Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Why Bloggers Aren't (Generally) Authors
Something about being too spontaneous and truthful.
THE PLAZA HOTEL. IN TEXAS. All right. It's not stalking. It's been at least a month or so since we last slobbered about Rachel Lucas. The last time we did, it was only to use her as an object lesson. And the same is true of today's unctuous entry.
In just two posts, the honorable Rachel gave away two potentially lucrative book contracts. That's the very definition of amateur in the writing world. Professional writers hoard their ideas. Even if they're presently in the business of tossing off trifles for quick cash, they can recognize the Grand Slam Idea when it emerges in the second paragraph of an otherwise rote essay. They delete that paragraph before it ever sees the light of day and get cracking on sample chapters for a book proposal. They also get on the phone with well connected agents and start turning phrases about five- and six-figure advances.
But not our Rachel. Tuesday, she wrote a post that began this way:
Mamas, don’t let your sons watch HGTV. They’ll never get married.
It takes a special kind of person to get pissed off watching the Home and Garden channel, and I am just that special person. I love “House Hunters” the most because it’s fun watching people in other parts of the country try to find a 3-bedroom 2-bathroom 1200-square foot house for under $250,000 (in the DFW area, that kind of money buys you a McMansion), but mostly what I love is hating the women I see on these shows. And hate them I do.
In the last 2 weeks, I’ve watched maybe a dozen episodes of “House Hunters”, and in at least 10 of those episodes, the following occurred almost verbatim every single time:
Wife: Oh! This is a nice big closet.
Husband: Yeah, I guess it’s big enough for all your stuff.
Wife: HA HA! I get all the closet space! It’s mine! You get one drawer! HA HA HA HA!
This makes me want to kill some bitches.
They are so proud of the fact that they own 50 pairs of shoes and two metric tons of cocktail dresses, and that they’ve shown their husband who’s boss by hogging all the closet space. You can see it in their eyes, every time, how cutely sassy they think they’re being. It is absolutely revolting....
Which was just a preface for a delightful bashing of a certain kind of female personality that everyone knows about and rarely speaks of out loud. Then, today, she followed up with this opening jibe:
Easy there, gentlemen. You’re not perfect either.
My blog got over 25,000 unique visits yesterday thanks to two Instalanches, one of which was for my last post about de-testicled men and the women who own them. And when Reynolds links, a bunch of other blogs will link, and you’ll get a ton of comments and emails. I have some stuff to say about some of this feedback.
First of all. It isn’t “misogynistic” to point out that some women are selfish morons. People need to get dictionaries, seriously. That’s like saying it’s racist to point out that some Mexicans are criminals. Facts are facts. Some whiteys are criminals, too, and newsflash: plenty of men are selfish morons as well.
Which brings me to my second issue, which is that it’s more than a little annoying to see half the male reactions to a post like this sounding exactly like what these very men hate so much about women. The sweeping generalizations, for one thing. The “I put her in her place” statements, for another.
Don’t get me wrong. Even though I myself am a woman, I truly believe that women are more difficult to get along with, harder to like and to love, less trustworthy, and generally a much bigger pain in the ass than men, in the balance of things.
BUT. It’s all on a scale. Just because women have more or less of any given quality than men do, it’s foolish and shortsighted to extrapolate that into some sort of claim that women have a monopoly on shitty qualities or that men have a monopoly on good qualities.
Although it’s not as much fun, I could write full-bodied rants about the stupid shit men do, too....
Which, of course, she proceeds to do, in hilariously encyclopedic detail. The larger point here is that all you consumers out there should be more appreciative of bloggers as an honest, generous resource, uncontaminated by the mercenary aspects of a profession that... EXCUSE ME. Something I have to do before I proceed further...
[Rachel. RACHEL! Are you fucking nuts?! Deep-six both these posts before anyone else sees them, spend the necessary time (admittedly a bore) to sketch out sample chapters for two -- count'em, two -- bestselling books about (1) women and (2) men. Get on the phone with a high-priced, nasal prick of an agent, and GET YOURSELF A BOOK DEAL. You and Rupert will never have to work again. You can quit all the dreary, depressing transcribing of fatal case histories. You can buy liposuction treatments for your weight-challenged ridgeback. You can move to the place where you really belong, a penthouse suite at the Plaza Hotel in gorgeous midtown Manhattan... JESUS, GIRL.]
Uh, where was I? Oh. Yes. The blogosphere. Mostly, when internet bloggers write books, they write about blogging on the internet, which convinces them that the best way to make money from being a blog star is to sell advertising on their blogs. There is a certain logic to this inference, which has principally to do with not having any more actual writing talent than, say, Glenn Reynolds, who's a hell of a yarn-spinner for a nerdy techno-geek law professor. Except that not all bloggers are nerdy techno-geek law professors. Some of them are blonde pseudo-artiste photographer law professors. Where was I going with all of this? I honestly don't remember anymore.
So I guess I should stop before I fade completely into an entropic Pynchon-style non-ending. Although I do have one concluding thought:
RACHEL! SERIOUSLY! STOP WASTING YOUR BEST MATERIAL ON NON-PAYING CUSTOMERS! I mean, not to be sexist or anything, but why pay for the cow if you can get the milk for free? (I'd do a 'bull' version of that aphorism, though it would probably be even more misunderstood than what I already wrote. So sue me. But wait for Rachel to do it first. I think she called shotgun on suing InstaPunk before anyone else did. That's what I'll swear in court anyway.)