Game of Thrones author George R. R. Martin has written a post on his personal blog denouncing Gamergate, as well as the anti-SJW efforts of the Sad and Rabid Puppies slates for Hugo Awards, which we have written about previously. Though his post is astonishingly light on specifics, he described #Gamergate as the “Time of the Toad”, and said that this “Toad” is “so huge and monstrous and venomous… that it has begun to shake even my long-held fervent belief in the sanctity of free speech… and the basic decency of human beings.”
Sad Puppies and Rabid Puppies, for the unaware, are two attempts to increase the diversity of the Hugo Awards, the most prestigious awards in the fantasy and science-fiction publishing industry. The former is organized by author Brad Torgersen, and the latter by blogger Vox Day. These awards, which originally went to legendary authors like Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, and Frank Herbert, have come to be run by a small clique of insider social justice warriors.
An award which once went to books like Starship Troopers or Dune now goes to stories like, “If you were a dinosaur, my love“, a short story in which five drunken men beat a Mexican, bisexual Muslim transvestite into a coma, and his fiancee fantasizes about him turning into a dinosaur and killing them. The Puppies were an organized attempt to break the SJW stranglehold on the awards, and they were wildly successful. Almost two-thirds of this year’s Hugo nominations are Puppies books.
While Martin admits he has not closely followed Gamergate, and “doesn’t know if he would agree” with Anita Sarkeesian, he says that “It does not matter.” All that matters to him is that Sarkeesian claims to have received death threats, and claims that they came from Gamergate. This alone, in his mind, is sufficient to taint the entire movement. And, as we’ve seen before with Gamergate, his denunciations are curiously one-sided.
Martin makes no mention, for example, of pro-Gamergate gay journalist Milo Yiannopoulos receiving a syringe in the mail. Or of pro-Gamergate female writer Lizzyf620 being the victim of a “professional and thoroughly done campaign to intimidate her” that temporarily silenced her and drove her off the internet. In her farewell letter to the movement, the latter had some words that Martin would do well to read.
“BOTH sides: this was not the work of GG, or anti-GG, or KIA, or Ghazi, or 8chan, or Baph. Don’t blame groups, don’t guilt by association. This is the responsibility of whoever posted it, and no one else. My life and my family are not politics, nor are they chess pieces in a match. They are mine, and only mine, and I ask that both sides respect this.”
For all his denunciation of McCarthyism (which he compares to Gamergate), guilt by association is something that Martin seems to have no problem with. Reaxxion, for example, has a strict policy against harassment, doxing, and other forms of abuse. We don’t engage in it, and we don’t tolerate it. And yet still, we are somehow expected to take the blame for it.
Martin is not without his mercies, however, and he offers the Sad Puppies (and presumably Gamergate as well) a chance at redemption. All that’s required to win favor in his eyes is that we “Do something” about Vox Day, the man behind the Rabid Puppies slate. What, exactly, we are to do about him is left unclear. Perhaps send him to sit in the corner and think about what a bad boy he is? No dessert for a week? Take away his video game privleges?
Martin writes that Vox Day has “denounced black people as savages, suggested that gays should be raped straight, (and) called down rape and acid attacks on writers whose books displeased (him).” While he provides no links to support any of these accusations, I’m aware of the last incident.
To say that “Vox has called down acid attacks on authors who displease him” is such a misinterpretation of his words that it easily reaches the realm of libel. If Martin is simply repeating uncritically what others have told him, he should be ashamed for not bothering to verify obviously partisan accusations. If he’s repeating accusations he knows to be false, he should be doubly ashamed. Needless to say, neither I nor anyone else at Reaxxion is going to be “doing something” about Vox Day, and certainly not based off charges that are obvious lies.
An “I’ve Got Mine” Attitude
Martin’s statements are particularly ironic in light of the abuse SJWs have heaped upon his’s most famous work, Game of Thrones. Here, for example, is a columnist for major British newspaper The Guardian (the second largest paper in England, and by some metrics the third largest paper in the world) talking about the horrible racism and sexism in Game of Thrones. Here’s an SJW blog talking about the “problematic” books in an article entitled “Game of Thrones and Racist Fantasy.” There’s more from Slate, Huffington Post, and Gawker site io9, and these are all just from the first page of a search for “game of thrones” and “racist”, which gets over 50 million hits.
Martin can ignore all of this criticism, of course, because he is likely the second or third most popular living author on the planet. His books sell millions of copies, and have been adapted into one of the most successful TV shows in recent memory. SJWs can’t touch him. But if Martin were a brand new author, without an HBO contract and a bestselling series, his work would be stomped on and ignored. Publishers would blacklist him. There would be whispering campaigns against him. If he did accumulate enough fans to get say, a Hugo nomination, there would be a concerted effort to ensure he never won.
If Martin were a brand new author, he would, in short, be exactly the person that the Sad Puppies campaign is intended to help. But despite the fact that he’s written thousands of words on the subject, you’ll search in vain for any sign that he’s aware of this. His posts show him as having what can only be described as an “I’ve got mine” attitude. He’s rich, powerful, influential, and can write whatever he wants without fear of reprisal. The rest of us, however, are on our own, and can expect no help from him. Martin has, in the end, shown himself to be every bit as amoral and cowardly as the characters in his books.