I posted the following on Facebook yesterday:
So I’m no longer the writer guest of honor at origins. My invitation has been revoked. It was the usual nonsense. Right after I was announced as a guest some people started throwing a temper tantrum about my alleged racist/sexist/homophobic/whatever (of course, with zero proof or actual examples), and the guy in charge (John Ward) immediately folded. He didn’t even talk to me first. He just accepted the slander and gave me the boot in an email that talked about how “inclusive” they are. I actually heard about it on facebook before I even saw the email.
They did this to John Ringo at ConCarolinas a little while ago, and took a lesson from it. This is just another new way for bullies to target people who disagree with them. Throw a fit, make up some accusations, and cry about how you feel unsafe. Now that they know it works, it is just another tool in their tool box.
For the record, I’m not any of the things they accuse me of. Despite writing a whole bunch of books, and a ton of political articles, and all of my many personal interactions with fans (I’ve done up to 15 cons and events in one year), none of these people can ever find any actual examples of me being sexist, racist, or homophobic (and the Guardian looked hard and still came up with nothing).
That’s because in reality, I’m a libertarian who does not give a shit who you are, or what you do, and it is none of my business, as long as you stay off my lawn. 🙂
This time they kept calling me a “rape apologist”. They dug up that classic that John Scalzi created about me several years ago. It’s total nonsense. I spent many years teaching self defense to women, and I’m all in favor of every rape attempt ending with the rapist receiving a couple hollow points to the chest. But that just goes to show the power of lies, rumor, and narrative.
So years later, complete strangers come out of the woodwork to talk about how evil I am. Yeah… That does get tiresome. It is wearying.
I’m really sorry for any fans who were planning on seeing me at Origins. Hopefully I’ll get to meet you at some other event.
For me personally, meh. I go to enough events. I’ll just do something else fun that weekend.
The saddest person in all of this is my son, who was my plus one. He was looking forward to playing a bunch of games, and then we were going to go to the zoo on Sunday. (they have manatees there!).
That was my only real public comment on the matter.
I woke up this morning to find that the internet had blown up.
Here is my full statement:
Origins put up an announcement on Facebook about their five guests of honor. Immediately a bunch of people started freaking out about how my presence made them “unsafe”. These same people were going on about how the guests were all male, so Origins hates women and transsexuals, and the guests were too white, which meant brown people were unsafe. No. Sadly, I’m not making that up. I’d say go read it for yourself, but Origins is scrubbing everything in a vain attempt at damage control.
I read it as it was unfolding, and it was disappointing. I did not comment in the Origins thread, but I brought it to the attention of the author who had arranged my invite.
The allegations were the typical thought terminating clichés (and I’ll respond to each of them further down, because they’re all nonsense) they said I was a racist, sexist, homophobe, who hates transsexuals, and I was a Sad Puppy, which meant that I was a racist, sexist, homophobe who wanted to keep women, minorities, and homosexuals out of publishing. When my fans demanded proof of these allegations, they linked to opinion pieces from places like Gawker or Vox, quoting a bunch of people who hate my guts. Best of all, one woman talked about how I’d attacked and harmed her loved ones. More on that later.
John Ward, head of GAMA, folded like a cheap lawn chair. Only a couple hours after their post went live, a fan told me on Facebook that Origins had put up an announcement that I’d just been disinvited.
So then I went and checked my email. (and I am perfectly happy to share every single email ever sent between me and Origins). John Ward had emailed me, and his email was nearly identical to the public Facebook announcement (including the spelling errors). He said that he was recently informed of some of my “personal views” which made me a detriment as a guest, and that Origins is a family friendly and inclusive event.
Inclusive… Uh huh.
Since this same sort of thing had just been done to my friend and co-author John Ringo at ConCarolinas a few weeks ago, I wasn’t shocked. I emailed him back and asked specifically which of my personal views was so abhorrent. I also pointed out that everything alleged in that thread was utter nonsense, but he hadn’t even bothered to ask me about it first.
After I sent that email, I realized I’d not asked about the status of the short story reprint I was allowing them to use in the Origins anthology, so I sent a second shorter email saying that they’d probably want to pull my story out, because I’d hate for any of my icky imaginary hatemongery to get all over them.
John Ward did not even have the basic professional courtesy to respond.
Of course, the internet blew up. My fans got ticked. Origins released a new GoH announcement with my picture scrubbed off it like something from one of Stalin’s purges (seriously, it was so hamfisted it was hilarious).
Now for the allegations, I am none of the things these people have accused me of.
I am not racist, sexist, or homophobic. In reality, I’m an individualist. I judge everybody based upon their words and actions. I don’t like identity politics. I don’t like when a whole bunch of individuals are shoved into neat little demographic boxes for political expediency. I’m libertarian by philosophy, meaning that I don’t give a crap what you do, stay out of my business and I’ll stay out of yours.
After I got the boot, the internet blew up, and my fans began defending my character (some of them rather vigorously). That’s because these people know me, have read my stuff, and interacted with me for years, so they know the truth.
I’ve done as many as fifteen conventions and events in one year (I’ve been to dozens of different conventions), as well as hundreds of book signings. You’d think if I was such a dangerous hatemonger that made people “unsafe” there would be some actual examples. But there never are. They just toss an allegation like a bomb and then run off.
You would think that since I’ve written thousands of Facebook posts, thousands of blog posts (many of them about controversial political topics), and a bunch of novels, that there would be some evidence of my bigotry. But there isn’t, because I’m not. If they cite anything at all, it is never my own words, it is always a quote from somebody who disagrees with me and their straw version of what I believe. I’ll go through some of the ones that popped up yesterday.
The woman who started this temper tantrum said that I made “brown” people unsafe and that I had personally hurt her loved ones. I have no idea who this person is. My guess was that by harming her loved ones, she meant that I’d disagreed with one of them on Facebook.
According to one of my fans who looked, her boyfriend is this guy who wrote an article about how GenCon was racist. His article was absurd, so I fisked it. This was four years ago, but apparently these people can really hold a grudge. This was my response that cause so much angst. http://monsterhunternation.com/2014/08/19/no-tor-com-gencon-isnt-racist-a-fisking/
I would invite you to read that, looking for examples of my supposed racist hatemongery that makes me so dangerous that I’m not allowed at a family friendly, inclusive event. (plus, you should read it anyway because it’s funny, and it shows the perpetually offended mindset of the people we are dealing with).
Up next, I was repeatedly called a “rape apologist” and an advocate of “rape culture”. This one is particularly egregious because I spent ten years as a concealed weapons instructor, teaching lots of women how to defend themselves with lethal weapons. But I know exactly where this little bit of slander comes from.
It is also from four years ago. Remember when one of the Ms. America contestants said she was in favor of women learning self-defense, and some angry feminists flipped out because that was “victim blaming”? Yep. I wrote an article about how silly that was. http://monsterhunternation.com/2014/06/10/the-naive-idiocy-of-teaching-rapists-not-to-rape/ Which author and former SFWA president, John Scalzi, immediately took to twitter to twist my words and portray me as a rape apologist. Go ahead and read what I wrote and judge for yourself. That’s absurd.
But those two things from four years ago just demonstrate the nefarious nature of slander. Once it is out there, suckers are going to believe it, truth be damned. It lingers forever.
Up next, there was much outrage about how I was a Sad Puppy. Correction, I was the original Sad Puppy, and I’m proud of that. Now, the way these people portray it, this was my evil scheme to rig the sainted Hugo awards, to get myself an award, and to also simultaneously keep women and minorities out of publishing. Which is ironic, since by “rig” they meant I got more fans to participate in the voting, I turned down my nomination, and since the other people I got nominated included a bunch of women and minorities (as well as authors of various sexual orientations and belief systems) I must really suck at this bigotry thing. But keep in mind, the people slandering me over Sad Puppies are the same folks who the year before hailed 14 white liberals and 1 Asian liberal winning as a huge victory for diversity.
In reality, it was my attempt to demonstrate that the Hugo awards were not in fact an award to represent all of fandom, but were actually extremely politically biased, and dominated by a few small insular cliques. They went out of their way to prove I was right. Since Sad Puppies is an extremely long and convoluted story, here is a detailed account that I wrote for the benefit of the newcomers. http://monsterhunternation.com/2015/04/06/a-letter-to-the-smofs-moderates-and-fence-sitters-from-the-author-who-started-sad-puppies/
When it was all said and done, these champions of honesty were so adamant about standing up to my imaginary racist misogyny, that they No Awarded an extremely talented, accomplished, and successful Jewish single mother for best editor, just because I was the one who recommended her.
Plus, that was three years ago, I proved my point about WorldCon and retired. I’ve not really been involved with it since. My fans moved on, and then the Hugos went back to nominating nothing but the same tired leftists (Sorry, No Labels Police, I’m not even exaggerating).
Of course, just like they did to John Ringo, after the con folded, the haters came out of the woodwork to proclaim what a wonderful victory for free speech it was that these hateful voices of disagreement were silenced. Now that stuff, I don’t even bother to read. I recognize the names. It’s always the same gaggle of bitter dipsticks. If you say my name, they show up to bitch.
Yesterday, my wife was furious. I find this constant bombardment of lies about me to be tiresome, but she’s really sick of it. It’s because back when I rocked the Hugo boat, the organized slander campaign was so thick that she was getting contacted by people she’d not talked to since high school, asking if she was safe, living with such a monstrous, racist, sexist, abuser. That’s how nefarious this stuff is.
So I made that one public comment, and then the internet blew up. It’s funny, when you tell despicable, easily disproven lies about something that people are fond of, they get righteously angry. I was getting tagged a lot in a ton of different threads so I really couldn’t keep up. People who were coming because I was there were cancelling their memberships (and only getting partial refunds, which is just a dick move). Other fans looked up the contact info for the people in charge to complain.
I saw where fans started talked about boycotts. The only comment I made during all this was to leave the vendors alone. They’re just small businessmen trying to have a good sales weekend. John Ward is the one who immediately caved to bullies without even doing the slightest bit of homework.
But the fans were torqued, and I’ve got a lot of fans. Go figure. Whatever. After years of getting lied about, I’m used to it. I went to bed.
I woke up this morning to discover that the GAMA board is getting hammered, and got messages through various back channels, which I’m not at liberty to disclose the details because these are multiple private conversations, but the word “clusterfuck” got used a lot.
Still no response from Ward. This is my shocked face.
My fans had risen to my defense rather vociferously, and some of the Origins people were saying that if I was such a nice guy, why didn’t I call them off, or ask them to be nicer… Ha! Well, first off, A. I was asleep. And B. You guys are the ones who did something ridiculous to annoy a bunch of fans, so why should I cover for you?
To be clear, I hold absolutely no animosity toward any of the attendees, vendors, sponsors, or staff of Origins. I hope you guys have a great time. It ain’t your fault that (in my opinion) John Ward is spineless and incompetent. I was looking forward to it.
I’m a gamer. I love gaming. I’ve written up novel length game journals on this very blog. I’ve written novels and short stories for game companies. There are RPGs based on my worlds (and more games coming!). I’ve created my own rule set for a new game which we will be kickstarting next year. From where I sit I can see a few hundred painted minis. I love games. In fact, today’s blog post was going to be about the tabletop war game tournament I went to this weekend. I was only in the middle of the pack score wise (won 2 of 5 rounds, 26th out of 48 overall) but I won Best Painted. Which as an avid mini painter, was super cool, and very humbling because there were some excellent pro painters there.
But despite that, I’m not welcome at this “inclusive” event for gamers, because some lying internet rando declared my opinions were too dangerous (come on, really? I voted for Gary Friggin’ Johnson!).
Even Cat Rambo, current SFWA president, who probably disagrees with me on just about any political subject, tweeted about how Origins behavior was unprofessional, and how if this had happened to her she’d be upset and angry. Thank you, Cat. I hope you don’t get burned at the stake for publically agreeing with Larry Correia. 😀
The problem is that we live in a society where being a self-aggrandizing victim gets you social status. As long as people cave to the demands of cry bullies, they will continue to lie and demand things. I found it ironic that even after Origins scrubbed me from existence, the same perpetually offended crowd were saying that this was “a good start”, but how Origins was still sexist/racist/transphobic and How Dare They not let this small but loud group pick all their GoHs for them based on skin color and purity of thought. Silly, Origins, you can never appease the perpetually offended. Oh well. That’s why you don’t negotiate with terrorists.
One thing that is kind of funny is that a bunch of my fans were pointing out that by removing me, they’d made the GoH list less diverse. For the record, ethnically, I’m Portuguese (which back when I worked for the Air Force, the Department of Labor declared to be “Latino” go figure). But my dad wasn’t all white (North African according to Ancestry.com, but regardless, he was way darker skinned than any of the angry doofi yelling about me yesterday) and my mom is half Jewish. But since I’m now self-employed and don’t have to fill out EEOC forms, I don’t know which demographic box liberals are sticking me in this week. Personally, I don’t give a crap because I’m an American. I find that whole game amusing.
They did this to Ringo, now they’ve done it to me. Since the political bullies have discovered that this is a viable tactic, I expect them to do this to every convention. Have a guest who offended one of them once, they’ll pitch a fit and whine that they feel unsafe. Cons will either give in, or stand up. It puts them in a terrible position.
My bet though is that the majority of tantrum throwers weren’t going to go anyway. It’s just a chance for them to virtue signal and pile on. We saw the same thing with ConCarolinas. In that case, to appease a handful of no names and maybe a dozen perpetually offended jerks, they pissed off thousands.
Since it just went down last night, I don’t know how this one will shake out. I’m fine. I’ll just do something else this weekend. But I’ve also got a solid career, a lot of books out, and a rabid fan base. I can weather this kind of slander. The sad thing is, these assholes do this to any author who gets out of line. You cross them, they’ll lie their asses off about you and try to burn you down. So authors who haven’t made it big keep quiet, and keep their heads down, to not draw the wrath of the mob, so they don’t hurt their career.
Note, this only ever goes one political direction. If you are a left wing author, you’ve got to get caught doing some pretty horrible stuff to be too dangerous to get disinvited from an inclusive family friendly event. If you’ve got correct politics, sexually harass a bunch of women? No problem. Just issue an apology, you’re good to go. But if you’ve got the wrong politics (like half the country) all you’ve got to do is say so, and you’re an abhorrent monster who must be shunned for everyone’s safety.
So that’s it. John Ward rewarded the bullies, so I predict that we will see more of this behavior in the future. Plus, I fully expect any convention which invites me in the future to get hammered the same way. That’ll be fun, getting accused of all sorts of horrible things by complete strangers in the name of tolerance never gets old.
EDIT TO ADD: Hey, John. You still owe me for the reimbursement for my plane tickets. You’d better get on that.