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.