Oh, Internet. This week has been epic.
Today's useful thing: a quote from William Gibson's blog about writer's block:
Q Creator's block. If ever: how long, when/why it happened; or how was it avoided, palliated?
A "Creator's block" sounds like something afflicting a divinity, but writer's block is my default setting. Its opposite is miraculous. The process of learning to write fiction, for me, was one of learning to almost continually be doing it *through* the block, in spite of the block, the block becoming the accustomed place from which to work. Our traditional cultural models of creativity tend to involve the wrong sort of heroism, for me. "It sprang whole and perfect from my brow" as opposed to "I saw it mispelled, in mauve Krylon, on the side of a dumpster, and it haunted me". I was much encouraged, when I began to write, by Manny Farber's idea of "termite art".
So this past Thursday I added a footnote to my link dump noting that Constance McMillen had been given permission to attend the private prom that was replacing the prom the Itawamba school district had canceled when Constance had asked to bring her girlfriend as a date. As it turns out, that's not quite what happened in the end.
Turns out there were TWO private proms: the 'real' one and the one to which various 'undesirables' (including McMillen and some students with special needs) were sent.
When I think back on my own high school experience, and how unhappy I was, I remember that what got me through was the advice I got from counselors and supportive adults. They told me that high school isn't life. It's not permanent. People move on and grow up. High school kids are jerks. Adults behave...well, like adults.
What bothers me most about the Constance McMillen story -- and, in fact, reduces me to SEARING WHITE-HOT RAGE -- is the fact that a community of adults is overtly, and with clear malice, acting out after-school special levels of villainy.
And all I can think is just how damned ashamed of themselves these so-called adults should be. This isn't how school superintendents, district officials, teachers, and administrators are supposed to behave. These people are supposed to be role models. Instead, they're acting like the worst sort of ill-mannered, spiteful, overgrown children. And it's a disgrace.
So here's a free clue to the adults of Itawamba County, Mississippi: grow up.
Sometimes in the real world we meet people who are different from us. They may dress differently, or have different color skin, or practice a different religion, or have disabilities, and so on. But you know what? They're still people, just like you, and they're entitled to all the same human rights and dignity you are. They still have just as much right to be here as you do, and a mark of maturity is learning to live with and respect differences in an equitable and civil manner, even with people you don't necessarily like.
What you don't do is run a kid and his family out of town or devise crazy schemes to exclude people. Goodness. I can't imagine what my mother would have done if I'd pulled something like this.
It just boggles the mind.
FREE TO A GOOD HOME: One soapbox, well-worn.