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Nearly Headless Ned

Benjanun Sriduangkaew and RotyH

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No, everything from RH was deleted, so I'm only going by Lela Gwenn's word. I see no reason to doubt her. Would have been nice to have a screencap but not available.


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This has gone well beyond simply her firing vitriol into the webs. She is actively sabotaging careers, not to mention the emotional toll she is having on others. One can argue that we separate the artist from the work, but in this case, with the power to actually do something, I find that response to be shitty. And in bringing her to account we are by no means stooping to her level. To claim such is fucking stupid.


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Yes well this is far past bringing her to account because she had a blog that said nasty things, this is death threat, harassment, hate crime shit going on right here.

Brust posted this, which I think should be spread around: http://dreamcafe.com/2014/11/07/not-required-reading/

Edit: I'm speculating complete here, but I wonder how much of this was done on purpose. From reading it seems like she both knew she would be found out and that she didn't care. I mean, did she expect to be hailed as a hero and given a statue or was this just more trolling? It boggles the mind.

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The fact that she opens fire then comes back and covers her tracks shows She knows she is going waaaaay too far. What a piece of work.

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Yeah, I someone on one of the comments somewhere in the links pointed out that all this may have been processional jealousy driven, I.E. she couldn't get her stories published but others she thought were shit did, so ...all this. Seems a little far fetched but I mean, holy shit, at this point I wouldn't be surprised if she turned out to be Red Skull.

This is so terrible I actually went from anger over the whole thing to just wanting to hug random strangers and tell them I love them. It's just sad.

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Is BS/RH fighting back against this very public revelation of her past tactics?

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I haven't seen or heard about anything yet. There's some big name authors/publishers involved now too. Maybe this will finally be the end.

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I haven't seen or heard about anything yet. There's some big name authors/publishers involved now too. Maybe this will finally be the end.

It's very interesting to read the comments section on Mixon's thread (linked above). One quote stood out in particular to me:

"Look, I was one of the people RH attacked, it was the most profound experience of my life, but I don’t want her ‘found’. RH is not the problem, and this stuff is more serious than most people think. In some jurisdications RH could serve jail time for what s/he’s done. Do we really want that? You don’t know who it is, it could be your best friend for all you know.

What I want is for this never to be allowed to happen in the first place. As we’ve failed at that, I’d like it not to happen *again*. Achieving that lies not with RH, but with the SF&F community. I see this situation as analogous to the big data-breaches that we’ve seen recently at Target or Home Depot. The Community is waking up to that fact that it’s been hacked, and that the hacker’s been in the system and running rings around everyone for YEARS. Naturally the commuity wants to ‘make the problem go away’, find someone to blame, declare that it was ‘a very skilled and advanced intrusion that no-one could have defended against’, but really we should be asking “What was it that made us so easily pwned, and how to we make sure it never happens again?”

RH was enabled an supported by many powerful people in the community. I don’t blame them, and I think we mustn’t go after them with witch hunts, many of them are waking up to their mistakes now, and which of us has not been misled in the past? However, we do have to ask ourselves what’s wrong with our thinking and language that it is so easily hacked and turned against us.

The problem is, that means the community has to face up to the fact that there’s problems with it’s software: i.e. it’s political ideology. This is what RH used very effectively to attack people. We should be denoucing assaults on anyone, but instead we declare that some assaults are “Punching up” and hence are applauded. All this does is to encourage people to go through clever contortions to position themselves so that they can punch whomever they want, and claim they’re “Punching up”. Thus everyone and anyone gets punched sooner or later.

Another aspect of this is the widely advanced claim that “There’s no such thing as racism towards white people” or that “Racism is prejudice plus power/privilege”. This was, and still is, widely used to claim that RH’s anti-white rhetoric wasn’t racist (I’ve no idea what argument was used to defend her attacks on people-of-color, because I never saw that card played). Other times we had many learned commentators in SF&F were lecturing us about how RH was entitled to say whatever she liked about people, and that any claims otherwise were versions of “the tone argument”. There’s a big problem with these gospel beliefs of the SF&F community: The law, at least in the UK, doesn’t agree with them. There are laws covering racism and online abuse, (the latter could land you a six-month jail term, which is going to be increased to two years in the near future). How long does anyone think “don’t give the the tone argument” or “there’s no such thing as racism towards white people” is going to stand up when the coppers are knocking on your door? Again, this is why I don’t want RH ‘found’.

And if we ‘found’ RH, does anyone think that would make the problem go away? If you catch one hacker, do you think that stops anyone else trying the same stunt? The only way to be protected from this happening again, is to build a stronger environment which is less easily hacked.

There’s a lot of reasons why this situation is more serious than it looks. RH’s “supporters” were endangering her, and others, by claiming that it was okay to hurl violent abuse at people: it’s not. The community needs to rethink its politics to be inline with basic legal realities, and return to a worldview where people are entitled to be treated with a basic level of decency regardless of age, race, gender, religion sexuality or what platform they’re running on. I don’t believe, however, that it’s capable of doing this. I know it’s not willing. Thus there will be more requires_hates and the like going forwards, until some great and terrible F-up happens, when the community will find itself having change dictated to it by outside forces, and not on terms it’s going to like."

EDIT: Or this... sheeesh:

She sub-tweeted me with rage-filled vitriol, that I have to admit I found rather cute. She had some good points: I’m whitey mcwhiterson writing Chinese characters. She had major issues with my last name and the fact I’m white and writing POC. I was annoyed when she put words into my mouth, ie ‘I would ask her about intersectionality but the dumb bitch wouldn’t even know what it is’. When it descended into abusive spewing, I started favoriting every tweet so I could show people: ‘Look I have my very own stalker! isn’t she CUTE?’. (My usual response to threats is ‘bring it’.) RH raged that I was ‘stalking’ her and ‘being abusive’ – I never replied to the tweets, I never said a word about her online, I just favorited all the bile. In response she started tweeting bestiality porn snippets and claiming that I’d written them. Her followers were confused and kept asking what was going on, and she said I was threatening her. Then she made the twitter account private and that was that. Unfortunately the twitter account is gone now and all those wonderful bile-filled tweets have disappeared. I regret not screenshotting them now, just favoriting them wasn’t enough. Such a shame, I really enjoyed showing them to people who would ask me if anyone objected to my work. She’s the only one who ever has, the rest of the Asian community have been universally supportive.

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I dunno, I think people like this should either be in jail or in a mental ward, depending, but that's just my two cents.

That last comment is disturbing in so many ways. Gah, it really is like looking into the abyss.

Edit: Ok, I've been reading about this shit all day, but for the life of me, I can not figure out

1. Who Alex Dally McFarlane IS

2. What she/he is alleged to have done in all this, other than it was bad.

Anyone better at absorbing all this info clue me in?

Edit 2: Feel free to PM me or not answer at all if discussing such things are against forum policy. Not sure what is and isn't in this topic, kind of a slippery line here.

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DRII,

This is Alex Dally MacFarlane's website with her response to a number of allegations:

http://www.alexdallymacfarlane.com/2014/11/lies-misrepresentations-and-reports/

This just gets bigger and bigger. I don't follow this stuff all that closely and I really don't know if these are all POV problems or if people are lieing or what.

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It's very interesting to read the comments section on Mixon's thread (linked above). One quote stood out in particular to me:

"Look, I was one of the people RH attacked, it was the most profound experience of my life, but I don’t want her ‘found’. RH is not the problem, and this stuff is more serious than most people think. In some jurisdications RH could serve jail time for what s/he’s done. Do we really want that? You don’t know who it is, it could be your best friend for all you know.

This is the shittiest reasoning and at odds with the rest of the rather silly posts claims.

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Yeah, the it's insane. I'll have to check that out in the morning but given that the people commenting on the original report are both major, major names in the SFF community and have generally proven in the past to not be liars, I'm going to go with their version of events for now. This is an infinite amount of times worse than I thought it was and it keeps getting worse. The idea that new SFF authors were harrassed to the point of.leaving writing altogether... It's heart wrenching.

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Edit: I'm speculating complete here, but I wonder how much of this was done on purpose. From reading it seems like she both knew she would be found out and that she didn't care. I mean, did she expect to be hailed as a hero and given a statue or was this just more trolling? It boggles the mind.

She was much more rewarded and praised for all her bullshit over the years than chastised or punished, so I don't see why she would be worried, other than it making for awkward moments at conventions, which she probably thought her previously adoring enablers would rescue her from anyway.

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This is the shittiest reasoning and at odds with the rest of the rather silly posts claims.

Yeah, that was weird, but I kept it in. The larger problems with enabling harassment because it is blind 'punching out' (EDIT: terminology) was well stated and the root of the issue, hence my cut-n-paste.

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Yeah, that was weird, but I kept it in. The larger problems with enabling harassment because it is 'punching up' was well stated and the root of the issue, hence my cut-n-paste.

He's misinterpreting alot of what he's talking about and, more importantly, his entire premise is wrong because of that first statement. Because that first statement is what the whole post there is about.

I will say I don't find the "punching up" thing to be a good thing even if it's an important idea.

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Edit: I'm speculating complete here, but I wonder how much of this was done on purpose. From reading it seems like she both knew she would be found out and that she didn't care. I mean, did she expect to be hailed as a hero and given a statue or was this just more trolling? It boggles the mind.

Maybe not a statue, but I have to point that some people in this very thread have decided to read her work because of her trolling and the subsequent scandal. As long as something increases your visibility, it's publicity and it will boost your sales.

It's not like Crichton or OSC or Simmons or Harlan Ellison were really handicapped by their personalities, in the same vein.

Anyway, I am half convinced by now that Nick Mamatas, RSB, KJ Parker and BS might be the same person conducting a strange sociological experience, it all makes sense!

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He's misinterpreting alot of what he's talking about and, more importantly, his entire premise is wrong because of that first statement. Because that first statement is what the whole post there is about.

I will say I don't find the "punching up" thing to be a good thing even if it's an important idea.

I disagree, as there are some important points pertaining to enabling activity within the community, no matter the author's personal opinion on whether RH should be 'found' or not. We've seen the enabling and hand-waving behavior on this very board, after all, even in this thread.

edit: not trying to generate an argument, Shryke, I respect your position -- just giving the reason why I posted it to begin with.

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Yeah, that was weird, but I kept it in. The larger problems with enabling harassment because it is 'punching up' was well stated and the root of the issue, hence my cut-n-paste.

I disagree. Firstly, the idea that what RH was doing fell under the heading of 'punching up' in the first place was incorrect (and I said so at the time). It wasn't 'punching up', it was just vile attention-seeking ranting. As has been amply demonstrated, RH had no genuine interest in power relations: she was just as happy to punch down as up. Happier, in fact. She was a bully. She preferred weak targets. All her worst behaviour was against people she thought were vulnerable.

The problem is that some people excused her behaviour as 'punching up'. These people were wrong. Just factually wrong about what she was doing. Certainly, they need to examine why they were so willing to use this excuse. But the argument that we should throw out the baby with the bathwater, and reject the entire notion of 'punching up' vs. 'punching down' just because some individuals chose to excuse bullying by wrongly applying the label, is an overreaction: it looks like opportunism, to be frank.

Power relations remain. It would be absurd to suggest that we can ignore them. And if we can't ignore them, then there is, still, a difference between 'punching down' and 'punching up'. It remains, so we should not ignore it. What we should not do, is use 'punching up' as carte blanche for certain people to do or say whatever they like. We never should have done that, and 99% of us never did.

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Power relations remain. It would be absurd to suggest that we can ignore them. And if we can't ignore them, then there is, still, a difference between 'punching down' and 'punching up'. It remains, so we should not ignore it. What we should not do, is use 'punching up' as carte blanche for certain people to do or say whatever they like. We never should have done that, and 99% of us never did.

+1. I didn't mean to single out 'punching up', and will edit the post above. As has been stated on that other thread by certain industry bigwigs, the loudness of the echo-chamber that is Twitter etc.--the loudness of people invested in generating the same information over and over again, across many forums--establishes a perception of majority creed, and when it is swathed in legitimate discourse (in this case, social progressivism), it becomes a poison pill, attractive to those susceptible to manipulation under the guise of fighting for the greater good; attractive to some as a 'vanity battery'; attractive, no doubt, given the very real issues of representation that still remain within the industry and the larger media community & have really come to a head in the last few years. If nothing else, RH's vitriolic tone did bring these issues to a larger number of people than what polite discourse might have otherwise (I count myself as among those who have re-evaluated the genre from exposure) -- but, of course, there was everything else also going on, and the damage still being calculated among those who now feel safe enough to speak up and speak out.

Given RH's now well-documented smear and blacklisting campaigns against specific authors, I wonder how the publishers are feeling about this whole situation, since some who currently publish her fiction also publish those authors. As these shenanigans affects the bottom line, they certainly can't be happy about it.

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