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Wars, Woes, Work

Life is impossibly busy right now. I am wrestling with the Son of Kong (that is, working on THE WINDS OF WINTER), trying to wrap up a final round of edits and revisions on the twenty-third Wild Cards book (HIGH STAKES), developing three new series concepts for HBO and Cinemax, hiring writers and directors for three short low-budget films I am hoping to produce based on some classic SF short stories (more on that in the months to come), making my way through the Hugo Packet to prepare to vote, looking forward to opening JURASSIC WORLD at the Cocteay and to hosting a ten-author special event for the release of Steve Stirling's new "Emberverse" anthology, THE CHANGE. In a week's time, we'll be flying off to Europe for long-planned appearances in Germany (Hamburg) and Sweden (Stockholm), en route to Archipelacon on the island of Aland, where I am to be the Guest of Honor...

In the midst of all this, wars old and new continue to rage all around me.

I had rather hoped that the Puppy Wars would have died down by now. Naive of me. Far from it, things keep getting worse. All the grisly details of this ongoing nastiness can be seen at FILE 770 over at http://file770.com/. ((Mike Glyer deserves the 2016 Best Fanzine Hugo for his even-handed and thorough coverage of Puppygate, linking to virtually everything posted on the subject anywhere on the internet)).

I want to single out the postings of Eric Flint. The latest, at http://www.ericflint.net/index.php/2015/06/09/a-response-to-brad-torgersen/ , is a devastating point-by-point deconstruction and refutation of the latest round of Puppystuff from Brad Torgersen. Flint says what I would have said, if I had the time or the energy, but he says it better than I ever could. ((I will be nominating him for a Hugo too. For Best Fan Writer)). His earlier posts on Puppygate are all worth reading too. He is a voice of reason in a sea of venom.

I will add one point. The emptiness of the Puppy arguments is indicated clearly by how much time they seem to spend in coming up with new insulting terms for those who oppose them. The facts are against them, logic is against them, history is against them, so they go for sneers and mocking names. First it was SJWs. Then CHORFs. The latest is "Puppy-kickers." Next week, no doubt, they will have something else. Reading all the blogs and comments that Glyer links to from FILE 770 has convinced me that anyone who starts throwing these terms around can pretty much be discounted; you will find no sense in what they say, only sneers and talking points.

Meanwhile, other wars are breaking out on other fronts, centered around the last few episodes of GAME OF THRONES. It is not my intention to get involved in those, nor to allow them to take over my blog and website, so please stop emailing me about them, or posting off-topic comments here on my Not A Blog. Wage those battles on Westeros, or Tower of the Hand, or Boiled Leather, or Winter Is Coming, or Watchers on the Walls. Anyplace that isn't here, actually.

Yes, I know that THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER named me "the third most powerful writer in Hollywood" last December. You would be surprised at how little that means. I cannot control what anyone else says or does, or make them stop saying or doing it, be it on the fannish or professional fronts. What I can control is what happens in my books, so I am going to return to that chapter I've been writing on THE WINDS OF WINTER now, thank you very much.


Jun. 13th, 2015 07:00 am (UTC)
Re: Which way the venom flows

>Which of the Puppies are clueless? Is it me? The readers? >Somebody else? From which way does the venom flow? There's a >lady over at TOR who's in a lot of hot water right now, because >she regurgitated venom she'd absorbed (or been spoon-fed) by >folks on your "side" of this thing. Her chief mistake was in >assuming that she knew who she was calling names, when she did >not.

I have spoken out against name-calling from the first, Brad. It is the Puppies and their supporters who started it, and who keep dialing it up. I will concede that you yourself have been mostly civil, but read the comments in your own blog, or Correia's, or even on FILE 770, and it is all venom and epithets.

>And now the customers are remarkably unhappy with her.

The vast majority of customers have no idea about any of this. The "unhappiness" here is a campaign orchestrated by the odious Mr. Beale, and once again you Sad Puppies have lined up behind the Rabids. Early in this debate, I heard a lot of stuff from your side about careers being threatened and your opponents saying "you will never work in this town again" and similar crap. Not one instance of that was ever substantiated. But now we are seeing a deliberate internet campaign to cost someone their career -- and it is coming from VD, with the full howling support of Puppies of all stripes.

No one on "my side" ever threatened anyone's livelihood or career. Your side is doing just that. In public.

>I've said it before: I don't mind people who criticize Sad >Puppies 3 for either mode, or method. If you can criticize the >method, without impugning the integrity of the man, all well and >good. That's a conversation worth having.

Agreed... in general. But what happens when the opponent then demonstrates that they have no integrity? That they are more interested in causing harm than finding common ground? Numerous people who are, if not Puppies, at least Puppy supporters, have been very vocal in saying they joined this fight to "stick it to the SJWs" or "watch them scream" or "destroy the Hugos." How does one discuss the issues with such people?

Jun. 15th, 2015 01:23 pm (UTC)
Re: Which way the venom flows

Do you concede that there are readers and fans in this world who don't give a damn what Beale says or does, but they *do* give a damn when an employee at the publisher whose products they buy, calls them "neo-nazis" or "racist, sexists, misogynists."

Yes, or no.

Do you also concede that there is a huge difference between "I am sorry my words hurt you" and "My words were wrong, I should not have said them, and I apologize for being wrong"?

Yes or no.

Also, because you did not see a thing (Puppy careers being threatened) this does not automatically mean that thing never happened?

Yes, or no.
Jun. 16th, 2015 05:13 am (UTC)
Re: Which way the venom flows
Have you stopped beating your wife, Brad? Yes or no???

Come off it. I am not your dancing monkey, and it's not my job to answer your loaded questions. You think I have never seen a "push poll" question before? An old trick, and a sleazy one.

But I will say something about the word "nazi," since that has become the bloody banner that the Rabid Puppies, and some of the Sads, are now waving so furiously.

You are a writer, Brad. I presume you know that words change their meanings over time. Once upon a time, yes, "nazi" meant a member of the National Socialist Party of Germany. But those Nazis were all wiped out (or went underground) in 1945. World War II, you may have heard of it. In certain countries it became illegal to be a Nazi, or display the swastika. In some places, certain successor parties arose, and endure to this day, that share some of the views of the original Nazis. "Neo-nazis." Most of them pathetic splinter groups.

HOWEVER... and here is the important part... with the passage of time, the meaning of both "nazi" and "neo-nazi" broadened. The words no longer signified a member of the Nazi Party or one of its successor parties. Indeed, by the 1960s (which I lived through), lots of people on the left were using "nazi" quite freely as a epithet for those on the right. By then the meaning had deteriorated to, roughly, "right-wing asshole." You could also shout "fascist" or "stormtrooper" or "pig." Calling someone a nazi was certainly nasty, but it did not signify that you thought they had a role in the Holocaust, any more than calling someone a pig meant that their butt was made of bacon.

And let me point out that this was by no means a one-way street. At the same time, on the same streets, the hawks were calling the peace protesters "commies" and "pinkos" and "traitors." And hell, even today, some of your Puppies are pretty free slinging around "commie" and similar labels at those dreaded SJWs. Do I think they actually believe the progressives are followers of Lenin or Stalin or Mao? No, of course not. They say "commie," and I hear "left-wing asshole." Same bullshit, different bull.

"Nazi" does not actually mean "national socialist," and hasn't for decades. As I suspect you know perfectly well.

Or do you? Perhaps I should try one of your "yes or no" queries. So tell me, Brad... do you think that the Tor employee in question was suggesting that the Sad and Rabid Puppies were members of the National Socialist Party and its successor parties and factions? YES OR NO?

Or was it possible that she was just saying, "Ah, they're a bunch of right-wing assholes.' A casual comment in passing, not an "attack" or a studied denunciation.

Pretending that you all actually think she was calling you Nazis, in the original stormtrooper jack-booted black-shirted swastika-wearing sense of the term, is disingenuous at best, and despicable at worst. And so is this campaign against her.

You got your apology. You got your reprimand. That should be more than enough.

Joe Vasicek
Jun. 16th, 2015 09:06 am (UTC)
Re: Which way the venom flows
Mr. Martin, it is you who is using "sleazy" tactics by redefining words to suit your rhetorical purposes. While the National Socialst German Worker's Party of the 1930s may no longer exist, the social, political, and racial ideologies that they originated and cultivated are very much alive. Sad puppies like Peter Grant have exchanged actual gunfire with people who espoused these beliefs, and organizations such as the Southern Poverty Law Center still combat them in the courtroom today. Nazism is alive and well; to use the term as an epithet is unimaginative at best, irresponsible at worst.

When evil is caricatured and that caricature is used as a brush to paint the world, evil is strengthened because the rising generation cannot tell the truth from the caricature. Only a person who has been sheltered from the face of true evil for most of their lives would seek to justify such a caricature for such a petty end. Words have power, Mr. Martin, and power has unintended consequences when wielded irresponsibly.
Mark Ping
Jun. 16th, 2015 04:19 pm (UTC)
Re: Which way the venom flows
See, it's this that is evidence that you're not actually honestly engaging. You refuse to respond to direct questions, always deflecting. This is why people like me see you as a hypocrite, calling for civil discourse but then rejecting it when offered.

You're just whining that your apple cart is being upset, then trying to hide your butthurt by tone policing. I used to associate more with the Sad Puppies, but BS like this and the Tor crowd have moved me in to Rabid Puppies territory.
Jun. 16th, 2015 06:39 am (UTC)
Re: Which way the venom flows
I find it absolutely amazing that Torgersen keep harping on the "nazi" part of Gallo's comment.

Not only have Gallo apologized already for painting with too broad a brush - but the part about "neo-nazi" clearly wasn't meant for Torgersen.

In a narrow reading of Gallo's comment, the only person being called "neo-nazi" is Theodor Beale. In a wider reading, she also called other Rabid Puppies supporters neo-nazi. But there is no reasonable interpretation of the comment that translates to her calling the sad puppies nazis. Gallo makes a distinction between the groups, and clearly intends the "neo-nazi" label to apply only to one of them.

Yes, Gallo said bad stuff about the sad puppies too. But "neo-nazi" was not one of them. When Torgersen keep complaining about being called a nazi, he is either
a) saying that he's a rabid puppy - i.e. a supporter of Beale's rabid puppy campaign - and by extension that his previous efforts to distance himself from Beale was an attempt at misdirection, or
b) saying that he don't understand the meaning of the word "respectively", (which would be rather, ehm, suprising for a professional writer) or
c) deliberately speaking falsehoods in order to stir up outrage.
Anders Scholl
Jun. 15th, 2015 04:42 pm (UTC)
Re: Which way the venom flows
I will concede that you yourself have been mostly civil

An enormously generous concession, and one that in my opinion really isn't deserved. Torgersen might refrain from saying especially nasty things about individuals, but his commentary is packed full of outrageous nonsense directed at an amorphous mass of perceived enemies. I tend to think that this brand of incivility is far more destructive than unkind personal attacks, particularly coming from a leader of the more 'reasonable' puppy-faction.
Jun. 16th, 2015 03:31 am (UTC)
Re: Which way the venom flows
George, you still have not unscreened my three questions.

But I will add: are the photos (at this TOR author's blog) the work of people being "orchestrated" by Beale? From across the country and across the globe? Yes, or no.

Jun. 16th, 2015 04:33 am (UTC)
Re: Which way the venom flows
Oh, wow. How many pictures there? Twenty?

"Naked with a hat" day gets a hundred times as many.

And what's the point of this exercise? Trying to convince Tor to fire someone you guys disapprove of? Weren't you the guys screaming about SJWs trying to damage careers?

The only ones doing that are the Puppies.


George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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