All Proceeds As I Have Foreseen

Alas.

The metastasizing cancer that is the Social Justice Warrior influence on fandom has claimed another scalp, this time without any effort on my part – or on the part of any of the other known evil anti-SJW Puppy-affiliated types.

How can this be, you ask (actually, you don’t because you know exactly how this kind of phenomenon works and you’re quite probably basking in sweet, sweet schadenfreude (please don’t, it’s kind of sad to watch a venerable institution commit slow-motion suicide while fighting off everyone who tries to help – and sadly, this isn’t the joke about the Irishman who died after falling into a vat of beer)). It’s simply that without an external enemy to blame for all things, the uber-SJWs have done what they always do (whether they call themselves SJWs, progressives, activists, Communists or whatever) and turned on their own.

Inevitably the SJW types with fewer victim points end up under the bus wondering what they did wrong and lamenting their misfortune – and may even (although it doesn’t happen often) realize that the bus is lurching towards a cliff anyway.

The sequence of events as I recall them from the original posts (don’t go looking, they’ve been friends-locked, presumably so unfriendly types don’t make nasty comments, although possibly to avoid embarrassing the guilty) are something like this: Male Person A, who has been involved with organizing Worldcon music programming for approximately eternity or so, at some time in the past was friendly with Female Person B. Female Person B later informed Male Person A that she wanted nothing to do with Male Person A ever again, under any circumstances.

Male Person A, being the nice, kind, SJW-loving male that he is, obliged and made no attempt to have anything to do with Female Person B from that point forward (at least according to his now friend-locked posts).

Back at the Worldcon, Male Person A notices that Female Person B is part of the Worldcon staff. Being a good little dupeahem… person, he informs the committee and offers to make any reasonable accommodations so as not to cause Female Person B any distress.

So far so good, right?

Wrong.

You see, there is a Worldcon staff group chat. Male Person A made the heinous error of failing to notice a post from Female Person B immediately before he posted a link to a relevant humorous video snippet. The fecal matter promptly hit the rotating blades, leading to a chain of emails in which Male Person A was clearly informed that he should have somehow exercised the telepathy he didn’t have to know that Female Person B was going to hit Send a second or so before he did and thereby make his post appear to be a reply to hers, and given the option of resignation or ritual execution… sorry, being fired.

The Worldcon official statement  is a masterpiece of making all the correct-sounding noises without actually admitting anything or committing to anything concrete – and as we cynical Evil Beings know, if you don’t commit to anything concrete you can twist what you said any way you please.

Now, my perspective on this, without knowing any more detail than I’ve related here, is pretty simple and straightforward. Absent the kind of wrongdoing that leads to restraining and/or extradition orders, if you are so fragile you can’t stand to see evidence that another person even exists and might accidentally post to the same chat channel as you, you are the one who should be fired, not this other person.

Why?

Because, dear Female Person B, you, as a Worldcon official, are in what is colloquially known as a “high stress position”. There is a non-zero chance that you will be faced with an extremely angry person getting in your face and screaming at you (I honestly would not be surprised if at least one incident like this happens at every convention simply because the science fiction con scene is a hotbed of socially inept geekery and any group of people will include its share of assholes). If you can’t handle someone posting to the same chat room, how are you going to deal with pissed off fans? Pissed off Big Name Authors? Do you think that some of the genre’s legendary assholes (some of whom are very much in your political camp) will simply walk away if you break down and cry?

No. They will not. Because they are assholes and they revel in their ability to make weaker people (aka you) break down and cry. They will use your weakness to their advantage. Because this is what assholes do.

And by the way you have chosen to bully a kind, gentle, and apparently rather weak man who has no clue what he did to upset you (at least, to the best of my knowledge), you have made it clear that you are an easy target, Female Person B.

So when, as will inevitably happen sooner or later, those you consider your own kind turn on you, remember this: the sterile, unproductive ideology you and yours have embraced always leads to the easy targets getting taken out first.

You’re welcome.

102 Comments

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102 responses to “All Proceeds As I Have Foreseen

  1. snelson134

    “Absent the kind of wrongdoing that leads to restraining and/or extradition orders,”

    Kate, all it takes to get a restraining order is being female and asking for one. Heck, in many jurisdictions if she asks one MUST BE issued by law. And lots of women will use asking as a threat because they know what will happen to the poor sap who used to be involved with them: anything from firing to (in CA) a no-knock SWAT visit to confiscate any guns he may (or not) have had.

    • Kate Paulk

      Yes, I know, and the whole mess is completely wrong – but the existence of one does impose legal obligations on those who know about it. And I suspect this poor sap would have told the committee if there was one out against him, because he’s just that naïve.

  2. I saw this a week or so ago and shook my head. For one thing, if he’s actually writing about it in public, it’s probably happened at least ten times silently in private to other people. That’s a general rule of thumb to use for any complaints in business, and I see no reason it would be different here. For another… what she’s done to him is power. She’s used her power to humiliate and ostracize him, and I’d be willing to bet this isn’t the first time she’s done this, nor the last. Abusers, be they male or female, stick to their patterns.

  3. It got friend-locked after Vox Day cast his basilisk gaze on the contretemps. Said music director related his closing of the posts (and Worldcon’s facebook discussion) in a quite huffy post on Livejournal. It seems he would rather eat a bowl of sh*t from Worldcon than let the wreckers know anything about it.

    • Which is really, really sad. And says a whole lot about the ideological saturation (or perceived saturation) of the parties involved.

    • Years ago, a fellow got stuck going through a bog hole. Everyone pitched in and pulled him out. Whereupon he circled and tried to go through the bog hole again. That time everyone left him.

      Worldcon showed us last year that it’s more puerile than a bunch of middle schoolers. He might be a nice guy, but if he can’t figure out that he’s never going to win the approval of the Worldcon bunch so there’s no reason to jump through their hoops, that’s his problem.

  4. What saddens me most about the current bullcrap is that conventions used to be one of the few safe spaces for geeks – for the socially inept, in many cases neuroatypical people who are treated like outcasts everywhere they go. Unfortunately, a lot of their behavior is inadvertently off-putting and in some cases can be misinterpreted. But if they try to defend themselves, they’re ‘mansplaining.’ So cons have become another door that’s been shut on their faces. Thank you, SJWs.

    • The two Cons I’ve been to were quite good – BuboniCon and LibertyCon. Realizing that LibertyCon is an unusual institution for a lot of reasons (a Con with range day is going to be different), but both seem well organized, tranquil in that the drama llama seems to be absent, and fun. Which probably means that they will be next on the hit list, although the response to weaponized hurt feelings at LibertyCon would probably be an introduction to [names redacted] and an appreciative audience cheering for [names redacted], or being handed a Kleenex (TM) and pointed toward the door.

      • Now if only some of the Liberty folks would migrate to eastern Montana and revive the old Treasure Con in Billings, to counterbalance the one over in Berkeley North, er, I mean Missoula…

    • Synova

      Honestly, I have no problem with the *concept* of making something a safe place. All those nice things? Non-judgemental. Welcoming. All of it. And fandom was the place for all the people who were too weird in school to ever fit in to feel at home.

      My problem, and it’s a really big one, is the notion that in order to make a place “safe” all the wrong people must be kicked out of it. That’s not accepting, it’s not welcoming.

      Social rules are made for that and they’re not hard ones… stay on the subject that your special group is formed to be about… in particular, avoid current politics or insulting people over religion. Be nice.

      The people walking the halls will be from all political persuasions and all faiths. If you’ve worked yourself up to the point that you can’t walk down a hallway with those you’ve made into monsters in your own head without feeling “unsafe” the problem is you, not them. Driving them from participation in order to make you feel “safe” does not make you a warrior on the side of right.

    • SlitherKitten

      It is even worse than being accused of “mansplaining”. At File770, a lot of people argued that defending themselves is what stalkers do. The fact that he provided emails showing that the Worldcon committee was lying was irrelevant to them: the mere fact that he dared defend himself proved that “Male Subject A” was guilty.

    • aacid14

      Admittedly I tend to get a massive case of fear re: conventions. Have one that I refuse to attend because they promote politics, particularly odious demeaning new in particular. Problem is it keeps me on outskirts of fandoms.

    • Kate Paulk

      Exactly. Geeks are not socially ept, and the SJWs are damn good at using that against them.

      • snelson134

        Up to a point; see GamerGate. That’s the most hopeful sign I’ve seen in years.

        • Civilis

          The problem is that conventions are by definition ‘meatspace’. It’s much easier for the socially atypical to fight back in cyberspace, which is what GamerGate mostly was. Every time the GamerGate fight moved to meatspace, the anti-GG side won. (It’s much easier for anyone to fight in cyberspace, as anonymity works to hide the attacker, hence the GIFT.)

          I’ve seen several articles about the Sad Puppies kerfuffle or GamerGate that have looked at it from the perspective of the culture war between the ‘In’ and the ‘Out’. Both video games and sci-fi fandom were once niche areas, and hence often the domains of the socially atypical, by definition members of the ‘Out’. Since they’ve become popular, more and more of the ‘In’ people are moving in, and displacing the members of the ‘Out’.

          For extra entertainment value, one can look at the whole thing through the lens of social justice terminology. Which has privilege, the neurotypical or the neuroatypical? Doesn’t this look like a case of ‘gentrification’ of the formerly neuroatypical safe spaces by the neurotypical?

    • I’ve always though, just like the archetypal male geeks, a significant number of SJWs are themselves on the Autism spectrum. The lack of empathy, the need to build complicated formal rules to deal with normal social interactions, and the inability to recognise the way sociopaths can game those rules all point to this.

  5. slab1

    But then Vox Day got involved and both sides rallied against the Sauron of current fandom.

  6. SlitherKitten

    I’ve wondered before why this segment of fandom hasn’t disintegrated into a flurry of lawsuits. Certainly, if I’d been “Male Person A” I’d have run, not walked, to a lawyer when Worldcon posted on its official page the accusation that I was a stalker. (The File770 crowd seems mainly to be using that excuse that they just said that someone else claimed that he was a stalker. Needless to say, this is hardly a reasonable defense.) And certainly, when they made another post claiming that he was “belligerent” when apparently the emails clearly are not, to me that is just crying for legal action.

    I think this is the “Requires Hate” phenomenon continuing. This gang spent years doing mass harassment of people. Yes, they threw “Requires Hate” herself under the bus, but really that was a white-washing of the entire situation. Nothing that they accused “Requires Hate” of was anything that she could have done by herself — everything required mass participation from their crowd. But, in their vilification of Requires Hate they explicitly said that all the other people involved should not be held accountable and they also excused the mass harassment itself — the only crime they felt she did was to have the wrong targets.

    I think that they’ll continue to do stunts like this until legal action is taken, at which point really bad things will happen.

  7. It’s sad that this guy, even now, doesn’t seem to realize that he’s been thrown under the bus permanently. His days as a figure in organized fandom are over.

    He (and his friends) are trying to argue that he’s innocent. Wrong strategy. It doesn’t actually matter to the people behind this whether he’s guilty of anything, any more than it mattered whether the defendants at Stalin’s show trials were guilty of anything. They do this pour encourager les autres. Reigns of terror don’t become less effective when they target the innocent. Quite the contrary.

    Any future con is going to to weigh the benefit of allowing him to volunteer against the cost of being Twitter-pilloried by a mob of screeching harpies yelling “Unsafe! Unsafe!”

    It would be easier to feel sorry for him if he hadn’t spent so much time castigating the various Puppy contingents. As it is: welcome to the world you made.

  8. Clearly what happens after a bit is that enough people are excommunicated that they start organizing their own conventions. With somewhat different rules. It will take a bit of time, but you eventually reach The Sad Puppies X Solar System Science Fiction Convention. Tendencies that cannot continue forever..won’t.

    Mentioning Sad Puppies, is someone doing Sad Puppies V?

  9. What I like best about this is that all of these Special Snowflake Feminists just luuuuurve Hillary Clinton. I contemplate the exquisite irony of that, and feel the schadenfreude positively fill me up.

    So, Mr. A did not actually interact with Ms. B, but merely commented on the same thread? And they -fired- him? And then slagged him in their own blog? He must be a witch! BURN THE WITCH!!!

    The Viler Ones must be very excited about having another witch to burn. They just loves that witch burning thing. Big G is probably combing these comments looking for clickbait.

    I am once more tempted to spend $40 to nominate something SJW disapproved for the Hugo. I wasn’t going to bother, but as long as they’re burning witches, I’ll bring a can of gasoline. Mmm, smells like barbecue with a hint of brimstone and singed polyester.

  10. I read a bunch of the original posts and comments (before the whitewashing) and I realized that my “give a $#@!” tank is a bone dry desert. These are people who seem to hate what I like, insult me (indirectly), insult my friends and people I respect. And now they are eating their own as they slide into irrelevance

    • Kate Paulk

      Yes, they are. While destroying a venerable institution from the inside out. In Oz the phrase is white-anting.

      • Are those the little weird smelling ghost ants? We had some in Townsville; it turned out they weren’t there because of your food, they were there because houses were a reliable source of water. *shudder*

        OTOH, it’s entirely possible the term stems from termites. Bloody termites.

        • Kate Paulk

          Termites. They’ll eat out the structure of a building until all that’s left is paint

          • *shudders even more*

            We had a problem with termites back in the Philippines; they got into our library. Ate into a shelf’s worth of books, including most of my dad’s original set of The Story of Civilization. I cried as we burned the books that were too far gone to save.

          • snelson134

            And when they’ve done it the only real cure is gasoline and a match. You will not rebuild using that shell. The parallel to the current situation in the US is exact.

  11. What I find disturbing about this is the blog post I saw supporting his expulsion, which quite explicitly stated that even if he’s not guilty of any intentional wrongdoing, he must still be ostracised to serve as a warning to others.

    I’ve run into the same attitude in the tabletop gaming world. A few months back there was what could only be described as a moral panic triggered by a a piece of viral outrage-porn titled “Tabletop gaming has a white male terrorism problem”.

    I shared a personal example of harassment I received from from a (male) bully in music fandom, which I posted as an example of how of ta oxic bully being protected by an insider clique (He wore “friend of the band” on his sleeve and nobody would stand up to him). One of the things I mentioned was the way he constantly accused me of stalking and kept comparing me to a sex offender. I suspect the truth was that he considered my friendship with some of the band a threat to his status.

    I was promptly pressurised into taking my post down because what I’d said was derailing the discussion and providing cover for harassers.

  12. Their “apology” boils down to “We screwed up by burning this guy at the stake without an explicit ‘Code of Conduct’ describing exactly how he should be burnt. Sorry about that.”

    Allegedly the person in question has accepted this non-apology apology. But, one may note, he’s still out of a gig, and still has a besmirched reputation. Note that the usual suspects are still busy assassinating his character in all the usual venues for such, and will doubtless continue to do so any time he appears in any fannish venue.

    The concom could (and should) have reinstated him (at least until after he’s been found guilty under whatever fuckwitted ex post facto rule they manage to gin up). But they won’t — they approve of this sort of thing. They just want the backlash to go away.

  13. 1. Filkers are supposed to stick together. And even in feuds, they mostly do.
    2. No filker in his or her right mind really wants to do filk programming at Worldcon, because it is hard and complicated, and they stick us in gawdawful venues. But people do it out of duty and love.
    3. DW is not my favorite person, but he is dependable, and crazy enough to do filk programming for a con in Finland.
    4. So who is going to be crazy enough to take over such a crap job, after the ritual sacrifice of DW?