It’s easy to be intimidated by mean people. See through their mask. Underneath is an insecure and unhappy person. They are alienated from others because they are alienated from themselves.
Have compassion for them. Not pity, not condemning, not fear, but compassion. Feel for their suffering. Identify with their core humanity. You might be able to influence them for the good. You might not. Either way your compassion frees you from their destructiveness. And if you would like to help them change, compassion gives you a chance to succeed.
-from Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s book Happiness,p.179
I’ve already talked about Toxic Fear, the extreme Us vs. Them mentality in our nation that begun in during the Obama administration, and that has been greatly exacerbated during the Trump administration, all in relation to the WorldCon implosion and redemption, particularly given THIS and THAT point of view.
However, it was the quote from Rabbi Pliskin this morning that gave me a different perspective on Sad Puppies vs. the Hugo Awards thing.
Part of the inspiration for crafting this essay comes from fellow blogger Joy Pixley’s report of her attending WorldCon 76. She had a pretty good time, and in my discussions with her, she didn’t see any (or at least not much) evidence of bias at WorldCon. However, she did notice a number of Christians and religious Jews in attendance, and no one mobbed, beat, harassed, or otherwise attacked them for their faiths.
Now speaking of bias, it seems female authors swept the Hugo Awards for the second year in a row. Interesting, and statistically a little unlikely, but as I said before, the Hugo Awards are absolutely not designed to be fair and objective.
The sign said “No Entry” in two languages, but Allen saw the young couple approach the main doors from the side and go in any way. He knew the sign was directed at him, not him personally, but you had to be a member in good standing of the Party to even be considered.
The event was held in a different city each year, and today it was in Mumbai, but the administrators lived in the U.S., and their influence was everywhere.
Officially, segregation didn’t exist, but when “his kind,” as they often referred to non-Party members, tried to petition for even ancillary status, they were rebuffed. Since they’d taken control of the political structure, entertainment, all news venues, they hadn’t felt it necessary to use him as a punching bag anymore, but they still called him a “Nazi” from time to time.
His kind wasn’t allowed at any of the popular venues including WorldCon. They didn’t think it was possible for a cisgender, white male from Montana to be a science fiction fan.
I wrote this for the 179th FFfAW Challenge hosted by Priceless Joy. The idea is to use the image above as the prompt for crafting a piece of flash fiction between 100 and 175 words long. My word count is 175.
I’ve been chronicling the whole WorldCon 76 meltdown and recovery, as well as the latest shots fired at conservatives who, for some reason, are not only thought of as “Nazis,” but not considered worthy of being science fiction fans. So I thought I’d write yet another tale of the dystopia where prejudice is alive and well and running the world.
Yes, I know. I rant about this a lot, but now that this year’s WorldCon is officially over, I’ll find something else to focus my attention on.
To read other stories based on the prompt, visit InLinkz.com.
Well, the progressives running the SF/F industry, including WorldCon, like to think of themselves as the “good guys” and on the “right side of history,” but there doesn’t seem to be any shortage of hate of anyone who might even be slightly conservative. I guess not being inclusive is okay as long as the groups you are bigoted against are on the “Nazis” list (though maybe they should actually look up the definition of Nazi before slinging around their own brand of hate.)
Screenshots from twitter
Trust me, if these people are typical of WorldCon and the science fiction conventions in general, I want nothing to do with them. At the end of the day, all I want to do is write a good story. At the end of the day, all they want to do is hurt people.
Here’s a fictional story based on this blog post and Part 2 of my rant, which I didn’t believe I’d be writing while authoring Part 1.
Screenshot of WorldCon76 main page taken 15 Aug 2018
After the recent progressive, politically correct meltdown at the upcoming WorldCon 76, I was wondering if there would be any appreciable fallout since it officially starts this afternoon.
I didn’t want to spend a huge amount of time poking around on the WorldCon site, but I did notice a page for Future WSFS Conventions. This coming Friday from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM Pacific time, there will be a panel to talk about the future locations of WorldCons. Next year, it will be in Dublin, but beyond that, there are multiple choices.
Now, in addition to location, I can’t help but wonder if other things will be considered, such as “inclusivity.” After all, the folks running this year’s Con had to do some major backpedaling and reorganization in just a few weeks, so I can imagine they’ll want to avoid such a social justice explosion in the future. Naturally, with a whole year (and future years) to plan for, they can consider #OwnVoice panels and such at their leisure, as well as making sure those authors nominated for Hugos represent a proper diversity of disadvantaged voices.
Screenshot taken from twitter
Okay, so the people on twitter who (very politely) accused me of being a moron because I was clueless about exactly what the Hugos are, and how creative works are awarded Hugo Awards are correct. I didn’t do my homework. I did have one woman accuse me of not even being a fan, and admittedly, in my youth I read a ridiculous amount of science fiction and fantasy compared to today.
So many books, so little time.
That said, I do read science fiction, but not every book I read is SciFi. Am I still a fan? Maybe not by that person’s standards, and I especially don’t read brand new science fiction, since I can’t afford to buy a bunch of brand new books, digital or otherwise. I usually depend on the public library, or occasionally a friend will lend me a book, but those works are usually several years (or decades) old.
That brings me back to the Hugos and twitter. I’m not getting any more tweets, but some of those previous tweets are being “liked” on twitter, and they show up in my notifications. I saw the tweet again yesterday that I posted a screenshot of above.
So really, the Hugo voters, those who nominate a work for a Hugo, and then those who vote for finalists and winners, aren’t all that many folks. Who are they?
I went to the Hugo Awards FAQ page and found out:
After I wrote The WorldCon 76 Incident: This Never Happened to Me on Twitter Before (and yes, I posted links on twitter and Facebook), I thought it was over. True, I did get one response from a very nice person saying (basically) that I was overreacting and people on twitter were just trying to be helpful.
I responded to him by saying that it was difficult for me to tell if their intent was to be helpful or critical, since at least some of the statements were ambiguous. I also compared twitter to a “wild west show.” I didn’t hear back from him and so that was that, or so I believed.
Then this morning, I got another response from someone who hadn’t addressed me before, stating (again basically) that I was uninformed about WorldCon, the Hugos, and one of the people who had been most critical (to the point of hostility) of me. As I looked at the tweets of the person who is supposed to be an important voice, I saw said-individual was pretty critical of a lot of other folks, specifically conservatives who have questioned the objectivity of the aforementioned Hugos (AKA, the “Sad Puppies”).
None of the people who addressed me have their tweets hidden, so I thought I’d take a look at what else they had to talk about. I wanted a wider understanding of the individuals involved. To that end, I’m posting screen captures of a few tweets of two of these people while doing my best to hide their identities (except for David Hogg’s since he seems to thrive on publicity).
Apparently, discussing WorldCon 76 and the tremendous mess they’re currently in on twitter has involved me in a bit of a conversation. Really, nothing like this has happened to me before. I’m pretty amazed. Of course, it’s more than just the WorldCon issue involved, so just for giggles, I’m posting a screen capture (actually, several merged together) of the entire dialog. I didn’t know what to say, so thus far, I haven’t responded.
twitter screen capture
the next part.
Screen capture of the WorldCon 2018 homepage
In the past day or so, I’ve not seen a lot going on in the news or the blogosphere about the WorldCon 76 crash-and-burn fest, so I thought maybe there’d be something on their website. On their homepage, the words “We will do better” jumped out at me (If you’re having trouble reading the text in the image above, go to their homepage). The message was dated yesterday, and I can only imagine that behind the scenes, there’s a lot of frantic activity going on. There’d better be. Kevin Roche and the WorldCon organizers have got less than three weeks to pull victory (or something like it) out of the jaws of defeat.
Among the other words in Roche’s heartfelt missive was the sentence, “We are tearing the program apart and starting over.” Yikes. The whole chimichanga? That’s going to be a ton of work to get done in the meager time allotted.
I did notice one other thing, though. He wrote “It was intended to be a reflection of the cultures, passions and experiences of Worldcon membership, with room for both new voices and old“ (emph. mine).
Found at io9.gizmodo.com – No image credit available
I’ve continued to consider the problems I’ve read about recently regarding the upcoming WorldCon 2018, which I wrote about yesterday.
Since I’m not published in SF/F (although I am as far as textbooks and self-study guides go), I suppose it shouldn’t be particularly relevant. To the best of my understanding, the Cons (and it has been over 20 years since I attended any SF/F convention), allow fans to meet and greet their favorite authors as well as up and coming talent, plus provide authors a big marketing opportunity, so ideally, it should be a win-win.
Also, again to the best of my understanding, a number of awards, including the Hugos are presented at WorldCon, which traditionally has been a big deal.
But are the Hugos still a big deal?
The Wellington Annex in Albany, collapses in a picture perfect implosion by Jackson Demolition of Schenectady as seen from the roof of the Albany County Office building Saturday – Used as an example of “implosion” – Photo credit: Peter R. Barber
In following the Superversive SF blog, today, I came across two related articles: Declan Finn’s WorldCon Melts Down and Richard Paolinelli’s My Thoughts on WorldCon 76…. Paolinelli’s wasn’t particularly illuminating, but he promised a more detailed account later today. Finn described a situation where the Con violated its own rules by “misgendering” one of the guests causing some sort of meltdown.
Pending Richard’s subsequent blog post, I decided to look for more information. Interestingly enough, the only article I found was at The Daily Dot, which I can’t say is a completely neutral publication. The missive in question is Worldcon faces backlash for sidelining marginalized authors (updated), originally published yesterday (July 23rd) and updated today.
WorldCon is one of the oldest, if not the oldest science fiction convention in the world, and apparently, that’s the problem. Traditionally, according to the article, it’s been dominated by white, conservative people, it’s fan base, and has struggled to accept more marginalized and #OwnVoice participants in recent years. I get the feeling the Con wants to be more progressive, but, at least from The Daily Dot’s perspective, its own history and biases have gotten in the way.