|The Write Agenda's Poster Campaign For Theodore Beale/ Vox Day
You, er, couldn't make it up, as they say. Well, you could, but friends would say you're painting a very bleak picture.
As reported here last October, The Write Agenda are the fake publisher conman community's answer to having their racket strangulated by the information age. Before the internet it was simplicity itself to dazzle some novelist wannabe with a paper-mache 'publishing front' and then siphon them of cash and, in the process, hope. Nowadays, of course, the Rubes and Marks merely have to tinkle your company's name into a qwertyslab to see you're far from kosher. How's a villain s'posed to make a buck, huh?
The answer is to go on the offensive. Create a website full of 'concerned' but oddly faceless writers who attempt (the operative word here) to besmirch efforts like Writer Beware (headed by the wonderful Victoria Strauss); a group of publicly-minded individuals who have done much to depth-charge these wolf-ships of publishing into financial insolubility. To view the Agenda's site is actually oddly life-affirming. For once, it's the bad guys trying to Canute back the tides.
But with this latest move, King Canute has just belly-flopped into the brine. Anyone who visits here regularly or, indeed, keeps up with SF goings on online won't need me to tell them who Theodore Beale, aka 'Vox Day' is: a mainly self-pubbed fantasy writer and Christian fundamentalist-creationist who believes that working women are more dangerous to society than rape, that they shouldn't vote, that they shouldn't be educated and that the brainless thugs who assaulted an Indian man living in Britain for thirty years will be 'the heroes of tomorrow'.
You'd think the only affection in existence for such a man would be located in the nerve endings of his own penis. BUT... here's The Write Agenda's endorsement of his presidential campaign for the SFWA:
"Theodore Beale is an agent of change, but this is not why we are endorsing him. We’re endorsing him because we have reviewed John Scalzi’s term as President (here, here, here and here) and we know the set of skills that one needs to succeed in the position. Simply put, Theodore Beale has them. He is the right person for the job. He has our vote, and if you are SFWA member, we hope that you will give him your vote as well. Beale is the “warrior scholar” . . . give him your vote!"
I'm not so much flabbergasted by The Write Agenda's crass leech-fest (few would be outside of Sesame Street) as reassured by their obvious stupidity. TWA's entire strategy depends upon being and owning the narrative. To be seen to own 'the narrative' requires a public image that's reasonable and balanced (OK, so their website's prose fails that requisite, but still...), something--and tell me if I'm out of line here--that is nigh-impossible when you support a 'warrior scholar' who thinks Hispanics should be expelled from the States and that humanity is very possibly 'divided into various subspecies'.
At some point TWA dimly sensed this and attempted to defend Beale's racist, misogynist and anti-enlightenment ideals with this lone statement:
"Theodore Beale’s only crimes are that he writes controversial pieces and that he disagrees with John Scalzi. Being controversial is nothing new when it comes to past (or present) SFWA Presidents. Why is it such a big issue now?"
(The author John Scalzi, you'll recall, is the outgoing Prez of the SFWA and shared enemy of both Vox Day and TWA (Go John!), due to the SFWA's links to Writer Beware)
Damn it, people! Why are you making such a big deal of a rape over work bias? Why a mountain out of a mere violent assault-lauding molehill? Get over yourselves, Puh-leease...
A moral vacuum makes for strange bedfellows it would seem (And I urge you not to compare Vox Day with TWA and fall into the easy pit of 'Well, he's a bigot but at least he's consistent'. He isn't. As this post shows, Day was happy to lick up to Scalzi when it suited his sales and equally happy to turn on his benefactor when that worked better). The irony is, Vox Day would come down as hard, possibly harder, on the scammers TWA represent. Not from any moral imperative, I hasten to add, simply the fascist's need to be seen attacking a nebulous other whenever their administration begins to look weak before the masses. Which, if Day was ever allowed to rule the roost, would be quite-a-bleeding lot.
Anyway, I tweeted TWA and asked them why they are supporting a vocal white supremacist. I'll keep you posted, though I don't expect an answer. That would be too much like conviction.