At least it seems to be. On the writing front this time: the man who founded Liberty Con and whose contributions to fandom are pretty damn close to literally incalculable has been “disinvited” as Archon’s Fandom Guest of Honor. If you want more information google “Uncle Timmy” and “Archon” and prepare to weep.
It reads like a setup job to me. On the face of it, one loud voice and a few “hear hear” mumblings in a semi-private forum were enough to convince the committee within a week that Uncle Timmy was doubleplusungood and had to be purged from the guest list. Pig’s arse, pardon my Australian. The con committee – or at least a quorum thereof – wanted him gone. Someone dug mightily and deep to find something – anything – that could be used to blacken him with the favored tar of the terminally politically correct: racism, sexism, or both. That they had to quote it totally out of context suggests they were clutching at straws and the speed with which anyone who might possible support Uncle Timmy has been banned from the convention forum is if not proof, then bloody solid circumstantial evidence.
That means anyone known to have an association with Liberty Con, Baen Books, and anyone who is friends of theirs, as well as anyone who has supported Uncle Timmy. It doesn’t have quite the scope of the Stalinist purges, but I get the impression that’s only due to lack of means.
This is, frankly, insane. Science fiction and fantasy fandom is not exactly a large community. Purging members of it for disagreeing with you – no matter how offensive you think it is – is little short of suicide. This latest SFF version of the Night of the Long Knives (we’ve had a few already) is going to have consequences, and those consequences will not be pleasant. Those of us on the side of the register that’s being purged are a little more prepared for this bullshit than those who are doing the purging. Most of us already know we’re on someone’s target list because we’re mouthy, we say what we think, and we figure if someone’s offended by facts they need to buck their precious little self up and learn to deal with life before life does the “elephant with a laxative” thing all over them.
People will have disagreements. Some will be valid. Some will make this little bit of idiocy from the Archon committee look like sheer genius. There will be anything and everything in between. Grow a pair (physical or metaphorical) and deal. Because if you won’t, you’re nothing more than self-important cowards expecting everyone else’s good manners to carry you through life. That never ends well.