Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Getting Political

Although I have very strong political thoughts and beliefs, I very rarely “let them out”. It was never my intention to get political with this blog. I've read all about the split between romantica authors and long time RWA members but haven't commented on it as it's more of an author concern and I am a reader and this is mainly a readers blog. But in the case of the fiasco that was the awards presentation at the recent RWA, I do have a few of them. I wasn’t there of course, but I have been reading on blogs and message boards and I know the stories are true. How sad that an award show that was supposed to highlight some of the best and brightest writers the industry has to offer, was hijacked away from them for a political agenda. Whether you are right thinking or left thinking, it really makes no difference. This was an award show. And to use it to promote the political beliefs of the current administration at RWA was wrong.
To be playing the song “don’t worry, be happy” during footage of the Tienanmen Square rebellion is absolutely and beyond belief of normal thinking people.
That authors’ as well known and respected as Nora Roberts and Jennifer Crusie are speaking out against what happened speaks volumes as to the problems within the RWA. It is a mess, a bloody bloody mess.
How does this effect readers? At first glance it doesn’t seem to really. They were awards for writers and, not all that many winners are well known among readers. But it is another symptom I see of the polarizing of America. I see it happening with more and more frequency across message boards. There is a bitterness and hostility growing between the two sides that didn’t exist a few years ago. So you were a republican and your best friend was a democrat – or vice versa. There was still a large middle ground where friendship and tolerance reigned. There seems to be greater and greater intolerance for the other side and more and more finger pointing. What is happening in these times is really scary.
Another real fallout to this fiasco is the damage that could fall upon RWA and romance readers. From what I have learned by traveling around is there was a film crew there from the Canadian cable station Bravo doing filming for a documentary on the romance industry. For those not aware of it, this is a very prestigious cable network with quality programs – probably some of the best in the country. I can only imagine the damage that can be done if this documentary focuses on the award ceremony and their “montage” highlighting the romance industry – scenes of OJ Simpson, of Monica Lewinsky, of Loreena Bobbit for gawds sake. Some of what I’ve read was in this film montage and what was left out makes me shudder.
What can be the fallout? Romance writers and their readers will look like morons. Because some leader and her buddies with more power than is good for them, decided to push their own political agenda.


Christopher Trottier said...

Okay, I'm confused -- what is the RWA?

Karen Scott said...

Romance Writers of America.

Kristie, I thought the whole thing was pretty funny, but I live in England, and we're all too PC here for anything like this to ever happen in a public forum. She would have lost her job the next day if she'd have been in England

Bam said...

Kristie, I am aghast at this. There are no words. It's funny because I've been telling people that not all romance readers are gun-toting, flag-waving, Bush-voting housewives from Texas, but after this...

"don't worry, be happy" over a footage of Tiananmen Square. It makes me sick, just sick to my stomach.

Larissa said...

I wasn't there, but I do believe that there was a screw-up somewhere along the lines, and after reading several statements by RWA board members, it seems even more likely.

I don't think there was a political agenda. That would just be suicide, and none of the women on the board are that stupid. It was supposed to be a historical montage of the last 25 years, and unfortunately, between a bunch of miscommunications between RWA board members and the company they hired to make the film, things got weird. The music apparently wasn't meant to match the scenes, specifically, but was supposed to highlight the music popular during that time period. I get the impression that the music was poorly matched with the video, rather than it being an intentional thing.

There's probably no excuse for how it all got jumbled up and presented how it did, but it honestly doesn't seem like it was intentionally made to upset people. I think it was an unfortunate series of errors and bad judgement calls.

But then, I've been wrong...and I certainly wasn't there to know for sure!

Anonymous said...

The way i see it: if it was done on purpose - no one has paid for it so they did get away with it. If it was an accident, then same thing.

SandyO said...

Kristie, I agree so much with you on the nastiness that is now in politics. I was active for years in local politics. I have friends from all political views. But anymore, no one takes into consideration anyone else's feeling. It's painful, it's counterproductive. I think this blinders on, I'm right everyone else is wrong mind set is what caused the fiasco at the RWA awards banquet.