John Scalzi — Read Whatever

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Reader Request Week 2012 #1: Snark and Insult – Whatever:

It’s rather less legitimate to label Mr. Cameron a “pestilent toad,” because, well. He seems pretty clean. But more to the point, calling him a pestilent toad doesn’t really do much other than call him a name. One may argue that he spreads the pestilence of intolerance and that his antipathy toward gays is positively amphibian, but you have to explain it and it seems the long way around, sort of like suggesting how “unnatural” really refers to philosophical concepts pioneered by Aquinas. It might be better to keep things simple, or if not simple, then immediately relatable to the subject on hand.

Now, ironically, should Mr. Cameron ever attempt to sue me for libel, my defense would be marginally better if I did refer to him as a pestilent toad than an ignorant bigot, because I could claim “pestilent toad” as an example of hyperbole, since I don’t really believe he’s an actual pestilent toad, whereas I suspect he may be an actual ignorant bigot. But this goes back to the whole “public figure” thing.

I’ve written before that I like John Scalzi as an author. Every book of his I’ve read I’ve loved. He’s not just an author, he’s a thinker. And he’s got a rather unique sense of humor.

But it’s stuff like this that makes his blog a gem, too. If you aren’t reading Whatever, you should be.

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