Okay. This is not going to be my usual well-constructed Reasoned Discourse thing, only because I am laughing too hard, and I think that we could all share in the laugh.
So, a thing did happen at the traditional Loser Party after the Hugo Awards. That thing was George R.R. Martin, the man who sits upon the Iron Throne of the whole tongue-in-cheek affair that is the Hugo Awards Loser Party, showed up with a sack full of literal, actual vintage car hood ornaments and started handing them out like they were trophies.
Get it? Because award night trophies look like hood ornaments?
He handed them out to whoever it pleased him to, which I guess included the people he felt had been most hurt by the Sad Puppy shenanigans and the people whose tact and grace had impressed him: the people bumped off the ballot, the people who dropped off the ballot after having been bumped on, the even-handed blogger Eric Flint, people like that.
Obviously, this private individual carrying out a touching but still tongue-in-cheek private joke chose to honor people of his own choice.
So naturally, the Sad Puppies and even more so their allies in Gamergates went wild, screaming all over Twitter and their sub-reddits and the rest of the internet that THE FIX WAS IN ALL ALONG, that THE VOTING DIDN’T MATTER, that THE NO AWARDS WERE JUST A SHAM, because here was George R. R. Martin, handing out trophies at a private party and these were clearly the ~*real*~ awards, arranged by the Social Justice Hivemind…
I remind you: sack full of hood ornaments.
Not a figure of speech. Not hyperbole or a metaphor.
Actual hood ornaments.
This is old news at this point, though they’re still talking about it.
Today I discovered something new.
Okay, honored guest and Hugo host David Gerrold made a joke some time ago about this year they’ll have to hand out asterisks with the trophies. So at the pre-party, they had these commemorative coasters, with an asterisk and the Hugo logos printed on, which they gave out to the nominees. It was a gift, not an award. Its meaning was a joke. Some people thought it was a tasteless joke. I think it was a little off-tone and ill-considered, a rare misstep from David Gerrold, but it was not part of the award ceremony. Nobody got an asterisk next to their name on the ballot or in the results.
Nevertheless, there’s been some conspiracy-mongering around it, of a similar type to that which surrounded what I’m sure somebody will start calling #HoodOrnamentGate any minute now… well, I say “of a similar type”, but I’ve just learned it’s the exact same thing.
There are people out there saying that because the Hugo logo appears on it and it was given to nominees, it constitutes a Hugo Award, one that was issued in defiance of the WorldCon by-laws governing such things. I wonder if there were also gift bags that have the Hugo logo on them? I’m quite sure there were programs and other sundry items bearing the WorldCon and Hugo logos on them. I’m also quite sure that alone does not make something a Hugo Award.
So far, it seems to be mainly one person pushing the theory, and the comments on the page are both few and not exactly clamoring to uphold his nonsense.
But we can always rely on the good folks at Gamergate to roll up their sleeves and do what no one else will do… which is take the thinnest, most obviously wrong and easily disproved ~*theory*~ on the internet and immediately start touting it as “evidence” of something. Collusion, probably. Notably while the blog post asks the (extremely leading, and also easily answered “no”) question of “Did Worldcon defraud its members?”, Gamergate’s link to it trumpets, “Hugo Awards Under Fire for Disenfranchising Voters” as if this were a factual description of one person, on the internet, asking questions based on false premises.
I’d ask how they square this with their insistence on the highest standards of journalistic ethics, but I’ve asked Gamergate about its lack of ethics before, so I already know what the answer is: they’re not journalists, so it doesn’t count.
This is the one respect and one respect in which Gamergate is superior to the Sad Puppies. The Sad Puppies are complete and utter hypocrites. Gamergate slightly less so, in that they are honest about their hypocrisy. They fully admit that their goal is to foist what they call ethics on everyone else, not themselves.
In short, they come by their dishonesty honestly.