Some of you feel that a lot of the people on this list are too low. Sometimes, we’ve gotta get the topical dollar, like with Aveyard and Bragg. Sometimes, you’re just never going to be pleased, because honestly what number could truly fit the likes of FourFourTom? But sometimes, you make the mistake of assuming a terrible person is automatically a terrible tweeter. This is one of those. I state, with absolute confidence, that Penn Jillette is the worst man in the world. However, I actually had to check and see if he had a Twitter presence or not, which explains his relatively low place on the list.
The best way I can think of to sum up Penn Jillette is that he’s what you get when Redditors grow up. Not actually ‘grow up’, of course, and not even grow up in the style some thirty-two-year-old sub-editor with a “growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional” fridge magnet imagines themselves to do. I mean “become taller and fatter and older”, maturing into the socially-illiterate manchild dispensing Ayn Rand quotes that we have today.
You know the type. You’re an atheist, great. Why not make that uninteresting fact the thing that solely defines your personality, to the extent that your three license plates read “atheist”, “nogod”, and “godless.” Just imagine that sort of person. Then, of course, you can throw in the Randian Libertarianism, the only other thing he ever talks about. For those of you unaware, Libertarianism is an ideology which is basically a unsuccessful attempt to justify a childlike “But why can’t I keep all MY money!!” tantrum. In Jillette’s world, the government using money to build libraries is “picking on the weird kid, and I’m always the weird kid.” This is a good example of the unheralded work that school bullies are doing across the land, every single day.
Instead of doing what you’d do if you really were being bullied - joining a fandom, obtaining a repressed sexuality - Jillette decides to say things like the following, which is too good to cut:
"Provide a Clear and Comprehensive National Mandate for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Individuals with Disablities." That’s what the Americans with disabilities act says it’s gonna do. What the fucking fuck? What is wrong with us? Have we all gone fucking crazy? We think the government is so good at what it does, the war on drugs, the war on poverty, the war on war. The government is so fucking good at that, they can fucking do anything? They can make us all physically equal, they can heal the lame, they can make the fucking blind fucking see! How about the government sticks to courts, police, defense, and corruption, and leaves compassion to people that fucking have that! Motherfuckers!"
This is the problem here. When you set yourself up as some kind of beacon of reason and intellect, you find yourself having to use it to justify any nastier beliefs you may have. Hilariously, Jillette also uses it to attempt to justify the fact he’s a fat fuck, claiming humans are ‘wired to eat’, ‘evolution’ makes us fat, and wheeling out some MIT neckbeard to claim “I don’t exercise because we don’t know the long-term effects.” Look out for his next book, on why having a stupid wee beard is part of a natural progression from the work of Newton.
Look, all this is why Penn Jillette is a terrible person. But you may have been able to avoid him on Twitter, although if you did follow him, you’d get the standard endless plugging, RTs of praise from fans, and occasional quotes. It’s not unlike following a comedian, which is good because it means that he’s almost certainly crippled by the same sense of self-loathing they are. Magicians, after all, must basically have all the same flaws with none of the redeeming qualities - trawling from town to town, seeking the respect of groups of strangers, but without getting the respect. I’m not sure if magicians have groupies, but if they do, I’d imagine they’re mostly like Penn Jillette.
"#IAmLibertarian because I barely know what’s right for me, let alone for other people. And I’m a nutty peacenik who wants less force used."
"UnitedChurchof Bacon @praisebacon
Thanks #TAM2012 attendees @jref staff and especially @pennjillette for making our launch a tasty success. Praise Bacon!
Retweeted by Penn Jillette”
""You can’t stop insane people from doing insane things by passing insane laws-that’s insane!" @pennjillette @PennPoint
Retweeted by Penn Jillette”