Getting’ Political


Okay, guys (and gals, and others, etc.) I don’t usually go this route, but I’ve been watching things unfold from the front row, and my harping on professionalism is coming ‘round again. In short: always be yourself, always be above board, and always be a professional.

For those who aren’t aware (just decanted from a cloning tube, released from cold-storage, or been rocking the mountain-top guru gig (nice work, if you can get it)), a couple of months ago, ConCarolinas announced that Friend of the MGC and all-around good guy John Ringo had been selected as an special guest for the 2018 convention, which just wrapped up this past weekend. The internet almost immediately kersplodeyed, and the crybullies mobbed in force. All the usual suspects came swinging all the usual epithets, and everybody else got tired.

Or maybe that was just me.

Then Origins Gaming Fair disinvited Larry Correia as a Guest of Honor over unspecified “personal beliefs” after some folks got pissy and personal. Again. Larry’s fans grabbed their torches and pitchforks and raised an exuberant ruckus. I touched on this a few weeks back on this same general theme. Origins danced around like the proverbial cat on a hot, tin stage, and showed its collective arse to fandom by how poorly they handled themselves.

Well, as I mentioned, ConCarolinas just wrapped for this year, and at closing ceremonies the concom issued a statement regarding how they are going to deal with guests going forward. Though it means little, I’d like to offer my personal appreciation to them for their stand in the face of rampant foolishness. A further BZ to them for nabbing Dave Weber as special guest for next year. While they may lose some of their more progressive attendees, I’m hoping tRMN shows up in force (IAN represent).

I appreciate the clear and concise language they used. I appreciate the basic thrust, which was “we’re going to invite people who are important to the fandom.” Frankly, as much as I loathe Sam DeLaney’s work, he’s significant to scifi. See also GRRM. But those? Those are personal opinions. “John Ringo is a racist” is slanderous conjecture, especially when details are *never* forthcoming. See also: Larry hates women, and actively works for their oppression. I’m sure his wife was surprised to hear that one. Ask her who runs the Correia household. But be polite: she doesn’t suffer fools lightly. And frankly, after the kind of abuse Larry has been subjected to, I sympathize with her.


Opinions such as “I don’t like X,” or “I don’t agree with Y,” are great reasons to not support something. In the case of a convention, that’s easy: don’t attend. Vote like an adult. With your wallet. Even a public statement is fine: “I disagree with John Ringo’s portrayal of women in Ghost, and can’t stomach his thinly veiled political screed called the Last Centurion, and so I won’t be attending any convention at which he appears.” That’s fine. Short-sighted, as John works some real (and really bizarre) magic in Last Centurion (I mean it: stupid thing breaks ALL the rules). Or something like “I find Origins’ handling of their unnamed issues with Larry Correia ham-handed and unprofessional, their treatment of a friend insulting, and their attempts at damage control insufficient and patronizing, and consequently won’t darken their doorstep.” Also fine, though in my case a bit hypocritical, as I’ve never attended Origins, nor had any plans to do so even prior to their aforementioned ham-handed treatment of my friend.

But here’s the trick: either of those options (as well as just not supporting them and saying nothing, which is such a bizarre thing anymore) is what an adult does. More importantly, it’s what a professional does. I read a post this morning related to John’s experience with ConCarolinas that was distinctly on the other side of the aisle from me. What the poster did, however, was point out that it doesn’t matter who else shows up at a convention. Unless it’s someone who has physically threatened you, you behave professionally (even then, there are options: the law doesn’t stop at the con’s registration desk. Which makes harassment clauses the rank foolishness they are. Harassment has a legal definition, and if someone at a con is actually harassing you, the cops will come and deal with it).

As an author, I go where I need to for my bottom line. Anymore, that means conventions are a waste of money unless they’re local and I can sleep in my own bed and drive my own car to the location. Anything more is too expensive for me, especially when I’m single-handing Clan Dave through the seas of parenthood. Littles don’t give me much time off when Mrs. Dave is overseas.

Larry touched on this when he said, “they need me more than I need them.” Larry, like John, has an huge, established readership. People will drive hours to get a chance to interact with him. Unceremoniously booting him from your convention a month or so out is going to seriously frustrate of people who will pay you money *just to see him.* John, and Dave Weber, likewise. This kind of bad press is something a con cannot afford, while these authors can.

Similarly, an author who signs up for something — *and is actually in business as a businessman* — can NOT afford to simply not show up. Now, if you aren’t in this gig to make a buck, but for validation, fame (hah!), or some other reason, your attendance or lack thereof can be trumpeted to the heavens. Good on you, have fun with that. I don’t have time. I’m already late on this post, and far, far over word count.

Lemme sum this up so we can all go home and take off our pants (assuming you’re wearing any. I’m not). Behave like a gorram professional, who can disagree with someone without trying to damage their livelihood or reputation. That’s low. It’s base. It’s cowardly. And it’s dangerous, as any number of people are starting to learn. Not because of threats of violence or litigation, but because you show yourself to be a loose cannon of the sort rational businesses will refuse to deal with. See the stepping down of the DragonCon fantasy fan track programming head, and the various defenses of same.

Just … just be a professional. Be the person who can deal with adversity and still get your work done. Be the kind of writer contractors like to work with, and who conventions like to have sit their panels.


    1. Pros and cons. I have fewer schedules to maintain, but fewer hands to deal with the littles. Less laundry and dishes to do. Less food gets cooked (well, less gets eaten. Leftovers stretch longer). Still, this kind of separation is pure balls when you actually want to be with your partner. I miss my wife. Facetime just doesn’t cut it, though it mitigates. Definitely mitigates.

      1. BTDT; have either of the Wees done the thing where you can’t find them in the middle of the night, then you find them curled up with a blanket next to the screen where htey videochatted with mommy yet?

        The Baron dang near ripped my heart out with that and DaddyElf.

  1. “Lemme sum this up so we can all go home and take off our pants (assuming you’re wearing any. I’m not).”

    Uh-huh. Clearly, you’re not a pantser – you’re a plotter. And, when your plots don’t work, they go out of kilt-er.


  2. I will repeat: I dearly hope to achieve a level of reputation that SJWs think me a worthy target for a hissy fit. I’ll enjoy their tantrums as a well-earned reward. Maybe I should go back and tweak my WIP to include some things designed to wad their panties. A submissive girly-type that constantly needs rescue? A POC sidekick? An Alpha white male? (Wait, already got one of those.)

    1. Guns. Lots of guns. And people to use them. That’s usually enough. If there are no LGBT characters they’ll scream murder already.

          1. “Bi female Marine? Guaranteed hissy.”

            Cool. Ima leave her in anyway. Because reality. Ya think that her face is hideously scarred from burns suffered in a helo crash when her helo got shot out of the sky will earn her enough victim points to make her acceptable to the SJWs? A guy, (and a girl) love her. See? Is that romance, or military adventure?

            “They hates them some Marines.”

            Then they’re REALLY gonna hate me.

            1. With any luck, they’ll say you disfigured her because you’re victimophobic and scream even more.

  3. Sorry Dave, a quick wade through the sewer shows that one side of this thing is calling for everyone to Be Professional. The other side, as expected, is calling for more coal on the fire.

    I’m not going either way, too far/too expensive, but I think ConCarolinas can lose all the SJWs a lot easier than they can lose all the Webber fans.

    This is quite obviously going to shake down into two camps, those who cave to SJW demands and those who don’t. Good on ConCarolinas for having a pair.

  4. I am reminded of an American event, a century and a third ago, where several of the Christian sects bifurcated into northern and southern branches. Con Fandom apepars to be moving in the same direction, though not using geography.

    At least The Great Exclusion stopped with one convention.

  5. You’re getting political. My husband tends to avoid it. He messaged me that he’d made a terrible mistake with a tweet. I asked him what the heck? He said, “well, I’ve been called a Nazi, alt-right, hater, racist for simply saying: StarWars is dead to me. Not because of Rose, but what Disney has done to the whole series. I wish Disney would stop taking my childhood and destroying my heroes.”

    Yes, this is related to sci-fi, (Star Wars, duh), fandom, (Star Wars again, duh), and professionalism.

    Because while no random dumpster on Twitter is required to be professional, this is really the level of complain about Ringo, about Larry, about whoever. Any opinion, and I do mean ANY opinion, that doesn’t stay right on the prescribed course is proclaimed to be “Nazi, alt-right, hater, racist.” And then everyone is supposed to behave as if this is TRUE and the poor things who simply won’t be *comfortable* at a convention with these awful people seem to be being taken seriously.

    (And no, the ONE idiot who hates Rose because she’s Asian and Female doesn’t make it compulsory for anyone else on the planet to love the Last Jedi.)

    1. I’ll admit that I haven’t seen Last Jedi, but everything I’ve heard about Rose suggests that people don’t like her because she’s an unnecessary character who’s part of a boring, pointless subplot, plus she’s supposed to be Finn’s love interest, thereby pissing off both the people who hate romance subplots and the Finn/Rey shippers from the first movie.

      Only one of those has anything to do with her being a woman, and I don’t think I even knew she was Asian until now.

    2. I just refuse to see the new movies. And I wasn’t all too happy with episodes I-III.

      Then again, I have a really intense dislike of the House of Mouse because of their malign influence on copyright law, so they’ve got a high hurdle to overcome to get me to spend money on anything they produce.

      1. I pretty much quit prior to watching III, because of III’s novel. NJO had used up a lot of my goodwill and interest. I got into Star Wars heavily by reading about Han and Leia’s kids. Nothing with how they were treated in the EU gave me any interest in returning to, or mourning the EU.

        Kathleen Kennedy’s handling of the property is appropriate. The path of Star Wars is the way of the Jedi or the cult of the Sith.

        (Like many other things, Lucas messed up the pronunciation of Sith.)

      2. Aww, comeon. Release plus infinity is what they had in mind for corporate copyright. Lesser individuals don’t deserve protection from theft by the superior citizens, corporations.

    3. I didn’t much like The Last Jedi because it was a hot mess, plotwise, with a few good moments thrown in. (I mean, I thought the plots of the prequel trilogy were a mess, but I think TLJ managed to trump them.)

      I did like Rose. She’s freakin’ adorable, and a rare character that is not a Chosen One, a Force-sensitive, a Skywalker, or in any way anything “special” other than a loyal and enthusiastic mechanic who is Done With All of This Crap. Frankly, I’d rather watch HER adventures than most of the rest of the mess. (Or rather, her and Finn having adventures and her getting Finn out of trouble because he’s a master at being a giant, well-meaning dork.)

      Disney/Star Wars problem, in my view, seems to be that it’s forgetting what made things like Rogue One and the Marvel films such megahits: damn good storytelling.

      1. Rose is an extremely likeable character, if a bit clueless about what she’s supposed to be doing as part of a war.
        Unfortunately, as mentioned above, she ended up in a subplot that did nothing to advance the overall plot of the movie and was seemingly set up to A. Give Finn something to do and B. Make a Very Important Point about arms dealers, wealth, and oppression.

    4. Of the new movies the only one I have a copy of and have watched multiple times was Rogue One.

      Though I never played any of the games with Kyle Katarn, who in the Legends was the one who stole the Death Star plans so maybe if I had I’d like Rogue One even less.

      I must admit I liked seeing Red and Gold Leader again for the first time more than I like any of the main cast. 😀

  6. Way back in the Pliocene, I saw the One True Star Wars movie, yes, in 1976. I would like to see it again, someday, without excisions, revisions, additional scenes, or other assorted mutilations.

    1. Good luck finding the version you saw. It was a shock to this, 19 year old at the time, that the movie you saw in the theaters at home (NY) weren’t the same cut as the ones shown in other parts of the country (CA), and definitely weren’t the same cuts shown in different countries around the world (UK,BE,DE).

    2. The closest you’ll find is on the extras of the 2005 DVD release. It’s ripped from the VHS version, so it still has “A New Hope” on the titles IIRC, and it’s double-letterboxed, but it doesn’t have any of the revisions. I’ve heard that Disney wants to do a restored version of the original trilogy, but they’re having difficulty finding the original film in any good condition. I figure you clean up the dirt, fix the blacks, and make sure the color works like the original, and you’re good. (Disney is many things, but one thing you can count on is for them to follow the money, and they know there’s a big market for the non-CGI versions of those movies.)

      1. we bought the super-deluxe version of Blade Runner on Blu-Ray just to get the original theatrical release.

  7. The last two SW movies have been mixed. I loved Solo, because seeing Han and Chewie together for the first time on the Kessel run, where the Falcon becomes the Falcon I know and love was pure awesome, with a side-order of awesome sauce to go.

    TLJ suffered from pacing issues. TFA and TLJ together manage to cover what SW did in one movie (the chosen one plot), but with more stuff: stuff being shiny things to attract the eye and please the fans. The trouble is that fan service only takes you so far. I loved TFA because Han and Chewie show up and are just awesome.

    The best bit of TLJ was Rey and Kylo killing Snope and his guards before facing off, causing their budding relationship to go down the pan.

    1. I felt like they tried to cram three different movies into TLJ, and they pushed the whole “we can travel fast in space” problem Star Wars has always had way, *way* past even my suspension of disbelief point.

      But I did like the excellent sinking of the Kylo/Rey ship. That was well done.

    2. (Nods) That scene, along with the final Luke vs. Kylo Ren sequence, were what salvaged the movie from being bad to being mediocre. TLJ is a very uneven movie, and I wish people would recognize that.

    3. My family has a lot of love for the new movies, and it’s probably a lot because of the disappointment that we felt over the prequels. (P.S. If you get a chance to look up The Phantom Edit, the guy who did it fixed a lot of the problems simply by good choice of cuts and remixing the audio.) There’s also the fact we have a son of just the right age to fall in love with Star Wars and have father-son moments at the movies. But one thing we do like about TLJ that a lot of people have problems with is the treatment of Luke—and that’s because my husband has chronic depression, and so Luke’s character arc makes perfect sense in light of that. (And as my husband says, “He always does the stupid thing first.”)

      But dude. You’re allowed to simply not like things.

  8. Having read what JG posted on her FB page, I must say that I find her a pleasant fellow. Along the lines of those green skinned, red-haired ladies with the black cats and pointy hats, who suffer from an extreme aversion to dihydrogen-monoxide lest they melt.

  9. In my mid-teens, as a result of attending a comic convention with like minded HS friends, I met, Berni Wrightson (Swamp Thing), Mike Kaluta (The Shadow), Howard Chaykin and Jeff Jones. Artists who’s work graced awesome fantasy posters, the covers of both Marvel and DC comics, Warren magazines: Creepy, Eerie and Vampirella, dozens if not hundreds of beautifully illustrated stories, portfolios, advertisements and their own personal publications which in the 70’s, amounted to A LOT of labor to produce. A most awesome lifetime experience of meeting my artist idols, collecting autographs and spending a few minutes with some of the most influential illustrators. There was no politics, or ‘social issues’. It was ALL about the craft and it’s fans. I miss those days for that reason alone.

    1. I meant to quote the conclusion, didn’t come through above:

      Just … just be a professional. Be the person who can deal with adversity and still get your work done. Be the kind of writer contractors like to work with, and who conventions like to have sit their panels.

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