Category: Puppies

Rise of the Scrappy Doos

 

*I prefer to name groups by how they name themselves but the latest version of Puppyness arising out of the fading away of the Sad Puppy brand doesn’t have a name of their own. Based on my earlier post on recent events, I think “The Scrappy Doos” is a decent moniker to cover a more disperate phenomanon.

scrappydooFirstly it carries on the puppy theme, secondly it encapsulates the relative threat level compared to other incarnations and thirdly it is a handy metaphor for the disconnect between how cool Scrappy thinks he is compared to how annoying he actually is.

Anyway, some people like Scrappy, so I hope it isn’t too demeaning a name and currently I don’t have a better label.

Compared with the Sads and Rabids, the Scrappy Doos are not a coordinated group, they may or may not have been involved with either Sad or Rabids campaigns in the past but if they were they would have been on the periphery. They tend not to make strong distinctions between the Sad and Rabid campaigns and can be seen as ‘monopuppists’ (i.e. the idea that really the two campaigns were one campaign in different forms). They tend to be more overt in their self-promotion. Just as the Sad Puppies were incorrectly described as being a group of Mormon men, the Scrappy Doos may be incorrectly decsribed as Catholic men.

In terms of existing movements they are closest to the Superversive movement and the Pulp Revolutions movement. Those two movements* can be seen as offshoots of the Rabid Puppies but this can be misleading. The Rabids had a core of straight Alt-Right griefers willing to do exactly what Vox Day told them to do for the lulz. Superversive began independently of the Rabids but has attached itself to Castalia for promotion and is focused on literary works (although of a right leaning nature). Pulp Revolution arose from the Castalia House blog and hence is more closely connected to Rabid Puppies but again is not the same as the griefing group.

[eta – paragraph went astray] Whereas the Rabids collectively were not particularly interested in the field of SFF, the Scrappy-Doos have more in common with the Sad Puppies in so far as they tend to be actively involved in writing, publishing and books. In this sense they are more like other groupings in fandom. However, where significant voices in Sad Puppies (Correia, Torgersen, Hoyt, Freer) had had some success in trad-publishing (mainly centred around Baen Books), the Scrappy Doos are involved with small publishing groups or self-published.

Time for an info-graphic.

puppyschematic

Names at the top indicate people who helped establish entities below. Dotted lines imply some degree of association. Arrowed lines imply on-going activity. Pink boxes are websites around which quasi-groups have formed organically to some degree. [eta: graphic tweaked a bit]

*[I’m using the word ‘movement’ generously here – we aren’t talking about huge numbers of people. ‘Tens’ rather than ‘hundreds’ I think]

 

Sad Popcorn

I’m stuck for a word and being stuck made me wonder whether the proper hierarchy is:

spat < flame-war <  brouhaha < kerfuffle?

“Spat” seems the right term for what I want but ‘fallout’ also works, so I’ll name this the ‘End of Sad Puppies Fallout Spat’. In which nothing very much happens but which I’ll carry on watching just because I stuck with the show for so long.

Prompted, perhaps, by Larry Correia’s anti-Mike Glyer meltdown, Sarah Hoyt posted her intentions around Sad Puppies 5 at Mad Genius Club. The fifth iteration of the Sad Puppies was intended to be a book recommendation site. This would amount to a kind of soft-landing for the brand, allowing Hoyt et al to retain control, stop others hijacking the term, and do something worthwhile. I honestly do think this is a good idea for everybody – some other group hijacking the name ‘Sad Puppies’ could prolong the griefing and angst.

However, one of her remarks caused some offence:

“Tips hat to the right. Thank you kindly. But you guys are aware your aesthetics and goals aren’t ours, right?

You just turned Marxist aesthetics on their head, and are judging books by being anti-Marxist and how much they don’t support the neo Marxist idea of justice. That’s cool and all. To each his own. And since, so far, your crazy isn’t being taught in schools, it’s slightly less annoying than the Marxist crazy.”

Hoyt wasn’t exactly clear who she was addressing beyond “the right”. I took it to mean specifically supporters of Vox Day, but that very vagueness caused some issues. While Vox’s comment section are plainly just out to troll ‘the SJWs’, attached to the Rabids are two other offshoots of the Puppy campaign:

  1. Superversive: primarily around this review website: http://www.superversivesf.com/ but also associated with non-Rabid writer L. Jagi Lamplighter (who is also John C Wright’s wife) and SciPhi Journal editor Jason Rennie. Among this cloud is Brian Neimmier, Jon Del Arroz and Declan Finn. Superversive writers also blog at Vox Day’s publishing house’s blog Castalia House.
  2. Pulp Revival: this is centred around Jeffro Johnson, who is the main editor of the Castalia House blog and it is aimed at reviving interest in pre-WW2 pulp science fiction writers and those associated with that genre (including post-WW2 works like Philip Jose Farmer’s re-invention of Tarzan).

The overlap between the two groups is substantial, with several names writing for both Superversive and the Castalia House blog. Superversive is also acting as a publisher having published an anthology of stories entitled “Forbidden Thoughts” which included an introduction by Milo Yianopoulos  and which also included a story from Sarah Hoyt.

The link between Vox Day’s reactionary politics and the two movements above is not as overt as Vox Day himself. It isn’t mysterious though – obviously the pre-war pulps including many attitudes and beliefs that the Alt-Right would like to re-normalise, while Superversive is just a more general push-back against modern science-fiction.

So, Hoyt’s comment was seen as a criticism of the Rabids, Pulp Revival and Superversive and caused some negative comments. [eta: in particular from here http://injusticegamer.blogspot.com.au/2017/06/leaders-going-off-rails-commentary.html?m=1 ]*

Hoyt has now written a longer reply at her own blog: https://accordingtohoyt.com/2017/06/25/bright-shiny-buttons/ Be warned, it doesn’t always make sense and there are a lot of cases of the kind of revisionism of events around Sad Puppies 1,2,3, & 4 that have become depressingly familiar. However, the meat of the piece is counter-criticism to the quasi-Rabid reaction.

“So, imagine my surprise when my post immediately attracted two commenters yelling at me for… well… actually I have no idea because most of it makes no sense. You guys can see the comments yourselves. There’s something about me looking down on people who don’t use the right oyster fork. You guys know my background and my question on this is… there’s a FORK? FOR OYSTERS? Why?”

Anyway, that’s about it. Various grumpy things going on.

*[as spotted by Doris Sutherland]

[eta Doris also points out these posts from Russell Newquist – who publishes some of Declan Finn’s books. The posts relate in part to an earlier post by Hoyt attacking Declan Finn for posting his own suggested Sad Puppy list: http://russellnewquist.com/2017/06/complete-leadership-failure-looks-like/

http://russellnewquist.com/2017/06/mean-girls-pick-fights-weak

http://russellnewquist.com/2017/06/cliques-and-outgrouping/ ]

 

Genesis of the Puppies

Just when I think I’ve definitely not got any more links to add to the Puppy Kefuffle Timeline, I find a blog post I had never read before that falls right at the start of the first Sad Puppy campaign. I was looking because of a comment elsewhere made me want to see what Puppy-aligned people had been saying about the Hugo Awards *prior* to Sad Puppies 3. People who have followed the kerfuffle are nodoubt familiar with the position Puppies hold now but what were they saying prior, before all the shouting started?

The answer, on the whole, is not a lot or at least not where it is visible.

However, this post by Sarah Hoyt at her blog stands out:

Before people think Human Wave is cool and try to imitate it, we must make them know it exists. Besides, a lot of them walked away from the fifth “and then everyone died” supposed space-opera and aren’t reading anymore. We need to let them know we’re here.

Only right now, no one does. We’re out in the hall and making bad jokes, but they can just ignore us. We must get in, so we can throw rubbery rolls at the self-adoring speakers.

Yesterday I had a brain storm and I thought: Awards. (I also made a typo, the rest of you — infants — have been having WAY too much fun with.)

Before you pelt me with rubber rolls – even two years ago, I’d have been the first to say “oh, not awards, they’re SOOOOOOO stuffy.”

But the thing is in indie publishing, and in all publishing as it moves to Amazon and other electronic venues, being able to put on the cover a little seal that says “winner of the blah blah award” (we’re not calling it a blah blah award. No, you can’t talk me into it.) does give you a huge leg up. Most of the readers who are rediscovering SF (or anything else) because they can finally find stuff they want to read, see the Hugo and it doesn’t say to them “Award given by small group of people who attend Worldcon.” They see “Award” which means someone other than the author’s cat read this masterpiece and approved of – or at least finished—it. That means they’re twice as likely to buy it.

https://accordingtohoyt.com/2013/02/23/awards-rubber-rolls-and-humans-waving/

!

It is like looking at the branching point of an alternate timeline – a nicer one really. I don’t want people to see this as me mocking Hoyt for not getting her award started – it isn’t a trivial task and Hoyt herself pointed out the complexities. What is relevant here is that ‘movements’ of people often require something that helps coordinate them motivationally and not just organisationally i.e. a reason to make an effort to do something. In this case Hoyt’s ‘Human Wave’ movements was in a chicken-egg/catch-22: an award was an idea to get that kind of motivational coordination BUT to get an award off the ground you already need that kind of motivational coordination.

What is noticeable is that the difference between current Puppy rhetoric about awards (that they don’t matter and everybody ignores them and please vote in the Dragon Awards) and Sarah Hoyt’s viewpoint at the time.

In our timeline, Larry Correia had already begun his attempt to get himself nominated for a Hugo (in what would become retrospectively called Sad Puppies 1). Larry offered a simpler task (freep an existing award) to his larger fanbase.

…and I would have got away with it too…

The movie version of Scooby Doo with Sarah Michelle Geller is not half bad. For those who have followed the Hugo Kerfuffles the ending is oddly prophetic:

Yes, this is yet another Puppy post. In the movie it turns out the zombie(ish) army has actually been recruited by the obnoxious puppy Scrappy Doo, who blames his lack of success and popularity not on his own unpleasentness but on everybody else. Once exposed, Scrappy turns into a rabid monster – only to discover he isn’t as powerful as he imagined.

As some of you may noticed there has been a recent revival of the Scrappy-Dappy-Doo approach to self-publicity by Jon Del Arroz (Tim is now advising him). JDA hasn’t made much of a secret about announcing a few days ago on “Gab” (a kind of alt-right answer to Twitter):

Steampunk Jon Del Arroz PRO · @otomo
5 days
Commence Operation: Troll The Shit Out Of SJW Sci-Fi Authors On Twitter.
If you want to participate, ping me. I’ll start a chat.

The trolling involved hassling various people including Cat Rambo and an author I’m not familiar with, Sharon Lee*:

Steampunk Jon Del Arroz PRO · @otomo
If anyone is a fan of Sharon Lee — super SJW author who hates me, getting ready to troll her by tagging on twitter/facebook with these. Would love some help. Even if not a fan, can still tag 🙂

 

Steampunk Jon Del Arroz PRO · @otomo
Want to get people posting the above picture and tagging either Sharon Lee on facebook (I think you’ll have to friend for that) or clankorval on twitter with the link http://bit.ly/forsteamandcountry. I think if enough folk do we’ll get a nice reaction. I’m blocked so someone will have to report.

People responded in ways that could be called The Velma, The Shaggy, The Daphne, The Other Guy or The Scooby. The last being my option but it looks less cute when seeing the extent to which JDA was attempting to use targetted harassment.

Mike Glyer has taken his normal approach, cover what somebody is doing with minimal editorialising. Of course no news coverage is truly neutral – by it’s very nature choosing what to highlight and what not to is a necessary task and can create its own biases. However, as with the more substantial Puppy Kerfuffle, Mike has let people’s own words speak for themselves.

Which takes us back to Scooby-Doo villains.

They are not famed for their self-reflection or capacity to take personal responsibility – particularly given how pointlessly absurd their plans are.

In the way things do, these two Scrappy-Doo threads came together in a Facebook post where JDA was complaining about his comments not appearing on File770. I won’t link to it – it isn’t interesting in its details or edifying in its content. Suffice to say Larry Correia turned up and had a massive Scrappy-Doo-as-Bad-Guy meltdown about how Mike Glyer did him wrong. Brad Torgersen and Dave Freer turned up too with the same complaint: in short that it was all Mike Glyer’s fault.

Yes, nothing people haven’t heard before but I was suprised how deeply resentful Larry Correia was of what was basically consistent reporting of what Larry was saying in public. Bitter and angry, the aftermath of the failed Sad Puppy campiagns clearly still cut deep and top of the failed puppy hate list is “And I would have got away with it too if weren’t for that meddlin’ Glyer!”

Now, I not only read most (all?) of the Sad Puppy 3 round-up posts, and followed the links to the relevant blogs, I have also, for my sins, re-read most of those Sad Puppy campaign posts by Larry multiple times. While Mike clealry picked out key paragraphs to quote (which stands to reason), the quotes were not particularly misleading and in some cases cast the linked post in a better light (e.g. the quoted part was often the more cogent and coherent argument). I think Larry and Brad et al know that. Far, far harsher and ruder things were written about the Sad Puppies by others and if anything, they got a fairer hearing in Mike’s posts than elsewhere.

So why the vitriol in particular about the Puppy Round-Up posts at File 770? Because Larry is right in so far that it was exposing their own words that undermined their case. Used to an echo chamber and pitching their arguments to self-sycophants, the Sad Puppies (as opposed to VDs Rabids – which is a whole other issue) did not know how to tailor their argument for a wider audience or how to avoid contradicting themselves and alienating potential allies in public.

I’m not arguing that “sunshine is the best disinfectant” as a general principle but in this particular case that is what worked – and the pups know it and hence why Larry C is willing to paint himself as still twisted with rage over a guy covering his public pronouncements.

We will no doubt see others try the Scrappy-Dappy-Doo arc again:

  • Confusing “annoying” with “loveable”
  • Thinking “all publicity is good publicity”
  • Seeing out bad publicity
  • Resenting it when they get it
  • Mutating into an occult rage monster
  • Disgusing themselves as Mr Bean robot

I don’t know what the appropriate response is.

*[I think Amanda S Green maybe was indirectly criticising JDA in this Mad Genius post https://madgeniusclub.com/2017/06/11/think-before-hitting-enter/

A screenshot from Gab of JDA’s comment:

delArrozTargestSharonLee]

[

 

Where is Sad Puppies 5?

Cast your minds back to January 2017, Mad Genius Club writer Amanda S Green announced on the Sad Puppies 4 website that:

“In the near future, this site will be shut down and a new site for Sad Puppies 5 will go live. In the meantime, if you have any books, movies, etc., you think award-worthy, please list them in the comment section. Your recommendations will be migrated to the new site when it is ready.” http://sadpuppies4.org/2017/01/10/sad-puppies-5/

The Sad Puppies had already made it clear that they regarded their point proven about the Hugo Awards (whatever that point may have been) but that Sad Puppies would live on as a place to aggregate reccomendations.

In a longer post at Mad Genius at the same time, Amanda S Green had written in response to Declan Finn posting his “Sad Puppies 5” recommendations:

“So, let’s be very clear. The New Year is here and with it comes the time when we need to start thinking about the books we read and whether we feel they are worthy of being nominated for any of the various awards being offered this year. Be it the Hugo, the Dragon, the Rita or whatever, it is something we need to keep in mind and, if we are so moved, we need to nominate them for the appropriate award(s).” https://madgeniusclub.com/2017/01/10/sad-puppies-5-and-recommendation-lists/

Well the Hugo nomination period came and went and to the Sad Pups credit, they didn’t get involved. Surprisingly though, it now looks like the Dragon Award may slip by without an official Puppy involvement. The SP4 site is unchanged.

Deadline for the Dragon Awards is July 24 and as of today there is no movement at the station for Sad Pups the Fifth. I’ve some mixed feelings about that. Obviously, it is nice that the petering out may have finally petered out for a campaign that caused a lot of angst, anger and division and achieved nothing positive except among its opponents. On the other hand, there was a moment when the whole debarkle could have morphed into a venue where like minded people could recommend books whose nuggets were sufficiently nutty. Time is running out for the Sads to get something together that people will be sufficiently motivated to make contributions/suggestions.

Meanwhile Rabid krypto-facsist/praiser of terrorists Vox Day has announced his Dragon Award nominations: http://voxday.blogspot.com.au/2017/06/dragon-awards-2017.html

Timothy also asserts that “Bortsworth Quest” surely counts as a PC game https://camestrosfelapton.neocities.org/Bortsworth%20Quest.html and that traditionalists everywhere should vote for the nuttiest of nuggets of computer games: the classic text adventure.

 

Some responses to that Nazi piece

Chris Chupik mentions this piece in the comment section at Sarah Hoyt’s blog.

Coyote Gravity by Christopher M. Chupik

Oddly he says this:

Christopher M. Chupik March 26, 2017 at 12:09 pm
If you believe the commenters, I’m an American Christian Conservative Trump-supporter.

News to me.

Except…well nobody (i.e. zero people) call him either an American, Christian or a Trump supporter. I expect non-sequiturs and claims of persecution but I’m actually a bit baffled by this. Naturally, he doesn’t quote anybody but wow, talk about people running in mid-air with no ground below them.

Hoyt also adds, counterfactually:

 accordingtohoyt | March 26, 2017 at 2:03 pm | Reply

Oh, we all are. In fact I was going to do a post on this. They don’t understand quite a number of us are not Christian, not straight, not cis anything. They divide by conformist group, so the only reason we don’t belong to them must be our unacceptably characteristics and being members of the establishment they imagine (which hasn’t existed for at least 100 years.) The scientific name for them is “Asshats.”

Huh? Is it the quip about modern conservatives thinking demons are real and nazis are imaginary that annoyed them? Because Hoyt just appended her comment to a piece that complains about witches and which disputes the existence of Nazis. The comment relates not to what I think conservatives ARE but as to how conservatives PORTRAY themselves, as amply documented by fellow pups in recent weeks.

Are conservatives all kinds of people? I assume so, because I’ve never met a group of people that wasn’t diverse at least on some dimensions. Do modern right wing conservatives/libertarians let straight Christian men call the shots and control the debate? Hmmm, yup. Indeed we all saw how that dynamic played out in the Puppy-debacles.

Ho hum.

Weird Internet ideas: Are modern nazis imaginary? (spoiler: no, they’re real)

We’ve been busy watching Rabid shenanigans with books covers, but meanwhile over in Sad Puppy domains, Chris Chupik has decided that modern Nazis are largely imaginary. Chupik, for those who don’t know, is notable mainly as a regular commenter on Puppy blogs but sometimes he guest-posts at According to Hoyt. https://accordingtohoyt.com/2017/03/25/coyote-gravity-by-christopher-m-chupik/

[This get’s long so more below the fold…also ‘Spencer‘ is usually an external link but each time to a different article rather than peppering this piece with quotes]

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