Sunday, March 19, 2017

The Trial of Daddy Warpig



SCENE: A gray morning in Paris. Smoke rises from the wreckage of the Bastille and the Governor’s palace. A COURT has been set up in the main plaza, with planks set on barrels forming the benches. To the side a guillotine has been erected, by which an EXECUTIONER glowers. Surrounding is a horde of angry PEASANTS in rustic, picturesque clothing, clutching farm tools. At the center of the court, sitting on a fine velvet chair raised on a platform of cobblestones, sits the JUDGE, played by Jesse Lucas in a powdered wig. To the JUDGE’S left sits the DEFENSE ATTORNEY, played by JESSE LUCAS in a ragged officer’s uniform, chewing on a licorice-filled cheroot. To the right sits the PROSECUTOR, a disheveled aristocrat with an off-centered ascot, also played by JESSE LUCAS.

Enter BAILIFF.

BAILIFF: Oyez! Oyez! Oyez! May it please the Court and the Revolutionary Council that charges are to be brought against one DADDY WARPIG, also known as JASYN JONES, that said Mr. WARPIG has engaged in acts of treason against the Pulp Revolution, by knowingly and in violation of honored statute engaging in foul practices of declaring those who are having fun to be wrong, and by leading the public to believe that such are the acts of true Pulp Revolutionaries, by repeatedly and wrongfully declaring hard science fiction and its readers and proponents to be enemies of the revolution, thus casting out the very fans the Revolution was engendered to protect. Mr. 

PROSECUTOR, do you recognize these charges as those you are sworn to determine the truth of, before the JUDGE, the PEOPLE, the STATE, and ALMIGHTY GOD?

PROSECUTOR, closing a hand mirror: I do.

BAILIFF: And you, the DEFENSE, do you also recognize these charges on the same terms?

DEFENSE, sighing: Yes.

BAILIFF: Mr. WARPIG, how do you plea?

DEFENSE: He isn’t here.

The CROWD gasps.

DEFENSE: He’s more important than us, you know. He has a much bigger blog, ten thousand Twitter followers, and regular Castalia articles. We’ve just been featured on Sensor Sweep a couple of times.

The CROWD jeers. Someone throws a tomato. The DEFENSE ATTORNEY dodges, and begins to 
clean his fingers with a knife.

BAILIFF: Will you enter a plea on his behalf?

DEFENSE: Yes, of course. NOT GUILTY.

Someone in the CROWD screams and faints. Angry hoots and shouts arise. The BAILIFF raps the bench with his truncheon until the CROWD quiets.

The BAILIFF is seated.

JUDGE: The attorneys may present their cases.

The Prosecutor rises.

PROSECUTOR, pacing before the bench:  The PROSECUTION has found, and will present, evidence, that Mr. Warpig has repeatedly placed himself in the position of an arbiter of fun, against the will of the Revolutionary Council, by presenting these articles (he waves a sheaf of paper) before the public on the Castalia House blog, and by repeatedly defending the treasonous positions therein on the comments section of that and other websites; the main argument being, that the science fiction known as “hard SF,” “Blue SF,” or “Men with Screwdrivers,” is not fun, and that it stifled and stifles the more fun Pulp style of fantasy and science fiction; that the distinction between hard and not-hard SF is meaningless; that “hard SF” remains the standard of true or righteous science fiction among the mainstream, preventing Pulp authors from rising to prominence due to their lack of scientific rigor; that distinctions between fictional genres at all are unnatural and unnecessary. This is prima facie evidence that Mr. WARPIG is opposed to several founding Pulp Revolutionary principles, to wit, that we do not care what other people like, and that we do not place ourselves in the position of inquisitors of other peoples’ fun.

Someone in the CROWD cheers. The DEFENSE shifts uncomfortably.

PROSECUTOR, continuing: Therefore, Your Honor, there can be no decision, other than that Mr. WARPIG be found guilty of high treason, and symbolically executed on yonder symbolic guillotine, and be no longer considered a proponent of the Pulp Revolution at all.

Scattered clapping in the CROWD. The PROSECUTOR is seated.

DEFENSE, leaning forward in his seat: The prosecution fails to make his case on three points. First, my client has not told anyone how they should have fun. That’s ludicrous on its face. Daddy Warpig is a GamerGate veteran. He knows exactly what it’s like to be told you’re doing your hobby wrong. The articles my associate has presented do not show my client being critical of hard SF or blue SF fans. He’s critical of their authors.

Scattered mutterings in the CROWD. The PROSECUTOR folds his arms, a frozen smile on his face.
DEFENSE, raising a second finger: Second, that my client has a point. Campbell didn’t like the pulps. He liked rationality. He didn’t want Romantic adventure and primal forces, he wanted Modernist humanism and scientific reasoning. The dudes that came after him were even worse. Knight and Blish and Moorcock went against everything this Revolution stands for. If it weren’t for them, we wouldn’t even need a revolution. We wouldn’t have forgotten Burroughs, Brackett, and Merritt. Del Rey would have reprinted classic fantasy instead of raising Terry Brooks as the fantasy Antichrist. Baen would have been one of many. Correia would never have had to self-publish. Pink SF could never have gained any power. This needs to be said.

DEFENSE, continuing: Third, that this court doesn’t even have any power. My client is bigger than us, and everyone that you could really call leaders of the Pulp Revolution stands with him. Cirsova has come out and said that hard SF doesn’t exist at all. Jeffro himself stands with my client. What do we contribute? Twenty-five hundred clicks in two months? Half a novella that we’re totally going to finish soon? All we can accomplish is to read ourselves out of the movement. Someone will start chanting “we don’t care” whenever we show up in comments sections, Vox Day will declare us a cuck, and it’ll be over. Our list of Traits aren’t legally binding, they’re suggestions. Who are we to tell Daddy Warpig how to have fun?

The CROWD is in uproar. The ring of SOLDIERS around the court shoves them back with their rifles. The EXECUTIONER shifts uncomfortably.

BAILIFF: Order! Order!

PROSECUTOR: My dear colleague, have you forgotten the charges? Mr. Warpig is not guilty of blasphemy against twentieth-century science fiction critics; he is guilty of crimes against the revolution itself.

The PROSECUTOR rises again, and advances to the DEFENSE’S bench.

PROSECUTOR: Can you deny that the atmosphere is now tense, charged, full of division? Can you argue that the comments section at Castalia House, once the cheerful soul of the Revolution, are now a blackened and charred warzone? That the elements of snobbery and disunity that in the Appendix N days were nowhere to be found now dominate? And whose fault is that?

He turns to the CROWD.

PROSECUTOR: Is it Cirsova’s? Is it Jeffro’s?

CROWD: NO!

PROSECUTOR: Is it Nyanzi or Mollison or Fear or the Bushis or any of the neutrals?

CROWD: NO!

The CROWD pushes against the ring of SOLDIERS. Several of them discharge their rifles in the air.

BAILIFF: ORDER! ORDER I SAY!

PROSECUTOR (shouting): NO! The enemy of the unity of the Revolution, the one who summoned Vox Day and the Dread Ilk to the sacred halls of Pulp Reverence and Fun, who challenged the life’s work of no less a luminary than JOHN C. WRIGHT, who sought to transform the Revolution into a SINGLE-ISSUE MOVEMENT dominated by PURITY SPIRALING and RIGHT-WING VIRTUE SIGNALING, is none other than DADDY WARPIG HIMSELF! On charges of sedition, corruption of the youth of Athens, misuse of the #Pulprev brand, and of filling the whole Earth with violence, the defendant is GUILTY! GUILTY! GUILTY!

The CROWD breaks through the SOLDIERS. A group tackles and disarms the BAILIFF. The DEFENSE stands on his bench and draws his sword. The Prosecutor leans back smiling into the arms of a group of PEASANTS. The words, “To Be Continued” appear onscreen. Roll credits.

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