Wednesday, July 25, 2018

WorldCon Follies

Someday, I want to be able to write a fiction story about something this incredibly jacked up and have someone actually find what I wrote about to be believable. One magical evening I want to look into my crystal ball and pull something out of it that even comes close to the level of stupidity I have recently witnessed. On that fateful day, I'll know that I've reached the pinnacle of the writing world and published something that will sell more copies than The Bible. Today is not that day, but here's hoping, right?

In a recent post about the Dragon Awards, I mentioned the irrelevance of the Hugo Awards. I wrote about how authors were being nominated not for the quality of their work or the size of their following but for the correct politics and for being “diverse.” I lamented the fact that good stories were no longer being featured and pointed out the worthlessness of the awards in a commercial sense. I knew what I was saying was true, but at no point did I expect WorldCon, the Science Fiction convention where the Hugo Awards are given out, to agree with me publicly. And then, Oh God this is good, they did, at least indirectly.

The WorldCon schedule came out this past weekend and people lost their mind. There were professional authors in attendance that weren't being asked to speak on panels. Many of those same authors were members of the LGBTQ+ .(I can't remember the whole acronym and I'm too lazy to look it up and try to determine which one is the most current.) Here's the kicker: Many of those same LGBTQ+ authors were former Hugo nominees. The Convention committee knew they were going to be in attendance and didn't feel that they were relevant enough to be given spots. This at the same convention where the awards they were nominated for was handed out.

Think about that for a minute. The people that give out the award didn't include the nominees in their programming. Why? They weren't relevant and weren't going to attract fans. The business of any con, whether it's WorldCon, or the San Diego Comic Con or a freaking smaller, local con like Penguicon here in the Detroit Area is to entertain and engage the fans. Any guest invited is there to interact with their fans face to face, whether in panels or just in passing in the hallway. Seriously. I once had a conversation with Brandon Sanderson in a stairwell while climbing. (For the record: He's a nice guy and, based on the way he handled the stairs, in better shape than me.)

This is what happens when you nominate people for the wrong reasons. Look, I'm not saying that trans persons (I can call them that, right? Even if they're like otherkin or some shit?) should be locked out of anything. I'm just saying that if you want to win an award that has the prestige that the Hugos claim to have, you should have to write a story that is entertaining and attracts an actual fanbase. Why else would someone (gay, straight, trans, cis, whatever and throw in race, religion and whatever else you like) actually deserve a nomination, let alone an award? Seriously, if the best reason you can come up with to nominate someone for an award is to make yourself feel good about casting a vote for them because of race/class/orientation/etc, they don't deserve it. The only criterion that should count for a writing award is writing and the Hugos are a literary award.

So I'd like to take this time to thank both WorldCon and the Hugos for proving my point for me. I mean, failing to invite your own nominees to your panels does more to show how little you matter more than anything I could ever say or do. I mean that seriously. There is literally (and I mean literally literally not literally figuratively) nothing that any of your detractors, myself included, could have done to show the world why you don't matter. So thank you for your support.

Of course, it doesn't end there. WorldCon also managed to misgender one of its trans guests. Bogi Takacs has taken offense at the fact that e (no, that is not a typo) was referred to as “he” in e's biographical entry in the program and has decided that he is “honestly not sure if I [sic] can safely attend.” Others are withdrawing in support of e's predicament and also of the plight shared by others like Takacs who feel that they have been marginalized because of their gender beliefs. N.K. Jemison has withdrawn from her spot on a couple of panels to make more room for the slighted.

And actually, that's kind of sad. I have no personal opinion of Ms. Jemison's work. I haven't read it. I am aware that she won a Nebula award the year that the Nebula's went to all female persons of color, but that is not really a mark of quality. What I will say about her is this: She's got a following. I've actually seen her on television. Don't get me wrong. I don't claim to be a fan of someone I haven't read. Having said that much, the woman has a following. She is the type of author that fans go to see at cons. Her fans have now been deprived of a chance to see and interact with her on a panel where they may have been able to greet her and ask her question about her work so that Takacs, and other like him who most of the attendees have never heard of, can get onto a panel to show the world their specialness because they insist on having some made up “gender-identity.”

Not only is that wrong all on its own, but hey guess what? N.K. Jemison is both black and female. Takacs is white and appears to have been born with a penis. If you're into intersectionalism (and I personally think it's an evil, hateful philosophy that denigrates some and keeps others from striving to achieve because they think they'll be prevented from success) that's someone at the intersection of being black and female giving up a spot for a person who is not instersectional and is instead merely trans. Even by your standards that's bullshit.

It gets better. WorldCon pulled its schedule and is reworking it to suit the whiners. They've thrown everything out with less than a month left. They're scrambling thinking they've got a chance to this right.

I'm not going to deny a certain amount of schadenfreude here. I haven't seen a meltdown this epic since Chernobyl. Seeing your enemies shoot themselves in the foot is a good feeling. The fact remains that they failed to see this coming and I see that as laughable. Evil eats its own. That's always been a fact.. When you submit to the SJWs in any setting you have to keep submitting to them. When things push past the point where you're willing to submit you become problematic and get purged.

Keep moving in this direction WorldCon. It only gets worse from here. Don't say we didn't tell you it was coming. The rest of us will be off in the corner laughing at you. You're never going to be sufficiently woke to make everyone happy. Seriously. At this point you might as well fold and stop handing out your pointless awards. You should have let the Sad Puppies make your awards relevant again. Instead you've moved further away from the mainstream and out of the lives of the people who love what you claim to. Your time is over, now go away.