Let’s see what the PC crowd is up to these days…
It turns out that Baen Books has announced a short fiction contest. As if that insult wasn’t terrible enough, it’s also the case that Larry Correia will be a judge:
Judging will be by the Baen editorial staff, with final entries also being judged by Larry Correia.
As you may imagine, such unbearable state of affairs cannot be allowed to continue uncontested. What will the PC crowd do to save us all from such outrage, then?
In case anyone is lost: Baen, of course, is a publisher that, according to wikipedia, emphasizes space opera, hard science fiction, military science fiction, and fantasy. Baen is a publishing company and not a political party, and it publishes writers of all political leanings (I have seen Eric Flint cited as an example of this because of his far-left politics, but I would be extremely surprised if we couldn’t find all parts of the political spectrum among the authors, if I cared to investigate, which I don’t). However, I believe there is a correlation between being a fan of some of those subgenres and having conservative political ideas. For that reason, the PC crowd hate even the idea of that editorial existing.
Therefore, if said publisher announces a fiction contest, and if Correia, another favorite of the PC crowd, is involved, you can’t really expect the PC crowd not to react, can you?
The response took the form of a wave of twitter posts, appropriating the hashtag #BaenAwardStories to mock and parody the genre tropes that books from this publisher allegedly abuse. Some examples to get the idea:
“Let me grasp your laser rifle, battle brother.” Said the space marine, failing to notice his own subtext. #BaenAwardStories
The Survivalist. One white geek male’s quest to move out of his sisters basement. #BaenAwardStories
Frag had conquered many in space war. He was drinking scotch. “I hate life,” he snarled. Ten hookers appeared. He sighed. #BaenAwardStories
Now, I find some of this stuff funny, since I think that looking at things with a sense of humor is healthy. It is made less funny by the knowledge that the motivation here is not to have a good time or to make fun of the kind of fiction you yourself like (which is particularly healthy, in my opinion). The motivation is ridiculing the people who do not share your opinions or like the same kind of things you do. Micro-aggressions, anyone?
Still, little harm done. This is the internet, after all. Jerks are everywhere and the PC crowd certainly has no monopoly on that. You don’t have to look at jerks if you don’t want to. I didn’t find anything worth commenting on here. It’s just business as usual.
But still, some people must have criticized it, because there has been this response, which is probably the most funny thing in this whole thing, because people’s endless capacity of self-justification is always amusing:
Golly! Just when you think you’ve plumbed the depths of the thin-skinnedness of blokes in the SFF world, they still manage to surprise you by taking the hump at a bit of light-hearted fun, in this case the #BaenAwardStories twitter convo. And I can’t help wondering if the fact that the people having the fun were predominantly women and they were having it at the expense of the red-blooded end of the SFF world, MilSF in general and Baen Books in particular, contributed something to the over-the-top reaction. There obviously is something very threatening about women making jokes; probably because it’s too difficult to write them off as “over-emotional” “hysterical” or “too invested”.
So, how come you are the victims here if you are the only ones acting like jerks? That’s fine, have your fun however you like. I couldn’t care less. But really, this is now a matter of gender discrimination?
I would be the first to agree that complaining because people make inconsiderate jokes in the internet is absurd. It’s what people do. However, come on! The thin-skinnedness? A bit of light-hearted fun? But weren’t you the ones having a fit and insulting Jonathan Ross all over the internet and declaring him unfit to host the Hugo Awards ceremony because he once, in his decades-long career as a humorist, made a fat joke? Weren’t you the ones who said you didn’t feel safe attending if Ross was allowed to be there? Weren’t you the ones who said you didn’t even needed any objective reason to harass Ross, because you were just talking about your feelings? I’m confused here. Are you the only ones with feelings? By the same standard, shouldn’t now those who like what you call “the red-blooded end of the SFF world” feel unsafe to attend a convention if you are present? Respect goes both ways, you know.
Notice also in the blog post I linked to how the PC crowd turns against their own if the dare deviate in the slightest from their political orthodoxy. In this case, it’s Jim C. Hines, a usually respected member of the crowd in spite of being white and male (perhaps his sexual orientation is wrong too, but I refuse to investigate whether he has said anything about it, I just couldn’t care less). He said in twitter:
I’ve certainly had issues with individuals associated w/Baen, but I’m not sure why their contest justifies nastiness at the whole publisher.
Well, you are right, but you know how it is, Mr. Hines. Mobs are ugly things. Even when we agree with them, we have to be aware that once fed and grown, they will not be stopped by what we would regard as decency.