Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog

Microgames, Monster Games, and Role Playing Games

Random Thoughts: The Ban, Emmanuel Goldstein, and the Knee Jerk Reaction

“The ban” is the most potent tool that the Amish have for maintaining their uniformity. Did you drive a car? Make a Sunday sale? Go to a camp meeting? Well, look out for the guys in the black wool hats to come have a chat with you.

I knew a guy whose own mother was prevented from coming to visit him. His crime? He grew out his mustache and wore buttons; he didn’t see anything in the bible that said you had to do otherwise. When he died, the church leaders offered to bend protocol and let her go to the funeral. She said, “you wouldn’t let me see him when he was alive, why should I care if I can see him now that he’s dead?”

Right now, there are people bullying people because of who appreciates their work. If you are even within two degrees of separation from the “wrong” sort of people, they will put you on notice. They sneer. They browbeat. They chide. They tell lies, make false accusations, and attempt to destroy people’s reputations.

The Amish at least have a culture, a heritage, a community…. What exactly do the bullies have to offer us when they put on their wool hats and act like they are our bishops and deacons?

“Goldstein was delivering his usual venomous attack upon the doctrines of the Party – an attack so exaggerated and perverse that a child should have been able to see through it, and yet just plausible enough to fill one with an alarmed feeling that other people, less level-headed than oneself, might be taken in by it. He was abusing BIG BROTHER, he was denouncing the dictatorship of the Party, he was demanding the immediate conclusion of peace with Eurasia, he was advocating freedom of speech, freedom of the Press, freedom of assembly, freedom of thought, he was crying hysterically that the Revolution has been betrayed….”

Okay, I had a slew of links and images and posts that demonstrate just how hateful, unhinged, snobby, and downright ugly some of the reactions to this year’s Hugo nominations are… but I just can’t bring myself to recap them. After being assured that “we can’t take back what we already have“, this is the reaction. And the twitstorm goes straight into the mainstream news sites without even the slightest amount of fact checking.

I don’t get it.

When last year’s Hugo kerfuffle went down, I wrote four book reviews on works at the center of the meltdown. Four thousand six hundred words… not about the “issues”, not about the personalities… just about the works.

When last year’s Hugo kerfuffle went down, I did not start a smear campaign against people that rubbed me the wrong way. I was angry about some of the stuff that got nominated, sure… but I felt no need to slander anyone or destroy anyone’s reputation. Instead, I wrote twenty retrospectives about the sort of works that I thought deserved more attention and discussion than what they were getting. Why is “DESTROY” their knee jerk response? Why? Why can’t they do what I did?

Do these people even care about science fiction and fantasy…? Or is declaring unpersonhood, peddling some kind of narrative, and excluding people that don’t think like them all they have? “Aaaaugh! Our way of life is under attack.” Seriously, some of these people sound like General Jack D. Ripper and The Church Lady put together.

2 responses to “Random Thoughts: The Ban, Emmanuel Goldstein, and the Knee Jerk Reaction

  1. Warren Abox April 10, 2015 at 3:11 am

    Look at you Jeffro, one little nomination and suddenly you’re a posting machine! In all seriousness, this couldn’t have happened to a better blogger. Congratulations, we’ll be praying that you bring home the little silver rocket this year. Just promise not to forget us little people when you become a big fancy jet setter, okay?

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