

    In any case, Ruthless Culture remains on my RSS feeds so I shall continue to enjoy your work here and in Interzone.

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  14. October 24, 2014 7:30 pm

    Blimey, I completely missed all this. Come back soon you curmudgeon.

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  15. October 24, 2014 7:41 pm

    Fav

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  16. October 27, 2014 11:43 pm

    Love your posts. You have an excellent historical knowledge of genre culture. Genre culture is growing up. It needs writers like you, who understand the greater context of art, writing, and music in which genre fiction resides and can articulate it seriously. Genre is too big to remain a bastion for scoundrels, misanthropes and malcontents.

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  17. November 6, 2014 11:34 am

    I’m not happy about this but then I’m not happy about much.

    While I enjoy your long-form writing, there is something to be said for touching a match to a bit of magnesium tape and watching it burn swiftly; etching something meaningful, if sometimes vulgar, into the smooth enamel of social media.

    So I hope you return.

    Like

  18. November 6, 2014 8:27 pm

    As someone who put you on ‘block’ long ago for the cock behaviour you own to … I can’t say I’ll miss you but I’m glad to see some growth.

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  19. November 6, 2014 8:39 pm

    Ha! Cheers JS :-)

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  20. November 6, 2014 11:36 pm

    Just saw this. If I can’t find you on twitter any longer, Jonathan, I’ll come here more often looking for your voice. I’ve always enjoyed your writing and opinions (even when we don’t agree!)

    Hope all’s well.

    Like

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