Ben Peek (benpeek) wrote,
Ben Peek

Australian Speculative Fiction Stupidity, Post #2346.

Today's post about Australian Speculative Fiction comes from Ben Payne (benpayne), who was the director of last year's Aurealis Awards, but will not be this year, because the organisers have decided that, "The director will not be permitted to review or blog on eligible work."

It's good to see that the Middle Management are looking after the Aurealis Award processes. I mean it: if they weren't there, we might have to deal with someone having an opinion. That'd be terrible. An opinion. Could you imagine it? The director of the awards might actually say, "I didn't really like that story," because he/she actually read it. Other people might say, "No, I liked it," and then people might talk about the story itself. Someone who hasn't read it might actually read it. Could you imagine? People talking about fiction! That would completely and utterly undermine the validity and importance of the award. An award is only good when no one says a thing about it, and it can stand there, on its pedestal, as a beacon of judgmental light that none should show any public opinion about.

It's especially important to silence directors (and maybe judges--can we silence judges soon, cause they piss me off most of all)... anyhow, it's especially important to silence, I say, silence people with opinions because that might ruin the idea of group mentality (or group think, as some might call it). It might suggest that we're all not one happy group of people who agree on the quality of fiction that is produced. There's been a bit of dissent about that lately, with review sites, and annoying authors who think that if they can read it, they can say what they want with a fuck you attitude, and I miss those days when anyone involved in the Australian Arts scene would sit around and say, "Yeah, it was shit, but I'm not saying that publicly. Might upset someone, you know?" I miss that silence that was bought around by reviewers who would only review things they liked, or give little nods to their friends, because that meant we were all a community and that means so much to me--I mean, I just can't say how much it means to me, and I'm glad we're silencing people.

It's especially important to silence people because that's professional. It's professional to have no opinion that might suggest that there was more than one opinion going around. A unified front must be observed. We can't have people realising that a group of people are made up of individuals, and if a director of an award ceremony has a different opinion, that should be silenced at all cost, because that reveals that. Individualism must be stamped out! And since it's a volunteer position, it must be stamped out even more, because there's nothing like driving away the outspoken, publicly minded, intelligent people who dedicate their time to this cause to ensure that it is safe and in good hands. No one needs those people. What you need are the people who scream professionalism to you as a way to silence you whenever you state an opinion. Those people are the people you can trust. Those people are the people you want leading us into the future.

Yes, the Aurealis Awards are safe, yet again, due to the Fantastic Queensland Middle Management. I'm so glad. The Aurealis Awards mean so much to me and it is moments like this that make me realise my faith has been placed in a fine, upstanding organisation, of who I could never find fault in.

Praise be.
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