The OF Blog: Apparently, their marriage vows included "in stupidity"

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Apparently, their marriage vows included "in stupidity"

Two authors, husband and wife, in the past few weeks have managed to bring the stupid:

John C. Wright, with comments comparing homosexuality to bestiality and other psychological disorders.

L. Jagi Lamplighter, disrupting a recent Worldcon panel on PoC characters.

Edit: Just found a second post of hers on this topic, in which at least she demonstrates some willingness to try and understand other points of view on this sensitive matter. Still doesn't eliminate the problems of the first post, but it does at least show some willingness to listen, which might help me to put aside the daftness and read/review her book without worrying about my negative response to her opinions coloring my impressions of her book.

Her husband, however, he still has a long ways to go before I will ever be able to divorce his personal opinions from his novels.


Unknown said...

Wow. I mean, I wasn't planning on reading any John C. Wright anyway (a friend had some unflattering things to say about Orphans. Something about the author wearing his kinks on his sleeve. I think), but this pretty much ensured I never will.

Future Histories said...

well, they deserve each other, at least.

James said...

I think someone mentioned somewhere that she has a son. They may well be perfect for each other... but they are breeding. Can only hope that the Brood of Stupidia manages to flee without taking on too much of their parents' qualities.

Hal Duncan said...

They remind me of Philip Larkin and his missus, sitting around singing their wee hate-anthems. I read somewhere that Larkin was into the spank mags too.

Man, I wish I'd known about the kinks in his books before I wrote my own piece though. That kinda confirms everything I suspected about his focus on "self-control" in sex.

Unknown said...

I was going to blog about all this stuff, but, to be honest, I'm too tired to do it. People are idiots on the Internet, particularly authors...I need a break from the idiocy.

N said...

At the risk of being mean, it's Absolutely Fascinating to read his blog over the past couple of days/hours.

First, he deleted the comments, and now he's deleted the post. He's posting all this stuff that's obliquely about being persecuted, etc. There's this post about St. John the Baptist rolling his eyes at John C. Wright and talking about the Blues Brothers and stuff. And then Wright gets sent to hell for being (in St. Jeremiah's words) 'an arrogant prick'

Though overall it seems to me that Wright's gunning for sainthood. Disgusting.

Matt Keeley said...

I was much more disappointed with Wright before I read his responses - he doesn't kowtow, but he does confess that he was an "arrogant prick" and intemperate. I tend to chalk up his responses to "zeal of the converted" - hardly a solely religious phenomenon, I might add. I disagree with him on a number of issues - and on the tone he initially adopted - he does seem a) genuinely sorry and b) likely to be civil in the future. I figure I can cut him slack, considering the behavior of other writers I like (V.S. Naipaul comes to mind).

I can't say I got that much from the post about Lamplighter, though it does seem somewhat ironic that the post originates on a site called "The Angry Black Woman." Perhaps she is trying to ironically "reclaim" the stereotype, but I sometimes think those efforts tend to turn out poorly. Rather the way many people thought the recent film Bruno aggravated and reinforce the gay stereotypes it was ostensibly supposed to mock.

mxlm - Wright makes fun of his kinks in one of his apology / explanation posts.

Mr. Duncan - What are you talking about with Larkin? I know there was some controversy over the contents of his letters, though I recall much of the offensive material was in his letters to Kingsley Amis. As both Larkin and Amis were misanthropes with a tendency to exaggerate, I think some of his statements might have been more off-color humor (and in private correspondence) than genuine homophobia. I would have to research the matter further though.

I know Amis used to send Larkin dirty postcards, and I think he had a magazine collection too...

Matt Keeley said...

Having read Wright's responses slightly more thoroughly than I did before, I find there are several lines, though far fewer than in the original offending post, that make me cringe. Alas.

I'm kind of curious to see where all this goes, but it feels like watching a car crash.

-Matt, rubbernecking.

Unknown said...

Matt - in isolation you might give Mr Wright some credit for backing away, but the "homosex and negroes" has been a theme of his blog for a long time, including before his religious conversion.

Hal Duncan said...

Matt: It wasn't homophobia in Larkin's case but racism. As I recall, there are recordings of him and his wife (made by themselves) of the two of them having sing-songs of seriously dodgy "send the darkies back to Africa" sentiments.

felix said...

Larkin never married

his letters to Kingsley Amis are certainly full of racist remarks, though

Matt Keeley said...

Thanks to Eddie, felix, and Mr. Duncan for their clarifications.

Wikipedia suggests Larkin would pretend to be more racist than he actually was. I get the impression Amis was the same way - he liked playing the role of old British misanthrope crank bastard. I imagine it could be a rather fun role to play - all those buttons you get to push.

When I think of offensive writers, I always come back to Auden on Yeats:

"Time that is intolerant
Of the brave and the innocent,
And indifferent in a week
To a beautiful physique,

Worships language and forgives
Everyone by whom it lives;
Pardons cowardice, conceit,
Lays its honours at their feet.

Time that with this strange excuse
Pardoned Kipling and his views,
And will pardon Paul Claudel,
Pardons him for writing well. "

It's a strange phenomenon, but one I'm sometimes grateful for. I have not read Wright, so I don't know whether he will benefit from "this strange excuse."

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