I used to be a newspaperman and newspaper editor, so I know the business, and I understand the pressure newspapermen are under to lie, and lie, and lie again.
Some, as did I, resist the temptation.
Others, many others, very many others indeed, not only give into the temptation to dwell in falsehoods, but bath in falsehood, dive into it, drink it, anoint themselves in it, baptize themselves in it, breathe it in, absorb it through every skin pore, mainline it, insert it as a suppository, and perform unnatural sexual acts with it, and in all other ways regard falsehood as a holy calling, and deception a sacrament.
However, even so, the true shocking nature of the falsehood, the insolence of it, the recklessness, the sheer magnitude of it, cannot truly be felt except to one, like me, who has been on the receiving end.
It is astonishing to hear newspapermen who have never made the slightest effort to contact you, who neither interview you nor quote anything you say, nor offer the slightest scintilla of evidence, reporting your innermost thoughts and motivations hidden in the most secret chamber of your heart, and to discover that your motives are the opposite of everything you have said, thought and did your whole life. Astonishing.
Here is a roundup of some links of various media outlets who decided that their honesty, integrity and sacred honor were worth selling in return for the questionable gratification involved in spreading an untruth so unlikely to be believed.
The first is Slate:
The lie here is that anger is our motive, and that we are trying to game, that is, manipulate the system unfairly, when all we did was pay our fees and vote.
You may remember them from 2015, when they hijacked the nominations for that year’s Hugo Awards, the closest thing the sci-fi and fantasy community has to the Oscars. Convinced that the genre had eschewed swashbuckling space opera in favor of politically correct, scoldy garbage, these “activists” proposed a slate of “corrective” titles and whipped up enough support among a conservative niche of Hugo voters to get them on the ballot (pushing more “literary” and more “progressive” nominees off).
This lie is particularly offensive to me personally. I was represented by a historical record number of nominations for my short fiction: no one in his right mind can look at my archaic diction, concern for the highest philosophical matters, erudite allusion to the classics, and consummate craftsmanship and claim my work is not literary, but that grotesque experimental stories about lesbian were-seals being splashed by dinosaur water from nowhere onto Tibetan gay men when the world flips upside down because a punk loser lost his cheating harlot because priests murder people is literary.
We were not against literary quality: we were for it. We were not even against progressive politics or progressive messages in fiction. We are and are against the message mugging the story in a back ally, beating the story within an inch of its life by a soapbox, leaving the story for dead, and making some dumb and boring point about gender neutral pronouns — all the while pretending that your political soapbox preachifying is science fiction, much less the best science fiction of the year.
And the same lie about our motives is repeated here:
Yet the puppies’ ideologically driven movement, which drew on the tactics and talking points of Gamergaters, struck a lot of people as unprecedented.
The link goes to an article which quotes Vox Day saying the following:
The connection between Sad Puppies and #GamerGate is that both groups are striking back against the left-wing control freaks who have subjected science fiction to ideological control for two decades and are now attempting to do the same thing in the game industry.
And the columnist himself says:
The Sad Puppies have struck a blow for creative and intellectual freedom. But their campaign is just one part of a wider movement against the forces of the authoritarian left, whose allies are decreasing by the day. Whether they are called CHORFs, SJWs or Stepford Students, authoritarians, finger-waggers, bullies and panic-mongers are facing a backlash across dozens of fronts as the defiant spirit of GamerGate floods into other fandoms.
We also call them Morlocks, because they were once human, but progress has progressed them beyond human reason, human honesty, or human kindness.
And, more and more, we call them pederasts, as the unholy and vile secrets at the core of this alleged literary movement come to light.
Did you notice the thimblerigger nimble sweep the pea into his cuff? The link is offered as proof that we used Gamergate style tactics. The column linked says we resemble gamergate in that we are a small group of rebels against Leftwing control freaks imposing ideological control. That is, a similarity of enemy, and of number, not of tactics.
The columnist remarked on a similarity of spirit, not of tactics.
The phrase ‘drew on tactics’ is delightfully ambiguous, and could mean anything from sending death threats (an act of which the gamergaters were wrongfully accused) to voicing objections in public.
In reality, all we did was pay our fee and vote our votes after compiling a suggested reading list.
This is a ‘tactic’ only when wrongfans do it: otherwise it is par for the course for Tor Books and has been for years, as George RR Martin himself eventually confessed.
The mention of gamergate is not a lie meant to convince, or even a sentence meant to have any meaning, it is merely a coathook on which to hang a reference to gamergate, an imply some sort of parallel or connection to readers to whom gamergate is the Antichrist.
When the pups positioned their nominees as a rebuke to the women, people of color, and LBGTQ folks seeking a place in the science-fiction/fantasy world, that coalition struck back.
Simply a lie. Our rebuke was to those giving an award for merit in science fiction to hacks whose mission was to use science fiction for social engineering. We had more women and minorities on our slate than did the puppy-kickers, and more women and minorities among our leadership. In fact, I was the only Anglosaxon straight Christian male among them.
There are several other lies folded into this one. One is the thimblerigging of providing a link as proof of our real and nasty intent, to a statement by our leader of last year which, upon inspection, says nothing of the kind. It is like arguing that the Founding Father believing in inequality, and providing a link to the Declaration of Independence.
I can never tell when a thimblerigger does this stupid trick of linking to a source that contradicts the statement for which the link is offered in support, if the thimblerigger actually is unable to read English because his eyes are bewitched, but he somehow actually believes his own lying spew? or if he knows it is lying spew, but is confident that the reader will not click through the link and read? Or perhaps, (and this is the most desolate and sad option of the three), the thimblerigger knows the reader will click, will see and understand that the lying spew is lying spew, but both reader and thimblerigger will admire and love the lying spew they both know to be a lie precisely because it is lying spew: and take it as a sign of virtue that they both together defy truth, reality, reason and judgment, in some sort of a mental suicide pact.
The one lie no reader of science fiction older than twelve is likely to believe is that women, colored people, and homosexuals had no place in science fiction before the efforts of John Scalzi and the radical intersectionists: the names Arthur C. Clarke, Ursula K. LeGuin, Samuel R. Delany, C.L. Moore, Andre Norton, Octavia Butler, Leigh Brackett, Mary Shelly silences such a shameless lie.
But one of the tactics of these Morlocks of Political Correctness, who feast off the living souls of any fools Eloi enough to believe them, is merely to repeat lies so frequently and so loudly that normal, working stiffs, men with lives and wives and business to mind, have no time to answer them all. We will have to leave Slate without further answer.
Next, the LA Times
Same lie: the accusation here is that we gamed the system.
The puppies oppose diversity initiatives and support lists that are dominated by white men.
Same lie. It was not skin color that concerned us, but merit.
Next, Mr. John Scalzi holds forth in the pages of the same newspaper:
Same lies again, with the addition that the Sad Puppies had no real effect on the outcome, because the popular stories and movies we supported, would have been supported anyway, because they were meritorious and popular.
He makes the same claim again here:
Of course, since our announced goal was promoting work that was meritorious and popular against the efforts of the junkmasters promoting politically correct agitprop and lauding it with unmerited awards for political reasons, it it hardly an argument against our position to point out one of our unambiguous successes and to say it would have happened anyway.
It is one of that statements that, even if true, makes no difference to the conclusion: GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY or the work of Mr. Gaiman was not the normal, boring, trite, sick-minded politically correct crapola on burnt toast shoved down unwilling throats by a small cabal of well connected Tor authors.
The lie here is merely the pretense that our motives were other than our stated motives, so that by winning whom we wanted to win, it somehow does not count, because we really wanted someone to win other than the candidate whose works we supported.
The argument is so illogical, there is not even a Latin name for the fallacy, because no one in the Middle Ages was this stupid that there was any need to coin it: it is merely disjointed.
Now the Guardian, home of Damian Walter, who is Patient One for the epidemic spread of Morlockery:
the Rabid Puppies has been successful in getting its nominations on the shortlist again this year; out of 80 recommendations posted by Beale on his blog, 62 have received sufficient votes to make the ballot.
An actual true statement appears in this column. I am shocked into speechlessness. This is one of the signs of the End Times, surely. Everyone run to the bomb shelter at once.
…the shortlist shows that the Puppies and their supporters have redoubled their efforts to “game” the awards.
Ah. There we go. Same lie again. The normal conditions of unwarped spacetime have returned. I wipe a drop of nervous sweat from my trembling brow. For a moment, I thought I had fallen into Earth 3, or the Mirror-Mirror universe.
The Hugo awards, once the watchword of quality in the SFF world, appear to have been utterly derailed for the second year running.
The Guardian, however, does live in the antimatter universe. This statement is the exact reverse of the truth. The awards were derailed, with increasing degrees of deviancy, fifteen to twenty years ago, and now a cabal of real fans, we who love the genre rather than loving Political Correctness, are putting it back on track.
The troubles began in 2013, when author Larry Correia launched a campaign against what he perceived as the liberal, lefty bias in science fiction and fantasy publishing. He came up with a plan to “game” the Hugos and get his own novel Monster Hunter Legion on the list.
Same lie again. Apparently, if anyone other than the politically correct cabal asks for votes for his work, that is ‘gaming’ the system, i.e. an unfair and unjust manipulation of some obscure loophole in the rules. Such as by paying our ever-lovin’ fee and voting our ever-lovin’ votes in an open and public fashion, I suppose, and being remorselessly and shamelessly and relentlessly libeled in return by yowling and whining jackanapes.
“The prestige of the Hugos derives from its history. Robert A Heinlein won four times, Ursula K Le Guin won, Harlan Ellison won. That’s a club any aspiring writer wants to be a member of,” George RR Martin says. “When the Hugo ballot came out last year it was not just a right-wing ballot, it was a bad ballot. It was the weakest we’d seen for years.”
Evidence enough that Mr. Martin had not read the works on the ballot. I say no more, lest I be accused of self-aggrandizement, for the works he thus criticizes are mine. He did not have so poor an opinion of my work when he bought it for his SONGS OF THE DYING EARTH anthology, however: a fact he conveniently forgot when he began leveling absurd and absurdly false accusations against me.
“This is an attempt by various elements of the American right to regain the centre ground of SF from some perceived shift to the liberal left,” [said Alastair Reynolds]
Same lie again. Of the six organizers, I am the only one who is even arguably on the Right. The rest are moderate, libertarian, or liberal, except for Vox Day, who invented his own political category for himself: libertarian nationalist. The one glue that binds us is a distaste for those who have prostituted our beloved genre, insulted its founders, sneered at its best works, and savagely attacked us with insensate fury and contemptuous, inhuman, and reckless disregard for truth.
I note in passing that the column quotes Vox Day saying that in Anglo-American Law, a wife cannot be raped. Apparently the writer is ignorant of the law and expects his audience likewise. Speaking as an attorney once licensed to practice in three jurisdiction, you may take me as an expert witness on the state of the law: Except where a specific statute says otherwise, the common law holds that the rite of marriage acts as consent: this is why marrying a seventeen year old, if the marriage is valid, obviates a charge of statutory rape.
But merely mentioning the word ‘rape’ and framing the comment as controversial is sufficient for the propaganda needs of this column.
If you would like to read a reasonably balanced report, yes, there is exactly one that I managed to find:
From Breitbart, of course.
The rest of the reports appearing in major new outlets are lies, and, as you can see just from this short and rapid list, it is the same stupid lies over and over again, lies easily repudiated: all one need do is read the various public statements made on our blogs by various Sad and Rabid Puppies over the last three years.
Or simply use a little bit of logic and ask yourself, if our motives were as claimed, why would we have promoted the works we promoted, and why lie about our motives? The organizers of the Prometheus award have no hesitation to correctly identify their prize as political, given to the most worthy science fiction that supports Libertarianism. If our goals were political, why would we be less open than the organizers of that award?
Our motives were entirely clear, and perfectly obvious to anyone who reads science fiction for love of the genre: if our real motives had been other than what we said, then the voters attracted to us would have been attracted to our stated motives, not our hidden real ones, would not they have? Then the voters would have voted in line with our stated motives, and our real hidden ones would have been thwarted, right?
I wonder why the Morlocks do it. I wonder who they think they are fooling. It seems so pointless. But they must have a reason, for they are relentless in their pursuit of spreading darkness, ignorance, anger, injustice, hate.
Anyone not inoculated with powerful cynicism will always assume there must be a grain of truth somewhere beneath all the hogwash and absurd accusations. A fairminded man cannot imagine someone lying for no clear reason about a matter of no significance, so he assumes the liar must have a reason.
It never occurs to a fairminded man that sometimes lying is done for the sake of lying, because liars thinks lies are beautiful and good, an end in and of themselves, not a means to some further end. Their impurity is pure.