Dinosaurs and Extreme Commenting

This is the tweet that started it.

Interested to know what led to this, I obviously wandered over to the Apex Magazine website, typed ‘dinosaur’ into the search bar, and read the story in question. (If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love by Rachel Swirsky)

The comments were mostly positive, except for one at the end, which said:

Wow, such bigotry in a story. Such ignorant fear of the unknown, of the working people you have never deigned to speak to, so never understood outside the arrogant prejudices of the “educated” left. Sarah Hoyt (a far better writer) was quite right about this nasty, childish little tale.

I was intrigued. I had to go back and reread the story, thinking I must have missed something. I didn’t remember there being any “working people” in the story. Nope, definitely not there. Not one mention. Not even a hint. Anywhere.

Let me be (as) straight (as possible) here. I don’t think that much of the story. It’s a bit wishy-washy for my tastes. It’s a mushy love story with a tear jerky ending. But bigoted? Ignorant fear of working class people? I can’t see it.

The only reference is to “five blustering men soaked in gin and malice […] seizing pool cues”. I didn’t for one second read this as referring to any class of people, merely a group of drunk thugs. Bankers, cops, private school boys, anyone.

Certainly someone is making assumptions about the working classes here, and I don’t think it’s the author.

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Nat Newman

Nat Newman is an award-winning writer of short stories, content, podcasts, feature articles, drunk text messages and, soon, a novella.


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