In this corner... Margaret Atwood


It's not really a secret that I have some issues with lots of people. Bono, Murdering Ray Lewis, Dave Feschuk, Kanye West and Tim Cruise, but the new topper on this list is Canadian author Margaret Atwood.

"But Bryan", you say. "How can you hate this Canadian treasure?" Well my hate started when I found out Margaret was pro-cash and anti-library. She actually said she didn't want her book in libraries, because then people could read them without paying.

Granted, I'm not too sure on how many hobos are taking up residence and pulling one of her novels off the shelf (like Bukowski did when he discovered John Fante), but does she really need to complain about people not buying her books? Is she really needing the cash from a few sales to make rent?

Other than people trying to be the next American Idol, the highest rate of failure has to be people trying to be writers. Everyone tries and about 5% make it. She has made a career, a quite rewarding career from her work. It would be like Stephen King or Dan Brown getting pissed someone didn't shell out $14.95 for a paperback.

But I was willing to let this slide. So she is a little selfish, and wants more ammunition for a money fight in the event one breaks out. So be it. Who am I to judge? I could compare her to Metallica and their fight to stop downloaders when they are already more rich than 99% of the artists in their field, but I won't. Obviously that isn't enough to get her to the top of my list of hatred. I mean, like the saying goes, only cream and bastards rise.

The new and improved reason is the "long pen" she now signs books for fans. Basically, instead of doing meet and greets for fans and taking the time to sign the books they buy to support her, Margaret simply uses this crazy computerized system that let's her sign books from her own house and have some robotic arm replicate the signature on the fan's copy of the book.

More or less, if you aren't Steve Hawking, I don't think this solution would fly with me as a fan. If I show up to meet Mags Atwood and shell out another 36 bucks on the hardcover, I want the chance to shake her hand and ask her a token question. The signatureisn't as important as the interaction. I could buy a goddamn signed copy on Google, along with someone to cover her with a sheen of piss. To me this says, "I don't have time for you, but please keep slipping cheques under my door."

Can you imagine if you had a chance to meet Radiohead and hear them play live, and instead you get them singing into some crazy computer and having some machine spit out the sounds? OK. This might be a bad example, because I could see them doing that and their fans cry about the brilliance of the whole idea, but I digress.

F&ck; that!" It's disrespectful to the fans.

On the other side of the coin what about other authors who would love to get out and see the people who read their words. I mean, if I would probably let my 16-year-old pseudo celebrity daughter go on an unsupervised date with Fez if it meant I had a chance to do a book tour.

If you don't want to tour, here's an idea: DON'T. No one forces you to go out there, but don't try some have assed idea to make it look like you care about your fans.

So Mags, a note from herohill. Like poutie-tang, you better cover up that grill.


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