The Psychology of Hugo Sad Puppies and Rabid Puppies

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The State of the Puppies Up to Now

For those of you not familiar with the current controversy about the Hugo Award in Science Fiction, go here, here, and here to read up on what is happening. I do have skin in the game. I am a Worldcon supporting member, and I have long standing friendships and correspondences with several authors and editors and artists in science fiction. I am also a feminist, an anti-racist ally, an LGBTQ ally, and overall what the Hugo Sad Puppies would call a “SJW” (social justice warrior, meant as a pejorative when they say it).

I am not going to try to diagnose anyone involved in this issue, I am only going to discuss some broad psychological principles that apply. I am trained in social work, and hold a license to practice in the state of Missouri. My “day job” is as a psychotherapist in my own practice, and I have specialized over the last ten years on issues of poverty, trauma, and personality disorders, with a lot of depression and anxiety thrown in. I have had a fascination with, and have done a lot of work with, people who abuse.

The basic premise of Brad Torgersen and Larry Correia, leaders of the Sad Puppies, is this: that the SMOF (secret masters of fandom) have conspired for years to prevent authors with conservative viewpoints from winning Hugo awards. Their particular flashpoints for this point of view are John Scalzi, N.K. Jemison, and more recently K. Tempest Bradford, who recently asked her blog readers to support a challenge of reading only writers who were not cis-gendered (assigned the same gender as they feel) white men for one year. If it reads like bad fiction, I’m not the one who made up this particular fiction.

The Horrible, Awful SJWs and their Affirmative Action vs. Sad Puppies and their Implicit Belief in their Supremacy:

One key piece to the psychology of their movement is their use of the term SJW as a pejorative. From the Sad Puppy point of view, people who see diversity and inclusion as a positive good are a threat to them, in part because they simply don’t believe that diversity includes diversities among political lines and religious lines, and in part because they hold several implicit and subconscious beliefs about the nature of social dominance. This despite the fact that if asked directly, Sad Puppies (but not Rabid Puppies, who are openly homophobic, racist and misogynist) will deny any biases – and more importantly, will believe themselves to be free from bias. Brad Torgersen brings up his African American wife, and Larry Correia brings up his Hispanic heritage frequently to use as defenses against accusations of racism, with no awareness of how false that rings in the minority and ally communities.

One key piece of the distrust of diversity is the belief that if a work by a woman or a person of color or a person with a non-straight sexual orientation appears on an award ballot, it is most likely that the work is on the ballot because of either formal or informal affirmative action, and not due to its merits. Interestingly, when people who hold this belief are questioned about specific works, they usually concede that the work was, indeed, very good, and deserved to be on the ballot. It’s an interesting psychological carve out, equivalent to the idea that “my black friend” is a good person, but “all those other black people” are lazy, criminal, etc.Admitting that one work of a person who is not (straight) (white) (male) is good does not open up a Sad Puppy into believing that the work of others in that category could be equally as good.

Samuel (Chip) Delany, the first black man to win a Nebula Award, had this to say about the phenomenon years after his win. 

Since I began to publish in 1962, I have often been asked, by people of all colors, what my experience of racial prejudice in the science fiction field has been. Has it been nonexistent? By no means: It was definitely there. A child of the political protests of the ’50s and ’60s, I’ve frequently said to people who asked that question: As long as there are only one, two, or a handful of us, however, I presume in a field such as science fiction, where many of its writers come out of the liberal-Jewish tradition, prejudice will most likely remain a slight force—until, say, black writers start to number thirteen, fifteen, twenty percent of the total. At that point, where the competition might be perceived as having some economic heft, chances are we will have as much racism and prejudice here as in any other field.

That is what is happening now. Octavia Butler is gone but not forgotten. Chip is still a major voice in the field. Now we have Nalo Hopkinson and N.K. Jemison and Steven Barnes and Nnedi Okorafor and Junot Diaz and Sherman Alexie and Ted Chiang and Ken Liu and Mary Anne Mohanraj and the list goes on and on…

Every one of those writers blows me away. They are all so incredibly talented, and so obviously good at what they do, that I have to pull my therapist hat on tightly against the headwind in order to understand where the Sad Puppies are coming from. Those awesome writers of color intimidate me, and I’m both an ally and a fan of many of them, and acquaintances and even friends with a few.

They are a threat to the established order. We have reached that point Chip predicted where there are enough writers of color winning awards, and doing so regularly, that they are a threat to the perceived superiority and economic security of (white) (male) (straight) writers. You can look at any given group of nominees, even the Sad Puppy slate, and find among them writers of color. However, the difference between the POC on the Sad Puppy slate and other POC who have been nominated is that the others know that they got their nominations on merit. The Sad Puppy slate members, specifically chosen to fill a political agenda, have no such knowledge.

The Sad Puppies are probably going to object to my characterization at this point. First, how do I know that nominations of NK Jemison and Ken Liu and Ted Chiang weren’t “affirmative action?”. Because the writing was damned good, that’s why. Second, (they object) how does it “taint” this year’s nominees to be on the Sad Puppy slate? Because the slate was specifically created to make a political point, not a point about the quality of literature. You don’t have to take my word for it. Many of the folks nominated on the slate chose not to accept, some when the slate was first announced, and some after the nominees were announced and it was clear that the Sad/Rabid Puppy slate had prevailed. Even pointing this out as a problematic perception does absolutely no good to those who need most to understand it. In fact, being made aware of the psychology of things like this has been shown over and over again to harden resistance to change.

The Sad Puppies and their veiled supremacist views were utterly and completely predictable. So were the Rabid Puppies and their open and contemptuous supremacist views. More important, the collusion between the two was predictable. Hugo Sad Puppies exports bad behavior and open hostility to Rabid Puppies, which allows Sad Puppies to claim to have relatively clean hands while clearly benefiting from the bad actions of the Rabid Puppy crowd. The psychological benefit of this for Brad and Larry is clear: they can believe that they did not discriminate, and that they did not have even a hint of racial or gender or gender expression or sexual orientation based motive, while openly playing up their political motives. After all, they’re just putting things (people) back the way they belong.

The Politics of Science Fiction, Entitlement, and the Secret Masters of Fandom

There have always been both conservative and progressive writers in science fiction, as well as writers of more exotic political persuasions. This makes sense, because science fiction and its cousin, fantasy, are speculative fiction, and predicting the future and imagining alternative worlds is a core of speculative fiction. There have always been good writers throughout the political spectrum. From the beginning of the genre, Robert Heinlein managed to fill the entire spectrum by himself, Asimov was progressive, Campbell conservative. There was a wave of progressivism in the sixties ushered in by Ursula K LeGuin and Samuel Delany, and the back and forth has always been there.

Over the years, the Hugo awards and nominations have gone to good writers who come from pretty much every point on the political compass. To some extent, because the voting base is small and SF is a very small world overall, like all fan awards, the Hugos are in part a popularity contest. The Sad Puppies saw this natural tendency, magnified it, and made it the basis of a grievance: Not enough deserving conservative authors have gotten Hugos in the last several years.

The word “deserving” is key to another psychological piece of the Sad Puppy premise – and this is that when someone has won something they want, they were robbed and cheated of something that rightfully belonged to them. This is the psychological principle of entitlement. It is one of the key psychological distortions that cause problems in peoples’ lives, and is linked pretty strongly to subconscious beliefs of superiority.

A person feels “entitled” to something if they believe it belongs to them by birthright or through innate superiority or privilege. Examples of entitlement include the belief, that Vox Day holds openly, that a woman must be available sexually to her partner at all times no matter what his behavior or the dynamic of the relationship or other considerations, that people who have accumulated wealth, whether through their own efforts, exploitation of others, or inheritance, do not owe anything to anyone else, etc.

Larry Correia’s public attitude makes it pretty clear that he felt that he deserved to win and that the Hugo he was nominated for was stolen from him, rather than simply won by another contender. (Larry denies this verbally, but one of the first rules of psychology is that when there is a conflict between words and actions, believe the actions.) The subjective nature of literary awards makes this a not uncommon problem. In any award where winning is at least partially a matter of opinion instead of mathematics, the language of robbery holds sway. “He was robbed” “She stole that award” “How on earth did he take that away from her.” From ice dancing to dressage to debate to writing, any ranked creative competition is going to generate these sorts of claims.

Correia took this further, speculating on the basis of negative comments he had received from either fans or writers (he has never specified) that he was specifically denied his award because of his political views. He has said that he believes has been specifically denied because he owns a gun store, is Mormon, is conservative, or all or some combination of the above.

It is common for people who feel entitled to look for unjust reasons for exclusion from something they feel they are owed. Afraid to look within, they will search for any confirmations they can find that someone, somewhere has unjust views of them, and then work long and hard to build a case that these views somehow formed the basis of discrimination. The logical leaps and sifting for scant evidence that make up this process are the roots of paranoid beliefs and are pretty common among lots of people, not just people who have diagnoses.

In Correia’s specific case, as far as I can tell, most of fandom didn’t much know or care about his politics or religion prior to his creation of the Sad Puppy slate and ongoing hostile engagements with people he considers to be SJW. Some people liked his books, some didn’t. I didn’t particularly, but then military SF is not my favorite, and I’m unlikely to be strongly attracted to it unless it does something completely new and different with the genre. I also had no negative opinions of Correia prior to Puppygate.

He says people said awful things to him and that many people in SF fandom are negative about conservatism and about Mormons. I have no doubt that any of this is true. However, the reason I have no doubt this is true is because 1) nearly everyone in the world has had people say awful things to them and 2) every political and religious opinion in the world has people opposed to it. What I do doubt is that his political or religious views had anything to do with not winning the Hugo. After all, despite what he claims is rank bias, he got nominated for a Hugo without gaming the system (the first time, anyhow) even though he has what is quite possibly a minority view of religion and politics in the field. That requires writing talent.

I suspect he didn’t win the Hugo that year because 1) someone else had better buzz 2) someone else had a better story, or 3) someone else was viewed by the voters as being “the right person at the right time”. These are all things that happen. It was probably some combination of the three. He did not not win because “That asshole Larry Correia is a Mormon who likes guns”.

He was nominated last year as well. Things were different then, as last year was the first effective Hugo Sad Puppy campaign, and his self serving slate put him on the ballot. At that point, I’m sure there was some “I’m not voting for that asshole Larry Correia because he gamed the system and is ruining the Hugos.” Note: He is still not not winning for owning a gun shop or being conservative or belonging to a conservative church.

Which leads me to my final point:

Sad Puppies and Rabid Puppies – They All Have Fleas

Let me be perfectly clear: Larry Correia and Brad Torgersen (who really seems to more or less have tagged along on Larry’s coattails) are not in the same league as Theodore Beale. Larry and Brad are frightened, well fed little puppies sitting on top of a large pile of meaty bones and snarling because there are one or two they can’t have, and feeling justified in their fear because some skinny kittens have managed to slip away with a few of the bones and gnaw on them in peace.

Theodore Beale, on the other hand, is Cerberus sitting on top of the bone pile breathing fire and wreaking mayhem for the joy and the attention of upsetting everyone, puppies and kitties alike. I’ve been searching for ten years now and have not found a single redeeming characteristic in Beale. He’s a vile person with vile opinions, and he’s an absolutely atrocious writer. If it weren’t for the fact that he was raised with money and privilege, he would almost certainly be serving twenty to life somewhere, because he either acted on or got caught acting on his beliefs. He is someone outside the scope of psychotherapy. If you were to ask him, he would tell you there is nothing wrong with him, he’s just fine the way he is – and that is why he is outside the scope of therapy.

He doesn’t need to be saved, society needs to be protected from him – and then maybe someone (not me) can work on saving him. And I speak as someone who works with violent people, entitled people, people who abuse, on a regular basis. If he were free to act on his impulses with impunity, people would suffer. I can only be grateful he’s not particularly impulsive.

Right now, it serves Theodore Beale very well to borrow the Sad Puppy meme and create his own offshoot, the Rabid Puppies. He is getting attention and hate, and he thrives on that. It’s what he lives for. For now, while they serve his purposes, he is keeping the Sad Puppies protected from his fire – until they no longer serve his purposes.

And I suspect Correia and Torgersen know it. They are very careful to walk the line between distancing themselves from him and not distancing themselves too much. They have only recently acknowledged that it wasn’t the Sad Puppy slate that swept the Hugo nominations this year, it was the Rabid Puppy slate. They haven’t admitted (at least publicly) that it was Beale’s invitation of Gamergaters – people who are perfectly willing to commit illegal acts including doxxing and making rape and murder threats (and in at least one case, an attempt) – to exclude specifically women, and specifically minority women, from their own particular fandom (video games).

And yet (Correia and Torgersen claim) it is not about sexism. It is not about racism. It is about fighting against ideological purity. To borrow a meme, it is about ethics in gamer journalism.

Here’s the final, worst piece of all of this. By now, the Sad Puppies have realized what they have unleashed. They realize (at least privately) that they overreacted, that they were the bad actors against an opponent that only existed in their heads – but they can never publicly admit it, not without having the hell hound they unleashed turn on them. If they distance themselves from Beale too much, they risk being slapped by the same forces that they opened the door to theHugosfor. They might be subject to doxxing and threats and actions. They will have Beale’s venom spewed over them.

And they don’t have a moral high ground. I think that they’re even beginning to realize it. Their recent blog posts have made some subtle and telling confessions. Both of them know they will “never” win a Hugo. That is almost certainly true, barring a full and abject apology and extensive restitution for the damage they have done to SF’s fandom. They’re crowing about how they’ll never accept one, and they won’t, but not because they don’t want one. They won’t accept one because as things stand, it wouldn’t mean anything. There would always be an asterisk next to the Hugo for Brad Torgersen or Larry Corriea for any Hugo won because of the Sad Puppy slate, and both of them want the real thing (for which I respect them both).

People they nominated are turning down the nominations left and right, and are making it perfectly clear that it’s not about ideological purity or pressure from SJW’s but because they either don’t want their Hugo to have an asterisk next to it, or because they don’t want to be caught in the crossfire.

The Sad Puppies have permanently damaged their reputations with this stunt, and second to writing skills, reputations are the most important tools at a writer’s disposal. They ruined their reputations by acting unprofessionally. No matter what their grievances, even if they were reasonable, the behavior of the Sad Puppies has been that of petulant, spoiled children. Throwing temper tantrums and tearing up the room is never professional behavior. Professional people go through channels first. They look for in-group remedies and compromises and legal remedies, and only if there is severe, documentable discrimination and no attempt by the powers that be to remedy would they then move to protest.

I truly believe that the Sad Puppies believed they were doing what they were doing to bring attention to what they saw as a just cause. Social justice is a passion of mine, and I understand the impulse to right a perceived wrong. I even understand the impulse, once the momentum got away from them and they realized that they were holding the wrong end of the stick, to double down and stubborn up. That’s simply human nature. But it isn’t the adult thing to do. At some point in most peoples’ lives, they face that moment when they have to say, both to themselves and to people who trusted them, “I’m so sorry. I really messed up and I don’t know what to do to fix it. What can I do to fix it?” Correia and Torgersen are facing that moment now.

At this point, the best thing Brad and Larry can do to save their reputations is to apologize, show up at WorldCon and go to the business meeting and participate in cleaning up the mess they made. That may not be enough. But it might be enough that Larry Correia might be surprised coming around a corner hearing some radical SJW saying “Yeah, Correia isn’t so bad. After the Sad Puppies mess, he helped pass the [important new rules] for the next Hugo. I hear he has a book out. I might check it out. I kinda like military SF.”

As for the Rabid Puppies? Some of them are just wrongheaded kids that don’t understand that the people on the other side of the electronic passageways they walk through are people. They’ll grow up and get out. Some of them live deep in a fantasy world where they are brave warriors standing up against the horde of undeserving others who are trying to storm the castle, without any self awareness that they are, in fact, foolish saps who have been duped into guarding treasure stolen from those hoards by the Rabid Puppies’ leaders. Some of them are just as vile as Beale. There is a lot of overlap between Rabid Puppies, Gamergate, and Pick Up Artist (PUA) culture. It is a world filled with envy, lust, and hate, and a very unpleasant place to live. Some will escape, some will go deeper into the dark passages under the castle, and some will act on the hate and lust and violence and spend a very long time in a cage.

The Hugos will survive. The worm is turning and social justice is prevailing, and that includes ensuring that the best stories win, regardless of the author’s politics. The Hugos will never be perfect, because Hugo voters are people, and people aren’t perfect. But they’ll be okay.

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Maureen O'Danu

Maureen O'Danu is the webmistress of Am I the Only One Dancing? where there is a new discussion every day on any one of dozens of topics and ideas, as well as reviews, geekery, family, fun, and enough politics to season the pot.
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  • ThirteenthLetter

    It was pretty common for opponents of the Soviet regime to be dismissed as mentally ill. You’d have fit right in with the commissars.

    • I very specifically did not say they were mentally ill. I was describing normative psychological processes that can cause bad behavior.

      • Lamont Cranston III

        Psychological projection on your part. Have you met any of these people in person or discussed their thoughts on the whole thing, or are you relying on what you read on the internet?

        Are you a psychologist?

        • I am a master’s level psychotherapist. I am trained in nuances of use of language. People have “tells”. The things people write are very revealing psychologically. Any other questions?

          • Another Right Winger

            Ah yes, credentials. But I do agree that people have tells. I see a few in your diatribe above; confirmation being found here –

            “I am also a feminist, an anti-racist ally, an LGBTQ ally, and overall what the Hugo Sad Puppies would call a “SJW”

          • That is called “allowing the readership to know the perspective I come from”.It’s a standard ethical disclaimer.

        • I am a licensed clinical social worker in private practice. I described broad, easily observable psychological and sociological phenomenon, and I even offered a bit of help for the principals involved for how to extricate themselves from the mess they have made.

      • Moor_the_Merrier

        No, you were not “describing” normative psychological processes”, you were ascribing normative psychological processes, from among which there are other explanatory processes available to describe what’s happening.

        For the most part, you looked and saw what you expected to see, which is a critical error that’s surely taught against somewhere in that curriculum you quoted about the rules of therapy/psychology.

  • Andreas Schaefer

    now that I found the link I came from my head has drained of all the comments I was going to make.
    And a new one pops up:
    We should not treat awards as zero sum ‘games’
    Actually I suspect many categories for certain awards* were created so there could be both a best woman and best man award ( with neither gender ‘stealing’ it )

    Is there an award for best allround turd in SF -fandom ? I’d like to propose ….

    the Oscars and Hugos come to mind.

  • now that I found the link I came from my head has drained of all the comments I was going to make.
    And a new one pops up:
    We should not treat awards as zero sum ‘games’
    Actually I suspect many categories for certain awards* were created so there could be both a best woman and best man award ( with neither gender ‘stealing’ it )

    Is there an award for best allround turd in SF -fandom ? I’d like to propose ….

    the Oscars and Hugos come to mind.

  • “Larry Correia’s public attitude makes it pretty clear that he felt that he deserved to win and that the Hugo he was nominated for was stolen from him, rather than simply won by another contender. (Larry denies this verbally, but one of the first rules of psychology is that when there is a conflict between words and actions, believe the actions.)”

    Larry not only denies this, but refused a nomination this year and recused himself forever from future nominations. I can only assume that there’s a second rule of psychology: when the words and actions both conflict with the story you’re trying to tell, make stuff up to maintain your story.

    • And as I said further on: And they don’t have a moral high ground. I think that they’re even beginning to realize it. Their recent blog posts have made some subtle and telling confessions. Both of them know they will “never” win a Hugo. That is almost certainly true, barring a full and abject apology and extensive restitution for the damage they have done to SF’s fandom. They’re crowing about how they’ll never accept one, and they won’t, but not because they don’t want one. They won’t accept one because as things stand, it wouldn’t mean anything. There would always be an asterisk next to the Hugo for Brad Torgersen or Larry Corriea for any Hugo won because of the Sad Puppy slate, and both of them want the real thing (for which I respect them both).

      • Moor_the_Merrier

        The problem is, you purport to know, and present as fact, aspects of Brad and Larry’s psychological make-up and motivation that you cannot possibly know. Even worse, while you acknowledge that they’ve said they’ll never accept a Hugo (thus undermining your earlier point about words vs. actions), you then go on to confirm your initial conclusions by positing that despite what they say AND do, the real truth is that they both deep down want a Hugo.

        Your piece would be strengthened considerably by some peer review (presuming you have peers who wouldn’t succumb to the same confirmation bias your article suffers from in the first place). I won’t hold my breath…

        • I can make surmises based on sound psychological principles, which is what I am doing.

          • Moor_the_Merrier

            I believe you when you say that this is what you think you’re doing, and I’m even willing to grant it may have been your intent. However, you have not written in a way that communicates a process of “surmising”. On the contrary, your style and word-choice present as an authoritative statement of fact, and presenting your credentials at the front of the piece only serves to further communicate an air of knowing.

            If, as you say, your goal was simply to “surmise”, then some editing is called for, wherein you include language intended to communicate such. Otherwise, it looks for all the world like your words and actions are running contrary to one another, and I read somewhere that there’s a principle for interpreting such apparent contradiction…

          • Quartermaster

            When you make a surmise, the ethical thing to do is state what you are doing. You also know that an ethical person reading it will take what you say with a grain of salt because such a surmise is simply something you want rather than anything having a basis in fact.

            People like you is what has give Psychology a reputation equal to Astrology.

    • DeepThought

      Your ilk weird normal people out. Not only do you sound petty, you misrepresent the other side by not linking to any facts to back up your assertions. Do you not realize hot petty you sound?

      My youngest child makes more coherent sense.

      • This is a discussion within fandom. ’Danes (mundanes, whom you call “normal people”) might be weirded out, but they are not part of the conversation.

    • PhoenicianRomans

      Larry not only denies this, but refused a nomination this year and recused himself forever from future nominations.

      You mean after he realised he’d poisoned the well so badly that there was no way he’d ever get nominated for a Hugo without the sort of shenanigans that had pissed people off?

      • Jay Lucas

        I tried to read someone thoroughly before being less than generous about their character. There’s fair gulf between Vox Day’s reputation and his character and words, I haven’t read as much of Mr. Correia, but from what I have read he’s a decent and forthright person. And from the anti-conservative kneejerking surrounding this mess, I find his side of the puppies issue very, very credible.

        • Actually, I agree with your assessment of Correia from what I can see. Torgersen, too. However, he has demonstrated a great deal of envy and petty vindictiveness both on this topic and many of his posts on his website. It’s a flaw, not a fatal one. But he has hurt a lot of people and a venerable institution because of it.

  • Mimmoth

    You said a lot of the things I had been thinking. Except that I also notice that the Sad Puppies tend to accuse their opponents of things that the Sad Puppies are obviously doing– colluding to control the Hugos being the obvious start.

    • DeepThought

      Really? So the fact that Tor, to the determent of other publishers, has dominated the Hugos is of no significance to you? I know math maybe hard but try statistics and probability.

      • Tor is a large publishing house that publishes a wide variety of SF. The nature of large publising houses is that they often dominate awards.That is a separate issue from “Worldcon voters aren’t choosing the people that think the way I do” Worldcon voters are not Tor.

        If you have an objection to Tor’s domination of SF publishing, if they are in fact, that far ahead of Baen, which also publishes a wide variety of writers, perhaps you should buy more books by other authors.

    • Moor_the_Merrier

      I’m not the most well-versed in all this, but your observation is hardly revelatory. In fact, “colluding to control the Hugos” is precisely the accusation levied by the SPs against the industry, and their participation was primarily an attempt to “fight fire with fire”. To my knowledge, there is no SP denying the political aims of their movement (political as in “agenda-driven”), but there seem to be plenty of SJWs denying that politics is involved.

      The hypocrisy lies on the opposite side from the one you believe yourself to be calling out.

  • Foolish Pride

    I’ll let someone far more talented say what I think about this:

    “what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.”

  • Joshua Dyal

    You’re selling Samuel Delany short! Not only is he “the first black man to win a Nebula”, but he’s the first NAMBLA supporter to win one! I don’t know what n-ist label there is for those who oppose that particular sexual predilection, but it should be brought to bear immediately to shame those who prefer that their children not be exposed to sexual predators.

  • yohami

    ridiculous piece

    • contentless trolling. All other comments along these same lines are being deleted. If you’re going to troll, please be original.

      • yohami

        Im passing judegement, not trolling – your post is ridiculous and debating it’s lacks of merit would be a waste of time

        • sweetie, I reviewed your Disqus comments. I’m terribly sorry that I asked you to do something that is beyond your capabilities.

  • DeepThought

    Considering the success or should I say failure of psychology as a “science”, your words have the same weight as a toddler discussing his day. Like toddlers, a lot of sound comes out but you say very little.

    How many new theories must come out and be discredited before wackos like you are discarded.

    I see no discussion at all about the insanity and hate filled responses the other side has spewed forth. People like you just weird people out.

    • for someone calling themselves “deep thought”, you are fairly incoherent. Apparenty you are unaware that the fields of psychology and of neurology are becoming more and more in step as we are mapping the brain better. If you have any examples of the hate filled rhetoric of “the other side”, please provide it.

  • Moor_the_Merrier

    Confirmation bias in full effect here, with a strong dose of irony mixed in. We could call it “Projection Cake”.

  • John C Wright

    Ma’am, I read your indepth psychological analysis of Brad Togersen and Larry Correia with avid interest. I am one of the promoters and founders of the Sad Puppies 3 effort, and also a writers whose work has been published both by Tor Books, and by Castalia House, which is Theodore Beale’s imprint. I have been nominated for a record-breaking six nominations thanks to the efforts of these men and my readers, one of which was later disqualified.
    Hence I find myself wondering as to my psychology. Please explain my own mind to me. Am I afraid of Theodore Beale’s destructive and venomous powers, and afraid publicly to admit the same? Am I gloating over having deceived Mr Torgersen and Mr Correia into promoting my works? Do I feel the impulse to apologize to whomever it was — I was not clear on the details — that is rightfully offended that these gentlemen asked their audience to read and nominate my works?
    Please tell me more clearly what I am thinking, and do not leave me suspended in uncertainty. Am I a puppy greedy for what I have not earned, as Mr Correia is, or a destroyer lusting merely to inflict harm on the innocent, as Mr Beale is?
    Since you know me as well, if not better, than you know Mr Beale, Mr Correia, and Mr Torgersen, all of whom are complete strangers to you, I look forward with great eagerness for you insightful and trenchant observations of my case, and your caring yet loving prescription for how the healing might begin with me.

    • John Cobalt

      “The Sad Puppies and their veiled supremacist views were utterly and completely predictable.”

      You’re a supremacist in hiding, first stop is admitting it 😉

      • All people raised with privilege are raised with supremacist teachings deeply engrained. I certainly qualify as privileged in some respects. However, the job of a good person is to work to dismantle the institutions that inappropriately grant themselves privilege above other deserving people. That’s where you and I differ.

    • Moor_the_Merrier

      Now, now, this request is both impertinent and unnecessary. Surely you must know that since the glasses she wears only see red, she will indubitably look at you and see red also.

    • Jay Lucas

      What a fine perspective from Mr. “See Right.” Unfortunately, he is clearly too close to these persons to be objective. The best angle to view any internet figure with is facing away from them, with your head in the sand, in a bunker located in a trench, preferably over the horizon.

    • John, I deliberately didn’t mention you. I feel sorry the fact that you will have to face, for the rest of your life, that you are the face of the year the Hugos went very, very bad.

      • Another Right Winger

        NIce dodge. For myself, I can’t think of anyone more deserving of being the face of the Hugos the year they began their liberation by the Evil League of Evil.


      • The Deuce

        On the contrary, it is the Hugos themselves that are under judgement this year. This is the year that the Hugos will have to face being open to writers outside the echo chamber, or burning itself down forever in a temper tantrum.

      • John C Wright

        So you did not mention me allegedly out of the pity and compassion you feel toward the Sad Puppies, whom you here hold up to public derision, by pretending to know the discreditable secret motives in our hearts, which, oddly enough, was somehow revealed to you but to no one else?

        If so, your method of sparing us from derision by exposing us to it would seem, at first glance, to be counter productive.

        Allow me to suggest a more rational theory of the case: you did not mention me because the mere fact the I exist at all makes pure raving nonsense of your hypothesis that we Sad Puppies are taken unaware by the Rabid Puppies and now fear and secretly regret our actions, since I am a member of both groups.

        I cannot fear myself for having taken myself unawares by my own malign cunning.

        As proof for my suggestion, allow me to point out that my politely worded request for a psychoanalysis as insightful as that which you used to condemn and libel my compatriots was met by a change of topic. I did not ask you about your alleged pity for me, you harpy, but for your evidence.

        In logic, your non-responce is the fallacy of irrelevance. In law, this is called out of order. In ordinary conversation, it is what a liar does when she is caught in a lie.

        You bring a non-psychiatrist, I leave you to deduce the psychological name for that particular mental trick of eluding the obvious.

        • John, I know you are rabid, and that you view women, people of color and gay peopel as less than human. I don’t return the favor. You are human, just not one I would care to associate with.

        • Analysis of first causes is not derision. It is a psycho-social assessment of the conditions which created your movement.

          Only some of the Sad Puppies were not actually aware of the Rabid Puppies, the more naive of them. Most are actively benefiting from the more radical Rabid Puppies while giving themselves a shield of moderation. This is not a personal psychological assessment, it is an observation of common psychological and sociological trends as applied to the Sad Puppies and Rabid Puppies.

          As I said in my earlier response, somewhat snarkily, you are Rabid. By which I mean that you are convinced that some people are born with more innate worth than others. In my mind, that makes you someone not worth knowing — still human, still innately valuable, but someone I don’t have the time or energy for.

          • Jay Lucas

            It’s wonderful that you’re telling Mr. Wright what his views are, in addition to telling him what the internal states of his friends, people you’ve never met. If this is “psycho-social” assessment then that means it’s anti-science and anti-decency, when your speculations override the very words and actions of real people.

          • The thing about psychological processes is that they apply to everyone. The words and actions of the Sad Puppies indicate, as I stated in the article, feelings of entitlement and of fear of the other. The Sad and Rabid Puppies provide cover for one another. Sad Puppies give the radical Rabid Puppies legitimacy, and Rabid Puppies can voice the nastiness that will cause Sad Puppies blowback they can’t afford. It doesn’t require knowing the individuals involved to see the patterns.

          • words, yes. Actions, no.

        • I should add further that I didn’t mention you because while you are a primary beneficiary of Sad/Rabid Puppies, in they gamed you 6, I mean 5, nominations that would not have gone to you had the voting gone, as in earlier year, to each individual’s personal preference instead of a bunch of Vox’s bully boys marching in lockstep. This was about the organization of such a move, benefitting from it.

        • Jeanne Tomlin

          The sight of a Sad/Rabid Puppy industriously proving every bad thing that has ever been said about them would call for a bag of popcorn for entertainment value if they weren’t also in the process of destroying the Hugo awards.

    • For shame, Mr. Wright. Ms. O’Danu was careful only to discuss Larry Correia & Brad Torgersen, both of whom have taken vacations from the Internet for a few days. It was churlish of you to thus engage in conversation with someone who’s taken efforts to avoid such conversation.

      • Moor_the_Merrier

        Churlish is such a funny word…

      • Not at all. I appreciate Mr. Wright speaking up for himself. I wasn’t aware that either Brad or Larry had taken a vacation, and frankly my website is more or less a hobby and I was taken aback at the response, because I poke libertarian bears on regular basis and don’t ever get this kind of thing.

        I think this is the last comment I’m releasing from the moderation queue this morning, because I have eight appointments back to back and all of my documentation and billing for the week to keep up with.

  • Stickwick

    I’m a woman author, and Beale is my editor. He seized the chance to work with me, because he recognized the quality of my work. He has offered me opportunities that no one else, particularly those on of the ideological left, have offered. As a professional, he has treated me seriously, with respect, and even with friendship. He is a man of integrity and honor, and I respect him a great deal. I can’t even begin to explain to you how you’ve mischaracterized him, so I will only say this. If this piece represents your talents as a psychotherapist, your clients have my sincerest pity.

    • I’m curious. I looked up your handle and found nothing. What have you written? What is your nom de plume?

      • Moor_the_Merrier

        Will the answer to this invalidate her testimony?

        • No, I’m just curious as to the sort of woman who would willingly associate with a man who explicitly states that there is no such thing as rape within marriage, and that women shouldn’t be educated past high school because it is their primary job to breed.

          • Jay Lucas

            Linking to the post in question would be appropriate.

          • Everything on Alpha Game Plan?

          • Jay Lucas

            I assume Ms. O’Danu was referring to that when she mentioned pick up “Pick Up Artist (PUA) culture.” But if it’s damning then why not link it? Why not take the page, archive it for context, link the archive and quote from the posts? Like your last assertion about The Dread Beast Vox, I’m happy to look at it first hand. Incidentally yamamanama, shame on you for bringing his family into it. And for lying. It does your case no credit to do so.

          • “Incidentally yamamanama, shame on you for bringing his family into it”

            What are you babbling about?

          • I will not link to Vox Day for any purpose. Google is your friend. You can start with the incident that got him expelled from the SFWA, and simply read his blog. It’s not like he’s pretending to be a good ol’ boy that just wants people to get along.

          • Moor_the_Merrier

            I’m married to a social worker, and so I understand well the impulse to go straight to a psychological framework, but perhaps you could simply allow her testimony to stand on its own. Beale gave her a platform when so many others wouldn’t (presumably this group of “others” would be primarily populated by people who claim to support divergent points of view), has treated her with respect, and displayed both honor and integrity in his dealings with her. Are these not sufficient reasons to “willingly associate” with someone?

            Furthermore, according to the standards you laid out, when word and deed are at odds, we’re supposed to look at a person’s deeds. In this case, Beale’s deeds seem to run contrary to what you’ve said about him, so by your own metric we should take this woman’s testimony as evidence that he is closer to her description than yours.

          • I truly am curious. I have friends as well as relatives by blood and marriage who are also people I consider horrible people in some ways, or who hold beliefs I find appalling. Friendship and love are very complex.

            I can think of several self serving reasons for Beale’s deeds. Of course, he has only ever shown me his worst side, since to him I am the worst sort of human being, just as he is to me. From my perspective, he has no redeeming features.

      • Only woman published by Castalia wrote a set of creationist astronomy textbooks.

      • Chris Scena

        Disqualify! Disqualify! Disqualify!

    • Roger Christie

      Just don’t expect him to let you vote.

  • The only nice thing I can really say about the Hugo fiasco is that it’s brought to light just how terrible a person Vox is.

    For instance, he stalked my friend via my Youtube favorites and posted some of her videos on his blog in an attempt to humiliate her.

    • Jay Lucas

      Sorry, do you mean stalking or citing? I get those things confused too.

      • I mean “stalking.”

        • Jay Lucas

          Neat. Link to it then? I’ve been hearing rumors of the devil named Vox Day all week and no one’s been able to hand me a smoking gun.

          • Joshua Dyal

            yamamanama was actually hauled in front of his own local police for stalking Vox for years, actually. He’s telling you the story precisely backwards.

          • Nope, that’s not how things happened. Here in the real world, what happened is that Vox found out where I volunteer and harassed them and the police told me what was going on.

          • Jay Lucas

            … So, the police told you if you kept stalking and libeling a blogger and his family you’d be held accountable for your actions by force of law?

          • Another Right Winger

            So after years of stalking Vox, at his site no less, you’ve quit doing so because?

          • Because he’s stalking people I know.

          • Look up “such a nice little song” and “art by andrew’s friends” on Vox’s blog.

    • Chris Scena

      Wow, Clamps. Still denying reality I see.

    • Calvin Dodge

      That’s hilarious, coming from someone who’s stalked people in meatspace.

      • Wow, now you’re just going beyond misinterpretation and rumors and deep in the realm of outright lies.

  • Brad and Larry are not “evil, maniacal super villains”. They are envious and unprofessional people who would rather tear things down than fix them.

    • Moor_the_Merrier

      This is an apt summary of your article, and highlights the disingenuous nature of your claims to simply be “surmising”. When given the chance to use language that would indicate possible motives based on your professional opinions and informed by your observations, you instead choose to simply assert things you cannot know.

      Here would be an example of the way such writing would look:

      It is my observation, having now read your article and all your comments to this point, that you appear to be guilty of projection, wherein you ascribe to others the very things that weigh upon you.

      • Quartermaster

        I think she realizes that your last sentence would apply to her.

        • Moor_the_Merrier

          She will, almost undoubtedly, defer to presumptions about her insight and education and ignore the preponderance of commenters calling out her likely projection.

          • I will, undoubtably, point out that I am simply translating standard psychological and sociological phenomena and applying them to this situation, and that I do actually have both an education in the field and over twenty years of working in the human services field (with a brief break in the middle).

    • Quartermaster

      Both Sad and Rabid Puppies are taking the only avenue the SJWs have left open. They will fix them, but only the SJWs will burn them down. Either way, the SJWs are revealed for what they truly are.

      • I have worked with a lot of people involved in the criminal justice system. It is very common for them to claim (and believe) that the crime they were convicted of was forced on them by external circumstances. To some extent, that is true, but only in the sense that they didn’t have the social and coping skills needed to steer a straight course. “You made me hit you” is the cry of the abuser.

  • Shawn Smith

    Please either substantiate or retract your claims about Gamergaters engaging in death threats, doxxing, and attempted murder.

  • The Deuce

    Funny, you go on and on about the supposedly horrible, beyond-the-pale views of Vox, but you associate with NAMBLA supporting pedophile Steve Delaney. Care to explain yourself? If you want to be taken seriously and you aren’t sympathetic to such views, I call on you to denounce him in no uncertain terms, and none of this pretending to distance yourself from someone without denouncing them either.

    • Jay Lucas

      Careful. She deleted the last comment about Delaney, whom she “deliberately mentioned” based on her reply to Mr. Wright.

      • The Deuce

        Ah, so she DELIBERATELY associates with advocates of child molestation while demanding denunciations of others for badthink. Well. That’s just precious.

        • Jay Lucas

          See, I would have thought the appropriate strategy was to look reasonable by pointing out flaws in the Hugos like the hush ups surrounding Delaney as a means of demonstrating the Sad Puppies, whether or not they had a point, still had their priorities all wrong. If you’re gonna have a witch hunt, you might as well start at the gingerbread house right?

          • To the best of my knowledge, there is no coverup regarding Chip Delany’s views. He is pretty open about his past and how he feels that the child abuse he experienced was not “abuse”. He advocates to protect the rights of children in these situations, and talked directly to those in NAMBLA about those. He’s braver than I am in that regard. I can work individually with bot people who have been abused and people who abuse, but dealing with an organization about that and trying to change minds within it? Pretty impressive.

            As I have said, I disagree with Chip’s apprlication of his childhood experiences to other children. I don’t deny him his own experiences. But my years of helping children and former children recover from sexual assualt suggess his experiences were in a very small minority.

          • UE

            Do you believe Delaney’s own child hood abuse (which I feel sorry that he had to suffer) justifies promoting pedophilia?

          • No, and neither does he. Chip has done several interviews on his correspondences with NAMBLA. You can look them up. This is the last “Chip is a child molester” derailment I will allow.

      • Joshua Dyal

        He doesn’t need to be saved, society needs to be protected from him.

      • Samuel Delany is a survivor of long term child sexual abuse. He doesn’t see it that way. He chose to decide he had agency as a child. I disagree with him on that issue.

  • murraydad

    What drivel. Your confirmation bias and appeals to (your own) authority are plainly evident.

  • bob k. mando

    you can surmise all you want. rejecting known facts and actions in preference for inferences WHICH ARE DIRECTLY CONTRADICTED BY the known facts and actions is simply lying and unethical

  • Calvin Dodge

    “Here’s the final, worst piece of all of this. By now, the Sad Puppies have realized what they have unleashed. ”

    Sorry, the “realization” is only in your mind.

    • Quartermaster

      The good part, unacknowledged here, of course, is the SJWs know exactly what has been unleashed, and they are scared silly.

      • Only if your version of “scared silly” is actually “contemptuous and confident”. You see the thing is, “SJWs” (you know, people who believe all people are people and should equal opportunities through examinations of institutions that get in the way) have been fighing regressives for generations, and the arc of history is in our favor. You all are just another group of privileged people trying to keep people you don’t approve of out of the clubhouse. You’re aging, your population is shrinking, and when you are open and honest about your goals (like Vox Day and John C Wright) you invite the contempt of people who recognize the same old garbage from new garbage spewers.

    • Joshua Dyal

      No, she might be right. I think the Sad Puppies goals were more modest than that of the Rabid Puppies. But I think that a tiny handful of the more intelligent of the SJWs are starting to get a small glimpse of what the end game might look like for them.

      Hence the panic.

    • That’s part of what my article was talking about. That rational explanation and fact do not, as science once supposed, clear things up and make people suddenly understand they were wrong. In fact, being faced with facts that counter belief systems tend to harden those belief systems.

      This response of attack and denial was not unexpected. What was unexpected is that this got picked up quickly, in the middle of one of my work days, and I came back to find a ton of comments to wade through.

  • James

    This woman is only borderline sane as she projects her own hatred, fear, insecurity, and other psychological problems onto Larry Correia, Brad Torgersen, Vox Day, and others, all of whom, not incidentally, are males. You are a witch, Maureen, and a vicious, lying one at that as you seek to harm those you fear and envy in the only way you can.

  • James

    I will, however, reveal to you all one thing that is troubling me about the Sad Puppies, the Rabid Puppies, and the Hugo awards struggle. I really like Larry Correia and Brad Torgerson and their foundational, heroic truthfulness and honesty; thus I am drawn to Sad Puppies. But I also really like Vox Day and the way he is willing to champion logic, science and reality-based conclusions when doing so gets him into terrible, terrible trouble; thus I am also drawn to Rabid Puppies. Can you psychoanalyze me and tell me which team I should, like, totally get behind and champion? :–) and LOL!

  • You have an unverified email. Because I am busy today, and because there are a lof of people to respond to, I have changed my site settings so that all comments are moderated, and will return to the conversation when I have time.

    • Lamont Cranston III

      Stickwick is a PhD and a physicist. She wrote an astronomy book for homeschoolers and anyone interested interested in astronomy. I see her on Beale’s website.

      I think Vox is a standup guy. About 10-11 years ago, I was extremely depressed and expressed my opinion in a post about what I thought was causing it. Vox then did a post about me telling me to turn from the darkness and I had several of his regulars replying and they were very kind to me. A few offered to pray for me.

      Vox didn’t have to do that, I am an infrequent poster there, but it was very kind of Vox to try to help me deal with the problem. I don’t read science fiction and have never read any of his books. He has strong opinions, but that’s the way he is.

      I appreciate your response about my earlier post, but you aren’t supposed to analyze someone’s psych profile without meeting and talking to them. I believe that is Psych 101.

      • No one who considers any other person less than human is a “stand up guy”. People who actively advocate for less rights for other human beings are not “stand up people”. They are deeply flawed human beings who hold to an evil ideology.

        As I will get into later, I profiled the movement and used Larry and Brad as the most visible of that movement. Social work, which is my discipline, is the applied use of psychology and sociology to human behavior in micro, mezzo, and macro systems. There are predictable underlying patterns in human behavior, including the issue of entitlement, which I outlined at length in the article. I pointed them out where they apply to the Sad Puppies movement.

  • Calvin Dodge

    So … did someone delete a whole bunch of inconvenient comments?

    Re “Clamps” and stalking:

    “Secondly, and this is also big news: Thanks to Vox Day, the several years of harassment by Yamamanama, aka Andrew P. Marston, are over. T”

    • I have moved all comments except this one and the other clarifying comment to moderation until I have time to respond. I work til late today and tomorrow. I don’t have to participate in my own dogpile, especially when I can’t access the front end of my own site.

      You see, getting you all riled up is a hobby. Taking care of my family and therapy participants is both my job and my passion. They come first.

  • Pingback: Puppies Explain It All To You 4/17 | File 770()

  • I worked 12 hours today and will work 8 hours tomorrow, and I have several family events around my son’s 18th birthday coming up. If you have something to say leave it in the moderation queue and if/when I get time I’ll respond and pull it out of the queue. If I feel a comment was contentless or clearly indicated its author didn’t read and/or understand the concepts in the article, it may never leave the queue, unless I feel it’s useful.

  • Some of the most frightened people I have ever met are huge men. I have worked with gang members and open racist activists ,and they have a lot more in common psychologically than you would suspect.

    As for women and minorities being included in the ticket this year, yay. However, I will note that last year’s ballot and the year before were roughly 50/50 male and female, and this year the Sad Puppy slate moved the bar back to the historical average of 80/20.

    • Jay Lucas

      Someone acts scared, they’re scared. Someone acts confident, they’re scared.

      I’d like to point out here that you were willing to give Mr. Delaney perfect credibility as to his interpretation of his childhood abuse while being entirely unwilling to credit a number individuals with the plain meaning of their words and actions. Upon what grounds does someone gain credibility, besides recognizing your authority to tell them what they “really” think and do?

      • Fear is a basic human reaction to the unknown. Fear is a given. What you do with fear is individual. Yes, of course the rear guard is scared. They fear that the world where they are given precedence over others regardless of the other peoples’ talent and newer and more interesting ideas is over. They are probably right.

        Chip Delany responded to a child’s fear of what most see as a horrific situation by deciding he had agency and building a brilliant mind ino an incredible career. While I strongly disagree with his assessment about how most children view their abuse, I will not deny that he found an interesting and apparently effective way to respond to his own.

        When people seek to exclude others, the primary emotion under all the smoke and mirrors is always fear.

  • I work an average of 10-12 hours a day on work days, five days a week. I use some of my down time to replenish so that I have the emotional reserves I need for my therapy participants. I am answering as I have time. You are not entitled to my time, my attention, or my space. See the section on entitlement as a key concept in the anti-diversity movement above.

  • Reality check: context matters. While creating a slate is technically not forbidden by the rules, the Hugo votership is a small community with many community standards, and creating a slate was outside those community standards.

    There were three somewhat conflicting reasons to promote the particular books question, that have been admitted to be at various times 1) because there is too much diversity, 2) because some people were mean to various of the Small Puppies or 3) because the books being published were of the wrong political persuasion.

    • Are you still nuking comments? Why? Do you think being insulted is beyond the pale?

      I’m sure you believe a great many of these comments are uncivil, but they are in response to a article in which you painted a vast number of people that you don’t even know and have never interviewed with a broad brush. You’ve insulted a great number of fans who are concerned with true diversity (as opposed to promoting from within smaller cliques) with your quack pop-psy, and there’s really no way to comment on it without making you an issue. You really don’t need to be a master anything to see that you’re projecting, and you expected hosannas instead of a push back.

      • I promised to remove comments from the queue and address them. I am doing so as I have time. Read again the part about “entitlement” When you understand that part, get back to me.

      • This is my space and my choice, and I will finish moderation on my time frame. Refer back to the discussion of the concept of “entitlement” above for my attitude about people who come into my space and make demands.

        As for projecting, please demonstrate to me that you understand what the word means and how it applies to this conversation. Specifically, which of the core attitudes at the center of this situation to you believe are a core part of my nature, and how you determined this.

  • Correia was nominated last year for the Sad Puppies slate. He accepted the nomination. He did not win. He stated that this “proved” that “SJWs” would not vote for a conservative writer.

    All it proved is that there was better fiction on the slate, and that some people wouldn’t vote for someone who used a naked power play to try to exclude people he did not approve of.

    He recused himself this year because he gets higher status (and saves face) by being the martyr of the Sad Puppies. There are probably other motives mixed in, including wanting to give the Sad Puppy “mission” some legitimacy. But no, it’s not because he doesn’t want a Hugo. A Hugo (when the system isn’t being gamed) is an honor. He wants other people to honor him.

    • Larry Correia said many times last year that his point was proven not when the results came in, but in the reaction to his presence on the ballot at all: People libeled him as racist, misogynistic, homophobic, and in general sinful in various ways—to the extent that his wife got calls from friends who’d read these stories from (what they believed to be) responsible news sources and were concerned for her safety.

      And yes, he said this well in advance of the Hugo results being announced at last year’s WorldCon; in fact he was very clear about what results he was expecting even before the nominations were announced.

      • His motives were to get the progressives out of the game. The progressives, by and large, are the folk who support diversity as a positive good to counter an institutional advantage to white men. When your actions have the effect of rolling back the progress of people of color and women in the field, and this is subsumed in your larger goal, your actions are in fact racist and misogynist. I don’t know whether he is homophobic. I know his church’s official stance, but I also know several Mormons who do not follow their church’s official stance. I can’t speak to that.

        So tell me, which is worse, being accused of discriminating against people, or being systemically discriminated against in every area of life from birth?

  • Whether the tactic was effective or not, the attempt was made, and GG was invited to participate, not for “ethics in gaming journalism” or to “fix” the Hugos, but to piss off “SJWs”.

    GG is already in the fray. After all, people they don’t approve of are winning awards and not giving them the deference they think they deserve (see the section on “entitlement” above)

    I don’t object to people of any and all poilitical persuasions, religions, cultural backgrounds, sexual orientations, or genders winning awards. I do object to a group of people who have historically had instituational advantages at the educational, publishing, and award levels gaming the system to “restore the balance” so that they continue to have an unfair advantage over better writers who don’t look and/or think as they do.

  • Pingback: Larry Correia: entitlement and ego | Wis[s]e Words()

  • Larry Correia accepted his nomination last year, the last time he pulled this stunt (and lost). Sounds like some sour grapes (another tried and true and age tested psychological principle).

  • Off to my son’s play. I would love some actual critique of the concepts of entitlement and implicit bias. At this point, if your comment includes the words “SJW” “pinko” or other nifty code words, I’m unlikely to publish it unless it adds to the conversation with something new. I hope to catch up with the moderation queue at some point in the next couple of days, but all comments remain moderated.

  • Please point to an actual slate passed around in Hugo circles prior to Gamergate. While community standards have stretched to allow authors to say which of their books are eligible in a given year, and maybe say “I liked this book and this book, you might want to read it and nominate it if you agree”, slates have not been a part of this process prior to Sad Puppy.

    The key difference is that a slate pushes an agenda, not the individuals on the slate.

    • Actually, you pretty much give away the game right there: “Please point to an actual slate passed around in Hugo circles prior to Gamergate.” This is not something you are analyzing as a detached professional; instead, you are using your accreditation as false support for your inherent bias on a politicized situation. This is the same game that another elite class play, the journalists, who boast about layers of fact checking and professional objectivity, but often exercise neither when they get a chance to whack people they perceive as enemies to their biases.

      In the past, individual writers have indeed published short lists of suggestions–slates, as they are called–and people who crunch numbers have found that past Hugo votes most likely have been influenced by bloc voting, pre-Sad Puppy. Because of the way the Hugos are run, it’s actually kind of silly to think that people have not been quietly gaming the system, and this is why Theresa Nielsen-Hayden and her followers ran into difficulty on her MakingLight blog in trying to come up with some way of rigging the votes back in their favor–almost every technique intended to combat Sad Puppies would hurt their own coordinated voting, as well.

      While it’s valid to have the opinion that Hugos have been nothing but on the up-and-up in recent years, your assumption based on nothing but bias (as opposed to statistical evidence that shows otherwise) would disqualify you from pretending to be clinical and objective in your analyzation. You have clearly just rigged the game yourself, so to speak.

      I have great respect for mental health professionals who don’t cheapen their vocation in this way.

      • There have been several good statistical analyses posted in the last several weeks. George RR Martin did one of them (keeping him away from Winds of Winter… arggh!) I linked another in my first section, after background. Here it is again:

        I am not a statistician. I studied statistics as part of my learning, and hated it. I avoid doing my own stats when I can, because others are better at it. But there are statistics that belie much of what the SP (and especially RP) are saying. Also, there were lots of other options for remedy, and LC’s own words confirm he chose the one he did 1) to piss off SJWs and 2) to confirm hiis own bias.

  • Andreas: Actually, there is. I believe it’s one of the Hogu Awards. (Not making that up, BTW.)

  • Andreas: Actually, there is. I believe it’s one of the Hogu Awards. (Not making that up, BTW.)

  • I would need to take more time than I have to day, but at first glance, I would agree that it’s an overreaction unless the panel was held as a safe space.

    From a feminist perspective, the accusation that women treat all women as victims is both annoying and demonstrably not true, but it isn’t threatening, unless it is coming from someone who has some sort of instiutional power over someone.

    I haven’t made my mind up about this incident, because I don’t have time to go deep on it. It doesn’t in any way invalidate my points. People are human on both sides and have human failings.

    The big difference is institutional power. Humans are hierarchy creating, intelligent creatures, and the danger of hierarchy is that those on top nearly always are able to suppress competition from those below them. Those who are not at the top of the hierarchy may have the same impulses, but not the same ability. And that is the key difference between Sad/Rabid Puppies and the so-called SJWs. SJWs work to reduce institutional power that unequally privileges some people over others, even where their own fallible human impulses get them in trouble sometimes.

    • cathy from encino

      once again, gators cry crocodile tears after trying to bite people. HBB deliberately applied for a booth under a different name and purpose, then brought gator items for sale. They attended a feminist panel on women in comic books and spent time derailing it to raise “men’s issues.” They claim they were “polite,” and it was a perfect demonstration of “sealioning.” The HBB group are associated with the truly noxious “A Voice for Men” MRA group run by Paul Elam.

      Simply search for CalgaryExpo & thrown out to find out what really happened. In every case MRAs and gators (but I repeat myself) immediately went into whiny victim mode claiming women were kicked out for no reason. The group was banned FOREVER from the Expo, something not done lightly.

      Moral: NEVER believe ANYTHING a gator claims, including “and” and “the.”

  • (looks at clock) okay, I have a few more minutes. I will be deleting the entire thread about VD supposedly stalking yamamanama’s friend and vice versa. I don’t know any of the specifics of this and don’t want to know, and this is not the place to discuss it. Bad behavior by Hugo voters about Hugo voting is the topic.

  • I loved this comment and will respond fully to it later.

  • Always a sound practice. For the most part, I’m only deleting off topic and empty comments that just feel like calling me names, so that people can get the gist of the conversation. If I miss something I shouldn’t have, as I unmoderate things, please let me know.

  • This comment is comedy gold. I wrote a little fable about a confederation of cats who tried to solve the problems of homeless cats. I described various cat types, including one who was a “large, well-muscled black tom“(as in tom cat).

    When I wrote it, I was still a libertarian and stil had a lot more implicit bias and a lot less education in systemic racism. I originally called the cats’ group their confederacy instead of their confederation, and when I reconsidered, I wrote on this website about my thought process.

    If that’s how far you need to go to stretch a point, your point is pointless. Amusing, though

  • Why do straight white men always think there are conspiracies to “get them”? I’ve been involved with fandom online for years and have been friends with authors and editors for years, and have never heard any such nonsense.

    But it does conveniently justify the tactics of SP/RP to keep insisting there was a conspiracy. Much of the practice of psychology is to look for a motive, and most motives are pretty obvious.

  • Psychoanalysis is a load of crap. I primarily work with modalities such as cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, dialectical behavioral therapy, and family systems therapy.

    And I only have room for two pro bono sessions a week. No one who has replied on this thread is on that list.

  • I have read the notices that both of those authors have put up, and have been in a conversation with one of them about it. You are deeply mischaracterizing their motives for not accepting their nominations.

  • 1) what member of a religious minority was attacked by a mob? Being criticized for inappropriately gaming a system for political motives partially influanced by religious beliefs is not an attack.

    2) Assuming I’m anti-Mormon is a bad assumption. I live in paradise. My neighbors, friends, co-workers, and some therapy participants are both Mormon and Community of Christ (an offshoot). I have a great deal of respect for both some of the tenets of the Mormon church and the lifestyle of many of its members, as well as its wonderful social service system. Speaking of projection.

  • There are lots of excellent writers that deserve nominations they didn’ get. That happens. It’s appropriate to lobby for your favorite author. I love the work of Seanan McGuire and am pleased she has been nominated multiple times

    I’ve never read John’s work, but what I have seen of reviews suggest that he is a good writer who writes readable stuff. I will find out more when I get mypacket.

    None of that excuses burning down the Hugos and breaking the system to push a political agenda, of which John was a beneficiary.

  • There are lots of people who are talented in their field who are also unprofessional and/or inappropriately envious. Half the famous musicians in history come to mind. Many writers write very different characters than their personal character. It’s called being good at their craft. I don’t deny that either BT or LC is good at his craft.

    I don’t fear VD. I don’t pity him. I just work to quarantine him so he doesn’t spread his disease. And unlike the other two, he’s a terrible writer.

    • Jay Lucas

      Good thing he’s a terrible writer, elsewise you might have to read him.

      And that quarantine is bloody convenient as its first consequence is you don’t have to back up your claims with evidence.

      • I’ve read him. At a far more masochistic part of mylife, I engaged with him regularly. You are perfectly capable of looking up the claims and investigating myself. And I repeat. You are not entitledI to my attention or the use of my space in his suppor.

  • You are absolutely right. Theyhave changed their story so many times about their motivations and their associations with each other, that it is dizzying. The truth is that there are several interrelated reasons that are linked to the principlesI discussed in the article, plus of course personal motivations I have no way of knowing.

    VD would like to be the evil overlord, but he has too many puppies and not enough cats.

    • Jay Lucas

      The poster was talking about you changing your story. You’ve just made another baseless assertion about Larry and Brad. Whatever happened to elegant explanations like “it turns out, they people calling a white guy married to a black woman a racist? Are just lying for gain?”

      Sad Puppies: We think the Hugos have become a farce run by a radical political clique.
      Trufans: No, you’re just racist.
      Sad Puppies: So racist we’re minorities or married to them?
      Uninvolved third party: The puppies are bitter white men who are delusional, as is everyone else who disagrees.

      No wonder Kentucky Packrat is dizzy.

      • There is no radical political cique involved in SP/RP except SP/RP. There never has been. I can assure you that non SP/RP are gobsmacked at the accusation. And absolutely people who marry peope of color can be racist. People of color can have internalized racism against their own people. And holding up a friendship or a relationship as a shield against accusations of racism is a time honored deflection tactic. I don’t think BT thinks he’s racist. That is the point of talking about implicit racism. Because the bottom line is that even those of us who have spent decades uncovering racist assumptions in ourselves still find them more often than we like.

  • Unlike some people, I consider people who disagree with me to be human, and in many cases fine, upstanding humans. I would probably like LC and BT on some levels, and have things in common with both of them (not least of which, I like to argue on the internet and have been doing it a long time)

    Stating a perspective is not the same as a self diagnosis, but I expected this sort of predictable comment, so good on you for the opportunity to make this poin.

  • The topic is the 2015 Hugos, and I brought in Chip’s prescient thoughts on how racism would affect the field. His views on child sexual abuse are complex and layered and push the edges of comfort, and this is not the place to break them down.

  • And this article explores in depth why you can consciously believe that without facing that what you are saying is coded racism and sexism. Please review the sections of the article regarding implict racism and entitlement.

    • Jay Lucas

      “And this article explores in depth why you can consciously believe that
      without facing that what you are saying is coded racism and sexism.”

      Wouldn’t the first step be demonstrating that the claims aren’t true? Sorry but if I have a disagreement about an issue in physics I talk about physics, not about whether someone else is deluded. I’m assuming you never met Danby either, but you resort to psychobabbling rather than address his point. I think the term gaslighting applies here.

      • No, I need to resort to the language and knowledge base of psychology, just as you would resort to the language and knowledge base of physics. The difference is that non-academics have a large false database of knowledge about psychology built out of “it makes sense” and “everyone knows” and therefore real knowledge of psychology and sociology are dvalued.

  • Glad I could brighten your day.

  • I wrote this article over a couple of days and thought it through carefully. I am not a psychoanalyst. I think Freud had more things wrong than right. I did not psychoanalyze anyone, what I did was point out certain psychological processes common to situatiins like this and point out where they might apply.

  • I have replied to another comment with the links. They were not in my local jurisdiction, nor do I personally know the people involved. And yet there is a pattern of these sorts of crimes that is not at this point ebbing.

    • Troushers

      You gave 3 links. The first is a discussion of “Jace Conners” threats to Brianna Wu. The second is reports of an attempted swatting of Israel Galvez by users of the “Baphomet” message board of the website 8chan. The third is a Kotaku report of a hoax bomb threat sent to GDC to disrupt an award ceremony for Anita Sarkeesian.

      So to sum up, we have a bomb threat by an anonymous person, which doesn’t mention GamerGate, that in fact PREDATES (March 2014) GamerGate’s inception being used as evidence they commit “rape and murder threats”.

      We have a satirist called Jan Rankowski from a collective known as ‘million dollar extreme’ who posted on the Internet as “Jace Conners” and threatened Wu in a video called “Briannu Wu Tried To Assassinate Me With Street Racing” who was called a GamerGate figurehead despite NEVER being active in the movement in any way, being used as evidence they commit “rape and murder threats” (by street racing??).

      And finally, we have an actual swatting incident from a different set of people who share a website that GamerGate uses being used as evidence they commit “rape and murder threats”. By this logic, any group using Reddit is responsible for the contents of its controversial boards.

      This is the sort of guilt-by-association nonsense that has been a standard operating condition of press reports of GamerGate. I’m disappointed that such obviously weak claims are given credence and repeated by you, slandering hundreds of people in the process.

      • The pattern of GamerGate enthusiasts has been to consistently minimize and deny. I have seen interior logs of GG planning sessions of doxxing attacks and threats,.coordinating things. I have spent much more time than I’ve ever wanted to in various dark corners of the internet, observing the patterns there. There is, of course, an absolute defese against slander.

        • Troushers

          Reading your response, I am reminded of Bertrand Russell’s 1962 letter to Oswald Mosley: “It is always difficult to decide on how to respond to people whose ethos is so alien and, in fact repellent to one’s own.”

          When defending a group against truly absurd accusations, that do not bear serious scrutiny for a second, is proof of further perfidy “…consistently minimize and deny…” I cannot imagine how our conversation could ever lead to any greater understanding of each other.

          I cannot take seriously your secret evidence of planning logs – planning what? who was planning? – when you seem to assume openly that GamerGate has mastered time travel. I suspect you are talking about the 4chan IRC logs collected and summarised by Chelsea Van Valkenburg, if so, your characterisation of them is, again, inaccurate.

          Finally, in order to take legal action (the “absolute defence against slander”) it is necessary to show reputational damage on a personal level. GamerGate supporters choose to remain anonymous, or at the very least pseudononymous, for both cultural and practical reasons. There have been outright threats and harassment documented against the few who used their real names, and many people in the industry are frightened of career damage, largely due to people like yourself – who credulously repeat clearly false accusations and never apologise – sustaining a negative narrative against the consumer movement.

          In such a climate, legal action is nearly impossible. The Sad Puppies will have a much better chance, I think, of punishing outlets who call them “white supremicists”, on about the same standard of evidence used to smear #GamerGate, ie. none.

          Russell finished his letter to Moseley with the admonition “I feel obliged to say that the emotional universes we inhabit are so distinct, and in the deepest way opposed, that nothing fruitful or sincere could ever emerge from association between us.”

          I truly hope it never comes to this.

          • And why would I take seriously someone with an account with 11 comments, all of which are GamerGate apologia?

            One thing I have learned from this. Check age of Disque account before responding in good faith.

          • Roger Christie

            Look! It’s another sea lion!

          • hee.

  • I am a licensed clinical social worker. I can diagnose mental illness legally (though I didn’t in this case) a master’s level psychologist can only assess. It’s a minor distinction, but an important one.

    I strongly suspect you don’t actually under the word “projection”. Please detail how I projected in this article.

  • That was pretty contentless, but I replied in hopes that John is following. Reading my Facebook today, I discovered that a good progressive friend had “unfriended” someone and blocked them for suggesting that John’s change of religious faith and poltics at the age of 42 was the result of brain injury and that the person in question could “cure” him.

    John, I don’t know who the original person who made that statement was, but that person was off the rails. I don’t know whether or not you have a brain injury, and I do know that one effect of brain injury can be personality change, but it is absolutely unacceptable to ascribe your political or religious beliefs to mental illness or head injury.

    The stories of the various SP/RP have changed so much over the last several years, that I really think the motive has jelled to something as simple as “getting even with SJWs” in many peoples’ heads, including people on both sides.

    Talking about psychological processes of defense and response to environment are one thing. Ascribing mental illness is another. I am sorry someone did that to you.

  • Racism is a system that benefits white people at the expense of people of color. I defined implicit racism in the above article. I should probably have referenced Harvard’s Project Implicit, which measures people’s unconscious assumptions and has been gathering data for at least a decade.

    There is no such thing as “reverse racism” because prejudice and discrimination against white people by people of color do not have the power of instituations behind them.

    That is not to say that discrimination and bias do not exist, nor to say that internalized racism/sexism can’t exist in POC and women.

    To the best of my memory, JCW’s bias is againt gay people, not people of color, and I said that, but there have been a lot of words back and forth, and if I said that, you’re right, that was an error. I don’t know his view on people of color.

    I use the definitions of bias, discrimination, racism, sexism and other similar terms that come from the academic world and not general usage. I hope that makes things clearer.

  • I’m responding to unblock this, but it’s way past my bedtime, so I’ll finish the thought tomorrow. I have one other comment I unblocked that needed a lengthier reply as well.

  • I am releasing this from the queue to demonstrate that even supporters of people who believe that black people and women are less than human can be civil. Which only makes them more dangerous.

  • Okay. I’ve worked my way through the moderation queue. If a comment was simply a repeat of an earlier critique, I deleted it and replied on the earlier critique. If the comment was simply an insult without comment (come ON, guys, get some new insults already) it has also been deleted.

    I have made no bones over the years that the reason I am willing to engage with the people who revile me and strongly disagree with me is not for their sakes, but for the sakes of third parties who are reading and might be persuadable.

    The vast majority of the comments didn’t understand or at least address the concepts in the article, most especially the one of entitlement. Since entitlement is at the root of this entire campaign (did you ever see women or minorities or gay people, all three of which have clearly legitimate statistical claims to underrepresentation in the Hugos dating back to the beginnings of the awards) demand their Hugos? No? Because entitlement is something largely limited to privileged groups.

    I am baffled by the rally of support for VD. LC and BT, much less so, as they are both clearly well rounded foks and clearly have some positive traits. My experiences with VD show me that he wears his opinions of those he considers to be his lessers on his sleeves, and he couches his bigotry in pseudo-scientifc bullshit that is comparable to the fascination with social Darwinism of the early 2000s, as demonstrated in the otherwise wonderful Edgar Rice Burroughs books.

    I will try to keep up better in the future.

  • I’m done playing with puppies until I write a followup. Everything in my queue is subject changing, goalpost changing, gaslighting, or simply designed to kill with a thousand paper cuts. I leave you with a link to evidence in their own words that VD and LC cooked this years SP/RP stuff between them. The comments also have links to vile things VD has said that are well beyond the pale. Enjoy.

  • One more link that more clearly describes the implicit assumptions involved. Very well done:

  • BB-Mystic

    Maureen, I salute you. I don’t know how you do this. I couldn’t. I commend your coolheadedness and self control.

  • Theodore Beale’s neo-fascism. Yeah, he went there. With links. Excellent summation of all the arguments I now don’t have to have with all you pups.

  • Woah! Why do people reveal themselves this way? Are they completely detached from social and human society so that they are unaware of how bizarrely threatening people comports with their insistence that their group (“dread ilk?” really? Its like a Monty Python Scottish Parody) is filled with lovely people.

  • I think I got the right one. “that gamergater” is pretty non descriptive in a comment thread like this one.

  • Leliel

    Here, we have the other half of VD’s supporter’s “argument”; they don’t actually argue, they insult and scream until the scary Outsider goes away.

    Then, when they’re blocked, they throw tantrums. They’re a lot like spoiled kids.

    (Yes, this has a lot of vitriol in it. Nothing I’ve seen from VD’s ilk is at all intelligent or even interesting to read, it’s just threat, insult, threat, convenient hiding behind anonymity, threat).

  • Leliel

    Maybe she’ll listen when you stop DARVOing.

    • Ah, I had forgotten that term. For those who are curious,

      Also, is it just me or are addict social behaviors and narcissism very similar? (Addictions is not my specialty)

      • Leliel

        Honestly, it wouldn’t be surprising.

        While it does sound like I’m being a snide person behind his back, my dad? Complete and utter narcissist, and for the longest time blackout drunk. He eventually had to transfer his addictions to nicotine because he can’t ignore the alcohol otherwise. And he does do that exact process in the blog, he is incapable of verbally admitting when he’s screwed up.

  • Roger Christie

    You wanted to promote diversity so you nominated John C Wright SIX times. I’m pretty sure ‘diversify’ doesn’t mean what you think it does.

  • That simply isn’t true. The proportion of men to women this year, for example, went from 50/50 to 80/20. “Elitist Anti-Puppies” is an oxymoron, by the way. It is not elitist to want to be inclusive. See “entitled”, above.

  • They get much quieter when I stop letting most of the garbage through, though. I’m sure they feel entitled to say whatever they want about the subject on my website, but since I pay for this website, run it, and write it, I decide what is and isn’t acceptable. And piling on and supporting a neo-fascist like Beale is not acceptable.

  • Nancy Lebovitz

    I can think of one good point for Beale– two of his authors have told me that he pays on time.

    I don’t think this makes up for his vile opinions and destructive trolling, but you said you didn’t know of anything good about him, so I’m mentioning this for completeness.

  • thabe331

    Very well written. I don’t know how anyone can even pretend to argue that Gamergate isn’t about misogyny anymore