?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

The Self-Aggrandizing Blot Strikes

So, I heard from my friend Connie Willis today about an unscripted event at the LA con last week. I'm sure anyone who watched the Hugo Awards ceremony knows to what I refer. A certain over-the-hill sf writer with a pathological need to occupy the limelight publicly groped Ms. Willis's breasts. Apparently he thought this would get a laugh...kind of like the way 19th century mastectomies without anaesthesia always had 'em rolling in the aisles.

He has now posted to his innumerable and imbecilic fan base that this was all a big jape; or that Connie was in on the gag; or that, hey, what's a little groping among old friends anyway? Pick your favorite falsehood. His unquestioning fans seem be akin to the 33% who continue to maintain against every single piece of proof to the contrary that George Bush is smarter than a toilet brush. So for the record let's just say that what he did publicly and without the willing participation of Ms. Willis constitutes a sexual assault. This isn't about being PC, or poking fun at not being PC. It's about being so far over the line that you don't understand you left the line back on the far side of the horizon. Of course, it wasn't about sex, it was about getting her out of the spotlight and making the Hugo entertainment all about him. Wisely, she is not posting, not rebutting, not remonstrating, because any such activity would only feed his all-consuming ego. Me, I'm not even going to mention his name. "MUD" should be sufficient. One less hit of notoriety in the search engines....

So, Mr. Mud, you faux-feminist and faux-propounder of human rights and dignity, we understand that it's all about you. It always has been. But someone needs to tell you that you're in flames and going down, pal; and I honestly hope you get help before you hit. After that, you're wormfood and nobody can help at all.

GF out

Comments

( 25 comments — Leave a comment )
colonelrowe
Aug. 31st, 2006 07:00 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Greg.
kellysearsmith
Aug. 31st, 2006 08:27 pm (UTC)
I'm very glad you've said something on this, Greg.

Personally, I was saddened when I heard about the incident. Any woman deserves such basic dignity of treatment as this act denies. Such dignity should be accorded all the more to a woman who has given so much to the public through her writing and stands at the top of her profession -- and while, let's not forget, serving at an official function within that profession.

I can't believe we're talking about something like this happening in 2006.

Kelly
deannahoak
Aug. 31st, 2006 10:36 pm (UTC)
Thank you for posting this. I had talked about our lack of reaction as an audience on my site, because I was frustrated, after the fact, that I hadn't booed the man off the stage.

I don't know Ms. Willis at all, but I hope she knows that many people are behind her on this.
(Deleted comment)
frostokovich
Sep. 1st, 2006 02:07 am (UTC)
Re: Sigh, and after not punching Greg Feeley at the 1999 ReaderCon
He has priorities?
deadlined
Aug. 31st, 2006 11:07 pm (UTC)
So for the record let's just say that what he did publicly and without the willing participation of Ms. Willis constitutes a sexual assault.

So far, most of the blog comments ( on many sites) seem to be about whether or not his statement constitutes an apology, whether he should address one to the fans, and whether or not the apology should be accepted.

Few seem to address the assault issue, and that he has not been called to account.
frostokovich
Sep. 1st, 2006 02:12 am (UTC)
Called to Account?
There are opinions that the offended party should charge him with sexual assault and file suit. It's not as if there aren't plenty of witnesses. And this kind of troglodytic behavior deserves to be mashed flat.
deadlined
Sep. 1st, 2006 10:13 am (UTC)
Re: Called to Account?
I have a rather long post on my blog.

The possibility exists that the victim is not the only one who can file a complaint. Depending on the jurisdiction, a witness may be able to file.

Frankly, I think a civil suit would be more effective. Criminal prosecution would be satisfying, but could be unlikely.
frostokovich
Sep. 1st, 2006 12:41 pm (UTC)
Re: Called to Account?
I think criminal prosecution for public humiliation is perfectly legitimate. Whether or not the act was intended as sexual assault, it remains that regardless of that intent. And with a mere few thousand witnesses, that's a pretty strong case. But, frankly, I'd like to see both.
deadlined
Sep. 1st, 2006 12:48 pm (UTC)
Re: Called to Account?
Whether or not the act was intended as sexual assault, it remains that regardless of that intent.

Agreed.

Mr. Mud appears to be trying to divert the discussion to his intent and the degree of inappropriate touching. Those factors might come into play during sentencing, but consent is the issue when it comes to sexual assault. If I read his statement correctly, he admits that he did not have consent.
slithytove
Sep. 1st, 2006 03:37 am (UTC)
That's Mr. Mud®.
panghule
Sep. 1st, 2006 03:08 pm (UTC)
Hello, this is Jim Davis. I apologize for such a lengthy post, but I thought you'd be interested in this. From the H____n E_____n message board (posted in two parts due to character length):

Mark
- Thursday, August 31 2006 20:12:58

just some thoughts...
You know what bothers me more than What Happened? The reactions here.

As has been stated, how Willis deals with it is her business.

But consider a few things here:

1. I would expect an adult to be cognizant of the fact that there are children and young people present who would not necessarily understand the context of a boob grab (should an acceptable context exist).
2. One does not joke or use purposefully exaggerated hyperbole in a true apology. An apology is contrition, not another poorly thought-out comedy routine.
3. If you apology has the phrase "if I offended...", it is not an apology. It's a passive aggressive way of saying "You're offended, but I don't see why."
4. H____n has lots of fans. Lots of people exist who do not read him, know his personality or, most importantly, care about either. They can be offended and not have to take his accomplishments and personality into account to excuse his behavior.
5. One's accomplishments and personality are no excuse.
6. One's accomplishments and perosnality are often the very reason some people think they can get away with bad behavior.
7. One does not lob an apology on his own website to someone he is supposedly good friends with for something that obviously upset the friend and a lot of other people. Good friends call each other in such circumstances. The offender does not passive aggressively put on a public show to effectively embarrass the person further by forcing them to demand an apology.

I could go on, but let me share how I have dealt with guys who grab boobs without permission. I'm an out gay man. Four times now I have been witness to "playful" unwanted boob grabs. Each time, I have "playfully" reached over and cupped the guy's crotch. Each and every one--including the one gay guy--were horrified and offended--including two I've known for years. Familiarity has nothing to do with it. It's an invasion. All you guys here who think it's no big deal, please stop by so I can hold your balls. All you women here who think it's blown out of proportion, get some self-respect.
(Deleted comment)
panghule
Sep. 1st, 2006 06:44 am (UTC)
Here is H____n E______n's reply:

H_____N E______N
- Thursday, August 31 2006 21:21:38

...AND MARK:

Would you be slightly less self-righteous and chiding if I told you there was

NO grab...

there was

NO grope...

there was

NO fondle...

there was the slightest touch. A shtick, a gag between friends, absolutely NO sexual content.

Would you, and the ten thousand maggots who have blown this up into a cause celebre, be even the least bit abashed to know that I apologized WAY BEYOND what the "crime" required, on the off chance that I HAD offended? Let me ask you, Mark:

1) Were you there?
2) Did you see it?
3) Are you standing on your soapbox to chide me via 3rd/4th-hand reportage by OTHERS who weren't there?
4) Do you also buy the infinite number of other internet brouhahas that turned out to be misreported?

Here it is, Mark; and for any others who fit the shoe:

In the words of that great American philosopher, Tony Isabella,
"Hell hath no fury like that of the uninvolved."

Does not anyone READ WHAT I WROTE within fifteen minutes of learning of this? Does not anyone wonder why, if it was such a piggish thing I did, as one of those jerkwad blogs calls it, Connie Willis hasn't, after twenty-five years of "friendship," not returned my call on Monday ... or responded to the Fedex packet of my posting here on Monday, which Fedex advises me she received at 2:20 pm on Tuesday?

Can the voluble and charismatic Connie not even pick up a phone to tell the man whose work she "admires deeply" that he has gone a bridge too far? Is she so wracked by the Awfulness of it that she is incapable of saying to his face, you went too far? No one EVER asked her to "bell the cat." She decided that was her role toward me, long ago. And I've put up with it for years.

How about it, Mark: after playing straight man to Connie's very frequently demeaning public jackanapery toward me -- including treating me with considerable disrespect at the Grand Master Awards Weekend, where she put a chair down in front of her lectern as Master of Ceremonies, and made me sit there like a naughty child throughout her long "roast" of my life and career -- for more than 25 years, without once complaining, whaddays think, Mark, am I even a leetle bit entitled to think that Connie likes to play, and geez ain't it sad that as long as SHE sets the rules for play, and I'm the village idiot, she's cool ... but gawd forbid I change the rules and play MY way for a change ... whaddaya think, Mark, my friend, am I within the parameters of brutish pigginess to suggest if she WAS offended, then I apologize ... even if you and a garbage-scowload of asinine pathetic internet wanks get up on their "affront" and tell me how to behave?

I've sat here for four days, quietly, having done as much forelock-tugging and kneeling as I feel -- as I -- I -- not you -- not fan pinheads in far places who jumped and bayed and went after me in a second -- but I --who is responsible for my behavior -- as I feel is proper. And for four days I've waited for Deeply Outraged and Debased Connie Willis -- an avowed friend and admirer of my work for more than a quarter century --to get up off her political correctness and take her pal off the gibbet.

I spent more hours traveling this benighted country, for eight years, state after state after state, lecturing in defense of women's rights and passage of the ERA than any of you have spent mouthing your sophomoric remonstrances.

As the Great American Philosopher Tony Isabella has said, "Hell hath no fury like that of the uninvolved."

My last word on this clusterfuck. If Willis wants in, she knows where you all are. She knows where I am.All the rest is silence.

H____n E_____n

P.S. Including Mark's post that precedes this one, I URGE YOU all to post this everywhichwhere, and let the poison drip where it will. Gloves come off now, onlookers.
deadlined
Sep. 1st, 2006 11:24 am (UTC)
How about it, Mark: after playing straight man to Connie's very frequently demeaning public jackanapery toward me...for more than 25 years, without once complaining, whaddays think, Mark, am I even a leetle bit entitled to think that Connie likes to play, and geez ain't it sad that as long as SHE sets the rules for play, and I'm the village idiot, she's cool ... but gawd forbid I change the rules and play MY way for a change ...

So he was getting even?
Well THAT makes everything better.

Mr. Mud appears to be deficient in:
1) His understanding of what constitutes "inappropriate touching.”
2) His understanding that in some jurisdictions, “inappropriate touching” constitutes“sexual assault.”
3) That in some jurisdictions, it may be a criminal offense.

He either had consent, or he didn’t have consent.

And frankly, at the risk of speaking for other women, we are tired of being told (or having it inferred ) that we don’t have a sense of humor when it comes to sexual harassment, which IMHO, Mr. Mud would be aware of if he truly had any understanding of the women’s issues he professes to support.

Further, some politicians with excellent voting records regarding women’s issues have been held accountable for harassing their employees. Mr. Mud’s purported efforts in that regard does not make him exempt.

Additionally, if Mr. Mud is tired of “a garbage-scowload of asinine pathetic internet wanks get up on their "affront"” telling him how to behave, then he should not have:

1) Chosen a public forum for his “schtick.”
2) Widened the public forum by publishing his statement on his site, and stating:
“I URGE YOU all to post this everywhichwhere, and let the poison drip where it will. Gloves come off now, onlookers.”

(BTW, sorry for the multiple posts. Not sure if it’s lj or server problems.)
panghule
Sep. 1st, 2006 06:46 am (UTC)
By the way:

My opinions regarding this whole sick, sad affair have been already been expressed on the two E_____n boards, if you care to look. All I want to add is that no matter what Connie Willis decides to do, she has my total and unconditional support.
kellysearsmith
Sep. 1st, 2006 08:21 am (UTC)
A problem with Mr Mud's recent comment as posted is that touching a woman's breasts is always already a sexual gesture. He wasn't in ancient Rome greeting his honored mother.

He should adopt an attitude of apologetic shame, rather than turning his anger on the woman he's already violated in a public forum. I wouldn't mind a personal apology to her online and over the phone both, so long as he doesn't grandstand. We're beyond that.

The reason why the grab is being taken so seriously is that within our cultural context, women have historically been reduced to sexual objects and demeaned by sexual aggression. To do this to a woman acting as a professional is to reduce her to a sexualized body. To do this to a woman in private is to make a primative and potentially unwelcome pass. If that were between friends in private, she might forgive the offense to some degree and not charge the offender with sexual assault. In public, she must assume that her professional identity has been besmirched -- or an attempt has been made to do so -- or an act that was foolish and out of context could have this effect.

For all his so-called care in writing about the politics of power over the years, what Mr Mud is missing in self-application is that he cannot become the victim here. The historical context of his act and its damaging effects to a woman's psyche and reputation preclude it. Just our sympathetic casting of Connie Willis as a victim is an insult she ought not to have had to endure.

Kelly
frostokovich
Sep. 1st, 2006 12:53 pm (UTC)
When not in Rome...
I don't believe you're likely to see that apologetic shame, given that part of his published defense as copied above by Panghule is that this was "just a gag between friends." Given that the friend in question was not in on the gag, that cannot be the case. Instead, you have the equivalent of a ten-year-old complaining after the fireworks joke has blown off someone's hand that "Nobody was supposed to get hurt."

In any case, he then he later undermines even this lame-ass defense by complaining how he's been the butt of various gags and jokes cast by the injured party over the years--so he has somehow earned the right to have it both ways: It's just a joke, and anyway she deserves it because she's pissed me off so often. You would think that, given his skills in worthsmithing, he could have found something devastating to say rather than grab, grope, or lightly baste.
bondgwendabond
Sep. 1st, 2006 01:52 pm (UTC)
Re: When not in Rome...
I also love how he's now portraying Himself as the victim and Connie as the villain for not saving him. He's so getting off on this.

It's beyond disgusting.
(Deleted comment)
bondgwendabond
Sep. 1st, 2006 02:13 pm (UTC)
Re: When not in Rome...
Of course, the fine line is that this has really become a conversation (I hope anyway) about why this sort of thing shouldn't be tolerated anymore -- not just by Him, but by Anybody, in any context. That's the valuable part. But yeah, my initial discomfort is that Him being involved means he gets exactly what he wants: attention.
bondgwendabond
Sep. 1st, 2006 02:14 pm (UTC)
Re: When not in Rome...
Hmmm... this shoulda shown up as a response to your comment below.
frostokovich
Sep. 1st, 2006 02:39 pm (UTC)
Re: When not in Rome...
My bad. I found a typo, killed and replaced the original, but you'd snuck in in the interim. You're too fast for me.
frostokovich
Sep. 1st, 2006 02:13 pm (UTC)
Re: When not in Rome...
It is, and in effect by buzzing it everywhere on the internet, everybody's giving Mr. Mud exactly what he wanted in the first place: attention. Notoriety's as good as fame when you're a desperate attention vampire. It's one reason I banned his name from the discussion here (it leaked in anyway). But the only solution is to stop talking about him and his Excitable Boy act. Pull his plug. Dismiss him. We are to some extent preaching to the choir here. We all know what we think of him and his act, and we should all treat the matter as beneath contempt, which it is. More than that, and we reward him by playing the game.
deadlined
Sep. 1st, 2006 03:43 pm (UTC)
Re: When not in Rome...
everybody's giving Mr. Mud exactly what he wanted in the first place: attention. Notoriety's as good as fame when you're a desperate attention vampire

It does seem that Mr. Mud is reveling in the attention. I doubt his statement will hold true:

My last word on this clusterfuck. If Willis wants in, she knows where you all are. She knows where I am.All the rest is silence.

given his following exhortations:

I URGE YOU all to post this everywhichwhere, and let the poison drip where it will. Gloves come off now, onlookers.
birdhousefrog
Sep. 1st, 2006 02:41 pm (UTC)
Weighing In
Ok, I was not at the Hugo ceremony. However at 2 panels Sunday, Connie stated that she wanted Mr. Mud to keep his fucking hands off her. The panels were well-attended, I'm sure others heard what I heard. She did not sound as if she were joking or continuing a friendly banter. She sounded justifiably outraged. How inexcusable when both Courtney and Cordelia were present at the con, when she was GoH and in a well-deserved moment of limelight.

I agree with the original post that this was a pathetic attempt to turn the spotlight off Connie and turn it onto him, the has-been. How could it have been anything else? His panel earlier that afternoon had been yet another attempt to make some sort of pathetic noise (which I did not attend and, sigh, read about in the Con news, so I guess his antics succeeded). Was he ever anything other than a grandstander?

Poor pitiful he, that she does not acknowledge this silly 'apology' of his that is not an apology. Good for you, Connie. Whether or not he is a 'friend' she has every right not to answer his call or his fed-ex package. If Connie comes out and says more, then she is feeding his aged and overblown ego.

Frog Out
bellatrys
Sep. 3rd, 2006 09:14 pm (UTC)
no, actually, from that final post up above
it sounds like it was one last attempt to publically humiliate and shame a rival who has the affrontery to not have kowtowed to him all these years WHILE BEING A MERE WOMAN!!1! - getting his last licks in while he could, in a venue where she *could not* retaliate without being seen as being evne more gauche than he was. Because let's face it, there's no way for her to slap a 70+ year old guy for getting fresh with her and not be seen as even MORE of a bitch...
deadlined
Sep. 3rd, 2006 10:58 pm (UTC)
For those who did not attend, and therefore were not witness to the event, here is one video account.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4653991510586546104

This does not appear to be “the slightest touch.”

And Mr. Mud can stop haranguing those not attending the event for daring to voice an opinion. We’ve seen the tape.
( 25 comments — Leave a comment )

Latest Month

August 2012
S M T W T F S
   1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293031 

Tags

Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by chasethestars