Daily Archives: December 9, 2013

The Clayton Memorial Medical Fund Could Use a Hand

My friend Jim Fiscus was on the board with me at SFWA, and he’s on the board of the Clayton Memorial Medical Fund, another worthy endeavor involving writers as well. It could use some help and, as today we’re in the mood for charitable endeavors here at Whatever, I thought I would run it past y’all. It’s especially of note to those in the Pacific Northwest, but of course anyone can contribute (I did, or, actually, will, as soon as I’m done typing this. What can I say, it’s a good day to donate).

This is from Jim:

The Clayton Memorial Medical Fund helps professional science fiction, fantasy, horror, and mystery writers living in the Pacific Northwest deal with the financial burden of medical emergencies. Even with insurance, co-pays can quickly add up to thousands of dollars, and over the past few years, we have faced a heavy draws on our money. The Fund is now down to a few thousand dollars.

The Clayton Fund was founded seventeen years ago by Oregon Science Fiction Conventions, Inc. (OSFCI) in response to the illness of Portland writer Jo Clayton. Our initial money came from a national campaign by writers and fans of science fiction and fantasy to help Jo and other writers. The Fund has since assisted many writers in the region deal with medical and dental emergencies.

As part of OSFCI, the Fund is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Donations to the fund are tax deductible and often qualify for matching donations from employers.

Donations can be made using PayPal through the Fund’s Web site (http://www.osfci.org/clayton) or mailed to:

Clayton Memorial Medical Fund
c/o OSFCI
P.O. Box 5703
Portland, Oregon 97228

Please be sure to include full contact information so we can mail you a letter acknowledging your donation.

The Counteract a Bigot Fund Drive Final Tally: Get Your Donations Ready!

Hey, folks! It’s time for the counteract a bigot fund drive tally.

For those just joining in: Earlier in the year, I noticed that a bigot named Theodore Beale (aka “Vox Day”) regularly used my name, or nicknames representing me (“McRapey” is a favorite), to whip up readers on his Web sites. Well, there’s nothing I could do about that, and to be honest I think it’s just fine that a bigot has decided that I am the embodiment of everything he isn’t. But I decided if this fellow was going to get mileage off of using my name, I should get mileage off of him using it as well.

So I pledged that every time this odious twit invoked me on one of his Web sites, I’d put $5 into a pot, and at the end of the year, donate that amount to organizations that fight racism, sexism, homophobia and (as this fellow is also one a proponent of “game”) sexual assault, up to $1,000. Others asked if they could play along, and I said of course, and so these other folks also pledged to donate a money to these (or other, similar) organizations. When all was said and done, over $60,000 was pledged. A friend of mine volunteered to track Mr. Beale’s sites for invocation, which saved me from having to do it myself (I was nevertheless aware of him whenever I did ego searches, and it warmed my heart to imagine money going into coffers).

We’re now at the end of the year — or close enough to it that people are asking what they tally is so they can plan and make their donations. So I asked my friend for a tally of references Mr. Beale has made to me on two of his sites: his primary one, and the one he has concerned with “game.” With that tally I could then estimate how many more times he’ll mention me by the end of the year.

Here’s what we have: From January 1 through today, Mr. Beale has mentioned me by name (or by nickname) on those two sites 145 times. This is defined as references in blog posts; other references — references in comments, persistent sidebar links, or comments by others weren’t counted, nor were Twitter or other social media posts. If you want to do the math, that means Mr. Beale invoked me on his blogs on average once every 2.366 days. Which is rather a lot! There are 22 days left in the year, which means if Mr. Beale follows his average, he’ll mention me nine more times before the ball drops in Times Square. So, for my purposes, I am using 154 times as the official tally number.

I had pledged $5 per reference up to $1,000, which (again with the math) means that Mr. Beale would have had to reference me 200 times over the year for the full payout. 154 times turns out to be 77% of that.

So: If you made a pledge to support the Counteract a Bigot fund drive earlier this year, please donate at least 77% of your pledge amount to the organizations you pledged to fund. 

I say at least because, of course, I encourage you to donate the full amount of your pledge if you can. I will be doing so, I have just done so, as well as adding in another $250 to my pledge as thanks to the friend who kept track of Mr. Beale’s sites so I didn’t have to. But even if everyone sticks to just 77% of their full pledge amount, we’ll still have donated at least $46,000 dollars to charities and organizations dedicated to fighting bigotry and/or sexual assault in its various forms. And that ain’t bad.

As for Mr. Beale, well. He’s Dunning-Kruger’s favorite son. As such he’s incapable of imagining himself in anything other than a victory condition, so I’m sure he’ll imagine one here, too. Let him. The rest of us know better. If you doubt it, think to what purposes he’s used my name in the last year, and to what purposes we’ve used it. Which is the better use becomes pretty clear when you do.

With that in mind: Thank you to everyone who pledged along with me for this thing. I am genuinely humbled that so many of you joined in. I can’t actually express how amazed I was by the response. I am forever grateful.

Now, all I ask is that you follow through. You’ve made a pledge. It’s time to keep it.

(PS: Please feel free to share this entry with others. And if you hadn’t previously pledged but feel like joining in, well, it’s never too late!)