That Moment When
… all proceeds as I have foreseen. And yea, the butthurt of the most special of snowflakes doth rise unto the heavens, for in stating facts and analyzing the content of their bullshit, I have given great offense. And I am greatly amused.
Seriously, folks, when the best you can manage in so-called critique is to claim that something I wrote was poorly written (without evidence of my alleged poor writing – which means it’s probably a case of either “oooh, my feelz” or “I don’t get it, it must be horrible”) and then go on to repeat every single tactic I dissected with hardly any variations, you’re doing it wrong. You’re also kind of amusing, in a train-wreck kind of way.
I’m not going to bother dissecting this rather shallow bit of hurt feelings – I’d spend more time on it than it deserves and hand the so-called author more page views and it really isn’t worth that (yes, it. Since this particular author is using a handle that’s not obviously male or female, and is clearly so far in the non-binary-gender camp it’s through the other side or something, I can’t default to “he” or “she”. I’m writing in English, which leaves “it” as the sole option for the non-binary-gender sort.) Besides, when it goes out of its way to misrepresent everything I’ve written, why should I bother giving it more attention than I have to?
In other news, Strange Horizons has demonstrated its willingness to… well… something in Nino Cipri’s review of Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements . This piece deserves a little more attention because it is truly extraordinary – and not in a good way.
The editors of Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements have set themselves with no small task: to create a book where writers and readers are both given space to imagine futures of liberation.
I’m not going to nitpick the grammar here in the first part of the sentence – at this point that’s the least of my amusements. I do have to wonder why anyone needs a book to be able to “imagine futures of liberation”. Personally, I can do that quite well on my own, although I freely admit my notions of liberation don’t fit into any sort of “social justice” framework. I pity the unfortunates who need someone else to do this for them, no matter what they think of liberation or social justice. (Hint: if you can’t achieve it without harming someone who has not done anything to harm you, it ain’t justice. Ergo, social justice is an oxymoron wrapped in a feelgood label)
Walidah Imarisha and adrienne maree brown, both of them organizers as well as writers, use the term “visionary fiction” to describe the stories therein. Imarisha, in her introduction, uses the term to “distinguish science fiction that has relevance toward building new freer worlds from the mainstream strain of science fiction, which most often reinforces dominant narratives of power. Visionary fiction encompasses all of the fantastic, with the arc always bending toward justice” (p. 4). Co-editor adrienne maree brown adds, in her outro, that among other attributes, visionary fiction must: “center those who have been marginalized . . . show change from the bottom up rather than the top down . . . and [not be] neutral—its purpose is social change and societal transformation” (p. 279).
You know what? That’s more than enough to tell me that this thing is not going to be friendly to someone who’s been marginalized because they have different opinions. No, with that many social justice buzzwords packed into a paragraph, the only permissible marginalizations are the by-now-mainstream race and sex variety – unless you happen to be a female refugee from a radical Islamic society who isn’t trying to perpetuate the radical Islamic culture. If that’s where you’re from you can expect to be ignored at best, since it’s verboten to criticize non-consensual radical clitorectomy or any other charming cultural practices such as honor killing and throwing acid into the faces of girls silly enough to try to get an education.
It doesn’t get better: there’s some mild criticism of the US-centric nature of the book (all the authors are American – at least in name), some legitimate criticism of a number of the pieces for being nothing more than the start of something larger, then this gem:
My editor for this review, Aishwarya Subramanian, suggested that “perhaps we can only imagine the beginnings of radical change because it is so radical”
Apparently the modern SF and Fantasy authors involved in this book have much less ability to imagine radical change than the flawed white men who wrote the US constitution – which says rather more about the concept an authors involved than it does about the authors of the US constitution, none of it good.
I could waste the rest of a perfectly decent evening analyzing the flawed assumptions behind this nonsense, but I really couldn’t be bothered with it. Suffice to say, if someone is claiming that Sad Puppy supporters are anti-diversity, anti-women, anti-anything-other-than-white-males, they’re either lying, ignorant, or both. If someone says that diversity needs to be promoted and social justice is important, ditto. They’re probably also projecting because they’re incapable of thinking and use spewing great gobs of verbiage about feelings as a substitute – which means they have no idea what’s going on below the surface of their minds, and they almost certainly don’t want to know.
Or, in shorter terms, SJWs always lie, SJWs always project, and SJWs always double down. It will be fun to see what the next cycle of lying, projection, and doubling down looks like.