Greg Laden - SuprageniusEdit
Greg Laden claims to have a degree in, presumably, anthropology (obviously not a rigorous discipline). He also claims to be a "science communicator" (Carl Sagan would roll in his grave were he to read such vacuous tripe) who "can never decide which is more important: nuance or context", which is interesting because Laden is quite incapable of understanding or observing nuance, and rarely, if ever, includes context as being relevant to anything.
Nonetheless, and in the face of his grand claims, it is more than clear that Laden is intellectually weak, and is probably an intellectual fraud. Laden's writing is, generally, quite atrocious. His prose is more like that of a grade school drop out than a university or college graduate. Laden's spelling is hit and miss; his sentence structure weak, and often seriously flawed; his grammar horrid; his diction juvenile at best; his typographical errors endless; his logic often non-existent and usually totally skew-whiffy.
He is a complete idiot and does not understand anything. He's also a massively sexist douche, suffering from delusions of grandiosity.
Master of LogicEdit
Actually, perhaps the most striking instance of his weak intellect are his amazing twists of logic. Here are a couple of examples.
1. Rebecca Watson writes (http://skepchick.org/2011/07/the-privilege-delusion/):
- "So many of you voiced what I had already been thinking: that this person who I always admired for his intelligence and compassion does not care about my experiences as an atheist woman and therefore will no longer be rewarded with my money, my praise, or my attention. I will no longer recommend his books to others, buy them as presents, or buy them for my own library. I will not attend his lectures or recommend that others do the same."
Laden insists, vigorously and with vivid anger, that that statement is not in any way, shape, or form, a declaration of the intent to carry out a personal boycott of Richard Dawkins (http://freethoughtblogs.com/xblog/2011/10/22/boycott11/).
One definition of boycott (Free Dictionary - http://www.thefreedictionary.com):
- "To abstain from or act together in abstaining from using, buying, or dealing with as an expression of protest or disfavor or as a means of coercion."
- "Laden said:
- He is an MRA which means that he is a bad person. All MRA’s are bad people without exception.
- "Darn tootin’ buddy! The only good MRA is a dead MRA."
Laden insists that that statement (Darn tootin’ buddy! The only good MRA is a dead MRA) is a death threat (http://freethoughtblogs.com/xblog/2012/02/08/time-to-shut-down-the-amazing-atheist/#comment-49959).
Some other folks noted that John Greg's comment was not a death threat.
- "Where did John Greg make a death threat? I can’t see one."
Billy Bob Thornton said (http://freethoughtblogs.com/xblog/2012/02/08/time-to-shut-down-the-amazing-atheist/#comment-50051):
- "Where is the death threat".
Laden's response? To wit (http://freethoughtblogs.com/xblog/2012/02/08/time-to-shut-down-the-amazing-atheist/#comment-50056):
- "Oh look, the winged monkeys are here. I referred to: 'The only good MRA is a dead MRA'. And I did so ironically. But I know it is hard for you people to comprehend much, being all, you know, stupid and shit."
To be fair (a mode I think us critics ought to maintain), Laden probably means "sarcastic". As I say, he is not exactly an intellectual heavyweight.
The following definitions were all taken from Free Dictionary - http://www.thefreedictionary.com.
Two definitions of threat:
- "1. An expression of an intention to inflict pain, injury, evil, or punishment. 2. An indication of impending danger or harm."
One definition of satire:
- "Irony, sarcasm, or caustic wit used to attack or expose folly, vice, or stupidity."
Five definitions of irony:
- "1. a. The use of words to express something different from and often opposite to their literal meaning. b. An expression or utterance marked by a deliberate contrast between apparent and intended meaning. c. A literary style employing such contrasts for humorous or rhetorical effect. See Synonyms at wit.
2.a. Incongruity between what might be expected and what actually occurs: "Hyde noted the irony of Ireland's copying the nation she most hated" (Richard Kain). b. An occurrence, result, or circumstance notable for such incongruity."____________
So that leaves us wondering exactly what sort of intellectual Laden really is. Is he just a liar who panders to the madding crowd? Or is he actually someone who is as intellectually weak and incompetent as he so often appears? Is he as stupid as his writing indicates he is, and is his reading comprehension as bankrupt as it so often seems to be?
Perhaps, over time, and with enough entries here, those questions can be answered.
3. Victim Blaming
On the Connecticut Sandy Hill school shooting, Greg Laden referred to the shooter's mother as a murderer for buying the guns he used, even though she was one of his victims. In response to criticism of this stance by Renee Hendricks, he tweeted that the Slymepit had chosen to side with the gunman and his "gun-nut mom".
Greg Laden in a Rare Moment of HonestyEdit
In an email sent to Justin Griffiths, Greg Laden shows his true face.
What I said in a public comment (that you should grow up) is the ultra mild version. What I said on the mailing list is still the mild version. Here’s the real version and it is the last thing you are ever going to hear from me until you have issued a fully adequate and very public apology to everyone you’ve offended. I say that fully knowing that you do not have to issue such an apology. All you get if you do is that I recognize that you exist. You certainly don’t need me thinking of you as a human being.
Justin, have you ever killed anyone? By that, I mean, in your tours of duty, did you ever have someone you know die and that happened because you failed to do something, or worse, because you DID do something? I’m thinking not. I’m thinking you probably are a good soldier. You probably didn’t do that.
But, Justin, if you were me, and Abbie Smith’s slimepit was after you like they’ve been after me, that is what it would say on the internet, dude. It would say that you were responsible for the death of fellow soldiers. It would say that all over Abbies blog. Why? Because that is how they could hurt you, both personally and professionally.
I have to live with the fact that when my son gets old enough to surf the web he is going to see horrific things, terrible accusations and horrible insults, about his daddy. It does not matter if they are accurate or not. (They’re not, in case you were wondering).
Think about that. You fucking shit.
Now, get forever out of my life. Do not turn back. You do not deserve to even know the people you’ve insulted in that idiotic post you wrote. Don’t ever, ever find yourself in my presence or think you deserve to breath the air that I, and Jen, and Stephanie, and Gret and Ophelia and PZ and the rest of us breath, because you do not.
If you do make that apology it better be from laying face down in the mud.
Have a nice day and kiss my ass. Greg
PS, don’t you dare ask, ever again, for an upvote or any other support from your colleagues. I’ll kick your fucking ass if you do. You will regret it. (Unless that apology is forthcoming.)
He later makes a cowardly and two-faced attempt to save face by pretending it was all just this misunderstanding . Unfortunately for Laden, even FTB can smell the bullshit if it stinks bad enough. It was this email which finally led to Greg Laden's removal -- but notably, not his banishment -- from FTB on July 1st, 2012.
Update: At the behest of FfTB management, and in the spirit of FfTB revisionism of things that deviate from script, the comment thread on justin Griffith's post was deleted without attribution. The page with full thread commentary has been retrieved from some slimepit denizen's cache and can be downloaded from - http://www.4shared.com/zip/BnizTWA0/the_pits_JG.html I Rorschach 06:35, July 2, 2012 (UTC)
Ed Brayton, head honcho over at FfTB, announces the removal of Thunderf00t and Greg Laden .
Editorial Update: It should be noted that after some people chimed in to more or less defend John Greg, and others to criticize him, Laden banned him from the blog (as of February 10, 2012). This is a common tactic for Laden and other FfTB bloggers: allow commenters and bloggers to post attacks upon individuals who are disallowed from defending themselves. Of course, as we understand it, this is done in an attempt to condone, encourage, and disseminate Free Thought and Freedom of Expression.
(* - Editors note: Greg Laden is one of those rare individuals about whom it is impossible to write anything without it sounding like satire. Our apologies. That's life. Get over it.)