There is a scene in the 1993 film, Tombstone, when Wyatt Earp is preparing himself for a final showdown with Johnny Ringo, and he is trying to figure out what drives the man to be so evil.
“What makes a man like Ringo, Doc? What makes him do the things he does?” Wyatt asks.
“A man like Ringo has got a great big hole, right in the middle of him,” Holliday answers. “He can never kill enough, or steal enough, or inflict enough pain to ever fill it.”
“What does he need?” Earp asks.
“Revenge,” Holliday replies.
“For what?” Earp asks.
“Bein’ born,” Holliday answers.
I was reminded of that scene yesterday by two events. One that I was drawn into, seemingly out of nowhere, while the other happened to a Canadian reporter in Washington D.C.
The Canadian reporter was covering an Antifa event/protest/riot-whatever they want to call it when he found himself somewhat surrounded by Antifa goons. At first it was nothing more than a simple intimidation by numbers attempt that clearly was not working.
Suddenly, a young man rides up on his bicycle, jumps off, strolls up to the reporter and throws a punch. The blow struck the reporters hand and damaged the camera phone, but it kept on recording the assault. It also captured the immediate response of two nearby policemen who swooped in and arrested the thug.
Amazingly, the thug and his fellow Antifa goons started yelling out that it was “self-defense”, even though the reporter had made no aggressive moves toward anyone. The group was stunned that the cops decided to believe their own lying eyes instead of the testimony of the thug group and hauled the fellow off to jail. I’m not sure why they thought the video wouldn’t have been more than enough to warrant his arrest even if the two cops hadn’t personally witnessed the attack, but that seems to be an issue with the Social Justice Zealots these days.
They are so blinded by their hatred for anyone who does not agree with them 100% that they are literally stunned – an expression found on nearly every face in the video when the cops arrested their man and not the reporter – whenever they encounter an opposing view.
And instead of stepping back to examine their own views to see if a correction needs to be made on their own part, they grow even more enraged and strike out even more against those they see as “the enemy” until that “enemy” is totally destroyed, even when said “enemy” has done no wrong to them or anyone else.
Which brings me to yesterday. I was contacted by author Jon Del Arroz regarding a sci-fi convention in Wisconsin he’d heard about. The Con was set to open in just three days and all of the scheduled authors had bailed out at nearly the last minute. Jon wanted to put together a giveaway of sorts for those attending the convention. They would not be able to meet an author face-to-face but at least they would not walk away completely empty handed. So I donated a signed print copy of Escaping Infinity as well as a MOBI file of the book so it could be given away to more than one attendee and went on about my business.
Then my Twitter feed lit up like the Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Square.
To give you a little background, (disclaimer here: I will admit I am not privy to all of the details to this story. What follows is what little I could gather from all the mud-slinging back-and-forth) apparently an author complained about someone affiliated with the con. I have no problem with said author voicing a concern about their personal safety. Also apparently, the con’s initial response was less than stellar, and the author withdrew. That should have been the end of that, but it wasn’t.
The remaining authors were informed and chose to also withdraw. Then the red flag of social justice was hoisted and all hell broke loose as every SJZ from here to there – including one rabid dog from the UK – came running for “the cause”.
The full con committee then became involved and tried to work things out – you know, like adults do – but no matter what concession was made it was never enough to appease the mighty warriors of the SJZ.
The person complained about removed himself from the con in every aspect – I sincerely doubt he’s even going to attend. Nope, not good enough. The con fully and profusely apologized for the initial response and apparently has put in place certain procedures to try to ensure it doesn’t happen again. Nope, not good enough. The bashing, attacking mob was not slowed down in the least.
Which is where I come in. After seeing some of the tweets I merely asked what would it take? What action was needed for them to finally say that the matter was resolved so we could all move on. None of them ever answered that question. There’s a reason why, and I’ll get to that in just a graph or two.
They chose instead to attack Jon as a “harassment enabler” and an “alt-marketer” while attacking the work of all of those authors that contributed books. The reason why is that they are incapable of seeing the real reason why we all contributed.
For some time now the SJZs have been trying to determine – in sci-fi fandom as well in every aspect of life – who, what, when and where is acceptable. By their own standards of course. And as far as anyone they injure along the way, well that’s just tough shit. In fact, in some cases, injuring and destroying a person, property or a career is the end goal. And as far as fans are concerned, the SJZ motto seems to be “Fuck’em, they’re just the unwashed masses out in flyover country anyway.”
Those of us who contributed have a different motto: #FansFirst. We felt a con without any literary representation was almost criminal and leaving the fans hanging high and dry even more so.
So for these fans, many of whom we likely will never meet, we decided to do something to help make their experience at the con more enjoyable.
So no, SJZs, no matter how many insults and threats you hurls at me and my fellow like-minded authors I will never regret doing anything that puts the fans of sci-fi first.
I am sorry for one thing though. I am sorry you Johnny Ringo SJZs are so bitter at your lives, so angry at the dark hole where your soul should be and so enraged at those that can do what you are unable to do: Truly enjoy a full measure of living one’s life and wanting to do whatever can be done to help others do the same.
I’m sorry that, at the end of the day, all you will ever have are these childish efforts to get revenge for “bein’ born.”