Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Evil of the Puppy Kickers

A bit of a note here. Yesterday's blog went over very well. Surprisingly well, really. It was linked to by both John C. Wright (mostly for making an observation) and File 770 ("Going 15 rounds with Walter Damien a bit of overkill, since he stretches Damien on the deck in the first round.") I think that went over well.  

This one has a slightly different tone, especially by the end. My major hope is it all meshes together. I've had three people tell me it makes sense. But I'm running on two hours of sleep, so I'm just happy that individual sentences make sense.

You will notice some weasel-words here and there, mostly because there are some things I cannot know for certain. Is Cat Valente being misinformed in an echo chamber, suffering Stockholm syndrome (suggested yesterday in the comments), or just a vile person? I've heard multiple opinions arguing for all of those points of view. Damien, however ... well, you'll see.

The worst thing I have ever heard said about Supreme Dark Lord and Rabid Puppy Supreme Vox Day is that he's a racist. Perhaps a white supremacist. I find him strange, and his statements come off as highly eccentric.

Which is just another way of saying "Wait, what?"

To be honest, before Sad Puppies 3 came out last year, I had only read one thing by Vox, his book The Irrational Atheist. The person who wrote that book seems vastly different from the one who tried to label Sarah Hoyt a "transnationalist." There's a reason Id on't follow him that closely.

But last time I checked, Vox Day has really never dismissed his enemies as being subhuman. Nor has he suggested murdering any of them. Not even NK Jemisen, who has her own little war with Vox going that stretches back at least two years. He'll still debate, or reason, or scream right back at her, but he'll at least reply to whatever is thrown his way.

You may not like what he says, but he at least acknowledges that she's someone worth having a fight with.

Can't say that for the Puppy Kickers. They like being the ubermensch of their own little Reich, and it's getting tiresome, really. The ones who are really in charge rarely, if ever, acknowledge any argument outside of their own little echo chamber.

And why should they? Puppies are evil. Puppies are ... well, not even human.

Look at it for a second, shall we? The Kickers seem to dismiss us, won't acknowledge our arguments, jazz-hands any appeal to sanity, and we won't even go into the bomb threats of Arthur Chu's people. They're just bat-guano.

But let's look at it from Sarah Hoyt's point of view a moment.

you’re worse than the Soviets who condemned the Kulaks during holodomor, worse than the people on the street who mouthed the Nazi lies about Jews during WWII.  Why worse?  Because those people lived in fear of their lives. They had to say what they did because they feared being next on the kill list.

But you? You willingly go along with slanders and destroy reputations and attempt to destroy livelihoods for the sake of a plastic rocket.  To coin a phrase:  It profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world … but for Wales, Richard?
She gets extra points for the A Man for All Seasons reference.

She's also right. Can we think for one moment about what they're fighting for? Once upon a time, they declared that the Hugo was "science fiction's most prestigious award." Now, they can't seem to decide if it's "only" for the people of WorldCon, or for the "TruFan" elite.

Either way? They're trying to destroy people all for the sake of a plastic rocket. It doesn't even vibrate.

2009 Hugo Award Trophy
The jokes are just so easy.

But it's important because it's about making sure the correct people get the award. It must go to the TruFans. And of course, the "TruFan" must have the right way of thinking. They must say the right things, read the right people, never read the wrong people, and above all, mustn't be associated with any of the wrong think. The books being read must be "art" and never written for anything so low and so common as money.

Though in this case, "TruFans" starts to sound like "ubermensch."

No, I'm not actually going to call them Nazis. They're not going to send us to concentration camps. Oh, no no no. They're called reeducation camps. They're Soviet, not national-socialist. We must be accurate about such things.

Of course, as I said the other day, they might merely be insane. Now, that might work for some, but not all.

It makes me wonder about Damien Walter and some of the others. Do they really believe all of this crap they spew? If they're so superior, why do they hate the Puppies? They're so much better than we are, after all -- so snobbery would be appropriate. But, no, you had Walter Damien dismissing the Puppies, demanding they they never sully his internet feed, ever. We're so far beneath him, we should apparently be stepped on.

Apparently, we're not so far beneath him that we are below contempt. We seem to be hovering just around contempt.

It makes you wonder if, deep down, some of these Puppy Kickers know that their real importance does not support their egos. It would explain why they're so angry all the time.

Which brings me to John C. Wright. He had a post commenting upon the coverage of David Hartwell's death. His comment was about the sort of people who spit on graves, but I think the rest of his statement covers it admirably. Because the primary Puppy Kickers -- the Scazlis, the Damiens, the Gerrold -- seem to hate the Puppies, anyone connected to the puppies, or anyone who the Puppies speak well about. We had a small sample the other day when it looked like Cat Valente was either desperately misinformed, or desperate to disavow being liked by anyone who would vote in SP4 -- it truly made me wonder how much she was just ignorant of SP4, or if she was terrified of professional blow back. Puppies are so hated, it looks like anyone they express enjoyment of must disavow them, lest they suffer the harsh consequences of the Kicking overlords.

As JCW wrote:
Such reckless hatred makes the hatred-eaten man his own victim, and makes his mind his own dungeon and torture chamber. He claws out his own entrails and gnaws them. All good things, like cherishing the memory of the beloved dead, become, for him, a cause of malice and pain. Sunlight to him is darkness, and life is nightmare.
I begin to understand why so many of them speak of being frightened when no one menaces them, or of feeling unsafe when nothing threatens.

According to Thomas Aquinas, evil is merely a damaged, or imperfect good. Sex is a good, but rape is "the good that is sex" minus everything that makes it a positive (consent, love, commitment, etc). There is the basic pleasurable element that is a part of sex, but everything else that makes it a good is not present, and it becomes an evil. For example: a good boxcutter is sharp. A good plane flies. But if you use the boxcutter to take over a plane, and smash it into a building, you do not have a good, you have 9-11.

Aquinas suggested that no one loves evil, but they love the parts of it that is good, even the damaged goods that are evil actions.

One of the things that make Orcs in Lord of the Rings evil is that they seem to embrace, enjoy, and worship the evil parts of evil, and none of the goods. Just look at the ones who have more than just a name names: "the defiler," "Man-Breaker," "Flesh-Render," "Plague-Bringer," etc. These are the positives of Mordor, or pure evil that shuns anything good.

And some of the CHORFs are already there, but not too too far in. The ring leaders praised the train wreck that was the 2015 Hugos. And while some among them (those who dislike the Puppies) hated the way 2015 fell out. The out of control No Awards? The pathetic jokes, the dictatorial air, everything rubbed a lot of them the wrong way (yes, I hear rumors). 

I'm starting to wonder if Damien and Scalzi are getting to the point where they are so consumed by hate, they'd start to praise the first person who tried to put a stake into Larry Correia's heart. Because I have to ask: where does it stop? They'd like to destroy the livelihood of the Puppies. Many have gone out of their way to spam one-star reviews onto novels, so that other readers might be discouraged by them. When do they stop being content with livelihood, and when do they praise the hate they claim to despise.

At the end of the day, I do not know anyone's heart, merely my own. And what's in my heart will get me halfway to Hell (bonus points for anyone who can footnote the quote). But you must start to wonder about what drives such endless, poisonous drivel. Because, people, let's face it, THIS IS OVER A PLASTIC ROCKET. It's not worth the level of hatred that damages the immortal soul. True, Damien may not believe in such a thing, but there's enough biological data in psychoneuroimmunology (yes, it's a thing) to show that it's not healthy for the body, nevermind the afterlife. So you'd think one or the other would make these people care about how much anger they're carrying around..

[... This is what happens when I read enough John C. Wright. I start bringing out my inner Chesterton]

I came into Sad Puppies about this time last year. And I've had multiple reactions to the Puppies over the past 11-12 months. I've been angry at the racist bitching at Brad Torgersen (first rule of villainy: DON'T GO AFTER THE FAMILY). I've laughed at them. I'm occasionally mocked them, though never as much as they themselves have delved into self-parody.

But at this moment, I simply pity them. They are sad, sad people who seem to be composed of hatred and rage. Reread Wright's paragraph on people who hate like this. Imagine living like that. Yes, it is a condition that's brought upon themselves, and we can smirk and thank God we're not like the tax collector -- sorry, the Puppy Kicker -- but there should be some pity.

But I won't tell Damien to go to Hell, because Hell is not a place to wish on people -- purgatory will be quite bad enough. Were it in my power, I would try to dissuade him from making the trip. 


  1. I stumbled on the Puppies about the same time you did, about a year ago. I've been trying to figure it out ever since, and blogged my summary in several chunks last May. Objectively, I got it right. However, I smelled a subtext, which turned out to be so obvious that I didn't believe it. You may have smelled it too, as have others I've read. Like I said, it's pretty obvious:

    The Sad Puppies phenomenon has little or nothing to do with the Hugos. It's yet another proxy for the war between the progressive left and everyone who doesn't salute the progressive left, including, ever more frequently, skeptics on the center-left.

    I'm not sure there's much more to it than that.

    We're dealing with primal instincts here, things that are older than reason and perhaps older than language. They're a tribe, and the Prime Directive of any tribe is to eliminate all other tribes. (This was the Great Takeaway from the work of Jared Diamond.) The Puppies lack that eliminationist impulse and are thus not a tribe, but tribes can only see the world in terms of tribes, so anything that isn't The People is the Evil Other and must be fought to the death.

    I believe Brad Torgersen made this point somewhere along the way, and nobody took it literally. But it should be taken literally. Tribal psychology runs the machinery here, and it's a very dangerous thing. I was called a moral coward for refusing to condemn Vox Day before I even knew who the hell he was. The same crew demanded that I condemn Gamergate, and again I curled all digits in their direction but one, since I'm not a gamer and hadn't heard of that, either. My circle of friends rearranged itself radically last year.

    My best suggestion is to fork fandom. Media fans did that back in the '70s, after suffering endless insults as "fringefans," and now they outnumber traditional fandom twenty to one. How to do it I'm not sure, though I intuit that small local meetups are the next logical step after allied online communities like yours, Sarah's, Brad's, MGC, Superversive, etc. Like you, I'm not yet convinced that the Hugos are worth going to war over. I'll settle for a noisy divorce, and rebuilding from scratch. It's not like it's never been done before.

  2. "If they're so superior, why do they hate the Puppies?"

    John C. Wright has a pretty compelling theory. As you and Jeff pointed out above, the CHORFs are driven by identity-based tribalism. A core tenet of their identity is a pseudo fundamental option which dictates that everyone who shares their ideology is good, and the only ones who are good share their ideology.

    The dogma that no decent human being could disagree with them insulates True Believers from contrary arguments made by decent human beings who may challenge their preconceptions.

    Since cultural Marxism/intersectionalism/SJW-ism/what have you deviates from reality, cult leaders can't risk letting members come into contact with rational thought.

    To spare them cognitive dissonance, the SJW epistemic closure bubble requires that: 1) everyone who isn't explicitly with them is their enemy, 2) all enemies are pure evil, subhuman terrors; yet 3) all enemies are ridiculous clowns beneath their contempt.

  3. "The person who wrote that book seems vastly different..."

    There may not be any "seeming" to it. The SDL himself has hinted that there could be more than one person using the pen name Vox Day. If VD's entire output is the work of one man, he rivals Tyler Durden's ability to operate without sleep.

    What's certain is that Vox's tone and style have changed drastically since his WND days, when he penned rather orthodox libertarian columns. That this shift coincided with Patrick Nielsen Hayden's unprovoked attack on him is well documented.

    That being the case, I'm inclined to picture Vox as the SF world's equivalent of a heel wrestler. Like Andy Kaufman fighting women--if Kaufman had wrestled as Tony Clifton--it's performance art that grabs people's attention while setting them off-balance. Vox is masterful at it.

  4. Many have gone out of their way to spam one-star reviews onto novels, so that other readers might be discouraged by them. When do they stop being content with livelihood, and when do they praise the hate they claim to despise.

    I've noticed this recently and finally figured out how to express it. A conservative boycotts things by, "I will not read/go to/watch that." A liberal tries to boycott things by, "You will will not read/go to/watch that."

    It's a difference that may be hard to spot at first, but soon enough you'll see it. Like the above example.

  5. I don't think it's that hard to understand. "Space Raptor Butt Invasion" isn't the sort of work that deserves a Hugo award. I've read it, and it's poor SF and also poor erotica. The Rabid Puppies are trying to exploit a weakness in the nominating rules to get it on the ballot anyway. The only reason for anyone to try to do that is to destroy the awards entirely. It is entirely understandable that fans would despise the people who're trying to do this.

    Now you might argue that there's a difference between the Sad and the Rabid puppies, but the article above simply talks about "puppies" in general and "puppy kickers" in general. Truthfully, it is very hard to believe that there really are two groups of people. It's one group of puppies and two or three competing leaders--with Vox Day being the most popular.

    1. No, it is not the only reason. We are tired of being called white supremacists for pushing back against an insane ideology. Are you down with Scalzi's and Leckie's "cure" for heterosexuality mainstreamed straight out of insane lesbian texts? The "heterosexual matrix"? "Compulsory heterosexuality"? How nuts do you have to be to push that stuff? Are you aware radical lesbian feminist Liz Bourke's column at Tor is titled after a quote from Adrienne Rich, the crazy lesbian who is famous for her essay "Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence"? Gee, I wonder why Bourke lights up straight white males there.

      How about "white privilege"? Last time I checked, the idea of "curing" homosexuality was considered bigotry, and yet this freakish cult attacks heterosexuality as if it's some sort of obsolete abomination. Oh, dear. The gender binary. It's "compulsory"! Turrible, turrible. Marriage, family, children; blech! And white cis dudes! They're beating everyone! Beat them back noble space raptor, my love!

      Attacking people because of their race is racism. You have your own "supremacists" to deal with but you don't because you have no neutral definition of the term. Even if you were 100% correct about Vox Day, your own supremacists outnumber him an easy 100 to 1 in the SFF community, if not more. I guess the fact you only ever mention his name is too obvious for you to figure out. There is in fact such a trend, and it is on your side. We're sticking bananas up the exhaust pipe of your social justice KKK. We don't care if you like the prank or not. Adopt a neutral definition of the term "supremacist" and the Nebula nominations this year are a tar pit of anti-white racism and man-hatred. Go read the Twitter feeds and blogs of a dozen of those authors. Go look at the 30 authors edged out of the Hugo nominations last year by the Rabid Puppies. Look at their blogs and Twitter feeds too. It is the same thing: an anti-white, anti-male hate fest. Your cult despised us before there was any Puppies. Our crime? Wrong skin, wrong sex.

    2. So, lemme get this straight, Greg, you come here, you apparently overlooked that I used the phrase "Sad Puppies" multiple times so you can feign confusion. And THEN, you insist that, even if I WERE with Sad Puppies, "there's just not enough evidence" that they're two different groups of people.

      Yeah, sure. Right. Because Sad Puppies and Rabid Puppies have two TOTALLY DIFFERENT methodologies, two different sets of people running it, and different sets of lists for nominees this year, and Vox Day talking smack about Sarah Hoyt -- ONE OF THE LEADERS OF SAD PUPPIES 4, and you can't tell the difference.

      Are we to believe that you're completely brain dead stupid, or just unable to tie your shoelaces together. Screw you, buddy. Tell Steven Davidson he's still retarded.

  6. Greg - a lot of us at this point are beyond caring.

    Larry talked enough people into nominating a small handful of works, and was called such awful things in the press his wife's friends and family called to see if she was OK, living with such an abusive creep.

    Last year a bunch of stuff was nominated with authors and themes across the spectrum, and the knives came out. Brad was called a racist. BRAD. Oh, and many of the puppy crew apparently were mistaken in their sexual orientation and / or gender.

    We were told we weren't _really_ fans, despite starting reading SF as early as 5 or 6, reading for decades, participating at cons, or even being published pros in the biz.

    We were awarded Ass-terisks. Authors were shouted at by their publishers, and authors who had the unmitigated gall to write to the human condition well enough to have the wrong types of fans were called names and bad writers by their own publishers.

    So piss off. You may not like some of what we nominate, or understand that some of it is a lark and some of it is serious. You may be uncomfortable with or wish to ignore the stories of Moira Greyland, or the "Safe Space as Rape Room" series - which is CERTAINLY relevant to SF and fandom. (Always nice to know an amerindian-mexican is eeeeeeevil for being a "white nationalist" but pedophiles get a pass...)

    To borrow from the vile faceless minions....

    We don't care.

    1. This needs a like button. Blogger should get on that.

  7. When I stumbled across this cult in SF, the first thing I noticed was the odd phrases and theories used, how consistently they were shared, and who they attacked.

    They were things like "white male privilege," "sexism," "misogyny," "gendered slurs," "gender binary," "settler colonialism," "patriarchy," "cishet" (cisheteronormative), "intersectional," "genderblindness," "Bechdel Test," "white savior," "rape culture," "cisgender," "transphobic," "able-bodied neurotypical," "homophobia."

    It's obvious who's the oppressive bogey-man there and what that archetypical straight white male had done. In SFF he was accused of historic racial-sexual exclusion and even hatred, and so the cure was diversity - affirmative action.

    I had no idea what I was looking at. Such odd phrases used by so many people don't come out of nowhere. It reminded me of when I'd first started binge-reading the history of the Pacific War. Odd terms kept showing up: "Long Lance," "F-6F," "Essex-class," "Vella Lavella," "Truk," etc. What was obvious is that taken as a whole group, those terms have only one source and that is the Pacific War, 1942-5.

    I treated this like a mystery; those odd phrases were my clues. What broke it open is the same names and essays which kept popping up as inspiration when you started digging into the blogs of these people: Audre Lorde, "White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack" by Peggy McIntosh, Donna Haraway's "Cyborg Manifesto," Judith Butler, "How to Suppress Women's Writing" by Joanna Russ, etc.

    It became obvious that and the terms above have only one single source when taken as an whoe: anti-white (intersectional) lesbian feminism starting about 1969. I started reading the sourcebooks, going back to find the foundational texts, meaning before which there was nothing, as Frankenstein is considered a foundational text. The foundational text there might be Frenchwoman Monique Wittig's 1969 SF novel Les Guerilleres. I found an ideology of hate and insanity. Once you've read these texts, the reason Leckie's Ancillary Justice found so much love is obvious: it sells what Les Guerilleres is selling. if you haven't read this stuff, Leckie's novel seems innocuous. But her post defaming "white cis dudes" is a red flag, and some variation of that term as an insult as common as dirt among SFF's feminist crowd.

    It's difficult to do a synopsis of Judith Butler's French Queer Theory largely sparked by Wittig. The basic idea is heterosexuality is a fake ideology created in pre-history by men to oppress women and especially lesbians. The taboo against incest was also created by men to make women more useful in arranged marriages. The cure - as reflected in Wittig and Leckie - is to wage a war using pronouns and "genderblindness" which will undo the illusion of a heterosexual "gender binary" as the norm. That's why you see so much talk of "My pronouns are..." In short, this is a lesbian liberation back to nature movement that immediately became fused with an anti-white post-colonial "intersectional" theme in the early '70s, though that term wasn't coined until 1989. This was cherry-picked from mostly post-structuralist French intellectuals like Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, Claude Levi-Strauss and Jacques Lacan. I told you it was nuts, and it is. It is an irrational suspicion of any move a straight white male makes. it is an ideology of racial and sexual phobia. Go to the website of any major university's women and gender studies program and you will find all these names. Those programs are nothing more than hate Madrases mainstreaming hate speech as "social justice," as is the case in SFF.

  8. And right on cue, Master Feminist John Scalzi delivers Judith Butler and Monique Wittig's semantic rebellion:



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