Interlude – What does ex-editor at Apex Magazine Catherynne M. Valente’s queer status have to do with the genre Thought Police? Everything…

In Part 4 of my Nick Mamatas series I detail the hypocrisy of the genre thought police re the hue and cry over ‘Islamophobia’ (in particular the Elizabeth Moon affair) in juxtaposition to the hear-no-evil see-no-evil approach to gross and extreme anti-Semitism from the genre community, inclusive of professional writers and editors. I paid particular emphasis on the gay/bisexual dimension (the focus of the article was the gay/bisexual Nick Mamatas after all) and the absurd hypocrisy of getting hot under the collar over the imagined bigotry of ‘Islamophobia’ (as opposed to genuine anti-Arab racism and associated), but giving a free pass to disingenuous anti-Semitism.

The hypocrisy here is obvious (so obvious, few people even notice). Namely Islam has a long history of homophobia, inclusive of persecution, oppression and murder of male and female homosexuals. It goes on to this day, from Iran to Saudi Arabia to Egypt and the Left’s beloved ‘Palestine’ (no not Israel). In Israel, gay rights are as well entrenched as in Western Europe. Gays serve in the military, it’s not even an issue. Israel is the only country in the Middle-East that a gay man or woman could live with their rights and dignity intact, indeed often enough the only place they could be openly gay and literally live at all!

Hence my taking gay or bisexual writer and editor Nick Mamatas to task on this front (given how pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel he is and how he shills on ‘Islamophobia’ in dead earnest). Incidentally Nick Mamatas’s favourite blogger – Richard Seymour of Lenin’s Tomb – is a Hamas and Hezbollah supporter (as I’ve pointed out in several places at this blog). Hamas and Hezbollah explicitly support Sharia Law that includes the persecution and even execution of gay men and women. So our gay or bisexual Marxist Nick Mamatas’s favourite blogger explicitly supports those who condone and approve the oppression and murder of gays, and predicate their murderous homophobia on theocratic superstitions! Mamatas, are you mad? This is where disingenuous ‘progressive’ anti-Israelism leads… To a kind of madness.

Now I have mocked and criticized Catherynne M. Valente (writer and editor of Apex Magazine, she departed in October this year after 18 months at the helm as editor. The new editor is Lynne M Thomas) for bringing out a special Arab/Muslim issue of Apex Magazine after the Elizabeth Moon brouhaha. A simply pathetic PC outreach in cultural sensitivity to a religious faith that is intrinsically misogynistic and homophobic; whilst Valente doesn’t appear to have given the vaguest notion to ever bringing out a Jewish issue of Apex Magazine, even as anti-Semitism (inclusive of Holocaust Denial) within the genre community itself is pervasive and deep-seated (as it is in the wider world).

The article I provide the link for right up above is a summary of numerous happenings and incidents pertaining to the genre Thought Police, their deafening silence on extreme anti-Semitism and associated. Genre writers Jason Sanford, Lavie Tidhar and Chesya ‘If this is the Thought Police count me in‘ Burke were not impressed. I responded to them here. Both Tidhar and Burke are associated with Apex Book Company, Tidhar especially so as an editor and blogger of their World SF projects and publications. Mamatas’s book Starve Better was published by Apex and Mamatas has blogged at their website. Along with Tidhar and Burke, Mamatas is linked to as an Apex Book Company author at the Apex website.

However it is even more absurd re the Apex genre folk than I originally thought and wrote about in part 4 of my Nick Mamatas series. It gets worse, or better. Depends on how you look at it. Catherynne M. Valente is gay. Now this is well-known, Valente has been upfront about it for an age. Thing is I didn’t know. (why would I?)

I only recently discovered this, otherwise I would have mentioned it in the relevant article (as I did with Mamatas). In other words the madness of the genre thought police runs deep. It’s as bad as any radical LGBT Berkeley meet/group or a rag-tag assortment of unemployed communists venting their spleens in a south London bedsit. Now I did know this (the vocal PC radical Leftism in the genre community and its assorted insanities) and yet I never cease to be amazed at how crazy it all is. I mean the devil is in the details. 

Apex, one assumes, will continue to feature Nick Mamatas as a guest blogger there. Valente would probably be (or even is) untroubled by the revelation that Nick Mamatas’s favourite political blogger supports those who assent to the persecution and murder of homosexuals (like you Catherynne). It appears Mamatas is untroubled by it (to Mamatas I’m the loon). Mamatas’s friend, Israeli Jew and editor of The Apex Book of World SF Lavie Tidhar appears entirely nonplussed by the fact that his friend Mamatas’s unequivocally fav blogger is a hardcore Jew-hater.

Hey it’s not as if Mamatas’s favourite political blogger is an ‘Islamophobe’ after all. That would maybe see Tidhar take Mamatas to task and tut-tut his disapproval, the way he did with Moon. And imagine the fuss from Valente?

It’s not as if any of the writers and bloggers associated with Apex would ever harbor ‘Islamophobic’ tendencies anyhow, that would otherwise cause the gay feminist Valente great heartache and sadness (even though she is no longer an editor there). However if non-Apex writers even give a hint of ‘Islamophobia’ ever again, Valente may well be obligated to implore the new editor of Apex Magazine Lynne Thomas to bring out a second special Apex Magazine Arab/Muslim issue (for the record Valente blunders and falsely associates and conflates Arab culture with the Muslim faith). After all it is Muslim nations (in the Middle-East and elsewhere) that um persecute homosexuals, lash them and even execute them, when not oppressing women and girls for being … women and girls. So Valente’s and Apex’s stance makes perfect sense. And if it doesn’t make sense to you, you just haven’t got with the program. And you’re a racist. Probably a neocon and a warmonger too. Even a Zionist. Woo.

Here in fact is Valente’s farewell post at Apex, her editorial good-bye.

An excerpt:

I am proud of the work I’ve done here, and I’m proud of the venue these dark, fascinating digs have become. Most particularly, I’m proud of our Arab/Muslim issue, which I believe stands as a positive and gorgeous statement against the myriad prejudices we’ve seen rear their heads in our genre.

On the now defunct Asimov’s Forum (at the time when Valente announced she was bringing out the special Arab/Muslim issue in response to the Elizabeth Moon affair), I joked that Valente should bring the next feminist SF Con to Riyadh Saudi Arabia (RiyadhCon I called it) and launch her special Arab/Muslim issue there. It would be good PR. Putting her money where her mouth is. Walking the walk, not just talking the talk. She should just be sure to make out her name tag real big on her burka, so we could tell her apart from her fellow Islamophile genre feminists at RiyadhCon.

Now I might add feel free to bring your girlfriend with you too Valente, (you can still organize RiyadhCon for next year, no?) you can walk hand in hand (steal a kiss or two and a loving embrace) down the Riyadh boulevards. It’s just like the progressive spots of California, NY, Toronto and London, even shock Tel Aviv. It must be, I mean how dare one even think otherwise. It’s not like one has to avoid the Saudi religious police after all. Saudi Arabia, Gaza, Egypt, Tunisia, the UAE compete for the gay tourist trade don’t you know? And if you don’t know that, what are you – some kind of Islamophobic bigot? Like Elizabeth Moon. Like the Red Wolf blogger.

Can’t Make This Up.

More absurd than an Ionesco play or a Charlie Kaufman script.

To Valente – since you are a writer as well as an editor, here’s an idea for your next story:

It’s the year 2014 and Romney or Newt is president. ObamaCare has been repealed. The Republicans control the House and the Senate. Michele Bachmann is VP. A new Patriot Act is passed. The OWS protesters are jailed or forced to flee to Canada or elsewhere, many are in hiding. Amidst this backdrop our protagonist heroines enter the stage. Anat a Jewish lesbian pro-Palestinian activist from Ramat Aviv (that’s in Israel) and Fatima, a Muslim pro-Palestinian lesbian activist from Cairo meet at Berkeley where they are both students. Attracted to one another and their common interests, they begin a passionate affair. However their idyll cannot last. Emboldened Republicans expel foreign Muslim students en masse. Gays are increasingly hounded, abused and violently attacked across America in a new resurgent mood of homophobia. Fatima has no choice, she  returns to Egypt where thanks to the enlightened Arab Spring that freed her country from the yoke of Mubarak, she takes a position as a lecturer at a Cairo university, lecturing on the portrayals of female sexuality and bisexuality in Arab folklore. She is heavily featured in the Egyptian media, fêted by Muslim Brotherhood figures in government, rapidly promoted at her university. Cairo becomes the San Francisco of the Muslim world (thanks to the ‘Arab Spring’ that your Apex writer and friend Nick Mamatas was sure to tell me he supported), a new haven for gay Muslim artists and writers seeking refuge from American Islamophobia and gay American WASPS and Jews fleeing resurgent Republican bigotry.

Anat however is imprisoned in Israel for leaking documents related to Israel’s secret vaccine program, whereby under the guise of vaccinations, Palestinian children would be injected with GM sleeper viruses that reprogram their brains to reject the Religion of Peace Islam and embrace Zionism! Languishing in prison, Anat manages to get news of the nefarious plans of the Zionists smuggled out to Fatima, living the good life in Cairo. Fatima, pained by her memories of Anat who she still loves and longs for, the injustice of her imprisonment and the evil plans of the Zionists, springs into action. Fatima climbs aboard her … dragon who is fluent btw in twelve languages and an expert on Korean history, flies to the underground base of the Zorg aliens in Antarctica to get volunteers for a commando raid to launch a daring rescue of Anat … and well you can take it from there Catherynne.

On the other hand, the first big chunk of the story stretches credibility I gotta admit, the part that ends before Anat is astride her dragon. I mean even for a fantasy story. From the dragon on, it’s all far more believable. Really.

Don’t worry genre Thought Police, I know you don’t get it. That’s what scares me.

Next we return to the series on award-winning and very popular imaginative fiction writer, editor, Marxist academic, politician and rabid anti-Semite (not that any genre pro has anything to say about it, not Valente neither) Dr China Mieville (Nick Mamatas’s communist comrade across the Atlantic).

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