Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Disappointment Redux

In the introduction to my book, I said something to the effect of my being the "Richard Dawkins of American History." I would like to retract that analogy now because his ass-haberdashery has gotten worse.

It is not that I object to his abrasiveness - quite the opposite: I embrace abrasiveness. After all, I am both a cartoonist and a fan of satire. Mark Twain had called laughter humanity's greatest weapon:

 Power, money, persuasion, supplication, persecution—these can lift at a colossal humbug—push it a little—weaken it a little, century by century; but only laughter can blow it to rags and atoms at a blast. Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand.

But I distinguish between assholish tone and assholish content. The former is often both entertaining and necessary for the reason I gave above.  Although, I suppose I should not be surprised by the high correlation between the two. Likewise, Bill Maher has been disappointing more and more - from his whining about his taxes to his misogynistic analogy on Israel's recent invasion of Gaza. Full disclosure: I also praise Maher in my book when contrasting his libertarianism with Penn Jillette's.

I had asked a friend about Dawkins' ass-haberdashery earlier when there were less egregious quotes out there. After some discussion, I decided to leave it in. I took a conscious risk and it was a bad call.

My exact words were:
If I convert a conservative, that is a bonus but I am not banking on it. I am somewhat brusque and I expect they will react to my evidence the same way Creationists react to dinosaur bones. So, I suppose it is my intention to be the Richard Dawkins of American history by bluntly presenting long-established facts: The founders were mostly Deists – deal with it. The Civil War was fought over slavery – deal with it. This is not a “reach across the aisle” sort of book. Both the title and thesis effectively prevent that. 

Plus, Richard Dawkins disses art and history? You can well imagine what I think of that. Yeah, fuck that guy. Cartoon History of the Universe creator Larry Gonnick should go medieval on his ass. As Matt Groening had once put it, "It is unwise to annoy cartoonists."

EDIT: The Dawkins bit has been dropped.

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