Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Musical Monday - Anthem of the SFWA-Fascists by Steven Brust

The astute among you may notice that this post is being made on a Tuesday, and not a Monday, as would be usual for a post that is part of a series titled "Musical Monday". I have an explanation. Yesterday, while I was in the middle of putting this post together, an apparently drunk driver tore through my neighborhood and wiped out a telephone pole. This knocked out the power in the entire neighborhood, which made accessing the internet difficult. It also made seeing anything difficult. And because the downed telephone pole and exposed power lines were laying across the only road into or out of the neighborhood, it made going anywhere else difficult as well. One might even say these things were impossible. Consequently, the completion of this post was tabled until the electric company could replace the pole and restore power. Which happened today. So one might think of this post as "Musical Monday: The Tuesday Edition".

Today's Musical Monday selection is a humorous musical response to the SFWA_Fascists account written and performed by author Steven Brust. For those who haven't been following the happenings in the science fiction and fantasy world, this selection needs a little bit of context. The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (the SFWA) recently held its annual election for officers for the organization. John Scalzi decided to step down after serving as SFWA President for three years, and let someone else take the rather thankless job of running an organization that could best be described as a herd of recalcitrant cats. To replace him, the very reasonable and compete Stephen Gould decided to run, as did another entrant who should only be described as the Racist Sexist Homophobic Dipshit. Needless to say, the campaign went poorly for the RSHD, but it did bring out of the woodwork some of the somewhat less than savory members.

In the wake of the campaign, there was a kerfuffle over the SFWA's professional publication The Bulletin, when some members objected to the rather traditionally sexist cover art of a woman in a revealing chain mail bikini and a couple of articles including one Mike Resnick and Barry Malzberg that discussed "lady editors" and included a remark about the physical attractiveness of one of that group, and another by C.J. Henderson that suggested that Barbie is a role model for young girls "because she maintained her quiet dignity the way a woman should." When confronted with the thought that their article may have been a touch sexist in parts, Resnick and Malzberg responded by doubling down and calling all of their critics terrible would-be censors who hated free speech. This, as one might expect, did not work as well as Resnick and Malzberg thought it might.

Following this and other exchanges, including one in which author N.K. Jemisin talked about the problem of sexism and racism in the genre fiction community resulting in the RSHD launching a crude and brainless attack upon her, a Twitter account popped up called @SFWAfascists that was clearly intended to attack those members of the SFWA who thought that perhaps taking a stand against racism and sexism in their professional organization was a good idea. The account's output consists entirely of inane rants and a list of Twitter accounts titled "PC Monsters of the SFWA", singling out particular members that the SFWAfascists account creator presumably thought deserved some opprobrium. The entire SFWAfascists account is clearly intended as an attack from which the targets they selected were supposed to recoil in horror. Other Twitter users were apparently supposed to identify the "PC Monsters" and, I don't know, vilify them? Shun them?

This has failed spectacularly. People have flocked to follow the "PC Monsters", some of whom were mystified about the influx of new Twitter followers until they were apprised of the cause. Despite the SFWAfascists account's claims that their targets have no sense of humor, the various "PC Monsters" have found the situation hilarious. SFWA members who have been left off the list have expressed disappointment that they had not been honored as a "PC Monster". Some have demanded that the SFWAfascists add them to the list. Jim C. Hines put together trading cards detailing the various super powers of those identified as "PC Monsters". And so on. While the identity of the person behind the SFWAfascists account has not been confirmed, one can only note that the rhetoric it uses looks remarkably similar to posts made elsewhere by the RSHD. Whoever it was who created this short-lived attempt at vitriol, the joke has ended up being on them, as Brust's song amply demonstrates.

Update: There is another parody account called SFWA_fascist was created to make fun of the original troll account. This Twitter account is not spewing racist, sexist homophobic tripe like the first one, but rather seems to have been created to parody the original. It hasn't posted a new tweet since July 13, because, as the tweeter notes, parodying something as mindlessly idiotic as the SFWAfascists account is painful to do.

Update Two: The "PC Monsters of the SFWA" list has had its name changed. In an effort to prove that he or she is a complete idiot, the SFWAfascists account holder decided to stop calling the objects of its ire "PC Monsters", and now calls them "PC Cunts of the SFWA". This should tell anyone everything they need to know about the character of the creator of the SFWAfascists account.

Previous Musical Monday: The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins by Leonard Nimoy
Subsequent Musical Monday: Titanium by David Guetta (featuring Sia Furler)

Steven Brust     Musical Monday     Home

No comments:

Post a Comment