A rant about puppies born of frustration

A prelude to the post: I had been thinking about a few blog projects to try [a mathsy/stats/logic thing, a book review with politics thing, a stupid reactive-fiction-author-as-character thing] when the Puppy Kerfuffle began and I found I was commenting on the ‘net again having taken a sanity-hiatus for awhile. So as some comments on other people’s blogs got longer I thought I’d revive my blog plans and do all of them at once. So some posts here are essentially long-form blog comments i.e. when what I needed to say was longer than is sensible for a blog comment I will write it here or it will morph into something else altogether. In this sense the blog is parasitical.cheesepups

A reasonable person who is sympathetic to the Sad Puppy side posted a comment at File 770 on Puppy reactions to recent issue. I haven’t written a post on the recent Irene Gallo controversy because others have said everything that needed saying far more eloquently. However, I did channel some angst here. Nothing personal intended toward my correspondent. Oh! and it is worth reading Jim Hines catalog of puppy comments here before proceeding to get what I’m going on about.

Andrew P: I think, at the beginning, there were quite a few of us on the SP side of things willing to at least try and have something resembling an honest rational discussion. I’ve posted on more than a couple of threads here who I nominated and why.
I think many of the immediate reactions after the nominations were announced sent some people away. The ew.com and other articles sent most everyone else away, and the last straw for the majority of those left was Gallo’s post.

Well I can see why a diverse group of people would be upset by being painted with a broad brush on the basis of Vox Day’s involvement but…yeah…well we are straight back to the rank hypocrisy thing – Puppies of all stripes painting an even broader group with broad brushes both before the nominations and after.

And look there in your own comment – EW and Irene Gallo aren’t somehow spokespeople for the whole of the set of not-puppies. In makes no sense for Brad T to complain about his position being confused with Vox Day’s position and then conflate critics of his campaign together without making any clear distinctions (who are the puppy-kickers, who are the CHORFs or whatever?).

Massive double standards are a major impediment to a dialogue. If I stretch my empathy muscles and think “I can see why puppy supporters would be upset by X” then I can’t help but notice the corresponding reaction.

Secondly the incredible shifting sands of what-puppies-is-all-about. If a prominent puppy says it is X and then people say Puppies-was-about-X, a different prominent puppy then says how-dare-they-say-it-is-about-X-it-was-never-about-X. It is about ideology and then no it isn’t about ideology, it is about puppies seeing past awards as affirmative-action-for-women and no it isn’t about gender or diversity (and how dare people ever suggest it is), it is about pulp-v-literary fiction and no that is a terrible lie by a journalist (but, but Brad just said…), it is about getting crossover parts of the genre like romance-SF involved, no it is the exact opposite it is about keeping SF pure and all blue-SF etc etc.

And no, it is not a problem that a general movement has internal disagreements but…those aren’t INTERNAL disagreements. When I visit the assorted puppy strongholds of the web there is nothing (or very little) in terms of one prominent puppy saying the other is wrong about X or Y. John C Wright doesn’t say Brad T or Larry C is wrong about the pulp thing. No, it is all directed OUTWARDS. We (i.e. the people who who have ever said anything on the issue and aren’t aligned with puppies) are somehow all wrong about what puppies is all about.

So what can I conclude other than puppies isn’t about anything?