We’re only in July, but it’s already been a bumper year for contenders of the worst opinion piece of 2k12. We had this outstanding effort from James Dellingpole (the whole piece isn’t up anymore, but thankfully it says all it needs to in the first paragraph) and a late contender even threw down the gauntlet today. The bookies favourite, however, remains this outrageous wibble by Martin Robbins.
While this list is about people rather than the individual things they’ve written, it’s a good summary of Robbins himself - a geek evangelist. Now, any right-thinking person will rightly note that geeks are like professional footballers, comedians, and porn stars - useful and necessary at what they do, but embarrassingly out of their depth in any other walk of life. That’s not to say they’re terrible people, it’s just that in order to excel at their chosen careers, you need to be the sort of person who shouldn’t really be considered to have any authority on, say, Literally Anything Else. Robbins’ argument to the contrary is, in essence, “Scientists are good at science and I like them so maybe we should let them run the country, yeah?”
And why not - after all, it’s worked for Robbins. A science blogger he may be, but it hasn’t stopped him running his mouth on all subjects from pornography to abortion. Hell, despite having the most childlike and ignorant views possible about privilege, he even managed to get a gig as one ninth of a duel-of-intellectual-titans between him and Laurie Penny, on feminism. A male tech blogger writing about feminism! And anyway, isn’t that an example of male privilege itself after all, it’s not like they ask Laurie Penny to write about videogam- sorry, I’ve lost track of where we were.
Look, the point is that despite Robbins’ attempts to present himself as some sort of renaissance man, he’s basically a one-trick pony. “Evidence! Science! Peer review!” are all he has, suggesting that they could start a revolution in politics for areas such as drugs, and, er, uhm… well, he also suggests ‘the police’, but if you think that “HEY. EVIDENCE-BASED POLICY GUYS, MAYBE TRY IT SOMETIME, IDK” is going to sweep away decades of institutional racism then you’re probably… well, you’re probably someone who bears a close resemblance to Martin Robbins, or any of the other people he’s managed to conscript to his cause: “Geeks and nerds have come a long way in the last few years, led by the likes of Ben Goldacre, Brian Cox, and a clutch of comedians from Robin Ince to Dara O’Briain.” The prosecution rests, your honour.
“Toynbee really is a spectacular hypocrite - using ‘chav’ is wrong, but quite happy to bang on about ‘posh boys’. #bbcqt”
“Word. RT @ThermopticGhost: Why is there a need to even talk about sexes. Aren’t we all the same after all. We all shit!”
“Suicide is the biggest killer of my demographic. http://bbc.in/xy75Xm Patriarchy damages men too.”