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Fact-Checking Freer

ETA: Lou Antonelli has posted a retraction and apology for his claim about Camestros Felapton’s identity.

I’ve got too much to catch up on after a week of con crud, so I’m gonna try to make this quick.

Background: Camestros Felapton is the pseudonym of a blogger who’s criticized the Sad/Rabid Puppy movement and players. Several of the people he’s criticized have attempted to uncover his real identity. (I think it’s been established that Felapton is male, but I’m not sure.) Recently, several folks have proclaimed Camestros Felapton to be the husband of author Foz Meadows.

Lou Antonelli, who first published this theory and claimed three anonymous sources had given him the same evidence, acknowledged that the evidence could be coincidence (though he was doubtful). Meadows has pointed out various inconsistencies in the so-called proof.

I tried to talk to Antonelli about some of this. It went badly. I’ve also commented publicly, which is how I got to be part of Dave Freer’s latest blog post over at the Mad Genius Club.

The Fact-Checking: Freer’s claims are in quotes. My responses follow.

“Because I’m a Sun Tzu kind of guy, I’d worked out who this anonymous bow-fly was.”

Freer worked out who he thought Felapton is. There’s definitely some overlap. But if even Lou Antonelli is admitting it could be coincidence, then whatever you might have, it isn’t proof. It reminds me of the Sherlock Holmes quote about choosing facts to fit your theory instead of basing your theory upon the facts.

Fun fact: this isn’t the first time folks have announced the real identity of Camestros Felapton.

“Mean Girl Commissar Jim Hines – who never found a SJW pogrom bandwagon he didn’t eagerly try and join, has decided that I am to be isolated and swarmed.”

I’ve criticized Freer’s part in this, particularly one of his comments about the Meadows family. That’s totally a pogrom, right?

“Hinesy really had to dig for this piece to be outraged by – it’s way down in the comments…”

Minor point: Yes, it was way down in the comments. No, I did not have to dig for it. Someone had shared it on Twitter. People do talk to one another, you know.

Here’s the comment in question:

“Foz is very careful not to talk much about the fact that for a ‘gender-queer’ leading author – she’s quite vanilla, Married, sharing the same name, being supported by and moving with her husband. So: either she’s the Rachael Dolezal of ‘gender-queer’ or he’s a straight man who tolerates her less-than-traditional interpretation of marriage… or he’s also, shall we say ‘genderqueer’ and using marriage as front. As that is a very reminiscent description of the situation between MZB and Breen, if that is the case, there are very good reasons to not draw attention to it.”

One could do an entire blog post about all the messed-up assumptions and bigotry in this paragraph. But it’s that last sentence that jumped the hate-shark. If you’re unaware, Marion Zimmer Bradley and her husband, Walter Breen, are known child molesters.

Even Lou Antonelli, when I pointed out Freer’s comment to him, said it was “hateful and out of line.” (This is one of the reasons I tried to talk to Antonelli — because despite everything, I believed him to have a sense of decency.)

“And for the record I can find no statement by Commissar Hines denouncing the left wing feminist lesbian-bi MZB or Breen, or expressing any sympathy or support for their victims, so one has to ask: why does HE finds it suddenly so bad to have someone compared to them?”

Gosh, if only Google existed. I’ve spoken here and elsewhere about Bradley and Breen’s predatory actions, and about those who looked the other way. Freer couldn’t find any of these instances because, presumably, he didn’t look. As with Meadows, he made an assumption, and doesn’t appear interested in facts to the contrary.

“[Jim’s] books have become so SJW preaching that they’re more like long left-wing talking point sermons…”

You caught me. My latest book is nothing but thinly-disguised preaching. The poop jokes are clever metaphors for, I don’t know, the Trump campaign? And don’t forget Gromgimsidalgak, the alien who plays video games on the ship’s bridge viewscreen. Clearly Grom is symbolic of GamerGate’s harassment of women.

I mean, I’m glad Freer reads my stuff. At least, I’m assuming he’s actually read them and isn’t just making stuff up again with no facts or evidence. But his interpretation is right up there with the reviewer who compared The Stepsister Scheme to S&M pornography.

“I haven’t been to twitter for years –since I found out as social media channel it sells miniscule amounts for the author – something like 1 book per 10K followers — but someone sent me a message that he has been stirring desperately to try get a nice pogrom going. To get people to denounce me, people he assumes are ‘friends’. Lots of pointing and shrieking from the mean girl powers of Traditional sf on Twitter – the ones who don’t write much, and sell less, but have all day to spend on Twitter. And his attack and reverse center is… That I said what most people think.”

In my experience, he’s right about social media generally being a poor way to sell books. Some people make it work, but in general, if you’re social mediaing to sell books, you’re wasting your time, and would be better off writing the next book.

As for getting people to denounce him? No. Denounce his comparison of the Meadows to MZB and Breen? Yes. The distinction can be difficult, but I think it’s important. I don’t know Dave Freer. I do know that he’s written some careless and hateful stuff that’s hurting innocent people. And yes, I think that should be denounced.

As for saying what most people think? I could be wrong, but I don’t believe “most people” look at a couple like Foz and Toby Meadows and immediately think of notorious child molesters. Some people do, sure. Those people tend to be hateful, ignorant bigots.

Other Reading:

All of these blogs have additional posts related to this mess, if you’d like to dig deeper. As for me? I’ve got snow to shovel and a book to write about space janitors, unexpected penguins, survivalist librarians, and poop jokes. (You know, more secret SJW propaganda.)

Comments are turned off, because I don’t have time for ’em right now. If there are any factual errors in my post, please let me know via my Contact Page. Thanks!

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

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