Monday, January 26, 2015

Review This...


I know. I’ve been away. Let’s not make a big deal out of it. I’ve been doing shit…and living life. Lots of stuff has happened, including the fact that the world has lost its damned mind. White folks are as racist as ever. Elections, shootings, protests, the holidays, “Scandal” came back, and then left, and is now about to come back again…I was busy. But I still love you…

Some of what I was doing was writing shit. And trying to get my life. And wrangling all of the various interwebs shit together that has become necessary for the modern writer to sell said writings. And it is in the space of this confusing and nerve-wracking experience that I have decided to take this opportunity to rant a little. Cuz that’s just what you need from someone you haven’t seen in a while. I know…you’re welcome.



And the thing I will be ranting about, which (coincidentally brings me to the above photo), is reviews. Not that Wayne Brady has anything to do with reviews, but the bird-flipping so eloquently and expertly demonstrates how I feel about this phenomenon that I couldn’t resist. Here’s how this rant came to be…

So I’m going through my many, many…many social media…places, pages, profiles? Anyway, I’m going through, and I’m reading reviews of my work, and I’m smiling at some, and frowning at others, when I come across a few that remind me that people can really be assholes when they want to. And for this, I blame Amazon. And Yelp. And Angie. You know, the one with the list.

There used to be a time when if a person didn’t like a business, or a TV show, or (just for instance) a book, they didn’t patronize. They didn’t watch. They put the book down and went on to the next one. If it was really deep, they might contact their local Better Business Bureau. I miss those days. Now any douchebag with a computer feels like the world wants and needs to know how they feel. Even if those feelings amount to little more than trolling and cyber-bullying. Assholes.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying people are assholes because they don’t like something. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and I’ve actually gotten some really helpful, truly constructive pointers from reading negative reviews of my work. The people I’m talking about are the ones who didn’t even read it in the first place. How many reviews have you read that start with “…I didn’t even read past the first few pages…”, or “If I had actually read the whole thing, I’m sure I would have…” WTF? How do you give a bad review to a book you haven’t even read? And how, in God’s name, do you complain that a short story is….wait for it...“too short”?

Nora Roberts wrote an awesome post at her blog: fallintothestory.com that deals with the subject of people feeling like they have the right to shit all over someone’s work just because they can. Since I wouldn’t want to take the time, or expend the energy to debate with every reader on the web who dislikes something I write (which, in and of itself doesn’t really bother me), and I’m all for having sites where readers can express their feelings, let me just say–this here is my shit. And disrespect will not be tolerated.

God bless Good Reads, but I don’t spend much time there. I’ve pulled most of my stuff off of Amazon (for many, many reasons), but mainly because I don’t like the way they wield the power of the review to push and pull certain authors into certain rankings in an effort to influence sales. I also have to question just how many of these trolls have actually written a book? A short story? A sentence that actually made sense? Don’t worry…I’ll wait. And judging by some of the grammatical errors I see in some of their “work”, I’m betting they won’t be doing anything more than hatin’ (that’s right! I said it!) on the folks who, unlike their uninspired asses, possessed the drive, discipline and imagination to do something most of these jackoffs will never do: complete a writing project.

I welcome a good old-fashioned debate, and if you wanna ask me a question about why I wrote something, or have a suggestion that might actually be helpful, I’m all for it. But for those whose new favorite past time is making a name for themselves among the bottom-feeders that make up the Amazon review universe, please refer to the above photo again, and know that Wayne Brady and I hope you can REVIEW THIS, BITCH!!!

End of rant.

Oh and I’m back. So…yeah…

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