Apr 072015
 

Stupid-EW-201x300The weirdest part of this whole thing is seeing how the other side sees us… and realizing I’d see us that way too if the media was all I had to go on.

Larry just posted a very justifiably angry post about how the media are portraying the Sad Puppies. I’ve been following them off and on for a while, and it’s no secret I disagree with them politically. But all that means is that our politics are different – it doesn’t make them evil monsters. Some of these media representations are horrible, calling the Sad Puppies misogynists and racists whose only motivation is to cast votes against women and people of color specifically because they are women and people of color.

But don’t focus on the Sad Puppies right now. Focus instead on us. The media is portraying us as people who, if anyone disagrees with our Holy Writ Of What Is Politically Acceptable, will immediately descend upon such dissenters with flashing blades and bared teeth, attacking them as sub-human Nazi monsters. Now yes, there are some among us like that – my favorite blogger writes about such liberal Stasi on occasion. They’re awful. But when an article says, in effect, everyone whose politics are different from your own is a sub-human monster, and that article claims to represent all liberals, they make all liberals look like those Stasi attackers.

The problem is that there are an extreme minority on both sides who are like this. Vox Day exists, and man, he is the worst. And the liberal Stasi exist as well. But they are both almost non-existent, and they both have very little power. Talking to my fellow WorldCon-goers here: when you think of WorldCon, do you think of pogroms against wrong-think? Or do you think about a bunch of people getting together, discussing their favorite SF works, getting drunk at night, and having a damn good time? Cuz that’s all anyone I know is doing. We’re debating literary merit for fun, admiring what we love, and we come from a very wide swath. One of my friends, and a man I greatly admire for both his taste and intelligence, is a quite right-of-center Libertarian. He votes Republican a lot. He’s an awesome guy, and I’d be pissed as hell if anyone tried to exclude him for any reason. And he hasn’t been excluded – he’s been going to WorldCons since before I could read, and helped get me into the WorldCon scene in the first place.

But in today’s media-saturated world, that kinda thing doesn’t grab eyeballs. You want to get someone’s attention? You want them to read or watch long enough to get to the ad, so that your shitty news outlet can actually make some money? Then you have to PISS PEOPLE OFF. And nothing pisses someone off as much as being called vile and evil and being attacked by an oppressive force that is actually vile and evil itself. So the best, most-popular articles, as determined by market forces, are those that focus exclusively on the absolute worst that either side has to offer, and then portray the ENTIRE side as being as bad as those few people.

So you get our entire side thinking the Sad Puppies are all Vox Day, and their entire side thinking all of us are Liberal Stasi. They act to defend themselves from Unjust Oppression (which is in fact what the Stasi are doing) by attacking us. If the media portrayals were true, this would be the right thing to do. And now we find our party being called terrible names, equating us with these evil Stasi, and we’re like “Who the fuck is attacking us? What for?” We turn to the media and we discover “Oh! According to the media, it’s those vile, racist, misogynist neaderthals!” So we attack them in the same way Vox Day should be attacked. Which, if the media portrayls were true, would be the right thing to do. But they’re not. On either side.

It’s Lets You And Him Fight on a giant scale where the only one who wins is the Media Dragons sucking up the ad revenue. And I dunno any way to stop it, except maybe all getting together in real life and meeting each other and not being asshats for long enough to get to know each other a bit.

Except Vox Day of course. Seriously, screw that guy.

  11 Responses to “The Media Dragons Are Laughing”

  1. “The media is portraying us as people who, if anyone disagrees with our Holy Writ Of What Is Politically Acceptable, will immediately descend upon such dissenters with flashing blades and bared teeth, attacking them as sub-human Nazi monsters.”

    Because it’s largely true. But from my perspective, the media is on that side too; it largely consists of individuals with the same predilection to left wing intolerance, and engages in the same sort of mob attacks of libel and defamation. Take the (now retracted) EW hit piece from yesterday, for example.

    I am grateful to the Sad Puppies for two things. First, I had no idea that someone like me, a former science fiction fan disenchanted by the left-wing proselytizing in much of today’s speculative fiction, could vote for the Hugo awards. Second, the puppies re-ignited my interest in science fiction by introducing me to a set of authors that I may have never encountered otherwise.

    I’ve paid for my supporting membership, and I look forward to reading as many of the nominated works as possible, forming my own opinion of their merits, and voting accordingly.

  2. Thank heavens there are still sane men like you in the world.

    I may or may not agree with you politically — heck, I don’t agree with anyone politically, except the Pope — but I like science fiction. I like ‘Flowers for Algernon’ and ‘The Dragon Masters’ and ‘Those Who Walk Away from Omelas’ and I even like ‘Tarzan At The Earth’s Core.’

    What I don’t like is when I say, “Perhaps the Hugo Award should be granted on the basis of the merit of the work, not the political leanings of the author” the response is to call me the most foul, wicked, vile names imaginable at the loudest volume possible, over and over and over again. Not only is it rude and vile and childish, it is a logical fallacy.

    The organized effort to have as many mainstream outlets as possible carry this same story in the same way as possible has already begun. Next there will arise claims, strangely unsubstantiated, that the rightwing science fiction people are sending out death threats and rape threats.

    • Thanks! I’ve certainly been running into a wide variety of people since I plunged into this issue, not all of them pleasant, and sometimes it’s hard to keep my own advice in mind.

      I did want to say that I’m a huge fan of your Golden Age trilogy. I know you’ve parted ways with that philosophy, but it still holds a proud place on my shelf. :)

  3. Talking to my fellow WorldCon-goers here: when you think of WorldCon, do you think of pogroms against wrong-think? Or do you think about a bunch of people getting together, discussing their favorite SF works, getting drunk at night, and having a damn good time? Cuz that’s all anyone I know is doing. We’re debating literary merit for fun, admiring what we love, and we come from a very wide swath. One of my friends, and a man I greatly admire for both his taste and intelligence, is a quite right-of-center Libertarian. He votes Republican a lot. He’s an awesome guy, and I’d be pissed as hell if anyone tried to exclude him for any reason. And he hasn’t been excluded – he’s been going to WorldCons since before I could read, and helped get me into the WorldCon scene in the first place.

    http://monsterhunternation.com/2015/04/07/addendum-to-yesterdays-letter/#comment-58239

  4. “So you get our entire side thinking the Sad Puppies are all Vox Day, and their entire side thinking all of us are Liberal Stasi.”

    Dude, you ARE the fricking Liberal Stazi. Go have a gander at Laura J. Mixon today. http://laurajmixon.com/2015/04/about-that-hugo-nomination/

    Where do you think the actual Stasi came from in the first place? Pricks who thought they were smarter than everybody else, so they should take whatever they wanted and shoot anybody who objected.

    Sounds familiar, right? Sounds like TNH over at Making Light planning how she’s going to reject all the Sad Puppies voters.

    Nice to see you paid attention to what I was saying in the other threads. You woke up and smelled the coffee. Way to go.

    Now what’cha gonna do? I advise caution, SWATing is in -your- side’s playbook.

    • >Dude, you ARE the fricking Liberal Stazi

      Who is the “you” in this case? I assume you don’t mean me specifically so… WorldCon goers in general? Have you ever been to a WorldCon? Or are you going entirely off of what the media is saying… the same media that call you racist, misogynistic, dog-rapers? Because if the media is wrong about you, perhaps they’re misrepresenting us as well? There’s a few crappy people. They are the vast minority.

      >Go have a gander at Laura J. Mixon today. http://laurajmixon.com/2015/04/about-that-hugo-nomination/

      So I just read this and I have no idea what you are talking about. Can you tell me what specifically you disliked about her post? Because I can’t find anything in that post even moderately objectionable. If that is your standard of “Stasi activity”, then I may have to radically re-evaluate how reasonable I thought your side was being.

      >they should take whatever they wanted and shoot anybody who objected.

      > Sounds like TNH over at Making Light planning how she’s going to reject all the Sad Puppies voters.

      Um, no, the two don’t sound similar at all. Are you seriously equating death-squads with protest-voting?

      • “Can you tell me what specifically you disliked about her post? Because I can’t find anything in that post even moderately objectionable.”

        Really? Hows this from paragraph 4?

        LJM: “An existential struggle is underway for the heart of our SFF community. The field has been battered repeatedly by ideological contention and controversy, as evinced by the bigotry-driven Sad-Puppies Hugos campaigners, who have infected our awards process with an astro-turfing virus.”

        Come on. Try a little harder.

        • I take it back. You are right that said you are “bigotry-driven” when that is certainly not the case for 2/3rds of the Puppies leadership. Congratulations on finding the one bit of objectionable content in an otherwise fairly reasonable post. If this is the worst you can find, and is enough to label her as “fricking Liberal Stazi”, then no wonder you feel so persecuted. You have some *extremely* thin skin.

  5. And by the way. If Vox Day is the worst guy you can think of, you don’t get out much. Sure, he’s a dick and not much of an author, but eeeevile? Pretty thin beer there my friend.

    • Fair enough, that’s a lot worse out there. :) But he’s among the worst people who’s involved in the Hugo fiasco. As soon as actual warlords start getting involved I’ll revise my statement.

      Note to actual warlords: please leave the Hugos out of your struggles, we really don’t have any political power you could use for anything, despite what the Sad Puppies claim. ;)

      • “But he’s among the worst people who’s involved in the Hugo fiasco.”

        On my side maybe. Have you been seeing k. tempest’s tweets? Then there’s the ones slagging Brad Torgerson’s family. That’s just for starters.

        Vox Day looks like Miss Manners compared to that. And yes, he’s a dick.

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