Speech and Punishment

After reading Dave Freer’s piece, it seemed like today would be a good day to compose my own thoughts in kind. Not because the Charlie Hebdo massacre is singularly horrific, but because the massacre has peeled back (once again) the tinfoil wrapper on a notion I find particularly pernicious: that the artists and writers who died in the Charlie Hedbo office should have known better than to offend Muslims. Incite them. Cause them to get angry. Angry enough to kill. Which is a lot like saying, “You’re free to speak, but you’re not free from consequences!” Doubtless you’ve read or heard some variation on that one too? From people eager to see artists, writers, pundits, and speakers punished professionally for any number of politically correct sins?

Consider the case of Orson Scott Card, who is now the #1 supervillain in a bizarro world comic book called: GAY SUPER JUSTICE WARRIORS. Card’s been kicked off projects for expressing his beliefs. The companies who’ve hired (and then fired) Card, were bowing to pressure from protesters. The activists smugly tell us Card deserves it, because Card is a homophobe. Which is apparently worse than anything imaginable. So bad, that Card’s participation in the marketplace — as a creator — must be challenged. He must be shut out. Blacklisted. Made to economically suffer for his WRONG WRONG WRONG thoughts, which he wrongly believed he could commit to paper.

I mean, Card should have known better!

Consider the (in)famous Ayaan Hirsi Ali, notorious firebrand and critic of dangerous religious dogmatism; specifically, Islamist jihadist dogmatism. She’s had speaking engagements at colleges cancelled (by the colleges themselves) after complaints and protests against her were lodged. As with Card, or perhaps I should say, ironically also like Card, Ayaan Hirsi Ali is accused of being a “phobe.” (Remember: “phobe” is the worst thing ever!) In her case, it’s Islamophobia, which would seem to be code for, “Astute analysis which dares to call the death cult of Islamist jihadism a death cult.” (And if you need to figure out what makes “Islam” and “Islamism” two different things, I refer you here.)

Ayaan Hirsi Ali should have known better!

Freedom of speech really is the most difficult freedom to live with, because we keep finding ways to screw it up. If we’re not banning dirty words, we’re banning porn. If we’re not banning porn, we’re banning religious symbols and the ten commandments. If we’re not banning the ten commandments, we’re banning ist words filled with ism on our college campuses. We kick writers and artists off jobs. We had the Red Scare and McCarthyism. Actors and directors in Hollywood were put out of work for supposedly being commies. Sometimes, they were out of work for decades. It financially and professionally ruined them. We now enjoy the Politically Correct scare and Social Justice Warriors. Again, we see pressure to put people out of work. Ruin them professionally. Or worse. We see excuse-making for events like Charlie Hebdo: they should have known better!

So here’s my contention: you cannot have “safe” speech at the same time you have free speech. You cannot punish a writer or an artist or an intellectual content creator of any stripe, for any reason, without basically admitting that you’re willing to make things unsafe for people you disagree with, in an effort to protect and coddle your own side of the argument. Which means you’re not really in favor of the freedom to speak. You are in favor of your freedom to dispense your thoughts and ideas, just as long as people you don’t like (or who create things that make you angry) don’t get to have the same right.

Because your enemies in the markeptlace of ideas should know better!

Well, actually, nobody should have to “know better” in a society that pretends to prize liberty.

Let me explain.

If you as an individual consumer want to stop financially contributing to somebody who creates products you might otherwise buy, except you think the producer is (insert badness here), that’s your right as the consumer. You must follow your conscience.

But if you as an individual consumer think you have the right to stop other people from buying those same products from that same producer, because you think the producer is (insert badness here), you’re crossing an unfortunate line. And I think you need to strongly reconsider your actions and objectives accordingly.

Ditto for mobbing companies or newspapers or magazines, demanding that Employee X be terminated for (insert badness here.) Again, ditto for waging ideological war on campuses, getting speaking engagements cancelled because the speaker is guilty of (insert badness here.)

And it shouldn’t even be necessary to talk about how no civilized human being should believe (s)he has the right to take another human life, simply because the person you have killed (or wish to kill) has ideas you consider off-limits. Wrong. Offensive. Blasphemous. No matter if they put those ideas down on paper (even if it’s digital paper) you, as a civilized human being, are robust enough to withstand whatever it is you find offensive, or even terrible.

Because trying to silence others — ban them, kick them off jobs, get them cancelled or fired or even killed — is an admission of intellectual and moral cowardice.

I will say this again, so there’s no mistaking my statement: banning people from work, kicking them off jobs, or out of magazines and papers, or even inciting or seeking their deaths, is cowardice. It is an admission that you believe your ideas are too fragile to stand on their own in a raucous, polyglot environment. That you believe you have the moral right to decide for others what they can and cannot see, or hear, or buy.

I find it more than a little sad that the ideological children of men and women who battled “right wing” oppression of free speech in the 20th century, now actively and with clean consciences, seek to enforce a decidedly left wing version of same. Because the world must be kept “safe” from ist and ism. The definitions of which have been made so absurdly broad, they can be applied to practically anything or anyone, at any time, for any reason. Just make the shit up. It’s all good. Safety demands action. The badthinkers must be brought down!

Only, you’d best be careful. History has shown us time and again that the treadmill of “corrective action” ultimately eats its own. The agitator yelling for “safing” today, is the victim who will be “safed” into silence tomorrow. Because no matter who you are, there is always somebody who’s going to be pissed off at you for something. Regardless of whether or not you think you’re on the “right” side or you have the “correct” ideas about things. If you open the door for yourself, and give yourself permission to silence others, you will in turn be silenced. And if not you, your friends, your co-workers, your family, etc. Sooner or later, that snake’s going to come back and bite you. And it’s a venomous little son-of-a-bitch.

So please, let’s dispense with any talk about how Charlie Hebdo should have known better. It doesn’t matter if that publication was crude or caustic or deliberately antagonistic. Liberty demands that people be free to be rude or caustic or deliberately antagonistic. Satire (poking fun) is a big piece of the bedrock of Western Enlightenment. You couldn’t do satire behind the Iron Curtain, otherwise the NKVD or KGB or any other dozen “secret” police forces would round you up and shoot you, send your children to the gulag, march your spouse off to be “re-educated” on a rack in some dim-bulb dungeon. Here in the United States, you can make fun of the President six ways from Thursday, and nobody can do anything to you about it. Hell, you can turn your entire stand-up comic routine into a free-for-all political bash session, and you will make good money at it!

Satire in Iran? Satire in North Korea, or China, or Cuba? Dangerous stuff, that. Best be careful. Or brave. The two seem mutually exclusive, when it comes to the arena of thought.

So think twice, oh ye of the Western Enlightenment legacy, before you excuse the slaughter of “Islamophobe” cartoonists. Before you decide Orson Scott Card should be driven out of work. Before you write a nasty e-mail to your college demanding that Ayaan Hirsi Ali be cancelled. It takes guts and maturity to admit that you’re big enough to take it. To take seeing your sacred cows questioned. Perhaps even slaughtered? They’re your cows, after all. Not somebody else’s. And you’ve got every right to return the favor. Which may not be nice. It may not even be good manners. But it is a core component of liberty.

We either embrace and defend that freedom. Or we’re cowards.

We either defend and uphold each others’ right to be “offensive,” or we deserve to live in shackles.

Simple choice, folks. Simple.

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49 thoughts on “Speech and Punishment

  1. Yes, we SHOULD have known better. We should have known better that to allow the proverbial camel’s nose into the tent. We should have known better than to accommodate even the TINIEST bit to Islamic demands to conform to THEIR sensibilities. Or to accommodate Honor Killings, or Female Circumcision.

    And it’s become a series of cancers within the West. Well, we know how to treat Cancer. Best to cut it out of our societies, before we’re forced to use, shall we say, Chemo or Radiation Therapy.

    Assuming they don’t beat us to it. . .

  2. I disagree only to this extent: there is no place for hate speech in a literary community. I’m not talking about satire, fiction or the occasional opinion or insult. I’m talking about persistent, weekly, sometimes daily sociopathic and obsessive group libel, harassment and defamation accompanied by formal demonization theories about Jews, Arabs, women, men, whites, heterosexuals, homosexuals, Latinos, blacks and Asians. The truth there is we all know who’s taking it on the chin.

    These people actually wanted to nominate the most racist blogger in SFF history for a Hugo and eventually did nominate her for a John W. Campbell. The difference between her and who won the following year is nominal: it is the same daily outpouring of racist hate speech on Twitter.

    These people lie about history and our literary ancestors as racists and homophobic women-haters as often as they breathe. The number of ideologically driven bigots who won Nebulas last year alone outnumbers any evidence of a like-minded ideology of hate from 1912 to 1970, the years social justice warriors love to target with lies about colonialism, racism and black-balling.

    Delegitimizing people who engage in such speech benefits no political party or religion, no race or sex or sexual expression. The obsessive hate speech of SFF’s social justice warriors is a disgrace. They openly collude to not read books according to sex and race and similarly advocate the same way. They have surely discriminated based on race and sex and openly crow about it. Hate speech institutionalized and mainstreamed into pop culture as a norm eventually kills – there is no doubt in my mind about that. There is no doubt in my mind these are the people who got two Brooklyn cops killed. They are the rank and file that tells the Charlie Hebdo assassins they have apologists who aren’t even Muslims and who will have their back with Al-Jazeera internal emails about how to spin those murders by an amazing coincidence followed to the letter by an anti-white Hugo and Nebula nominee in the N.Y. Times.

    When did SFF become so insanely obsessed with this? I’ll tell you when: when anti-white racists and anti-male gender feminists started whining about oppressions and marginalization and we listened. Look what that has wrought.

    I am tired of these people advertising PoC poetry readings and queer anthologies and then demonizing people for an accidental male book display and a photograph with a lot of white people. They’ve got to be marginalized right back into whatever swamp they crawled out of. In principle they are no different than Stormfront, neo-Nazis or the KKK. The SFF community survived for decades without the last 3 to 4 years of this and I’m sure it’ll do just fine without our social justice warriors.

  3. “I find it more than a little sad that the ideological children of men and women who battled “right wing” oppression of free speech in the 20th century, now actively and with clean consciences, seek to enforce a decidedly left wing version of same.”

    Well, ironies don’t end there. Charlie Hebdo is a staunchly left-wing magazine, so the ideological children of people who battled right wing oppression of free speech (as you put it) are actually doing the exact same thing to exact same people. It seems to me that a portion of the American left has just lost it. American notions of political correctness are obviously very far from those of the French culture, and I guess it’s quite hard to place the CH caricatures in a meaningful context.

    The thing I don’t get is what the Charlie Hebdo murders have to do with Orson Scott Card. Shooting people because of your beliefs is not alright. Boycotting people because of your beliefs is fine by me (even if it’s probably not a very clever thing to do). In a free society, why shouldn’t you be able to do that? On the other hand, your blog post was about everyone’s right to do the unclever thing if they wish. On the other hand, you seem to suggest the contrary.

  4. A personal boycott is A-OK with me. I draw the line, though, at trying to rally a group or a mob in order to bully a company into firing somebody. Card was fired from a fairly publicized comics gig he was due to script, because activists wanted Card punished for his beliefs. Similar to the way McCarthyism got actors and directors blacklisted. I think the moment you decide someone ought to not be able to work — and you’re willing to inflict yourself, by trying to or successfully getting someone fired — simply because you don’t like what they say or how they think . . . that’s a bridge too far.

  5. Cpt. Carnage, there is nothing wrong with you boycotting a book or product. What is wrong IMO is INTIMIDATING OTHERS TO MAKE THEM CO-OPERATE. Which was the intent with the Charlie Hedbo attacks, and, as I believe Brad correctly points out with Orson Scott Card. It’s not just about punishing the cartoonists or Card. That’s a minor benefit to them. It’s about providing a grim example to anyone who might dare to follow the same path, and of course, silencing that particular voice. That’s really the core of terrorism. Not quid pro quo, but inspiring fear to generate co-operation.

  6. Give me a thousand people speaking different tongues, worshiping different gods, and dreaming different dreams, and I will make of them a greater nation than you can make with ten thousand of your genengineered duplicates.
    For mine will have the spark of greatness in them, while yours will live for conformity, worship mediocrity, and take their carefully modulated delight in predigested dreams.

  7. I’ve been trying not to enter this fray all day, but this line finally called me: A personal boycott is A-OK with me. I draw the line, though, at trying to rally a group or a mob in order to bully a company into firing somebody.

    Here’s why I don’t like that thought. What difference does it make if *I* walk into a CEO’s office and say “I’m not going to buy X because of Y” and *you and I* walk into the same office and say the same thing? In both cases, the people making the statement are merely exercising their free speech rights. The only difference is in one case its an individual, in another it’s a group.

    In either case, the company can decide to fire or not fire the person in question. In either case, the safety of the person in question is not being challenged.

    What you’re demanding here isn’t free speech, it’s privileged speech. You’re asking that we have to quietly sit and listen to any person who speaks on any subject. Now, don’t get me wrong – that would be polite, and I have personal issues with several of the examples in the original post. But I don’t see any problem with people organizing to peacefully protest against the speech of another. Neither did the authors of the Constitution when they talk of “peaceably petition for redress of grievances.”

  8. When I read “personal boycott” I understood it to mean “I won’t buy this product”, not “I’m telling people I won’t buy this product”.

    And Brad was not “asking that we have to quietly sit and listen to any person who speaks on any subject”. Listen and engage, or ignore; but don’t heckle and certainly don’t try to drown out the speech with tambourines.

  9. “It is an admission that you believe your ideas are too fragile to stand on their own in a raucous, polyglot environment.”

    This is a touchstone principle of the defense of free speech, and one I agree with, but it may be worth pointing out why it doesn’t gain traction with certain stripes of thought, such as strains of Islamic theology and the inheritors of behaviourist or materialist psychology beliefs. Put simply, the belief is not that the ideas themselves are too fragile to stand, but that the ground they stand in — the minds of the people you want to accept and uphold your ideas — is too thin and dusty for them to take root and thrive without encouragement, protection, and (sometimes) culling.

    Whether attributed to inherent sinfulness (cf. Islam, and some strains of Christianity) or to inherent psychological vulnerability to mental conditioning and habituation (behaviourism), the basic belief is that human minds in general, contra Aristotle and the Western tradition, will not automatically perceive and accept Truth when offered the chance; that in the so-called “free marketplace of ideas”, the idea that will propagate most successfully is not the self-evidently truest, but the most cunningly advertised, or the most loudly shouted, or the earliest exposed and longest repeated, or the one that best exploits the audience’s weaknesses, urges and egos. No idea, however true, is sturdy enough to stand on its own if there are too many tempting lies competing with it for the attention of an audience made up of chuckleheads, boors and bullies. Advocating for “the free exchange of ideas” in this context may well seem like advocating for the free exchange of viruses and bacteria among those with compromised immune systems; when one censors, one is not quelling a debate, one is only excluding self-evidently “bad” data from that debate to “keep it honest”.

    I don’t believe this position myself, but I have always understood how it can seem immensely plausible to people coming out of certain environments and experiences. The problem with arguing for free speech these days is that too many people like the short-term benefits of censoring very specific opinions, and not enough people appreciate the long-term costs.

  10. Chris Gerrib what part of the word ‘bully’ do you not understand? That’s not “peaceably petition for redress of grievances.” That’s not organizing a peaceful protest. That’s what the Charlie Hedbo terrorism was all about: using means which cannot be described as a ‘peaceful petition’. Neither can the performance that the ‘Sad Puppies’ encountered last year: relentless harassment, false and damaging accusations, vicious labeling as abusive, racist, sexist or homophobic without any substance or appeal, to even people only marginally associated with it, threats to their careers (which are a lot more fragile than the protected darlings) and attacks on the reputations and families of not only participants, but anyone who dared gainsay the incredible bile. That’s a mob, and mostly conveniently anonymous. I got just a little of it, Brad and Larry a great deal more. And then as conveniently revealed by the antics of ‘Winterfox/Requires Hate’ there is the secret pressure too. The orchestration of protest on command, the private pressure brought to bear on editors and organizations. That is what Card faced. That is, these days, the hallmark and SOP of the American left – and Islamic terrorists, who learned it from the communist terror campaigns, who learned it from the fascist ones before. I object to these tactics. Not just from those sources, but regardless. You should too, because the worm is turning, and today’s beneficiaries and perpetrators will find the same tactics used against them.

  11. Although I do want to clarify: individual choice and boycott is fine. Even if you and your friends get a club together and mutually boycott. But when you use threats and intimidation (of any stripe) to try to make a business capitulate to your wishes (“Do what we want, or you will be sorry!”) then I think things have gone too far. I don’t want people deciding for me what I can and cannot read, hear, or enjoy, purely because they are offended by the creator of what I might read, hear, or enjoy. When you try to punish a writer or an artist or a speaker economically, for being “wrong” about a thing, you’re not only making this determination for yourself, but for everyone who might miss out. Because you’ve scared the writer/artist away. Or made it difficult or impossible for that writer/artist to publish.

  12. Today I read Scalzi’s Hebdo piece and also the Hayden’s Making Light and all the comments. Every time I think they’ve gone beyond stupid this cult goes one step further.

    I would almost literally have to annotate every sentence in that funny farm in order to fisk those two alone. This is a cult of educated adults that is literally incapable of making simple comparisons. Every time they reach for an analogy, metaphor or comparison they fall off a cliff. There could be (and is) 20,000 Islamic terrorist attacks and the cult of racial radfem will drag out the Ugandan Christian warlord on cue like a diseased old prostitute, or Anders Breivik. It doesn’t matter what actual events take place or that 1,000 is greater than one, the PC will take the Mike Brown shooter and place him within a nation-wide ideology of white assassins while taking the C. Hebdo shooters and divorce them from a global ideology. Morally insane is my new favorite phrase for these people.

    In the same way some believe Islam should be quarantined from the West, so should any SFF writer with any brains quarantine themselves from the core SFF community. They are so far beyond gone they are beyond talking to.

    The top 100 in SFF at Amazon is routinely devoid of a single name from that hateful group of retards and many really good SF writers are doing just fine without engaging the PC in the least way. Not boycott – wholesale quarantine. The white, male and West-hating gender feminist cult is an infestation, not a few bad apples. I’m not surprised how much they apologize for Islam seeing as how they so much resemble Islam’s rank and file “moderates” which supply the hate speech which discriminates against the non-radfem and even gets cops shot. I often wonder what a psychologist would make of our social justice warriors passive aggressive sociopathic Twitter feeds and blogs.

  13. Without even reading the Nielsen-Hayden blog, or Scalzi’s blog, I think I can predict two things.

    One, they explicitly went out of their way to differentiate “terrorists” from “all Muslims.” Two, they dragged out some lame example of “Christian terrorism” to illustrate (naturally) that other religious people are just as dangerous/evil/bad as Muslims. But wait, no, Christians are worse than Muslims when you really think about it, because Muslims are entirely peaceful (except for when they’re not) and it’s all our fault anyway for being overreactive buffoons who always make the Muslims angry with us. Because Americans are a bunch of crude, ignorant dolts. Blah blah blah.

    Am I right?

  14. You’re right. It’s more or less a version of the Muslim Brotherhood refrain: Feminism is the answer and Audre Lorde is my Prophet. Race and sex is their 2 commandments; all right and wrong flows from that. Quarantine – quarantine the lot of them.

    And as far as the Hugos go, my recommendation is to petition WorldCon to change the name of the Hugos to the Butlers. The PC despise everything Gernsback stood for. They adore everything Octavia Butler stands for. She is the SF Audre Lorde. Calling it the Butlers would be a far more honest reflection of what SFF artistry means to this bunch: race and sex. I’d sign such a petition in a minute. It’d be funny to see the SJW reaction. They’d have to oppose it on principle, except they have no principles. Both the Hugos and Nebulas are the Tiptrees in all but name; time for a change. I’d love to see a situation where worshipers of the one true cross Butler would be put in a position to oppose such a petition. Their heads would fall off in confusion defending the racist supremacist colonialist purveyor of sexism and homophobia, Hugo Gernsback. We should dig up all the racist comments by Gernsback we can find and Tweet them daily. I’ve already privately re-named the Hugo and Nebula Stormfront Big Sister and Little Sister and WorldCon the SFF White Privilege Conference.

  15. davefreer: Cpt. Carnage, there is nothing wrong with you boycotting a book or product. What is wrong IMO is INTIMIDATING OTHERS TO MAKE THEM CO-OPERATE. Which was the intent with the Charlie Hedbo attacks, and, as I believe Brad correctly points out with Orson Scott Card.

    Intimidation is not nice, of course, but where do you and Brad draw the line between, say, “intimidating DC to drop Card off Superman” and “telling publicly why you won’t be reading Superman written by Card”. I’m not sure that a line exists, really.

    Some comics fans said they don’t like a person with Card’s set of beliefs to write Superman. Some comics stores said they don’t want to sell Superman written by Card. Is your point that either the fans or the companies didn’t have the right to say those things and do those decisions?

    I would certainly object to somebody doing a petition against Card (or anybody else) writing anything at all (which would be the same as the Hollywood blacklists of the McCarthy era), but this isn’t the same thing. This is about one single comic. Personally, I don’t care, though. I don’t want to read either Superman or Card.

  16. Yeah, noooot a huge fan of the folks who are trying to argue that Charlie Hebdo had it coming. Because I’ve seen this show before, and it’s no better as a rerun than it was the first time it aired.

    Like most pupating geeks, I was bullied in school. The actual bullies — the people who said cruel things to you, kicked you, slapped you upside the head, stepped on your feet, threw your belongings in the creek, and outright picked fistfights with you — were bad enough, trying to get you to shut up and accept whatever punishment they thought you deserved.

    But the real worms — the people you truly couldn’t stand — were the “innocent bystanders,” the ones pointing and laughing nervously at you, or any other poor schlub the bully had decided to target. The ones who, out of fear and craven cowardice, chose to passively align with the bullies, knowing that if they stood up for the victim they were only making themselves potential targets. Even though there were always more bystanders than there were bullies, the bystanders were always effectively cowed by a display of brute force. And they probably always will be — because, like all cowards, their high-minded ideals go right down the toilet the minute they think they might be in any kind of physical danger.

    Militant Islamists are murderous bullies. Like most bullies, they can only be cowed by a) brute force and b) the uprising of massive crowds against them. The folks who refuse to rise against the Islamist kookbars, claiming that “Charlie had it coming,” have precisely the same mindset as the loathsome folks who murmur, “He wouldn’t slap her around so much if she didn’t insist on provoking him,” or “Well, of COURSE she was assaulted… didn’t you see what she was wearing?” It’s all apologetics for bullying, pure and simple, folks; at least have the fortitude to own up to it.

  17. “Intimidation is not nice, of course, but where (does one) draw the line between, say, “intimidating DC to drop Card off Superman” and “telling publicly why you won’t be reading Superman written by Card”. I’m not sure that a line exists, really.”

    I may be wrong, but I am not sure that was what was meant here: I would guess that the thing being objected to is not simply stating “I will not buy product X if Y is still true” to a creator or publisher, which is as you say anyone’s prerogative, but against other consumers who have not yet joined the boycott, or other creators who may not now be doing the same objectionable thing but might in future. It’s not just about getting Card fired, it’s about discouraging everybody from hiring anyone with opinions like Card’s ever again, and about ensuring that fans who might like Card’s writing enough not to care about his sociopolitical opinions are made to feel too guilty, or fearful of expulsion from their circles of friendship, to speak up for him.

    In Randall Munroe’s famous XKCD strip about free speech he calls this “showing (someone) the door”. What that strip overlooks is that the door-showing can be sincere and spontaneous, or organized and politicized, and there is a difference between the two.

  18. Dave Freer – there were no “false and damaging accusations.” Vox Day is a racist who thinks blacks and whites should be separated and a sexist who thinks women should not be allowed to vote. These are things he said on his blog and which I read. Larry Corriea launched vicious attacks on his blog against Jim C. Hines and others, as well as put Vox Day on the ballot for no other reason than to piss people off. As far as Card, when he screams on his blog that “gay marriage is the death of America” and suggests that Obama is arming street thugs (both stated on his blog); well, people might think he’s got a real problem with gays and blacks.

    Brad – “Do what we want, or you will be sorry” – no; what was said was “we’re not going to buy stuff from you.”

    Stephen J: – What that strip overlooks is that the door-showing can be sincere and spontaneous, or organized and politicized, and there is a difference between the two. Actually, no, there is no difference between the two. You just don’t like politics and organizations when they are not your own.

  19. Brad, I can’t help but note that Daniel Pipes talked about the loyalty that Muslims have for their religion without mentioning the _death sentence_ that apostate Muslims are automatically under.

    That kind of dishonesty makes his article worthless as a source of education.

  20. Albert: Pipes is usually a very astute and critical analyst, where Islam is concerned. I am a bit mystified as to why you would declare an entire article worthless, merely because of an omission. The death sentence is only one part of Islam’s problematic integration with the liberal West. Not every Muslim observes it. But enough do (in certain areas of the world) to make it a real factor. Ayaan Hirsi Ali knows this too well. She’s got a bullseye on her head.

  21. “Actually, no, there is no difference between the two. You just don’t like politics and organizations when they are not your own.”

    Nobody does, but that’s not the point. The point is, there can be more factors pressuring someone into boycotts than mere personal agreement with the criticism of the target, such as threats of being ostracized in turn, and the intimidation effect on potential future targets is just as real and desired an effect as the financial penalty against the current active target. There is nothing illegal about this tactic, but where such pressure exists and is deliberately organized for, it is dishonest to claim that it represents “nothing more” than “sincere refusal to reward”.

    Let me put it to you this way: If we are both members of a club, and I do something that somebody finds offensive, is there really no difference between situation (a) I seriously offended most people and everybody agreed on their own hook that I should be expelled, and situation (b) I only seriously offended a few people, but they manipulate or browbeat everybody else into agreeing with them, or at least not opposing them, and thus get me expelled? I see a difference between the two, and I personally would not resort to the latter even if it was me who was offended.

  22. Stephen J: your option “B” is a “when did you stop beating your wife” question. There is no “browbeating” or “manipulating” going on here. There are people stating why they oppose a certain individual (for good or ill) and advocating a course of action. In other words, everybody involved is a fully-competent adult and can decide for themselves what course of action to take. You will hear the loudest voices, because they are loud, but the only power those voices have is the same power you and I do – to persuade.

  23. Gerrib, there are an entire range of people you ally yourself with who have done the exact same thing. Jaymee Goh, K. Tempest Bradford and WisCon all believe whites and non-whites should be separated and have formally instituted a segregated space at their convention as well as an informal off-campus dinner for non-whites only. What about that do you not understand?

    What is there about the endless array of anthologies, VONA workshops, Carl Brandon initiatives, symposiums, black SF societies, list of editors and writers and more that are non-whites only do you not understand?

    What is there about intersectionalism that has been promoted by John Scalzi, N.K. Jemisin and Damien Walter do you not understand? Do you not realize what that is? Do you not realize it is nothing but ’70s gay gender feminism with race added on 25 years ago? Do you not realize its heroes such as Simone de Beauvoir, Monique Wittig, Andrea Dworkin, Audre Lorde, and Charlotte Bunch openly call of the destruction of heterosexuality and the nuclear family in exactly those words? Do you have any idea of who Audre Lorde even is or what she is doing on John Scalzi’s website and in the PDF on intersectionality he asked us to “bone up” on? Do you have any neutral definition of supremacy, bigotry and racism at all, or is it locked into straight white male forever no matter what actions, words and events your racist allies engage in?

    I am not moved by your views. That is because they are ignorant and false. This is not a question of supporting Day and Card but of why you see the non-stop group defamations that are far more numerous on your side so differently. You have your homework cut out for you. You have no business commenting on subjects you have so clearly not researched or thought out. The comments about Islam from your side of the table are so ignorant they defy belief. I don’t understand your eagerness to comment on things you know nothing about.

    At what point do you actually read something? At what point do you read Judith Butler’s Gender Trouble. I have. At what point do you read Sayyid Qutb’s Milestones. I have. At what point do you read Jacqueline Rhodes’ Radical Feminism, Writing, and Critical Agency: From Manifesto to Modem, I have. At what point do you read Audre Lorde’s seminal “The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House, I have. At what point do you read Susan Brownmillers’ Against Our Will, Andrea Dworkin’s Woman-Hatred, The Mamluk Sultans of Egypt, The Trans-Saharan Slave Trade, Sudanese slavery and then talk to actual Sudanese. Kate Millet’s Sexual Politics, Daphne Patai’s Heterophobia and the Orwell Mystique. At what point do you actually talk about stuff you fucking know about rather than passing off a keyboard and internet as a see-all, know-all? At what point do you actually go to Al-Ahzar like I have, or The Blue Mosque? At what point do you actually talk to members of the Muslim Brotherhood, Coptic Christians, gay Egyptians. I have.

    Please go educate yourself before you make ignorant comments about “vicious attacks.”

  24. Are you alternating between James May and Fail Burton in an effort to lend more weight to your arguments or something?

  25. (laugh) Chris Gerrib, ” there were no “false and damaging accusations.”
    Thank you for telling me that. Who should I believe? You or my own lying eyes? Yes, I got them too (and my thoughtcrime was not screaming condemnation of a ‘eeeevil people’ and also pointing out that it was statistically vastly improbable (billions to 1 chances) the Hugo awards were free of any political bias.) I’m sure Brad did. I know Larry did, including some truly bizarre and disgusting ones which had people ‘phone his wife to ask if she was safe. But that was Okay because we asked for it? We shouldn’t have dressed like that, been in that neighborhood or associating with those people, eh Chris. Ah yes. I recall long spiel from you where you proved you were either completely unable to grasp elementary mathematics, or so deep in denial as to be inspecting the mud on the bottom of that famous river. Not much, it seems, has changed.

    For the playbook of the behavior we’ve been subjected to google Laura Mixon and Requires Hate/winterfox. (Yes, she/he attacked me too). The objection Mixon et al raise to the behavior that most of their ‘enemies’ (ie. anyone who disagrees in the slightest with them) have been subjected to, was not that it was vile, but that this woman/man dared to do it to left-wingers too. It’s worth noting that we still don’t know who this individual was – the Benjenun name was also a creation (so she’s still there), and she/he was a role model for the behavior of the establishment sf community. The point, for me anyway, is not that that sort of behavior is bad when aimed at a certain target. It’s just bad.

    Brad – in the mutual admiration society ;-/ I thought you made so many points I would have liked to, so much more eruditely than I could.

    Stephen J: Well said. “there can be more factors pressuring someone into boycotts than mere personal agreement with the criticism of the target, such as threats of being ostracized in turn, and the intimidation effect on potential future targets is just as real and desired an effect as the financial penalty against the current active target. There is nothing illegal about this tactic, but where such pressure exists and is deliberately organized for, it is dishonest to claim that it represents “nothing more” than “sincere refusal to reward”.”
    That’s as neat a summary of the situation as I have ever seen.

  26. Brad, I absolutely agree with about the subject. Freedom of speech is an utopia nowadays. We have the freedom to say whatever we want, as long as it is politically correct. In addition this speech freedom, varies from country to country. For example, I am spanish. In spain you can poke fun at almost everything (excluding gays, muslims, jews,…..which are untouchable now), but the royal family. The thing is so extreme that some years ago, a book about the actual queen was banned because some dark stories were told in the book. The book was removed from all stores instantly. On the other hand in the UK you can poke fun at the royal family, but I suppose they will have their own ghosts.
    So freedom of speech is something varying from country to country, which is absurd. It is a right that any individual can have.
    It is unacceptable thinking “they should have known”. If we change the scenario, we could go to a school where someone has entered with a rifle and shot 10-15 people. Maybe someone, some days or weeks before had argued with this loon and he decided to do the massacre. “Should he have known better?”. No, a loon is a loon. it does not matter if he is Catholic, Muslim, jew,…or American, European, Asian,..
    In this case, we have muslim loons, but in other cases, the loon race or ideology changes being the outcome the same.
    But this way of thinking is quite common. If we forget to close our car and somebody steals it, one of the first things we can hear from the rest is, How have you left your car open?. I suppose the thief has something to do with, it has not he?. So, we live our lives with a subtle inner guilt feeling, posed by the people who should be protecting us from these things to happen (our goverments). They cannot (o don’t care) protect us so they prefer for us to take care of ourselves and let the world to self-regulate with this “He should have known better” attitudes.

  27. “That’s as neat a summary of the situation as I have ever seen.”

    Much obliged for the kind words, Mr. Freer; with our host’s permission I’ll digress for a moment to let you know that the Heirs of Alexandria series is one of my favourite fantasy sagas ever.

  28. Misters Freer and Torgersen: The real reason books y’all like aren’t winning Hugos is the same reason books I like aren’t winning Hugos – they are not to the taste of the median Hugo voter in the year of eligibility. (An important note, since there is significant variation year to year in who votes.) Yelling at the Hugo voter “you shouldn’t like that!” or “you’re brainwashed, you sheeple!” accomplishes nothing except pissing off the voter and making y’all look like asses.

    Mr. Freer – I have no idea what private threats were delivered to you. What I saw publicly were not threats, but expressions of disapproval. I do note that in the Gamergate flap, I was repeatedly told by many commentors on your side of the aisle that any threats were manufactured by those threatened. Perhaps we all need to take all threats more seriously.

    Mr. Torgersen – we will apparently have to agree to disagree on the appropriate exercise of free speech. I for one intend to criticize whomever I choose, and if I happen to be part of a group so doing that, oh well.

  29. By my calculations, of the names I recognized (64) and could attach an ideology to, over 87% of the award nominees under the control of WorldCon were intersectionalists, or what we might call social justice warriors. So, no – Gerrib isn’t going to notice “white privilege,” “misogyny” and other assorted radfem stupidities when he thinks they’re as natural and obvious as gravity. No agenda at WorldCon, just a culture immersed in stupidity and Orwellian bigotry. There’s little to boycott. Just tank the whole thing like the measles. I think we should nominate Yama the Space-Heater for an award. Is any of his work eligible?

  30. Chris Gerrib, My views on this are very different to Brad’s, I’m not interested in a particular work winning a Hugo. For starters these days that could well be career damaging, and it would take an exceptional book and writer to resurrect the credibility of the award, which has fallen a very very long way since Zelazny’s Lord of Light tied with Herbert’s Dune. Right now, James May has the right of it, Yama would be an appropriate winner, and at home with the recent crop. My interest is purely in the well-being of the genre I love to read as well to write in, and the fact that labeling it as the Hugo Award for the BEST sf damages all of our long term interests, yes, including John Scalzi or Vox Day or Joe Neverherdofim who likes and and writes like neither. I know full well my own books are not up the standard of Zelazny or Herbert, and never will be, so there is nothing personal in this, neither was there a particular participant for many years who I have felt should have won as the best.

    Look, IF we’re actually getting the best, getting the best representative participation in the writing and voting… then the winners will, over time, represent the demographics of at least the US with some small influence from the EFL countries. If they don’t, something is very wrong. This is provably the case – the nominees and winners have come from a very narrow (and very unrepresentative) extreme group for years. I’d be just as perturbed if it came from the far right for years, or people who thought like me (because that is nearly as small a group as the current lot), because that will inevitably be anything but the best, and will paint a very poor picture of the genre as a whole to anyone who doesn’t fit in that microcosm. It should worry you and your fellow-travellers as much as it worries me – but your time preferences appear to be short and ability to look a broader picture and possible futures appears very limited.

    If they changed the title of the award to The Ping-Ping (or Butler or Spacefish) award for the least unpopular nomination (yes, that’s how it works) of a flawed nomination system, by the minor unrepresentative subset of fans who could afford and wanted to attend Worldcon, and be bothered to vote, often without even reading the works of all the nominees… I’d be more than happy to wave it on its merry way. But they’re stealing the credit of far greater writers in the past, damaging their legacy, and damaging all of our longer term futures for very small short term gain.

    Oh thank you for for your kind thought that I was threatening myself as a false flag. Wouldn’t logic have made me make it public at the time? Actually, I was referring to abusive and public comments. I did get a ‘I’m only telling what bad men they are for your own good because it will damage you’ private e-mail, but no threats.

  31. If the “right” took over the Hugos the stories might not be much better. What always made SF&F interesting for me was its tendency to have larger abstract principled “what if” interests rather than in identity, which is boring and limited, especially for SF.

    I don’t know why there aren’t more of those writers about. It may be the odd duck who was a cross between a disciplined pragmatic and wild eccentric just doesn’t exist in America today, or at least isn’t drawn to SF. For all the wildness of their dreams can you imagine Heinlein, Vance or Bradbury with “Taunting the Tauntable” as the sub-header of their website if they had such things, or “rape” with a cartoon header of them watching two lesbians? Think of the smug sociopathy and moral superiority that implies. Even the most vulgar and out-there underground comix of the late ’60s didn’t indulge in such nonsense. R. Crumb and S. Clay Wilson weren’t there to taunt anyone but to engage in satire, just as Heinlein and Vance engaged in shifting perspectives, not smugly celebrating their own enrollment in a Hell’s Angels for nuns. S. Clay Wilson had Capt. Pissgums experience an unexpected meeting with a ship of dyke pirates, not stupid cartoons which illustrate how sexual harassment at conventions work. We need more Crumb’s and Wilson’s, not moral and intellectual retards like Scalzi and Hines and their crew of sociopathic Starry-Eyed Stellas on the good ship “Patriarchy und Misogyny.”

    I think one of the problems is we don’t think of the Golden Age as one which was a team effort of editor and author, which it was. The editor was in essence, an artist. There is nothing like that today. There is also no respect for the weight of words for the simple reason there is no self-limiting mechanism of word count which the old pulps produced.

    But the obvious problem in core SFF is the sheer lack of brains combined with this bizarre missionary zeal to civilize racist and sexist America. Social justice warriors treat SF like the English did N. African slavery in the 19th century. They meant to root it out so the marginalized would not suffer and the entire region benefit from a more healthy, moral, and diverse economy. The problem is you have to be a brainless idiot to see that in America today. The very people leading this crusade are the equivalent of those Berber slavers. Imagine them leading an abolitionist movement. So you have the fox in charge of the hen house and the hens are predictably being harassed and disappearing.

    Just this week – again – the social justice fops were on Twitter making lists of women authors. Why? They do that routinely just for the hell of it, or non-white ones or gay one. And sometimes it’s editors, etc. That won’t produce art but it will produce really bad work. Predictably Aliette de Bodard was in the middle of it, a woman who never shuts up about the moral failings of white people. When Jack Vance died she Tweeted she’d never read him and asked if she should. The reason she hadn’t read him is because he wasn’t a gay, non-white woman on one of her moronic lists about marginalized and erased women or ultra-precious “people of color,” a meaningless and racist term I despise, since it implies some false race-tussle of global reach which doesn’t and has never existed.

    Scalzi and his crew of wacky gay feminists have done more to gut SF in the last 4 years than any mechanism which has ever existed in the genre. The effect has been much like there’s a WW III and 90% of the people have been drafted, leaving only those too mentally crippled to serve making USO packages of lard sandwiches only an unsupervised cult of Marching Morons could come up with.

    Gerrib here is a typical case of the measles. Addicted to identity, he constantly makes analogies and uses metaphors in a way that makes no sense. That’s because they’re force-fed through a scrim of race and gender where the outcome was already determined. That’s why the whole bunch is running interference for murders by pointing out the 004% of murdering Tea Party militias are just as bad as the 99% Muslim lone wolves but the 99% black murderers of other blacks are nothing compared to the 004% of white supremacist cops killing unarmed blacks. This is the intersectional math our wrong-way KKK thrives on. That’s not including rape and bomb hoaxes they signal boost via Twitter in between daily headlines about a black riot in Tulsa in the ’20s like it just happened or how a woman scientist did this or gay sultan did that. They are so addicted to race and gender as a moral ethos they can’t see straight. Centuries of non-white colonialism and slave trades disappear into a memory-hole, only to reappear as noble tech-savvy Incas and black Marco Polos in their racist award-winning fiction.

    Scalzi and Anita Sarkeesian will tell you to abandon the non-existent ideology of gamergate based on a few threats or risk guilt by association the same day they’ll reverse that logic and tell you to not judge an actual ideology that shoots people in the head by its few bad apples raised on a supremacist colonialist Koran which is nothing more than a Machiavellian manual for managing conquered populations of Jews and Christians. The fact Jews and Christians are singled out for discrimination and even death for 14 centuries is too obvious for an internet Wiki-shut-in like Scalzi, who is a pitch-perfect version of E.M. Forester’s Vashti.

    Reality becomes whatever they want it to be as long as straight white Western males take it on the chin. And somehow Gerrib, Scalzi and Hines don’t hear Audre Lorde whispering words of payback in their ears they recite by rote on their blogs like daffy parrots. Lorde was herself a nuthatch who was in therapy for 30 years and considered white feminists tools of the patriarchy, so exclusive was her moral high ground. So why wouldn’t M.J. Locke and her horde of gibbering monkeys fawn over PoC like a lone family of dodos once thought extinct and why wouldn’t her SFWA president husband reTweet despicable signs that say Space: not just for white men any more, because NASA=KKK.

  32. Dave Freer you said:
    “Look, IF we’re actually getting the best, getting the best representative participation in the writing and voting… then the winners will, over time, represent the demographics of at least the US with some small influence”
    But actually, if 60% of the voters like “left-leaning” books, those books will win 100% of the time, not 60%. Which, I agree, is a problem which will alienate the other 40%, but it doesn’t mean the voting process is unfair.

    gorkal4. You are very much correct.

  33. ““You’re free to speak, but you’re not free from consequences!””

    This one makes me laugh. It was my understanding that that’s exactly what the term meant.

    Otherwise, ‘Freedom of Speech’ would mean absolutely nothing wouldn’t it?

    I’m legally entitled to commit lèse-majesté, but not free from being decapitated as a consequence?

    I’m legally entitled to own my own business, but can have it taken by the government as a consequence of being too successful?

    We always could do what we liked and ‘accept the consequences’ for it. Laws are made precisely to negate “consequences” deemed immoral, hazardous or oppressive; or to alter – or to install the consequences. Which is what they’re attempting to do now, except they’re trying to punish the principle of ‘Freedom of Speech’, because they don’t like the particular speech being freed.

    On the other hand, that whole Orson kerfuffle made me pick up a comic and check out what was happening with my favourite superhero these days, so it’s not all bad.

  34. Go ahead and criticize whomever you choose, Gerrib. But you know as well as I this divide is about one thing and one thing only: criticizing skin and sex, not ideas. I have no problem with someone saying I am immoral because of something I wrote. I have a problem with them saying it’s because I’m white, heterosexual or male.

    Ann Leckie, one of the most single-season honored SF authors in SF history also made what is arguably as disgustingly bigoted and racist an analogy of any of her peers in that history. She maintained in an unbelievable blog post that white heterosexual men are like waiters in an imaginary restaurant that randomly punch gays, women and non-whites in the face. She had plenty of “gendered insults” to give out along with her daffy metaphor. The fact the SFWA and WorldCon honored that woman rather than throwing her out on her ear while also having people like you bleating about white supremacy is as depraved and hypocritical an action as any you will ever see from a literary organization in America and the U.K. Kate Elliott’s remarks in accepting the award for Kameron Hurley were laughable given why the award was won, and the river of comments both Hurley and Elliott make about whites and men. I’ll appropriate someone else’s humor and say they’d have been better understood in the original German to the accompaniment of clinking glasses in a ’30s beer-garden on Frankfurt am Main.

    And they weren’t the only ones so honored last year. Putting on a blindfold and reducing the meaning of words to a neutral state based on principle rather than the identity of those speaking or those attacked reveals racist after racist, supremacist after supremacist, bigot after bigot was honored last year in the core SFF community in perhaps the most disgraceful act in its history. If I maintained an assumption that the core SFF community was against a thing like the KKK or neo-Nazis (which I know they are) my rhetorical question would be “Whatever in the world for? Why? Do you even know why beyond the titles? What’s the binding overriding principle in your objection?”

    It’s pretty clear no such principle exists in the ideology this group has adopted.

    And these people claim they wouldn’t publish Golden Age SF if presented with it today because of its sexism and racism. The roll call of bigoted racist morons ideologically on the same page and speaking a common and very specific vocabulary from last year’s WorldCon nominees alone far outnumbers any similar group one could put together from SFF 1907 to 1980. In fact, no similar group even exists from that era whatsoever, and I defy any one in this world to produce them.

  35. Pingback: Join Arms and March | Cedar Writes

  36. Brad,

    I have nothing to add to your timely post. These are perilous times for liberty-minded folk.

    On another matter, I have just finished your first collection. It was wonderful.

  37. Bookworm1398 (sigh) I wish sometimes, just occasionally, for a change as it were, people would actually read what I’m saying instead of putting their preconceptions into my mouth. Where did I make any comment about ‘fair’? Like Chris Gerrib’s ‘sheeple’ nonsense, it exists only in your head. There have been claims made – by the winners and their supporters that the process is fair, and that there is absolutely no political/ideological bias in the nominations or winners. What I have actually said – often and in many places including here is that the current situation is bad for sf, regardless of ideology or whether you’re a winner or loser. I have backed this up with numbers, and as yet no-one has managed to even start to gainsay.

    Now what would it take for those assertions to be true? Let’s test them. Firstly what is ‘fair’? It’s a perception, usually backed up by numbers. Now lets take your numbers, and a little history.
    “But actually, if 60% of the voters like “left-leaning” books, those books will win 100% of the time, not 60%. Which, I agree, is a problem which will alienate the other 40%, but it doesn’t mean the voting process is unfair.”

    Firstly, historically books/stories/ from both extremes, (but mostly the middle) USED to win. Oddly that is reflective of the US’s own demographic political balance. There is plenty of evidence that those who bother to vote are still more or less evenly split, with a considerable group who either don’t vote (therefore like neither or can’t be bothered) or shift allegiance depending. The actual hardcore of both parties has been estimated at between 10-15% of the total population) So… why now would 60% of voters like ‘left-leaning’ books every time? Why are there frequently no right or even centrist, or mildly left nominees at all in many categories over many years? Does this not strike you as odd?

    Secondly, lets look at those ‘left-leaning books’. The left is no different from the right in that without heavy ideological policing, there is a spectrum of left POV, ranging from extremists who think all penetrative sex is rape to folk who think socialized healthcare would be good. The extremists are a very small percentage in nature (left or right)… so where are those moderates in noms? (Bizarrely the level of overt and completely unsubstantiated demonization of groups of humans is inescapable in those works. The only place it doesn’t happen… is in the so called ‘right-wing’ of the Sad-puppies slate.) Are the moderates in same place as the Muslim ones? That should concern you too.

    Thirdly, that’s not quite how the Hugo votes work. If it was, the right wing would have won, as the center-right had 1 candidate, and the far left 4 to split the vote between. (They work on the Australian preference system, which de facto means the least unpopular wins.) Taking your 40% 60% situation. There are 5 noms. Four of them are drawn the extreme left – perhaps 5% of the population. The other, due to a concerted sad puppy effort comes from the other 98% (why should that even have to be so? Even given your figures there should be some anyway). Try for a little logic here: which is the greater achievement? To be 1/98 or 4/5? (yes I know, that is simplifying it and there are other factors, but that means any one of ‘sad puppies’ had a much harder qualification). Now the vote. The 60% you hypothesize would have their vote split 4 ways. So, unless 3 of the 4 got less than 20% between them, the 40% would always be the most popular. Given the Australian system, then the vote goes to preferences. Without collusion (which most folk would rate as ‘unfair’) how would the strongest work (harder selection) lose not in one contest but all of them? And what benefit to the genre and future is this?

    The problem goes deeper than voting or the poor support of Worldcon, or that it a demographic which is unrepresentative of the population. It’s a problem within traditional publishing, and within the establishment supporting that (it’s an incestuous little group), which then feeds into the noms, which has also seen the catastrophic decline in sf sales from traditional publishing. If you’re a real bookworm you’d want that to change.

    Sorry this is so long. (to plagiarize from many others) I did not have the time to make it shorter.

  38. 87% isn’t evenly split, nor is the ideology represented liberal or even necessarily political, unless identity-hatred masking itself as politics actually is politics. If I wanted I could fisk every one of that 87% and show they are a racist sexist supremacist who self-defines as an intersectional gender feminist or an “ally” who has had that ideology mainstreamed into their consciousness. Of course it seems “political” to that latter group. But when everyone is using the word “privilege,” “misogyny” and “diversity” that is group thinking and of a very specific ideological bent and it all looks the same from the outside and it is not politics. If they all spoke Russian I could bet with certainty they were either from Russia or studied it, and that is the analogy in play. Except this language isn’t political but racial and sexual hate-speech either based on personal bigotry or adopted by naive proxy as “social justice.” That’s by its own definition, since even a vulgar slang term or white Table of Contents is women-hatred or racism. How much worse then saying flat out whites are “diabolical” and men “toxic” and then giving those people awards? They all share that language and the last thing that language is is a coincidence.

  39. I find it necessary to make a small, but meaningful correction to something David Freer says above:

    “The orchestration of protest on command, the private pressure brought to bear on editors and organizations. That is what Card faced. That is, these days, the hallmark and SOP of the American left – and Islamic terrorists, who learned it from the communist terror campaigns, who learned it from the fascist ones before. ”

    The communists did not learn that from the fascists, at least not in a sequential fashion as implied. As competitive totalitarian ideologies, they developed their methods of thought control, propaganda, and yes, terror campaigns, in tandem, stealing freely from one another, often by observing the use of such methods by the other party on one’s own side. Whether the Islamic terrorists learned it from the commies, or simply resurrected it from their histories and adapted it to the modern world, is an open question.

  40. Real simple question. I’m eligible to nominate. Is there a suggested list of nominees yet? If not when/where will it be available? Telling me to figure it out on my own is the functional equivalent of throwing my ballot away. I read for pleasure and pay little attention to publication date. I pay less attention to categories. I do sub to several short genre fiction zines [print and e] but read the issues almost at random and don’t keep notes. So has some kind person prepared a list as happened last year [which in turn led me to discover Vox Day]?

  41. I don’t have a problem with someone boycotting something, or even getting together with like-minded people to boycott something as a group. But many of the people I’ve argued with on the internet [I know, not the most intelligent of actions] about Card in particular, were organizing their friends to put pressure on his publishers, but weren’t even going to be purchasing the work in the first place. Boycotting someone’s work because of their views is one thing. Boycotting someone’s work because of their views with no intention of purchasing the product if he is no longer associated with it is something else.

    Some of the people advocated reading Card’s work, but getting it off a pirate site. Theft is a crime and is _not OK_.

    Then there are the smear campaigns. I’ve seen Card accused of being a paedophile because some of his books have scenes of naked boys. Correia was accused of being a wife beater, to the point his wife’s friends were calling her to see if she was OK. Those types of things are _not OK_.

  42. “Do what we want, or you will be sorry!”

    That’s the soul of a protection racket: Behave or we’ll unprotect you, and who knows what will happen to you then. We might even help it happen.

    But I think the problem is not just the bullying. The real problem is that enough people have capitulated that the bullies feel, to use their own word, enabled. Unfortunately sometimes you don’t have a realistic choice in today’s society — it’s either bend over willingly, or the SJWs will rape you in the public eye and convince the world it’s your own fault. Shouldna held those opinions, serves you right.

  43. Yup. Political correctness relies on fear: fear of being punished for speaking out, speaking up, or letting “wrong” thoughts and ideas come out of your mouth; or from your keyboard. The agitators actively seek to inflict maximum damage on innocent targets. To make an example, so that everyone else sees it, and ducks their heads even lower. But sooner or later, people with courage have to say, “I don’t give a fuck how many names you call me, or if you try to get me fired from my job, or if you threaten to sue, or have me charged with ‘hate crime’, what you’re doing is wrong and it’s time somebody stood up!”

  44. Would you mind if I stole, er, I mean quoted about 10 lines from the article on my own site, with a link back here?

  45. For the French, of all people, to suddenly be converted to apostles of “free speech” is like having the Pope openly take up atheism. France, like lots of other European countries, has “hate speech” laws that forbid the publication of some things that the Right Thinkers have decreed are off limits.

    If Charlie Hebdo, instead of going after a target that 90% of Frenchmen despise, had published a retrospective of the cartoons of “A. Wyatt Mann,” I’d bet that they’d have been shut down by the authorities, or by a mob. “Free speech for me, but not for thee!”

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