Tuesday, May 19, 2009

This Professor business will never end, will it?

After the last cranky email I received from The Professor, I had had enough. I sent the following short email reply to him:
"I tried to explain the reasoning behind my review and even extend my apologies to you, but you chose to ignore that. I have no idea why you think I would be motivated to deliberately misrepresent your book, other than the fact that you simply cannot comprehend that you wrote something bad. These emails only expose how insecure you are, trying to cut down some random 21 year old on the internet. I suggest you take a deep breath and calm down before writing me any more emails, because you're really not doing yourself any favors acting this way.

And honestly, just because you paid some vanity publisher to publish your book doesn't mean you're any more of a professional writer than I am, nor does it mean I am unable to critique literature.

I sent that on May 5th, and figured maybe this whole craziness was over since I never heard back. Maybe he took my advice on calming down before emailing me, and just was unable to calm down. Maybe I had upset him so much that this poor 80 year old man had a heart attack and died.

Me: Oh my god, I would feel so guilty. What if that happened?
Friend: Eh, I'm sure if he dropped dead one of your internet minions would forward you the obituary.
Me: Hmm, good point. *goes back to drinking their $1 long islands*

Though a note on the above quote: this insanity has become a great bar story when hanging out with my atheist friends. Anyway, I thought it was all over, but on May 15th I saw a new anonymous comment was left on "The Professor responds!":
"I read the above comments. I still love students but I don't know why. Think I'll have lunch and then start my next book to be titled "The Testicle Eaters." Or "God Likes Baloney Sanwiches." It could start with two kids walking accross the lawn behind a church and meeting a man with a long white beard (me again) eating a baloney sandwich with mayonnaise. I just posted with the friendly atheist.com. John Harrigan"
I paused as I read the ridiculous comment. The nonsensical, rambling writing style fit him, but really? God Likes Baloney Sandwiches? My friend insisted it was just some commenter trying to pull my leg, but I had never mentioned the testicle eating in the original book (yes, that is something the serial killer does). Only someone who read (or wrote) the book would know that fact. Maybe it was John Harrigan, and his subconscious was trying to admit that he's full of baloney.

I was going to let it slide, but then Hemant emailed me this funny PowerPoint Bruin Alliance of Skeptics and Secularists had made about the book (includes some hilarious things that I left out, like the testicle eating!). I figured I'd ask him if the Professor had contacted him, and he said yep, he left a long rambly comment on his post about the book. I won't copy and paste it, since it's basically his "editor's" praise of the book, but woo boy. I did find it mildly hilariously that he didn't think to delete his editor's phone number...very smart, Professor. Though please don't go calling the poor guy - the last thing we need is two upset 80 something year old men.

Will this ever end? Probably not, but I don't mind as long as 1. It keeps bringing readers to my blog 2. This poor man doesn't drop dead because of me and 3. I don't get sued (not that he'd really have a case, but I'd just like to avoid the situation). I still think John Harrigan and I could make big bucks off of "gobbler of whangs par excellence" merchandise. If only he was willing to cash in on the accidental ridiculousness of his book!


  1. The saga continues! I'm happy to say that the excerpts provided in the PowerPoint presentation carry on the noble Professor and the Dominatrix tradition of making me alternately bash my head into the nearest wall-like object and wish for a bottle of concentrated brain-bleach.

    Actually, though, the one about the excessively learned stripper had a sliver of merit, I thought. A good writer — or a competent writer with a good editor — could have made something interesting out of it. Nabokov and Pynchon could pull off erudite sleaziness (think Humbert's multilingual praise of Lolita, or the limericks about all the ways to have sex with the V-2 rocket in Gravity's Rainbow). Characterization by factoid could work in a Vonnegut novel or a David Fincher movie scripted by Chuck Palahniuk.

    Of course, it'd need a fact-checker, too. For example, English fascinate derives from the Latin word meaning "spell" or "witchcraft", via the verb fascinare and Middle French fasciner. (See here or here.)

  2. I came for the review and stayed for the boobs. ;)

    All joking aside, no one ever said you had to be rational to be an atheist.

  3. This is such an epic saga. I've already told all my friends of the hilarity.

  4. This is from John Harrigan, alive and well, and you might say still uncomfortably cranky. I remain surprised that the bright people who totally accepted Purdue Jen’s roiling words ignored the introduction to The Professor and the Dominatrix by Roy P. Fairfield, for thirteen years an editor of the Humanist along with Paul Kurtz, the person who established Free Inquiry, Skeptical Inquirer, Prometheus Books, and CFI.. Doesn’t it seem unlikely that Fairfield would praise a poorly written, homophobic, anti-fem, and anti-black book?

    The current issue of The American Rationalist contains a review of my book by G. Richard Bozarth, an experienced reviewer for free-thought publications (see Reviewer’s Bookwatch Sept.1). Some quotes: “The sexuality is pure vanilla, though I suppose a prude would be very offended . . . The cultural analyses, since they are based on Freethought and Secular Humanist philosophy, are often better than what is offered by many contemporary crime investigation authors . . . Chapter 4, Critical Thinking 101 succinctly hits many different Freethought and Secular Humanist nails squarely on the head . . . The Professor and the Dominatrix should be supported by us, and I’m certain many will be very glad they did.”

    The publisher has corrected the sixteen typos and is by my request reducing the price to $21.95, effective in early November.