META: Flame War RACCies Category

Tom Russell milos_parker at
Tue Dec 9 17:29:24 PST 2008

My fellow RACCers,

Back in February, I put forth the suggestion that we should add a Best
Discussion RACCie category to supplement, but not replace, Best Flame
War.  "On a whole, in fact, discussions on RACC have been downright
civil.  Flame wars have become a very rare thing indeed."

... Well.  Those words were hastily-spoken.  As we're all aware, there
was a flame war this year and it was not particularly civil.

I'm not going to say it was entirely my fault or entirely the fault of
the other guy; we had a genuine difference of opinion, neither of us
yielded to the other, and both of us escalated things.  For my part, I
sincerely wish that I had chosen to hold my tongue instead.

As a result of that flame war, I have soured on my urge to write
fiction reviews.  I am no longer on speaking terms with a man who I
consider a friend, a man who I admired both personally and for his
work.  I still think he wrote some of the best, funniest, and LNHiest
LNH stories I've ever read, and one of his characters is perhaps my
favourite Legionnaire of all.

That character, who starred in what I think are the best LNH stories I
ever wrote, who I could never run out of story ideas for-- as a result
of that flame war, I can't write that character or those stories.  My
enthusiasm for the LNH, already somewhat on the wane, has dwindled
considerably.  And, with it, for RACC.

And these three things-- the reviews, the correspondance, my passion
for RACC itself-- I feel the loss on all counts very deeply.

And that is a big reason why I'd like to ammend my previous (never-
followed) suggestion to add Best Discussion alongside Best Flame War.
I'd like to suggest instead that we eliminate Best Flame War
completely and replace it with Best Discussion.  Because while I think
we as a community want to encourage discussions, I don't think we
should be encouraging flame wars.

And I'm not saying that this and other flame wars happened because
there was a category, or that removing said category will bring
Everlasting Peace to RACC.  All I'm saying is, it's not something we
should be celebrating or giving awards to.

But discussion!  Civil, passionate, provocative, and, yes,
occassionally very heated-- discussion is healthy and worth
celebrating.  Discussion threads are so much more interesting than
flame wars.

So, how about it?


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