Thursday, April 24, 2014

The laffs keep on coming

Theodore Beale, better known as Vox Day, made it onto the ballot of the 2014 Hugo Award nominees. Needless to say, the rabbit people think this is outrageous, outrageous! The most delicious portion of this brouhaha concerns John Scalzi's rather mild call to judge literary works on their merits rather than the personal character of their authors. His fellow rabbits rather viciously turned on him. I'd have to say that this one is one of my personal favorites:
It is not surprising that there is a demographic correlation wrt these fandoms, as many people like to see protagonists who are like themselves. It is also no big secret that Golden Age works often tend to other, exclude, and dismiss Diversity Age Fans. Nevertheless, there is an overlap between these fandoms. Perhaps instead of talking about a binary split, we can talk about a continuum between these two axes; a continuum of values and interests that maps loosely but not precisely onto demographics. Some people can hold positions that overlap with both axes. A white, cisgendered, heterosexual man can certainly be a Diversity Age fan.
However, the position of a white, cisgendered, heterosexual man is a demographic position of privilege and power both in fandom and without it. Within the Golden Age umbrella, this demographic has been the one primarily fronted through narratives, power structures, promotion through mainstream presses, and other venues of power. This demographic position of power is not automatically dismantled or disappears within Diversity Age fandom – on the contrary, we see a flow of social capital from fans, in form of sales, praise, and support, towards such powerful fans who side with Diversity Age positions.
...It is my opinion that such conciliatory voices from prominent personae who are 1) power brokers in our communities and 2) considerably less marginalized than the diverse fans and authors they are championing – are not helping the cause of marginalized and othered Diversity Age authors and fans. In these statements there is often an embedded tone argument, an entreaty to Diversity Age fans to play nice with people who explicitly or implicitly dehumanize and more yet, threaten violence against them. Such conciliatory language from power brokers suggests story lines for the whole community to align with – storylines whose buzzwords are “reason,” “respectability,” and “merit.”
But these “voices of reason” may not speak fully for Diversity Age fans, because the very notion of such reason and its objectivity is a Western ideal (and by extent white, male, and historically entrenched ideal within the power structures of the West) which we are thereby encouraged to adopt. The ideal of objective merit might seem desirable at first glance, because we are socialized to desire it. In fact, the adoption of this ideal is dangerous: it suppresses non-Western, non-cisgendered-male modes of thinking and communicating, and imposes a mainstream, power paradigm upon the marginalized – it often has, in short, a silencing effect.
There's really only one response one can make to that:

All joking aside, think about what they're saying. Attempting to judge a work of art "objectively" is itself a piece of cismale heterosexual white Western privilege to them. The personal is always political. If the author is guilty of doubleplus ungood crimethink, then he must be silenced, shunned, and denied a platform. That was the thinking behind Vox's expulsion from the SFWA. How'd that work out for you kids? It's ironic that this attitude is so prevalent among people who write science-fiction for a living, because if their brand of extreme liberalism became the norm, civilization itself would be impossible.

The Hugo Awards are essentially a popularity contest within the SF/F community. Authors can and do actively campaign for their favored colleagues, or even themselves. Personally, I think the real scandal is all fourteen volumes of the Wheel of Time series showing up on the "Best Novel" ballot. I'm not especially concerned with who wins. This isn't about arguing that Vox should win based on the merits. This is part of the larger fight against liberalism. I don't want to just take the red pill and save myself. I want the whole damn Matrix burned to the ground.

3 comments:

  1. All of the people Scalzi linked to that disagree are non white women. In other words the Science that SF is based on has little or nothing to do with them. If the straight white guys these people obviously hate ever decide to stop playing fair, all of them will deeply regret their complaining. I personally love it. because it show just how insane the rabbits have become.

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  2. Seeing as how we reactionary types label out enemies rabbits and hamsters, I think it appropriate to redeem rodent kind by adopting one as our own mascot. Boetel would doubtless choose the ferret, but I am partial to squirrels. Squirrels have high time preferences, working hard to store nuts for the winter. In addition, they reside in tree top estates from which they can observe the forest society below while barking out scathing commentary.

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    1. Pretty funny. I might have to shamelessly steal it, ha.

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