Spies Who Judge Us

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Title: Spies Who Judge Us
Creator: Linda Terrell
Date(s): February 1989
Medium: print
Fandom: Blake's 7
Topic:
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Spies Who Judge Us was an editorial statement in the 1989 February addendum to The Federation Archives. It is by Linda Terrell.

The letter addresses slash, Blake's 7, and was a part of The Blake's 7 War.

Some Context

In the uproar in Blake's 7 fandom in 1988 and 1989, at least one fan (specifcally named several times in The Federation Archives -- that zine used both her first and last name, referred to here on Fanlore as [Kathy H], informed Paul and his wife, Janet (two actors on Blake's 7) that some fans they had met and been friendly with were, indeed, writers of slash. The fan, [Kathy H], gave the actors both the fans' real names and pseuds.

Slash itself had apparently not been a big issue until that point in time, but for the Darrows, putting actual faces to the concept was probably unsettling. At the very least, it provided fodder for much outrage. This outrage was most likely a straw man for other issues of conflict regarding fandom and profit, issues with TPTB, various witch hunts, and jockeying for positions in power and influence -- not unlike the plot of the show itself!

The Letter's Introduction

The letter has the introduction of:
By the way, I have been "warned" that if I use Paul or Janet's (or another's) names in a derogatory manner, The Great White North may bring legal action against me. So from now on certain actors will herinafter be referred to as "Mr. and Mrs. Actor" (However, Mr. Actor himself wrote and told me I have the right to write and say whatever I wish, for which reaffirmation to the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States, I am grateful.

Excerpts

Isn't it heartening how some "concerned" fans still appoint themselves Judge, Jury, Executioner to "protect" the actors?

After four years of work in B7 fandom, I now have it in writing, from Mr. Actor himself, that his view of me and, indeed, likely others, has long been tarnished by self-appointed, wiser fans "snitching "to them of my assorted "crimes." That "verbal incitements" against him have been attributed to me. That "all we have been told about you in the past" is true. That I am undoubtedly a trouble-maker."

Because I dare to call it as I see it. Well, excuuuuuuse me, but I'm nobody's "Yes" person! If I see something wrong, I say so. In print! Most of my opinions are in the FA for all to read.
But it would seem that there are those who have taken the attitude of "If you like Blake, you must dislike Avon" to mean "If you don't like Avon then you must dislike Mr. Actor."

I detect a very strong odor of "toe the Party Line or you'll be turned in."

Or is it more like "Are you a Good Fan or a Bad Fan?" Remember now, you must always say and do only the approved things and you must never, never point out the Emperor's new clothes or the Man Behind the Curtain will get you."

And you can be sure that the self-chose "tattlers" will run to him "tellin' on' who's been naughty or nice.

Think about it: how many of you have sat in on a "bitch session" and found your words cropping up all over?

Frankly, I find myself appreciating Avon more and more. He was a man of honor.

Some may see snitching as a "concern." The weasels may justify it as "protecting Mr. Actor." I call it what it is: "sucking up." -- by Fan Quislings. (Look it up.)

Yet not a one of the "informtants" has ever had the GUTS to confront ME!
99% of the straight writers write slash.

99% of the zine publisher's publisher slash.

Slash has been around for year in all of media fandoms. It's been a part of B7 since before I came to the fandom in early 1984. And Mr. Actor has known about it for years. So, why now the "witch hunt"?
Good little fans are supposed to toe the Party Line and turn in the "rebels."... What's next? wear Stars on our chests? And one of the "accused" is supposed to rat on the others?...How many other fans are on a "Hit List"? How many other fans have had their way impeded, their reputations tarnished because of some cheap, gutter-sniping apostate decided they were the "right kind" of fan? How do we respect people like that? Or do business with them? Or respect and do business with people who do?... Shame on Mr. and Mrs. Actor. And shame on the "Yes" people.