Rush-That-Speaks (rushthatspeaks) wrote,

on this year's Hugo nominations

There's a thing that I have not seen mentioned about the Vox Day situation with the current nominations for the Hugo (link to [personal profile] kate_nepveu for summarizing purposes). It is possible that I haven't seen this mentioned because it's so obvious that it goes without saying, but I want to say it anyway, because there's a conversation going on now about whether people who intend to vote for the Hugo ought to feel obligated to read, or try to read, the VD story so that they can vote down the piece on its incompetence as opposed to who its author is and what he believes.

You all realize that he pulled this whole mobilizing-his-fanbase-to-get-him-a-nomination thing to a) hurt people and b) waste their time, right?

I mean, I have no doubt that he wants a Hugo. All kinds of people want a Hugo, because it is a big deal award, and it has, historically, meant a lot.

But. There are many people out there who want a Hugo, and what they do is they work very hard at a thing, and get that thing in front of people, and when Hugo nominating comes around, they might say, Hugo nominating is coming around, could you all maybe go read or reread or watch my thing with that in mind. And, if they are the people I know, they do that latter bit with a whole lot of agonizing about what amount of self-promotion would slip into declassé, not only because of not wanting to be declassé but because they are aware that overenthusiastic self-promotion may well become extremely unpleasant for them when the internet lands on them like a ton of annoyed bricks. Overly visible promotion = internet landing on you (especially if you happen to be female, but that's a different post). The cause and effect relationship here is fairly clear.

You will note that the internet has, in fact, landed on VD like a ton of annoyed bricks, which was the effect he obviously predicted and equally clearly desired. It has, one hopes, quashed his chances at actually getting the Hugo. I don't think he came into this expecting to win the thing, because although he is demonstrably living in a different reality from the rest of us, winning it would not be the point. It would contribute to his point, but honestly, his point has already been made.

The point is outright rubbing in the faces of everyone he hates that he can game a system that they value. And by 'everyone he hates', I mean everyone who is GLBT, who is a POC, who is a feminist, who does not fit his standards of attractiveness, who is female and does not fit his standards of what women should be and do, and on and on and on. He did this to hurt us. That is why he did it. He wants us not to feel safe in SF and fantasy; not to be safe in SF and fantasy. So that we have to, for the rest of this award season, and whenever we might, in the future, look at a list of past Hugo nominees, remember 'that was the year the guy who said those beyond appalling things about N.K. Jemisin got onto the ballot'. So that whenever a friend comes up to us and says 'I'm trying to read the things that people think were good this year and what was up with that one', we have to wince and say, well, here's what happened, and here's why you should avoid this guy. So that we know that a man who has publicly called the shooting of Malala Yousafzi justified can, because he wants to, take up that amount of brain space, of history book space, of people having to deal with him. I'm writing a post involving him right now! Because he made it so I have to think about him when I consider my Hugo nominations, in case I might have forgotten that somebody out there hates me.

I've seen people say that he's trolling. He is. He has already successfully trolled. He is hurting people. That is the point. He is wasting people's time. That is the point.

Why, then, should we make his trolling more successful by putting any time and energy into reading his work? He already got a huge chunk of what he wanted. Let's not give him any more.

Or, to sum up: Don't feed the troll. Acting as though his work is on the ballot for reasons having anything to do with its quality, as opposed to its author's ability to mobilize people around his politics, is feeding the troll. Feeding the troll? Does not help. I wouldn't be doing it by writing this post if I hadn't seen basically no mention of the fact, not just that reading VD's story could be harmful to those aware of his hatred towards them, but that some amount of harm has already occurred.

Note: leaving comments on. I reserve the right to revoke this decision on little or no notice, should things go a certain direction of badly.

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