Thursday, March 18, 2010

What Is This? (Or, Ken Flies off the Deep End)

To begin: This is SPARTA!!!!

Now, to the real post...

Recently, I've become a little fed up with a lot of blogs out there, claiming to purport the continuance and elevation of art, specifically within the realm of literature and writing. I have come to the conclusion that the majority of these blogs couldn't care less about that. All they really care about is growing some festering, gelatinous group of RSS followers to mindlessly accept whatever they eschew as canon. I'm not going to name names -- it doesn't really fix anything, it just turns into flame wars (which I would undoubtedly lose) -- but I would like to point out some of the irksome habits that the blogs, and its followers adhere to.

What the fuck is up with screening comments to blogs to weed out dissenting opinion? I'm completely down with the process of screening comments in order to keep off obvious trolls and the like, but I can totally see this power being used poorly.  I'm not even going to beat around the bush here, I responded to a blog entry a few days ago that was, for all intensive purposes, not very nice.  (As is my wont)  But it was justified, and not just by my standards, mind you, I used real quotes from the article to back up everything I wrote, with the final point being that the post was not up to the standards that I have come to expect from the blog.  The post itself was dedicated entirely to some arrogant self-promotion that I loathe so much, and had nothing whatsoever to do with writing, although it was sheened over with some sort of "lesson."  It infuriates me that my comment wasn't published, even though it was well-written and justified, and yet people who wrote one-sentence little shits like "Oh this is SO GOOD!" got published... what the hell people?  Are you trying to garner a community of like-minded idiots and syncophants who accept whatever you publish, simply because YOU put it on your blog?  That's a horrible way to grow a good community.  All you will get is a two-hundred thousand person circle-jerk that so many of these blogs have become. 

Have a dissenting opinion?  They say, "Fuck you, you're mean."

I have a suggestion:  Maybe get the fuck off your high-horse and get back down to the level where a writer thrives:  in the dirt.  Dissenting opinion is what spurs on art, not some mindless humdrum, rigmarole that is much too often the norm in our little community of wanna-be success stories.  Dissent, goddamn you!  Allow FOR dissent!  Shit, if you read this, and you think I'm an idiot, tell me.  I have a thick hide.  I have no time for this self-indulgent hero-worship that has set over so much of these monster blogs.  Anyway, I'm rambling, let's move on...

Too many times, I've talked with writers who get all starry-eyed at the prospect of getting an agent, and getting signed to some big publishing contract, and writing entire tomes of didactic drivel and following in the footsteps of [insert famous author here].  I think that anyone who gets starry-eyed like this is fooling themselves.  I've done it myself in this very blog, but I've grown since then.  The only way to ever be good at something -- to do something worth someone else's moments of their lives -- is to do it your own way.  Think about it: Hemingway already did his thing, so did Faulkner, Yates, Keats, Chabon, and Gaiman.  They've all done it their way, and it will never work for you.  That path has already been trodden.  So remember which of the two paths Robert Frost chose at the fork in the woods, and apply that to yourself.  Don't emulate people, it's just horribly sad.  If you don't have enough personality to forge your own path, how are you ever going to convince people to spend their numbered moments on this planet with YOUR book?  Why would they choose you over the person you are just the watered-down version of? 

And finally, don't take yourselves so seriously, and laugh at how bad your art is.  It's the only way to keep that drive, I think.  Hate what you create, and read for all the little festers that pock your writing.  Find all the bad parts, write them down, and promise yourself, and that little writhing little Godless thing you have created, that you will find a way to make it walk on its own -- if only so it can get the hell out of your house.


P.S. - For all this, I love writing.  For all this, I love the internet community of writers.  For all this, I will be me, and write was has not been written before. 


  1. Nice rant! :-) I, too, am opposed to the idea that what I write is "art." An artiste, I am definitely not.

    (Also, I popped over to thank you for your comment on Moonrat's blog, and to say I agree, there should be more gays in mainstream. And of course, transsexuals and asexuals *G*)

  2. Ah! Thanks for stopping by :) I appreciate the comment.