Pixel Scroll 10/7/16 You Keep Using That Pixel. I Do Not Thing It Scrolls How You Think It Does

.(1) NEW YORK COMIC CON. Tor.com’s Leah Schnelbach says fans packed the room to hear “You Can be Mythic!” Ta-Nehisi Coates, Steven Orlando, and Tee ‘Vixen’ Franklin Discuss Race, Sexuality, and Representation in Comics.

Gray kicked off by asking Coates about the reception of the Midnight Angels—Aneka and Ayo, two Dora Milaje warriors who have left their traditional roles and become fugitives together. While the crowd cheered at their mention, Coates self-deprecatingly joked, “If you see people on the internet who love it, you can’t tell if it’s the same 20 people.”

On why he was drawn to these characters, Coates said: “Many of the male figures in T’challa’s life had been killed. So the only people who were left in his life were women, like the Dora Milaje, and their story was told through his eyes. I was interested in what the perspective might be of a person who’d given up their entire life to protect one man—I mean, they address that man as “Beloved.” What about their love for themselves? What about their love for each other? Now that the social contract in Wakanda is fraying, what will happen to those feelings?” Coates further talked about Ayo and Aneka becoming lovers, and said “I think if you check yourself, you can open yourself to everybody’s worldview. You don’t have insert Black people, you don’t have to insert queer people, insert women—they’re already all around you.”

(2) TURNOVER AT WORLDCON 75. Dave Weingart is no longer running Music programming for Worldcon 75 for reasons he discusses at length at his LiveJournal.

(3) NORSTRILIAN VOICE. Walter Jon Williams expresses appreciation for “The What-He-Did: The Poetic Science Fiction of Cordwainer Smith” at Tor.com.

She got the which of the what-she-did,
Hid the bell with a blot, she did,
But she fell in love with a hominid.
Where is the which of the what-she-did?

This cryptic verse opens “The Ballad of Lost C’mell,” by Cordwainer Smith, and may serve as emblematic both of some of the author’s persistent themes and his own rich and distinct strangeness. Smith was one of the Great Peculiars of science fiction, producing strong, intricate, highly-wrought, highly weird stories that will never be mistaken for the works of anyone else. No one else had a mind like Smith.

(4) BBC4 ART CONTEST. Get your crayons ready — “Competition – Draw Neil Gaiman’s Stardust for Radio 4”.

BBC4 will be coming out with a radio adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Stardust in December. In conjunction with that, there’s a drawing contest open to 1) 16-and-unders, and 2) 17-and-olders. Winning images will be used as episode images. Deadline October 26th. More details here: Stardust – Competition – Draw Neil Gaiman’s Stardust for Radio 4 – BBC Radio 4

(5) NBA SHORTLIST. The finalists for the National Book Awards have been announced. One of them is one genre interest – Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railway. The winners will be announced November 16.

(6) IT GETS VERSE. Yesterday was National Poetry Day, prompting ULTRAGOTHA to revisit January’s epic post “Filers Destroy Poetry”.

(7) LAST HURRAH FOR PROF. X? CinemaBlend thinks this is the end, my friend – “New Wolverine 3 Image Reveals A Shocking Look At Professor X”.

Ever since it was announced that Patrick Stewart would be part of the last Wolverine film we’ve wondered exactly what his role would be. While the image doesn’t give us any hints toward answering that question, it does make us wonder if Hugh Jackman won’t be the only one saying goodbye to his famous role when the movie is over. With the Professor X role apparently in the capable hands of James McAvoy within the current X-Men timeline, there’s no specific need for Patrick Stewart going forward, and if Professor X were to pass away by the end of this movie, we wouldn’t be shocked.

(8) AUTHOR DISAVOWS GHOSTS IN POPULAR CULTURE. Richard Bleiler says to take his name off —

Some time ago I contributed essays to a work entitled “Ghosts in Popular Culture and Legend,” ed. by June Pulliam and Anthony J. Fonseca (ABC-Clio, 2016).

When I received my copy I discovered that my encyclopedic contributions were rewritten, egregiously so. Paragraphs and sentences were rearranged and dropped, continuity was disrupted and destroyed, and — worst of all — sentences that I did not write were added without attribution. At no time was I asked if these changes were acceptable. Likewise, at no time was I given any indication that there were any issues with my contributions or asked if I could revise them.

I do not believe that I am being overly sensitive. I am used to being edited, but what was done to my contributions to Ghosts in Popular Culture and Legend is beyond the pale. It is completely unacceptable.

I am therefore taking the (for me) unique step of disavowing the contributions in Ghosts in Popular Culture and Legend that were published under my name. They do not represent my scholarship; they should not have my name attached to them. I have thus asked ABC-Clio:

1. Not to use my name in any advertisements for Ghosts in Popular Culture and Legend;

2. To remove my name from any additional printings of Ghosts in Popular Culture and Legend;

3. To remove my name from all electronic editions of Ghosts in Popular Culture and Legend.

(9) THE MIGHTY KIRK. Matt Melia answers the question “Just How Heroic Is Star Trek’s ‘I Don’t Like to Lose’ James T. Kirk?” for PopMatters.

For this writer, Captain James T. Kirk, of the USS Enterprise, has always been the most iconic and quintessential of television heroes and furthermore, possibly the most recognisable and identifiable as such. From a casual perspective, Jim Kirk embodies the most normative of heroic values: bravery, romance, adventure, leadership, nobility, instinctiveness as well as a penchant for recklessness (in the Season 1 episode “The Corbomite Maneuvre” he is also shown to be something of a gambler, bluffing of the alien, Balok, that the Enterprise is loaded with the non-existent substance Corbomite). But how may we further understand and define “heroism” and unpack it in televisual terms? How does Star Trek, as a cultural text, frame and interrogate the problematic and often contradictory concept of heroism, filtering its inquisitions through the character of Captain Kirk?

(10) FANTASTIC FICTION AT KGB. At the next installment of the New York-based reading series, hosts Ellen Datlow and Matthew Kressel present: Jack Ketchum & Caitlín R. Kiernan, October 19th. Starts 7 p.m. at the KGB Bar.

(11) WEEPING DEVILS. Joch McArthur delivers a rant about SF and “being political”.

… Or to clarify, to all the straight white cis dudes bitching and moaning about the blackness of Luke Cage or the PTSD discussion in Jessica Jones or Evan Rachel Wood talking about feminist aspects of Westworld or Wonder Woman’s queerness or any of the other white tears hot topics of the year that are constantly blowing up my social media feed (“why do they have to make everything political!!! It’s just a tv show!!!!!!!” *straight white cis male tears here*)

(12) HISTORIC COMICS APA SIGNING OFF. Capa-alpha, the oldest comics-fandom APA, started in October 1964, will close with its December mailing, #626. Fred Patten has the details.

CAPA-alpha, known as K-a for short, was one of the influences behind the startup of comics fandom in the early 1960s.  It’s been going for 52 years.  Some of the leading names in the comics industry began as comics fans in K-a.

Paper APAs are considered dinosaurs today, but the immediate cause of the APA’s cancellation is its long-running Central Mailer, Douglas Jones, having a foot amputated due to advancing diabetes.  Jones cannot continue as Central Mailer, and none of the current members (23, with a waiting list of 7) feel that they can replace him.

(13) STICK YOUR FOOT IN IT. Dangerous Minds knows where you can find Cthulhu Approved High-Heeled Tentacle Shoes.

chtulhu-high-heel

Totally insane-looking—and probably not practicable footwear—tentacle high-heeled shoes made by fashion designer, costume designer and shoe designer Kermit Tesoro. I can’t imagine walking in these. Hell, I can’t even walk in heels to begin with!

I just checked out Kermit Tesoro’s Facebook page to see if he had any other equally freaky high-heeled designs and it looks like he’s also got a Venus flytrap shoe.

[Thanks to Elusis, Fred Patten, Andrew Porter, Bruce D. Arthurs, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Jameson Quinn.]

115 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 10/7/16 You Keep Using That Pixel. I Do Not Thing It Scrolls How You Think It Does

  1. @Greg Hullender

    Yup, continuing when told repeatedly to stop contradicts his claim that it was a single inadvertent post, so that’s that as far as I’m concerned.

  2. Alexvdl: I wouldn’t say that. He has posted minimally, and I note that since you told him to, he has not addressed you again.

    I also have to say that even as I am inclined, from seeing Worldcon’s comments and the like, to agree with your perspective, your behaviour, which has been to attack anyone taking a cautious line as aiding and abetting a harasser, has been making me wish I didn’t agree. Maybe cool the nastiness pointed at third party spectators and speculators?

  3. (2) I also found his post a little off. I don’t want to go too far with how it seemed to me, but some of what he said seemed pretty suspect. The fact that he claimed he hadn’t realized [name redacted] had posted in the thread he commented on, and she was the one who started it (from what I read)… that’s a little more than a tad disingenuous on his part.

    Currently reading:
    Shadow of the Scorpion – Neal Asher
    I’m in the midst of an Asher re-read, going in in-universe chronological order. So far, as fun as I remember, but the editing leaves a little to be desired. He tends to frequently use the same adjective twice in one sentence, which grates a bit.

    Also, now that I’m re-reading and remembering the over-arching story, I strongly recommend new readers start in chronological order based on the year the books were published, not in-universe. You lose a lot of “ahhh…” moments reading them as I’m doing now (had those already, so I don’t miss them – I’m enjoying the re-read).

    Also reading: The Naked Ape, Safely You Deliver, The Big Front Yard and Other Stories – flipping between all those according to mood.

  4. @lenora Rose,

    I’ve had to ask him multiple times, and he still persists. WorldCon has asked him to stop posting. He will persist.

    I think it’s pretty telling how you, and others, have made it clear that you care less about David’s behavior and more about tone and/or propriety.

    David ‘s actions show him to be a liar, and someone unwilling to respect boundaries.

  5. (2) One of the problems is that people defending a long-time friend who is genuinely innocent and confused sound pretty much exactly the same as people defending a long-time friend who have only heard his side of the story and have never witnessed him doing anything problematic in their personal vicinity or to people they trust and care about. The supportive statements of long-time friends are kind of useless as information for third parties.

    I read through Dave’s lj post and I’m thinking, “Dude, if spending the weekend ‘crashing’ at an acquaintance’s house is followed by a series of increasingly escalating requests for you to back off of contact, and if after a third party has passed on a request that you “stay away from” the person at an event you’re both attending and you respond with a long passive-agressive message to that person, then when you volunteer for a significant staff position on a convention the other person is also on staff for, don’t think you can start from scratch.”

    I saw a lot of “tells” in Dave’s own post that suggest “stalking” is a pretty apt word for what’s going on. And I think if he genuinely didn’t intend to bring the internet down on the head of his stalkee, then maybe he should have kept his fingers off the keyboard other than to say that he was stepping back from the con position for “personal reasons”.

    Fandom has a lot of history of people being given a pass for bad behavior because they had a lot of “long-time good friends” who would vouch for them. We’re trying to get past that. From just reading the two posts linked to in this thread, it looks like Worldcon75 did a valiant job of trying to be fair to all parties and to find a path where everyone could contribute to the con. We know from past history how difficult it is to figure out where to draw the line in the sand in an ongoing problem. The place they drew the line may seem arbitrary but at least it was objective.

  6. Per the thead title… I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who habitually and consistently typos “thing” for “think” and vice versa….

  7. Dave Weingart now says on Facebook:

    Also, I hereby give Worldcon 75 full permission to release any and all official communication that I had with the convention if they wish to support their claim that I violated my agreement. This includes screenshots from Basecamp and emails.

    I will only request that they scrub one other person’s name, as I have done in every post I’ve made.

  8. I assumed the “thing” in the title was intentional. I just re-watched The Princess Bride and it hasn’t lost anything in the 20+ years since the last time I did. If anything, it’s improved.

  9. “No. I acknowledge that interacting in that thread at that time gave the appearance of such (and, as I said previously, if there was a way to delete the comment, I’d have done so the moment I noticed). I realize this may seem like hair splitting, but I think it’s important to note the difference between accident and breaking an agreement. The latter has (and should have!) consequences. The former, not so much.

    I think this from the last facebook posts is the key part. These are basically excuses to be allowed to make further mistakes without consequences. It is wordplay to avoid responsibility.

    To let him go seems to have been the correct decision.

  10. Mike thank you for posting the text of Worldcon 75’s statement, here. It is an important subject with current conventions and fandom around the world.

    While this situation is now unfortunate for all those involved I agree with Worldcon 75 ‘s difficult decision, based on the circumstances that they were presented with and during a time where they have yet to finalize their Code Of Conduct.

    Having read both Dave’s Live Journal post from 10/05.2016 and Worldcon 75’s response today, some portions of both parties statements stuck out, for me.

    On 10/05/16 Dave said:
    “Fast forward to post-Midamericon in August. I’ve just finished running the Music program for one Worldcon, I’m getting ready to recruit staff and run music for another. Worldcon 75 is using a platform called Basecamp, which has different areas. I start looking around and introducing myself in general terms. I had access to Program and All Staff. One feature is the Campfire, a general-purpose chat. There’s a discussion going on about Swedish meatballs. Now, anyone who’s seen Babylon 5 (and if you haven’t, why not?) knows what scene I’m thinking of in all this, so I track down the link and post it the the Campfire chat. It takes me a couple of minutes because I’m doing this at work and it has to fit in with the stuff I actually get paid for. In that period of time, [name redacted] has posted something in the chat as well. I realize pretty much immediately, but there’s nothing I can do. The Campfire doesn’t allow you to edit or delete messages and I’ve tried. I chalked it up to bad timing and resolve to be more careful next time. Here’s an image of my offense.”

    Today Worldcon 75 said:
    “We are not calling a post in the staff chat harassment. We are saying that when David agreed last spring not to interact online or in person with the other staffer, that included the staff chat. He posted five times in one day to the staff chat conversation that the other staffer had begun. When this was brought up with him, he was asked to stop posting in the staff chat. He not only refused, he posted there another nine times before his access was revoked, and he wrote belligerent emails delivering ultimatums about it to our Staff Services division.”

    In my opinion by posting to a chat STARTED BY THE OTHER STAFFER is where Worldcon 75 made the correct decision, as best as they could. It’s a judgment call that had to be made one way or the other. Dave was constrained by this situation, but Worldcon 75 would have been constrained as well if they had moved forward with Dave remaining in his position.

    Jukka Halme (Worldcon 75 Co-Chair) said that, “We were unanimous in the decision.”, when asked “Were the Chairs unanimous on this decision?” by a commenter on Facebook

    Leadership has privilege to stand in front of an organization when that organization experiences the best of successes, but it also has the unenviable privilege of standing in front of that same organization when that organization is expected to be held accountable to the public (fandom) for all of the actions of its staff members. However they are perceived.

    I commend them for addressing it head on, in the scrutiny of the public eye, even though it may come with undesirable consequences.

    I wish them the best of luck in moving forward.

    I do hope that they do take into account that while Dave is no longer a staff member of the convention. That they prepare and make appropriate preparations, and that he be given every courtesy afforded to an attending member when and if he chooses to attend Worldcon 75 next year in Helsinki.

  11. Kathodus mentioned Neal Asher. I am very fond of Asher’s Spatterjay books, and I think that what I like is that he gives some thought to alien fauna and flora (flora are so often neglected). Even when the biology is completely nuts, it’s detailed enough to keep me interested. Intelligent aliens in spaceships are all very well, but I do like a good planet with weird things creeping around.

    Cambias’s A Darkling Sea and Kirsteins Steerswoman books scratched the itch last year. Dellamonica’s Child of a Hidden Sea also, though that is Earth with a difference, not alien ecosystem built from scratch. Any other recently published novels with good alien planets that I should look for?

  12. Cattfish on October 8, 2016 at 9:00 am said:
    Anyone else get an email from NorthAmericon San Juan this week? Anybody else going?

    Yes, I got an email from Pablo Vazquez about converting to an attending membership. I really would like to attend. I haven’t worked out the details yet. I’m just going to get the membership first, then try to figure out time off and flights and so on.

  13. I also want to contrast these three comments:

    1) Olov Livendahl on Weingart’s first post:

    “Perhaps you think Nordic fandom is larger than it is, but there is far too much info in this post for the person in question to be completely anonymized. I suggest you remove the screenshot and replace it with a less specific summary of what was said and that you also remove all references to named countries and replace them with “Northern Europe” or something.”

    2) Weingart’s answer:

    “That screenshot only makes sense to people who are currently on Worldcon 75 staff. There’s no way to sufficiently anonymize the story that people can’t figure out who [name redacted] is.

    But it’s ultimately not important who she is, since this is about Worldcon.”

    3) From Facebook for Worldcon 75:

    “…unfortunately, based on what Dave has posted about this situation, many people have identified the other staffer in question and sent them inappropriate and angry messages, blaming them for “getting Dave fired.” It was possibly a predictable outcome of what Dave posted, in fact, intended or not.”

  14. @Mark (kitteh): Wow, that’s an awesome, awesome costume/cosplay!

    Also: Yeah, I . . . hmm. He misrepresented things and left out some pretty big components (e.g., multiple comments, she started the thread – unless it’s a horrible platform, it should be obvious and he should’ve avoided threads she started). Worldcon 75’s not doing a great job with this in some ways, but it’s a tough task and when all’s said and done, it sounds like he violated his agreement, period. They were very foolish to set up the situation, but at this point their firing of him makes sense to me.

    @Alexvdl: Oh, so you’re the Alex attacking people on Facebook – the one Worldcon 75 also asked multiple times to stop? ::eyeroll:: You’re not earning that high horse you’re on.

    @Cattfish: I haven’t gotten any e-mails – I voted, though, so doesn’t that make me a supporting member or something? – but I want to go to the San Juan con.

  15. @Kendall, yeah my “firing a stalker isn’t something you should be upset about” high horse. My “demanding more information after dude admitted to violating boundaries is silly” high horse. My “dude is fomenting abuse against the woman he stalked and y’all should stop enabling him” high horse.

    Stanning for stalkers, minimizing their actions, demanding proof, is why stalkers feel free to act with impunity.

    But it’s cool. It’s cool. You should totally take time to lecture me on my tone.

  16. Finally had enough time to read Elliott’s Back Wloves no. 1 and enjoyed it mightily. I was attracted by a review (here, I think, stressing the variety and interest of the female characters, and enjoyed them and the perspective on power relationships and colonization. Does anybody have any idea when vol. 2 might appear?

  17. Heather Rose Jones on October 8, 2016 at 10:49 am said:

    (2) One of the problems is that people defending a long-time friend who is genuinely innocent and confused sound pretty much exactly the same as people defending a long-time friend who have only heard his side of the story and have never witnessed him doing anything problematic in their personal vicinity or to people they trust and care about. The supportive statements of long-time friends are kind of useless as information for third parties.

    Well said.

    I’d also hope a supportive friend would help a person not make their situation worse or look worse. Dave Weingart’s posts unintentionally support Worldcon75’s actions.

  18. I’m very sorry to see Capa-alpha closing, but wow, did it have a good run and leave a mark on comics the way Alarums & Excursions did on roleplaying games, as well as being a great community of its own for many people over the years. It’s a run to be proud of.

  19. The 2016 Galactic Spectrum Awards were just officially announced at a panel I was at, and @Heather Rose Jones made the Short List/Recommended List for Best Novel, for The Mystic Marriage! Congrats, Heather! 😀

    In person they called it their “short list”; on paper, the flyer says “recommended list. It’s analogous to the short list the Tiptoe Awards does, of worthy/strong contenders. I’m sending the full list/info to @Mike Glyer.

  20. So we’ve got a statement that takes an “awshucks, accidents will happen to poor old me” tone, in a statement that omitted a boatload of salient facts, and also enough bread crumbs for the man boys of the Internet to find the person who dared to say no.

    Color me persuaded. Without a personal connection to the accused, it looks like Worldcon 75 ejected someone for bad acts, and was willing to do this without regard to their connections.

  21. @alexvdl: I was pointing out your hypocrisy, among other things, but thanks for pretending you have any right to tell me how to spend my time. ::more eyeroll:: Somehow pointing out right things doesn’t actually make everything you say/do right, imagine that!

  22. Worldcon 75 has a further statement in the comments to the first. In case that link doesn’t work right, here’s the text:

    Contrary to assertions that we are “making vague accusations,” it was not the decision of Worldcon 75 to air a personnel issue in public. Today’s public statement on this matter was in response to David Weingart’s (admittedly one-sided) account of the issue from his perspective, which was posted by him to tag our Facebook page.

    In our statement, we attempted to balance a need to address the issue with the privacy concerns of those involved. Some onlookers apparently feel we have a duty to provide enough information to litigate our actions and/or the original issue between the two parties in the court of public opinion. This was never our intention, nor do we feel it would be appropriate to do so.

    However, in the interest of clearing up the lingering confusion, we will provide some more context, particularly as more information has been made public by David Weingart himself. Barring extraordinary developments, this will be the last statement Worldcon 75 makes on this internal personnel decision.

    First, the issue at hand is not that David Weingart has been accused of either stalking or harassment, so the question is not whether anyone has provided sufficient evidence to convict him of such a crime.

    The issue is that, due to an ongoing situation between him another staffer, we were only able to accept his help if he would agree to abide by certain strictures designed to keep him apart. We had his enthusiastic and repeated assurances that he had no intention of contacting the other staffer, and that he would cooperate fully with these restrictions.

    We feel David Weingart violated this agreement when, after never having posted in the all-staff forum before, he selected a thread begun by the other staffer to post in five times in one day. We regret that David Weingart has chosen to frame this action in a different light that leaves these crucial details out, while including information that makes it trivial to uncover the identity of the other staffer.

    We asked him to acknowledge that contact happened between him and the other staffer even by accident, and he refused, choosing to focus on what intentions were in his heart rather than what actions unfolded in the world. We asked him to reaffirm his previously enthusiastic commitment to avoiding interaction with the other staffer.

    He may consider this an attempt to subject him to new restrictions that made his job untenable; we consider it a clarification of what he had previously agreed to. Regardless, his answer made it clear that he would not be able to perform his job in a manner that would ensure the safety of all involved. The result was an impasse, followed by a parting of ways.

    Throughout this all, our priority has been to put on a successful convention. Our definition of a successful convention includes one that is safe and accessible. We did our best to accommodate the needs of two staffers while keeping these priorities in mind.

    The one thing that both our public statements and David Weingart’s have agreed upon is that the other staffer is not at fault and does not deserve either the loss of privacy or recriminations and harassment that have followed in the wake of this. It is part in deference to this that we will not be issuing further statements or responding to questions or comments. This is not a legal dispute and we are not a court of law. The sort of finding of facts that some seem to expect from us is not only not necessary, it is not appropriate.

    We had a staffer who presented us with a problem and who promised to abide by a series of guidelines to ensure this problem did not escalate. He feels he did abide by those restrictions. We disagree. Regardless, the problem did escalate, and he was unwilling to comply with the steps we deemed necessary to address it. Without assigning any judgment or blame on David Weingart as a human being or denying the value of his skills and experience, we found it impossible to continue our working relationship.

    The decision to separate was not an easy one, but it was a necessary one, and now that it has been made, we intend to move forward with the business of throwing a Worldcon.

  23. In our statement, we attempted to balance a need to address the issue with the privacy concerns of those involved. Some onlookers apparently feel we have a duty to provide enough information to litigate our actions and/or the original issue between the two parties in the court of public opinion. This was never our intention, nor do we feel it would be appropriate to do so.

    I thought they were keeping their heads above water until they followed this statement with several paragraphs of justification.

  24. Hi, everyone. Thank you for your discussion and consideration today. I’m sorry we have had such a rough day in Worldcon news.

    We’ve posted what I hope is the last substantive comment needed on the topic of Dave Weingart no longer being on Worldcon 75 staff:

    Contrary to assertions that we are “making vague accusations,” it was not the decision of Worldcon 75 to air a personnel issue in public. Today’s public statement on this matter was in response to David Weingart’s (admittedly one-sided) account of the issue from his perspective, which was posted by him to tag our Facebook page.

    In our statement, we attempted to balance a need to address the issue with the privacy concerns of those involved. Some onlookers apparently feel we have a duty to provide enough information to litigate our actions and/or the original issue between the two parties in the court of public opinion. This was never our intention, nor do we feel it would be appropriate to do so.

    However, in the interest of clearing up the lingering confusion, we will provide some more context, particularly as more information has been made public by David Weingart himself. Barring extraordinary developments, this will be the last statement Worldcon 75 makes on this internal personnel decision.

    First, the issue at hand is not that David Weingart has been accused of either stalking or harassment, so the question is not whether anyone has provided sufficient evidence to convict him of such a crime.

    The issue is that, due to an ongoing situation between him another staffer, we were only able to accept his help if he would agree to abide by certain strictures designed to keep him apart. We had his enthusiastic and repeated assurances that he had no intention of contacting the other staffer, and that he would cooperate fully with these restrictions.

    We feel David Weingart violated this agreement when, after never having posted in the all-staff forum before, he selected a conversation begun by the other staffer to post in five times in one day. We regret that David Weingart has chosen to frame this action in a different light that leaves these crucial details out, while including information that makes it trivial to uncover the identity of the other staffer.

    We asked him to acknowledge that contact happened between him and the other staffer even if by accident, and he refused, choosing to focus on what intentions were in his heart rather than what actions unfolded in the world. We asked him to reaffirm his previously enthusiastic commitment to avoiding interaction with the other staffer.

    He may consider this an attempt to subject him to new restrictions that made his job untenable; we consider it a clarification of what he had previously agreed to. Regardless, his answer made it clear that he would not be able to perform his job in a manner that would ensure the safety of all involved. The result was an impasse, followed by a parting of ways.

    Throughout this all, our priority has been to put on a successful convention. Our definition of a successful convention includes one that is safe and accessible. We did our best to accommodate the needs of two staffers while keeping these priorities in mind.

    The one thing that both our public statements and David Weingart’s have agreed upon is that the other staffer is not at fault and does not deserve either the loss of privacy or recriminations and harassment that have followed in the wake of this. It is part in deference to this that we will not be issuing further statements or responding to questions or comments. This is not a legal dispute and we are not a court of law. The sort of finding of facts that some seem to expect from us is not only unnecessary, it is not appropriate.

    We had a staffer who presented us with a problem and who promised to abide by a series of guidelines to ensure this problem did not escalate. He feels he did abide by those restrictions. We disagree. Regardless, the problem did escalate, and he was unwilling to comply with the steps we deemed necessary to address it. Without assigning any judgment or blame on David Weingart as a human being or denying the value of his skills and experience, we found it impossible to continue our working relationship.

    The decision to separate was not an easy one, but a necessary one, and now that it has been made, we intend to move forward with the business of throwing a Worldcon.

  25. @kendall,

    You keep standing on the side lines worrying about the methods of people who are actually willing to say and do things.

    I’m sure you’ll raise your voice in support any minute now.

  26. “We asked him to acknowledge that contact happened between him and the other staffer even if by accident, and he refused, choosing to focus on what intentions were in his heart rather than what actions unfolded in the world.”

    No, he didn’t say that. I’m looking at his e-mail to the Co-DH, where he said “I think it’s important to note the difference between accident and breaking an agreement.” So he did acknowledge that contact happened, and the “what intentions were in his heart” part was about clarifying that it was an accident and not intentional.

    Further, when he was asked “Do you acknowledge that your actions (accidental or not …) have had an impact on [name redacted]?” he replied, “I acknowledge that it certainly could have an impact and if I did, I’m sorry for it. … If you tell me that she said it did, then I’ll acknowledge that, certainly. I’ll acknowledge that past actions have had a impact on her …” so he did acknowledge that too.

    The big thing that Dave is accused of leaving out of his account is that the person he calls [name redacted] started the thread in the first place. It seems to have been a great wrong on his part to have posted in it at all. Does that mean that any reply to that thread, however far removed from any individual post of hers, is a violation of his agreement to avoid contact?

    Really, if that’s the level of restriction that the Worldcon wished to impose on Dave here, then in an environment like that of a large concom where staff need to stand up and say things that all the others can hear because it might be something they need or want to know, it’s impossible to guarantee that any two of those staff won’t run into each other, either in-person or online.

    That being the case, if either the Worldcon or Dave felt these restrictions on him were necessary, the Worldcon’s mistake was to ask him to do this job, and Dave’s mistake was to attempt to do it. They should not have offered him the job, and he should not have accepted it. It set up an impossible situation in which he could not do his job or interact in the concom environment without restrictions which made his work impossible (like not being permitted to attend site visits) and that could easily be violated accidentally, as it appears they were.

    I have no idea what Dave did to deserve these restrictions, but if he is so bad a person that these restrictions are necessary, he should not be working on any concom, certainly not anywhere near where [name redacted] could be around. And if he’s not that bad a person, he shouldn’t have to work under such severe restrictions. People who don’t get along work on the same committees all the time by just trying to stay out of each other’s way, without formal restrictions. (And if they are needed in this case, return to the first sentence of this paragraph: he shouldn’t have been on the committee at all.)

  27. alexvdl:

    At the time I posted here, I had just read the Worldcon thread and David Weingart had not in fact continued posting after being asked to quit. I am saddened but not at all surprised that he did after that. I withdraw my comments on that front entirely.

    On the front of you being a jerk, though… you can be on the right side of an argument and still be a jerk.

    Please note this is not tone policing, which goes “I would have agreed with you if you were just nicer.” I DO agree with you. Now that he violated boundaries again, I agree with your interpretation in every respect. Your treatment of absolutely anyone who registered any doubt at all or any concern, however, was still beyond the pale. Humans are humans. They ask questions and fret, and worry at things. Not everyone expressing doubts was trying to make excuses for a stalker.

  28. Whether or not they were trying to make excuses, they were. Intent isn’t magical. Actions matter. If they wanted to ask questions or fret, they could have done so without stanning for a man who IN HIS OWN Words initiated contact repeatedly after being asked not to.

    I know what right looks like. I guess jerks see better?

  29. I’m comfortable with calling him a stalker (hell, I was pretty much thinking that when he posted his long P/A letter that he sent her). And I agree that this is another case (for a lot of people) of giving people passes just b/c they’ve known him for years, which is something we need to stamp out.

    BUT, the con shouldn’t have asked him to work in the first place! The conditions were set up for him to fail, even if he really was 100% innocent. You can’t expect two concom members to have no contact whatsoever.

    The con set him and themselves up for failure, and caused more trouble and stress for Ms. Redacted.

    FAIL.

  30. I just saw former Worldcon chair Deb Geisler’s post “A vicious abuse of power.”.

    Worldcon 75’s shameful public accusations against one of their former volunteers – accusations without legal standing or proof, by an organization with a position of power over the regulation of volunteers – are a hideous breach of their responsibility as the World Science Fiction Convention.

    As a former Worldcon chairman, I am completely, utterly, shockingly appalled that the convention’s leadership would choose to publicly attack this volunteer they fired. If the convention felt it had made a legally and fannishly justifiable action in firing this volunteer, it should have remained silent.

    That the convention has chosen this particular tactic of public vilification indicates to me, at least, that it wants to so damage this former volunteer’s reputation that nothing he says will be believed and so that he can no longer engage in the activities he so enjoyed in fandom.

    Choosing to use the bully pulpit to shred our fannish volunteers in social media is a cowardly, stupid, and fannishly reprehensible action. (Oh, and hey, good work on not letting him reply on your page in his own defense.)

  31. @Nicole: Me too. Nobody ever mentioned legal. Dave didn’t say legal. Worldcon didn’t say legal. It’s all been about con policies, gentlepersons’ agreements, etc. No one has suggested that anyone did anything illegal.

  32. Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little: What confuses me is why the specter of “legal” keeps coming up.

    It’s my understanding that because Worldcon75 and Helsinki are located in the EU (which has a much lower threshold than the U.S. for standards for defamation, libel and slander), Weingart might very well be able to make a legal case against them which could have serious financial repercussions for them.

  33. Possibly the phrase “accusations without legal standing or proof” is intended as rhetoric to suggest the weakness of the case. I find some of the accusations of stalking to be credible – you can’t send an e-mail to someone to tell them you’re abiding by their desire not to contact them; it’s not logically possible – but others not. Some may find in Dave’s account evidence that he posted his B5 video in a deliberate attempt to harass Ms. Redacted, but I do not, not even with the additional information that she had started the thread. Is he really banned, not just from addressing her directly, but from any thread she began?

  34. Nickp on October 8, 2016 at 12:25 pm said:
    Cambias’s A Darkling Sea and Kirsteins Steerswoman books scratched the itch last year. Dellamonica’s Child of a Hidden Sea also, though that is Earth with a difference, not alien ecosystem built from scratch. Any other recently published novels with good alien planets that I should look for?

    So… it falls pretty heavily into romantic fantasy, but Jeffe Kennedy’s Covenant of Thorns series has a professor heroine who falls into a fantasy world and responds to this by cataloguing the flora and fauna.

  35. Lenora Rose on October 8, 2016 at 6:01 pm said:

    > Please note this is not tone policing, which goes “I would have agreed with you if you were just nicer.” I DO agree with you. Now that he violated boundaries again, I agree with your interpretation in every respect. Your treatment of absolutely anyone who registered any doubt at all or any concern, however, was still beyond the pale. Humans are humans. They ask questions and fret, and worry at things. Not everyone expressing doubts was trying to make excuses for a stalker.

    Saying you agree with someone and then spending more of your time berating them for how they said it, is exactly what tone policing is. It’s being upset at being called out and then lashing out at anything you can ding the person for.

    Someone being gentle when calling people out is a favor, it’s emotional labor on their part and it’s not something people automatically deserve.

  36. DB:

    ” So he did acknowledge that contact happened, and the “what intentions were in his heart” part was about clarifying that it was an accident and not intentional.”

    If he continued to post in a thread created by the other staffer and also continued when asked not to, it was very, very much intentional and no accident.

  37. JJ:

    “It’s my understanding that because Worldcon75 and Helsinki are located in the EU (which has a much lower threshold than the U.S. for standards for defamation, libel and slander), Weingart might very well be able to make a legal case against them which could have serious financial repercussions for them.”

    Let me then say that they are totally ridiculous and have absolutely no idea of how law works in Europe, much less in Finland.

  38. Hampus Eckerman: Let me then say that they are totally ridiculous and have absolutely no idea of how law works in Europe, much less in Finland.

    So how do the laws on defamation, libel and slander work in the EU? I’m curious.

    I only know that in the U.S. it’s pretty much impossible to win such a case, regardless of how badly one person has slandered and defamed another.

    ETA: I take that back. I also know that in the UK, successful cases occur quite often.

  39. @JJ

    UK law might be giving you that impression. In the UK the onus is on the one accused of making a defamatory statement to prove its accuracy, truth still being the absolute defence. Or at least show it wasn’t damaging.

    This had lead to a practice of lawsuit tourism, with people not resident here suing media outlets not based here in the UK courts that no one liked. Which is a shame because the principle did give people a chance against big media when they made lurid accusations with no factual basis.

    Legal practice varies a lot over the EU though and we’re an outlier on that one.

  40. I should also add that the law was tightened up in 2013 to put a stop to the worst abuses of the system by libel tourists.

  41. JJ:

    “So how do the laws on defamation, libel and slander work in the EU? I’m curious.”

    First, every country has its own laws so talking about European libel laws is like talking about European food and think it is the same everywhere. As an example, Denmark had blasphemy laws against slandering of religion. Sweden has not.

    Then for Finland, the treshold might be lower than in US, but it is still high. W75 has done absolutely nothing that could make this a case for the courts.

  42. Hampus: That was not the accident that I was talking about. The accident was his posting the video immediately after her comment. What he continued to do after receiving the chiding about that from the concom is another matter. As I wrote in the same post, some of what he did could be reasonably criticized and some could not.

    He did tell the concom that it was a ridiculous restriction, and I agree, whether his reaction to defy it was justified or not. A staffer cannot work under restrictions of such severity, and if the concom judged him sufficiently toxic to merit such restrictions, they should never have hired him in the first place. And his best response to their chiding of him should have been to resign forthwith.

  43. There’s also the rhetorical trope of bringing up legal when you want ignore the unpleasant. The American standard in criminal matters, proof beyond a reasonable doubt, is very hard to meet. Porting into things that are not a criminal prosecution have the effect of saying “I don’t want to believe the unseemly evidence against person/thing I like.”

    For an example, look at every accusation of racism and misogyny against the puppies, and how suddenly, the standard was legal proof.

    Considering here how it’s being used to ignore some very troubling facts about the behavior in question here, that are even more troubling given how they were consciously spun in the “oh, whoah is me” post, I think we’re seeing that use of “legal” here.

  44. DB:

    I absolutely agree that it was a mistake in taking on Weingart from the beginning, but that is easy to say afterwards. I do not agree with you that it is about his eventual toxicity. It was not about him as a person, but about a relationship between two persons where the other person was put on staff first.

  45. The biggest mistake here is that they tried to have two high-level staffers or concom members who were not ever to interact. When Redacted and/or Dave informed the concom that they could have no interactions, the concom should have chosen one or neither of them (probably but not certainly the one they already had on staff), and thanked the other for their offer of help, but declined it.

    It’s one thing to have low-level staffers or gophers who can’t interact for whatever reason, but division leaders and seconds and up will almost certainly have to interact, even if they’re in different areas. At the very least, there’s the walk-through(s) and logistics. And if it’s not just a matter of interpersonal incompatibility, but of perceived stalking, you need to be even more aware that interactions will likely happen if there is even a shred of truth in that perception.

    So yeah. It’s a cluster. At least this all happened most of a year before the convention, not, say, the week before. There’s time to lick the wounds, recover, and move on.

  46. @alexvdl: I’m not worried about your methods, and if you actually read what I commented about the real issue (versus your silliness), I made my thoughts clear – I didn’t feel W75 handled things great and they set up a ridiculous situation, but ultimately it sounded like DW violated his agreement and the firing made sense. (shrug) I couldn’t care less what you think – whether that’s “supportive” enough for you – since I didn’t write it to score points with you.

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