First they came for John Ringo,
but I said nothing,
for I was not John Ringo.
Next they came for Larry Correia,
but this time I spoke up,
for Larry is a brother to me,
and I will bleed for my brother,
and I will show no fear in the face of our enemy.
A few weeks back, I read that a convention in North Carolina (ConCarolinas) uninvited author John Ringo on grounds that they feared for his safety due to what was deemed to be “valid threats”. John graciously accepted their explanation and let it lie, though his fans were, well, pissed is the politest term one can use to describe their displeasure. Then someone decided to slander John on another website, and the feces really hit the rotary impeller. Pretty sure there’s going to be some legal issues for the individual who accused John of vile things in the near future.
However, outside of giving John and his editor a head’s up about what was brewing, I stayed out of it. I know quite a few people at the convention and felt that they, for the most part, handled it well. There were a few hiccups and horrible explanations along the way (sometimes at a convention the right hand isn’t aware of what the left is doing, and vice versa) but overall John was satisfied with their response.
Fast forward to today, when the Origins Convention in Ohio rescinded their GoH invitation to Larry Correia after some individuals (I typed out quite a few different descriptions before settling on the one that would remain PG) raised a huge ruckus and demanded that Larry be removed from programming. No doubt these “concern trolls” exhibited mannerisms which can only be described as “whining two year olds” in order to get their way.
The convention, instead of sticking to their guns and maintaining that they were a convention for all, decided to screw over my buddy. So I crafted the following letter to their Executive Director and fired it off.
It recently came to my attention that NYT bestselling author Larry Correia had been uninvited from your convention following an outcry from a few malcontents.
I can attest from personal experience of attending cons with Mr. Correia that, not only is he a gracious guest who loves interacting with all types of fans, is a huge gaming nerd who fits in with the stated mission and goals of Origins according to the website. This attack on his character is nothing more than a witch hunt, very similar to the one which was used on Mr. Correia’s coauthor, John Ringo, a few weeks prior at another convention.
Mr. Correia had always shown grace, been polite, and worked with the concom of every convention he has attended. Those who seek to discredit and destroy him are abusing the rules of your convention in a manner which they were not meant for and raising enough of an outcry that your convention, undoubtedly, feels compelled to respond to. Unfortunately, instead of speaking with Mr. Correia, it appears that you have reacted in a manner which can only be described as “knee-jerk”. You have allowed concern trolls to dictate your guest list while alienating you from a fan base which both pays to see their favorite author and supports other commercial endeavors at conventions as well.
Conventions such as Origins are supposed to be for all fans. However, with outward appearance of appeasement to the vocal minority who seek to undermine all of Mr. Correia’s hard work as well as alienate his fan base from any future conventions you might host, it behooves me to suggest that you are hurting nobody but yourselves with this move.
While I am not as big of a “name” as Mr. Correia, I still have developed quite a following as well, and I have already let my readers know that Origins is not a convention that I will consider in the future. Which is a shame, because literary and gaming are two of my biggest draws.
I do hope that you consider the ramifications of appeasement in your future endeavors. I understand that Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain tried your tactic as well, and history showed just how poorly it worked out.
Now, I’m probably nothing more than a drop in the bucket, but money talks in the convention industry, and if nobody is at your convention spending money, no authors/vendors/artists are going to come.Now, I don’t like calling for boycotts of any convention, because it’s a tough industry. So I’m going to let the convention continue to be abused by those who would rather see a convention fold than simply dealing with someone they don’t like by, oh I don’t know, NOT ATTENDING HIS PANELS?! C’mon people, it’s not hard. You look at the schedule. You see he’s going to be at so-and-so panel. You DON’T GO. Easy peasey.
If you’re fragile enough that someone’s name who you’ve never met or interacted with before can cause you some sort of traumatic injury, you might want to avoid the crushing crowds of a con. I wouldn’t want anyone’s feelings to get hurt if there was an inadvertent apology tossed in there.
In honor of Larry, go out and preorder his latest book. The best way to give someone the middle finger is to support the one they want to shaft.