Brad Torgersen Is Not Hiding Behind His Deployment Folks!

I’ve made few comments personally regarding the whole Sad Puppy vs the Anti-Puppy kerfuffle.  Mainly because I don’t want to identify fully with either.  There’s elements to both sides of this argument that I find myself in agreement with.  The authors who are behind the Sad Puppy campaigns are some of my current favorite writers, I follow their blogs, etc.  I did not pay for a supporting membership to WorldCon, I never have, and most like will not in the future.

I have bigger fish to fry, I have a family to feed and I’m lucky if occasionally I can afford a new book or movie to feed my SFF hunger pains.  I’ve re-blogged a couple posts here and there, I’ve made one post basically saying you all (“F”ans on both sides) should be ashamed of this whole silly debacle.  Mainly I’ve just observed.  I’ve been sucked into this whole thing out of morbid fascination I suppose.  I saw some comments today that I feel I need to refute but since I have no wish to be be sucked into a muddled conversation on somebody else’s page I’ll just post them here and engage with any reasonable visitors.

Some folks in the File770 comment threads seem to be saying that Brad Torgersen is using his recent deployment for the US Army as shield of some sort, that he’s somehow hiding behind it so that he doesn’t have to confront his detractors.  This is a patently ridiculous assertion!  Brad’s actively training up somewhere with his unit yet he still posts, when he can.  I read his blog, I follow him on FB.  What he has said is basically this.  “I’m going to be busy doing my Army job for the foreseeable future.  I won’t have time to just bang out a quick response to every asinine comment or challenge.”  He hasn’t said, or even implied that he is now safely away from any debate.  He hasn’t tried to appeal to your sense of patriotism (for American readers anyway) in order to quite your criticism.  He simply stated that he’s busy, unavoidably so, so don’t be surprised if he has to be absent from the debate more often.

Anyway…that is not what raised my dander enough to respond.  The following comment just couldn’t be ignored.  The original comment is in italics and my own replies are bold.

Stevie on June 12, 2015 at 6:42 am said:

Brian Z

Obviously you didn’t intend to shield Brad but that’s what it came across, for me at any rate, probably because both of my parents were career military. My mother served in the women’s Air Force, my father served for 35 years in the Royal Airforce. Career military look at things differently than civilians; as an honorary non-civilian I find it improbable that someone would wish to serve alongside Brad.

It’s definitely something to be proud of when one or both of your parents serve or have served in their country’s military.  There’s no such thing as “honorary non-civilian”. If mom and dad are military you are what we call here in the US a “Military Brat” usually separated out as “Army Brat” or “Navy Brat” or “Chair Force…I mean Air Force Brat”.  Because my own mother served and retired from the US Navy, as a child I was a “Navy Brat”.  Never was I an “Honorary Non-Civilian”.  I stopped being a civilian when I enlisted in the US Navy myself.  Now I’m veteran.  Being related to a service member even someone who had long service gives you very little insight into the military, what it does give you is insight into the life of a military dependent.

He cannot control himself; if you read through the post which Eric helpfully extracted from the morass of ramblings it is blindingly obvious that he can’t control himself. And the last person you want anywhere near a combat zone is someone who can’t control himself, just as the last person you want alongside you in a combat zone is someone who can’t control himself.

Taking a few comments or posts made during an argument on the internet is in no way evidence that someone cannot control themselves in a combat zone.  Someone who has never been in the military might say that…might, if they only wished to show how little they actually know about the subject.  

I’ve seen guys at each other’s throats over a game of spades, or which is better Marvel or DC Comics (Marvel is, obviously).  Hell I’ve even seen knock down drag out fights over who should be the next President…and yet those same guys would calmly work together, risk their lives on the flight deck to launch aircraft to attack the enemy.  The same can be said of units in the Army, Air Force, or Marines.  I dunno, I can’t speak for the UK armed forces but I suspect it’s not much different.

You cannot take behavior from the internet and know how somebody will react in combat…you can’t even do it for just plain everyday real life. 

It is, of course, a huge problem if you’ve got someone incapable of self restraint signed up in the military, and they do their best to weed them out; if they fail to spot them early enough then the usual practise is to stick them somewhere as far as possible away from real war to minimise the possible collateral damage, and hope for the best.

Again, I entirely understand that civilians have no knowledge of any of this, and frequently get it completely the wrong way round by assuming that people who jump up and down, frothing at the mouth with anger, make great soldiers or aircrew or sailors; the opposite is true. People with poor self-control, thin skins and an inflated sense of self worth, really don’t do well as members of a team, and in combat people survive by working together as a team.

Stating the obvious isn’t compelling…Brad’s not guilty of any of that.

To take a non-military example; my daughter is a hospital medic, and one of her duties is leading the resuscitation team. Once someone crashes from cardio or respiratory arrest you have roughly 4-5 minutes to restore the oxygenated blood supply to the brain before irreparable brain damage occurs. There are lots and lots of things which have to be done, in the right order, for any hope of getting that person back, and therefore you need a team of people, each with their tasks, working together under extreme stress, led by someone capable not only of doing all those tasks but also of seeing that a particular strategy isn’t working and therefore it’s time to try plan z.

People with thin skins, poor self control and inflated sense of self worth don’t make good members of a crash team for obvious reasons; it’s not all about them. It’s about the patient, and flouncing kills patients…

I’m not going to try and argue the rest of the post…Like Stevie here I’m not a hospital medic either.  

In the end, as a veteran with honorable service behind me, I see nothing about Brad Torgersen’s behavior online that would make me not want to serve with him.  I’d gladly share the same sand box or stretch of ocean with him any day.  There are a lot of military service members and veterans in the Sad Puppy movement, maybe you should pay attention to that before speaking of which you know not.

Battle of the Lone-Star Reviews

Amen to this!

Unusual Things

No, I’m not talking about Spaceballs, though that’d certainly make for a fun post. Though, since I’ve brought it up, I might as well put a plug for it right here: If you haven’t seen Mel Brooks’ classic lampooning of Science-Fiction Space Opera, you definitely should. But this post isn’t going to be about that. No sadly, this post is going to be about some dirty pool that’s been played in conjunction with—what else?—the Hugo Awards.

Now, while I haven’t posted about the Hugo Awards in quite some time, that still doesn’t mean I haven’t been following them. At a distance, since even attempting to stick my neck into that mess, even to just post a quick comment, is the equivalent of stripping yourself naked and running into a no-man’s-land (quite literally) of trigger-happy, ad hominem attackers. Watching the comment threads circlejerk back and forth with congratulatory backslapping only cements…

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How Many Spaces After a Period?

My entire life is a sham! I’ve been putting two spaces after a period my entire life. I don’t know if I can stop… Hell, I even did it in this little blog post :(

Jen's Pen Den

For this Twitter Treasure Thursday, I cheated–a little. I didn’t find this article on Twitter. I actually went on the hunt for it after I found this picture on Facebook:

DoubleSpacePersonally, I was always taught to use one space after a period, not two. But I know others were taught to use two. In fact, my old college roommate used to go on and on about how much it annoyed her when people used one space, not two…I told her it annoyed me when people used two, not one (follow? ;-) ).

At last, I decided to settle our debate and figure out who’s right: Team One? Or Team Two? Brian A. Klems, online editor for Writer’s Digest had the answer:

The “two spaces after period” rule was established during the days of typesetters, when additional space was needed to show the difference between the spacing between words (which was smaller) and the spacing between…

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The 2015 Hugo Award Kerfluffle makes me glad I’m not a Trufan!

I’ve been watching and reading about the whole Hugo Award controversy surrounding the Sad Puppy/Rabid Puppies slates and the Anti-Puppy response.  I am a huge fan of Science Fiction and Fantasy.  I devour it in any form.  From Books, to Comics, Movies, and Video Games…you name it I love it.  But I’ve never had an opportunity to attend a Science Fiction Convention, you know, the old school convention, a gathering of a bunch of nerds who fawn after their favorite authors and get together and revel in their glorious nerdiness.  I wanted to but just never had much opportunity.  I never had the chance to be a member of Fandom or a Trufan, I’ve had other fish to fry, I suppose.  I’ve been following this big mess that the Hugo nominations and voting has become and it occurs to me that I should be glad I’m not involved in that world because then I would be all butt hurt in one shape or form over it.

Admittedly I’m a fan of Larry Correia, Brad Torgersen, Michael Z. Williamson, Sarah Hoyt, John Ringo, well almost the whole Baen Stable really.  My politics are socially liberal and fiscally conservative, limited government with a hawkish bent (that’s my military upbringing speaking).  Classic Liberal if you will, libertarian versus Libertarian.   I’m a military veteran and I like military SF, it speaks to me.  But that’s beside the point really.  The sad reality is that both sides are more interested in tearing each other down then they are convincing anybody of the righteousness of their cause.

Why is more time spent by both sides on painting each other in broad strokes from a blood soaked brush than there is arguing from logic and attempting to persuade others to their way of thinking?  Honest, frank, much-needed discussion about the state of this “fandom” is sorely needed from where I sit.  But instead we’ve all absorbed this insane concept of identity politics to such a level that we cannot even discuss our mutually enjoyed pass-time (whether you create it or consume it) without verbally murdering each other in full view of the public eye.  It’s sad really and I wish you all would just stop, step back from it all, drop the righteous indignation, and attempt to see the other side’s point of view.  There’s just no way that there are as many evil monsters on either side as you are all declaring!  The internet is an awesome thing but in a lot of ways it’s taken the politeness out of society.  It is now too easy to demean and degrade and defame someone from a distance with no worries about a face to face confrontation.

This whole thing makes me happy in the end.  Happy that I’m not a Trufan, because if I were, I’d be very embarrassed right now.

Addendum 5/21/15:  I realized that some may take (or already have taken) my attempt at being witty about fans at cons and “fawning” and so forth as a slight or insult.   For the record, I’m a nerd too, just not one that was ever involved in cons.  If necessary I believe that my heavy involvement in the SCA during the mid to late 90’s could serve as proof of my nerdiness…my membership card if you will :) Fawning after my favorite authors at a con and reveling in my own nerdiness is, literally, what I’d do.  Probably while dressed as an elf or maybe Capt. Michael O’Neal.

Myke and Brad

Mr. Kingswood expresses much of what I thought upon reading Myke’s open letter as well. I said is much in a comment on Brad’s facebook feed. This isn’t intended to correct a fellow officer so much as a way to grandstand and get free publicity from the current situation by targeting somebody currently in the limelight. Sad really to see one military member call out another so publicly.

Magic, Swords, And Laser Beams

Every now and then I stick my foot in my mouth.

You’re shocked, I know.

I came across this open letter to Brad Torgersen on Myke Cole’s blog via Larry Correia‘s Facebook feed.  It got me fired up, and I decided to comment on it.  Given I was irked and pressed for time because I had to leave to pick up the kids from school, I was less than eloquent in getting my point across with my comment.  Reading back, I’m munching on a shoe or two over there.  Now, I doubt any of Myke or Brad’s readers will ever see this post, but since I’ve gone and spewed on the Internet, and that can’t be undone, I figure I might as well take the time to really say what I meant to say in that comment.  For peace of mind, if for nothing else.

First, full disclosure.

I don’t…

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In which this ignorant ass redneck attempts to fisk one of them genius professorial types.

The fisk it burns! Very impressive redneck rebuttal right here.

Mars Is

Now y’all I unnerstan I aint exactly the most edumacted of men. Hell I dropped clear outta school back in my junior year for to enter the workforce. Hell the only thing I got going fer me in the whole inter-lectual department is the fact that I like to read me a whole heap, mostly science fiction. And on account of the fact that I aint been too impressed with whats been coming out of that whole wirl-con what votes on the Hugo rewards the last few years or so I became a supporter of Mr Brad Torgersen’s Sad puppy 3 cam-pain. I figured if’n even a an ig-nint hill-william like myself could see that there was something wrong with them thar Hugo’s then the problem must be just as plain as day. However there appears to be a whole mess of people who seem to find the idea of…

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