Communique from the Continent of Stupidea

Jeff VanderMeer • August 12th, 2009 @ 6:18 pm • Uncategorized

UPDATE! Stupidea issues another communique, after first deleting just about all comments from the prior entry. It reads in part: “Even though we are on opposite sides, I assure you that the real division in the world is not between Right and Left, not between Homophobes and Pervertarians, but between men of reason and good will, we men of the mind, and our mutual foes, the men of unreason, the men of mere emotion. Do not be fooled into thinking that because they agree with you for now, that they are like you.” Yes, we men of the mind. Men, mind you. You wo-men of the mind, clear off now. But we men of the mind, we jolly right-minded men of the mind…well, I’m a lumberjack and that’s all right. I work all day and…Oh, I give up. Stick a fork in him, he’s done.

Recently, a new communique came in from the continent of Stupidea.

Stupidea lies just off the shore of the Land of Reason, with a deep channel of purifying water lying between the two. Stupideans are generally characterized by having large brain-like organs in their heads that mimic real brains by allowing them to use advanced terminology, although to minimal effect. Their hearts are unique because their hearts are tiny. When looked at under the microscope, these hearts turn out to be composed of ashes mixed with ground-up pepper grains.

76 Responses to “Communique from the Continent of Stupidea”

  1. Adam P. Knave says:

    Wow. Thanks for the heads up. I was in an antho with Wright. That fact makes me feel dirty, now. Gah.

  2. Andrew says:

    Holy god. That’s a name I can now cross off my “writers to check out” list, I suppose. Thanks for making us aware of this, Jeff.

  3. Rob Davies says:

    That was something to behold. I was going to respond to him but figured my energies were better spent contributing to the moral decay of the land.

  4. Libraritarian says:

    I don’t see the problem here. He was exercising his right to free speech. We have such a double standard with that right today. OSC gets criticized for the same sort of rhetoric, but if he was preaching the words of the liberals instead of the conservatives, he’d be praised.
    I don’t agree with the borderline hate-mongering of some of Mr. Wright’s posts, but I do agree with the right to say them. Reading his other posts, I’m glad to see someone unafraid to step-up and say “Hey wait a minute,” to the ignorance-is-bliss mentality that so pervades our modern society.

  5. Arachne Jericho says:

    When I initially looked at authors participating in the Tor.com free ebook bonanza at the very beginning, I was somewhat amused by Wright’s bombastic blogging, and had not yet run into his “anti-Leftist” blog posts.

    After just a few days, I just quietly turned away and pretended his blog didn’t exist.

    I’m not at all surprised at his homophobic meltdown, and wondered why it didn’t come sooner, but oh well, now here it is.

  6. Eddie C says:

    I tend to try not to avoid (or prefer) writers because of their political views. You end up missing out on some good stuff that way, and reading a lot of echo chamber crap.

    However, I do make exceptions for blatant bigotry, particularly when its directed at an attribute that I have!. Thus, as a gay guy, I have two sff authors on my “not to be read again” list because of blatant homophobia. OSC and Mr Wright. Until I saw this post I thought OSC was worse, but that is a special sort of crazy.

  7. Eddie C says:

    Libratarian – free speech is a lot more one when you’re the one spraying hysterical spittle over (comparatively) powerless minorities.

    I’m not saying that JCW or OSC isn’t ALLOWED to say what they say, but they can:

    a) be judged heartless, bigotted and, in JCW’s case borderline insane;
    b) expect more than a few people to not want to buy their books any more.

    Free speech doesn’t mean speech without consequence, and it also implies a right for others to ridicule you when you speak as a stupidean.

  8. Eddie C says:

    Gack. Fun. free speech is a lot more fun. Sorry for excessive posts.

  9. Libraritarian says:

    But not reading something because of their views, no matter what they are, is another form of persecution. It’s the same as not reading someone’s book because they’re black or gay or poor or whatever. Heck, I bleed red elephants but I still enjoy John Scalzi’s books. It is your choice not to read them, of course, but it is a double standard.

  10. Eddie C says:

    Libratarian – I will leave you to your fun moral equivalence and leave it at that.

  11. Adam P. Knave says:

    No it isn’t. They’re allowed to hate and rant all they want. We’re allowed to be baffled at the things they say. They’re allowed to not watch a show or buy a book because of content and so are we. No double standard.

    The difference comes in when someone doesn’t want a book PUBLISHED because of something like that.

    I am not saying Wright has to be gay, like gays, or anything. But he can’t tell me the same things, and he doesn’t get to decide that they shouldn’t be on TV. If there’s a market for it then why shouldn’t it? Because HIS belief says it is somehow, hand-wavingly “dangerous” to see? With nothing else to back it up?

    See that’s where I start point a crazy stick at people.

  12. Libraritarian says:

    I’ll give you the nod Knave, that was a valid point you made. Thanks for the polite debate. I’ll be done now.

  13. Jeff VanderMeer says:

    Um, substitute “African American” for “homosexual” in his rant and maybe that’ll drive home the point of how offensive and hate-speechy this crapola is.

    That said, I’m always on the fence re the don’t read someone because of their personal beliefs. Those beliefs don’t always come into the books, so then it’s not about what you’re reading but each reader’s own personal threshold for reading the work of someone whose views they find offensive.

    I know a lot of Mark Helprin’s beliefs have made reading his work less fun for me, but A Soldier of the Great War is a context and subject matter in which those beliefs don’t come through. (Admittedly, Helprin’s just far right, not, as far as I know, racist or homophobic.)

    But, like Celine can be a great writer. Lovecraft was definitely prejudiced, even racist, yet we read him. So it’s a tough decision.

    But I think it’s each reader’s individual decision. The idea of some kind of boycott makes me recoil the same way any kind of mob scenario would.

    Mostly, I found Wright’s whole approach and even his syntax crazy-town. And wrong, of course.

    Jeff

  14. Adam P. Knave says:

    Jeff –

    Yeah. Boycott is scary for the same kinda mob mentality that we flinch from either side about. And it can be really hard to sep. the creator from the work. It should be tried, in general, just on principle. We’re all crazy somehow and still hope people enjoy our stuff regardless.

    But I think you nailed it with your mention of Helprin. The things we twitch at shouldn’t infect the work within the context of the work. And that is what makes all the difference. I can totally believe that… oh I don’t know… something utterly kooky. But the work isn’t my belief it’s a story (for me at least) and that will have characters and settings and such that will have their own context and beliefs and so on that shouldn’t promote my own leanings by default.

    And I think, speaking far too generally and broadly, you can tell when it works that way and when it doesn’t.

    And then there are times you can’t sep. the work from the author even when THEY can. And that’s never a win of a senario but it is human, too.

  15. Eddie C says:

    Adam –

    For me, the line really blurs when it becomes personal. One can put aside abstract politics when that’s getting in the way of a really great book. But, because of who I am, Wright’s homophobic rant is as good as getting right up in my face and insulting me personally. Of course I’m not going to want to read his stuff now. That’s not a boycott for political reasons – as you say, it’s just human.

  16. Sovay says:

    Recently, a new communique came in from the continent of Stupidea.

    I am particularly nonplused because my previous exposure to John C. Wright consisted of Orphans of Chaos and Fugitives of Chaos (I am now disinclined to read the third in the trilogy), and the former book includes a sexually charged spanking scene as part of the narrator’s awakening sense of self. So we’re good with kinky, and teacher-student kinky at that, but God forbid we should get some gay in our mainstream? I know, I know, I’m looking for reason . . .

  17. Jeff VanderMeer says:

    Eddie–and I think that’s perfectly understandable. I know I’m not particularly inclined to pick up Wright’s stuff now, to be honest.

    Sovay–of course. That’s just “normal” after all. *Shudder*

  18. Libraritarian says:

    I guess I was being a bit hypocritical earlier on, now that I think of it. I got really excited about reading James Morrow’s “Shambling Towards Hiroshima” until I found out about his Godhead trilogy which offended me to the point of forgoing reading even his non-blasphemous stuff.

  19. Laurie says:

    Man, what a D-bag. Although your post gave me a chuckle.

  20. Jeff VanderMeer says:

    Which does bring up the question of: should we only expose ourselves to that which we don’t find blasphemous? This is a little difficult for me as a question because I don’t really find anything blasphemous. There’s just context that makes it good fiction or context that makes it bad fiction.

  21. Libraritarian says:

    By all means no, but I try to avoid books that are pushing an anti-Christian message because I don’t want to monetarily support that agenda. That being said, I avoid books with a blatantly Christian message because I don’t like being preached at (I get enough of that on Sundays). I do read things that aren’t totally copacetic with my viewpoints because the stories are just too good.

  22. John Coulthart says:

    I’m dismayed he’s rumbled our devious plot to induce the collapse of Western Civilisation by infiltrating some shoddy sf shows with same-sex kissing. Damn…there goes that chapter of The Gay Agenda

  23. Xelgaex says:

    I’ve personally found some good books by ignoring my disagreements with the author and reading them anyway. (Brandon Sanderson’s work is a recent example for me.) The disagreements didn’t usually affect me personally however.

    @Jeff, as someone else who would be comfortable making that mental substitution, I found the line “Why are you willing to tolerate sexual perversion but not racism?” to be particularly ironic. If he understands the opposing view at all, surely he knows that question reads as completely nonsensical to the person he’s ostensibly asking it of.

  24. Jeff VanderMeer says:

    Xelgaex–exactly!

    John–ha!

    SyFy really does need to up the quality of their shows enough so that people actually watch them .

  25. morgan dempsey says:

    All I can do is shake my head and say alas.

  26. Andrew says:

    Jeff, that’s a good point about Lovecraft, as I do own multiple books by him. I think the answer I have to give here is this: I know Lovecraft’s a racist, but he’s also an acknowledged master, and died nearly 40 years before I was born. I read his stuff before I found out he was a racist, but reading it certainly made it clear. Nonetheless, he was a good enough writer that I was able to forgive the racism.

    The day may come in 20 years or so that Wright is being hailed as a master of his craft and someone who changed the history of science fiction; if such a time comes, I’m sure I’ll reevaluate my current decision not to bother with his stuff. As it is though, right now I generally just hear that he’s a good writer. There are plenty of those, you know? I’m gonna put the ones who don’t hold hateful, discriminatory views ahead of him on my personal priority list, that’s all.

  27. KJ Bishop says:

    “Uncle Screwtape reminds me the any form of sex that is sterile and selfish wins the approval of the Lowerarchy.”

    Columbia: “You mean he’s never…?”

    O.o

  28. drax says:

    Sorry for being a goofball, but after reading Mr Wright’s super-homophobe-meltdown, I can only shake my head and ask, “So… when does this Flash Gordon Goes to Gor flick hit the screens?”

  29. Jeff VanderMeer says:

    Andrew–yep, that makes good sense.

  30. Paul Crittenden says:

    What a shame. I really kinda liked the Golden Age books. Well, the first one. Well, the first 2/3 of the first one. I had no idea that Mr. Wright felt this way. Obviously he has every right to spout whatever crap he comes up with, but I also have the right to think he’s a hate-mongering blowhard who will never get another cent of my money. To tell you the truth, I assumed he was into some light BDSM when I read Orphans of Chaos.

  31. Ellen Denham says:

    I put this author on my friends list at one point when I was new on livejournal, because I’ve enjoyed some of his books. He’s a brilliant writer. I unfriended him pretty quickly because of the sort of hateful rant displayed in this post. While he has every right to express himself, it does turn me off wanting to read his books in the future. Really, sometimes I’d rather not know an author’s political views because I’d rather just enjoy the books. I don’t want to read only authors who think just like me, because that would be boring. But if they come across as downright hateful, it does make me think twice.

  32. Randy Henderson says:

    Some blasphemous ideas are critical to pushing society forward. Some reflect thinking that holds us back. They should not be ignored, nor blindly embraced. They should be examined for why they make us uncomfortable, and our own views which we would call normal and good that it blasphemes against freshly explored.

    After careful consideration, I have determined that Wright is a victim of outdated and superstitious thinking who happens to write decent fiction (by general standards). Or to put it another way, he comes off as an extremist homophobic wanker. He could be a great guy at a B-B-Q and a lovely friend for all I know, but that’s not how he comes off in these rants.

    As for Lovecraft, I find it hard to believe that, when we look back at the large pool of fiction published today, Wright will stand out in the way Lovecraft does, or add to genre fiction as Lovecraft has. More to the point, I hope he does not.

    Whether or not you can separate his fiction from his personal views when you read it, the fact that he uses his exposure as a published author to promote hate speech doesn’t make him someone I want to award with more fame and more exposure, nor indirectly but nonetheless implicitly condone his views and actions by saying, “You can say these things I don’t agree with but I’ll support you financially and help maintain your soapbox anyway by buying your books.”

    He’s got freedom to share his views, and I’ve got freedom to decide if I want to lend any form of support, directly or indirectly, to those views, or any perception of validity or intelligence his position as a published author lends those views.

    Here’s my official response to his post: http://quantumage.livejournal.com/10250.html#cutid1

  33. jeff vandermeer says:

    All good points that I basically agree with, although right this second the idea to let an author off the hook because they happen to be more talented strikes me as a little odd–in the context stated. Maybe it’s just something about the distance btwn us and Lovecraft. Lovecraft blogging probably wouldn’t have been a pretty sight.

  34. Adam P. Knave says:

    Lovecraft blogging would’ve been epic. 8000 word posts describing his cat walking across a room.

    …sorry, I had to.

    I think societal context comes into play, too. Spillane is a sexist, but I love his writing. If the books were CURRENT they would turn me off his stuff but taking them in time-based context is important I think.

  35. jeff vandermeer says:

    ha ha ha. I bet yer right.

  36. Hellbound Heart says:

    what a wanker

  37. Steve Buchheit says:

    So I guess his whole rant is that he’s with the other people giving SyFy and “F”, like Timothy Leary, Castro, Pol Pot, Dean Martin and Don Juan, and let’s not forget the homosex activists. I think he’s keeping good company there, at least for him.

  38. Matt Staggs says:

    We have always been at war with Stupidea.

  39. Rob Davies says:

    I am uncomfortable with the all-too-common online rhetorical strategy of threatening a writer with not buying his/her books because they posted/commented something you disagree with. It adds little to the conversation and often comes across to me as petty and somewhat childish. Certainly, writers can spout off in such a way that makes the thought of reading their books unpalatable; just as cogent, though-provoking comments may make an unknown writer more appealing.

    As a left-handed white far-left straight atheist cat-lover with a winsome smile, I welcome different political, religious, racial, sexual views in the fiction I read; indeed one of the joys of reading is to see the world in new ways, in ways that had never occurred to me before.

    But in the case of Wright, I find I have to draw the line at malevolent ignorance. The odds of me reading one of his books has dropped to zero.

  40. John C. Wright is angry about “homosex” « Enter the Octopus says:

    [...] Thanks to Jeff VanderMeer for the heads up. [...]

  41. Ian Sales says:

    Writers are products of their times, and their attitudes and sensibilities are shaped by the periods in which they lived. For writers from the first half of last century and earlier that doesn’t make their attitudes and sensibilities right, but if those attitudes and sensibilities inform their work it’s at least understandable.

    John C Wright lives now, he lives in the same world as us. He’s not a product of a less-enlightened period of history. Plus, he’s using the position he’s gained as a writer to spout his offensive bollocks. His books have given him a platform and he’s abusing it – and his readers.

    Interestingly, I noted that he was an atheist until last year. Did he turn religious because it gave him the “justification” he needed for his bigotry?

  42. Jeff VanderMeer says:

    Also, true. And what Rob Davies said.

  43. Tim Keating says:

    For those who opted (probably wisely) not to slog through the comments, here is a wonderful response that I plan to keep in my hip pocket for future debates: http://quantumage.livejournal.com/10250.html

  44. Samuel Tinianow says:

    Sovay: You’re not missing anything. Titans of Chaos totally sucks. Orphans was pretty decent, Fugitives started to go seriously downhill, especially in the second half when it detoured into an underage softcore porn session on the Q.E. II. Titans follows the pattern to its logical conclusion.

    Anybody have contact info for Wright? I want to get rid of the books, but I can’t deal with the moral ramifications of burning them or throwing them out, nor do I feel comfortable putting them in the hands of a library or used bookstore. The only solution I can see is to send them back to Wright and let him do as he will with them. Any help would be appreciated.

    And yeah, to restate my opinion on not reading an author because I disagree with his views: why should I force myself to read something written by a person whose views I find repulsive when there are scores of great books out there, written by people I don’t hate, such that every time I see their names on the books’ covers I won’t hear them saying “zomg homos gonna k’rupt muh babeez!” Life’s too damn short, man.

  45. Andrew Wheeler says:

    Wright has said much the same thing several times before; he’s made his “gay = immoral” position painfully clear over the last few years. He does fancy it up in his deeply sarcastic and wordy double-reverse rants, but he’s been clearly an old-fashioned bigot for some time. His commentors on the LJ are almost entirely those who agree with everything he says, too, so he usually has a mean little echo chamber of hate going.

    There’s no real hope of shifting his views, either; with all of his talk about Natural Law and similar bumf he clearly believes that he’s the one on the side of the angels. He still has all of the worst rhetorical traits of the Ayn Randian he used to be, as well, making him perhaps the worst kind of Internet essayist: the utterly long-winded, self-aggrandizing bigot who thinks he’s much smarter and more courageous than he is, and can bury you under cubic yards of extruded bafflegab in any circumstances.

    At best, he’s one of those people that you just don’t engage on the topics that’s he’s a bigot about. I personally stopped reading his LJ after a few months (about two years ago) because the bile kept giving me nearly-uncontrollable urges to explain to him in great detail how he was both utterly wrong and an evil hate-monger.

    It’s a pity, but the world is full of people we can’t stand, and with those who can’t stand us.

  46. Jeff VanderMeer says:

    Yeah, I think I’m in no danger of picking up any of his novels at this point. The thing that depresses me the most is that people still think this way in this day and age. It’s crazy.

  47. John Coulthart says:

    There is a serious debate to be had over the matter which sparked Wright’s post, namely GLAAD’s ratings for the inclusivity shown by US TV shows. Gay Americans don’t all automatically assume that GLAAD is doing a great job; Queerty.com (admittedly not the best place to go to for serious analysis) recently said “GLAAD is either clapping its hands or furrowing its brow. This is not activism. This is couch potato finger-waving…” They balanced that by later stating “Where GLAAD excels, and remains important, is in reaching the ninety-ish percent of straight America and reminding them they’ve all got gays among their loved ones, and we deserve the same rights and compassion.”

    However…

    Wright negates any such debate by his tone and his use of words such as “pervert”, a term he’s been happy to use before. Trying to discuss gay issues with a person who starts from that position is as pointless as debating immigration with someone who opens the discussion by using racial epithets.

    It pains me to see such attitudes promoted by Wright and Orson Scott Card for two reasons:

    1) They’re both sf writers and despite sf’s often conservative history we tend to look to the genre for a broader, more imaginative conception of the way human beings can live together.

    2) Science fiction attracts a younger reading group than many other areas of fiction. Some of the readers of JCW and OSC will inevitably be gay teenagers coming to terms with their sexuality in a world which very often (especially in the US) tells them that their deepest feelings are wrong, or even evil. When I was a teenager in that position, sf acted as a means of escape from a world which wanted to negate part of my life. It offered alternative ways of picturing existence. Reading Rachel Pollack’s short story “The Second Generation” at the age of 15 (about teenagers changing sex with pills) was a revelation. Same with Moorcock’s bisexual characters. The views of sf writers used to be pretty remote unless you were a fervent magazine as well as book reader; I rarely had any idea what the writers I enjoyed felt about the world beyond occasional introductions or prefaces. Today, however, it’s easy to imagine teens in a similar position enjoying one of Wright’s books then quickly zipping over to his LJ to discover that he regards them as “perverts”. Given the self-satisfied tone of many of his postings he’s no doubt happy with this.

    In Jeff’s Booklife he writes about the hazards of blogging for writers, one of them being the danger of opening yourself up too much to readers. Wright is welcome to pontificate at length about moral degeneracy, and seems to do so frequently. But polls show that his views about “perverts” are increasingly unpopular, especially among the young people who might be an audience for his work. If each new round of bluster diminishes that audience, he’s only himself to blame.

  48. Tim Lebbon says:

    What a dick.

  49. Continent of Stupidea Under Quarantine Due To Wackadoo Orsonscottcarditis Pandemic | The Crotchety Old Fan says:

    [...] for the name of the disease in the title.  He also links to Jeff VanderMeer’s response here.  Jeff is responsible for naming the continent of Stupidea I used in the [...]

  50. Bev says:

    I’m a huge fan of China Miéville and Christopher Buckley, despite the fact that I don’t agree with either of them politically (hardcore Communism/Marxism and Republican, respectively). And differing politics won’t stop me from going out and buying someone else’s books if they look interesting.

    The big difference for me is the tone that John C. Wright took in his post. He was really nasty, and he was also pulling conclusions out of his ass. Demonizing an entire group of people and making them out to be degenerates doesn’t fly with me, regardless of whether you’re doing it to gays & lesbians, African-Americans, Republicans, Democrats, creationists, or Satanists. People like Wright need to go back to grade school to learn manners and civility again.

  51. JMMcDermott says:

    I can understand the disgust with the poster of this vile, dumb screed, and the desire to ignroe his books from now on.

    The wrinkle, for me, comes with his wife’s book. Knowing nothing, I like to assume the best of people and assume that she is not guilty of the same abject stupidity as her husband. But, I don’t know what my reaction will be when I’m in the store and looking for a new book and hers has a nice cover and I think back to her husband’s rant…

    Do I read the book of the woman who presumably loves the bigot?

    Time will tell, I guess.

  52. PhilRM says:

    I had the same experience with Wright as I did with Card, and in neither case did it have anything to do with their homophobia (which I only found out about much later).

    In Card’s case, it was the Introduction to his collection The Folk of the Fringe, where he talks about being at some writing workshop, and goes on and on about how he couldn’t socialize with any of the other people there, because they were not Mormons, and therefore he couldn’t possibly relate to them. His whole attitude of “I have no commonality with people who don’t have exactly the same background, attitudes and opinions as I do” just struck me as so creepy that I completely lost interest in reading anything by him. What an outlook for a writer of speculative fiction! (Actually, for any writer, at least, any writer worth reading).

    With Wright, it was an interview in SciFiWeekly (back before SyFy ruined it); I had not read anything by him then, and I certainly am not going to go looking for his stuff now. In the interview he just came across as an absolute pompous jackass. Shorter Wright: “Only I am brilliant enough to realize that all of the so-called great philosophers are fools, and that all true wisdom is contained in the Bible”. That smug, narrow-minded viewpoint made me cross him off right then and there. Subsequent exposure to his views has only confirmed that judgement , although this screed really takes the prize.

    Bev: I would argue that the difference is that, whatever their political viewpoints, Mieville (sorry, can’t get the accent to work) and Buckley aren’t using them as excuses to preach hatred and intolerance. Wright is.

    Jeff: I was trying to wrap my mind around the idea of Lovecraft blogging, but then I realized we already have a good approximation: Blogging Lovecraft = shorter Hal Duncan! (Minus the prejudices, of course.)

  53. Larry says:

    J.M.,

    I’m thinking pretty much the same thing, except I have her book as a review copy. It seems interesting (I do like Shakespeare’s The Tempest, after all). I want to be able to divorce her husband’s views from her story, but when I see the dedication and the apparent amount of influence he may have had on the story, I hesitate…and I hate finding myself doing that.

  54. Larry says:

    Change that: After reading about Lamplighter’s actions at Worldcon, I think it’ll be much, much more difficult for me to go any further in her debut novel, not without thinking of what she said and did there.

  55. steve davidson says:

    I will (surprisingly) second Ian Sales’ basic comment. The justification for taking an author to task over their personal viewpoints occurs at the moment that they they use the audience they have acquired through to display and spread their personal viewpoints.

    The author created the situation – not the audience members who now refuse to purchase his works.

    Media-savy folk have been maintaining a wall between their professional life and their personal life for ages. The successful ‘public personality’ understands that their works need to appeal to a wide, general audience and maintain a persona that is appealing (or at least not offensive) to a wide, general audience.

    Does this intrude on their “right to express their views” – damn right it does – if THEY choose to want to continue to appeal to a wide, general audience.

    Compare pundits and personalities like Coulter or Hannity to Wright and Card. Neither Coulter or Hannity have any illusions about the fact that they have chosen to appeal to a specific audience – not a general one. By doing so they have retained the ability to say just about anything they want to publicly. Those of us who disagree with their views and don’t fund their efforts aren’t surprised at their statements, nor are they surprised that we don’t buy their stuff.

    Card and Wright, on the other hand, are trying to straddle; they want the sales they get from the general audience, but also want the right to say whatever they feel like saying. It just ain’t gonna happen.

  56. Matthew Pridham says:

    How awfully amusing… And I do mean awful. I’d never heard of this guy until today. So nice to see the world of SciFi has its very own Michael Savage. The comparison goes beyond a faint physical one… Like Savage, Wright has that tone of the wannabe intellectual, all five-dollar words and quotations from the Greeks, the bluster about saving “Western civilization” from the degenerates. Of course, a good portion of that culture they are so eager to rescue was created by men & women they would classify as perverts. Socrates, Oscar Wilde, Michaelangelo, Proust, Virginia Woolf, Da Vinci, Christopher Marlowe, etc, etc. How about bisexual Shakespeare? How about the flaming King James, the same King who oversaw the translation of their favorite fantasy novel? There is a special genius in the ability to so strongly dissociate oneself from unwanted knowledge, and the far-right, at least at the moment, is rife with these geniuses. Also, like Savage, Wright oozes anxious machismo, and of that “Methinks he doth protest too much” variety. That kind of swagger doesn’t come about from anything like a healthy relationship with one’s Id. They both mention “self-control” as the real issue when it comes to homosexual attraction, not, you know, attraction. And of course, they both vehemently deny their religious beliefs have anything to do with the topic at hand. This is particularly laughable in Wright’s case, as he keeps using words like “sin” throughout his ranting. I may be wrong, but I think the concept of sin was excused from ethical philosophy, at least of the non-religious sort, before Kant. And he was a believer! Anyways, its irksome, the way they use religious arguments, as well as appealing to leftover societal taboos, and then angrily refuse that theirs is a faith-based bigotry. Have some guts, people out there! At least your Saudi Arabian kin don’t hesitate to pin their murderous attitudes toward women, homosexuals and most everybody else on the Koran. Someone like Wright wants to sound like a fiery intellectual/moralist, but he’s no William Blake, no Kierkegaard, not even a Tolstoy. He uses bigger words than Anne Coulter, I’ll give him that.

    One part of me believes we should have pity for creatures like this. At some point they were warped, who knows how? At one point they let in the poison and let it transform themselves into carriers of the poison. But then again, that’s the issue: they are carriers now. Pornographers of hatred. I for one have never been in favor of silencing voices, not with censorship or bans or gulags or any of that tripe. But calling them on their shit? That there is what the First Amendment is for. Criticism, parody, deconstruction, and laughter. Laughter hurts someone like Wright more than probably anything else.

    As for buying his books, frankly the dunderheaded tone of his blogging (and I’ve read some interviews now and found them snide, bombastic and silly) makes me want to avoid reading his work. It’s like walking into a restaurant and seeing the only cook blowing his nose with his fingers right before setting to work on your dish. The sortof jibberish Wright spouts has no doubt found its way into his prose, whether obviously or not. And yeah, Celine & Heidegger were Nazis and Lovecraft & Dickens were racists and Nietzsche & Dick had problems with women and etc., but then, these folks were also geniuses. It’s certainly true that having some distance from their cultural contexts makes some difference, as does an open understanding of the shadows their various works have cast. S. T. Joshi is the hardest of hardcore Lovecraftians around and he is the first to admit how ugly and embarrassing HPL’s bigotry is. I think I’ll let Wright’s work pass through the threshing machine that is literary history before seeing if there is anything to him but medieval prejudices & ill-concealed issues with what his pee-pee wants him to do with it.

    And I can only imagine Lovecraft’s blogging would sound like his letters: alternately profound, amusing, sentimental, boring, learned and, every once in awhile, vile.

  57. Craig Gidney says:

    Religious objection to homosexuality is not something I agree with, but it usually doesn’t effect my enjoyment of a book/movie/music. For instance, I love Flannery O’Connor’s work. It’s full of love for her weird characters, even if she is kind of off on the subject of race and she would probably condemn me for being gay. When a person goes into straight out hate rhetoric and wild irrationality, I draw the line. And Wright is foaming like Beck on a crystal meth bender.

    Additionally, both Wright and Lamplighter have bizarre views on race. He calls African Americans “Negroes” in an annoyingly anachronistic way. And Lamplighter referred to her son’s black friend as “a boy of pitch.” Where do they live where that’s OK? It’s like both of them are channeling Ignatius O’Reilly. They probably call Obama The Moor of Washington.

    And really–do they even think before they act? I mean, at least one editor, if not more, at Tor might be “deviant.” A person perusing their books might be a “person of pitch.”

  58. Matthew Pridham says:

    “The Moor of Washington!”
    Beautiful!

    Yeah, Mrs. John C. Wright (as her husband calls her in a good number of blogs) seems pretty daft with her “I don’t even notice that people are African or Asian!” I can’t help wonder if she only “notices” this when she says something asinine and racist and gets called on it.

  59. J M McDermott says:

    Larry,

    You’re a better reader than I if you can approach the Wright family books by themselves, without searching through them for hints of their views.

  60. Larry says:

    That’s it – it’s hard for me to do so, but then again, I read f’n Hitler for my graduate research, so I guess I have the stomach for that sort of crap :P

  61. Caitlín R. Kiernan says:

    As of a couple of hours ago, Wright has closed his journal to comments, excepting those of “friends.” All comments to his grand “Communique from the Continent of Stupidea” have been erased.

  62. Jeff VanderMeer says:

    Now THAT’s classy. Apparently, he doesn’t understand the intertubes that well, ’cause it ain’t gonna help.

  63. Eddie C says:

    BEWARE THE MAN OF UNREASON!!!! For he might, um. Have emotion. Or something. And not spout randian bollocks. Or something.

  64. Toni says:

    And these posts are just the tip of the iceberg. With a little googling it’s easy to find out that he’s been rambling the language of “Stupidea” since his heart attack and supernatural christian revelations & visions. As was mentioned also earlier.

  65. Grant Stone says:

    Wasn’t “Homosex” a hit for the Midlist Author Implosion Project back in the 80s? It got to #37 on the European charts.

  66. Hannu Blommila says:

    And to think I own three books by John C. Wright…The embarrassment. The shame…

    What a truly sad, sad person he is. Someone buy him a Capybara. Maybe it helps..

  67. TK Downtown says:

    I’m not against reading fiction writers who are narcissistic, intolerant, or mad. I’ve read a couple of Wright’s novels and found them a mixed bag. I’ve also followed his blog for a couple of years for its rubbernecking value. It’s not a typical writer’s blog; it’s mostly a record of Wright’s certitudes and correctitudes, often framed as logical proofs complete with Latin phrases — and a whole lot of bile. Wright often describes himself as a philosopher and a gentleman; but I see someone who is lacking in sanity and humanity to a poignant degree. And it’s not just the gay issue that torments him; he has a long list of grievances — from wetbacks, to treehuggers, to hedonists, to the war against Christmas, to that vile pigmy Harlan Ellison who once dissed him, to people who want to take away his guns, to men who don’t stand when a lady enters the room… He’s also full of arcane wisdom such as “Few people realize that horses were put on earth to carry men into battle.” In my estimation, Wright’s daily demonstration of how he is exclusively right about everything, functions to help him keep his psyche freshly cleansed of any creeping ambiguity or compunction. He is where he wants to be, and will pray for all you evil, stupid naysayers.

  68. PhilRM says:

    News flash for Wright: the opposite of “Homophobe” is not “Pervertarian”, it’s “normal, sane human”.

  69. Bev says:

    Wright sounds like a raving lunatic! His response to negative comments is typical: he’s packing up his toys and going home because no one will “play fair” with him. Although I see he’s kept the comments open only to his friends. I guess he’ll have to lick his wounds and commiserate with the equally benighted.

  70. steve davidson says:

    Given today’s insanity, I’m modifying my evaluation. This is not the rantings of a homophobe.

    Wright (for some reason) bought into the evangelical (bs) world view and is now shocked, dismayed, upset and a bit put out that white, male evangelical christians are not immediately given patriarch status.

    I wonder – does his wife walk six paces behind him – oh wait, that’s oriental…

  71. Caitlín R. Kiernan says:

    Though we can only ponder his motivations, Mr. Wright appears to have deleted the entry that has angered and boggled so many minds. I shall not interpret this as a retraction, but, perhaps, as a cowardly retreat.

  72. Arachne Jericho says:

    It is speculated that most likely he deleted the original post because it got linked in his Wikipedia page.

    Although right now there’s no longer a direct link to individual entries, but simply to his entire blog, which the Wikipedia Gods said was enough (and they are indeed right in this case).

  73. What Did Napoleon Say At Waterloo? | The Crotchety Old Fan says:

    [...] you’re clueless about the Unnamed one – go here, here, here and play catch-up SHARETHIS.addEntry({ title: "What Did Napoleon Say At Waterloo?", [...]

  74. Oh, and About the Wright Dust-Up | Spontaneous ∂erivation says:

    [...] Valente’s wonderful open letter. Oh, and also Hal Duncan’s wonderful open letter. And Jeff VanderMeer’s post where I first heard of all [...]

  75. David Langford says:

    It’s always a bit irritating to find one’s links have been deliberately broken: I’ve since amended the Ansible link to the Awesome Pervertarianness to indicate that Gary Farber quotes most of our man’s timeless words.

    http://amygdalagf.blogspot.com/2009/08/yowser.html

  76. Hayden Winters says:

    I am having some trouble getting to load this page. I visited it many times before and never got anything like this, but now when I try to load the site it just idles for for some time & then just stops. I have tried both with www and without. Does anyone know what could be the reason? Please ask your host support… I hope to be able to come back soon.

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