Friday, September 06, 2019

Just how full of shit are the Puppy Kickers?

We've know for quite some time now that Puppy Kickers, aka those WorldCon Wokelings who called people who were part of the Sad Puppies Campaign racists, were full of shit. To the point where this year the Red Panda Faction ran a slate trying to hack the Dragon Award.
If that paragraph makes no sense to you, this is all Science Fiction Fandom drama, you can stop reading.
If it did make sense, then this next part is going to piss you off.  (Fair warning, this link goes to Vile770, the wretched hive of scum and villainy run by China Mike the bot-farmer and manure merchant. Don't click it if you don't want to get any on ya.)

Fandom, Entitlement and Toxicity By Hampus Eckerman: On the second day of the Dublin 2019 Worldcon, I went to a panel with the promising name of "With fans like these, who needs enemies?" I hadn't really read the description, instead going by the idea that it might have something to do with fans sucking the energy out of convention organizers, whether caused by anger, entitlement or a sincere wish to help. Instead it was about how fans made life miserable for creators with George Lucas and Star Wars fandom as the prime example. Most of the panel was about the big media phenomena in SFF, Star Wars, Star Trek and GoT, but there was also an interesting discussion on why Doctor Who fandom hadn't reached the same levels of toxicity.

Emphasis mine.

Because when a guy makes a movie trilogy, and it is awesome, and it develops a huge fandom, and that fandom is two generations deep, then he sells it to Disney and they release a movie that basically craps all over the original in favor of some idiotic political propaganda effort, if the fans complain they are to be considered spoiled, entitled, and toxic. 
Which is exactly what we see with the Sad Puppies. We complained because we were sick of seeing politically heavy Leftist grey-goo grimdark bullshit winning the Hugo award. We voted against the WorldCon Wokelings fair and square, and they literally changed the rules to keep us out.
But that's not the annoying part, that's just history. Here's the part where we find out how deep the shit really is:

My first understanding of my own potential for toxicity was with the infamous Spider-Man storyline "One More Day". For you that have never heard of it, the basic plot is as follows: Spider-Man married Mary Jane in 1987. This changed the dynamics of the comic. There was no longer the possibility to add soap elements of romance to the story, Spider-Man being too much of Goody Two-Shoes to be unfaithful. Killing Mary Jane would have caused an outrage, a divorce would still have left the dynamic. And that was not the only problem. Spider-Man had given up his secret identity in the Civil War-storyline, thus even more limiting the possibilities for writing a traditional story. So the decision was made in 2007, some 20 years later, to make a drastic change: Mephisto would for some flimsy reason magic Spider-Man so he wasn't married, his identity had never been revealed, and a lot of stuff was retconned for no apparent reason, such as Harry Osbourne being alive again.
I remember the enormous *anger* I felt at the time. It felt like they were spitting in my face.

 Emphasis his.

Yeah, that's because they WERE spitting in your face, Mr. Eckerman. They didn't give a shit about the fans and the Spiderman nerds. They took a comic that had held the same continuity since 1964 and changed it as a business decision. A really BAD business decision as it turns out, because the slide their sales were on in 2007 steepened dramatically after that. Funny how that happens when you spit in the faces of the people who buy your comic.

Afterwards, I can see that most of it was a healthy reaction. I quit reading. I didn't continue, becoming more and more discontent, feeling more sidelined or out of step with the Marvel universe. Instead I found other things to read.

I've written nearly identical things about my experience of quitting comics in 1992/93. I didn't like the art, I didn't like the stories, and I didn't like the way they were screwing with the characters. Many years later I found out that there was a business crisis at Marvel in 1992, and the whole thing was coming unglued. New "talent" was brought in to put a "fresh" stamp on things, and they did so. By fucking up all the stuff I liked. I did the same thing Mr. Eckerman did in 2007, I stopped reading comics. Of course when I did it, -that- was toxic entitled nerd racism.

But that was of course not my only insight in toxicity with regards to myself. I remember a flatmate inviting her friend to a visit. The flatmate was also a comic nerd, so I remember starting to talk about comics, trying to see what we had in common, what likes we both shared, on what level we could discuss. Until she asked if I was interrogating her. And that was a clear wake-up call. What I was doing was in practice seen as if I was trying to find out if she was a "fake geek girl", that toxic concept where only women are questioned about their statuses as geeks or nerds.

This is hilarious. When guys test each other's nerd lore and each tries to impress the other with their command of the subject, that's "talking about comics." When the exact same conversation takes place with a woman, that's "toxic masculinity."

A third insight was only this year while watching first Captain Marvel and then Avengers: End Game. The sudden understanding that I didn't really get any pleasure out of these movies. I was never that much of a fan of action movies and that is much of what the Marvel movies are. I wasn't watching them as much out of enjoyment as I was out of addiction. I was watching them as a completionist, wanting to learn all the details, again building up an expertise. But building up that expertise also forced me to spend time on things that I didn't really like. Often sitting there bored while Captain Marvel was having another uninteresting fight, waiting for it to stop to at least get a bit of plot or dialogue.

Emphasis mine again. Yes friends, comic nerds are -addicts-. (And I'm sorry, uninteresting fight scene in a comic book movie and waiting for some dialogue? Dude.)

Thinking of nerds as addicts puts things in a different perspective. Not only as addicts but as persons who come to identify themselves as, let's use a grandiose expression, Keepers of Knowledge. People who have for 10-20 years built up a knowledge about a subject, are addicted to add to this knowledge, but suddenly recognize that they don't enjoy it anymore. And the frustration of needing to do things *they don't like* just to feed the addiction.

So just to recap, comic nerds (and SF fans) are spoiled, entitled and toxic if they complain when Big Corporation spits in their faces, they are full of toxic masculinity for expecting teh nerd whammyn to live up to their same level of secrit nerd lore, and they're addicts.

But, Mr. Eckerman's little trip down memory lane A) absolves him of all of the above, because B) HE of course doesn't complain, he just goes away like a good little consumer and doesn't make a fuss.

Myself, I walked away from Spider-Man and Marvel. They didn't fit my needs anymore and I moved on. Toxicity, I feel, is for those that can't move on. But I feel it is good to admit that I myself have these feelings, because that makes it possible for me to recognize them before I grow angry enough. Recognize the pattern in myself and thus being able to also see the flaws it is built on.

The rest of us, who feel moved to say something when Big Corporation (or maybe the CHORF Wokelings) spits in our eye and tells us to shut up and consume the bullshit like we're supposed to, despite the fact that he's literally repeated exactly what I've said on the same subject over the years, we are toxic racist/sexist/bigot/homophobes and we should all be... what, quiet? Crawl back into Mom's basement and go play Minecraft? Give up and go paint landscapes?

Yeah. Right. That'll happen. When Hell freezes over, mother fuckers.
So there you have it my friends. How full of shit are the Puppy Kickers? Completely. Can't get any more in there. No space for anything else. Running out their ears.


Robin Munn said...

Well, to be fair, it was the Captain Marvel movie where he was talking about boring fight scenes and more interesting dialog. When I saw it (a friend of my wife's brought it over on Blu-Ray), I found the banter with Nick Fury to be the most interesting parts of the movie, while the fight on the train should have been interesting, but somehow... was lacking something I can't put my finger on. (OTOH, in Captain America: Civil War, during the fight at the airport, I laughed for joy because I was having so much fun.) I don't know what they missed in the Captain Marvel fight scenes, but the spark just was't there.

... But given the rest of the paragraph from this guy's article, about "never being that much of a fan of action movies", he might not have enjoyed the airport fight scene in Civil War either. Which means your critique is pretty spot on, and he just picked a poor example because that movie really did have more interesting dialog than fight scenes.

Orvan Taurus said...

Now, remember that I am NOT a Star Wars fan (really, I was *bored* by the fandom of it in 1977 or at least 1978) so I do comprehend the "uninteresting fight scene" thing. But then 1) not a SW fan and 2) I'd seen several 'live steel' performances that outright admitted that they really had maybe half a dozen Standard Moves, but somehow managed to be more exciting - and I'm not 'action' fan overall, really. I suppose it unfair to call I-II-III SW as such. But I once did wonder: If you edited out all the fight/battle scenes from SWIII and all the songs from The Wizard of Oz, which would be the shorter picture?

That said, my word is he ever full of it. A laxative might be fatal.

The Phantom said...

Mr. Eckerman just came right out and said "Where's my Nutty Nuggets?!"

Laxative would be extremely fatal.

WiFi Lunchbox Guy said...

In unrelated nooz, one of the SFWA's in-house pedobears gets arrested.

The other in-house pedobears were unavailable for comment, while anybody
puppy-adjacent was ignored with extreme prejudice.

The Phantom said...

Ah, that's interesting WiFi. Playing up the Dragon-con connection and letting the SFWA connection snooze in the weeds.

I get the feeling there's a whole bunch of creepers hiding out in fandom.