Larry Correia had a problem – he was getting what he wanted. For years he’d been whining about the “liberal intellectual elite” that run the Hugo awards (which is laughable to anyone who’s seen the sausage made… but I digress), and how they would never give a conservative down-to-earth guy like him a fair shake.
Fortunately for him, Larry is a popular guy. Say what you want about his politics or his attitude, he’s got some major online charisma. I may disagree with some of his politics, but his blog is a great read. This man can lead and inspire. So he does what any popular guy who wants to win a popularity contest does – he told his fans to vote for him.
Larry runs on the same formula that a lot of the “persecuted majority” use – anger at what they view to be an authority figure for failing to give them the recognition they feel they deserve, combined with contempt for that authority figure and constant crowing about how much better he is than them (he often brings up that he’s in the top 1% of authors based on royalty income). It’s the classic inter-generational conflict story, anyone who’s had an asshole father can relate to it. It inflames the passions and makes you want to cheer for the young challenger, and we all love it.
The problem comes in the winning. Once the challenger marshals his resources and overcomes the haughty authority figure it becomes apparent to pretty much everyone that he is now the institution he hated. Now that he can point his legion of followers at the works he most wants to promote and have them respond, HE gets to wield the power of approval to decide who should get the coveted acknowledgement from on high. Oops.
Moreover, all that talk about how they’re a bunch of dicks and he doesn’t care about their stupid approval anyway, cuz fuck those guys, is shown to be a sham. Obviously he did care about their approval, because he went to great lengths to secure that approval. Before he was all Groucho – “I wouldn’t want to be part of that club even if they would have me,” now he’s all Honey Boo Boo “I should be getting this prize!!!” Makes him look like a kid with daddy issues. Double oops.
But Larry ain’t dumb. In fact, Larry is a friggin genius. Because Larry has a secret weapon. Larry had his fans get Vox Day nominated! As Larry knows, the majority of the SF community *hates* Vox Day. Mainly because Vox Day is a neo-reactionary and loud about it. He’s famous for his racist, sexist, anti-liberal rants. He’s the guy that shows up at the party with a giant sack of ripe dog shit and starts throwing shit at everyone. Predictably, the SF-blogosphere has a collective seizure. Instantly all attention is off Larry and onto Vox Day. Success!
Moreover, this thumb-in-the-eye probably feels awesome for Larry. All those stuck-up pricks now have to include this guy they hate, because they were dumb enough to trust in their stupid system which they thought would exclude people they didn’t like! Their party will be, well, probably not ruined… but certainly marred! This will stick in their craw for a long time. Vengeance has been achieved. Double success!
And, of course, there is both the prestige of receiving a Hugo nomination, and the increased sales it will generate. And the validation that one gets when successfully pulling off a move like this. Quadruple success.
In the social status game, Larry manage to strike a decisive victory this year. I doff my hat to him, it was a master stroke. I assume that for the coup-de-grace he will shun this year’s Hugo ceremony. While his attendance may irritate some people, it will give them the opportunity to either shun him, or show their good graces by accepting him anyway. Either option will be a bit of a loss. Showing his contempt with a pre-emptive rejection of the entire affair is the best possible play, as far as I see it.
I’m excited to see what the next move in the game will bring. :)