Evil Monkey and People for the Ethical Treatment of SF (PETSF)

Jeff VanderMeer • June 4th, 2009 @ 8:14 am • Evil Monkey


(Image courtesy of The Crotchety Old Fan…)

Evil Monkey:
Are you a mofo?

Jeff:
What? OW!! You hit me with that hammer. Right in the knee!

Evil Monkey:
You didn’t answer quick enuf. I thought you might be ethically challenged.

Jeff:
What in the hell are you talking about?

Evil Monkey:
I am a member of the People for the Ethical Treatment of SF. I go around hitting m@therf*ckers with hammers.

Jeff:
Back the hell up. What the hell is…PETSF?

Evil Monkey:
I dunno but we support nice stuff and I get to go around hitting mofos with hammers. Splinter group of this. It was more interesting at SFFE before somebody I think called Andy Remic deleted his post about mofos. There’s mofos out there. [scroll down to Andy Remic. kthanxbai.]

Jeff:
Looks like their own members aren’t exactly sure what the heck they’re all about. Still, a few of my friends are part of the group.

Evil Monkey:
Some think it’s about positivity about SF and some think it’s about positive SF. The future is bright, you know. Just gotta wear shades. Erm, over your entire body. And find a new planet.

Jeff:
Um, fair enough…Wait. Conrad Williams is a member??! But he’s the Lord of Darkness and Tactile-But-Beautiful-Horror. What the heck is he doing in an organization with “ethical” in the title? Isn’t that against the law?

Evil Monkey:
It’s all gotten a little confused. Before I left I caught one of them carving “Exterminate All the Brutes” into the side of another one of them. Stagger Lee would’ve been proud.

Jeff:
What a mofo.

Evil Monkey:
Reminds me!

Jeff:
OW! I am not a mofo. Stop!

Evil Monkey:
Oh yes you are. I can tell.

Jeff:
How?!

Evil Monkey:
You ain’t declared for our organization so you must be part of either Mofos for the Utter Destruction of SF Ethics (MUDSFE) or M@therf*ckers Who Object to the Use of Hammers! (Mwouh!).

Jeff
I don’t belong to any damn organzation.

Evil Monkey:
Then yer just a garden-variety unaffiliated mofo. Here, let me help you with that condition.

Jeff
You stay away from me with that hammer. Now calm the f#ck down. What exactly is your group’s manifesto?

Evil Monkey:
Don’t have one

Jeff:
Mission statement?

Evil Monkey:
Don’t have one.

Jeff:
Mission…sentence?

Evil Monkey:
Well, er, don’t have one. Just don’t like mofos is all. SFFE has one now, but it bites ass: “The aim of this site is to promote positive reviews of books, movies and comics. There are some writers involved. It’s that simple.” That’s why we PETSFs left them and started our own thing.

Jeff:
Geez, that is lame. What the hell do you need a title like “Science Fiction and Fantasy Ethics Group” for if that’s your mission statement? You could call it “I’m So Nice” or “Running Through the Dandelions” or “Stuff We Likes, We Likes A Lot: Here’s a Photo of a Puppy.”

Evil Monkey:
Mr. Remic explained it thusly: “The original idea of the ethics name came from talking to several notable academics, who said they’d like to be involved. I just thought it would be cool to have a more intelligentsia orientated title.”

Jeff:
Reaaaallly? Seriously? Like, that’s not a joke? Well, what do you people at PETSF stand for?

Evil Monkey:
We apparently like light not darkness, sugar not arsenic, Wham! not Joy Division, pie not bombs, laughter not babies on spikes. and we definitely do not like any mofos.

Jeff:
And a mofo is?

Evil Monkey:
Anyone we say it is. We’re monitoring the situation very closely. Unlike SFFE, which deals with mofos like “Abigail” and “Martin” by deleting their comments, we at PETSF have a more athletic approach.

Jeff:
Clearly. And what else does your organization do?

Evil Monkey:
We talk about nice things. And we blog about nice things. Nicely. Pinkie finger has to be in the air pointing toward Heaven while typing.

Jeff:
Just like SFFE?

Evil Monkey:
Er, basically. Which is why I am out and about givin’ what-for to mofos. Dirty rotten mofos.

Jeff:
Couldn’t stand all the nice things could you?

Evil Monkey (with sigh):
OMFG, no, I couldn’t. I tried. I really did. But there are only so many dramatized readings from teletubby fan fic that a monkey can take.

Jeff:
Oh, put down that hammer and have a drink with me. Sounds like you’ve been through niceties that could test a monkey’s soul.

Evil Monkey:
Oh, I have. It was terrible. The small talk. The lady fingers. The iced mochas. The niceness. O the niceness.

Jeff:
It’ll be okay. Here, have some whisky.

Evil Monkey:
Thanks. Thanks a lot…

Jeff:
OW! What the hell, monkey?!

Evil Monkey:
You’re still a b%stard.

43 Responses to “Evil Monkey and People for the Ethical Treatment of SF (PETSF)”

  1. Nathan Ballingrud says:

    Heh. I did a double take when I saw Conrad Williams there too. It wouldn’t surprise me if not all the people listed as members were quite on the same page … but who knows. It all strikes me as being extremely silly.

  2. Cheryl says:

    Sorry Jeff, this is all a big mistake. They were supposed to be called the SF Essex Group, for people who live in Essex. But someone had a pronunciation malfunction and it came out a bit wong, er wrong. I fink they’ll get it wight soon.

  3. Neil Williamson says:

    I’ve been trying to get my head around this all day. Ignoring the misleading Ethics name or the totally out-there Mofo interjection for now, and having talked to friends who are involved, I think it boils down to something in the region of: “Some people set themselves up as “critics” and not only seem to need to find fault with everything but do so in a loud and hectoring tone. We just want a site that allows us to gives thumbs up to stuff we’ve enjoyed, say why we like it, without being shouted down for it by the critics.”

    So it’s a: “here’s what’s cool” blog. Nothing wrong with that. Sometimes you don’t want to have an intellectual conversation that strips the enjoyment from the book you just enjoyed.

    As for missing posts – I know that just in the last day or so they moved the thing from Blogger to WordPress. Is it possible something got lost in the cracks?

    Just a thought.

  4. Jeff VanderMeer says:

    I don’t think anything above contradicts what you’re saying. (But no way that deleted post got lost in the cracks–it was just up about 7 hours ago.)

  5. Alex Carnegie says:

    This whole thing is still filed under “WTF” for me tbh. Unsure where exactly ethics comes into anything

    Wondering recently if I preferred my SFF in the days before I discovered the world of People On The Internets Overanalysing Everything All The Time. Starting to think that maybe I’m not actually overly interested in opinions, whether they’re positive or negative, but that I’d rather just read fiction and leave everything else well alone. Sometimes it saps the simple joy out of it all. I distinctly remember it being a lot more fun when all I did was read books. Bit conflicted really.

  6. Jeff VanderMeer says:

    Well, anyway, Evil’s had his say. If they post interesting reviews, I’ll link to them, no matter what they call themselves.

  7. kellys says:

    I can relate to your comment, Alex. Sometimes it’s nice to read a book and process it without all the noise.

  8. Nic C says:

    Sometimes you don’t want to have an intellectual conversation that strips the enjoyment from the book you just enjoyed.

    And sometimes you (or at any rate, I) *do* want to have an ‘intellectual conversation’ about a book, because frequently such conversations make me enjoy a book more. :-) People respond to books in different ways, and the internet is big enough for all of us, and more!

    I’m still not clear on what ‘ethics’ have to do with celebrating books you like, and I’m not really sure why the launching of a blog that revolves around positivity needs to be accompanied by sniping at so-called ‘mofos’, but hey. In the end, the more people talking about books, the better.

    I think I’ll declare myself for Mwouh, mostly because I like the acronym.

  9. Jeff VanderMeer says:

    Heh. Yep, I agree with you: unless we’re talking about the DaVinci Code, I want the intellectual conversation and the non-intellectual one. I’m not clear on the ethics thing, either. I just think the whole thing was launched without much planning.

    Mwouh! I tried to create a badge/seal for Mwouh but the generator was down.

  10. Kathryn Cramer says:

    What are the membership dues for Mwouh? Where do I send my money?

  11. Jeff VanderMeer says:

    Membership is only $500 and anyone who wants to join can send the money to my paypal at vanderworld at hotmail.com …

  12. David Moles says:

    I think the PETA analogy is the only context in which Mr. Remic’s choice of the word “ethics” actually makes sense. And when Evil Monkey starts makin’ stuff make sense, that scares me.

  13. Felix Gilman says:

    on my desk right here i have a signed first edition of m. john harrison’s The Centauri Device

    i keep it in a 6-by-6 inch cage in which it cannot stand up or turn around, and i force-feed it ruthlessly in hopes of fattening its liver

    what are you going to do about it, huh, Remic? nothing, that’s what

  14. Felix Gilman says:

    if i want to take a bunch of Solaris DVDs and drown em in a sack that’s my business, don’t meddle in things you don’t understand, Remic

  15. Cheryl’s Mewsings » Blog Archive » Ethics My Arse says:

    [...] The more I hear about this “Science Fiction Ethics” blog the more I despise it. I’m very sad to see a bunch of writers I like involved in such nonsense, and very relieved that I’m not running Emerald City any more. Jeff VanderMeer’s pal, Evil Monkey, has a penetrating and incisive analysis of the issues. [...]

  16. Johan Anglemark says:

    Er… surely that site is a joke? Please tell me it’s a joke. (If it is I like it, although I’m not entirely sure what it satirizes.)

  17. Jeff VanderMeer says:

    I have a theory that writers should not join organizations with other writers. I.e., we are cogenitally incapable of not eventually appearing to be absurdist or to be participating in some kind of cosmic metafiction when we do form organizations.

  18. Jeff VanderMeer says:

    Felix Gilman is my hero, btw.

  19. Felix Gilman says:

    since back in old country my people have gathered to watch two proud strong issues of Asimov’s fight in a pit. it is an honorable death for the magazine, for Asimov’s is strong and loves to fight. these are our folkways, Remic. who are you to interfere? how dare you

  20. Chris Garcia says:

    With the exception of David Devereau, there’s one on it that I’ve ever heard of.

  21. Alex Carnegie says:

    Felix you’re cracking me up here.

  22. Larry says:

    Wait a minute. Dedicated only to “positive reviews?” Is that like a multiplication of Harriet Klausner by her cube? Might as well call it “Like 95% of other SF review blogs” or something. Although Felix’s idea of having cage fighting among the stories is strangely appealing. I wonder if he’d be in favor of waterboarding books, though.

  23. Felix Gilman says:

    you know what the most beautiful thing in the whole damn world is? i’ll tell you what it is Remic, i’ll tell you good. its when a man and his son drive up into the mountains with a couple good huntin guns and maybe some beers, maybe the boy has a beer too why not, his mother dont need to know. you dont even need to talk much just enjoy all that silence. just wait real quiet until you see one of them Star Wars prequels come shamblin on by. let the boy take the first shot. thirty aught six’ll drop that big hairy prequel right in its tracks, it aint cruel, it don’t feel no pain. the boy’s a man today. you can teach him how to cut off that prequel’s antlers and how to take its hide and how to get rid of them ugly hayden christianseny bits that ain’t no good to nobody. just like your daddy done for you with A New Hope, and his daddy done for him with War Of The Worlds. you’ll never understand what that means Remic and thats why i pity you

  24. Jill Roberts says:

    There’s only one way to settle this – professional wrestling. Pollyannas vs. Haters. Death match with tea and crumpets. My money’s on Gilman.

    Anyone remember the Mundanes? Anyone? They were kinda nice…

  25. Alex Carnegie says:

    I wager 400 quatloos on the newcomer.

  26. Larry says:

    Jill,

    I’d order the PPV for that. Felix would just have to beware of the hamsters packin’ heat waiting to bust a cap in his ass.

  27. Jeff VanderMeer says:

    Evil Monkey is too in awe of the Felix to want to fight him. I’m holding him back from kissing Felix, actually.

  28. Kathryn Cramer says:

    First thing, we all cover ourselves with mud.

  29. Oz Whiston says:

    Oh my. I found Evil Monkey made more sense than that blog did or the mind meld post did. What is the world coming to? ::::shakes head:::

  30. Chrononautic Log 改 » Blog Archive » A horse of a different color, ethics-wise (updated) says:

    [...] Evil Monkey explains. In comments, Felix Gilman does the [...]

  31. Jeff VanderMeer says:

    Er, above I meant “congenitally” of course, not “co-genitally”. Which is a vastly different situation.

  32. Hellbound Heart says:

    evil monkey and mofo’s……

    ?

    peace and love…..

  33. steve davidson says:

    I am totally positive about the piece you wrote. It was fuckin-a hilarious! And I positively think that it will be the best blog post I will read all day. I highly recommend this blog (in a positive manner).

    And I don’t need to pay no dues, I’ve already got my own frickin hammer!

  34. | The Crotchety Old Fan says:

    [...] all have GOT to read this post from Jeff [...]

  35. Jeff VanderMeer says:

    Heh, Steve–thanks for that. I enjoy your blog, too, actually. I’ve been reading it on and off for awhile.

  36. steve davidson says:

    Well – wow! Thanks for letting folks know that, I really appreciate it.

  37. Steve Buchheit says:

    Oh, it’s about positive reviews of books and movies. I get it now. Why not just make up the headline, set it to something like {textsize=H264} and read “We liked it.” Job done.

    Personally, sounds like someone needs a hug and a hot coco.

  38. Upsalafandom says:

    [...] På VanderMeers blogg intervjuar han sitt alter ego Evil Monkey, som uppger sig tillhöra People for the Ethical Treatment of SF. Den stora behållningen återfinns, som så ofta, i kommentarerna där författaren Felix Gilman [...]

  39. Kathryn Cramer says:

    Can you tell that monkey of yours to give me my hammer back?

  40. Mike Ray says:

    We’ve staged a dramatic reading of the post and comments this evening and between the hammer-wielding monkey, Felix, and the perfectly timed quatloos comment we have not laughed this hard at our place in a long time. Well done, by one & all (and will someone please give Remic back his lunch money).

  41. Enthusiasm & Ethics & Endless Emoting | The Crotchety Old Fan says:

    [...] because, as Alastair Reynolds points out in the Mind Meld comments and as Jeff VanderMeer notes in this post, it was deleted some time last night. In the interim, Remic has responded to further queries with [...]

  42. VanderMeer, Finch & Fungus says:

    [...] thoroughly enjoyed reading Jeff’s blog (sent him an image to use with one of his posts here) but have yet to read any of his fiction.  Which of course is now a lie since I’m already [...]

  43. Chrononaut » Constructed in accordance with the best possible theories of political virtue says:

    [...] interrupt our regular schedule of not blogging to plug Felix Gilman’s The Half-Made World. I’ve started Thunderer two or three times without getting caught up [...]

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