Monday, April 20, 2015

Sad Puppies and a Sluggish April

The days in April have been sluggish.

There. That's all I wanted to say about that.


I'm not going to draft Verifiable Man this year. The contest I wanted to enter it into will not happen in 2015. I'm sad. That means that other projects will take its place. That's always how it is with this writing thing.

The other night I went to a book release event in San Pedro. It was for a book called A Wailing of a Town. It was hot in there and I felt so out of place that all I did was stare. My hope was to meet some interesting types to write about. It's also my simple pleasure to meet with and speak to other artists to see what they are like and if I fit in with them or not.


Lately, I've been having fun reading about this mess with the Hugo awards for 2015. I remember Brad R. Torgersen from his days when we were both Writers of the Future hopefuls (he was a hopeful, I was just hopeful in general). Now, he has the attention of everyone in the Science Fiction and Fantasy industry. It's an interesting turn in his career.

Oh, I won't bother with the politics of the puppy scandal. There are better (and more invested) men and women already thinking and over-thinking the politics of this thing. And you know me and politics, Bartholomew. They amuse me. My own beliefs are so complex that they go beyond the simple Right wing, Left wing politics of this country. Because of that, I can have fun watching them go at it.

Puppies, puppies everywhere! Look at that one over there. He's got foam in his little mouth! Watch out! And that one over there is sad. I'm a dog person, so seeing a sad puppy makes me sad. Why did they pick puppies? I think iguanas would have been better. An iguana has an excellent poker face. You never know what they're thinking.

But here's what I'm thinking...

I'm actually surprised that no one figured out before now that you could do that with the Hugos (although, the dog people argue that, yeah, there are groups that did).

What was it that Plato said? That a democratic system is "full of variety and disorder"? That applies to this issue. Just what did the people running the Hugos think would happen? That the voters are virtuous and would maintain a fair playing field for all participants? People are people. They take advantage of and exploit the weaknesses of any system when they can. Who cares about the motivations for doing it. Motivations are like assholes. Everyone has one; and on some people, they stink. People will always convince themselves and anyone they can that they are on the moral side of any issue and that their opponents are on the immoral side. It's just human nature to do this.

If anyone cares to "fix" the way Hugos are given out, they should read the Federalist number 10, written by James Madison. It has some interesting ideas on the subject. True, it is written with a system of government in mind, but its philosophies apply to any organization that wishes to use a democratic (pure democratic) ballot to issue awards. They may come up with an electoral college of writers, separate from the popular vote of fans. And maybe there will be a little senate to decide ties. Hopefully, none of the ballots get stuck in the bathroom.

Of course, as soon as they tighten up the rules for the Hugos, its voters will find another way to outsmart them.