Tuesday, February 25, 2014

J. K. Rowling Gets Slammed; Shame on Davey Wavey; Eric Holder on Marriage Bans

J.K. Rowling Gets Slammed

(Update, below)

An unknown novelist/copywriter, Lynn Shepherd, wrote a post in Huff Po recently and titled it "If J.K. Rowling Cares About Writing She Should Stop Doing It." I think this might be a way for a desperate unknown to get attention, and the article might have been geared this way on purpose, to garner comments. I've been seeing a lot of that lately with the entitlement set, usually in Huff Po, and it's really getting tired. But even if that's not what this is, it's one of the most pointless pieces I've ever read. And also a good example of what not to do if you're trying to build a name as a writer. Notice I didn't say author. I said writer.

She discloses she didn't read anything Potter, but then she gets into The Casual Vacancy.

It wasn't just that the hype was drearily excessive, or that (by all accounts) the novel was no masterpiece and yet sold by the hundredweight, it was the way it crowded out everything else, however good, however worthwhile. That book sucked the oxygen from the entire publishing and reading atmosphere.

The Casual Vacancy did get a lot of attention, and rightly so. It was so far out of Rowling's typical genre everyone was curious. It also got a lot more criticism than most books, and for reasons I didn't think were fair. I reviewed it here not long after it was released. I also mentioned in the review I'd never read anything in the Potter series because it's not my genre. Frankly, I was amazed at how well written TCV was. I hadn't expected this, and to me it confirmed that J.K. Rowling is more than an author. She's a writer.

From my five star review, excerpt:

What some readers have commented on is that there's a dark side to this book, and I just didn't see that. There's a realistic side. I saw that very plainly. But I didn't see all the darkness and gloom. Like I said, it's real and sometimes it's intense. And sometimes there's some wit and humor worked into the book when you don't expect it. It's also gossipy in the way many small towns are. But I just didn't see all that darkness and gloom others talked about.

After a few more comments about TCV, Shepherd then comments on Rowling's mystery, The Cuckoo's Calling. I didn't read that one, again, it's not my genre. For those who don't know, Rowling released TCC with a pen name, and some lawyer's wife leaked the truth about Rowling being the author and Rowling wound up suing, winning and donating the money to charity. In her quest to criticize Rowling for being successful, Shepherd doesn't mention this in detail.

In any event, the point of Shepherd's post is that thanks to Rowling other unheard of writers like Shepherd get lost in the proverbial shuffle and don't get any attention because Rowling is still getting it all. Shepherd suggests Rowling should retire now that she's made her fortune and give other writers, like Shepherd a chance at their shot for fortune and fame. It's a dumb point to make. And clearly Shepherd isn't aware of the fact that not all writers are in this for money and fame. We're not all out there trying to compete with Rowling or anyone else. We're writing because that's what we do. That's what we love. And if fortune and fame come along, fine. But if they don't we'll still love what we do.

Shepherd, unfortunately, seems to be looking for a brass ring that may or may not exist. She seems to express a sense of entitlement...that she deserves her fame and fortune and Rowling is getting in her way. It's a vulgar attitude at best. Rowling, in the other hand, has proven that she's more than an author. She's a writer who can hop genres and I would imagine write on any topic in any genre she wants. In other words, even if she didn't have fame and fortune, as a writer she could still mop the floors with the likes of Lynn Shepherd.

The problem these days with a lot of "authors" I see is that they're doing it for all the wrong reasons.

You can read the entire diatribe here.

Update: I was curious. Shepherd is a trad published writer. Web Site here. According to her bio page, she also has a strong background in public relations. To her credit, it all looks highly legitimate and the web site is well executed.

Shame on Davey Wavey

This isn't recent, but I found it interesting from a cultural POV. There's a blogger on Youtube who goes by the name Gay Family Values and he once made a video slamming Davey Wavey.

Ok, so I hate making videos attacking other YouTubers but I have had a bad day and the last thing I needed was for a Gay YouTuber to block me and remove a comment about equality. Today I logged on to YouTube to
see who had posted videos and I came across a new video from Wickedkewl = Davey Wavey. The title of the video was: "Ask A Hot Straight Boy". I left a comment: "Davey I am disapointed that you didn't make a video about Maine today". Davey's response to remove the comment and block me from his channel. WTF?


No comment from me. I expect serious, intelligent social and political comments from Davey Wavey like I expect Pat Robertson to marry Rush Limbaugh. And Davey Wavey never has portrayed himself as anything more than a pop culture figure who works hard to create his own brand of parody many find amusing. I also would never try to contact him because flighty superficial gay men like Davey Wavey tend to live in their own trumped up world and he would just ignore me. It would be a waste of my time. In other words, it makes no sense to take him seriously.

You can check out the video here. I also recommend checking out more Gay Family Values if you haven't seen it yet. I think it represents a segment of the LGBTI community we don't see often.

Eric Holder on Marriage Bans

Eric Holder is the most important law enforcement officer in the US. And his recent comment to attorney generals in many states about not having to defend marriage bans basically says what most courts have found, which is marriage bans with regard to equality are unconstitutional.

U.S Attorney General Eric Holder today issued guidance to state attorneys general on same-sex marriage bans, announcing they are under no obligation to defend a ban they believe to be unconstitutional. Since before his election, President Barack Obama had said he believed DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996 that banned the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages, was unconstitutional, and later, as president, joined with Holder in deciding to not defend that ban in federal court.

The key word is unconstitutional. It has nothing to do with religion.

You can read more here.



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