Anyone who reads my blog regularly (so nobody) knows that I’m pretty politically opposed to the Sad Puppies- and, at this point, that I really don’t care about it anymore. I just don’t have the energy to care about online drama. At Rose City Comicon (I really should have posted this sooner, but first weeks of the semester and all), I ran into Larry Correia, founder of the Sad Puppy movement.
Honestly, I was a little intimidated to talk to him. As easy as it is to disparage people online who are on the opposite side of the political spectrum, it’s another thing entirely in person. Not just because Larry’s a really big dude (which he is), but because it’s actually pretty tough to completely dismiss someone for their political beliefs in person- annoying, I know.
So after walking past his booth once and not saying anything, I worked up the nerve to go chat with him. My friends might have helped pressure me a bit; just a bit.
And, well: He’s actually a really nice guy in person.
We spent ten or so minutes chatting about his experience so far in Portland, the Sad Puppy movement, Vox Day (Larry readily admitted that Day is a terrible person, but vagaries of politics put them on the same side on one issue), Marion Zimmer Bradley (terrible person, more on that below)*, Jim Butcher (we both think he’s a badass), Brandon Sanderson (his work ethic is terrifying), etc. Oh, and his Grimnoir trilogy, which I liked quite a bit, despite my investment in the Sad Puppy drama on the opposite side of him at the time. I actually have changed my opinion about the books since- it’s still more violent than I usually prefer, but I’ve decided that it’s not nearly as problematic as when I first decided. (Malazan, I blame you for that.) Regardless, I liked it when I first read it, and I like it still.
Anyhow- Larry Correia was quite friendly, we had a lovely conversation, he took a picture with me, and OH GOD I’M BALDING IN MY 20s YOU CAN SEE IT IN THE PHOTO AHHHH. (Actual real life problems, people. Probably going to pull a Tywin Lannister and shave it all off soon.)
The conclusion I came to?
The internet makes assholes of us all. Is that a grossly simplified conclusion? Yes, yes it is. We are on the internet, however, so…
The internet makes assholes of us all: especially me.
*As far as the Marion Zimmer Bradley bit- I’ve been in a bit of a mental feedback loop for a while about her now. Her books were a big part of my childhood, and then recently I found out about, well… Well, she was a genuinely horrible person. I normally prefer to judge art independent of an artist, but she did such horrible things I couldn’t separate them- but nor could I easily come to a conclusion. Hearing Larry’s take actually helped, believe it or not. He used to be a fan (can’t remember which book of hers he had on his shelves) but tossed it when he learned about her actions. Frankly, hearing that from someone so far away from me politically helped me make up my mind more than hearing identical things from people on my side of the political spectrum. Jim C. Hines, for example, said some very similar things, and you can’t get much farther apart in SF/F than Hines and Correia. (Actually, you can- Samuel Delaney and John C. Wright, for example, but my point should be apparent.)