|Courtesy of author Yakov Merkin|
Even before the Campaign to End Puppy-related Sadness was a glimmer in Larry Correia’s eye, it was an open secret among normal SFF fans and authors that World Con had entered terminal decline. If you don’t know what World Con is, you’re not alone, and if you also read science fiction, you’ve probably joined the mass exodus from NY legacy publishing to the thriving newpub scene.
By now, the comical tragedy of World Con is a story too familiar to waste the reader’s time retelling in detail. There once was a convention that gave out awards to the fandom’s favorite works. Social justice warriors took over and started giving the once-prestigious award to whoever could write the most politically correct paean to the Revolution.
Normal authors pointed out that books people actually read were routinely snubbed. The SJWs in charge launched a hysterical smear campaign against those authors and their fans, even calling in accomplices in the press. Some old school web hooligans showed up and landed a couple body blows against the freak brigade, and internal conflicts with the moderates blew up the revolt. Meanwhile, normal fans went off and founded their own award with blackjack and hookers.
The fact is, World Con had been in decline for years prior to Sad and Rabid Puppies. An unintended effect of the Puppy campaigns was to artificially inflate World Con participation. Last year’s voting data back up this observation. World Con saw a 40% drop in Hugo nominating ballots in 2017 while Dragon Award participation doubled. After that blowout, the smart bet was that World Con would continue its plunge into terminal decline.
It didn’t take the SJW lunatics running the World Con asylum long to confirm that prediction. The convention doesn’t start until mid-August, and the Mos Eisley Cantina has already erupted in an Estradiol-fueled slap fight.
In the past 24 hours, there’s been a significant online blowup surrounding the programming for Worldcon 76 and the convention’s treatment of marginalised creators, including those who are Hugo nominees. These problems have unfolded from several quarters, and while at this time of writing the con is taking steps to try and redress the problems, the damage they’ve done – and how it came to happen in the first place – merits significant discussion.
The perpetual SocJus inquisition is a defining feature of these headcases’ mental landscape. The hive prefers to swarm against external threats, but lacking outside enemies, they’re compelled to act out against each other.
Keep in mind that the problem in question is a scheduling mix-up of the sort that normal people resolve via email or a couple of phone calls. To the broken casualties of Postmodernism who define themselves by their crusade against ideological windmills, every faux pas is grounds for a significant discussion.
A related symptom of SJW-ism is the habit of conjuring a pattern of heretical behavior from unrelated or only tangentially related events. Psychologists used to call that kind of thinking paranoia before their field was converged. You see it in the archived post wherein the SJW author tries to connect the dots between a set of mixed signals regarding the dress code, an email requesting information about which cons and panels where this year’s guests had previously made appearances, and a transgression of SocJus pieties so on-the-nose that a hack satire writer would have rejected it.
Which leads us to what happened yesterday – or rather, to the many things that happened yesterday. Given the complicating factors of timezones, retweets and Twitter’s maddening decision to show tweets out of order, I can’t vouch for the exact chronology of events, but the order of each issue by bullet-point is an approximation how I saw the main events unfold, with the most salient responses to each issue included in its summary. So:
- Hugo nominee Bogi Takács reported that Worldcon was using a bio for em that misspelled eir name and changed eir pronouns to he/him, which Bogi has never used. In response, div head of programming Christine Doyle rebuked Bogi for raising the issue publicly rather than in private and falsely claimed that Worldcon hadn’t changed the bio, saying instead that they’d Googled and found it that way. This is demonstrably a lie, as typing the exact wording of the bio as written by Worldcon into Google as a quote-search produces zero results. Bogi’s partner, Rose Lemberg, then reported receiving an email apologising to Bogi, but simultaneously expressing a wish that e hadn’t complained in public; in response, Rose resigned from programming. Several hours later, con chair Kevin Roche apologised to Bogi from the official Worldcon account, but made no reference either to the email received by Lemberg or to the actions of Doyle.
Note to sane, confused readers: Those aren’t typos in the first sentence after the bullet point. They’re the sub-literate grunts by which the aggrieved author-thing wishes to be referred, the better to humiliate and dismay normal people.
Having compiled an index of errors against the hapless anesthesiologist in scheduling, the SF SJW inquisitor files the main charge.
- Hugo nominee JY Yang reported that a fellow Worldcon attendee, who later identified herself as writer Nibedita Sen, had received an email from a member of the Worldcon programming team stating that:
“Finally – and this has come up a few times – there’s a generation of amazing Hugo finalists who represent a set of voices that is exciting to nominators, but completely unfamiliar to many folks who will be attending. I can give you a concrete example of this: we have no panel explaining what #ownvoices is, and I’ve had to field multiple questions essentially asking me, ‘What is that?’ I suspect that *everyone* at Wiscon is familiar with the hashtag and its significance. I would guess maybe 20% of Worldcon 76 members know what it means.”
As this email was part of an ongoing correspondence between Sen and the programmer about the lack of #ownvoices panels and the predominance of straight white men in the programming – and as Yang had earlier reported being denied the panels they’d specifically requested and given a reading, which they’d asked not to have, instead – this was widely interpreted as an admission that the Worldcon programmers had actively denied or limited panel opportunities to marginalised writers, including some Hugo nominees, on the basis that they weren’t famous enough in the wider community. Two Hugo nominees who were initially thought to have been denied panelling were Vina Jie-Min Prasad and N.K. Jemisin; however, both clarified that they had specifically asked not to be on panels. Though Jemisin had been scheduled to give a two-hour workshop, she subsequently withdrew from programming and asked that the slot be used to showcase #ownvoices panels instead. Other writers also began to resign their programming in protest, including Charlie Jane Anders, JY Yang, Mary Robinette Kowal and Annalee Newitz.
- Commensurate with this, I noticed that Christine Doyle, div head of programming, had assigned herself multiple programming items. Though several of these were feedback meetings directly related to her role in running the convention, others were regular panel appearances. Given that unfamiliarity to congoers was directly cited in the correspondence to Nibedita Sen as a reason for keeping new voices off the programming, this struck me as base hypocrisy: Doyle is an anaesthesiologist who also does convention administration, and while that might make her an interesting speaker, it does not make her a known, recognisable figure within the SFF community. That being so, if she was capable of acknowledging that lack of notoriety didn’t impact her own ability to contribute, she has no excuse for failing to extend the same courtesy to marginalised writers whose careers, unlike her own, could be greatly impacted by a Worldcon appearance.
- Worldcon member Greg van Eekhout, who is a person of colour, reported that although his suggested panel description had been accepted and used verbatim, neither he nor any of his suggested panellists had been included as participants. It was similarly reported by Jaymee Goh that a panel originally proposed with a majority of POC as speakers had instead been given to speakers who were predominantly white.
- Hugo nominee Grace P. Fong reported that Worldcon had taken her public bio, altered it for their official use, and then paired it with a photo taken from her private Facebook page, all without asking permission.
You used to only see that kind of incontinent rambling in crank letters to the editor of Reader’s Digest. Now it’s the province of Hugo nominees. Yet these oxygen thieves knot their pierced brows when it’s mentioned that no one reads their work.
This “I demand to speak with your manager!” tantrum is a mere drop of the logorrhea splashed across social media over a BoomerLib’s inability to keep up with ever-mutating intersectionalist dogma. Don’t mourn the disappearance of Sad Puppies. Letting these Romero movie extras devour themselves is a far crueler and more amusing reprisal.
Priceless gem from the comments:
Speaking of hapless BoomerLibs, World Con chair Kevin Roche responded by breaking hatemob survival rule #1.
In response to all these issues and the conversations surrounding them, Kevin Roche issued a public apology and had all programming for the convention taken down, with the intention that the entire program would be redone. Speaking on both Facebook and Twitter, Roche said:
“I directed the Program Division to take down the preliminary program information that was released yesterday evening. There were too many errors and problems in it to leave it up.
“I am sorry we slighted and angered so many of the people we are gathering to meet, honor, and celebrate. This was a mistake, our mistake. We were trying to build a program reflecting the diversity of fandom and respectful of intersectionality. I am heartbroken that we failed so completely.
“We are tearing the program apart and starting over. It was intended to be a reflection of the cultures, passions, and experiences of Worldcon membership, with room for both new voices and old. What we released yesterday failed to do that; we must do better.
“Many of you have offered to help us do a better job. Thank you. We cannot accept all those offers, but yes, we will be turning to some of you to help us do it better this time.
“We will continue to reach out to the Hugo Finalists we have missed connections with, to ensure any who wish to be on the program will have a place on it.”
SJWs’ predictability and lack of a conscience has taught us that they view an apology as an admission that one is a reactionary guilty of opposing the Revolution. Here’s what Roche’s groveling bought him:
Right now, my personal suspicion is that Worldcon 76 has been afflicted by a combination of bigotry – some likely subconscious, some very likely not – and poor coordination, with the latter significantly enabling the impact of the former. As much as I appreciate Kevin Roche stepping in to issue apologies and redo the programming, that these actions were necessary at all speaks, at absolute best, to an administrative setup wherein the right hand didn’t know what the left was doing, and at worst, to a gross case of insincere, post-facto ass-covering.
Speaking of predictability, Meadows devotes the remainder of the post to talking about herself. Masochists and the sleep-deprived are free to read the rest at the archived link above.
The World Con SJWs’ superior effectiveness at destroying themselves has raised questions among normal SFF fans as to whether Sad Puppies was unnecessary or even detrimental. It’s hard to write off the whole campaign as a loss when you see tweets like this:
|h/t Dan Wolfgang|
Witness a third defining feature of SJWs: the total absence of any capacity for self-examination. Whether embracing SocJus makes an SJW unable to face the mirror, or vice versa, remains a chicken-or-the-egg dilemma.
Thanks in part to customer revolts like Sad and Rabid Puppies, GamerGate, and now ComicsGate, even normies are beginning to understand that SJWs are the enemies of Western civilization. We know the enemy, but they do not and cannot bring themselves to know us. They will continue self-destructing. It remains incumbent upon us to stand vigilant and limit the damage SJWs cause in their movement’s death throes.
The defenders of the West are also making great strides in building new institutions to replace the zombified husks of SJW-converged organizations. Remember to participate in the Dragon Awards. For a prime example of the essential difference between dreary Hugo-winning message fic and fun, thrilling books recognized by the larger fandom of Dragon Con, read my Dragon Award-winning adventure-horror novel Souldancer.
P.S. Perhaps the SF SJWs’ suspicions of Puppy infiltrators in the highest echelons of World Con aren’t as far-fetched as they seem.
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