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Puppy Whines

Puppygate is the gift that keeps on giving.

Every time I think I have said all that needs to be said on the subject of the Hugo Awards, one of the Puppies does or says something else egregious, something I cannot let pass.

I have tried to have a rational discussions of the issues here, addressing each of the claims put forward by the Sad Puppies and their supporters calmly, with arguments based on facts, history, common sense. Although I continue to disagree strongly with Larry Correia and Brad Torgersen on... well, on just about everything they say... I've managed to have a civilized and civil dialogue with both.

But beyond the borders of my own Live Journal, the dialogue has been anything but civil. And it grows more toxic and hateful with every exchange, it seems... especially from the Puppies.

Yes, it's my old friend "the Tone Argument" again.

When we began this exchange, I pointed out that was going to call the Puppies "Puppies" because that was what they had named themselves. I asked for the same consideration, asked that they stop with the "Social Justice Warrior" stuff, because that was NOT what my side calls ourselves, and some of us find it offensive. Instead of respecting that request, the Puppies doubled down. ALmost every post from them is SJW this, SJW that. For some, the original term was not enough, so now they are talking about "Social Justice Whores" and other twists on the term. And Brad Torgersen himself, seemingly not content with SJW and SMOF, has gone out of his way to come up with CHORF, a new epithet that he is using at every opportunity.

This is not the way to argue, not the way to exchange ideas, not the way to have a dialogue. Someone who takes pride in coming up with new mocking epithets and insults to hurl at his opponents is telling the world that he has no interest in debate, that he would rather just spit and hiss and jeer. And then there's the curious Puppy trick of mocking themselves, with an air of outrage, implying that the hated "SJWs" have called them these names... which is bullshit. Brad's latest blog post, proudly trumpeting that he is a "hateful hater who hates," is just the latest example of this. Before that, we've had the Puppies calling themselves Wrongfans having Wrongfun, or the Evil League of Evil, and similar stuff.

It all boggles the mind. And of course it leads to surreal arguments that 'their side' is justified in calling our side "Social Justice Whores" and the like because our side has called their side "Wrongfans" and "Haters" -- when, of course, we haven't. You are calling YOURSELVES that... with sarcasm, sure, but still, you are the guys coining all these new and exciting insults, for both my side and your own.

Let me ask, once again, for civility. When the argument is about political issues, I will call your side "conservatives" and "right wingers," and I'd ask you to call us "liberals" or "progressives" or even "left wingers," not SJ-Whatevers. When we are focused more on worldcon or the Hugos, I will continue to call you "Sad Puppies," and I will take care to differentiate you from the Rabid Puppies... except in cases where you're acting in alliance and agree, where I will just say "Puppies." And you can call my side "fandom" or "worldcon fandom" or "trufans." The two sides use "fan" to mean very different things, as I have pointed out repeatedly, which causes some of the confusion. Here's a new thought: if you insist on calling yourselves "fans," then call us "fen," the ancient, hoary, fannish plural of fan. Fans and fen, there we go, two terms for two sides, no insults. Is that so bloody hard?

Also... can we please stop it with the moronic World War II metaphors? Larry Correia is not Churchill, Brad Torgersen is not FDR, and no one is Hitler. We are not fighting the Battle of the Bulge. No matter how the Hugo vote goes, no one is going to a death camp to be gassed.
This is not a fight for freedom, on which the fate of western civilization depends. We are talking about a literary award here. Bottom line, we are arguing about whether the mantle of past Hugo winners like Robert A. Heinlein, Ursula K. Le Guin, Alfred Bester, and Robert Silverberg should be passing to Anne Leckie, John Scalzi, and Jo Walton, or rather to Brad Torgersen, John Wright, and Kevin J. Anderson. This is an argument about what makes a good story, about prose style and characterization and theme and originality. We do not need to make it a blood feud. Have a little sense of proportion, Puppies.

And really, stop it with all the vitriol. Or the rest of the world may actually start to take you seriously when you named yourselves 'hateful haters who hate.'


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Apr. 27th, 2015 08:56 pm (UTC)
If I remember correctly, and I was young then, the term Social Justice Warrior began in the 1990's with hardline feminist. It was a point of pride. I remember feminists using it as recently as a few years ago to describe themselves. I mean the etymology of the word has been lost to time, so I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure the left started calling themselves SJW's before conservatives even knew what it meant. It has only been recently that it has been used in the derogatory.

Either way I agree that proper social discourse cannot be attained through name calling and the like, but if a group called me and "my kind" CIS-scum, or inherent rapists, or racists, or misogynists, or trans-phobes, or xenophobes, etc, for years I wouldn't be willing conform to nice social discourse because one person in that group called for it. Not matter how influential that person was, or how much I respected them.

Apr. 27th, 2015 09:08 pm (UTC)
I've been a liberal most of my life, and I have never heard anyone on "my side" call themselves a Social Justice Warrior.
(no subject) - yagathai - Apr. 27th, 2015 09:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
Appropriate Quote - joarath - Apr. 27th, 2015 09:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - cuthulu - Apr. 27th, 2015 11:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sethg_prime - Apr. 28th, 2015 10:54 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - michaeltho - Apr. 28th, 2015 11:39 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bovil - Apr. 28th, 2015 05:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
Nope, not even close - hallambaker - Apr. 28th, 2015 03:09 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Nope, not even close - harro_der - Apr. 28th, 2015 09:24 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Nope, not even close - hallambaker - Apr. 28th, 2015 06:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Nope, not even close - universal_gm - Apr. 28th, 2015 03:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
That's not it - Forest Phelps - Apr. 28th, 2015 06:36 am (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
Re: That's not it - alpaga_qui_fume - Apr. 29th, 2015 07:25 am (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 27th, 2015 09:03 pm (UTC)
I didn't get that impression
I read over his hating hater that hates and it actually reads as an observation about not being labeled a hater because you are a hater of another hater who hates. Seems like he is addressing a sword that cuts both ways. You have Vox who is a hater that hates, but as long as you become a hater of Vox then you really aren't a hater, but rather a clear thinking individual. But if you disagree with a hater that hates a hater of hates (after a while hates doesn't even look right), then you are a hater yourself? You may not even agree with the original hater (Vox), but because you also disagree with someone on the far left, you are still labeled a hater. You are hating the wrong person, even though you may show the same type of disagreement that the supposed enlightened person has shown to the original hater.

Clear as mud?

I agree that labels can be annoying and unjust, but I can also see some justification there. Take for the example the individual from Goldsmiths University in England who organized a diversity rally... but banned white people and men from attending. I would regard that person a SJW due to their actions, that at the beginning are noble (promoting diversity), but in the end let their anger and judgement color their world view and actively discriminate against another group of people. Perhaps I am wrong in even mentioning this label and example, but as a lifelong conservative (more economically so than socially) this is the person that springs to mind when mentioning SJW.

In a positive aside though, this discussion has introduced me to a whole slew of authors that I never knew existed. My new Kindle is slowly building up its library with people like Kloos, Leckie, Torgerson, and others.

Edited at 2015-04-27 09:10 pm (UTC)
Apr. 27th, 2015 09:11 pm (UTC)
Re: I didn't get that impression
How about we just stop hating?

How about we stop calling each other names?

And Goldsmiths University in England... whatever the hell that is... what has that has to do with the Hugo Awards? We need to STICK TO THE TOPIC, not dragging in whatever other wrongs we perceive as happening in the world because we think they have some tangential relation to the discussion.
Re: I didn't get that impression - joshmst - Apr. 27th, 2015 09:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: I didn't get that impression - grrm - Apr. 27th, 2015 10:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: I didn't get that impression - scottish_dan - Apr. 28th, 2015 02:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: I didn't get that impression - joshmst - Apr. 28th, 2015 08:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: I didn't get that impression - jayblanc - Apr. 27th, 2015 09:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: I didn't get that impression - joshmst - Apr. 28th, 2015 03:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: I didn't get that impression - renepavan - Apr. 28th, 2015 01:01 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: I didn't get that impression - vortexae - Apr. 28th, 2015 06:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: I didn't get that impression - peerchen - Apr. 28th, 2015 05:37 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: I didn't get that impression - Alex Pelletier - Apr. 28th, 2015 07:37 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: I didn't get that impression - sethg_prime - Apr. 28th, 2015 12:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 27th, 2015 09:08 pm (UTC)
The problem, of course, is that what they want is to goad you into saying something they can use against you (typical bully-turned-victim tactic). At least the RP, although there is I think vitriol flying around everywhere and I'm quite sad about it (and as a trufan kind of ashamed we've reached this point).

I bought a membership last week, and I'll continue to do in years to come even if I can't go, because I want that "Hugo winner" sticker to mean something. And that is that regardless of politics and theme, it's going to be a good read. Loncon was my first WorldCon and I thoroughly enjoyed it and was blissfully oblivious to all the drama. I hope, I really do, that rational people, the middle-of-the-road people outnumber the RPs (and possibly the SPs, although I also feel that I'm okay with them fighting to be "represented" in the ballot, just not hogging it).
Apr. 27th, 2015 09:11 pm (UTC)
The problem is it's tough to promulgate the conspiracy theory narrative without a Big Brother, and absent any actual Evil Forces Arrayed Against Our Plucky Protagonists, the Puppies have to invent oppressive slights in order to justify doubling and tripling down on their increasingly logically untenable position.

It's a tale told a thousand times -- invent a bogeyman to make your followers huddle closer to you in the dark.
Apr. 27th, 2015 09:15 pm (UTC)
Hello ! I today finished to read a book "A Dance with Dragons ". Many thanks. From Russia with love

Edited at 2015-04-27 09:16 pm (UTC)
Apr. 27th, 2015 09:17 pm (UTC)
I had to google the word "chorf" and in the process stumbled across what is apparently Brad Torgerson's own website ... this is the kind of person you are trying to have an all grown-up discussion with, seriously? I think the website, its content and style (and the no less than three mentions of his awards plastered over the top 10% of the page) say all there is to know about the guy.

I had never heard of him before actually, and I still wouldn't have heard of him if it wasn't for the not-a-blog. And I guess the same applies to at least 99% of the poeple in the western hemisphere. At this point I am afraid you are just feeding the troll.

Edited at 2015-04-27 09:19 pm (UTC)
Matt Stedman
Apr. 27th, 2015 09:20 pm (UTC)
It seems to me like they're just showing their true colors. What do you expect from someone who's complaint is almost literally that "you can't judge a book by its cover?"
Apr. 27th, 2015 09:21 pm (UTC)
Well put.

I haven't really gotten the impression that the Puppies particularly want to exchange ideas or have a dialogue. But if they did, they'd be going about it in very much the wrong way.

And watching their leaders spin paranoid fantasies about being taken away to the gulag has given me the impression that they take any reception short of immediate and whole-hearted agreement as an attack born of malice--something that might explain why Correia and Torgersen took the honor of being nominated for a Campbell as an indication that the SFF world despised them for their politics.
Apr. 27th, 2015 09:28 pm (UTC)
A while ago I came up with a list of 55 Simple Rules for Debate in the Modern World. http://philmophlegm.livejournal.com/223846.html This would be a better debate if both sides played by those rules. Quite a few seem particularly relevant.

Apr. 27th, 2015 09:34 pm (UTC)
And Brad Torgersen himself, seemingly not content with SJW and SMOF, has gone out of his way to come up with CHORF, a new epithet that he is using at every opportunity.

Because people complained that by using SMOF as an epithet, he was painting with too wide of a brush.

People complained that he was using "SMOF" as an epithet. (Just like you complain that he uses "SJW" as an epithet.) He came up with a new epithet. Now you're complaining that he came up with a new epithet.

That sounds an awful lot like a rigged game.
Apr. 27th, 2015 10:18 pm (UTC)
Here's an idea -- debate the issue without epithets.

Namecalling, whether with old epithets or new ones, is no substitute for actual discussion.
CHORFs and SJWs - lornkanaga - Apr. 27th, 2015 11:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: CHORFs and SJWs - flake_sake - Apr. 28th, 2015 04:40 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: CHORFs and SJWs - lornkanaga - Apr. 28th, 2015 02:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
Honest Discussion - peterparker219 - Apr. 29th, 2015 08:40 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Honest Discussion - grrm - Apr. 29th, 2015 05:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - smofbabe - Apr. 27th, 2015 11:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bovil - Apr. 28th, 2015 05:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - flake_sake - Apr. 28th, 2015 04:32 am (UTC) - Expand
kieran sterling
Apr. 27th, 2015 09:35 pm (UTC)
perspective is needed
Oh man, I totally agree perspective seems to have been lost in this. Brad seems to be doubling down on a mistake, by (in his last two posts) posing as a put upon martyr/saint fighting for the common man, rather than just admitting he might have overreached. He's escalating, rather then deflating the situation.

I already posted an essay at a site he is allied with (http://superversivesf.com/2015/04/24/an-outsiders-perspective-the-hugo-affair/) suggesting a sense of proportion and humility should be restored.

This is just an award, and he's acting like he's saving the lives of regular fandom (which includes me) from people that have been in this a while like you. I didn't need saving and I didn't ask for saving and it's not like he's storming Normandy. Enough with the grand gestures and language already! And of course the invented venom and persecution, which you adequately point out don't exist.

I will continue to try to reach him through SSF. I would like to bridge this gap between liberals (which I am) and conservatives (who I do not hate) as quickly as possible, and restore a sense of simply liking SF.

To my mind you've been a guiding light through this storm for both sides.

Apr. 28th, 2015 12:24 am (UTC)
Re: perspective is needed
Brad Torgersen sees himself as a self-sacrificing heroic Confederate general in the Civil War ("The cannon have been fired. There's no doubting it now. Decades of simmering tension are being unleashed in an emotional struggle for the future of the field. ... The grays have thrown off their teeth-grit veneer of second-class citizenship, and the blues are rallying to the status quo. Voices long quiet, have erupted with the yell of rebellion."). I think he's gone way way past a sense of proportion and humility at this point.
Re: perspective is needed - grrm - Apr. 28th, 2015 01:18 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: perspective is needed - hallambaker - Apr. 28th, 2015 02:19 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: perspective is needed - grrm - Apr. 28th, 2015 03:06 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: perspective is needed - hallambaker - Apr. 28th, 2015 03:18 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: perspective is needed - jsburbidge - Apr. 28th, 2015 12:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 27th, 2015 09:39 pm (UTC)
Hopefully you can give this up George; I think you've gone out of your way to be cordial to these people. Having a rational discussion between disagreeing parties depends upon creating some form of compromise, and I don't think all of the people who you are engaging with seem to want that.

And as far as social justice warrior is concerned as an acronym, I believe it is indicative a new sort of leftist politics that has emerged in the past 40-50 years which is more centered around identity, status, the environment, personal autonomy, or simply "social justice", as opposed to traditional liberal politics which is mostly about economic justice. Some people call this division the "old" and "new" left.

Conservatives these days are particularly disdainful of the new left because they see their demands/interests as phony (i.e. racial/gender/sexual justice), which is manifested in political correctness. I can see the Puppies of all persuasions as hating these politics. They certainly seem to perceive the Hugos as having been politicized and controlled by the "new" left.

The vitriol and the trolling is meant to inflame. Just seems like war has been declared.

Anyway I hope you (and others being attacked) don't get too wrapped in all this.
Apr. 27th, 2015 10:30 pm (UTC)
Yes, this. 'SJW' does not and cannot apply to the economic left - it is specifically concerned with how society changes, not law, generally.
Apr. 27th, 2015 10:07 pm (UTC)
You're asking the wind not to blow
George, I assume you're smart enough to know that this isn't about what is right or wrong, but about fighting and promoting some mismatched agenda. There is no middle ground here, there is no compromise.

At some point, one has to acknowledge there is no "point of contention" because there are no points of agreement. If you and I discussed whether to elect DemocratX vs. RepublicanY, we might be able to figure out the points we agree on.

But alas, this debate is cut from the Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity cloth where everything on one side is good and everything on the other side is evil.

In other words, take a position and hold the ground because there is no debate, just an endless forum for people to recite vague attacks.
Apr. 28th, 2015 12:26 am (UTC)
Re: You're asking the wind not to blow
I think there is plenty of room in the middle ground, and even more room for compromise, but it needs to come from both sides.

I'm thrilled that the latest tactic from the cooler heads on both sides is simply to post on their blogs and facebook pages the website for this year's WorldCon and to encourage people to sign up for either an attending or supporting membership so that they can vote. Fans are out there who have never had the opportunity before to be involved in the Hugo process, and that's great they are being told, "you, too, can make a difference." There's the middle ground right there.

The compromise would be for everyone to just stop, take a deep breath, and say "Okay, this is the year of the Puppies. Next year, it will be different. The Puppies got a *lot* of people interested in and talking about the Hugo Awards, and all of fandom should be grateful. Let's all figure out a way to do this better next year so no one group's recommendations sweep the nominations." That's a compromise.

I do not believe either Brad Torgersen or Larry Correia ever believed their picks would come close to sweeping the nominations, nor do I believe they should be blamed for the SP3 campaign's success. That said, this is the first time (that I know of) the Hugo Awards have gotten such national and international attention, and I think that's great. Granted, there are a lot of people out there who are just incredibly angry and really couldn't care less what my opinion is. ;)
Re: You're asking the wind not to blow - grrm - Apr. 28th, 2015 01:20 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: You're asking the wind not to blow - flake_sake - Apr. 28th, 2015 04:55 am (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 27th, 2015 10:29 pm (UTC)
I have actually seen them referred to as "hateful haters what hate". It's..oh man, hard to explain, but it's part of a word meme I guess, where you play with the conjugations and such. "Assholes what asshole" "Jerks what jerk" - these are all a really common form of construction.
Apr. 28th, 2015 05:53 am (UTC)
The Inspiration for "Hateful Haters What Hate"
It was almost certainly Al Franken's 2003 comedy book "Lies And The Lying Liars Who Tell Them". Rearrange that slightly and you get the now-popular Internet form of "Lying Liar Who Lies".
Apr. 27th, 2015 10:31 pm (UTC)
If SJW is Unacceptable . . .

If "Social Justice Warrior" is objectionable, what term should be used to describe Contra-Puppies?
Apr. 27th, 2015 10:55 pm (UTC)
Re: If SJW is Unacceptable . . .
I believe I answered that, above. "Worldcon fans" or "fandom" would work. Or, if you want to paint this in political terms, "liberals" or "progressives" are fine by me.
Re: If SJW is Unacceptable . . . - lornkanaga - Apr. 28th, 2015 12:54 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: If SJW is Unacceptable . . . - grrm - Apr. 28th, 2015 01:24 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: If SJW is Unacceptable . . . - flake_sake - Apr. 28th, 2015 05:09 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: If SJW is Unacceptable . . . - lornkanaga - Apr. 28th, 2015 03:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
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