Thursday, January 17, 2008

And I'm out!

After some serious consideration, I made the decision to no longer be associated with, or contribute to, the AfroGeeks blog. It has turned into something that is symptomatic of the web-verse: fruitless animosity. AfroGeeks started damn near two-years ago after Ayize and I attended a tribute to the late Octavia E. Butler. An icon of Black SF was no longer with us, and (I’ll only speak for myself) felt the need to celebrate her contribution to my life, and the lives of other AfroGeeks and Alterna-blacks. It was really important to me that we had a voice in these genres (SF/fantasy/horror/etc.) that we loved so dearly, in any medium: from comic books to television. I wanted a place where, if we couldn’t all meet in person, at least we could respond to each other in cyberspace. And you kind folks responded in such great ways.

The commentary was lively and hilarious—on both sides—and the divergent personalities of Ayize and myself made for a good cross-section of viewpoints. Then things changed a bit on both sides. Critique became snarky while what was supposed to be community building became a bit divisive. In hindsight, I shouldn’t have been too overly optimistic that AfroGeeks would be a nice atoll in the sea of cyber bullshit. I’ll own my naiveté. It would be easy to defend this shift by hiding under the aegis of “that’s how the world is.” Like we aren’t a part of the world. I wanted this spot to be better than the world. And now I realize that that idea was a bit much to pin on a little blog.

Maybe I’m being too overly sentimental (read as soft) but I really wanted AfroGeeks to be THE destination for people like myself—to be able to discuss our favorite stuff without having to worry about the sometimes-ridiculous task of being a Black person in this society. I also wanted folks to get together and create their own stuff, no longer having to eat the crumbs of Joss Whedon’s table or suck at the entirely too-old teat of George Lucas. Basically, I wanted this blog to be the harbinger of a new Black genre aesthetic. Milestone comics was a long time ago and I wanted that same fire to be applied to movies, comics, video games, and puppet shows (which I’m putting the finishing touches on). Hell, I wanted a fucking revolution, but it didn’t happen.

A while back, I started to remove some of my older posts because I wasn’t feeling how the blog was going. Then I got inspired, but my inspiration wasn’t enough. Reading some of the commentaries, and the responses to them coming from this end…that shit disheartened me. So I slowed my contributions and focused on other projects. And now it is time for me to focus all of my energies in a new direction and try my hand at my own personal revolution.

My change of heart came about because of a few personal, yet beautiful, incidents in my life and also my desire to not be so damn confrontational or defensive. I’m just trying to chill. So, as K-OS said, it’s time for me to exit. But you’re in good hands.
Ayize seems to have a real passion for this and I will enjoy reading his future posts…and your commentary. Well, some of the commentary.

I hope folks start to create more genre stuff because I like to consume as much as I like to create.

Be good and be good to each other. Hope to see you all at WonderCon.

Shawn Taylor


Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's a pity Shawn, I enjoyed reading through some of your quirky posts. If you decide to re-launch something new let me know. I love reading alternate view points...

10:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've never commented before, but this has truly become one of my favorite blogs ... and that is coming from someone who's profession it is to read weblogs. Please don't go.

5:43 PM  
Blogger girl6 said...

Peace and hair grease, baby.

Wish you would stay.

2:24 PM  
Blogger Daniel said...

Hey, this is a cool blog, y'all, inspiring stuff, and I can relate to a lot of it, but this is pretty sad news, dude. What exactly is Shawn up to right now, with the puppets and all? Is it available to see anywhere online? I'd definitely be interested to see the Afrogeeks' own creative ideas...

2:41 AM  

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