First, I’ve read Old Man’s War. Maybe one other of your books, I’m not sure. You’re pretty good, though of course nowhere near Vinge or Stephenson.
Likewise, I briefly read your blog. You can be pretty funny. But I quit for the same reason I dropped you in general: your regular little tantrums. Your self-worshipping, contemptuous, holier-than-thou bitching and moaning.
In the role playing game known as The Real World, “Straight White Male” is the lowest difficulty setting there is.
Your post did raise questions, John. Though I doubt you can answer them. Still, let’s see. First note that your rampant narcissism is what keeps you from being a great writer. When you don’t identify with people, your every comment about them drips with contempt. Neal Stephenson does not do this. Which is why you’ll never be within shouting distance of Neal or Vernor Vinge. Not until the snide arrogance is beaten out of you by someone vastly more intelligent than your mewling little self.
Well, I’m here to help.
First question: what the heck was the purpose of your screed? If it was anything but “inflate my ego by insulting others”, you failed. People who agree with you don’t need the post. Those who don’t are more distant from you than ever, due to you being such an insufferable a-hole.
You breezily tell me that as a white man I am “privileged”. If I disagree? I’m “freaking out” or oblivious or something. Your sub-text is pretty obvious, so can I go ahead and make it text? It’s your usual message. “I’m better than you!”
You’ve told me what I am, John. Now, can I tell you what I am? I know you feel that you are the Judge of All, but most self-worshippers can at least pretend other people have the right to self-determination.
So what am I, John Scalzi? I am a miserable recluse. I was a four-eyed bookworm geek who grew up in the rural South of the 1960’s and 70’s. Now, obviously I don’t know why you’re such a racist. But I do know why I’m not. It’s because “privileged” white boys…and white girls and all the black and brown kids…mocked me, marginalized me, and ostracized me. I was emotionally and socially tortured, every day, throughout my childhood. But you’ll be happy to know that, as they delighted in my suffering, my tormentors forgot their differences in race, creed, and gender.
Isn’t that special? We could make a Benetton commercial out of it.
I never recovered from the wounding and scarring, John. I’d say it’s the main reason I’ve abandoned all social life and will die alone and unloved. Plus, lately? My tinnitus is so bad that I “joke” about eating a bullet. And while I’ll never do that, this endless cranial shrieking robs me of what little peace and pleasure remained in my lonely isolation.
And now you, John Scalzi, come smirking along…telling me how easy I’ve got it.
If you were capable of empathy, sir, you would fall to your knees and beg my forgiveness. But then, if you had compassion you couldn’t have written such tripe to begin with.
And don’t forget: that contempt of yours is why you remain a second-rate writer. Get rid of it and you could be among the best. Which is why, if you ever tell how lucky I am on a day when the tinnitus is particularly bad, I’m going to beat you half to death with my bare hands. For your own good.
Third: you actually believe that white men have it easier than white women in the 21st Century? Bwaaahahaha! God, you’re whipped.
Fourth: you’re no better at thinking than you are at empathy, are you? That’s really sad, in a sci-fi writer. But you don’t even see the implications of your own freakin’ writing.
Remember when I said that you could choose your difficulty setting in The Real World? Well, I lied. In fact, the computer chooses the difficulty setting for you. You don’t get a choice; you just get what gets given to you at the start of the game, and then you have to deal with it.
So it turns out World of Warcraft and Real Life aren’t the same thing? Wow. That’s…quite insightful. Nope, you don’t get to choose your parents. Not their socio-economic status, not their intelligence or other genetic traits, you don’t even get to choose between Type I Diabetes and something even more debilitating. It’s why some of us judge other people by their choices and not by their conditions.
Which is why I must ask: did you choose to become a spoiled whiny bitch, John, or is it a medical problem? If the second, maybe I owe you the apology.
And I’ll give you this, John: your vacuous self-worship actually did inspire some useful thought. Yes, of course for the past few centuries white people, in general, have enjoyed much better lives than others. It’s an important point and worthy of any amount of analysis.
But what’s your idea of value added, Scalzi? An extended snarking analogy between human beings and MMORPG characters. Again…wow. You really went outside the comfort zone for that one, eh?
But I do know you’re sporadically capable of thought. So if you ever deign to do so again, John, here’s some more questions to chew on:
Why have white people had generally better lives for the last few hundred years?
How did they get such privilege in the first place?
If I wanted to improve people’s lives, those are things I’d consider. Because…for the sake of argument…what if skin color isn’t the only variable here? I see that you’re a racist, John, but did you know that that there’s more to life than nature? Something called “nurture”? Did you know that behavioral choices are important to the quality of life?
So suppose…just suppose…that white people (in general) stumbled over some tricks for becoming privileged. “Privileged” here means more and better food, clothing, shelter, transport, education, and entertainment than (mostly non-white) people who don’t possess this occult Ancient Honky Wisdom.
So John, you just keep on mocking and insulting Whitey for being lucky. I’ll go with trying to teach “unlucky” people how to get “privileged” themselves. Which of us has the better approach? Well riddle me this, John:
Why have people of every race immigrated to the United States of America?
Why, John? A “privileged” white nation has attracted millions upon millions of non-white immigrants. From your point of view it makes no sense. Why would non-white people leave their own racial group and move to lily-white America? America! The country that was dreamed up by white men. Exclusively white men!
Well, John? Why did they leave the Old Country knowing they’d have to compete with privileged albinos?
Finally: John…do you believe in the right of bequeathal? You have a daughter. Do you have the right to teach her ideas and skills to bring her advantage in life? Do you have the right to give her whatever of your goods and wealth you want her to have?
If bequeathal is a right, then “white people” deserve their privilege. It’s “deserved” in the sense that hard-working people have the right to bequeath wealth and wisdom to their descendants.
By God, it’s good that white people have (mostly) out-prospered everyone else. Because it’s white people (mostly) who created the Magna Carta and the Preamble and the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and then (mostly) tried to live up to them.
So you just associate white people with “privilege” and leave it at that? John, you’re an idiot. Of course white people are (generally) privileged. But you left out the middle step. Here, let me Underpants Gnome it for you:
Step One: white people.
Step Two: ?????
Step Three: Privilege!
Ahhh, yes. “Step Two”. Our Ancient Honky Wisdom. I betray the White Code of Secrecy by sharing this, but I’ve always admired Prometheus. So…our secrets to privilege? They are human rights, property rights, free speech, the rule of law, equality under the law, presumed innocence until guilt is proven, yadda yadda yadda.
It’s funny, but “privilege” always follows those practices. And…this is gonna blow your puny mind, Scalzi…
…it even works for non-white people!
And…I’m out. But seriously, John, don’t ever call me “privileged” to my face unless you’re a damn sight better at hand-to-hand combat than you appear to be.
Or you have the cure for tinnitus.