The Organization Formerly Known As SFWA

The ritual checking of Facebook to aw at cute cat pictures, giggle at funny or snarky memes and catch up with my friends derailed today when I was a post from someone linking to a Locus Magazine piece stating that Theodore Beale (better known to many as Vox Day) had been kicked out of SFWA.

His crime? I never really figured that out. It had something to do with the SFWA twitter account, for which there were no official guidelines until after whatever Mr Beale did, at least, not that I can find. As far as I can see, Mr Beale was doing nothing more horrible than stating his opinions – not representing his opinions as those of any other person or organization, not claiming to be anyone but himself, not doing anything remotely unethical in other words.

Considering that a leading light of the industry can publicly grope a female author at an awards banquet and not even get a mild, “that was bad form” from the organization formerly known as SFWA, it’s clear that the real reason for Mr Beale’s eviction was his outspoken personal views.

Now I don’t particularly care what anyone’s personal beliefs are. I do believe that an organization claiming to represent “Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers” should have some kind of clause up front if they’re going to limit membership to people with the “correct” beliefs. Now, if they were the Communist Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, they’d have every reason to want Mr Beale out of their ranks, since he is vehemently anti-communist. They’re not. Or at least, not openly.

I’d also think that an organization that’s bleeding members and passed “irrelevant” on the way to “bad joke” some time ago would want to keep anyone who can breathe a little life into their stodgy old commies club – but that’s me. I’m practical, not ideological.

So, since Mr Beale has been ejected from the Disorganization Formerly Known As SFWA for what amounts to thought crime, it’s obvious to me that the group needs a new name. When I suggested this to Sarah, she suggested the Selective Science Fiction Writers Association, SS for short. And gosh, wouldn’t you know it, that particular acronym would work remarkably well with what the group leadership seems to think. Just replace “jew” with “conservative” and they’re set.

But, one must not be discriminatory, so I’m asking you to offer your own suggestions for a new name for the Organization Formerly Known as SFWA. And sorry, the Feminist Glittery Hoo Haas has been claimed. I think a rock band wanted it for some reason.

268 Comments

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268 responses to “The Organization Formerly Known As SFWA

  1. By “publicly grope” are you referring to the Harlan Ellison/Connie Willis incident or something I don’ t know about?

    The truth is, for a while the only reason I maintained a SFWA membership was entertainment value and to occasionally vote for awards. Then it stopped having even that much value.

    • Kate Paulk

      Yes, that’s the episode I meant. We won’t touch some of the other gross hypocrisy. I don’t want too much slime on this forum.

  2. FWIW – having read through their complaint as published, a lot of it is laughably inaccurate. Among these are his supposed attitudes towards race and women as interpreted by people who aren’t reading what he’s actually saying, and who are making themselves willingly blind to the many, many counterexamples.

    Add to that SRK’s and other S(S)FWA writers rants in the recent past on luminaries like Pournelle/Cardetc. for asking that standards go both ways and be applied with reason and fairness, or in Card’s case, also indulging in “though crime” – Vox may be the sufficiently arrogant/etc. to be an easily designated scapegoat, but they’ve made it crystal clear he’s hardly the only one they’d love to drum out.

    What’s ugliest to me though is wandering by places like “whatever” and seeing the smug, passive-agressive celebration of “nothing in particular” (wink – wink). Mockery/etc. over at Vox’s blog can be blatant, but never hides behind the equivalent of “I was just saying.” (complete with offense taken at “how dare you accuse me of being mean!”). I haven’t seen such immature, petty crap since high school. Seriously? Posting “so long, farewell” and similar songs on the day the expulsion was announced for “the simple enjoyment of music”? and “who is this vox/tb character of no import people keep bringing up?” (even moderating out one commenter who called them on it) Memory holle anyone?

    If you’re going to gloat, gloat. Be honest about it. “Ha, we kicked the asshole out!” If you’re going to ignore someone’s existence to act as if they’re not important/insignificant, do so. Transparently gloating while pretending not to over the expulsion of someone of no importance?

    Really?

    • They have no honor and no principles but self-serving idiocy. They think so badly of themselves that they must continuously bolster their self-esteem by assuring themselves they’re enlightened and “better than.” No wonder so many of them are against humanity in general. They’d commit suicide except they’re such great wussies they want everyone else to do it for them.
      They’ve long since broken all their mirrors to avoid looking at their mewling, immature faces every morning, and they’ll sleep with anything that moves to avoid sleeping with themselves.
      And yes, that’s the most creative insults I can think of this early in the morning. I suppose I could call them ugly whores, but that’s not nearly as much fun.

    • Kate Paulk

      Absolutely. It doesn’t take more than a cursory review of the alleged misbehavior versus the available information to see that the real crime is speaking out against the groupthink.

      Regardless of what anyone thinks of Vox personally, he did not do anything unethical involving TOFKASFWA.

      This was the best the uber-PC cowards could manage.

    • Christopher M. Chupik

      I wonder how many people will leave because of this. I wonder how many have already left?

      • Dunno – but all the people patting themselves on the back while pretending not to is nauseating. That some of the people who led the charge are already talking about how this was a good “first step” (and more needs to be done) is particularly chilling in light of previous rants re: Malzberg (sp??), Card, and Pournelle.

        • Christopher M. Chupik

          All Pournelle did was point out that SFWA can’t police behaviour at conventions. Which they can’t. And they treated him like *he* was the problem.

          • Kate Paulk

            Execute the messenger is a rather popular pastime there, for some reason. Possibly because then they don’t have to think.

        • Oh, they are already back on the anti-Card bandwagon again. I came across a number of rants about him — now ones — based on an article that simply rehashed the same ole-same ole. No new information. No new quotes from Card. But the article brought up the issue again and all the same players were back on FB talking about how bad he is and he should just go away and die, etc., etc., etc.

          • Kate Paulk

            Gosh. Surprise surprise. They can’t manage to be relevant with what they’re supposed to do, so they look for someone to be their current evil of the month.

        • Lin W

          “Dunno – but all the people patting themselves on the back while pretending not to is nauseating. ”

          I don’t think the parts of their anatomies they’re touching are their backs. And I wouldn’t call it “patting”, either.

        • Kate Paulk

          I suspect many of them wish they could send the unwanteds to an actual Siberia.

    • Synova

      We have a cat that would ignore the dog… but only where it was completely obvious that the dog was being ignored.

    • The Deuce

      Huh, just went to Scalzi’s site for maybe the 2nd time in my life to see what you were referencing, and that’s exactly the sort of passive-aggressive high school girls-clique behavior you’d expect if you were going purely by Vox’s own description of them. It’s almost as if they’re going out of their way to demonstrate his points about their rabbit-like behavior, hatred and fear of truth, terror of ideological confrontation, etc.

      • Kate Paulk

        Oh, yes. It’s very much the Mean Girls Club over there. Hence the Feminist Glittery Hoo Haa references. We lesser beings are supposed to be blinded by the GFHH and bow to their brilliance.

    • What The...

      The Dishonesty of Hypocrisy is clearly evident with this new breed of SF+ Writers and the worst of passive aggressive behavior is certainly something they need to be treated for.

  3. TXRed

    Let’s see, to make sure I’m clear on this. To be a sci-fi or fantasy writer in America, you can’t have a non-PC opinion, or if you do, you are forbidden to mention said opinion on a personal web-site that has no affiliation to the OFKASFWA. If you not only mention your opinion but also defend said opinion, you go on triple probation and if that doesn’t work a mob will descend upon your house and confiscate your starships, dragons, blasters and enchanted swords.

    I believe the proper response, edited for the standards of this blog, is “Thpppppth!”

    • xdpaul

      It would cost them money to change the logo, so I suggest a modest revision:

      Selective Fantasists Wanting Approval

      Their mission:

      To help writers who make money on their own to join a club, and writers who don’t make money on their own to join a club.

      Corporate vision:

      To promote books with proper ideas to the public, and to see great books with interesting ideas sell very well, and take credit for them.

      Their slogan can be:

      “If you don’t think right, we’ll kick you out. Join today!”

    • They LIKED us quiet and subservient. They don’t like people talking back. This is what’s known as “pity” because — THESE ARE MY MIDDLE FINGERS.

    • Kate Paulk

      That or the middle finger of defiance with added emphasis. Possibly with a spiky nail guard as well, just to make the point.

    • Luscinia

      Explain Simmons, then.

      • Kate Paulk

        A little more context might be helpful.

        • Luscinia

          Simmons is almost as right wing as Vox Day, and yet he still sells books.

          • Kate Paulk

            Which Simmons? I know several.

          • Jabari

            So is Larry Correia. Scalzi has Warbound featured prominently in a couple of his latest posts, and some of the commenters speak very highly of that series.

            I bet they simply don’t know Correia is hyper-libertarian. (If they’d spend like … say … 2 seconds on his blog I bet they’d never touch anything of his ever again out of rabbit-ness. *laugh*)

            • Kate Paulk

              Actually, Larry Correia is published by Baen, who are about the only publisher that will take not-left. Baen of course publishes everything so long as it has a good story.

              If you want more information about the industry, Sarah Hoyt’s blog is a good place to start.

  4. So, it would seem that there may be a need for a professional writer’s association for science fiction and fantasy authors.

    Or, maybe that should be written “writer’s professional association”. With heavier emphasis on “professional”.

    Not that I’m qualified to join such (yet), but it seems to me that there may be a need for something along those lines.

    • Wayne Blackburn

      Heck, maybe it doesn’t even have to be solely for “professionals” (however you want to describe the term).

      • Exactly. Maybe the members don’t have to act professional (we are talking about writers, after all), but the organization should.

      • Depends on if you’re selling membership as a bragging point, or if it’s a kind of group-aid thing.

        I much favor the group-aid thing, where a membership fee gets you access to this’n’that– even if it’s just “small presses that do for-hire work” and a list of folks you can hire for editing, formatting, etc.

        • Kate Paulk

          Group aid, advice, mentoring… all the things the charter says it should be doing but somehow never quite manage to be more important than kicking out people who don’t meet the standards of PC.

      • Kate Paulk

        You mean something that (GASP!) mentors newcomers to the field? How shocking!

        This was one of the radical proposals Vox made in his attempt to be elected SFWA President. Apparently the fact that he got ANY votes scared the Feminist Glittery Hoo Haa crowd so much they’ve been trying to get rid of him ever since.

    • Kate Paulk

      Technically speaking, neither am I. I sell a little, but not really enough.

  5. Speculative Fictioners Without an Audience?

  6. Eeyore

    “*Out of Business*” would be my suggestion.

  7. masgramondou

    I feel I should point out here that I find Vox to be Irritating, obnoxious and generally someone I’d prefer not to hang around with. I read about 10 pages of one of his books and decided I didn’t like it. and I went to his website and decided he’s no better there than in hs hiction

    OTOH the same can certainly be said for a significant chunk of SFWA writers. Actually probably most of them and certainly an extremely large percentage of the current and recent past leadership.

    The whole thing reminds me of schoolkids. So I’m thinking Schoolkids For Wanking Association sounds about the right level

    • I did notice that he really does seem to enjoy the fight. They kicked him out because anything less would be letting him win. Unfortunately for them, kicking him out is also a victory condition.

    • Kate Paulk

      Oh, Vox is a grade-A asshole who leaves lesser lights (coughScalzicough) in his dust. That said, I’ve never seen him fail to back up his conclusions with factual data. I might not agree with the conclusions he draws, but he does have data to back up his claims, which is more than his detractors can say.

      Schoolkids For Wanking… Yes, that’s about the right level.

      • Mark Alger

        As Rush puts it: it ain’t braggin’ if you can do it. Also, a point made by, I think, at least RAH and Beam Piper, liberty-lovers can be prickly curmudgeons, but on the whole, make better neighbors than the smooth, smarmy stab-you-in-the-back sorts. A least, if you don’t f*** with them, they’ll generally leave you alone.

        M

  8. Groucho Marx’s letter of resignation to the Friars’ Club: “I don’t want to belong to any club that would accept me as one of its members.”

    • Kate Paulk

      There is a certain element to that now – but the organization left us, we didn’t leave them.

    • I believe they’re called “clubs” because generally the people who eventually get in charge of them are the ones who have bludgeoning in mind. An organization will always cry out for purification and the purging of the (supposed) evil ones.

      I ran an online club once–I thought I’d be great as a “hands off” organizer, but it turns out that “hands off” simply gives those same people carte blanche to act as defacto Nazis. In no time flat, there was essentially no club to speak of–the people who made the club a pleasant experience were the first people to be bludgeoned and driven away. Once the club Nazis had their way, they presumably moved on to some other organization somewhere to tear down.

      I think government works the same way.

      • CF

        “Organization” by its nature demands an autocratic hand at the controls. The question then becomes: How does that autocratic hand operate? The best-known cases are governments, which seem invariably to become fascist; however, “benevolent dictators” elsewhere (usually in business) succeed, usually by not going berserk with the power-hand. (Look up “Big Bill” France for details.)

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          Also, for any organization with political use or possible political use, you have fools who will try to do the Leninist organizational weapon thing. It takes some time, knowledge and effort to counter that.

          • Kate Paulk

            Indeed it does. Not to mention cojones of steel, because that sort will do everything in their power to discredit or destroy anyone who tries to stop them.

        • Kate Paulk

          Ah, yes. The single most effective form of rule is the benevolent dictator. The reason it’s not practiced that much is that there’s no way to make sure the dictator you get is a benevolent one.

      • Kate Paulk

        Quite possibly, yes. Human nature seems to work this way, alas. We radical independent-minded cusses are very much in the minority.

  9. It’s all been a terrible misunderstanding – those who play politics in any organization/group are inevitably those with lots of time on their hands and therefore not doing a lot of whatever the group purports to do. Those who write or make steam funiculars, are off doing that, not hanging around playing politics on forums so they can win the next writing prize or steam-funicular making competition without actually having to do much of either. Understandably, thus, some confusion has arisen within the group formerly known as.SFWA about what the acronym stood for. As the majority involved in the politics thought it stood for San Franciscan Wannabe Association, they just had to kick out anyone who failed to wear flowers in their hair. ;-/

    (sigh) The words ‘fullest of wine and flagrant of error’ came to my mind when I read about this lot. It reminded me of a bunch of toddlers engaged in a sand-pit pissing competition. The sandpit monitors, instead of stopping it, saw the biggest bunch of urinators were friends of theirs, and joined in. When they couldn’t win, they threw out the kid they didn’t like… for pissing in the sandpit. Their procedural handling compared favorably to North Korean justice, and must have reassured everyone, even if it did nothing for the hygene of the sandpit.;-/.

    In terms of group management they failed to grasp the teacher’s kid principle, which says, basically, if you are the teacher, you have to act first and hardest against your own son, even if his misdemeanor was trivial compared to others, before you can do anything about any other misbehavior, or subject your child to endless misery outside the classroom where you are in control. At the moment the leadership of SFWA seem to think the writing world is their classroom. I suspect they may find they were mistaken, and that even the classroom is changing (at the moment the traditional publishing world is dominated by the far left. This wasn’t always true, and sure as death, won’t be again. Common sense says pushing the pendulum harder is going to have an obvious effect.), and that tomorrow they may find themselves on the recieving end.

    I don’t have a lot of sympathy for the pendulum pushers, but the truth is there is bound to be a lot collateral damage when it does go the other way, both to other writers and the genre’s image.

    • Dan Lane

      The damage has been, and is being done even as we speak.

      I’m coming at this from an odd angle to most of ye worthies, not being a writer myself. I’m the guy that buys your books (hi folks!). Had I the cash and the time, I’d go through about 15-20 a week. Alas, real world issues demand my time and toil.

      The SFWA was not even on my radar until recently. That being the last decade, recently- I think slow. And, unfortunately, nearly all the news I have heard has been bad. Puerile behaviors, political backbiting, snobbery, and boorishness have literally swamped any good that might have occurred somewhere in there.

      And what good there could have been! A writer’s association dedicated to science fiction & fantasy that could promote good habits in the industry and teach new writers what’s what. Things like, oh, what to watch out for in a contract, news about how to self-publish and pitfalls to avoid, how to market your books to best effect, even getting to know editors and cover artists. Wow. Back when I had stories in my head, such an organization would have been ideal.

      What does it say to aspiring writers when this sort of thing happens, meaning something which with even a little investigation is proven to be shallow? It makes a mockery of what the SFWA could be. Sure, Vox isn’t someone I read. There are things I don’t agree with him on, but I don’t have to. Neither does anyone else- and seems to me all it would take is simply saying that his opinions are his own and not representative of the SFWA as a whole.

      I like the idea of “professionalism” in such an organization (Wayne &Zachary’s idea). I think part of that is something even blue collar guys like me learn, early on: leave your politics, religion, and personal baggage at the door when you go to work. If you can’t do that, perhaps a job in management (especially of such a high profile organization in the industry) isn’t your speed. You may want to seek a job where it’s not so important. I hear hear fast food is always hiring- but they have rules about that sort of thing, too.

      • The problem is that they think they’re “right” and they think SFWA is a status thing — not a professional thing. (Which is why they’ve never bucked abusive contracts from the big boys.) I’m glad I wasn’t drinking anything when you said “advice on self publishing” — they are very much against it. STILL. I dropped SFWA over their blatant hatred of Amazon — i.e. the people who are allowing me to make more and more income every year off trunk and reverted properties.
        I’d say eff them, but there isn’t enough sheep dip in the world.

        • Tom S

          To be honest, that seems to me to be a much worse thing than what they did to Vox (and I speak as someone who agrees with Vox more often than not). What they did to Vox is puerile, but a small matter relative to genuinely professionally damaging actual science fiction writers for ideological stands (which I assume is behind the anti-Amazon animus).

        • Kate Paulk

          I held my nose and stayed with them until the Maltzberg/Resnick bullshit. At which point I decided that ninety bucks a year to see my intelligence insulted by the kind of behavior that should get a solid spanking from any decent parent if their toddler tried it was simply not worth it.

      • Kate Paulk

        Don, you are so right. There was – and is – so much TOFKASFWA could have done and could do to benefit the genre and writers. Instead they have one hand wrapped firmly around their metaphorical members while the other one shakes an accusing finger at anyone who dares to criticize them.

    • Kate Paulk

      What’s even worse, Dave, is that they’re pissing in their OWN sandpit. They couldn’t even manage to go foul up someone else’s. And now they’re trying to convince everyone that their piss-laden sandpit is the most wondrous thing in the universe.

  10. Sleazy Feckless Wussie Association?. Free dictionary with every membership so that they can learn the meaning of sleazy,feckless, wussie, and association.

  11. In the form beloved by Tyrants through out the ages.

    http://www.sfwa.org/2013/08/board-communication-on-member-expulsion/

    Steven Gould,
    President
    Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America

    Amended to add:

    We will continue to omit the expelled individual’s name and the details of his behavior on advice of counsel.

    In other words.

    The Heritic, charged with crimes to terrible to be named, has been found Guilty. His name has been stricken and shall never be uttered again.

    I dislike vulgarity on principle but sometimes it seems like the only appropriate respone.
    SWFA
    Sh*#*@*ting W@*king F#(%*ing A$$#*\es

    • Dang… I can’t never see misspelling until after I hit post.

      SFWA
      Sh*#*@*ting F#(%*ing W@*king A$$#*\es

    • Oh, I love the addendum. Translated to mean, “Our attorney just told us we acted like idiots and if we name the individual or what he did, he can and will sue the ever living hell out of us and win because we haven’t been playing by the rules and he can prove it. Since we don’t want to lose our cushy jobs and our high loft of superiority, we will now act like he is beneath our contempt and notice.”

  12. Doug Baird

    What would truly fitting would be for the commercially viable authors to “sneak” back in, stage a “coup”, then change the bylaws to require that a VOTING member have an income directly from a SF/F work at least once in the previous 3 years. And that once you hit 3 calendar years day for day you drop to nonvoting and lose any office you may hold in the organization… That would knock out about 90% of the current ACTIVE membership…

  13. gutenbergsson

    There’s a bit of irony in that one of Vox’s “victims”, N.K. Jemisin, could easily be accused of the same racism (albeit towards whites) that one reads in some of his posts. Personally, I find Scalzi and his false bravado “banhammer” to be just as odious as some of Vox’ comments. It’s not a conversation, and you’re not being brave, if you summarily censor your opponents. It is very Stalinesque though. Look at Larry Correia–he engages every time, no censoring anyone who disagrees and then calling it a win. He may not always be right–but at least he’s willing to have the argument and not “righteously” smite opponents by hitting delete and then bragging about it. Also, what’s with Scalzi and the crossdressing…? Once was a statement. Anything after that is just creepy.

    • Ah, but there’s the rub. What Jemisin writes and says is okay because it falls into the “right” way of thinking. (Rolls eyes). Just like it’s okay to take complaints against Resnick and Malsberg public and try them in the public eye without giving easy access to the supposedly objectionable material when the discussion on private boards didn’t get the desired result. But let’s face it, SFWA hasn’t been open and accepting of dissenting opinion for a long time and is just as bound to the old ways as the legacy publishers. Remember, this is the same group that has refused to address the need to change the requirements for membership to take into account direct to digital publishing and self-publishing changes in the industry. For a novel to count as “pro” you have to get an advance of, iirc, $5000. When asked why this hasn’t been addressed (RWA did it several years ago), the powers that be say the by-laws have to be amended. Yet, afaik, no effort has been made to put such changes before the membership.

      • Mark Alger

        Oh, heck, Amanda, I wouldn’t consider myself a “pro” because I don’t support myself (and wife and cats) with it. But I have more publication credits, and have made more money at EXPONENTIALLY HIGHER WORD RATES than some Hugo and Nebula winners. Their requirements are ludicrous. BUT… they do set the bar low enough for newcomers. If, that is, you’d belong to a club Groucho wouldn’t join.

        M

        • Actually, Mark, that bar isn’t as low as you think it is. For your novel to be considered “pro”, it has to sell to “recognized” publishers and you have to have received an advance of, iirc, $5,000. So that leaves out direct to digital books, no matter how much you make off those books. It also leaves out the growing number of authors who sign with publishers, even traditional publishers, but who get advances in amounts of less than $5k. It is the same Catch-22 with short stories. The sales have to be to ‘recognized” markets and you have to make a certain amount per word. So short stories posted for direct sale don’t count, even if you make thousands and thousands on them.

          SFWA has continued to prove itself to be out of touch with the changes happening in publishing — pretty much like most legacy publishers — and unwilling to change. Add to that the fact it has decided it needs to be the thought police for its members, and it has become nothing but a farce, in my mind. There are other groups out there, some official organizations and some nothing more than groups of writers willing to help one another, that hold much more value to me than SFWA does now.

          And, fwiw, under SFWA’s requirements, I’m not a pro. It doesn’t matter that I sold more of one of my books in one month than I’m guessing a number of their members ever sell. But, since I have no desire to join the group under its current mind police mentality, I really don’t give a flip. I will happily take my money to the bank and keep writing.

      • Kate Paulk

        Indeed so. The list of “Acceptable markets” is laughable.

    • Luscinia

      A bit of a stretch to accuse her of Beale-style racism, no?

      • james

        “A bit of a stretch to accuse her of Beale-style racism, no?”

        Not really. Vox points out observable facts that people don’t like. They are still facts. The facts are racist, not Vox. Jemisin on the other hand, make sweeping, opinionate generalizations about whites, but never backs it up.

      • Lubert Das

        Have you seen her latest dispatch? With the expulsion of Beale, she’ll honor the SFWA by staying in the organization, but she’s got a list of others she wants purged, and if that doesn’t happen, she’ll walk.

        http://nkjemisin.com/2013/08/time-to-pick-a-side/#more-2124

        Power corrupts, and right now the SFWA has given Jemisin and others the power to do things like this.

        As history shows, the purges will continue…

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        I dunno about Beale.

        What I’ve heard of Jemisin suggests she might legitimately fall into at least one category that could be argued as White Supremacist.

      • What in hell is a stretch about it?
        Oh, wait, you’re right, because Beale is NOT a racist and only claims certain opinions to wind you up — and it works. Since he’s mostly Hispanic, he can’t actually believe what he claims to believe. BUT Jemisin is on her high horse about her victimhood and the evils of the white race, and she MEANS it.
        So, she’s more of a racist than Beale. When are ya’ll casting her out. Interested minds want to know. While at it, cast out the androphobes in your middle.
        Oh, I know, you can’t cast out your dead, because you’re ALL dead men walking in a landscape you don’t understand while following the lockstep dictates of Marxism, which is a theory of dead men and doesn’t apply to anything living. Sorry.

        • Luscinia

          Vox Day is Hispanic now?

          Oh, come on, he’s about as Hispanic as I am Samoan.

          • Check his family line. But that would be too close to actually fact-checking for you, wouldn’t it? And heaven forbid that you’d actually read through the rest of the comments and see Vox’s discussion about his own background. So, since you can’t do either of those things, I’ll recap for you: Vox is Hispanic, White and Asian. I guess the fact he does have White as part of his genetic makeup means he can’t be Hispanic or Asian because he’s not “pure”. Gee, didn’t someone else mention SS earlier?

          • VD

            “Vox Day is Hispanic now?”

            Always have been. I am no more white than Barack Obama. My great-grandfather was a Mexican revolutionary and I was just speaking with his son, a well-known Mexican-American artist, last night. (Yes, my great-uncle, he is very old but still sharp.)

            As I mentioned on my own blog, I look Anglo, two of my brothers look Hispanic, and the fourth brother looks Hapa. And I find it very amusing that whites who know nothing about Hispanic culture think my criticism of it is based on ignorant racism rather than personal observation.

            I happen be comfortable in the chaos and inefficiency of Latin cultures, which is why I speak Italian. There are many things to love about it; la dolce vita is not a misnomer. But I also know, as most Anglos don’t, that Latin culture is totally incompatible with the culture that made the USA the dominant nation in the 20th century.

            I also happen to know that many Hispanics view Africans with a naked contempt that would make the average KKK member uncomfortable. The idea that importing 50 million Mexicans will improve US race relations is, to put it mildly, incorrect.

      • Myrddin

        Beale-style racism is far less direct. So far, he’s pointed out that according to the Theory of Evolution (to which he does not subscribe, but he never brings THAT up at the time because he is a pro a-hole), different races are not equally homo-sapiens (which does not mean that they aren’t equally validly human or equally worthwhile, but he never brings THAT up at the time because he enjoys being a pro a-hole). Other than that, his primary ‘racism’ is the frequent claim that when wildly different cultures mix, the results tend to be explosive.

        Jemism’s style, on the other hand, seems to be “whites are intrinsically racist because they are white.” To which my only response can be “If you will judge evil regardless of my actions, what possible motivation could I have to appease you?”

        So… a bit of a stretch, yes, in that if he’s a racist, he has plausible deniability. She really doesn’t.

        • Kate Paulk

          He’s never pretended not to be an asshole. I can respect that.

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          I’d note that if evil is inherited with blood, it would fundamentally undermine the idea of racism being wrong.

          • Kate Paulk

            Isn’t it funny how most of the people who claim that evil IS inherited with blood (and a lack of melanin) are the ones who are first to scream “Racist!!!!”?

        • VD

          ” So far, he’s pointed out that according to the Theory of Evolution (to which he does not subscribe, but he never brings THAT up at the time because he is a pro a-hole), different races are not equally homo-sapiens (which does not mean that they aren’t equally validly human or equally worthwhile, but he never brings THAT up at the time because he enjoys being a pro a-hole).”

          Two corrections. My point about the different races not being equally homo sapiens sapiens has absolutely nothing to do with the theory of evolution. Although my point would logically follow from that theory, I actually base my argument on material evidence, namely, DNA differences in the various population groups.

          Second, I have repeatedly pointed out that the existence of different human sub-species and/or races does not make those different sub-species and/or races any less validly human. A dog is a dog whether it is a Bichon Frise or a Great Dane. My basic argument on race and civilization can be summarized as the observation that if you want to pull a sled, you would be advised to select Siberian huskies rather than chihuahuas or pit bulls.

      • mike

        Not at all. Pretty much everything she writes is “White people suck because X, Y, and Z”. “White people need to shut up and listen”. Etc. Far more racist than anything written by Beale.

        • Yes. She rarely gets called on it because, according to Critical Race Theory, one needs power to be racist and non-whites inherently don’t have power because … well, actually, CRT never explains this point, it just assumes that there is a monolithic power structure which never includes non-whites. This is hilarious, given who our current President and Attorney General happen to be.

      • Kate Paulk

        Actually, it’s a big stretch, since Beale isn’t racist and she unquestionably is.

    • Kate Paulk

      I haven’t seen Vox banning anyone, either. Mocking them without mercy and using stupid statements they make against them, certainly. Banning for disagreement, no.

      I’d add that I haven’t seen any racism in his posts. Challenging accepted beliefs, yes. Claiming “all X are inherently inferior”, no.

      • Actually, he has banned, or at least moderated people out of threads. In all fairness, it’s usually been in response to someone a) being a pointless troll by adding no facts or insight while just name calling or b) People who refused to answer a direct question about facts, sources, etc. (even “I don’t know” or “I can’t discuss that” have been acceptable answers…)

        In each case that I’d observed there were repeated warnings to bring facts to the table, or ATQ – and everything posted by that person up to that point was preserved so you could make your own judgment as to whether it was just or not.

        That said – yes, he very lightly moderates the discussions, doesn’t gloat about terms such as “ban hammering”, and allows a LOT of different opinions with very intense and emotional debate on all sides.

        And you have to read what is said VERY closely. Given the respect and recommendations he often gives to people of various races and sexes that he supposedly”hates” – and that he appears to honestly take people as individuals based on their behavior, not on their heritage, he seems to be less simplistic “bigots” like him are supposed to be.

        In short, the “bigot” is actually far more inclusive and tolerant than the inclusively tolerant SFWA. And more nuanced.

        • Kate Paulk

          Obviously I missed the discussions where that happened – and that level of banning I can accept. There’s a difference between removing toxic influences after they repeatedly fail to ante up and banning any kind of disagreement.

          He definitely enjoys phrasing things in a way that’s guaranteed to upset someone who isn’t paying attention – and why not? He does it very well indeed. He’s certainly not a bigot and has even – as I recall – been known to admit he got things wrong. Which is more than can be said about TOFKASFWA

        • Asher

          I got banned at VP for pointing out that when it comes to select issues lots of Vox’s regular commenters act under some of the criteria that he ascribes to rabbits.

          A large number of the regular commenters also behave like feminists on a few hot button issues.

          • Kate Paulk

            Hi, Asher,

            Could you give a link to the thread where that happened, please? Since I haven’t seen it happen, and VP is a very active blog, I’ll need the reference to make my own judgment call on the matter.

            • Asher

              I can’t. I’d like to but it is not possible because it involved a multi-post conversation involving several hundreds of comments and probably as many as twenty different commenters. I was simultaneously attempting to respond to questions posed by anywhere between two and ten others commenters in as close to real-time as possible.

              One of Vox’s rules for commenting at his site is that you answer questions that are asked of you. He does not enforce the rules equally, as I would guess that I was getting lower than a twenty percent response rate to my direct questions from his more regular commenters. On the other hand, I was directly answering questions to the extent that time allowed; which it probably does not if you’re simultaneously trying to answer up to ten other commenters.

              Vox’s blog has one huge flaw: he is far, far more intelligent than the average commenter at his blog. What this means is that he is clever enough to get away with all sorts of nuanced statements that make his average commenter look moronic when they try to mimic his tactics. It would be akin to Carl Lewis trying to teach pygmies to be fast – there are real, physical constraints. I made this specific point to Vox around the time I was banned, so that may have been the reason, but I never saw him state any reason for my banning.

              Vox is a one in a million sort of guy who can do what he does because he is Vox. There are only a handful of people who can do what \he does and when people who are not Vox try to do what he does they just end up looking like total fools.

              Vox is brilliant but he is not infallible. He once accused me of being passive-aggressive for explicitly stating that most of the ilk (his regular commenters) lacked the brainpower to do what he does, and that to try and mimic him was inadvisable. How that is “passive-aggressive” is beyond me, and I noted this to Vox, to which he never responded. So, he doesn’t even apply his own rules for commenting to himself.

              This is all probably eight or nine months ago and occurred over several weeks, involving dozens of posts and probably over a thousand comments. I don’t think it’s possible to disentangle it.

            • Asher

              One of Vox’s own descriptions of “rabbits” is that they can’t distinguish between a roaring bear and a roaring semi truck passing on the highway. Vox used to have a very smarmy, glib, gay, Jewish, New York lawyer who would make ultra-snarky driveby comments. The guy, Tad, was really smooth but he was utterly facile and really good at deflecting questions.

              Now, Tad and myself had almost nothing in common in terms of positions or commenting style, yet, large numbers of Vox’s commenters took to equating Tad and myself, so far as going to the point of implying that Tad and I had an ongoing sexual relationship. This did not bother me on an emotional level; what did bother me was that it detracted from the overall message of the blog, which offers valuable insights.

              That sort of behavior is of the type you’d find at Scalzi or Meyer’s blog or, even, at Jezebel. Whenever I encountered that behavior I took to calling them Jezzies.

              I pointed out that by one of Vox’s own criteria, distinguishing between things that are different, many of the comments on his blog look “rabbit-y”. Absolutely no response, it was like I hadn’t even made the observation.

              • Kate Paulk

                Since I don’t have the ability or time to go trawling, I guess this will have to stand as is. I can only comment on what I’ve seen and experienced, so we’re going to have to agree to disagree here.

              • WATYF

                I don’t think you can have a “group” without a certain measure of group-think. Vox Popoli isn’t an exception to that. There definitely is an “in” crowd there and “outsiders”, and the two groups are treated differently. But there are grades of group-think. Sometimes it’s systemic and widespread and enforced from the top down, and sometimes it’s a few people piling up on a common opponent in the midst of an open discourse. Vox Popopli has the latter, Scalzi’s and Meyer’s blogs have the former.

                WATYF

                • Kate Paulk

                  That about sums things up. It’s impossible not to get a collection of people in one place and avoid some level of group-thinkiness.

                  We try to encourage open discussion and showing one’s work as it were. Amanda posted this morning that the banning of one individual in this thread is the second time in the several year history of the Mad Genius Club that it became necessary to ban – and the individual concerned was warned and told why.

                • Asher

                  One amusing thing was that in the comment thread to one post I had several people insisting I had Asperger’s and several other insisting I was really gay or a woman. It was amusing because Asperger’s is a hyper-masculine emotional affect and someone with actual Asperger’s would never be mistaken for a woman or gay. I pointed this out several times and not one person acknowledged it.

                  I pointed out the obvious group-think and his commenters denied it. Yes, I understand that Vox, himself, does enforce group think, but the commenters certainly do.

                  • bearcat

                    To someone unfamiliar with Asperger’s, such as myself, someone afflicted with it seems ‘off’. In an online context without face to face communication I could easily see this coming across as possibly being a woman masquerading as a man, or possibly as one of the hypersensitive gays. Someone familiar with the affliction would probably be able to point out the inconsistencies, but the majority of the population has limited interaction with Asperger’s, or gays, or women masquerading as men; for that matter.

                    • Asher

                      I’m as about as opposite Asperger’s as you’ll get, being hyper gregarious and usually very quick to pick up on social cues.

              • Mudz

                I’m sorry I upset you. I just equated the both of you essentially because I was feeling childish. You were fizzing like a soda that had been kicked three miles down the road, so I thought it’d be fun to kick you a little more as you ejaculated your discontent until you got the idea that no-one really cared.

                It’s was an unproductive version of ‘chill, dude’, so my bad.

                No one responded to ‘Jezzies’ because you just looked like you were short-circuiting and making random noises. Didn’t really require a response.

                But I take responsibility. I could have defused you if I was a more compassionate soul.

                • Mudz

                  In my original comment, I just honestly couldn’t remember which person I was thinking of. Everyone just kept mentioning ‘Tad’ and ‘Asher’ so I figured it had to be one of them/you. I have a terrible memory for internet personas.

  14. Apropos of nothing, except maybe the decline of SF and the attitude of the SFWA, here’s a fascinating article a friend of mine pointed out to me on io9. http://io9.com/the-moment-when-science-fiction-split-off-from-competen-1112227008

    Basically, about how science fiction (at least in media) has gotten divorced from competent men and science.

  15. As a new, self-published SF/F writer, I was dismayed to learn that the SFWA (which I had read about in Scalzi’s blog) offered me nothing. To be fair, it was never designed for the newbie writer, and Steven Gould, the new president, is looking at how they can accomodate indie authors.

    http://kentonkilgore.com/blog/2013/07/18/no-way-to-the-sfwa/

    Thank you for the mention of SASS–I’ll check them out.

    • I’ll believe SFWA will change its definition of “pro” when I see it engraved in stone — their preferred method for communicating. If they were concerned about changing the definition, they would have done so years ago. RWA has proven it can be done fairly quickly.

  16. jack

    The dust of the SFWA vs. Beale has not settled yet. Beale has amassed an impressive mountain of documentation, going back years, that demonstrate vicious attacks upon himself and his ideas. He has the setup for a major legal battle with the SFWA regardless whether they named him in the expulsion document[s]. If you go to his site and check back a few posts or do an archive search you can download/read the charges list from SFWA to him and his detailed and extensive rebuttal to same. It all makes interesting reading. And, now that he is not restrained by non-disclosure agreements, not longer being a member, there are hints that he may start revealing many things on his blog that quite a few of the SFWA members and board would rather not see the light of day.
    If it goes to court, and I hope it does if for not other reason than the entertainment value, it will be popcorn and beer time.

  17. gutenbergsson

    Bit of a stretch? Is it possible to stretch racism? Vox Day appears to claim that whites are inherently superior to blacks (due to biology, or culture, I was never quite sure). Jemisin’s is more subtle. On her site she’s ruminated that Whites have license to kill Blacks these days (both dishonest and mildly racist), talks of ‘mansplainin’ and ‘whitesplainin’ (derogative terms for men or whites who dare engage her in debate) and generally gives you the impression that the Civil Rights Movement never happened.

    Is that Beale style racism? No. Is it a subtle racism? Yes, of the subtle bigotry sort she seems to suggest the world is rife with.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’d rather be in a room with her than him, nevertheless, I doubt it would be a fun experience.

    I’m curious to see it this actually turns into an ideological purge of the SFWA and how long it takes before the SFWA is no longer a writing organization rather than an activist group.

    • How you have incorrectly characterised Vox’s opinions in regards to race.
      Race realism /= racist, though the marxists will scream otherwise.
      The term racist is a witch hunt term used by marxists to paint whites who disagree with a scarlet R to shut them up. This is often used in lieu of actual argument or when the argument has gone against the marxist in question.

      For origins see Trotsky and racism.

      If you cannot brook that the races might actually be genetically and culturally different and their might be reasons behind this differences, then this will be lost upon you and you might as well start chanting “racissssss!”.

      • Kate Paulk

        That pretty much sums it up.

        Which is not to say that there hasn’t been actual race-based bigotry happening at times. Those times are not now, and not perpetrated by Vox.

    • WATYF

      [Vox Day appears to claim that whites are inherently superior to blacks (due to biology, or culture, I was never quite sure)]

      “Appears to claim”? That sounds an awful lot like weasel words. Do you have a cite for this claim?

      WATYF

      • gutenbergsson

        Weasel words? Did you just Mary Robinette Kowal me? How sad.

        http://voxday.blogspot.ca/2013/06/a-black-female-fantasist.html

        Specifically, when he calls her a “half savage” and talks about African society and culture being demonstrably inferior. He does go on to note that they’re at a different point in the evolution of culture, so I’ll grant he’s not saying, “melanin makes you inferior.” Cultural racism/biological racism, however you want to term it, he does (again, seem) to imply that whites are > blacks.

        I am not defending Jemisin or any other member of the SFWA PC brigade, and as far as mindset, have more in common with Sarah Hoyt than John Scalzi. He can still be racist (not raciss—God, why don’t you throw in a “Squee” while you’re at it) and also be right about the SFWA’s groupthink.

        • Kate Paulk

          Now this is why the bloody PC crowd need to be summarily defenestrated. There ain’t no such thing as “cultural racism”, and only the constant twisting of words from the uber-PC has allowed intelligent people to use that phrase without sarcasm.

          Fact is, anyone born into and raised in a particular culture will have that culture’s issue. If it’s a culture of savages, that person will be a savage. There’s nothing racial about it.

          On a lighter note, I must take issue with your anti-squee attitude. I reserve the right to utter deafening fangirl squees when I feel the need 😉

          • gutenbergsson

            Haha, fair enough. I will try to suppress my cringe. (It’s mostly reserved for guys like Scalzi)

            Although, anti-semitism is to my mind cultural racism.

        • Hmmm… race != culture – and savage is more a reference to culture and behavior. Note that even aboriginals a couple hundred years ago were referred to as “white” in cultural contexts if they acted european – something that carries on today in the epithet “oreo” used by inner city blacks.

          Also – maybe it’s the engineer in me, but some things, by a given measure, ARE superior (It depends on what you value – show me someone who says “no one/thing is better than anyone/thing else” and I’ll show you a person who values nothing. Two words for Lady Gaga – Hitler, Ghandi).

          I may love the engineering of a ferrari supercar, but it makes a godawful off-road vehicle. Again, he’s explicitly denied that blacks (as a group) are overall inferior. Different strengths and weaknesses. Instead, that by the measures he cares more about, they are not as well suited culturally or genetically – the mixture of which is indeterminate (I argue more towards culture, but genetics likely has some impact on mean/average IQ) – to building or even maintaining a civilized technological society.

          Culture has a LOT of inertia.

          • gutenbergsson

            Again, I will cite anti-semitism as cultural racism. Perhaps there’s a better term?

          • Kate Paulk

            Culture has a hell of a lot of inertia, and probably even more momentum. The old saying about things changing one death at a time has some currency here.

            My view on the genetics thing is too involved to go into here, but suffice to say I don’t think that any person is inherently inferior to any other, but I do think it’s possible for someone to demonstrate their inferiority by their actions.

        • Asher

          The term “half savage” was an explicit reference to Jemisin’s behavior, which was blatantly uncivilized. Regardless of someone’s skin color, if they pulled down their pants in a public place and began pissing you’d be entirely justified in calling them “half savage”. Jemisin’s behavior in the affair was an intellectual version of urinating all over the place in public – if everyone behaved like Jemisin then the civilized world would disappear.

          The term “half savage” was an explicit reference to specific behaviors of one individual: Jemisin; it had nothing to do with any group membership.

        • WATYF

          [however you want to term it, he does (again, seem) to imply that whites are > blacks]

          “seem to imply”? You really do like the weasel words, eh?

          Well… let me say that your posts “seem” to “imply” that you have very poor reading comprehension and logical faculties.

          [He does go on to note that they’re at a different point in the evolution of culture]

          So… you’re conflating culture with race? And “development” with something that’s “inherent”?

          Remember, your initial charge was that he “appears” to claim that whites are *inherently* superior to blacks. This is untrue. He has repeatedly stated in his “raciss” posts about cultures that whites were once the “blue bottomed barbarians” of the world, indicating that it has nothing to do with anything “inherent” to any “race”, but that ALL cultures (and their concomitant races) have to develop over long periods of time (he directly states something to this effect in the very post that you linked to).

          This isn’t even “bigotry”. It’s simple empirical observation. Having lived in an African country myself, I can state without reservation that their civilization is at a lower point of development. But that doesn’t mean I hate them, or dislike them, or even feel “superior” to them. It simply is what it is.

          The problem with this topic is that people can’t be honest and exploratory about it without other people becoming unhinged with self-righteous indignation before they’ve even considered what’s *actually* being said. The minute you even *approach* the topic of the material differences between the cultures and their accompanying races, you are met with a brick wall of pointing and shrieking, like Veronica Cartwright strolling up to Donald Sutherland in Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

      Evidence for Vox Day believing Blacks are inferior? Sorry but I’ve heard too much garbage about “racism” to believe he’s racist without strong evidence. Oh, if you post something that “proves” it, make sure that you post from *his* site. There have been cases where Lefties have either completely made up “evidence” or did a “cut and paste” of something a person said to make it sound racist or “bad”.

      • Kate Paulk

        Oh, he doesn’t. He believes their history hasn’t given equipped them to handle the concepts of the modern world yet – and, since it took my ancestors something in the order of two thousand years to get there, it’s hardly racist to say that a few hundred years isn’t nearly enough time for black folks to make the equivalent journey.

        • gutenbergsson

          Now see, that I agree with. Look at Afghanistan. A primitive culture given modern day weaponry and an archaic view of women and other religions. As for the idea that I’m a “lefty” because I believe there’s cause to think Vox is racist…again…hahahahaha. Whatever (Not Scalzi whatever, just that Paul is being silly)

          Paul, if you were say, to accuse Tom Kratman or Dan Simmons of being racist because of their novels portraying (accurately, in my view) what would happen under a Caliphate rule, I would also laugh. Does that sound like a leftist to you?

        • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

          Oh yes, it’s racist to say that some cultures are “better” than others. [Sarcasm]

          Anybody who believes that all cultures are “equally good” (except for white cultures) should be dropped naked into pre-Cortez central Mexico. [Very Big Evil Grin]

          • Kate Paulk

            For this it’s worth breaking out the popcorn.

          • gutenbergsson

            I think i responded to this somewhere else on the thread, but I’ll just repeat it for posterity. I re-read Vox explanation for calling Jemisin a “half-savage” and it’s not biological, but rather ideological in nature, so I stand corrected.

            As to the idea that I’m a cultural relativist, let me say,”Hell no.”
            Western culture, with all its flaws, is infinitely superior to anything else on offer. Ie. Sharia law and the theocracy of Iran, or the pseudo communist states cropping up in South America (Venezuela, anyone?)

            Jemisin reminds me of Al Sharpton or Louis Farrakhan.

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      I beg to differ.

      There are grounds to argue that culture should not be a part of race, as far as defining racism goes.

      Pick a historical empire that you wouldn’t want to have target the population you live in, like the SPQR, the Mongols, or the Aztec Triple Alliance. Much of what they would do to you that you wouldn’t like could be understood as stemming from their culture. If you would object, you are objecting to their culture, and hence would be racist by the definition that includes culture.

      This may be so wide a definition of racism as to be useless. Especially, given the variety of historic and prehistoric cultures, if you want to both not be racist and also feel legitimate opposing rape, slavery, and various other things.

      Race being strictly a matter of blood, like some definitions for family, seems narrow enough to be useful.

      For the latter definition, your explanation does not seem to make the case for Vox Day necessarily being racist.

      Whereas, if accurate, your description would certainly qualify as describing Jemisin racist.

      So, I think it is incorrect to say that Jemisin is the /more/ subtle racist.

      • Synova

        Jemisin is saying things that we’re used to hearing and used to sort of ignoring because we give ourselves excuses like… we can understand her anger. So we ignore her thoughts as worthless reflections of that anger. Emotionally laden meaningless attacks on whites, so it just washes past. That’s the only reason that she seems *subtle*.

        She should demand to be respected as the flaming racist that she is.

      • Kate Paulk

        Pretty much, yes. Jemisin is racist, and not subtle about it either. Vox is not racist, and has a great deal of fun setting traps for those who are with the way he phrases things.

    • Vox Day appears to claim that whites are inherently superior to blacks (due to biology, or culture, I was never quite sure).

      Why don’t you read his blog more closely. A characteristic feature of Vox’s writing style is that he says things which at first sight may seem racist/sexist/ungood, and would probably be thought of as implicitly racist, but if you read the words carefully and literally, would be a much more reasonable statement, or at least one which is based on some reasoning, not pure feelings of prejudice or hatred. And so maybe 50% of the contents of his “controversial” posts go right over the head of people who just casually read them.

      The perfect example is Vox calling Jemisin “sub-human”, or at least using that phrase when talking about her. People would at first glance interpret that as calling black people to be “lower humans”, and that’s the way PZ Myers interpreted it. But that was not what he meant at all. If you read his post, he cites scientific articles to argue that Jemisin, being of African extraction, has likely purer human DNA compared to non-Africans, who have been “contaminated” with DNA from Neanderthals and other subspecies of homo. The irony is that several of PZ Myers’ followers tried to point this out to Vox – when it was what he believed all along.

      In another case Vox said blacks as a whole to be less civilized, with Jemisin being an exemplar of that? Is he racist? Seems so. But his explanation is that it is because blacks have been exposed to civilization for only a few centuries or so, while whites were first exposed to civilization in the first few centuries AD due to the Roman Empire. In other words, Vox is actually the one who believes blacks and whites to be equal, because he thinks that they should “absorb civilization” at the same rate. Is this a wacky theory? Yes, somewhat, but it has its some reasoning behind it, and as someone who actually comes from a 3rd world country, I myself have seen the effects of introducing civilization and rule of law to people who are not used to them. In that sense Vox’s theory resonates with me, and it is evidence to me that it is not based on irrational racist hatred.

    • Vox Day appears to claim that whites are inherently superior to blacks (due to biology, or culture, I was never quite sure).

      Why don’t you read his blog more closely. A characteristic feature of Vox’s writing style is that he says things which at first sight may seem racist/sexist/ungood, and would probably be thought of as implicitly racist, but if you read the words carefully and literally, would be a much more reasonable statement, or at least one which is based on some reasoning, not pure feelings of prejudice or hatred. And so maybe 50% of the contents of his “controversial” posts go right over the head of people who just casually read them.

      The perfect example is Vox calling Jemisin “sub-human”, or at least using that phrase when talking about her. People would at first glance interpret that as calling black people to be “lower humans”, and that’s the way PZ Myers interpreted it. But that was not what he meant at all. If you read his post, he cites scientific articles to argue that Jemisin, being of African extraction, has likely purer human DNA compared to non-Africans, who have been “contaminated” with DNA from Neanderthals and other subspecies of homo. The irony is that several of PZ Myers’ followers tried to point this out to Vox – when it was what he believed all along.

      In another case Vox said blacks as a whole to be less civilized, with Jemisin being an exemplar of that? Is he racist? Seems so. But his explanation is that it is because blacks have been exposed to civilization for only a few centuries or so, while whites were first exposed to civilization in the first few centuries AD due to the Roman Empire. In other words, Vox is actually the one who believes blacks and whites to be equal, because he thinks that they should “absorb civilization” at the same rate. Is this a wacky theory? Yes, somewhat, but it has its some reasoning behind it, and as someone who actually comes from a 3rd world country, I myself have seen the effects of introducing civilization and rule of law to people who are not used to them. In that sense Vox’s theory resonates with me, and it is evidence to me that it is not based on irrational racist hatred.

      • Kate Paulk

        Excellent summary.

        I don’t necessarily agree with all Vox’s theories, but his evidence is sound, and there’s nothing wrong with the reasoning by which he gets there. I just don’t think he’s always got the correct antecedents as opposed to correlations. Which is perfectly reasonable when you’re dealing with a complex multi-variant problem.

      • gutenbergsson

        Actually, a very good point. Perhaps being Canadian and living in a society that is looking for offence all the time has influenced me more than I thought. Still not sure about him, but Jemisin’s subtle racism is perhaps more overt than I thought.

        • Kate Paulk

          It probably has – when you get that kind of thing ALL the time, it’s difficult to keep it out. The subconscious mind tends not to filter out the inaccurate, it just takes it all in and integrates it. It’s one of the reason indoctrinating children is so effective.

          • gutenbergsson

            Haha, Damn Canadian educational system.

            • WATYF

              Fortunately, I escaped the Motherland before they had a chance to fully indoctrinate me. :o)

              WATYF

              • gutenbergsson

                Hahaha, we’re not so bad. Haven’t signed up a socialist clown to run things…yet. 😉

                • Holmwood

                  Err… what exactly was Pierre Trudeau then? Granted, very intelligent, but I think he was more or less a clownish dilettante when it came to the economy.

                  • gutenbergsson

                    True. Before my time. Was thinking of our present government, which has slowed that decline into Socialism. Not stopped, just slowed.

    • Perhaps I am mistaken, but somewhere along the line I got the impression that Mr. Beale was black.

      • Luscinia

        Wow. You must be reading a blog from an alternate dimension in which someone else calls himself Vox Day.

    • Kate Paulk

      Nope. Beale is not even slightly racist. He’s honest about observed facts and doesn’t care what culture or skin color is attached to the fact.

      I’d rather be in a room with Beale, because I can guarantee that he would not make nicey-nice then stab me in the back. If he had a reason to dislike me, he’d be upfront about it.

      Her, not so much.

  18. bernardbrandt

    There are two possible explanations as to why Science Fiction sucks so much these days.

    1. Most of those who write it these days neither know science nor any sort of competence in their own lives (which appears to be the contention of the members and commenters of The Mad Genius Club).

    But there is a rather nastier explanation, which I am almost afraid to attempt to raise:

    2. No one is doing the sort of science these days which would inspire new science fiction.

    Sure, we get the teams of people who are working at new computer programs, or new computer architectures, or driving satellites or Mars Rangers, or protein crystallography and recombinant DNA, or even doing major experiments at CERN.

    But we have a definite shortage of folk like Einstein or Feynman, Crick/Watson or even Shockley, who are coming up with new fundamental discoveries.

    What I am afraid is happening is that Big Science is becoming progressively (pun intended) bureaucratized, and the sort of genius that makes the big discoveries possible is being filtered out of the system.

    One person who is talking about this is Professor Bruce Charlton, in several weblogs which it would be worthwhile for you to read:

    I’ve tried posting this several times, but your damned system won’t let me do so, probably because I’m posting too many http lines, so you’ll just have to do with Prof. Charlton’s Blogger profile instead:

    http://www.blogger.com/profile/09615189090601688535

    • Kate Paulk

      Your curses should probably be aimed at WordPress, which is notorious for that kind of nonsense.

      And your second point is both scary and entirely too possible.

    • dgarsys

      Feynman is arguably a hero of mine. A physicist who – among other things – hung out doing calculations in strip clubs, cracked safes as a hobby (thus arguably preventing a massive screw up in the manhattan project…), and more!

      Excellent book on him: http://www.amazon.com/Quantum-Man-Richard-Feynmans-Discoveries/dp/0393340651

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      I do not have an opinion on the state of modern published english language sci fi, as I read very little of it, aside from Baen. I like what I like, and read what I read, and haven’t paid close enough attention otherwise.

      Re: 1 My understanding is that the consensus has two parts.

      One is that the publishing companies are not practicing sound business, and are significantly influenced by fairly uniform leftists, some of whom may also be feckless.

      The other is the Human Wave thesis, that recent fads took Sci Fi too far in the depressing, artsy make-people-feel-bad-about-themselves direction, and that adherents wish to write a different style, perhaps with a lot more hope.

      Re: 2 This reminds reminds me of some of my own notions.

      Take a look at Derek Lowe’s piece on the 13th about druggability.

      pipeline dot corante dot com

      I’m not convinced of any physical principal that requires that there always be more groundshaking work to discover.

      Call that the first gate, with science and engineering being two and three.

      Fourth gate, I’ll vaguely call human systems, and is very important. This is the reason why SPQR and the Song, for example, didn’t have the full up industrial revolution. I think it very possible that there may be first or fourth gate issues.

      That said, I’m not sure that this is a rate limiting factor on sci fi. Certainly, there are fanfic writers and people who don’t write in English who might make me think otherwise.

      • Kate Paulk

        I gradually stopped reading a lot of it because I simply couldn’t find anything in the bookstores that I wanted to read.

        I’m sure there’s more awesome to be discovered, but whether the current state of the institutional sciences is going to discover it is a different question.

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          I forgot about the webcomic argument. Not limited by the publishers, good solid sci fi for all tastes. Odd, since I’d recently archive binged on Zombie Ranch. Anyway, Schlock Mercenary, well known, Freefall, hardish sci fi, Cold Servings, a very hard sci fi take on super heroes. I’m certain there are more examples I haven’t seen or can’t remember.

          Human stupidity does make a pretty convincing argument that we may still have huge holes in our understanding of physical phenomena.

          I’ve some assumptions I’ve converged on for evaluating probability and certainty for tech development. These are at least passable for RL purposes. They have limits, and bias towards certain errors, but I know some about those. Being wrong some of the time is the price I pay for guessing.

  19. Mattie Brahen

    I would really like to point out to Kate Paulk that being a Jew does not necessarily mean the Jewish person is a conservative. I most certainly am not a conservative while being of Jewish heritage. Please do not label people individually or as a group as the label may be faulty. Thank you, Marilyn “Mattie” Brahen

    • Please go back and re-read what Kate said. She did not label all Jews conservatives. She was making a point about how, as the SS went after Jews, it now looks as if SFWA is going after its conservative members, especially the vocal ones.

      • Kate Paulk

        Which is what I would have said if I’d had access to the blog while I was at work (and had time to look at it)

    • No, but in your case it means being reading-comprehension impaired. As someone of Jewish heritage who is not conservative, you’ve just reminded me of why I keep shaking my head and saying “MOTs, always in love with the ideologies that want to kill them.” Before you careen off the liberal precipice, it might occur to you to read the story of the Jews in the USSR. Or just to study history. Some of my ancestors, doubtless opened the doors of cities and castles to the Moors. Turned out the invaders were not as nice as advertised (not that you’ll find that in most literature.) Sometimes I think we’re the people of eternal surprise. We have to be chosen. We’re still here, despite attempts at self-eradication. (And the outside forces who really need no help.)

      • Kate Paulk

        Sadly, all too true.

      • I don’t know whether MGC is as tolerant of off-topic sub-threads as is AtH, so I’ll summarize to the point of over-simplification. (Also, stupid WordPress won’t let me post a thousand-page thesis in a blog comment. ‹grumble›)

        The attraction Communism held for Jews grew out of a 1½ century-long … “religious civil war” is too strong a term, but only barely … within European Jewry. Apathetic Jews are apathetic, engaged Jews become Orthodox or (chas v’shalom) Progressive; congregations of the apathetic are usually led by the latter.

        [Note also that some Jews are both Orthodox & Progressive; the ones I know have stayed clear of the blatantly self-destructive aspects of Progressivism.]

        • Kate Paulk

          Damn. It’s a pity WordPress won’t let you post the thousand page thesis in a blog comment, because based on this it would be an absolutely fascinating read.

          • Please forgive me, but I’m going to make a quick “hijack” here since the subject of Jews in history has come up.

            I’ve got a story idea kicking around that involves, well, I’ve got a group of castaways (or their descendents) trapped on a planet with native sophonts. The idea I’m kicking around is that they have a cultural position in the local society something like that of Jews in Europe sometime before the Enlightenment. I don’t know enough about the Jewish position in Europe over that time to say a specific time and place or if I’ll use a synthesis of different times and places.

            So what I’m looking for is some good information on the position of Jews in society during those periods. Any suggestions?

            • Remember that I’m a fiction writer, not a professional historian, so I’m after “look and feel” rather than “facts and dates” if you take my meaning. I’m not eschewing historical accuracy, but the emphasis on what it was like to be there rather than who specifically did what to whom when.

              • Usenet newsgroup soc.culture.jewish.moderated (also reachable via Google Groups) might be a better place than Baen’s Bar for this discussion.

                Whatever venue you choose, ping me when you’ve posted so I can weigh in.

            • I’d be glad to have a chat on this subject. Baen’s Bar probably has a forum where this would be on-topic—plus they have the 1632 folks there, some of whom likely have more expertise on the subject than I. Pick a forum and link; I’ll try to follow.

          • … and also, I don’t have time to write a thousand-page thesis now; it’s almost Shabbat. See you all tomorrow night!

        • Thank you Joel. MGC is pretty tolerant…

    • Lin W

      Mattie, congratulations on being the first to shout, “Look! Squirrel!”

      How you can read Kate’s post and have *that* be your only takeaway is incomprehensible to me.

      Tell me, do you watch movies and leave wondering where you can get a lamp just like the one in the bedroom, barely visible through the open door, as the dismemberment was happening?

    • Kate Paulk

      Perhaps you could try reading what I actually wrote. Or possibly not, since you clearly have an issue with analogies in the form of “A is to B as C is to D”

      The very simple version, in words of no more than two syllables (mostly):
      To the SS, Jews were evil and must be destroyed.
      To SFWA, conservatives are evil and must be destroyed.

      This is not difficult. Do try to understand that observing a parallel is not the same as labeling.

    • Um, you’re missing the point. I mean seriously and dramatically missing it.

      Look, the basic principle is: take a look at what SFWA is doing to and saying about conservatives. Now consider if it were a particular historical group doing/saying that kind of stuff about/to Jews. This should illustrate why what SFWA is doing is . . . of concern. (Or would be if SFWA can somehow manage to still matter in the world.)

      In similar vein I see that kind of thing going on with Libertarians. MSNBC claims that the Boston Marathon bombers were influenced by “Radical Libertarianism”. Christie claims the “Libertarian Wing” of the Republican party is a danger.

      By Grabthar’s Hammer, it’s like the 20’s and 30’s all over again only “Libertarians” instead of “Jews”.

      And actual bona-fide conservatives (as opposed to left-leaning “Moderates” like Christie) aren’t very far behind in the queue for showers. (Yes, I’m engaging in hyperbole–but only because it’s early yet. I write SF, “If this goes on” is part of my stock in trade.)

      • Kate Paulk

        Well said, that Writer In Black. Someone give that writer a typewriter… oh never mind. You probably already have one 🙂

  20. Curtis

    I like your post and the commentariot. SFWA is almost PLO in nature and seems incapable of passing up an opportunity to do itself an injury. How they mangled ‘free exchange of ideas’ into terminating with prejudice a man who merely engaged in free exchange of ideas is a mystery. Perhaps they should call themselves the MFWA.

    • Kate Paulk

      What, and insult perfectly good mystery writers?

      Unless you mean m******-f******* w******* of America, in which case you’re insulting perfectly good mother-f$cking w@nkers.

  21. Robert-G

    I see some of the people on this site, are still confused about the racism/non-racism thing, which was never the point.
    Vox Day presents controversial comments to get people to think and respond. Maybe he should post “The following comment does not imply that this is the author’s opinion.’ Just joking. However, he has commented at least once that his intention is to get people to leave their comfort area and examine their beliefs. Its not a ‘look at me’ site, which I think a lot of the judgment related people come from. He stated at the beginning of the SFWA thing. This is about me, only in that I am the subject. This is a lesson on how the Left takes over and destroys, organizations and governments.
    Now that’s said, I’ll go to what I think is important.
    Sarah, you have made it a point on your blog that you (Hopefully you will accept help) will help new writers, I think by being willing to review and comment on their work. I doubt if I will be prevailing on you to do so, for my own writing is not necessarily in the SF field. I do think it is commendable.

  22. gutenbergsson

    That is the difference between Conservatives and Liberals. I may disagree with your point of view, but respect that you have it and don’t consider you evil. With Liberals, dissent is evil. Jemisin is okay because while racist…she’s “our” racist, while Vox is not okay, not because he is or isn’t a racist, but because he dissents from the groupthink.

    • Kate Paulk

      Sadly, yes. Disagreement is just that. Everyone filters what they see through their experience and comes out with a different conclusion. Sometimes very different. That’s not evil, it’s human.

      Which is why squashing dissent is evil, in my opinion.

  23. Kate Paulk

    I should mention for those who have come here from Vox Popoli or other locations, to minimize spam we have all first comments going to moderation. Since the mods are all busy people, that means we might not get to you for a while.

    Hopefully no-one gets lost in WordPress’s spam folder and you’re all going via Pending so we can approve you.

  24. R7 Rocket

    The new “SS” should write those letters as lightening bolts because lightening bolts are very science fictioney

  25. VD

    “Vox Day appears to claim that whites are inherently superior to blacks (due to biology, or culture, I was never quite sure). ”

    Actually, I have addressed this very issue and in no little detail. Different human population groups, be they categorized as sub-species or races, have various strengths and weaknesses. To say that one is superior to another makes no sense unless you provide a metric. Is a Great Dane superior to a Husky? The correct answer can only be: it depends.

    The reason I referred to Ms Jemisin as “half-savage” is because that is observably true on average. The various African population groups have only been exposed to advanced civilization for between 300-500 years, prior to which they lived in a state of fairly primitive savagery with short time-preferences and a limited grasp of cause and effect. If that amount of exposure was sufficient to produce the longer time-preferences needed to build and maintain civilization, we would be able to point to self-sustaining African-dominated civilizations.

    Instead, we have Zimbabwe, Detroit, and Haiti. This is neither an accident nor the result of bad thoughts by whites or anyone else. And, given that it took around 1,000 years for advanced white civilizations to either develop on their own or advance from savagery to civilization following exposure to an advanced civilization, I think it is highly improbable to believe that any African population groups have successfully done so, especially in the absence of any observable evidence. If you can point to one, I would be happy to take it into consideration.

    As it happens, I am neither a white supremacist nor white. I am officially tri-racial, being white, Hispanic, and Asian. This may be why I have little interest in my own complicated racial identity and why I tend to look at racial matters less passionately than most. Or perhaps not, who knows?

    In any event, simply crying “racist” serves no purpose. The subject is too important to simply dismiss these ideas out of hand. I may be wrong. But if I am right, and the civilizational process takes much longer than most people believe, it means that nearly all of the global social policy dependent on the premise of rapid transitions from primitive and savage societies to advanced and civilized ones is doomed to complete failure.

    • Kate Paulk

      Thanks for the detailed explanation of your views, Vox. The biggest bloody shame of the whole PC bullshit circus is that it has shut down honest discussion about the impact of genetics and culture on how people handle what’s arguable the dominant culture in today’s world (namely some flavor of Western European).

      If it’s not racist to note that the physiology of some of the Sub-Saharan tribes is perfectly adapted to modern sprinting races, it should not be racist to note that the mental hardware of some of the Sub-Saharan tribes is not particularly well adapted to the Western European cultural mode of operation. Most of us aren’t that well adapted to life in a hunter-gatherer tribe, either. Our genetics would work against us if we had to adapt to that.

      The very real bigotry inherent in assuming that someone who happens to have dark skin is incapable of coping with, say, mainstream USA culture is, I suspect, what underlies the speed with which those people cry “Racist!”. Easier to deflect to someone else than to examine one’s own darker impulses, after all.

    • Synova

      I can think of a few issues to bring up in response to those ideas… namely, I suppose… is it a matter of being exposed to an advanced culture or is it dependent on which advanced culture you’re exposed to? For example… Vikings (certainly barbarians) were exposed to Protestantism, though even the barbarians had developed a mostly democratic system before then… Africa (in various parts) was exposed to… what? Marxism and Islam? China has an ancient civilization and yet their autocratic system didn’t stand up to the invasion of new ideas. Babylon has crumbled into the dust. Greece isn’t doing so hot these days. Also… Egypt.

      I only bring this up to make a point because it could be a never ending discussion… and that point is… telling people to Shut Up when they say something that sounds unpleasant isn’t a way to combat (if combating is what is needed) the ideas that are uncomfortable. There are many people far smarter than I am and I find it impossible to believe that they’re unable to engage the ideas and offer alternative possibilities.

      Science fiction, in particular, is supposed to be about ideas.

    • Luscinia

      Is Wapanese considered an ethnicity now?

      • Kate Paulk

        Do you think you a faux-snarky one-liner is a win?

        • Luscinia

          Yes, yes I do. Because I’m more Asian than he is.

          • Kate Paulk

            Really, sweetie. The last time I looked, we didn’t take notes over whose parents did whom, nor did we accuse people of lying because we don’t think they look like they say their ancestry is.

            You can either quit with the bullshit and give some evidence to your comments, or you can get the boot. You could even go bawling about how horribly “racist” we are here if you like. I don’t care.

            I don’t care who is more anything than whom. We don’t play those games here. You get judged on the quality of your discourse, and that, madam, is so utterly non-existent it’s heading into the negatives.

            Your call.

          • Because I’m more Asian then he is.

            I’ve never understood the whole racial purity thing.

            So if he was more Asian the you are, you would lose because his bloodline would be more privliaged?

            Elizabeth Warren was the first 1/36 Cherokee professor at harvard. Or maybe not. Halle Berry cites the one drop of blood rule created by Democrats to segregate blacks to state her daughter is black instead of 3/4 White and 1/4 black. George W. Bush and Barack Obama are 10th cousins once removed.

            Go back far enough and everyone eventually ends up related to everyone else.

            But instead, for you, race is the defining issue. So because you are more asian you win.

            You are the classic definition of a racist.

            Which only makes sense since all asians are racists.

      • Such a well thought out answer and comment. (In case you can’t figure it out, that’s irony slapping you in the face.) Everyone here is willing to discuss the topic. But this sort of thing simply brings out the troll hammers. So my only conclusion is that you either like being “it” in a game of whack-a-troll or you simply don’t have the ability to respond with a reasoned and researched response to what Vox and others have said here.

        • Luscinia

          So, what ethnic group is Vox claiming to be? He doesn’t look a thousandth Asian.

          • So, just because someone doesn’t look a certain ethnicity, by your definition they can’t be. By that definition, many people who are American Indian or Asian or Hispanic or African-American or from any other ethnic group would be precluded from claiming their “ethnicity”.

            Again, you have failed to present any sort of discussion or fact-based counter to what Vox or anyone else on the blog has had to say. Consider this your warning. Either do so and stop the poorly thought out one-line responses or you will become only the second or third person to ever be banned from this blog. We encourage discussion and enjoy debating with folks who don’t necessarily agree with what we have to say. However, you aren’t discussing or debating. You’re the kid in the sandbox stamping your foot and saying we have to do it your way or else.

            There are very few rules here. The main one we follow comes from Jim Baen — don’t be a butt-head. You, have continued to be a butt-head. Now you have been warned.

            • Funny thing is, my grandfather’s mom was either pure or half Indian, and he looked “English” enough to mooch off of the KKK spread as a kid. (Apparently they spent years funding really good picnics and never figured out that people would come, eat, smile politely and go home laughing. Especially those who were the folks the KKK railed against….)

              • I know. If I were to sit here and list my heritage and ethnicity, I have as much, if not more, Cherokee than anything else but I look like a mix of the Germanic and Celtic that come in second and third on the list. Does that make me any less Cherokee because I don’t look it? Not to me, but then I’m just an wrong-thinking fool by the standards of some commenting here. Shrug.

                • Kate Paulk

                  And meanwhile I’m almost pure Anglo-Celt with a smattering of Viking (via the Isle of Man) and possible long-gone crypto Jewish (maiden name is Golding via Kent in England – where the name showed up about the same time as Edward Longshanks was expelling the Jews – I grew up with “Are you Jewish? Not that I know of.”) It’s interesting sometimes to trace ancestry, but apart from the possible medical issues that come with some ancestry lines it doesn’t really make much difference to anything.

                  Of me and my four sibs, there’s me with the pale skin, gray eyes and mousy hair that started white blond, sis #1 pale skin, green eyes, dark brown hair, sis #2 olive skin, brown eyes, very dark brown hair, sis #3 blond, blue eyes, pale skin, and brother with olive skin, brown eyes, very dark brown hair – and features that let him pass as part Australian Aboriginal if he wants to.

                  Genetics and ancestry is fun to trace and leads to some interesting discoveries. It has buggerall to do with what someone does in their life.

                • bearcat

                  Actually a lot of pure-blood Cherokees look entirely Celtic, so I would say you look Cherokee. But to get back to the discussion, Vox has repeatedly stated that he doesn’t claim any race, being from three different racial heritages. He has even made that statement repeatedly on this thread, so asking what race he claims is decidedly disingenius.

              • Kate Paulk

                I love it! Good on all the folks who pulled that trick.

          • “Funny, she doesn’t LOOK Drewish.”

          • You don’t either, Andrew Marston aka “Yamamanama.”

  26. VD

    “Vox Day presents controversial comments to get people to think and respond.”

    Even that may be giving me too much credit. Often, what is on my blog is little more than me thinking out loud. I find it necessary to write things down in order to properly articulate them, and since I’m writing it down anyhow, I don’t see why others shouldn’t have access to those thoughts and critique or improve them as they see fit.

    Which is why I have considerable contempt for those who work themselves up into a frenzy over something controversial I’ve written. Sometimes it is my opinion, but other times I don’t even know what my opinion on the subject is yet. My default position is always “I don’t know”.

    However, I will admit that I do not understand how anyone can claim to believe in both human evolution and human equality at the same time, especially if they also consider themselves a rational materialist.

    What is the unit measure of equality?

    • Kate Paulk

      Oh, I don’t know – you’ve shown quite a gift for inspiring comment and thought.

      Your default position sounds an awful lot like mine – I have my beliefs but I’m always willing to re-examine them because among them I include the possibility that I just might be wrong. It’s happened once or twice.

      The unit measure of equality? That would be the “Duh”, I think.

      • VD

        “I can think of a few issues to bring up in response to those ideas… namely, I suppose… is it a matter of being exposed to an advanced culture or is it dependent on which advanced culture you’re exposed to?”

        I would assume the latter. Obviously, in developmental terms, you’d rather get invaded by the Romans, the English, or the Normans than the Spanish, the Portuguese, or the Arabs.

        The key is to understand that geography isn’t magic. I suspect that longer time-preferences and a sound grasp of cause-and-effect are the two major factors that need to be instilled in civilized populations, but it is only a suspicion, nothing more.

        • I think it takes more than exposure, or even conquest. It requires the assimilation of a large chuck of the culture that fits the ascendant civilization superior.

          I doubt there’s a region devoid of the archeological evidence of the rise and fall of early civilizations. There’s no evolutionary advantage to stupidity (apart perhaps from the current Welfare state, and I doubt that’ll last more than a few generations more.)

          If genetic changes were necessary for “outsiders” to adopt western culture, there would be _no_ examples of non-Europeans doing well in our culture. But examples abound, so we’re back to Nature v Nurture. Cultures, not races.

          And therefore, on a day to day basis, we simply need to judge individuals as individuals. And try to minimize government attempts to force us into the “appropriate” boxes and keep us there.

          • Jerry Pournelle has a cocktail party theory (his definition: “theories you would defend at a cocktail party or a home salon, but which you don’t publish in peer reviewed journals”) that the Normans were civilized by all the Irish girls they kidnapped for wives. [link]

            • Synova

              Huh. So that’s the problem then. Lack of intermarriage.

              (People used to tell my great grandmother that she looked French, on account of she wasn’t blond, and that there must have been a family history Viking raids stealing French women. She was guaranteed to have kittens anytime this was mentioned, which was most of the fun, I’m sure.)

            • That’s a very good point… kind of like how the Romans were probably swayed, IIRC.

              • bearcat

                And the last centurion laid his shield in the heather and took a barbarian bride. It works both ways.

                • Ah, but everybody notices and expects that, for some reason– didn’t they notice those poor, powerless little women were raising the next generation?

  27. I didn’t know this discussion was going on here until I saw how many people were visiting the SASS blog through a link posted here. Thanks! We’re getting so many requests for membership packets now – thanks to you and others – I haven’t been able to keep up. I’ll have to work on it this weekend.

    • Lou, I know I speak for Kate and the rest of the MGC crew when I say we’re glad to help. Heck, I’ve got a note on my desk to contact you myself about membership. Don’t be a stranger here. Not every post is as controversial as this one 😉

    • Kate Paulk

      I second the welcome – you posted after I went to bed (I’m narcoleptic – early nights are essential for me).

  28. Pingback: Some housecleaning was needed | madgeniusclub

  29. Rollory

    All this “Vox Day is not racist” talk is nonsense. Vox Day is racist, because he recognizes reality, and reality is racist.

    The races are different, have different tendencies and average abilities, and some races are not as good at certain things as others, and that never will change in the lifetime of anyone on the planet today no matter what policies are put in place, and acting as though this is not true – no matter whose feelings it hurts – will lead to assorted disasters. That is racist, and it is the basis of racism.

    • Kate Paulk

      That’s an interesting perspective, Rollory. I can’t argue with your facts – although what’s really at issue here appears to be the exact meaning of “racist”.

      If by “racist” you mean that there are differences between genetic groupings which lead to differences in average abilities, then hell yes.

      If “racist” is used to mean “bigoted against a particular genetic group”, then hell no. I personally use the word “racist” in this way. I suspect a lot of the anti-racism campaigners use it the way you’ve described. It keeps them in a job, after all.

  30. Ellis Lonharno

    That guy is not a conservative, he’s a nut job. A regular Taliban. I don’t think, though, that he should be kicked out of anything. The best way to deal with a troll is to avoid feeding it.

    • Kate Paulk

      I agree that he shouldn’t be kicked out – however, a little more evidence than your opinion that he is a “nut job” and “regular Taliban” would be helpful.

      • bearcat

        He doesn’t agree with her, what more evidence do you need?

        • Kate Paulk

          Oh, I don’t know… maybe proof that he goes around beating women who show their ankles? (That would be kind of difficult to find, since most of the folks here are pretty good at picking ‘shopped pics). Something a little more substantial than “I don’t like him, WAAAAAH”, at any rate.

      • People throw about comparisons to the Taliban with remarkable ease. Case in point: I lost all respect for Michael Yon when he described someone in the US burning Korans as “American Taliban.” Excuse me? Trying to draw a moral equivalence between someone who burns pieces of paper with ink marks on them as a form of political protest (no attempt made to destroy _all_ Korans, just some as protest) with people who burn little girls with acid for the “crime” of going to school?

        Don’t think so.

        • Kate Paulk

          Pretty, much, yes. That kind of moral equivalence shows a faulty grasp of morality in my view.

          • bearcat

            It all depends on your values, if you value your Koran more than you do little girls it makes perfect sense. Personally if I had to choose between saving a Koran and saving the moron who thought burning it was equivalent to the actions of the Taliban, I would be tempted to save the Koran, but if it was a choice between a Koran* and a nine year old girl, I would save the girl every time.

            *substitute Bible for the Koran if you like, since it is my holy book and the Koran basically means nothing to me, my choices would still be the same.

            • Kate Paulk

              That’s quite a good point there. I can’t disagree with you. Of course, if I had to choose between a holy book and someone who thinks their holy book is more important than a little girl, I’d be sorely tempted to choose the book.

              For that matter if the choice was between a roll of toilet paper and someone who thinks their holy book is more important than a small child’s life, I’d be tempted to go with the TP. That at least is useful.

  31. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    You know, I was curious about this “N. K. Jemisin” and I decided to look her up.

    It turns out that her books are in my “To Be Read Pile” (e-format version)

    Don’t think I’ll waste my time with them. [Frown]