There’s a lesson to be learned from #Bizarrogate, and it’s not what many of you reading this right now think it is. See, bizarro fiction is in the middle of a quagmire. An existential crisis, if you will.
They have a very important choice to make and they’re dragging their feet making it. Either they believe all female victims of sexual misconduct allegations or they let the court of law decide innocence or guilt. They can’t have both.
One of the close friends of the bizarro powers-that-be has a sexual criminal past, but no convictions. He wants amnesty. He wants to continue to be a part of the community and to attend BizarroCon.
But the organizers of the event want to be able to publicly shame, humiliate and ban men from their show and their community who they themselves deem a danger to women. No court ruling needed. They can’t have both.
I left social media shortly after BizarroCon 2016 after I attempted to make this point clear (and before the history of their friend came to light) after the absolute highest ranking members of bizarro fiction came to my facebook page to argue with me about the subject. I stayed away for two full months.
But after #BizarroGate broke, my team had to monitor social media closely in order to discern the reaction from the community. And what we found was troubling.
Bizarro is often criticized as being a cult. A small group of authors who speak and act exactly like the powers-that-be tell them to, no more, no less. They move as a unit. Like a flock of birds. And when they say you’re done and you have to leave, the entire community turns on you, publicly shames you, humiliates you and antagonizes you until you leave.
Only now, with #BizarroGate, some of the flock is being “red pilled.” They’re realizing that their leadership might be fallible after all. That maybe it IS time to scrutinize, question, and hold accountable the powers-that-be to their own impossibly high moral standards.
And so, after exposing #BizarroGate, I began to receive many emails from bizarro writers chronicling the wrong-doings of the upper echelon of bizarro fiction. But, and this is important, I need to make this very clear. I don’t give a fuck what they do wrong.
You heard that right. I don’t give a single fuck what these people do in their personal lives, how they treat each other or members of their community. We’re people. We’re flawed. We make mistakes. We fuck up. A lot. All of us. Even the bizarro powers-that-be.
My goal in exposing #BizarroGate isn’t to ruin bizarro. On the contrary, I’ve said all along that I love bizarro fiction. I exposed #BizarroGate to show this community that it needs to DROP ITS IMPOSSIBLE STANDARDS.
See, I live by a mantra. That mantra is: “Bullshit ain’t nothing.” Bullshit don’t mean a fucking thing to me. We all fuck up. To err is human, right? I believe in second chances. I believe in redemption. In starting over. In FORGIVENESS.
I don’t want the close friend of the bizarro powers-that-be banned from the con. I want the alleged stalker for whom the bizarro community had no proof against, no reason to belittle and shame, no reason to excommunicate, I want HIM to have a SECOND CHANCE.
I want EVERYONE bizarro has tarred, feathered and left for dead to be allowed a second chance. A chance at redemption.
Bizarro fiction is stuck in an ever narrowing ideological loop called “The Purity Test.” The theory of the purity test is that once a cult or ideology starts to come apart under its own impossible standards, members of the community will be virtue-tested before their opinion is allowed to hold any weight.
In other words, as the moral bar is set higher and higher, fewer and fewer members of the community are able to pass it and are thus expelled. When something huge like #BizarroGate exposes the highest ranking members of the community as fallible, the entire concept of virtue is thrown into question.
Some of the people emailing me are telling me they once questioned my virtue, but after #BizarroGate believe that I’m the more virtuous among us and that the powers-that-be can no longer be trusted. To that I say NO!
I am NOT more virtuous that ANYONE in this community. I am just as flawed, just as capable of mistakes and transgressions and just as in need of second chances as everyone else.
As the Purity Test loop closes around our necks, we will ALL choke on it!
So this is my plea to the powers-that-be and to Brian Keene. Just drop the virtue signalling from this community. Drop the sanctimonious purity testing. It. Will. Destroy. Us.
Ask your community for forgiveness and tell them that the days of witch hunting and public shaming over virtue are OVER. Tell them bullshit ain’t nothing to you. Tell them we’re all adults. The men and women. And that we can take care of each other in this community without resorting to public shaming tactics. We can punish and forgive privately with restraint and humility.
Bizarro can survive #BizarroGate. There is an end to this where we all survive.