2 Corinthians 6:14 and othering: Sad Puppies, Rabid Puppies and SJWs

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 2 Corinthians 6:14 (KJV)

This Story on Hullabaloo got me thinking about the conflict in SFF Fandom lately regarding the Hugos and all sides.

There is a hell of a lot of “othering” going on, and yes, its not limited to one side, or even predominantly one side. There is also the perception of othering on BOTH sides that probably exceeds the actual amount going on.

Larry, Brad and Sad Puppies see themselves as being treated as pariahs and outsiders by the Worldcon crowd. Part of that perception, whether its ex post facto, perception only, or really there just amplifies itself on the Internet. Similarly, the other side (which I am going to call SJW, just because its easier) sees many right wing authors and people as being beyond the pale, unworthy or impossible to engage with, and sparks fly on that side.

Mike Glyer’s File 770 has been one of the few places where both sides have come to meet, mainly due to Mike’s attempts to document this entire affair. and even there, conversations often devolve into name calling, and labeling. There appears to be an interest in keeping people on the “other side” as Other.

I am not perfect even as I’ve tried to maintain decorum and contact with people on all sides. That has made my position complicated when it works, but I’ve mostly gotten a lot of grief for my attempts. Dogpiling, personal attacks, a lack of civility and dismissal, rather than actually wanting to engage in a dialogue seem to be easier than facing the “Other”. This amplifies with self-reinforcement that the other side can’t be reasoned with, and it goes on and on and on.

And sad to say, my quote of scripture above itself will be seen thusly by some:

Mark you this, Bassanio,
The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.
An evil soul producing holy witness
Is like a villain with a smiling cheek,
A goodly apple rotten at the heart:
O, what a goodly outside falsehood hath!

-Merchant of Venice, Act I Scene III

3 thoughts on “2 Corinthians 6:14 and othering: Sad Puppies, Rabid Puppies and SJWs”

  1. The irony of all this is that they probably weren’t pariahs before all of this, but now most likely are because they’ve pissed all over something that a lot of people take very seriously. A self-fulfilling prophecy, if you will.

    1. Paul, I’m sorry that you got snapped at. As you say, after so many harsh words nerves are high and there is a lot of “othering” being done by both sides.

      I will allow others to judge the pro-puppy side at File770, but I can say I perceive most of the anti-puppy commentators there as particularly uninterested in any meaningful dialogue. At GRRM’s blog no understanding has been possible either, but at least the conversation has a more respectful tone.

      SMD, my take on what you say is that conservative authors are not pariahs as long as they keep their heads down and are careful not to speak their minds on certain political issues. If they do, then the hunt is up. That is a situation that I find extremely distasteful, because it means that there our intellectual freedom is limited, and that we live in a somewhat totalitarian community at least when it comes to certain hot issues.

      It’s not just a purely social issue. It also hurts conservative authors in terms of sales. It has become quite common for authors to interact with their fans online, and agents and editors strongly encourage them to have active blogs. However, conservative authors can’t fully engage in that way, because any opinion they publish has to be carefully self-censored or it may be used against them. If they are outspoken, there will be campaigns against them whenever they are considered for an award.

      The people who started the SP campaign are authors who have decided they do not care any more. They are not going to hang their heads down and shut up for fear of being ostracized. For them, the accusations of racism, sexism and homophobia that are falling on them have lost their original meaning, and are just weapons being used in an ideological war against them.

      Speaking with left-leaning people, I have seen that they do not share that perception, even though they sometimes fall victims themselves to a sort of witch-hunt mentality that has develop around issues of race and gender (see for example Elizabeth Bear in the RaceFail fan war), and even though the harassment of people with the wrong opinions (or even without them, see Jonathan Ross at the 2014 Hugos) are sometimes very public affairs.

      Since the perceptions from both sides are so different, it is very difficult to find common ground and understand each other. That makes any dialog fruitless and leads to frustration.

      I have to tell you, however, that no matter how the issue is presented, we are not against diversity. We like diversity and we think that all voices are valuable. The only problem is that we also like ideological diversity.

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