A Puppy Returns From WorldCon – Not an After Action Report
The actual after action report will happen when I’ve had time to recover a bit and process everything that happened. I spent most of my time at the con either attending the business meetings, or presiding over Puppy Central (which was relatively relaxed and enjoyable – thank you to everyone who helped).
The business meetings were particularly enlightening: on average about 150 people attended each day for the 3 hour meetings (4 of them). Very few of the attendees were what might be considered hard-SJW – what I saw (and yes, this is just my opinion and you might think differently) was a group of rather confused fans who want to do what they believe is the right thing.
Think of it this way – if you have been told all your life that X is good and Y has to be given an easier ride to make up for past injustice and so forth, and you’ve never actually run into anything that shows you the problems this causes, you’re going to believe it. When you’re trying to do what you think is right, and a small cadre of powerful and loud people insist that nothing you do is good enough, you’re going to accept the gaslighting and verbal abuse, and try harder to make them happy. It’s a classic abuse pattern, and it works particularly well on the not terribly socially ept (aka almost all of fandom) because we socially awkward types find it more difficult to pick up on subtle abuse.
Add to this unpleasantness a generation or so raised on “self-esteem” policies that don’t allow them to fail in any way so many of today’s young adults are incapable of distinguishing between disagreement and abuse, and you have a perfect storm waiting for somewhere to happen. (For those readers of a social justice-y persuasion, remember the feeling of working hard for something and overcoming difficulties to get there? If you don’t, then I pity you, because that’s where strength of personality and genuine self-worth come from – and there are any number of studies out there demonstrating this, but our education system denies children that feeling and that strength).
Okay. That’s enough of the political-ish digression.
There will be a Sad Puppies 5. It will have more or less the same format as Sad Puppies 4, but I won’t be leading it. That dubious honor goes to Sarah or Amanda (whichever one of them runs slower, I suspect). I’ll be helping behind the scenes, and working with the WSFS committee behind the scenes to help mitigate the damage the motions passed at the business meeting are likely to do to the Hugo brand (Why? Because I don’t want to see an award won by so many greats of the field turn into an irrelevant circle jerk and rather than bitch about its decline I’m going to do what I can to help).
Sad Puppies 5 probably won’t focus on the Hugos – at this stage it’s looking more like being simply a recommended reading list with categories more or less along the lines of the Dragon categories (which, frankly, will be a damn sight easier to manage). More details will happen when Sarah or Amanda get to them. In the meantime, no the Sad Puppies are not defeated. We might seem like a collection of bumbling clumsy… well, puppies, but we love the genre and we’re not into widdling on things or burning them down.
PS: Yes, this is rather rambly and incoherent. I’m freaking exhausted, and if there’s a greater torment for an extreme introvert than having to be social every waking hour for the best part of a week, I don’t want to know about it. You want sensible, talk to someone who can brain. That someone isn’t me right now.