Good grief, for people who say they hated the Soviet Union, the Sad Puppies sure do love to re-write history and love to selectively delete former allies from the official account. I’ve known literal Stalinist with a firmer grasp of historical integrity.
Yes, it’s that time of the year, post-Hugo Awards, when yet another version of Sad Puppy history is pulled out of the garage for a test drive and amid the smoke and fumes of distraction it’s time to say ‘wait…that’s not what happened’.
The proximate cause is this piece by Cory Doctorow at Boing Boing in defence of Jeannette Ng’s Campbell speech: https://boingboing.net/2019/08/20/needed-saying.html Ng’s speech has unsurprisingly upset the former Sad Puppies who see themselves very much in the Campbellian tradition. Ironically, the more overtly fascist Rabid Puppy wing couldn’t give a shit because Campbell was far too modern in his aesthetic tastes. Both Brad Torgersen and Larry Correia have leapt to Campbell’s defence…except without actually considering WHY Ng was calling him a fascist.
Here is Larry:
“Apparently we were a bunch of secret “White Nationalists” all along, who’d been keeping women and minorities out of publishing, but then we rose up, but they defeated us, but then we went on to start GamerGate, and then get Trump elected… “Larry Correia, Facebook
Here is what Cory Doctorow wrote:
” It’s not a coincidence that one of the first organized manifestation of white nationalism as a cultural phenomenon was within fandom, and while fandom came together to firmly repudiate its white nationalist wing, these assholes weren’t (all) entryists who showed up to stir trouble in someone else’s community. The call (to hijack the Hugo award) was coming from inside the house: these guys had been around forever, and we’d let them get away with it, in the name of “tolerance” even as these guys were chasing women, queer people, and racialized people out of the field. Those same Nazis went on to join Gamergate, then take up on /r/The_Donald, and they were part of the vanguard of the movement that put a boorish, white supremacist grifter into the White House. “Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing
Larry really isn’t happy about that description and treats it as specifically applying to the him and the Sad Puppy movement. He not only ignores but completely erases from his response the existence of Vox Day and the Rabid Puppies.
Is Vox a white nationalist? He quibbles about the label but yes, he is an extreme nationalist, he includes overt white supremacist rhetoric in his manifestos and expressly believes that the United States was established to be a white (specifically white British, possibly even only ethnically English) nation.
Was Vox involved in GamerGate? Yes, very prominently. He may exaggerate his influence in the movement but yes, he was very much aligned with the rightwing harassment movement. Did Vox also jump on the /r/Donald support of Trump? Yes, he promoted the same rhetoric and yes, Vox Day was an active support of Trump’s nomination and the more extreme aspects of his agenda – specifically where Trump’s agenda accords with White Nationalism.
Ah, but, you see Larry isn’t Vox! True, true but if Larry isn’t Vox then why, given the outsized role of Vox Day in the events of 2015 does Larry assume any and all references to White Nationalism are aimed at him rather than Vox? People came together in 2015 to stop Vox Day more than anything and yet, any attack on Vox’s agenda saw leaders of the Sad Puppies stepping in and saying that they were being attacked. And here we are, years later and Larry is still doing that.
Cory Doctorow is 100% factually correct. There was a 2015 white nationalist campaign centred on the Hugo Awards. Some people stood up against it and somebody didn’t. What we can say about the Sad Puppies is that 1. they did not stand up against that white nationalist campaign and 2. they expressly allied themselves with that campaign while stating they were different.
Larry goes onto say:
“Hell, something like 75% of us didn’t really like Trump, half of those voted for him because they lived in swing states and Hillary is the lizard queen, and the rest voted for ice cream. A bunch of us weren’t white or males, and at no point in time did any of us give a crap. Not all of us were Americans so the nationalism thing is just dippy.”
It is true that many of the core leaders have expressed dislike for Trump. Several went on to vocally support him though. Larry’s own expression of dislike for Trump when he received the Republican nomination was explicitly because he believed that he was 1. unelectable (and hence would let Clinton in) and 2. unreliable & possibly enact leftist policies. At no point then and at no point since has Larry expressed opposition to the white nationalist elements of the Trump government (such Gorka or Miller to pick the easy targets) or the anti-immigrant rhetoric of the Trump government or just the plain-old mismanagement and unpartisan incompetence of the Trump government. Again, Larry’s position is anti-left and whether he likes Trump or not he consistently attacks those who attack Trump.
I do not believe Larry is a white nationalist ideologically but he is happy to attack their enemies. He is not in any way meaningfully opposed to the current white nationalist movements in the USA and has explicitly aligned himself with them.
Not all the Puppies are American so the nationalism (presumably US nationalism) is dippy. This is true. The US style nationalism of the Sad Puppy movement is particularly dippy from the non-American Sad Puppy spokes-people such as Dave Freer (to pick the most prominent example). That the Sad Puppies have weird and inconsistent beliefs is not an argument that they don’t have those beliefs.
And let’s circle back to GamerGate. I pointed out that Vox Day was a supporter of GamerGate. However, Larry’s connection is much simpler. He was and remains a supporter of the online mob and harassment campaign known as GamerGate. He has been vocal in support of GamerGate and sought support from GamerGate and has supported notable figures such as Milo Yianopoulis and Adam Baldwin – the second one he regards as a friend. Heck, back in 2015 he mocked people for pointing out his Gamergate connections as if they weren’t a surprise.
True, Sad Puppies itself wasn’t GamerGate and GamerGate wasn’t an offshoot of GamerGate but the overlap was hardly trivial. Even ignoring Vox Day, Doctorow pointing out the connection is correct. Sad Puppies and GamerGate were part of the same anti-free speech, anti-left movement that aimed to silence leftist, progressive and diverse voices in different aspects of popular culture. As Larry Correia said at the time:
“We do share some common members, but enemy of my enemy is my friend, and both movements can’t stand Social Justice bullies telling people they are having wrongfun.”http://monsterhunternation.com/2015/04/06/a-letter-to-the-smofs-moderates-and-fence-sitters-from-the-author-who-started-sad-puppies/
Oh, yes I know that calling Correia et al “anti-free speech” sounds like an attempt to wind him up but 1. he doesn’t need winding up and 2. it is literally true. The objective of both movements was to shut people up.
“Oh, quick note moderates and SMOFs, if you don’t want GamerGate to get involved in the Hugos, don’t blame me. Tell your Social Justice idiots to shut up on Twitter! “ibid
Larry has had no issues with aligning him and the Sad Puppies as movement of the same kind and with aligned objectives as Gamergate in the past at all.
“This is one reason I’ve been enjoying the hell out of GamerGate. First, it has been awesome having a great big group of people witness the same bullshit that my industry has been dealing with for years. Second, SF/F people tend to be squishy and polite, with a handful of outspoken outliers like me and the rest of the Evil League of Evil, so SJWs have run roughshod over my industry… But gamers? Holy shit. You really think you can pick a fight with people whose brains are programmed to win? Gamers will outlast, outthink, and outfight the SJWs. Tell a Gamer that there is loot or XP in it, and he’ll grind SJWs to the grave.”http://monsterhunternation.com/2014/11/10/sjw-cannibal-feeding-frenzy/
Or if you prefer:
“I’ve never gotten into GamerGate here on the blog, but basically Anita Sarkeesian is a professional victim, Social Justice Warrior, who thinks you are enjoying yourself wrong, and if you disagree you are a racist, homophobic, misogynist. If you are a regular blog reader who followed Sad Puppies at all, same thing, same crusaders, same song, different industry. “http://monsterhunternation.com/2014/10/21/fisking-the-deseret-news-anti-ccw-article/
Weird, back in 2014 he was delighted to see his first Sad Puppy campiagn as a precursor to the harassment campaign his friend Adam Baldwin christened “GamerGate”. In 2019 it is apparently now absurd for Cory Doctorow to see the two things as being related.
Gamergate and Sad Puppies? Same ‘crusaders’, same song, different industry. Which was the point Cory Doctorow made and which in 2014 was Larry Correia’s point also.