Review of Andrew Masterson’s strange and true tales from science and technology
Andrew Masterson is very smart. He also happens to think 12 million Americans believing Barack Obama is a lizard from outer space is very dumb. Add in his bollocking of the creationist who said a 60-million-year-old fossil was laid down in Noah’s flood, his rant that UFO detection kits don’t work no matter how phobic you are of getting an anal probe from an alien, and his memo to Sony that browsing the web with an internet-enabled toupee is, well, daft, and you might conclude Masterson is an intellectual snob.
After all, people have a right to their own views, don’t they? Well, if Masterson thought you were serious he could respond mildly, as did Robert Hughes in his memoir, that he sees “no reason to squirm around apologising for this”. Or he could step it up to philosopher Patrick Stokes’ axiom that you’re not entitled to any view, only those you can argue for.
But I suspect he aligns himself more with Dawkinites; spot rubbish and you’re duty bound to take the purveyor to task. Not for Masterson the critical pussy-footing that mistakenly extends pluralism about values to pluralism about facts.
To wit, Masterson applies his razor intellect, a word palette that mingles Donkey Kong and Panglossianism, and deep draughts of comic insight to the miasma of moronic memes that seemingly chokes the planet.
Read the full review here