At least one of my senators Doesn’t Get It.

So I wrote to my congress people, and I got a nicely vague, waffley letter back from one of them. I know he’s just trying to keep everyone happy, but I don’t WANT vague and waffley, I want him to tell me he’s going to vote against the damn bill. Otherwise, it feels entirely too much like he’s just trying to keep me soothed and placated while he’s planning on voting FOR it.

Dude. I don’t want the internet to become TV. I don’t want to live in fear that some fuckwit griefer is gonna come across my site and decide to use SOPA/PIPA to fuck with me, just because they fucking CAN. Given what I write, it’s waaaaaay too likely that someone will use SOPA/PIPA to keep my stories offline.

I don’t want to see hundreds of thousands of forums, of stories, of creative and brilliant people to just disappear. Believe it or not, but someone has pirated First Flight — it turned up on ebookr.com, and I was both somewhat excited (someone thought it was worth stealing!) and annoyed (hey, someone stole First Flight! and the blurb, straight off Dreamspinner’s site…). I sent off a DMCA notice, and they, to their credit, responded appropriately. (In fact, they responded so quickly and politely that I’m seriously considering uploading a couple of my free reads.)

Do I spend hours of my day, trolling pirate sites, looking for anything of mine? No. If someone posts about a pirate site to one of the many mailing lists I’m on, I’ll go take a look, but until ebookr, I’d never found anything of mine. It’s not like it matters to people who pirate stuff — they’re gonna do it no matter what the law says. I’ll poke at pirates if I find them, but in general it’s not like it matters in the grand scheme of my writing life. Hell, at least they’re NOT trying to scrub my presence from the web — pretty much the opposite.

SOPA/PIPA are the antithesis of pirate sites in that regard. It wouldn’t affect the pirates at all, but it could–would–affect ME in a big way. Yeah, it would be nice if we could keep people from stealing stuff, but that’s just not going to happen. The internet is the best thing to happen to my life: it has brought me friends, it has expanded my horizons, it has allowed me to learn things I never would have even known I WANTED to learn. I want my internet to stay pretty much exactly the way it is, full of the sparkling dizzying array of wonder that is humanity. With SOPA/PIPA in place, the internet will likely become TV: catering to the lowest common denominator; run by people who think Jersey Shore and Desperate Housewives and I don’t even know what insipid sitcoms are on these days are what *I* want. I come to the internet to get AWAY from that crap, because no one asks me what *I* want — and it sure as hell isn’t THAT.

I try not to get too personal or political around here…

because, frankly, if we want personal and political, there are about 50 billion other places to go.

However, something odd/interesting happened to a family member of mine, recently. While she’s an ally and a half, it was still something of a shock–and a wake-up call–to her. See, she’s married to a man who works at a gay bar, and part of his job requires him to be in drag. They’re very serious about it, making him look his best, finding him awesome shoes and outfits, etc.

She was talking to another woman and when she mentioned her husband the drag queen, the woman turned and walked away without another word. My relative says she felt snubbed, and more than that, judged for who she loves. That she knows there are too many people living with that kind of hurt every day.

Instead of getting vindictive about it (or taking up one of many offers for revenge of the subtle and not-so-subtle sorts; that woman would probably keel over from apoplexy if I cheerfully detailed my odd but ultimately harmless interests), she chose to use it to steel her resolve to keep working to provide a welcoming attitude toward ALL people.

And in my own weird way, my writing is an attempt to do that, too. Most of my characters are surrounded by people who just accept them as they are; there may be some that require an adjustment period or some that get a little uptight about it it (Hi, Desmond Swanson), but for the most part, no one cares.

While I can’t remember where I saw it, I’d like to leave everyone with a little slogan I swiped from someone’s marriage equality banner as well as my relative’s new battle-cry: It’s okay, it’s just love. All means ALL.

Now, walk in love and be good to yourselves and one another.