Remember all those rounds of Science Fiction Writers of America (SFWA) racist and sexist pratfail in 2013?

Well, now that SFWA is trying to clean up its act, here comes the pushback, with a petition against “political correctness” and violations of the First Amendment by… applying editorial control to its own publication.

A publication which is, by the way, supposed to be the official house organ of this supposedly professional writer’s organisation, and not the fanzine of a moderately horrible Old Phart Phan.

These things are inevitable, but man, is it still embarrassing. Not because it’s happening – that’s inevitable; old-school holders of racial and gender entitlement will generally push back at any perceived loss of that entitlement. It’s a turf war. That’s only to be expected.

No, it’s embarrassing because of some of the signatories. Many of them are the sorts you’d expect, but some of them aren’t, and in them, I am disappointed, for multiple reasons.

First, the idea. The confusion of “what we want in our trade publication” and the mere idea of editing with censorship, in people who are old enough to know better.

Second, the damn thing leads off with “political correctness.” Anybody who starts with this line has no goddamn facts. To steal a line, “political correctness” is a dog-whistle for resentment about feeling pressured to treat people decently.

Finally, look at this thing. Content aside, this came from a professional writer? This sprawling slurry of rambling resentment apparently formatted by a hyperkinetic hamster who has no comprehension of punctuation and an unsettling attraction to the spacebar?

As someone who has pulled $1.50 a word writing, albeit technical writing, I am appalled on that basis alone.

Honestly, how many faces can one hand palm, anyway?

Followup posts:
A Horrible Group of People (Tuesday, 11 February 2014)
A Friday of Followups (Friday, 14 February 2014)
What is Being Lost (Monday, 17 February 2014)