Tuesday, April 21, 2015

In Which I Talk About The Hugo Controversy

     I had a much longer post written, one that went into much greater detail and then I thought, "Nope.  Scroom."

     Brad R. Torgerson gives every indication of being a good man, who made a sincere effort to pick suggested nominees based on literary merit.

     Sadly, a random -- accidental, in fact -- sample of "Puppy" supporters, encountered on the Facebook page of a person very much in the "Sad Puppies" camp rather than "Rabid..." left a much less pleasant impression with me:
    Four in five argued that there is a single objective definition of "Science Fiction and Fantasy," and attempted to support this assertion with the tired Limbaughian slogan, "Words mean things!"  Yes, they do -- a lot of things.  SF/F is what consumers of the stuff buy, period.  It's subjective.  Interestingly, none of them put forward a definition -- I guess we'd have to pass it to find out what was in it?
     Addressing a story they did not care to see on the Hugo ballot, all five would not discuss specific points and at least four gave little evidence of having read the story, only paraphrasing distorted reviews; four put forward notions that are not supported by the actual text (those words, the ones that mean things, suddenly had become dogwhistles, flexible and cunning!)
     Four in five appeared to believe that no one could sincerely hold an opinion different to their own.
    One in five contributed only insults and put-downs.
    One in five made claims of membership in a group strongly correlated with hardcore racists.
    ETA: Another one in five was reasonable and decent, and simply disagreed about some things without making accusations. 

     Random Facebook sample.  Might as well be backing chariot-racing teams in Byzantium.

     I have seen as bad from minions of the Old Hugo Guard,* at times more competently executed, including "poison pen" press releases.  (The same old "choice:" Stupid Party or Evil Party?  They'll both revile you if you pick None Of The Above.)

     "Groupthink (Right-wing)" replacing "Groupthink (Left-wing)" doesn't fix the basic Groupthink problem. Neither does the solution Justinian used for the Nika riots -- for the Hugos, that would be voting "No Award."

     SF Fandom is neither "Just A G--d--- Hobby" nor "A Way Of Life."  It's a stinking cesspool.

    Oh, well, Sturgeon's Law tells us everything is 95% crap.
* Yes, yes, they've been tagged "Social Justice Warriors" -- which is no more accurate than claiming all "Puppy" supporters are sexists and racists.  Blue!  Green!  Nika!  --Tell it to the Marines.