Sunday, May 31, 2015

My Last Word on the Hugos

Best Related Work: I'm not even going to bother reading the materials in the voter's packet. Because this is not an aesthetic category, but an opinion category, in my opinion there are no aesthetic considerations that could override the political imperative to slap down the canine slates.

1. NO AWARD.

Best Graphic Story, Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form), Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form), Best Professional Artist, Best Fanzine, Best Fancast, Best Fan Artist: I don't care about these categories enough to even NO AWARD them. Someone try and convince me that I should.

Best Professional Editor (Short Form & Long Form): I either have not heard of these people, or detest them, or simply have not been impressed enough by their work to care about them.

1. NO AWARD (in both categories).

Best Semiprozine: I still do not understand what a "semiprozine" is. I am judging this category solely by the frequency with which I feel compelled to check out the nominees, and the frequency with which I am pleased by my decision to do so.

  1. Lightspeed
  2. Strange Horizons
  3. NO AWARD

Campbell Award for best new writer: This is the category about which I am angriest, and not primarily or even secondarily because this was my first year of eligibility. Remember that "in addition to myself, I have also nominated Usman T. Malik (to whom I would be honored to lose), and Benjanun Sriduangkaew (who is in her second and final year of eligibility, and who I fear is unlikely to win due to some ridiculous drama)." And for a bit more about the latter, see this entry. Puppies aside, I have to question the legitimacy of a ballot with neither Malik nor Sriduangkaew. They are simply out-writing most everyone else in the present cohort.

I know I have read and enjoyed some short-form pieces by Wesley Chu. So I was mystified when I opened the Hugo voters packet, looked at the first page of The Deaths of Tao, and read this Bulwer-Lytton Award-worthy sentence:

The lone black car slunk through the dark, unlit streets, a ghostly shadow creeping past the decrepit warehouses and abandoned storefronts along the South Capitol at the outskirts of Washington DC.

Contrast that to my enthusiastic response to "Totaled" by Kary English. As for the rest of the nominees, they either have never reached my notice, or never merited it. Ballot:

  1. Kary English
  2. Wesley Chu
  3. NO AWARD

22 comments:

  1. EDGE OF TOMORROW was a great movie and helped Haikasoru's profitability and it's on HBO so you can watch it now and decide, and it wasn't on the Puppy ballots despite being military SF, and it features Tom Cruise dying two dozen times.

    —NM

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    1. OK. I don't get HBO, though. Any idea how long until the DVD comes out?

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    2. It came out in October 2014. DVD always hits before cable these days.

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    3. Show's how out of touch I am that I didn't know that. Now that the students are gone, I'll see if I can get it via library. (Also Interstellar, since it piqued my interest slightly.)

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    4. It's great isn't it? I wasn't expecting much and I really enjoyed it. And somehow it avoided the support of the Puppies, possibly because it's good (That's unfair, I haven't actually read the puppies nominations, but from the reviews and excerpts I've seen so far quality apparently wasn't one of their criteria). Or possibly because it has a female character, who apart from the leering at her press ups was a non-traditional heroine, tough but mostly not sexualised. It's a pity they went the romance route right at the end, but it's not as egregious as it often is, at least it kind of makes sense that going through such dramatic and traumatic events could lead to that kind of situational trauma bonding.

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  2. How odd that your hatred rules you so totally. Sounds like you're an incarnation of requires hate, whoever that was.

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    1. I take this as a compliment. Thank you.

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  3. "Some ridiculous drama" - you mean when Benjanun Sriduangkaew was revealed as a vicious bully and blackmailer of female writers of colour? Issuing brutal racist and transphobic threats, primarily to WoC, while hiding behind a veil of SJW attacks on privileged white male authors (like you) to hide the damage she was wreaking on far more vulnerable less privileged authors?

    Yeah. Silly drama to you I guess.

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    1. The data on Requires Hate's "attacks" on writers (mostly critique of their writing, not threats, and when it did devolve into threats, never credible ones) don't bear out your assertions, which are basically lifted in full from Mixon's post. Which is a nicer, more polite way of saying that you aren't even lying, just parroting other people's lies. Which is silly at best, or would be if people weren't actively issuing rape and death threats to Sriduangkaew as we speak.

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    2. Oh thank you great man for Whitesplaining racist abuse to me. So you're a deluded fool who believes Mixon was lying? Of course you'd well know the kind of threats that Benhanun Sriduangkaew sent to us because you're a woman of colour who has been on the receiving end of her abuse?

      Oh, what's that? You're a privileged white man who is dismissing the voices of numerous WoC victims? From a position of informed... no wait total privileged ignorance. What do you know of the shit she threw at us? What makes you confident that your uninformed experience as a White Man should override our lived experience?

      I'm not normally one to harp on about people's privilege because it's a complex sociological phenomenon not a stick to beat people with, but the sheer effrontery of the blindness your privilege affords you and the arrogant way you stomp into the controversy and lay down your opinion as if we little women should just throw up our hands and say "Oh, if *he* doesn't believe us, then we must all be lying, silly bitter brown women, why were we so bitchy and lying?" is classic white brogressive mansplaining.

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    3. The tricky thing about arguments from lived experience is that they have a way of cutting multiple ways. If Sriduangkaew's rhetoric as Requires Hate was experienced as abusive--and no one disputes that it was, not even Sriduangkaew herself--then it is also valid that Sriduangkaew is experiencing threats of doxxing, rape and physical attack. If people of color's lived experience of racist harassment has probative value, as it should, then the probative value of Sriduangkaew's experiences is no less than that of her targets. And if you're going to take your stand on that basis, then characterizing attacks by a woman of color against other people of color on the basis of the quality of their writing or their gender politics as "racist" might need more in the way of evidence than a screed by a white woman with her own axes to grind, against which other people of color have already pointed out Mixon's selective approach to evidence.

      But of course, (in the racial regime presently active in the United States) I am white. It's very discerning of you to point it out 4 times in 4 paragraphs. But the law of noncontradiction applies to all. You might claim that my appeal to it is classically white, but the first person who is documented to have articulated it was a fellow by the name of Vyasa, who was also a compiler of the Vedas, and who probably would not be considered white by anyone.

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    4. If you weren't acting like a classic white brogressive, acting as if your opinion on which WoC to support was anything more than meaningless privileged noise that your arrogant male blindness to your lack of standing in this discussion is making you bray all over the place then it probably wouldn't be necessary to point out that you're white SO SHUT THE FUCK UP. Your opinion about this is meaningless arrogant privileged noise. We don't want you in this conversation, we don't need you in this conversation.

      You have no place here.

      There is nothing tricky about this lived experience to those who are living it, as opposed to those who pontificate from their safe position as a privileged white man, outside of all of this. It's as simple as this:

      There is probative value to Sridaungkaew's vicious racist and violent attacks on other WoC because it demonstrates that she is an untrustworthy abuser, opportunistically cloaking herself in the mantle of social to blind people to her behaviour.

      There is probative value to the attacks on her: Trolls are also abusers.



      You're acting like the fact the WoC are the recipients of death and rape threats whenever we do anything, stand up for anything, or express an opinion online, somehow exhonorates Sridaungkaew. Yes she is being targetted by disgusting racist white trolls. This is probably shocking to you as a well off white man who has never experienced this kind of thing (a little thing called 'the blindess privilege affords you...') but this is something WoC are intimately familiar with, it's the background radiation of our lives. Not knowning that from experience is the kind of thing that renders your opinion worthless, less than worthless, offensive and racist. Would you dictate to a white man what his life experience is, or do you reserve that for WoC who don't have a balanced rational male point of view like yours?

      I'll say it again, and for the last time: Your ass is showing. You and your ignorant white opinion about the lives of WoC is not needed and wanted in this conversation. You are displaying the arrogance and contempt that can only come from the blissful ignorance and blindness to lived experience that privilege has afforded you, and it's a fucking embarrassment. Save yourself the trouble, just shut the fuck up and let WoC who are actually on the receiving end of this deal with it, and then finally at the end when everyone has come to their conclusions you can take your pasty ass white boy opinion and still shut the fuck up and let WoC speak. Would you go to a conference on the holocaust and jump in with your ignorant opinion? No? Then why talk over those who actually experienced things when they're Woc?

      Fucking arrogant brogressives. You're all the same.

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    5. cloaking herself in the mantle of social *justice

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    6. p.s. you may need to do some more reading on Racial Justice and theories of Anti-Racism and Anti-Colonialism if you're so ignorant that you think there's anything unusual in suggesting that one WoC's attacks on another WoC can be racist.

      I don't owe your ignorant ass an education, but let me take you to school: Racism is a system*, one that privileges arrogant white fucks like you over all PoC. That's why I can't be racist against you - I don't have the instituational power. But I can be racist against another WoC because I can play into the heirarchy of power and prejudice that systematically degrade WoC. Which is exactly what Benjanun Sriduangkaew did.

      Now I've taken you to school, so let your teacher tell you this: Sit down. Shut Up. Your privilege and ass are showing, your racist insistence that as a white man you automatically deserve a seat at this table when there are far more informed and educated WoC are on both sides working this out from an informed position which you do not have. As a white man you've probably never been told that a conversation is not one that you are qualified to participate in, well welcome to the ranks of everybody else. Your privilege can't help you here, your opinion is worthless because of that privilege, so please, please shut the fuck up before you embarrass youreslf further/say anything else arrogant and racist by talking over WoC and silencing us.

      *Yes interpersonal racist prejudice exists, but it does not rise to the level of a system.

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    7. Again, you can't have it both ways (or you can, but only with and through an utter lack of self-awareness). Beginning your argument with the statement that "racism is a system" is an excellent starting point, but only if you then acknowledge that within that system, a third-world blogger who at the time of the events in question felt the need to remain anonymous might, just might, have less systemic power than the likes of George R. R. Martin. And that if you find yourself on the same side of an issue as GRRM, you might, just might, not be the fearless champion of the world's oppressed that you believe yourself to be. And that therefore, your appeals to your own personal authority and experience might, just might, be susceptible to a bit of recontextualization.

      Your cavalier attitude to even the notion of evidence is made clear by the fact that you clearly haven't read any material on this blog other than a few sentences, out of context, at which you have taken umbrage. If you had, you would know that while I'm a relative newcomer to science fiction, I come to it from a couple decades of political activism as well as paid labor in an academic context. As such, I've "been told that a conversation is not one that you are qualified to participate in" more times than I can count. Usually the people doing the telling stand in a position of relative privilege to me, if not along the axes of gender and race, then along the axes of class status and institutional power. Intersectionality cuts multiple ways. So I'm not one to meekly accept imperious commands to shut up.

      No one has been talked over in this conversation. In fact, you've availed yourself of the option of posting 3 comments in the span of 8 minutes. The only person who has been silenced in the brouhaha over Requires Hate has been, until recently, Sriduangkaew, limiting the world's access to a talented literary voice on the basis of the offense taken by a few fairly powerful people (within the small, strange pond of science fiction) to statements she made years ago as an amateur critic. You admit that "I can play into the hierarchy of power and prejudice that systematically degrade WoC." Good admission. Now look at the dynamics of the case and entertain the possibility that that is exactly what you're doing.

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    8. "a third-world blogger who at the time of the events in question felt the need to remain anonymous might, just might, have less systemic power than the likes of George R. R. Martin"

      Well no shit Shirlock. You're beginning with the baby steps that are the grounding of the life of a PoC. Well done. *clap clap*. Now learn some fucking humility.

      "And that if you find yourself on the same side of an issue as GRRM, you might, just might, not be the fearless champion of the world's oppressed that you believe yourself to "

      I am no champion of the world's oppressed, and I do not speak for my race you stupid fucking racist.

      "And that therefore, your appeals to your own personal authority and experience might, just might, be susceptible to a bit of recontextualization."

      My experience is my own and my authority is just that - lived experience that your inexperienced anti-progressive brogressive authority will never have and never know anything about.

      "Your cavalier attitude to even the notion of evidence is made clear by..."

      Blah blah blah I'm the White Authority on Evidence. Please stop being so stupid you silly brown woman. Have you not considered that I'm just so much better and more logical than you? Have you considered that my rational ass is more evidence than the actual experiences of brown woman could ever be?

      No I haven't read any of your blog, but since I haven't said a word about your blog that's completely irrelevent.

      "I come to it from a couple decades of political activism as well as paid labor in an academic context"

      Then you should know better and not be showing your racist ass.

      "Usually the people doing the telling stand in a position of relative privilege to me, if not along the axes of gender and race, then along the axes of class status and institutional power."

      So you're not ignorant to what you're doing here, you've been on the other side, you should know better, so that makes you... malicious?

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    9. "No one has been talked over in this conversation"

      I'm starting to believe you're completely ignorant about the heirarchies of power in our society, and how ignorant White Authorities coming into conversations with their oh so rational and well thought out dismissals of Women of Colour can have a silencing effect. The fact that I can comment 3 times makes not a jot of difference to this basic social justice truth. Are you malicious or poorly educated?

      "The only person who has been silenced in the brouhaha over Requires Hate has been, until recently, Sriduangkaew, limiting the world's access to a talented literary voice on the basis of the offense taken by a few fairly powerful people"

      That's just bollocks. She wasn't silenced when she offended powerful people, we supported her, we cheered her on. Only when her crimes against WoC came to light was she thrown out. And she's hardly silenced is she - by your own criteria I'm not silenced if I can post 3 comments and she's not silenced if she has a tumblr and a blog and writes articles in Medium. What's that? You didn't expect a simple woman to have the evidence at her fingertips, or you don't know that yourself?

      "You admit that "I can play into the hierarchy of power and prejudice that systematically degrade WoC." Good admission. Now look at the dynamics of the case and entertain the possibility that that is exactly what you're doing."

      Just shut the fuck up you stupid racist whiteboy. Learn some goddamn respect, and learn your place in this conversation. It's not your job, nor is it within the capabilities of your tiny privileged experience to understand the nuances and experiences of the lives of WoC. Or are you going to claim a magic insight into our lives? The big rational white man steps up and just intuits what's racist and what's not? It's not my job to educate your ignorant ass so here's some resources if you want to stop being such a racist ass:

      [I can't be bothered. Educate yourself. Google Anti-racism 101. Silencing. White heirarchies. Derailing. Privilege. Unpacking the invisible knapsack. Read radical writers of color. Anti-colonialist writers. Raising up the subaltern. Learn when you have the experience to hold an informed opinion and when you should shut up so you don't accidentally speak over and silence the quieter voices of the oppressed. Then shut the fuck up]

      As for your actual point here: What the actual fuck? You think I haven't considered that? You think we haven't had hard long discussions about that? You think you're going to wander in with your Anti-Racism 101 White Man opinion and blow our minds with something so completely fucking basic and pathetically obvious like that? "Oh my, mr white man, I never did think on how I could be playing into the white patriarchy, thank you fo' yo' insight massa!"
      You're a fucking idiot and an arrogant fucking racist who doesn't know shit about the lives and needs of Women of Color and clearly doesn't care.

      We are talking. You need to sit back, shut up, and listen.

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    10. That means don't lecture WoC. Don't stumble about spilling your stupid uninformed white opinion all over shit when people who know what they're talking about.

      There are WoC who have a place at this table supporting RequiresHate - NK Jemsin among them - they have an opinion that's worth listening to. They would *dream* of suggesting that a WoC hasn't considered something so completely obvious and basic like "is this playing in to white patriarchy?" when they know we have had to negotiate the heirarchy of White Male Power every day of our goddamn lives and work out what's helpful and what's not.

      You want to walk into this conversation and from a position of privileged white ignorance decide who was right, what is racist, and tell WoC about their own lives? The fact that you can't see how silencing racist and supportive of white male heirarchies of power just goes to show how incredibly powerful the blinding effects of privilege are. You are privilege sick and you're so ignorant you're proud of it.

      I am done with this conversation and I'm done with you. You know what? Take this conversation, and show it to NK Jemsin. Say "Look I'm fighting the good fight! I'm helping. I've defended RH and helped the cause of Social Justice and reparative racial justice by condescending to WoC, denying their lived experiences, trying to look for some sort of 'objective' evidence that coincidentally denies the victims' testimony and denies their voice while amplifying my rational White opinion, tried to school a WoC on baby-questions about living life as a WoC even though I have no experience of that and am facile and basic at these considerations I've never had to have, acted as if I a Privileged White Man can tell WoC what is racism and what is not racism, did I do good? Can I have a cookie please?" Find out what reaction you'd get from an *actual* supporter of RH, someone who supports her from an informed position of lived experience and not out of some sort of pervy appropriative crush or disgusting misplaced white guilt.

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    11. p.s. Yes I split this into several posts to avoid the word limit. No that doesn't mean that racist white supporters of RH aren't silencing vulnerable WoC by attempting to dictate what is 'objective and trustworthy' evidence and what is just silly women bitching. In fact - I'd like you to take this thread to Benjanun herself and say "Is this what you wanted? Is this who you want defending you? Is this good and anti-racist or bad and silencing. Is it possible I'm fucking up, showing my ass, and silencing WoC?" ~I don't think you will like the answer.

      You must have been a shit activist. Did you silence brown women then and pontificate about things you couldn't possibly know about while dismissing their actual experience too? Let me get - left wing brogressive, dominated meetings, spoke over women, interrupted them more than men, then got offended when women dared to stand up and point out you were showing your ass so left in a huff complaining that they were bitchy and shrewish? I've been around, I know your type, and for too long you've got away with it due to your institutional power even in progressive and radical groups. Those days are coming to an end, enjoy it while you can. Women and women of color have started to stand up and demand our voices be heard.

      p.s. She's a fantastic writer and I'd like to see her get awarded too. Doesn't stop you from being a racist condescending privileged piece of shit.

      Resources:
      http://allystoolkit.tumblr.com/post/14831270127/how-to-deal-with-being-called-out - in particular you will want Point 11 (Point 11, I can't emphasise this enough), Points 9, 8 and 7. POINT 12, POINT 12, POINT 12. Point 14, and to an extend 13.
      See also http://youarenotyou.tumblr.com/post/7236714808 so you're damn lucky and should thank me.

      http://squinky.me/calledout/

      http://stfu-moffat.tumblr.com/post/44961150969/so-youve-been-called-racist-a-guide

      http://amptoons.com/blog/2005/12/02/how-not-to-be-insane-when-accused-of-racism/

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    12. Nope, I was wrong (see how easy that is to admit?) I'm actually back one last time:

      Read this. Take it to heart. Learn from it. Apologise to the PoC and WoC in your life.

      http://everydayfeminism.com/2015/02/anti-racism-as-lifestyle/

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    13. "Take this conversation, and show it to NK Jemsin."

      Nah. I'm not in the habit of harassing people I don't know with lengthy, self-contradictory screeds.

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  4. "you're white SO SHUT THE FUCK UP."

    Please, for the love of all that is holy, tell that to Laura J. Mixon and all the racist white women she's been working with and feeding off of, like Liz "I'd rather be a racist" Williams.

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