Before I tackle part 2 of my thoughts on why this social justice signaling matters - likely after the weekend - I note our scribe is congratulating himself by declaring that "If Both Sides Are Mad, You’re Doing Something Right."
Cringey use of memes aside - read the post and he's trying to act as if he's staking out a position of "truth" and that neither other side has it.
OK. If I open fire on another squad in my battalion, and they fire back, I obviously have a target, but is it a valid one, a just one, or is there return fire because they're being attacked?
You see, "if you're receiving flack, you're over the target" only means that someone is returning fire because they perceive they're being attacked. It matters if the attack is justified - and as I pointed out in my previous post, while an imprint has marketing aspects, the marketing aspect was the only thing addressed, as if nothing else mattered, while any other valid end goals were ignored or dismissed out of hand.
And again, I get that some in CG would be uncomfortable with the implied closer association, but all they had to do was go their own way and be glad that the imprint name was not in the hands of someone who wanted to shoot at or hinder them.
So about that fallacy of the middle. "I'm an independent"
Let's say there's a crowd of random, innocent people. Group A wants to murder all the redheads. The other wants to murder the brunettes. You stand to the side and declare "no murder at all".
In this case, you're not on either side. Congrats. You've staked out and are standing up for a moral principle, and that is good. Here's the thing - that puts both groups in conflict with you. They may have their own conflict over who to murder, but to them, you are on the "no murder" side. They may or may not ally to protect the ability to choose who to murder.
So it's you, against them, looking at the crowd. Is there a middle ground? Maybe each side only murders half of the brunettes or redheads - that's a compromise, right? You don't get all you want, and they don't get all they want.
But now you're condoning murder. Much like the lifeboat exercise I recently discussed, you're giving up the principle that murder is wrong for the sake of pragmatism and compromise.
You always have to choose a side, unless you have no principles. In some cases, that may not align with other sides, but you need to choose where you stand.
"A pox on both sides" is an attitude, not a principle.
And if you're going to denigrate and attack someone, make sure you're actually being honest with yourself and others as to what's going on.
But it is kind of surprising how similar the reactions are from the Voxers and the Social Justice Hugoites. They keep telling me I can’t possibly succeed if I don’t throw in with their ‘clique’.
Perhaps it's my age, growing up with grandparents who saw the Russian revolution firsthand, and being familiar with the rhetoric of the leftist brigade types, but the rhetoric of the SJW's as far back as the puppies campaigns, how they focused on political correctness and worked to run anyone they opposed out of a livelihood, is existential. At minimum loss of career and livelihood with reputation poisoning that would make life difficult for decades if they had their way.
They want us gone, never to be significant enough to be on their radar. This has been plain for a while for those who are willing to see, who are willing to listen to the words they say. Again, the Hugos were a joke well before the puppies, as many among the Sads and Rabids had repeatedly stated how they barely read SF&F any more because it had become so tiresomely one-note. Vox blew nothing up - he mocked the Hugos with the Raptor nomination, and that, and the mere existence of other worthy nominees the TruFen hated inspired them in their emotional incontinence to blow up the Hugos so no-one else would have it, to make a public spectacle of cutting off their noses to spite their faces.
I can't speak for others, but no-one with authority has required anyone to be on Vox's #Comicsgate imprint, for the few days before it was let go, unless they explicitly wanted to publish as "comicsgate", in order to publish a comic as part of the comicsgate crowd. For that matter, it's been repeatedly pointed out that not only are people welcome to create competing infrastructures, but that in the long run people should.
I also haven't seen the argument he represents made.
The one I've made, and the one I've seen made, is that the SJW's want us gone, crushed. It's not just the virtue signaling but the active efforts to remove anyone they hate from public life and platforms, and the beginning of movements to cut off wrongthinkers from financial backing. As a result, one off efforts are not enough. If people don't want to join Dark Legion or Castalia, that's fine, but they then need to develop a professional pipeline for creation, distribution, and marketing - skills that not every good author has - and one that will iterate and learn until it consistently puts out professional product.
We point out that people who fail to do this, who depend on Amazon, etc., who don't build institutions, will get cut off. People like our scribe may not want to be on our side, and declare how they're independent from us, but there's one thing they cannot control - and that is whether or not the SJW's declare these independents to be their enemy.
It only takes one side to start a war.
In case you're wondering, yes, he's not honestly representing other people's actions, or their stated intentions, which have been backed up by actions in alignment with those intentions. Even in my last post I'm not trying to convince our scribe anymore. If he ever learns to be honest with himself instead of jousting oversimplified strawmen, maybe there will be something to learn.
And as to professionalism, I wasn't kidding about the cover. I am not a pro graphics designer or illustrator by any stretch, but compare the one he publishes his book with to one that took me less than 30 minutes to gin up using a half-assed cropping of stock pirate ship art and the same general thematic elements. Just the text alone, nevermind the image composition looking disjointed, is a vast improvement.
Edit: To make it clearer I'm putting smaller versions side by side above the larger versions.