Sorry for the hiatus. I’ve been wallowing in so much negativity that I had to take a break. Now, let’s get to the negativity.
I have spent many, many hours reading about the Hugo Awards fiasco this year. I have spent many hours listening to people who voted, many of them for the first time. I feel as though my understanding of the “meaning” of the “No Award” votes is very likely accurate.
“No Award” took home so many awards because people were angry about the hijacking of the nomination process.
Most of the people I’ve spoken to not only didn’t care about the personal politics of the individuals involved, they didn’t even know that personal politics were supposed to be an issue. It wasn’t about the merits of the people who were nominated; it was the fact that the nominations were a brute force attack, an attempt to force people to choose between either rewarding the slate-nominating tactic or voting “No Award.”
For the most part, it had nothing to do with making sure the “wrong people” didn’t win an award. Most of the people voting “No Award” didn’t even know who the “wrong people” were. The fact that there were some seriously deserving people on the slates tends to support this hypothesis. It was a vote against a tactic, not against a worldview.
Post-mortems which ignore this interpretation strike me as either naive or a disingenuous attempt to play the victim when you’ve essentially offered your so-called oppressors a no-win ultimatum. You don’t get to say “You must vote for the nominees on my slate or else you are throwing the women we put on our slate women under the bus!” That’s dishonest. That’s not just blackmail, that’s blackmail with a human shield.
Don’t get angry at voters for reacting to what they believe were unfair tactics. The Puppies didn’t get this kind of negative reaction (and, in my opinion, didn’t deserve this kind of negative reaction) until the slates got on the ballot. This was perceived as a punch in the face by the voters. You can’t claim victim status when people fail to reward you for punching them in the face.
Vox Day called it. He correctly predicted the result and seemed to be pleased with it. The goal was to set the whole thing up to play the victim. Once the fact that the nomination process had been co-opted by a slate became public knowledge, the backlash was predictably swift and angry. Again, this had nothing to do with anyone’s personal politics. These “No Award” votes were not against Larry Correia, nor were they a show of allegiance to John Scalzi, or anything like that. It was a response to the perceived hijacking of the awards.
Remember: Slate-nominating = No award
It’s not about politics.
It’s not about personalities.
It’s about the perception of unfair and dishonorable tactics.