Wednesday, May 16, 2018


     I know that most of my Gentle Readers have little or no interest in fantasy and science fiction fandom, or in the gatherings such fans frequently organize and attend. Even so, those events have become big news for reasons other than the sort of geekery and nerdoia that usually prevails at them.

     Three occurrences have most recently made the news:

     In each case, the exclusion or disinvitation was triggered by some “social-justice warrior” slandering the writer in question. And of course, all three of those writers are in the Right: somewhere on the conservative-to-libertarian portion of the political spectrum.

     There’s simply no question what’s going on here. Neither is there much of a question about what event organizers should do about it:

     Here's the scenario. You're running an event, and on TWITter or Fecesbook, someone calls out a guest and states, "I wouldn't feel safe with this person at the con!"

     You must immediately ban this person from the convention.

     No, not the guest. The person making the public scene....

     "I wouldn't feel safe with this person at the con!"
     "We're sorry you feel that way. Here's a full refund. We hope to see you at a future event."

     Then stop responding. You'll only give attention to an attention whore.

     The essence of what writer Michael Z. Williamson has suggested in the above is so eminently logical that there’s no conceivable argument against it. Which means that the real question is: Why don’t event organizers respond that way?

     Heh, heh, heh!

     I’ve written on other occasions that the foremost strategic aim of the Left is to atomize the Right: i.e., to leave us with the conviction that each of us is permanently separated from the rest of us. The besieging of event organizers in the hope of excluding conservatives and libertarians, especially prominent ones with substantial followings, is a clear indication of that aim. The organizers’ reaction is premised on the expectation that the SJWs would cause trouble if they were not propitiated, whether at the event or afterward. It’s an example of what Mark Steyn cited in America Alone:

     If it were just terrorists bombing buildings and public transit, it would be easier; even the feeblest Eurowimp jurisdiction is obliged to act when the street is piled with corpses. But there's an old technique well understood by the smarter bullies. If you want to break a man, don't attack him head on, don't brutalize him; pain and torture can awaken a stubborn resistance in all but the weakest. But just make him slightly uncomfortable, disrupt his life at the margin, and he'll look for the easiest path to re-normalization. There are fellows rampaging through the streets because of some cartoons? Why, surely the most painless solution would be if we all agreed not to publish such cartoons.

     The SJW harassment of event organizers exploits this dynamic to the hilt. Featuring conservative writer X would provoke the SJWs into a calumny campaign against me and my event? I suppose I shouldn’t have X as a guest speaker, then. Far better not to prod them.

     But the tactic is vulnerable to a smashing counterattack, based on Williamson’s riposte. An event announcement might read approximately thus:

     GumbyCon’s rules of decorum forbid deliberate disruptions, harassment of other attendees, and of course any kind of violence. Those rules will be strictly enforced. Therefore, anyone who attempts to exclude an attendee a priori – for example, by writing to protest that “I wouldn’t feel safe with him at the convention” – will himself be excluded and barred from future events held by this organization. No admissions fees, once paid, will be refunded.

     Mention of ubiquitous, continuously recording security cameras at all points and stages of the event might also be advisable. Indeed, the threat that such recordings could thereafter make their way onto YouTube or Vimeo would mess with a lot of heads.

     But of course, this requires a certain stoic acceptance of the cost increment. It also demands a modicum of courage on the part of event organizers, a species not known for conspicuous displays of backbone.

     It’s most significant that the Amanda Green article about Larry Correia’s disinvitation from the Origins Gamers Convention is titled “It’s Time to Fight Back.” Yes, it most certainly is. But fighting back means more than merely repelling an assault. It requires the will to counterattack, to make the attacker pay a huge, disproportionate price for his insult. To this point, we in the Right have hardly even defended ourselves, much less mounted the sort of counterattacks that would have been appropriate.

     It takes more than the willingness to write baleful blog posts. And yes, I’m aware that that’s what this is. I’ve written it because it’s all that I, a lifelong recluse, can do. I can only hope that event organizers – perhaps those for DragonCon and similar gatherings – will hear the clarion.

     As has been said many times, no one ever won a war by standing strictly on defense...and you may rest assured, a war is in progress. It’s a war for the culture, for the soul of America and its promise of freedom. At the moment, only our enemies are fighting it. Draw the moral.


HoundOfDoom said...

Joon Del Arroz, eh? Well, now I need to go check him out. Already have bookshelves of Ringo and Correa's books. Could use another subversive viewpoint here.

jabrwok said...

no one ever war by standing strictly on defense

I think you left out a word there.

That said, I agree 100%. I'm in no position to demand a refund though, as I don't attend conventions. Not sure exactly what I *can* do as, like yourself, I am something of a recluse.

Francis W. Porretto said...

(chuckle) Thank you, Jabr. Just one more demonstration that we all need proofreaders.