Okay, today was really not a good day for me to wake up back in middle school. For those not aware of it I had an ENORMOUS auto-immune attack. Yes, I know what set it off and it was very stupid of me. It probably wouldn’t have set off if my whole system weren’t weakened by the grueling months of work on the other house. (Yeah I’ll post pictures here. Those who saw the pictures on FB know what an Herculean task it was, mostly performed by Robert and I in hero mode.)
The attack was so bad that I went to the doctor, who proceeded to freak at me, because my arms are raw flesh, while I tried to explain that’s NOT what caused me to come in, but the fact I’m taking benadryl to control it and it “turns off” the writing which is difficult to explain to anyone who doesn’t write. The stories are still there, the words just won’t come.
The problem is that since the steroids worked on my lungs but not the eczema last time (I think the eczema is mostly stress) they wouldn’t give me steroids and instead put me on a panoply of prescription and OTC meds which so far haven’t stopped the itching (yes, yes, I know, give it at least two days) BUT have thrown me in to the deep end of depression, do not pass go, do not collect three hundred whatevers.
So it was a really bad time to wake up back in middle school.
How did I wake up in middle school, you say? Well, apparently — and note I’m going on reports of the other side via Twitter, the place the nuts go to scream — someone lifted a comment by Captain Comic from Amanda’s blog and put it up as flyers at Worldcon. This is of course an “Attack” by the “puppies” and it’s the worst thing ever.
This is the entire text of the comment:
To: Amanda S. Green Re: SFWA Membership
First, congratulations on your recent sales! We here at SFWA are always happy to see the professional success of authors.
It should be noted, however, that one or more of the markets you listed are under review for desirability issues.
However, if the sales are validated, I’d appreciate it if you could take a few minutes to answer a few questions to help us properly determine the true quality and merits of your work.
1. What does your genitalia look like?
2. How do you feel about what your genitalia looks like?
3. Have you ever changed your genitalia?
4. If you responded “No” to question 3, are you planning, or have you ever planned to change your genitalia?
5. When you are naked in bed with another person, what does their genitalia look like?
6. Of the major characters in your stories, how many have genitalia different than yours?
7. Have you ever represented a character of the LGBTQQIAPHDBDSMBFDVIPRSVPRESPECTEIEIO groups as an antagonist/villain or as having any negative traits?
Finally, please provide an evaluation of the melanin content of your skin. If you do not have a medical result available, please go to your local Sherwin-Williams store and obtain a copy of Palette Card #17 – Earth Tones and enter the color number of the swatch which most closely resembles your skin. If your skin is lighter than the faintest color swatch on Palette Card #17 – Earth Tones, please enter “Oppressor White”.
Again, congratulations on your sales and I hope we can process your membership in time for you to participate in our annual Shunning and Denouncement Survey. It’s great fun.
S. J. Woreeahr
President, Socialist Fiction Writers of America
The comment is by Captain Comic, who makes that type of comment a lot. No, I don’t know who he is. No, I’m not dossing him over this.
In the alleged flyer, the name was changed to I THINK (I’m too tired to go look and I’m saving my will power to pushing myself to actual work.) Carol Wilson, instead of Amanda. Why? I don’t know. Who is Carol Wilson? I don’t know. Seems to be a non existent person.
The first I knew of it was a kerfuffle in one of my private groups, where people were saying that tracking who left the flyers was totalitarian behavior. Others were acting like this was the worst thing ever and of course the concom needed to track the perpetrators to its source.
You know, I read Revolt in 2100 a long time ago, so I don’t presume to quote it, but I know when the main character’s friend is showing him the power of words to wind people up, he says something, and the Lyle is at his throat. At which point the friend says “What did I say but that you are the product of a legally sanctioned marriage?”
I kind of had the same reaction to this alleged (again, the report was by someone who “took the whole pile” to the concom so I have no independent verification) flyer.
What the heck does it say that is not something we said over the throwing out Mike Resnick and Barry Malzberg thing? That for a professional organization, SFWA sure as heck cares a lot more about what’s down between your legs, if it’s been changed and how you use it. Oh, and your color, too.
We’ve all said it. And the other side of this fight has said more than once that it cares about “advancing progress” (to the Marxist past, but never mind) so I don’t think they can object to “socialist” either.
That is the unvarnished truth. That is what the flyer (if it existed) said and what the comment says. Now, honestly, yeah, it says it in as crude a way as possible. No, I amend that. I can think of at least twenty cruder ways to say it. BUT it mentions genitalia and color, both of which send born-and-raised Americans into a froth I DON’T GET. People in the private group I belonged to were frothing over the use of “Carol Wilson” (I honestly don’t know if she exists. Might be the name of the person who copied it, who knows?) and asking “what if this were your wife or daughter? Would you want this said about them?” What? That if they wanted to do well in SFWA their genitalia and skin color mattered more than their writing? Why is that so terribly insulting? You can disagree with it, and most members of SFWA will. But those of us who left because we think the silly organization has lost the plot and is now arguing over the irrelevant just sort of shrug.
I didn’t understand the furore then.
For those who haven’t been to worldcon, the freeby table, where the alleged flyers were allegedly placed isn’t even usually past registration but in the lobby of the hotel (if it’s different this year, let me know) which means people can put whatever in it and do. I have int he past put things on tables of cons I haven’t attended (bookmarks and nefarious covers, yep.) Some of those things will be off color. Some will be insulting to people of various religions and political color. My memorable one, because it made me do a double take, was from a Satanist group which opened up with Christ performing a sexual act. It was written in huge letters, so I couldn’t help reading the first paragraph and being grossed out.
Note I did a double take, but I didn’t grab the lot and go running to concom. I know some cons remove stuff, though last I checked it was more likely to be the stuff of someone they hate than an actually offensive item. Because we’re science fiction, and arguing over offense and freedom of speech would take THE ENTIRE CON.
Anti-semitic and political stuff doesn’t even register, because it’s so common. Stuff threatening to kill say, George Bush? Oh, my Lord, if the secret service took SF nuts seriously, we’d all have been arrested because of those materials in that place.
Now, if the comment had been posted in the official con news release, or all over the green room or something, then it would have been important, because it would have meant the concom was in on it.
AND if the comment said anything about killing socialists, or SJWs or whoever the heck Carol Wilson is? Yeah, that would justify an immediate investigation.
But it didn’t. As a blog comment it was passably witty. As a pamphlet and out of context, in a con that’s not run by SFWA it was just weird. Though I suspect there’s weirder stuff on that freebies table.
And then I woke up this morning to find out that not only is this alleged pamphlet THE WORST THING EVAH but that Amanda Green and I and of course the rest of the Sad Puppies are somehow implicated.
Guys. Deep breath. If we were implicated this would be A LOT MORE PAINFUL. I mean, we’d have come up with something that got under your skin and crawled there. Particularly if Amanda and I had been involved, because you see, we fight like girls.
So do you, so you should know the difference. Only you fight like whiney, spoiled little girls. All of you. Even the guys. I think it’s the statist persuasion. You just don’t see fighting as something you do. You view it as “getting the grownups attention and getting them to spank the people we don’t like.”
Yep, there’s a branch of girls who fight like that. Like the 18 hell-spawned b*tches in training that almost made my middle schooler commit suicide by constantly accusing him of stuff to the adults. And even we thought it was true, until I was waiting for him in a place they couldn’t see, and saw one of the girls who was “afraid of him” and whom he had “followed home calling names” — which is why I was waiting for him — following him out of the school calling him the foulest names and throwing ROCKS at him, while he just trudged on doing his best to ignore him.
But you see, these girls were the children of staff at the school, so they were believed and petted and given special treatment, and eventually we had to take my kid out and homeschool him for a year, before putting him in another school (where he didn’t have any problems, ever, and got a solid group of friends, both male and female, because really he hadn’t done anything but for some reason become the center of these deranged kids’ obsession.)
And they were girls. Spoiled little girls who never had to struggle for anything in life. And therefore went screaming to the mommy-and-daddy substitutes. And were sure he was dangerous. And… and … and…
Let’s suppose the pamphlets existed. Let’s suppose they were made by someone on the Sad Puppies side. (More likely to be the Rabid Puppies side. They’re more… insane? But never mind that.)
What actually happened here? The pamphlets, in clinical if unsavory language, called SFWA socialist and said it cared more about the physical characteristics of the writer than the work.
Um… okay. And?
If it’s not true — and it can be argued it is — SFWA members who aren’t, of course, the ones the leadership objects to, can d*mn well defend themselves and cite reasons why no.
The Sad Puppies side has been called racist, sexist and homophobic and accused of being neo-nazis, which can affect our livelihood and personal lives. I’ve had friends of decades tell me that they still stand by me even if I’m homophobic (and they’re gay) and I had to ask them where the h*ll they got that idea. They got it because if you repeat something often enough and with enough screaming people believe it without thinking.
Which is how little girls fight. “No smoke without fire” is probably the stupidest saying ever, but it was applied to me several times, when girls (I went to an all girl middle and high school) accused me of something I wouldn’t even remotely think of doing. Because enough of them said it, the authorities thought it must be true.
These alleged pamphlets are similarly being touted as an attack and “the worst thing ever” and people aren’t stopping to think about what they actually say. And Amanda, of course, is guilty, because she didn’t — what? — erase this blog comment? Doss Captain Comic? WHAT?
I’ll note Captain Comic, too, left a comment here (funny really) about working under cover at worldcon. The comment is obviously innocuous and the under-cover consisted of buying registration. BUT of course they’re combing our blog comments and someone will post it as evidence of wrong doing on my or Amanda’s part.
This is a very — VERY. I can’t express how much — day to do this to me. REALLY really really bad. I don’t feel I have the energy to put up with this cr*p and I’m on my last nerve just from personal stuff that has NOTHING to do with sf/f (because, yeah, I have a life. Fancy that.)
I don’t know who made those pamphlets. I don’t know if it was a Puppy, Sad or Rabid. You see, we REALLY don’t have membership numbers, (yeah, Rabid does. Not my circus, not my monkeys) and the only thing you need to be a “Sad Puppy” is to say you are.
But I would caution people who are jumping on this as The Worst Thing Evah and An Attack and Proof of Puppy Perfidy.
I would caution you because, contrary to the other side’s deranged claims this is a movement of women now. Yeah, Larry started it but he was ready to drop it last year. This year, the women pushed for it to go on, and I’d have spearheaded it if I hadn’t been ill enough that I couldn’t. Brad chivalrously offered to pick up for me, but the backbone of the movement is women. Go through the prominent names: Larry Correia, who actually did almost nothing this year. Brad Torgersen, who was taking over for me. And then me, Kate Paulk, Amanda Green, Cedar Sanderson, and peripherally Sabrina Chase, Celia Hayes and a slew of other female indie writers whom I can’t remember now because meds. This year Human Wave which is mostly women IS the Sad Puppies. And next year more so, as the dreaded “Sisterhood” or if you prefer “Critique Coven” mentioned in my books is falling in place to support and help Kate Paulk carry the load.
See, we’re not spoiled little girls. And all of us have found ourselves in the receiving end of spoiled-girls and precious-darlings attacks before: in school, in college, in our jobs. We see these people coming, and we see them going. And in self defense we have learned to fight like a girl. You might for instance look for my post The Goat Kicks Back, in which I frame these lunatics in their own words. Well, my friends have been capturing a heck of a lot of insane screaming since then, including over these alleged pamphlets which are, of course, The Worst Thing Evah.
I’m tired and depressed, which means I could totally do a post all in quotes. Oh, I could. And I could contrast it with the rather silly alleged pamphlet. And we could see which is nastier, and which actually makes threats.
Amanda is much on the same page, as she told me this morning:
I read somewhere the other day that someone wants to ban the term “you fight like a girl” because it demeans women. I’m still shaking my head over it. One day, folks are going to realize that girls don’t fight by the rules. We fight dirty. We take advantage of any situation we can. We kick, claw and bite both figuratively and metaphorically. Saying that “you fight like a girl” is demeaning is just as ridiculous as saying there would be no war if women ruled the world. All I want to ask those folks is if they have ever been to middle school or seen a woman go full berserk in the protection of a loved one. You can try whatever you want where I’m concerned. I’m a big girl and can – and will – take care of myself. But come after mine and heaven help you because you’ll have unleashed a whole can of butt-hurt on yourself. The only rule I follow when it comes to fighting is that there are no rules. Best remember that when trying to pick a fight with me.
Because you see, if you want to make SF/F middle school, go right ahead. We’re not leaving it. If you annoy us enough we’ll just start fighting back like girls. And you won’t like it.
You fight like a girl — a spoiled and ineffectual one whose recourse is to run to the “authorities” screaming for help against “the worst thing evah.”
We fight like girls. Girls who were never the darlings and had to be competent and good at their jobs.
We’re all busy — in my case both with work and personal stuff — and really don’t have the time to pay attention to this nonsense in which no one was THREATENED and no one was harmed and the most offensive word is “genitalia.”
Yeah, if the pamphlets existed they’re unsavory. If they were put there by a Sad Puppies supporter it betrays a juvenile sense of humor and lack of social ability. THANK HEAVENS only Sad Puppies have that in Science Fiction, right? (Did the sarcasm just drip so heavily it corroded the floorboards?)
Be real. Wash your faces. Straighten your pink ribbons. This doesn’t even begin to be as mean an attack as the Sainted Scalzi twisting my publisher’s words into their opposite. It’s just silly pigtail-pulling. Get over it. Because if you don’t we’re going to get REALLY upset. And you don’t want that. No, seriously, you don’t. Not that we’ll do anything physical, of course. We will fight like girls. We will make you the laughing stock of the world.
We’re very busy. Be glad for that.
I’d advise you to throttle back on the whining before you tempt us into actually fighting.
UPDATE: Apparently my site has been reported as a malware vector. NOT found to be, mind, but reported, so corporate places block it. This has been done to MGC a number of times. You know, I can’t think of a single time I even thought to do this to a blog on the other side. Why not? Because I’m not afraid of people reading them. CLEARLY these people are afraid of people reading what I say. Possibly because they know I tell the truth (to power, darlings. Consider who has power in traditional publishing after all. Yep, their side.)
I wanted to say “what are you? Two years old?” but then I realized really, it’s the greatest compliment they can pay me. “We’re so scared of you we don’t want people to even glimpse what you say.” Keep doing it. It just shows who you are and how terrified you are of opposing views. (Slow Clap.)
UPDATE: Captain Comic left this comment on my blog
There you have it. You can stop going through tapes now and see what you can do. He didn’t insult ANYONE and he didn’t threaten anyone. I think it was a juvenile prank, but definitely not “The worst thing evah” and you can stop trying to rope Amanda and I in, too. I’d say really, you don’t WANT our attention.