Tag: insults

Author smackdown: writers trading insults

There’s something a little compelling about people within a profession, whose focus is the written word, writing words about others within the profession. It’s why I perversely enjoy reading book reviews in peer reviewed journals. You always get the sense that one writer feels like they’re a little better at things than another. Here’s a collection of 30 writer v writer insults.

Mark Twain on Jane Austen is probably my favourite.

“I haven’t any right to criticize books, and I don’t do it except when I hate them. I often want to criticize Jane Austen, but her books madden me so that I can’t conceal my frenzy from the reader; and therefore I have to stop every time I begin. Every time I read ‘Pride and Prejudice,’ I want to dig her up and hit her over the skull with her own shin-bone.”

What an image, and what a shame that Pride, Prejudice, and Zombies wasn’t around in Twain’s day.

Retard retardent

I overuse the word retard. I understand it’s offensive to many people. I just like the way it sounds. Phonetically, rather than contextually. It’s such a dismissive and insulting word. Apparently it’s so insulting that it’s no longer politically correct to use it to describe people who are actually retarded (technically, literally retarded)… I didn’t know that. Now I do.

Here’s the problem with reinventing the wheel – as spelled out in one of those Slate articles…

But any psychologist will point out that changing the name is, in the end, folly. Whatever new term comes into favor today will seem insensitive, or worse, tomorrow. A nation of 10-year-olds has pretty much exhausted the pejorative power of "retarded" and is eagerly awaiting a new state-of-the-art insult. (The AAMR actually went through this before: In 1973, it switched its name from the American Association on Mental Deficiency to its current appellation because "deficiency" implied, well, deficiency. And retarded, at the time, did not.) The current frontrunner, "intellectual disability," even contracts nicely to ID, which can become a cousin of LD (for learning disability), which served as a choice epithet among the circles I ran in in fifth grade. Steven Warren, the president of the soon-to-be-differently-named AAMR, admits that whatever term his organization comes up with, all the little boys who have crushes on little girls and so call them "retarded" will be quick on its heels. In other words, the AAMR will almost certainly be going through an identity crisis again in 20 years, just to stay ahead of the game.

This also ties in nicely with my little treatise on swearing from a few weeks back.

Barefoot and fancy free

Well, the Barefoot Bum doesn’t like me. He called me a very rude word (that I won’t repeat here – don’t click the link if harsh language offends) in his latest post. And an authoritarian to boot. A Nazi even. Seems Godwin’s law doesn’t apply when you’re a raging atheist. Neither does context.

He didn’t like this comment I put on the previous thread:

If God is not hidden and the “priest, prophets, pundits” are his chosen messengers then you have every reason to believe me and/or them. Why would God personally reveal himself to you because your logic demands it? That doesn’t make any sense. When does a subject ever tell their ruler what to do in that manner?

Because somehow that’s “authoritarian” and I’m a Nazi.

“Nathan is essentially demanding that I obey him (or his chosen priests & prophets) because he asserts that he speaks in the name of god, and he denies any obligation whatsoever to justify his authority. [bad language removed] If you want me to do something, then make me. All “subjects” can demand their “ruler” coerce them. So coerce me.

*I have no idea if Nathan will alter the content of the comment; he doesn’t strike me as being any more honest than he is intelligent. I’ve reproduced the accurately and in full, adding emphasis to the particularly [Again, Bad language removed] authoritarianism.”

Right, so I’m neither honest, or intelligent, I’m a fan of censorship, authoritarianism and a Nazi. This guy knows me well.

“But don’t think that you have any right to escape criticism and condemnation for your slavish submission to authority or your demand that I submit to your authority.”

Slavish submission?

Here are some thoughts on the matter.

  1. Writing something on your own blog does not make it truth.
  2. Writing something in the comments of someone else’s blog also doesn’t make it true – no matter how insulting or ridiculous you find their arguments.
  3. Declaring something loudly on your blog and having your commenting sycophants back you up also does not make your statement truth.
  4. Being insulting to people you’ve never met does nothing for your cause.
  5. Showing disregard for context without questioning the context and posting inflammatory posts about people you’ve never met also does nothing for your cause.
  6. Burying your head in the sand on any counterpoints to your opinion will never end well.
  7. Logical fallacies are only logical fallacies if you presuppose that your opponent is irrational and illogical.
  8. You will always win an argument if you set the parameters and the parameters naturally exclude the person you are arguing with.
  9. If God exists then it’s not up for us to set the parameters for considering his existence on natural law. If God exists the concept of “natural law” does not apply past what we are capable of observing.
  10. The Friendly Atheist is actually friendly by comparison to this particular atheist.
  11. If you remove the fundamental authority and evidential standard from any argument – it falls over. So you can’t ask a Christian not to argue from their understanding of the Bible, a Muslim not to argue from their understanding of the Qu’ran or an Atheist not to argue from their understanding of Science*. All are equally subjective.
  12. As a follow up point from point 11 – atheists expect Christians to familiarise themselves with science, and Christians often do so superficially which frustrates Atheists – but when it comes to the “theistic” evidence they’re only prepared to take a superficial understanding of theology to the table. Because that’s easier to refute.

*Capitalised to indicate usage as a proper noun not the verb.