File 770 typically needs a couple of years to catch up with an internet meme. Not in this case. Isn’t it easy to imagine Mark Plummer wearing McKayla Maroney’s silver-medalist scowl while drafting his column about Chris Garcia for Strange Horizons? The first paragraph derides Chris’ overuse of the word awesome. The second paragraph frowns upon his addiction to exclamation points and liking for extra capital letters (remember “ChiCon”?) Not impressed, okay — but what made this worth a column?
Just before my fuel gauge hit the point-of-no-return I found Mark’s lede in the third paragraph, crash-landed on a lonely desert island beside Amelia Earhart’s Electra: Mark disagrees with some points Chris made comparing blogs with fanzines in an article for Apex Magazine, “What It Is We Miss When We Don’t Read Fanzines”.
Mark has circled the blog v. fanzine topic before in his Strange Horizons column and I am as willing to listen to his views as Chris Garcia’s. If only Mark would state them affirmatively! Then it would be easier to tell who’s talking because it’s not as if Chris and Mark are any farther apart than “Tastes great!” “Less filling!” or “It’s a breath mint!” “It’s a candy mint!” For example, Mark writes —
And that, I think, is the key thing about Chris’s article: that it tries to identify differences between fanzines and blogs when it seems to me that there are really far more points of commonality.
Bloggers, though, may be more firmly embedded in the broader fandom as it’s played out here in 2012 and so when Chris says, “Many bloggers have become that ranting commentator who never actually participates in the events they react to; a claim held often against many zine writers of earlier days” I suspect that’s true of some fanzine writers of the present day too.
Now that Chris has cracked open the door, if Mark is willing to step through and analyze the issues of power and privilege among fanwriters in all media, I’m ready to be part of his audience.