Sometimes, the world is a vastly amusing place. It’s at times like these that I think perhaps Dr. Pangloss was right and this is the best of all possible worlds. John appears to be having some belated regrets about google-bombing himself, but you know, that’s the risk you take when you write “satire”. If our revered SFWA President doesn’t like to see “John Scalzi is a rapist” floating around the Internet, then perhaps Mr. Scalzi should refrain from writing articles on the Internet in which he rhapsodizes about the pleasure he takes in raping women. It’s a difficult concept, I know, but I’m confident that our fearless leader will one day figure it out.
I find it particularly funny that he claims I’m flailing about and providing unintentional comedy gold:
Blogger Joé McKen catches one of my regular detractors making a spectacularly dumb move, and then watches him flail about, trying to rationalize his unintentional comedy gold. No, I’m not going to link to the detractor’s site directly, because among other things the site is full of racism, sexism and general ick; McKen’s got the links if you want them, and all the relevant details if you don’t.
Over on McKen’s site, one of the commenters there, who is also a frequent commenter here, wonders about whether my detractor could be on the hook for libel. Certainly the detractor’s headline for the particular blog entry in question (“John Scalzi is a rapist”) is factually inaccurate; the detractor is (now, at least) aware it’s so; presuming McKen’s account of event is accurate, which I have no reason to doubt, it wasn’t published with the intent to be satire or hyperbole nor has much chance of being considered so now; and obviously, being branded a rapist, and having it believed, would be detrimental to my public and private life. So if I had a mind to sue my detractor for libel, he might have to hope I am enough of a public figure that it would obviate all those other factors and he wouldn’t be squashed like a bug.
But why sue? I’m happy to have him leave it up as a testament to his both his credulity while he thought it was true, and his mendacity now that he knows that it’s not. It’s a cogent reminder of what both his opinion and credibility is worth.
Credulous, mendacious, and libelous. There’s a combination one doesn’t often see. I’m pleased to know that he’s happy I’m leaving it up, though, because the thought of taking it down had never even occurred to me. The fact of the matter is that John Scalzi announced to the world that he is a rapist. He is on record at his site declaring as much. He can claim that his admission is “satire” until he turns blue if he likes, but the fact of the matter is that you cannot come out and say the sorts of things that he does and subsequently complain that your statements have been quoted at length and taken at face value. It would certainly be interesting to see him attempt to see me “squashed like a bug”:
“He libeled me, your honor!”
“Well, um, he kind of quoted me….”
“He QUOTED you?”
“Yeah, but he KNEW what I was saying wasn’t true!”
“And how do you know he knew that?”
I most certainly do not know that John Scalzi is not a rapist. I didn’t know it then and I don’t know it now. He said he is, now he says his previous statement was factually inaccurate… for all I know, John spends his evenings raping his cats in between making calls on behalf of the Obama campaign in Ohio.
His argument becomes even more confusing since he’s also claiming a) I didn’t understand his satire, and, b) there is no reason to doubt my own post was not published with the intent to be satire or hyperbole. So, apparently we’re to believe that I knowingly libeled him by quoting him about something I believed to be true. At this point, I’m left to conclude that John’s best defense against having it generally believed that he is a rapist is that anyone reading his increasingly convoluted thoughts on the matter will assume he is a teenage girl.
Now here is the punchline. John is amazed how deeply he got into the head of a rapist in writing the piece:
“I wrote it from the point of view of a rapist, I think obviously in
retrospect, because it would have a stronger impact if I did. A couple
of people have asked me (not entirely unwarily) how I could get into the
head of someone like that. The short answer is, folks, fiction is what I
do. I try to put myself in the heads of a lot of different people. I will note that in this case, I was very happy to get out of that particular head as quickly as possible. I don’t often squick myself out writing a piece, but this is one time I definitely did.”
He definitely squicked me out too! I mean, John is such a good and talented writer that I truly believed he was an actual rapist when I read his piece. It was a shockingly powerful piece. It was one of the most hauntingly powerful pieces of writing on the subject I have ever seen. It touched me in places I have never been touched before, without my consent. He raped us all with his words and I feel hurt, violated, and confused. I am still convinced that John Scalzi is a rapist, despite his unconvincing ex post facto denials, because obviously no fiction writer, even a best-selling, talented writer like John, could possibly have made up anything THAT convincing.