“What Makes You Angry?” – 9/3/13 Daily Writing Prompt Result
Lots of things make me angry. I am very Irish – my maiden name is Fitzpatrick. And I married a Keenan, so there. Got a problem with that? I’m also passionate, which can lead to anger quickly.
I avoid some topics with friends – like religion and politics. Just don’t make fun of or insult the troops in my presence, and we should be good. I’m not a religious person – I have my beliefs, mind you, but I don’t like to talk about them. You won’t sway my opinion, as I’m passionate, remember? I respect your differences, so respect mine. That’s all I can say on that.
But there are lots of injustices in the world that I will say something about. Animal abuse, for one, is inexcusable. Set up a dog-fighting ring, get busted, and yet you get to keep your overly-priced job in the NBA? Yeah, I got something to say about that. Child abuse is another thing I can’t tolerate. Spanking here and there is one thing, but punching your kid in the face for backtalking you? Yeah, I got something to say about that too.
In the past few days I’ve learned more about cyber-bullying than any After School Special could teach me. It’s not just for teens anymore, as the stereotype says. It’s happening more and more with independent or “indie” authors. These are the folks who may not have the means to fight back. If Trolls – as these bullies are called – harasses the Stephen Kings or Jodi Picoults of the world, their publishing house will take note, and offense. They have lawyers and can get injunctions, cease and desist orders, and even involve law enforcement if they need to. Indie authors may not have these weapons of defense.
I’m not saying indies are going after people who say they don’t like their books. You can give a negative review without insulting and harassing an author. You shouldn’t be able to review a book you haven’t read, but until places like GoodReads changes their policies, so far you can do just that.
Bad reviews are those in which reviewers personally attack and try to instigate violence. either among their Troll-peers or to inflict a response from the writer. Yeah I got something to say about that too. For example, I can’t stand, and I mean, CAN’T STAND (shouting intended) Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton. The name reminds me of sitting in my 10th (I think, maybe 11th?) grade English class saying, “It’s just a f&&&ing pickle dish!” But when I review the book, even in informal conversation, I don’t sit there and say, “Edith’s a ho.” That’s basically what these Trolls’ “Reviews” amount to.
Instead I say that I didn’t care for the characters, nor the dialogue, nor the forced symbolism. I firmly believe it’s just a freakin’ pickle dish! 🙂
Why not offer constructive criticism? Instead of just saying, No I don’t like the sample I read, offer what you don’t like and maybe what the indie author could change in future books. I don’t mean they’ll take your suggestions to heart and reprint a book based on them, but maybe in a future novel they’ll focus more on developing characters if they notice readers don’t find theirs realistic enough.
Also, any reviewer who admits he or she only read a sample or a couple passages shouldn’t have their review count towards anything. Heckling without all the information shouldn’t be condoned on these review-type sites. You don’t know what the rest of the book is like! Maybe the character you’re quick to insult becomes the victim of a murder mystery.
For example, I never liked Jane Eyre, the book, until I realized that one of the characters was actually forced to live in the attic! Then I was like, “Yeah, this book has edge for 19th century lit.”
The point is, never judge a book by its cover – never make a decision or review something without all the facts. We shouldn’t take their reviews seriously, either, as in these reviews shouldn’t count towards anything except noise.
I will keep investigating all these claims of cyber-bullying, so if you have one to share, email me. I’d love to hear from other victims. I do strive to be fair and balanced even as many in my field of journalism do not, so I welcome these bullies to contact me too. I’d love to hear your defenses. And places like GoodReads which condone bullying, yeah, I’ve got something to say about you too. But you can state your piece here as well.