Bronze-level articleTheodore Beale

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Mr. Day's promotional photo. Depressing.
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And a dirty dozen more
I wouldn’t believe VD’s claims to oppression if there was video footage of a Scalzi hitting him in the junk repeatedly with a copy of The Fountainhead.
—Ursula Vernon[1]

Theodore Beale, known by his pseudonym Vox Day,[2] is a science fiction author, game designer,[3] musician,[4] pseudo-libertarian, anti-vaxxer,[5] racist,[6] Christian apologist, pickup artist, stalker[7], and all-round fucking idiot. He is the epitome of evidence that not all artists are sensible, intelligent people, contrary to stereotype. He is a former pundit for WorldNetDaily (which says a lot about the demographic he's pitching to). Vox Day also has his own blog, "Vox Popoli," on which he attempts to "disprove" atheism, environmentalism, and liberalism through extensive use of poorly-thought out attacks. He also wrote the book The Irrational Atheist: Dissecting the Unholy Trinity of Dawkins, Harris, and Hitchens, which pioneered some of the most popular methods of "debating" atheists (mostly just calling them names). He is the only person to be kicked out of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America in its nearly fifty year history.[8]

He claims to be a member of Mensa and to have an IQ "Over the so-called 'genius' threshhold."[9] If true, this demonstrates at least one of two things: Showcasing how allegedly smart people can make a living saying very stupid things, or that the IQ test is severely overrated as a measure of actual intellectual capacity. Or he may be lying.

Contents

[edit] Beliefs and claims

Vox Day disagrees with the Republican Party over the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but he has shown signs of moving towards conservatism in terms of social issues such as homosexuality (he's a homophobe). He is also a major Austrian school crank and gold bug (note all the Ludwig von Mises Institute and gold links on his blog; he generally prefers to stick to battling atheists because it is far less likely to divide his small audience). He is happy to be considered part of the neoreactionary movement,[10] though he ridicules the term "dark enlightenment" as media hype.[11]

The man also claims, in The Irrational Atheist, to refute the Euthyphro dilemma, which asks whether something is good because God says it, or God says it because it is good. His solution seems to be that it is both. He also uses the ad hominem/non sequitur argument "Richard Dawkins is socially autistic, therefore Goddidit" very prominently in a stroke of genius that has garnered the attention of cutting-edge intellectuals and activists such as User:Conservative from Conservapedia. The screed is downloadable from this web site in all popular formats.

He is a creationist and "anti-materialist" (read: "anti-science"), which has caused him to enter numerous spats with, among others, PZ Myers and Phil Plait.[12] PZ Myers has stated that Beale is "in need of psychiatric help"[13] and also that Beale is "an appallingly freakish idiot, and always a reliable source for the most amazingly inane claim."[14]

According to him, "female equalitarianism" is a greater threat to science than religion.[15][16] In response to a blog posting by PZ Myers questioning how, exactly, many of the unsavoury aspects of religion benefited women, Beale suggested that honor killings, throwing acid in women's faces and even genital mutilation benefited women because they prevent female independence and promiscuity, which he repeatedly referred to as social ills.[17] Yes, this is who we're dealing with.

He's also convinced that the July, 2012 theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado was the work of a federal government conspiracy to grab yer guns, which makes the appeal to "science and reason" in confirming similar nutjob conspiracy theories in that same essay quite amusing to read.[18]

In addition, Mr. Day is also responsible for the insight that Barack Obama is - and these are his exact words, now - a "bad black man." There's no word as to when he'll write a column accusing Obama of strangling newborn puppies and selling crack to preschoolers, though.[19]

Beale devotes quite a bit of drivel in The Irrational Atheist to his division of atheists along lines clearly intended to brand atheism as a religion: the "high church" atheists, who actually identify themselves as atheists and embrace atheism as an intellectual position, and "low church" atheists, which appears to encompass everyone who doesn't identify with a particular religious group. This sad excuse for taxonomy manages to combine the obvious ad hominem and argument by assertion with either a thumbfingered analogy or a painful ignorance of history - it's never clear that he actually knows what "high church" and "low church" mean, and their original meanings are in no way compatible with his analogy.

"Vox day" reads like the Latin "vox Dei," which means "God's word."

[edit] Insights

Some of his most brilliant insights are to be found on Vox Popoli or in The Irrational Atheist. On homosexuality, he says:

Homosexuality is a birth defect from every relevant secular, material, and sociological perspective...[we must] help them achieve sexual normality.[20]

On Muslims and Brits:

You silly English twit. Limit your historically ignorant, politically correct, socialist sensitivity concerns to Londonistan and the rest of your island.[21]

His "refutation" of atheism:

[I]mpaired social cognition... is the hallmark of the militant New Atheists. [T]he anti-religious socially autistic crusaders... simply cannot understand that your religious beliefs, whatever they might be, are no legitimate concern of theirs.[22] High Church atheism may be little more than a mental disorder taking the form of literal autism.[23]

On race and intelligence:

It is absurd to imagine that there is absolutely no link between race and intelligence.[24]

On his "method" to bring peace to the Middle East:

The Israeli government must announce to the world a unilateral ceasefire, balanced by the deadly promise that for every Israeli soldier killed, 25 Palestinian police will die. For every civilian, 100 non-combatant Palestinian adults will be slain, and for every child, 1000 adults.[25]

On women, education and Malala Yousafzai:

Ironically, in light of the strong correlation between female education and demographic decline, a purely empirical perspective on Malala Yousafzai, the poster girl for global female education, may indicate that the Taliban's attempt to silence her was perfectly rational and scientifically justifiable. [26]

On women and reproductive rights:

One thing that is becoming evident is that regardless of culture, women cannot be trusted to use contraception in a socially responsible manner. If it is left up to them, they will kill their societies rather than give up the pleasures of alpha-chasing. This indicates that it will not be left up to them very much longer, as societies that permit women to control their birth rates will prove to be unfit, decline demographically, and eventually expire, while those that control women will prove their fitness, remain stable or continue to grow, and expand to replace the dying societies. [27]

On solving his problems by throwing frigging acid at them:

“a few acid-burned faces is a small price to pay for lasting marriages, stable families, legitimate children, low levels of debt, strong currencies, affordable housing, homogenous populations, low levels of crime, and demographic stability.[17]

Perhaps most hilariously, on women:

Because they are the intellectual driving force of humanity, men will be fine... It is written that women ruin everything.[15]

On stalking:

I noticed that the number of fake reviews of my books on Amazon declined considerably after I tracked down the woman from Minnesota and posted her address on this blog.[28]

In case that one wasn't disturbing enough:

I don't believe I could recommend this as a strategy for most men, but it is surely educational to learn that raping and killing a woman is demonstrably more attractive to women than behaving like a gentleman. And women, before all the inevitable snowflaking commences, please note that there is absolutely nothing to argue about here. It is an established empirical fact.[29]

And:

First, there is no such thing as marital rape. Once consent is formally given in public ceremony, it cannot be revoked... If a woman believes in the concept of marital rape, absolutely do not marry her![30]

And:

If the definition of rape is stretched so far to include women who have not given consent, then I am absolutely a serial rapist. So, too, is every man I know. And if that makes me a rapist, I shall endeavor to somehow survive with that upon my conscience.[31]

[edit] I'm a totally professional science fiction writer

[edit] Science Fiction Writers of America

He's seen fit to take his act to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, since running for that organization's presidency with an obnoxiously anti-feminist platform (as well as previously insulting outgoing SFWA president John Scalzi by calling him "McRapey" for the usual predictable VD reasons) is such a classy way to earn him votes in a literary organization with quite a strong female membership.[32] To his credit, Scalzi didn't call him out by name for his continuing obsession with him; he didn't have to.[33]

Despite the public support of an anonymously written blog called the Write Agenda that is suspected by many authors of being a front for a particularly scammy vanity-press-playing-real-publisher, Beale lost his bid.

Beale then decided to feel aggrieved at being mentioned (though not actually named) as a "misogynist, racist and anti-Semite" in the context of his candidacy in a speech by author N. K. Jemisin at an Australian science fiction convention.[34] He then responded with a post that was chock full of exactly what Jemisin was complaining about, which nicely proved her point,[35] and tweeted the article through the shared SFWA Twitter account, violating numerous content policies. All this led to a review of Beale's membership, ultimately resulting in his expulsion from the SFWA.[36]

[edit] Hijacking the Hugos

He is one of the instigators of the 2015 Hugo Award controversy[37]. The Hugo Awards are decided by the popular vote of attendees and supporting members of science fiction convention Worldcon.[38]

Starting in 2013, science fiction writers Larry Correia[wp] and later, Brad Torgersen[wp], have sought to nominate right-wing writers in a coordinated slate for the Hugos, using the handle "Sad Puppies" for their campaign. Their first year slate was ineffective; their second slate managed to get a couple of its nominations shortlisted. The stated goal of "Sad Puppies" was to make the Hugo Awards safe for old-time pulp fiction and space opera, and repel perceived inroads of the value system of literary fiction.[39] Their own declarations also suggested, however, a degree of annoyance with science fiction that addressed race and gender issues.[40]

Then, in 2015, Beale chimed in with his parallel "Rabid Puppies" slate, containing many of the same works.[41] Works published by Beale's minor Finland-based imprint Castalia House loomed large on his slate. The Rabid Puppies nominations increased bloc voting to the extent that they effectively dominated entire categories of the awards. Works nominated and supported only by the "Sad Puppies" slate had a far smaller chance of making the cut unless they also appeared on Beale's Rabid Puppies list.[42] He then urged outsiders (many of them Gamergaters) seeking to stick it to those pesky minorities to buy supporting memberships.

Because only a minority of members send in nomination ballots compared to final voting and most of those are spread across the entire breadth of the industry, it only took 50-100 people to shut out most of the competition.[43][44] Distaste for the overt politicization of the awards has led at least two nominees to withdraw their nominated works, and a presenter to decline nomination.[45][46]

Many have speculated that "No Award" will win out most of the block-nominated categories[47], but Vox Day, being a supervillain wannabe, has threatened to organize his followers to prevent anyone from ever winning an award ever again.

"If No Award takes a fiction category, you will likely never see another award given in that category again. The sword cuts both ways, Lois. We are prepared for all eventualities." —Vox Day[48]

Predictably, by shitting all over one of the fandom's most hallowed traditions, he has managed to officially make himself public enemy number one of the entire science fiction community. Way to go, Ted![49]

[edit] Other strangeness

He once created an 18-button mouse called the WarMouse; it was originally called the OpenOffice.org mouse until Sun Microsystems took issue with unauthorized use of their trademark. Why it never occurred to him that cramming so many buttons plus a joystick into a space occupied normally by no more than four buttons was anything but a UI abomination, no one really knows.

He has it together better than his father, tax protester and gibbering crank Robert Beale, a backer of WND. He once had a non-wingnutty moment when he reviewed Day of the Tentacle for the Toledo Blade newspaper, praising it highly.[50]

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

[edit] Footnotes

  1. http://whatever.scalzi.com/2015/04/20/keeping-up-with-the-hugos-42015/#comment-781501
  2. A pun on vox dei, meaning God's voice, which is absolutely not arrogant in any way.
  3. The War in Heaven, if you're curious.
  4. In the techno band Psyokosonik between 1992-1994.
  5. WND: Sudden Infant Vaccine Death
  6. Racist Takes Dump in SFWA Twitter Stream: News at 11, Jim C. Hines
  7. [1]Vox Popoli
  8. [2], Locus Magazine
  9. Answering questions, Vox Popoli (page dated March 27, 2010). From the context it seems that he may be referring to the Mensa entry threshold.
  10. http://voxday.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/neoreactionary-space_27.html
  11. http://voxday.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/the-phony-dark-enlightenment.html
  12. Ignorance is Blitz, Bad Astronomy
  13. Vox Day is one sick puppy
  14. Why do we even stoop to mentioning Vox Day?
  15. 15.0 15.1 The real assault on science, WorldNetDaily (a particularly sexist rant, particularly at the end)
  16. Vox Day on Women in Science, Good Math, Bad Math
  17. 17.0 17.1 Vox Popoli - A scientist beats up PZ
  18. http://freethoughtblogs.com/dispatches/2012/07/25/and-now-a-word-from-the-conspiracy-nuts/
  19. Vox Day: Obama is a Bad Black Man, "Dispatches from the Culture Wars"
  20. http://voxday.blogspot.com/2010/08/ending-gay-defect.html
  21. http://voxday.blogspot.com/2010/08/illustrating-mpai_19.html
  22. http://voxday.blogspot.com/2010/05/scientific-american-and-social-autism.html
  23. Day, Vox. The Irrational Atheist. Dallas: BenBella Books, 2008
  24. http://www.voxday.net/
  25. WND: 1000 eyes for an eye
  26. The wages of female education
  27. Expect more of this
  28. To sign or not to sign
  29. Killer Game
  30. There is no "marital rape"
  31. Mailvox: the hidden contempt for women
  32. SFWA Presidential Election Thoughts, Jim C. Hines
  33. Solving My Racist Sexist Homophobic Dipshit Problem, Whatever
  34. Continuum GoH speech, Epiphany 2.0
  35. Racist Takes Dump in SFWA Twitter Stream: News at 11, Jim C. Hines
  36. Beale Expelled from SFWA, Locusag
  37. http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/04/13/1376743/-Freeping-the-Hugo-Awards
  38. Nominations and votes are available to people who purchase at least supporting memberships in the current Worldcon science fiction convention, which for 2015 is Sasquan in Spokane, Washington. Supporting memberships cost $40 US. See the registration page.
  39. Brad Torgersen, SAD PUPPIES 3: The unraveling of an unreliable field, Feb. 4, 2015.
  40. Katy Waldman, How Sci-Fi’s Hugo Awards Got Their Own Full-Blown Gamergate, Slate, Apr. 8, 2015.
  41. Vox Day, Rabid Puppies 2015, Vox Popoli, Feb. 2, 2015.
  42. Some Sad Puppy Data Analysis, Difficult Run, Apr. 14, 2015.
  43. Kameron Hurley, Hijacking the Hugo Awards Won't Stifle Diversity in Science Fiction, The Atlantic, Apr 9 2015.
  44. 2015 Hugo Awards, official site. "Best Novel" had the largest number of entries, with 1827 ballots.
  45. Charlie Jane Anders, Two Authors Withdraw Their Work from the Hugo Awards, io9, Apr. 15, 2015.
  46. Connie Willis, Why I Won't Be a Presenter at the Hugo Awards This Year, Apr. 14, 2015.
  47. Such as how Day's own novelette Opera Vita Aeterna lost to No Award in the 2014 Hugos.
  48. http://file770.com/?p=21780&cpage=1#comment-250236
  49. Helen Lewis, "If only the sci-fi writers who hijacked the Hugo awards had the wit to imagine a world beyond the Good Old Days", The Guardian, Apr. 18, 2015.
  50. http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1350&dat=19940929&id=gUExAAAAIBAJ&sjid=WwMEAAAAIBAJ&pg=2376,8197006
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