I made the mistake of reading John C. Wright’s blog and realized something important

I just read two entries of Mr. Wright’s blog, mind you.  I lay the responsibility of this squarely at the feet of Nick Mamatas, who linked to one of them.

I thought they were satire.

Seriously. They are so over the top and contradictory… for example, this paragraph:

The support of abortion, sodomy, and euthanasia rather unambiguously put
a soul into the position of open rebellion against Christian teachings.
In addition, any man who bears false witness against his neighbor,
delights in poison-tongued gossip, and destroys writing careers of
anyone who does not support his politics not only disobeys Christ, but
violates the ordinary decency of ordinary men of good will of any faith.

Apparently he did not realize that writing long screeds against Tor editors and asserting huge-ass conspiracy theories (if you’re really interested, go look up GRRM’s thorough debunking of his assertions) counts as poison-tongued gossip.


 
Oh, and in the same post he claims that Theodore Beale’s current behavior (along with the Rapid[sic] Puppy rebellion) is entirely due to other people’s influences.

And then this delightful gem (apparently referring to people like me):

Hate is their diet. We are motivated by love of the genre, the
simple pleasure of reading, and delight in all things in the cosmos,
from the normal romance of man and wife to the sublime glories of
spinning galaxies, clusters and superclusters in the vast and burning
cathedral of light we call the universe.
All that is ours. Our works and our ways should and do reflect this, including our works of art.
They
are perverted sexually, mentally, and in all ways. Their petty acts of
outrage-masturbation and self righteousness harm them as well as us, and
are quite unsightly to boot. A pool of sticky liquid best left
unidentified.

And really, that quote deserves this:
 

Seriously, folks, while I have a tendency to do a Winger-esque speech when given half a chance, just these two blog posts are so… just, wow.

But the real problem – and the reason I’m glad I read these posts – lies in this paragraph (despite its hyperbole):

If we retreat or show weakness, the gibbering baboons will rejoice, can
claim the heap of poo they have shoveled together in their own camps and
kitchens is their mountain of victory. One need only look at the world
of painting and sculpture to see the result of that.

Because apparently he’s not taken any
classes in art history, and wants us all to go back to painting
tryptichs of scenes from Jesus’ life (I wonder if he’s aware that Christ
is a title, given how much he uses it)?  And man, while I don’t
“get” all modern art, I don’t always “get” classical art either… and
some modern art is just freaking amazing.

But the problem is embedded in that paragraph. It’s not the victim mentality; it’s not even the overgeneralization.

It’s the false dichotomy that only one or the other can exist.

Can John C. Wright write such floridly purple prose? Absolutely. Can he continue to act just like the people who drove me away from Catholicism? Sure can. And I can write about abortion, or publishing, or liberalism, or postmodernism, or whatever too.  That’s kind of how this works.

I really don’t care what Wright, Beale, Torgerson, Correia, etc write. I think they should write what they love to write.  I think they should market to people who love that kind of writing.

That’s how I write, and how I publish. I publish the anthologies that I want to read, and market them to people who feel the same way. Some people don’t like what I write and publish, and that’s cool too.

Write what you love. Sell it to others who love that kind of writing. Get it recognized by others who love to recognize your kind of writing.

That is showing love for the genre.

Calling for – and I quote: “So this year’s effort to pursue a moderate and measured response failed. War without mercy or let is all that remains.”? Trying to force people to like what you write? Trying to get rid of and eliminate other people’s works?

That’s not love of the genre.

That’s pride. Mr. Wright, perhaps you should revisit your catechism.

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4 Comments

  1. March 27, 2018

    Your post here follows a simple pattern: quote something out of context (so that when I am calling someone or some idea an enemy, it cannot be seen who I mean) and then invent some opinion which either I do not hold, or is the opposite of one I hold, and attribute that to me. You then hold up an invented opinion against an out-of-context opinion, and then claim the two are in contradiction.

    If you think I am too vehement in my opposition to lies, or that this somehow contradicts Catholic teaching, perhaps additional deception is not the best method of proving my vehemence misplaced.

    Your condemnation of my pride, on the other hand, I accept with all humility and thanks. It is a besetting sin of mine, I am trying to learn some humility before it is too late. No argument there.

    • steven
      March 30, 2018

      It should be noted that this post was written in 2015 and apparently only popped up when I migrated to WordPress. (Check the permalink.) I have no idea what Mr. Wright is up to these days, nor do I have the desire to spend my time pretending his molehills are mountains.

  2. April 9, 2018

    I am not sure what the passage of time has to do with it. If anything, time will dim your ardor without diminishing my equanimity. I am perfectly willing to forgive your for any cruel or false statements you are willing to retract, no matter how long it has been. As for the smallness of the matter, petty matters are easier, not harder, to forgive. Even a small thorn in your conscience will irk you.

  3. steven
    April 9, 2018

    I made the mistake again of reading your blog again. Yeah, I’m gonna stand behind what I said before.

Comments are closed.