It's Festivus, that made-up-on-Seinfeld seasonal celebration that includes perhaps my favorite holiday tradition: the Airing of Grievances. Traditionally (and by that I mean "on the show"), the AofG occurs after Festivus dinner, and consists of telling your family how much they've disappointed you. I, like many other bloggers, am altering this tradition to telling the entire world how much it's disappointed me. My Grievances are many, so abandon all hope Ye who enter here (also, There Be Profanity).
1. Authors Can Be Supremely Bitchy. I begin with my biggest grievance of the year. For the majority of my blogging life, I've associated only with dead authors. Their conversation (in my head) is charming, their faults (in my head) are just quirky foibles. But as I come to associate with more and more living authors through work and social media, I've begun to realize that they put on their Bitch Face with surprising frequency. This isn't really different than any other group of people, but again, my sheltered "dead people only" thing I had going there turned my Mental Image of Writer Folks into something totally inaccurate. My idealized version of authors as Benevolent Bearers of Thoughts and Things is no more. I suppose what I mean by this is, Authors Can Be Human. I hate that. BE MY NAIVE IDOLS, PEOPLE. Stop using your influence for evil! Attached to this is a sub-grievance: People Who Won't Stand Up to Best-Selling Authors Because THEY'RE FAMOUS. Vomit.
**In the previous and upcoming Grievance, I don't mean "bitchy" in the snarky-smart-ass-funny way that I usually mean it. I mean it in the judgmental, catty, malicious sort of way.***
2. Bloggers Can Be Supremely Bitchy. I mean, WOW. The book blogosphere is so much cattier than I ever imagined. Here I was, thinking I had found my people. FOR THE MOST PART YOU ARE ALL MY PEOPLE, but there is a surprising amount of drama up in this hizzy. It's a crazy time to be a book blogger, what with the FATE OF PUBLISHING constantly changing and the Role of the Blogger being up for constant debate- this leads to ALL THE OPINIONS BEING THROWN AROUND. Most of the drama seems to revolve around whether or not bloggers are allowed to make money without having "sold out." This holier-than-thou attitude of WELL I BLOG BECAUSE I LOVE IT and if you make $2 a year you are THE DEVIL AND ALSO DON'T LOVE IT AS MUCH AS I DO just ergh. People are allowed to make a living doing what they love. It's fine. It'll be ok. It doesn't mean you're any less Awesome. This is a big sandbox, people. Can't we all play nice?
3. Bloggers Don't Owe Authors or Publishers Shit, So Leave Me Alone. There's been a lot of kerfuffle this year about bloggers/reviewers (whatever) being big fat meanie-heads who shouldn't publish negative reviews. Except if your book sucks, I'm going to say so. My blog is my blog and my Twitter feed is my Twitter feed, and in my space I'll say whatever the hell I please. I owe MYSELF and my READERS the truth about a book. I don't owe AUTHORS or PUBLISHERS anything. ADDITIONALLY, Mr. Publisher Face, just because bloggers accept ARCs does not mean they suddenly work for you. Imposing deadlines on a hobbyist in the name of more free publicity for yourself is SHITTY CORPORATE ENTITLEMENT and you can GO SUCK A DUCK.
4. Amazon. Amazon is a mega-corporation that doesn't care about readers or books and is intent on destroying small business owners across the country. And they're building a distribution center in my city, so now I have to feel it's icky physical presence while it continues to not pay sales tax in my state. Who need roads/schools/libraries when you have bribe money to burn!
5. Pandora's Indie Christmas Station Only Seems to Know About the Vocal Stylings of She and Him. Whilst I love Zooey, I'm tired of her voice.
6. Candy Canes Suck. Similarly to candy corn. Seasonal candy fail.
7. Anonymous Commenters. Anonymous comments are almost never nice. The cowardice of not even attaching your name to your rude comments is astounding. It's not like I'm going to hunt you down and find you because you disagree with me or call me something stupid. Own your snide remarks.
I think that's all. I feel much better- free to move into the New Year with a more even-keeled outlook. FEEL FREE to Air your own Grievances below. I love a good rant-fest. Let's get it off our chests, guys!