On September 13, 1998, John Scalzi sat down in front of his computer to write the first entry in his blogWhatever--and changed the history of the Internet as we know it today.What, you're not swallowing that one? Okay, fine: He started writing Whatever and amused about 15 people that first day. If that many. But he kept at it, for ten years and running. Now 40,000 people drop by on a daily basis to see what he's got to say.About what? Well, about whatever: Politics, writing, family, war, popular culture and cats (especially with bacon on them). Sometimes he's funny. Sometimes he's serious (mostly he's sarcastic). Sometimes people agree with him. Sometimes they send him hate mail, which he grades on originality and sends back. Along the way, Scalzi's become a best-selling, award-winning author, a father, and a geek celebrity. But no matter what, there's always another Whatever post to amuse and/or enrage his readers.Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded collects some of the best and most popular Whatever entries from the first ten years of the blog - a decade of Whatever, presented in delightfully random form, just as it should be. * Winner of the 2009 Hugo Award for Best Non-Fiction Book* Introduction by Star Trek actor Wil Wheaton At the publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied.
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January 01, 2010
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Excerpt from Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded by John Scalzi
Jul 13 2007
A Hindu chaplain was called to offer a prayer at the US Senate yesterday; the response of some Christian nutbags was to slip in and disrupt the prayer because the Hindu chaplain wasn't giving his shoutout to Jesus. They were trundled out, the prayer was given, and yet, somehow, the Republic did not fall. I think we can all thank Vishnu for that.
Look, this one is simple: Some people really and truly believe that what Jesus wants is for them to be dicks to everyone who isn't their particular, mushy-headed stripe of Christian. And if it's what Jesus wants, then it can't be wrong. Now, I'm entirely sure that in their minds they can come up with a better explanation for their activities than "Jesus wants me to be a dick"--they may actually be able to find some internal calculus that has them being a dick out of love for us godless idolaters and saving our worthless heathen souls, even--but the rest of us can call it for what it is. And also, of course, when these Dicks for Jesus try to offer up some alternate explanation for their behavior, I think it's fair to remind them of a number of things:
1. Whatever the rationale, they're being dicks.
2. At no point in the Bible does Jesus say "be a dick in My name."
3. Lots of other Christians seem to get through life without feeling called upon to be a dick in the service of Christ.
4. Indeed, when many of these Christians discover to their dismay that they've been a dick about something, they will frequently fall to their knees and say, "Forgive me, Lord, for I have been a total dick."
5. And He does.
6. That's a hint.
Now, the chances of any of this penetrating the mental shield of righteousness is pretty low, so you shouldn't expect anything more than a slightly befuddled look that shades into the growing suspicion that they're jeopardizing their very souls conversing with one such as you, you and your heathen logic. But it's worth a try, and if it doesn't work, at least they know what you think of their somewhat less-than-Christlike behavior. Because nothing digs at the heart of a Christdick more than the knowledge that someone thinks they're doing their Christianity wrong. Gets 'em all defensive and huffy, which is better than them being smug and self-righteous, in my book.