Monday, January 07, 2008

Jenny Crusie FOR THE WIN!

Anybody who’s even marginally acquainted with me must know I couldn’t keep my grubby little paws off this one, right?

Cassie Edwards has allegedly plagiarized some work, apparently from a number of sources. If these allegations are true, then Ms. Edwards deserves whatever consequences are coming to her. No author has the right to steal, no matter how popular – and Cassie Edwards IS popular, which is part of another point that I’ll address later (and I’m sure you can’t WAIT).

So it was the Smart Bitches who outted Ms. Edwards' shenanigans, and that’s all well and good. Keeping the masses informed, one Bitch at a time. Works for me.

But there IS a finer distinction to be made here, and Jenny Crusie stepped up to bat and knocked it right outta the park.

After acknowledging that plagiarism is wrong, and Edwards deserves to face the consequences if she, in fact, has done it, and also acknowledging that the SBs have every right to hunt down the facts of the matter AND every right to review as “savagely” as they can, Jenny went on to say:

“I also think this site has made Cassie Edwards a scapegoat and a whipping boy, taking gleeful delight in pointing out how bad she is over and over and over again to the point where it’s close to harassment. The woman is a bad writer, we get it, we get it, so why did Candy give her friend one of Edwards’ books when she knows what outstandingly good books there are out there? Because it’s Cassie Edwards, and she’s so much fun to kick. The only thing I do not like about this site is the way Edwards is treated.

So when I saw another ‘Cassie Edwards, ohmygod’ post, the fact that it was about plagiarism is not what annoyed me first, it was that it was another shot at Cassie Edwards, discovered because people were reading her to make fun of her again. She plagiarized, I hope she goes down for it. But she doesn’t deserve the constant humiliation this site heaps on her, nobody does.

I realize this will enrage SB fans. I realize this will make some people think even less of me than they already do and that opinion was pretty darn low to begin with. I’m good with that. Have a nice day.”


And OHMYGOD, I nearly had a spontaneous moment of sexual ecstasy there. Pardon me whilst I recover.

Okay. So.

Criticize the work. Criticize the author for producing the work. Everyone can learn from good, solid, insightful reviewing. But when the criticism slides into round after round of bashing, whom does that benefit? The segment of the audience who are in it for the cheap thrill of getting to be nasty virtually anonymously and with no consequences? The blogger who gets to vent and have her adoring readership tell her again how very clever she is?

I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who’s left feeling queasy by that behavior, especially when it’s practiced by folks I know to be otherwise intelligent enough to appreciate the distinction. And it saddens me when the only defense they can seem to come up with is "I never said I was a nice person." Lame.

My other point? Clearly, Cassie Edwards -- and Laurell K. Hamilton and a slew of other authors who are routinely excoriated online -- have a large and devoted audience. What is the average book reviewer saying to THOSE people every time they not only diss a book or report on an event in the writing community – ALL of which is perfectly reasonable behavior -- but savage the author to boot? Aren’t they saying, “hey, you’re too stupid to know a good book, AND the author with whom you may have a long-time literary relationship is pretty much a moron, too.” So when blogging reviewers (NOT necessarily the SBs) get all het up about authors allegedly bashing readers in these online dust-ups? Perhaps they should, for just a moment, consider the literally thousands of readers they routinely offend simply by being unnecessarily cruel to their favorite authors.

Do the SBs and their crowd have a right to bash? Sure they do. I’ve got a right to stand on the corner and berate my long-dead Aunt Marta for being an utter twat, too. Doesn’t mean anybody needs to hear that shit. Nor does it make me particularly classy to do it.

There’s a reason they call it the “high road” and it ain’t for the cannabis growin' in the ditch.

And now I’m going to go write Jenny Crusie a note, thanking her for speaking up. I may feel the urge to propose marriage. I will fight this urge. I may not win.

Jenny? You’ve been warned.

SelahMarch.com – Romance of Dubious Virtue

11Comments:

Blogger Eva Gale said...

can't think for the amazing BEAUTY of those paragraphs. Crusie thinks people will hate her? Not me, baby. I'm with you-those Crusieistic insights almost make me orgasm.

I just may go buy double of all Crusie's books for that one.

1/07/2008 9:11 PM  
Blogger FerfeLaBat said...

I can't believe she had to come back and explain the "Dog" comment. It was perfectly clear. Succinct. My faith in Cruisie is restored. It had taken a massive hit over the Summer and into the Fall. What she doesn't seem to understand (and it is hard for most normal people to comprehend this) is -- they just don't care. Well. They CARE, but not about their targets. They care about hit counts and blog traffic. The audience is out there and they give them what they want. They don't spare one second of concern for the people they hurt. Big name authors are going to flock to that thread, post and draw in the audience of readers they crave. It will spill over to Dear Author and Karen Scott and a week or more of some of the most pointless, vulgar hate will gush forth ending in calls of racism and all the usual crap that has nothing to do with anything. Sallahdog will have a ball. A world without end, Amen.

Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert are back on the air tonight. Just. Offering an alternative to badness.

1/07/2008 9:52 PM  
Blogger Alessia Brio said...

The segment of the audience who are in it for the cheap thrill of getting to be nasty virtually anonymously and with no consequences? The blogger who gets to vent and have her adoring readership tell her again how very clever she is?

*nods* Well said -- you AND Crusie.

1/08/2008 5:56 AM  
Blogger Selah March said...

Thanks, guys. :)

And thanks for the Stewart/Colbert heads up, Ferfe. I wondered how I would make it through the primaries without them.

1/08/2008 7:38 AM  
Blogger FerfeLaBat said...

They were in fine fettle eh? Colbert was riffing like mad. I love it when he riffs.

1/08/2008 7:44 AM  
Blogger Eva Gale said...

Damn, I missed them both!

Yeah, Alessia, that one suits you and Wills particularly, eh?

1/08/2008 9:09 AM  
Blogger FerfeLaBat said...

I don't think the candidates will dare go on those shows while the strike is on. Stewart seems to need his writers far more than Colbert. Should be interesting to see who they get. The entertainment rags are saying that they are not going to announce who is coming on the show in advance to mitigate pre-show hate mail for the guests. I could cut and paste exact quotes from the online magazines to lend creedence but the P-Police are out and about and while they are occupied elsewhere for now, there is no telling who next on the crucifiction crusade. No sense whistling for a pale rider. ;-)

1/08/2008 11:33 AM  
Blogger Selah March said...

Colbert made me giggle repeatedly. His reaction to the extended ovation tickled me bunches.

The guy Stewart had on? The Cornell prof? I've seen him at the and the park and in a local restaurant. The whole "I've shared air with someone who's TOUCHED Jon Stewart" thing made me miss most of Stewarts bobbles.

I think even your average pale rider can tell the diff between a properly attributed quote used in conversation and plagiarism. Not such a fine distinction there, but maybe I'm giving too much credit again.

1/08/2008 2:24 PM  
Blogger FerfeLaBat said...

"...maybe I'm giving too much credit again."

Stop looking at the cute bunny on their sidebar.

"[after Bors is killed by the killer rabbit]

Tim: I *warned* you, but did you listen to me? Oh, no, you *knew*, didn't you? Oh, it's just a harmless little *bunny*, isn't it?" ~ Monty Python and the Holy Grail

1/08/2008 2:46 PM  
Blogger C.L. Wilson said...

Thanks so much for your wonderful post, Selah! I linked over from Eva Gale's blog because her quote from you made me long to read your entire post. I'm glad I did.

Well stated - in particular the bit about every slam against an author or a book being a slam against every reader who loves that author and that book. You expressed what I've so long been feeling. Thank you so much.

All the best
Cheryl

1/10/2008 11:09 AM  
Blogger Selah March said...

Thanks, CL. I'm honored by your presence on my blog. I've heard so many wonderful things about LORD OF THE FADING LANDS. I keep looking at it with longing as it slowly rises to the top of my TBR pile. :)

1/10/2008 3:22 PM  

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