Attendance: The Deity, Leora Jasper, Dash Owens
Note-Taker: Leora Jasper
TD: [mouth moves incomprehensibly]
LJ: Dude, you’re on mute.
TD: Sorry…I call this meeting to order.
[TD’s appearance is mediated by a screen, but LJ is certain that their hair is greasy.]
LJ: What gives you the authority to call anything to order?
[TD neglects to respond to LJ’s valid question.]
TD: The Gadfly Symposium is off to a promising start. We have ten followers, which is exciting. So far, the most popular post is Co-Dependent, which Dash wrote. Great job, Dash. I’m not gonna lie, that one really got my thighs trembling.
DO: The point wasn’t to be salacious.
TD: I know, I know, I know. But we’re a young website. We have to be open to all kinds of readers.
DO: It’s a story about immortality.
[TD and DO do not make room for LJ’s voice at this point.]
TD: C’mon. You wrote a short story with girl on girl action. People like that. I didn’t create society. I just created this site.
LJ: Okay, but…
DO: You should get it. Jadzia Dax is one of the most underrated characters in all of science fiction. What do you think inspired it?
[LJ is still trying to contribute to the conversation, but TD and DO are the absolute worst.]
DO: Sex is part of the human condition. You’re making its use in the story seem puerile.
TD: Dash…you described women licking each other’s nipples.
DO: You don’t get it.
LJ: Can I talk now? Great. Wonderful. You’re wrong.
[LJ gives TD a withering gaze.]
LJ: Co-Dependent is not the most popular post. It was a tie. The Deity: A Critique was also the most popular post.
TD: How could you possibly know that?
LJ: I am capable of looking at the number of likes at the bottom of the posts.
TD: I’ve never seen that.
LJ: You’re right, I forgot. If our omniscient Deity doesn’t know something, it must not exist.
DO: She’s right. I thought everyone knew that.
TD: Well…who would have thunk.
[LJ mumbles under breath that most people would have thunk.]
LJ: Either way, I can log in to see the stats.
[TD sits in stunned silence for a moment. LJ smirks triumphantly.]
TD: How do you have my login information?
LJ: Your password has been the same for years. When we lived together, how do you think I was able to use your computer all the time?
[TD begins to shout. They are so dramatic.]
TD: That is an invasion of privacy! A total disregard of boundaries.
LJ: Yes, tell me more. I would love to listen to you give a principled speech about totally disregarding boundaries. It’s almost like I am trespassing upon your intellectual property.
DO: This new twist in the conversation is ill-advised.
LJ: No, it is advised. I want the world to know who you really are. We’re play acting The Social Network right now. And you’re not just going to pay me a parking ticket. I’m coming for you.
[LJ sits taller in her chair with distinct dignity.]
TD: Alrightie. Congratulations Leora and Dash on a job well done with your first contributions. Now we have some business to discuss. First, let’s talk about comments. Dash and I have agreed to not allow comments on our posts for the time being. Dash is writing fiction for the most part, and right now I only have the bandwidth for the Voice From The Whirlwind column.
[LJ audibly clears throat.]
LJ: How are we going to engage with our audience if we don’t allow them to make comments on our posts?
TD: They can send us private messages.
LJ: Really? In your infinite wisdom, you wrote some weird crap on the contact page. No one is going to know that they can write us messages.
DO: With all due respect, Leora, no one commented on your post.
LJ: That’s not the point. The point is that they can.
TD: Well that transitions us into the next part of our agenda. Since you are a proponent of us communicating with our audience, you should feel comfortable linking The Gadfly Symposium to your Twitter account.
[LJ responds with an appropriate guffaw.]
LJ: I will absolutely not.
DO: I’m confused. What’s the problem?
LJ: What’s the problem? Have you heard of the Social Media Industrial Complex? Next thing you know, we will need to be on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, TikTok. My god, you don’t want us start a podcast, do you?
TD: We are not starting a podcast.
[LJ is certain that TD is lying.]
DO: I would, but I don’t use social media.
TD: I think it’s a good idea. This way we can communicate with a larger audience and let them know what’s happening here.
LJ: So I’m supposed to go and tweet out your bullshit posts about Stargate?
TD: You can tweet whatever you want. But people who find The Symposium can then find your Twitter and vice-versa.
[LJ needs to add a note of clarification here. No one is saying this, but the truth is that when LJ and TD used to live together, LJ tried to convinced TD to watch Stargate SG-1, which was LJ’s favorite show for years. LJ used to think she would grow up and marry Dr. Daniel Jackson. She used to think TD and LJ could bond over a shared love of SG-1. TD was never interested. Imagine LJ’s reaction to reading TD’s post. Out of shame, LJ did not mention her former love of SG-1 in her response. She tried to rewatch the show at the beginning of the pandemic and realized, in horror, that it wasn’t quite what she remembered. Certain that continued viewing would destroy all of her memories of SG-1, she has committed to never watching a second of any Stargate entertainment again.]
LJ: I’ll think about it.
TD: Okie dokie.
DO: What else is on the agenda?
TD: I guess that’s about it.
LJ: Thank goodness. Later.
[At this point, LJ logs off. LJ was responsible for note-taking, so it is unknown if TD and DO continued discussing any topics related to The Gadfly Symposium.]