If You Have Nothing Nice to Say…Tuesday, June 22, 2010 14:30
AKA What will make me wildly unpopular. Or, even less than wherever I am now? Whatever. This is a culmination of a number of thoughts and posts and conversations. In part, it’s why I’ve been quiet lately. Who am I kidding. For the past year. I’m blogging it now because… well, it’s a blog and I can talk about what I want [so long as Sybs hasn't forbidden it], and I want to “explain” where I am right now/what has contributed a bit to my reading slump. (Because every so often I issue cries of help/book recommendations. I am trying to get out of it.)
This is also going to be a meandering post that I’ve merged with what I was going to title “No Book For Me!”
A number of things are changing in publishing. Blogs are coming and going. This is nothing new. (Well the latter part. Publishing is slow to change, or at least it feels that way.)
I guess I’ve been disillusioned, or more annoyed by the “us vs them” mentality that seems to show up online consistently. There’s also the sense that “readers are the enemy” and frankly, I’m sick of that. No, readers are not the enemy. And I know not everyone feels that way, of course, but I see it consistently enough to annoy me. This also makes me sad, because I used to read at least a book every two days. Maybe two to three books on a good day. (More if they were categories.) Reading for pleasure was a priority for me. I mean I did this throughout my undergraduate career, law school, and while studying for the bar as well. It’s been a few months since I’ve read for pleasure daily. At first it felt strange. I used to read before I went to sleep, no matter the time. Now? I … don’t. I tried a few times, but just couldn’t get into books.
More explanation on being turned off reading? Sorry… but… authors. Social climbing, diva behavior… laughing while saying “oh I just write the same story over and over.” But … really the “I’m so much more important than you” vibe. Like an author who will be all “oh hiiiiiii” and excited to talk to you when you’re standing next to someone who is a “super star.” But if/when you’re alone – you’re more than invisible, said author actively is looking through you.
Maybe it’s because this is my first year attending conferences/signings, etc. Or I have bad luck. Or I’m over sensitive. Perhaps it’s all of that in a small part. But I’m also not the dullest crayon in the box. I’m fed up with that behavior, and I for sure know not all authors are like that, but I’m just really… over it. (I’ve been to RT this year, as well as Lori Foster’s Reader & Author Get Together. I didn’t like the former very much, enjoyed the latter… and will be going to RomCon as well. So, we’ll see. Either people will make an effort to ensure they aren’t marked by me as snobs, or will avoid me madly. And, for those of you going to RWA, you’re safe. I won’t be there to judge you.)
I also got sick of seeing rave reviews on every. single. book. out. there. I mean, yay for authors. Hooray for you, and job well done, and all that. However, call me a skeptic. Cynic. I don’t believe it. What makes it worse is people would agree with me in private – that, yes, s/he didn’t love that book more than his/her first born. I give a number of “C” reviews, which here at the pond is an average read. At many other places that’d be a 3 star/book/whatever review. (But a “C” looks so much worse and meaner, right?) I enjoy most books. I don’t love them all indiscriminately. I don’t love having to defend myself for being a discerning or critical reader. And no, actually, I’m not talking about authors behaving badly.
Anyway, readers are the enemy. No. Not true, and very annoying. Readers are consumers, who want reasonable prices, and to not be dicked around. Readers are consumers who expect this across the board. I guess in a way I’m waiting it out. After all, Bluray and HD DVD got figured out. The problem is a number of us aren’t patient enough to wait. Although I suppose now my life is more well rounded? I used to never watch movies. I’d see maybe three a year. So, being called or treated as the enemy makes me want to pirate books. I don’t, but gosh – every time I’m lectured about it it makes me want to. In fact outraged rants complete with swearing is what made me aware of book pirating in the first place. (Yup. Guess I was naive. Also – no worries. I’m too computer/technologically inept to pirate books even if I decided to. Which, if you didn’t pick up on that, I wouldn’t.)
Now? I’ve been watching a lot of TV, and many more movies. Oscar nominees, new box office hits, etc. Whatever I can get from the library. As for television… my newest show I watch? The Ultimate Fighter. I’ve come a long way from not even being able to watch Macbeth in AP English. (Violence! No!) Um, guess a lot of stuff annoys me? Iron Chef, Burn Notice… So You Think You Can Dance… sometimes Chopped. Catching up on The Office, Bones, maybe re-watch Spartacus: Blood and Sand. Justified, Deadliest Warrior, Merlin. Giada at Home. Gordon Ramsay’s F Word. Kitchen Nightmares. Sometimes Hell’s Kitchen, and if I remember, Master Chef. (I don’t have Bravo, otherwise I’d watch Top Chef. No Cooking Channel either, sadly.) And more. The United States of Tara. The Tudors.
Movies? I’ve been on a Takeshi Kaneshiro kick. Or as much as I could. Watched Red Cliff/ Chi Bi, the international version, and Warlords. Love the former, meh on the second. The Young Victoria. Inglourious Basterds. Sherlock Holmes. Law Abiding Citizen. 9. It’s Complicated. And so on.
And my secret shame? I have even watched the odd episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians. >.<
So that’s my meandering rant, as usual. Now my questions for you? Have you been annoyed by something lately? Or have you have stopped doing/participating in something you enjoyed due to being turned off from/by it? Do you have slump buster books to suggest? Or your own secret shame shows? (Or shows in general you enjoy – obviously I’m not picky right now.)
*ETA: My point in this post is… why can’t we be nice or at least civil to everyone? Why only be nice to a person when you think s/he is someone “special?” It’s really not a “ZOMG PAY ATTENTION TO MEEEE” – it’s a “Hey – how about throwing that stranger a smile and a simple hello?” I’m willing to bet the person [especially in the closed setting of a romance conference] doesn’t have leprosy, and it’ll be ok. Promise.