It’s like a scene from an old B-grade black-and white horror flick: Jesus is walking down some dank alleyway in Jerusalem and carelessly bumps into an old gypsy woman, knocking her in the mud and muck, and then thoughtlessly laughing at her misfortune. Her deepset eyes blaze, and she scowls at him. “A curse upon you,” she mutters. “From now on, your followers and supporters will be unable to accuse their critics of any fault or fallacy without being guilty of the same thing themselves.” He, like all B-grade movie heroes, doesn’t take her seriously until her curse starts coming true. Only then does he realize, to his horror, that the curse is inexorable, inescapable, and infallible.
I’m not the only person to see this curse in action. PZ Myers has a post about a reporter, in Salon no less, who falls prey to the old gypsy’s revenge. According to the reporter,
Myers has earned notoriety with his blog, Pharyngula, in which he reports on new developments in biology and indiscriminately excoriates those he views as hostile to science, a pantheon of straw men and women that includes theologians, journalists and churchgoers.
Having accused Myers of excoriating straw men and women, he then goes on to attack a bizarre version of Myers’ views which he seems to have defined by taking the opposite of whatever Myers actually said, and calling it “what he really means.”
And in the background, thin and distance, you can almost hear a gleeful cackle.