Vox Day: Hugo Denied

So, racist idiot Vox Day did not do very well in the Hugo Awards ballot with his terribly-written novella “Opera Vita Aeterna”. The combination of the author’s reputation and the poor quality of the work itself meant it was placed below “No Award” in the ballot, the only nominated work in any category to suffer that ignominious fate.

It was put foward as part of the so-called “Sad Puppies” slate of works by right-wing authors promoted by Larry Corriea, who’s own novel “Warbound” also did very poorly in the vote.

It leaves you wondering whether association with Vox Day in the minds of the Worldcon members who voted in the awards fatally damaged the chances of any other books in that slate.

As John Scalzi put it:.

The folks pushing the slate played within the rules, so game on, and the game is to convince people that the work deserves the Hugo. It does not appear the voters were convinced. As a multiple Hugo loser myself, I can say: That’s the breaks, and better luck another year.

With that said, Correia was foolish to put his own personal capital as a successful and best selling novelist into championing Vox Day and his novelette, because Vox Day is a real bigoted shithole of a human being, and his novelette was, to put it charitably, not good (less charitably: It was like Gene Wolfe strained through a thick and rancid cheesecloth of stupid). Doing that changed the argument from something perfectly legitimate, if debatable — that conservative writers are often ignored for or discounted on award ballots because their personal politics generally conflict with those of the award voters — into a different argument entirely, i.e., fuck you, we got an undeserving bigoted shithole on the Hugo ballot, how you like them apples.

Which is a shame. It’s fine for Correia to beclown himself with Day, if such is his joy, and he deserves to reap the fruits of such an association. I suspect, however, there are others whom he championed for his “sad puppy” slate who were less thrilled to find themselves looped in with Day by involuntary association.

That all depends on Larry Correia’s actual goals were. I see no evidence that Correia is particularly racist, misogynistic or homophobic. But from reading a handful of entries on his blog he does come over as a weapons-grade asshole (Comparisons with The RPGPundit may be appropriate here). That plus his assiciation with a known racist is enough of a red flag for a lot of people.

Did he want to challenge the perceived left-wing monopoly of the awards?  Or was the whole exercise designed to discredit The Hugos and Worldcon in the eyes of his readership?

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18 Responses to Vox Day: Hugo Denied

  1. Amadan says:

    I think a little of both.

    Correia likes to brawl, but people have been flinging crap about him being a racist, sexist, homophobe just because he has a friendly association with Vox Day. Vox Day himself is a lot of those things, but he’s also been demonized far in excess of the things he’s actually said. Frankly, John Scalzi’s histrionic tweets have dramatically damaged my estimation of him.

    Correia and Vox Day both made it clear early on that they did not expect to win and did not care about winning (though I’m sure they’d have accepted a win with glee). Were their motives (rubbing left-leaning fandom’s nose in their presence) noble? No, but they did kind of make their point.

    The headsplodey outrage and antipathy towards free speech and association of the Social Justice crowd has been a shock, but very enlightening to me. This whole episode has done something I did not think was possible a year ago – made me more sympathetic to the right-wingers.

  2. Tim Hall says:

    Yes, I used to have a lot of time for Scalzi, but I’ve grown tired of his patronising self-righteousness. And I know I’m not the only one.

    The whole Jonathan Ross fiasco was an eye-opener for me. The way the social-justice mob vetoed him because he wasn’t “One of us” showed all the critical thinking of a Daily Mail reader.

    I know Will Shetterley is demonised by this crowd, but he’s been right about them for years. Perhaps that’s why they hate him so.

  3. Cat says:

    Sure, that’s why Correia has been asking for a Hugo every year since he was asking for a Hugo and a Campbell in the same post–because he didn’t care about winning a Hugo. It all makes so much sense now I have been set straight.

    Well, the fact that he doesn’t actually *want* a Hugo is something for his fans to keep in mind next year, when he again asks them to splash out $50 to get him something he doesn’t want.

    And when you start out on the assumption that “a vote against me means you’re prejudiced; a vote *for* me means my work is Just That Good” you have a hypothesis that is not falsifiable. So no, he did not “prove his point;” to prove yourself right you have to frame a hypothesis where the data has a way to *tell* you if your work just wasn’t Hugo-worthy.

    What he proved is that a Vote Your Hate campaign and Great Fan Exchange Program pisses people off, flying off the handle over new ideas about gender, and taunting the disabled in public doesn’t help, and the Best of the Best of Conservative Science Fiction (I certainly *hope* he brought his best game) didn’t have enough to offer to win over that handicap.

    Big surprise there.

  4. Tim Hall says:

    As I said, weapons-grade asshole.

    And he certainly seems to believe that SF works he doesn’t personally like do not deserve to exist.

  5. Amadan says:

    Cat,

    I’m not a big fan of Correia, but I do read his blog (and Vox Day’s) and I’ve been following the ins and outs of the “Sad Puppies” campaign (and Vox’s expulsion from the SFWA before that) in detail for quite a while. So I know all the particulars of exactly what they have and have not said, what they have actually done, and what their detractors have claimed they said.

    Your interpretation is not only counter-factual, but disingenuous. I could pick a lie out of almost every sentence you posted. You are exhibit A why I no longer sympathize with Social Justice Warriors.

  6. Cat says:

    Apparently you know less about the particulars than you think. Check out his rant about Alex Dally MacFarlane. Oh, here, I’ll help you: here it is, from his website http://monsterhunternation.com/2014/01/28/ending-binary-gender-in-fiction-or-how-to-murder-your-writing-career/

    The part I’m talking about is here:

    “If you can’t stomach the comments long enough to hear what a typical WorldCon voter sounds like, let me paraphrase: “Fantastic! I’m so sick of people actually enjoying books that are fun! Let’s shove more message fiction down their throats! My cause comes before their enjoyment! Diversity! Gay polar bears are being murdered by greedy corporations! Only smart people who think correct thoughts like I do should read books and I won’t be happy until my genre dies a horrible death! Yay!” (and if there is beeping noise in the background, that’s because they’re backing up their mobility scooter).”

    Okay, so down there at the end? That’s Larry, taunting disabled people for being disabled. Because it somehow demonstrates how stupid they are, or how bad their taste is, or how they lie about what they like and don’t like. Or something. For a professional writer he doesn’t write very well.

    Now the rest of it is Larry saying that Hugo voters vote for things that we think aren’t fun. Apparently he thinks we’re lying about what we like, because how could we *possibly* like pecan praline ice cream when he likes vanilla?

    It’s weird. I accept that he actually *likes* stories where the guns get more introduction than the characters and the bullets are the point. But he can’t accept that I actually like stories that reward close attention, stories with diverse characters, with challenges that can’t be solved by violence, stories that show me my world from a new angle so that I learn new things. Maybe he’s missing a little something in the whole theory of mind department.

    Don’t think he’s asked for a Hugo every year since he was asking for a Hugo and a Campbell in the same post? Let me help you with that.

    Here’s where he asked for a Hugo and a Campbell in the same post (2011):
    http://monsterhunternation.com/2011/01/14/hugo-awards-it-is-time-to-get-your-nominations-in-and-yes-im-eligable/

    Correia asking for a Hugo again the following year (2012):
    http://monsterhunternation.com/2012/02/23/how-you-can-make-a-difference-getting-me-nominated-for-a-hugo/

    Correia asking for a Hugo *again* the next year (2013); the Sad Puppies are born.
    http://monsterhunternation.com/2013/01/08/how-to-get-correia-nominated-for-a-hugo/

    And this year, of course, was the second Sad Puppies campaign.
    http://monsterhunternation.com/2014/01/14/sad-puppies-2-the-illustrated-edition/

    Which I refer to as the “Vote Your Hate” campaign because of comments like

    “For just $40 you can register as a supporting member for WorldCon and nominate up to five works in every category. This year Warbound, the last book of the Grimnoir trilogy is eligible. And since FDR is actually one of the villains this book will make literati heads explode!
    Only you can make literati heads explode.*”

    On other words, don’t vote for it because it’s good; vote for it because you know you hate Hugo voters and want to upset them. Serves them right!

    The Great Fan Exchange Program: Here is Larry recommending Day
    http://monsterhunternation.com/2014/03/25/my-hugo-slate/

    And here is Day returning the favor:
    http://voxday.blogspot.com/2014/03/the-sad-puppy-hugo-slate.html

    So apparently Exhibit A about why you no longer sympathize with Social Justice Warriors (wow, nobody’s ever called me that before; I wasn’t expecting compliments from you, given the way you started out–thanks, but I don’t know that I deserve the honor) is that we can see what Larry’s actually saying and doing, and aren’t afraid to point it out.

  7. Amadan says:

    Oh, I am quite familiar with Correia’s rants, Cat. But you’re still being disingenuous. Fine, let’s do this.

    For example, you say Correia has been “asking for a Hugo” every year. Well, he has been announcing his eligibility for a Hugo every year, so I guess you could say that. Of course, that is pretty standard for SF&F authors nowadays – John Scalzi does it too. And I don’t think I’ve seen him explicitly say “Please vote for me!” Your implication that he’s been shamelessly begging for a Hugo when he’s just been self-promoting himself (and other authors) the way pretty much everyone in the industry does is what’s dishonest.

    “Sure, that’s why Correia has been asking for a Hugo every year since he was asking for a Hugo and a Campbell in the same post–because he didn’t care about winning a Hugo.”

    Again, a reductive interpretation. He’s made it pretty clear what his campaign is about – he thinks Hugo voters and the SF community in general is hopelessly skewed to the left. He may or may not be right, but his campaign isn’t about begging for a Hugo and then calling sour grapes when he doesn’t get one. He clearly does not think he’s going to win, and he’s clearly pretty cheerful about that. I have no doubt he’d love it if he did win, but whether or not you approve of his PR campaign and his attempt to prove some point about the biases of the voting, it’s pretty clear that that’s what it is, and that he’s not truly bothered by not winning an award he already knows he isn’t going to win.

    “Well, the fact that he doesn’t actually *want* a Hugo is something for his fans to keep in mind next year, when he again asks them to splash out $50 to get him something he doesn’t want.”

    Again, you’re being disingenuous not in the literal statement of facts (yes, he does encourage his fans to vote), but in the implication (that he’s deceiving his fans, convincing them to vote for something he really doesn’t want, and his fans are unaware of his true motives). It’s clear this is not the case. He’s encouraging his fans to counter the bias he perceives in the voting. Again, approve, disapprove, but he’s not misleading anyone or conning people into voting for him.

    “And when you start out on the assumption that “a vote against me means you’re prejudiced; a vote *for* me means my work is Just That Good” you have a hypothesis that is not falsifiable.”

    He hasn’t said this. He’s said a vote against him because of his political views means you’re prejudiced. I can’t disagree with that. If you vote against him because you think other books are better (I did), I don’t think he has a problem with that. But he’s never said that he’s better than everyone else and if you vote against him it’s because you’re prejudiced.

    “What he proved is that a Vote Your Hate campaign”

    How is his campaign “Vote Your Hate”? Do some of his fans vote because they hate liberals? Probably. But I have read the comments, and a lot of them genuinely like the “conservative” stuff being nominated. Some of this is baffling to me (Vox Day’s prose was genuinely pretty awful) but to characterize the entire effort as “Vote because you hate” runs in the face of their advocacy for the kind of fiction they like – which again, you may or may not like, but you’re just being dishonest claiming that it’s nothing but hating everyone else.

    “flying off the handle over new ideas about gender”

    I frequently see this claim leveled, and it’s also pretty risible. Clearly Correia (and even moreso Vox Day) are not too impressed by Alex McFarlaine’s take on “non-default binary”and they mock it, but to call it “flying off the handle” – implying they just can’t handle uppity women or something – is disingenuous. Their disagreement may be vitriolic and it may stem from a rather traditional worldview, but they aren’t “losing it” over the concepts put forth, they’re stating disagreement with them. But you can’t conceive of people disagreeing without “flying off the handle.” This and the whole “Vote Your Hate” characterization seems pretty ironic considering that from where I sit, it’s mostly been the SJ fans who have been absolutely losing their s*** over Correia and Day.

    I think Alex McFarlaine’s essay was embarrassingly ignorant and silly as well. Am I “flying off the handle”?

    “and taunting the disabled in public doesn’t help”

    The crack about scooters was one of his shots at overweight people. Not nice, but it would be more accurate to say he’s taunting fat people. I would not disagree that it shows a lack of sensitivity, but characterizing it as you do as “taunting the disabled” when he is clearly not aiming it at any actual disabled people is deliberately disingenuous, since you’re trying to leave the impression that he’s kicking crutches or namecalling blind people or something – a rather rude “Har har, all those fat-ass fans!” line is, again, not nice, not PC, but not what you are trying to make it.

    Does he get a lot of mileage out of the idea of making liberal “heads explode”? Yeah, but if you can’t read that as tongue-in-cheek, then I guess all his opponents who were saying very similar things about how much they’re looking forward to making all the conservatives cry and “freak out” were not really voting for the works they loved, they were just voting their hate, right?

  8. Andrew says:

    This all reminds me that I’ve got a couple of Larry Correia books to pick up. Say what you want about his politics – and, hey, there’s a little thing called free speech so Correia is entitled to say what he thinks without being crucified – he writes books I want to read. That’s all that matters to me.

  9. Howard Kaylin says:

    I was interested in reading Correia but after trying to read Vox Day’s nominated story I won’t; because if he thinks that very poorly written piece is award worthy, I have no faith in his ability to entertain me as a reader

  10. Saje Williams says:

    I actually liked the Grimnoir series.

    And it seems stupid to have to point this out to people who are ostensibly literate enough to post here, but here goes. “Freedom of speech” means the government can’t penalize you for your opinion. It doesn’t mean other people don’t have the right to disavow your statements or avoid any association with you if they don’t like what you have to say. The fact that this has to be constantly explained to the “conservative” shows how feckless their arguments really are.

  11. Most of the discussion surrounded the “Sad Puppies” nominations campaign and the reactions to them. When it came to the voting, Larry’s self-promotion seemed almost an afterthought: “Oh, BTW, Warbound has been nominated and this is your last chance to vote” (paraphrased).

    This is not a case of sour grapes either; see Larry’s post from 2014-04-24, An explanation about the Hugo awards controversy where he declares victory regardless of the election results—not because he got on the ballot, but because of the reactions his presence caused: bad sportsmanship, slander, personal attacks, promises to no-award stories without reading them, the idea that VD’s story’s presence on the list “tainted” the rest of the slate, etc., etc.

  12. Pingback: More reactions to the 2014 Hugo Award winners | Cora Buhlert

  13. Tim Hall says:

    I think both Larry Correia and his detractors are guilty of at least three fallacies here.

    The first is that there is One True Fandom and any one group of people are or should be its gatekeepers.

    The second is that there is an objective measure of quality. All awards are ultimately popularity contests, and the sort of fiction Correia writes doesn’t appear to be that popular with that subset of fandom that attends Worldcon.

    The third is that diversity has to be a zero-sum game, and that the only way to increase opportunuties for women and minorities is to take things away from straight white males. OK, relatively few people are stating this explicitly, but I see it a far too much in subtext.

  14. Amadan says:

    Saje,

    “And it seems stupid to have to point this out to people who are ostensibly literate enough to post here, but here goes. “Freedom of speech” means the government can’t penalize you for your opinion. It doesn’t mean other people don’t have the right to disavow your statements or avoid any association with you if they don’t like what you have to say. The fact that this has to be constantly explained to the “conservative” shows how feckless their arguments really are.”

    I don’t disagree with you – entirely – because I agree that “censorship” gets tossed around a little too easily, especially by conservatives.

    However, this is in fact one of the arguments that has pushed me over to the other side on certain issues. Because I also no longer agree that anything short of the government putting you in jail or burning your printing office can’t be censorship.

    When people are calling explicitly for effectively un-personing anyone who offends them (or who is associated with the unperson, or who expresses insufficient levels of outrage at the unperson), and using all the social pressure they have available to silence opposing views to the best of their ability, I am pretty firmly convinced that the majority of these people would impose “real” censorship in a heartbeat if they had the power to do so.

  15. Cat says:

    Well, he has been announcing his eligibility for a Hugo every year, so I guess you could say that. Of course, that is pretty standard for SF&F authors nowadays – John Scalzi does it too.

    The Sad Puppies campaign goes well beyond “These are my eligible works; if you are planning to nominate, I hope you’ll give them a look and nominate them if you like them. As you well know.

    So yeah, he’s been asking. Every year. Which isn’t a problem. He’ll ask again next year. Because even though he *tells* us all he cares about is the money, all the money he has earned isn’t enough to fill up that pit of insecurity in his character–which is why he brings up “not a real writer” all the time. I think it will turn out, if he ever wins a Hugo–or two, or five, that all the Hugos in the world won’t fill it up either; that kind of insecurity can’t be assuaged by outside things.

    But when he asks, throws a fit about how we’re prejudiced because we won’t give him one, (when he’s been writing Four Whole Years) and then when he loses says “oh, I never cared about it anyway”–this is a long campaign for something he doesn’t care about. That’s what I’m saying.

    The fox that couldn’t get the grapes walked away saying “I’m sure they’re sour anyway.” You’ll pardon us for seeing the resemblance here.

    “Well, the fact that he doesn’t actually *want* a Hugo is something for his fans to keep in mind next year, when he again asks them to splash out $50 to get him something he doesn’t want.”

    Again, you’re being disingenuous not in the literal statement of facts (yes, he does encourage his fans to vote), but in the implication (that he’s deceiving his fans, convincing them to vote for something he really doesn’t want, and his fans are unaware of his true motives).

    No, I’m saying you can either believe his words–in which case he doesn’t really want it and people should remember that–or you can believe his actions–in which case he totally wants it; that’s why he’s been campaigning this long.

    “And when you start out on the assumption that “a vote against me means you’re prejudiced; a vote *for* me means my work is Just That Good” you have a hypothesis that is not falsifiable.”

    He hasn’t said this. He’s said a vote against him because of his political views means you’re prejudiced. I can’t disagree with that. If you vote against him because you think other books are better (I did), I don’t think he has a problem with that. But he’s never said that he’s better than everyone else and if you vote against him it’s because you’re prejudiced.

    Never in so many words. But he’s left the data no way to tell him he’s just not that good. And next year he’ll be interpreting the way the vote went as prejudice. You watch. Betcha a donut.

    “What he proved is that a Vote Your Hate campaign”

    How is his campaign “Vote Your Hate”? Do some of his fans vote because they hate liberals? Probably.

    Absolutely. You can see them rejoicing in the comments about how they’re going to make my head explode. Which is understandable, because that’s what Correia says also. I fully understand they mean “make me very unhappy” rather than “kill me;” that’s not the issue. Someone rejoicing in making me unhappy is someone I’ll naturally see as an asshole. Someone encouraging them to do so, as Correia did, is someone I’ll naturally see as an asshole whipping up hatred against me. You’ll pardon me if I summarize that by describing it as a “Vote Your Hate” campaign.

    If he’d said “show how frustrated you are” it might have come across as a “vote your frustration” campaign–but Correia is not going to go for accuracy if he can spit in your face instead. I think it’s a dominance thing with him.

    I accept that there are undoubtedly Correia fans who were unmoved by the appeal to their hate, and who voted out of enthusiasm for Correia’s work (and Day’s–there really is no accounting for tastes and even one of my friends, who is absolutely a good person, liked Day’s novelette best). Thanks to the Vote Your Hate aspect of Correia’s approach we’ll never know how many.

    “flying off the handle over new ideas about gender”

    I frequently see this claim leveled, and it’s also pretty risible. Clearly Correia (and even moreso Vox Day) are not too impressed by Alex McFarlaine’s take on “non-default binary”and they mock it, but to call it “flying off the handle” – implying they just can’t handle uppity women or something – is disingenuous.

    4,00 words of rant is flying off the handle. If what he wanted to say was “I suppose you thought it went without saying but just so it doesn’t get overlooked, it is vitally important to write a good story also” you can say that in a sentence. I just did. Or if you want to say “I think gender is more deeply essential than you are giving it credit for” you can do that in a sentence also, expressing disagreement without flying off the handle. I just did. So not only can I *conceive* of disagreeing without flying off the handle, I’ve just demonstrated how easy it is to do it. If that is really what a writer wants to do.

    As for loosing our shit, assholes can make pretty much anyone angry; film at eleven.

    I think Alex McFarlaine’s essay was embarrassingly ignorant and silly as well. Am I “flying off the handle”?

    Nope. You kept it brief and to the point, disagreed with the idea (mostly) rather than attacking the writer, didn’t accuse people completely outside the disagreement of lying, or prejudice, or trying to kill the SF field, nor did you sneer at the disabled. Well done. Perhaps you should give Larry, or the next Sad Puppy spokesman if they choose someone other than Larry, a few pointers.

    “and taunting the disabled in public doesn’t help”

    The crack about scooters was one of his shots at overweight people. Not nice, but it would be more accurate to say he’s taunting fat people.

    Because disabled people don’t use scooters? I have some difficult news for you; perhaps you’d better sit down…

    Not to mention that fat shaming is also pretty poor character. And, what may matter more to people who just want to see Conservative SF/F win Hugos, likely to piss off those fans who are fat. Given that about a third of the population is fat, I’m not sure you can afford to alienate that demographic. If character doesn’t enter into it for you. Just saying.

    I would not disagree that it shows a lack of sensitivity, but characterizing it as you do as “taunting the disabled” when he is clearly not aiming it at any actual disabled people is deliberately disingenuous,

    How shall I put this. If he’d called them all Jews instead, would it have been okay because they’re mostly not Jews? Or would it have demonstrated an attitude toward Jews that makes it hard to think well of him? However you want to phrase that reaction, now apply it to disabled people.

    Does he get a lot of mileage out of the idea of making liberal “heads explode”? Yeah, but if you can’t read that as tongue-in-cheek,

    See above: “I fully understand they mean “make me very unhappy” not “kill me.”

    then I guess all his opponents who were saying very similar things …. they were just voting their hate, right?

    See above: “assholes can make anyone angry; film at eleven.”

  16. Amadan says:

    Cat,

    You seem to be doing a lot of projection and/or mindreading. Maybe you are right that Correia is deeply insecure and privately gnashing his teeth that he’s not getting a Hugo, but I think you’re just hoping that’s the case. I’ve read what he writes, and if it’s all a mask to conceal his true feelings, he’s an awfully good actor.

    But when he asks, throws a fit about how we’re prejudiced because we won’t give him one

    Again, this is simply not factual or honest. Please show me where Correia has ever claimed that it’s only because of prejudice that he personally hasn’t won a Hugo.

    4,00 words of rant is flying off the handle.

    When does a rebuttal become a rant? I mean, you’re responding at great length to me here, based on a few brief words of disagreement. Are you ranting? Are you flying off the handle?

    It takes more than a lot of words to constitute “flying off the handle.” The actual words matter.

    Nope. You kept it brief and to the point, disagreed with the idea (mostly) rather than attacking the writer, didn’t accuse people completely outside the disagreement of lying, or prejudice, or trying to kill the SF field, nor did you sneer at the disabled. Well done.

    Well gosh, thanks. But you are again lumping a bunch of things together, not all of which are true. For my edification, if I did write a 4,000-word essay about why I think McFarlane’s rant (can I call it a rant? after all, you’re established that logic and tone have nothing to do with whether or not an opinion piece is a rant) is nonsense, would that mean I’m flying off the handle? Even if I refrained from making cracks about scooters?

    How shall I put this. If he’d called them all Jews instead, would it have been okay because they’re mostly not Jews? Or would it have demonstrated an attitude toward Jews that makes it hard to think well of him? However you want to phrase that reaction, now apply it to disabled people.

    Leaving aside the inappropriateness of comparing Jews to fat people, you are missing the point. The actual thrust of his comment was “Some of my critics are lazy fat-asses.” Which, I agree, is kind of mean. But what you are trying to represent it as (“Disabled people are subhuman and deserve to be mocked!”) is dramatically worse, and thus dishonest. This kind of disingenuous demonization is exactly what I’m talking about. It’s not enough to criticize someone’s choice of words and say they are being unnecessarily insulting and perhaps not thinking about the impact they have on people who don’t deserve it – you have to imply that no, he is actually comparable to a Nazi.

    See above: “I fully understand they mean “make me very unhappy” not “kill me.”

    I was not suggesting that you believe he literally wants to splatter brain matter. Duh. I am suggesting that you believe (incorrectly) that jokes about “making liberals unhappy” means that that’s the real and only reason they nominate works by conservative authors.

    See above: “assholes can make anyone angry; film at eleven.”

    But they think you’re assholes. So…. basically it’s okay when you do it, but not when they do it, because you are good and they are evil? I see.

  17. Cat says:

    You’re quite right that the actual words matter. Here are some actual words:

    “If you can’t stomach the comments long enough to hear what a typical WorldCon voter sounds like, let me paraphrase: “Fantastic! I’m so sick of people actually enjoying books that are fun! Let’s shove more message fiction down their throats! My cause comes before their enjoyment! Diversity! Gay polar bears are being murdered by greedy corporations! Only smart people who think correct thoughts like I do should read books and I won’t be happy until my genre dies a horrible death! Yay!” (and if there is beeping noise in the background, that’s because they’re backing up their mobility scooter).”

    So he’s saying here that Hugo Voters 1) are so disgusting to read that it’s okay to ignore what they have to say 2) hate people enjoying fun books 3) don’t want most people to read 4) want SF/F to die out as a genre, 5) are disabled.

    1 is insulting, but arguably a matter of taste. 2-4 are both untrue, and insulting. 5 is just bizarre; Hugo Voters tend to be older, and thus more likely to be disabled, but the majority of them are still not using mobility scooters and what on earth does that have to do with anything anyway, except that if you lump it in with the rest of it, it’s plain he thinks being disabled reduces the value of someone’s opinion. That’s what makes a rant. The length contributes to it because it gives him a lot of space to say untrue insulting things. What also contributes to its ranting nature is that these lies about Hugo Voters have nothing to do with the question of whether it’s good for the stories we produce and enjoy to include characters outside the gender binary. He has wandered off the subject and onto his pet peeve: how dare the Hugo voters enjoy stories he doesn’t like. The last part is trying to be insulting but just gives us insight into a side of his character he might have preferred, in his wiser moments, not to display.

    I look at that and see a rant. I don’t even understand how someone else could say “oh, that’s totally a logical evaluation of the situation and has a neutral tone, and furthermore absolutely applies to whether stories with some characters outside the gender binary would be fun and interesting to read, or at least to let other people experiment with in peace even if it’s not exactly our thing.”

    It is perfectly appropriate to compare someone taunting people he didn’t like by saying they were Jews to someone taunting people he didn’t like by saying they were *disabled,* which is what he said, whatever you may assert he might have intended. I deliberately picked Jews as a group that, as far as I know, he has no reputation for insulting, so as not to pour gasoline on the flames. Also I thought they would be good because people in the US tend to believe that negatively stereotyping them 1) exists and 2) is prejudice. However, I can see why this might have led you to jump to the conclusion I was calling him a Nazi; if you find yourself more comfortable using another unfairly stereotyped group typically used, or used in the past, as an insult in the US–if he’d called them Irish, perhaps or Indians, or Wops?–feel free to do so.

    There are some really weird assumptions behind your assertion that he was actually taunting fat people in the first place, since it would require fat people and only fat people in mobility scooters to be lazy rather than disabled. Most people who can’t walk aren’t visibly legless. I had a trick knee for a while–torn cartilage–and there was nothing wrong with my knee from the outside. Even a doctor had to look at an MRI to see the problem, so I don’t see how you, or Larry, would be able to look at someone on a mobility scooter and say “oh they don’t really need that; they’re just lazy.” X-ray vision wouldn’t do it; you’d need MRI and possibly PET vision.

    Sure there are fat people on mobility scooters; there are fat people walking around without them also. And frankly, a mobility scooter has got to be so much hassle that you only use it if you can’t get along without it. I was on crutches for a while and I set them aside as soon as I possibly could because they were a pain in the ass. But they were a damn sight less of a pain than a scooter. I could at least open my own damn doors, and go up and down stairs, and sit in ordinary chairs. So logically it stands to reason that people–yes even fat people–who use mobility scooters do it because they just *can’t* do things the easy way. They’re people who can’t walk and stand, or who can do it for a little while but not all day. Bin there; it sucks. People being an ass to you about it makes it suck worse. I doubt that changes when they’re being an ass to you about it because you’re both disabled *and* fat.

    Now, once you can’t walk, it is really hard to get enough exercise. I had that problem with my trick knee, and I was motivated and otherwise in good physical shape at the time. So yeah, chances are you’ll gain weight. That’s not because you’re *not* disabled; it’s because you *are.*

    So he may have meant fat people–not that I’ve seen any evidence for that in his other writing, but I don’t read much of it at a time, so maybe–but what he said, was people on mobility scooters. That’s disabled people. If he did that by mistake, it was a startling piece of incompetence in a professional writer, and the kind of thing he could have avoided with a minimum of thought about what riding in a scooter is really like.

    Yes, I’m responding to you at length. I’m also sticking to the subject, avoiding insulting you despite the fact that you’ve been repeatedly calling me a liar (possibly imperfectly avoiding it in your eyes, but I have at least been trying), avoiding insulting people unrelated to the disagreement whom you like and I don’t, and avoiding bizarre exaggerations like saying anyone wants to stop people from reading.

    Nevertheless through sheer length, this exchange is probably starting to become tiresome for some people, so I’m going to taper it off here.

    Regarding whether Correia’s Vote Your Hate campaign made no difference because most Sad Puppies were uninfluenced by it, well, it’s going to be pretty hard to sort that out, so we’ll have to agree to disagree. I can certainly see why you believe it made no difference. But you know, something that makes no difference can be left out, and that would have been a good idea in this case.

  18. Amadan says:

    “I look at that and see a rant. I don’t even understand how someone else could say “oh, that’s totally a logical evaluation of the situation and has a neutral tone”

    Of course, I didn’t say that, but you just can’t characterize anyone who disagrees with you honestly, can you, Cat?

    I think his “evaluation of the situation” is logical if flawed – I think his tone is so sarcastic and over-the-top that to believe he actually thinks Hugo voters are concerned about “gay polar bears” requires either an extraordinary level of willful blindness, or just plain stupidity.

    ” how dare the Hugo voters enjoy stories he doesn’t like”

    And this is dishonest. Again.

    You’re really obsessed with the mobility scooter crack. Like it or not, a lot of jokes are made about Walmart shoppers who are (a) fat and (b) lazy and so ride around Walmart in their free scooters because they don’t want to walk. No, I don’t approve of such jokes because I know there is no way to tell whether or not any individual is actually disabled, fat or not. Hence I have agreed with you, multiple times, that Correia’s “joke” was not nice. But you are being willfully obtuse in thinking that the thrust of his admittedly mean punchline was to dehumanize people who are genuinely disabled. Do you think Correia is (a) actually unaware that some people are in fact disabled and need mobility scooters, or (b) thinks such people are lazy and should be knocked off their scooters?

    It was not comparable to making an anti-Semitic or racist joke, unless you classify “lazy fat people” as a marginalized minority, and I don’t.

    I’ve been repeatedly calling you a liar because you keep saying things that are dishonest. I have noticed you concern-trolling at practically every blog where this discussion is being had, Cat. You aren’t even correct (I do not claim in this case that you’re lying) about the “people I like.” I don’t like Larry Correia – I don’t know him, I don’t particularly dislike him, but I’m certainly not politically aligned with him. Even more so for Vox Day. The reason I’m engaging with you with such heat is because the dishonesty and self-righteousness of the “Left” with whom I am supposedly aligned and have until recently been sympathetic has become so unbearable that yeah, I actually find myself rooting for the Correias and the Days even when I disagree with them. When you people give me an urge to hoist the Jolly Roger and start slitting throats on my own side (that’s metaphorical, Cat, it’s not a threat – I have no intention of actually engaging in literal throat-slitting), I am sufficiently exercised to start telling off the people who want me to be their allies.