If you are a sci-fi fan you’d know about the Hugo awards and probably know that this year, a bunch of right-wing fans with a chip on their shoulder managed to skew nominations to their favored selections. Wired magazine has a good article summarizing the whole sorry tale and so I won’t go over it.
I am interested rather in the on-going culture war and the way it has been playing out online and across many western cultures in general. A lot of analysis seems to focus on the conservative/progressive elements on the conflict but looking at the Hugos, it seems that it’s actually a lot less balanced than that. Increasingly, the culture war appears to be between a subset of white guys who can’t cope with change and everyone else who is either not a white guy or a white guy who can cope with change.
By change, I mean the huge cultural and demographic change in the west that has come about due to migration and non-Western countries developing and expanding their own cultural influences. When the cultural and values landscape starts including faces, voices and beliefs that you have never seen before where previously the landscape was nothing more than a reflection of yourself, it can be pretty disorientating.
Thing is, I can’t see this type of culture war continuing for much longer. Demography and to a smaller degree, the internet, is going to take care of it. The final Hugo numbers is just the beginning: those scared angry white guys are on the way out. They have entered the final tailspin where the percentage of complete losers and lunatics have grown so large that pretty much every self-respecting person has abandoned their so-called movement.
The far more important question is which form will the culture war take next and what will be at stake?