Long ago, back before the Sad Puppies, the Christians were held to be the uncool moral police. We were meant to be afraid of Christians, because they spend all their time judging and blaming people for just wanting to have fun.
“Fun,” of course, means doing drugs, drinking, experimenting with paganism, abandoning church, and having open relationships. Fun of this sort is meant to prove our open-mindedness, which means, inexplicably, that all open-minded people believe exactly the same set of things.
These days, their “fun” is orthodoxy, and dissent is punished.
What of the fans who don’t like drugs and love being married to one person and even go to church? The truth is we gather in packed, small rooms at cons, having Christian services, too afraid to admit in public that we were there. All we can do is quietly acknowledge other believers in public, not openly speaking of where we saw each other, lest we draw the ire of the cool contingent.
Of course, these days we’ve seen the bad consequences of the fun we are supposed to have.
I am the daughter of famous lesbian author and feminist Marion Zimmer Bradley, and famous disgraced author and numismatist Walter Breen. Where they had a whole lot of the kind of fun I speak of, they also had a lot of the kind of fun that should have gotten both of them jailed: the kind which drags minors into all that adult stuff. Instead, because of my police report, my father went to prison over an eleven year old boy, one of his many victims. She got away with her own crimes, but that is another story.
The upshot is this: to get adults to consent to this kind of fun, they usually have to be dragged into it as minors, before they learn to think for themselves. Once we are brainwashed and peer-pressured into believing that promiscuity, illegal substances and dopey false religions are cool, then they find us to be much more willing victims. The false religions confer undeserved authority on any number of would-be “high priests” and “high priestesses.” This means they have access to sexual partners among the minors, because adults are less easily impressed. Drugs also serve to lower inhibitions.
Brainwashing against Christianity is implicit in a number of popular books, and they can be used to lower emotional boundaries. My own parents thought “Stranger In A Strange Land” was practically an instruction manual for life, and used it to convince others to soften their boundaries.
Once a young fan is turned, he or she might stay turned. Sometimes we escape, though. This puts us in the amusing position of being “instructed” in life by people who are less happy than we are. After all, how happy is an old pervert? How about an old alcoholic? And yet at this point, fandom has a significant population of old hippies, old perverts, old druggies, in the ironic position of chiding the younger fans for having the “wrong” opinions.
Long ago, they told us to have open minds, and they used our youth and innocence against us while they took what they wanted. Now all they can do is shake their fat fingers and nod disapprovingly while the Sad Puppies ask for more good stories instead of endless “representation,” and even want superheroes to know the difference between right and wrong.
Apparently, open mindedness only goes one way.
I was nominated for a Hugo when I went public with “The Story Of Moira Greyland” back in 2016. My blog post was hidden from the Hugo packet sent out to all voters, and called NSFW even though it had nothing resembling obscenity in it. Even so, I received the second highest number of actual votes. However, despite my many votes, the entire category of “Best Related Work” was No Awarded, because the hidebound old hippies currently running SFWA could not endure the thought of an expose of Marion Zimmer Bradley showing the seamy underbelly of fandom.
Another entry in the Hugos that year was “Safe Space as Rape Room” by Daniel Eness, which was a larger-scale expose of pedophilia in fandom. Rather than the normal response of horror at the indicated crimes against children, GRRM called the whole category a “toxic swamp” as though there was something wrong with those of us who called out the criminals among us.
I’m glad I didn’t go to the Hugos that year. I was called a “bigot” on the stage of the Hugos at Worldcon that year, because allowing my work to stand would make it clear that pedophilia was wrong, a moral absolute too uncomfortable to the crowd who had either been corrupted by fandom, or who still intended to corrupt others.
Connecting those dots made it clear that there was something rotten in Denmark, as the opening to Hamlet might say, and that would be unbearable to the established libertines who have sat upon their sticky fannish thrones for decades. Better throw me to the wolves than admit that there is a moral problem in fandom.
No, we the younger generation must be silenced and chided, “taught” that we are wrong to have a moral compass, to object to crime, and even to seek excellence in fiction, rather than valuing sexuality over storytelling. It is no longer the Christians who moralize.
We are the new targets of the establishment.
Moira Greyland is the author of The Last Closet as well as a musician, teacher, and singer.