Nasty little man


Vox-Day

If you enjoy watching Theodore Beale/Vox Day getting stomped on (and who doesn’t?), I must recommend that you read this analysis of Beale and his supporters by Philip Sandifer. He doesn’t mince words. And I agree entirely with his conclusion.

Comments

  1. says

    From the linky:

    …fascists have a remarkably well-developed vocabulary of jargon and a propensity for verbose arguments that puts me to shame. What this means is that if you attempt to get into some sort of practical, content-based argument with a fascist, you will suddenly find yourself staring down a thirty item bulleted list with frequent citations to barely relevant and inaccurately described historical events, which, should you fail to address even one sub-point, you will be declared to have lost the debate by the fascist and the mob of a dozen people on Twitter who suddenly popped up the moment you started arguing with him.

    Holy crap, but that description sounds familiar. It describes the texts in the tryst of a certain shirty red-shirted blueshirt.

  2. says

    It is not just that he is a frothing fascist, but that he believes that the best possible thing he can do with his magical genetic access to Divine Truth is to try to disrupt the Hugo Awards.

    I’d nominate this for the “Sick Burn” category if the Hugos had one.

  3. says

    The part that I find endlessly amazing about Beale is that he seems to think he’s a dominant male predator/wielder of flaming swords and swooner of women – but the reality appears to be that he’s a petulant and vengeful weakling who even a mild-mannered SJW like John Scalzi can make a laughingstock of. If he’s as successful as a pick up artist as he is at being an “alpha male” he must be frustrated a lot of the time. And I don’t even feel bad for him because he appears to be completely incapable of learning from the various slap-downs that life keeps handing him.

  4. zenlike says

    Amazing essay that is a must read for anyone interested in this debacle.

    As the author states, there is indeed no point in trying to ‘convert’ the hardcore believers like Vox himself, because there is no reasoning with people who effectively espouse fascist beliefs (in the real sense of the word). It is however important to remind everyone that this is not ‘left wing SF fans’ versus ‘right wing SF fans’, it is ‘SF fans’ versus actual fascists and christian dominionists.

  5. Rob Grigjanis says

    Choice quote:

    You [Beale] are the emperor of a tiny patch of shit, and if you are remembered, it will only be as a joke.

  6. Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened says

    Wow. I had not quite grasped the sheer nastiness of Theodore Beale and John C. Wright. That is an incredibly long but very illuminating read. These people are absolutely worth fighting.

    Also, on a happier note, I now really want to read Uber.

  7. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    >blockquote>… suddenly find yourself staring down a thirty item bulleted list with frequent citations to barely relevant and inaccurately described historical events, which, should you fail to address even one sub-point, you will be declared to have lost the debate …
    Is that what we call the “Gish Gallop”?

  8. says

    Saaad@#6 May that flaming sword picture live on forever.

    I love swords (I’ve made a couple…) and all I can think, when I look at that one, is how dull it is. The edge looks like it’s about 1/8″ thick. It’s hardly a sword at all, it’s a sword-shaped blunt object. Which is a perfect metaphor for Vox, really.

  9. Phil Sandifer says

    Wait, somehow, for all my research on this piece, I missed the flaming sword picture. Is that a real thing that Theodore Beale knowingly participated in the making of and put out into the world? And if so, is there a higher resolution version that I can add as an illustration to the article?

  10. anteprepro says

    Great article.

    Also, re: the sword. From the Voxer Rebellion’s blog, 2005:

    After an exchange of pleasantries, he asked me if my characters, you know, do anything interesting. I said, I don’t know, I would hope so… anyhow there’s angels and demons and some whacking each other with flaming swords, that sort of thing.

    “Flaming swords? Awesome!” Then a brief pause. “I don’t know how to say this, but, um, what do you look like?”

    I told him that if he was worried that I was a chubby guy with glasses and a goatee, that wasn’t a problem. He was delighted and told me to come on down to the paper, bring a sword if I had one, and we’d set some stuff on fire. Now, if you want to freak out the front desk reception, I can assure you that walking into the lobby of a major metropolitan newspaper with a shaved head, wearing a black suit, black overcoat, black gloves, black shades and carrying a four-foot sword will do the trick.

    Fortunately, the photographer arrived before the security guards called the police and we headed to the studio, which was filled with all sorts of flammable material. He’d acquired a few swords from a place affiliated with the SCA, and after some debate we selected a completely impractical monster. After covering it with flamepaste, he was about to light it when I asked what I was supposed to do if something caught on fire, if we had a fire extinguisher or anything.

    “Oh, one of those guys who plans ahead, I see.” There wasn’t an extinguisher, but we did find a giant barrel of sand in the room so we figured that would do. I can’t say that I didn’t think it would be a tremendous accomplishment to burn down the Star and Sickle’s HQ, but I manfully resisted the temptation and we did the pictures… if I look like I’m concentrating on something, it’s because I was occupied with dodging the flamepaste that’s dripping off the sword the whole time.

    Unfortunately, the writer moved to a New York newspaper before completing the story so it never ran. The photographer was so pleased with the pictures that he sent me a few of them, of which this is one. As for me, I’m just happy he didn’t want to strap me into a pair of Victoria’s Secret wings wearing nothing but a white thong.

  11. Georgia Sam says

    “A few decades ago, if you saw a lovely spaceship on a book cover, with a gorgeous planet in the background, you could be pretty sure you were going to get a rousing space adventure” without any cultural or political implications? Really? Asimov’s “Nightfall” & Ursula LeGuin’s “The Left Hand of Darkness” are just a couple of counter-examples that readily come to mind. And then there’s Harlan Ellison’s entire body of work …

  12. says

    Great article! I think the thing I’m maddest about this is how Beale drafted works that he knew would get a Hugo anyway without consulting people to make sure at least one of his “picks” won a Hugo. Specifically, Guardians of the Galaxy is what I’m thinking of.

    I’m beyond pissed that Beale tried to rope “Dog Dean Afternoon,” Supernatural into this mess.

  13. ceesays says

    well if he was going to pick any SPN episode, it would have to be one of the worst episodes ever produced…

  14. says

    Can I nominate Philip Sandifer’s blog post for Best Related Work next year???

    Perhaps he should re-title it to “No Award” — that way everyone will vote for it.

  15. liz321 says

    @11

    LOL…I love the elaborate backstory that he gives for the picture. It reeks of total deception. A unnamed(?) writer who’s going to write an article, at a paper, who was then transferred and then just never bothered to write the story…yeah right. And an unnamed photographer, whom I assume he hasn’t credited, sent him a few copies just because he loved the pictures so, so much. A perfect story that can’t be verified and gives cover to the obvious fact that he is so narcississtic that he, himself, arranged to have this “awesome” photo taken, just cuz he is so damn cool.

    Self-aggrandizement at it’s finest.

  16. generallerong says

    Words deserving to be illuminated in letters of gold:

    the useful way to understand fascism, at least for the purposes of Beale, is as an aesthetic – as a particular mix of fetishes and paranoias that always crops up in culture, occasionally seizing some measure of power, essentially always with poor results.

    Damn straight – dismiss these creeps as the preening little bully poseurs they are rather than the tough-minded intellectuals they imagine themselves to be.

  17. gog says

    “a few acid-burned faces is a small price to pay for lasting marriages.”

    Yes, because feminism ruins marriages that are ostensibly partnerships of people on equal standing! Of course, I’m making a moot point because Beale’s model of marriage has no concept of equality.

  18. Akira MacKenzie says

    I’m confused. Isn’t Beale a Creationist? If so, what’s with invoking the existence of other human species as part of his scientific racism bullshit?

  19. Akira MacKenzie says

    Oh. and regarding Antonelli:

    “The children of the elites are not, and do not believe in these values. They think Christians are either bigots or stupid or both, America is evil, and European-based civilization is all that’s wrong with the world.”

    Yes, and? What exactly about this well-documented evidence-based analysis of these “children of elites” is wrong?

  20. Thomathy, Such A 'Mo says

    That is a good essay. Philip Sandifer is a good writer. If this could be nominated for an award for related work, it ought to be (maybe you could nominate it, Cathy F, if you do whatever it is that one has to do to be able to put forth a nomination).

    I’d like to quote Sandifer for truth and because he expresses a sentiment that anyone who is disheartened about this mess should hold close,

    Stuff the ballot box all you want, but “If You Were a Dinosaur My Love” was still a great story, and there’s nothing you can possibly do to change that.

    Beale has lost, if ‘winning’ was ever the game. At whatever he’s worked he’s most certainly failed. Perhaps for a few years people will come across his name only in relation to the exposure he’s now getting for being, and I quote Sandifer again,

    […] a sexist, racist, homophobic extremist and a jerk to boot.

  21. Tethys says

    I haven’t made it through the excellent essay quite yet. Gads, trying to read a sentence of sad puppy writing makes my brain glaze over. It’s all weapons and war described in clunky sexual metaphor. * my missiles penetrated the ionic cloud and detonated in a frenzy of purple laser beams and … * I especially like this part about Larry Corriea;

    There are two things to say about this. The first is “wait, if you’re Churchill, Torgersen is FDR, and Beale is Stalin, then in this analogy, the people who thought the Hugo Awards were fine the way they were are…” The second is somewhat less glib: how, exactly, did anyone “wind up” here? One does not simply “wind up” allied to Josef Stalin. This is a process that requires some effort. It is a process during which one is afforded many opportunities to stop and say “wait a moment, I seem to be allying with Josef Stalin, maybe I should reconsider my life choices.”

    I have all of the recommended stories book marked for later. Yay, good writing has managed to surface from this sad situation despite all of VD’s efforts. *not an actual quote

  22. says

    @Tethys
    ” my missiles penetrated the ionic cloud and detonated in a frenzy of purple laser beams and …”

    It reads better with a porn-style soundtrack and heavy breathing. Try it!!!!

    Hm, actually, that would make for a pretty fun youtube video. :) Anyone got a shakespearean actor handy who’d do a dramatic reading? Or a porn star. Either would do…

  23. says

    Thomathy@#26
    Beale has lost, if ‘winning’ was ever the game.

    And that’s the real point. Beale (and Wright, and Torgerson) can’t write anything as good as “If you were a dinosaur…” on their best day, downhill, with a tail-wind. “Winning” doesn’t mean carrying home the rocket statue (although, that’s nice) — it’s a matter of being really, really good at what you do. When Pratchett made his oft-quoted quip about “going home to cry himself to sleep on a matress stuffed with 20-pound notes” he was being characteristically gracious by not mentioning that the root cause of the mattress’ stuffing was that he wrote effortlessly well, and his books brought smiles, giggles and joy more than they brought those 20-pound notes. Beale’s books don’t evoke much emotion, while his antics do. He’s got it backwards, but that’s all he can muster.

  24. Hakan Koseoglu says

    Marcus @29

    The Sad Puppy gang often claim they are “best selling authors” and try to draw parallels to Pratchett but I have never seen anyone who has met Pratchett and said a bad thing about him. The only bad mouthing I have ever seen involving Pratchett, not shockingly, was Rabid Puppy favourite John C. Wright fantasising punching him…

    As a massive fan of Pratchett, and also a strong critic of some of his formulaic books, I could never put him and puppy writers in the same page.

  25. says

    Georgia Sam @ 12:

    “A few decades ago, if you saw a lovely spaceship on a book cover, with a gorgeous planet in the background, you could be pretty sure you were going to get a rousing space adventure” without any cultural or political implications? Really? Asimov’s “Nightfall” & Ursula LeGuin’s “The Left Hand of Darkness” are just a couple of counter-examples that readily come to mind. And then there’s Harlan Ellison’s entire body of work …

    Just about every SF novel from the 70s that I own has a lovely Chris Foss spaceship on the cover, regardless of actual content…

  26. says

    Marcus Ranum @ 28:

    ” my missiles penetrated the ionic cloud and detonated in a frenzy of purple laser beams and …”

    It reads better with a porn-style soundtrack and heavy breathing. Try it!!!!

    This is actually a foretaste of what the readers’ letters in Transhumanist Penthouse will be like…

  27. Tethys says

    As Good As New was the perfect antidote to sad puppies space weaponry porn. It even has some very relevant thoughts on good storytelling.

    It just sounds so . . . hackneyed. I mean, postmodern Cyrano de Bergerac? I heard all about postmodernism from this one graduate student who opened my bottle in the early 1990s, and it sounded dreadful. If I wasn’t already sort of dead, I would be slitting my wrists.

    I never cease to be amazed at the complete lack of self-awareness of the christian/authoritarian/patriarchy mindset. Can you get more cliched than the flaming sword from the babble?

    after all—clichés were like plaque in the arteries of the imagination, they clogged the sense of what was possible. Maybe if enough people had worked to demolish clichés, the world wouldn’t have ended.

    In the repeated attempt’s and threats at gaming the Hugos, I think a constipation analogy would be more apt. VD and all his supporters have literally clogged the process with crap.

  28. NitricAcid says

    In VD’s defense, if I had a chance to pose for pictures with a flaming sword, I probably would (particularly if I could add some trimethyl borate to the gel, so that the flames were green). It strikes me as a fun thing to do.

    The rest of his crap is indefensible.

  29. says

    Tethys @ 34:

    My favourite line in Charlie Jane Anders’s story was one you quoted:

    after all—clichés were like plaque in the arteries of the imagination, they clogged the sense of what was possible.

    That should be tattooed on some people’s foreheads.

  30. frugaltoque says

    “hypervelocities”?

    Well, at least we’ve got a future writing Voltron dialog. Infracells up! Megathrusters are go!

    Is that what these fools think science fiction is?

  31. Tethys says

    Caine

    My favourite line

    I quite liked it too, obviously. :) I enjoyed but am still processing all the nuance of All That Fairy Tale Crap . Rachael Swirsky is very skilled. Her poetic interludes are works of concise terrible beauty.

    Little cinder girls, we’re raised in fire.
    Either you melt and become the simpering thing you’re supposed to.
    Or else you temper into something calloused and unbreakable.

  32. skylanetc says

    Sandifer’s descriptions of fascism and fascists are cogent and illuminating but, that aside, I am not sure I understand him here:

    The problem is the belief that “single overarching explanation for reality” and “truth” are inherently synonyms, a viewpoint that excludes the perfectly sensible possibility that there are multiple reasonable explanations for reality floating, all of which are, if not true in some divine metaphysical sense, at least seemingly good enough to use without causing any major problems that we can see, and that doesn’t even necessarily mean that there isn’t such a thing as a single true explanation that is right in all regards, it just means that any such explanation is something well beyond our current understanding of the universe, and probably not relevant to very many practical situations.

    Huh? Correct knowledge of how the universe and presumably its components like humans and their society work is unimportant because it’s “probably not relevant to very many practical situations?” “Probably” not? And what exactly is a “practical” situation, one that can do just fine without accurate knowledge?

    Somebody explain to me how I’m missing his point, please.

  33. auraboy says

    A great read and well written in and of itself. I particularly enjoyed picking out Uber – I think it’s useful to show that some people are creating extremely violent, gory, hard edged, militaristic universes with fascist glorification but actually subverting it and saying something. It’s not just a black and white – ‘right wingers like big battles, left wingers like poetic musing,’ – it’s possible to create thoughtful work across the spectrum but what Vox Day and his ilk are saying is anything BUT this form of work is impure, anything that does not CONFORM or tries to utilize OUR tropes without fully endorsing them is filth.

    I especially noted that the description of Vox Day is entirely accurate. Everyone promote your individual freedom by following me in lockstep! Everyone avoid their groupthink – by joining mine!

  34. footface says

    My god, but these guys are little babies. These puppies and gamergaters. Worrying about computer games and who wins science fiction awards? That’s the focus of their lives? Maybe it’s time to grow up? I’d never heard of John C. Wright, but this is some shitty writing:

    “anyone who does not sense or suspect that modernity is missing something, something important that once we had and now is lost, has no heart for High Fantasy and no taste for it.”

  35. auraboy says

    @Skylantec 39 – I believe he was pointing out that their fascist viewpoint is that theirs is the one objective truth, one way of seeing and knowing that they’ve accessed and that not conforming to that view of reality, or holding any other moral or ethical framework is against the purity of that view. It’s essentially rendering beauty down to the same narrow interpretation. This seems to be in essence their stated problem with Ursula K LeGuin – an author who has not blatantly stated what their truth and goodness is and dares to use metaphor.

    They are stating that they know the objective divine truth and that progressives are not adhering to it. It’s simple ideological purity but they dress it up as progressives are weak for accepting all viewpoints (a pointless straw man – progressives – whatever they are – are hardly likely to accept all viewpoints).

  36. Azkyroth, B*Cos[F(u)]==Y says

    Huh? Correct knowledge of how the universe and presumably its components like humans and their society work is unimportant because it’s “probably not relevant to very many practical situations?” “Probably” not? And what exactly is a “practical” situation, one that can do just fine without accurate knowledge?

    Somebody explain to me how I’m missing his point, please.

    Let me give you a concrete example: for basically all common engineering purposes, “gravity” can be approximated as a 9.81m/s^2 acceleration straight down.

    This isn’t, quite, physically correct. See also, all of Newtonian physics.

  37. Knabb says

    @Skylanetc, 39

    Basically, the claim that there is “one overarching explanation for everything” is not the same as saying that there’s only one reality. What it’s saying is that you only need one model, and everything falls into place. Meanwhile, any accurate understanding is pretty much predicated on understanding that there are a lot of different specialized models of varying degrees of oversimplification useful for understanding various things. Meanwhile, some complete model which actually would explain everything is going to be ridiculously cumbersome in application to just about anything. Different explanations are useful for different things, and in the context of fascism in particular the overarching explanation is generally some oversimplified tripe about all of human society working in some particular way. Meanwhile, actual research on how human society works generates tons of specialized models for different things, as is to be expected.

  38. Akira MacKenzie says

    Marcus Ranum @ 28

    Being a miniature wargamer, I’ve consumed quite a bit of military sci-fi over the years, and that is just plain horrible. Even David Drake has able to keep his stories focused on action and plot rather than laborious descriptions of every weapon and vehicle depicted. Less is more (unless you can’t write for shit).

  39. Azkyroth, B*Cos[F(u)]==Y says

    anyone who does not sense or suspect that modernity is missing something, something important that once we had and now is lost

    Passenger pigeons?

  40. says

    skylanetc @39:

    Huh? Correct knowledge of how the universe and presumably its components like humans and their society work is unimportant because it’s “probably not relevant to very many practical situations?” “Probably” not? And what exactly is a “practical” situation, one that can do just fine without accurate knowledge?

    I don’t think Sandifer was speaking about how human societies work. I think he was speaking about explanations for the origins of the universe (or the nature of reality).

    As a child, I wasn’t particularly skilled at math. I remember struggling with fractions and percentages. I couldn’t wrap my brain around these things. At least not until my parents taught me about grocery store applications of these concepts. The basic conceit behind the idea was applying the concepts I learned (or, more accurately, struggled to learn) to everyday situations I found myself in. When grocery shopping with my parents, I often wanted certain items. My parents shopped using coupons, some of which were of the “30% off kind”. They would tell me that if I could figure out what 30% of Product X was that I could have that thing I wanted. They taught me that the concepts I was learning in math class had an applicability beyond the classroom. I could apply those concepts to things that I wanted (or needed) in the course of my daily life.

    What that means in relation to your question about Sandifer’s passage is that there are some concepts that we don’t need to deal with or understand in the course of our everyday lives. Certainly, there are some people who *do* deal with questions about the nature of reality as part of their occupation, but for the vast majority of people, we go about our lives not really needing to know how the universe was created. Nor would such knowledge affect our daily activities. Did the Big Bang create the universe? Did a deity create everything? Has the universe always existed? These are questions that don’t have much of a daily impact on most people, so they lack a ‘grocery store application’.
    That’s not to say they aren’t important questions, but the answers to those questions don’t affect me while feeding my cats and dogs, watching the news, driving to work, grocery shopping, or bartending.

  41. says

    Akira MacKenzie @#46
    Being a miniature wargamer,

    I am also a fairly small wargamer. :) Mostly napoleonics and, of course, D&D during the hayday of Ral Partha.

  42. raven says

    anyone who does not sense or suspect that modernity is missing something, something important that once we had and now is lost

    Passenger pigeons?

    Smallpox. Driven extinct by science.

    Rinderpest. Also extinct. Next up is polio.

    We are also missing chronic religious wars and average lifespans of 35 years. The Dark Ages. The Demon Theory of Disease. And a whole lot more that we lost by hard work and hard thinking.

  43. says

    That was a fantastic essay. Too many great points to quote! I absolutely agree that Beal & co. have lost before they even began.

    One thing on Teddy’s back story about the flaming sword:

    As for me, I’m just happy he didn’t want to strap me into a pair of Victoria’s Secret wings wearing nothing but a white thong.

    Not nearly as happy as I am, Theodore, not nearly as happy.

  44. dobby says

    I know a struggling author who was hoping to get a Hugo nomination. With the hijacking that is not going to happen, at least not this year. What a shame.

  45. anteprepro says

    dobby: That is precisely the tragedy of Toxic Vox-Ick’s little game. He is not just trampling all over the awards ceremony, but he has effectively given a heckler’s veto against all of the worthy Hugo nominations of the entire year. It’s horrible.

  46. Matt Cramp says

    My only quibble is that if you argue (correctly, in my view) that fascism as a political framework is incoherent jabbling, and that it’s best understood as an aesthetic, then why not go the whole hog and call it reactionary? Luddites put forward the idea of a balanced social order that had been disrupted by machines, with Ned Ludd as its saviour. It even featured the incoherence of later fascism, including a half-hearted focus on social welfare mostly calculated to make them not look like thugs.

    I mean, I think ‘fascism’ and ‘neofascism’ are more visceral than ‘reactionary’ (albeit diminished by college students shouting it at George W. Bush, who for all his many faults was no Theodore Beale), but I think some precision would be nice.

  47. Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened says

    @ rq

    Interesting, and in my opinion a good decision by them. I’m also in favour of this “No Award” movement that appears to be gaining traction. I read through some comments on BlackGate, and someone called Sai S has summed up the situation nicely, in my opinion:

    The whole controversy around the Hugo nominations has become a three ring circus of competing topics: whether or not the nominees knew about or agreed to be on the slate, whether or not voters voted in concert, the political views of the people who made the slate etc.
    None of that matters, in my opinion. What matters is that a vocal and unified minority drowned out all other voices by sheer volume. Sure, they did it by operating within the system. No matter how they did it, the result is that other people’s voices and choices could not be heard or voted on.

    Now the very same group is making a very disingenuous argument when they turn around and say that voting “No Award” on principle is wrong. Instead, they ask people to vote for the best choices among the ones available. “Pick a card. Any card.” When you have no choice but to pick a card that the magician offers, you know he is going to succeed in the trick.

    In this situation, the only way out is to not pick a card, and show everyone that drowning out voices is not going to result in any reward to the choices of this vocal minority, which has chosen to submerge others voices by acting in concert.

  48. Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened says

    General question to the room: Last year’s winner of best novel; Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie. Worth a read, or no?

    I read a lot of fantasy and historical fiction, but not a lot of sci-fi, and think I am missing out on a wealth of good books as a result.

  49. says

    Thumper
    YES!
    Read it. I will safe Ancillary Sword for the smmer holidays.

    ++++
    I’m still wondering: If there was this alleged big conspiracy of SJWs to keep the good old conservative writers off the ballots, how is it possible that the puppies gamed the system so easily?

  50. rq says

    Thumper
    I have now added that (and Ancillary Sword) to the reading list. :) Perhaps we can discuss eventually.

    +++

    Giliell
    Obviously, SJWs are too liberal to be organized enough to maintain power and due to their socially justified hearts and irrational emotions, do not have the strategic logic to counter the offensive tactics of the sad puppies. Don’t dictatorships build greater things than democracies because of forced labour or something like that? [/s]

  51. Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened says

    Giliell

    Excellent :) ta very much. Kindle store, here I come.

    I’m still wondering: If there was this alleged big conspiracy of SJWs to keep the good old conservative writers off the ballots, how is it possible that the puppies gamed the system so easily?

    Don’t you see? It was the liberal elite fixing the ballot. A powerful minority with an odious agenda to foist their Social Justice on the decent, hardworking, red-blooded folk who make up the majority of sci-fi fandom! If the oppressed masses rise as one, then the elite can never keep us down! Their control relies on the fear of the masses confining us to inaction; overcome that fear and, like any bully, they’ll run. Welcome to the revolution!

    Translation: Everybody really thinks like us! Waah!

  52. Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened says

    @ rq

    I’ll see you in the lounge when I’ve finished it :)

  53. rq says

    Oh and Thumper I quite liked this comment from that site, by AWAbooks:

    I took a quick tour of “Vox Day’s” blog site…it reads like Ayn Randian word salad with a side of AI routines written by Elbonians.

  54. shala says

    Giliell @ 59:

    It’s a classic fascist viewpoint. The “enemy” is both able to maintain a huge conspiracy to suppress good, honest, salt-of-the-earth conservative folks but at the same time has a gaping weakness that no one else has ever “noticed” before. In their view, “SJWs” are both too influential and strong and yet have a glaring weakness that only they, our ubermensch betters, have realized.

    They’re stupid assholes, in other words. Not a surprise.

  55. Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened says

    @ rq #63

    I enjoyed that one too :) I’m tempted to go and give Voxy’s blog a read, just out of curiosity, but I get the feeling that it would make my head explode with rage.

    @ Shala #64

    Exactly; it’s the classic conservative conspiracy theory. The Liberal elite are a tiny powerful group who control the scientists and opinion polls and, apparently, Hugo awards, and use their power to further their agenda. They convince themselves that most people think like them and the poor majority are having their opinion squashed by the liberal elite. Everyone thinks like them, but are too afraid to speak out. They are the righteous majority subjected to the tyranny of the SJWs, and all they have to do is organise and rise up to overcome their opressors. They are unable to acknowledge that there is no liberal elite, and that the reason things are more progressive now is due to the changing tide of public opinion which has left them and their ilk stranded on the sands of their bigotry, because that would involve admitting that they are the minority that everyone thinks is nuts.

    This is all compounded by the fact that, when they do organize and rise up, it normally works. Not because it’s the real majority, as they think, but because it’s perfectly possible for a noisy and organized minority to wreak an awful lot of damage.

    @ Anne #65

    Thanks, shall do :) already downloaded to the kindle.

  56. says

    Another devotee of Napoleonic minis here…nice to know we still exist. I’ve got an entire corps of Russian infantry boxed up, wish I had money to get some Frenchies…:)

    Also, Vox Day is an asshole. But not just any asshole. He is the asshole of a rat, which lived its entire life in the sewers under a greasy spoon restaurant across from a police station, and died of a nasty infection brought on by swimming literally its every minute in the effluent full of fascist hopes and dreams, as well as undigested fat globules and half eaten chips.

  57. anteprepro says

    Matt Cramp: I was thinking of saying something similar, but I think that the author is on the right track. I think three things just needed to make it more explicit.

    Militarism: This is a key element of most definitions of fascism. A war-like mentality, an emphasis on might, obsession with the military, war, weaponry, etc. This makes it even more obvious that fascism is an aesthetic: it is a militaristic aesthetic that uses the two mythological elements mentioned in the article, specifically.

    Extremism: Related to the other two things I am mentioning, the key to the way fascists think and the character of all of their proposed policies is “By Any Means Necessary”. Nothing is off the table for them. They are willing to do horrible, horrible things. Because the Betrayers deserve it, and because doing anything, no matter how immoral, is worth it to bring back Teh Golden Age.

    Demonization: This is possibly emergent from all the other properties, or vice versa. And it is alluded to in the article by those viewing certain groups as “subhuman”. They view themselves as superhuman and/or view their “enemies” as less than human.

    I think all of these were alluded to, to some degree, in the article, but I agree that they should have been made more explicit. because it avoids the problem of being able to call too many different ideologies “fascist” (Christianity could be called inherently fascist if the only criteria were a Lost Golden Age and Stab-in-the-back, but when add the other factors I mentioned, regarding what they DO with this ideology, it narrows the field a bit better).

  58. Gregory Greenwood says

    That was a truly excellent essay in the link from the OP, and a brilliantly effective take down of the ugly beliefs of Vox Day and his fascist fellow travellers.

    Saad: Openly Feminist Gamer @ 6;

    May that flaming sword picture live on forever.

    I know, it’s great isn’t it? Taken alongside his political stance, that image is such a revealing window into the mindset and insecurities of Vox Day. The obvious phallic symbolism, and the militarisation of that symbolism – he couldn’t more obviously declare his aspirations to toxic ‘alpha male’ status if he had it tattooed on his forehead. The need to over-egg the picture – a sword is not enough, it must be one fire for some reason. And then there is the whole ‘old school hero pose’ (he really just needs his foot to be positioned on a rock/the fallen body of his vanquished foe to complete the effect) that plays into his vision of himself as a Nietzchean superman who stands above mere mortals and is deserving of uncritical respect and fealty, as described in the linked article from the OP.

    The fact that he looks utterly ridiculous is also a nice bonus.

  59. Saad: Openly Feminist Gamer says

    Gregory Greenwood, #70

    Taken alongside his political stance, that image is such a revealing window into the mindset and insecurities of Vox Day. The obvious phallic symbolism, and the militarisation of that symbolism – he couldn’t more obviously declare his aspirations to toxic ‘alpha male’ status if he had it tattooed on his forehead. The need to over-egg the picture – a sword is not enough, it must be one fire for some reason. And then there is the whole ‘old school hero pose’ (he really just needs his foot to be positioned on a rock/the fallen body of his vanquished foe to complete the effect) that plays into his vision of himself as a Nietzchean superman who stands above mere mortals and is deserving of uncritical respect and fealty

    I wish this could be the caption that automatically appears every time someone uses that picture anywhere.

    Also note the red background. Because blood.

  60. Phillip Hallam-Baker says

    Thanks for posting this. After reading the article I am not going to differentiate between the sad and rabid puppies.

    Making something obvious to anyone but a moron and then arguing that it is an unfair accusation is another fascist trope. Like Putin’s claim that Russia had absolutely nothing to do with the coup in Crimea until he admitted organizing it.

    The two groups have logos by the same artist that make it clear that they are the same. But they just play the ‘you can’t prove I’m a facist’ game.

    It is therefore no surprise that they are anti-post modernism because the principle realization of the post-modernists was that it is not possible to prove everything that is true is true. That there are limits to knowledge should be a fairly obvious, basic observation but it has taken a long time for the truth to sink in.

    Back at Oxford I studied formal methods of computer science trying to reduce the operation of a machine whose every action is bounded by mathematics to mathematical certainty. While I proved more code correct than anyone else had to that point, doing so taught me the severe limits of the approach. The machine is governed by mathematics but it is only a part of a system that includes humans. Which was the point at which Tim Berners-Lee persuaded me to join him on the Web.

    Truth is good but truth is not always available. Dawkins is certain god does not exist. I don’t know and I don’t care. Such questions are not only unanswerable but they are meaningless. The only way that we can give them meaning is to sneak the answer into the question. But the fascist demands an answer to every question.

    Of course I can’t prove that the sick puppies co-ordinated their campaigns but to believe otherwise is to give a group of people who have given ample evidence of their bad fair the benefit of doubt that simply does not exist. The number of coincidences that have to be ignored or explained is simply to great.

  61. says

    I’m in the middle of one of the best books I’ve read in a long time, Ken Liu’s The Grace of Kings, book I of the Dandelion Dynasty.

  62. says

    Tethys @ 38:

    Oh, I love that. All of it.

    Here’s the thing:

    You can’t win.

    You can’t win if you’re a princess. You can’t win if you rescue the prince. You can’t win if you cross–dress and become the royal huntsman. And heaven forbid you try to slip into another fairy tale by pricking yourself with a spindle — in the real world, the only thing a spindly prick gets you is up the duff.

    No one else is doing better. The mice always wondering if they’re supposed to walk on two legs. The prince so vapid he can only recognize the chick he’s fallen in love with by her shoe size. Your poor, ugly stepsisters who half the time are hobbling on chopped–up feet.

    Animators can come in with fake smiles and truckloads of bleach and Zip–a–Zee–Do–Dah away the blood and eye–pecking birds. Post–modern lit grads in ironic t–shirts can tear you up and stitch you into Frankenstein’s femme fatale.

    Still there are a thousand girls resting their heads on fireplace stones. Still a thousand streaked with ash and spit.

    Still a million going to sleep each night with the knowledge that no one gives a fuck whether or not they wake up.

  63. anteprepro says

    Caine, Tethys: That is very good. Gotta read the whole thing. I did read the comments though. Post is a year and a half old, but I see that when it was made they got a few asshats making snide comments. Immediately after the first comment, which was praise in the form of “Better than anything Vox Day ever wrote”. True, but faint praise. And makes me suspicious about where the negative comments came from…

  64. says

    I always find 14 ways of looking at a blackshirt to be helpful in describing fascism.
     
    Nthing the recommendations for Ancillary Justiceand Ancillary Sword. I’ll also add a recommendation for Saladin Ahmed’s Throne of the Crescent Moon, which I just finished; it was recommended in someone or other’s discussion of the Hugos. I’m also enjoying Our Lady of the Islands, by Shannon Page and Jay Lake, which I ran across at the library.

  65. says

    Caine

    I’m in the middle of one of the best books I’ve read in a long time, Ken Liu’s The Grace of Kings, book I of the Dandelion Dynasty.

    Thanks for the feedback. I’ve been eying it for a while, but it’s quite expensive for an ebook, so I didn’t want to buy it on a whim.

  66. sawells says

    @78: I notice near the end of Eco’s essay this little gem of foresight: “There is in our future a TV or Internet populism, in which the emotional response of a selected group of citizens can be presented and accepted as the Voice of the People.”

    Hello Slymepit/Puppies/MRAs/etc.

  67. says

    Giliell:

    Thanks for the feedback. I’ve been eying it for a while, but it’s quite expensive for an ebook, so I didn’t want to buy it on a whim.

    It’s a sweeping epic, brilliant, beautiful, and brutal. Story upon story upon story crash and roil into the greater arc, like all the drops of water which make a cresting wave. And silkpunk. I love that.

    Dalillama:

    I’ll also add a recommendation for Saladin Ahmed’s Throne of the Crescent Moon, which I just finished;

    I read that, and recommend it, with a caveat. This is the review I wrote:

    About every 10th word in this book is God. God this, God that, God whatever. The sheer volume of the word is off putting. After a bit, you get numb to it, to the point that the rare (short) paragraph without a god in it catches your attention. If the incidences of the word god had been cut at least in half, the author would have freed up considerable space to detail the world building a bit more, which would have been more appreciated than being beat over the brain by word repetition. All that said, the characters are richly drawn and engaging, the story is well paced and fun, just rather sorely lacking in background detail. I will look forward to more by this author, who I sincerely hope will lighten up on the word repetition.

    I do not recommend The Beasts of Tabat:

    There was quite a hefty build-up for this debut novel, and I expected to enjoy it. As it turns out, I didn’t like it at all. Anyone who has watched Futurama knows about Bender’s self-reverence: “Bender is great, Bender is great, oh Bender is great!” Bender has nothing on the hero of Tabat, Bella Kanto. (And am I ever sick of that name). The character is narcissistic with a healthy side of cruel pettiness. Even had I been prone to liking the character, I would have tired of the constant praise the hero heaps upon herself (No wonder everyone wants Bella Kanto! After all, I am Bella Kanto, and so on), along with an annoying habit of justifying any and all actions taken by her, which end up with her being satisfied that it’s not her fault, even when it is.

    The secondary main character is Teo, a fourteen year old boy from a far village, who finds himself on his own in the city of Tabat. Naturally, his hero is Bella Kanto. (What a fucking surprise). The first part of the book alternates narratives from these two characters. I couldn’t shake the feeling that reading this book was like reading a personal diary, over-laden with minutiae with no real depth.

    There is an attempt to delineate a city based upon the oppression of a class of beings (in this case, those characterised as Beasts, or intelligent animals. This includes about every mythical being ever – centaurs, satyrs, minotaurs, any talking animals, dryads, etc.). A good part of this reminded me of Tad Williams’s The War of the Flowers, with it’s “power problem”. Pretty much the same thing. Nothing wrong with that, it’s a wide premise with a lot of potential. However, rather than a good grounding in a longstanding social system which relies on oppression, you get several recountings of cringe-worthy cruelty to intelligent beings. People who are sensitive to such things might want to steer clear. (They had me feeling a bit queasy.)

    Everything in Beasts of Tabat is geared toward the next book in the series, which will have to get along without me. I did not like this book, and I didn’t care for the writing. They will no doubt get better as they go along, but this is one world I have no wish to visit again.

  68. says

    Tony! @ 77:

    I enjoyed Charlie Jane Anders’ story so much I read it twice. Back to back.

    I loved that story! Charlie Jane Anders’s debut novel will be out in February. I’m looking forward to it.

  69. says

    Caine
    I’m waiting on a copy of Grace of Kings from the library, and looking forward even more to it now.

    All that said, the characters are richly drawn and engaging, the story is well paced and fun, just rather sorely lacking in background detail. I will look forward to more by this author, who I sincerely hope will lighten up on the word repetition.

    Where Virtue Lives, showing the meeting of Adoulla and Raseed, and Judgment of Swords and Souls in the same universe give some more background, but I suspect the endless God references are intended as a setting feature, and aren’t going anyplace.

  70. Rey Fox says

    I love swords (I’ve made a couple…) and all I can think, when I look at that one, is how dull it is.

    It looks like a plastic He-Man sword. And he’s holding it in the most undynamic way possible, like he’s afraid of it. (I mean, he should be, but still…)

    “anyone who does not sense or suspect that modernity is missing something, something important that once we had and now is lost, has no heart for High Fantasy and no taste for it.”

    These guys always seem to think they’d be the knight in shining armor in those days, when in all likelihood they’d just be another peasant.

    And anyway, I thought everybody had gotten tired of “Blah Blah Sword Blah Blah Dragon” years ago.

  71. laurentweppe says

    And anyway, I thought everybody had gotten tired of “Blah Blah Sword Blah Blah Dragon” years ago.

    Ever heard of A Song of Ice and Fire? or Dragon Age?
    These series are built upon a neat narrative trick: in both case the “Blah Blah” is the most interesting part (ASIF is about feudal corruption and petty feuds among the ruling class bringing forth a massive societal collapse, while Dragon Age is pretty much “Late Middle-Ages Crisis: the RPG“), but in both case, the customers are brought in by the promise of magic swords, large dragons and brave heroes using the firsts to vanquish the seconds.

  72. Azkyroth, B*Cos[F(u)]==Y says

    I’m still wondering: If there was this alleged big conspiracy of SJWs to keep the good old conservative writers off the ballots, how is it possible that the puppies gamed the system so easily?

    One of the defining traits of fascism is that their enemies are always, at the same time, “too strong” and “too weak.”

  73. says

    One of the defining traits of fascism is that their enemies are always, at the same time, “too strong” and “too weak.”

    Yep, Nazi Antisemitism was kind of the beginning, when they declared a group that was actually not very powerful to be in control.
    Traditionally bigot ideology worked from the assumption that white straight cis men were not only better, but also in control and that the weak elements, women, PoC, LGBTQ needed to be kept in check.
    Modern bigots are mostly working under the assumption of “reverse racism” “misandry” “gay agenda” etc. , whole undisturbed by facts.

    +++
    Rey Fox

    These guys always seem to think they’d be the knight in shining armor in those days, when in all likelihood they’d just be another peasant.

    And they’d not die of an infected tooth, or the flu, or the measles. Reanaisance Fairs are cool because there’s still running water, toilets and paramedics.

  74. Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened says

    @ Dalillama #78

    Saladin Ahmed’s Throne of the Crescent Moon

    OK, I just went and read the blurb, and that looks fucking epic.

    I get paid next Thursday… the Kindle store will have a red letter day.