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?

neilgaiman.jpg
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.

sandman.jpg
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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48 comments
Katrina2000
Katrina2000

Let's examine this. Neil has a talent for which he makes a lot of money. Neil donates to charities (emphasis on the plural) and allegedly Neil has a religion in which he believes and to which he and his family contributes. Well, isn't he just the anti-Christ! Seriously, people, do we get on Steven Spielberg for making money off his talent? Do we question Kate Middleton's religion? Or do we fling poo at Al Gore for making a ton of money off his speaking engagements? This is all so sad. Wake up, folks! It's America and we're allowed to reap the benefits of hard work, believe what we want to, and spend our money however we wish.

Reading some of the comments here, I can easily see why Neil was granted the gifts he has instead of his detractors. Lord knows, some of these posts have even more vitriol than Mr. Dean's comments.

Jerry
Jerry

Correction: Neil Gaiman donates to SCIENTOLOGY.

Dannyno
Dannyno

Gaiman says he is not a scientologist.  But he was brought up as a scientologist, because his parents were prominent scientologists.

Vannessa Marovatsanga
Vannessa Marovatsanga

it could be weird it could be awkardI say lets forget this dean guy. look at all the attention we gave sarah pailin. Maybe if we ignore this dean guy he'll go away and fade into obscurity instead of getting his own talk show

blackholenebula
blackholenebula

Matt Dean is right! Gaiman is taking money from Minnesota to fund Scientology. Gaiman is worse than a pencilnecked weasel, he's a cult member and the only charity Gaiman donates to isSCIENTOLOGY!. Neil Gaiman is underwriting Scientology. The Scientologist’s listNeil Gaiman in the Cornerstone Newsletter along with Mary Gaiman, ascontributing $35,000.00 in 2009. Being listed in the Cornerstone Newslettermeans you are in good-standing with the cult.

In 2010, Mary Gaiman was awarded the "Gold HumanitarianAward" for her contribution of $500,000.00 to Scientology. This issignificant because Mary Gaiman continues to be Neil Gaiman’s business partnerin The Blank Corporation, which is now Neil Gaiman's Scientology front and howhe pays the cult.

Gaiman is also the "Vitamin Heir" of Scientology. TheGaiman family owns G&G Vitamins which reaps 6 million a year from sellingThe Purification Rundown Vitamins.

Gaiman's two sisters, Claire Edwards and Lizzie Calciole are notjust high-ranking Scientologists, they are the head of RECRUITING and the headof Wealden House, the Scientology stronghold in East Grinstead. These twocannot associate with Neil unless he is in good standing.

Rainman1601
Rainman1601

 I can never decide if I am amused, insulted, or depressed by how mindlessly gullible many people are.  First, I find it a bit hard to credit that Gaiman would buy into Scientology.  Second, I would have to see some pretty compelling evidence before I bought it.  (as opposed to the no doubt purely factual information these folks have culled from our friend the internet)  And third, as others have pointed out, it's his money.  Regardless of what else he is doing, he is making money and spending it.  Therefore, he is helping the economy.  Even if it's because some Scientology goofballs are spending his money for him.  Hell, at least he has a real job, as opposed to, say, politicians or religious leaders.

matt
matt

Even if this is true, so what. it's his money to do what he wants. If he made these contributions to the Catholic Church would you be this outraged.

Last time I checked it's a free market. No one forced the library to pay Gaiman's fee. it's money he earned and he can do with it whatever he wants.

Blackholenebula
Blackholenebula

No, I wouldn't be outraged because the Catholic church is a church and Scientology is a dangerous CULT that destroys people's lives.

Darren
Darren

I love how you're using all this evidence to back up your arguments.

Oh wait. Those are unfounded opinions. My bad.

Danb
Danb

Spoken like a true supporter of that nutter pseudo-religion, are you hired by the CoS to talk them up on message boards?

Jon
Jon

All religions are, "nutter pseudo-religions," but we live in a country where people are free to participate in them if they wish. You probably even follow one yourself.

T.J. Thomas
T.J. Thomas

I think as far as Dean was concerned, Neil also committed the cardinal sin of donating his fee to charities involving sexual abuse, libraries, and books, all things that Republican politicians act like they don't believe in.

JoeMarfice
JoeMarfice

Neil, you beautiful bastard! Upholding the age-old tradition of "Never taunt a bard!".

Ass vs Class.

Fool vs School.

I love you sooo much!

joniellen
joniellen

OK, so the "pencil-necked little weasel" talk is hardly professional, but it's sort of colorful. And certainly it offered an opportunity for Gaiman to entertain us with an entirely clever comeback. However, the hate talk from an elected official, or any grownup or human being for that matter, is not acceptable. What the hell kind of leader is Dean? Not.

alice
alice

My family drove two hours to see the Stillwater talk. It was definitely worth $45,000.

Michelle
Michelle

I also went to the event and it was great! It was definitely worth what the state paid him. It was a small audience but he hung around afterwards. I was even able to use it for a class at the U. One of my Writing courses required us to go to events just like this one. There are always plenty of writers speaking in the area but this was a rarity. And with my completely broke college self, this was a Godsend!

For this particular event and author, it was also wonderful because of all the children who attended. Children! Even some who asked questions! I just can't wrap my mind around how this has been twisted into something so noxious.

Freddie
Freddie

Kirk, Gaiman probably would have done the gig for free or for a cut rate had the Stillwater library asked. He does that sort of thing all the time. But they didn't ask because they had to use that money before the end of the fiscal year or have their budget slashed by the amount of money they paid him. Losing that kind of money is really bad for rural libraries, even if it is only allocated for speaking fees, as this money was. And the Legacy Fund was voted into reality by the voters of Minnesota in 2008—not just forced into legislation by politicians.

I'll bet my next paycheck that Rep. Dean is using Gaiman as a straw man to "reform" the Legacy Fund, and people like you are totally falling for it. But Gaiman's fans have crashed Dean's blog (which remained down as of this morning), and Dean has already apologized for at least some of the things he said. I have a feeling all the goodwill Gaiman has built over the years is going to translate to a very short political career for Representative Matt Dean.

punksocks
punksocks

Ha! Great responses Mr Gaiman. I have a friend, who has a friend, who knew someone who got into a fist fight in an Alice Springs (middle of Australia) pub when someone told him he had a long face. Some people have long faces, some have pencil necks: the only thing we know for sure is that someone will find it offensive one day.

punksocks
punksocks

OK, my boyfriend just corrected me, it was a "narrow head" not a "long face". Ha!

Lovey
Lovey

Having been to Alice Springs pubs, I can totally see this unfold in my mind's eye.

vitajex
vitajex

"People who live in glass necks"

Perfect! If I wasn't so jealous of that bastard, I'd love him even more.

Kirk the Conservative Jerk
Kirk the Conservative Jerk

"A $45,000 payment of Legacy money that was made last year to science fiction writer Neil Gaiman for a four-hour speaking appearance."That was from the Star and Sickle Article by: MIKE KASZUBAWrong numbers cast my your favorite and trusted liberal sources like Minnesota Public Radio, the Star and Tribune, and UThink blogs? Even the Comic Book Resources where he later appeared reported these numbers. But hey, I suppose we should take the "pencil-necked little weasel's" word right?Anyway,Having a Library in Washington county pay ANYTHING for ANYONE to come and speak about a book they're PROMOTING, is sick.

Then we have a "pencil-necked little weasel." receiving $33,600, and he knows because he checked this morning. So he says; "that went to charity."

The truly "charitable" thing to do would be to DO IT FOR FREE you self righteous jackass!

Furthermore, this whole piece of legislation called the "Legacy Act" is truly a piece of something. Who knew this "Legacy Act" was to funnel money into the "arts"? It was sold to us as an environmental need. Talk about misdirection on part of our legislators. Just goes to show us that are local media is failing us. Is it not their responsibility to research this for us. They sure did talk and pump this enough. How could they miss half of the purpose for the targeted appropriation in funds and resources? Perhaps I should give them (the media) a break. I'm sure their heads we so clustered F**ked with "anti Bush" rhetoric at that time (2006) to concern themselves with something that most certainly impacts us Minnesotans. Especially when looking at Obama, and how he has been following Bush's playbook almost to the letter. Somehow there's no local media criticism now. Funny....

Question is, how do I get some of this "Legacy Act" funding?I painted my daughter's room in my house, and I consider it art; can I get some moolah from the state for it? If not, why not? My claim is as good anybody elses? Do I need to slap some hand painted unicorns on the wall first? Maybe hold a public showing of my walls?

We have a severe problem within our government people! Just because there is money in their budget, does not mean they should blow it of some worthless author like Neil Gaiman.

Fuck this guy ^^^
Fuck this guy ^^^

Ha, you are a fucking idiot.  Everything you said here has made it ABUNDANTLY clear that you did NOT read this article WHATSOEVER.  Neil Gaiman is a class act and, even though I disagree with the Legacy Act legislation, Gaiman's behavior and reason for his doings make total sense.  In fact, it really embodies the CAPITALIST ideology of business.

See here:  Gaiman is NOT a public speaker, he doesn't LIKE doing this kind of work (he would much rather be doing what he loves, which is writing); in order for him to keep down the amount of time he spends public speaking, he charges a very high price (which, as a concept, is fucking SYNONYMOUS with market prices adjusting to supply and demand); now, since he charges a high price, he is asked to speak FAR less often.  Don't blame him, blame the people who passed the legisilation.  Blame the legislation itself.  Blame the fucked up policies that drastically drop budgets because the given organization was responsible with their allocated budget and, thus, had some of it leftover (which is so fucking stupid - yeah, let's punish departments for being "thrifty"... yeah, that's gonna help keep budget costs down).

It's people like you, "Kirk the Conservative Jerk", who epitomize the blind sheep following a corrupt and unworthy politician thanks to propaganda from the worst of the conservative agenda.  And don't get me wrong, I couldn't care less about your politics.  In fact, in case it wasn't made clear in my previous paragraphs, I'm a registered republican and my politics fall WAY closer to the right side of the political spectrum.  It's just that the people like you (and Matt Dean) are completely ruining any respect and positive aspects associated with the republican party.  You make me ashamed to call myself a conservative republican.  Eat a dick and die.

AnnDean
AnnDean

The only charity Gaiman is donating to is Scientology, what a lying scumbag.

Darren
Darren

Gaiman states that it was requested that he take the money so that the library would be able to keep their budget. That budget was not allowed to be used on anything other than library events, if I understand the account in the article. Had he not agreed to take the money, they would have lost their budget. As such, doing it for free would not have been the kinder thing to do.

Jerry
Jerry

The only "charity" Neil Gaiman gives money to is Scientology. And Scientologists often use their members like Gaiman to drain funds and get their members awards and movie deals. Gaiman is on the Sceintology payroll and feeds millions to the cult. His latest "charity" was the Scientology Superpower Center in Minnesota, where the crazy cult members sit in giant gyroscopes and try to move objects with their minds. Gaiman is a cult zombie.

anon
anon

3/10 for effort

Chatoyant
Chatoyant

Kirk is more than a jerk, you are an butthole. You did not read the why yet you think you should have a position on it so you reiterate the crap that Dean said rather than getting a fact or two behind you. Butthole. There are plenty of people to blame for you concern, but Neil Gaiman just isn't one of them.

Todd
Todd

A nice rally here by the Sea Org members assigned to defend Gaiman, the scientologist.

Jelis
Jelis

Oh sweetie, clearly you don't read. Gaiman does, in fact, do many events for free. Not all of them though, for the simple fact that if he did, then his mail would be chock-full of people clamouring for him to attend some random event. Keeping in mind that Gaiman is a writer and has said himself that he does not want a second career as a public speaker, it's reasonable that he prices himself high, so that such requests are limited. He freely admits that it's pricey. His agents make sure to let people know of that fact before they hire him. Gaiman is free to charge whatever the hell he wants for his services. So if people still choose after learning of his fees to hire him anyway... well that's hardly Gaiman's fault. Your abuse is unwarranted.

Second, that money was alloted specifically for that library to be able to bring in authors to speak at market rates (and by the by, Gaiman's speaking fees are definitely on the higher end for authors, but still within market fee range), that they otherwise wouldn't be able to. It was designated for that purpose; they weren't allowed to use it for anything else like hiring staff, and the funds were about to expire and weren't allowed to roll over to the next year. Which created a situation where they may as well have hired Gaiman. So they did. You want to complain, complain about those restrictions instead.

Third, yes, as a matter of fact, many sources can be wrong about numbers, for the simple reason that many of them do their research on the internet and fail to read properly. So: $45,000 is the figure that Gaiman mentions as his standard speaking fee. This figure is mentioned in one of his FAQ answers. $40,000 is the figure that he says in his blog post and the above interview that the library offered him. $33,600 is the amount that HE PERSONALLY received, after his speaking agents had taken their cut.

Jelis
Jelis

Ah, my bad. Re: point 3: The library paid 45k, he received 33.6k after agent commission.

Hail_to_the_chef
Hail_to_the_chef

Seeing Kirk's raving buffoon response, I can understand how a raving buffoon like Matt Dean got elected.

guest
guest

I am pretty certain you are in love with Matt Dean, and you are a "stupid, stupid face."Also: stop book hating, you...what were your words? Oh yes, you slef righteous jack-ass

Kirk the Conservative Jerk
Kirk the Conservative Jerk

Book hating?Wow that's not even close to what I was saying.

What I hate is we (the State) have money flying out our ass. Our state is financially bleeding and it needs to stop. Matt Dean's entire point in this house floor discussion was to point out that our state is spending money shamefully.

You would never know this by CP cherry picking of Matt's words.

BTW, wouldn't I be a "jerk-ass"?

alejo699
alejo699

I agree that spending needs to be more responsible, but, cherry-picking or not, how does it make any sense to call an author names because you disagree with the system that paid him? That's just childish and simplistic.

guest
guest

I truly pity your children for the bullshit you are bringing in to their lives. My heart goes out to them, for you are an ignorant piece of shit.

alejo699
alejo699

What an appropriate name you have, Kirk! It says everything I need to know about you -- just like the few lines of the article you actually read told you everything you needed to know.

Kirk the Conservative Jerk
Kirk the Conservative Jerk

So your claiming your just as uninformed and wrong about me as I am on this article?

Jon
Jon

Rather than complaining about anything having to do with libraries and authors, you should spend more time in libraries and reading the works of authors. If you follow this advice, you might even develop some command of the language.

rvm4
rvm4

That would be "you're" not "your."

alejo699
alejo699

Yes, that is in fact exactly what I am saying. You probably have lots of wonderful qualities that are not displayed by your alias or your post.

punksocks
punksocks

You missed "stupid-stupid face" which will make what you're saying a little clearer I think.

Ron Porter
Ron Porter

Neil Gaiman is a hack and to pay him this kind of money when libraries are hurting is obscene.

Jeremy B
Jeremy B

Did you even read the article? I know, I know, this is a rhetorical question. But honestly...

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