After I posted about how so many comedians are disappointing people, I found that Abbey had written about Neil Gaiman and how you shouldn’t have heroes except Gaiman seems to be living up to expectations.
“Don’t have heroes” is a huge important philosophical axiom for me, born out of long sad experience that it isn’t safe to have them. Once upon a time, I liked Harry Potter; I liked Father Ted and The IT Crowd. I thought the latter was particularly interesting as a learnable style of humor. We know how those turned out. But those are extreme author behaviors and minor influences. Back in the day, I was a huge fan of Firefly and it still holds a place in my heart (and thereby writing); I used to consider Joss Whedon the pinnacle influence for screenwriting, and sought to be like him… before we found out that the “him” I would have wanted to be like was mostly PR vapor and he was the usual kind of abusive douche that all men with a grain of power in Hollywood seem to be. But I can’t shake it with Gaiman, because he keeps living up to it, the bastard.
Jinx, jinx, JINX! I’m not usually this superstitious, but the pattern of people we thought good collapsing as their clay feet slump into goo is so consistent that I think we need to keep the pressure on. Don’t praise him. Give him nothing but squinky-eyed looks. Make sure he knows you have a big knife hanging on your belt, and when (not if, WHEN) he slips up, you’ll be there ready to go all sewing machine on his kidneys. It is the way. It is the only way. Fear will keep him on the straight and narrow.
That shouldn’t be a problem, it shouldn’t be at all discouraging to Neil. It’s not as if anyone should be behaving well for praise, you know.