Thursday, September 16, 2010

You're Unpublished, Aren't You?


First of all, I detest literary snobbishness for personal reasons. My mom wrote romance novels and she did it well. Over 30 of them were published. She was the most popular romance author in Germany for 3 years in a row in the late 80s.* And every single year, English class would start with the teacher trashing romance novels as if someone, somewhere were attempting to replace Ulysses** with the current Harlequin releases. Honestly.

I rather detest tautology, but entertainment is what it is. Video games involve pressing buttons, movies involve staring at a screen and kids' shows will feature bright colors and near lethal levels of overacting.

However, that's not to say that a good story is limited by format. The Halo franchise has been telling an amazing story for the better part of decade, touching on sacrifice, loss, the essence of humanity and ethics in the face of genocide while gamers everywhere scream, "Boom! Headshot!" and then get blown up by the noob who can't figure out how to throw a grenade. (Why, yes, that was me last night. I got two kills for that.)

All of this might help to explain my annoyance at yet another self congratulatory "Most of the reading public is stoopid and that's why my book won't sell even though thinly disguised erotica does quite well" post, this time at Salon.

Likability is indeed just another word for "morality." A huge section of the American reading public does not want art for art's sake, or even realistic characters; it wants the books we read and the movies we see to be clever public service announcements, meant to uphold public morality.

Ever read a book with an unlikeable protagonist? I have, though it's rarely done on purpose. Here's the thing: I could be doing anything with my time. I could be cleaning or shopping or watching TV. I don't have to be reading your book. There has to be some kind of motivation to get me started (cool cover!) and some sort of motivation to keep me going. That's where likeability factors in.

If we like someone, we care about what happens to them. If we dislike someone, we don't care what happens to them. Or we want bad things to happen to them. So, if your protagonist is unlikeable, what's my motivation to continue reading? Yeah, I don't have any. That's why writers stick with likeable protagonists, because while unlikeable yet sympathetic protagonists can be done, it's very difficult to do and if you miss the mark, people stop reading.

I've been trying to think of successful unlikeable protagonists and I've come up with two, one from movies.


There's Dexter. (I've never seen the TV show, I've only ever read the books.) He's not really likeable. In fact, he's deliberately unlikeable, which is not to say unsympathetic. One can, and does, sympathize with Dexter, one does not like him.

There's Riddick***. (Yeah, it's Vin Diesel, but it totally works. It especially works the less he's wearing. Anyway.) He's not likeable at all, but it sure is fun to watch him kill in the most primitive possible manner with an air of ennui that seems to say, "Yeesh, why am I always the one that has to do all the killing? Is there no one else with the requisite slashing skills available, ever?"

That's it. There's plenty of likeable antagonists, they abound, but unlikeable protagonists? Really difficult to do.

It all reminds me of a classic defense mechanism, "You're weird!" This epithet is used by many young people whenever they are confronted with a challenging person or a person with a challenging thesis. Having read many literary reviews on Amazon in order to get an idea of what the average person thinks about fiction, I've come to believe that half of the negative literary reviews can be broiled down to those two words: "You're weird."

The "average person" as represented by Amazon book reviews? Really? If by average you mean "Buys books online and then returns to review them later", sure. That's not the average person, however. And you're assuming we're stupid?

The sad truth is that most American writers are professionals first, artists second. We need a Mark Twain to make all these Horatio Algers look ridiculous. The case of Nirvana and '80s rock is also instructive.

I will now explode into laughter for two reasons. 1) Samuel Clemens a/k/a Mark Twain was under no illusions as to what he was. He knew he was a professional, he liked being a professional. 2) Kurt Cobain was not allowed to listen to anything but gospel music growing up. The music he wrote for Nirvana? He thought that was punk. He was pretty surprised the first time he heard actual punk.

I guess the point here is art is accidental and if not, it's not art? I dunno, I clearly don't understand literature.




*No, we never did find out why, exactly. I guess some things work out even better in translation.

** I'm told that book is art. I think it's 1,000 pages of masturbation and unless I'm the one getting off, I'm not interested in masturbation.

***The DVD version of Chronicles of Riddick includes about 20 minutes of pure sci fi cut scenes that completely explain Riddick as a Furyan. The movie makes so much more sense if you've seen them. And Escape from Butcher Bay is an excellent video game.

51 comments:

  1. I just want to be able to see in the dark... and I'm pretty sure I can scrape together twenty menthol cools. Anybody know a doctor could shine my eyes?

    ReplyDelete
  2. The case of Nirvana and '80s rock is also instructive.

    Okay, so I went searchin' for mangoes, convinced that this wasn't actually a non-sequitur in the way it was framed in the post.

    That's the last goddamn sentence of the goddamn letter. It's also the first goddamn mention of Nirvana in the goddamn letter.

    Do you know why you're not a successful author, oh brave anonymous internet person writing a bitchy letter on the webz? Because you're a shitty, shitty author, that's why. I literally need no more information about you than the fact that you ended a goddamn letter with "The case of Nirvana and '80s rock is also instructive" when there had previously been nary a mention of Nirvana. Or music. Or the fucking '80s.

    Good. Fucking. Night.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Never let it be said I misrepresent other people's idiocy, Geds.

    As for the eye shine, I loved that it never gets technobabbled the way everything does on Star Trek. (And I love Star Trek, but really.) He's Riddick, he sees in the dark, his eyes are shiny. He lied about the illegal prison surgery. End of story. Even when Riddick runs into a murderous pseudo-wolf thing with the exact same eye shine that apparently likes him because of his eye shine, we never get any explanation. The viewer is left to assume what they will and Riddick is back to killing people in the most improbable of ways.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I read 2-3 books a week. When you said "unlikeable protagonist" one author leapt to mind: John Grisham. I read "The Firm" and "the Client" and "The Pelican Brief" and I liked them all. Then I started "The Chamber" and I kept on reading it, thinking that eventually there would be SOMEBODY LIKEABLE in the story. Alas, there wasn't.

    Years later, I had read a few more Grisham books, and the bad taste had worn off. Then I read "The Painted House" and the narrator/protagonist is unlikeable--he's just uninteresting, so you can't like him, or dislike him--you just can't care one way or another. That was the first time I felt I had wasted time by reading a book.

    No more Grisham for me.

    Also, it may just be me, but Dr. Kay Scarpetta in Patricia Cornwell's books is becoming unlikeable, but I'll keep reading her for now.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I think an unlikable protagonist can work in comedy. I watch "Curb Your Enthusiasm." Larry David is not likable at all. There is absolutely nothing about Larry David (as portrayed on the show) that makes me say "This is a good person." In fact, with each season, he somehow manages to make me loathe him more. His friend and manager Jeff is equally unlikable, but its funny for 2 reasons. 1) When put in annoying situations that everyone gets put in daily, he will say and do things that I've wanted to do but didn't because well, I'm not a sociopath. 2) When he lies and cheats and manipulates his way through life, its hilarious to see it all come back to bite him in the ass and put him in an embarrassing situation.

    The same goes for "Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia" which may contain the 5 most loathesome characters to ever grace a television screen, but its hilarious to watch.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Good post. If you want an unlikeable protagonist and you read fantasy, try Thomas Covenant in the Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever series by Stephen Donaldson. Going back further, there's Michael Moorcock's Elric, although he's more of an anti-hero and is actually more of a sympathetic protagonist.

    ReplyDelete
  7. The same goes for "Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia" which may contain the 5 most loathesome characters to ever grace a television screen, but its hilarious to watch.

    This x1000. There are entire episodes of that show where I just start cringing once I see the set up. I know it will not end well and it will be painful and I'm just ready for it.

    And they keep building. And they keep building.

    And then, finally, the episode ends.

    It's brilliant in a completely anti-social way.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I was about to mention Curb Your Enthusiasm also, but I see someone beat me to it.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Oh, Thomas Covenant. I can't believe I forgot him. I only had to buy the books 3 times after literally reading them to death.

    Kay Scarpetta pissed me off two books ago. I understand constantly being bathed in death and misery would make one either insane or hardened, but at least give her one redeeming quality to go with her hardness. Have her pet a kitten once every other chapter or something.

    CYE brings up my point of you want bad things to happen to bad people. It's only funny because his sociopathy causes him problems. If he always came out on top, you'd be annoyed.

    ReplyDelete
  10. A friend of mine mentioned the other day he doesn't like House because the writers/ directors forgot to make any of the major characters likable. I've been blaming the show's badness on the way they exploit Olivia Wilde's character- and that does aggravate me and/or bum me out- but the other factor works too. I guess you could argue House is sympathetic, but I think that would only work for ex-junkies (Like me, and I don't find him believable or compelling.), or arrogant bastards who love how smart they are.

    ReplyDelete
  11. the only crap you will ever need from this so-called "philosopher" called massimo pigliucci

    http://chem.tufts.edu/science/pigliucci/rationally-speaking/RS2001-091.htm


    "The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it."


    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1iy39_depeche-mode-john-the-revelator_music


    JOHN THE REVELATOR!


    FAIR AND BALANCED!



    KING OF TERROR


    add comment moderation to your BS or more people will die with you...


    NO GODS AND NO POLITICS WITH THESE LITTLE IDIOTS!


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gyEISfS15g4&feature=player_embedded


    plush safe he think

    http://www.christies.com/lotfinderimages/D14781/d1478164x.jpg



    http://vimeo.com/13704095


    but with recent revelations about James Randi, I think he likes DICKS!

    THE SECOND COMING!

    THE END OF ATHEISM

    FOLLOW THE WHITE RABBIT...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Smwrw4sNCxE


    THE B**BQUAKE - 911

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yeblvLoVJCA&feature=related

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cpZZ2PPBzP8&feature=related

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvSljPf9on4&feature=related

    you are going to pay the price for this….

    THE RUBBER DUCKY OF PSEUDOSCIENCE III - JAMES RANDI


    http://daddytypes.com/archive/hofman_rubber_duckie.jpg

    there is a lot of sh*t to flush!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cg2AezJo8aQ

    THE HEAD OF THE INFIDEL!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojR-XRt4rrA

    Is America burning yet?

    Maybe we need some more...

    we use the DIVINE against the ESTABLISHMENT... you?

    we do better DEMOLITIONS than you, savage...

    RENOUNCE YOUR ATHEISM AND JOIN THE SOCIALIST FAITH!

    let them know if the MDC continues more people will die...

    the WORLD TRADE CENTER PROPHECY - THE DANCE OF DEATH

    WORLD TRADE CENTER PROPHECY

    FLUSH ATHEISM!

    Actually it is a ROYAL FLUSH!!!

    Let me show you how ATHEISTS were partially responsible for 911

    These ATHEISTS NEED TO BE ON THE TERRORIST WATCH LIST!

    You don’t even have SCIENCE on your side…

    You’re a perfect example of when PHILOSOPHY becomes an ENEMY OF LIFE...

    http://stephenlaw.blogspot.com/2010/06/playing-mystery-card.html

    not quite samantha with her *supernatural spit*, eh?

    this isn't one of your little WORD GAMES...

    blasphemy is a DEATH SENTENCE

    you people actually BELIEVE the BS you preach!

    GOD 1 - atheists 0

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQcNiD0Z3MU

    Atheists,

    you are ENEMIES OF GOD AND ARE GOING TO BE ANNIHILATED...

    Repent and turn to God or be destroyed...

    YOU HAVE NO CHOICE...

    my interpretation of the STATUE FIRE... it symbolizes the SPIRITUAL DEATH of atheism...

    http://www.salon.com/news/2010/06/15/us_lightning_strikes_jesus_statue

    http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2010/6/16/1276680110544/The-King-of-Kings-statue--005.jpg

    http://www.latimes.com/media/photo/2010-06/54332292.jpg

    http://friendlyatheist.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/butterjesus-1.jpg

    PRINCESS DI IS WEARING A NEW DRESS!

    http://www.princeofwales.gov.uk/speechesandarticles/a_speech_by_hrh_the_prince_of_wales_titled_islam_and_the_env_252516346.html
    ______________________________
    http://skepticblog.org/2010/04/06/would-i-ever-pray-for-a-miracle/

    Shermer, I WANT TO SEE YOU BEG FOR A MIRACLE...
    ___________________
    we do like your music Lady Gaga, but...

    The B**BQUAKE - 911

    Let me show you the FATE OF TRAITORS...

    http://www.loiterink.com/photos/products/182_3424_500x500.jpg

    they are incapable of telling the difference between SCIENTIFIC *FACT* AND
    RELIGIOUS AND PHILOSOPHICAL *TRUTH*... FATAL ERROR!

    THE BOOBQUAKE - 911!

    http://dissidentphilosophy.lifediscussion.net/philosophy-f1/the-boobquake-911-t1310.htm

    ReplyDelete
  12. too bad we are going to exterminate all you lying fuckers...

    ReplyDelete
  13. personal failure...

    you think you are safe lying behind your computer...

    you are DEADLY WRONG

    ReplyDelete
  14. geds, michal mock, joe mccken and the rest of you scum DIE TODAY!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Wow. This got 10 whole comments and more than seven hours before everyone's favorite Canadian dickshitter showed up to dump his fuck stupid robo-Jesus bullshit all over the blog. That's got to be some sort of fucking record.

    Also, DM, I believe that you told me I was going to die, like, a week and a half ago. And you told Michael that he was going to die a good two weeks before that. You're a dipshit.

    Oh, wait, no, I get it. You're going for credibility of Biblical proportions. Keep it up, asshole, you're only two thousand years of failed prophecy behind. I'm sure you'll catch up soon enough.

    Also, now that I've realized that there is absolutely nothing we can do to get rid of this stinky cockroach, I'm free to take out my troll hate on him any time I want. Hooray!

    Dennis Markuze, feel free to stick a Bible up your own ass and pump it in and out as hard as you can. If it hurts maybe you can coat it in some of that anointing oil they sell in religious supply stores. Or Holy Water.

    ReplyDelete
  16. geds

    but first I am going to torture you, fucker...

    ReplyDelete
  17. What? With the comfy chair and the pillows? Or are you just going to make me listen to more of your inane rambling?

    Wait, wait, I know! You're going to show me pictures of adorable puppies, then remind me that I do not currently own a dog, which will make me sad.

    Then I'll just go down to the shelter and adopt a dog.

    That sounds like an awesome idea, actually. Maybe I'll do it tomorrow.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Book with an unlikeable protagonaist? There's the Bible.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Book with an unlikeable protagonaist? There's the Bible.

    Rimshot!

    ReplyDelete
  20. So umm...DM, buddy. I'm actually a Christian. I just like reading what PF has to say because she tends to skewer the nasty elements of Christianity that I try to distance myself from. Am I going to die too?

    Also, you happen to be one of those nasty elements. Please stay off of my side. You can do the greatest service to theism by shutting the hell up.

    ReplyDelete
  21. You can do the greatest service to theism by shutting the hell up.

    The problem is that he's basically in need of serious psychiatric help and doesn't seem to be getting any.

    Every once in a while someone tries to reason with him and figure out what his deal is (Michael Mock, I'm looking at you...). As best anyone's been able to figure out, he actually thinks that Jesus wants him to kill us terrible godless folk because, well, that's what people who really need to be medicated think.

    So, in a weird way, he seems to think he is helping. And you've probably made yourself an enemy now, Jason. You're not dedicated enough to the cause.

    Sorry, man. It's a tough row to hoe. But apparently we do get cookies, so there's that.

    Plus, if you ever just decide you want to say horribly offensive things to someone, DM is a fantastic punching bag, since he'll just throw out another useless death threat!

    There's also a non-zero possibility that he's a computer program that someone wrote as a sick joke. I'm not entirely willing to rule that option out.

    ReplyDelete
  22. geds...

    I want to make it very clear to you that you are going to be CRUCIFIED today, you babbling little fucker...

    ReplyDelete
  23. And you've probably made yourself an enemy now, Jason. You're not dedicated enough to the cause.

    Geds,

    I missed the part of Sermon on the Mount where Jesus asked us all to obsessively post nonsensical spam repeatedly in the comments sections of blogs we disagree with. I also missed the part where he asked us to make idle death threats. Guess I got some rereading to do.

    I do like his method of rebutting his enemies which is basically "I don't like this guy...now here's a link of him sayting something. I won't bother to refute him. I'll just tell you that I don't like him and then provide a link to one of his opinions."

    Highly effective.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I missed the part of Sermon on the Mount where Jesus asked us all to obsessively post nonsensical spam repeatedly in the comments sections of blogs we disagree with. I also missed the part where he asked us to make idle death threats. Guess I got some rereading to do.

    I believe it comes right after the part where Jesus takes a giant bite out of a pulled pork sandwich, extols the virtues of a free-market capitalistic system and suggests the poor need to stop whining, then turns away while casually flicking a lit cigarette in to a pool of gasoline...

    For some reason Jesus looks a lot like Liam Neeson in my head.

    I'll just tell you that I don't like him and then provide a link to one of his opinions.

    Don't tell him that doesn't work. I use it as my reading list!

    Also, DM, I would be honored to die in the same manner as the lord and savior you apparently worship, although you know nothing about him. Truly, it would be a wonderful way to go out. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  25. the only crap you will ever need from this so-called "philosopher" called massimo pigliucci

    http://chem.tufts.edu/science/pigliucci/rationally-speaking/RS2001-091.htm


    "The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it."


    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1iy39_depeche-mode-john-the-revelator_music


    JOHN THE REVELATOR!


    FAIR AND BALANCED!



    KING OF TERROR


    add comment moderation to your BS or more people will die with you...


    NO GODS AND NO POLITICS WITH THESE LITTLE IDIOTS!


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gyEISfS15g4&feature=player_embedded


    plush safe he think

    http://www.christies.com/lotfinderimages/D14781/d1478164x.jpg



    http://vimeo.com/13704095


    but with recent revelations about James Randi, I think he likes DICKS!

    THE SECOND COMING!

    THE END OF ATHEISM

    FOLLOW THE WHITE RABBIT...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Smwrw4sNCxE


    THE B**BQUAKE - 911

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yeblvLoVJCA&feature=related

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cpZZ2PPBzP8&feature=related

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvSljPf9on4&feature=related

    you are going to pay the price for this….

    THE RUBBER DUCKY OF PSEUDOSCIENCE III - JAMES RANDI


    http://daddytypes.com/archive/hofman_rubber_duckie.jpg

    there is a lot of sh*t to flush!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cg2AezJo8aQ

    THE HEAD OF THE INFIDEL!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojR-XRt4rrA

    Is America burning yet?

    Maybe we need some more...

    we use the DIVINE against the ESTABLISHMENT... you?

    we do better DEMOLITIONS than you, savage...

    RENOUNCE YOUR ATHEISM AND JOIN THE SOCIALIST FAITH!

    let them know if the MDC continues more people will die...

    the WORLD TRADE CENTER PROPHECY - THE DANCE OF DEATH

    WORLD TRADE CENTER PROPHECY

    FLUSH ATHEISM!

    Actually it is a ROYAL FLUSH!!!

    Let me show you how ATHEISTS were partially responsible for 911

    These ATHEISTS NEED TO BE ON THE TERRORIST WATCH LIST!

    You don’t even have SCIENCE on your side…

    You’re a perfect example of when PHILOSOPHY becomes an ENEMY OF LIFE...

    http://stephenlaw.blogspot.com/2010/06/playing-mystery-card.html

    not quite samantha with her *supernatural spit*, eh?

    this isn't one of your little WORD GAMES...

    blasphemy is a DEATH SENTENCE

    you people actually BELIEVE the BS you preach!

    GOD 1 - atheists 0

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQcNiD0Z3MU

    Atheists,

    you are ENEMIES OF GOD AND ARE GOING TO BE ANNIHILATED...

    Repent and turn to God or be destroyed...

    YOU HAVE NO CHOICE...

    my interpretation of the STATUE FIRE... it symbolizes the SPIRITUAL DEATH of atheism...

    http://www.salon.com/news/2010/06/15/us_lightning_strikes_jesus_statue

    http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2010/6/16/1276680110544/The-King-of-Kings-statue--005.jpg

    http://www.latimes.com/media/photo/2010-06/54332292.jpg

    http://friendlyatheist.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/butterjesus-1.jpg

    PRINCESS DI IS WEARING A NEW DRESS!

    http://www.princeofwales.gov.uk/speechesandarticles/a_speech_by_hrh_the_prince_of_wales_titled_islam_and_the_env_252516346.html
    ______________________________
    http://skepticblog.org/2010/04/06/would-i-ever-pray-for-a-miracle/

    Shermer, I WANT TO SEE YOU BEG FOR A MIRACLE...
    ___________________
    we do like your music Lady Gaga, but...

    The B**BQUAKE - 911

    Let me show you the FATE OF TRAITORS...

    http://www.loiterink.com/photos/products/182_3424_500x500.jpg

    they are incapable of telling the difference between SCIENTIFIC *FACT* AND
    RELIGIOUS AND PHILOSOPHICAL *TRUTH*... FATAL ERROR!

    THE BOOBQUAKE - 911!

    http://dissidentphilosophy.lifediscussion.net/philosophy-f1/the-boobquake-911-t1310.htm

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hilarious. DM's better than TV.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Hilarious. DM's better than TV.

    I know! I could just pour myself a bourbon and hit refresh all night!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Also, erm, sorry, PF. I know I moved to a different platform specifically to get away from this jackass and now I've been egging him on on your blog.

    But, in all fairness, you still haven't updated my blog address in your sidebar. So, um, I'ma call this revenge. Yeah...that's what this is.

    That makes perfect sense.

    Right?

    ReplyDelete
  29. I apologize for also egging dumbass on......

    I'm getting revenge for the fact that you still haven't dismantled

    http://chesterstreet.blogspot.com

    Guy has lovely thoughts on women, gays, Muslims, and liberal Christians. You'll love him.

    ReplyDelete
  30. geds you are going to learn to SHUT YOUR TRAP, especially concerning things of a *PROPHETIC NATURE*

    ReplyDelete
  31. Ooh, hey geds: testable prediction!

    If you're nailed to a tree sometime in the next 24 hours, be sure to let us know before you bleed out so the EAC will know to target the serious and deadly threat that is Dennis Markuze before he brings about our downfall.

    And if you don't, we can all have a good laugh at Dennis' delusions.

    Seriously DM, please, for your own sake: get some psychiatric help and/or medication. It'll help you make something of your life, bring you to a level of sanity where you can be productive and in control.

    Plus it might even keep you from focusing on the point. You know, the one directly behind your head... DON'T TURN AROUND! Don't look! Just keep staring at the cold light from the computer screen, the comforting shapes of the letters admist the glow. The words, and the sentences: they're safe. They're just words. What's behind you isn't. Keep reading these words. If you turn around, I honestly don't know what will happen. I can't guarantee your continued existance if you turn around, if you stop reading, if I stop typing this paragraph that is the only thing keeping you from focusing on them. They know that you know that they're there now. I'm writing this so that you can keep reading, keep staring at the screen, so that you don't stop, you don't let your mind or your eyes wander, you don't even think about their dark, grasping tendrils or their teeth, just as dark but flecked with tiny spots of scarlet, like bloodred stars of a distant universe...

    Don't look. Please, don't look.

    ReplyDelete
  32. geds you are going to learn to SHUT YOUR TRAP, especially concerning things of a *PROPHETIC NATURE*

    Not so long ago a Native American medicine man told me that I would have interesting dreams because it would be Creator talking to me.

    I did have dreams that night. They were about getting back together with an ex-girlfriend.

    I awoke in a cold sweat, terrified.

    Can I please be crucified now?

    ReplyDelete
  33. I wonder if it ever occurs to internet lunatics that a significant number of people out here in internet land are heavily-armed, experienced and/or trained in the application of violence, and prone to regard threats as things to be eliminated? If I were an internet loon who liked threatening people, I'd be hoping the wrong person didn't actually take my threats seriously and decide to do something about them.

    ReplyDelete
  34. If I were an internet loon who liked threatening people, I'd be hoping the wrong person didn't actually take my threats seriously and decide to do something about them.

    See, right there you poke a hole in your own thesis. It requires starting from a standpoint of logical thought. But loons who threaten people on the internet seem to lack that particular capacity.

    Also, I happen to know that at least two of the people DM threatened tonight are located in Texas, wherein everyone is heavily armed. At least in popular lore...

    ReplyDelete
  35. Geds,

    forgive me for asking this insanely personal question, but... aren't you still Christian? just not an ignorant-stupid-ill-educated-slave-to-some-preacher's-fears Christian?

    [if you aren't, please forgive me!] but if you *are* still a Christian, why the FUCK is DM threatening *YOU*? i mean, you know more about the Bible than he does, and you're a better Christian!!!

    ReplyDelete
  36. denelian:

    Um, I fail to see how that's a deeply personal question.

    But, no. I'm not a Christian. I self-identify as a humanist and am, for all intents and purposes, an atheist. But I also have a healthy respect for the Trickster gods and am thinking of setting up a Coyote-based religion.

    Ironically enough, though, I'm pretty sure that even with that I'm a better Christian than DM. I mean, at the very least I don't spew out death threats in the name of that guy who seemed to think we should all lay down our own lives for each other in order to make the world a better place.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Dennis Markuze said: "geds, michal mock, joe mccken and the rest of you scum DIE TODAY!"

    What, again?

    Come on, Dennis. This is getting old. I don't know whether you mean these predictions as prophecies or curses, but either way THEY DON'T WORK. Your ability to predict the future is actually worse than mine... and hell, I'm occasionally surprised when the sun comes up.

    Threatening to torture and kill people is not healthy... and you do that all the time. You seem to actually believe that your pronouncements have an effect on the real world. That is, quite simply, crazy.

    Look, I'm not scared of you and I'm not worried by you. I am, however, worried for you. So please, for your own sake, seek professional help. Forget about the rest of us; we don't really matter.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Your ability to predict the future is actually worse than mine... and hell, I'm occasionally surprised when the sun comes up.

    In related news, I'm not dead.

    Although I did develop a crazy urge to pluck out one of my eyes in order to gain the necessary knowledge to stave off doom at Ragnarok...

    ReplyDelete
  39. And the Pope is 100% correct: The Nazis and the atheists both wish to ABOLISH FAITH....

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11332515



    the only crap you will ever need from this so-called "philosopher" called massimo pigliucci

    http://chem.tufts.edu/science/pigliucci/rationally-speaking/RS2001-091.htm


    "The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it."


    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1iy39_depeche-mode-john-the-revelator_music


    JOHN THE REVELATOR!


    FAIR AND BALANCED!



    KING OF TERROR


    add comment moderation to your BS or more people will die with you...


    NO GODS AND NO POLITICS WITH THESE LITTLE IDIOTS!


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gyEISfS15g4&feature=player_embedded


    plush safe he think

    http://www.christies.com/lotfinderimages/D14781/d1478164x.jpg



    http://vimeo.com/13704095


    but with recent revelations about James Randi, I think he likes DICKS!

    THE SECOND COMING!

    THE END OF ATHEISM

    FOLLOW THE WHITE RABBIT...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Smwrw4sNCxE


    THE B**BQUAKE - 911

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yeblvLoVJCA&feature=related

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cpZZ2PPBzP8&feature=related

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvSljPf9on4&feature=related

    you are going to pay the price for this….

    THE RUBBER DUCKY OF PSEUDOSCIENCE III - JAMES RANDI


    http://daddytypes.com/archive/hofman_rubber_duckie.jpg

    there is a lot of sh*t to flush!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cg2AezJo8aQ

    THE HEAD OF THE INFIDEL!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojR-XRt4rrA

    Is America burning yet?

    Maybe we need some more...

    we use the DIVINE against the ESTABLISHMENT... you?

    we do better DEMOLITIONS than you, savage...

    RENOUNCE YOUR ATHEISM AND JOIN THE SOCIALIST FAITH!

    let them know if the MDC continues more people will die...

    the WORLD TRADE CENTER PROPHECY - THE DANCE OF DEATH

    WORLD TRADE CENTER PROPHECY

    FLUSH ATHEISM!

    Actually it is a ROYAL FLUSH!!!

    Let me show you how ATHEISTS were partially responsible for 911

    These ATHEISTS NEED TO BE ON THE TERRORIST WATCH LIST!

    You don’t even have SCIENCE on your side…

    You’re a perfect example of when PHILOSOPHY becomes an ENEMY OF LIFE...

    http://stephenlaw.blogspot.com/2010/06/playing-mystery-card.html

    not quite samantha with her *supernatural spit*, eh?

    this isn't one of your little WORD GAMES...

    blasphemy is a DEATH SENTENCE

    you people actually BELIEVE the BS you preach!

    GOD 1 - atheists 0

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQcNiD0Z3MU

    Atheists,

    you are ENEMIES OF GOD AND ARE GOING TO BE ANNIHILATED...

    Repent and turn to God or be destroyed...

    YOU HAVE NO CHOICE...

    my interpretation of the STATUE FIRE... it symbolizes the SPIRITUAL DEATH of atheism...

    http://www.salon.com/news/2010/06/15/us_lightning_strikes_jesus_statue

    http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2010/6/16/1276680110544/The-King-of-Kings-statue--005.jpg

    http://www.latimes.com/media/photo/2010-06/54332292.jpg

    http://friendlyatheist.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/butterjesus-1.jpg




    http://skepticblog.org/2010/04/06/would-i-ever-pray-for-a-miracle/

    Shermer, I WANT TO SEE YOU BEG FOR A MIRACLE...

    The B**BQUAKE - 911

    Let me show you the FATE OF TRAITORS...

    http://www.loiterink.com/photos/products/182_3424_500x500.jpg

    they are incapable of telling the difference between SCIENTIFIC *FACT* AND
    RELIGIOUS AND PHILOSOPHICAL *TRUTH*... FATAL ERROR!

    THE BOOBQUAKE - 911!

    http://dissidentphilosophy.lifediscussion.net/philosophy-f1/the-boobquake-911-t1310.htm

    ReplyDelete
  40. Come now, Dennis. I don't wish to abolish faith; I just find it a bit silly. And you consider me an atheist, don't you?

    This sort of thing isn't healthy, Dennis. Please find a competent psychiatrist. I don't say this to mock you. Quite the opposite: I really want to see you get the help you so obviously need.

    ReplyDelete
  41. michael mock - as I said before, you are going to be tortured and executed...


    you are going to learn to SHUT YOUR TRAP concerning things of a "prophetic nature"

    ReplyDelete
  42. No, Dennis, I'm not. Your prophecies are false; your curses are ineffective. You have no power over me.

    For your own sake, please at least consider therapy. I keep recommending psychiatrists because I think you're going to need medication in order to really make progress, but counseling would at least be a start.

    ReplyDelete
  43. michael mock - nothing can help you...

    and we are going to ENJOY torturing you...

    ReplyDelete
  44. ::laughs:: That's because I don't need help. I'm doing just fine, despite everything you said would happen to me. I haven't so much as stubbed my toe or gotten a paper cut.

    By the way... I can keep deleting your stuff all day.

    I'm sorry, Dennis. You're just not a credible threat. Even the Montreal Police think you're harmless. Remember this? The worst worry I can dredge up where you're concerned is that you might kill yourself - which is, again, why I keep suggesting that you seek professional help.

    ReplyDelete
  45. michael mock the only solution to your life is to end it....

    ReplyDelete
  46. My life doesn't need a solution, because it isn't, y'know, a problem. Things do not happen just because you say them, or because you want them really badly. Sane people know that.

    Take it over to my blog, Dennis. I'd prefer to quit cluttering up PF's place with your maladroit maledictions.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Are we still poking the DM with the pointy stick?

    DM, how is Canada? Talked to any mounties lately for your death threats, again?

    ReplyDelete
  48. Geds -

    *I* think it's personal, and normally wouldn't ask *ANY* what/if there's a faith [unless, like with kids i mentor, it might have bearing on what i'm doing]


    but let me know if you ever decide to set up that religion - i bet i'd have some good tips to help, and probably know some people who'd go pranking with you [that *IS* what you'd call your worship, RIGHT? it isn't a prankster religion without pranking!!! Also, Loki gets a bad rap, don't leave Him out :D ]

    *shrug* the only reason i asked is because it seems so WEIRD that DM keeps threatening all of you.
    [and also i feel slightly left out. lol]

    ReplyDelete
  49. Wow, Dennis. I mean, I am really pretty certain that if we went with WWJD? here that it would not be threatening to torture and exterminate people. Didn't he teach tolerance? I might have to go and check that out but I'm really pretty certain there was that whole turn the other cheek thing about when people were not living up to your expectations of them?

    Seriously Dennis, do you really think you make your faith look appealing and righteous? Isn't religion something that is supposed to be felt from within rather than coerced? What kind of real faith would a person have if they were coerced? False faith, that's what. Seeking to terrorize people into believing what you believe didn't work during the Spanish Inquisition and it doesn't work nowadays either. I've got some nice Conversos (CryptoJews) on my Spanish side of the family to make that point abundantly clear. Coerced into Catholicism they just did the underground Judaism thing.

    Speaking of which, is there like a particular brand or flavor of God that you're marketing? Catholic? Jewish? Zoroastrian?

    You're always advocating this incredibly destructive and violent version of faith. I, for one, would really like to know what faith you subscribe to. Really. I'm not kidding here, okay?

    ReplyDelete
  50. A little late to the party but I was also going to say Thomas Covenant. However the big daddy of unlikeable protaganists is Alex DeLarge of Clockwork Orange.

    OK I admit I like him but I'm pretty sure that's because I am a bad person.

    ReplyDelete

Comments are for you guys, not for me. Say what you will. Don't feel compelled to stay on topic, I enjoy it when comments enter Tangentville or veer off into Non Sequitur Town. Just keep it polite, okay?

I am attempting to use blogger's new comment spam feature. If you don't immediately see your comment, it is being held in spam, I will get it out next time I check the filter. Unless you are Dennis Markuze, in which case you're never seeing your comment.

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