Flashback to Bacigalupi, who will forever be my favorite punching bag because he so perfectly encapsulates everything wrong about white people writing about my country (and about China, for that matter), which is to say: blisteringly, unforgivably, heinously racist. I’m in favor of having him quartered, by the way. Imagine! Being quartered by buffaloes. It’d be so authentic, don’t you think? Fitting as well, since we consider buffaloes especially stupid as animals go. The perfect analogy for white men.
Fast forward to more recently and let’s look at the 2011 James White Award shortlist. I have no idea how many of these authors are white, but I do know that out of six shortlisted stories there are two set in Thailand and China. You get one guess as to whether the stories were by Thai and Chinese authors respectively. (No.) Out of six nominees, at least four are white; the winner, Colum Paget, is a white man.
Sarah Stanton’s “Chrysanthemum” (haha oh the title). Now there’s not much to go on to be sure, because all that’s posted is a tiny little excerpt… but what is telling is that even this little excerpt packs enough offense in it to last a whole textbook on “yellow peril.”
In, out. In, out. Wa, ni tai hao le, you’re so good, you’re so big. Lift. Arch. Fall. Insert Coin.
That’s the first line. We have gratuitous Chinese. As far as I can tell, this is the perspective of some sort of sexbot. Why hello, Emiko the wind-up girl. We are sure trafficking in a lot of “Asian whore” stereotypes here, aren’t we?
Not so long ago, there were one hundred and nineteen men for every one hundred women in China; these days it is one woman to over one thousand and rising. The few women that remain become the wives of Party members, mistresses to the elite, absurd status symbols for those that can afford them.
Ahhhh. And now we come to the usual thing: the narrative in which futuristic THIRDWORLDIA OF SQUALOR AND POVERTY is always stuck in MORE SQUALOR AND POVERTY and HEY HOOKERS, HEY MISOGYNY.
Those things never happen in the west, d’you know. Ohhh, who wants to do the honors of pulling up human trafficking stats in the west? Who wanna? Sarah Stanton is, of course, an Aryan expat living in China and a professed Sinophile.
Now let’s take a look at Interzone editor Andy Cox’s comment on the other story.
Tori Truslow’s ‘Train in Vain’ is a compelling tale of exotic intrigue and intricate automata, told in breathlessly vivid and evocative prose. There is no let up in narrative pace in this highly believable blend of fantasy and adventure. There’s wit too, and a hint of darkness amid the exotic imagery.
In words so few, and already: “exotic” comes up twice. Andy Cox, I suspect, either loved or voted for the Hugo nomination of The Wind-Up Girl, which makes him worthless scum.
Oh, and by the way, Colum Paget is a tool of the first order.
At Eastercon 2011 I found myself going out of my way to speak to people there whose faces didn’t ‘fit’, and whom seemed to be there on their own:mostly persons of color, who’d turned up alone to the white-guy-club. I couldn’t really be sure why I was doing this, and stopped after a while, because it felt… odd, (and also because some of them looked a little scared, which wasn’t my intent!).
Give him a centimeter of rope and he’ll garrote himself.
But there’s a type of person around, and they come in all colors and flavors, who isn’t so pleased. Imagine if one of the white kids decides to visit a hip-hop club, and there’s someone in there that accosts them and says “Why are you here? You’re not one of us! You’re a tourist!” and if someone else speaks up and says “Hang on, I went to their club,” this person says: “That’s not the same thing, that’s a false equivalence. You don’t know your history, let me fill you in, let me teach you to hate.”
These days anyone can wear a mask, and claim they are one thing, when really they are quite the opposite. A cleverly deployed sock-puppet can be used by the enemy to undermine they very arguments they claim to espouse. Such a sock-puppet can gather useful idiots to it like flies to a tar baby. And when the other shoe drops, and the full game-plan is revealed, who is the one person not hit by the shrapnel? A sock-puppet can always disappear back into the ether.
The “Non-Anglophone SF” panel at Eastercon reminded me of this, it confirmed a nasty suspicion that had been planted in me at the previous Eastercon by Lavie Tidhar. He spoke as though US and UK science fiction were the only game in town. The focus of non-anglophone SF writers seemed to be solely on breaking into the US and UK markets.
I put my hand up and said “Don’t these writer’s have their own markets in their own countries?”
That didn’t come out right, the look on Mr Tidhar’s face confirmed it.
He, of course, thought “Chrysanthemum” was awesome.
“In, out. In, out. Wa, ni tai hao le, you’re so good, you’re so big. Lift. Arch. Fall. Insert Coin.”
Was brilliant, almost a single-line spec-fic story in its own right, with the use of a burst of mandarin to suggest setting, and the “Insert Coin” delivering a punchline that the reader never sees coming.
Simultaneously, he’s a racist bit of excrement who has this to say about a panel about China at EasterCon:
I found the ‘Chinese Space Program’ talk informative, but a little propaganda-ish…The claim, therefore, that the Chinese are ‘Way ahead of everyone else’ because they are putting people into space and planning on going to the moon, seemed very suspect to me. I also felt there was a strong whiff of anti-Americanism in some of the programmes, which combined with the (not unreasonable) admiration of the Chinese space program sometimes made some of the speakers sound like ‘useful idiots’ for Comintern.
This is what we call “yellow peril,” Colum Paget. Do you know what expressing these sentiments make you sound like, Paget? A xenophobe. A white man who lives in deathly fear of… what? The red terror of communism? The idea that China might overtake the west in any way or do anything meaningful that you can’t compete with? I don’t know, I have no insight into the minds of whiteys. They appear to think like animals.
Want to hear his views on gender? His Mighty Penis knows best.
Either way, many people I encounter seem wedded to the idea of sexism as a conspiracy of males against females. They’ll deny it if you say that to them, but then they’ll slip straight back into speaking as though that’s the way things are. Even if the idea that ‘reverse sexism’ of females against males exists it is viewed as ‘non-serious’, and the sexism imposed by females upon other females, and by males upon males, which I suspect is the most powerful influence of all, is rarely discussed or even recognized. Hence I see many discussions of sexism in IT that focus on the workplace, while their own statistics clearly show that girls are selecting themselves out of the profession at school, and later at college, so the main problem isn’t even in the workplace.
This view of gender issues as being a ‘battle’ between males and females might have had some value once, like Newtonian physics had value once, but has since been superceeded by more accurate models, but I don’t think it’s very useful now. In fact I think it’s counter-productive. The problem is deeper than that, we are all sexist (I know I am. I know you are too. You can’t fool me.) and all forms of sexism are a problem, as they feed into and reinforce one another. It’s not a battle that we’re dealing with here, but a disease that needs to be carefully treated. But battles are glorious, and anyone whose met an old communist will know that fighting the fight is often more ego-boosting than dialoguing with people and actually getting somewhere. I think we need a new generation who can look at things differently and build bridges instead of rattling sabres.
That fear of the red terror seems to permeate all his world views. He’s also so, so tired of people being mean to men, you know.
This person is, of course, the ‘darkenss’ that I spoke of in an earlier post. I am deeply suspicious of them and who they really are, and what their real game is.
Some of what they are saying is down to deliberate misreadings of my posts, but I am quite sure there are issues where I do not agree with them. The fact that I think differently makes me a ‘tool’ and a ‘cockroach’.
We’ve heard a lot of talk about improving diversity and tolerance in spec-fic. How do you square this with such language? There maybe many things I think which are wrongheaded, they are what I think, it’s up to others to convince me I’m wrong with argument, not with insults.
“Diversity” isn’t about making white men feel better, darling.
They have, linked in their post, a twitter conversation we had where they made the old racist statement “If people don’t like racism, they should just go home”. However, the ‘people’ this was aimed at were white people. So then, apparently, it’s okay. They’ve got very clever arguments for why it’s okay. I don’t think it’s okay.
This person is followed by many friends of mine in my twitter stream, a fact that I’ve never really been able to resolve in my head, because this person seems evil as anything I’ve ever encoutered. Personally I think they are working to discredit the very arguments they claim to espouse, and I think they’re doing a bloody good job of it.
Calling for R. Scott Bakker! Women are the ones who hurt feminism! POC are the ones who make racism stronger! Something like that.
I guess this means my departure from spec-fic. I won an award, I’ve got some stories out right now that who knows, might get published, I guess that’s enough for me. It’s very hard to justify having a hobby that causes people to defame you and make death threats. Who knows where that might go once you’ve got legions of people coming through ‘requires_hate’s page, who might meet me at a con, or god knows what.
I now know that when my story comes out in interzone, this person’s going to pick over it for whatever they can find to make me look bad, so something that I should enjoy now becomes something that I should fear.
Boo hoo hoo. Hey, remember Jay Lake who was also scared he might be attacked at WisCon by women and people of color… after having said offensive things to women and POC? White men are such thin-skinned little divas. And you know who usually are the ones who get harassed and sexually threatened at cons? That’s right. Not white men, you self-centered little crybaby.