Somebody Really Said This

I follow a humor blog that makes fun of bad books. It’s run by two very liberal, very feminist twenty-somethings. I don’t really care because they’re both very funny and I don’t go for the politics. If they get too preachy, I just don’t comment. In terms of politics and worldview it’s so out of sync with my beliefs it would feel out of place to promote it actively, at least in this forum. So that’s why it’s not linked.

But I do want to point out an actual quote written by one of the writers, Matthew. Matthew, first off, is hysterical. He’s the best of the two blog co-authors, and he can be absolutely hilarious. But in the twitter feed he links to the blog (normally worth following on its own), he wrote this:

X can kill people. Have less X, less people killed. But as soon as you plug in “guns” for X, suddenly that doesn’t make sense to people.

I could barely believe this was a serious comment at first. It’s so obviously dumb. To see why, just plug in something besides “guns” for X and see how stupid it looks.

X can kill people. Have less X, less people killed. But as soon as you plug in “sex” for X, suddenly that doesn’t make sense to people.

Funny, a conclusion I’d doubt he’d draw. Or:

X can kill people. Have less X, less people killed. But as soon as you plug in “forks” for X, suddenly that doesn’t make sense to people.

Or even,

X can kill people. Have less X, less people killed. But as soon as you plug in “water” for X, suddenly that doesn’t make sense to people.

And all three of those statements are just as true, and make just as much sense, as the gun statement.

Keep in mind, this guy is no idiot. He is a genuinely talented writer who can be wickedly funny. So I ask in seriousness: How can somebody that smart write something that incredibly stupid?

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7 Responses to Somebody Really Said This

  1. Crude says:

    How can somebody that smart write something that incredibly stupid?

    My guess? He banks on a few things.

    1) Most people are pretty effing stupid.
    2) Stupid people won’t notice the flaw in his reasoning.
    3) They will remember the line, because it’s short and simple.
    4) These people vote, talk to friends, and generally affect the culture.

    • I don’t think it’s that simple. I’ve talked to people like him before, and have been reading him for a few months now. I don’t think he was trying to fool anybody. He genuinely meant exactly what he said. He thinks he made an intelligent point. And I really, truly don’t get it.

      • Crude says:

        Well, you know him better than I do, clearly. Maybe it’s an echo-chamber thing? It’s not as if most people who are on his side would point out the flaws in his logic – and how many people who don’t, will communicate with him in a way that he wouldn’t immediately rule out as ‘hostile and therefore not worth listening to’?

        Maybe he doesn’t think about it so deeply. Maybe he’d concede the example was flawed but ‘the gist is true’.

      • I do, but I don’t know him that well. I know the type though. I have friends like him, people who are smarter than me in many ways, but occasionally they’ll make comments about politics or religion that are incredibly dumb – like a friend I had who compared gay marriage to choosing what type of cheese you wanted on your sandwich.

  2. Ilíon says:

    “So I ask in seriousness: How can somebody that smart write something that incredibly stupid?”

    Ultimately, it’s a *decision* such people have made.

  3. John says:

    I’m very hesitant to bestow such words like smart, intelligent, genius, when it comes to “creative” types, though I try to always give credit to their talent – be it acting, directing, writing, fashion design – what have you. In my experience and observations compliments are given out like candy, like it’s grown on trees, in the art world.

    Then again, I rarely use the word passion – like “I have a passion for writing.” Instead I tend to say “I enjoy writing very much.” Same thing with the word “love” which I often see used interchangeably with passion.

    I just feel that such words and compliments are reserved for the rarest moments and for certain people.

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