So if you normally read my blog for the local politics or because you’re one of my family members, that is the sort of subject line that should tell you immediately that you’ve stumbled into some sort of unfolding drama that you’re not in on. Fortunately, Arthur Chu wrote a fantastic article that should bring you up to speed, if for some reason you want to dive in: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/04/12/right-wing-trolls-hijack-scifi-oscars.html
(8 million words of SF fandom politics below the merciful-to-the-rest-of-you cut.)
Quite a bit of the coverage has conflated the “Sad Puppy” slate (put up by SF author Brad Torgersen) with the “Rabid Puppy” slate (put up by honest-to-God neo-fascist Theodore Beale, who writes as Vox Day). VD has, in the past, defended the attempted murder of Malala Yousafzai, suggested that acid attacks on women are “a small price to pay” for fammily harmony, said that marital rape is impossible because marrying someone is inherently consent to all the sex ever forever (“If a woman believes in the concept of marital rape, absolutely do not marry her! It would make no sense whatsoever to marry a woman who believes that being married to her grants her husband no more sexual privilege than the next unemployed musician who happens to catch her eye.”)… it’s a long, long list. So, it’s not super surprising that a lot of the Sad Puppies and Sad-Puppy-Defenders are not super thrilled with the fact that they’re being associated with the guy.
This essay from writer and “Best Fan Writer” puppy nominee Amanda S. Green is pretty typical. “Okay, yes, Vox Day was on last year’s Sad Puppies list. Big deal. So were a lot of other folks who didn’t make the list this year. That doesn’t mean any of them were sitting there with their hands up Brad’s back, working him like a puppet. Vox may be many things but that he could not do. For one thing, Brad wouldn’t sit still and let it happen. For another, a number of us who supported SP3 would have had something to say about it. Whether you want to believe it or not, personal integrity is important to us and — this is where you need to listen carefully — that means Vox was not involved in the running of of SP3.”
I don’t think VD was involved in the SP3 slate because he was on the SP2 slate but because VD, Larry Correia, John C. Wright, and Sarah Hoyt are all members of a little four-person clique they called the Evil League of Evil, ELoE. And yes, I get that it’s a Dr. Horrible reference, but the way Correia and Wright talk about it makes it sound like it’s not merely a running joke but a genuine long-running association between the four of them.
This is going to get long. Blame John C. Wright, who would have trouble saying “get bent” in fewer than 1,500 words, I think.
John C. Wright first came up with the Evil League of Evil in June of 2014, in a post responding to people who thought he should distance himself from VD.
But I must speak up on my own behalf. If I may say it without offending Mr. Day, when did I ever publicly express support for him, or express anything like it?
Vox Day is not a nervous schoolgirl trying to break into a highschool clique, nor is he running for public office, NOR HAS ANYONE ACTUALLY ASKED ME MY OPINION ABOUT ANYTHING VOX DAY HAS EVER SAID, ergo the deduction of this Walter creature to know my thoughts on the matter would be insulting, if he were of the stature to be worth noticing long enough to take offense.
It is now considered not just to be a public declaration of support but indeed a very public declaration of support for someone to say ‘I decline to heed or to echo malign and false accusations against a man I hardly know, as it is none of my business, and I hate falsehoods’?
Vox Day and I have a professional relationship. He is a publisher of some of my work. It is a situation we both find to our mutual benefit.
He goes on (and on and on) for a while, then finishes it up with:
I hereby will vote Vox Day our Supreme Dark Lord, declare Larry Correia to be our International Lord of Hate, decree Sarah Hoyt to be our Beautiful but Evil Space Princess whom we all love and obey, and — let me see, all the good positions are taken — perhaps I can be the Evil Brain in a Jar just like my ancestor, Simon Wright. Perhaps Sarah Hoyt will carry me around in a handbag, as she walks the grounds of her secret base hidden in a cold volcano cone, commanding innocent and cringing minions to be flogged with electric whips, or sent screaming to the Agony Vat.
The other positions will be taken by Bad Horse, Dead Bowie, Fake Thomas Jefferson, Fury Leika, Professor Normal, Snake Bite, Tie-Die. If he commits an act of murder, then the Evil League of Evil will also admit Dr. Horrible.
It must be MURDER, for no lesser crime will equal the gut-wrenching horror, the sheer terror, the savage brutality, of the criminal act of Yelling At A Hyperventilating Thin-Skinned Leftist Boob Who Savaged Him (Vox Day’s capital crime) or Saying We Should Write to Entertain (Larry Correia’s felony), or … or … (What am I accused of again, anyway? Not wanting to pay money to a lackluster professional guild of people who are not helping my career?) or whatever my apparently horrible crime is.
Oh! I am guilty of Being Skeptical, Waiting to See Proof, and Not Joining the Mob Pelting a Witch Accused by a Lunatic Witchhunter.
(The person “accused by a lunatic witchhunter,” just to remind you: Vox Day.)
The next day he posted again about all the people who’d asked to be minions and have titles and there was a lot of joking around about how the ELoE could be a good alternative to SFWA. There’s a picture of four Batman villains posed together labeled as Correia, Wright, Hoyt, and Day, and a “manifesto,” which he sums up as, “In sum, the three ideas of the so-called reactionary Evil League of Evil are that that Science Fiction stories should be workmanlike, honest, and fun. Stories should serve the reader rather than lecture, sucker-punch, subvert, or hector him. Stories should give the reader what he paid for.”
Sarah Hoyt has also posted about the ELoE, and made it rather clear that she’s not entirely thrilled to be associated with VD, but also made it clear he’s a member:
Now, The Banished One is entitled to having whatever views he wants to have, and I’m the last person alive to say he must have mine or he can’t be a science fiction writer. (And it’s entirely possible he’s right and I’m wrong. I don’t think so, but we’re all colored by our past and our upbringing.) I’m just saying his blog rubs me wrong so often I haven’t done more than dip in and look at this or that when it relates to sf/me. … As for the rest of the ELoE, John C. Wright is more socially conservative than I am, but I don’t think he attempts to impose it except by proselytizing which is within permissible means. And Larry and I just want to write stories, make money and have fun. Sure, his view of government leaks into his books. And it leaks into my science fiction. But that’s because things written by someone tend to reflect that person’s opinion.
Brad Torgersen’s thoughts on VD are also worth noting, because when the subject of Larry Correia comes up he says, “Larry Correia is my blood brother. … I see this man (in the flesh) all the time. I know his wife and his family. I can think of no one I would want more (in my fox hole) when the chips are down and the bullets are flying. Be they real, or rhetorical, bullets.” Regarding Vox Day, on the other hand, he posted a lengthy and spirited defense of Geek Social Fallacy #1 (“Ostracizers are evil.”)
Brad Torgersen was the person who publicly initiated, assembled, and promoted the Sad Puppies 3 slate, and there are a lot of people claiming that it represents no one but Brad, that it’s just “stuff Brad likes,” based on suggestions from the people in his comment thread back in January, when he announced he was doing this (though it’s worth noting that the people in that thread came up with maybe 25% of what actually went on his slate).
But if you read Larry Correia’s journal you’ll get a rather different impression of how this shook out.
From February, when the slate was first announced:
Here is our suggested slate! Brad Torgersen is this year’s banner carrier in our ongoing war against Puppy Related Sadness. Now that the registrations for memberships to nominate for the Hugo are closed, here is what the Evil League of Evil authors came up with in discussion. Here is the list, and I’ll talk about the philosophy/strategy below.
[list omitted to save space]
Now let’s talk STRATEGIC Puppies.
These are my suggested nominations. I am under no delusions that you guys do exactly what I suggest. (seriously, it is like herding cats!). But I would encourage you to take a look at these, and consider nominating all of them. Everybody up there is someone who the ELoE talked about. Many of these are deserving, worthy types, who would basically be ignored because they don’t appease the SJW clique.
And in an update post:
We made an effort to contact everyone we put on beforehand to warn them what was coming. Apparently we missed two of these. One was added the day we put up the suggestions because a couple of posters pointed them out, and they truly are excellent and talented, but we’d forgotten about them during our initial brainstorming.
I can’t blame them for dropping out. And none of you should either. The ELoE talked about this a lot before putting together a slate. They have all personally experienced what happens when you draw the SJW contingent’s wrath. It isn’t pretty.
(Boldface mine, again)
In the same post he talks about VD:
He’s not even on the Sad Puppies slate this year, but he still lives rent free in their heads.
Last year I liked a story written by a guy SJWs think is racist. Could a comment made a few years ago by Vox Day to Nora Jemisin be seen as racist? Yep. Has Nora Jemisin said a whole bunch of racist things herself leading up to that and then a bunch after? Yep.
I find it consistently interesting how invested Correia and Wright are in minimizing the objections to VD. There is an amazingly long list of positions VD has taken that are way outside the bounds of civilized discourse. There’s a lot of ground where I think reasonable people can disagree, but “should we educate girls” is not actually one of them, nor “is it okay for a husband to force his wife to have sex with him against her will” or “what exactly are the advantages of acid attacks on women?”
Finally, I just want to note that when Brad Torgersen posted the slate, he said:
And here it is! After much combobulating, the official SAD PUPPIES 3 slate is assembled! As noted earlier in the year, the SAD PUPPIES 3 list is a recommendation. Not an absolute. Gathered here is the best list (we think!) of entirely deserving works, writers, and editors — all of whom would not otherwise find themselves on the Hugo ballot without some extra oomph received from beyond the rarefied, insular halls of 21st century Worldcon “fandom.”
(Boldface mine, again.)
So, hey. Obviously, whatever else the ELoE is, it’s an informal organization; it’s partly an in-joke and an amusing self-chosen nickname for a clique of friends. But here’s what I feel pretty confident about:
1. This particular Evil League of Evil is Larry Correia, John C. Wright, Sarah Hoyt, and Vox Day. When Larry Correia talks about the ELoE, he doesn’t use the term like it’s a joke; he uses it as a straightforward shorthand for his clique. Vox Day is a member of the clique. In fact, the origination of the name for the clique came out of an indignant rejection of the idea that Wright might consider distancing himself from VD.
2. Larry Correia said that the ELoE discussed and “came up with” the names and works on the SP slate.
3. Larry Correia said that that VD “isn’t even on the slate” but I did not see anywhere that he said that VD had nothing to do with choosing the slate, and if he made that claim at this point, I guess I’d like him to unpack his previous statements about the ELoE’s involvement.
I mean — I’m totally willing to believe that the final say here was Brad Torgersen’s, and the ELoE was acting entirely in an advisory capacity, suggesting fan writers and pro artists Brad might not have thought about and no one on his suggestions thread mentioned.
But what I’m not willing to believe, given that collection of posts, was that Vox Day had nothing whatsoever to do with the Sad Puppies slate.
Thank you very much for drawing the connections, here.
I personally tend to think that John C. Wright is as evil as VD, but more dangerous because he’s so much more presentable. I’d like to call your attention, for instance, to something he said in December, as part of a discussion on his site of the perversion of the “Legend of Korra” ending:
He edited out that final clause last week, but Google cache did not forget.
Also, when the SP3s say they didn’t put VD on their slate, they are being disingenuous. The slate includes three works published by Castalia House, aka VD.
I find John C. Wright utterly loathsome, but I think it’s worth noting that if someone wants to showcase his awfulness, in general they will hunt down that very specific disgusting quote. If you want to illustrate VD’s awfulness, you have to decide between dozens of possibilities just from the last year, and you have both extensive quotes and actual political stances to choose from.
Wright has said other vile things, unsurprisingly. But this little fantasy about striking Terry Pratchett is particularly loathsome (see screencap):
Or from 2009, there’s this quote from John C. Wright about programming on the SyFy channel that’s pretty loathsome too:
“My objection to the Sci-Fi Channel is that by caving to political pressure [to have more diversity,including having more homosexual characters], they made my life harder as a science fiction writer, since this would embolden the partisans.
Do I object to gay, lesbian, etc. characters in science fiction? My answer is a qualified no: not if the character is integral to the story. You can have deviant as well as wholesome characters in stories, because you have to tell the story as honestly as you may.”
Honestly, Wright is a bigot and it’s clear that he wants for foist his bigotry on the SF&F genre. Which is exactly what the SP campaign is about.
Over the past week, I’ve seen a lot of people cite his wanting-to-punch-Terry-Pratchett posting as well.
The example I use is the time he stalked my friend via my youtube favorites and then posted some videos she made on his blog in an attempt to humiliate her, and then justified it because she not only lied to him about knowing me, but ingratiated me into her circle of friends.
It may not be the worst thing he’s ever done, but it’s deeply personal.
Correia can say Vox isn’t on the slate all he wants but he still submitted stories Vox published.
So what? the SP slate also includes stories published by Tor and plenty of us think some of Tor’s editors are a major part of the problem with the Hugos
This is very helpful, but I wanted to draw attention to this part of the remarks you quote from Amanda Green.
“…personal integrity is important to us and — this is where you need to listen carefully — that means Vox was not involved in the running of of SP3.”
I wonder whether the word ‘running’ was carefully chosen to avoid stating a direct falsehood, or to allow for plenty of de-railing hair-splitting in discussion.
I also note that, whether intentionally or not, Brad Torgesen made some strikingly false claims about contacting people on the SP slate, and I wonder whether, intentionally or not, some false claims might be being made here too.
Re Amanda Green: maybe. Although in any case I don’t think she’s in the inner circle here, and she may sincerely think he was not involved in shaping the ballot at all.
Re Brad Torgersen: yeah, I don’t know what I think about that. Here’s one thing I’ll say, though: you make an enormous list with 3-5 people in every category, you’re going to have a heck of a time actually getting even a very simple message to every single one of those people. And a lot of people are not sufficiently plugged into fandom that they’ll even know what you’re asking until it’s too late.
I was paying attention last year so if I’d gotten a message saying, “we would love to list one of stories as part of the Sad Puppies slate,” I’d have known exactly what I was in for. If I’d gotten a message from Brad Torgersen saying, “hey, I want to include one of your stories on my list of Hugo recommendations, are you okay with that?” … that right there is a rather different question, KWIM? Explaining the background here is legitimately complex.
And Dark Gate seems to have received something much closer to “my list of Hugo recommendations”.
The only person I’m aware of that Brad failed to contact was Chuck Gannon, who publicly stated the equivalent of “no harm, no foul”. I think there was one other but I’m not sure who
I am pretty sure it’s more than that, but don’t have the time this afternoon to track down and sort out what was firsthand complaining vs. what was rumor, what was in blog posts and what was in comment threads, and which of the people who weren’t told in advance were on the SP slate vs. which were on the RP slate (Brad says he told people, I don’t think VD has made that claim).
Sheila Gilbert was not contacted. She had no knowledge of being on any slate at all.
I have a spreadsheet that lists this year’s nominees, their Puppy status, and how many recommendations (as best as I could determine) they got from Torgersen’s solicitation of his readers. Your 25% estimate is high.
Oh, thank you! I started out estimating 10%, then raised my estimation to forestall any nitpicky whining from their side since I hadn’t actually counted and didn’t want to. But you did! Yeah, it’s very clear that most of the recommendations did not actually come from that thread.
Which isn’t surprising since most of it wasn’t recommendations (I was surprised by that when I read through it).
Please note that there is this thing called email, also another thing called facebook. I’m fairly sure (not certain since I’m not Brad, but pretty darn sure none the less) that he got recommendations via these sources (and quite possibly various other IM methods) as well as direct blog mentions
Regardless of how a long-list was compiled, Correia states, “Everybody up there is someone who the ELoE talked about.” and “The ELoE talked about [the problem of controversy] a lot before putting together a slate.” The slate — the short-list — was an ELoE project, according to Correia, and not just Brad Torgersen. And the ELoE includes Vox Day.
That really was the point I was making here.
So this is the source! Thanks for this by the way, I’ve been linking to it in a couple of discussions without knowing who to credit. Hope that’s all right.
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Naomi, you are a hero whose superpowers include “research” and “paying attention” – powers sometimes, alas, in short supply on the Internet.
My favorite kind of badassery!
I wish we didn’t keep rattling off all of Vox Day’s vile stances every time we mention him. We all know what he did – repeating what he’s done and what he’s said just makes him feel important, which I suspect is the reason why the “anti-SJW” crowd keeps demanding citation of their own nastiness any time they’re called on it.
I sympathize with the sentiment here, but the problem is, people are constantly coming in to the conversation and it’s nice to quickly disabuse them of the notion that VD is a pariah because of garden-variety political conservatism.
Especially right now, when a whole lot of people are joining the conversation because the SP/RP thing is big news.
I know, but at the same time, the stuff he’s saying is just so vile. It frustrates me that we have to give him verbal space to spread his poison even when we’re trying to refute it.
My problem with the failure to state VD’s vile utterances is that I do not know what vile utterances he has made. The alleged statements I have researched have not convinced me that he is being quoted accurately. For example, the allegation that he defended the attempted murder of Malala Yousafzai, I have failed to find any link to his site and failed to find a screen capture or cache of such a comment. I found plenty of people who provided a quote, but none of the ones I viewed contained a link traceable to him. Note, I am not saying he did not make the statement. I just failed to confirm he actually made the statement attributed to him. I think if you’re going to attribute such a statement to a person, you should provide the evidence which supports the allegation. With respect to the claim that he suggested that acid attacks on women are “a small price to pay” for family harmony, his statement actually indicates that such an attack might be rational under atheist philosophy (“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.”). Clearly he’s not an atheist, so this quote does not indicate that he personally is advocating such attacks. I think people are trying to create “sound bites” to summarize his positions. His positions are not the sound bites. I’m now pretty convinced his positions are wacko and I don’t want to spend more time reading his screeds to further develop an opinion regarding him. It would have been much easier if the people who are vilifying him accurately quote him or provided links to his objectionable statements.
I actively do not wish to link to Vox Day’s blog.
But, here’s a donotlink to his Malala statement. Two seconds of Google turned it up, so I’m not sure why you couldn’t find it? (It’s not on his specific blog; it’s on a different blog he contributes to.)
Why couldn’t I find it? Because there’s 70 bajillion people posting that VD advocated for the murder of Malala without citing to the source, there multiple versions of what he supposedly said, and because it was not posted on his blog.
With regards to the substance of what VD stated, he did not defend the attempted murder of Malala. He stated that if you focused on only one aspect of the question, social utility (and no, I don’t think his argument here holds water), that her murder might be rational. This expressly leaves open the possibility that he believes moral/ethical/religious considerations might make the murder indefensible (recall that he is Christian and that Christians think murder is a sin). He simply does not state that murdering Malala is defensible, only that one aspect is rational. Rather, his post is his explanation of why he thinks mass education of women has had negative consequences for Japan and the United States. Based on one study. Like I said, wacko.
Naomi, in your tweet you stated “Correia is insisting again he & SP are not affiliated with VD in any way. No response to anything I raised here[.]” However, in this post you wrote “I did not see anywhere that he said that VD had nothing to do with choosing the slate[.]” As preliminary matter, I note that your tweet and this article appear to be inconsistent in this regard (e.g., tweet states Correia has repeatedly denied any involvement with VD and this post states Correia has not denied involvement with VD). In any event, in Correia’s most recent post he explicitly states that VD had nothing to do with choosing the SP3 slate: “Vox Day ran a separate campaign called Rabid Puppies. I believe that RP started with most of existing SP3 suggested slate, and then added more works that they liked. But I can’t speak for them. Vox Day himself was not on the SP3 slate. . . . And third, since he isn’t part of my campaign, I’ve got nothing to purge him from. . . . Look at it like this. I’m Churchill. Brad is FDR. We wound up on the same side as Stalin. . . . So in conclusion, we are not Vox Day. Quit trying to make us the same. Vox Day is Vox Day.” In other words, Correia expressly states that VD had nothing to do with the SP slate, but admits the possibility that the RP slate is based upon the SP slate. This directly responds to your stated concern that Correia had previously not stated that VD had nothing to do with choosing the SP3 slate. It also addresses, implicitly, your observation that VD is part of the ELoE and your deduction that this means that VD therefore participated in selecting the SP3 slate. Correia believes he and Torgerson are on the same side of a culture war as VD. They’re the Allies (apparently Correia is more comfortable being the hero and Wright is more comfortable being the villain). Just as each of the Allies did not participate in every decision made by another member (e.g., FDR did not tell Stalin that the US had and intended to use an atomic device on Japan) it also follows that not every member of the ELoE participates in every act in which ELoE members are involved. Heck, the Hoyt quote you included refers to VD as the “Banished One.” Banished certainly suggests that VD is no longer a participating member of the ELoE. The conclusion that VD is no longer a participating member is supported by Correia’s description of the very limited nature of his and Torgerson’s communications with VD: “I don’t think you guys realize that most of me and Brad’s communication with Vox consists of us asking him to be nice and not burn it all down out of spite.” Based on the information you’ve presented and Correia’s most recent posts, the more likely scenario is that Correia and Torgerson view VD as the enemy of their enemy. Which is sad, since Correia and Torgerson clearly are fans and there should be no enmity in fandom.
Okay, working backward: Hoyt, in context, is clearly using “Banished One” as a reference to SFWA’s expulsion of VD, not saying he’s been “banished” from the ELoE.
The context is not clear from your quote. Having now read the linked post, I’ll agree that is a possible interpretation.
>>>In any event, in Correia’s most recent post he explicitly states that VD had nothing to do with choosing the SP3 slate: “Vox Day ran a separate campaign called Rabid Puppies. I believe that RP started with most of existing SP3 suggested slate, and then added more works that they liked. But I can’t speak for them. Vox Day himself was not on the SP3 slate. . . . And third, since he isn’t part of my campaign, I’ve got nothing to purge him from. . . . Look at it like this. I’m Churchill. Brad is FDR. We wound up on the same side as Stalin. . . . So in conclusion, we are not Vox Day. Quit trying to make us the same. Vox Day is Vox Day.” In other words, Correia expressly states that VD had nothing to do with the SP slate, but admits the possibility that the RP slate is based upon the SP slate. This directly responds to your stated concern that Correia had previously not stated that VD had nothing to do with choosing the SP3 slate. <<>>It also addresses, implicitly, your observation that VD is part of the ELoE and your deduction that this means that VD therefore participated in selecting the SP3 slate.<<>>Just as each of the Allies did not participate in every decision made by another member (e.g., FDR did not tell Stalin that the US had and intended to use an atomic device on Japan) it also follows that not every member of the ELoE participates in every act in which ELoE members are involved.<<<
We are not talking about nation-states conducting a global war. We're talking about four individual people who have been closely associated online as part of a named clique. Who have been vague about exactly how their slate got put together, except for the times they referred to discussions by the named clique.
>>>Heck, the Hoyt quote you included refers to VD as the “Banished One.” Banished certainly suggests that VD is no longer a participating member of the ELoE.<<>>The conclusion that VD is no longer a participating member is supported by Correia’s description of the very limited nature of his and Torgerson’s communications with VD: “I don’t think you guys realize that most of me and Brad’s communication with Vox consists of us asking him to be nice and not burn it all down out of spite.”<<<
Yeah, and yet in December everyone still seemed to think he was a member.
WordPress seems to have seriously fucked up my formatting here. I may try again later.
Actually, no. Correia – who clearly parses his own words very, very finely (i.e., see his defense of his homophobic rant about Korra) – never once, in the passage you quoted, explicitly denied that Vox was involved in picking the slate.
““Vox Day ran a separate campaign called Rabid Puppies.” Yes, Vox did run a separate campaign. That doesn’t explicitly say that he didn’t also participate in choosing the SP slate.
“Vox Day himself was not on the SP3 slate.” Not this year, anyway. But saying that Vox Day was not on the slate is NOT saying that he wasn’t involved in picking the slate.
“And third, since he isn’t part of my campaign, I’ve got nothing to purge him from.” This could mean that Vox isn’t part of the campaign (present tense); it doesn’t explicitly say that he wasn’t part of the campaign in the past (such as when the ELoE chose the slate).
“So in conclusion, we are not Vox Day. Quit trying to make us the same. Vox Day is Vox Day.” This statement would remain true even if Vox Day had been involved in picking the slate.
TL:DR: You say ” In other words, Correia expressly states that VD had nothing to do with the SP slate.” But you are mistaken, or you failed to quote the part you’re referring to. Nowhere in anything you quoted is there such an express statement.
“And third, since he isn’t part of my campaign, I’ve got nothing to purge him from.” This could mean that Vox isn’t part of the campaign (present tense); it doesn’t explicitly say that he wasn’t part of the campaign in the past (such as when the ELoE chose the slate).
This was the statement that I took to indicate Vox Day had nothing to do with the SP3 campaign. Since the statement was made after SP3 concluded (i.e., after the nomination process closed) I understood it to refer to the past since there was no present campaign. I think my interpretation is reasonable. I do not think your interpretation is unreasonable.
“Trufan” has been around for ages, long before this controversy, and has always been intended as a bit self-mocking.
“Wrongfan,” the term Puppies use as if anti-puppies have used to refer to them, is a brand-new term (and if you don’t believe me when I say that, would you believe Larry Correlia?).
That’s totally fair.
“closely associated”? Really? All of the posts I have seen by Correia, Torgerson, and Hoyt indicate they want to distance themselves from VD. That is the very opposite of closely associated. They don’t want to denounce him. Given that there’s likely an overlap in their audiences, I doubt they want to hurt their sales. Moreover, the guy is extremely intense and has legions of intense fans. Denouncing him could have unfortunate consequences. Moreover, one of the SP’s stated objections is the exclusion of talented writers because of the authors’ minority ideology. It would be hypocritical of them to denounce an author for badthink.
If you declare yourself to be a member of a four-person clique with someone, you are closely associated with that person, no matter how often you compare them to Visigoths after that point.
“You are welcome to demand documentation of claims on your own blog, if you have one.”
“[Y]ou’ve wandered into a conversation where other people have been paying attention a lot longer than you have[.]”
I’ve been following this brouhaha since before SP1. I haven’t read anything by VD until very recently because it seemed like I wouldn’t like what I read. I was right. What I see on both sides is people flinging what they think is poo and making very serious accusations. When I try to find where’s the beef, both sides seem to have less than what they claim. It’s not a dynamic that is likely to lead to reconciliation. And, if reconciliation is not the goal, then both sides have to recognize that the Hugos will be sacrificed on the altar of righteousness. VD is the only person who seems to want that result. I certainly don’t. So, here I am.
Torgersen and Correia don’t seem to have any trouble denouncing authors on the left side of the political spectrum. If they’re reluctant to denounce Vox Day – whose bigotry and hatred are truly beyond the pale – I have to conclude that either they think bigotry and hatred isn’t so bad, or they are at best moral cowards who put, as you suggest, their book sales over what is right.
“Torgersen and Correia don’t seem to have any trouble denouncing authors on the left side of the political spectrum.”
Please see one of my earlier posts stating that I prefer people to provide source material when they are denouncing someone. I’m not a mind reader. Please provide examples where Correia has denounced other authors by name. I am aware that Correia is “not a fan” of Scalzi on a personal/philosophical level. I’m not actually aware of Correia denouncing Scalzi’s fiction, but I don’t slavishly read and remember everything Correia writes. At any rate, Correia’s most recent posting indicate he is not eager to denounce authors he has not already insulted:
“I’m going to try hard to not insult any other author’s work I haven’t already insulted, because narrative to the contrary, I actually like some of the people you listed, and I hope they go on to have long fantastic careers.”
“[T]hey are at best moral cowards who put, as you suggest, their book sales over what is right.”
Zeh, do you have children? Would you jeopardize the food you put food in your children’s mouth just so you can denounce another person who already is roundly denounced by many? You also ignore my two other reasons why Correia might not want to denounce VD.
I’m what you might call “on the fence.” I see grounds for complaint from the Sad Puppies and from the other side (I don’t like the term “trufan” because it indicates that the Sad Puppies or people who like Sad Puppies are not fans). For example, I find your comment that Correia is a “moral coward” to be a personal attack exactly meeting the description of attacks he has suffered. You don’t like him so you feel somehow justified in making a personal attack. That failed to impress me.
1. “Trufan” was a term made up by the Sad Puppies. It is not a term that was ever used by the rest of SF fandom.
2. You are welcome to demand documentation of claims on your own blog, if you have one. Essentially, you’ve wandered into a conversation where other people have been paying attention a lot longer than you have, and want everyone else here to do your homework for you. I mean, if someone wants to go digging through Correia’s blog posts to provide you with an example, they’re welcome to do it, but you’re really not an arbiter of anything here.
“1. “Trufan” was a term made up by the Sad Puppies. It is not a term that was ever used by the rest of SF fandom.”
Huh, I’m almost positive I remember hearing the term in the 20th Century.
http://fanac.org/Fannish_Reference_Works/FandBook/FandBook.html (see “fan” entry)
Just because you don’t mention someone’s name doesn’t mean that you don’t make it clear who it is you’re denouncing.
On a podcast, Correia, while defending Vox Day from charges of racism, said: “Correia: Well, here’s the thing, and actually, I know the guy? I don’t think he is [a scumbag], I think what it is is that he a guy who is an internet curmudgeon who likes to pick fights with people, who got in a fight with a racist, and said racist things, in response to somebody who is hurling racist slurs for years.”
EVERYONE in the sf community knows perfectly well that Correia is calling N.K. Jemisin a racist who has been “hurling racist slurs for years.”
So did he name her name? No, he did not.
Did he clearly denounce her in public? Yes, he did.
That said, I agree that most often Correia is careful not to name names when he accuses people of having said or done horrible things. I have mixed feelings about that; if he would say who it was he’s referring to, at least those people could present their side of the story. By not naming names, Correia ducks accountability. On the other hand, some of Correia’s fans might send hate mail and worse to anyone Correia names, so maybe he’s doing the right thing by not naming names.
“Just because you don’t mention someone’s name doesn’t mean that you don’t make it clear who it is you’re denouncing. [p] On a podcast, Correia . . .said: “he[‘s] a guy who is an internet curmudgeon who likes to pick fights with people, who got in a fight with a racist, and said racist things, in response to somebody who is hurling racist slurs for years.” [p] EVERYONE in the sf community knows perfectly well that Correia is calling N.K. Jemisin a racist who has been “hurling racist slurs for years.” [p] So did he name her name? No, he did not. [p] Did he clearly denounce her in public? Yes, he did.”
Thank you for the quote, which I was not aware existed. I agree he’s referencing N.K. Jemison and called her a racist. This is disappointing since the stated reason he’s giving Vox Day a pass is because he personally knows the guy. Unless I’m mistaken, he does not know Ms. Jemison personally. He should have given her the same courtesy he extended to Vox Day. Given how upset he is about being labeled a racist himself, his comment here appears to be hypocritical.
Hi, Rene. Thank you for acknowledging that, I appreciate it.
“Trufan” had been around long enough to be jargon by the time Poul Anderson wrote the filk Bouncing Potatoes in 1966. (Ref with date – 2001 filk by Terence Chua.)
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As Rene says, trufan has been around a long time. I read a lot of old SF/F fanzines from the 1960s and earlier, where writers used it a lot, usually as a compliment but occasionally in a dispute over whether a particular group of fans was “tru” or illegitimate.
I have not posted here previously, and am unlikely to do so again. But I feel compelled to respond to certain statements made by Rene.
Rene said he was unable to find evidence that VD has ever made any vile statements, yet Rene is clearly aware of the statements VD has made in defense of his white supremacist philosophy that Blacks are genetically inferior to Whites (as he believes has been “proven” scientifically) and that they are inherently uncivilized “savages” or at best “half-savages” (the term he uses to refer to the black author NK Jemisin). Likewise, Rene is also aware of statements made by VD advocating that women should be denied an education.
These statements by VD are beyond the pale. By any reasonable standard, they are vile. That Rene does not recognize them as such is telling, as is Rene’s tortured defense of VD’s statement that Malala’s shooting was justified. VD did not simply say the shooting may be regarded as a rational act; he said it was a justifiable one. Saying that an act was rational and that it was justifiable are two entirely different things. A prosecutor may present evidence that a murderer acted rationally in order to support a charge of first degree murder. By way of contrast, to say that conduct is justifiable means that what was done was right. Rene puts words in VD’s mouth that he never said or in any way implied to the effect VD might regard Malala’s shooting as unethical. Rene inserts caveats in VD’s speech that simply don’t exist.
Vox Day, in his 2005 article entitled “Why Women’s Rights Are Wrong”, said “I consider women’s rights to be a disease that should be eradicated”.
This is categorically a vile statement. In this day and age, there is something very wrong with anyone who does not recognize that, and reasoned discourse is pointless with such people.
Naomi: I’m going to quote VD. If you find that inappropriate, go ahead and delete with my apologies.
William, given that you are accusing me of putting words in VD’s mouth, I find it somewhat ironic that you misrepresent what I wrote. You claim “Rene said he was unable to find evidence that VD has ever made any vile statements” whereas I actually wrote “The alleged statements I have researched have not convinced me that he is being quoted accurately.” I then identified two of the vile statements attributed to VD that I had researched (i.e., Malala’s attempted murder and acid attacks on women). I have not, and will not, read everything VD has written. It is certainly not Naomi’s (nor anyone else’s) obligation to identify VD’s vile statements, but she did provide information I had been unable to find (the actual quote from VD regarding the attempted murder of Malala).
With respect to the accusation that “Rene puts words in VD’s mouth that he never said or in any way implied to the effect VD might regard Malala’s shooting as unethical.”. Here is what I wrote:
“With regards to the substance of what VD stated, he did not defend the attempted murder of Malala. He stated that if you focused on only one aspect of the question, social utility (and no, I don’t think his argument here holds water), that her murder might be rational. This expressly leaves open the possibility that he believes moral/ethical/religious considerations might make the murder indefensible (recall that he is Christian and that Christians think murder is a sin). He simply does not state that murdering Malala is defensible, only that one aspect is rational.”
Here is what VD wrote:
“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.”
Let’s compare: I said “He [VD] stated that if you focused on only one aspect of the question . . .” and VD said “a purely empirical perspective on Malala Yousafzai.” Yep, that’s VD explicitly stating he is going to analyze only one perspective of the issue (propriety of Malala’s attempted murder) just like I said he did. Let’s compare: I said “that her murder might be rational” and VD said “may indicate that the Taliban’s attempt to silence her was perfectly rational and scientifically justifiable.” Yep, that’s him stating the attempted murder may be rational. I don’t see myself putting any words in his mouth. I admit freely to paraphrasing him — which I did intentionally since I didn’t want to quote him here given Naomi’s expressed discomfort with his words. Did he also use the word justifiable? Absolutely, but only in the context of an analysis limited to an empirical perspective – an analysis that excludes philosophical, religious, ethical, or moral considerations. Inasmuch as VD openly claims to be religious and openly argues that rationalism devoid of faith is flawed (see, e.g., “The Irrational Atheist”; and no, I have not read the entire thing and don’t suggest you read more than the first page), his statement that the attempted murder may have been justifiable if religious considerations are ignored cannot be understood to mean that VD himself found the attempted murder justifiable. The statement: “If you consider only this administration’s transparency, President Obama is as bad as President Bush” does not mean President Obama is as bad as President Bush.
When I read some of the statements that VD has made that have been identified as being vile, I noted that the actual statements are qualified. Based on what he actually wrote (that I’ve read), VD is ridiculing/denigrating people without faith. Both the acid attacks quote and the Malala quote are him saying, “if I were to use your method of analysis, then these actions are justifiable.” He is criticizing rationality devoid of faith. He’s also clearly an agitator. As far as I can tell, he’s the only person benefiting from this Hugo fiasco — it’s got to be driving up the advertising revenue from his website by a significant margin. I do not have any desire to read more of what he’s written. His concerns are not my concerns. I find his writing to be bitter and deceptive.
Why in the world do you believe that at the time I wrote that I thought VD was being misquoted that I also was “clearly aware of the statements VD has made . . . that Blacks are genetically inferior to Whites . . . and that they are inherently uncivilized ‘savages’ or at best ‘half-savages. . . [and] that women should be denied an education”? Why do you think I was aware of and had read “Why Women’s Rights Are Wrong”? I wrote that I had researched the Malala issue and had been unable to verify he ever wrote about Malala (Naomi then provided the quote which I note does not state he believes her attempted murder was defensible) and that his statement regarding acid attacks did not indicate that he personally approved attacking women with acid. You are accusing me based on knowledge that I did not have despite my disclosure that I had limited information regarding VD.
1. I said you were clearly aware of VD’s comments regarding denying women an education and calling NK Jemisin a genetically inferior savage because in your own comments you indicated awareness of these issues. In any event, It beggars the imagination that you could have done any research at all and not come across reference to them, as they are mentioned prominently in essentially every mainstream media article discussing Puppygate.
2. You are indeed putting words in VD’s mouth. He did NOT qualify his statement regarding the justifiability of Malala’s shooting by saying he would examine only one aspect of the question to the exclusion of others. You said that. He said that from a purely empirical perspective, her attempted murder was justifiable. In other words, he said that the attack on Malala was objectively justified, and that this can be scientifically proven. (VD frequently supports his outlandish claims as “scientifically proven”, including his belief that all blacks are inferior to all whites.) Any qualifications were left unsaid, and probably do not exist, as despite coming under fire constantly for this statement and certainly being aware of the outrage he has incited, he has not qualified it subsequently in any way.
Your contention that VD may not have really meant what he said because he is a Christian is a non-starter. Christians are not Buddhists, and “Thou shalt not kill” is currently understood by a great number of Christians in the U.S. to mean, “Don’t kill those who don’t deserve it”. VD in his open letter to NK Jemisin said that Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” laws were necessary so that whites could defend themselves by shooting “savages like you”. In a 2010 WND article he penned, he said he believes that White Americans should *forcibly* evict persons of color (e.g., Asians, Blacks and “Aztecs”) from the country and “reclaim their white Anglo-Saxon Protestant heritage”. He called women’s rights a disease that must be ERADICATED.
In light of the above, can you really doubt he’d likely have any qualms supporting the shooting of Malala? At best, he might regard it as regrettable, but he almost definitely regards it as something that needed to be done.
And let’s not forget the company he keeps. Fellow Sad / Rabid Puppy and close friend, author John Wright (who has been nominated for numerous Hugos this year), a self-professed devout Christian, believes that the instinctive reaction of righteous men to homosexual conduct is to descend on the “faggots” and beat them to death with tire irons and axe handles. Wright has said he regrets not “striking down” a terminally ill old man for supporting the right to die with dignity. And he publicly declared that the creators of the Legend of Korra animated television series were “termites who must be EXTERMINATED” because … the cartoon ended with two female characters walking away hand-in-hand.
So yes, anyone who associates with these motherfuckers for monetary gain is a “moral coward”; spare me the imaginary starving children. And this time, Rene, rather than simply saying “Well, I didn’t know that…”, why don’t you condemn these VILE statements and associated world views without qualification?
“1. I said you were clearly aware of VD’s comments regarding denying women an education and calling NK Jemisin a genetically inferior savage because in your own comments you indicated awareness of these issues. In any event, It beggars the imagination that you could have done any research at all and not come across reference to them, as they are mentioned prominently in essentially every mainstream media article discussing Puppygate.”
Quote me stating that I was aware of VD’s statements denying women an education and calling NK Jemisin a genetically inferior savage. And here’s the really important part — if you can quote me, compare the time I made such statements against my original comment that I do not know what vile utterances he has made. [As Naomi has pointed out, this is her blog, so you can feel free to ignore my request and instead accuse without supporting your accusation] Did I come across reference to them? Yes. However, when I started researching VD’s statements I could not confirm them. As previously mentioned, I could not find a source linking the Malala statement to VD. I did find the original statement regarding acid attacks and it does not state that he supports throwing acid on women. After these experiences, I posted my first comment here. Given my concern that VD’s statements are being inaccurately portrayed, I put little faith in the accurate portrayal of VD’s other purportedly vile statements (e.g., women’s education and NK Jemisin).
“2. You are indeed putting words in VD’s mouth. He did NOT qualify his statement regarding the justifiability of Malala’s shooting by saying he would examine only one aspect of the question to the exclusion of others. You said that. He said that from a purely empirical perspective, her attempted murder was justifiable.”
I guess this is where we will be unable to communicate. You deny that qualifying a statement with “from a purely empirical perspective” necessarily excludes moral, philosophic, religious, ethical considerations.
“Your contention that VD may not have really meant what he said because he is a Christian is a non-starter. Christians are not Buddhists, and “Thou shalt not kill” is currently understood by a great number of Christians in the U.S. to mean, “Don’t kill those who don’t deserve it”. VD in his open letter to NK Jemisin said that Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” laws were necessary so that whites could defend themselves by shooting “savages like you”. In a 2010 WND article he penned, he said he believes that White Americans should *forcibly* evict persons of color (e.g., Asians, Blacks and “Aztecs”) from the country and “reclaim their white Anglo-Saxon Protestant heritage”. He called women’s rights a disease that must be ERADICATED.”
Crikey, here you go again adding new material to the conversation. You keep attributing knowledge to me that I do not have and never claimed to have. I have not, and will not, read everything VD has written. I do not like reading VD till I’m ill. Nor will I Bill. And Buddhists do not condone lethal self-defense. The Dalai Lama, head of Vajrayana Buddhism said: ” If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun. ” (Seattle Times, May 15, 2001). Under Buddhism, you should try to defend yourself without killing the other person (i.e., shoot to destroy the structural integrity of the target). If you do kill someone in self-defense acting without anger, you prevented the attacker from killing a life (i.e., your own). But why did you even bring up Buddhism? Are you contending it’s an objectively better religion than Christianity?
Your statement that a great number of Christians in the U.S. understand the commandment “Thou shalt not kill” to mean “Don’t kill those who don’t deserve it” is unsupportable. It’s your own personal belief. I’m rather positive that some people who read this blog are Christian. Are you trying to alienate them?
Regarding your comments re fellow author John Wright. Again, you are attributing knowledge to me. I have followed puppygate since before SP1. This should give you an inkling of which author involved with puppygate I actually have read. I’m pretty sure that you’re inaccurately portraying John Wright’s statements, but again, it is beyond the scope of the statements I’ve made that you are condemning. You’ve condemned me because I stated “My problem with the failure to state VD’s vile utterances is that I do not know what vile utterances he has made. The alleged statements I have researched have not convinced me that he is being quoted accurately.” This statement was made on my inability to find a sourced statement re Malala and the inaccurate portrayal of the acid attack statement.
“And this time, Rene, rather than simply saying “Well, I didn’t know that…”, why don’t you condemn these VILE statements and associated world views without qualification?”
I do not see any need to condone VD for 2 reasons. First, there’s plenty of people willing to condone him. My little voice is not going to change anything. Second, I will not condone VD based on what other people say he said. I read some of his blog posts and convinced myself I do not want to read more. I also convinced myself that his vile utterances are being inaccurately portrayed. I am already making the most important condemnation I can for a paid author, I will not pay to read his work. Heck, I won’t even check it out of the library. Double heck, I wouldn’t read it if a Jehovah’s witness left it stuck in my door.
Why is it so important to you that I condemn him? Why do you want me to read more of his work?
On the other hand, I am more than willing to condone throwing acid on women’s faces, trying to murder advocate’s for women’s education, calling Blacks genetically inferior, etc. Why is it you want me to condemn the person and not the positions you attribute to the person?
I believe you have confused the words condone and condemn in your reply. Perhaps autocorrect was the culprit, but it made interesting reading.
What I said about American Christians is simply a fact about which there should be no controversy: a great number of them (I did not say a majority, although it may be) believe that the commandment not to kill is not absolute. This explains why, since the vast majority of Americans identity themselves as Christians, a majority of Americans nonetheless consistently back the death penalty. Or why the vast majority of American troops are Christians yet will kill enemies of the state if ordered to do so. I’m not sure why my saying this makes you angry.
Vox Day’s own father, Robert Beale, a Southern Baptist and former close associate of televangelist Pat Robertson (http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Beale_%28entrepreneur%29), also seems to believe this commandment is not absolute. After being jailed for tax evasion and fraud, and sentenced to about 11 years in prison, he then conspired with three other men to threaten the life of the federal judge who had sentenced him, for which Robert was given additional jail time.
In Robert Peale’s own words: “God wants me to destroy the judge. That judge is evil. He wants me to get rid of her.” … “God wants me to take the judge out, that’s what He wants me to do.”
I’ve pushed you to condemn as vile any statement made by Vox Day, which so far you haven’t, to determine if we even inhabit the same ethical universe. I suspect you are, or were, a Sad Puppy (but not a Rabid Puppy). Your dislike for VD, yet reluctance to do any real research about him and summary judgment (despite doing essentially no research) that he had been misquoted by (many hundreds if not thousands) of other people including the mainstream media, and refusal to condemn any statement that he has made, are characteristic of many Sad Puppies, who seem to be stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes to VD. That was a terrible run-on sentence, but I trust you catch my meaning.
I do think you are posting here in good faith, and I commend you for your patience and civility, but it may be we (and by that I mean only you and I) simply don’t speak a common language.
Not autocorrect re condone/condemn. My very own brainfart.
You still won’t quote any statement I made that I was aware of VD’s statements denying women an education and calling NK Jemisin a genetically inferior savage or providing the time of those statements. Yet you have not retracted your condemnation of my statements.
“What I said about American Christians is simply a fact about which there should be no controversy: a great number of them (I did not say a majority, although it may be) believe that the commandment not to kill is not absolute.”
This is not what you wrote. You originally wrote that many Christians believe the commandment means “Don’t kill those who don’t deserve it.” This is your opinion. Show me some proof that many Christians believe they can kill anyone who deserves it. [With the ever present proviso that this is Naomi’s blog and I have no right to demand anything from you]. Do you not see the difference between “Don’t kill those who don’t deserve it” and “the commandment not to kill is not absolute”? “Deserve it” is a wonderfully vague phrase. Well-established Christian philosophy (going back at least to Augustine and Aquinas) acknowledges that the commandment is not absolute and that taking a human life is not sinful when done in order to preserve life. It is no sin to protect your own life. It is no sin to protect the life of innocents. I’m angry because you are making unsupported statements that impugn the integrity of countless millions of people without demonstrating any awareness of the long history of Christian philosophy regarding this very issue.
Why are you bringing up VD’s father? Do you ascribe the sins of the father to the son?
I don’t consider myself a sad puppy. I sympathize with some of their concerns. I don’t qualify as a trufan since that connotes rather a greater devotion to the genre than I can claim. As I stated previously, I’m rather on the fence.
Have I researched VD extensively? No. I did review several of his statements that have been identified as being vile. Based on my review, the accusations with respect to those specific statements were inaccurate. I am not stating that he is being inaccurately portrayed on the other purportedly vile statements (this responds to your accusation that I am summarily concluding that he is being misquoted). I am stating that I will not accept at face value the various descriptions of his statements.
In any event, I joined this thread not to comment on VD, but rather to discuss Naomi’s claim that VD participated in the SP3 slate. My first post regarding VD was in response to a comment that that the poster was frustrated that a conversation re VD would use his actual vile language because it spread his philosophy. I responded that I thought the conversation would be more informative if people used VD’s actual language because I (and by implication others like me) was unaware of VD’s vile utterances. This was meant to be a minor digression from the overall discussion. If you review my comments before your entrance, you will note that the majority of my comments relate to the alleged relationship between VD and SP3.
As you stated previously, “VD frequently supports his outlandish claims as ‘scientifically proven’.” Think about that for a moment. Why would a person who has publicly stated (1) that scientific inquiry devoid of faith is irrational, frequently state (2) that a purely scientific analysis justifies a an outlandish position? He’s tweaking the beards of the atheists. He’s saying, “I’m using the analysis you atheists advocate and your technique justifies this outlandish position.” I reject his premise that ethics must derive from a divine being. I find it risible because it suggests the only reason Christians/Jews/Muslims/etc. are not going around killing people is because they are afraid they won’t get an entrance ticket to the afterlife. Whether or not there is an afterlife or a god, people are social creatures. We have a special and terrifying word for people who cannot be socialized — sociopaths. There have been plenty of studies that show that people who kill other people are abnormal. On the other hand, plenty of atheists are ethical people. Once I read enough to conclude that this philosophy (rationalism without faith leads to irrational conclusions) underlay much of what VD wrote, I concluded I did not want to read more of his work. I do not view it as my obligation to denounce people.
Again, should it not be enough that I renounce the positions VD is claimed to espouse? Does this not indicate we inhabit the same ethical universe? If VD truly holds those opinions, then he will know that I denounce his adherence to those positions.