It should be pretty amusing for future historians that the Obama administration had a brief fling with a “reset button.” Which of course actually meant something else, as per usual, but never mind that.
It should be pretty amusing because more and more I find myself wondering about progressive reset buttons.
The proximate cause of this is my finding myself, yesterday, in a Facebook argument on Brad’s page (well, okay, it was Brad’s argument, I just stuck my nose in. Look, guys, if my destiny hadn’t been wrenched out of its track by science fiction/Heinlein/student thing in the US/falling in love with my husband, by now I’d be bossing the entire village around, and making people tremble at the thought of getting my attention. All I have is Facebook…)
The critter, unless I misunderstood him, and I don’t think I did, was maintaining the old chestnut that sad puppies is all because we not of the SJW persuasion are afraid of “other” in science fiction.
Not only is this argument a puzzler on the face of it: if we were afraid of “other” (i.e. not like us) in science fiction, we probably wouldn’t read science fiction at all. (Not to mention that the least “other” possible characters in science fiction to me are the ones in books by SJWs. I have a post graduate degree. I lived around people like their book characters – neurotic, overeducated, self-absorbed or alternately absorbed by their “different” (it’s not) identity – and them for most of my life, both studying and teaching.) I mean, let’s posit a person who either never existed or who is at this point an insignificant minority in the US: white male, has no contact with people of other races, no female co-workers or friends. He doesn’t want his perfect little world to be disturbed.
The last thing this man is going to want to do is read about starships, aliens, differently organized societies, or even disruptive magic, monsters, and possible supernatural underlying reality.
To the extent such a person exists (and I don’t think he does) and reads, he’d probably read contemporary novels about people like himself.
But this argument is patently and obviously wrong if you look at the people representing both sides.
Yeah, sure the other side has some allegedly (rolls eyes) African-Americans and other people of color, but if you scratch even slightly at their background, you find most of them have a first rate education and come from a relatively – or outright – affluent background. Their claiming victimhood and exclusion is sort of like Lena Dunham claiming victimhood and exclusion as though her dad weren’t (for reasons that will make future historians p*ss themselves laughing) paid an unreasonable amount for painting cartoon females with exaggerated sex organs, and as though she hadn’t grown up in the upper crust of NYC.
Our side, OTOH has genetic and background diversity and I think you’d be hard pressed to name a person associated with Sad Puppies who comes from the upper class. Most of us are strivers, who have made/grown/created everything we own.
Of course that makes sense on why they hate us. The people who elected a man president for his incredible pant crease and “upper crust” credentials really despise anyone who doesn’t have old money credentials. All the old money in the world is now fashionably leftist, and they find our refusal to fall in line incredibly gauche and disgusting, kind of like wiping your nose to the tablecloth in a five star restaurant.
But of course they can’t admit that. They must have the politics as positional good: “See, I stand with the good people. I’m a leftist like smart and sensitive people are supposed to be.” And they must pretend not to be biased at all. Or to be biased in favor of the downtrodden.
Therefore they must pretend the people who oppose them are not male, female, white and brown, and various flavors of tan, of poor and middle class background (though generally, I admit, my friends are overeducated, even if not in academic positions. But then again, they paid for their education themselves, by and large. And a lot of it was for sheer interest in learning.) They must pretend all of us – even me – are white males born in the deep South right after the Civil War and we’re terrified – TERRIFIED, I tell you – of women and gay people and people of different backgrounds writing science fiction.
This is why, of course – that terror – I have to make sure I don’t catch my own reflection in the monitor while writing, because I am, after all, female, Latin and foreign born. Terrifying, I tell you.
And as for gay, I have never – Nevah – tried to talk my gay friends into writing sf/f. (Okay, three of you can stop laughing like hyenas. And you, you know who you are, I’m still waiting for you to finish that novel. I know, I know, you think you’ll never do it. Ah! I can wait. I’m patient.)
So – why do the progressives keep rewriting reality, every time it’s brought to their attention? An how can they?
Well, because if they don’t rewrite it, they’ll have to admit their desire to control SF/F is part the will to power inherent in their statist philosophy, and part a disdain for the great unwashed. They’d have to look at themselves in the mirror and see themselves for the rotten aristos they are.
They can’t do that. They must continue to keep all the power they can – and use the wins of increasingly irrelevant awards to pad their pathetic academic resumes – while screaming they’re for the downtrodden.
This is how they could take a comment about how SJWs are destroying science fiction and turn it into how the other side thinks women (or gays) are destroying science fiction. Not only have they spun two sets of anthologies out of this, but they continuously pat themselves on the back all over the comment sections of anyone who opposes them. “I believe women should have equal rights, that means I guess I want women to destroy science fiction,” was the claim of an idiot in Breitbart’s comments the other day.
When you have to put words in your opponent mouths, you might not in fact be answering them.
You might be trying to hide the ugly truth – that you’re an elitist, ignorant, self-praising egotist – from yourself.
This also explains their insistence that there were almost no women winning any awards before the famous all-female nebula, that women have been discriminated against in SF/F, and that all of the golden age SF (or Baen) is about straight white males.
When shown evidence they’re wrong about that, they go back to repeating their claims. Just like they go back to repeating their claim we’re afraid of women/gay/ethnically varied writers or characters.
They do it because they have nothing else to protect themselves with. If they remove the thin veil of denial and illusion, they’ll see the writhing mass of corruption and evil they’ve become.
They’ll have to admit their Marxist religion has not only destroyed SF/F but has killed more than a hundred million innocents around the globe.
So they reset, reset, reset. And try to convince themselves they’re the good guys.