“Morality War”: Fisking Reality

(Previously published to EricFlint.net)

So far, I have exactly one work out of the Hugo packet which I would consider voting “No Award” over. On File 770, I was advised that this is actually a Sad Puppy nominee: “Hill 142″ by Jason Cordova.

Which changes exactly nothing. I paid no attention to the nominations, and since becoming a WorldCon voting member I have only heard what is supposed to be this or that from people engaged in this controversy. I did not become involved because I wanted to blindly push through someone’s work to make some stupid ideological statement no one should care about in that context anyways.

Distilling it down, that is the problem with the whole thing, though: it is, for both sides, a morality war.

No one is arguing that rules or laws were broken in the nomination process. They argue that a moral Rubicon was crossed. Their opposition justifies doing so on their own set of arguments about how morally the Hugos have or haven’t been run in the past.

No matter what fandom I’ve ever been mainly involved in at any given time (my FenVenn Diagram would have about a dozen overlapping circles), I have avoided such morality plays and grudge matches because, in all honesty, it is next to impossible to REALLY fisk the truth out of them. Too much happens behind closed doors or in someone’s mind to filter what the reality is out of it. Those few times I have gotten into a grudge match, it’s usually been to play peacemaker… yes, I’m sure some of those reading this, if not most, will enjoy a good scoff or two at that.

Again, doesn’t change reality. I’m not going to try and morally censor someone for their personal political views, though I dislike extremism in general. And I’m not putting that “peacemaker” notation up there in hopes of actually being one here; that’s a lost cause. See: Morality War.

So if I have to judge on basis of who has the moral high ground, it is not with people who enlist the press to lie about their opposition on their behalf. When a news outlet used to rumormongering as part of its business model has to stop and rewrite a story when advised they just committed libel, then yeah. That’s immoral, and given how many other news sites were repeating the story with the same talking-points — well, libel is after all, not something they could “find” for themselves except from libelous persons.

This alone would have mobilized me for the Puppies (and I’ve talked already plenty about the other reason it got my attention in the first place).

But then you have Ms. Gallo’s use of defamatory stereotypes specifically for the purpose of lying to a neutral party about her opposition. Where are the denunciations? Have I not seen it repeated so very often that if Vox Day said something in 2006, Puppies must denounce it now or be considered wholly in support of such things?

Why do I see people popping up to justify spreading the term “neo-Nazi” around, not to mention insisting repeatedly that “racist, sexist homophobes” is an accurate description of all Puppies as a whole? Not even James May appears to go so far in terms of labeling ALL anti-Puppies as radical feminists or “SJWs”.

If this is indeed nothing more than a morality war, it’s not the Puppies’ opponents who hold the high ground, and that is one reason I am so loathe, when they yell ” ‘No Award’ Will Save the Hugos!”, to consider their advice as anything more than the same sort of raving madness that has led to this field of pitchforks and torches I see arrayed before me.

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