How Not to Do It.

There are years – okay, every year – I disagree with award nominations and winners (more often than I agree, but I know my taste is off-kilter).  But dear fucking gods, there are ways to express your opinions in a mature and rational fashion.

And then there’s this.

First of all, it’s petty.

Second of all, the upfront dismissal of SFWA’s work on preventing harassment and discrimination marks the author as someone who thinks that organizations shouldn’t police themselves – or at least, not when it’s someone other than straight white males being harassed. So already he’s coming across as an ass.  More relevant to this discussion, he’s moving the conversation from the work itself to the personal beliefs of the writer. Ad hominem attacks say far more about the arguer than their topic of attack, and none of it good.

Third, it’s, well, his arguments (such as they are) got a significant number of facts wrong, and made some seriously wild and unsupported assumptions.

Which makes the entire post dumb, in addition to being petty and bigoted.

All of which makes me actually cheer for Scalzi’s win, even though I didn’t think it was the book that should have won this year.

Well-played, Mr. Ringo.

2 thoughts on “How Not to Do It.”

  1. The thing is, even though I don’t agree with his politics or like his books, he’s got a point. I grew up in ultra-conservative Idaho, among the sorts of people who would like his books. Disagreeing with him is a fine thing, but I wouldn’t discount him out of hand. There are a lot of people who agree with his politics, and who buy books. I wouldn’t discount them.

  2. His point of what, exactly?

    My argument was not to say that his personal opinions were wrong (everyone is entitled to their opinions) but that he applied them with a startling and offensive lack of support from the text, and using untrue accusations, sexist rants, and ad hominem attacks.

    If that’s all the ultra-conservative have to bring to their argument, I’m not impressed. And I may not discount them but I’m sure as hell not going to respect them – or be swayed by them.

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