On this post ranting about Deepak Chopra, I got a comment which I decided not to publish and mock, because I’d rather excerpt the crap in a post and mock in a more public venue. You might want to read the Chopra post, but then again, if you know me from this blog, I’m sure you can guess what I had to say, and the comment is pretty tangential, so you don’t absolutely need to read the post. The comment, sitting there in my Comments Awaiting Moderation box in all its glory (like a flaming paper bag of turds), went as follows:
email@example.com | 188.8.131.52
To the dumbass f@ggot [my edit] who wrote this article. Evolution is the most racist theory that was ever created. Why? because Darwin and all the other f@ggots who believe in Darwinism reckon that white people are the most superior form of humans on the planet. There is no denying this. I have done science at university and when i found this out i was disgusted.
Human beings were created by reptilian humanoids. Sound stupid? Read about David Icke. That makes more sense to me than saying thats blacks are a bunch of primitive animals and that the glorious white race evolved from them.
From Deepak Chopra: Who Is This Idiot?, 2007/12/03 at 9:09 PM
Clearly, this commenter is a person of superior intellect. Here I am, sitting at my computer and trying to think of what to say, but you know, it strikes me that I don’t need to. This hoser mocks himself. I will throw in a link, though, full of quotes from Darwin that show his attitudes on slavery (he was against it) and criticizing other racist behaviors and policies of his time. Darwin was actually among the English liberals who repudiated Edward John Eyre for his excesses in suppressing the Morant Bay Rebellion in Jamaica. Who was against punishing Eyre, and following the Kim Il Sung-like law he created in Jamaica rendering it illegal to punish him for those same excessess? Ah, there’s a surprise: Dickens? Tennyson? Ruskin and Kingsley? Damn, why so many literary types? That’s an embarrassment.
But then, as some say of the poor, I say of bigoted dorks: the wicked shall always be with us. (The subject of Buckell’s post, not Buckell himself.) Being bookish, and SF-bookish, even, doesn’t make you good, or decent, or even particularly smart. There are many rooms in the mansion of SF, including some with poo smeared on the walls.
Which, by the way, reminds me of this article on David Icke from last year, up at Strange Horizons, asking what he’s doing that mainstream SF isn’t. Short answer? Preying upon the mentally and emotionally vulnerable for make a fortune. I like to think that good SF does the opposite: in singing the praises of intelligence, of human adaptability, and so on.
But that dichotomy is problematic, isn’t it? Where’s that line between good SF and “the other stuff”? Maybe a better analogy is types of alcohol: someone like Ted Chiang or Maureen McHugh puts out a fine, wonderfully-aged cognac rich with flavours, or a lovely, textured, and heady wine, and it’s a thing to savor and celebrate, not to get hammered on. Bruce Sterling? A bourbon you know from years back and can have fun with, though it does funny things with your head. (Especially in the stories collected in A Good Old-Fashioned Future and Globalhead.) Greg Egan? Absinthe, my friends, absinthe. (But didn’t you know, it was never the absinthe that killed people anyway. Or so they say.) Scalzi? A dependable, smooth, and surprisingly tasty hits-the-spot microbrew, the kind of thing you enjoy more because you know he’s just making it seem easy to brew something like that.
I could go on, but you get the point. If this is the analogy we’ll work with, David Icke (like L. Ron Hubbard and very few others in the world of SF) is the malt liquor factory boss, putting out what I think I remember Spike Lee calling, somewhere in the director’s commentary on Bamboozled, “liquid crack” — stuff that builds dependency, that distorts minds and lives deeply, and that finally and fully screws up any and all partially-screwed up people who come into contact with it. People can get screwed up on the bourbon, the microbrew, the wine or cognac; people can do absinthe till they’re in the gutter. Hell, there’s a million ways to skin yourself. But malt liquor has no other purpose than to make money, and no other effect than screwing people up and turning them inside out.
And that’s just like David Icke, as the comments above clearly demonstrates. You should thank your lucky stars I’m not quoting the email correspondence that followed.
(Do three or four emails constitute a correspondence? maybe it’s an exchange… no, wait. It was flaming paper bags of feces on my electronic doorstep.)
The appropriate response, of course, is pity. But every human heart has its limits.