Watching You Tube so you don’t have to: Larry & Ethan edition

If you write a book you should do a promotional tour but 1. I’m lazy 2. I’ve no time and 3. I don’t want to. Luckily, other people can do your promotional work for you and what better way to advertise Debarkle than for Larry Correia and Ethan Van Sciver to talk about the overlap of the Sad Puppies and Comicsgate campaigns!

OK, you can all probably think of things a LOT better than over an hour and a half of two beardy guys self-aggrandising and re-editing history. However, I watched this for you.

What sustained me through what was an extraordinarily dull experience was the question on whether the elephants in the room would get mentioned. Put these guys together and there are two elephants: one quite significant and based in Switzerland and one less so and based in California.

Vox Day’s history with the two of them was a neat example of history repeating itself. Correia promoted Day during Sad Puppies 2, the planning for Sad Puppies 3 by the so-called “Evil League of Evil” included Day but then with SP3 Day gazumped the campaign with his own more radical offshoot called Rabid Puppies which Day could control directly. With Comicsgate, Day’s anti-SJW rhetoric was promoted by Ethan Van Sciver, Day got into the comics business and then started his own “Comicsgate” imprint which Day could control directly. Both Corriea and EVS got roundly manipulated by Day but at least EVS had the common sense to complain about it.

The second person I wanted to see if they would mention is Jon Del Arroz. There is a lot that can be said about JDA and the claims he makes about himself but his claim to have been an early and significant figure in Comicsgate is a reasonable one. JDA has a working relationship with Vox Day and ideological similarities, so when EVS and Day fell out, JDA was caught in the middle, leading to prolonged internal feuding within Comicsgate. JDA’s culture-war book promotion strategy didn’t really start until after the Sad Puppies had faded. Nonetheless, JDA’s actions got some positive promotion in Puppy circles. However, eventually by 2021 JDA was in a feud with Correia and stating that Correia had sent a mob to cancel him (https://monsterhunternation.com/2021/02/17/i-couldnt-make-it-one-day-back-on-facebook-without-getting-banned/#comment-102677 )

In short, EVS and LC had a lot in common to talk about! You won’t be surprised to discover that they didn’t talk about it either. OK, Vox Day got a brief mention:

The “$5.00” means somebody paid US$5 to have their comment put on screen. A waste of money for them as all they got was a sort of mumbling reply from EVS (I think LC had already left).

Instead, we got the absence of Vox Day as a ghostly presence. EVS asked Correia to explain what the SFWA was and Correia explained that the organisation had got rid of the conservatives and libertarians in its ranks. Which is interesting. I wonder who the conservative-libertarian they got rid of was? Did his name rhyme with Dox Vay? Given that VD was the ONLY person that was expelled, there’s not a big range of example to draw from.

I’m skipping ahead. So what’s this video like? The first 6ish minutes is a montage of God Emperor Trump and Pepe memes with alternate lyrics to a song by the band Sabaton which plays over the montage. It’s like being trapped in a time loop in the internet of 2017. After that, we get several minutes or so of promotion for EVS. Larry Correia appears at around the 11:30 minute mark. Then there’s a whole bit about a time when EVS had a Marvel guy call into his show and the guy wouldn’t say “hi to comicsgate”. So, if you do think about watching this (don’t) you can skip ahead to the 20-minute mark for when the content starts.

The fantasy content kicks in around that time. Correia explains that he knows liberal writers who love his work but “they can’t say that” because if they did they would “get skinned and eaten, they’d get decapitated”. He adds another anecdote about some (anonymous) leftist who read one of his novels with the intent of giving it a bad review but liked it so much that he couldn’t write a review at all, for fear of the persecution he’d get from praising Correia’s work. Let me speculate here and suggest this is horseshit. I spent years and years now talking about Correia’s actions and I’ve said often that he is a decent writer of entertaining books and I’ve had zero pushback on that. The problem with Larry Correia isn’t his fiction or rather it IS his fiction but not the fiction he sells in books as fiction.

26 minutes in you’ll find Larry explaining that he can no longer make the New York Times Bestseller list anymore because the list is “rigged” because he used to make it but once he became well known as having the wrong politics he was out. Note that just prior, in his account of his Campbell Award nomination he also claims he was criticised for having the wrong politics widely at the START of his career.

After that, we get a garbled history of the Puppy campaigns. Events get shoehorned together and the absence of Vox Day from the story looms ever larger. It becomes this big mysterious thing as to why people might think of the Sad Puppy 2 campaign as being racist and misogynistic (hint: Vox Day aside from anything else). The absence of Day from the narrative enables this spin that the pushback against the Sad Puppy campaign from a diversity perspective was wholly irrational.

But there is not a complete absence of personal growth here. Back in 2008, Correia was claiming that he personally was “blacker than Barack Obama”.

“My personal political leanings are pretty darn obvious to anybody that reads this (I own a machine gun store, not a lot of Democrats in that line of work) so you can be relatively certain that I don’t like Barack Obama, but I think I actually hate him. Well, I suppose somebody could say that by saying that, I’m racist or something, but hell, I’m blacker than Barack Obama.  My Mom’s from Africa and I at least grew up poor.  Let me see, how many times have I gone windsurfing on Maui… uh… NONE, but I have witnessed a crack dealer in Birmingham beat a man with a baseball bat and push him off a 2nd story balcony, so maybe Barack can educate me on the “Black Experience”. No, I hate him because he’s a socialist idiot pretty-boy waste of precious oxygen.”

https://monsterhunternation.com/2008/04/02/why-i-would-rather-gouge-my-eyeballs-out-of-my-skull-than-vote-for-barack-obama/

These days, perhaps because the medium of video might be less supportive of such claims, he has modified his position.

“I’m mixed race. My dad is browner than Barack Obama.[laugh] My mum is super white – which is funny because she’s actually from North Africa.”

You Tube interview 2022

That’s progress, right?

What can I say. That was a poor use of 1:35:31 Earth time intervals that I will never get back.

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60 responses to “Watching You Tube so you don’t have to: Larry & Ethan edition”

  1. “He adds another anecdote about some (anonymous) leftist who read one of his novels with the intent of giving it a bad review but liked it so much that he couldn’t write a review at all, for fear of the persecution he’d get from praising Correia’s work.”

    And his girlfriend is totally hot (but you wouldn’t know her – she lives in Canada.

    Did Larry mention that he originally claimed that he had a great time at Worldcon before it became profitable to say that he had been persecuted?

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  2. But I’ve written nice things about Correia’s Grimnoir Chronicles and not once has a social justice warrior left me headless or skinless, let alone eaten.
    I know I don’t exactly move books like John Scalzi but … but … I feel so invisible!

    Liked by 6 people

    • I read those when Warbound was on the Hugo ballot, and the best I can say about them is that Larry’s writing is adequate. He is a terrible storyteller, but the words do form actual coherent sentences and paragraphs that usually make sense.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Larry … can no longer make the New York Times Bestseller list anymore because the list is “rigged” because he used to make it but once he became well known as having the wrong politics he was out.

    I’m just going to be rolling on the floor laughing until I pass out. Right now the #1 book on the NYT combined print & ebook bestseller list is “Here’s The Deal” by Kellyanne Conway. Larry is epically full of shit today.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Too bad Larry doesn’t have PACs and billionaire donors to bulk buy copies of his books and then return them.

      Maybe he needs to suck up to the governing council — but they’re all old guys (the president is 97!) who probably think SFF is satanic (despite their own theology) and wouldn’t like the violence, even if directed at monsters.

      Liked by 3 people

    • He hate the the term “NYT Best Seller” even when I really like the author as it’s so fucking meaningless. Simon R. Green uses it on his books and he got it for novelising Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves which is one, and yes I’m going to use another swear word, truly shitty film.

      Sorry I’m cranky tonight. I just got a honking big injection of steroids into my right knee in hopes of reducing the pain there from three surgeries last year and it increases the pain for a few days. If that doesn’t work, I’ll need another surgery on it, not something that I’m looking forward to.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Well you could point that out, but LC or other right wingers will just say that’s the non-fiction list, not the fiction one. And if you point out that there are quite a few libertarian and right-wing thriller writers who make the fiction bestseller lists, they could complain that they only mean SFF. And if you point out some bestselling right-leaning SFF authors, they can point out….

      Goalposts — they are mobile.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. “Got rid of the conservatives and libertarians” is going to be quite the shock to SFWA Grand Master Larry Niven, among others. And the ghosts of SFWA Grand Masters Gene Wolfe, Poul Anderson, etc. etc. Not to mention various Baenite members who haven’t stomped off in a hissy fit.

    Larry is still too completely stupid to realize how Teddy completely made him his bitch and 100% took over the Puppies. That wasn’t exactly 4D chess on Teddy’s part, though — more like child’s play. Still makes me laugh. Puppies really are on the left… side of the bell curve.

    I haven’t seen anyone so White claim to be mixed since Rachel Dolezal. And at least she had a lot of actual Black friends.

    Liked by 3 people

          • LC’s books have lots of casual racism and conservative apologetics.

            MHI alone has a few chapters taking place on a plantation where the main characters argue about the politics thusly(paraphrased), “This place was built on slavery, but racism officially ended with the civil rights movement.” & “The only racists left are politicians and people who just want a hand out.”

            Later books have “Gangsta” Gnomes.

            Not to mention the bit in Gromnoir about one black man’s sacrifice leading to the resolution of the Dust Bowl.

            Also in Grimnoir:

            An ongoing Yellow Peril narrative
            An entire chapter where the author complains about FDR and paints the New Deal as the worst thing in American History.
            A 2nd Generation millionaire who walked past a breadline complain that his taxes are too high.

            Liked by 3 people

            • Yes to all that. The thing that really squicked me out was the storyline in which the lone woman on the big expedition into the “yellow peril” nation fell for Larry’s self-insert hero character.

              She was also Asian. She didn’t speak a word of English. She never spoke a single word to the main character (and he never said a single word she could understand). They never communicated in any way (even with a translator). But she was irresistibly drawn to the pseudo-Larry. The fetishism of an Asian woman in this subplot was incredibly creepy.

              Liked by 1 person

        • So if Larry claims he’s “Blacker than Obama” — who has never been a crack dealer nor beaten anyone to death, which signify “real” Black people…

          The remainder of this sentence is left as an exercise to the reader.

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  5. You know, I enjoyed the book series that he ended up getting on the Hugo ballot. I didn’t think it was trophy worthy, but it was competent and had some neat ideas on magic. I haven’t read anything else of his, and I probably won’t because people who are jerks aren’t worth my time, but I did enjoy those books. And my politics are distinctly leftwards.

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    • I think that’s why they have their own work hanging on the wall behind them, because I think even they get confused.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I think EVS still has a bit of hair left. Larry must be really jealous of both that and the fact that EVS has a much more interesting background to his video.

        EVS looks like he’s coming live from a Comic Con booth; Larry looks like he’s coming live from a hostage video.

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      • The war and history aspects of their music mean they often cropped up in Puppy circles (or bands doing covers of their songs). TBH that’s mainly where I’ve seen their music but my internet journeys are atypical 🙂

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  6. The question for me is for whom is Larry lying by not mentioning Beale (who was the reason for the increase in both anger about the puppies and peole noticing that they existed)?
    I mean I understand not wanting to be conected to Beale, but for Larry that is simple a few years to late.
    There is another parallel of course: Most of their followers have no clue about SF/Comics.
    I may remember that wrong but didn’t Larry make the list once for a short time with help from his bookbombs?
    I think he has the same delusion as Wright re greatness.
    I can’t say anything about his books, having never read them. But there have always been people who defended Larry fictionwritings. (Scalzi as one funny example) Nobody seems to have a problem with that.
    Originaly I think people were much more angry with Beale and Brad. Than Larry started to write about the puppystuff after he was ofical out.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. What a surprise that an aging, repetitive, increasingly gun obsessed comic fantasy series isn’t selling as well as it did ten years ago, especially with younger people after reams and reams of mass shootings in the U.S. It must be a conspiracy. Good luck getting EVS’ base to shell out for a whole novel with no pictures.

    I truly wish we were all as powerful as whiners like EVS and LC like to pretend we are in order to give themselves comforting hugs. If we were, the U.S., the U.K., etc. wouldn’t be in the mess we are now and a lot more people would be alive.

    And yeah, it’s not surprising that neither man wanted to mention the guy who, while accomplishing not much of anything else, made them both look like gullible losers. LC included Beale in his temper tantrum to piss everyone off and show he was boss, plus the promise of Beale’s Gamergate “influence.” And then Beale just took everything over and even though LC tried to step away, he was paired with Beale as Beale’s second lieutenant in the media. Poor Brad didn’t even get that spot and had to settle for third. And then when Sad Puppies didn’t go anywhere and Gamergate was fading out, the media immediately lost interest. And LC was left staring at all the authors he’d called hacks, cheaters and harassers while Beale waltzed off, hoping his antics would lead to greater things in the rightosphere.

    EVS had been more or less kicked out of the main comics industry (claiming he quit it) but still had a following and used it to establish an indie grift that he made even more successful by trying to grab some of Gamergate’s gloss. Beale swanned in well after Comicsgate was dying out, claiming to be a mover and shaker on the basis of the Sad Puppies, and as such EVS welcomed him. But then Beale tried to pull the same trick, tried to take over EVS’ base and trademark the Comicsgate term for himself. But Comicsgate, unlike Sad Puppies, was a carefully controlled money making operation of a select group of comics creators and EVS had a tight rein on the Comicsgate harassment swarms. He squashed Beale and kicked him out of official Comicsgate (which also never officially exists,) but only after he’d been embarrassed by the incident.

    Del Arroz is an almost ran, a guy who was perfectly welcome in SFF until he decided to be a harassing jerk. He got a brief spot of attention for harassing authors who were better known than he was and then suing WorldCon for banning him after he announced plans to do gotcha harassment videos at the con. And then Beale screwed him over.

    All of these men I’ve had to hear about far more than I ever would have wanted because they went around harming and harassing creative people and fans while calling themselves martyrs. And because they were white guys, we were frequently told we had to be reasonable and listen to them at first — until the garbage they spewed made people realize they truly were appalling. But these really are the small fry of the garbage pond.

    I was struck by that fact as you put together the Debarkle. They truly wanted to be something, more than just making some money, but they were all just a loud echo of far nastier and more powerful autocrats.

    Liked by 6 people

    • Del Arroz writes truly shitty genre fiction but that’s not what truly annoys me about him. It’s his endless false branding whether it be the claiming to be the World’s Leading Hispanic SF Author or his latest claim of being the an SF Grand Master. The letter neatly skirts being almost not being a lie by not including the SFWA prefix. But of course he and the truth never did know each other, did they?

      He’s a lying Rat Bastard to the core. And that’s slandering rats, isn’t it?

      I first coined Rat Bastard to describe Pater S. Beagle’s former manager which got me threatened to be sued by said manager. Twice. He didn’t in the end but I savour the emails. And I am the legal holder of Beagle’s internet domains which we reclaimed from him, so there!

      We will be putting together a personal site for Beagle soon.

      Liked by 5 people

      • Oh that’s awesome; thank you for helping him. He’s truly been one of the key writers in SFF and it was so horrible the legal mess forced upon him.

        As for del Arroz and Larry and such, the thing that always comes across is the insecurity, the need to be reassured of their status, successes and bonafides, the elaborate justifications and myths of their actions and feelings, the demands and claims that things are being taken from them that are their due, particularly by marginalized authors. They want what in truth older white cishet men SFF authors did have — a system designed to favor, promote and elevate them at the expense of others. But that system cost us a lot and while it’s still very much in place, a lot of SFF is trying to dismantle it and make room, encouraging growth and inclusion. Which for people who always have to feel like they are on top and dominating and superior in values, seems like the system is just being reversed against them rather than made a bit more level.

        It always makes me sad, their views, before making me angry. They tear at themselves and others and consider not tearing to be weakness. They claim they just want to be left alone, when they clearly state that being “left alone” means being left alone in charge of society, able to control the people who’ve always been forced under control, shutting down anything they think doesn’t aggrandize them.

        They did that big study on multi-player online gaming and harassment and they found that the ones doing most of the sexist and racist harassment weren’t the top players but less successful men players who were essentially turning on players they knew or suspected were women or MOC as easy targets, to feel better about themselves and try to achieve some sort of status as dominants. I think about that whenever these Puppies come up with their aggrandized grievances, or the alt right, Gamergaters, etc. It’s all such desperate insecurity and violent attempts at getting or holding on to perceived status, the true disaster of our species. Even with Putin — desperate to have some sort of Soviet-ish conquering victory before he dies in invading Ukraine with a corrupt and ill-prepared army, insecurity about his reputation, etc. Or Elon Musk, richest person in the world, making petty tweets at random critics. And lying, outright lying constantly, shifting realities whenever they can.

        Inwardly they just seem so feeble. Outwardly, they do still have control in rigged societies and are incredibly violent. People die for their insecurities. And the older you get, the sadder that reality gets.

        Liked by 2 people

        • So am I, and I’m sad that it took so long. I remember when there was that screening tour of The Last Unicorn about 7 years ago, my wife and I were happy to get to see it in a theater and see Beagle, and that part was of course great, but as the Q&A went on Cochran was talking through more and more of it and I quickly started to get a really unpleasant vibe from the guy. It was a combination of how eager he was to talk about the alleged business opportunities he was involved in rather than letting Beagle talk to the fans, and his overall style that came across as being at best an overly-excitable person who might not have realistic plans and at worst a creepy huckster. I mentally filed it away under “huh, I wonder what the story is there, hope things go well for them” and then after hearing about the lawsuit I thought “oh crap, of course.” And I didn’t feel like that had been any special perceptiveness on my part— I’m sure others had been put off in the same way, I think the guy was not as practiced at addressing a large group in person as he was at running scams at a distance, and he couldn’t read the room. Anyway, good riddance.

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          • I went to that tour, I got to ask peter a question he could answer and Rat Bastard could not (about his music), and got hugged by Peter when I won a prize – a prize which quickly got a much more bitter overtone as I heard more and more of the elder abuse story and the general fan grifting after the event (I was very glad I ordered nothing in advance, but I still wonder if the artists whose work I paid for on site actually saw their share of the fee for their work).

            Anyhow, the explanation for the caption on the t-shirt I won was that before the Last Unicorn, unicorns were actually a masculine symbol, and he was the start of the unicorn as feminine.

            The T-shirt, though says “Damn you, Peter S. Beagle, it’s all your fault!” which… really reads wrong out of context.

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  8. I’m glad that others pointed out the racism of LC’s “I’m Blacker than Obama” statement. Educated Black people are still Black.

    The Puppies yoked themselves to a White Supremacist and were shocked that they were painted with the same broad brush. Then, instead of disavowing said person, they made mealy-mouthed excuses. There’s a word for people who tolerate racism as a legitimate POV….

    Liked by 5 people

    • And they also made racist statements like “I’m blacker than Obama” and described the “Black experience” as being poor and having crack dealers beat people to death.

      Liked by 2 people

    • I’m reminded of the time when Danny Glover talked about how couldn’t hail a taxi in NYC.

      Despite, at the time, starring as a cop in the incredibly popular “Lethal Weapon” series.

      All the cabbies saw was the color of his skin and his size.

      Liked by 4 people

      • David Letterman did a segment on his show (this was, I think, back in the 80s or maybe early 90s) where he did the same thing with Yaphet Kotto; the difference was they also had a skeevy-looking (intentionally so) white guy who happened to be an ex-felon. Kotto (dressed to the nines) couldn’t get a cab to save his life; skeevy-looking white guy, no problem.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. “The “$5.00” means somebody paid US$5 to have their comment put on screen.”

    That sounds like a nice business model. Or a meaningsless feature, depending on how many people you can actually get to pay.

    Liked by 2 people

      • YouTube take a minimum of fifty percent of all revenue. Earning a decent, stable revenue on YouTube fir someone like Larry is a difficult proposition that requires a lot of things to go right. I don’t see that he’s likely to get the numbers he needs to do it.

        Liked by 2 people

      • 20 of those messages comes to 100$, minus Youtube’s cut. That’s nice, but not quite a get rich quick-scheme.

        On the other hand, the direct ad revenue only comes to around 30-50$, according to what I can find. (The video have 10k views, and the best numbers I can find is that the revenue for ads comes to around 3-5$ pr 1000 video views.) The video will rack up more views over time, but 50-100$ extra from people paying to get their message on screen are relatively speaking not insignificant as an additional income.

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        • EVS gets most of his moolah from crowdfunding his comics, which he only occasionally delivers on. The videos are just to reinforce that donating to him as an indie comics artist is ideologically pure.

          Liked by 1 person

    • He’s not that clever. Harkonnen was actually fairly good at political intrigue. He just didn’t count on his opponent being the culmination of centuries of genetic manipulation who obtained magical powers including the ability to see the future.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Yeah, if Paul hadn’t been the Kumquat Haagen Dazs, Harkonnen would have done fine for himself.

        Although in shape, size, and general ugh-ness, I’ll agree Cheeto Benito does resemble Baron H (Lynch version) with a smidge of Navigator (ditto).

        Liked by 1 person

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