More Maischberger and more SFWA

The Maischberger talkshow featuring two raging homophobes debating whether the fact that GLBTQI people exist should be included in school curricula that I mentioned in yesterday’s post is now available online at the ARD Mediathek. Alas, it’s 75 minutes long, only in German and only for strong stomachs. Here’s also a commentary by the media magazine Zapp, which IMO is a lot more worth watching than the Maischberger show, but then I have been an enthusiastic Zapp viewer for years. Meanwhile, Matthias Mattusek, very Catholic (in a totally retro Mel Gibson way) and very conservative German journalist, is happy to be a homophobe. Meanwhile, I’d be very happy if the Mattuseks of the world would just vanish into the ether.

Meanwhile, the SFWA debate seems to have turned into a debate about American politics in general and particularly the Republican – Democrat divide. Chris Gerrib draws parallels between the SFWA debate and the resistance of US Republicans against taxes, even as Republican majority constituencies overwhelmingly profit from tax dollars , whereas many majority Democrat constituencies are net payers. Found via Jay Lake.

Interestingly, we have this mechanism as well here in Germany, even though the political landscape looks vastly different. And hence some conservative South German states were only too happy to take tax money from the more left-leaning North German and city states, when they were poor, but balk against paying taxes to subsidise the poorer city states now, even though the reversal of financial fortunes was largely due to tax law changes in the 1970s which disadvantaged the city states.

Meanwhile, on the far end of the political spectrum, the inevitable Vox Day also weighs in with the by now well-known complaints about how he and his were purged from the SFWA (nope, they only purged Vox Day for violating statutes). He also links to a post by Sarah Hoyt, which predates the current SFWA uproar and refers to the post-binary gender discussion instead (she is against it, as might be expected). Oh yes, and she thinks that Orson Scott Card is not rightwing, which is mindboggling. Obligatory warning: Don’t click if either writer or their political views bother you, though this is one of Vox Day’s less offensive posts.

It’s the usual stuff about evil feminists and Communist straw editors trying to drive rightwing writers out of the SFF genre, but what I found interesting is Vox Day’s “threat” that rightwing SFF writers would find little reason to join SFWA, which curiously echoes Ilona Andrews’ post that woman writers, particularly those working in genres like urban fantasy or paranormal romance, find little cause to join SFWA. Even though both writers are about as far from each other as two (or three, since Ilona Andrews is a husband and wife writing team) people can be.

Vox Day also makes another point, namely that rightwing writers can just go indie and leave the whole traditional publishing system which is hostile to their political views behind. Now he does have a point that there seems to be an underserved audience for conservative and rightwing SF out there, since I frequently see such works by indie writers on the SF subgenre bestseller lists at Amazon.

Now I have absolutely no problem with writers whose work didn’t fit the paradigms of traditional publishing going indie and finding audiences hungry for whatever they write. And many of those writers are lovely people, though I disagree with their politics.

However, it annoys me when indie publishing gets equated with rightwing tea-partiers, which happens with increasing frequency. Take John Green’s anti self-publishing rant from last summer, which famously ended with the words “Fuck Ayn Rand”.

There are many people for whom traditional publishing was not a good fit and many of them are politically far away from Ayn Rand and her ilk. Indie publishing has also been a boon to writers of colour, international writers, GLBTQI writers, writers of unfashionable genres and all those whose work just doesn’t fit into the narrow paradigms of traditional publishing. So please, don’t lump us all in with Ayn Rand and the tea party, because many of us are about as far away from them politically as Vox Day and Sarah Hoyt are from Sahra Wagenknecht.

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3 Responses to More Maischberger and more SFWA

  1. Pingback: SFWA me, baby, one more time | Cora Buhlert

  2. Chris Gerrib says:

    Hi Cora!

    Yeah, I agree with the thought However, it annoys me when indie publishing gets equated with rightwing tea-partiers, which happens with increasing frequency. One of my books was indie published and the other is (very) small press, yet I’m no right-winger (at least by US standards).

    There appears to be a “they’re picking on us!” mentality to the American right. This dates back to at least Rush Limbaugh’s emergence in the 1980s. I was going to college at the time, and the College Republican were quick to point to something from Limbaugh as how they were being held down.

    • Cora says:

      At least in my experience, indie publishers go all across the political spectrum from far right to far left, so the tea-partier thing is absurd. Never mind that there are plenty international indies who have nothing whatsoever to do with the US tea party movement.

      I’ve noticed the “They’re picking on us” thing as well, even during times when there was a Republican president.

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