The last week has seen two major debates spring up on my flist – generating a huge amount verbiage, some of it pretty sore and violent.

Those debates have been about the ratio between girls and guys writing SF short fiction and this idea of writing characters who are not of the same cultural background as yourself and whether the act of writing said character is offensive to person of same cultural background *takes a deep breath*. Actually, that a simplification of a very complex debate about culture, race and identity.

What bothers me about both these debates isn’t the debates themselves but some of the shit spouted by people on both sides. The sort of ‘I wouldn’t piss on you if you were on fire’ sort of crap that sometimes makes the internet a shitty place to be.

The thing is, I’ve been posting – on other people’s LJs – about what’s going on in Gaza (and issue that’s obviously close to my heart) and though many have disagreed with my thoughts – the conversations have always been civil and polite.

Even a debate I saw on BoingBoing about the Gaza situation between pro Israeli and pro Palestinian posters was less heated and less violent than some of the shit posted in both the arguments above.

It all seems a bit topsy turvy to me.

Anywho… I just wanted to add that there aren’t enough Jewish characters in genre fiction. And I don’t mean characters who happen to have ‘berg’ or ‘stien’ in their surname, I mean characters who culturally identify as being Jewish. The only genre person who seems to be doing this recently – because I know Joel Rosenberg has done so in the past – is Michael Chabon. I wonder why that is, considering there’s heaps of Jewish SF writers out there.