moirajmoore (moiraj) wrote,

An editor, Edmund Schubert, has withdrawn his name from the Hugo awards ballot. Apparently, he doesn't write online, so an acquaintance put up his explanation here: The reasons he provides are that he doesn't like how the deck was stacked, even though it was in his favour, he can't stand Vox Day, and he feels like he's being treated like the ball in a ping pong game.

I do agree that the writers who were nominated against their will or without their knowledge have been screwed. I couldn't care less about those writers who were a willing part of this, though death threats are disgusting no matter what the reason, who they're directed at, or who is launching them.

I normally wouldn't bother with this announcement, except Schubert turns the whole thing into a justification for the actions of the Sad Puppies. No, the way they did it wasn't good (I might have found that claim easier to believe had he released it earlier) but the reasons why they did it were good. He spends less time talking about the Hugos than he does his resentment over the fact that there are people who refuse to read the short stories in Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show magazine, the magazine he works for, because of, as Schubert puts it, "the publisher’s perceived politics."

Those "perceived" politics being Card's vicious denigration of gay people and being active in fighting to deny gay people the right to marry.

Schubert claims that these perceived politics don't go into the selection of the stories - I haven't read any, so I couldn't say - and seems to feel it's just unfair that people refuse to read the magazine because of Card's personal views. This is why he has sympathy for the Sad Puppies, who were really all about bringing attention to underrepresented writers. (Really. Not about sticking it to everyone else at all.) And then he claims the magazine is inclusive, stories from and about everyone welcome, as long as he feels those writers:

"1) have a story to tell, not a point to score, and 2) tell that story well." (Emphasis mine.)

All sorts of wiggle room in that claim. And that 'not a point to score' wording is screamingly significant. You can have a black character, I guess, as long as that black character never ever expresses any thoughts on systematic racism.

Let's just say he hasn't convinced me he values inclusivity.

But even if the stories aren't chosen according to a checklist of bigotry, he fails to understand that it isn't all about assuming that the stories will reflect Card's vile views; it's about not giving money or credibility to a shrieking homophobe. If the writers don't want to suffer from Card's behaviour, they shouldn't send their stories to his magazine. It's unreasonable to expect anyone to give any kind of support to a person who advocates hatred because it isn't "fair" to the writers to do otherwise.

And this bit kind of eliminated any respect I could have had for Schubert:

"With regard to that, I want to repeat something I’ve said previously: while Orson Scott Card and I disagree on several social and political subjects, we respect each other and don’t let it get in the way of IGMS’s true goal: supporting writers and artists of all backgrounds and preferences. The truth is that Card is neither devil nor saint; he’s just a man who wants to support writers and artists—and he doesn’t let anything stand in the way of that."

I'm fully capable of agreeing to disagree with people on a wide range of areas, continuing to admire and respect someone even if they have different beliefs. Except when it comes to denying people their equal rights as human beings. Yeah, I'm pretty rigid on that. I am incapable of respecting a person who enjoys treating people like subhuman trash, who spends money in the pursuit of denying them equal rights. Because that behaviour is disgusting and barbaric. And no, I can't respect the Schuberts of the world, either, those who justify and enable the behaviour of bigots.

Many people have come to feel that it doesn't matter who gets what award at the Hugos this year, because the whole thing is tainted. There will always be an asterisk beside the awards handed out. To me, Schubert's announcement is a stunt. Schubert is rejecting what has turned out to be a worthless award - leaving it so late that they can't actually take the name off the ballots - and trying to look like he's taking a moral stand, when he's really just making the Sad Puppies' argument for them. And pimping out his magazine.

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