Thursday, October 21, 2010

All I have to say about WisCon's insult to Elizabeth Moon is: who the hell is Nisi Shawl? I'm not even a particular fan of Moon's - she's written some fantasy novels I appreciated, and Phases was a pretty good short story collection, but most of her recent work hasn't impressed me at all, and the essay that earned her this betrayal wasn't even particularly hard-knuckled or interesting - a standard, vanilla, rote recitation of liberal melting-pot commonplaces, really.

Pile this on top of the Juan Williams firing and it's shaping up to be a spectacularly self-destructive week for the PC left.


Update, next day: Oo-okay. Maybe they did Moon a favor by disinviting her, although if she voluntarily goes to these things, perhaps that sort of ugly is her cup of tea. h/t Brickmuppet.


Mark said...

This "fail fandom" stuff is honestly the scariest phenomenon I've ever seen on-line. Mobs enforcing political diktats, complete with enemies lists, show trials, and ritual denunciations... that sort of thing rarely ends well.

Mitch H. said...

Do the mobs actually had any physical presence, beyond the imploding SF convention scene? I don't know all that much about mainstream SF fandom these days. I think I stopped paying attention in 2004 or 2005. It seemed to be collapsing into an aging, decadent bore at the time, not that this was new information. I hadn't even realized that WisCon was some sort of hyperfeminist ideological con until this week.

Anyways, unless The Party has authority & leverage, I wouldn't get excited about show trial theatrics, other than to point and laugh. But it is a good reminder that government and the courts are codified violence - be careful into whose hands you place the weaponized law.

Mark said...

I have, at the very least, seen major authors in the field (Scalzi, Stross, Bujold, now Moon) intimidated and forced into silence online by these folks. That's not an actual physical threat, but it's not nothing either.

Besides, this may be absurdly idealistic, but I still think the point of science fiction is to explore unusual ideas, and that's not possible if authors have to (or believe they have to, which is ultimately the same thing) pick their way through a PC minefield. Real damage is being done to the field.

Mitch H. said...

What did they do to Bujold? Scalzi's always been kind of open to this sort of party intimidation - his blog's so pantingly subservient to the good-intentions mafia; I never really paid attention to Stross, but from all accounts he's that sort of left-libertarian with zero self-awareness of his own capacity for self-justification and ego protection.

Bujold, on the other hand, is so beloved and middle-of-the-road that I would have expected her fans to have beaten any would-be commissars into the proverbial dirt in sheer institutional deference.

Mitch H. said...

Ah, nevermind. I see. How utterly, stereotypically McCarthyesque. Defend a friend, get blackballed by the Party.