Somebody was kind and wholeheartedly innocent enough to forward to me a link to a ballot for the NPR Summer SFF Poll. https://www.npr.org/2021/06/22/1007341304/summer-sff-poll
I apologize to my kind friend because they couldn’t know that the little editorial-sales-pitch NPR attached to this ballot would get my underwear in a bundle and inspire me to bitch out NPR’s Public Editor, so-called. Which is to say that people are good – I really do believe that – but this decade (so far) has too often managed to communicate an intolerable amount of…, well, what follows speaks for itself.
As an organization that ought to know better, which is to say an organization that many moons ago actually celebrated quality and talent as an end in itself versus image-minded, media-driven gamesmanship at all costs, NPR’s militant virtue signaling (militant in the sense that you attack and suppress your perceived opposition) and transparently crippling anxiety over our litigation culture’s threat to your institutional propagation, disguised as apologetics, can also be relegated to yet another historical example of unhinged righteousness. Yes, NPR is fascist. Look it up.
Did it ever occur to any of you, as you mow around your “Black Squirrels Matter” yard sign with your electric mower fueled by a coal-fired power plant (cough) that by banging the diversity drum you are indeed banging a drum? And it’s the same drum that segregates and divides and singles out a person according to the color of their skin? If you can see the color of their skin past their worthless dust mask? So that when you celebrate the really idiotic idea of cramming SF authors into a “best of” list base upon, first of all, their race and secondly by their gender, we all know that you mean to segregate OUT the whites and specifically white males who, as it happens and utterly without such an agenda in mind, inaugurated and established and made great exactly the genre that you seek to run through a cultural blender. To make yourselves feel better. You’ve all apparently inherited a sense of guilt that would make even a devout catholic shudder. Oh, by the way, that reminds me: why don’t you single out authors on behalf of their religion, too, while you’re at it?
You are better than me. Okay. Except you’re also as ethically repulsive and neurotic as any other racist, misogynist, homophobic, self-assigned autocrat or self-aggrandizing tyrant. How many races are there? Who cares? How many genders are there? Again, how and why should it matter? If you can’t somehow discern an author’s personal details, by the way, how do you folks go about selecting what books to read? Do you ask around to discover if so and so is, say, black? Or Chinese? Or gay? What the f*ck (all hail, free speech!) does any of it have to do with writing science fiction novels? What does it accomplish to pad your list with anything but the very best within the context of the writing itself? And how will this list be at all representational of what people who submit responses actually voted for if you are going to suppress votes (yes, admit it) and otherwise reassemble the list that makes y’all feel good about the world, which is to say, about yourselves?
You are hypocrites because you make race and gender the context of your conversation no matter the content of the conversation while trying to eliminate race and gender as the context to begin with. You have everything backwards and upside down. Why can’t you see this? Why must you insist upon mutating what seems to me to be a late 1960s, summer of love, we-can-change-the-world naivete, for all the silly fun that was, into an organized witch hunt evocative of the Middle Ages?
Who am I…? I used to actually support, with my hard-earned cash, what I perceived, wrongly apparently, as your organization’s commitment to excellence sans righteous adjudication and insider privilege. You are failing the freedoms and liberties you so earnestly appropriate because you’ve made them a cause. Science fiction? I write it. I read it. I am the future, part of it at least, and my race, gender and sexual preferences – let’s assume I’m using a pen name just to keep from making it easy for you – are irrelevant. But then you’ll just search my address for clues to all that, won’t you? And now that I’ve posted this on F-Book (unless my comment has already been censored, cancelled and removed) you can just look at my picture. And promptly bestow your adjudications. Who are you people? What would George Orwell think of NPR these days? You’re all so self-satisfied and drunk on your hyper-liberal Kool-Aid that you fail to see that you’ve become what you hate. Screw you and screw your list.