More Hand-Wringing on the Torture Bus

Last week I wrote about blogger Samuel Collingwood Smith and his attack on author Jason Sanford over a horror story written by the latter. My response focused mainly on Smith’s post, but really, the comment section deserves its own reply. If you’re familiar with the moral panics over horror comics in the fifties and horror videos in the eighties, you’ll know exactly what Samuel Collingwood Smith and his readers are trying to stir up.

Sanford’s story (“The Wheels on the Torture Bus Go Round and Round”) struck me as rather tame as far as the horror genre goes, and I got the feeling that Smith’s commentators were either feigning outrage (bear in mind that the attacks on Sanford were spurred by his research into violent right-wing rhetoric at the Baen Books forum) or had simply never read a modern horror story before. My impression was reinforced when I posted the story at a community of horror readers (namely, r/weirdlit) and they generally agreed with my assessment of it:

I think it’s rather tame honestly. It’s not gratuitously violent or anything. A little dark, but you expect that from the title.

Yeah, this was not nearly as bad as the title led me to expect. It’s definitely grim, but not graphic. It’s also quite good in my opinion.

A pretty tame great-great-grandbaby of the Lottery and similar.

It’s slightly unsettling and really slickly executed. I admire the craft that went into it. Almost New Yorkery.

i was surprised by the ending – i thought there would be more of a twist… did i miss something? but no, don’t see the controversy at all.

Now we’ve established what horror enthusiasts make of the story, let’s delve into the twilight zone that is Samuel Collingwood Smith’s comment section…

First to weigh in is “cancel_jason”:

[Sanford] clearly is not a nice guy. I mean regular people don’t write about child torture and they certainly don’t parade it proudly all over their social media. I hope Monica Nieporte’s career fries for employing Sanford.

Hmm, wonder if this person’ll be joining the “cancel JK Rowling” bandwagon. I mean, she’s written about children being tortured — and promoted her books on social media, shockingly enough.

Another commentator is Michael:

There’s a decidedly anti-Christian sentiment to the story. If you’re bad, you’re going to be tortured by little demons led by the King (Le Roi). Notice, the truly evil, are no longer afraid of being punished. (My mom and dad have been tortured many times, I can take it).

For those who haven’t read the story, one of its characters is a torturer named Leroy. I can only imagine how Michael interpreted Leroy Jenkins fifteen years ago.

Next up is novelist Edward Thomas, who posts under the screen-name “The Phantom” (I’m in no way violating his privacy by mentioning this, as he links to a review of his book in his post). Here’s what he has to say:

I do think his story was disgusting and I skipped most of your description.

So, he apparently hasn’t read the story, and didn’t even fully read Smith’s (wildly distorted) synopsis. Not the best starting point.

Many of the top Puppy Kickers from the Sad Puppies 1-4 era have since been exposed as outright molesters or some type of malignant deviant causing harm to others. They’re into it, pretty much.

In case any readers are unaware, Sad Puppies 1-4 were a series of campaigns from 2013 to 2016 that involved conservative authors influencing the Hugo Awards. By “Puppy Kickers” he means people opposed to these campaigns. But I can’t think of anybody who could be termed a “top Puppy Kicker” being exposed as a molester. Possibly he’s thinking of Marion Zimmer Bradley, who was outed as a paedophile in 2014 — but she died in 1999, years before there were any Puppies to kick.

The child torture and etc. is pretty standard since ~2014 for the WorldCon crowd. Lela Buis reviews all the Nebula/Hugo nominees, and I think in 2018 pretty near every nomination had some form of grotesque child murder/torture/what have you as a theme or part of the plot.

I scratched my head at this comment, as well. It’s been a while since I read the 2018 Hugo finalists, but I’m struggling to remember much in the way of children being murdered or tortured. Is he thinking of Seanan McGuire’s Down Among the Sticks and Bones, which was about two adolescents living with a vampire? That was fairly macabre, but again, quite mild by the standards of the horror genre (and on the Hugo ballot, balanced out by softer fare like Vina Jie-Min Prasad’s “Fandom for Robots”).

Notice the reference to Lela Buis’ blog — I’m familiar with the blog in question and recognise Edward Thomas from the comments sections. His taste in authors is quite remarkable when considered in light of his statements here. For one, he’s a fan of Arthur C. Clarke’s fiction; when Jason Sanford collected allegations that Clarke was a child molester, Thomas’ response was “I just don’t care.” So, yes, I think we can safely file this one under “feigning outrage”.

In his conclusion, Thomas warns against censorship: “I don’t think Jason Sanford should be -prevented- from writing through deplatforming, because that’s their thing.” Other commentators disagree. Here’s Michael Kingswood:

This is why you lose. A weapon is legitimate to use as soon as one side uses it. The side that sticks to gentleman’s tactics when the other pulls out a gun is not noble. It’s stupid. And dead. Pull your head out.

And Iman Azol:

Exactly this. Name him. Shame him. Put him on food stamps. Get the state investigating him and his kids. Put him on the street. And then sue him into dumpster diving.

Destroying a man’s life for writing a frankly rather mild horror story. Fred Wertham and Mary Whitehouse would be proud!

Then we have Lydia:

I went and read the Torture Bus story, and I personally did not get any pedo vibes from it. There is a legitimate literary function of having the story told through the eyes of a child. It enables the writer to allow the reader to question and discover the answers along with the child, whereas an adult in the same story, presumably, should have already known these answers. Thinking about it, he could probably have achieved the same results with a male child protagonist instead of a female, so I’m not sure why he chose a female. But the telling a story with a moral through the eyes of a child is definitely not an indication of pedophiliac inclinations in and of itself.

Egad! Are we at last seeing some actual perspective? But wait, she’s got more to say:

I will say it was deeply disturbing, and the more I thought about it, the more twisted it seemed. The story seems to me to be an attempt at some sort of allegory or metaphor, but of what I have no idea. What is the moral of the story? Good and evil don’t exist, so get while the getting is good?

Hmm. Speaking personally, I found the story to have a fairly straightforward message: that bullying begets bullying. I’d say that’s about as clear cut as we can expect from a genre devoted to leaving the reader unsettled; possibly Lydia fits into the category of commentator who just doesn’t go for horror.

Finally, we have this comment by C. Goldvine:

This is a pretty good story. Not the best satire I’ve ever read (neither Swift nor Saunders nor a younger Will Self need to worry about being unthroned) but it does a nice job of being unsettling while also lacerating the phony, threadbare values holding society together. Thanks for bringing it to my attention! Will make sure to read/buy more things from the writer.

For context, this was posted after I’d linked to the story at r/weirdlit, which likely accounts for the sudden incursion of good sense.

I’m wary of overstating this matter. Let’s not forget that these attacks on Jason Sanford’s horror story are, ultimately, part of a larger attempt to punish him for posting his exposé of the Baen forum. The thing that holds my attention about this particular smear is how it fits into a long tradition of attacks on the horror genre. I suspect that a number of the people raking Sanford over the coals for his story view themselves as advocates of creative freedom and opponents of cancel culture, and would be displeased at the thought of being bracketed with the likes of Wertham and Whitehouse.

And yet, here they are.

12 thoughts on “More Hand-Wringing on the Torture Bus”

  1. Mr. Sandford’s efforts, coupled with a smear attack by person or persons as-yet unidentified got Baen’s Bar taken off the internet by Baen as a defensive measure, to prevent having their entire web presence cancelled by their ISP.

    That’s a very large not to mention expensive consequence for one measly Patreon post. If it wasn’t a coordinated arrangement between interested parties, it certainly looks like one from the outside.

    You are correct, I did not read either Sandford’s story nor the precis by Mr. Smith. I detest that type of thing. One of the big problems I have with the Hugo Awards is that stories containing those types of themes consistently get nominated to the exclusion of most other types of work. Year after year, it is always the same. You’ve seen my complaints about it a zillion times.

    You are correct again that I have no interest in seeing Mr. Sandford cancelled, fired or otherwise bothered in Real Life ™. People can say what they like, write what they want. Even him.

    I do however feel that severe mockery of his “research” is in order, given the feeble and flimsy nature of it. His research on the Bar was to do a google search, take a few things out of context and build a false narrative. Even his supporters say his research is pitiful. If he’s that full of it about the Bar, I should believe him about Arthur C. Clarke? Nuh uh.

    I know someone whose opinion of Arthur C. Clarke was formed face to face, turning down Mr. Clarke’s unwanted advances. That person was an adult and they didn’t particularly care about being propositioned, so I don’t care either. Clarke may have been a pig, but he also wrote Childhood’s End. Even the person who suffered the improper advances likes Childhood’s End.

    Somebody else whose work I like very much is Keith Laumer. His later life was very unfortunate and he became infamous for good reason. I still like Reteif, and the Bolo stories. I put some of his giant tanks in my books, because they’re among my favorites.

    Lately the news we’re talking about is cancelling Dr. Seuss for racism. That used to be a joke. “What are you going to do, cancel Dr. Seuss?” Yes. That’s what they’re doing.

    So yes, Doris, I’m on the side of Free Speech, capital F, capital S. Arthur C Clarke, Keith Laumer, Dr. Seuss and even the immense jackass Mr. Sandford who does not deserve my support. He gets it anyway, because free speech is for everybody, not just the politically connected.

    The alternative to free speech is what Mr. Sandford is currently experiencing: guys like Mr. Smith trying to cancel him. Mr. Smith apparently believes exactly the same thing as Mr. Sandford: that some people can’t be allowed to express an opinion or write a story because they have the wrong politics. They differ only in the details of which politics are bad.

    Pot, meet kettle. Enjoy your stay in the fire.

    Hi Bonnie!

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    1. “His research on the Bar was to do a google search, take a few things out of context and build a false narrative.”

      Given that the Bar was viewable to registered members only, and therefore not accessible by Google, this is clearly untrue. For the record, I’m planning to make a post later about the criticisms of his post on Baen; one of the topics I hope to look at is how, even though many of his detractors insist that the Baen posts were “taken out of context”, have yet to see anyone demonstrate what they were saying in context.

      “If he’s that full of it about the Bar, I should believe him about Arthur C. Clarke? Nuh uh.”

      You don’t have to take his word on Clarke – his post about that controversy was collated from allegations made by other people.

      “Mr. Smith apparently believes exactly the same thing as Mr. Sandford: that some people can’t be allowed to express an opinion or write a story because they have the wrong politics. They differ only in the details of which politics are bad.”

      Sanford’s Patreon post discussed calls for doxing and violence, up to and including the destruction of city-wide infrastructure and the initiation of a civil war; he pointed out the fact that the Baen forum had banned certain topics and questioned why these calls for violence were not likewise banned. That is not in any way claiming “that some people can’t be allowed to express an opinion or write a story because they have the wrong politics” nor is it equivalent to the attempt to rake him over the coals for his extremely tame horror story.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. “…even though many of his detractors insist that the Baen posts were “taken out of context”, have yet to see anyone demonstrate what they were saying in context.”

        The context in one case is that it was a discussion about an American civil war -scenario- that took place ~20 years ago, something Mr. Sandford failed to mention. Let us not nit-pick, shall we? People have been war-gaming and talking shit on Baen’s Bar since the 1980s. In an environment where one (1) picture of “eskimo fish” gets a Dr. Seuss book cancelled for -racism- which is self-evidently untrue, I’m sure there’s plenty for activists to clutch their pearls over.

        “You don’t have to take his word on Clarke – his post about that controversy was collated from allegations made by other people.”

        Missing the point, Doris. I have -eyewitness testimony- from somebody who was there and I still think cancelling Arthur C. Clarke is wrong-headed. The stories stand by themselves. I can like them or not independent of any crimes the author committed. How many times have I heard that about MZB lately? Quite a few. The monster still has her admirers. I don’t see anyone insisting they all be banned from the Internet.

        “Sanford’s Patreon post discussed calls for doxing and violence, up to and including the destruction of city-wide infrastructure and the initiation of a civil war; he pointed out the fact that the Baen forum had banned certain topics and questioned why these calls for violence were not likewise banned.”

        I expect the reason was that it’s a free country, with free speech. Privately owned forums are allowed to have their own rules. Those rules can be as capricious as the owner likes. One will naturally expect things that the owner doesn’t like to be banned from discussion. Coming along 20 years later and demanding “why wasn’t this topic banned from discussion?!” in high dudgeon is not what I would call arguing in good faith. Rather, Sanford is trying to create an “outrage” where there isn’t one. He accuses Baen of supporting the planning of a -real- civil war, which is simply untrue.

        Sandford’s method is to place topics off-limits to discussion, to claim that some things simply can’t be allowed. His stand that Baen must be cancelled is backed by a concerted effort from somewhere to actually get Baen canceled by their internet service provider.

        Talking about the pros and cons of a “civil war” on an internet forum is protected speech. You’re allowed to do that. It’s an -opinion-. Extremely tame horror stories are likewise protected speech, as are badly researched Patreon posts, as is mockery of same. It’s -talking-.

        Phoning a guy’s employer and making threats to get him fired is a crime. Phoning a company’s ISP and making threats to get them cancelled is a crime. You can see how these are both the same thing, yes? Attempting to justify the one while condemning the other is ridiculous.

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      2. “The context in one case is that it was a discussion about an American civil war -scenario- that took place ~20 years ago, something Mr. Sandford failed to mention.”

        Okay, now we’re getting somewhere. If it can be backed up, this is a strong criticism. But it’s the first time I’ve heard this accusation; even Eric Flint’s post, the most substantial rebuttal, makes no reference to 20-year-old civil war scenarios (he does point out that an incident involving Mecedes Lackey took place more than 15 years ago, but that’s a different natter) . Do you have a citation? And which part of Sanford’s article are you talking about? I just checked some of the Baen posts he provided: Theoryman’s comment about rendering cities uninhabitable is from November 2020. His post advocating doxing is from February 2021. So where are these 20-year-old posts?

        “Missing the point, Doris. I have -eyewitness testimony- from somebody who was there and I still think cancelling Arthur C. Clarke is wrong-headed. The stories stand by themselves. I can like them or not independent of any crimes the author committed.”

        You have eyewitness testimony of an offence which, by your own admission, was less serious than the child molestation accusations. And in the post I was replying to, you indicated that the accusations were somehow questionable because Sanford had blogged about them. (Also, the debate was over whether the Arthur C. Clarke Award should be renamed, not whether his stories can be enjoyed.)

        “How many times have I heard that about MZB lately? Quite a few. The monster still has her admirers. I don’t see anyone insisting they all be banned from the Internet.”

        Of course you’ve heard about her recently, Samuel Collingwood Smith mentioned her in the post you were responding to and I mentioned her in my reply to your comment. By “admirers” I’m guessing you’re referring to Elisabeth Waters and her crew on the sinking ship that was Sword and Sorceress. Yes, I know of them; I wrote an article on their attempts to whitewash Bradley’s life. If by “banning them from the Internet” you mean contacting their host to get their site shut down, well, I wouldn’t begrudge someone for trying, but I imagine it’d be a struggle. I believe that hosting companies generally take harder stances on advocation of political violence than they do on failing to discuss the crimes committed by celebrity paedophiles.

        (And if you’re trying to imply that Sanford was ignoring Bradley when he attacked Clarke, that argument’s dead in the water: he explicitly compared the two in his post.)

        “Coming along 20 years later and demanding “why wasn’t this topic banned from discussion?!” in high dudgeon is not what I would call arguing in good faith. Rather, Sanford is trying to create an “outrage” where there isn’t one. He accuses Baen of supporting the planning of a -real- civil war, which is simply untrue.”

        Again, where were these 20-year-old posts? The ones I was referring to, including the destruction of city infrastructure and calling for someone to be doxed, were from the past few months. As for how sincere the posters were in their calls for violence, this is a matter of conjecture. Eric Flint argued that “the violence is of a masturbatory nature” and he may well be right: I have no trouble believing that the posts were made by a bunch of Walter Mitties and armchair generals. On the other hand, Toni Weisskopf acknowledged that the forum’s content “may have become unlawful speech” and closed the entire forum pending investigation; weeks later and the forum’s still down, suggesting a degree of fire behind the smoke. Either way, I don’t think Sanford is to be faulted for feeling concern.

        “Phoning a guy’s employer and making threats to get him fired is a crime. Phoning a company’s ISP and making threats to get them cancelled is a crime.”

        You know, I’ve heard repeated references to this ISP phone call amongst Baen’s supporters, but I have yet to see anyone demonstrate that it took place or how it became public knowledge (did the person who made the call admit to it? Did Baen report hearing from the ISP?) And now I’m reading an addition to the story that I’ve never heard before: the ISP receiving criminal threats.

        To be clear, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone, somewhere contacted Baen’s ISP about the forum’s content. Certainly, I’ve seen one person at File 770 suggest doing such a thing after Weisskopf made her “unlawful speech” comment (BravoLimaPoppa: “Hmm. Lawful speech. Maybe someone ought to find out their ISP and point them at the article and follow on?”) But surely it’s not a criminal offence, in itself, to alert an ISP to the possibility of their service being used to distribute illegal material?

        As I said earlier, I’m planning to write a post looking at the Baen’s Bar controversy in more detail. If you can provide evidence of Sanford passing off 20-year-old posts as current discussion, or of criminal threats being directed at Baen’s ISP, I’ll include it in my article.

        [Edit: mistyped “abdication” for “advocation”]

        Liked by 1 person

  2. “If by “banning them from the Internet” you mean contacting their host to get their site shut down, well, I wouldn’t begrudge someone for trying, but I imagine it’d be a struggle.”

    This then would be the point upon which we differ. Attacking someone’s on-line existence, their job, their family’s jobs, SWATing and so forth, because they -said- something you don’t like, these actions are unacceptable.

    There have been plenty of comments and articles supportive of MZB pop up around the greater “Fan” ecosystem, one sees them periodically, generally followed by a healthy drubbing in the comments. This is healthy and expected. An unpopular opinion is expressed, counter-opinions arrive to do battle. All as it should be.

    What is not acceptable we see with Mr. Sanford, who made allegations that mean things were said at Baen’s Bar. Coincidentally Baen’s ISP starts receiving all sorts of alarming messages, the common theme being that Baen supports insurrectionists.

    Funny that nobody mentioned this when Trump was in office. Or Obama, or Bush, or Clinton…

    There is no question at all that efforts have been made and continue to be made to de-platform all sorts of Conservative-leaning people and organizations. The news is filled with it. Equally, there is no question that Liberal-leaning people and orgs can do and say whatever the hell they like, demand an uprising against whatever their target of the moment is, and so forth. Again, the news is filled with it.

    “Again, where were these 20-year-old posts?”

    Given that The Bar is offline, you’ll have to talk to the people Sanford accused of making those comments. I wish you bon chance with Col. Kratman.

    In a larger context, if I were running Baen I would never bring the Bar back. I would never allow comments or reviews on my website ever again. Because the benefit of allowing people to talk freely is not worth the risk of having the likes of Jason Sanford scream “INSURRECTIONISTS!!!!!11!!” and point at some random comment out of the ten billion comments on the Baen message board. It’s a commercial company, they do things for money. If there’s no money in it, or if it risks the whole company, they shouldn’t do it.

    How long before TOR takes down their message board? How long before it becomes too risky for File 770 to accept comments?

    I notice you have comment moderation up on your blog, Doris. I have it on mine too. I didn’t use to, because it didn’t matter what spammers would drop into the comments of a five year old blog post. But lately it matters, and that’s not a good thing.

    One of the big reasons why the framers of the American constitution made the first amendment to it about free speech is that they saw the damage speech codes and censorship caused at that time. European history is rife with examples. They knew, as some seem to have forgotten, that if you make people shut up and not say what’s on their minds, it pisses them off. Then they start looking for ways to get you. Humans are resourceful. They will find a way or make one.

    That would be the faction that Mr. Smith is one representative of. Pretty good example of the type. He seems like a determined guy. His history indicates he’ll keep chipping away until something breaks. Who knows, he might actually be able to get WorldCon kicked out of their hotel just by sending strongly worded letters.

    But he’s merely one guy, operating in public where we can see him. If you piss enough people off, as the Left seems determined to do, sooner or later you’ll have some guy who thinks up something other than letters and then does it.

    Imagine, as a random example, that WorldCon’s hotel had a sudden rodent infestation just in time for the con. That’d be inconvenient, right? And expensive.

    Much better to let them yammer in my humble opinion, and in the opinion of the old dudes who wrote the Constitution. Talk, as they say, is cheap. Cheaper than a rodent infestation, I’m sure.

    Like

    1. ‘This then would be the point upon which we differ. Attacking someone’s on-line existence, their job, their family’s jobs, SWATing and so forth, because they -said- something you don’t like, these actions are unacceptable.’

      In the case of Elisabeth Waters, it’s rather more than “saying something”. There are some quite serious allegations against her in relation to her association with MZB; I’ve written about them. Is contacting the host of her site the best way of responding to these allegations? Not really; in practical terms alone I doubt it’d lead to anything more than increasing the workload of some unfortunate office worker. But if someone decided to take that course of action, I wouldn’t hold it against them, and I certainly wouldn’t be pillorying them the way Sanford’s being pilloried. That’s my point.

      And it’s a considerable leap from contacting a hosting service about a possible TOS violation to SWATing them.

      “What is not acceptable we see with Mr. Sanford, who made allegations that mean things were said at Baen’s Bar. Coincidentally Baen’s ISP starts receiving all sorts of alarming messages, the common theme being that Baen supports insurrectionists.”

      Again, what are the hard facts on these alleged messages to the iSP? Has anyone stepped forward and admitted to phoning them? Has the ISP revealed the content of the messages? I can hardly guage the appropriateness of these messages when I have yet to see solid proof that they were even made, let alone know what they contained.

      ‘Given that The Bar is offline, you’ll have to talk to the people Sanford accused of making those comments’

      As I said, you’re the only person I’ve heard allege that the posts quoted by Sanford — the posts that are date-stamped between 2020 and 2021 and which mention recent events like the Trump presidency and the death of Ashli Babbitt — are actually role-playing scenarios from circa 2001. Burden of proof is therefore on you, not me. “Theoryman” and the others quoted have had ample time to step forward and state that they were misrepresented, and Sanford’s prominent critics (Correia, Weber, Flint et al) have had ample time to signal-boost them. I have yet to see this happen. All I’ve seen are increasingly bizarre ad-hominem attacks on Sanford, culminating in ones I’ve discussed in the above post.

      Like

  3. “But if someone decided to take that course of action, I wouldn’t hold it against them, and I certainly wouldn’t be pillorying them the way Sanford’s being pilloried. That’s my point.”

    I know. Your point is quite clear. I -would- hold it against them. It is vigilantism at best, and it leads directly to an unsafe environment for everyone.

    For example, it leads to things like Colleen Oefelein being fired by the Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency for having accounts on Parler and Gab. Not for saying anything objectionable on those accounts, to be clear. Just for having them. That event was precipitated by a campaign on YA Whispers, made possible by the toxic environment of the whole YA literary space. We know this because the agency Twitter account tweeted it.

    For example, it leads to Larry Correia having to change his ISP for Monster Hunter Nation. There has been a well known effort in certain circles to get him kicked off Amazon Cloud Services, and today the website moved to a new service. Probably annoying and probably not cheap, as intended by the people who did it.

    “Again, what are the hard facts on these alleged messages to the iSP?”

    You’ll have to talk to Baen or do what I did, read a ton of blogs. This is all idiots bragging that they said such and such to so and so’s ISP. Just like Mr. Smith there, except on the Left. One hard fact that can’t be ignored is that Larry Correia kept ending up in Facebook jail until he quit the platform. How did that happen? Complaints, obviously. How many complaints and from who? We don’t know, and never will unless somebody hacks Facebook’s internal records.

    “And it’s a considerable leap from contacting a hosting service about a possible TOS violation to SWATing them.”

    These things are indicative of a pattern of attack by a self-identifying group. It is not much of a leap at all, it is merely a matter of degree. SWATing seems super duper bad, but how about getting kicked out of your career? People commit suicide over stuff like that all the time. How about having your company that you worked on day and night for 30 years kicked off the internet during a pandemic? That’s a big deal.

    And the best part is, all it takes is the accusation. Then the already prepared army of sock puppets and outraged screamers bursts into action, and suddenly Colleen Oefelein doesn’t have a job. During Covid.

    So, Doris, what’s going to be the end result here? Where is this going? One army is out there making everybody shut up that says anything they don’t like, what do you get?

    You get TWO armies. It is already happening, and you’re looking right at it. Jason Sanford on one side, Samuel Collingwood Smith on the other. Sanford has the advantage of being first to the battlefield, Smith is playing catch-up, but pretty soon it’ll be doxing, job loss and SWATing for -everybody-.

    Won’t that be fun?

    So no, it’s not okay. Two assholes fighting in the street, you don’t pick a side. You munch your popcorn and watch the show until they get tired, and then laugh as the cops drag them -both- away. I’d encourage you to consider the easily foreseeable results of this campaign of Sanford’s before supporting it further.

    Like

    1. You know, this conversation really isn’t going anywhere except in circles. You make a provocative and unsubstantiated statement like “Many of the top Puppy Kickers from the Sad Puppies 1-4 era have since been exposed as outright molesters” and then present yourself as a bystander unwilling to add fuel to the fire. You still haven’t cited evidence for your central claim that Sanford used 20-year-old roleplay threads in his post. I’m having flashbacks to butting heads with Sarah Nyberg’s support base (who, now that I think about it, used remarkably similar arguments to the Baen Bar supporters).

      You’re welcome to post more, if you find it necessary. But I won’t be replying, and I can’t promise I’ll even be reading. You have last word privileges on this one.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You still haven’t cited evidence for your central claim

        Yeah, I found that out a long time ago. (I’ve been following the conversation to see if Phantom has changed. Obviously he hasn’t.) The minute you ask for evidence, he runs away and is never seen again.

        There are reasons he’s banished to the spam folder at Cam’s place.

        Like

      2. “You know, this conversation really isn’t going anywhere except in circles.”

        I think it’s more that you are disappointed I won’t do your research for you. I’m trying to have a philosophical discussion here regarding free speech, and the consequences of people like Sanford and Smith calling down doxing etc. on each other. The consequences are exemplified by Colleen Oefelein.

        Let’s grant for a moment that Sanford was 100% right, and there were people on Baen’s Bar making violent comments. Let’s say Sanford is successful in getting Baen kicked off the internet and driven into bankruptcy. The question I leave you with is, does that change anything?

        I contend that no, it does not. You still get two sock-puppet armies fighting it out by any and all available means. It will be ugly, harmful and pointless.

        Hi Bonnie! ~:D

        Like

  4. Further to The Phantom never citing sources, I came across this today.

    From the horse’s mouth, as it were. Toni Weiskopff talking about the false allegations of Jason Sanford. According to Toni the “Swarthy Menace” guy would very much like to sue Mr. Sanford for alleging racism regarding his handle.

    In other news Mr. Smith is grinding along with his slow-motion cancellation attack on WorldCon, now has targeted the “Head Listener” lady for some “complain to the employer” fun. I won’t link that one, you know who that is already. Pretty much as I predicted.

    Like

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