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How Did We Get Into This Mess?'s Who you gonna believe, me or your lying eyes?
james_nicoll

It isn't Neil Gaiman's fault that people worship him. Heck, before deconstructing his sad and manipulative post, let me say that I love his work. American Gods, Anansi Boys, Stardust, and The Graveyard Book, just to name recent pieces, each stunned me in their own ways as I read and re-read them. I intend to read more of his work in the future, because he is an extraordinary storyteller, and I count myself as lucky to be able to read his tales. That said, my interest in power and discourse, especially online, had led me into his blog writing on Ross and the Hugos, and I have a few thoughts. Bear with me.

Also posted at Dreamwidth, where there are comment count unavailable comment(s); comment here or there.

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The missing thing here is once the Chairs took the decision to invite Ross, and he said yes, rightly or wrongly, there was NO way for Ross to be forced to step down that didn't end up making fandom look like the ones at fauly. None. Zero. Zip. Nada. If anybody thinks different they're hopelessly naive about the British media machine.

It just doesn't matter who is right or wrong, the media have spoken, we're wrong, nasty, petty bullies, the facts don't matter one jot.

So fans were supposed to do what, exactly? Keep their heads down, hope they didn't get targeted? Boycott the con en masse?

(Deleted comment)
I'm not following the use of the term "punch down" in this context. I thought it only referred to a first strike against a target that either was incapable of fighting back, or was (for whatever reason, including self-restraint) not allowed to.

The metaphoric image is that of a big guy beating up a little guy. The meaning is a person with high power or status mocking someone with low power or status.

Picking on people historically at the bottom of the pecking order, relying on their lower status to keep them from striking back. For a hypothetical example, an established pro might be out to dinner with a younger writer who has chosen inexplicably to be Italian-American in a genre dominated by Brits and when the younger person picks up the tab, one might loudly pray in the hope the younger fellow will ask why, allowing one to use "Never let a Dago buy without thanking God." Of course, the younger fellow isn't in a position to object unless he wants a reputation for being hard to get along with.

Or one might be a loathsome toad who, wanting to put a lauded female writer in her place as condemned by her gender as inherently inferior to the toad, molests the woman in front of a public audience, relying on the fact that most people will not interrupt an awards ceremony to smack someone no matter how justified.

In the twitter storm, one side has people with thousands of follows and the other people with millions. Whose version of the facts is being promoted by the press, do you think?




Edited at 2014-03-08 07:34 pm (UTC)

But here's the real thing - Neil is saying that the only appropriate way to respond negatively is to speak to the convention committee, to follow procedure, to be polite. That's a fine policy for people with power and access.
Worse than that: Even Roz Kavney, who was on the con committee, who had power and access, had her concerns ignored and had to resign to get this issue taken seriously.

Gaiman’s phrasing — “anyone who spoke about it to the convention committee” — implies that he wasn’t even aware of this whole aspect to the matter, that the chairs made this decision without the committee and presented it to them as a fait accompli.

Not Roz; Farah Mendlesohn. (Let's make that Professor Mendlesohn, one of the UK's leading SF academics and not someone whose opinions you should take lightly.)

(no subject) (Anonymous) Expand
The Emperor has NO CLOTHES!

That would explain why there was no place for the Hugo pin, anyway.

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Gotta say, this is another piece that makes me so glad I never did the oh so widespread Gaiman worship.

There's gotta be a pun here about kneeling/Neiling...

It's interesting that the one directly abusive twitter quoted in that Bleeding Cool article ("I observe with dismay that this year’s Hugo awards are to be hosted by noted gratingly fatuous bell end, wossy — Dave Cochran (@TalkyMeat)) is from a male Scot.

Of course, if we're talking about abusive tweets this (from Hayley Campbell, author of the pro-Ross New Stateman article) is a bit of a zinger, but maybe they only count as abusive if directed AT the Ross camp?

Edited at 2014-03-10 03:57 pm (UTC)

Cue a bunch of whinging about how That Word is not nearly as big an insult in the UK as in the US, blah and blah and blah.

I suspect her response to criticism—"I didn't say you WERE cunts. I said you behaved like cunts. Which is different."—is a sneer at people who follow Jay Smooth's rule of "call out racist behavior but don't call people racists". What a charmer.

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