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August 24, 2015

now even puppies have become something awful

Those of you that care about this already know about it. Isn't that always the case? But it is yet another example of one of the scary ways that the world is changing around us as we rise each morning, go to work, care for our loved ones and generally persist.

It's about science fiction! (It's okay, I'll see most of you guys back here later.) To sum up, the same portion of humanity that got all upset about non-bro viewpoints in video games and harassed a bunch of women into hiding (y'know, the dingbats who pop up in threads with "Actually it's about ethics in video game journalism) decided that the Hugo Awards, the primary awards ceremony for the sci-fi writers out there, were being controlled in some sense by non-bros. So, led by a couple of decidedly-bro authors of the white-dudes-with-big-guns-variety, they decided to rig the balloting process for this year's Hugos. And they were successful! All categories were bro-heavy, and some categories were bro-exclusive. (For some reason the bros became known as the Puppy movement, divided, of course, into two factions: Sad Puppies and Rabid Puppies. This is only important because it is ridiculous.)

So many thousands of words were written and there was actual concern in the air: would this brazen subversion of the process actually result in junk sci-fi winning awards?

Well, and here is what you should walk away with, the Hugos were last weekend, and the Puppies got beat like a drum:

The evening began with an appearance by a fan cosplaying as the Grim Reaper, and it turned out he was there for the Puppies. Not a single Puppy-endorsed candidate took home a rocket. In the five categories that had only Puppy-provided nominees on the ballot--Best Novella, Best Short Story, Best Related Work, and Best Editor for Short and for Long Form--voters instead preferred "No Award." (Here's the full list.)

But as you run off to read the (really good) Wired piece, you can't not have at least have a taste of the specific complaints of the Puppies factions. This is a strangely triumphal piece by one of the fellow travelers of the Puppies movement about how the Hugo Awards was in fact a victory for the Puppies. The author sums up:

Emboldened by the success of GamerGate in resisting cultural meddlers and authoritarians in video gaming, sci-fi fans resistant to identitarian politics are fighting back. Every year their numbers are growing, and they are more disciplined, more relentless and more determined than their social justice foes.

The real moral of this story is that the Puppies lost, in the same way that the GamerGaters lost, in the same way that this very vocal minority always will because for the time being actually good people outnumber them. There's no success to be emboldened with. There's just a sad little circle jerk of dramatically aggrieved men who could use therapy a lot more than this self-reinforcing crusade against whatever windmills took all their privilege away.

I only share this bit of verbiage because it's fascinating how these splinter cells of culture warriors quickly develop this argot that is dripping with seriousness and intent but really just a bunch of whiny rot. Fascinating like mildly diverting. Fascinating like just in case you were tempted to empathize.

But the Hugos were saved! And the next time these mistakes of history want to try to culture-jam some other damn thing, they'll lose that too.

Posted by mrbrent at 12:23 PM