Do we need to talk about maintaining basic decency with one another, and the importance of not resorting to petty name-calling, personal threat, or provocation in our responses? Need it be said that any comment simply existing to stump for another site or venture or unrelated diatribe stands to be deleted? Dare I propose that we should be answering each other’s arguments in their highest, most rigorous forms instead of engaging in strawman showmanship?
I should hope not. But! There is also one narrative I expressly never want to see in my comment threads–and this is out of respect for my new home, a culture plagued by North Americans’ preferred mythologies about Colombia’s peoples and their recent histories.
Let it be known, then, that any comment invoking one name in particular in relation to Colombia, a name all-too-well-known thanks to Narcos and its ilk, risks summary deletion. (I will try to give warnings and explanation first, but carelessly destructive posting about this subject matter might simply to disappear.)
Why am I being such a stickler about this one name? Because we live in a cultural moment that loves to wring its hands at how awful it is that certain narratives dominate the media… and yet continues to prop up those awful narratives by posting more of the same. Do you remember how Queen Mab was defeated in Merlin? By refusing to feed into her need for attention? That’s what we’re going to do here. So please, dear reader and potential responder: respect Colombia’s monumental step forward, from 50 years of civil war into an ongoing fight for long-term peace, by focussing on histories that stand to improve the world ahead, and not those that further sensationalize its past.