This is what I mean (With “Amazing” Update)

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When I wrote the other day that those who consider themselves the gatekeepers and elders in Science Fiction and Fantasy did not and still do not want any kind of real “reconciliation” with the Science Fiction fans known as the Sad Puppies, this is what I meant. The wonderful Kate Paulk addressed several issues on the entry on Brad’s blog I mentioned the other day, and she and I are in synch.

I’ve heard through the Internet (all right, Facebook) that someone who fancies himself a big shot in the field has “offered” to stop claiming Sad Puppies 4 is all things evil in return for a few “reasonable concessions” on our part.

Since the person in question hasn’t bothered to make this offer to me, Sarah Hoyt, or Amanda Green, Sad Puppy supporters can reasonably assume that the so-called offer is not actually genuine.

“Reasonable concessions?” Fuck you.

sad puppiesThe Sad Puppies weren’t the ones calling others Nazis, racists, misogynists and other choice epithets.

The Sad Puppies weren’t the ones blowing up entire categories at the Hugo awards ceremony, merely because they did not want deserving candidates supported by the wrong kind of fans to win.

The Sad Puppies weren’t the ones prancing around, offensively giving out ASSterisks.

They certainly weren’t the ones spreading lies and misinformation.

And after all of that, the self-proclaimed protector of all that is right and good (only in the eyes of the “right” kind of fans) excuses the name-calling and vile accusations (Oh, come on! The name-calling was ignorable, and “pretty funny, actually”!) by claiming that the Sad Puppies “pissed [him] off,” and all the Sad Puppies really had to do was “First – give us some real indication that SP and RP are not ‘riding in the same car’. Second – drop the final stage of the SPIV effort. Leave it as a pure recommendation list. (It will save Kate a lot of work to boot.)”

And in return, said self-proclaimed protector of all that is right and good in TruFandom will refrain from attacking the Sad Puppies for a whole two weeks! Well, Jesus Christ on a Fucking Popsicle Stick! How noble and magnanimous of him!

Who the fuck do you think you are, shitstick? Prove to me that you’re not the Nazi misogynist racists we’ve repeatedly accused you of being without a shred of proof, quit nominating works you actually like, and I’ll stop attacking you for two weeks? Go sodomize yourself with a cactus dipped in battery acid!

Now, you see why I find George R. R. Martin’s essay claiming that the other side wants reconciliation to be disingenuous at best?

Kate’s response is exactly what mine would have been – with a lot fewer swear words.

We do not care what the creators’ politics are. We do not care what the posters’ politics are. We care that people who love science fiction and fantasy have a place to build an awesome list of recommended reading/viewing/listening/artwork for 2015. We care that lots of people become involved in the Hugo Award process. Nobody is excluded from Sad Puppies 4. Anybody can participate or not as they choose. The recommendations will not vanish. Every recommendation will be in the final list. There’s no “gatekeeping” going on here, and no litmus test for participation…unlike the ultimatums being “offered” to the Sad Puppies.

When the final list is announced, we’ll post the top 10 for each category, whatever those might be, and link to the full list. Nothing will be hidden or secret. Anyone who wants to will be able to reconstruct the list from the recommendations posted here (I don’t suggest anyone actually does this. It’s tedious and time-consuming and I really should have written an application to do the grunt work for me. Hindsight is ever perfect).

Finally, we will not be publicly dissociating or associating Sad Puppies 4 from/with anyone. Anyone can make recommendations and everyone’s recommendations will have exactly the same weight as everyone else’s. Nobody will be asked to nominate or vote in line with the list. That’s been the policy from the start, and it’s been what I’ve said from the start.

If the person claiming to have made an offer had actually contacted me, this is exactly what I would have told him with or without his so-called “Puppy moratorium”.

You want reconciliation? Recognize that the fiasco of last year was a slap in the face to a lot of fine folks who work in the field. Admit it. Stop painting the Sad Puppies with the broad brush of your hatred. Vote for works, authors, editors, and other producers in the field who deserve to win – regardless of who recommends them.

And most of all, stop being arrogant, supercilious, self important fuck weasels. Your “offer of reconciliation” is condescending, insolent crap, and I’m glad Kate gave you the well-deserved middle finger, asshole.

UPDATE: So apparently the arrogant, supercilious asshole is also a coward. A comment on Kate’s blog, which she hardly ever uses, popped up this morning with the following, which Kate copied in its entirety to the Sad Puppies 4 page.

Ms. Paulk,

you asked for “demands” to be sent directly to you, so I will comply:

But I will only do it in a comment on a site you barely ever use. Sad Puppies 4 gets more traffic, and dog forbid he post it there.

It is my considered belief that Sad Puppies can help repair the divide within fandom by taking two actions:
1. make your SPIV recommendation list a real recommendation list, similar to others that are perceived as recommendation lists (as opposed to slates) by dropping your final stage of compiling a “top ten”.
2. make it clear that Sad Puppies are not aligned with Rabid Puppies.

My side attacked good people, made false claims, overtly and subversively offended and made false accusations against fans, authors, and editors, and submarined talented people in the field, but YOU Sad Puppies are the problem! YOU Sad Puppies are guilty! YOU Sad Puppies need to conform to what I demand and what I judge to be a recommendation list, because I’m the arbiter of all light and good in SF/F. YOU Sad Puppies need to prove to ME that you are not what we have repeatedly accused you of being!

You and other Sad Puppies have repeatedly claimed that your lists are recommendations (‘like what Scalzi does every year’).  However, they are not once you add that final stage of endorsement.  Drop that final stage and no reasonable person would consider it anything other than what you claim you want it to be.

Kate’s response was the following – everything she has said before, but apparently Mr. Amazing has reading comprehension issues.

And, just so there is no doubt about any of this: Sarah, Amanda, and I will be doing exactly what I said we were doing in yesterday’s post. We will not accede to anyone’s demands. We will not prevent anyone from making recommendations. We will not associate ourselves with any other group and we will not dissociate ourselves from any other group. We are compiling a list of the works people think are the best in their class and eligible for the 2016 Hugo Awards. Nothing more and nothing less.

But apparently, that’s not good enough. Sad Puppies MUST clearly address the false accusations against them, because Steve-o says so.

You and other Sad Puppies have also claimed that SP and Rabid Puppies are not one and the same, yet we see plenty of commentary that strongly suggests otherwise.  A statement by the leaders of SP IV  to the contrary would go a long way.

Oh, commentary like the hatchet job Entertainment Weekly had to correct? You mean like Irene Gallo’s nasty, repugnant “nazi” claim?

Fuck you, Steve. Pulling out accusations from your ilk and claiming that as evidence that commentary suggests SP and RP are one and the same is a transparent attempt to malign a whole lot of people who not only find racism to be repugnant and sick, but also spent a lifetime fighting it.

Those are the two things that I believe would place Sad Puppies in a far better position in regards to acceptance within fandom as a whole.  Doing those two things would lend far greater credence to your other arguments vis-a-vis the field.

Steve

There you have it, boys and girls. Steve doesn’t consider Sad Puppies real fans, and not only that but he’s apparently the arbiter of who receives what position in fandom as a whole.

Read Kate’s response, dick. That’s all you’re going to get.

Huckleberry Finn Causes Special Snowflake Syndrome

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Mark Twain’s classic has always been the subject of controversy. It its early days, racists condemned the novel for positively portraying a friendship between a white boy and a black man.

Today, Special Snowflakes™ demand its removal from schools and libraries, because it chafes their fragile labia.

This week, a Montgomery County school removed Huckleberry Finn from its curriculum after a group of students said the book made them uncomfortable.

 After a forum for students and faculty, the administration of Friends’ Central School decided to strike the book from the 11th-grade American literature class, principal Art Hall said in a letter to parents this week.

“We have all come to the conclusion that the community costs of reading this book in 11th grade outweigh the literary benefits,” Hall said in his letter.

A group of students said an American classic made them “feel uncomfortable.”

Let that sink in for a moment. A great American novel about a friendship between a white boy and a black man at a time when such friendships were not just frowned upon, but hated, despised, and punished is making Special Snowflakes “uncomfortable.” This novel is the epitome of American literature!

There used to be a time when ideas were challenged, viewpoints were explored, history was closely examined and discussed. It used to be called an education.

Now, an education is wrapping Special Snowflakes in brightly colored cotton to protect them from mean ideas, bad language, and anything else that may result in a rash on their precious little hineys. They can’t possibly be placed outside their comfort zones! They can’t possibly be challenged! Their precious feelings are more important than knowledge, than historical context, than the ability to analyze.

So in order to protect their fragile sensibilities, they burn anything that makes them feel uncomfortable. Why be reminded of  Of course it’s figurative for now. They simply remove the book from school or from the library, but how long before it really starts?

“If you don’t want a man unhappy politically, don’t give him two sides to a question to worry him; give him one. Better yet, give him none. Let him forget there is such a thing as war. If the government is inefficient, top-heavy, and tax-mad, better it be all those than that people worry over it. Peace, Montag. Give the people contests they win by remembering the words to more popular songs or the names of state capitals or how much corn Iowa grew last year. Cram them full of noncombustible data, chock them so damned full of ‘facts’ they feel stuffed, but absolutely ‘brilliant’ with information. Then they’ll feel they’re thinking, they’ll get a sense of motion without moving. And they’ll be happy, because facts of that sort don’t change.”
Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

The ridiculous thing is that the principal of the school does not believe removing the book constitutes censorship. “I really do believe that this is an opportunity for the school to step forward and listen to the students.”

The disconnect is frightening, because this is what is teaching today’s youth. This is what is running today’s schools. Instead of applying his knowledge and expertise and taking control of the ass enraged, entitled Generation Cupcake offendapotomi, he’s simply giving in to their unreasonable and ignorant demands.

Is it any wonder, schools are putting out generations of perpetually butthurt, barely educated cattle who outright REFUSE to think?

A Nation of Drones

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The extraordinary Sarah A. Hoyt has honored me by publishing my guest post on her blog. I know I’ve talked a bit about growing up in the USSR, so you kind folks already know some of the horrors I’ve had growing up there. This is just another account. It’s one that was triggered (and no, I don’t use that term as a pathetic attempt at victimhood) by the ignorant, ridiculous, stupid beyond belief tweet of Phil “Phildo” Sandifer, that claimed anyone who thought communism was evil should be murdered.

No, Phildo – people who say communism is the most oppressive form of government have actually lived it and understand it better than your lily-white privileged ass could! And this post was inspired by that fact.

After years of indoctrination with no access to outside information, everything was normal.

Wiping with pieces of newspaper, because there was no toilet paper? Normal.

Taking a bath in dirty water that your parents brought in buckets from the machine factory across the street, heated, and poured into a bathtub, after all other members of the family “bathed” in it? Normal.

Sharing your one-bedroom apartment with another three-four person family, sleeping on the floor, or on a makeshift bed in what used to be a living room? Normal.

Getting your tonsils removed without anesthesia while you were tied to a chair with a sheet, gagging on bloody chunks of flesh as the doctor cut them out of your throat with scissors, and hearing them plop juicily into a kidney dish she held under your chin? Normal. Too bad the anesthesia didn’t take. You got your share.

Getting beaten up by your classmates on a regular basis for being a Jew? Normal.

You can read the rest at Sarah’s. The fact that an author as talented as Sarah saw it worthy to publish my brain droppings is truly an honor for me, so go over there and read, and if you haven’t discovered Sarah’s novels yet, do give them a try!

Lady Bountiful and the Illusion of Heroism

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“It is INCREDIBLY insulting of you to think that people of other races, creeds, orientations and/or genders need YOUR lady bountiful act to open the door for them.”

Sarah has it exactly right. It’s also incredibly conceited. It’s a belief that you’re so fabulous, that you must bestow at least some of that fabulousness, much like fairy dust, on those Great Unwashed.

No.

According To Hoyt

So I promised I was going to handle what was fundamentally wrong with the argument between my “raccoon identifying friend” and the “white knighting for the leftist agenda” writer he was engaging on twitter. (Because it really even wasn’t white-knighting for minorities, as I’ll explain.)

I know some of you guys are too young to remember this, but there was this fad in the seventies where “feminists” (usually very young girls who had just been sold a load of goods at school by some angry female teacher) would turn and punch whichever man opened the door for them, because “you’re treating me like I’m not capable of doing it for myself.”

I remember this vividly because coming from a culture that had a lot less public politeness, it seemed just plain dumb to me.  Besides, now as then, I opened the door for EVERYONE if I was walking ahead, and…

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Sarah’s Interview with Cathy Young (Part 2)

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This is the second part to the interview about which I blogged yesterday. 

Here’s a snippet. 

(5) Is there any merit to feminist critiques of how sci-fi/fantasy has traditionally portrayed women? Any thoughts on Kameron Hurley’s Hugo-winning “We Have Always Fought” essay?

Will I be penalized if I roll my eyes? There is this strange tendency among the Social Justice Warriors to behave as though they were fighting a “straw science fiction” that never existed. The truth is that, given the restrictions on women’s lives before being freed from some of our biological constraints by contraceptives, science fiction was one of the more accepting/enlightened fields ever for a woman to work in.

To Burn or Not to Burn

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That is the question when it comes to the Hugo Awards after this year’s petulant, foot-stomping debacle perpetrated by the SJWs and their compliant, cliquish lackeys. All the details are here, including a number of links written by respected authors in the sci-fi community, explaining their views on last weekend’s events. I won’t rehash it here.

An interesting discussion has sprung up post-fiasco, however, which is worth a closer look. It’s the question of whether or not the Hugo Awards can be saved. And by “saved,” I mean “can integrity and professionalism be restored to the Hugo Awards after the weekend’s puerile display, or should the Hugos, WorldCon, and all its childish, sneering arrogance just be allowed to rot on the vine, which is what it is already doing anyway?”

Can an organization that threw deserving, respected, dedicated female editors under the bus with a “NO AWARD” vote rather than see them take home a Hugo, merely because of who happened to support their nomination, be saved?

Can an organization that viciously sneered about this being “the year of the asterisk” – and if you don’t get the joke, the asterisk basically means that the award was somehow tainted, cheating was involved, etc. (Of course, now the callow, derisive jerks claim that the asterisk simply means the Hugos made history this year with the number of attendees… sure.) – be saved?

Can an organization whose  supposed leaders – supposed legends in the science fiction field – told the audience that cheering the “NO AWARD” victory was just fine, but booing it is a no-no, be saved?

Some have rightfully said that the Hugos are beyond saving. When members of a clique deride and jeer a block effort to ensure there was no winner, rather than a winner whose only guilt was endorsement by the “wrong” fan base with the “wrong” politics, it can be rightfully argued that there’s no hope for the organization.

And it’s not as if these childish bullies hid it! Hell, they’re proud of it!

There have been some calls for taking the whole thing down by simply block voting “NO AWARD” for every category. Isn’t this what the childish troglodytes did this past weekend? In their huffy, angry zeal to punish those with whose political views they disagreed, they simply block voted for a “NO AWARD” rather than see authors and editors, who may have been deserving and worthy, take home the prize merely because of who endorsed them.

So what to do?

Burn it all down with block “NO AWARD” voting?

Simply take the ball and go home, leaving the Hugo/WorldCon circle jerk to stroke themselves until their little hands get tired, while creating a new award that focuses on actual skill, artistry, and good literature outside the Hugo construct?

Here’s the thing. I think that regardless of the disgusting display of SJW wankery that the Hugos have become, solid writing, good entertainment, and great storytelling should continue to be nominated. Sad Puppies wasn’t about old, white men, no matter what the shrieking shrews of the WorldCon clique claim. The Sad Puppy slate was more politically diverse than the mostly pasty, white milquetoast progressive winners (the human ones, not the “no award”) who walked away with Hugos this year. Women such as Toni Weisskopf, who got the most votes for best editor (long form) in the history of the award, and who was “no awarded,” because PUPPIES… Writer Megan Grey… editors Anne Sowards and Sheila Gilbert… editor Jennifer Brozek… fan writers Amanda Green and Cedar Sanderson…  And these ladies and gentlemen were nominated without a thought to what their politics were.

That’s what the Hugos were supposed to be about. Great writing. Great art.

What it turned into was the “Plastics” from “Mean Girls” wielding their popularity and willfully keeping others from their clique. Hell, they admitted as much.

And if you allow them to keep doing it, that’s exactly what they will do. The Hugos will be a desiccated carcass of what it was supposed to be. And fans who truly want to see a quality body of work represented will be sorely disappointed.

I wouldn’t want to be responsible for the death of an iconic award by simply refusing to fight. Would you?

If it were up to me, I’d keep nominating the best science fiction works I could possibly find – without regard to gender, race, politics, or anything else. Hell… I’d blindly read the works first and make my decision, and THEN figure out who the author is, if that were possible! But work to nominate the best! And then, if the pathetic plastics keep “no awarding” superlative nominees, then they will succeed in killing off quality and art all by themselves, as well as painting themselves to be the disgusting bigots that they are.

And the Sad Puppies won’t have to do anything but nominate the best works out there, which is what they did in the first place.

But to surrender and let it all just die, allowing them to declare victory?

Or to burn it all down by voting to ensure no winners?

I don’t know… just seems counterproductive and shitty somehow. Unconditional surrender sucks. Fighting for what is right even in the face of concerted prog-screeching seems like the honorable thing to do.

A Different View

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As many of you know, I’m an amateur photographer. And by “amateur,” I mean “I sometimes take photos, and they’re sometimes good.” Yes, I was public affairs in the military, and yes, I got some basic training on how to take good photographs. That said, I’m nothing compared to my buddy Blake.

Blake Powers travels a lot, and takes a lot of photos – more and better than I ever could. I provided some edits for the text in “A Different View: Travels with Team Easy, Iraq 2007,” and I was really impressed with the depth and texture of the photos.

His latest is beautiful as well, and it includes an introduction by Sarah Hoyt, an award winning science fiction author. “A Different View:  DJ, Doura, and Arab Jabour” is another in a series of Blake’s travels in Iraq. It’s not combat photography. It’s not action shots. It’s an intricate look at life beyond combat – the textures, designs, glances, and tastes of Iraq that don’t make the news through the lens of a very talented photographer.

And starting tomorrow, you can get it at a discount price as well!

Give it a look. I think you’ll enjoy it, as well as the short Flight of the Fantasy, which is also great storytelling at a bargain price.

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