So Jim Hines did a great job (as usual) of recapping the current “Tor Mess”. You should read that first, if you haven’t already. TL;DR: Vox Day, or Theodore Beale, made a screencap of a comment on a private FB page and then tried to get folks riled up at the commenter’s employer.
“Why does it burn when I pee?”
Here’s the key part I want to address of our resident “Doesn’t Realize That Profile Pic of a Flaming Phallus Substitute Reminds Us of Syphilis”‘s recent actions, and why I’m (dismissively) calling him a B-movie supervillain.
Vox (or Theodore Beale) revealed that he had held on to the screencap in question for weeks for maximum effect. To quote what he told File770 (source):
I’ve held onto this since I had the screencap, which as you correctly
note was made several weeks ago. As for the “sinister plotting”, I have
long been in the habit of never using all of my ammunition at once, or
pointing-and-shrieking for its own sake. I am a patient man and I didn’t
strike back at TNH, PNH, or even John Scalzi right away either.
So here’s the thing.
I think Beale got a case of the supervillain soliloquy when he made that comment on File770 – because it tips his hand. It clearly shows that this isn’t real outrage. He’s not really upset about what was said.
Vox’s actions are a deliberate, orchestrated, premeditated attack on a person and group that he has a beef with. This isn’t about beliefs or values. It isn’t about anything in fiction. This looks like nothing more than sociopathic pique, spite, and bile.
As Jim pointed out, this all happened almost exactly two years after his Flaming Phallusness was the second person ever to be ejected from SFWA. (Note: I called for his expulsion as well. Some context at this blog post: https://ideatrash.net/2013/06/putting-my-money-where-my-mouth-is.html )
Which makes the two-year anniversary thing so interesting… since his soliloquy about how his posts could hurt SFWA’s reputation was a key part in demonstrating that his actions were premeditated in trying to hurt SFWA.
Again, I will repeat my call for those who were/are on the Puppy slate to at least publicly repudate the actions and statements of Vox Day/Theodore Beale. If you needed any more evidence that he, at least, is acting out of sheer spite and cold-blooded malice instead of whatever principle you hold dear, this was it.