Lou Antonelli’s BOLO Story

Lou Antonelli poses with sign outside Hugo, Oklahoma.

Lou Antonelli poses with sign outside Hugo, Oklahoma.

This BOLO story is not about sentient tanks.

Those who listened to last week’s Superversive SF Hugo livestream already know, but the rest of the world has just learned that online discussion featured Lou Antonelli’s claim to have written a letter to the Police Department of Spokane, Washington, telling them to be on the lookout for someone who may incite violence — Sasquan guest of honor David Gerrold.

Lou J. Berger asked Antonelli if he really wrote the Spokane PD. Antonelli answered –

I said I thought Gerrold’s on-line comments were so intemperate they were an incitement to violence, which is what I believe. I wanted them to know in case there were any disruptions at the convention….

I just suggested they (the PD) be aware of the controversy and possibility of people getting, uhh, maybe too enthused.

I verified Berger’s report with Antonelli myself who agreed, “That’s the way I recalled it. If I said anything stronger than that, I don’t recall and I must have been drinking some beer at the time.”

Now Jim C. Hines has published a transcript of Lou’s quote:

I’m referring to your quote at 1:00:28 in the video linked below:

“I really didn’t know much about [Gerrold] before the Hugo nominations came out. Following his discourse and his level of discourse as a result, I personally wrote a letter addressed to the police chief in Spokane and said I thought the man was insane and a public danger and needs to be watched when the convention’s going on, and I mean it. I attached my business card. I said this guy’s inciting to violence. Somebody—a weak-minded might attack somebody because of his relentless strength of abuse. I think, honestly, I think he belongs in a secure psychiatric facility.”

Update: Lou Antonelli subsequently responded to Jim C. Hines’ Facebook post with an apology for his actions.

Thanks for your polite request for an explanation. I’ve thought about what to say, which is painful to admit.

It’s become public that on July 1st I wrote a letter to the chief of the Spokane Police Department expressing some concerns over potential security issues at the upcoming Sasquan.

I’m sorry for what I did. Without looking at the big picture I reacted in a manner that I thought I was being treated. It was stupid and wrong. My subsequent participation on a podcast was also a mistake because the environment further fueled my fear and I lashed out again.

I’m sorry I bothered the Spokane PD. They probably are ready to throw the butterfly net over ME when I enter the city. And I’m sorry and apologize to David Gerrold. He probably understands why I did what I did better than I do.

I need to ponder the hurt I have caused. To give me time to think, after Sasquan I am taking a half-year hiatus from attending any conventions and/or submitting any fiction.

I think I’ve become my own crazy uncle…

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373 thoughts on “Lou Antonelli’s BOLO Story

  1. “If any special privileges are attached to this status, I want my share of them too.”

    This is a big part of it, I think. I grew up with a bunch of kids from Portugese families who would be very, very surprised to hear that Larry Corriea and his followers claim that they are people of color. :/

  2. Hey, Glenn. Not sure what you’re getting at. I wasn’t talking about anonymous CHORFers (BT = Brad Torgersen); it’s an insult used pretty openly by people posting under their real names who are proud they coined it.

    I think we all agree that drive-by trolls are crummy and pathetic.

    Also, I realize that right-wingers like VD are common and likely attract birds of a feather, but perhaps the most vicious and successful troll in relatively recent memory was a Thai woman, as we were reminded in our Hugo packages (fingers crossed for a win, btw).

  3. Bloodstone: I dunno, I see a lot of anonymous types posting about CHORFs, SJWs, and the like. Granted, not many of them are here on File770 (although they do show up) but a quick look at, say, blogs runs by Finnish publishers are filled with people who won’t sign their real names to anything. (Especially amusing when there’s a stated rule of “NO ANONYMOUS COMMENTS. Anonymous comments will be deleted.” and yet there are so so many of them.)

    I presume they’re worried that if they do reveal their identities, someone might convince their mothers to withhold their allowances, or they might lose being lead tenor in the church choir.

    As Nick pointed out, there are legit reasons to hide your identity. But wearing a mask doesn’t automatically make you a superhero; there are lots of people who wear masks to escape the consequences of their actions, like that webbed menace Spider-Ma… well, there’s a reason he’s not liked by the public the way Johnny Storm is. There are reasons the KKK wears hoods, too.

  4. There are anonymous tough guys, it’s true. I’m personally more dispirited that there are people who aren’t ashamed to put their names on that bilge (like the recent commenters on Lou Antonelli’s FB page).

    PS: Thanks for your work on the Farscape stuff!

  5. What are you reading?

    @rrede: Just finished King of Thorns by Mark Lawrence and started Emperor of Thorns.. And finished Sense and Sensibility.

    I enjoyed the latter more than I thought I would. KoT was okay, but the protagonist starting out as a fourteen-year-old boy was a large stumbling block for me. Lawrence strikes me as wanting to out grimdark GRRM, and trying far too hard. I’ll finish this trilogy (received as part of a book-swap with a friend), but I won’t be reading anything else of his unless it’s free again.

  6. Well, I made the mistake of checking out Dr. Mauser’s blog, and it turns out he has made a post entitled “So You Want to Fix the Hugos?

    Between the post itself and the comments, there are so many statements which are ill-informed, ignorant, and just plain wrong, all I can do is shake my head, roll my eyes, and close that browser window.

  7. So now that SPJAirplay has been disrupted by anti-#GG activists with a bomb threat and evacuated and the PuppyKickers have long set them selves up as friends of anti-#GG, will you be apologizing to Lou Antonelli for his obviously reasonable concerns about what some PuppyKickers might do at Worldcon?

    This is the second time #GamerGate things have been terrorized with bomb threats by anti-#GG maniacs.

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  9. Sounds like the work of a third-party troll, or perhaps a false flag operation.

  10. Huh?

    Why would anyone even accept your vague version of events without a link to real info?

    Why would anyone feel responsibility for the acts of random strangers?

    And have you missed the fact that, baseless speculation aside, Lou Antonelli has already tried to disrupt Sasquan by trying to get the police unpleasantly interested in a GoH by telling them he’s so dangerous and unpredictable he should be in a secure psychiatric facility. An accusation for which Mr. Antonelli had zero evidence.

    Concern about Antonelli and other Puppies pulling something at-con is at a pretty low level among Worldcon regulars, but to the extent it does exist, it’s based on their hyperbolic language and, in Antonelli’s case, actions.

  11. @Jason: If things happened as you describe, that’s terrible, and whoever did it is terrible. I hope they get caught and punished. I condemn them unreservedly no matter whose side they consider themselves to be on. I do not want them for allies, if that’s how they think of themselves.

    It’s got fuck-all to do with Lou Antonelli though.

  12. So much Gamergate talk about SPJ Airplay. Never understood why, no one else seemed even remotely interested in it. Apart from the trolls that is. It was like putting up a big sign saying: “Please troll this location!”.

  13. Given the GamerGate is, in large part, an outgrowth of 4chan ‘culture’ (you should excuse the metaphor), given that disinformation campaigns of varying degrees of seriousness are 4chan’s meat and drink, and given that there’s at least one instance of 4channers setting up a false-flag attack on themselves in order to gin up sympathy for themselves, I am inclined to think that the event Jason speaks of did not happen at all. Or if something like what Jason speaks of did happen, I’d bet on ‘self-inflicted false flag op’ over accepting Jason’s summary at face value.

  14. @Jason, that’s terrible. I sincerely hope the authorities get their hands on the person(s) responsible, and that they’re punished to the fullest extent of the law.

    As I do in all these instances, as these kind of threats – from the various threats that Zoe Quinn, Brianna Wu, Anita Sarkeesian, Felicia Day, and various other people have received – should have no place in any discussion.

  15. If any of this happened, and if there were any “PuppyKickers” outside of the imaginations of Antonelli and his cohort, his supposed concerns would still not be reasonable. Why would anyone who objects to scoundrels interfering with WSFS activities want to disrupt Worldcon?

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  20. RE the Airplay bomb threat:


    NOT the work of evil SJWs. Rather the work of a hack group that is ideologically aligned with Gamergate but which frequently messes with Gamergate too just for LULz. You know, kind of like certain small press publishers / christian dominionists.

    Perhaps the puppies should clean their own houses before they start running their fingers on top of the mantles of everybody else’s.

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