I am on duty this month. I was supposed to be on duty for most of the year, but the mission to West Africa has been off-ramped, and my active duty orders terminate at the end of February. So, for those of you who see me at LTUE while I am still in uniform next week, just know that I am squeezing the conference in around my Army time.
Now, to the matter of fallout; from the SAD PUPPIES 3 slate.
People always get upset when the status quo is challenged. Nobody has to like SP3. Many may even hate SP3, and in turn hate those of us who’ve chosen to participate as “faces of the movement” (though I detest the word ‘movement’ in this context.) What I see happening is a lot of people (loyal to what they perceive to be tradition within the field) standing up from their chairs and demanding, “STOP SAYING THE THING THAT IS BROKEN, IS BROKEN!”
Sorry, folks. I know it sucks having the cage rattled. If I thought some (necessary) freshening of the air (at Hugo awards time) was possible via less confrontational means, I’d happily go that route. But after 5 years of observing how this dog and pony show operates, I’ve concluded that there really isn’t a “nice” way to do this. We (the SP3) can either sit on our hands and pretend the broken thing is not broken — carrying on the with the status quo — or we can speak up; and take the heat.
Others (on the leftward side of the fence) make a great big fat noise about “Speaking truth to power.” Now, the shoe is on the right foot. For a change. Again, you don’t have to like it. SAD PUPPIES peels back the foil on the stale TV dinner. SAD PUPPIES says stuff that many people mutter in confidence, but few have dared speak openly; because they know it’s going to cause an uproar. SAD PUPPIES is specific in its intention: to alter the Hugo awards process such that artists and works which would otherwise be ignored, are not ignored. It’s not a “right wing” thing. It’s a make-the-field-live-up-to-its-reputation thing, by way of the field’s self-proclaimed, “Most prestigious award.”
And here’s the mind-blower: SP3 is not a same-minded collective. We’ve actually had a tremendous amount of internal debate about how to proceed.
For myself, and despite what some of my detractors may claim, I can say without reservation that I am not out to destroy fandom, nor the Hugos, nor do I wish to be an arsonist. In fact, I have argued (within the SP3 brain trust) that being arsonists is a terrible idea. I’d like to see reform, versus destruction. I also knew that being the “it” guy for this project this year (2015) would put my head on the ideological and rhetorical chopping block. Better men than myself have already mortgaged their reputations for the sake of change. I felt honor-bound to take my seat on the dunking machine chair.
Maybe this damages me eternally in the minds of some?
Those who actually know me and my work, know I am not a villain.
And for those who claim I run with villains . . . Larry Correia is my blood brother. I will not throw this man beneath the bus. Look, I get it. Larry is the kind of guy guaranteed to infuriate ideological progressives and leftists, and he makes no apologies. I understand fully that many people can’t stand him. Me? I see this man (in the flesh) all the time. I know his wife and his family. I can think of no one I would want more (in my fox hole) when the chips are down and the bullets are flying. Be they real, or rhetorical, bullets. Larry Correia is a tremendous individual who has taken the bit (of SP) between his teeth, and charged ahead with gusto. I can do no less, during this third iteration of the project.
And Vox Day? I already explained myself on that one, last year. Shunning and ostracisation are the activities of a frightened 13th century village, not the recourse of 21st century cosmopolitans.
Again, if I thought it were possible to freshen up the Hugo situation without ruffling feathers, I’d happily take that path. To echo myself (from 2014) sometimes the expected thing (in this case: going along to get along) is not necessarily the right thing.