The Gonzo Journals
February 1st, 2023
Well, it would appear as though the gatekeepers of the modern horror community have their latest target. Not that he isn’t worth being thrown from the Horror Writer Association’s balcony with a parachute pack full of silverware (think classic Bugs Bunny), but his demise is really bringing out the genre’s navigators. I’m not laughing at the situation, just the people defending “choice” by telling us all that we have none.
From The Daily Beast:
Horror fiction fans are used to being disgusted, but the hate-filled words of one of the genre’s leading writers have left many feeling truly sickened this week.
On Tuesday, the Horror Writers Association (HWA) announced that it had decided to expel Thomas F. Monteleone, 76, from its membership and ban him from future events run by the organization. Monteleone, who has written dozens of novels and edited the popular Borderlands horror anthology series since the 1980s, had previously been honored with multiple prestigious Bram Stoker Awards from the HWA, including with one of its 2016 Lifetime Achievement Awards.
But a statement from the group condemned Monteleone’s “recent words and actions” adding that the HWA’s trustees do not “condone hate speech in any way, shape, or form.” “We stand in support of our members’ right to feel safe, welcome, and above all else, respected,” the statement continued, adding that the ban on Monteleone had been made “in accordance with our anti-harassment policies.”
The statement did not provide details of precisely which of Monteleone’s words had offended. But the organization had come under pressure over complaints from other authors about his posts on social media. “It is particularly saddening to see someone who was considered a legend in the field reveal themselves to be as racist, transphobic, and bigoted as Monteleone has,” thriller author Alan Baxter wrote in an open letter to HWA on Tuesday calling for Monteleone’s expulsion.
According to an overview of the saga published in sci-fi fanzine File 770, much of the outrage began in the last week when Monteleone posted on Facebook about why he believed author Stuart David Schiff deserved his own Lifetime Achievement Award from the HWA. The zine quoted Monteleone as writing: “That said, and despite the last few LAA years looking very much like a very obvious DEI project, I am compelled to nominate a smart, old white guy: Stu Schiff…” The post reportedly attracted over 800 comments before it was taken down, with some agreeing with his sentiments as others called for him to apologize.
Monteleone then appeared to double down on his views. On a YouTube livestream on Monday titled “Facebook has AIDS w/ Tom Monteleone,” Monteleone said he would not apologize and still intended to attend HWA’s upcoming StokerCon. He went on to bemoan the “odd posturing” he’d seen at previous iterations of the event, where one award was given to “a fat Black chick,” calling his words an “honest, reportorial description… This is who she is.”
“Diversity is great as long as it’s not diversity of opinion,” Monteleone continued. “I’m not allowed to believe that the last three years of these awards have been severely skewed towards people that have been in the past called quote ‘marginalized,’” he said. “‘Oh wow, you’ve been writing while Indian? We’re going to give you an award. You’ve been writing while Black? You get an award, no problem. You’re a female and you’re not a white male? You get one!’”
He went on to brag that he won’t call “anybody that’s a single entity ‘they,’” adding: “Whoever came up with this nonsense needs to be taken out into the back and beaten with a rubber hose because it’s bullshit, it’s total bullshit.”
And despite the backlash, Monteleone maintained that he was not worried about the uproar from “wokesters” who hate him. “I have a very healthy… eBook royalty coming in every month for the last 40 years of my stuff, so you know what the rest of them can do? They can suck it.”
“I have apologized to those I personally offended on that dumb podcast and everyone accepted my mea culpas,” Monteleone told The Daily Beast. “As far as my belief the [HWA] has tilted left and politicized itself, I can’t shy away from that opinion. In many ways, I am relieved to be apart from an [organization] I was no longer feeling a part of anyway. That’s it.”
Now, if there’s any truth to what people claim this man said, then fuck him in the ass with a rubber dick, break it off, and beat him with the rest of it. There’s no room in this world, whether it be an artist or that construction worker who stands in the street holding a sign which flips from “slow” to “stop”. Also, I see more and more of this from older men who were raised during a different time. Granted, that’s no excuse for this type of public behavior, especially when you’re a sort of celebrity, but sometimes it’s difficult to break your raising. If that’s the case, just shut up. Maybe even put your stray thoughts through a publicist if you’re really that much of a jackass.
Yes, it appears as though artists get more popularity and publicity nowadays if they belong to a specific race, a chosen gender, or a certain religious background. Is this true, or does it just seem that way when you’re a straight American white man? I’ve had a conversation along these lines long before Mr. Monteleone decided to commit career suicide. Allow me to elaborate (since I’m a straight American white man).
The truth of the matter, in my personal opinion, is that these highlighted races, genders, and religions have been repressed for so long within their respective communities that they’re all playing ‘catch up’ in a more open-minded society. There are no such things as ‘white, straight male history month’ or WSMET: White Straight Male Entertainment Television because, for decades, those things were just called ‘months and television’. The white race had its moment in the sun for over a century (with caked-on layers of sun block) in America while repressing, or just downright slaughtering blacks, latinos, native Americans, women, Muslims, pagans, etc. The list goes on and on! Sure, you may like to believe you’re being shit on from time to time because no one is paying attention to your boring, cracker ass, but that’s just the ghost of your racist grandfather talking. It’s time we stepped back and gave these other artists the recognition they deserve and do so without bitching.
Who knows? Maybe one day we’ll ALL wise the fuck up and realize there’s no such thing as gender, race, or religious separation. Maybe we’ll just be recognized as humans. Y’all didn’t know I could write comedy, did you? Rich, white bastards will never let this happen. This is where a good old-fashioned class war comes into play. See you on the battlefield! It’s okay to think what you think, I guess. Just keep your mouth shut. Especially if you’re a public figure. Hopefully, eventually, you’ll discover how wrong you are without shooting yourself in the foot first.
The reason I decided to write this is that certain people in the horror community are insisting we, as contributing members, disassociate ourselves with such negative influences. I agree wholeheartedly, but shouldn’t we already know to do this? Do we really need someone coming out to make a statement saying ‘we’ are this and only this if we follow and support ‘that’? By certain voices telling us what to feel, how to think, and what to read, are they any different than Thomas F. Monteleone trying to convince us how to be by pushing his own warped agenda? Or…
Are they just another vocal group of nobody’s using this horrible situation as yet another ‘look at me, I’m important’ cry for attention? It’s unfortunate this happened in the first place, but for them to take advantage of such nonsense as a marketing ploy is equally sadistic.
I believe the social media hive mind is nearing its end. It was never really all that fun, basically a breeding ground for narcissists and fun police, and is loudly exhibiting its death gargle during these final, spastic moments. It’s time we go back to being individuals who have thoughts of their own and consequences for publicly boasting such ignorance. I can’t help but blame the former President of the United States as the cause for most of this. A respected individual who was voted into the most powerful office in the world took to Twitter daily to exclaim bouts of ignorance like a child’s temper tantrum. We, as underlings to this office, followed suit. Lead by example?
Kill the body, the head will die.
Fuck the biz. Create.
At some point, we must continue to express ourselves individually rather than participating in an online popularity contest. Especially ones broadcasting the most ignorant among us.
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