Puppies …

No, I’m not doing a post about young canines.  I wish I were, actually; instead I shall be venting some steam on a matter.

I know I write romances, but I’m also a fan of speculative fiction.  This means I tend to be somewhat aware of what’s going on around the matters of WorldCon and the Hugo awards.

For those of my readers (is it pretentious to actually think of anyone who follows this blog or reads my books as “fans”?) who don’t keep up with the SF/F universe this post might not interest you, but you may wish to keep reading anyway if you like reality TV a la Jerry Springer and … buggered if I know, I really haven’t watched TV since 2002 in any capacity that is worth considering.

Oh my gods, where to begin?  Look, if you keep up with this stuff can I assume you’re familiar with the vitriolic, misogynistic, sociopathic troll who calls himself Vox Day?  (No, seriously, this is me being my usual sunny and kind, sweet self … if I weren’t I’m pretty sure I’d have to resort to Russian and German as English lacks the requisite vocabulary to voice my thoughts)  Is it also safe to assume that you’re marginally familiar with the Sad Puppies and the Rabid Puppies?

If not, you can get a really awesome education about them on the blogs of Messrs John Scalzi and George R R Martin.

I just want to chime in with this:  What the fuck guys?!  I mean, seriously?!

There.  Okay, first off, you really spoil your arguments when you can’t keep your story straight from one day to the next.  It doesn’t.  If it’s about diversity in the genre, then stick with that and when it’s pointed out that you’re idiots because Exhibit A, B, C, D … QQ, RR … ZZ1ZZ4%3ERT, etc then just sit down and shut up.

Do not, instead, decide that it’s about bringing back the good ol’ adventure yarn in place of “message fic” (also do not knock “message fic” while it is possible to witness the orgasmic pleasure you derive by merely typing the name Robert A Heinlein, it REALLY spoils your point), but then start bitching that things don’t qualify when numerous items are pointed out, but those items just happen to have females who play a role other than damsel in distress (Uh, one word for you, buddies, little thing you probably never heard of from the early 20th century Triplanetary … she wasn’t a damsel in distress), characters who incidentally are gay or trans or black or fuchsia or vegetarian or ¼ amphibian … If you’re trying to claim you aren’t over-privileged, white-supremacist, homophobic, transphobic, etc it’d help if you didn’t call things that are exactly the old-fashioned classic adventure yarn you claim to want “message fic about gay issues [for example]” just because a character is gay.  Trust me, there’s a difference between a character being gay and a story dealing with gay issues.  My stories touch on gay issues, they aren’t strictly about them, and in SF/F there frequently is the conceit that the society has no gay issues in the first place (some of the talented Ed Greenwood‘s work, for example).

Just … no.  The whole thing?  You can’t have a secret cabal of 8000 people dictating an award you can’t even make up your mind if it is relevant & important or not.  You certainly can’t say various different authors giving non-identical lists of books they liked which number more items than can be Hugo finalists are setting up the ballots and then turn around and create slates of specific items that should be nominated and voted into certain orders.  No.  Just, are you people serious?  Also, you’re authors, have you ever heard of using capital letters?  What are you all … was it Hemmingway who never touched his shift key? [Edit:  Apparently that’s E E Cumming, either way no one I liked trying to read]

Of course these clowns won’t read my post.  It’d be funny if they did, not.  First off, I’m a woman, so they wouldn’t take this seriously, they’d just leave trollish comments that I wouldn’t bother to approve unless they’ve started leaving more intelligent comments than the last ones I saw elsewhere.  I’m trans, so they’d have terrible things to say which would probably make me cry and then my wife would be in jail for murder because she lacks the requisite subtlety (especially when angry) to make sure the case is of “a missing person presumed dead” instead.  Oh, and I’m a lesbian, and they’re pretty ugly about that too.  And I don’t write SF/F so somehow this makes my opinion about the genre I’ve loved most of my life invalid (I was born in 1981 and have a few fragments of memory of seeing Return of the Jedi in a cinema for crying out loud!).

Oh, this would be further evidence that their own arguments are invalid given that they are often so dismissive of people who are openly Other.

P.S.  Question:  If I ever were to win a Hugo, since Færie Patrol books would qualify for it even if the genre rarely gets any attention at WorldCon … would it be wrong of me to make some kind of off colour joke about the trophy and its profound resemblance to a sex toy?  Something like “Cool … are batteries included?  Where’re the speed controls?” 😇

Why the cruelty?

Planned Parenthood volunteers help bring the f...

Planned Parenthood volunteers help bring the fight for health insurance reform to the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I don’t propose to have an answer.  I’m just contemplating a question that I simply have to get off my chest — one that’s not new to humanity, and is probably a good deal of the basis of both religion and philosophy throughout history:  why are we such horrible bastards to one another?!

Differences are often cited.  Oh, let’s look down on him because he’s gay, on her because she’s pink, that thing over there because … I don’t know what the hell it is!  He’s Russian, she’s Polish, that other guy is South African … He supports the Raiders, she’s a 49ers fan.  North, south, Asian, Cuban … all of that.  Rivalry, in the end — misunderstanding, fear of the unknown.  This is fairly easy to comprehend, even if it is completely idiotic.

But in other places.  Mac vs PC; God forfend that a musician ever become popular — especially a female one, writers … art in general really.  The venom is … wow.

Take, for example, something I saw last night when I happened to be logged into Facebook:  it was a video someone made of a woman who bore not the slightest resemblance to Lorde singing atrociously (possibly with a man’s voice dubbed over, I wasn’t quite sure) and it was being billed as “Lorde’s Grammy performance of her hit Royals without autotune” or something on that line.  I mean, it’d be one thing if this were like The Onion or Daily Mail or other humour tabloid.  It’d be a cruel joke, but still clearly a joke.  This didn’t strike me as a joke site, just a supposed music news and discussion site.  Before that I’d meet people who seemed to genuinely want Taylor Swift to die a horrible death.  PC and Linux fans who sneer at Mac & OSX users as though they were routinely eating infants in the town square.  Some of the Mac users acting littler better, to be fair.

It’s in other places too — people being dehumanised for disagreeing.  It’s not always one sided, though at times it can be.  Pro-Life versus Pro-Choice, for example, is one that can get pretty one sided.  The Pro-Life crowd routinely treats the Choice crowd as murderers (calling them that, actually) and things — even people who’ve never had an abortion, painting the Choice crowd as people who want all women to abort all babies … it goes on, and I’m paraphrasing real slogans, signs, memes, quotes, etc.  Can be one sided, not is; the Choicers can sometimes call the Lifers some pretty awful things too, but in general their slogans and quotes are science or law, etc.  Vax vs Non-Vax.  Oy!  Bring up the Holy (or Evil) Vaccine and you would think you just started a service to Satan in the middle of Vatican City!  Again, both sides can be rather mean, but the pro-vaccines crowd so often dehumanises the non-vax crowd who are in turn only quoting science and statistics … the anti-vax crowd (a different group) … they tend to be dehumanising the pro-vax crowd too.

Frankly, it’d all be almost entertaining — I mean, there’s got to be a reason Jerry Springer has been on the air for so long.  But it’s somehow different with things like that, where you know/suspect that it’s staged.  This is real, and therefore so much more tragic and awful.  I won’t say what side I’m on for Vaccines, Abortion, etc.  I’ll just say that both sides are really quite rude to each other, but one side is more consistently rude and cruel while the other resorts to data — fact or fiction, they resort to data.

WHY!?  WHY must it happen?  In all the millenia that the human race has existed why must we shout at each other over things that are, all too often, none of our damned business!?  Why must things be turned into arguments, and why do those arguments have to turn into wars (regardless if bullets fly, and all too often they do … or bombs explode — come on folks, how is C4 applied to a Planned Parenthood clinic anything like “Turn the other cheek”?!)?!

Given the history of humanity to this point, I’m risking being shot, stabbed, or crucified for saying this (Christ, John Lennon, our dear Reverend King, and so many more), but:  Why can’t we all just trying being nice to one another for a change?