Behind the Kerfuffle Kurve

And sometimes we publish yesterday’s news, because it’s always news to somebody…

Vox Day sounds just like one of those overly talky, self-congratulatory villains from a 1940s serial, and his flock of followers could profit from a dose of what Manly Wade Wellman used to write about.

He was called out, not by name, in N.K Jemisin’s guest of honor speech at Continuum delivered in Melbourne, Australia on June 8.

She devoted the beginning of the speech to a comparison and contrast of racism in Australia and the US in which the US came off second.

So: admitting that the land we live on was stolen from hundreds of other nations and peoples? Acknowledging that the prosperity the United States enjoys was bought with blood? That’s a pipe dream.

For all America’s other shortcomings, the purchase with blood is confessed in Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address, one of the country’s most widely-studied pieces of political writing —

Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said “the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.”

But as for those other shortcomings, Jemisin targeted several in her discussion of the sexism in the SFWA Bulletin controversy, and remarks about the last SFWA presidential election where Theodore Beale (Vox Day) was a candidate and received several dozen votes.

Beale’s idea of a terrific comeback helped make Jemisin’s point and inspired another round of indignation, including Amal El-Mohtar’s call for the expulsion of Theodore Beale from SFWA.

Many who commented stated they had deliberately omitted a link to Beale’s post.

For a blogger with 30,000 readers, providing a link effectively turns over a greater platform to a pathological attention-seeker. For those of us with followings only about 1% that size, I find Carrie Cuinn’s reasoning  persuasive:

All courtesy of Theodore Beale, writing as Vox Day. For those who don’t know, Beale is an active member of SFWA, and even ran for President this year. Though he repeatedly says things like women are ruining SF, except for those few who write like men, or women shouldn’t be allowed to vote, or women should be ignored entirely if they’re not attractive, not to mention his views on people of color (as evidenced above, and elsewhere in his public site), he still managed to get roughly 10% of the vote.

That’s the genre community for you, right there. But we ignore trolls like him, right? That’s what I’ve been seeing all day. Ignore him. Ignore his post. Don’t read the comments. Stay off the Internet for an hour until the unpleasantness passes.

You know what? Fuck that. Go read his post (it’s linked above).

In the meantime, SFWA has announced a Four Step Plan for Moving Ahead with the Bulletin. Chris Gerwel makes sense of both controversies in his post about Personal, Professional, Official? Standards of Professionalism in SFWA.

And it should not take much effort to find dozens of other posts

[Thanks to DB, David Klaus and Ansible Links for the story.]

10 thoughts on “Behind the Kerfuffle Kurve

  1. The time has come to rename SFWA’s Bulletin as “The Journal of Political Correctness”, and replace the position of editor with a Kommissariat to promote the party line and conduct purges of members with incorrect thoughts and writings…..

  2. The SFWA has a lot of imaginative people in it. I’ll be surprised if they don’t come up with a better idea than that.

  3. Yes, we must haul out the fascist imagery (egregious initial K’s) whenever there’s any criticism of the tenured’s right to be insulting jerks towards their colleagues, and denounce anyone so crass as to be hurt and offended by this and ask for it not to happen again. How shocking!

  4. Bryan Thomas Schmidt bravely grapples with SFWA issues in A call for not silence but civility (via Petréa Mitchell.) (And says in another post he got his ass blasted for it — which as everyone knows is what happens when you recommend civility to the internet.)

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