Besides sharp pencils, comfort food and flash drives, writers positively need a dollop of hubris. After all, what can be more ego-driven than to assume anyone would want to read what I/you write?
To some degree, a purely humble writer would never be read, because he or she would never be able to hit “send.”
What fascinates most, though, are those writers who wrap themselves in the cloak/Navy pea coat (for hipster effect) of humbleness … and they are anything but. In fact, arrogance seems to be the order-of-the-day for some. What begins as a healthy dose of confidence quickly becomes a rolling blob of arrogance.
Witness the very nice career that Donald Miller has carved out for himself. Based in the Pacific Northwest, the sometimes-described “evangelical” Miller is actually a very progressive writer and thinker who is hugely popular among millennial evangelicals. His 2003 blockbuster, “Blue Like Jazz,” has seen to that.
In the book, Miller extols the virtues of, among other things, beer drinking and progressive ideas about Christianity. He manages to skate along the edge of what is/was acceptable in evangelical circles, and he made Mark Driscoll semi-famous as “Mark the Cussing Pastor.” As in, it’s funny for a man of the cloth to use crude language to make a point.
Miller eventually started a writing website – www.storylineblog.com – (“The official blog of New York Times best-selling author, Donald Miller”), and recently I noticed this gem he had posted: “I’ve been trying to identify the kinds of manipulators I see in the world, for my own personal protection. There are false victims, dramatics, bullies and so on. But there’s one common denominator. And it’s important and it’s this: Manipulators have a very difficult time admitting they are wrong.”
Yes, they do, Donald, which brings me to the subject of today’s Writer’s Bloc.
Competing ideas in this world are rightly encouraged. I can even tolerate center-left viewpoints because the truth usually rises to the top.
What is unacceptable, however, is bad information that a source refuses to correct. Which brings us to November 19, 2012 … at www.storylineblog.com.
There, Donald Miller penned what I can only describe as a press-release-writing assignment from “Hamas 101.” Repeatedly, Miller accused Israel of war crimes in a piece entitled, “The Painful Truth About the Situation in Israel.”
Now, friends, that’s a box of Whoppers in just a few brief words. Truth? Donald, with regard to Israel, you apparently can’t handle the truth.
To say that Israel controls the caloric intake of Gazans is a lie of epic proportions. Israel rations Gazans’ food? Is that a serious idea? Evidently, it is in Donald Miller’s left-wing universe.
Check out this Goebbels-esque paragraph: “Israel gives most Palestinians fresh water once each week, water they store in tanks on top of their homes. On the other side of the wall, within a hundred yards, Israeli children swim in personal swimming pools. In Gaza, Israel also rations their food, allowing only so many calories per human being. The Palestinians have no port, no trade and no way to get out except through illegal tunnels into Egypt, tunnels Israel allows in order to stay off a humanitarian crisis.”
As Truman Capote once acidly remarked about a rival’s work: “That’s not writing; it’s typing.”
Historical fact: Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005. I know that Jew-haters the world over like to say that Israel is keeping Gaza in a big, “open-air prison,” but the fact is, aside from protecting its citizens against murderous rocket fire from Hamas-controlled Gaza, Israel has no reason at all to brutalize Palestinians.
Yet Miller’s PLO handlers (he has been to what he calls Israel/”Palestine” with friends like Cameron Strang of Relevant magazine and Lynne Hybels) tell him that Israel does all kinds of nasty things to Gaza.
Is critical thinking part of this group’s daily routine? Does anybody fact check?
And therein lies the real problem with this kind of propaganda: The Western dupes swallow the propaganda hook, line and sinker.
You might find this interesting.
As a writer and researcher, I marvel at the blood libel Donald Miller unleashed on Israel. So, I’ve asked him – numerous times through an assistant – to provide simple documentation of his charges against the Jewish state.
You have to ask yourself a question: If a writer is willing to disseminate information that is provably false, why does he do that? Why not be forthcoming with evidence that a jack-booted band of IDF soldiers roam Gaza, looking for Palestinian women to shoot?
Because that’s what Miller alleges.
I now know that Donald Miller won’t answer me. I’m not sure he’d answer anyone. But here’s a scarier thought: Since he is widely read, one would assume that many evangelical leaders in American have read the November 19 post. Yet, not a single one of them have asked the questions I’ve asked. Incredible.
So Donald Miller is able to go on with his still-published blood libel and enjoy living in a zero-accountability zone.
Why doesn’t someone close to him call him on this? Why don’t evangelical leaders who promote him demand some answers?
My instinct tells me that it’s because they share a similar worldview.
We are, then, left to wonder just how far the blood libel has traveled. Too far, I would imagine.
And at the end of the day, Donald Miller will go on promoting himself as an open, tolerant truth-seeker who just has to join the chorus of voices trying to save Israel from herself and Zionism.
He will presumably continue to peddle PLO propaganda, which brings to mind a great observation by the late, great David Bar-Illan: “Some of the world’s most celebrated columnists, commentators and experts have written mind-blowing nonsense. But being proved repeatedly wrong has deterred none of them; they all know that only assiduous researchers remember their folly.”
Sooo painfully true.
One day, I’d love to see on Donald Miller’s writing tombstone: “Here ‘lies’ Donald Miller. He was just a bad writer.”
Because in his world of coffee klatches, chocolate labs, butterflies, rainy day musings, kite-flying and whatever else he writes about, Donald Miller is intimately familiar with manipulators who can’t admit they’re wrong.