So the Sad Puppies campaign is in the news again. Well, the SF community news at least, which is kinda like being in the local paper on page 6 as far as the rest of the world is concerned, but it still counts.
Anyway, Irene Gallo, the Creative Director at Tor said something untrue and stupid that fit the narrative and this time it was arguably a step too far, because it garnered enough of a reaction that Tom Doherty, the president/founder of Tor had to step in and disavow her.
Needless to say, this action caused a storm of outrage from the other side of the aisle.
Someday the world will figure out how to tap the potential energy there, and then we won’t need silly things like wind farms and solar panels. We can just leads up to Twitter/Tumblr/etc and let massive waves of emotion drive our turbines.
To be honest, I probably shouldn’t be too hard on Irene Gallo; what she attributed to the Sad Puppies is at least partially applicable to Vox Day’s Rabid Puppies campaign, the evil-goatee-wearing version of the SPs. I mean, racist (yep), homophobic (pretty much), misogynist (most likely), those are things I would probably apply to Vox Day at least, if not everyone that he nominated.
“Extreme right wing” and “neo-nazi” are two that I’m not entirely sure apply, but that’s in part because the two things aren’t really equivalent, or even closely related, largely because as most grown-ups realize, the political spectrum is a bit more complicated than left or right. Or even up/down/left/right.
But I digress.
So why are people so upset about Tom Doherty, as they put it, “condemning” Irene Gallo?
A lot of reasons, most of them rather silly in my opinion.
For one, there’s the complaint that she was only thrown to the wolves because she was a woman and therefore didn’t matter. Given Tor’s history, and Tom Doherty’s history in particular, I have a hard time believing this. They bring up the example of John Scalzi, who’s been pretty scathing towards the Puppies in general since their inception, but has never been censured for it.
Let’s be frank: Irene Gallo is not John Scalzi. Tor could replace Irene Gallo tomorrow; the loss of John Scalzi would hurt. Hell, given that Tor just gave him a 13 book, $3.4 million dollar deal, I reckon that he could do just about anything to them short of insisting that the entire staff of Tor books don furry costumes and tow him across Alaska in the next Iditarod.
And even Scalzi is keeping himself out of this one.
For another, there are the delusional types who have so thoroughly swallowed the narrative that they accuse Brad Torgerson of marrying an African-American woman and having children with her as a way to disguise his racism and misogyny.
Like I said, they’re delusional. It’s bizarre to me, how people can get so invested in a position, or an ideology, to the point where not only are they incapable of objectivity, they will actively deny or attempt to distort reality in an effort to make it fit their narrative.
And when that doesn’t work, of course, you just ignore anyone who doesn’t agree with you and retreat to the echo chamber of your choice.
I suppose the most tragic thing to me, in the ongoing Saga of the Sad Puppies, is that the people opposed to said Puppies seem to be going out of their way to prove a lot of the accusations that led to the creation of the Puppies in the first place. Because the inevitable response, once you filter out the snark and hyperbole, is as follows:
“There is no conspiracy, no liberal cabal stopping conservative authors from winning, so stop trying to take our award away from us.”
“Us”, of course, is just code for “people who think like me”.
It’s disheartening to see established, award-winning authors decrying anyone who doesn’t agree with them as “no true fan”. And Worldcon isn’t even in Scotland this year…