Further Thoughts on The Silberman Issue

It’s been a whirlwind week for me on this blog. The response I’ve received from my post on Steve Silberman, including a respectful and thorough rebuttal from the man himself, has been overwhelming. Much of the response has been positive but I’ve also had some very pointed criticism. It would be a mistake to let these ideas lie. 

I have to start by saying I take back none of what I said. I meant what I said and I’m fine with that. No, my ideas aren’t going to please everyone. I know that. That doesn’t mean I’ll be disrespectful to my dissenters though. I’m committed to a dialogue. Thus I’m proud to have lengthy criticism of my post on the comments section of the post. In true debate you always want all perspectives represented. 

One idea I keep hearing is that the community itself needs to build up writers from within. I have to say I agree fully with this idea. I’m guilty of not calling enough attention to writers on the spectrum. I can do better and I will. I’m firmly aware we have multitudes of trained writers in the community after all who have talent. I’m going to try to spotlight a few a month soon. 

I also want to address the idea put forward by John Elder Robison in his comment that we need to think about how to constructively engage with the public. I agree honestly. We do need to think about that in the same way all artists need to consider how to make their ideas appeal to others. I work in the media after all. This is the nature of the art and we’re not exempt. 

However we should always fight like all artists to preserve our voices. We want to be heard as authentically as we can be. So we should compromise as minimally as possible. At every step we should try to have our perspective heard. We can play the game but if our name but not our voice is heard we lose. 

Then there’s the issue of allies. Again I stand by what I said. I’m grateful for allies. They do great work. I don’t want to diminish the work people who care are doing. At day’s end, I would rather they be on the right side of the fight. 

But I’ve seen the idea of translators brought up and I’m frankly allergic to it. We do not need translation. We really don’t. Arguing we do feels belittling honestly. It’s a suggestion we are somehow lesser and I don’t like it. I’m not saying we don’t require a bit of effort mind you. I’m just saying that bit is truly that. Maybe 10% more than the norm. 

I really do stress that these are my thoughts. If you disagree I want to hear it. That’s how we move forward in this. 

And if you’re a writer, please contact me! I want to promote good work. 

2 thoughts on “Further Thoughts on The Silberman Issue

  1. I never meant to imply we need “translators.” What we need is what any successful writer needs – the ability to convey our ideas in a manner that will make people want to read them. And we need to convey ideas that are themselves interesting and provocative.

    I certainly don’t advocate playing any game or pretending to be something else. Rather I suggest we find the stories that illuminate our community and evolving culture and tell them in a way the public will be entertained by, admire, enjoy, etc.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s