Eating good food comes with a price: you can’t enjoy McDonalds ever again. Likewise, reading good writers means you will no longer enjoy their imitators and ripoffs (and I hold that it’s possible for a writer to be a second rate clone of someone without even knowing they exist).
I used to read a blogger called Fred Clark/Slacktivist. He is a shitlib (look it up), but I originally assessed him as an entertaining one. He’s most famous for his Left Behind cycle, where he reviews the popular Left Behind novels page by page. (It became a bit of a mess after he changed from Typepad to something else that blows. Maybe WordPress didn’t have enough writers of color or something).
…Then I discovered John Dolan, and was struck by a sense of “wow, this is what Fred Clark was trying to be, all along.” Clark’s a Shirley Temple, Dolan’s 60-proof moonshine pulled straight out of the radiator. Here’s his article about being homeless in Canada. Here’s his article about working for the American University of Iraq. He writes extremely well, and he writes about interesting topics. The shitlibbery is pretty strong at points, but he always lays out a case that’s hard to argue against.
But then Frey is no expert observer, as he proves in one of the funniest scenes from his nature walks, when he meets a “fat otter”: “There is an island among the rot, a large, round Pile with monstrous protrusions like the arms of a Witch. There is chatter beneath the pile and a fat brown otter with a flat, armored tail climbs atop and he stares at me.”
Now, can anyone tell me what a “fat otter with a flat, armored tail” actually is? That’s right: a beaver! Now, can anyone guess what the “large, round Pile with monstrous protrusions like the arms of a Witch” would be? Yes indeed: a beaver dam!
Any kindergartner would know that, and anyone with a flicker of life would be delighted to see a beaver and its home. But for Frey, a very stupid and very vain man, the “fat otter” is nothing but another mirror in which to adore his Terrible Fate. He engages the beaver in the most dismal of adolescent rhetorical interrogations:
“Hey, Fat Otter. He stares at me. You want what I got? He stares at me. I’ll give you everything. Stares at me….”
And so on, for another half-page. You want to slap the sulking spoiled brat. The Fat Otter should’ve slapped him with its “flat, armored tail” and then chewed his leg off and used it to fortify its “Pile with monstrous protrusions.”
After injecting copious amounts of hi-test Dolan into my brain, I re-read Clark and he comes across as a shrill button-pushy retard. Here’s his latest, trying to score some rhetorical points re: shooting sprees. “Hahaha, I’m taking the logic people use on Muslims and applying it to men!” But that’s actually un-ironically interesting. I am curious to know why males are much more likely to be spree killers. So are lots of people. Go ahead, let’s investigate it. You’re not making a joke here.
Great how he tries to jam every fucking thing from the news into the story (Go Set a Watchman, Sandra Bland). It was a sad day when he slithered from the abortion bucket.