Brad Torgersen, I invite you to fuck all the way off. 69

Partial quote:

What sort of things were they saying before? No, expelling Correia or Torgersen is easy, but it’s not enough. Not enough! We have to investigate the entire science fiction field and the publishers, we need to find out how the field could have allowed an unsafe environment to thrive in which these cisnormative, sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic authors could operate with impunity. I think, comrades, that we need to send a Hate Crimes commission to Worldcon. And to identify all the unsafe elements that may be present.

So, the field is essentially returning to its Marxist roots. But the starry-eyedness is mostly gone. Now we’re down to the raw hate of the thing: the vengeance-minded outliers and weirdos, determined to punish wrongdoing and wrongthinking and wrongfeeling. Which means, of course, smoking out all the wrongfans having all the wrongfun with their wrongstuff.

If they could clap us in shackles, put us into the boxcars, and send us to the icy wastes to die, they would do it in a heartbeat.

My friend Paul reposted that borderline incoherent comment from Brad on his own blog; read it in its entirety there.

Frankly, I am not interested in wading into the sea of strawmen and attempting to dismantle them. (Shaun Duke’s already taken a shot at it at his blog.) Nor am I at all interested in trying to present the positions of my “side” and offer gentle correction, as has been done nicely here.

All I have to say is this: how dare you, Brad. After you helped garner John C. Wright, a man who not-at-all-coyly talks about gay bashing as an “instinctive reaction” to “fags” a record number of nominations, how dare you project your paranoid fantasies of people wanting to harm you on us. How dare you wrap yourself in a blanket of imagined persecution when to this day transpeople are being murdered for simply existing. How dare you whip up false fears about people wanting you to die over a fucking literary award when right now black men and women are being killed by the police for simply existing. How dare you imagine yourself a second-class citizen when underprivileged women and girls are suffering because their male-run government has decided they have no right to bodily autonomy.

How dare you talk about people being shipped to frozen gulags when, today, gay and trans youth are still subjected to the very sort of reeducation you claim we want.

How dare you.

Real people are harmed every day by the positions those with whom you associate yourself espouse. Real people, who experience real pain, and real suffering, and all too often real death. The number of your faction that has been sent off to a reeducation camp is zero, and it will remain zero.

I’m sure if you dig hard enough, you can find some crazy, leftist asshole out there who says something in line with your beloved delusion. And then you can go ahead and compositional fallacy-it up if it makes you feel all warm and squishy inside. No one can stop you. But this insulting, despicable lie of yours will still not be true.

I’m tired of this. I’m tired of the paranoid fantasies. I’m sick of the pathetic attempts to play the victim in the same world where I suffer the real fear that one of my trans friends will drop off the internet and I will never know what happened to him or her because someone decided ignorance and hatred justified violence. Because this is the real world, you fucking asshole. This happens to real people.

So no, Brad. I do not want anything bad to happen to you. I never have. I have never wanted any harm to come to anyone. Even now, with my hands shaking with anger, I don’t. All I actually want is for you to take a step back, listen to yourself from outside your echo chamber, and understand how basically insulting this melodramatic persecution complex over a goddamn literary award is while outside, tire irons are not a coy little non-metaphor.

Failing that, I want you to fuck all the way off. Because that is an expression of my anger that suggests no action and has no power to do real harm.

69 thoughts on “Brad Torgersen, I invite you to fuck all the way off.

  1. Reply Paul Weimer Aug 14,2015 11:32

    Thanks, Rachael. I am sadness and sorry. You have anger covered very well indeed.

  2. Reply Laurence Brothers Aug 14,2015 13:13

    Well said

  3. Reply Chad Saxelid Aug 14,2015 15:13

    Yes! A million times yes, shouted from every mountain top across the globe. You explain perfectly why Torgensen’s comment is all kinds of wrong on every level possible.

  4. Reply Thomas Pluck Aug 14,2015 15:20

    Fuck these idiots. Only narcissistic sociopathic children assume they are being persecuted when they aren’t worshipped on sight.

  5. Reply David Nesbit Aug 14,2015 15:51

    Thank you. This is pretty much how I’ve been feeling. When my trans friends and gay friends want me to walk them to their cars because they fear being attacked hearing someone like Brad or Larry with their persecution complexes makes me want to scream.

  6. Reply David Langford Aug 14,2015 16:00

    Amen likewise. I am so tired of this paranoid pupshit.

  7. Reply Mike Glyer Aug 14,2015 16:16

    Justice has been done — thanks for writing this post.

    • Reply Rachael Aug 14,2015 16:18

      As a note, I saw your picture and had this knee jerk thought of holy shit, Santa Claus read my blog.

      • Reply Tom Galloway Aug 14,2015 18:03

        Santa doesn’t need to read this; he already knows who’s naughty (Torgersen). : -)

  8. Reply John Smith Aug 14,2015 18:54


    How dare you talk about the imagined persecution of transsexuals trans people when African Americans make up the majority of prisoners.

    How dare you talk about women as second-class citizens when Chinese people are the slave laborers of the world.

    How dare you hide behind the pet demographics as a shield in the hopes that the tears your fellow white privileged bloggers will blur any attempt to focus on your culture of censorship.

    How dare you accuse people of living in echo chambers when there magically isn’t a single criticism of your opinion in the comments.

    I don’t invite you to fuck all the way off, I hope you get the social vengeance utopia you so desperate want. I can’t think of a grander punishment for such hubris.

    • Reply Rachael Aug 14,2015 20:50

      That would be because you’re the first one who has attempted to comment; spare me your paranoia. And I’m approving your comment because you make a good point about yet more groups that Brad has shit on with his persecution complex, which I imagine was not actually your point.

      That you read “social vengeance utopia” from “I don’t wish harm on anyone” says precious little about me and a hell of a lot about you. Try again and do better.

      • Reply S. Qiouyi Lu Aug 15,2015 08:59

        Note, however, that black trans people, particularly black trans women, are both disproportionately incarcerated and killed both by police and by strangers.

        And that Chinese women exist and experienced the Cultural Revolution. They still work in sweatshops and factories today for paltry wages to supply good for international demand. Yet many people in the U.S. are so quick to denigrate Chinese labor and goods for being “cheap,” when it is they themselves that demand “affordable” options.

        Shame on John Smith for trying to unlink race and gender when the experiences of both are inseparable.

    • Reply Rachael Aug 14,2015 21:05

      Also note, the polite way to refer to trans people is just that. Trans people. Watch it.

    • Reply supplanter Aug 14,2015 21:06

      You are quite the fucknozzle, “John” “Smith”. I don’t with any Social Vengeance on you or Your Topiary, though.

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  10. Reply LunarG Aug 14,2015 20:46

    Yes. Thank you for giving voice to rage that was burning in my throat.

  11. Reply Steven Taylor Aug 14,2015 21:05

    Sounds like you may have skipped your meds today. Might want to up your dose too, cause yer crazy is showing..

    • Reply Rachael Aug 14,2015 21:10

      I’m approving your comment, but I’d like you to consider that people are (more often than not) perfectly capable of being assholes without being mentally ill. Keep your gloves up.

    • Reply sschwartzoak Aug 14,2015 21:59

      First: Gracious bloghost, my compliments on a rant full of excellent and appropriate verbiage.

      Second: Mr. Taylor — since you return to this “crazy” thread later, I’m just going to point out to you that you’ve offered nothing to give anyone any reason to believe that our gracious bloghost isn’t significantly more grounded in reality than the man to whom she’s responding — which means you are in grave danger of being the pot calling the snowbank black in defense of the coal-scuttle.

      Unless you have something other than “Hey, someone who I believe to be on your side because they’re my enemy did something once I considered awful” to explain why Mr. Torgersen has so much more to fear than our gracious bloghost and her friends, I suggest you avoid digging your hole much deeper — you might hit magma.

    • Reply Andrew Barton (@ActsofAndrewB) Aug 14,2015 22:35

      “durrr I can’t conceive of any possible reason anyone would dare disagree with me except if they’re mentally ill”

      Great deduction there, Sherlock.


  12. Reply Rachael Aug 14,2015 21:07

    Please note that I am watching the moderation queue very carefully, and ALL comments will be moderated until I’ve approved them. I actually have a good record of allowing comments from people with whom I disagree, so long as they are relatively polite and don’t promote hate speech. If you get nasty, your comment will be removed and you will be banned. Don’t like it? Go shit on your own WordPress install.

  13. Reply Jody Lastel Aug 14,2015 21:16

    Taken a bit out of context, but well done, Kip Drordy, mission accomplished!

  14. Reply Steven Taylor Aug 14,2015 21:37

    Here’s the thing Squirrel Whisperer, aside from your crazy internet missives, your blind haterage is essentially a snapshot into the delerium that is the progressive hamsterwheel packed between your ears. I’m sure you are well aware that it was Arthur Chu and the Wu-Debeasts minions that sent death threats. Because tolerance and acceptance and all that rot.

    • Reply Rachael Aug 14,2015 21:41

      I’m actually going to approve this comment because it’s fucking hilarious, and gets an A+ in Completely Missing the Point of This Post. Try again and do better.

  15. Reply Almuric Aug 14,2015 22:22

    Sad Puppies, which Brad Torgersen ran, only nominated JCW in two categories. Rabid Puppies, which Brad did NOT run, nominated him in additional categories. I know you’re screeding, but please get basic facts straight.

    • Reply Rachael Aug 14,2015 22:32

      So is your premise that two is functionally equivalent to zero, or that the Sad Puppies are so ineffectual they had absolutely no influence on the process at all? Since what you’ve said doesn’t actually indicate my statement is wrong. Two nominations does equal a contribution to JCW’s impressive set of nominations.

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  17. Reply Tom Aug 14,2015 23:06

    It is a fault of everyone that we think we understand the suffering (or lack of suffering) of others. In my life I have been constantly told what it is to be a “white heterosexual male” by people who were not white heterosexual males. On almost every occasion of pointing out that they had no better insight into my life than I did into theirs; I was met with extremely vicious reactions that while I could never know what it was like to be them, they knew exactly what it was like to be me (to the point where I have completely given up on pointing out the conflict in this view.

    What we can grasp is that suffering and persecution is real; for everyone. This includes yourself as much as those you perceive to be “the majority”. If we look at statistics, it is clear that trans gender, bisexual, gay, black, and females ARE forced to feel like they are marginalized and discriminated against. If we look at statistics, it is clear that that there is a large move away from the Christian Right that is idealized in nostalgic 50’s America. If we look at statistics… well if we look at statistics we remove the experiences of an individual which is the only time of experiences any of us have. That’s the problem with statistics. So where does that leave us?

    I promise not to pretend to know what it’s like to be Rachel if you promise not to pretend to know what it’s like to be Tom. I promise to celebrate in the interesting twists and turns of your life if you promise to celebrate in the more standard twists and turns of mine. I promise to believe that you really just intend the best for everyone around us and not to pre-judge if you will extend the same to me.

    • Reply Rachael Aug 14,2015 23:24

      I think that’s a very fair way of putting things. I do my best to try not to over generalize. Sometimes I even succeed.

  18. Reply Thomas Stewart Aug 14,2015 23:36

    By talking a great deal about justice and oppression while never once mentioning writing a good story that anyone wants to read, you’ve pretty much lived up to all the stereotypes. Congratulations!

    It doesn’t matter how important your message is, if it’s wrapped in a terrible story that few start and none finish, what you’re doing isn’t advocacy. It’s masturbation. You might be pretty excited about how it ended, but you didn’t manage to involve anyone else. You think you’ll change a single mind by shouting at people and telling them how horrible they are? Ask Westboro Baptist Church how that’s working for them.

    • Reply Rachael Aug 15,2015 01:14

      Given the specific matter at hand, talking about the craft of stories would make absolutely zero sense. But please, feel free to talk about whatever you want on your own blog. No one is stopping you.

  19. Reply Pedro Terán Aug 15,2015 01:00

    I don’t think your throwing fuel on the fire can possibly do any good. I also don’t think presenting yourself as a raving fanatic will make somebody take your concerns seriously (except other fanatics, of course, which you may consider good company, of course). Nobody takes performance rage for real any more.

  20. Reply Bob Urell Aug 15,2015 02:56

    Good post. I’ve tangled with Torgersen a few times on friends’ Facebook wall. Strikes me as a precious little shit with a massive persecution complex underlying every nasty opinion he airs. Thanks for writing this.

  21. Reply Dusty Wallace Aug 15,2015 03:38

    Rachael, you are awesome. I’m sorry you have to deal with these myopic idiots. When I read the title of your piece I thought it would be something different and less substantial. But you managed to make your point clearly even through the anger. I’ve never read your blog before but I’ll visit from now on.

  22. Reply Cam Aug 15,2015 05:08

    … I have typed and re-typed my response. Nothing good came from any of them. Suffice it to say I am not as enlightened as you. Never is an opposing opinion cause for death, but I’m morally grey enough to be a mite fuzzy when it comes to knee caps.

    • Reply Rachael Aug 15,2015 11:11

      TBH Cam I waffled about your comment because on one hand oh yes a Firefly reference(!), and on the other I’ve been very conscious lately about the way implications of violence get used in commentary and have come down strongly against that. So I want to note yay, winning Firefly reference here before someone who doesn’t know you tries to crawl up my ass about it.

  23. Reply Fox Aug 15,2015 08:19

    Rage as performance art. If I want to see that, I know right where to look, and it ain’t here.

  24. Reply cjleete Aug 15,2015 10:49

    Brittle people are fun as hell to watch, but the shrillness of their outrage does wear on the nerves after a while. Thank the powers that be for the internet, otherwise they might just explode from the inability to vent their impotent rage.

  25. Reply Troutwaxer Aug 15,2015 11:40

    Brad’s problem is this: He decided to be a gigantic asshole over the whole Hugo awards thing. He had lots of non-asshole alternatives available for handling his concerns (write reviews, start a conservative writer’s workshop, work on improving his writing, etc.) but he chose the asshole alternative instead. When he got called out for being an asshole he decided that it was because he’s a conservative. Unfortunately for Brad, there are lots of conservative writers out there who aren’t assholes with whom he can be compared and contrasted…

    Here’s a clue Brad. We don’t want you to go away because you’re conservative. We want you to go away because you’re a humongous asshole. Just take the gigantic sphincter on top of your head to someplace we aren’t and we’ll be very happy.

    • Reply Rachael Aug 15,2015 11:49

      Best summary of the situation I’ve yet read.

      I feel there’s an incredibly important decision point that occurs when someone calls you out for being an asshole (or for being wrong, for that matter). You can double down, or back down. The former happens all too often.

      • Reply Troutwaxer Aug 15,2015 12:47

        Just to further beat this dead horse, I think the customs of our Science Fiction Tribe gave Brad (and Larry and Vox Day) lots of room to handle their complaints without being jerks.

        They could have issued a manifesto (we’re currently overdue for new manifesto) which discussed their complaints, some of which are valid, about the current state of science fiction, and asked other authors to sign it.

        They could have started a private writer’s group in order to improve their craft such that they became Hugo/Nebula nominees on their merits as writers.

        They could have (as I noted above) started an annual writer’s workshop like Viable Paradise, where they taught the issues which are important to them. (Do I want to learn writing from conservatives like Dan Simmons or Gene Wolfe? Damn straight I do!)

        They could have begun posting reviews, or even gotten jobs as reviewers, where they discussed the problems with books/stories they didn’t like.

        All of these strategies would have increased their influence while causing them to be seen as positive forces within the community. Instead they chose the path of jerkdom.

        I think the issue here is the Conservative view of the world; that if straight, white, conservatives lose a contest there is an Ebil Librul Conspiracy, and that Librul Conspiracy must be fought against in very direct and confrontational terms… the idea that demographics are changing and viewpoints are changing, and science fiction is changing with those demographics and viewpoints is completely beyond them because Conservatives are trained to this very paranoid cold-war narrative, so they don’t think in terms of building power and influence over time… it’s very sad really.

        • Reply Rachael Aug 15,2015 13:03

          I wouldn’t generalize it as “the conservative view of the world”; that of a specific, insular subset, more like. And I want to be very careful here to not make overly general statements. Anyway, I know plenty of conservatives who are lovely people and handle disagreements just fine. (Which is why I’m happy to be friends with them!)

          • Reply Troutwaxer Aug 15,2015 13:07

            Maybe I should say “Tea Party view of the world.”

            The big point is that for someone who claims they want to change science fiction, the Puppy’s current strategy sucks!

          • Reply Rachael Aug 15,2015 13:08

            Completely unrelated, I love “Troutwaxer” as a handle.

          • Reply Troutwaxer Aug 15,2015 13:14

            It goes back to my SubGenius days, when I was looking for something that implied extreme perversion without actually being perverted. (Also, I enjoy fishing.) I added the title “Bodhisatva” was was good to go!

  26. Reply Daniel Dvorkin Aug 15,2015 12:05


    Having followed the chain of links, I just had something kind of crystallize in my head that’s been bouncing around there for some time, but I couldn’t quite articulate before. I’m never quite sure if Torgerson, Hoyt, et al. really believe their rhetoric about how their political opponents are all Stalinist/Maoists who want to round up all red-blooded right-thinking real Americans and put them into gulags and reeducation camps, or if they’re just blowhards. In the latter case they can, indeed, fuck all the way off … but when they do, and sooner or later they will, because even the blowhardiest of blowhards get tired eventually, we shouldn’t give them a second thought. They can continue to live their lives and write their books and enjoy their mutual admiration society, the way lots of groups of people bound together by shared ideology do, and the rest of us can go our way without giving them any more thought than they deserve.

    But what if they actually believe it?

    What if they genuinely believe, in their heart of hearts, that a group of lefty “SJW” science fiction fans and writers are part of a massive conspiracy to remake our culture, our political system, and ultimately our world in the image of the world’s most murderous dictators? Well, what would you do if you believed your subculture or your profession had been taken over by such people? What would you do if you thought your friends, your colleagues, the people you rub shoulders with at conventions, were murderous lunatics bent on the extermination of everything you hold dear? Wouldn’t you feel you had a duty to respond with more than words? Wouldn’t you take any measure you thought necessary to defend you and those you love? Would there be any line you wouldn’t cross to prevent such a conspiracy from succeeding in its awful goals?

    Pray that their mouths are all they’re shooting off.

    • Reply Rachael Aug 15,2015 13:05

      Deeply disturbing, but I don’t think it likely. Large internet cajones and swagger tend to evaporate swiftly in meatspace. But I know people who are very concerned about safety at Worldcon this year for the reasons you’ve stated above–and it pisses me off to no end that this bullshit has done that.

      • Reply Steven Taylor Aug 15,2015 17:05

        I’ll bet you 50 bucks and yer new squirrel mixed drink recipe that you wouldn’t have the nuts, synthetic or otherwise to tell Brad or anyone else to fuck off in public. And if someone called you on it, your scream about oppression or something.

        • Reply Rachael Aug 15,2015 17:16

          What are you, five?

          • Reply Steven Taylor Aug 15,2015 17:19

            Nope, I’m bored, and your rantings make for an interesting case study in delusions.. Particularly ones of self importance. Have you upped yer meds yet you poor beleagued and oppressed soul?

          • Reply Rachael Aug 15,2015 17:22

            Don’t worry, baby. You’re my favorite pet comment troll.

          • Reply Rachael Aug 15,2015 17:29

            Oh, completely off topic, but a friend of mine on facebook mentioned that “squirrel” is actually a term utilized by Scientologists. Is that what’s going on here, or just happy random chance via choice of bizarre insult? I’m curious.

        • Reply Keeley Pollock Aug 15,2015 18:01

          Someone doesn’t know you very well and doesn’t realize that you have no problem with telling someone to fuck off to their face if you feel the situation warrants it.
          I considered questioning if possibly said person perhaps is incapable of doing something like that themselves, which is why they can’t conceive of you doing so, but that’s judging someone without knowing them and I try to avoid that.

  27. Reply LeftCoaster Aug 15,2015 18:27

    Rush Limbaugh has been spouting this same basic theory for years. I do believe that a certain fraction of his followers truly believe it (I have relatives who do). I suspect a lot of Puppies believe it (though others are probably over-enamored with their own eloquence). The vast majority, including my family, are stumping for votes, not violence. But heaven knows about the fringes of the fringe.

  28. Reply Kathodus Aug 15,2015 23:02

    Very well put. And nice to see someone explode in justified outrage without making a jerk of themselves. Most of us are unable.

  29. Reply Lis Carey Aug 16,2015 01:44

    Excellent rant!

    I wish nothing bad for Brad and his crew. I just want them to stop being assholes about not winning enough awards to satisfy them.

  30. Reply jmellby Aug 16,2015 01:54

    Thank you, Rachel, for your post. You said a lot of things that I was just to upset to say. For a long time I have tried very hard to believe that Brad, Larry, and the Sads telling the truth and were just well-intentioned fans trying to make fandom more open. (It was hard to think that given the quality of their Hugo tickets, but everyone likes different types of writing.)
    But with Brad’s latest post it feels like he has just tipped over into ranting. It seems that efforts to reach across the wall to the Sad Puppies is just met with rage and denial.
    I wish no harm or threats for Brad and his Puppies. I just wish they would listen.

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  32. Reply cargosquid Aug 18,2015 13:11

    Wow….Straw Brad sure seems like an asshole.

    Good thing he doesn’t call in bomb threats and write libelous material that needs to be retracted.

    • Reply Rachael Aug 18,2015 13:19

      It’s terrible when people misrepresent themselves as caricatures with their own words. As I haven’t accused him of either of those things, and have done neither myself, do you have an actual point?

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