The Merits Of Awards

Yes, you can blame Facebook for this post, too, although it’s not quite as potentially traumatizing as last week’s set of story-fodder links.

See David Gerrold wrote a thoughtful post on potential future SFWA Grandmaster awards (officially the Damon Knight Memorial Grandmaster Award), and added some equally thoughtful and sensible comments in the thread that followed. In the middle of this are some seriously sad observations – sad because of the behavior and attitudes they reflect.

To wit:

“(One of the conversations was “we gotta honor more women”–the subtext being “to show we’re not misogynist.” The problem there is that SF was overwhelmingly a male-dominated genre for a long long time so the sex ratio is still kinda skewed among the older generation. That will change in another decade or two, of course.) “

The sex ratio… since when was it necessary that there be a “sex ratio” unless we’re talking the number of moves one makes on ones partner compared to the number of times said partner reciprocates (in which case if you’re in a healthy relationship that ratio should be pretty damn close to 1:1). Women are statistically less inclined to write science fiction. There are some that do and do it very well. But if you use the usual scientific method of looking at the titles in the SF & Fantasy section of your local bookstore, you will notice immediately that there are a lot of female authors, and that most of them are writing fantasy – more often than not urban fantasy. I have a theory about this (I have theories about a lot of things but I don’t have the evidence, time, or finances to dig further), but it’s not all that relevant to the point that when men who write science fiction far outnumber women who write science fiction there damn well should be a whole lot more male grandmasters than female grandmasters.

Then of course there’s Mr Gerrold’s list, which starts with Norman Spinrad and then adds:

“(Others on my list for future consideration include John Varley, Spider Robinson, George R.R. Martin, Mike Resnick, Lois McMaster Bujold, and probably a half-dozen more than that.) (I think Orson Scott Card should be considered as well, because his entire body of work has been impressive, but I doubt that any SFWA president would want to trigger that particular uproar with the nomination.)”

How sad is it that because the Vaginahood of the Perpetually Offended has decreed Orson Scott Card to be some kind of uber-evil demonic being who presumably eats babies for breakfast, authors who respect his works and their impact on the field are afraid to consider him as a potential Grandmaster. I can completely understand Mr Gerrold’s comment that he “will never run for the office of SFWA president” because he “might win”.

What Damon Knight (one of the founders of SFWA) described as herding cats has become much less pleasant and much more difficult. Yes, the president of SFWA is still herding cats. But the cats are the big variety, they’re hungry, and they keep eating each other. They’re also being led in ever-decreasing circles of political correctness, and the question of who is going to end up disappearing up which fundamental orifice really should be the subject of some friendly wagers (my virtual money is on each Feminist Glittery Hoo Haa disappearing up her own fundament and vanishing in a cloud of glitter peppered with faint cries of “____ist!” (which is of course the mating cry of the species – fatally hampered by members of said species not having any idea what they actually want to mate with)).

In another example of the same kind of silliness, this year’s World Fantasy Award Best Novel winner in the midst of a fairly normal post of the “OMG I won I’m so thrilled” variety (and who can blame her – I sure don’t) let slip just how far the brainwashing has gone. She may be somewhat more endowed with natural melanin than, say, me (whose natural color is so ghostly pale I grew up in Australia with people assuming I was sickly – because the Australian ideal is a “healthy tan” and darker skinned people are often envied for not needing to maintain said tan), but that does not make her any more of a “writer of color” than any other writer.

A writer of color. What in the name of all that is unholy does that actually mean? I’m a writer of stories. Writing color would be bloody boring. What am I supposed to do, fill the screen with “red red red red green green blue pink yellow white orange” (Ooh, I’m being racist, I didn’t include black. But if I had I’d still be racist because I don’t have the magic credentials to be allowed to write black. Yeah. Sure. And this is my middle finger.) To be absolutely clear, I do not blame this writer for succumbing to the endless PC chants. If that’s all you hear, yes, that’s what you’re likely to believe.

Then of course there’s the mention of the controversy about the award itself, namely the fact that the (hideously ugly, in my opinion) award is a caricaturesque bust thingy of H. P. Lovecraft who was most active in the 1930s and (shock! Horrors!) had the mindset and attitudes that were normal for a man of that era, and even more unforgivably allowed said mindset and attitudes to leak into his writing.

Honestly, you’d think he’d advocated serving babies without ketchup.

Awards of any flavor, unless they’re for the “Most Politically Correct Social Justice Tract Disguised as a Novel” should be based on one criteria only. The quality of the work. For a grandmaster award, the quality of the work the candidates have produced over their lifetime.

How hard is that?

108 Comments

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108 responses to “The Merits Of Awards

  1. When it comes down to it, any woman or man or neither sex, of any melanin-levels, or ethnic group or sexual orientation or whatever, if they are not part of the ‘correct political opinions’ are also eschewed, because badthink.

    I’m more interested in buying, reading, and writing stories. If I want colors, I’ll nip down to Bunnings and check out their paint samples, or to Spotlight and look at the latest fabrics. When I want stories, I’m looking at BLACK AND WHITE and nine bloody hells, those blots of ink or pixels better be interesting reading, compelling characters, and absorbing in story, or that author ends up crossed off my list and plainly isn’t getting my money.

    And if the writing offered by convential western sci-fi and fantasy books isn’t interesting again, my money’s going to Japanese writers and artists. Because that’s what I did when, during the late 90s and most of the early millenium, the pickings in book stores were slim. Oh look, I’m supporting people who aren’t ‘old white men’. /snark

    Happily, there’s Baen and a massive backlog of books and authors there for me, and indie, with even MORE books and authors I may discover and enjoy. So while the Japanese pop lit option is there, it’s now an option, and I’m quite happily spoiled for choice.

    • Did you have to mention fabric stores? The quilters storage shelves are pure evil. “Ooh, look at how the colors blend, what if you did a monkey-wrench or log-cabin with some of this, and this in the centers for contrast, and oh,oh, wow, I’ve not seen that shade of turquoise before.” And this from someone without the patience or space to quilt.

      I’ll read what I like without worrying about the pigmentation of the author. Can he/she/it tell a story? Do I finish feeling better than when I started, and not in a “thank [deity] that’s over” way? Then it get’s the George Washington award from me, and the next books probably will too.

      • *sigh* The craft stores and DIY stores are pure temptation, so I know how you feel. I don’t know how to sew, knit or crochet, but whenever I step into Lincraft, I wish I did. Fortunately, my inner chibi has occasional bouts of being reasonable (snort) and chides me.

        Of course, this doesn’t STOP IT from giving me rather vivid nightmares. Like, really, brain? Did I need to have that dream where I find myself in the center of a freaking zombie outbreak, having just given birth, and the zombies were a bizzare result of a test of an ebola cure… last night?

        …Y’know, if the SJW ‘dream future’ of nobody ever being able to write books or stories except The Approved Ones come to pass, they’ll never be ablet to contend with my headspace for entertainment. I might not have the ability (of my own standards!) to write horror, but I sure can imagine up enough involuntarily to be far more amusing than they could HOPE to be.

        • Kate Paulk

          That’s what started me writing in the first place. “My imagine does better than this on a bad day.”

      • bearcat

        I happen to know what color you and Rory are, because you have both mentioned that several times, but; as far as most of the authors I read without ever talking to them online or otherwise (and some of those I have talked to online) I neither know nor care what color they are. Chances are, if I can tell what color they are from their writing, unless of course they are writing an autobiography, it is because their writing is subpar and they feel they need the ‘minority points’ to clear the hurdle.

        • Whenever someone I’ve been talking to online for some time without knowing their ethnicity mentions it, and it’s not solidly white, I’m tempted to say, “Well, I didn’t know you were [skin color]. Now I can’t talk to you any more.”

          Just for grins, of course. My black and Asian friends would pummel me if they thought I meant it. Especially the Asian ones. Probably because they’re mostly tiny women and would enjoy beating up the big gorilla-man. 🙂

        • Kate Paulk

          I don’t actually care that much what color I am. It just amuses me that having the “right” skin color and the “right” politics gets one brownie points with the SJW crowd – and I rather like popping their little paler = more privileged bubbles.

          I’m just evil that way.

      • I’ve never been a quilter, or much of a seamstress–but that’s never stopped me from collecting fabric 🙂

      • Kate Paulk

        Trust me, they’re WORSE when you do quilt. Even though I haven’t had time for it for years.

        It’s the dream to get back to it when I retire…

    • Kate Paulk

      What she said. Stories are what matters. Not who has innies or outies or who their parents were, did, or in extreme cases ate.

      • …Oh don’t get me started on militant vegans and vegetarians.

        We had a houseguest, who said ‘whatever you’re having is fine with me,’… and when we set out the meat and vegetable soup, suddenly blurts out in indignation and offended tones that she’s a vegetarian and INSISTED that she told us. The look my father gave her was frankly, terrifying.

        We gave her a can of fruit cocktail that night.

        • Kate Paulk

          Oh gawd. That houseguest was lucky she got ANYTHING to eat.

          • Our dislike of vegetarians and vegans as fussy eaters who have no consideration dates from then. Since we always asked about dietary requirements ahead of time – because, allergies, at the very least, y’know? – even when we had emergency houseguests.

            There was a whole sports team my father gave shelter to when their hotel accomodations were borked up. They were a boxing team, from Mindanao. Mostly Muslim. Dad made a point of telling my brothers to cook up chicken adobo and leave out the pork, and they were especially surprised and appreciative that Dad not only gave them the shelter of his own house, but was respectful of their diet without being asked.

            They all went to his funeral, going all the way from Mindanao to say farewell and relate his kindness.

            • Synova

              Speaking of… I’ve managed to gradually mangle my chicken adobo recipe over time. (I’d swear I’m making it the same but obviously I’m not.) If you have a recipe would you mind sharing?

              Your Dad sounds like a great guy.

              • That he was. They told my mother when they met her that even if they had been offered pork adobo, they would have eaten it, because he was kind and it was proper to do so, since they hadn’t told him that they were Muslims – I think they even said it wouldn’t have been a sin.

                I don’t mind sharing. Let me type up the recipe or dig up the one I’d written up on my old cooking LJ. I’ll drop it into another comment for easy reading. =)

              • Chicken and Pork Adobo Modena Family Style v2

                This dish can take up to two days of advance preparation, but only if resulting in the crispy Adobo version at the very end – something that doesn’t happen very often in my household because by the time the adobo is finished cooking and falling apart tender, everyone’s starving, Rhys comes home to delicious cooking smells and everyone wants to EAT IT NOW.

                If making this for dinner, I start at about 10 AM and leave it simmering on the stovetop for the whole day on the lowest fire possible. At about an hour before dinner, that’s when I remove the chicken bones and gristle, and add the soy sauce and final seasonings. The long cook time results in incredibly flavourful and tender meat. Rice is cooked about half an hour before dinnertime.
                This recipe can result in two different types of adobo: the usual Adobo stew, or Crispy Adobo Flakes.

                Stew-consistency adobo, when cooled, has the sauce turn into a jelly. This makes it ideal for taking along on school lunches to be eaten even unheated with rice or bread, on road trips and picnics, as the vinegar and salt content of the dish helps preserve the meat against spoilage, even in the hot tropical Philippine climates. Adobo-style cooking of meat has been traditionally one of the favoured methods of preparing ‘travelling food’, especially when the only way to get around was via water buffallo or oxen pulled cart. The versions for such old-style travelling tended to be heavier on the cracked peppercorns and had a higher amount of fat and bone to result in more of the preserving jelly, and the meat was not cooked to falling-apart softness, but cooked through and left on the bone for ease of serving and eating while on the road.

                Cooling the adobo to remove the extra fat can be done if desired, but I feel some fat should be allowed to remain for flavour.

                If you wish, you can also use stewing cuts of beef – either in substitution for pork or in addition to the meats already listed.
                Ingredients:
                At least 1kg each of:
                Pork meat, cut into cubes. Some fat is recommended, but if you have only lean cuts of meat, go with adding chicken with skin on. You can skim the fat off later if it’s for a dinner and not a picnic. (See above note about resulting travelling/picnic adobo) Additional note: you are very likely to get a lot of rendered oil from the fat.

                Chicken with skin and bone (thighs or drumsticks are good. Make sure feathers are fully removed from skin!)

                For every kg of meat 1 cup each of
                Marca Pina, Maggi, Knorr or Silver Swan brand soy sauce
                Marca Pina or Datu Puti brand brown cane vinegar
                (The brand is important, as this results in the flavor sought. Do not substitute Kikoman or other soy sauces, as the flavor of Kikoman is very different from the soy sauces named above! The brands named should be available in either Asian or Filipino food stores.)

                For every kilo of meat: At least 1 head, or 1 and a half head of garlic, peeled, crushed and chopped. If using prechopped garlic, slightly heaping 1 teaspoon (the one you use in stirring your coffee or tea, not the measurement.) (Try to do it this way the first time. Substituting garlic paste or dried garlic powder can be done in future cooking.) The more garlic in adobo, the better.

                Cracked pepper and salt to taste.

                Optional additions:
                a) 1-2 bay leaves, added during simmering stage and removed before serving
                b) Chili peppers
                Long white mild chili peppers; 1-3 per batch of adobo (usually whole)
                Red or Green long chili peppers, as spicy as desired, whole or chopped
                3-8 birds eye chilies, either whole or chopped. Or any other chili of choice.
                Chilies are added after seasoning with soy sauce, salt and pepper.
                c) Potatoes, peeled and chopped into quarters or eighths. Add just after seasoning with soy sauce, salt and pepper to taste.
                d) Del Monte or Dole canned pineapples, either chunks or as slices (Brand is again, important, to achieve the sought-after flavour, as these brands are sweeter than Sun Gold or Gouburn / Australian brand pineapples.) Add 10 minutes before serving.

                Method:
                1) Boil chicken in just enough water to cover the chicken meat, adding the necessary amount of vinegar and garlic until the meat has just cooked, but is not yet soft.

                2) Add the pork with it’s share of vinegar and garlic, adding more water to just cover the meat again. Season with some pepper and abotu a tablespoon of salt. (Adding the pork later after the chicken is so that the chicken fat in the water helps soften and flavor the pork; an especially important step if using lean cuts of pork. if the cut of pork has some fat, simply put it all in the pot together, merging the steps.)

                3) Simmer on low heat and allow the broth to boil down, then add enough water again to just cover, stir the pot. Cover the pot, adn allow to boil down again. Keep doing this until the meat is falling-apart tender, and the broth/sauce is yellowish in hue. If you wish to remove the chicken bones and gristle from the adobo, this would be a good time to do it.

                4) Add the required amount of soy sauce. Season the adobo with salt and pepper as desired (you can also add chopped bird’s eye chilies at this point, if you want a spicy adobo.) Adding the soy sauce too soon makes the meat tough, we’ve found, so that’s why we cook it in vinegar-water-garlic/onion and pepper first. Reduce the liquid to sauce or stew consistency.

                At this point, you may serve the meat over hot white rice,

                or

                allow the sauce to boil away so that you can shred the meat into strips and fry the meat in it’s own oils and juices for Crispy Adobo Flakes.

                Fry shredded adobo meat in batches until crispy before eating with rice. The cripsy version is also popular in the Philippines as a beer-side dish, like peanuts and chips.

                Crispy Adobo can also be stored and refrigerated for box lunches.

                • Synova

                  Oooo… thank you! We got Silver Swan soy sauce in the PI and it’s definitely better than American brands. I *think* that similar soy sauce is sometimes called Tamari. The Japanese brands we usually get are very dark and sweet, too. I’d never heard of brown cane vinegar before. We’ve a good shop here so I’ll look for it. 🙂

                • Saved. Dunno if I’ll ever get around to doing it, but I’ve got it.

                • That sounds great, and I’m going to try it, but there’s one thing that definitely gives away that you’re not American: “Make sure feathers are fully removed from skin!”.

                  Do you know what would happen if some poor, pathetic American from the city found feathers still attached to their chicken? They’d lose their shit. It would be hilarious to see. 🙂

                  In a related story – years ago, one of my sister-in-law’s coworkers bought a country ham. She opened it only to find mold growing on it! Horrors! She threw it out. When my SIL heard about this, she nearly cried. She told the woman she would have been happy to take it off her hands, instead of throwing away a wonderful hunk of meat like that.

                  • *UTTERLY HORRIFIED EXPRESSION* SHE THREW IT AWAY?!?!?!?!??!?!

                    …I hope she never goes to the Il Latino, in Florence. She’d freak the hell out about all those lovely, lovely procuitto and parma hams, hanging from the ceiling… with their protective, dusty mold layer.

                    • Heh. Yep. Threw it away. Another, similar story – one of MY coworkers, after receiving a FRESH turkey for a Christmas bonus from the hotel where we worked, came in a few days later and said he had thrown THAT out, “because it smelled funny.”

                      Well, DUH! its’ a FRESH bird! And it was raised on a farm where it ate bugs and worms and stuff, not just grain! I nearly concussed myself when I slapped my forehead after he told me that.

                    • *siiiigh*

                      I imagine my nightmares tonight will include mutated wasted food coming after me, like they do in the Calvin and Hobbes comics.

  2. How ’bout Gerrold shuts up and finishes the Chtorr series?

  3. Luke

    Because when considering the purchase of a book, the very first thing one does is look at the picture of the author inside the back dust jacket to make sure the black and white picture is dark enough.
    [/sarc]

  4. If you’re judging on merit, the gender and race shouldn’t matter. If you’re judging merit BY gender and race (and sexual orientation) you’re not judging merit, you’re filling in a checklist.

    (And yay! I can get to MGC from work now!)

    • Kate Paulk

      Congrats on being able to get your Mad Genius fix at work. Alas, that’s unlikely to happen for me any time in the foreseeable future.

  5. Just a Joke

    “red red red red green green blue pink yellow white orange”

    What? You wrote YELLOW? Don’t you know that’s a racial slur for Asians? YOU RACIST!! Why do you hate Asians?

  6. Matt

    It’s as though, somehow, white has stopped being a color. Odd, considering I just painted my shelves white. Racist of me, I suppose, to not have shelves of color.

    • Kate Paulk

      I suppose I could go uber-physics-geek on someone and ask them if they’re talking reflected or emitted frequencies, because what white is is different depending on which one you’re talking about.

      Then I’d get the blank looks and the “Huh?”, so it’s not worth bothering with.

      • bearcat

        I was taught back in school that neither White nor Black were colors, I forget the term used for white and black now, but I still recall that they are not colors. So really these people who call themselves Persons of Color are claiming not to be black.

        • Synova

          Bah, of course they’re colors. They might not be light frequencies, but I’m pretty sure that when we look and see “green” IRL, that we’re seeing a mix of frequencies same as “white” only slightly less of an even spread.

  7. Angus Trim

    I know this is going to sound defeatist, but sometimes I think it would be a good idea to admit the glitteries have taken over the mainstream of sf&f and move on.

    Instead of using “Urban Fantasy” for instance, use “Classic Urban Fantasy”, ie, story meant to entertain and if there’s any social justice content it’s accidental.

    “Classic Space Opera”, story meant to entertain, and sjw content is accidental. Etc

    • robfornow

      You have a point; however, let’s look at this from a geological view. Once the Oklahoma/Texas/Kansas/etc plains was basically the domain of a wandering tribe called the Sioux. (I know- very simple) who ranged north in summer, south in winter. Pushing aside the smaller tribes like Plains Apache as they moved. The land was vacant and desolate, miles between habitation. Then came the Independent European tribes.

      The pioneers of the bookshelves were Heinlein, and other White men (Apaches) The tide of Sioux (SJW) overran and pushed the Apache off the shelves; then came the Independents and the shelves were filled again.

      I know, very simplified version and no insult to either noble tribe intended. However, this is why I don’t get pessimistic. They are just keeping the shelves from getting dusty. Until, we clean house.

      • Pssst. Comanches. Sioux were in the Dakotas and Montana. Otherwise spot on.

        • robfornow

          Only, my understanding is that the Comanche came to the party late. Like after the introduction of horses. At least by the old maps of Indian territory I’ve seen. I could be wrong since I don’t know where I saved them and computer hard drives crash too many times. The amount of buffalo on the plains meant that competition wasn’t a problem if they did claim land when Lewis and Clark came through. It’s possible they only browsed.. Kinda like SiFi in the 60s, before the feminist invasion when our numbers began dropping.
          I’m told by the family historians that one of my greatgrandmothers or her mother was dark and spoke English poorly in granddad’s/mom’s letters. Don’t know any more since grandparents were from around Stephenville, Texas and the courthouse burned in 1910. Some Okies ask me if I’m part Indian, high cheekbones and quick to tan. If so, I may have some Comanche in me. Don’t know or care except to fill in the blank between Ireland and today.

          • Kate Paulk

            Hell, there’s a video on YouTube somewhere that shows European borders changing over hundreds of years at the rate of one second per year. Things change. A lot.

            We’ve mostly been raised in a remarkably static and peaceful era and tend to forget this.

    • Kate Paulk

      Nah. There is no mainstream of SF&F, not in trad publishing. It’s squarely in the indie field – just look at the Amazon bestseller lists.

    • Synova

      I think that someone was working on a “Human Wave” medallion to add to book covers to indicate the opposite of “take your medicine.”

      • I’m working on it. I’ve got a rough sketch, but turning it into something good, well, My Adobe Illustrator-fu is weak. To get it right might require some brief 3D Modelling and modifying some NASA images.

  8. Uncle Lar

    Sarah and Charlie Martin did a piece last Friday over at PJ Media on this very subject. I helped out with basic research and data crunching on Hugo and Nebula awards in the 1980-2013 time frame. Sadly, at least thus far the awards lists do not track winners based on skin color, I’m sure this will be corrected in the future. (For those unfamiliar with my methods, that was a typical feeble attempt at sarcasm)
    Based purely on my visual inspection of winners first names, it appeared that female writers certainly held their own as far as awards went. As an example, in 20 out of the 34 years examined a female author was winner of the John W. Campbell award for promising new writer. I suppose I could do a similar nose count for all the separate categories, but since that would simply be an additional group of facts I doubt that I’ll bother as facts are apparently irrelevant to the SJW/GHH crowd. They’re all about the feelings after all. And since they feel they’ve been disrespected that’s all that matters.

  9. Pat Patterson

    You could legitimately set up a Grandmaster Award for women of the 50s and 60s, if the category was women Isaac Asimov made salacious comments to. He enjoyed the reputation and worked at making suggestive comments to every woman at sf events.

    • Kate Paulk

      That might even be a fun award. “Recipient of the most salacious comment made by Isaac Asimov award”

  10. 23kilbrz

    A writer of color. What in the name of all that is unholy does that actually mean?

    I think, in a less degenerate age, they called those “painters”.

  11. Pat Patterson

    By the way, the term ‘writer of color’ may sound strange to your ears because it is a derivative of the American term, ‘person/people of color.’ It’s not used much in common language, but is the preferred term for publications in the ivory tower.

    • Christopher M. Chupik

      Hey, I’m a writer of color too!

      Pale pink is still a color, you know. 😉

      • Kate Paulk

        I’m given to understand that pale pink is an illegitimate color – which is totally discriminatory against people whose parents neglected to marry.

    • Kate Paulk

      Oh, I know the term. It’s ridiculous and I reserve the right to poke fun at it whenever the mood strikes me.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        What’s “funny” about the term “people of color” is that it’s not that different than the term “colored people”, but “colored people” is a racist term. [Very Big Evil Grin]

        • I’ve had some fun with that. Alabaster pale skin is considered a sign of great attractiveness, desirability and beauty in Asian countries. When a feminist was bitching about white old men, I said “So… meztizos are evil by default?” When the crazy bat said that was a brainwashing done by the Spaniards, I said “I”m sure the Chinese, Koreans and Japanese who hold the same standard of ideal beauty would love to say otherwise.”

          • curiously skin lightening creams back in South Africa are a huge seller among the black population, as common as tanning aids or more so. Asking why provokes suitable outrage. There was a song about it in the dark ages, that went something like this: “tell me, tell I wanna know the facts, why the black people want to be white, and the white people want to be black…” 🙂

          • Synova

            Yeah… has nothing to do with the Spanish. As a white American girl who always wanted to be tan, I’ve thought about it at bit. For people who tan easily and well, being pale is a signifier of wealth and leisure. It’s a Song of Solomon question… she works in the fields… she’s dark… and in context it’s clear that this is not desirable *because* it means she works in the fields. Being dark signals “laborer”. People of extreme pallitude experience this as being a “red neck” on account of how everything exposed, burns, and everything unexposed is pasty white.

            OTOH when you’re pale, nicely evenly browned takes lots of free-time to be outdoors baking your front and back with carefully timed rotations. Which doesn’t work if you’re outdoors doing something useful.

            There is very little in the world that can’t be explained by “How do I best signal wealth, even if it’s not true.”

          • What’s funny is I’ve often thought the darker asian women are more attractive.

            But then, I’ve often described my tastes as preferring “Strangely Attractive” to “Model Beautiful”. I’m not sure if that’s an indictment of my tastes or society’s.

  12. Christopher M. Chupik

    Yeah, the Lovecraft bust is being set up for removal the same way the Redskins are. After decades of it not being an issue, suddenly it is The Single Most Offensive Thing Ever and Must Be Changed Immediately.

    Perhaps they can change the name of the Hugos too. After all, Hugo Gernsback was a man, and naming the awards after him perpetuates the Patriarchy. Then they can do away with the term “Grand Master” (more Patriarchy).

    • Kate Paulk

      They’re more likely to do away with the conveniently-shaped rocket before they do either of those. I mean, the Hugo rocket even has a nice stand so you can sit it down and not worry about it falling over while you do… *ahem*. The suggestive shape is all in my mind, apparently.

      And the whole searching for things to be offended by is because there’s buggerall else they can do.

      • bearcat

        ” because there’s buggerall else they can do.”

        You had to add that after your suggestive comment, didn’t you?

  13. Blume

    Pat, person of color sounds just as stupid. The sjws are just trying to get around the fact minorities in America are the majority of humanity and that one day white people wont even be a majority here, just a plurality.

    • I managed to make an entire college class choke back giggles as I tried to convince a “student of color” that if she was a “student of color” than I was a “student of pinkness,” rather than European-American or Native-American. She was very serious and well meaning, and had her back to the other students so she couldn’t see their response. I still cherish the memory. *happy little mean sigh*

      • Kate Paulk

        (Applause)

      • Since Asians consider pale, alabaster skin as a sign of great beauty, I was able to derail a whole screed in a class about racism against whites by turning to the person ranting and saying that her skin color was very white, whiter than Caucasian skin color. Then I made a great show of admiring my ‘golden tan’ and saying “When I think about how soooo many white people risk skin cancer to get my oh so perfect skin color… I guess they want to be JUST LIKE ME!” Then I looked up at the person giving the lecture and said “So you’re MOST racist because you’re whiter than the average white person, and you just said that only white people can be racist.” *pause* “Hmm. you’re red now. Does it still count or are you now suddenly a Red Indian? Oh wait, sorry, American Indian? So what race does purple belong to?”

        My professor was having trouble keeping herself from sliding out of her chair in a fit of laughter.

    • Pat Patterson

      I didn’t say it didn’t sound stupid. There is a great article at http://powderroom.jezebel.com/controversial-opinion-time-i-hate-the-phrase-person-of-1634451508 that specifically addresses the issue of how stupid it sounds. It was, however, developed in the US as a solution to some US problems. It was rather grandiose, in that it was an attempt to combine everyone with ancestors originating somewhere besides Europe into a single unit, but it did address one issue you pointed out: politely referring to ‘minorities’ utterly ignored the fact that they WEREN’T minorities everywhere, not even in the US.
      The incident reminds me of this truism which helped me get through a couple of funerals without screaming epithets into the grave: Ain’t nobody just one thing. That particular bit of wisdom was stated by a nine year old actor in a Law & Order episode. Funny, ain’t it, where you find wisdom?

      • Kate Paulk

        Wisdom can be found damn near anywhere. You just have to be willing to look for it.

        I’ve freaked SJWs by pointing out how utterly US-centric their views are. They really don’t like that.

      • Yeah, it’s a term very specifically created to say “Let’s all gang up on Whitey”, even though every ethnicity has it’s own problems, and the challenges facing Asians in California are not the same as Blacks in DC. Not even close.

    • Kate Paulk

      Well, when they class *women* as a minority, they’re clearly on something. Not something I want to sample, either.

  14. Majestic_Moose

    The stupidest. part of the controversy over the HP Lovecraft bust was the suggestion that a) it had to be replaced by someone of color, and b) the main person suggested DIDN”T WRITE FANTASY SHE WROTE SCIENCE-FICTION. Also alot of the people complaining didn’t like the quite frankly rational suggestion that it be Tolkein b/c it’d just be another white man, it’s not like they’re all standing on his sholders or something.

    • Maybe it should be a tree. Or a magic wand, like the ones with stars on top the fairy godmothers used in Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty.”

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      Well, Lovecraft was fairly influential also.

      I’ve read a bunch of stuff inspired by his world building, and I refuse to read the man himself because he was a typically vile ********.

      (Truthfully, it is entirely because themes he often uses mean that I haven’t found his stuff fun so far, and think it doesn’t sound like I would enjoy the rest. I’m very found of Dave Drake and Lois Bujold, and my understanding is that they are also *********. I may try to read Lovecraft’s stuff again. Even if it isn’t my taste, he is reputed to have had good craft.)

      • Kate Paulk

        He was very good at the kind of thing he wrote. The style is rather overblown by modern standards, but in terms of atmosphere and building a sense of absolute dread, he was a master.

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      I watched Pacific Rim because I expected it was in that portion of Lovecraft derivatives that are to my taste.

  15. Arwen

    If you were a purple stegosaurus, my love … and now I’m a writer of color.

  16. Holly

    Given what we know about fetomaternal microchimarism, I guess I genuinely am a person of color. And any woman who has born sons could claim to be intersexed, right? I’m kind of tempted to mark all the ticky-boxes. (I won’t: I’m the one who argues with governmental officials about how they don’t get to put my kids in identity boxes.)

    Sorry, guess you men are just screwed on that one. You get shorter lives out of it too.

  17. Pat Patterson

    Okay, I just reflected on this in your OP, and I hafta call BOGUS: “and (shock! Horrors!) had the mindset and attitudes that were normal for a man of that era,”
    Oh, elephant crap. H P Lovecraft was a sick and twisted mind, which is bloodily apparent in his writing, and stated explicitly on multiple occasions. His mindset and attitudes were what drove his sick and twisted literature, which is fortunately unique. Had his mindset and attitudes been normal for a man of that era, we’d have cut our throats long ago. Expletive deleted, America elected FDR in 1932, 1936, 1940 and 1944. Had the mindset and attitudes of HPL been normal for a man of the 30s, that never would have happened.
    I most humbly beg your pardon for the late reaction.

    • Kate Paulk

      As far as race and so forth, his attitudes were pretty typical, actually. The sick and twisted mind, well, I kind of share that trait. I just try not to *go* there because I don’t like who I become when I do.

      • Pat Patterson

        Kate, have you read his freaken 1912 poem “On the Creation…”
        That’s not the attitude that was typical in 1912. It existed, surely it did, but HPL was a twisted freak. He just wrote ghost stories that influenced others. That ain’t typical, either. Brilliant? I dunno. Path breaking? Yu betcha. Typical? Nope. (Draws Bell curve. Plots HPL, four standard deviations from mean.) See? A freak.

        • H.P. Lovecraft, unlike many of his critics, managed to grow as a person.

          He started out so afraid of people that he found everybody and everything kinda disgusting and scary, especially girls, children, old people, Yankees, non-Yankees, trees, space…. But he didn’t leave that festering in his head; he wrote horror stories and used it and started to banish it.

          He ended up marrying a Jewish girl (who said he was good at sex once he got some practice in, and who fed him good enough to stop him being scrawny), deciding that people of different races and ethnicities weren’t as scary as he thought and making friends with them, making friends with fannish people of very different backgrounds, and generally making peace with himself and his fellow man.

          The sad thing is that he had a lot of trouble maintaining his new relationships and had a lot of bad luck and depression, and then he killed himself before the process had really started to move along. What he managed despite all that is amazing.

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      I might argue that the likes of FDR leading a country is no more indicative of that country’s population being normal and healthy than the likes of Stalin or Hitler.

      Leaving aside his character, look at his electoral votes. Some come from places that might’ve plausibly been fairly won, given disenchantment. Some came from places that his own machine might’ve stolen. Some came from places where the modern Democratic Party as much as admits elections were wholly fraud backed by murder and terrorism.

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      I fear I may not have been delicate enough of political sensibilities above for the MGC. I partly regret wording it so, and would like to try a different formulation.

      The PC don’t object to HPL being a dysfunctional wreck of a ne’er do well.

      That aspect of him is something that they would seem to celebrate, if anything.

      Those aspects they object to are different, and implicitly are what Kate describes as normal for the time.

      Your objection seems no better founded than my observation that the modern Democratic Party finds it convenient to imply that vile depravity played a role in FDR being elected.

      They might be entirely correct, without addressing the core of the context.