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Offering Oliver an olive branch

Kevin, the big guy who runs this place, has recently gotten into a kerfuffle with Oliver Willis. I'm going to stay out of the "meat" of the argument, but something Oliver said in the comments of Kevin's piece struck me.

Drew from Dallas pointed out that Oliver, unlike Wizbang, requires registration to post comments. Oliver explained this thusly:

I have registration for my comments because I got tired of spam and rightwingers calling me racist names.

That bothered me. Nobody should have to put up with that kind of crap, not even Oliver. Now, I can't do anything about the spam (I have to do some cleaning up of that myself, and I share his frustration), but I can do something about the name-calling.

I've always thought that there is an "art" to insults. A proper insult should offer correction to an erring party. Therefore, it should only castigate them for things they can directly control. Race, sex, national origin, general appearance, ancestry, and other such matters should be off-limits. One should limit oneself to attacking the other person's behavior, statements, actions, associations, gross display of appearance, and the like.

For example, I think it crass to assail someone for being overweight and bald. Personal reasons aside, there are possible reasons for such things that don't reflect on the person. However, repeatedly saying stupid things, hanging around with jackasses, and extremes of tattoos, body piercings, and creative coiffures are fair game. (They may also lead to grave bodily injury, but that's a risk the insulter has to assume.)

Below the fold I hereby offer Oliver (and his detractors) a handy list of non-racial insults to hurl at him. It took me a bit of time, but I think I assembled a decent list that 1) reflects opinions I've had at Oliver at various times, B) is broad enough that most anyone can find some they like, and III) is void of racial overtones. I'm not putting them in the main entry because while they aren't racial, some might find them quite offensive.


Asshole, Butthead, Cretin, Dipshit, Egomaniac, Fool, Gutless, Hypocrite, Ignoranus*, Jackass, King shit On Turd Mountain**, Loser, Milliwit***, Nincompoop, Oxygen Thief, Prick Of Misery****, Quisling,
Rancid imbecile, Shit-for-brains, Twit, Ulcerated boil on the buttocks of humanity, Vacuous, Waste of skin*****, Xenophobe, Yutz, Zero.

OK, I know I'm stretching on a few there. If you got any better options, feel free to chime in with your own suggestions.

* The Washington Post runs a contest where readers submit a "new" word, derived by changing a single letter in an existing word. This was a winner, and it stuck with me.

** My mother wasn't an overly profane woman, but when she cussed, she did it creatively. This one was from her.

*** Someone 500 times dumber than a halfwit.

**** My mother again. This was her pet name for my father, especially during cutthroat card games.

***** A former boss of mine's favorite term for a particularly useless person

Comments (30)

How about a great one from ... (Below threshold)

How about a great one from a former teacher,

"Pimple on the ass of humanity"

That's a good one, Tom, but... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

That's a good one, Tom, but if I'd used it, 1) I'd have to have bumped one of my mother's, and 2) it's pretty close to U's entry. It is a classic, though.


It's never an insult to tel... (Below threshold)

It's never an insult to tell the truth about someone. An insult would to either exagerate some feature of his or tell an outright lie. He is what he is and can't consider it an insult until he changes. He's a dishonest hack, and as such he has no right or reason to complain when called one.

"In the fraction of life, y... (Below threshold)

"In the fraction of life, you are the lowest common denominator"

I've always found that wh... (Below threshold)
mark m:

I've always found that when you tell someone they are a waste of skin you don't hear much out of them anymore. It's one of my top ten.

heh I used cretin in my pos... (Below threshold)

heh I used cretin in my post... now everyone will think I stole it from you.

oh and if you are talking a... (Below threshold)

oh and if you are talking about OW, Dickless seems apropos.

Nutburger-not horribly prof... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

Nutburger-not horribly profane, but I like it.

Try singing that list to th... (Below threshold)

Try singing that list to the tune of the alphabet song.

(M should be Moron, W should be Wretch)

Assholus magnificus - from ... (Below threshold)

Assholus magnificus - from the latin (if you flunked it like I did and got your butt kicked off the wrestling team).

I won't say Oliver's stupid... (Below threshold)

I won't say Oliver's stupid, but only because I don't like to belabor the obvious.

I wouldn't cross the street to pee on his shoe. I wouldn't even pay a bum to do it for me. I might promise to pay the bum, but I wouldn't actually pay him.

I rather prefer a touch of ... (Below threshold)

I rather prefer a touch of classical language in my insults. "Coprachephalic moron", for instance, has a ncie sound to it.

From my friend and colleagu... (Below threshold)

From my friend and colleague TonyD:

Walking null job: useless person (that part of the operating system that consumes all of the CPU time when there is nothing else to do)
Cork in the rectum of progress: (worse than useless) one of those sad people who consider it their duty to ensure that nothing bad will happen by preventing everyone else from getting the job done

For those fans of Shakespeare: "You argument is full of sound and fury." [Don't know who said it.]

I like "Member of the Moron... (Below threshold)

I like "Member of the Moronosphere".

I've actually used the "Kin... (Below threshold)

I've actually used the "King shit . . ." one before, but I'm sllightly more partial to, "10 lbs of shit in a 5 lb bag".

My grandmother's favorite: ... (Below threshold)

My grandmother's favorite: "Weasel-faced Butthead."

While I agree that no one s... (Below threshold)

While I agree that no one should use race to insult an idiot (their idiocy provides plenty of ammunition all by itself)...Why is it OK for Willis to call others racist names?

has anyone asked him that question?

Jay,I'm not nit-pi... (Below threshold)


I'm not nit-picking on your post, but I did want to say it made me laugh.




that's quite some list there, boss.

= )

JimK,I believe tha... (Below threshold)


I believe that was addressed when he was lobbing some very racist insults at Malkin a few weeks ago, couldn't find the link. The ignoranus' replies were just more of the same hypocrisy. Man, I'm still laughing about ignoranus, thats quality!

Why beat around the bush? I... (Below threshold)

Why beat around the bush? I mean, if you're gonna go to the trouble of leveling an insulting remark at somebody, just call him the son of a syphilitic whore and be done with it. All this namby-pamby "let's try to be clever" stuff is a big ol' waste of time. Cut to the end and put the object of your derision in a position where his only remaining choices are to upturn the table and start swingin' or apologize like a man.

"Therefore, it should only ... (Below threshold)

"Therefore, it should only castigate them for things they can directly control... I think it crass to assail someone for being overweight"

Uhm, I don't know how to say this delicately, but fat people _can_ lose weight...

BTW you have an error in your perl module:

Use of uninitialized value in substitution (s///) at plugins/Blacklist/lib/Blacklist/App.pm line 44.

occuring when I tried to post with only a name and no email.

Paul,Many eunics, af... (Below threshold)

Many eunics, after castration, gain weight and lose their hair. Perhaps calling him dickless puts him in your "out of his control category"?
Granted, being a eunic just means ball-less (seems about right).
I am sure the women of the world breathe a sigh of relief knowing that Bagdad Blob has no interest in them sexually, and no capacity to act if he were.

I can't believe I just spel... (Below threshold)

I can't believe I just spelled eunuch wrong twice.

blackpajamas, that "error" ... (Below threshold)

blackpajamas, that "error" means (I believe) that you can't post comments here without giving an e-mail address. It's not an actual error -- it's configured that way.

Hobgoblin, I stole that str... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

Hobgoblin, I stole that structure from the guys on Car Talk. Had there been a fourth item, it would've been d).

And SCSI, I singled out the fat and bald bit because for me to pick on others for that would be rather hypocritical. There are some people who genuinely cannot lose weight. It's an incredibly small percentage of those who CLAIM it, but it does exist...

Finally, SCSI, I ain't Paul. For one, I think I'm a little taller.


My, what a popular topic.</... (Below threshold)

My, what a popular topic.

You could always opt for the Monty Python type of abuse with 'snotty-faced heap of parrot droppings.' There's lots more where that came from.

Oh, these are HILARIOUS!</p... (Below threshold)

Oh, these are HILARIOUS!

I email Oliver on occasion ... (Below threshold)

I email Oliver on occasion rebutting some of his claims, particularly his penchant for mis-quoting, half-quoting, and taking quotes out of context. I have never insulted him racially or in any other way; I have only attacked his arguments, and I had a little "Paint Shop" fun with his logo. In spite of being temperate and cordial, he would not allow me to register for his comments. Oliver just wants to live in his "echo chamber".

SCSIwuzzy wrote:<i... (Below threshold)
Paul Dade:

SCSIwuzzy wrote:

I can't believe I just spelled eunuch wrong twice.

Well, since you're especially stupid, I certainly can. What I can't believe is that you were somehow able to catch and correct the error.

Jay,Paul used the te... (Below threshold)

Paul used the term dickless, so I was responding to him. But the link to Odub being dickless as a cause of his fat bladness, I can see where it looked like I was talking to you. Sorry for the confusion. :)
Paul Dade. Wow, coming from one of the worst ball players of the 70's, that hurts. Really, it does,






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