An Account of Juliette Wade’s Withdrawal from Sad Puppies 3

Whether everyone on the Sad Puppies 3 slate was asked, and what they were told, has been part of the overall discussion.

Brad R. Torgersen addressed both questions in “Defenders of the nail house” (March 29) and “Sad Puppies 3: were they contacted?” (April 10) and in a comment here on File 770 (February 7).

Juliette Wade is one of the writers who withdrew her story from the Sad Puppies 3 slate, and she has agreed to share how that experience looked from her side.

***

Juliette Wade: Brad approached me on Facebook IM on January 25th as follows:

Brad: Juliette, I would like to include your novelette “Mind Locker” on my Hugo suggestion slate for February.  Can I have your permission to include you?

Me: Yes, thank you so much!

I did not notice the word “slate” or think anything of it at the time. We then discussed his upcoming work duties (army reserve stuff). Then on February 1 the Sad Puppies list was posted, and I was alerted to it by my friend Lillian Csernica. I remember feeling cold and a little sick. I immediately IMed Brad at 6:28 pm. This was the conversation I had with him at that time.

Me: Brad, I am sorry, but if you will be labeling me as a sad puppy I will have to ask you to withdraw me from your list.

Brad: You’ve not been labeled a sad puppy.  This is the :fight puppy-related sadness list” I contacted you about earlier.  You said you were OK with it.

Me: You did not say you were going to be calling it the Sad Puppies list. I feel like you were misrepresenting it. I’m happy to be one of your Hugo recommendations. This is different.

Brad: (shrug) I think your story deserves to make the final ballot.  If you elect to not participate, so be it.

Me: I think I would be more comfortable if I were not on the list. Thanks for thinking of including me.

Brad: You’re off the list.

Me: Thank you.

After that I walked around my house angry for a while thinking about how disingenuous he was about the whole thing.

***

Thanks to Juliette Wade for adding to our understanding about how the slate was assembled, and confirming how her withdrawal was handled.

198 thoughts on “An Account of Juliette Wade’s Withdrawal from Sad Puppies 3

  1. It wouldn’t ordinarily occur to me to wonder/worry, but…

    Mr. Torgersen, the US is a country, but we don’t have a king. If you double-check your oath of enlistment, or listen in on someone else’s, you’ll find that it refers to a Constitution (which we have) and a President. We have one of those instead of a king.

    Hope this helps.

  2. Reading the comments Brad is either deluded or willfully lying. At the very least he owes Juliette a ginormous apology for painting it as fact she is “fearful” – None of the Puppies seem to be able to get through their heads that authors might not want to be associated with them because their ideas are horrible – it’s always “someone/thing else” – they have no wish to take any responsibility for themselves or their actions. It’s always these “unseen forces of social justice” who are pulling the strings.

    I love the way he’s “Concern Trolling” Juliette on this thread.

    It’s so meta 🙂

  3. When all this started, I felt a bit sympathetic to the SPs — at least they really felt like they had been wronged. The SPs are increasingly reminding me of Earl Fenton, from the Vonnegut story “The Package.” It’s Sarah Palin-esque levels of resentment.

    BT has since apologized for implying Scalzi is gay, completely missing the point — being gay is no more an insult than is being left-handed or brown-eyed. The accusation wasn’t the problem, it was the anti-gay feelings behind it.

  4. …and really, shouldn’t it be “for President and country” instead of “for king and country.”

    No, wait. I get it now. Like so much of Brad’s language and worldview, it’s all about The Noble Cause and his vision of himself as A Noble Crusader. Sounds like he’s referencing Robert Fuller Murray’s poem, “Patriotism.” To wit:

    There was a time when it was counted high
    To be a patriot–whether by the zeal
    Of peaceful labour for the country’s weal,
    Or by the courage in her cause to die:

    FOR KING AND COUNTRY was a rallying cry
    That turned men’s hearts to fire, their nerves to steel;
    Not to unheeding ears did it appeal,
    A pulpit formula, a platform lie.

    Only a fool will wantonly desire
    That war should come, outpouring blood and fire,
    And bringing grief and hunger in her train.
    And yet, if there be found no other way,
    God send us war, and with it send the day
    When love of country shall be real again!

  5. Careful, Noah — that’s serious SJW talk! (More seriously, Brad really doesn’t seem to comprehend what year he’s actually living in by at least three or four decades.)

  6. Just out of curiosity Juliette Wade, what is it that the Sad puppies “did last year” that was so horrible?

  7. The SPs are increasingly reminding me of Earl Fenton, from the Vonnegut story “The Package.” It’s Sarah Palin-esque levels of resentment.

    Sad Puppies and Sarah Palin also share the same initials. And have the same number of letters.

    COINCIDENCE?

  8. Two different thoughts here:

    If I were a conservative SF writer, and John Scalzi nominated me for a Hugo, without asking me first, I’d say “Thanks John! Glad you liked the work!” And If I made it onto the Psychedelic Puppies list, and got a Hugo Nomination out of it, I’d be delighted and happy.

    So I find it very interesting that 1: people are making a big deal about “did he ask before suggesting”, and 2: That people are giving up their Hugo Nominations.

    Then there’s David Gerrold’s mafia-thug-like “gosh, it’d be a shame if your whole career was destroyed, no publisher was willing to deal with you, no Con was willing to invite you, because you got a Sad Puppies influenced Hugo Nomination. I’m curious, how many of you jumped down his throat for that?

    Has Sasquan decided to pull Gerrold’s invite, a la Jonathan Ross, for threatening to make Hugo Nominees feel uncomfortable at the Hugo Awards? No?

    Then frankly, I don’t care what people say about why they pulled out. When bullying is publicly on display, when threats are not just allowed, but celebrated, and when people are reacting in the way those threats are designed to make them react, well, then, a rational person says “gee, I guess the threat’s worked.”

    Now, if all of you have been telling Gerrold to STFU, and publicly saying that you reject threats, and would be happy to have a Sad Puppy backed individual at your con, at your publishing house, in your magazine, great, I’ll sit corrected. Just point me to the links.

  9. Protest Manager: “Has Sasquan decided to pull Gerrold’s invite, a la Jonathan Ross, for threatening to make Hugo Nominees feel uncomfortable at the Hugo Awards?”

    Ooo, did he really?!!! PLEASE post a link to those threats! Oh right, you can’t, because he didn’t. In fact, he’s made the exact opposite quite clear:

    “So we will have a Hugo ceremony. It will be a celebration of our deserving nominees. It will be a celebration of excellence in the genre. It will be a celebration of our history and our traditions. It will be a celebration of us.

    There will be some jokes. There will be some surprises. Some of the best people in the genre have stepped up to the plate — and we’re planning a celebration that will be joyous and fun. I intend that we will end up feeling proud that we haven’t lost our ability to be the greatest fans on Earth — and in space as well.

    When we step back and take a larger look at our history, at our traditions, at ourselves and the scale of our dreams and the scale of our accomplishments — this year’s little kerfuffle is merely a momentary hiccup in a much bigger history.

    and in another post:

    But here’s the important part. Here’s the part I want to stress: From the very beginning, the commitment has been to recognize that the Hugo Award Ceremony is the highlight of the fannish calendar. It is a celebration of the genre, it is a celebration of the community, it is most of all a celebration of the nominees. The evening is for them — it is to honor them as standard bearers for excellence in the field.

    And that’s what we’re planning. We have some fun stuff planned. We have some surprises planned. We have some nice moments planned. The evening will be the best Hugo Ceremony we can put on. There are already people building, planning, preparing, worrying about how to make it all work so that at the end of the evening, everyone walks out smiling.

    Yes, there will be some jokes. They will be good-natured jokes. Some of the jokes will be friendly affectionate pokes at past winners. None of the jokes will be at the expense of any nominees. The nominees are the stars of the evening and deserve the full respect of everyone at the ceremony.

    And yes, there will be a request made that if you like who wins, applaud — but if you don’t like how the voting ended up, please do not make noises of disapproval. That’s not fair, and it’s not us at our best.

    And then, there’s your false claim here:

    Then there’s David Gerrold’s mafia-thug-like “gosh, it’d be a shame if your whole career was destroyed, no publisher was willing to deal with you, no Con was willing to invite you, because you got a Sad Puppies influenced Hugo Nomination.

    What Gerrold actually said:

    This year — this stuff, this little turd in the punch bowl — the community will survive it. Whatever happens, the Hugo will survive. With an asterisk, perhaps. (Maybe we’ll hand out official asterisks with the trophies this year.) But the one thing that is growing more and more likely… the architects of this squabble will have indelibly damaged themselves in the eyes of the SF community. There are invitations and acknowledgments that will never be offered — not because it’s a blacklist, but because nobody wants to hang out with assholes.

    And if that’s “unpersoning,” then it’s self-inflicted.

    That’s not a “mafia-like threat”. That’s a simple statement of fact. I can assure you that there are indeed a whole lot of people who now have zero interest in being around any of the Puppy ringleaders — because they’ve demonstrated conclusively, repeatedly, that they’re assholes.

    Wow, actions actually have consequences! Who’da thunk it?

  10. ‘Has Sasquan decided to pull Gerrold’s invite, a la Jonathan Ross, for threatening to make Hugo Nominees feel uncomfortable at the Hugo Awards? No’

    Are you sure you’re not mixing it up with that puppy-sympathetic author who was, weirdly, anticipating the Hugo organisers’ discomfort at handing out those little Hugo Losers’ awards to puppy-nominated authors? Can’t remember who it was.

  11. If I were a conservative SF writer, and John Scalzi nominated me for a Hugo, without asking me first, I’d say “Thanks John! Glad you liked the work!” And If I made it onto the Psychedelic Puppies list, and got a Hugo Nomination out of it, I’d be delighted and happy.

    So I find it very interesting that 1: people are making a big deal about “did he ask before suggesting” …

    But what if the slate of the Psychedelic Puppies was one designed to advocate works that promote the use psychedelic drugs, and by being put on the slate your work, which has maybe nothing to do with drugs at all, will be associated with a pro-LSD political party? You think maybe the slate author should have asked first how you felt about your work being used as a rallying point for the whole pro-psychedelic faction?

  12. VD: “I supported, and support, their goals. But I also knew how hopeless those goals are at this present time, because unlike them, I recognize lying, incoherent SJW snakes for exactly what they are.”

    This is precisely why there is no point in engaging Vox and his cohorts. There is no intersection of agreement, no way in which people can be convinced one way or another, just an implacable statement of “you’re snakes”. We’ve had – how many? – pages of comments stating views, positions, statistics. Not one of them is going to convince the other side of anything. Us SJWs are just snakes to them (and it’s not just Vox and his Ilk that think that: take a look at the comments on Larry and Brad’s blogs).

    Apart from the perverse pleasure of watching Vox et al trying to defend the indefensible, what’s the fucking point of all of this? Can’t we just tell each other to piss off and be done with it?

  13. One of the things that strike me about Brad Torgersen, is how extremely unprofessional his behavior is. I mean, Juliette Wade is someone he has described as a “colleague” and even a friend (“I know she reads my wall”), someone he respects (“one of Analog’s bright stars”). Then he treats her really disrespectfully by repeatedly attributing motivations and feelings to her, feelings and motivations she had not stated. And the important point is how that’s really disrespectful, *even if she did really feel that way* and even if her motivations were exactly as he thought they were.

    A lot of people, including Juliette Wade herself, called him out on that. She furthermore unequivocally stated that he was wrong in his assumptions about her, and likewise was pretty clear about how unhappy she was with him to boot.
    At that point, when a colleague is this unhappy with you, the professional thing to do is to apologize. And I mean actually apologize, not the had-I-known-you-didn’t-like-the-puppies-I-wouldn’t-have-approached-you-at-all fake apology, which ridiculously addressed one of the few points she did *not* expressly state she was unhappy about. You swallow your pride and apologize, regardless of your private feelings on the matter, because this is your colleague and you want to be able to retain some semblance of a good professional relationship with her.

    That, incidentally, has nothing to do with politics, with awards or even sci-fi. It has to do with manners.

  14. Wow, do these arguments ever spin around endlessly. Protest Manager’s complaint (and similar ones elsewhere in this thread) — that Juliette turning down the SP endorsement was somehow unreasonable — was addressed back in this thread in post 4. I.e., there’s a difference between an endorsement and being used for someone else’s political machinations. Then BT chimes in again and claims to be unfairly victimized in all this, without for a moment (as far as I can tell) taking JW’s comment to heart as a sign that he might be misreading the situation. Bleh.

  15. Protest Manager on May 4, 2015 at 12:44 am said:
    Just out of curiosity Juliette Wade, what is it that the Sad puppies “did last year” that was so horrible?

    Hmm. Well, there was the Vote Your Hate campaign, which was instituted last year (the year before it was just “I wanna Hugo” as I recall) and the Great Fan Exchange Program which was also new last year, and putting Vox Day on the Hugo Ballot (which Larry Correia has admitted he did, not because of the excellence of the story–which is wildly different from the stuff Puppies tell us they like–but because he wanted to upset people and Satan hadn’t written an eligible work) and giving Vox Day proof-of-concept on the whole slate idea.

    There has been entirely enough speaking for Ms Wade in this thread, but for myself I’d say it would unreasonable to expect someone to pick just one of those as “bad” just off the cuff and in public. That’s a decision that requires careful thought.

    Also I’ll note that Brad has apologized for speculating about Scalzi’s sexuality on his FB thread, but continues to miss the point–just as the biggest problem with his treatment of Ms Wade was putting words in her mouth, which he hasn’t apologized for, the biggest problem with “he might be gay” as an insult is the assumption that there’s something wrong with being gay.

    It’s ironic that the Puppies are anti-gay all the time, but mentioning that they’re anti-gay is painted as an insult and a lie besides.

  16. Of course, if 3BP wins, Beale will take all the credit for it. Because obviously he wrote it, edited it, and then put it on his slate…

  17. Alexvdl “Of course, if 3BP wins, Beale will take all the credit for it. Because obviously he wrote it, edited it, and then put it on his slate…”

    Whatever the outcome of the Awards, we can safely predict that Beale will be relentlessly tedious about it, and it will be claimed as a victory by him and his sycophants.

  18. “Can’t we just tell each other to piss off and be done with it?”

    I really, really hope not. The point at which we do this is the point at which this stops being a genuine disagreement about fannish matters and irrevocably becomes yet another front in the interminable and entrenched ‘culture wars’ that seem to pervade American politics and culture. We’ll all be expected to pick a side and stick to it come hell or high water.

    I’m sure that some, including Vox Day, would be delighted if this were the outcome of this whole spat. It would confirm their world view and make them happy. But I would not be alone in finding it utterly depressing. If we want to see the Hugos ever again become a prestigious award that writers aspire to, no matter their beliefs, the very last thing we should do is give up on the possibility of communication and start throwing abuse in its place.

  19. It already is a culture war: the dirty secret of US politics though is that only one side is fighting it, the rest of us are just trying to go on with our lives.

    That’s what happened here. Fandom is just going on with their lives, but Larry and Brad came along and decide that because they didn’t get awards, it was all a liberal conspiracy and went full on Culture Wars on us.

  20. ‘That’s what happened here. Fandom is just going on with their lives, but Larry and Brad came along and decide that because they didn’t get awards, it was all a liberal conspiracy and went full on Culture Wars on us’

    Honestly I really wonder how much of that they truly believe and how much of that is kabuki theater. It looks more like they’re using rhetoric to con people into fighting out their personal grudges, the Culture Wars just seems to be a means to an end.

  21. Can’t it be both? Genuinely felt by them but *also* a useful method of bringing in people who wouldn’t care about the issue if it weren’t being framed as a chance to “stick it to the SJWs”?

  22. I live in London, England, home of the 2014 Worldcon, and, reading through this mess here and elsewhere, it has become increasingly apparent to me that much of the Puppies outrage at the results last year stemmed from their sheer ignorance of the many differences between English culture and that in the US.

    One very obvious example is that being an atheist here is not a big deal, mainly because there’s an awful lot of atheists; Torgensen’s story about the horrors of atheism was always going to be laughed at and dismissed from serious consideration for that reason. The same applies to Beale’s story; it doesn’t take a conspiracy to persuade people here that badly written ‘Christianity must win since otherwise we are doomed’ stories are unworthy of Hugos.

    Equally, our reactions to people who think that suggesting someone is gay is an insult tend to incredulity rather than admiration; that is very old news, and whilst we’ve still got plenty of bigots it’s no longer mainstream. Once Civil Partnerships were introduced over a decade ago, and the sky didn’t fall on our heads, the move to same sex marriage became possible precisely because all those apocalyptic prophecies were proven false. No room for a conspiracy there either.

    By contrast it does take a conspiracy to get people like Wright multiple nominations; I have been dutifully plodding my way through this stuff and I have every sympathy for those who refused point blank to be involved in any way. Shanghaiing someone and then accusing them of lying about it seems, unfortunately, the sort of ethical standards the Puppies adopt wholesale, which means I cannot trust anything they ever say. My personal response has been to buy a book from the authors who have refused to join the conspiracy, which definitely helps alleviate the dross on the conspiracy slates, and I hope others may consider this option also.

  23. It could be both, only they’d know for sure. I’m with Corbie though that I wouldn’t want them to piss off, but I’d rather it go back to being about the books. I know that’s less dramatic than a culture war and less inspirational for motivating people but it’d be more interesting than to watch disingenuous talking points get dragged out forever.

  24. “One very obvious example is that being an atheist here is not a big deal, mainly because there’s an awful lot of atheists; Torgensen’s story about the horrors of atheism was always going to be laughed at and dismissed from serious consideration for that reason. The same applies to Beale’s story; it doesn’t take a conspiracy to persuade people here that badly written ‘Christianity must win since otherwise we are doomed’ stories are unworthy of Hugos.”

    This is really true in most of the US also. It is only in a few regional areas of the US that it is *not* true — Utah and its Environs, for instance, and that benighted area known as the Bible Belt. (And even in these areas, not everyone is religious.) Because the Puppies and their friends mostly live in those areas, I suspect, I think they sincerely believe that their America is the Real America.

    In fact, though, most Americans, though many of them will *say* they believe in God (or some higher power) actually believe more in football and capitalism than either, and a growing number are agnostic / atheist / could give a shit.

    And this is even more true among the educated class. So Wright* / Correia / Torgersen’s fiction really doesn’t present the mainstream American wordview, as much as they’d like to argue otherwise.

    *An example: Wright’s bizarre contention that demons are making liberals support marriage equality. You won’t find 1 American in 100 who believes anything like that. That’s some truly fringe religious theology. Many Americans will say they’re religious, but they’re not THAT kind of religious.

  25. Mr Torgersen wrote a story about atheism? I don’t recall seeing any such? (His ‘Ray of Light’ was hard SF, as was his thing about telepresence troops in orbit…)

  26. This thread show exactly why one should never apologise to SJWs. It didn’t do Mr. Torgersen any good except further and more vicious attacks.

    Matt Y: “It looks more like they’re using rhetoric to con people into fighting out their personal grudges, the Culture Wars just seems to be a means to an end.”

    Are you possibly this ignorant? It is exactly the other way around. Correia and Torgersen plausibly want something with the Hugos. VD wants another victory in the culture war. It started with gamers and it continues with SF. And it looks to be the beginnings of a glorious rout.

  27. They’re talking about “The Chaplain’s Legacy,” his Analog story that made the 2014 Hugo ballot after being on the Sad Puppies 2 slate.

  28. “In fact, though, most Americans, though many of them will *say* they believe in God (or some higher power) actually believe more in football and capitalism than either, and a growing number are agnostic / atheist / could give a shit.”

    Please don’t demean the faith of others by putting scare-asterisks around “say”. If someone says that they are “spiritual” but not affiliated with a particular religion, let’s take them at their word.

  29. “This thread show exactly why one should never apologise to SJWs. It didn’t do Mr. Torgersen any good except further and more vicious attacks.”

    The point about apologies is that they are supposed to be sincere expressions of regret for something one has done wrong. The reaction an apology gets is entirely irrelevant to whether one should, or should not, apologise.

  30. delurker

    It appears that you may have been overly optimistic about the relative sophistication of those beyond the people directly involved in constructing the conspiracy slates; brandishing ‘SJW’ as if it has some meaning to anyone outside the U.S., other than Beale who’s afraid to set foot in the US, does not suggest that the insularity which led to Torgensen and Beale’s failures last year has been remedied.

    I’m still here in London, England, where people generally haven’t a clue what SJW means, and really don’t care. Of course, we do now have the list of the Locus Awards finalists, which seem to represent fan choice a lot better than the conspiracy slates, so there are alternative ‘best of’ lists to consider when it comes to buying books. Torgensen has behaved unprofessionally, both as a writer and as a Warrant Officer in his country’s armed forces; I must confess to bias on the second point. My father spent 35 years in the Royal Air Force, and I know exactly what his response would have been. It’s unprintable so I’ll leave it at that…

  31. I think I’ve missed something. Who exactly is the lying SJW to whom Torgersen was wrong to apologize? Juliette Wade?

  32. aeou: “This thread show exactly why one should never apologise to SJWs.”

    Or in Brad’s case, why one should never try half-assedly to apologise to SJWs. 🙂

  33. Torgersen said he was sorry he “insinuated” Scalzi was gay (not that Scalzi gave two hoots), but seems to have entirely missed the point about apologizing for the presumption that “gay” is a horrible insult.

    So when people pointed out that it was the thoughtless use of “gay” as an insult that was the real problem, rather than offer any apology or understanding, some of Torgersen’s supporters decided to try the tack that apologizing was useless.

  34. “Please don’t demean the faith of others by putting scare-asterisks around “say”. If someone says that they are “spiritual” but not affiliated with a particular religion, let’s take them at their word.”

    If you like. But I’ve lived all over the US, including in Utah/Idaho and the Bible Belt, and have known many people who are nominally Christian — who, that is, say they believe in God. What it seems to amount to is if they have to fill in the blank on some form, they will tick that box; or if you ask them what religion they are, they will say they are Christian. But it has no measurable impact on their lives whatsoever.

    They’ll spend Sundays watching football, and the rest of their lives making $$$. If you want to call that Christian, why, by all means.

    I’ve got no real dog in this fight.

  35. And then the pot was raised by Myke Cole pointing out in his open letter to Torgensen that his homophobic slurs were a gross failure of his duty as an officer, which is the point when people like me, who come from Service families, lose any remaining possible vestiges of respect for a man who doesn’t even recognise that his duty to the people he commands and works with is absolute.

    It isn’t negotiable, and there is no wriggle room for cries of ‘but people were being unkind to me’. People were unkind to my father, for example when he was a slave on the Death Railway, but I suspect that even Brad might be just about capable of grasping that there’s a considerable difference between people being unkind to him about his homophobia, and people repeatedly torturing and beating people to death…

  36. Absolutely agreed on Myke Cole’s words being right on the mark. He’s spitting in the face of people who put their lives on the line and actually do conduct themselves honorably.

    @delurking

    That is a particularly infuriating twist on the No True Scotsman fallacy, denying the religious identity of those who don’t neatly fit into -often negative- stereotypes. And as a gay Christian, I’ve caught enough of it coming from different directions to know it when I see it.

    And chalk up another who is completely unsurprised by BT repeatedly failing to understand just why he should actually be apologizing for what he said about Juliette and John.

  37. XS

    I would also note that Brad has actually still not apologised to Juliette for anything, at least not here. All he has said is that he made an “honest error” in his initial approach, and hopes that she forgives him.

    There’s been not even that sort of qualified acknowledgment, much less an actual apology for the whole “ascribing motivation to someone else” bit.

    Well, at least not here. One hopes that he has done so directy to Juliette at least.

  38. @snowcrash

    Ah, you’re right. Curse my optimistic tendency to round upwards when it comes to people’s behavior and motives.

    Juliette Wade though has certainly conducted herself with grace considering what’s been thrown at her in this very thread. Classy victim blaming from the Puppies bunch, as expected.

  39. The_Corbie: “The point about apologies is that they are supposed to be sincere expressions of regret for something one has done wrong.”
    Yep.

    The_Corbie: “The reaction an apology gets is entirely irrelevant to whether one should, or should not, apologise.”

    Not so much. It is not very difficult thinking up situations where that is false. This thread is one example. A reductio ad absurdum would be: say you’re sorry and you will die. A christian might plausibly take the challenge under some circumstances but I am guessing you wouldn’t do it under any circumstance.

  40. Peace is my middle name: “So when people pointed out that it was the thoughtless use of “gay” as an insult that was the real problem, rather than offer any apology or understanding, some of Torgersen’s supporters decided to try the tack that apologizing was useless.”

    Who did this, with what words, where?

    Always with the narrative never with the specifics. Talk about someone never with them. Paraphrase dishonestly but never quote directly.

    This might come as a chock to you but the vast majority of humanity sees no problem using the more pejorative versions of the word gay as an insult. I would think Torgersen is among them so he would apologise for the insult but not the form of it. That you are interested more in the form of the insult that was retracted than the retraction has amusing parallels to the whole Sad Puppy thing. You don’t care about anything but ideological compliance.

    I wish you people would get off the euphemism treadmill. Any word that is connected to something that is or is considered negative will become negative. But you can not make the negative positive by changing a word. All you do is create more insults.

  41. There’s “ideological compliance”, and then there’s that elusive dream known as “good manners”.

  42. “It is not very difficult thinking up situations where that is false.”

    Apparently it is, since you had to resort to reductio ad absurdam to give one.

    Since nobody was threatening Mr Torgersen with anything if he apologised, I struggle to see your point. The worst thing that happened to him as a result of his apology was that people pointed out that it was inadequate, because he had not understood why his comment was offensive or who it was offensive to. That is certainly not a argument as to why he should not have apologised in the first place.

    “This might come as a chock to you but the vast majority of humanity sees no problem using the more pejorative versions of the word gay as an insult.”

    It should not come as a shock to you, I hope, that this is also irrelevant, because that is not what Mr Torgersen did. He said: “Correia also likes women. We’re not sure about Scalzi, on that count. If you know what I mean.”

    No use of a particular pejorative term there, no euphemism, just the insinuation that being gay (or not liking women, to be fair) is something a man should be mocked for.

  43. aeou:
    “Who did this, with what words, where?”

    You did, with these words, here:
    “This thread show exactly why one should never apologise to SJWs. It didn’t do Mr. Torgersen any good except further and more vicious attacks.”

    You’re dishonest. Is that direct enough for you?

  44. One thing which does strike me very forcefully is that the rhetoric about ‘taking back the Hugos’ mirrors the rhetoric of the Christian Dominionists; since the CDs are confined to a tiny part of the world, in a small part of the U.S., it is unsurprising that it didn’t exactly spring to mind when I first started trying to work out what on earth was going on.

    However, once I had come across the ramblings of those devoted to the concept I realised that it all sounded very familiar; this is the sort of thing that the puppies are spouting which has completely baffled people like myself who know perfectly well that if you want to vote on the Hugos all you have to do is sign up as a supporting or attending member of Worldcon.

    The puppies know that perfectly well; their suggesting otherwise is deliberate deceit, but apparently they are people who are happy to lie to obtain whatever they want. Brad’s disgraceful behaviour towards Juliette Wade is simply one example of many…

  45. I find it amusing (in a wry and bitter way, as a vet*) that Mr Torgersen is 1: hiding behind his upcoming deployment/using it as a cudgel to imply he is some sort of Good Person for being in the Army and 2: has been going on about democracy but uses the phrase, “For King and Country”.

    Last I checked the country whose uniform he wears has no King (there was some sort of dust-up ~250 years ago). Given how loudly he’s been going on about the virtues of democracy, it seems more than a bit ironic.

    (OIF-1)

  46. I see, in my haste, that I glossed something. OIF-1 was my combat tour. I did 16, and a medical retirement (as a result of my deployment).

    So my disdain for Mr. Torgersen’s behavior is because it is at such odds with what I expect from an officer. Are they venal? Sure, they are human, but when the venality is so centered around never being in the wrong, never owning up to a mistake in a substantive way (“I made an honest mistake…”, not, “I didn’t realise what I did, and I screwed up”) and compound the errors by pretending the testimony of the offended aren’t their real motivations.

    That’s disturbing.

    The entire Scalzi insult… well given the oath he took at enlistment, the inculcation he should have gotten as an NCO (he’s a Warrant, which come from the ranks of NCOs, though as a Chief he as also been given a commission, but I digress) that it’s misson first, and then welfare of the troops, I’m disturbed.

    Because the imputation that being non-straight is somehow “wrong”, means that I can’t trust him to treat all his troops the same. His personal feelings seem to intrude. To make it a casual insult, and then to make his more meaningful apology to his supporters, for stepping beyond the pale… that means he thinks falsely calling someone gay is beyond the pale. It means he thinks being gay is some great failing, because the falsity of it is a calumny.

    Calling me gay is like calling me a seaman, or an airman, or a Coastie, or a Marine. It’s wrong but not offensive (well.. airman might be cutting it pretty fine :>). I was in the service, those are the other services. Likewise I am human. Some humans are gay. Taking a thing which merely is, and treating it as a demeaning condition (e.g. the way some use “girl” as an insult to males) betrays more of the speaker, than it can of the target.

    And Mr. Torgersen is charged, duty-bound, to accept homosexuals as full and equal members of the service. I am somewhat doubtful he can.

    Which is a digression from the SP problem, but as he has been making such a big deal of his honor, and his service, those are the things about this slice of the contretemps, which jump to mind.

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