The OF Blog: Nick Mamatas and comments on "elitism"

Friday, May 02, 2008

Nick Mamatas and comments on "elitism"

In the comments section of Nick Mamatas's response to a rant of Richard Morgan's from a week or so ago, he had a few gems that summarize my own attitudes quite succinctly:

It's only fighting. Fighting is good for you. Makes you strong, sharpens your own position (or changes it). The undercurrent of "Tut tut, now slap on your slavecollars and go back to toiling in the industry of our masters" within Morgan's post is a bit more awful than any of the fandom/con/blog dustups he decries, I think.
And then this in response to yet another "elitist" comment:

Well, there's a bit of a fight in the question.

What if I, or someone else asked, "Can't the dummies just read their little teddy bear baby food books and stay quiet instead of loudly insisting that crap is just as good as quality fiction because it makes their special places feel all tingly?"

Elitism is never a descriptor, it is always just a slam.
And then this follow-up:

Then there are people who only read X because it is "superior" to Y, and that is silly, but honestly I've found far more people who read Y because it is somehow "more authentic and real" (e.g., "real story" "real plot") than X. Counter-snobbery is a greater sin than snobbery these days.
And not to be left out, Paul Jessup adds this:

so far I've yet to actually meet anyone like that, yet here people of being accused of it all the time. Calling someone an elitist, specialist or saying "they look down there noses" is a pre-emptive defensive position of someone who is scared that they don't look as smart as someone else. So they project elitism, or snobbery onto that person as a hope that they won't be shown as being unintelligent.
I must say, it is quite amusing to hear of those with "refined" tastes being lambasted for being "elitist." Leads me to wonder if it is the uncouth being crass yet once again...

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