Hey, Kid, Get Your Nose Out of that Book!

One of the worst parts about complaining is that there is so much to complain about, so many things that need somebody to say, “Hey, kid, [stop doing whatever it is that annoys me today]!” Sometimes it’s paralyzing; what do I spend my dwindling time on Earth ranting about? As a result, I try to limit myself to things I know about–but sometimes I go looking for things, simply because the Internet is such a fertile hunting ground. And that’s what happened, except that I got so caught up in the arguments and counter-arguments and dreadfully silly goings-on that I forgot to add my two cents to the din, and this space sat fallow.

Well, we’re going to remedy that right now, mister!

Today we’re going to talk about Hugogate.

What? You don’t know what Hugogate is? Have you been living under a rock? Of course you haven’t, because it you had, you’d know what Hugogate is. Ironically, it’s those of us who have a life who are in the dark.

Briefly, Hugogate is the new uproar about the perceived gaming of the ballot to choose the next Hugo awards, which are the science fiction equivalent of the Oscars. Apparently, one set of sci-fi fans who see themselves as the rightful inheritors of the mantle of people like Robert Heinlein and Isaac Asimov, have assembled a slate of nominees they think ought to win the Hugos because for the past few years the awards have been highjacked by some kind of leftist cabal. I kid you not. A bunch of nerds who probably don’t know Obama from Osaka are arguing the politics of their precious little awards–like it matters.

And when I say, “like it matters,” I mean they are screaming at each other that the future of literature is at stake, if not the future of free expression in America. I kid you not.

Now, let’s run down a few numbers I’ve gathered from the far-too-deep research I’ve done on this subject. Hugos can be voted on by members of the World Science Fiction Convention, which runs about 10,000 people in a good year. Of those, about 2500 actually vote. There are roughly 250,000,000 people in America. Even given the dismal voting turnout in most elections, 2500 people (not all of whom are even Americans) are not about to ruin free expression in this country.

So who cares? Why spend all your time arguing about irrelevant nonsense? Even in this blog I try to complain about things that matter: If people insist on crossing the street against the light, for instance, somebody’s going to get hurt. There ‘s a point to complaining about that. But this?

Come on, sci-fi fans. You’re supposed to looking out for our future. You want to get on your high horse, try arguing about climate change, or overpopulation, or government surveillance, not who wants a trophy enough to ask his friends to vote for him.

And while you’re at it, see if you can invent a few term for scandals that doesn’t end in “-gate.”


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