The Butter Battle Wars - Part One
If one is a writer and wiles away time along the electronic pathways of the Internet sometimes seeking just a way to think without truly thinking there is a great deal to be amused by. No doubt we can read jokes, we can watch porn, we can read up on the News all over the world, or even find a way out place to visit. There is just no end to the great information space that the Internet offers.
However, being somewhat of an individual who kind of likes to see others hang all of it out there, I am fascinated by what I have begun to call the Butter Battle Wars (Dr. Seuss enthusiasts will understand this one) that goes on between certain literary agencies and other powers that be on the Net and in publishing.
On one side we have a slew of literary agencies who have been accused of everything but blowing up the universe. Now while I have never been a "victim" of said agencies, and doubt I would ever have fallen into the trap since I did once over 20 years ago, I find this war interesting. For on the other side the General of the war against has been a well-respected mouthpiece of Literary Agents, one whom I have mentioned time and again, Miss Snark.
But you know it seems funny to me that on one side we have a group of agents who when speaking seem to be the voice of reason and fairness, in that they are saying that anonymous voices on the Net are destroying their reputation. On the other hand the accusations leveled at these agents most of the time seem to bear out, in that they take enormous fees from unsuspecting authors before ever having done a thing for them. This is against the protocol and I fully agree it should be. But in all due fairness to this group of agents - they are in truth being attacked and vilified in a blog by someone who is operating under a an assumed persona carefully preserving the "real" person behind an aura of mystery.
Now where I have nothing against Miss Snark, and have said I truly respect her, I do think it is a bit audacious to take on such a battle, however justified, behind an assumed name. That simply does not allow for a fair playing field. And even though it does seem that many accusations leveled by Miss Snark have borne themselves out, I still think one must give the other side the chance at rebuttal in a REAL world. It certainly is totally unfair and even a bit egocentric to use a made up persona to attack and vilify an opponent when that opponent has no clue who they must refer their answers to.
I am not suggesting that Miss Snark leave her persona, though as I have said in previous postings, I certainly suggest that all other anonymous yo-yos leave their made up persona's in the closet (under lock, key and chastity belt), I think that it is kind of laughable to watch these dumb Butter Battle Wars take place.
Miss Snark will certainly garner the most points here. She will certainly make us laugh (I know I did). She will certainly get zillions of comments. And she does have a point. BUT if you want to attack someone for playing unfair then it is only justifiable to ask that you play fair yourself. So, while she may be right-on with her end points, I think the Butter Battle War between the Snarks and the Worst Literary Agents listed in a now famous/infamous list should be played with open weapons and open names. If you want to play Miss Snark - if you truly want to offer a real service - then don't hide. And if you wish to hide - leave the battlefield to others. Having it both ways makes you the butt of the joke as well as the one who originated it. Kind of like double penetration. The viewers find it hilarious, while the actors probably find it incredibly painful while needing lots of oil and a hell of a pain threshold.
Make no mistake. I totally support and believe the arguments which Miss Snark puts forward and represents. The evidence seems to be a bit overwhelming. BUT if you want to accuse and lay blame - face that person. Do not hide. Do not use snide, cynical comments behind a made-up persona. Just seems to me and indeed many others I have spoken with, a bit too underhanded. If you insist on using a persona and attacking - then you just give the other side all the more ammunition to claim your stance is wrong and incorrect (which IMHO Miss Snark is correct here - just to make that clear once again.)
So perhaps it is only good and fair to leave this battle to those willing to put their names and reputations on the line to fight the charlatans in the literary agency business. After all, if they are wrong or their accusations made in public prove to be libelous and incorrect they will loose their good name and fine reputations. If Miss Snark is wrong well then, despite my affinity for Miss Snark she is a fantasy. Phantasms usually have nothing to loose except some hot air from time to time. Fantasies are great for the porn business but have no place in the arena of serious endeavors. So as for me, in this specific area, Miss Snark should not take sides in the Butter Battle War otherwise she will look almost as foolish as the enemy on the other side of the wall.
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Getting Wasted - Writing & Editing & Publishing Short Stories