writing rengeek magpie mind

July 2014

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writing rengeek magpie mind

The venom cock just won't stay down.

The first rule of venom cock is, we don't talk about venom cock. I mean, I pretty much avoided this kerfuffle the first time, but the second time around it's just so stultifying that I have to participate. coalescent rounds them up over here (no flamewars, guys--it's a community for a university class, and I won't have you giving the English students a bad impression of my genre.)

That said, the whileaway post is really excellent. I haven't read The Sparrow, but that's besides the point; I think it narrows down the fuss nicely.

Now, I'm not going to talk about venom cock. I am going to talk about the Venom Cock Phenomenon (VCP.)

I will also say that I witnessed, though did not participate in, some of the WFC readings (which weren't as wide-spread as some say--it was more a 45-minute wonder), and the comments were less on the content, and more on the quality of the writing.

And the eye-dialect.

Neither of which I can comment on, because I haven't read the book (well, okay, I read the first paragraph of the excerpt. But I didn't inhale.)

I mean, Anne Bishop and suzych certainly swing some extreme content in their books (ratstration! horse sex!) and while I have heard people making flinchy noises discussing those books, I've never seen anybody moved to actually embark upon an eye-of-argonning of same. (That's what they were doing at WFC, by the way. There: the dirty secret is out. It was a mass, spontaneous eye-of-argonization. Nothing more elaborate than that.)

(Here's where I pull out my entitlement and stand on my privilege as a grown woman raised by lesbian separatists. I got better; so did they.) (I'd stand on my privilege as a man, but I haven't got any.)

The issue wasn't the feminism. The issue isn't the dragon smut, or the female circumcision. Feminism does not need saving from the patriarchy in this particular instance. The issue was that a quorum, even a super-majority, of WFC attendees found the prose in Touched by Venom laughably bad.

Feminism is never an excuse for laughably bad prose.

You may not agree. You may think the book has other virtues that make up for the prose. You may think the prose is good. You are entitled to your opinion. But by all you hold holy, please, people, can we go back to talking about something else? Feminism does not need saving from the venom-cock mockers.

I promise you.

Thank you. You may return to your homes.

Comments

Nick Mamatas' response to Liz Henry's review was to call her a "teenyboper."

1. I've known Liz since 1987 when we were both undergrads at UT Austin. So he's wrong on a matter of fact.

2. He could had said he didn't find any redeeming features in the novel. Liz found something worthwhile in the novel. He could had disagreed with Liz on the matter of opinion.

3. I haven't read the novel yet, so I can't respond as to the worthiness/non-worthiness other than to trust Liz's opinion because she's hella smart.

4. I think Nick was out of line with the namecalling.
Like Marshall Gerard, I just don't care. I don't care who's right and who's wrong. I don't care if the book has any redeeming value.

Liz can think whatever she likes about the book. Nick (Hi, Nick!) can be the biggest jerk in the SFF club scene. (Why does that surprise anybody? Picking fights is his metier.)

Read my post again. I'm not interested in taking sides. I'm interesting in the wankfest, which ranks amoung the most pointless, overinflated, stultifying genre wankfests in the history of the internet, going away forever.

Or at least being mocked interestingly enough so that I don't chew my wrists open lisening to the same tired pointless argument again.

Some people like books that other people think suck. Some horses can run faster than others. Such is the nature of books and of horses.
Some people like books that other people think suck. Some horses can run faster than others. Such is the nature of books and of horses.

And that's not what I was saying above.

What I'm angry about is Nick using Liz's gender to dismiss her review.
Was it gender or age again? Teenybopper doesn't necessarily mean "teenage girl."

At any rate, you're just slinging mud on behalf of a friend. Typical Internet nonsense.
Right, but what I'm saying is that you're misinterpreting my position as pro-Nick.

I do think Liz's review would have been taken more seriously without the I Refute Thee! directed at JJA et al at the end, which I think was more appropriate to a blog than a book review published in a professional venue, so you may take my comments regarding feminism not being a justification for bad prose and my plea for can we drop this? being directed there, among other places. (Liz's is not the only review of the book I've seen that claims its content is justified by its feminism. I think that's a cop out, but that's neither here nor there; I don' think content needs to be justified, it just helps if it's presented in a way that--of a randomly selected sample of congoers--a rough 80% don't find it funny enough to read out loud to each other over breakfast.)

Nick is pursuant to that discussion in as much as he is one of the people who is contributing to the wanking that I am oh so very tired of. Liz and Niall are pursuant to it as the persons who recommenced the wanking.

So, you're reading something into my post that just isn't there, in other words, and in general I think your grievance is better addressed to Nick.
Gods, I'm happy to end the arguing.
I am pretty amused that you thought I was defending Nick, though.

Trust me, I am firmly of the opinion that if he kicks over the anthill, he can pick the fuckers off his testicles his own self.

I'm just tired of all the cock.
I'm just tired of all the cock.

I- ...er- ...you-

...never mind.
What? It could happen.
I understand being tired of all the cock. What I don't understand is, then why post about it?
...because The Truth about What Really Happened is getting lost in the towering piles of venom cock apologia and second generation reaction?

...at least,that's what I THOUGHT I read in the original post - a Report from someone who was really there who could say, "you dolts, it was because the writing stinks it up, eye of argon style."
Because if you can't ignore the VCP, you might as well make fun of it. It eases the pain somewhat.
Oh, I called her worse than a "teenybopper."

I don't care how old she is or how smart or learned, that's one of the lousiest excuses for a review I've ever read. It ends with a length-padding long paragraph of quotes from Amazon reader reviews, for Christ's sake. You can't even get away with that kind of thing in bonehead freshman comp.
Fine, you thought it was a lousy review. That's not my issue.

It's like someone slagging Tobias' novel and using the color of his skin as their rationale.

It's like someone saying that Elizabeth can't write techno-thrillers because she's a woman.
No, it's not like that at all, but clearly you've already made your mind up, like your friend had clearly decided to like Molested by Dragons before she actually read it.

It's the sneering and posturing.

You haven't listened to a word I've said.

What I'm objecting to is Nick referring to the reviewers as "teenyboppers" and "thirteen year olds."

Disagreeing with them does not entitle him to infantilize them or use sexist language in response.

You know, it's just rude.

All he had to do was say he disagreed and why (he actually starts in on some of that after the sneering.)
Robert, be good.

This is my journal, not Nick's. (A distinction that seems to have been missed somehow.)
Well, I certainly get told I can't write hard science fiction because I'm a woman. (Techno-hrillers are a different animal, and if I wrote those, I expect I'd hear it too.)

The point being, the only person Vox Day made look like an idiot was himself.
Gah! Not HIM-who-must-not-be-named for to do so will put you on page one of his blog and open you up to all sorts of degrading, useless comments and commentators.

Lizzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz, where's the magaritas and the scones?

*meeps*

"...and biology isn't a real science..." so I just spent 5 years of my life learning a ton of stuff that NO ONE thinks is real

stupid bastard.

*hugs*
Nick Mamatas' response to Liz Henry's review was to call her a "teenyboper."


I did no such thing. I said her special pleading, re: obscenity and some set of classics and SF novels, was typical of the teenybopper crowd. And it is.

1. I've known Liz since 1987 when we were both undergrads at UT Austin. So he's wrong on a matter of fact.


I made no such factual claim. Your claim about me, however, is 100% wrong.


2. He could had said he didn't find any redeeming features in the novel. Liz found something worthwhile in the novel. He could had disagreed with Liz on the matter of opinion.


My post wasn't about the novel, about which I have no opinion. (I have an opinion about the excerpt I read; it was ludicrous and laughable). My post was about two particular claims in the review. The first is that reading the book was somehow relevant to points I made about "poor literary quality" of some books, "the publishing industry" in general, and "the big egos of bad authors." The text of the novel has nothing to do with any of those things.

The second claim I took issue with was her attempt to connect disliking the book's violence with a certain sort of privilege.

4. I think Nick was out of line with the namecalling.

I think you're out of line with your text torture.

I said her special pleading, re: obscenity and some set of classics and SF novels, was typical of the teenybopper crowd.

You said you didn't call her a teenybopper, but here you stick her in that set.

I'm not a literary critic, I'm a fucking programmer, so I'm not going to dispute whether or not Liz's point about violence and privilege worked or not.

My girlfriend reminds me there's two century's worth of rudeness and snark in literary reviews. It's not something I enjoy. I had to put up with three years worth of rudeness over XML syndication formats. I think snark's better used on Bush and company.

As Elizabeth said above, you love to kick over anthills, and here I am being an ant.

I appreciate you responding to my complaint, though it's not worth running any more cycles on this matter.
I said her special pleading, re: obscenity and some set of classics and SF novels, was typical of the teenybopper crowd.

You said you didn't call her a teenybopper, but here you stick her in that set.


No I didn't. I called her argument typical of the arguments of that set.

For example, if you started wearing comically oversized children's wear, say, Oshkosh B'gosh, and I said "Man, that guy is wearing coveralls like some three year-old would", would I be saying "Wow, that guy is really, literally, three years-old, and that's a fact!"? No.

But that is what you're claiming I'm saying.

An implicit claim you seem to be making: someone of a certain age cannot demonstrate attributes (negative attributes at least) typical of those of a younger age.
don't make me sit on you, Nick.

(I keep trying to explain to people that you're classist, not sexist, but I suppose it's a reasonably confusion, given how often gender and class are conflated.)
Well, I'm not quite classist (which generally means snobbery of some sort of other); I want the working class to destroy the ruling class and then create a classless society. The middle class can be an associate of that, or an obstacle to that.