fErthEr bRrilyaNtS on the bLlogossSFearz [all very sic, sic, sic]

Yes, it seems people out there truly want to be mocked in a public forum! On my entry here, a review of Jonathan Spence’s The Question of Hu, an entertaining little text which is also a great introduction to Spence’s approach to Chinese history, one Anthony Dawkin (let’s assume he can spell his own name, even if he cannot think) deemed to pronounce his well-considered judgment on the worthiness of the text spew his uninformed, microcephalic un-opinion onto the blogosphere to nauseate as many people as possible:

Anthony Dawkin  | at 2:14 AM | 2008/09/18
[email protected] |

I would like to warn everyone who is thinking about reading the Question of Hu to not read it.

…because it’s all of, what, 200 pages of relatively large print? And so it might take you a couple of hours to get through! Good gracious! Time you could spend on anything from chewing gum and surfing for nudie pics online, to digging out that last bit of mucus way up high in your nostrils. Heaven forbid you read a well-written book instead.

What’s this? Wait? Ah, there’s more…

I was forced to read it for a history class…

Pardon, forced? Where are you going to school, young man? Didst thy teacher whip thee? Else didst he bid thy classmates whip thee?

Teachers don’t force students to read anything. Competent and intelligent students embrace learning and take the bits that don’t interest them along with the bits that do, and indeed read many more books than are ever assigned to them for a given course. Incompetent, lazy, and unintelligent students complain about being “forced” to read 200 page books.

Sorry, young feller, but no matter how dumb as you might be as unfortunate as it might seem to you, we cannot structure all courses around Prison Break, Penthouse Forum, and whatever your favorite console game is this week. One of the prerequisites to the acquisition of the critical thinking and analytic skills characteristic of an educated person is reading. A lot of reading.

You knew I was going to say that, didn’t you? Aw, don’t pout…

… and all i got from it was that a dumb ass chinese guy cant act as a sensable human in public.

I can’t decide what’s more embarrassing, that you couldn’t muster any more imagination than to read the book that way, or that your education system has let you get as far as college without your learning to spell a word like sensible. Let alone capitalization rules, or any of the other fundamentals of written English.

Ok throw the fact that they dont go by the same customs and beliefs as the chinese at this time… that is no reason to act like a dumb fuck.

Whereas apparently you have perfectly wonderful reasons to act like a “dumb fuck”… correct? Please do enumerate them for me, preferably with as much cleverness and wit as you mustered in your first comment. I could use the amusement.

He needs to have a little respect if he is going to go into another country and go by what the adherre to.

Rather like you need to have a little respect when you open a book and fix your bleary, red-rimmed, hang-over advertising eyes upon it. (Let alone the necessity of showing a little respect on the blogs upon which you deign to post your ignorant little cuss-laden rants.) I sincerely doubt you could cope with even a week in China. I sincerely imagine you would end up in a Chinese prison if you went there. That you cannot imagine this reflects on your poverty of cogitative ability.

Its like all the spics coming to the U.S. wanting to change the launguage to Spanish…

Or all the morons who get born into the U.S. and start wanting to change the language to the rank MTV crap that seems to be pouring quite naturally from your keyboard. I agree, young Anthony, it’s a tragedy. There’s only one way to avert it, my dear boy: burn your keyboard! Trash your computer! Cut out your tongue! Speak never again, nevermore, nevermore!

ya how bout noo foreigners English is what we go by and if u dont like it go the fuck home.

A walloping finish: you seem to have learned something in school after all, having reserved the most extreme demonstration of your case for the conclusion. And what a wondrously revealing bit of performative utterance it is!

There is the irony — subtle, but obvious and vibrant in its referential potency — that you are posting on the blog of a man who lives as an expatriate in a foreign country, where he teaches a foreign language. (To Korean students; it should gratify such an ardent defender of the English language as you to realize, bold Anthony, that these people who have grown up speaking a very foreign language and mostly acquired English as a second language almost all have better written English than you do!)

There is the demonstration of the powerful and obvious link between racism and idiocy, apparent in the chain of non sequiturs that riddle this last sentence; “spics” want to change the language of America to Spanish, a “laungauge” [sic] with which you, too seem to struggle, and who ought to “go the fuck home” as if home were across a border and not down a street).

And there is the subtle but forceful send-up of the single-mindedness of the right-wing side of the American media, and its apparent ability to mimic George Romero in somehow zombify vast numbers of your countrymen so that every discussion — even a rant about a book regarding an 18th Chinese man’s misadventure in France — must inexorably dovetail into yet another inane rant about the pseudopolitical distraction de jour: abortion, illegal immigration, Bill Clinton’s cigar, and so forth.

But there’s one problem, young sir, and that is, that it’s all far too unbelievable. It beggars belief that anyone as moronic as you could find his way across a campus, let alone into a college classroom; it’s an insult to American education that one such as yourself could actually get into the post-secondary system at all. If you were, indeed, a real person, you would have only one course of action by which to maintain your dignity and do your social duty. That is, for the sake of higher education, for the sake of your less Neolithic classmates, for the sake of your poor (and certainly awestruck) teachers, I would undoubtedly insist that — at the very least — cease to waste the energies and resources of your school and your society by dropping out of your educational program and seeking out a line of work more suited to your meager cerebral resources. Driving trucks cross-country, perhaps, or working in a high school cafeteria. If none of those appeal, you could always risk the dangers of a life of crime, or simply end the misery that it must be living as you, by finding yourself a secluded train bridge or bathtub and, plugged-in radio in hand, doing the inevitable.

But obviously, nobody as stupid as this persona you have put on for the purposes of this comment could actually have made it through high school, let alone getting into college or reading a whole book, even one as short and readable as Spence’s. Surely the American education system has not fallen so far. Surely a character as egregiously moronic as this Anthony Dawkin fellow could not exist in reality. You are, logically speaking, impossible, and thus I must urge you, dear cleverly anonymous commenter, to attempt again, try harder, try once more, and perhaps you may mount an argument that, thought not creditable, is at least a smidgen more credible. I am sure your frustration is great, and so I offer these words of Samuel Beckett’s to you: “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” There is hope, even in that.

If you have any questions, come and see me during my office hours.


Prof. Sellar

PS: You really should try to spell your email address correctly, if nothing else.

5 thoughts on “fErthEr bRrilyaNtS on the bLlogossSFearz [all very sic, sic, sic]

  1. Like the pun on sic . . .

    And he seems something rather more like an Australopithecine than a denizen of the Neolithic. . . . he probably doesn’t know how to make a bone scraper, prepare skins, or erect a lean-to, let alone use (or make) a fire drill. He may not have made use of his modern education, but I doubt he has a practical one, either. Driving a truck would be too work for him; the big rigs take some serious wind shear. ( :

    I wonder: why does one see so much more idiotic conservativism on the web than poorly stated or simpleminded liberalism? Is it that folks on that end of the spectrum are more apt to rant on about their opinion to unwilling spectators, or is it the lowest common denominator effect (which I distrust as a concept, somehow, although I often think I see it vindicated; I admit I’m starting to wonder about how much class comes into it).

  2. Res ipsa loquitur – the posts speak for themselves. Well written, and well thought out, you have no need to post an apologia pro vita sua. Why not delete or post a quick, snarky take down?

  3. Val,

    Thanks. Yeah, I dunno, I think the thing is that the leftists who fall at the lowest common denominator tend to at least have their hearts in something like the right place: they may want us to all so stupid, counterproductive things, but they seem more often to at least grasp the basic problems at hand. (I’m thinking of cases like the “unplug your wall-warts” movement, where they at least get that global warming is an issue, even if their loudly- and pushily-promoted solution is unlikely to help.

    I’m pretty sure class (and attendant returns on education) have something to do with it, in that houses with more resources might have more books lying around for kids to start absorbing, and such families may value education more. While poorer families may value it, or have books, they’re less likely to. (Poorer immigrants from some areas being an exception.)

    Mark Cicero,

    (Your IP remains the same, regardless of your pseudonym.)

    I’m not posting “a defense of my life” (though the final question of your post seems to invite me to write a defense of my posting habits).

    Briefly, I like mocking people who write stupid comments on my site. It’s fun. But the question reminds me that I need to add a note about this risk to my comment policy.

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