I’ve been pacing for days trying to sort and decide what to say, if anything at all, about “The Letter” posted in the esteemed Harper’s magazine and the “Rebuttal” that made a little splash by the unwashed masses of social media. Does anyone care what these 153 suffering signatories think? Who asked their opinion on open debate, cancel culture, justice, and fear that their powerful voices will somehow be silenced, vanished from history? Frankly, I’m more interested in reading the responses of the unwashed masses who do not have a Harper’s or a platform of any kind to share their stories of being ignored, bullied, shut out, and surely underpaid for the fruits of their sweaty, wrung-out Word documents?
Chomsky, Rushdie, Atwood and…. Rowling? Who invited her to this “mighty” list of elites where she can shore up support for her (deeply unfortunate) views on transgenderism? In this very same paragraph I must examine my prickling view of The Letter against my bristling reaction to a group of male authors who yawned and called Ursula LeGuin overrated again. On one hand I defend Ursula and her right to shine with the lofty (mostly male) Sci-Fi / Fantasy writers of our time, while the other hides my snickering at JK Rowling’s fear of being cancelled. Both women endured their lumps in the writing “community” for their perceived lack of talent and their personal views, and here I am committing the same sin. In this paragraph I must re-examine my views on true freedom of speech. I must learn how to keep writing while remembering to use my Super Girl Powers for good, not evil, to keep speaking out for inequality no matter where it is found, especially when I find it in my own pages.
My thoughts are ungelled, imperfect, unready to share and certainly without authority. They are an open letter to no one in particular, written in smeared ink, carried away on the back of a rogue dolphin. (He reminds me to write about cultural appropriation in fiction next time, knowing I have a mind full of that and plenty of space to share my unsought, frightfully overrated opinions.)