I know that a handful of my regular 30 or so readers are not at all interested in this topic, so once again, I'm putting the majority of it behind a nice cut so you can skip past it. If you are reading it in an RSS feed, just move on to the next post... sorry to take up your time.
Are they gone yet? Ok, for the rest of you, I've got a post with three parts up ahead. I kind of hope this will be the last for awhile, but I can't really say for sure. I write what my brain tells me to write, and I've been thinking a lot about certain aspects of this whole mess. I keep getting inspired, for lack of a more precise term, to write.
I will be at Anglicon in Seattle this weekend. I've apparently been tapped to wrangle guests, so we'll see how that goes. I don't expect to do too much writing while at the con. Again, we'll see...
So, Jim C Hines did a fantastic job of explaining the latest kerfluffle with the various puppies, sad and rabid, and incidentally proved the point I made in my last post so completely that I couldn't begin to say it better.
In short, VD manipulated the puppies, all of them. He whistled and they all trotted up panting, he fed them a piece of month-old meat and they gleefully ripped it apart and started barking on cue. He completely owned them. All of them. And they totally fell for it. They are his dogs and he knows it. Any puppy who responded to that without saying, "why didn't you bring this up a month ago when it was first posted, instead of on the night the Nebula's were awarded?" is totally in VD's control. Their souls belong to him.
As for the comment by Gallo? Well, I don't know if all the sads are extreme rightwing, but I'm relatively certain that anyone who follows and supports VD fits the other category. I'm also not really sure if all the works on the slates are bad, though I suspect some fit the category of reprehensible. She probably shouldn't have posted it, but a lot of us post things we later regret. Most of us are lucky enough to not be monitored by a sociopathic misogynistic sicko who has managed to manipulate a bunch of fans into fighting his battles for him, who wants to hurt us just for spits and giggles.
Also: Gallo's "neo-nazi" comment is clearly referring to the rabids and not the sads. Any self-defined "sad puppy" who claims Gallo called them a neo-nazi is either: 1) unable to read a simple sentence and therefore lacking basic reading comprehension or 2) acknowledging that VD is your leader and therefore you believe what he says... which would in turn make Gallo's statement apparently true. Because VD's writings make his views obvious. If you are in a movement led by something like that, then you should take your lumps. You put the collar on yourself, stop whining when it chafes you.
Right, I promised a bit about Correia's religion. This was sparked by a couple of posts. The most recent one was from David Gerrold on Facebook. He discusses how self-fulfilling paranoia works, and why anyone would want to do it.
The other post was from a couple of months ago, on George R. R. Martin's Not a Blog. In that particular post, GRRM is responding to Larry Correia. In one bit, Correia says this:
He's awful. He's a bad person. He's a Mormon! What! Another damned Mormon! Oh no, there are two Mormons up for the Campbell? I bet Larry Correia hates women and gays. He's probably a racist too.Upon reading it I had a massive wave of nostalgia and deja vu wash over me. You see, I was raised Mormon. I tend to still believe in the Mormon faith, although I'm not terribly active in the Church. I do not know if Correia was raised Mormon, but if he was, I know exactly where that bit is coming from... and it's all self-fulfilling paranoia, almost precisely as described by Gerrold.
Let's get this very clear. Early in Mormon history there was a LOT of hatred directed at the religion. This is not in dispute. Mormons were harassed and murdered, lies were spread about them (like in the first Sherlock Holmes story) and about their practice of polygamy. It was even technically legal to kill Mormons in Missouri until 1976 (mostly because everyone forgot about the executive order, so it never got repealed). But the Mormons didn't forget. And deeply entwined in Mormon history is this ongoing thread of persecution. Bitter, painful, nasty.
I grew up in Washington state. While other areas may be different, nobody in Washington gave a flying fondue that I was Mormon. Of course, I didn't see it that way. I had been taught from day one, in Sunday School, that everyone hates Mormons. That my religion meant I would be persecuted. That any negative action toward me was probably due to my religion.
It was pounded into my head so thoroughly that it took me more than a decade to get rid of it.
But while I believed it, every single joke about Mormons was a sign of persecution. Never mind if people also joked about Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Atheists, Rastafarians, Amish, or whatever... if there was a Mormon joke, it was a sign of persecution. Any insult directed at me was due to my religion. I was a faithful warrior of God! I was just in His eye, but all these people around me hated me because I had the Truth. If I failed at any popularity contest, it was because people hated me because of my religion.
A population that believes they are being persecuted holds together better. If you have a common enemy, you feel more kinship to those around you, fighting the good fight alongside you. Mormons, intentional or not, had that sense of persecution down perfectly. The way I was taught made me fearful of non-Mormons and confrontational about anything I perceived as a slight on my religion. This, in turn, made people dislike me when I talked about religion and made them think my religion was nuts.
I can point to five or six incidents from that time that I look back on and cringe mightily at my own sense of worthlessness. I really believed that everyone hated me for my religion, not because I was being a massive jerk. I was genuinely self-righteous about it all, thinking myself superior to those around me but knowing somewhere deep in my heart that it was a lie. That everyone was right and I was worthless after all, because although I was a Mormon, I wasn't a very good Mormon.
Then I grew up. Or rather, I got help for my depression and began to really examine my life deeply, and started to see the ugly patterns and how they had formed and how I had helped them along with actions that were precisely the wrong things to do at each juncture. I slowly recognized that a small but significant part of my personal issues arose from being taught, from a very young age, that I was being persecuted for my religion. I do not know if the Mormon religion has recovered from this tendency to screw up their youth, but for me it nearly ended my life several times. I guess that's one reason I don't really like going to Church any more.
I do not know if this is what Correia experienced. I doubt his case was ever as severe as mine. But I do suspect that some aspects of this self-fulfilling persecution drove him to mention his religion as if it is an actual reason that people would hate him. I think he's definitely overstating the impact religion has. Look, a freakin' Mormon got nominated to run for President of the United States. That would NOT happen if people hated Mormons as much as Correia thinks they do.
Rereading that post by GRRM, Correia makes a lot of claims about what people did, but doesn't give any specifics. Every single one of the incidents I cringe at I remember in great detail. I could name people involved in at least two of them. There's no generalities in those memories because they were so painful to me. I don't know if Correia ever gave specifics. But what I read into the quotes GRRM posted definitely sounds to me exactly like how I was before I de-persecuted myself.
I see this same sense of persecution in Christian society at large, but I have a feeling it isn't ground into children from the moment they can sit still long enough to listen. But I see this ridiculous belief that people are persecuting certain groups all over. Now that I recognize it for what it is, I get very cynical any time anyone claims they are being persecuted due to religion. I have to see genuine evidence of it before I am willing to accept such claims, and genuine evidence is fairly rare in most cases involving any Christian faith.
Anyway, this doesn't seem to be much about the Hugos, so I apologize if that was what you were expecting. But I hope this might shed some tiny beam of light on at least one attitude in the Hugo mess.
A few more things.
1) I posted this yesterday, but it bears repeating: Here's a nice list of Nebula Award winners with links to a lot of the stories online. I'm particularly pleased with the victory of Ursula Vernon's Jackalope Wives. Vernon did the fantastic webcomic Digger (which was honored with a Hugo award in 2012). Anyway, Vernon's response to her win was hilarious and humble in the best way. Congrats! I hope to meet you at a convention some day. Seriously folks, go read Jackalope Wives. Definitely a deserving story. I also loved the Dragonbreath books, though I'm really not in the target audience. They were still awesome.
2) For anyone asking who am I to weigh in on such topics as fandom and the Hugos: I am nobody. I am not significant in this in any way. I'm a regular old fan who reads regular books and likes what she likes and doesn't like what she doesn't like. I'm not anyone important. I'm not a publisher and my writing is generally not fannish. I have no financial interest in science fiction. My employer has nothing at all to do with this blog (as if you hadn't already worked that out). And you don't have to listen to what I say any more than you have to listen to anyone else.
3) I write here and not in the various comments sections elsewhere because a) I have a blog, so I might as well use it and b) I'd rather not "force" my opinion on others, especially in those glorious comment sections where everything is so beautifully stated that I feel like an interloper just reading. If people really want to read what I have to say, they can come here and read it. If they don't, they don't have to. That's cool too.
4) My comments are moderated mostly to get rid of spam, which this blog gets TONS of. I will post any polite comment, but personal attacks and excess profanity won't go through.
5) Am I the only one who thinks Mike Glyer deserves a medal for wading through all the muck to find the interesting and informative tidbits that present a good portion of the debate? I'm totally addicted to the updates. I will admit, though, that I cringe every time I'm linked because I think "oh lord, he's putting me in with all those smart people. I'm going to look like an idiot next to all of them."