When people you don't like die
I only just heard about him recently since docbrite — mentioned him as one of the few writers that he still doesn't like from the days of getting into several internet fights. As someone who has met online acquaintances in RL and has gotten the "you're not an asshole here, so what the fuck is your problem online?" discussion, I can relate to having a history of bitter feuds, horrible statements and a lot of asshole behavior that I'm ashamed of. Hell, there's even one conservative pundit that I can't talk shit about because I know his daughter and she's a really nice person and I really hope that she doesn't one day see what I wrote about him (because I can't even find it). And there's that point after years of fighting and taking out one's angst on others where you just go "damn, I really gotta knock it off" and at a certain point you realize that you have dealt with your issues. You no longer lash out as much as you used to lash out. You no longer get into horrible flame wars that take days and hours of nastiness.
It's at that point that you look around, read old blogs, look up old acquaintances, realize that you were wrong. It's also that point where you look around, read old blog posts, look up old acquaintances and realize that you were 100% correct in your assessment. If anything, they are even bigger assholes than you thought.
That's a lot of personal inventory and self-reflection (it's Sukkot after all - the holiday where you repent out of love as opposed to Yom Kippur where you repent out of fear - well as long as your religious and Jewish) to get to the point where I have to admit that this is one death that I don't give a flying fuck. Hell, I'm fucking happy that this guy is dead. He was a nasty asshole and a racist fuck. Just look at his FB page and after you scroll through the memorials, check out his "Trayvon Martin deserved it" rants and his "I remember that all the races got along before we elected a black guy" howler and see where I'm coming from.
I'm not one of those Racefail zealots. I find Requires Hate to be a sanctimonious shithead and I don't want to condemn people for saying stupid racist and sexist things because I have said stupid racist and sexist things - and thought stupid racist and sexist things - and I think we're all learning to get along. A 16 year old shithead who gets into a gender discussion online and brays "Make me a sandwich" (seriously that's gotta be retired) can become a 20 year old college sophomore who is a decent and respectful human being that might still say stupid shit but will actually listen and work against rape culture. We don't know where we're going.
But Gary Brandner - fuck that guy. And I don't mean to be trolling. There are several writers and friends of friends who have died whom I personally didn't like. In the last 3-4 years, I stopped talking to a writer because his lefty politics turned against Israel in the most extreme way (complete with pictures of bleeding Syrians and captions about "your tax dollars at work" - basically the same kind of extreme "Israel is committing genocide" blather that shows up whenever Israel engages in a military manner - no matter how limited - hell, Israel can't even limit civilian casualties without being accused of "targeted assassination" as if that's a bad thing) and then he died a few months later. I wasn't on good terms with him, but I didn't hate him. I just didn't care for him. His friends memorialized him and I kept my mouth shut.
Actually, that's not about Iain Banks but another anti-Israel lefty. But I also kept my mouth shut (or my fingers typing other things) when that guy died. In both cases, I figure that he meant well and he had friends and they wanted to have a memorial so I'm not going to shit on that.
But Gary Brandner is like an older and more deluded version of Vox Day. He was a mediocre writer who got lucky in the 80s and then got to impose his shitty racist politics on the rest of the world. He was an altogether unpleasant asshole and if there is an afterlife (I am religious but you know I'm not going to find out for sure) I hope he's in hell (I almost said "sucking cocks in hell" or "sucking black cocks in hell" but just because he was married, I don't want to assume that he was straight and besides, it's rather homophobic to put it like that. I think. I mean for me, being forced to perform fellatio would be a shitty experience, but I think when I put it out like that - no pun intended - it comes off as an easy gay joke at best)
So no. No respect for Brandner. No words about how the writing community lost one of its own. No patience for that shit from anyone else. I won't go trolling everyone on FB who writes about him (I did note his quote about Barack Obama causing racism on the first post about him) and hell, racism and homophobia and sexism is pretty much ingrained in modern horror so one racist asshole dying is not going to eliminate the overall problem of 1950s frat boy bullshit bubbling through most horror stories (edit a Bible-themed horror anthology and you will see just how many writers are in the world who think that feminism and the civil rights movement is something that happened to those people) but he was a racist asshole. And every bit helps.