Domain Query: A VFM's response, pt. 1


During l'affair de Gallo a few months back, I posted a write-up in which I argued, among other things, that a boycott of Tor Books and Tor Online is not only permissible, but perfectly justified, in light of certain, shall we say, injudicious remarks made by an employee of Tor. This garnered the attention of a commenter who went by at least two different handles in his response- "Steven Schwarz" and "imnotandrei".

For those who (quite understandably) can't be bothered to go back and read the whole thing only to get to the comments at the bottom, I reproduce the entire conversation here, in full:

Steven Schwarz, June 10th 2015:
"Let me state for the record that I commend Mr. Doherty for graciously and clearly noting that neither Sad Puppies nor Rabid Puppies are about promoting racism, misogyny, or homophobia." 
Actually, he noted that it was not for the purpose of promoting straight white men. That is a different thing. 
Given that Vox Mustela has argued, repeatedly, that RP is part of his culture war, combined with the fact that his culture war *is* "about promoting racism, misogyny, or homophobia.", then Rabid Puppies, at least, *is* about precisely what you falsely claim Tom Doherty said it wasn't about. :) 
"In labeling the Puppies, Gamergate, and the supporters of both movements "neo-nazis", 
Actually, if you look at words like "respectively", "some", etc., you get a much different picture. She compared the Sad Puppies to extreme right-wingers (which, for much of the First World, they are) -- and the Rabids to neo-nazis. One can argue that Vox Mustela is not precisely a neo-nazi; that he is instead a reactionary xenophobic misogynist homophobe of a different flavor than nazi -- but it is an argument, not a clear and simple libel. If that were a libel, then every single Republican commentator who's described Obama as a "Marxist" is far more guilty. 
"[Vox Mustela] has been all over this issue since it first broke a few days ago" 
Given that he broke it, at a time and place of his choosing, having sat on it for weeks, this is not surprising. I am shocked, shocked to find out that he's paying attention to something that he chose to bring up.

"then Ms. Gallo absolutely should be fired for going far beyond the pale of protected free speech and openly defaming us."

Well, let's see; the leaders of the Puppy movement are all published authors, hence public figures. This does set the bar rather higher -- and since, as established above, Mr. Beale and many of those complaining about her have been either deliberately or cluelessly misreading what she actually said, libel would be very difficult to prove. 
"My friends, this will not stand. I, and others like me, have tolerated and will tolerate many things, right up to and including the initiation of physical violence, by those who oppose us- but now we have been pushed too far, and we are responding in no uncertain terms. Calling the Puppies "neo-nazis", given that several active-duty and retired US military personnel are on both slates, is the last straw. We will strike hard, strike home, and exact justice for this egregious insult." 
And I presume you will call for the removal of the publisher of Castalia House, whose comments about con-going fandom were just as terrible and offensive, let alone his comments about other subsections of his potential audience? 
And given that at least one slated individual, an ex-military person, has publically stated the correctness and right of killing anyone of a particular political group he disagrees with before they could take office, and who feels the Fascists were very unjustly maligned, why do you think that being a member of the Armed Forces is a defense against an accurate accusation of neo-Naziism? Being a soldier does not guarantee in any way your purity. 
I will also point out that it was just last week that the very possibility of someone writing bad reviews on Amazon, thus damaging someone's potential earnings because of what they said (rather than what they did as an author/other professional) was being declared a terrible, terrible crime -- and now, because of what someone said, the calls are out to get them *fired*? 
Consistency, it is lacking.
Didact, June 11th, 2015
Actually, he noted that it was not for the purpose of promoting straight white men. 
Read the rest of that paragraph of Mr. Doherty's statement: 
"Each Puppies’ slate of authors and editors included some women and writers of color, including Rajnar Vajra, Annie Bellet, Kary English, Toni Weisskopf, Ann Sowards, Megan Gray, Sheila Gilbert, Jennifer Brozek, Cedar Sanderson and Amanda Green. Some of the authors on the Sad Puppy slate have been published by Tor and Tor.com, including Kevin J. Anderson, John C. Wright, Ed Lerner and Michael F. Flynn. Many, many Hugo Award nominees and winners are our authors too, including Kevin J. Anderson, John C. Wright and Katherine Addison this year[...]" 
Actually, if you look at words like "respectively", "some", etc., you get a much different picture. She compared the Sad Puppies to extreme right-wingers (which, for much of the First World, they are) -- and the Rabids to neo-nazis. 
This is hair-splitting given Ms. Gallo's very next sentence. 
One can argue that Vox Mustela is not precisely a neo-nazi; that he is instead a reactionary xenophobic misogynist homophobe of a different flavor than nazi -- but it is an argument, not a clear and simple libel. 
He is a reactionary. For that matter, so am I. Where is your evidence that he is xenophobic, a misogynist, or homophobic, given that he is a Zionist, happily married with children, and allows gay commenters on both of his blogs? Moreover, where is your evidence that he is a neo-nazi, if you are willing to make that argument? 
There is substantial anecdotal and empirical evidence that shows that Obama is not merely trained in economic Marxism, but cultural Marxism as well. 
And I presume you will call for the removal of the publisher of Castalia House 
Vox Day and Markku Koponen own Castalia House. They cannot be removed from what they already own. They can be penalised for treating their customers badly through the simple laws of the market- which, in my experience, they have never done. 
Based on what evidence do you accuse Vox or Markku of making terrible and offensive comments about convention-going fans? 
And given that at least one slated individual, an ex-military person, has publically stated the correctness and right of killing anyone of a particular political group he disagrees with before they could take office, and who feels the Fascists were very unjustly maligned, why do you think that being a member of the Armed Forces is a defense against an accurate accusation of neo-Naziism? 
I presume you are referring to Lt. Col. Tom Kratman. Where is your evidence? 
I will also point out that it was just last week that the very possibility of someone writing bad reviews on Amazon, thus damaging someone's potential earnings because of what they said (rather than what they did as an author/other professional) was being declared a terrible, terrible crime -- and now, because of what someone said, the calls are out to get them *fired*? 
Amazon reviewers posting fake reviews are acting in their own capacity as private individuals to abuse a publicly available system of information for their own purposes. They are able to do so under pseudonyms. That is their right, Constitutionally protected. That they seek to abuse that right is their problem and failing. 
When Ms. Gallo, as a public and recognisable face of her compnay [sic], insults both customers and clients of the same under her own name, she should either apologise, or resign. It's Customer Service 101- don't piss off the people who buy your product. That is a firing offence in most companies, including mine- but apparently not at Tor.
I then charged Mr. Schwarz- I presume my interlocutor is male- to come up with evidence for the allegations that he had made against Vox Day, Tom Kratman, and others in his response to my writing.

Somewhat to my surprise, he did so. Annoyingly, he did it under a different handle, but no matter, here is the full text of that reply:

imnotandrei, June 11th 2015:
"Actually, if you look at words like "respectively", "some", etc., you get a much different picture. She compared the Sad Puppies to extreme right-wingers (which, for much of the First World, they are) -- and the Rabids to neo-nazis.

 
This is hair-splitting given Ms. Gallo's very next sentence." 
The next sentence: "They are unrepentantly racist, misogynist, and homophobic." 
Let's see -- if we apply that to people who are Puppy leaders -- the ELoE, as they describe themselves (facetiously, obviously) --



Mr. Correia -- I lack enough evidence at the moment to say, but could go digging.

Mr. Torgerson -- at least 1 out of three, and I would be utterly unsurprised by 2 or 3 out of three. Indeed, since he has argued that most of the recent winners of the Hugos were "affirmative action" votes, implying they couldn't have won on their own merits, this could easily bring us to 3 of 3.

Mr. Beale -- 3 of 3.

Mr. Wright -- 3 of 3.

Mr. Kratman -- at least 2 of 3. 
By the standards of evidence established by Mr. "SJWs always lie" Beale, and Mr. "affirmative action Hugos" Torgerson, that statement certainly holds up. 
"One can argue that Vox Mustela is not precisely a neo-nazi; that he is instead a reactionary xenophobic misogynist homophobe of a different flavor than nazi -- but it is an argument, not a clear and simple libel.

 
He is a reactionary. For that matter, so am I. Where is your evidence that he is xenophobic, a misogynist, or homophobic, given that he is a Zionist, happily married with children, and allows gay commenters on both of his blogs? Moreover, where is your evidence that he is a neo-nazi, if you are willing to make that argument?" 
I am going to start by making a more general statement: I don't know if you're willfully blind, or simply ignorant here. 
(and please note, I am not attributing any of the below quotes to individuals -- they are exemplars, not direct references.) 
Saying "I have a gay commenter" does not mean one is not homophobic. If someone says "Oh, blacks are on average inferior to whites, but I know this one really cool outlier! He's my friend!" they're still racist. "Oh, women are great around the house, but I mean, they couldn't handle doing real work?" is something many married men have said. It doesn't mean they're not sexist. 
Also: Being a "zionist" when your idea is "get them all in their own country so they're not in others" is not a sign of being pro-semitic. As for xenophobic: " the idea of the functional multi-ethnic society is not long for this world." -- that is about the definition of xenophobia. 
I can also link you here, for more evidence on Beale's commentary: http://file770.com/?p=23032&cpage=8#comment-278980 
"There is substantial anecdotal and empirical evidence that shows that Obama is not merely trained in economic Marxism, but cultural Marxism as well."
 
Someone being trained in something, or having once been something, does not mean they are now. After all, if that were the case, I'd be a libertarian Republican. :) 
In all seriousness, you should try talking to even socialists -- not full-bore Marxists -- and see what they think of Obama. Hint -- he's a democratic centralist.
imnotandrei, June 11th 2015, continued:
"Based on what evidence do you accuse Vox or Markku of making terrible and offensive comments about convention-going fans?" 
Vox, from a post May 19, 2015: "You have not seen true human wreckage until you've been to a science fiction convention. I've seen physically and psychologically healthier people on reservations and in refugee camps; one can hardly blame them for being drawn to escapism." 
And before you go rattling on about context, it is very clear from the rest of the post that he's not just talking about a few people.

 
"And given that at least one slated individual, an ex-military person, has publically stated the correctness and right of killing anyone of a particular political group he disagrees with before they could take office, and who feels the Fascists were very unjustly maligned, why do you think that being a member of the Armed Forces is a defense against an accurate accusation of neo-Naziism? 


I presume you are referring to Lt. Col. Tom Kratman. Where is your evidence?" 
Tom Kratman: "It is never wrong to kill a socialist when socialism gets close to the levers of power; it is always an act of legitimate self defense." -- comment in one of his EveryJoe posts. If you dig around further you will find him vigorously defending Italian Fascism. 
"Just to pick an example.

"I will also point out that it was just last week that the very possibility of someone writing bad reviews on Amazon, thus damaging someone's potential earnings because of what they said (rather than what they did as an author/other professional) was being declared a terrible, terrible crime -- and now, because of what someone said, the calls are out to get them *fired*? 


Amazon reviewers posting fake reviews are acting in their own capacity as private individuals to abuse a publicly available system of information for their own purposes. They are able to do so under pseudonyms. That is their right, Constitutionally protected. That they seek to abuse that right is their problem and failing." 
The complaint has been levied not only at people posting so-called "fake" reviews (indeed, the person most often blamed for that specifically said "read the works, and then, if you feel like it, review them.) but people posting honest reviews that are simply bad. 
Indeed, it does not seem to have occurred to people that forcing them (by saying, in effect, to honorably vote for the Hugos, you have) to read works, they should expect that they won't get the same level of "Oooh, wow!" praise from people who picked up the work coming from other people who liked it.

 
"When Ms. Gallo, as a public and recognisable face of her compnay, insults both customers and clients of the same under her own name, she should either apologise, or resign." 
She did apologize for painting with too broad a brush. Since her statement is true in reference to many of the leaders of the Puppy movement, there's no need to apologize beyond that. 
"It's Customer Service 101- don't piss off the people who buy your product. That is a firing offence in most companies, including mine- but apparently not at Tor." 
And here we're back. While I know that authors are not the same as employees, they are often the *more* public face of the company. So, for example, should Tor drop John C. Wright, as he has certainly managed to piss off many people who buy Tor's product? 
If not, can you explain why not for any reason other than "One is, under tax law, an employee, while the other is an independent contractor"?
Based on what you already know of the people mentioned by Steve/imnotandrei/whatever- Brad Torgersen, Larry Correia, John C. Wright, Vox Day, etc.- see if you can spot the various errors of fact, logic, and interpretation made above. I will respond in my own good time over the coming days.

I should admit at this point that I really ought to have responded much sooner. There are two reasons why I didn't.

First, I am basically lazy about most things if I have a reason to be lazy about them. This blog is no exception. And since this is my blog, under my rules, then beyond the norms of common courtesy, I honestly couldn't care less about whether or not people feel as though they are responded to in a timely fashion.

If that makes me a jerk, well, so be it.

Second, subsequent events have shown that the Puppies leaders were right, and that the Hugos have effectively descended into a pathetic, cliquish industry circle-jerk that heavily favours women and progressives against men and conservatives, led by people whose characters are so devalued and disgusting that they are unworthy of even the effort it would take to spit upon them.

Now, if the awards were given on the basis of the quality of the works being presented, there would be no reason at all to argue with this state of things. I would have no argument whatsoever with a science-fiction book trying to deliver a serious message, if it turned out to be good literature.

There is a reason why I think so highly of Starship Troopers, for instance- that book is the very epitome of message fiction. Yet it is also a phenomenally good read, and introduced multiple innovations into the genre that are still cornerstones of the military sci-fi canon to this day.

But we know, from the SJW reaction to the Puppies slates, that the quality of the works in question is not their primary concern. And that has been the case for at least fifteen years.

For example, works by John C. Wright and Tom Kratman were both nominated for the category of "Best Novella". I have read two of those works- "Big Boy Don't Cry" and "One Bright Star To Guide Them"- and consider them to be outstanding pieces of SF/F writing. Both works are attacked regularly by SJWs because they were written by God-fearing Christian political conservatives.

Meanwhile, Lines of Departure by Marko Kloos- an avowed liberal who has publicly called Vox Day "a sh*tbag of the first order" (which to his credit he later retracted)- was withdrawn from the Hugo nominations process by its author, because apparently he felt uncomfortable that he was being nominated for political reasons.

That is flatly untrue. He was being nominated by us Rabid Puppies because his work is really damn good- I've read that book and I think well of it.

As to the specific charges brought by imnotandrei above, as I said, I'll respond to them over the next week or so, if and when I'm able. Unlike the Supreme Dark Overlord of our movement, I have a full-time job working for someone else, so my ability to respond to things at length is limited.

(Also, unlike him, I don't have a dungeon full of screaming SJWs gibbering frantically for a few more moments of precious life before His Unspeakable Evilness flays their soul from their bodies, turns their skins into heads for his war-drums, and fashions their skulls into drinking goblets. I'm working on it, but you have to understand that there are significant sunk costs associated with building such a thing.)

Comments

  1. "racist", etc.

    They keep using those words - but I don't think they mean what they think they mean.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my genre. Prepare to die."

      Delete
  2. Schwartz is an idiot; there's no other word that fits. He's also a liar. My "vigorous defense of Italian fascism" was to point out that, while communism, as with all forms of leftism, believes in the mutability of man and the primacy of what they allege to be reason, fascism, as near as I can tell, is based on the presumption that man is primarily an emotional creature, not a reasoning one, and that all the symbols, the parades, the music, etc., is an attempt to harness that emotional nature to increase harmony, productivity, and security. To the extent that is is based on man as he is, rather than a lefty fantasy of what they wish they could turn man into, it is more logical that communism. This is not to claim, however, that it is desirable. Apparently to Schwartz, that is a vigorous defense. (I'm sure that, even though he's an idiot, he knows it's not a defense at all, but lies - lies automatically and compulsively - to suit the narrative.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sir, may I say that it is a singular honour to see you comment here at this pokey little blog.

      Since your response speaks directly to the accusations leveled against you, I will incorporate them into my response in the near future.

      For the record, after doing a little investigating and searching, I can only agree with your statements above. There is no evidence that your statements about Italian Fascism amount to anything that could possibly be interpreted as a "vigourous defence" under even the most tortured definition of the term.

      Also, off-topic- would you be able to provide any details at all as to when the next book in the Carrera series will be out? The Rods and the Axe was terrific, I can't wait for the sequel.

      Delete
    2. Oh, and you're quite welcome.

      Delete

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