March 4th, 2010



I was taught at Halt Abuse that the best way to keep drama out of my life is to ban the drama-mongers and not get into arguments with people - just ban them if they cause trouble for me.

Well, I brought that teaching into other areas of my online life, but trying to be subtle about it backfired spectacularly: I've gained a new hater and... I'll be staying out of certain places in future.

I suppose I should be grateful: the new hater has proclaimed to the heavens what I was trying to keep quiet, which will save me the bother of deleting stuff I don't want on the Golden Quill Awards. Basically, people who wank about me aren't welcome. Why people have a problem with this I'll never know.  Anyway, the list is getting longer, it seems. *Eyeroll* 

I mean, really - why should I give prizes to people who mistreat me?

And *HOW* is it abuse to refuse to have dealings with such people in any shape or form?

What's next: Mugger of the Year? I presume it's not mugging if it's my bag getting nicked, and "only" snatched with no actual violence. Pfft!

Well, this will leave more room for people who don't generally win stuff, which can only be a good thing.

I look forward to receiving nominations for stories from other fandoms: Tolkien legendarium is unlikely to dominate this year like it did before.

Just sayin'.


It seems my stance is causing difficulties for some people. I'll leave it for a week and see how things go. If it comes down to it, I may end up having to make a special club or group for this. I wanted to leave it open, though.

Update #2:

Messages have trickled in along the lines of, "Wendy, your stance is upsetting people. You should change your mind."

Okay, what's in it for me? What do I get if I do? If there's any advantage in changing my mind, I will. So far, I can't see one: I doubt that all the carping and other stuff will cease, whatever I do. Which is WHY I made that decision in the first place.

Update #3:

I was right.


Bowing or Kowtowing?

From The Macartney Embassy to China, 1792–94, by Paul Gillingham.


The cultural differences between East and West were especially marked when it came to the kowtow. To the Chinese, the act of self-abasement in the form of kneeling three times and ‘knocking’ the head on the floor nine times was a vital element in court ritual. Its significance went far deeper than merely showing respect, as a deep bow or curtsey might indicate in the West. The kowtow was an acknowledgement of the rights and obligations owed to a higher by a lower power.

In Chinese eyes the emperor was the intermediary between heaven and earth, a lynchpin in the preservation of universal order against the forces of chaos, both human and divine. He was, after all, the ‘Son of Heaven’ and brooked no human equal.

But for Macartney, dropping down on both knees was reserved for begging for mercy, praying to God and proposing marriage. To kowtow to the Emperor of China was an act of abject humiliation which he, as the emissary of an equally proud nation, was simply not prepared to do.

The emperor’s mandarins did all they could to persuade the English to change their minds. Zhengrui, Wang and Qiao, who escorted the embassy to Peking, offered to give lessons in kowtowing. They advised the English to replace their tight court breeches, knee buckles and garters in favour of the loose Chinese-style garments that made kowtowing so much easier.

But Macartney remained adamant. How could he make an obeisance before the emperor which he would never perform before his own king? The only terms under which he might agree were if the emperor’s emissaries agreed to kowtow before the portrait of King George, which, for the Chinese, was impossible. The furthest he would go was to drop on one knee and kiss the emperor’s hand, which was how he greeted his own sovereign. Eventually, the Chinese agreed that Macartney could do as he would at home, though they drew the line at hand-kissing. The concession was granted on the grounds that these were, after all, distant barbarians who could not be expected to understand the real significance of the kowtow anyway.

This barbarian doesn't want to kowtow, but will drop to one knee. That's as far as I'll go.