Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Hugos and Puppies and Rants, Oh My!

I'm going to rant about the Hugo thing again. Please feel free to ignore this post...

Here's the thing I don't get. I don't get how any self-respecting person could align themselves with the "puppies" knowing that Vox Day is involved.


The Hugos were no doubt getting a little insular due to lack of interest from general fandom: in that sense I agree with the "puppies". There are people who attend conventions and people who enjoy science fiction, and the two groups don't always overlap. The Hugos were mostly something that was voted on by people who attend conventions, not by all of general fandom, so of course they aren't always going to reflect the tastes of fandom as a whole.

While the "Sad Puppies" seemed to be trying to fix that, they a) went about it the wrong way by encouraging people to lie by nominating works they hadn't read and b) pretty much allowed an incredibly misogynistic sicko to take over their effort.

My biggest problem with them is the lying bit: creating a slate and asking people to nominate without clearly saying, "read it first and only nominate if you consider it the best thing you've read in the past year." That behavior already puts them in the doghouse, where their self-proclaimed name says they belong.

But it's the second bit I just don't understand. I've tried to read VD's blog. It's disgusting. He's disgusting. His comments on women in general and certain women in particular are appalling. Nobody who believes that women are people could possibly agree with VD. And yet the "Sad Puppies" let this sick person take over their idea and acted happy when it succeeded. And, frankly, I doubt it was the sads that got all those slate nominations in. I'm pretty sure it had more to do with VD's efforts, considering that more of "his" slate got on the ballot.

If the "Sad Puppies" had condemned VD and distanced themselves from him, or even made the reasonable accusation that VD had stolen their idea, I would be less disgusted with them (although they still are liars who nominated works they didn't read). But they didn't. They embraced VD and his "Rabid Puppies" and rejoiced. And so every single person who aligns themselves with either puppy group is now tainted by VD's disturbing views. Because, unlike their opponents, in order to be a "puppy" a person has to make the choice to call themselves that. Nobody on the non-puppies side has identified anyone as a puppy... they've entirely identified themselves.

See, the puppies are an organized group. Their opponents aren't. Very few of their opponents have called themselves anything, and it's mostly ironically when they do. The names the puppies label them with are all hate... none of it is self-selected. None of it means what the puppies think it means. They are trying to use a staplegun on a cloud. Fandom isn't so neat and tidy that you can label it that way. People make their own decisions.

And that, again, is what I don't get about the puppies. They have made a conscious decision to align themselves with someone who said:

Ironically, in light of the strong correlation between female education and demographic decline, a purely empirical perspective on Malala Yousafzai, the poster girl for global female education, may indicate that the Taliban's attempt to silence her was perfectly rational and scientifically justifiable. Link
Emphasis mine. He also said:
Because female independence is strongly correlated with a whole host of social ills. Using the utilitarian metric favored by most atheists, a few acid-burned faces is a small price to pay for lasting marriages, stable families, legitimate children, low levels of debt, strong currencies, affordable housing, homogenous populations, low levels of crime, and demographic stability. Link
Had enough? No? Try this:
If the definition of rape is stretched so far to include women who have not given consent, then I am absolutely a serial rapist. So, too, is every man I know. And if that makes me a rapist, I shall endeavor to somehow survive with that upon my conscience. Link
I can assure him that only utter scumbags don't get consent before having sex. In fact, the definition of rape is lack of consent. The fact that he doesn't understand that says a lot about him. To attibute his own shame on others just makes him even creepier than he already was... and he's pretty dang creepy. In the same post he reiterates that he does not believe women should be allowed to vote. And why shouldn't they be allowed to vote?
The reason women shouldn’t vote in a representative democracy is they are significantly inclined to vote for whomever they would rather f***. Link.
Really? Seriously? He thinks all women are that shallow? And he doesn't think men fall into the same trap of voting based on charisma and not intelligence, talent or skills? Really? This person is beyond belief. His mentality is so far in the past that he needs a time machine to brush his teeth with a toothbrush. It's a wonder he's mastered the internet, he should be writing on a stone tablet with a rock chisel.

Anyway. I'm yammering on and failing to contribute much beyond typing lots of pointless words. I just don't understand why anyone would align themselves with VD in any way. If you are also a misogynistic sicko, that's one thing. But any person with self-respect should simply say, "I agree that the Hugos needed to be shaken up, but I don't want to be part of a group that is led by a man who hates women so much that he thinks they shouldn't be allowed to vote." Seems pretty simple to me. But if you call yourself a "puppy", you are telling me that you agree with the leadership of the puppy movement, and one of those leaders is VD. And, frankly, yes... his views on women are DEFINITELY meaningful in this discussion, as one of the things the puppies argued about is the number of women getting nominations.

Update: This post by Jim Hines lays out the history of the puppies very nicely, although he downplays the links to VD. Note how this year's sad puppy coordinator repeatedly makes his links to VD clear. Again, I just don't get it. Why would you want to be associated with someone so incredibly misogynistic unless you, too, fall into that category?


Huh. I was going to continue on with a comment on another Gerrold post (I seem to be inspired to maximum insipid by his stuff on Facebook) but that's going to have to wait. I have a lot to say on that subject, some of it related to Larry Correia's Mormonism (a religion I share) and his sense of persecution. I haven't got time or energy to continue this post. Remember to read File 770 for the latest and probably most even-handed coverage of the ongoing, neverending conversation/argument about the Hugos.