Friday, September 4, 2015

Friday's Thoughts: Gay Marriage & Sad Puppies

By Kit

Not much going on this week. Gay Marriage & Government Employees

In Kentucky a County Clerk is refusing to write up marriage certificates for same-sex couples and as a result she is being held in prison for contempt. I have to agree with a good number of other conservatives on this, while I am very sympathetic to those in the private sector, and am somewhat sympathetic to the woman here, I must put my foot down when it comes to the government.

If the US is to be a “Republic of Laws, not of Men”, to quote John Adams, then Civil Servants and elected officials do not, or at least, should not, have a choice on which laws they will and will not follow. To do or allow otherwise is the recipe for anarchy and, depending on how they follow the law, dictatorship.

And if you think this is a Religious Liberty issue, answer me this: What if she was a Muslim or just a member of some kooky cult and was refusing to grant marriages to Christians or Jews on the grounds that her (or his) religious beliefs forbade her from doing so?

She swore an oath when she took her job. She must follow it or resign.

Left-wing Temper-Tantrum at the Hugos Means #SadPuppies

Well, they did it. They blew it up. The Sad Puppies, a campaign to push for voting at the Hugos based on the quality of the work instead of the author’s appeal among the bien-pensants of the sci-fi/fantasy elite, usually gained by writing boring stories about racism, sexism, and homophobia (not bad topics per se) with all the subtlety of a Left Behind novel.

The first two years it was headed by Larry Correia, author of the incredibly fun Monster Hunter series, and garnered little-to-no attention. Then this year Brad Torgeson, author of the fantastic novella Outbound, led the campaign and was able to (1) keep it very non-partisan with an apolitical slate of nominees and (2) bring in a lot more people. Under Torgeson, Sad Puppies grew to the point where the Left felt they had to take it down.

The Left reacted predictably, slandering the leaders, particularly Brad Torgeson, Larry Correia, and John C Wright, as well as Sarah Hoyt (who grew up in a fascist dictatorship) as evil Nazis who want to ban women and minorities from fiction —despite their slate of works containing more women and minorities than last year’s winners.

So the Left threw a massive temper tantrum and voted No Award. They decided to burn the proverbial village to save it. And at the Hugos they applauded. Oh, and prior to it they said they would be putting asterisks next to a number of Hugo Award winners, should they be Sad Puppies.


The result? We’ll have to wait and see. The Left won a major victory at the Battle of the 2015 Hugo Awards. Whether that becomes a Pyrrhic Victory depends upon what happens next.

A lot of neutrals seemed to be unhappy about how the whole affair went down, winning them over will be key. The seeds have been planted but, like all gardens, they need tending in order to grow.

Brad Torgeson will not be running Sad Puppies this year, leaving it in the hands of Kate Pavlich. Largely because organizing the whole campaign this year was exhausting and also largely because he, an officer in the Navy Reserve, is deploying to the Middle East to fight actual misogynists and homophobes.

Whether Kate Pavlich can handle the campaign moving forward and grow those seedlings into a garden remains to be seen. Being a woman, the attacks will be far nastier than what Torgeson or Correia went through. Can she take it?


LL said...

The Hugo's need to be "Left Behind" and a new and valid award needs to be created. Let the liberals cackle over the cauldron alone and congratulate themselves at their progressiveness.

Critch said...

As a practicing Catholic I consider homosexuality to be deviant behavior, having said that, we are a secular nation and the clerk should have just resigned. She works for the county government, not some church. OTOH, I will fight any attempt by the .GOV to compel a church to perform wedding they have problems with. of course it would be nice if all those civil servants out there in blue states and cities would abide by the 2nd Amendment as the SCOTUS has directed them to. That stuff cuts both ways.

I haven't been following the Hugos so I can't really comment on it; other than to say that if Leftists are involved they will screw it up.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, I think she needed to be jailed. She has legal obligations. If she doesn't like those, then her sole avenue of protest is to quit. To simply not do her duty in light of a court order is contempt and is not something we should allow regardless of the issue.

And yes, private sector is different.

AndrewPrice said...

The Sad Puppies thing is interesting. I've found the response of the left to be not only typical, but amazingly hypocritical.

What I can't wait to see is if this leads to a shift in sale because I have to tell you that I will look to the Sad Puppies first and (never) to the others from now on.

ScottDS said...

Gratuitous plug alert:

I reviewed Network over at the film site. Check it out!

As for the Sad Puppies, I have no dog (rimshot) in this fight. George RR Martin wrote some good stuff about it on his blog and I have to agree with him when he says that while he might sympathize with the Sad Puppies, they could've gone about things in a better way. (Some would argue that they were NOT trying to keep things non-partisan.) And he felt that the sweep of No Award was absolutely NOT something to celebrate.

It seems both sides have their own ideas of what constitutes good sci-fi.

And then you have the "Rabid Puppies" and after spending five minutes on their website, I wanted to throw up.

Anthony said...

Whining about not winning a subjective content always strikes me as weird, whether the person whining is Kayne West or Larry Correia.

I read a lot of sci-fi and fantasy (my favorite writer is a Glen Cook) and its insane to complain about the Hugo Awards. I haven't read all of the authors but I have read several of them and they were are extraordinary writers.

The Sad Puppies sought to game the awards by bringing in a bunch of people who probably never read a sci-fi book in their lives to support them. That is what the system allowed, so its fine and good, but the fact they lost at the end is also fine and good.

I don't really get guys who are butthurt over losing high-profile awards. Its like the artists who whines that they are millionaires due to the commercial successes of their film, but those jerks at the awards show didn't recognize the greatness of Sequel 7: The Dumbening. Cry me a river.

*Shrugs* But whining about bias when things don't go their way seems to be the way many high profile figures roll nowadays.

BevfromNYC said...

I wholeheartedly agree about the Kentucky clerk. She is sworn to uphold and execute the laws as a public employee/elected official...period. She should have resigned, but decided to go to jail. I get it, she disagrees with the Supreme Court.

What I do find interesting is how Republicans can use this to their advantage in the INS/Immigration Law/Sanctuary City issues. These cities of which NYC is one, flout immigration laws and allow illegals to live freely and making it a discrimination issue if an employer asks for documentation legal status. The DOJ has fined a manufacturer for discrimination because the company insisted on proof of legal status for non-citizens hires.LINK

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, On the Puppies, Martin is a dooshbag who loves to write extensive rape fantasies and pass them off as action stories.

In terms of his position on the Puppies, which has included lots of f-words by the way, his bias is showing. The Puppies were responding to the politicization of the awards. And people like Martin trying to claim that the Puppies are trying to politicize it are just trying to smear the other side by projecting their own crimes onto others... as leftists always do.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, The right in general needs to learn to use the legal system effectively. Right now they don't have a clue.

ScottDS said...

Andrew -

I neglected to use my standard disclaimer (usually something like "yeah, I know") when referring to Martin, aka someone you're not a fan of. :-)

It's just a little hard to sympathize with either party. And as I've said before, one person's PC story is simply another person's - wait for it - story. Not always, but sometimes.

Kit said...


The problem is when year-after-year PC stories dominate. There have been some great left-wing movies (Grapes of Wrath comes to mind, also, Harold and Maude*.).

And they praise them specifically for their left-wing attributes, which is exactly what you see among the Christian press who praise Christian movies for being amazing when they are really, at best, just very, very okay.

I should point out I am not a Martin-hater, I just find him a tad over-hyped. From what I've read of Game of Thrones he is a very good writer but "American Tolkien" he is not.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, Not to pick on you, but that's a mischaracterization of PC.

PC is making decisions on the basis of racial/gender/religious identity rather than the merits of the work and generally view the world as items that are acceptable if they promote the identity politics view or as evil/criminal and needing to be banned if they don't. It is a modern non-religious-yet-religion-like dogma that seeks to ban (officially or unofficially) heretical views.

It is not stuff we like compared to stuff you guys like. That's called matters of taste.

ScottDS said...

Andrew and Kit -

As soon as I hit Publish, I knew I had forgotten something and Kit's second paragraph was pretty much it. (I'm at work so this is all being typed on the down low!)

And as a movie guy, I can sympathize (i.e. just because a movie has a gay plotline doesn't mean its Best Picture material). I just think trying to flood the ballot in the other direction wasn't necessarily the right way of going about it.

As with all things, time is the ultimate arbiter.

And Andrew, we've talked about this before... how the conservative-leaning party (whatever the issue is) might be correct and might appeal to folks in the middle but seem to have trouble with the whole PR thing.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I think we already have an arbiter actually... Hollywood. Notice that Hollywood is not making modern science fiction books into films or TV shows, because they suck. They are instead looking to the past or taking YA fiction as a substitute for science fiction.

In terms of the "wasn't the right way to go about it" argument, I don't buy that. First, that is a typical form of attack by leftists when they simply have no leg to stand on but refuse to admit they were wrong. They run out of counterattack so they dismiss the whole thing by saying "well, they should have gone about it differently and therefore the whole point is invalid" (which is logical BS).

Secondly, the Sad Puppies achieved their goals completely here. First, they outed the left by getting the left to react by destroying the awards rather than have a heretic win it, i.e. they exposed the left for its intolerance. "We win or nobody wins!" That is the kind of thing that opens eyes and when people open their eyes, the left tends to lose badly.

Secondly, they have formed the basis for two tiers of science fiction... the liberal publishing world's version which is crap and no one wants to see and this new group who are offering more traditional science fiction. History suggests that consumers will slowly begin to switch over to the second and then the publishing world will be forced to follow to maintain their profits. The monopoly is broken.

AndrewPrice said...

P.S. Scott, conservatives definitely need to learn the art of PR, I absolutely agree with that.

Kit said...

re Conservatives and PR,

Jonah Goldberg recently complained about Republicans reading their own stage directions in probably the closest he will ever get to "praising" Trump: LINK

Anthony said...


Have you ever read George RR Martin? Rape and unpleasant things in general happen in his books (all the time), but rape isn't something he spends a lot of ink on which is saying something given his novel average about 700 pages.

The tv shows are different beasts than his books in a lot of ways. Originally it hewed pretty close but there has been more and more divergence, in part because early smaller divergences are metastasizing into larger divergences, in part because Martin isn't writing fast enough for the tv show's purposes.

The Sad Puppies are political activists who flooded an award process which very few people participated in and stuck in their candidates (some of whom choose to withdraw because they wanted to win on the merits of their work).

Based on Jim Butcher's Skin Game, the sad puppy nominees are great writers (I own all of the Dresden File books and most of the short stories) but the Skin Game is kind of like the book version of The Fast and the Furious, its a longrunning series whose creator and audience have picked favorites whose continued roll in the world is guaranteed by their popularity. Its like being on a roller coaster, you know where you are going to end, but the journey is fun regardless.

A lot of sci-fi/fantasy writers fall into that trap. Can't say I blame them. If keeping a series going with a given cast with earn them big bucks, why not do it? I would in their position :) .

What is remarkable about Martin is that he doesn't fall in love with his characters and doesn't care if anyone else has (popularity doesn't keep bad stuff or death from happening to characters) and with Game of Thrones he seems to have an endgame in mind. Its not like the Simpsons joke 'this series will continue until it becomes unprofitable'.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, I read the first two before I gave up. I seem to remember one very lengthy rape scene, on the order of 20+ pages.

I've actually found the TV show to be more interesting.

In terms of the puppies, I've been searching sci-fi for something readable for almost two years now and it's all become such PC crap. I think they've done an excellent job exposing that and providing a decent list of better work. I don't care for all of it, obviously, but by and large what I've seen of the puppies' work much more interesting than the highly awarded stuff.

Anthony said...

A lengthy rape scene in Song of Ice and Fire? Huh. Not ringing any bells. The scenes with Daenerys and her witch are the only early rape scenes I remember and they were unpleasant but short.

Most writers don't write for awards they write for money so if most Scifi novels are PC (I've only read a handful and am a much bigger fan of fantasy) its probably due more to the fact most fantasy/scifi writers are leftists (don't know if that is the case for readers). That has been the case forever.

AndrewPrice said...

Sorry for the late response, we went to a baseball game last night and then to a balloon thing this morning. :)

Anthony, I could be wrong, but I swear it was in there. It's been a long time though.

AndrewPrice said...

BTW, On the clerk, as our candidates rush to proof to us how they reject law and order when it involves some minor person who doesn't like gays, I think it's relevant to point out that the clerk is in no way the same thing as a priest. Marriage in front of a clerk is similar to getting a drivers license. You go, you fill out the forms, you take an oath that you can be legally married (i.e. you aren't currently married and aren't brother and sister*), and then they stamp the form and give you a bunch of copies. You... is... married.

There's no ceremony.

So to claim that it violates her conscience is a bit like a DMV clerk saying it violates their conscience to hand out licenses to people who've had DUIs. Tough sh*t, get another job... it's not your decision.

* statement does not apply in West Virgina.

Kit said...


I'm glad you pointed that out.

A few (longish) points I have re the County Clerk:

First, some of her defenders cite the bad legal arguments of the SCOTUS ruling. But that is not what she is citing, she is using the Roy Moore standard of it "violating God's law." My attitude towards that is "Let God's law be settled in God's Court." Similar to "Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's ."

Now, my ultimate issue:
First, She is the only person in her county from whom you can acquire a marriage license. She has a government-enforced monopoly.

Further, she is elected and if she were to be successful political pressure could be brought to bear on other County Clerks in KY and elsewhere making same-sex marriage de facto illegal throughout the state barring the most left-wing counties (Dallas). And then other County Clerks could claim religious exemption.

What if a Traditional Catholic judge refuses to grant divorces? What if a local Muslim (or ultra-conservative Protestant) official refuses to grant licenses to businesses that serve alcohol. What if a far-right Schismatic Catholic or ultra-conservative Muslim refuses to allow the construction of Protestant churches or synagogues. What if on the West Coast a local official from the ultra-left Presbyterian USA refuses to grant licenses to Chick-fil-a?

Hypothetical? Yes. But plausible under the Kim Davis/Roy Moore Rule regarding application of the law. It is a recipe for legal chaos.

Kit said...

An addendum:
Now, some might say "Well, someone could run against her if the people are dissatisfied." 

First, we are assuming that the counties would be able to summon up the political opposition to do this and if these actions occur in counties sympathetic to that person's view such a thing will not happen. 

Second, if it is a rural, or even rural-ish, county a fair number of elections , especially re-elections, are un-opposed because no one is really capable of summoning the electoral power to oust them.

Third, to wait 2 or 3 years for the next time the County Clerk is up for election to kick out a person who refuses to issue divorces or licenses to certain businesses is… problematic. By the end of that 2-3 years they could quite easily use such power to entrench themselves.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, That's why conservatives used to believe in law and order: because it's horrible for the country when every idiot with any power can use their government granted authority to stop anyone else just because they don't like them.

Open that door and you've got millions of self-important retards out there slowing the country to a halt just so they can piss on gays, Muslims, Catholics, Boy Scouts, Military Vets, whites, blacks, Jews, handicapped people, men, women, meat eaters, straights, parents, whatever.

First world countries don't do that... places like Mexico do that.

Kit said...

"places like Mexico do that."

And Zimbabwe.

AndrewPrice said...

Yep. Zimbabwe too. Just about any third-world shi*t hole.

AndrewPrice said...

Speaking of Mexico, budding Mensa member Sarah Palin today said that immigrants should "speak American." Too bad she didn't finish her thought with "instead of Mexican!"

Oh, and Hugh Hewitt has been excommunicated for letting Trump make a fool of himself. Please update your scorecards.

Anthony said...

A Muslim flight attendant has filed a discrimination lawsuit after she was suspended for refusing to serve alcohol.

Why be a flight attendant? There's three jobs in the world where you are expected to hand alcohol to customers and that is one of them :) .

She wants to do her job without serving alcohol in accordance with her Islamic faith -- just as she was doing before her suspension, her lawyer said.

"What this case comes down to is no one should have to choose between their career and religion and it's incumbent upon employers to provide a safe environment where employees can feel they can practice their religion freely," said Lena Masri, an attorney with Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

BevfromNYC said...

Anthony -what confounds me about this is she converted tomIsalm 3 years ago and it was only in June that she discovered she couldn't drink or serve alcohol? And it is all fine and good that she was briefly was accommodated. vut I am fairly sure that all of her coworkers who had to pick up her slack were at least complaining amongst themselves until one finally made it official. You are right that if she can't do her job, she needs to find another line of work. Or work for an Islamic airline. It is part of her job.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev and Anthony, I again take the position that I don't care. This is not religious discrimination. You have taken a job that requires certain things be done and now you are claiming you can't do it. That's bunk. Either you do your job or you quit. You don't have the right to redefine a job to fit your own beliefs... like being a county clerk.

ScottDS said...

Well, the Westboro Baptist Church gets a point for consistency. They're protesting against Davis on account of her multiple divorces!

P.S. Andrew, I sent an e-mail to you earlier. Nothing important, I assure you. :-)

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I would love for God to call those idiots to wherever they think they will go when they die by use of a Sharknado with extreme prejudice.

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