Neil Gaiman responds to "pencil-necked weasel" insult by Matt Dean [INTERVIEW]

Categories: Politics


CP: Do you have any desire to talk with Matt Dean and find out what that statement was all about?

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NG: Why would I talk to him? There are signals that human beings give off. There are human being signals that say "I would like to talk to you. I would like to open a discourse with you."

And then there are signals that human beings give off that say "I am really the kind of person who wants to be there with your head down a toilet, my hand on your neck, and the other hand flushing it." And as far as I can tell, Rep. Dean gives off the toilet-flushing signals. I mean, "Who I hate?" "Thief?" I don't get it.

Someone wanted to know if I was thinking of suing him for slander or libel or something, and I thought: That sounds like kicking a dog-shit in the street to punish it -- you just end up with dog-shit all over you. Why would you do that?

I think the best possible use of my time is this: I have a lot of readers who are Republicans. Lots of people read my books. They are anarchists and they are communists and they are Democrats and they are the Monster Raving Loony Party and they are conservatives and some of them are Republicans. And pointing out to Republicans that they have somebody of this standard representing them, and they might want to choose somebody else, is probably a good use of my time. But I can't think of what I'd do beyond that.

CP: Are you a Minnesota resident these days?

NG: I'm just over the border. I'm one of those people who gets all of the good stuff from Minnesota. I can turn on my radio and hear glorious Minnesota Public Radio. I have an address in the Twin Cities. I do spend a lot of time there when I'm not in Scotland, and when I'm not in Boston where my wife is these days. I'm mostly just over the border in Wisconsin.

The thing that fascinates me most about all this, watching the whole Legacy thing and the attack on the arts, and the whole code of this weird pencil-neck thing...

CP: Yeah, I was wondering if you had any theories about what that was supposed to mean.

My only theory about pencil neck is that it has the word pencil in it, which is something you use to write and to draw with. And maybe it's safer to say than intellectual, because it has fewer syllables.

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Sandman, one of Gaiman's iconic creations
This is probably incredibly mean and petty of me, but I did wonder what kind of person this was, and I did Google up a photo of Matt Dean, and was enormously disappointed that he did not have this huge bull-like neck. I figured he had sort of a wrestler neck. And honestly, there are people who can insult necks, but dude: honestly, people who live in glass necks... I mean it's just wrong.

I don't know, I think it means I'm a writer. I think it does a very foolish thing, this whole attempt to cut the Legacy and to slash NPR is fundamentally foolish.

I've been living in this part of the world for 20 years now, and one of the reasons I've been living in this part of the world, rather than the many other places I could be paying taxes and buying things, is I really like the quality of life. A lot of that is the arts scene around Minneapolis and MPR. It's good quality of life stuff. Ditto what's going on in the public parks.

I look at the attempts to remove the legacy amendment, and I'm going "No! This is actually one reason why we're here, because of this wonderful arts scene, and this great quality of life."

You can actually turn on the radio and find something interesting going on. You can't do that in a lot of America. It would be really sad if people like this old school bully were allowed to get away with it.

I'm hoping that there are people out there who will at least take this as an indication of what they don't want to see from their representatives, because honestly, its kind of pathetic.

CP: All right. Well thanks for speaking about this. We're trying to reach Matt Dean too to see what we can learn from him.

NG: See if you can get a quote from him! Find out why he hates me! Hate is such an amazingly strong word.

I feel like this is one of those moments where I'm going to discover that I stole his parking space, or had sex with his sister and didn't know.

There's also the really sort of weird kinky Republican thing of maybe he likes me, and this is some sort of weird cry for attention. The whole "I hate you, you're a pencil-neck" thing, and then he'll try for some sort of reconciliation and then the next thing you know he's putting his hand on my leg. It's just going to be weird. It could be awkward.



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