Monday, February 02, 2015

You...What? (Or I Just Can't Even With The Right Sometimes)

So first, you need to go read this story by Rachel Swirsky, which -- deservedly -- won* was nominated for the Hugo last year.

It's called "If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love."

It's very short, you can read it in about five minutes.  (Spoilers, I voted for it.)

Okay, once you've read it, you can scroll down through the comments on that page, if you like -- most people are saying how much they like it.  One or two Right-Wing people are commenting negatively on it, because (as you might not know if you didn't keep up with the insider-baseball of last year's Hugo Awards) last year we had the minor unpleasantness of Vox Day and his Flying Monkeys, who put together a list of fairly awful SF stories and novels and got a few of them onto the ballot.

Anyway, after their "sad puppies," as they called them, lost, these Sad Monkeys went around pissing on the winners in every way they could.

It's the final comment, though, that intrigues me, because of the way in which it leads us into the labyrinth of madness they're building up around themselves.

Here's the comment, from "Doubting Rich,"

Wow, such bigotry in a story. Such ignorant fear of the unknown, of the working people you have never deigned to speak to, so never understood outside the arrogant prejudices of the “educated” left. Sarah Hoyt (a far better writer) was quite right about this nasty, childish little tale.
By the way, I am a graduate of an older, better-known university than any of those commenting here attended, ironically in Earth Sciences which includes palaeobiology, but one who has worked with and made friends of more working men and women than academics or writers. None has ever so much as commented negatively upon my education except in positive terms, nor on anyone else’s skin colour or background. The only bigotry I ever see is from the educated people, especially the socialists.

I read it, and I was amused and confused.  Being thoroughly familiar with Swirsky's story, I could not think what this "Doubting Rich" was even trying to say.  What "working people" was he talking about?  What did skin color have to do with anything?

The mention of Hoyt gave me a clue, though.  I followed a pingback in the links below to a fairly incoherent review done by Sarah Hoyt, in which Hoyt seems to assume that those doing the hate-crime in Swirsky's story are (1) working class  and (2) foreign language speakers.  Where she gets that idea, I cannot say.  It's clearly not from the story itself.

Also, you will be pleased to know, Hoyt could have written a much better story herself when she was twelve years old.

No doubt she also, like "Doubting Rich," also went to a much better university than any leftist.

*edited b/c I am an ijit!  Thanks for the correction, Nikki!  It's John Chu who won the Hugo, of course, for his wonderful "Water That Falls on You From Nowhere"; Swirsky was nominated, though!


Nikki @ Book Punks said...

Dear pod. I mean. What? Ugh. Well, you've already expressed enough confusion about this for the both of us.

Despite all of my wishing and voting though, didn't Water that Falls on You From Nowhere win the Hugo for short story? I think I am remembering that correctly, because I remember being disappointed that Dinosaur didnt win (though the Water story was awesome).

delagar said...

Huh. I think you're right.

Somehow I has misremembered!

And yes, John Chu's story is wonderful.

I must have been remembering the fallout from when the nominees were announced. Thanks for the correction!

fairyhedgehog said...

What an amazing story.

Sadly, people always see what they want to see in a story, even if they have to put it there.

Anonymous said...

I voted for the water story (but the dinosaur story was my second choice, and I would have been perfectly happy if it had won.)

I can't help but note that the vituperation many members of the politically driven Sad Puppies tend to ladle over the head of _If You Were A Dinosaur, My Love_ invariably runs considerably longer than the story itself, usually because they are completely misunderstanding the story.

The attackers get a single paragraph--they have been drining gin (not beer, whiskey or tequila) they use ugly epithets, they have access to pool cues. Not things that spell "working class" to me, but YMMV. It is a *very* short story, and has to rely on the reader's mind to fill a lot in from sketched outlines. Perhaps Hoyt thinks beating people half to death over nothing is a working class trait. To my eye the story doesn't show much in the way of class hatred. Perhaps the puppies, with their culture of victimhood, are more sensitive to it.

delagar said...

catsittingstill -- Yes, these were my questions as well. Where in that *very* brief description of the attackers do we see anything that would mark them as working class?

They're in a bar? They're playing pool? They use racist epithets? None of those are class markers. That Hoyt thinks they are tells us more about her, frankly, than it does about the story.