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Jessica, of the most excellent Read, React, Review (formerly, Racy Romance Reviews), posted a couple of links to a kerfuffle involving Dear Author. Since these days I skip more than I read over there, I hadn’t realized that a recent review of Sinful (erotic romance by Charlotte Featherstone) was written by a 15 year old.

I left a couple of comments over at Jessica‘s, but since I’m still thinking about the issue, I’m going to expand a bit here:

Unless there is clear danger–a kid is leaning over a bridge’s handrail and there is no adult keeping an eye on the kid… a kid is hanging upside down from a thin branch three six feet high, and there’s no adult below ready to catch him if the branch breaks… there’s a toddler running on the street and no adult in sight… there’s a barefoot child stepping on grass where you know there are nettles… there’s a bunch of children taunting, pushing, shoving, hitting another child… there are adults abusing a child…–unless the situation is clearly damaging to the child’s well being,

please do not parent other people’s children.

Perhaps I feel strongly about this because a few years back I got taken to task by a group of women–fellow readers, over the now-defunct Suzanne Brockmann board–for allowing my then-fourteen year old to read Linda Howard’s Mr Perfect.

OMG, how dared I! (more…)

Talk about situational ethics indeed. Thank God Alan Colmes actually grew a pair for a minute or two.

Urrrggggh. What an idiot.

Fair warning for those who have strong religious beliefs and who identify with any particular organized religion or church: what follows is a rant, and it may be (will likely be) insulting to your sensibilities. Unless you want your blood pressure raised, you would be better off skipping it. Thank you.

And with that out of the way…


Damn, Keith Olbermann is good. I’ll fight you for him Angie.

The African American people who voted for this should know better. There I said it.

You know why? Because not too long ago, it was illegal for them to marry the ones that they loved.

Stolen from Angela James’ blog.

Marcus, who over at Dear Author has said–and I quote, because it’s just mind boggling–all of the following:

Starting on comment 32:

If you absolutely feel that you have to buy some DRM-restricted ebooks then you should at least have the decency to crack it and upload it to some file sharing site, just to hasten the end of such anti-progress, anti-mankind shenanigans that DRM is.

Anti-mankind? Hyperbole much? But he continues (comment 68)

Think, please. If I make a copy of a chair I’m not stealing the chair, I’m copying it. See the difference? The same applies for ebooks. However, it’s not the ebook (or even the contents of it) that is claimed to be stolen, but the monopoly of copying it. However, after you’ve “stolen” the copyright you still don’t have the copyright, so the whole idea of “stealing copyright” doesn’t even make sense any which way you look at it. So, no matter how you try to look at it copyright infringement simply can’t be compared to “stealing” as the word commonly is used.

To which I asked,

Please. Copyright infringement is not stealing?Intellectual property is not property, then?

Talk about not having the same definition of decency, stealing, and a host other things.

and got this little gem from him (comment 72)

Exactly. No matter how many times I “steal” some copyright I’ll never have it, so it obviously can’t be taken and thus not stolen.

Not inherently, no. It’s “property” only because it has been redefined as such for some (but not all) legal purposes, but it’s not “property” in the same way as is understood by the common man. (E.g., you don’t pay any property tax on “intellectual property”.)

Well, then. Let’s chuck some laws out the window, and have authors work at something else for a living, since they can’t make money off their writing.

Or we could say that there are people who’ll claim anything, no matter how irrational, to justify their lack of ethics.

Either way, what a fucktard.

Reading this post at the Smart Bitches, I have been struck again by the fact that the few loud extremists drown the many silent moderates.

First, of course, allow me to admit to—and apologize for—an instance of kneejerk reaction in direct and violent opposition to what I said here just the other day.**

The fact is that no religion is a monolithic mass of humanity, but that is a very very difficult fact to remember when being faced, again and again, with the fact that the only voices we hear are those of the intolerant fanatics. Moderate individuals of every group need to step up and speak out—loudly, repeatedly—because quiet, moderate voices can’t be heard under the roaring noise of fanaticism.

Just as the squeaky wheel gets the grease, those few loud voices get the lion’s share of media attention—it is the nature of the beast, after all. So the rest of us, those who believe in living our lives on our terms and letting everyone else live their lives on their terms, we need to make noise too.

Because by keeping quiet, by allowing the fanatics (of all stripes—Fred Phelps’ so called church, Warren Jeffs’ fundamentalist LDS splinter cult, etc) to be the only ones who are seen and heard, we are tacitly endorsing their image as the image of any given religious group.

If it’s not us – who? If it’s not now – when?
Daca nu noi, cine? Daca nu, acum, cind?
Si c’est pas nous – qui? Si c’est pas maintenant – quand?

May our hands be unlocked.. someday bringing Peace to all.
Your GOD bless each and everyone of you…
Your GOD bless all our nations…
Your GOD bless the HUMAN RACE…

(AnaB*, flickr Speak up for Peace)

**the ‘hypocrisy’ tag is for my own hypocrisy, in case anyone was wondering.

Are racism, cultural bias, personal prejudice, and/or life experience coloring our reading preferences?

Following on the racism discussions, I want to share something that I’ve been pondering for the longest time.

See, I have realized that I tend to avoid books wherein any of the main characters are Latino, particularly Mexican. Ninety nine times out of a hundred, I can’t buy the cultural makeup the writer is laying down for those characters. More than once I’ve been overheard saying, “Cojones, dammit, not cajones!!!” or “hispanos are human beings, not a different species!”

Which is funny, because what I sometimes take to be stereotypical representation may in reality come from the author’s life expereince. Case in point: Karen Templeton’s character Félix in Baby I’m Yours. I had trouble with him because I thought he was a stereotypical Latino man based on things like George López or what have you. Turns out Ms Templeton based Félix on a number of actual people she knows in New Mexico where she lives.


So am I being racist in reverse? Am I actually assuming—with all the attendant asshattery—that no one can properly write Mexican or Latino characters that I can relate to?

And what about the fact that I won’t touch inspirational or self help books no matter what? Am I being a close-minded, biased, prejudiced so-and-so?

Or perhaps I simply know myself well, and know that if I do crack one of those open I’ll spend the time grumbling—if not flat out cursing—in annoyance?

So, these past couple of weeks there has been the customary to-do about who-saw-what-done-where-and-to-whom during the last RT in Pittsburg, and who-is-reporting-what-someone-else-says-that-a-third-party-told- them-happened-there.

Here at Karen’s the discussion devolved into “old vs young” rather soon, and then it became “prudes vs sluts”. Pretty soon after there was the whole “look what trash you are letting into the romance genre!” vs “stop pretending you are all so pure, sex sells!” over at Dear Author (otherwise known as “is this what we want the professional image of the romance genre as an industry to be?”).

There have been first hand accounts of some minor and some oh-my-God-not-minor-at-all incidents where the line between appropriate and inappropriate behaviour was carelessly crossed. I’m beyond furious about the abuse Kim was subjected to, and both Lori Foster and Shiloh Walker have shared some unpleasant experiences of their own.

Of course such things can, and sadly do, happen everywhere, not just at a romance readers’ convention, as Anya Bast points out in the discussion over at Dear Author. But that is not the point, really. The point (which GrowlyCub, and Jane and Robin and a few others, made quite eloquently over there) is that some environments are more likely to beget certain behaviours than others.

So far I had felt no overwhelming reason to comment, because people with different points of view and different agendas will have different opinions and perspectives, and they are all valid (duly noted exception for criminal behaviour, of course)

Then Emmy offers this:

Hate it when people make sweeping generalizations. What is romance? Does porn have to be two strangers oofing in a one night stand? Can’t two people in a monogamous relationship who love each other deeply have hot monkey sex too? Why can’t that be romantic?

And this:

Sex, as the cliche goes, sells. If people didnt wanna see or read about smexing, there wouldnt be this whole industry out there. The only way to get the romance industry more respect is to take the romance- and any overt/covert sexual references- out of it.

And Erastes adds,

Romance is not necessarily porn. But erotica can be and is, in a lot of cases. Romance is not heterosexual monogamous marriage, either, by the way.

Huh? Color me confused here. (more…)

Thanks to Emily over at Erecsite, I came across this little gem from Ann Jacobs. Apparently, she’s still pissed at JC Wilder, and in her oh-so-passive-aggressive way, takes another swipe at Wilder, in a post entitled A Word On Pseudonyms.

She starts by explaining the reasons for her pseudonyms, and then she launches into the real reason for her post:

Some authors may use a pseudonym, or another one, because they’re writing books of a different type than what they’re best known for. In ebooks, authors may use two or more identities so it looks as if the “real” author isn’t putting out too many books.

Can you all guess where this is headed?

If I were to take a position in publishing other than as an author (which I’m not), I would use my legal name–all of it, not just my first name which happens to be “Ann”, with a made-up last name. I doubt, in that case, that any of my publishers or former publishers would fail to see that “their” author was working for a competitor in a position that might or might not show a potential conflict of interest.

Oh gee, I wonder who she’s referring to? Let me think…

Come to think of it, I would even *inform* all my publishers that I was taking this paid position with a competitor, before doing so. That’s because I would want no questions raised later if one of those publishers I wrote for sensed a conflict of interest on my part.

Seriously, could she be any more sanctimonious?

When someone comes up with another name (besides their legal one) without informing anybody–publishers, other authors, etc., it stands to reason that the “new” pseudonym wouldn’t be connected to the author’s original one(s), or to her legal name.

In a world where most business is conducted online, it’s quite reasonable that a potential conflict of interest can be cloaked until the author shows up at an in-person gathering of publishers and authors, and “outs” herself there.

And she calls herself a professional? Professional, my arse. Professional Suck-Up maybe.

Pseudonyms are good to hide behind if you don’t want your neighbors or your kids’ friends knowing how you earn your living. They’re bad when they cloak identities that will eventually be discovered once the person steps out and put a face to that name–a face that’s already known by another name, particularly.

Good grief. Indida’s infamous ‘Just write, bitch’ seems quite apt at this point.

Well, the wench was determined to become my Fucktard of The Week, and now she’s succeeded. I hope she feels honoured. Only very special people get on this list.

Some Definitions of ‘Hypocrisy’…

Monday, July 23, 2007
Posted in: hypocrisy

Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1) – Cite This Source

1. a pretense of having a virtuous character, moral or religious beliefs or principles, etc., that one does not really possess.
2. a pretense of having some desirable or publicly approved attitude.
3. an act or instance of hypocrisy.

American Heritage Dictionary – Cite This Source hy·poc·ri·sy (h?-p?k’r?-s?) Pronunciation Key
n. pl. hy·poc·ri·sies

The practice of professing beliefs, feelings, or virtues that one does not hold or possess; falseness.
An act or instance of such falseness.