Only a conservative twit would believe he’s entitled to a speaker’s slot at a con

Pity poor Jon Del Arroz! The sad far-right science fiction author first came to my attention a short while ago when he was complaining bitterly that the SJWs had taken over science fiction, using cherry-picked and misleading statistics. He’s got a persecution complex big enough to fill the San Francisco bay, where he lives.

Now he’s getting picked on again! He claims to have been blackballed from a local convention — he’s spoken there before, but he was not invited this year. After going on and on about reviews for a recent book, and praising himself mightily, he cuts to the chase.

The reason I was disinvited was because it is well known that I support the President of the United States, duly elected and all, and that I’m happy about the way the country is being run. You know, like most normal people are. That’s the only thing that’s changed between then and now. It’s the same dangerous rhetoric out there that many of these folk who run the convention post on such a consistent basis that has turned Facebook from a “fun catching up with friends” website to a hellhole of fear, anger and hate (which as Master Yoda taught us, leads to suffering!). It’s impossible to communicate anymore, and as such, there is a small but vocal power structure of people in the convention scene and publishing that can’t tolerate the concept of seeing my pretty face. I am a minority that’s been discriminated against, not because of my race, but because of my ideas. In Science Fiction, ideas are everything, and it’s frightening to think about those being shut down as a consequence. These people want my career to fail, and they believe they can accomplish that by silencing me and giving me the cold shoulder.

There’s one little problem with this woeful narrative. We have the letter the conference organizers personally wrote to him after he complained.

Dear Jon,

Thank you for your interest in BayCon 2017. We have made some changes to the programming which are discussed in detail here:

At this time we are not issuing you an invitation for this year’s convention. You are definitely on our guest list for 2018 and we hope very much to see you there.


BayCon Programming

He wasn’t blackballed. He’s even on their list for next year. They just like to rotate their speakers a bit, and not bring in the very same people every year — which is a good policy. I like hearing from new people.

Jon Del Arroz thinks getting one invitation to speak means he is now invited to speak at every con every year in perpetuity. He’s an idiot. He’s such an entitled ass, I have to wonder about BayCon — why have they invited him back for next year? Have they no standards in invited speakers? That’s not a good sign.

By the way, I have a similar example: I was a speaker at Skepticon multiple times. One year they decided they needed new blood, so they invited some other people, instead of me. If I were like Jon Del Arroz, I would have made a big stink over the violation of tradition — they invited me once (actually, a couple of times), so now they must invite me every time. Every year. Over and over. Until attendees are sick of me, and even then they aren’t allowed to stop.

That isn’t the way this works. I approve of diversity in the line-up. I think it’s great that they have enough people with interesting things to say that they can have a different roster of speakers every year. I’m perfectly willing to step aside, especially since it means I can just attend and enjoy the event without having to give a talk.

But then, I didn’t vote for Donald Trump. Maybe it’s all those rabid Republican dude-bros who run Skepticon who have blackballed me.


  1. says

    First he says that most normal people are “happy about the way the country is being run.” Then he says he’s a minority because of his ideas.
    But then, I guess whatever fits his view is what he’s going to say, even if contradictory.

  2. Ed Seedhouse says

    Oh P.Z., if I were a “rabid Republican dude-bro” I would definitely blackball you. There, I hope you feel better now.

  3. cvoinescu says

    @Duth Olec, that is not a contradiction, necessarily. The assertions are compatible if a sizable number of people are not “normal”. But my money is on bad logic and general lack of thought, too. Obviously.

  4. chrislawson says

    If I were the BayCon committee, I’d very publicly withdraw his invitation in the light of his petulant, insulting, and insufferably entitled behaviour.

  5. methuseus says

    @Josef #4:
    They know about my crippling anxiety in public speaking, so they disinvited you. It makes about the same amount of sense.

  6. says

    Oh, hey, you’ve brought up an important point! I’ve never been invited to speak at BayCon at all, probably because they pad the speaker list with whiny babies like Jon Del Arroz, instead of interesting people. I’ve been deplatformed!

  7. Siobhan says

    @10 PZ Myers

    I’ve been deplatformed!

    If the New York Times declines my latest pitch they are personally censoring me.

  8. says

    Chigau @ 12:

    No one has ever not invited me to speak anywhere.

    I’ve been invited to speak to classrooms full of sproggen. If you want to talk to der sproggen about art, I’ll happily toss any future invites your way. I don’t like doing that sort of thing.

  9. blf says

    The mildly deranged penguin points out y’all got this sideways. If the NYT, or BayCon, Foof’s Cheese Chargers, or whoever, does invite you as a speaker / writer / dartboard, that really means you’re in need of a billygoat and a bridge. If they do not invite you, then you’re so boring the billygoat would eat the bridge.

    She suggests the proper metric is whether or not the NYT, BayCon, Foof’s Cheese Chargers, or whoever, would accept an invitation from you. If not, then you can’t even get a billygoat or a bridge. If so, then, um, well, you need to try again. Bridge-fed billygoats, she says, taste nasty, no amount of cheese, vin, mustard / chilies, grog, MUSHROOM! will help.

  10. says

    Chigau @15:

    You’d also have to conduct art exercises. There isn’t all that much speechifying. I generally find something for the sproggen to do which makes a massive mess. They’re happy, and I don’t get invited back. :D

  11. What a Maroon, living up to the 'nym says

    I practice self-deplatforming. I absolutely refuse to speak at any venue that would invite me.

    So far that’s worked remarkably well.

  12. Trickster Goddess says

    It’s a stupid writer who doesn’t know the difference between disinvited and uninvited.