Let’s imagine an award. Not a science fiction award – the award for best chef. Sounds fairly apolitical, right? It’s voted on by sous chefs. In our hypothetical world sous chefs are a relatively new phenomenon, and so it doesn’t take a whole lot for a representative vote.
Let’s imagine that in the early years of the award, winners generally match up with merit, and are voted on by a representative number of sous chefs. The winners are all fine chefs.
Now let’s imagine that, suddenly, a show comes out: World’s Best Chef. The World’s Best Chef show is a major hit. Suddenly, the profession of chef explodes in popularity, and hundreds of thousands of people, even millions, become sous chefs who had previously never even heard of the profession.
The World’s Best Chef Award lives on, but a curious thing happens: The number of voters doesn’t rise. Despite there being millions more potential voters, there are still only a few thousand who vote for the award of Best Chef, and as a result the same people are winning each year. Not only that, but all the winners happen to be republicans. And yet, despite this, the World’s Best Chef Award still claims that it represents the World’s Best Chef.
Let’s imagine a sous chef sees what’s going on and gets frustrated, as he remembers when the Award meant something. He suspects some political bias going on. To test this, he organizes a campaign to get a group of nominees in for World’s Best Chef that normally would not get on the ballot – many, but not all of them, are democrats. His goal is to force that core group of people to take these new guys seriously and start considering Chefs and food styles they previously never would have. As a joke he calls his new campaign the Unhappy Kitties.
Now let’s imagine a second group, run by a similarly frustrated sous chef, but more jaded. He believes the Award has gotten so insular that the in-group that has been dominating it for so many years will refuse to let any newcomers win the award. He decides that the award cannot be saved, and instead of having the goal of getting normally unnoticed writers a chance to win, he has the goal of destroying the awards entirely, and attempts to be as inflammatory as possible in the hope that the insular group will sabotage themselves and vote No Award above his group of nominees, spoiling the award for everybody. He calls his group the Kitties Infected by a Dangerous Illness.
During the Awards, the insular group decides it would be better to have no award than to have one of the Kitty Groups win, and votes no award, confirming the suspicions of both Kitty groups that voting is based at least partially on political grounds.
And I trust that all of you will be able to make the proper substitutions and see how this all connects to the Sad and Rabid Puppies.