You Fight Like A Girl — a Spoiled and Ineffectual One

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

Dear Amanda,

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.

Sincerely yours,

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

Captain Comic

  1. Dear Sarah,
    Uh, it was me.
    I changed “Amanda” to “Carol” specifically because Amanda is a real flesh-and-blood genre writer. To the best of my knowledge there is no SF or Fantasy writer with that name. If there is, I hereby sincerely apologize for any discomfort or response you may have suffered.
    Noticed that some of them were whole cloth taken away and simply replaced them with some more.
    Juvenile? Definitely. Worst thing ever? Not by a goram country mile!
    It was simply an exercise in reducto ad absurdum.
    How many times have we heard that this year’s Hugo ballot is MISOGYNY! writ large simply because it doesn’t have the same number of women as last year’s? That an alternate lifestyle individual who won for short story was “brave” and his statue was a special moment?
    Whole swath piles of “Puppy” and “Larry” ribbons would get scooped up and put down the memory hole. My reaction? I replaced them with new ones from the bags and bags that came from Roseville, California back around Memorial Day.
    Then I personally gave a “Strawman Larry: That Guy’s a Jerk!” ribbon to Toni after one of her panels. She said thanks, pulled off the backing and added it to her badge string.
    Since parody that makes them stamp their feet is something SJW’s can’t stand, I will refrain from putting out the rest of the flyers.
    Sarah, I’d also like to apologize to you for this taking up any of your valuable time.
    As for the four thousand warm bodies at the convention center, It Was Me. Captain Comic. That’s what it says on my con badge. I’ll be wearing a “Wendell’s Roughnecks” t-shirt for most of today.
    You got a problem? Come at me.
    But first, take a good long look at who you treat the issues of race, gender identity and sexual identity.
    And I hope you can all forgive me for not tearfully denouncing myself in front of the concom, as well as for taking no small amount of pride that a quick little idea I tossed off a few months ago could become such a tempest (teapot contained or otherwise).
    Yours,
    David
    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.

455 responses to “You Fight Like A Girl — a Spoiled and Ineffectual One

  1. c4c

  2. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    Remember: “The female is the most dangerous of the Species”. [Nervous Male Dragon Smile]

    • According to Kipling:

      So it comes that Man, the coward, when he gathers to confer
      With his fellow-braves in council, dare not leave a place for her
      Where, at war with Life and Conscience, he uplifts his erring hands
      To some God of Abstract Justice—which no woman understands.

  3. Re your update:

    They want to shut us up. We want them to keep talking as loudly as possible.

  4. It seems to me that one reason why they hate this particular pamphlet is that it strikes rather too close to the bone.

    Unlike the puppies who don’t really care about the melanin content, sex, sexual orientation, religion or politics of the author – unless they bleed over into the story inappropriately (e.g. Spider Robinson ranting about Bush fro 2 pages in the middle of his “Heinlein coauthored” book) – the other side does. Likewise we mostly don’t care about the melanin content, sex, sexual orientation, religion or politics of the characters in the story – whether heroes, villains or bit players.

    In the other side’s opinion, if the book isn’t written by an author who can claim one of more victim cards then it really should be shunned. And even then if it happens to mention an unapproved topic positively (or an approved topic negatively) then it is suspect.

    Puppies think the story is suspect if ti fails to have a plot or engaging characters and, as I say, hate it if the message is pushed over plot/characters/world building

    • Clearly, it was printed on magic-mirror paper!

      Me, I’d have laughed (I =did= laugh), then picked up a few copies to give to friends to laugh at too. But complain to the concom? seriously??

      Wait, there’s the problem. Some people take everything seriously, including their own victim-challenged selves.

    • You must not have read yesterday’s post. You are not allowed to “not care”!

    • Almost completely OT

      Recently saw the movie version of “the 100 year old man who climbed out a window and disappeared”

      The characters were enjoyable, think a slightly smarter forest gump who likes to blow stuff up.

      BUT

      It was painfully obvious the writer was a “good little euro leftist”

      You can’t even use the “confusing the politics of the author with his characters” term – the main character was supposed to be politically ignorant/apolitical, so…..

      -He is sterilized by a “racial biologist” for “negroid” tendencies.
      -he hooks up with a spaniard and goes to spain to fight against (predictably) Franco in the spanish civil war
      – SAVES franco, but embarasses him in a passive-agressive way where only the audience is truly aware of the actual joke played.
      – encounters an elephant who was “liberated” from a circus because they’re all awful to animals
      – Stereotypical skinhead (most of whom are really crybabies) that forgets to be angry about stuff when he gets amnesia
      – Reagan (predictably) treated as a dunce
      – etc. ad nauseum

      In the end, I managed to not regret it, but my eyeballs had done several loop-the – loops by then. EVERY choice of plot points with a potential approved political view chose the safely leftist one.

      …. and the people recommending it made a point of how “apolitical” it was…..

    • Throughout their rancid history, the Liberal I telllectual Radical Progressives have attacked anyone who dared to comfront the. With the truth. Call a collection of rabidly Stalinist intellectuals Communists? Get attacked. Release video of Planned Parenthood doing what anyone with half a brain knows they have to be doing? Get attacked.

      The LIRPs entire worldview depends on self-deception, and forcing the little dears to confront reality could easily break their tiny minds.

      Not that it wasn’t worth doing already….

    • I reread a book of Spider’s stories and realized what a leftie he is.

      • Reality Observer

        Just noticed? Yes, certainly. But (mostly) an enjoyable writer.
        Which is the point. We want enjoyable writers, will tolerate occasional lapses (not always the fault of the writer, BTW, at least in tradpub), and really don’t care what their political ideology is. Most of us do care whether they are actual criminals or enablers of criminality. But, to us, that is an entirely different matter, and cannot be changed whether their ideology agrees or disagrees with ours.

      • Oh, yeah. I binge-read him once and quit at the point in the orgy in which the male main character is penetrated by a stranger for… no reason whatsoever. It wasn’t the act (though I don’t need to read sex to get a book) it was the “GAH this is here just to be here.” And I neer read another again.

        • Reality Observer

          Hmm. Reading sex never got me a book. I’ve always had to pay cash money to satisfy my bookish addiction. Must have been doing it wrong…

          I’m still beating myself up for how stupid I was in middle school to never think about putting candy in my pockets, so it’s quite possible.

          (I do admit, the stories about “Callahan’s Lady” were not all that good. But Callahan’s Bar tales I thoroughly enjoyed…)

        • I read Mindkiller in high school and enjoyed it. Once I had money I bought one of every Spider Robinson book I could find, and…well…I liked Telempath*. I can’t recommend anything else.

          I read Variable Star more recently. It was a gift. I can’t discuss it rationally.

          *SPOILER: Except for the cannabis ex machina.

          • Christopher M. Chupik

            Yeah, a lot of people didn’t much care for that book.

            • A great deal of Robinson’s early work was quite good. He had interesting ideas and (generally) told a good story and told it competently.

              Once he could sell stories solely for his name being on it … let’s just say he proved the significant value contributed by a good editor.

  5. It was axiomatic when I was in middle school that boy-fights meant a couple of thrown punches out beyond the dumpsters and maybe some bruises and a bloody nose. Girl-fights meant an ambulance for one and possibly a number of participants.
    My daughter’s favorite t-shirt, picked up from a local silk-screen artist is of the silhouette of a young lady, leaning on an outsized ax, with the motto (of course) “I fight like a girl.”
    My daughter, having been in the Marines for two hitches, thought it was hilarious.

    • From my middle school days boy-fights also resolved the issue far and away the majority of the time. They had even odds of being friends after.

      Girl-fights lasted for weeks or years.

  6. Did I click the box? Can’t remember ….

  7. The pamphlet seems like a tempest in a two year old’s play tea cup. Reporting a blog as malware because it says something you don’t like strikes me as the little kid standing in the corner stamping his/her feet. You’d think these people would grow out of their temper tantrums at some point.

    • The sad part is I remember when some of them were sane. I keep hoping they’ll get a grip.
      It’s a perfect storm, you know? Most of these people think indie is beneath them, so they have to cling to the big publishers as they list left and fall apart. And then we come along and threaten to take their “prize bling” which gives them ‘respectability’.
      They’re just panicking, bless their hearts.

    • I don’t get a malware warning here.

    • This is what it looks like when they lose. They had the lock on “smart” for decades and now technology and reality is showing people that they are really rather dumb. They cannot handle it and are freaking out.

      We’re winning, but stand by for heavy rolls.

  8. Christopher M. Chupik

    New hit-piece incoming:

    http://io9.com/how-the-hugo-awards-saboteurs-actually-disproved-their-1715469165

    We’re saboteurs now, apparently. Also, the author seems to think Vox is only person behind this.

    One of the comments, with the profanity left intact:

    “I’m so WEARY of these assholes. This is supposed to be FUN. It isn’t supposed to be a long, bitter war. I hope the Puppies are fucking trounced in disgrace at the Hugo’s. I hope “no award” wins for most of the categories they flooded. As wonderful as that will be it will just make them more bloodthirsty, bigoted and pigheaded. This drama won’t end with the Hugo’s.

    I am so fucking tired of my favorite things being overshadowed by the looming, gross specter of these fragile idiots. Gaming, science fiction and fantasy have always involved women, POC and the LGBTQ community. The fact that this is suddenly a shocking newsflash terrible enough for them to take up metaphorical arms against us in 2015 is cause for despair. As tired as I may be, I will do everything I can to make sure they don’t gain an INCH in this culture war. “

    • Yeah, but that pamphlet was the Worst Thing EVAH because it used the word “genitalia.”
      They REALLY won’t like me when I’m mad.

    • Eamon J. Cole

      Gaming, science fiction and fantasy have always involved women, POC and the LGBTQ community.

      Funny, I thought that was our line.

      The fact that this is suddenly a shocking newsflash terrible enough for them to take up metaphorical arms against us in 2015 is cause for despair.

      Ah, yes, of course. Straw Dogs (nuance alert).

      I do appreciate the impassioned pledge of opposition, though. Could be difficult, I fear, mightily straining against the rising tide that — does not exist. Might herniate something that way.

      • At least Don Quixote had some beneficial delusions. Not just damaging ones. These guys never get past the windmills, which may be a good thing for the Aldonza they’d never dream of treating like a Lady.

      • Reality Observer

        We got annoyed when those became the reason for gaming, science fiction and fantasy.

        I would have been just as annoyed if “Oath Keepers” had attempted to dominate the genre. (Note – that organization is not an evil one, any more than are women, people of color, or the various flavors of homo/bi sexuality. But having only their message trumpeted, and trumpeted as clumsily as the “Dinosaur story,” would have ruined my primary entertainment sources just as thoroughly.)

        • Eamon J. Cole

          Yep.

        • Just out of curiosity, what do the “Oath Keepers” have to do with anything, especially science fiction or Sad Puppies? Might as well bring in the III% and the NRA.

          • I took it to just be an opposite to the SJBs that could be used to show that the issue is ANY group dominating the genre.

          • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

            Nothing actually. The point was that Sad Puppies wanted good reads not political messages even political messages that the Sad Puppies might agree with (like the message of Oath Keepers).

            • Good reads without political messages? How is that even possible??

              It must be, can only be, that you want good reads with bad political messages (contradiction in terms.)

              If there is no political message how can you know whether a read is good?

              • Oddly enough, someone tried to argue that ALL fiction is message fiction.

                They just can’t comprehend that it’s even remotely possible that fiction could exist without being intended to convey a message.

                • “All fiction is message fiction”

                  Or even if that were true, that there is a continuum of greater and lesser degrees of “the message is the story” and also that there are other virtues and axes to judge a book on like “enjoyment” and “beauty” beyond “conforms to message”

                • Because they were taught that art’s purpose was to server the state.

                  (see: Realism, Soviet)

                • They just can’t comprehend that it’s even remotely possible that fiction could exist without being intended to convey a message.

                  Well, maybe the message is “I hope you like my book because I want to eat this month.”

                  • Interesting. Your message is startlingly like mine. “I hope you buy everything I wrote, because I’m putting a kid through medschool.”

                    • Not yet, but give me time… so far I think I’ve only bought the Darkship books, the Magical Shakespeare books, and Witchfinder. 🙂

                    • Reality Observer

                      I think I’m going to use that… “I hope you buy everything I write, because I’m buying everything that Sarah Hoyt wrote, because she’s putting a kid through medschool.”

                      Worth a shot, I think. (Assuming I ever get the muse to concentrate on one thing long enough. I apparently have one of those that goes “Oooh, shiny!” and she’s off…)

                    • That’s a good message.

                      BTW, when it comes to muses – I think it’s possible different characters etc may be served by different ones. Who then keep fighting for space in my head. The werewolf one has lately been winning, although both the sword lady and the space opera one are doing their best to get my attention.

                    • Reality Observer: my old writing buddy Nick Yermakov once wrote a story called “Melpomene, Calliope…and Fred.” A struggling writer tries to evoke his muse and ends up summoning the Muse of Dissociation and Hebephrenia…

                    • Pohjalainen,
                      This is almost heresy from a guy who generally far prefers space opera to fantasy; but in your case I really hope the sword lady wins.
                      I want to read the sequels to Fourth Sword.

                      /taps toes impatiently/

                    • Bearcat, thanks, I am getting impatient for that too, but the sword lady is having some issues when it comes to the direction – I am mostly a pantser, so I don’t plan plots well, they either come or they don’t (I can fix the plot in editing, though, as long as it is at least sort of coherent by that stage) although I tend to get scenes ahead of writing them, and I have a couple of scenes for the next novel in that story but I am having problems getting to the first scene that HAS to be there. Doing some research and thinking about it. I can figure out plot problems beforehand, just not figure out the whole plot.

                      The werewolf is going a lot easier, maybe because once you have people morphing into animals physically as far as I am concerned we are in heavy duty fantasyland and I am personally willing to let a lot more of everything else related to things like real world physics, or even logic, etc slip a lot more and just let rule of cool rule.

                      Goes for both reading and writing. If there are rotting zombies or vampires who can turn into bats or whatever I don’t mind that slipping as long as I find it cool, funny, scary or whatever and the slip isn’t so glaring (and also purposeless) you just can’t ignore it. 😀

                      The space opera is most scary, because it should be a bit more, er, real, on some levels (slips a lot in others, which perhaps makes me feel more, er, anal-retentive about those parts I want to keep real) and trying to figure out a working planet, especially since a few geological and biology related issues with that planet should play a part in the story, is daunting. 🙂

                  • Ah, but such crass commercialism has no place in literature, donchaknow?

                • That is quite literally how kids are taught in school (or at least, were when I was extricating myself from said institution).

                  “What is the larger meaning of this passage?”
                  “What was the author trying to convey by presenting ‘x’ with ‘y’?”
                  “In the light of the author’s socioeconomic background, what was she trying to teach in this story?”

                  I’ve seen stubborn mules less obviously led. If art does not serve an ideology, it is *pointless.* Oh, they will say that they enjoy the latest ground-breaking, minority protagonist, gender-fluid, relevant, important fiction. And perhaps some do.

                  But how much of that is social signaling and just wanting to be “in” with the “cool kids” of the day? We read for pure enjoyment. We gobble up short stories like popcorn, and linger over vast space operas like fine wine. Butt-kicking action, fascinating intrigue, a light spice of romance (or heavy- some like their curry hot, I’m told)- good stories are made of these things, and more.

                  The fact that when we say “We want more good stories! What’s been winning ain’t up to snuff!” we’re told that we want to kill SF, we hate teh ghays, are all right wing to neo-nazis, we’re gaming the system or sabotaging it or hijacking it or whatever. It’s utter nonsense and abuse of the English language.

                  They’ve been taught to look for hidden meanings and larger contexts. They get socially rewarded by their peers for pointing these things out. Small wonder so many people get caught up in it, because it’s everywhere.

                  Deep down, though, I think a good many of them know we’re not evil. Some of them were even on the Sad Puppies nom’s. We’re people who like SF. We want good SF to read. It’d be nice if more good SF won Hugos, but better (for me) if more good SF got where my greedy hands could get at it. Back to the typewriters and scribble pads, writerly people! Next week I will have money, and my TBR pile is getting dangerously low!

            • Christopher M. Chupik

              Indeed, lectures are boring, even if I agree with the lecturer.

              • The parables in the Bible are first good stories and then make a point.

                • I doubt the Puppy Kickers have ever read it. Indeed, the stories had to be good because they predate writing and are oral traditions. If your story isn’t good, people can’t/won’t remember it. Beyond the title, I can’t remember a word of IYWADML. Hard to make a point (which as best I remember, hers was a fantasy to turn into a monster and hurt people) if your prose is so unmemorable it is forgotten immediately.

          • nothing.

          • Reality Observer

            What does the SPLC or GLAAD have to do with science fiction? Yet, their ideologies and positions are the only ideologies and positions that “should” be associated with the genre, according to the Puppy Kickers.

            Note – if you write something from their viewpoint, and write it well, I will gladly consider it for the next nominations round.

            If you write it terribly, forget it.

    • I left the following post (awaiting moderation apparently) over at the link:
      Instead of attacking Beale, reporting Sarah Hoyt’s blog as malware, claiming to champion ‘diversity’ and challenging ideas (like only using ‘she’ as a “gender neutral” pronoun… yea, like *that* is a new idea), I would propose you should take him on his own ground. Organize your supporters, informally select worthy writing and increase participation in the voting to include all the science fiction/fantasy readers in the process.
      Beale may be wrong about the progressive’s rigging previous years, but we can observe from the awards given that there might, just might, have been an ‘agenda’. Perhaps not consciously committed but present none the less. If anything, this year’s nominees clearly indicate that, yes, a group committed to ‘rigging’ the voting can do so. The funny part, is that I see the Sad Puppies as the voice of moderation. They merely informed people of voting/non-attending membership, and put up a diverse slate of suggested reading. Rabid Puppies, with a large following of GamerGate supporters out bid everyone. Give Beale 2 points for organization. The Puppy Killers immediately started the NO AWARD campaign, the moral equivalent of taking the ball and going home because you didn’t get picked first.
      So, it is a 3-way fight (kind of like Clint Eastwood in the good, the bad and the ugly), with RP, SP and PK all having their own ‘rabid’ base that is willing to say anything, pull any blog comment out of context and spread it, publish and distribute at WorldCon hateful literature, probably with more than a grain of truth, but so be it.
      You are all destroying the value of the award and destroying the value and independence of science fiction writers everywhere. Has John Scalzi actually said anything constructive and complementary about anyone other than his own camp followers? Welcome to the future. The Internet is an exciting new technology, predicted by some decent writers, but apparently used by some only to demean others. Beale used it to collect a like minded group and have them make a collective action. It is not illegal nor immoral. It is all within the rules for voting. You have been out maneuvered and out classed. Get over it, lick your wounds and prepare for the mother of all battles next year.

    • It *is* supposed to be fun. It’s supposed to be “campy space babe in ridiculous space suits with blasters” fun.

      WE are not the ones complaining that a certain small cadre are dedicated to shaming anyone who tries to have fun in the wrong way.

      Stop the Wrong-Fun!

      And then blame the people who’ve had enough of the BS for the “long drawn out fight.”

      Also… complaining about a babe in a chain maile bikini on the cover of a SFWA publication is like complaining about cows on the cover of cattleman’s quarterly.

      And lastly… it’s only punching UP if you’re looking DOWN. To those not looking down on people, it’s all just punching.

      • And we have a t-shirt featuring a babe in a bubble-helmet space suit, toting a ray gun and seeking minions, right here on the Worldcon dealers’ room. The best joke we’ve gotten on it so far referred to some cosplayers doing Despicable Me minions.

        Anyone attending Worldcon, please come by the Starship Cat booth, under the big S sign, and say hi.

        • As long as the fires around here don’t go too bughouse with the winds tonight, I think I’ll make it up there tomorrow.

      • We’re broad minded. You can have campy dragons and magical swords and unicorns, too.

    • Saboteurs, wreckers, reactionaries, counterrevolutionaries, the lot of us.

  9. A note on “fighting like girls” after observing high school students a decade ago.

    Guys would fight spontaneously in order to save face occasionally. It was just something that happened sometimes when insults were taken too far.

    Girls? I’d see them in the morning… and the first thing I’d notice is that they weren’t wearing any jewelry. No earrings especially. Their hair would be up and covered by a bandanna. I’d look a little closer and their faces would be shiny from some sort of grease. (I asked someone about this and it turns out their idea was that punches would glance off if they did this.)

    Girls would not fight because they suddenly lost their temper. They would prepare. They would plan. It was cold and calculated and completely intentional.

    • I can confirm this.

      Mind you, I have never gotten into a catfight, or any kind of fight, period. But do note that if I instigate a fight, it will be intentional, I will be ruthless, and I will not stop until my opponent cries “Uncle!” or is a stain on the floor. Whichever comes first.

      I’m not emotionless, I just know how to channel my emotions into action.

    • There is a reason screaming, “chick fight” drew a bigger crowd.

      A little, evil part of me hopes Our Hostess and Her Ladies in Waiting get made and fight like girls. My popcorn futures will fund early retirement.

    • Turns out a form of grease/etc. on the face is common at MMA matches – helps punches slide off instead of landing.

      FWIW – and slightly OT – the book “Professor in the Cage” by Gottschall was fascinating reading. There are a few tells that he’s basically liberal (how he describes the sophistication of the typical outlook/politics of the typical MMA gym member) but in large part dove into the experience as an english professor ready to discover how awful and testosterone-soaked it all was, and came out of rather different mind.

      • Eamon J. Cole

        Turns out a form of grease/etc. on the face is common at MMA matches – helps punches slide off instead of landing.

        Reduces the risk of friction fractures/tears of the skin. Doesn’t do much to reduce the risk of force transmitted to face.

  10. clark e myers

    TC4C

  11. Captain Comic

    Dear Sarah,

    Uh, it was me.

    I changed “Amanda” to “Carol” specifically because Amanda is a real flesh-and-blood genre writer. To the best of my knowledge there is no SF or Fantasy writer with that name. If there is, I hereby sincerely apologize for any discomfort or response you may have suffered.

    Noticed that some of them were whole cloth taken away and simply replaced them with some more.

    Juvenile? Definitely. Worst thing ever? Not by a goram country mile!

    It was simply an exercise in reducto ad absurdum.

    How many times have we heard that this year’s Hugo ballot is MISOGYNY! writ large simply because it doesn’t have the same number of women as last year’s? That an alternate lifestyle individual who won for short story was “brave” and his statue was a special moment?

    Whole swath piles of “Puppy” and “Larry” ribbons would get scooped up and put down the memory hole. My reaction? I replaced them with new ones from the bags and bags that came from Roseville, California back around Memorial Day.

    Then I personally gave a “Strawman Larry: That Guy’s a Jerk!” ribbon to Toni after one of her panels. She said thanks, pulled off the backing and added it to her badge string.

    Since parody that makes them stamp their feet is something SJW’s can’t stand, I will refrain from putting out the rest of the flyers.

    Sarah, I’d also like to apologize to you for this taking up any of your valuable time.

    As for the four thousand warm bodies at the convention center, It Was Me. Captain Comic. That’s what it says on my con badge. I’ll be wearing a “Wendell’s Roughnecks” t-shirt for most of today.

    You got a problem? Come at me.

    But first, take a good long look at who you treat the issues of race, gender identity and sexual identity.

    And I hope you can all forgive me for not tearfully denouncing myself in front of the concom, as well as for taking no small amount of pride that a quick little idea I tossed off a few months ago could become such a tempest (teapot contained or otherwise).

    Yours,

    David

    • Captain,
      Thank you. Okay, it exists and it was you. It wasn’t the best thought out thing in the world, but it wasn’t an attack on worldcon and/or anyone specific either, and their reaction is ridiculous. I’ll add this to updates, and don’t worry about it. They’re going to grasp at anything to prove that this FEMALE HEADED MOVEMENT is… I guess next year they’re going to try what they always try against non-Marxist women. “Stupid” with a side of “racism.” Considering most of us have proof of IQ and in my case being racist would cut me off from myself and my husband and kids, they are in for interesting times. Idiots.

      • If not this it would have been something else, equally inoffensive. Fauxtrage is their weapon of preference and they will manufacture excuses for its deployment if necessary.

        Unless they can effing explain why this offends, and do so with arguments not ROTFL stupid, the appropriate response should be: So, you can’t take a joke?

      • Ach… Was called “a populist!” by a colleague the other day for expressing my opinion of the Iran deal. The most amusing part was that anybody who grew up in a working-class household would be ashamed of that label.

        And my all-time favorite is the woman who was ranting to me and the missus in 2005 about how stupid, ignorant, and uneducated people who voted for Bush were. I asked her education? Bachelor’s in English Lit. Languages? Some Spanish. I calmly informed her that my wife and I have six postgraduate degrees between us and are fluent in eight unique languages, and probably have forgotten more about the cultures of the Middle East than she ever knew. So she could figure out for herself how seriously we took her opinion of our voting choices.

        Of course “populist”, “ignorant”, “low IQ”, … are all code-speak for one thing and one thing only: not kowtowing to New Class sensibilities.

        • The Clerisy are desperately DESPERATELY angry that the working class won’t kowtow to them. They really don’t want to examine the number of working stiffs who are autodidacts and experts on one field or another that they, the Clerisy, pontificate on in blithe ignorance. I think that some of this is in back of their opposition to doing anything with the Public School system that might actually help. I acquit them of consciously plotting to keep the lower orders illiterate and innumerate, but I think that on some level they would prefer it if that were the case.

          • Sorry to differ, but I think the dumbing down is deliberate. Only a ridiculously ignorant and misinformed people could have voted obama in twice.

            • Sadly, I believe that you are right in this. The powers-that-be would like a dumb, gullible and easily-led electorate. How other can we be spending so much per-pupil on public education and be getting so little as a result?

              • That (a dumb, gullible and easily-led electorate) is just a happy byproduct — the real purpose of the high per-pupil expenditures is wealth transfers to subject groups, e.g., union teachers, union custodians,union construction workers and builders and bureaucrats (list not intended to be complete.)

                Admittedly, in most systems the truly effective teachers are quickly quashed, but that is less a consequence of their effectiveness than it is of their having violated decreed pedagogical methods to achieve that.

                • Sigh. I plumb purely hate finding evidence proving a point after posting. NY Post editorial quoting NY Schools Superintendent Carmen Fariña:

                  “In an interview with the New York Observer, Fariña says, “To me the most important thing is, what do my constituents think of my work? Are teachers happy? Are principals happy? Are parents happy?”

                  “Teachers first, principals second — then come parents. And she thinks of them all as her constituents — as if she were elected to look after their interests.

                  “Sorry, Madam Chancellor: It’s not about the adults at all. You’re supposed to put the kids’ needs above all else.”

                  And doing that would make a lot of your “constituency” unhappy — because too many principals and teachers aren’t doing their jobs well enough.
                  http://nypost.com/2015/08/20/carmen-farina-admits-students-arent-a-priority/

                  “It gets worse from there:

                  “A report Thursday from Students First New York lays out the extent of the failure. It looks at the just-released results of the state tests for grades 3-8, covering 1,283 city schools, and at how many of those schools saw three-quarters of kids fail.

                  “In math, it was 570 schools, or 44 percent. In English, it was 697, or 54 percent.

                  “That’s right: More than half of the city’s schools can’t get even a quarter of students in grades 3-8 to pass the English exam.”

                  That’s what you get, for your money in NY state, where “New York’s public schools spent an average of $19,818 per pupil in 2013, 85 percent above the national average, the U.S. Census Bureau said”
                  polhudson[DOT]lohudblogs[DOT]com/2015/06/02/ny-retains-highest-per-pupil-spending-in-nation/

                  • Remember that the Teachers and Principals have a *UNION*. Perhaps if we unionized the children the Teachers would do better.

                    • You’re so cute.

                      The union for the students would follow the lead of the LA unions who supported a $15 minimum wage while demanding a lower minimum for union members.

                    • They’d just go on strike against homework as an excuse to skip school.

                    • Why not? It’s not like they’re learning anything.

                    • Pooh! They are learning a great deal.

                      For example, they are learning to despise arbitrary and despotic authority.

                      Admittedly, too many are learning the tricks of exploiting that authority for their own advancement.

          • It isn’t conscious (software), it is built into their hardware — expertise is the result of mastery of the conventional wisdom. When the conventional wisdom fails to correlate with reality, refer to experts. They cannot think outside the box because they can’t perceive anything outside the box; they are the box, and we are required to remain contained.

            Public Schooling was designed to create factory drones and has remained structurally unchanged in all essentials for over a century. It is not a matter of how they prefer things be, it is a matter of their inability to comprehend things being different.

            Their problem is they are a 4-dimensional box and we’re operational through n+1 dimensions.

        • One wonders if these people fail to remember that Che and Peron were “populists.”

      • Internalized misogyny seems to be their go to attack for non left wing women.

        • Yeah. Of course. Otherise us and invalidate us. There is no internalized about their mysogyny. It’s hanging out for all to see.

        • It’s projection. They wish to take us over and make us internalize their beliefs, so they assume that’s why we disagree.

          • I never swore allegiance to the cysterhood of womyn and I am not going to side with them just because we are all female.

            • “cysterhood”: Starting with cyst, “Cysts are noncancerous, closed pockets of tissue that can be filled with fluid, pus, or other material. Cysts are common on the skin and can appear anywhere.” The cysterhood, though, is cancerous. And certainly full of pus.

            • exactly. My sisterhood are the women I wish had been my sisters growing up… 😉 And we’re not peaceful.

    • Captain,

      Thank you. I will admit seeing on the traffic to my blog and finding out why had me scratching my head this morning. I frankly loved your comment, in context. I’m loving how the other side is having ‘splodey head syndrome over it at WorldCon. Sure, it might not have been the best thought out thing but it certainly isn’t the end of the world. Of course, they will portray it as such because, otherwise, they might have to discuss how wrong it is for them to threaten us with baseball bats, “humane means” of putting Puppies down, and all the other threats (veiled and not so veiled) they have leveled against us.

    • Captain,
      Well done to ‘Man-Up’ and claim ownership. I am hoping, unlike the SJW side, that you will not be offended by the potentially sexist use of that phrase 🙂
      Frankly, it couldn’t happen to a more deserving group and hopefully Sarah will recover from her auto-immune problems to be ready for tomorrow’s unveiling of the winners.

    • Captain David!

      Thank you for taking ownership of the letters. It clears up a lot of confusion. I thought it was amusing in the context of a clearly satire blog comment during a conversation that we all understood where you were coming from. Out of context at a world-con table- well I can see why a lot of people were scratching their heads. You can understand why a lot of people (including myself!) thought someone was trying to smear SP by taking something completely out of context and leave it where it wouldn’t be understood. Fortunately you came forward, you deserve kudos for that.

      • These people are unparodyable…. not to mention unpardonable, which is what my spell check suggested.

    • Captain, you’re near Roseville? I’m in Rancho Cordova! Nice to know there are Huns nearby! 🙂

    • Free-range Oyster

      Captain, I have to ask: did you take your pseudonym from the hero of the eponymous computer games? Because those were one of the best things about the Nineties. The Oyster Clan loved them deeply. Heck, my mother was the first one in our family to beat the first one, and she’s not even a gamer!

    • Cap, with no insult offered to Sarah, I thought it was a ballsy shot and worth taking.

      Of course I spent ten years on a corner in Studio City counter protesting a pack of lefties so YMMV.

    • For those saying it wasn’t the best thought out thing I’d remind you of Chapter One in Starship Troppers where Manny throws the “this is a 30 second bomb” into the room of Skinnies.

      It is better to do something good now than get knocked out waiting for the perfect thing. Given their reaction I think this was a pretty good one. If nothing else it will help sort out the hysterical idiots from people who can think based on their reactions.

    • As for the remaining flyers… Forget the freebie table. Whisper conspiratorially to folks “Have you heard about this…” and mention that you grabbed some before they were taken away, and ask if they want one.

    • Now I really regret not going. Sir, I owe you a drink. Well Done.

    • If I was there, I’d buy you a beer. Good job.

      • I think there are plenty of people there eager to buy him a bier if only they don’t have to spend their own money to do so.

    • If you also produced the “Strawman Larry” ribbon, I want one.

    • Oh, you DID. I totally want one! Roseville, you said…?

    • I don’t know whether you even want to deal with more of this nonsense (and I don’t blame you if not), but…

      …if I were you, I’d formally complain to concom concerning:

      – The member who stole your materials from the freeby area. The tweets of this Dori person make it clear that was happening; she didn’t just go running to the concom to “report” them, she took away the ribbons and flyers, with the intent that they not be accessible to members. (She might try some sort of half-assed claim of “harassment” or “feeling unsafe” concerning the flyer, but that’s not supportable regarding the ribbons, which she also took.)

      – The fact that the official Sasquan twitter account thanked this individual specifically and by name for “policing” the area by removing Sad Puppies ribbons. That is not neutrality. That is an attack.

      It’s past time for victims of it to try to embarrassedly ignore this sort of misbehavior, IMHO. Let them enforce the rules of the con and the rules of common civility. Or not.

      • Captain Comic

        Deliberately set out to deal with this?

        Nah. That’d just be more fodder for their “crybaby cis white heteronormative” story line.

        (BTW: I am always a little head shakey over the fact that I know what any of that bulls**t means… *real world sigh*)

        If someone confronts me at the con over this, I will answer as calmly as is appropriate. I will not escalate, but I will not pause for one single second before defending myself in exactly the same manner I am addressed. Talk to me, I talk. Yell at me, I yell (and I used to work in a boiler room courtesy of the United States Navy, so I’m GOOD at using volume and projection.) Use profanity, I will go off on you (did you read the part about me being an ex-sailor?)

        Physically assault me and it will be war to the tooth.

        And I don’t know if this Dori was the one who took the ribbons. I laid some out and they were all gone less than ten or twelve minutes later, with no backing strips left on the table or floor. There was an area on the other freebie table that I put some and they got picked up slower with evidence of usage.

        Still have a few left for Saturday, so there’s that.

        I don’t tweet or twit or twot or what the hell ever, so I’ve not been able to thank any of the counter protesters on the chain, notably one Jim Rizzi (@RizziWorld). If your reading this, Jim et al, thanks for backing up if not me, at least the first amendment.

        And to whomever used an official Sasquan handle/account to thank her, excuse me, I mean thank xir (fight cis normative pronounds now!) I say this:

        You work with/for the con. You people have the reg info. There can’t be that many people with a “Captain Comic” badge name, and darn fewer with a first name of David. You want me, call me out with the Cat Voice From The Ceiling system (it makes more sense if you’re attending). Put something up on the meet and greet board and I’ll see about dropping by for a visit.

        As I commented at Amanda’s blog, how the hell did this ever become THIS?

        I AM EMANUEL GOLDSTEIN!

        FTW!

        Sincerely yours,

        David
        Captain Comic
        Evil League of Evil Faceless Minion #6969

        (And how did all the “childish/juvenile/immature” detectives miss THAT one?)

      • And taking the ribbons IS stealing. The ribbons don’t insult anyone.

      • It strikes me as appropriate for somebody to inquire, preferably at the end-of-con business meeting, whether policing the freebie table for thought crimes is now officially endorse con policy (as evidenced by official con tweets) and whether the con has approved guidelines for such policing and who is authorized to engage in it.

        If there are no guidelines, do they not perceive the potential problems of such random policing and when do they plan on developing and promulgating such guidelines … and will they be put to a vote of the membership or enacted by executive diktat?

        If there are guidelines, when and how were they developed, where have they been posted and what appellate process has been established for those who feel unfairly persecuted for voicing “objectionable” viewpoints? If Worldcon is going to impose such penalties it has an obligation to do so openly and by clearly defined standards.

        Finally, does Worldcon propose to reimburse the person who printed and distributed the “objectionable” items for their authorized (if only after the fact) removal and destruction? Does the con have a policy in place stating that items on the freebie table are put there at the risk of seizure? Where is this policy posted?

        Vaguely worded “con rules” sections in the programs are clearly subject to arbitrary ad hoc enforcement, which may constitute a substantial breach of contract between con and attendees. Con committees cannot be simultaneously laissez-faire and strict about what goes out without being overtly discriminatory.

  12. We’re basically dealing with Lemongrab. Pravda 770. The perpetually offended. Yup. Lemongrab.

  13. Like with the “war on women”, I dislike being drafted to one side of an argument just because I’m female. I went into computer science for a reason, and it wasn’t because I was Head Girl of a clique, that’s for sure. I’d rather be apolitical when it comes to SF, appealing to the whole spectrum (seems like that’ll be a better way to make a career, after all) but gosh darn it if they’re not pushing me to have to take a stand somewhere.

    I can fight like a girl if I have to. That means “at a hundred yards, with iron sights”. Right? Or at least fiberoptic sights?

    • I’ve known more than a few women who were deadly at 100 yards with iron sights. Hell, deadly at 300 yards with iron sights.

      • IIRC, science has found women likely to be superior snipers because of things like superior (to this purpose) ratios of fast twitch / slow twitch muscle fibers enable them to hold steadier aim, better cardio-vascular responses and similar biological factors. The only reason men dominate this field is because of the vastly greater proportion of them who enter it.

        • clark e myers

          I suggest there’s a difference between the designated marksman role which women fulfill marvelously well

          Smart, beautiful and deadly, 19 year old Russian sniper Roza Shanina had 54 confirmed kills

          – but confuses the scout part of scout sniper – and some of the over watch seen in police actions.

          It’s been unquestioned lo these many years that women are fully the equal of men as shooters. Margaret Thompson Murdock was a shooter of the year shooting on equal terms with men and beating them.

          Margaret Murdock was one of the first female athletes to compete successfully against men. Her first titles came as Margaret Thompson at the 1967 Pan-American Games, with two golds in smallbore shooting. Her 391 total that year in the kneeling position was a new world record – for men or women – the first time any woman had set an internationally recognized world record above the men’s mark – in any sport. Margaret Thompson Murdock continued to win titles and set records, but did not make an Olympic team until 1976. At the 1976 Olympics she tied for first place with Lanny Bassham in the smallbore, three position event. But on the examination of the targets, Bassham was awarded first place and Mrs. Murdock was relegated to the silver medal. Bassham gallantly asked Margaret Murdock to share the victory platform with him as the flag was raised and the anthem played – and rightly so. Margaret Murdock graduated from Kansas State in 1965 and Washburn University School of Nursing in 1977. She later became a nurse anaesthetist, in addition to being a competitive shooter, housewife, and mother.

          emphasis added

          Sadly I’ve seen Title IX destroy shooting teams in the name of helping women.

          For a current example

          The matriarch of American Long Range Shooting has done it again. The amazing Nancy Tompkins won the 2015 NRA Long Range Championship with an impressive performance. This marks the fifth time Nancy has won the LR Championship. This year’s LR match went down to the wire after many days of shooting. It all came down to X-Count, with two talented ladies tied for score. Shooting a 1242-58X over the multi-day competition, Nancy finished four Xs ahead of SSG Amanda Elsenboss (1242-54X). Both women dropped only 8 points out of 1250 possible.

          For a historical view though fictionalized see Steven Hunter’s delightful book Sniper’s Honor.

          Nevertheless crawling for 3 days each way a la White Feather hasn’t happened and until Foley catheters are standard issue and women can piss in a bottle probably won’t.

          • That isn’t fair. His influence on plotty, problem-oriented stories was strong, as well as being a great writer of sf mysteries (and perhaps the first to do fair play ones).

            • I am guessing this was intended to address the issue I’ve raised about Asimov’s influence.

              Let me be clear: I did not say he was un-influential, merely that his influence was no more than slightly positive.

              There are plenty of authors who wrote “plotty, problem-oriented stories” before and contemporaneously with Asimov’s work. That was what Campbell bought and Analog sold, fer gosh-sake. I doubt it is worth digging down to determine other authors writing such stories — we

              As for his SF/Mystery sub-genre — how many works get written in that? Does it seem likely none of those would have been written without Asimov’s showing the way?

              Heinlein, OTOH, pushed to sell SF in the slicks, to broaden its audience in a way Asimov didn’t. His juveniles are still works of major influence while Lucky Starr is forgotten. There are numerous other reasons to revere Heinlein, as I’ve already suggested, for pioneering writing styles, exploring themes and more.

              Asimov was a good, competent writer of highly readable SF. That is no minor achievement and is more than can be said for a great number of authors. His Science Fact columns in [I forget which mag – F&SF?] were highly enjoyable and informative but they were not SF and they can hardly be considered to have influenced the genre.

              Asimov’s achievements are not negligible but they are also not especially important. He wrote some undeniably good stories, maybe even a couple great ones, but few important ones.

          • At the 1976 Olympics she tied for first place

            1976, huh? The same year Caitlin Jenner won the gold medal in the decathlon against all those men?

      • Reality Observer

        I’ve known several who were deadly if you were anywhere within sight.

      • It isn’t the women with the iron sights who scare me…it’s the women with a radio who, upon being told the best we’ve got for sniper suppression is all nine guns on a Iowa, mutter, “Why didn’t we build the Montanas”.

        • If nine tons of high explosives isn’t enough to suppress it, it isn’t a bloody sniper.

          • There is very little blood left, after an application of nine tons of HE.

            • Excepting dust and a mucking great crater, there is very little anything left after the application of nine tons of HE. That’s one of the reasons we don’t have BB’s anymore. We found out that 3 pounds of HE placed just so can be just as effective as 3 tons chucked into the general vicinity.

          • Consider it suppression onto the third generation.

            Besides, the throw weight on a full broadside of HE was only 8.55 tons, not 9 🙂

      • Several of the top scoring snipers in the Red Army during WW II were female. Frankly, not surprising to me.

        • Look, scout sniper and designated marksman are confused in any list of the best snipers ever. If you really eliminate all marksmen but true scout snipers, you probably won’t have anything before the Korean War and nothing outside of the US and Nato. And one of the snipers on the lists probably never did what he’s credited for. Look for the one who had no spotter and had no witnesses.

        • Yeah, but they were teams, not sniper and spotter pairs, so the guys pushing the idea that only those scout sniper/spotter pairs are snipers eliminate all the snipers of the Russian front. And WWI. And the US Civil War.

    • AND with a pit dug up so when your opponent backs ten paces he goes down onto the spikes.
      I’m a woman. I’m not nice. I have people to protect.

    • Yep– just because I look like a woman doesn’t mean I side with the lot of them. I’ve actually accomplished a lot on my own without help. I want stories and not political commentary in my reading. (and writing). I really really agree with you.

    • I was trained as a sniper in the US Army. My idea of a fair fight has always been, “A shot from a hidden position 1000 yards away. In the back.”

    • Christopher M. Chupik

      Yeah, I hear you. I would sooner have stayed quiet, but these people with their endless attacks and whining have left me no choice but to take a stand.

    • julieapascal

      “Like with the “war on women”, I dislike being drafted to one side of an argument just because I’m female.”

      Million Mom March… OMG.

    • Shoot like a girl

  14. Yep. Ever see girls get into a fight on a school ground or outside a club? They pull hair, scratch at eyes, bite flesh, and strike for points of weakness.

    Men, like most of the males of the animal kingdom, instinctively pull their punches. They fight for status or resources or mates, but as they always said on the National Geographic specials, these fights are almost never to the death, and both combatants will live on to clash again next year.

    Men can, of course, learn to fight like women.

    We call that special-forces training.

    • I found it amusing to hear about the technique to “fight like a cornered cat”. I always have. Saved my life a few times.

    • The pulling of the punches is a learned reflex. I was taught to only punch full force (by my Dad) only when my life depended upon it, as the men in my family run to extremely strong. A full force punch connecting by one of us could easily kill. A young man not taught to do that will quickly get into major trouble.

      I always wondered why Dad insisted on that when I was a kid, but after hitting puberty and getting professional weight training from the school football coaches, and from heavy physical labor I soon came to realize just how much stronger I was than most boys. Football was a wonderful release from those restrictions, as we were armored and could hit as hard as we wanted to. The worst to happen was serious injury. Death was (and still is) rare.

      • And the ONE time I hit a girl, I think I was 5 or 6 at the time, Dad wore my butt out, after the grade school principal did the same earlier, then called Dad.

        Never did that again……. 🙂

    • Exactly.

      I watched a girl fight in high school – two rednecks fighting over a guy. One of them lost a handful of hair. The other had her head put through a glass trophy case.

      It makes guys fighting seem quaint and cute.

      • OK, I’ll be a smartaleck and ask who got the guy?
        (And, Dave the infamous, can you fill out a DA-581? I could–when I had a template to follow! And for those of you not in the know, a DA-581 is (or was) the form we used to request ammunition.)

        • Neither, would be my guess. Half bald vs. severely lacerated? Go with Option C.

          Both of them outweighed him considerably, though, so either compelling him by main force is also a possibility.

    • My dad told me once that I could break up a fight between guys by just getting between them.
      A fight between girls required a fire hose.

  15. The record shows that one side in the conservatives vs progressives has repeatedly employed False Flag operations in order to smear their opponents. It is only reasonable to assume this pamphlet yet another effort to don the bloody victim shirt of “hert feelz” and benefit from framiing one’s opponents.

    This pamphlet is nothing like the level of what Sad Puppies Advocates would do if we were interested in damaging the puppy kickers, therefore


    That is what “you fight like a girl” means when you’re talking ’bout us.

    • Apparently it’s not false flag, but it’s also not The Worst Thing Evah. On any day on twitter I can pick them saying worse about us.

    • I did take Karate and I was quick enough and tough enough to fight with the young men and even some of the military fighters… (didn’t get a hit in with them, but I was fast enough that they didn’t hit me) Now I have to be sneakier and an ambusher ;-).

    • Very impressive. I especially like the final scene where she casually pepper sprays the final guard. If she had just worn black leather like Trinity in The Matrix, it would be perfect.

  16. Ooh, a “Reported” (but found to actually be a) malware vector? Cool, now I can PROUDLY proclaim, “I READ BANNED BLOGS!’ Take that, censor-happy SJWs.

    • Er, “…NOT found to actually be…” (Yes, it’s “typos with hooves” here.)

      • Wouldn’t typing with the horns be more effective? (she asks curiously. Then retracts dragon claws. Sorry, mess today got me testy.)

        • You’d think so, but it’s hard to see just where the typing is done as one types then. I suspect unicorns might have it easier. Of course, centaurs seldom have much issue with the typing itself, though the desk arrangement can cause issues, I suppose. Standing desks? Centaur influenced, has to be.

  17. FYI … Re: the malware report. I’m on our corporate VPN and other than having to go through the usual authentication process to get to an external site, I got no warnings or other kinds of fuss. This is a SuperHugeMegaCorp with security that’s tighter than a drum.

    If I may, even though I am not a writer except in my wildest fantasies, please include me in the sisterhood perhaps as a Puppy cheerleader? If nothing else, I can be counted on to provide withering snark with my rapier sharp wit. 😉

    And Sarah, take care of yourself. I know too well how awful the autoimmune crap can get, and how it can get out of hand. Rest and stress avoidance are paramount! Nothing is more important than your health and well-being. Do you hear me, young lady? Now go take a hot bath and a long nap. 🙂

    • Lissa, it depends on your antivirus software maker (each has its’ own reporting scheme) and whether it’s been included and installed). I’m sure they’ll try all of them though.

    • Yeah, I’m at a very-large-international-corp that uses one of the external web-security companies – no problem coming here, so the report’s effect must be limited or not believed or something.

    • Perhaps it was cleared up quick.

    • Birthday girl

      I’m a Reader, not a Writer, and readers are very welcome here, too, Lissa 🙂

      • I’m a writer in the sense that 30 years ago I had a report published on System Reliability of Mk50 Series Mines, using component testing and Monte Carlo simulation. I would not recommend it to anyone for reading. Fortunately, it is Classified, so that limits the distribution 🙂

        • What about Thunderbird or Cutlass simulation?

          • Don’t know about them.
            This was back in the mini-computer days, one run took an hour. You could stand in front, watch the instruction register and see it going through loops. I have a very modern S-plus version on my PC, it will do about 100x the number of simulations in about 2 minutes. When I retired they had started using SRFYDO, a open-source software written at Los Alamos. I also have done some work with SIMAN/Arena, which is good for Program Managers, because of the pretty pictures.

        • Fortunately, it is Classified, so that limits the distribution

          I’ll see if Hillary will forward me a copy.

      • Without readers the writers are just talking to themselves (do you think the publishers would put up with them for a moment if there were no readers?)

  18. you’ll be happy to know DOD doesn’t consider you a malware site

    • Ah, so you are saying the Chinese dudes who are now controlling the routers don’t think Sarah’s a baddy?

      Cool.

  19. Fighting like a girl is dangerous…for everyone else. Men fight, get it over with, and call it a day. Often, the two combatants will become friends, though not always.

    When women fight, they want the other absolutely and totally destroyed. They’re the kind that will burn everything to the ground and salt the Earth behind them.

    Fighting like a girl isn’t a bad thing. Fighting like a whiny, privileged schmuck (either male or female), is.

    • So Cato the Elder was just getting in touch with his feminine side? 🙂 That’s a lovely verbal jujitsu move 🙂

      SJW: “Gender identity is just a social construct. Don’t be afraid to show your female side, Cato.”
      Cato: “Ceterum censeo Carthago delenda esse”
      SJW to onlookers: He is saying something about oppression by the cisgendered patriarchy.

    • Well, yeah. What’s the point of fighting at all if you aren’t going to utterly destroy them? If it’s not worth fighting to the death for, it’s not worth fighting for. 😛

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        That sounds “nice” until I think about what petty reasons some women fight about. [Very Big Grin While Flying Away Very Very Very Fast]

      • The problem is that if you’re fighting to the death, the fight is going to take far longer and inflict far more damage to both parties than if you were just fighting to settle a point and willing to accept a surrender. Compare the Mexican-American War to the Unpleasantness Between the States or WWI to WWII.

        • True. I was thinking of fighting between individuals rather than nations though.

          • BobtheCertifiedIdiot

            On the individual level, the flip side is how fighting between men can result in friendship.

            Take Naruto, which I think qualifies for next year’s Hugo, for example. Compare the ultimate fight withe the penultimate fight.

            • Feather Blade

              I would vote for that just for the lulz.

              • BobtheRegisterredFool

                a) Lotta fans. Bleach may be ending Japanese publication this year, and English next year, in which case, per the rules, we may have two choices to try to get that in.
                b) It ends in a **** fight. If you’ve read much Naruto, you can also guess what the result of the fight is. Feminist SJWs hate that sort of story. It is sure to tick them off.
                c) I’m not one of those folks you see whingin’ about how Naruto should be called Sasuke. I think the Mangaka did a good job. I don’t have a fancy artsy vocabulary, nor am I a super expert on the genre. I still think that if the award is for the best, and manga fits the graphical story category, Naruto legitimately deserves a place. It is pretty solid for its genre of manga, even if not every manga fan likes that genre.
                d) Per Wheel of Time rules, the whole of Naruto would qualify. Which potentially means every chapter in the Hugo packet. At forty bucks for the whole, this potentially means a good sales pitch for a ridiculous number of anime and manga fans who otherwise wouldn’t give the Hugo the time of day.

          • The principle scales down to individuals as well. A cornered rat is going to do a lot of damage before it is brought down.

            Which probably explains the difference in fighting styles between men and women. Men are more likely to be involved in “status” fights, while women would tend to have more in common with the cornered rat.

            • My brother met his best friend by fighting with him. The two of them cracked a window. I admit that’s one of many things I don’t understand about men. Fighting to friendship.

              • And I have a couple of men friends I became friends with after the internet equivalent of a bar brawl and throwing them through a window. 😉 In some ways I’m a very odd woman.

              • I think the idea is that the fight disperses tension about dominance, demonstrates character, and thus helps men to like each other. (If both fight fair and not nastily.)

                Women fight to win and hurt/kill, or to express frustration (the last is pretty much always at a man or a material object). That last is where women pull their punches, or are supposed to.

                • BobtheRegisterredFool

                  Yeah. Go look at that last fight in Naruto again, and think about it. (There will be a test. Study guides will be available after the exam.)

                  To contrast, there was a video on youtube of a fight between a man and a woman. She starts the fight just because, he isn’t really interested. She quickly crushes his testicles, and then laughs at him in pain on the floor.

                  A man doing that tells other men that he isn’t good friendship material. (Women get a lot of latitude from men, because men want to get laid, and often think that keeping all women happy is necessary for this. Thinking rationally, there is no reason why all women must be in perfect agreement, and a man only needs to be on good terms with one woman.)

                  What are the motivations for the fight, and how sympathetic are they? What are the means used in the fight, and are they appropriate? When the fight is decided, how do they behave?

                  Every man has their own values, so each will evaluate a behavior differently.

              • BobtheRegisterredFool

                I am ever so othered; I may faint. 🙂

                Go read everything Shonen Jump published. If it doesn’t start making sense, it may still be a fun ride.

          • Yes. With individuals, NOT killing your opponent can sometimes take longer than killing him.

      • A fair number of men (usually young) fight for fun. It is almost more of a competition than a fight. A percentage of women fight for enjoyment also, but it usually isn’t the competition that they enjoy, it is a more sadistic* enjoyment of hurting their opponent.

        *There are men that are sadistic and enjoy inflicting pain also, but the point is that women seldom fight for the pure joy of it, unless it is a sadistic joy.

        • I HATE fighting. However I hate the consequences of not fighting more.

        • I hate fighting so I don’t want to do it unless I’m fighting for the defense of myself or others. If I’m not doing it for those reasons, why should I expend the energy and risk injury to myself? And if I am fighting in defense, there’s no reason to hold back. But that’s just me.

          • Most men tend more that way with age. Personally, I think it is because once you get past your very early twenties it seems to hurt a lot more the next day.

            I learned two distinct methods of fighting, one is the stand-up,”fair” fist-fight. The other is the no-holds barred, somebody (if not several somebodies, or everybody) is ending up in the hospital (or the morgue) style. One was fought for fun, or possibly status; the other was for more serious reasons like self-defense or defense of others (or possibly retaliation). Still, even in the second style there are degrees, usually you use some moderation, no guns or serious weapons unless the other side escalates (or vastly outnumbers you) and try not and kill anybody unless it is ironclad self defense. Because if you break a few bones the law will often look the other way if fault is unclear, or often enough your opponent won’t report it, because they know they are likely to be found out fault and either charged instead of you, or in addition to you. If bodies start showing up however, the Law tends to get sticky.

            I haven’t been in a fight in 10-15 years, and I’m too old for the “fair fight” to be that much fun anymore, so guess which kind I am likely to get into if I do end up in a fight. Yep, I’ll probably fight like a girl. 😉

            • It’s the declining testosterone. IIRC a 15 year old boy has five times the testosterone of an adult male. Once I hit about 22 or so I stopped fighting altogether. But when I was 13-14 I was in a fight four or five times a week. (My record was something like 1 win, around 200 losses, and the one win was an accident. I didn’t mean to hit anyone. Short, blind, and what’s best described as ‘non-bedextrous’ do not a skilled fighter make. When I first heard some NFL commentator discussing the symptoms of a concussion I thought he was talking about middle school.)

    • In testament of the long-standing male pattern of combatants becoming friends i cite …


      Gilgamesh and Enkidu. Y’all cain’t get much better heritage than thet!

      N.B.: do not, repeat, not put “Images for gilgamesh and enkidu” into your search engine. There are things which once seen cannot be unseen.

  20. “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. ”
    I guess I resemble that remark. Wish I’d thought of it myself. If I was attending WorldCon I just might have. I think other than the negative impact it’s having on you sweetie, that this whole thing is a hoot. I see it as tweaking the collective nose of all those pretentious, privileged, self-important, social justice pukes with ridicule at the heart of where they live.
    High five to Captain Comic, well done sir! I was hoping that the stack of pamphlets was only the first of many, and confess to sadness that you say you won’t put any more out.
    We’ve been saying all along that the best way to deal with the CHORF is to mock them, and juvenile though it may be this pamphlet seems in my most humble and self-effacing opinion to be highly appropriate.

  21. Sarah, this isn’t worth getting upset over. First, anything that happens the SJW’s don’t like will be blamed on the Puppies, just as the Jews were accused of stealing Christian babies and Freemasons of poisoning the wells.

    Secondly, that flyer was actually pretty good satire, in the sense that a) it pissed off the right people and b) it’s a pretty accurate representation of their position. Haven’t the SJW’s been calling for more diversity even as they vote in slates of lily-white proglodyte authors and call for not reading male authors for a year?

  22. “…it betrays a juvenile sense of humor and lack of social ability.”

    Really? At a science fiction convention? Inconceivable!

    “There are some people one would wish to offend.” — attributed variously to Shaw, Wilde, Churchill and Hugh Carlton Green of the BBC.

  23. Clearly, whoever decided “You fight like a girl” should be insulting never saw a Ronda Rousey fight. If I found myself heading into a scrum, I’d rather Miss Rousey have my back than a hundred skinny-jean-wearing metrosexual beta males.

    But at the same time, “you fight like a whiny little b*tch” or “you fight like a p*ssy” don’t quite have the same ring to them.

    • I’d rather have Ronda Rousey…

      Just her. Scrum, no scrum, doesn’t matter. I have a major crush for Ronda. 😀

    • But at the same time, “you fight like a whiny little b*tch” or “you fight like a p*ssy” don’t quite have the same ring to them.

      In the context of gender fluidity, they’re more offensive. I’m okay with that.

      • Read that the first time as “genitalia” fluidity, and thought, “if your genitalia is fluid, you have bigger problems that what anyone is saying about you.”

  24. Oh grood gief. Congratulations, Captain Comic, you have hit the target. Anyone offended by this most likely deserves to be.
    “The puppies are making fun of us!! Mommy, make them stop!!

    Or, perhaps they take their religion seriously:
    Nietzche and Marx are holy prophets and disrespect to them is blasphemy. The privilege of having sex with whoever or whatever you wish, whenever, and however you wish is sacrosanct. Everyone who followed Columbus out of Europe was, and is, and forever will be a minion of the devil. Female good, male bad.

    • ” hit the target” – brings the “taking flack … over the target” cliche to mind.

    • If you are taking flak you are over the target.

      Or, the 1980s submarine version: if you arrive on station and are not outnumbered you are in the wrong place.

  25. I was the only emergency contact for a friend a few years ago. We were meeting for lunch and he broke his ankle in the parking lot. I followed the ambulance to the hospital, stayed with him through the emergency room and bullied my way into pre-op because he kept passing out from shock. The nurse asked me to get him to quiet down because he was making some of the other patients nervous and I lost it at her.

    There’s not a lot I remember about the encounter except yelling. A lot. And one of the other patient’s wives coming over to find out how she could help me. I was about to rip the nurse apart with my bare teeth when her supervisor came over and gave my friend a dose of morphine. Once he was no longer in pain, the berserker went away and I was able to be the fretting mama I’d been all the way there.

    That’s how you fight like a girl.

  26. Perhaps we can nominate Captain Comic’s pamphlet for the same prize slot as ‘If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love’ won last year. Captain’s is far more understandable and funny.

  27. Righteous indignation permits activists to engage in precisely the type of behaviour they denounce — and feel morally upright in so doing!

    Example (with EMPHasis Added) provided today:
    ‘Anti-Fascists’ Deface Public Property, Tear Down Plaque
    By Jim Geraghty — August 21, 2015

    Here in the United States, we see activists aiming to erase all references to the Confederacy from public life by tear down the statues and monuments and renaming the schools and roads. Somehow true progress requires us to sandblast Stone Mountain, to no longer drive on Jefferson Davis Highway, or to ever watch reruns of The Dukes of Hazzard.

    In Spain, there’s a similar movement trying to erase everything connected to Francisco Franco — even Salvador Dali.

    Should Spain remember native son Salvador Dalí as a famous surrealist or a fascist sympathizer and admirer of the dictator Francisco Franco? Antonio Ortiz, a 60-year-old amateur historian, wants the city government to take a stand. The city’s answer will determine whether a two-square-block space designed by the artist and popular among skateboarders gets to keep the name Salvador Dalí Plaza.

    The article goes on to describe “a group calling itself the Anti-Fascist Coordinator was taking direct action. In 2001, its members spray-painted the words “assassin” and “genocide” in pink on the base of Madrid’s last-standing statue of Franco.” Also:

    Last year activists removed a plaque marking Madrid’s Long Live Spain Plaza. (The antifascist group gives prizes, such as lunch at a deli, for feats like that.) Leaflets handed to puzzled bystanders explained the name echoes a Francoist civil war battle cry. In its place, the activists put up a plaque reading “ Vicente Blasco Ibáñez Plaza,” the square’s previous name, which honored the Spanish novelist who wrote “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.” Conservative city authorities wouldn’t let that stand. Soon it was Long Live Spain Plaza again.

    When you’re engaged in defacing public property and tearing down signs that don’t belong to you… maybe you’re not as anti-fascist as you think you are.

    Could you imagine Spain getting so wrapped up in a desire to erase its history that it tears down all references to Salvador Dalí? The man whose most famous work is entitled (pause for irony) The Persistence of Memory? Are we at war with the past? I understand if you try to erase Dali from history, your wristwatch and clocks start to melt.

    • A fair percentage of the Roosevelt administration admired Mussolini. Does that mean we can take that FDR off the dime?

      • Including FDR. Churchill was also an admirer in the 20’s.

        • That didn’t last very long though. BTW, the far bigger story, which the left doesn’t want told, is that t Italy’s biggest left-wing newspaper Avanti! (Forward!) before the war had as an editor none other than… Benito Mussolini.

          He kept selling the same product (totalitarian collectivism), just set up different brand.

      • We need to take FDR off the dime for purely domestic reasons. The guy who put the Great into Great Depression should not be honored.

    • “Are we at war with the past?”

      Well, yes, some people are, as Orwell said: “He who controls the present, controls the past. He who controls the past, controls the future.

      Heinlein wrote something similar in the Notebooks of Lazarus Long.

    • The ancient Roman custom of “damnatio memoriae” apparently is alive and well. Verily, there is nothing new under the sun 😉

  28. “Write like you got balls? Then you don’t belong in SFWA!”

  29. Reality Observer

    Geez. Reading that almost got my psoriasis going, so I can’t imagine what being at the center did to your eczema.

    Thanks for the post. I figured out years ago that this guy fights like a girl. Blame it on a feisty grandmother, mother, and three older sisters.

    They know not what they have unleashed. They probably never will know what they have unleashed. Because the first item in “fight like a girl” training (mine, at least) is a question: “Prisoners? What is this word ‘prisoners’?”

  30. “someone wants to ban the term ‘you fight like a girl’ because it demeans women”

    Decal seen on parked car: shooter silhouette with motto “shoot like a girl”.

  31. “Fighting like a girl” can mean doing what’s needed to make the present problem go away – permanently, one way or another. Fighting like a guy is more often about changing the power / respect relationship for the future. Occasionally the same thing, but not usually.
    There’s a reason people chuckled – some of them, nervously – when Palin referenced “mama grizzlies”.

  32. The English poet/author Rudyard Kipling understood the real meaning of “Fight light a girl.” He summarized it in the poem “The Female of the Species.”

    http://www.bartleby.com/364/191.html

  33. And I like the new banner text.

  34. HEY, SJW CROWD: Your fly is down, your slip is showing, you’ve got something in your teeth, and I think you should go into the restroom and blow your nose.
    Oh, and your breath smells bad.

  35. I read Scalzi’s post down to the notes, read the Toni post (hey, I’ve read this before), and concluded Scalzi occupies a world not my own, or maybe one that takes some really different glasses to see mine as he sees it.

    My son will be loaning me his Old Man’s War series, and I will see how much I can stand. (I’ll report back on that.)

    • The first one was actually quite enjoyable. I have the second and third but never got around to them and every year I’m less inclined to bother.

      Scalzi, at least for me, is a writer who knowing anything about him beyond his books makes him less read worthy. It is the same affect Asimov’s second, shorter memoirs(I. Asimov: A Memoir) in which he takes cheap shots at everyone from RAH(1), Sturgeon, and his own son to make himself look good, had on me but without the back catalog of enjoyed Asimov to make it a temporary affect.

      (1) His later writings let slip plenty of times how angry he was that RAH and not himself was the first SFWA Grandmaster. The pettiness of the Puppy Kickers sadly has a long history in the field.

      • Yes. This on Asimov. This.

        • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

          Second Foundation was about a Group That Wanted To Be The Secret Masters Of The Galaxy. [Frown]

          • and there is a reason I write what I do, Drak.

          • They wanted to be SMOG? Wasn’t he a dragon? (Runs)

            • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

              You mean Smaug? He was a piss-poor dragon. [Wink]

              • Hmph. I try to make a joke, and you pretend it’s not even there. Hmph.

                🙂

              • As the Boogie Knights proved, he was a furriner:
                PUFF, REVISITED DK
                (Sung to “Puff, the Magic Dragon” by Peter Yarrow and Leonard Lipton)

                From knights to thieves to maidens, the list went on and on.
                All hope of rest forgotten, and his privacy was gone.
                One day he cried out “Uncle! Find someone else to flog…”
                “I’m gonna move to Middle Earth, and change my name to Smaug!”

                CHORUS: Puff, the tragic dragon, lived by the sea
                Annoyed by the attention brought by notoriety.
                Puff, the tragic dragon, lived by the sea
                And never had a moment’s peace from his celebrity.

        • Asimov was a fine professional writer. Subject and verb usually agreed and routinely appeared in the same sentence. He could be entertaining but he was never a writer whose ideas soared, much less launched into orbit as could Heinlein or Sturgeon. At his best his fiction was pedestrian; at his worst it could be a hard slog.

          His influence on the genre was, on a scale of 1 – 10*, right about 6.27*. Heinlein’s rating was about 9.46, just below Campbell and Gernsback, just above Wells.

          * calculated as follows:
          1 = seriously damaged the genre
          5 = eliminate his contributions and the hole wouldn’t be nooticed
          10 = eliminate his contributions and the field would have been entirely different

          • It’s been a while since I’ve read any Asimov (“Nightfall,” “I, Robot,” are two that pop to my mind) which makes my impulse to say you’re low by about one unit weaker. However, remember the man produced a ton of writing–so much so that there was a joke that he was a front for a committee. If all of Asimov’s stuff were to disappear to the place laps go when you stand up, there’d be a huge hole in science fiction

            • I was not rating by the volume of Asimov’s work but its influence. Take away the Three Laws of Robotics and I don’t think you can make much argument for influence. Had Foundation never been published it strikes me as improbable that its absence would much warp the space of the SF universe.

              He was a competent, prolific writer.

              Heinlein, OTOH, not only inspired more writers and fans to pursue SF, but he wrote more that was significant in the field. SF without Heinlein is simply a very different genre, with different writing techniques and different story expectations.

              Asimov pleased people who read him, but Heinlein inspired people.

              • “Asimov pleased people who read him, but Heinlein inspired people.”

                Concur.

              • Asimov inspired Paul Krugman.

                • Oh geeze — it is no more fair to blame Asimov for Krugman than to blame Heinlein for Charles Manson (a big fan of Stranger, as I recall.)

                  • Krugman has written more than once about his choice of profession being based on his love of the Foundation stories and his desire to be Harry Seldon. Seldon was the perfect expression of his power fantasies although he doesn’t phrase it that way.

                    Given the shape of the series from Second Foundation on and especially in the books unifying the Empire, Robot, and Foundation stories I’m not sure Asimov didn’t share them. Asimov’s ego as displayed by his editorial writing at the magazine bearing his name certainly supports the idea.

                    This is nothing like Manson’s relationship to Stranger. The paper trail is stronger, repeated, and matches at least some of the author’s own writing external to the stories in question.

              • I have to disagree with that assessment. I like Heinlien, but found the short stories of Clarke and Asimov to be more inspiring/evocative. (And of the two, Asimov’s foibles were certainly the lesser!)

                I’ll agree that his novels were overrated, though. (Which, come to think of it, also applies to Clarke.)

              • “Asimov pleased people who read him, but Heinlein inspired people.”

                Yes, while I can’t recall a single author stating they were inspired by Asimov, most of my favorite SF authors state that they were inspired by Heinlein. Frankly I’m not particularly fond of a lot of Heinlein’s work (on the other hand, I’ve picked up a couple of Asimov’s books and dropped them after reading a few pages, I’ve finished everything I’ve started of Heinlein’s unless Lazarus Long appeared in it.), some of it is quite good, but I find a fair portion of it kind of blah. But he made a tremendous impact on science fiction, by inspiring any number of great authors.

                • As long as we’re talking fiction, certainly. Asimov’s nonfiction is a whole nother story. He had the ability to make esoteric concepts graspable by just about anybody, and for that I am thankful.

              • I think even the three laws are overrated. ‘Harm’; was my Doctor harming me when he stuck a needle in my neck for a thyroid biopsy? Even more, when he slit my throat and removed 1/2 of my thyroid (which ultimately proved non-cancerous, resulting in true harm)? ‘Obey’; many orders, especially idioms are totally nonsensical but may still be a valid action. “Take a hike”, “Long walk off a short pier”… (many more, mostly obscene come to mind, but I’ll let your own imaginations provide them.) The processing power to resolve these nonsense commands would probably cook the positronic brain when they are first encountered.

                • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                  To be “fair”, even Asimov (especially in his later robot stories) saw the problems with his Three Laws.

                  Of course, he wrote a story with a mind-reading robot that caused plenty of trouble because it would lie because telling some human the truth would “hurt the human’s feelings”.

                  • There was another Asimov story where the robots at a mining installation had to have part of their First Law programming disabled. It turned out “…nor through inaction allow a human to come to harm” meant they were constantly dragging people away from the work they were trying to do in a hazardous area, even though the probability of harm was only elevated, not anywhere near certain.

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      And one of the robots found a way to murder humans thanks to that “lessened First Law”.

                      IE he took actions that could kill a human knowing that he could prevent their deaths and decided to *not* prevent their deaths. [Evil Grin]

                • “Take a long walk off a short pier!”
                  “I have just done just that.”
                  “You seem rather dry for it.”
                  “You assume I was so foolish as to begin my walk off the pier at the landed end of it.”

    • First one was pretty good. Second was OK. Third was somewhere below meh.

      Of course, that evaluation is from when he was still making an attempt at being professional. If I knew then what I know now, I might have had different impressions.

  36. If you annoy us enough we’ll just start fighting back like girls. And you won’t like it.

    I want the popcorn concession. 🙂

    • Butter! Get your Butter here!
      Popcorn without Butter is just packing material! Get your Butter Here!

      Who wants the salt concession?

    • Heh, heh, three weeks and I can eat popcorn again. And nuts, and bagels, and toffee, and bread with seeds on it, and pizza crust, and . . . *gets up on hind legs, does a little happy dance*

  37. Sarah, of COURSE it was a juvenile prank.

    Consider the audience and look how well it worked.

    • That’s why it didn’t work — the joke was sophomoric and they are Middle Schoolers, so it went straight over their widdle heads.

  38. Their girls fight like the girls that inspired “You fight like a girl”.

    Our girls fight like the girls that inspired “The Female of the Species is more deadly than the Male.”

  39. Mr. Heinlein was the first Grandmaster because I thought he should be. I invented the award and specified that it was not a competition, and was to be awarded by the President with the advice and consent of the Nebula Jury, the Past Presidents, and the officers of SFWA. There was to be no vote.

    I was the President at the time.

    The Grandmaster is not a contest. Sfwa later changed the rules to give Grandmaster every year; it was originally no more than three every five years, and specifically for lifetime achievement. I am sorry Isaac thought it was a contest, and that he thought he ought to have had the first one, but there was no vote: I nominated Robert, and obtained the consent of the various qualifying groups, and while individual votes are secret, in no case was the vote close (I do not rule out the possibility that they were all unanimously in favor).

    It was an award, not a contest. Robert appreciated it.

  40. Sarah, why in the world do you care about this nonsense? Spend your energy on writing, not fan politics.

    • I am, Jerry, I am. I care about having my dragged through twitter as having “instigated” this, though, particularly as I’ve spent the last weak instigating “breathing” and “Trying not to tear my arms apart with my nails.”

      • You have my sympathies. I got a good view of what that’s like a few weeks ago, when one of the little ones in our encampment was suffering through the same thing (the eczema). His mother said she has identified several of his triggers, but not all of them. Poor little guy was miserable.

      • Jerry gives good advice, but it is indeed hard to follow when your name and honor are being besmirched.
        On the other hand, the SJWs have no honor and are nameless so consider that as well.
        On the Gripping Hand, you should be ashamed of yourself for not using the phrase ‘gripping hand’ in your response.

    • I’d love to read something new from yourself, sir.

      (And I totally stole that phrase from Footfall–“mother of my immortality,” and my wife ate it up like strawberries and cream–thanks!)

  41. And I need to go tend to my own knitting. ‘night y’all.

  42. I think I’ll be able to make it up to Worldcon tomorrow. If so, I’ll be the guy in the Sad Puppy T-shirt. I’ve been both busy and out of town, so I haven’t been on the net lately, so I’m not sure what Huns are attending, but would be happy to meet up with any if the opportunity arises.

  43. 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.”

    That is an extraordinarily-insightful comment. This isn’t so much “fighting” as “telling on.”

    • This isn’t so much “fighting” as “telling on.”

      In other words: squealing. Just like the vicious little prigs they are.

  44. Did something break the comments GreaseMonkey script?

  45. Sarah, to soothe your eczema before it gets to the “frightening to health care professionals” stage, you might try Metaderm lotion. It can be got from Amazon or directly from the manufacturer (http://www.hausbio.com). My foster daughter says it’s the only thing that provides relief for her preschooler, who hadn’t known that non-itchyness was an option.

  46. I’d dearly love for you to be able to get back to writing, now that the house is done. I need to find out what happens next in _Rogue Magic_ and _Elf Blood_, you see.

  47. Huh. I have no idea why I acquired an icon that looks like a constipated rutago.

  48. … 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.

    Early this morning, a memory downloaded from archival backup.
    I had happened to catch an hour of the G. Gordon Liddy show where a caller had mentioned having trouble with people vandalizing his house when he was away at work. One of the “statements of fact” Liddy offered (I think legally it was not a “suggestion”) was the for less than $1000, it would be possible to hire some people from the wrong side of the tracks to lie in wait for the vandals and give them a sound thrashing.
    I know you almost certainly didn’t have the resources to hire people from the wrong side of the tracks, and some ethics might get in the way, but it’s fun to think about.

    • Gee, I’d forgotten how enjoyable that old scoundrel’s show was; it stopped being carried locally about fifteen years ago. Superb raconteur.

      As for hiring people from “the wrong side of the tracks” …

      a) why not? Isn’t that where the unions and #BlackDeathsRExploitable recruit their protestors (typically at sub-minimum wages, IIRC.)

      b) it creates jobs!

      c) can you imagine the results of hiring people from “the right side of the tracks”?

    • No; aside from any moral objections, there’s the utterly practical one that they have no reason not to rat you out when convenient.

  49. Pingback: Hush, Puppies, Hush | Cedar Writes

  50. I’ve been to many conventions, a number of which had various contentious events going on, since the ’80s. I’ve seen a LOT of offensive stuff at various freebie tables, usually trying to make one point or another about social issues or politics using offensive terms and style for “shock value”.

    Until now, the ONLY people I had ever heard of clearing such material from the tables and reporting it to concom were little old conservative men who were offended by their favorite religion or politico getting it in the neck.

    I had never thought the left had such similarly thin-skinned people in it.

    • The left was built by thin skinned individuals; they fear the power of ridicule because it was one of their principle tools. (see: Alinsky, Saul; Rules for Radicals.