I was ‘threatened’ with having this conversation ‘outed’, though I believe my conduct here to have nothing to be ashamed of within it. Getting it out so that there’s no shenanigans. I have screenshots too, just in case.
Strike first to make sure the narrative control isn’t taken by the enemy.
Balsley is an even-less-significant-than-me game writer, amongst other things. He’s the guy behind the ‘orangelist’ that has people concerned. A blacklist for people that supposedly supported Trump. A ‘hoax’ list (with some accurate names) has been doing the rounds but that’s irrelevant. He IS operating a blacklist. It’s not the only one going around the games industry as a whole or the tabletop industry in particular. That’s the important part.
I regard that as unacceptable. Whether I’m on the list or not. Whether the ‘hoax’ list is accurate or not, there is a list and that is enormously, massively hypocritical.
Me: Why the fuck am I on your McCarthyite ‘orangelist’. I’m not American, can’t vote in its elections and didn’t support Trump. Are you fucking high?
Balsley (No, that’s his real name): It’s not my list. I also know you aren’t American.
Me: But you are still making a list. The specifics aren’t the bad part.
Balsley: A list of people I won’t work with or buy from because of their views, yes. One that has to do with the skin color of my relatives. Something I’ve been very honest about.
Me: Which makes you an horrendous, McCarthyite bigot as bad, or worse, than the people you are against. I hope you think again.
Balsley: So, you’re saying that I shouldn’t have a list when I have minority family members?
Me: You shouldn’t have a blacklist for any reason. It’s an horrendous lapse of ethics and breathtakingly hypocritical.
Balsley: I will not give money to people who are celebrating the election results and denouncing the protestors while ignoring the uptick in hate crimes. That would be telling my Mexican family members they aren’t important.
Me: If that’s happening and any hate crimes are the responsibility of the offenders. People shouldn’t boycott gay businesses or turn away gay customers either, whatever their personal morality.
Balsley: Well, they do and it’s legal. It’s how commerce works.
Me: Human rights such as free expression and freedom of political conscience are universal. You are being everything you claim to be against. No, it’s how censorship and bigotry operate using finance as a cosh. Don’t bother contacting me again until you grow up. You and people like you are going to ensure Trump gets a second term by acting like this. Ciao.
Balsley: No, I’m not. See, if people won’t listen with their ears, you can get them to listen with their wallets.
Balsley: You bought into a hoax and Mr. Florio has proven it with his own “evidence.” A full expose is coming proving it. You do have a list, you admitted as much to me. The fake list is irrelevant to that point. It’s a shitty, shitty thing to have done. A fake list doesn’t exonerate you.
Balsley: All artists have lists of people they won’t work with.
Me: And I told you not to contact me again unless you’d grown up. Have you decided to ditch the whole idea or not? I don’t.
Balsley: This conversation is going public.
Me: Good since you admitted to having made a blacklist. I have nothing to hide. Have you changed your mind and are now not going to maintain a blacklist? Second asking.
Balsley: Except you have me on a list.
Me: No. I don’t. One more time. Have you changed your mind about maintaining and operating a blacklist?
Balsley: I never made one per your definition.
Me: “A list of people I won’t work with or buy from because of their views, yes.” To quote you. So yes, you are and you have been. That’s strike three. Don’t contact me again until you’ve changed your mind.