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Category Archives: culture

Sad Puppies – Still Sad, More Determined

Recently “Game of Thrones” author George R. R. Martin penned an essay on his site, expressing his hope for a reconciliation of sorts between the Sad Puppies and those who insist on keeping us on the outside. Maybe I’ve become jaded thanks to the Puppy Hugo fiasco of 2015, but the tone struck me as too benevolent by half, self-congratulatory, and as if GRRM had nothing at all to do with the rancor and bitterness of the past year. Sorry, I don’t buy it.

And maybe… just maybe… we’ll get our wish. Call me naive. Call me an innocent. Call me too trusting by half, too nice a guy to see how things really are… but, really, I am starting to have some hope. All over the internet, people are already talking about the Hugo Awards, making recommendations, discussing the work… the WORK, the things we love, the stuff that unites us instead of the stuff that divides us. I’ve been trying to do my part, here on my Not A Blog, and will continue to do so. Over at FILE 770, similar discussions are taking place. And on many other websites, blogs, and bulletin boards as well… including Sad Puppies 4.

Naive? Innocent? I’m not even going there. Needless to say, citing VILE 770 as somehow supportive of reconciliation is laughable, given the regular Puppy kicking that goes on there.

When GRRM first published his essay, my reaction was “Oh, he wants to show himself to be the benevolent, magnanimous Patron of Fandom.”

My friend Brad Torgersen, the force behind Sad Puppies 3 this past year, wrote an essay on his blog that echoes my sentiments on GRRM’s benevolence. Brad is a bit more generous than I am. He says he truly believes GRRM’s motives were pure. Maybe. I’m not going to try to read GRRM’s mind. I can only react to the tone of his essay. Go there and read it and decide for yourselves. And definitely stop by Brad’s place and read his post. And then go read the comments, because they demonstrate the profound lack of self awareness that we have all come to expect from the Puppy Kickers.

My perception — and I am not alone in this — of George’s desire for an end to the rancor, is that George still seems to think that a) the rancor was flowing almost entirely one-way, from the Puppies’ side to the Trufan side, and also b) none of the Puppies are themselves fans. Not Fans (caps f) and certainly not Trufans. No. Puppies are still an outsider bunch, who carry an outsider’s stigma.

There is also a bit too much parentalism in George’s tone: dear kids, I hope you’ve learned your lesson, now wipe those dirty looks off your faces and come give your mother a hug!

This. SO much this! That’s the feeling I get when I read GRRM’s essay. It wasn’t reconciliation. It was “You silly pups! See how wrong you were? We, magnanimous ones of TruFandom forgive you! Now, come. Play nice!”

Yeah… You know what? Fuck you. How about that?

The accusations, names, and rancor flew from the Puppy Kicker side like rabid pterodactyl shit. Accusations of Nazism, racism, misogyny, and other such lies. Personal rancor and attacks. The CHORFholes, and “No Awards.” The conflation of Sad Puppies and Rabid Puppies, whose missions were completely disparate, with Rabids publicly admitting they wanted to burn the Hugos down (I feel dirty just linking to that).  Vox and the Rabid Puppies glommed onto the Sad Puppies label and rode those coat tails to infamy. By attaching themselves to Sad Puppies, the Rabids became associated with the Sads, and the CHORFs were only too happy to conflate the two. Those who try to claim that the Puppies were the guilty parties in this fiasco need to look in the mirror and do a little self examination. But they don’t and they won’t, judging by the comments on Brad’s blog (check out the arrogant and willfully blind comments from one camestrosfelapton), and even GRRM’s own comment about who he thought “misbehaved” last year (see what Brad means about “give your mother a hug?”).

Sadly, I agree with Brad. No reconciliation will happen unless those involved in last year’s fiasco take several steps to remedy the kind of ignorance they helped perpetuate.

1) A very public admission by the establishment that the NO AWARD bombing of the 2015 Hugos was a gross error.

2) A very public admission by the establishment that the CHORFholes were also a gross error.

3) A very public apology from the establishment, for the deliberate conflation of the Sads, with the Rabids.

4) A cessation of the endless game of shibboleths and street cred checks, on the part of Trufans, as conducted against everybody else (looks hard at Steve Davidson.)

But they won’t. They’re too happy gloating how they allegedly stuck it to the Sad Puppies by using the “no award” at the Hugos and how Trufans won, and Sad Puppies lost. They’re too ignorant to understand what they really did.

The ladies who are heading up the Sad Puppies 4 effort are already getting excoriated and attacked, and the screeching scum at VILE 770 aren’t the only ones participating in the offensive. In other words, it will be same shit different day in the Puppy Kicker world. They don’t want diversity in SF/F. They want their pet causes to run the show, and they’re intent on vilifying the Sad Puppies to do so, regardless of how many fans they alienate, because to them, we’re not “real” fans anyway.

But you know what? They don’t matter. The howler monkeys of the SF/F world are impotent, foul little trolls, who will continue doing what they do in order to destroy those with whom they disagree and those whom they just don’t like. So the Sad Puppies will do what they do – nominate the authors, artists, publications, editors, and others they feel are the best, most entertaining, most interesting, and overall most worthy works of the year. We don’t need their permission, and we don’t need their approval.

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Interesting observation

I blogged about two things yesterday: the Davis toad and guns.

Now, granted the gun article was what I considered to be interesting media treatment of a hoplophobe in an apocalyptic environment, but I thought it was relevant, considering what a huge following “The Walking Dead” and its companion series, “Fear the Walking Dead” have. I find the media’s and the entertainment industries portrayal of a complete societal breakdown and its effects on numerous types of people (including those who refuse to acknowledge what’s happening, those who hate guns, those who are willing to victimize others, etc.) fascinating.

Politics is downstream from culture, and I think it’s vital that we understand how popular culture eventually impacts policy, as well as the political views of the public writ large.

And yet, the most heated discussion is taking place on a much more micro level. It’s Kim Davis that is getting all the press. It’s Kim Davis that’s getting all the hits on this blog. It’s the Kim Davis issue that’s getting the debate and the conversation.

Maybe the Davis issue is also a cultural one and deserves the debate. But she’s one person. One intransigent zealot, whose only claim to fame is the refusal to do her job, and brief imprisonment for contempt of court. And yet, she is the one that is causing contention in people who are otherwise allies on the majority of issues.

I don’t know about you guys, but I find this interesting. While this case will eventually have implications nationwide, I find social issues to be generally less critical to the survival of the republic. And frankly, had this case not been littering every news report, my Facebook timeline, my Twitter feed, and every other website I visit, I doubt I would have given it the time of day.

Maybe it’s just me, but Kim Davis just never interested me all that much. And yet, even though I published both posts around the same time of day, the Davis post is the one with scores of comments, while the post I, personally, find more interesting is barely getting a glance.

What I really hate about the Davis issue is that it has become so contentious, it’s causing a rift between people who generally otherwise are allies. There are some good, intelligent comments in response to that entry, but at the same time, I’m frustrated that someone whose only claim to fame is using the cover of religion to discriminate against people at least some of whom ostensibly put her in power and pay her salary, is causing said split when there are bigger, more important issues we face as a country.

The economy.

Resurgent Russia.

ISIL and terrorism writ large.

Soaring debt levels.

Possible government shutdown without a continuing resolution to keep the doors open, so to speak.

And never forget, we still have troops in Afghanistan. We still have service members dying in the war against terror. We still have security issues with which we must deal. But here we are… discussing Kim Davis. At least a good chunk of my distaste for this woman comes from this fact. It’s a micro issue in a world where macro problems are, by definition, much more significant.

Anyway, if anyone has a good analysis of the reason why this Davis woman is so much more interesting to discuss than issues such as gun control, foreign policy, national security, etc., please let me know. I’d love to get some insight.

Because, frankly, I’m a bit flummoxed.

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