One thing that's struck me very forcibly in the whole Tor situation is how utterly blind to reality are many of those on the left/liberal/progressive/SJW side of the debate. It's incongruous to read the comments on 'Puppies' posts at File 770, those left in response to Tom Doherty's post at Tor.com, and from many of the authors and others 'leading the charge' on that side of the debate. They appear to be living in an echo chamber where they feed off each other, constantly repeating the same old lies like a stuck record. That's the problem - what they're repeating is, in many cases, simply not true, but they ignore that and carry right on saying it, as if repetition will somehow magically make it true. It won't, of course.
Truth is determined in relation to reality. If a fact is objectively true, if it can be verified according to evidence, or tested in a laboratory, or otherwise shown to be actually (rather than merely claimed to be) the case, then it's true. It's no good saying that something is 'true for me' if it's not actually true at all. That means you're living a lie. Period. An excellent example is the current fuss over Rachel Dolezal's claim that she 'identifies as black'. I don't care what she identifies herself as being - I want to know what she is in reality. The fact of the matter is, she isn't black - so no matter how many wishful thoughts she may have, and no matter what deception she foists upon others (including the NAACP), the reality is that her life has been built upon and around a lie.
The charges leveled against the Puppies campaigns by the SJW's are largely lies. They take statements made (or allegedly made) by one or more individuals (often quoted out of context to make them sound either worse than, or different from, what was meant), then apply them across the board to all 'Puppies' of whatever description. This is simply not true. It isn't real. It would be as if I took the views or statements or actions of a radical progressive/liberal/whatever (like, for example, Pol Pot) and accused all SJW's of sharing them. That wouldn't be true, so I don't do it . . . but why do so many of them do it to me? It's as I said last week. They focus on the narrative, not on the facts, because the facts don't support their views.
Irene Gallo's recent foot-in-mouth claim is a case in point. Let's analyze her lies in detail.
- She said there were 'two extreme right-wing to neo-nazi groups' involved. There is no evidence whatsoever for her claims. The attributes of 'extreme right-wing' and 'neo-nazi' individuals and groups are well known. They're a matter of historical and political fact. None of their criteria apply to the Puppies groups in general. They may possibly apply to individuals within them (just as Pol Pot-like tendencies may apply to some SJW's), but that case has never been made in any objective, factual, measurable sense.
- She claimed that both groups were 'calling for the end of social justice in science fiction and fantasy'. I have never seen a single pronouncement to this effect by either a Sad or Rabid Puppy. Not one. Kindly cite it if you have it, Ms. Gallo. I've certainly seen calls for less 'message fiction' and more emphasis on story, character and plot; but that isn't what Ms. Gallo said.
- She alleged that both groups were 'unrepentantly racist, misogynist, and homophobic'. This is a lie from beginning to end, and as far as I was concerned it was the last straw. I've fought against racism all my life; I'm emphatically not misogynist; and as for being homophobic, during the mid-1980's one of the ways I sought to help people was as a volunteer at a hospice for gay men dying of AIDS. They were rejected and ostracized by almost the entire South African community at the time, of every race. (The camp comments from those gay men, no matter how weak from their terminal disease, watching a straight man [me] give a back rub to one of their compatriots . . . let's just say that I don't think I've blushed so much in my entire life!) Ms. Gallo didn't know me at all; she knew none of those things about me; and she wasn't interested in knowing them. The mere fact that I supported Larry Correia and the 'Sad Puppies' was enough for her to label me 'unrepentantly racist, misogynist, and homophobic'. Facts meant (and, in the light of her half-assed non-apology, presumably still mean) nothing to her.
- She claimed that 'they've been able to gather some Gamergate folks around them' to elect their slate for the Hugo awards. This is an out-and-out lie as far as the Sad Puppies are concerned, and I'm pretty sure it was in the early stages for the Rabid Puppies as well. There was no mention of Gamergate that I can recall until the SJW's themselves started tossing around that allegation. It's as if they couldn't possibly allow themselves to believe that ordinary SF/F fans might have a different perspective on life, the universe and the genre than they did. Unfortunately for them, the GG community is pretty proactive and assertive. When they heard themselves being accused of something like that, I think their reaction was pretty much "Oh, we're invited to a fight? Invitation accepted!" Talk about a self-fulfilling prophecy . . .
Ms. Gallo (and most of my readers, for that matter) have no idea what real racism is like. Only those who've lived through it do, and most of us are from earlier generations whose memories aren't familiar to many people today. Those of us who lived through the maelstrom of 1976-1994 in South Africa can identify very well with those who lived through the Civil Rights struggles in the USA (particularly the deep south) during the 1950's and 1960's, and vice versa . . . but there aren't many of us involved in the current SF/F controversy. Perhaps that's a pity.
Let me give you a concrete example of how experiences like that can change - harden - an entire society, an entire nation. In 1983 Juluka released their album 'Work For All'.
It was never hugely popular outside South Africa, but inside the country it was recognized as a seminal work. Among other elements it examined, in music, the undeclared civil war that was raging across the country at that time, and would continue to rage for more than a decade longer. It tried to express the horror of the hatred, fear and genocidal fury that was devouring our country. I found it extraordinarily moving, because I could identify so closely with the subjects of its songs. I'd like to play you two of them to illustrate my point.
'Mdantsane' describes a scene that was relatively common in those evil years. A bus had been ambushed on the road to Mdantsane, a township in the Eastern Cape. Bodies lay in and around it, and the song speaks of 'mud colored dusty blood' around them. I know that 'mud colored dusty blood'. I've seen it. I've touched it. I've smelled it (and, believe me, that's a smell you never forget . . . the coppery flavor setting your teeth on edge, making the back of your throat slick as you sneeze.) It's seared into my soul, because all too often I knew the men and women whose blood produced it. I wept when I first heard that song, and I still do sometimes - but I can't stop listening to it now and again, because those memories are a part of me forever. That song reached the hit parade in South Africa. Can you imagine a hit song in the USA singing, not about saccharine-sweet schmaltzy love, but about the blood of dead, innocent victims of a racial war, soaking into the soil? It shows how mad things were in my former country during the 'crazy years'.
The second song is 'Bullets for Bafazane'. It also reached the hit parade. It tells the story of an activist who's being hunted by 'shadow men' who've decided that until he's killed, his people won't give up. I knew many 'Bafazane's' during those years. Many did not survive.
Let my online friend 'Titflasher' tell you about one 'Bafazane' she knew.
Shall I tell you about Lucky? I can mention his real name (well the English name he was given by his parents because you were not allowed to register any children under their Zulu names) because he is dead. Lucky, who was a known informant, who gave us details of things that had gone on when the victims of this evil were too scared to speak out, who gave comfort and care to those whose children had been ripped from their arms and killed, or whose husbands had been picked up, only to return to them as a disabled shell, broken hands, broken legs, face chewed off, broken heart.
By the time Lucky called, we had the UMAG (unrest monitoring action group) phone installed at home. It was late, way past bedtimes when he called and my Mom picked up. He was at a safe house that was soon to become very unsafe indeed. The police had cottoned on to what he was doing. So he was running, through K section, Kwa Mashu in search of safety.
Throughout the night he rang us, from safe house to safe house, from his cousins to his brother in law, from comrade to comrade. He never said where he was (our phones were bugged most of the time), just phoning in to say he was still free, still alive and I guess to hear a voice on the end of the phone.
Lucky made his final phone call at around 5am as the sun was coming up. His last words were “Eve, eve I think they have found me” and the phone went dead. It remained engaged for hours after that and when it was eventually answered, the residents denied any knowledge of Lucky’s presence. He never called again. No doubt his broken, tortured body lay somewhere in the dust.
There's more at the link.
I knew many Lucky's. I knew many Bafazane's. My life is richer for having known them . . . and my soul is bereft, and the entire nation of South Africa is poorer, for their loss.
And so, when Ms. Gallo accused me - me - of being 'unrepentantly racist' purely because I happened to support the Sad Puppy cause, that was the last straw. I'd heard that lie from SJW's before, of course, and been able to get over it . . . but lies like that are like the Chinese water torture. Sooner or later, something's going to snap. Her accusations were, to me, unforgivable; and since she's never seen fit to retract them, they still are. Since her employer has seen fit to allow her, and others like her, to pontificate about something of which they apparently know absolutely nothing, to make false accusations and toss denigrations around like confetti, doing so on company time and using company computers and networks . . . that employer is complicit in the whole mess. Hence my outrage against Tor. Hence the boycott for which I will call on Friday if Tor and its holding company, Macmillan, don't act against those responsible.
I won't take this any more. I know I'm far from the only Puppy supporter who's had enough of the SJW's lies and slanders and libels. They want a war? They can have one.
(EDITED TO ADD: Sarah Hoyt seems to be on a similar rantfest this morning. Go read her article as well. It's worth it. You go, girl!)