The Hugo Award Will Not Be Renamed and Why Are All Conservatives (seemingly) Called Alt-Right?

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Author Anthony Gramuglia – found at Goodreads

I recently wrote three related blog posts: Jeannette Ng’s Campbell Award Acceptance Speech and Here We Go Again, Science Fiction, Opinions, and Why It’s Okay to Disagree, and especially The Sins of John W. Campbell Revisited. That last one started something of a minor storm in the comments section at File 770, Mike Glyer’s popular SciFi fanzine.

Although I’m still following that site, I haven’t commented there again since, what’s the use? Most people there ignored me (which is fine), one disagreed with me but was pretty civil about it, and two called me “dishonest” and “racist.” I ignored one and actually had to block the other on twitter since he looked me up just so he could continue to troll me.

File 770 does what they call Pixel Scrolls which I gather are collections of all the latest SF/F news, including noteworthy birthdays and such.

I slowed down when I saw a link to Steve Davidson’s article On Renaming Awards. I had previously mentioned that if John W. Campbell’s name was to be removed (and it has been), that perhaps all other awards named after people should be examined, just in case the person in question had a “difficult” past. I pulled Hugo Gernsback’s name out of a hat since the famed Hugo Award is named after him. Lo and behold, Davidson seems to have been thinking the same thing, but in his case, explained why Gernsback’s rather checkered past (in terms of his allegedly shady business dealings) won’t result in the Hugos being renamed.

So be it. It was just an idea.

The other essay was authored by Anthony Gramuglia (I don’t know who he is either) and called Alt-Right Fandom Circles Have Been Attacking and Doxxing People for Disagreeing With Them. It’s published by The Mary Sue which swings pretty far to the left, so keep that in mind.

Reading the title, I thought it was another tired reworking of the “Sad Puppies” affair, which is several years old and dead as a door nail. Yes, Gramuglia did mention the “Sad/Rabid Puppies,” but he also brought up ComicsGate (which I also thought was long gone) and something called “IStandWithVic.” Who the heck is Vic?

After the trigger warning (no, I’m not kidding), Here’s the gist of it from the article:

The hashtag IStandWithVic has a very different origin. When popular voice actor Vic Mignogna was accused of sexual harassment/assault and fired from both Funimation and Rooster Teeth, many of his diehard fans defended him online, arguing that, until proof was provided of any wrongdoing, he could not be fired.

Okay, so Mignogna is an actor known for his voice work in various animated productions. After allegations of sexual harassment surfaced, he was indeed fired as indicated above. His fans created a GoFundMe account to raise money for his legal fees, and that generated over $236,000 according to Dallas News. My understanding from the same source is that the legal case is still in motion.

What does this have to do with anyone’s politics?

Gramuglia writes:

If you’ve been on the internet for awhile, you have encountered right-wing e-celebrities who desire to engage in “intellectual debate.” These debaters traffic in poorly made, bad faith arguments to prove their points, often without any substantial evidence. They talk so loud and fast that they’re able to physically drown out what their opposition says. If the target of debate offers a counter, they then gaslight them by either exploiting some moralistic faux-comparision or just condescending to them to make them feel stupid.

Both ComicsGate and IStandWithVic seem to have learned from this tactic.

In my experience, the described tactic has been used just as effectively by leftists as well as (supposedly) rightists.

The two biggest tactics of these groups, however, appear to be doxxing and deplatforming. I myself have been targeted by The Umbrella Guy before for disagreeing with him, with him sending his followers to flag my posts. It wasn’t very effective with me, but others, such as Ren, were not so lucky…

I’ve heard the exact same complaint made by conservative artists against online platforms that lean decidedly left, at least the allegations of deplatforming and defunding.

Actually, what originally got my attention was the author’s use of “alt-right,” as if anyone who’s politics and social views tilted even slightly right of center were automatically alt-right.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center:

The Alternative Right, commonly known as the “alt-right,” is a set of far-right ideologies, groups and individuals whose core belief is that “white identity” is under attack by multicultural forces using “political correctness” and “social justice” to undermine white people and “their” civilization.

The Alternative Right is characterized by heavy use of social media and online memes. Alt-righters eschew “establishment” conservatism, skew young, and embrace white ethnonationalism as a fundamental value.

In other words, they are an extremist group and do not represent the vast majority of conservatives in the U.S.

But that’s not how Gramuglia’s article comes off. In fact, since I’m pro-Jewish (my wife and kids are Jewish) and pro-Israel, I don’t think I could qualify as alt-right. Here’s a quote posted on the Southern Poverty article:

“I oppose the Jewish diaspora in the United States and other white societies. I would like to see the white peoples of the world break the power of the Jewish diaspora and send the Jews to Israel, where they will have to learn how to be a normal nation.”
—Greg Johnson, “White Nationalism & Jewish Nationalism,” August 2011

That is definitely not my viewpoint, and I don’t know of a single conservative friend or acquaintance to believes such nonsense.

However, I’m concerned that the mainstream voices in Science Fiction and Fantasy are increasingly embracing the idea that everyone who isn’t like them is automatically alt-right. I hope I’m wrong. Probably I am wrong. Maybe Anthony Gramuglia doesn’t represent the majority of SF/F voices. I hope not.

Assuming some extremists are guilty of the actions Gramuglia puts out, then yes, they have done wrong. Please, it’s okay to disagree with someone, but you don’t have to try and hurt them, emotionally, financially, or in any other way.

And yet both sides of the coin are accusing each other of the same heinous acts. I suppose that means you can be an extremist and be either left or right. Here’s Gramuglia’s final words on the subject:

I have alluded, throughout this article, to being targeted by these groups, which I have. They spent the better part of a year targeting me in various threads, with van Scrier going through old pictures of me to harass and target me. There are multiple livestreams where all these guys sit around calling me “prepubescent” and other emasculating and/or homophobic slurs.

So, I blockchained all of them. Start with Bounding Into Comics or Bleeding Fool, then blockchain all the followers to the core individuals mentioned in this article. Your life is too short to waste dealing with these people.

And, once they’re starved of content, they will be unable to direct hate toward anyone. After all, if no one engages, they will grow bored, but it is vital to expose their tactics in order to stop not just them, but any future alt-right internet group that might surface in the future.

Maybe the majority of us need to take SF/F back from extremist voices. Unfortunately, they are also the loudest and most demanding, and as this writer points out (though only in one direction), they all cling to some sort of notion of moral purity, so it’s pointless to attempt to engage them in a reasonable dialog. Thankfully, I’m not being harassed or attacked in any real way, although, as I mentioned, I did have to finally block one person on twitter who didn’t know when to let go. I guess it gets much worse, at least for some.

Oh, and the people commenting on the Mary Sue article seem to be swallowing the content proverbial hook, line, and sinker.

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27 thoughts on “The Hugo Award Will Not Be Renamed and Why Are All Conservatives (seemingly) Called Alt-Right?

  1. As someone who leans Liberal (but has become increasingly aware of the more evident flaws of the American Left’s… issues), the issue with the Right vs Alt-Right (as someone from the outside looking in) is the fact that a lot of talking points wind up overlapping. Being a Conservative who thinks x and y while someone who is actually Alt-Right might belive x y z AB AC AA, KKK, ect. Correlation does not equal causation, as the saying goes.
    Now, as someone who is liberal, while I think changing the name of the award to Astounding is fine in itself and seems like a good compromise all around, it’s the drama that got spawned out of all this mess that sours me on it. While I have never read Jeannette Ng’s work, it seems more like a ‘standing and then backstabbing on the shoulders of giants’, even if that giant was a massive racist with weird, weird mental power obsessions. I’d say it almost reminds me of Alec Nevala-Lee’s Astounding, only Lee’s book struck me as at least more even-handed on its science fiction subjects (though the ‘Everyone is flawed’ dirty laundry did get tiresome after a while) and he seems a far more genuine fan of the genre.
    All that being said, while the base point of, say the Sad Rapid Puppies might have had a point on paper, the solution isn’t to go full Puppy, either. Ultimately, both the right and the left wind up straw manning one another. Which is where the issue with all of this insanity with both sides comes from.

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  2. **Sticking my head in for just a moment.**

    As one who became aware of, and involved in, Sad Puppies around the time the Brad Torgersen took over, can I point out that there were TWO “Puppy” groups.

    Larry Correia started Sad Puppies. [somewhat tongue-in-cheek initially] The objective was to point out (what he perceived to be) a bias against Conservative. Period. Larry has said this time and time again. In the 3rd year, when Brad took over, the purpose (call it an agenda if you want) was to promote good stories. To that end he posted a list of stories and books. Many of the works he suggested reading crossed political lines since his focus was on the story, not the author.

    During the 3rd year of Sad Puppies, Vox Day started a movement called Rabid Puppies. The objective of Rapid Puppies (from what I recall seeing on the site) was to tear down and burn the Hugo awards. They also had a list of books and stories, but they tended to focus as much on the political alignment of the author as on the caliber of work

    Sad Puppies has ended, never again to be brought back. I do not know if Vox had ended Rabid Puppies or not.

    Most of what is out there about the Sad Puppies is, at best, a conflation of Sad and Rabid groups, at worse lies about the people involved. {what is in the Wiki article is mostly the lies.}

    Two groups, two different agendas.

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    • Unfortunately Kat, Gramuglia lumps everyone into one, big “deplorable” bucket without making such a differentiation. My own take on the Hugos is that since the ability to vote is limited by various criteria, it is going to be biased in a certain direction, and there will be authors who will never be nominated, no matter how well they’ve crafted their tales. I suspect a lot of awards in the industry aren’t rendered for story quality alone, but a set of characteristics possessed by the author and the story’s theme. That’s why they’ll always be room for other awards like the Dragons.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I know. Trust me, I know.

        To many members of a certain set, I am tainted by my support of Sad Puppies. But, since I am nothing to nobody, it does not matter. I only speak up to help those who might be late to the game, who have no background beyond what the powers that be have told them; perhaps if someone with no skin in the game keeps speaking up, people will consider that I may be telling the truth – and there by get a little information.

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      • That probably wouldn’t be me given the reception I was given by a couple of people commenting on 770. The minute anyone appears to side with the “undesirables,” they become tainted by association. It’s amazing how fast you can become a Nazi in the eyes of a few folks.

        Liked by 1 person

    • //They also had a list of books and stories, but they tended to focus as much on the political alignment of the author as on the caliber of work//
      That is not correct. The Rabid Puppy slate and the Sad Puppy slate were very similar in content. Vox Day added some additional works to some categories. Novel, short story and some other categories were the same between the two slates. Day did add additional works by John C Wright but Wright was already past of the Sad Puppy slate. Vox Day did add himself in an editor category but remember that Larry Correia had included Day in the Sad Puppy 2 slate.

      //Larry Correia started Sad Puppies. [somewhat tongue-in-cheek initially] The objective was to point out (what he perceived to be) a bias against Conservative. Period. Larry has said this time and time again.//
      This is only partially correct. Larry Correia has said post-hoc that his aim was to point out a percieved bias against conservatives but that is NOT what he claimed when he started the first Sad Puppy campaign. The ‘How to get Correia Nominated for a Hugo’ did mention his opposition to ‘message fiction’ but was pitched at an opposition he described as ‘literati’.
      Sad Puppies 2 was more political but remember that the most notably ‘political’ element was the inclusion of Vox Day. Was Day a conservative? I know people weren’t using the term ‘alt-right’ then but he has called himself ‘Alt-right’ since. If Correia was trying to demonstrate bias against *conservatives* why include Vox Day in Sad Puppies 2? <- That's a genuine question by the way. I think the actual answer was Correia didn't put much thought into what he was doing but I'd be interested in other theories. Either way, the confusion of Day with the Sad Puppies started there.

      //Most of what is out there about the Sad Puppies is, at best, a conflation of Sad and Rabid groups, at worse lies about the people involved. //
      It is certainly true that the two groups are often conflated and yet throughout the long weary history I saw a lot of conflation between the groups being done BY *Sad Puppies*. For example, somebody makes a statement about the Rabid Puppies and various Sad Puppies would claim it was about THEM.

      Are the politics of notable Sad Puppies such as Brad Torgersen, Larry Correia and Sarah Hoyt different from Rabid Puppy Vox Day? Yes. Were the objectives of the Sad Puppies and the Rabid Puppies different in 2015? Yes. Were the tactics basically the same? Yes. Was there a way of seperating out the impact of the Sad Puppies on the 2015 Hugo Awards and the impact of the Rabid Puppies on the 2015 Hugo Awards? No.

      //{what is in the Wiki article is mostly the lies.}//
      That should be easy to demonstrate.

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      • “Novel, short story and some other categories were the same between the two slates.” <- a correction if I may. I was going off memory and in fact Rabid Puppies differed by one work each in these two categories. The wider point stands

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      • Whoever you are (since you don’t list your actual name on the listed blog), I’ll allow your comments here in the interest of fair play, but keep in mind, as the blog owner, I can “pull the plug” at anytime should you make statements that are inflammatory, insulting, or otherwise rub me the wrong way.

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      • You can comment as long as you’re civil. I support dynamic conversations as long as conflict isn’t personalized. That’s unlike a recent blog I patronized.

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      • What I’ve found is that my civility is what tends to get me into trouble 🙂 My personal rule is to always be more civil than the person I’m interacting with. The issue is that a nominally polite analysis of facts can result in some correspondents becoming very upset.

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      • “If Correia was trying to demonstrate bias against *conservatives* why include Vox Day in Sad Puppies 2? ”

        Perhaps because, unlike so many others, Larry judges the caliber of the work, not the person.

        And you are making the same mistake others have made – you think because the same title showed up on both lists that means SP and RP were linked. Nope. All that shows is that people in both camps liked the same work. Nothing more. But you’ve been told this time and time again, by Larry and Brad, but you will not listen. You prefer your own lies. So I will waste no more time on you.

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      • //Perhaps because, unlike so many others, Larry judges the caliber of the work, not the person//

        That is a reasonable response but it works against your claim that he was trying to demonstrate bias against CONSERVATIVES. Plenty of people might have no issue at all with conservatives in the Hugo awards but would have substantial objections to Vox Day and his views.

        //And you are making the same mistake others have made – you think because the same title showed up on both lists that means SP and RP were linked. Nope. All that shows is that people in both camps liked the same work. Nothing more.//

        I was addressing the claim you made that the Rabid Puppy slate: “tended to focus as much on the political alignment of the author as on the caliber of work”. The two list were very similar and didn’t differ much in terms of politics.

        //You prefer your own lies.//

        I don’t have the patience to lie. If I make a factual error I correct it. If there are factual errors please feel free to point them out.

        //you think because the same title showed up on both lists that means SP and RP were linked//

        No, I think they are linked because of statements made by both Vox and Larry Correia which show a degree of communication between the two. Note that does not imply Larry or Brad had any kind of control over the Rabid Puppy campaign – they clearly didn’t. I see no evidence that the two campaigns were a joint strategy but clearly there are links over time between the two – that’s shouldn’t be a controversial statement.

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      • camestrosfelapton said:

        That is a reasonable response but it works against your claim that he was trying to demonstrate bias against CONSERVATIVES. Plenty of people might have no issue at all with conservatives in the Hugo awards but would have substantial objections to Vox Day and his views.

        Now that is interesting. Following both File 770 and Jim Hines’ blogs (I don’t comment on Hines’s I suspect I would almost immediately be either banned or harassed), I would have thought otherwise. While I can’t say I’m a “conservative” in the same since as Vox Day (Theodore Robert Beale), I don’t agree 100% with everything that would be considered liberal or progressive (none of which means I’m homophobic, sexist, racist, misogynistic or any other “ism” or “phobia”). I learned long ago that one can be, for instance, fiscally conservative and socially moderate.

        My concern is that anyone who calls themselves “conservative” is automatically labeled something akin to a Nazi without any further consideration. I suspect the person currently sitting in the Oval Office has managed to convince everyone that conservatives and particularly Republicans (I used to be a registered Democrat, believe it or not, but ended up an Independent because political party affiliation has little meaning to me) are evil incarnate.

        It’s like the internet meme: “The left considers all conservatives to be bigger Nazis than Hitler. Prove me wrong.”

        Yes, I mean it. Prove me wrong.

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      • I’m not sure which point we are discussing now but there is one thing that is worth addressing. Conservatives don’t all hold the same opinions and the right of politics in general do not all hold the same opinions. The same is true of the centre and the left.

        One of the things I’ve tried to do when discussing the Sad and the Rabid Puppies is distinguish between what leading figures in the two campaigns said, from what a random supporter said. It’s the internet after all.

        Might some random person on the net call somebody else a ‘nazi’ for no good reason? Sure, there are jerks and obnoxious people everywhere. That doesn’t mean everybody on the left has chosen to label that person a nazi.

        However, there are also legitimate questions about ingrained racism and other prejudices that apply to all of ours. People find it confronting when those things are examined.

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      • Well, you’re not wrong. On the other hand, it’s too easy for folks of any ideological perspective, to take offense first and ask questions later. Yes, I don’t like it when I say “I’m conservative” and someone else’s response is “You’re a racist.” Of course, on the internet, people can comment first and get to know you later (if at all) and I’m as guilty of that as the next person. However, it’s conversations like this one that give me hope and help me realize that I’m guilty of stereotyping, too. The old adage that the squeaky wheel gets the grease is applicable, since, in my opinion, the loudest voices in the blogosphere and social networking are the most extreme. I suspect the vast majority of us live somewhere in the middle.

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    • Not sure how this came up, but according to my news matrix, they are on the border between hyper-partisan right and garbage right at the bottom of the mixed quality range. So, why do you ask?

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      • It came up because you have been very laudatory of the Breitbart site specifically, and of people associated with that (and not only the site and some people but many of the ideas). I won’t get into all of the names (nor all of the ideas obviously). I happen to know that they sent representation (media contacts) out after Trump was elected to be very clear they see themselves as alt-right (while they had already indicated it of themselves before in their own words — which hadn’t been really necessary for those paying attention either for or against).

        Yet you said in your opening writ: I don’t think I could qualify as alt-right. Here’s a quote posted on the Southern Poverty article:

        “I oppose the Jewish diaspora in the United States and other white societies. I would like to see the white peoples of the world break the power of the Jewish diaspora and send the Jews to Israel, where they will have to learn how to be a normal nation.”
        —Greg Johnson, “White Nationalism & Jewish Nationalism,” August 2011

        That is definitely not my viewpoint, and I don’t know of a single conservative friend or acquaintance to believes such nonsense.

        Fine. If one reads beyond the opening notes at the very site you provided, though,
        under that topic of the alt-right, there is this:
        https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/ideology/alt-right
        The movement is not monolithic. The diversity of far-right ideologies that it includes has resulted in some disagreement with regard to Jews, and whether to blame them for the perceived plight of white culture—a belief that has undergirded many sectors of white nationalism for decades. While some alt-right leaders are unquestionably anti-Semitic, others, like Jared Taylor, are not, seeing Jews simply as white people. For his part, Spencer has repeatedly brought in anti-Semites to speak at his events.

        In March 2016, for instance, Spencer invited former California State University-Long Beach professor Kevin MacDonald, the author of a trilogy purporting to show that Jews seek to undermine the host Christian societies in which they often live, to speak at an event titled “Identity Politics.” After the event, Spencer stopped just short of questioning the Holocaust……….

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      • https://www.splcenter.org/hatewatch/2016/04/28/breitbartcom-becoming-media-arm-alt-right
        …… Breitbart recently published a lengthy defense of the Alt-Right, claiming the white nationalists such as Richard Spencer and Jared Taylor who created the ideology “have been accused of racism,” choosing to ignore the well-documented openly-racist views.

        But Breitbart’s open defense of the Alt-Right didn’t appear out of thin air.

        Over the past year the media outlet has been openly promoting the core issues of the Alt-Right, introducing these racist ideas to its readership – much to the delight of many in the white nationalist world who could never dream of reaching such a vast number of people. Breitbart has always given a platform to parts of the radical right………

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    • Marleen’s question made me consider something. If there’s a legitimate extremist right-wing entity called “Alt-right” is it possible for there to be an extremist left wing entity we could call “Alt-left?” President Trump apparently coined the term “Alt-left” so that’s against it. Further, Auburn Seminary declared that there’s no such thing as the Alt-left, and that anyone the right labels such is just someone seeking justice for all.

      Urban Dictionary has some definitions identifying Alt-left as extremists and Marxists, and Vanity Fair also addresses the topic.

      I’ve long said that ANY social or political ideology can become totalitarian. All you have to do is force it upon the populace against their will. Far-leftists are worried that Trump will turn America into some version of the Hulu TV show (based on Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel) “The Handmaid’s Tale” (someone on Google actually asked if the story was based on real events…amazing). At least some conservatives are concerned that a far-left progressive President and Congress will turn our nation into a version of George Orwell’s dystopian novel “1984” (that’s the title, not the year it was published). If I ever get the time, I may revisit all this in a blog post. Or by then, I’ll have stopped fretting and be more worried about getting a day job.

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      • https://www.breitbart.com/tech/2016/03/29/an-establishment-conservatives-guide-to-the-alt-right/
        A specter is haunting the dinner parties, fundraisers and think-tanks of the Establishment: the specter of the “alternative right.” Young, creative and eager to commit secular heresies, they have become public enemy number one to beltway conservatives — more hated, even, than Democrats or loopy progressives.

        ……………

        I don’t take the assertions of those authors as authoritative. They, at least, are aware that you don’t have to be on the left to be concerned and even alarmed about Breitbart and other alt-right manifestations. I, meanwhile, have been on the right most of my life (before, say, middle school age, I wasn’t thinking about politics, while my introduction, vaguely, was the Nixon era). My indoctrination was very far right. One benefit of that is that I’m aware enough to be concerned that a [sycophant Republican Senate, McConnell, and Trump and his bunch, plus sellout Democrats] will turn our nation into a version of George Orwell’s dystopian novel “1984” (that’s the title, not the year it was published).

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      • You can get a feel, here, for how many people who are supposedly moderate or “normal” are not really. Many, many names are associated with this outlet. And notice that the author of the article (from August of 2016) both affirms the characterizations of themselves and (disingenuously) deflects such charges at the same time.

        https://www.takimag.com/article/getting_the_alt_right_wrong_jim_goad/
        ………..

        The SPLC fingers former Taki’s Magazine editor Richard Spencer as the man who coined the term “Alt-Right” back in 2008. …

        ….

        Therefore, it provides me tremendous joy to see supremely well-spoken”€”and, unlike me, well-behaved”€”people such as Jared Taylor and Richard Spencer reveal their witch-hunting interrogators …. and it’s always a laff riot.

        …….

        Like

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