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The Past | The Previous

Destroyer!

"You are tearing down the local scene!"

Well, that's not exactly what was said to me, but it was close, and I've heard it before. I always imagine that it's said in one of those dramatic, old cartoon villain voices.

This time, it was said by Paul Haines (paulhaines) and while I like Haines, he's way off on this one. So, in fact, is everyone who says this, and this is my expanded reply to Haines here in this post. Where I pause, and have a quick look around at all the things I've torn down and tossed out. I mean, sure the death of the Aurealis Awa--

Oh, shit. That still exists.

Well, all those shit authors I can't stand and who pump out repetitive, bland wastes are no longer in--

Fuck, they're still around too. They sell their novels to mainstream publishers. They get published in this country. A whole bunch of them are probably in that new Jack Dann anthology, the one that is designed to showcase Australian authors. Hmm. I'm not in it. In fact, I didn't even get an invite. Dann doesn't who the fuck I am, but he knows who they are. In fact, just to push this point a little more, I even went as far as to request to submit, a week before the deadline, and with nothing written. I didn't wait till then, I just didn't know the book existed until then. I could've got ego burned about it, but I didn't, and so I took a hasty shot. Lets just say my churned out shit is pretty identifiable, or maybe someone just doesn't think I'm a fucking genius, which, oh fuck, I think I shall weep now.

Well, at least I have my fame and millions of doll--

I hate you.

Every. Fucking. Single. One. Of. You.

Look, it's called reality. If you think I'm tearing things down, get some. Nothing has been torn down. Nothing has stopped existing. I say what I want to say and do you know what happens? The world keeps fucking spinning. This breeding pool scene with no real readership keeps fucking existing. People who write shit keep writing their shit. Sometimes, they even get congratulated for it. Sometimes, it's by people I even like and respect, which means that I send disappointed smiley faces to them, and say, "Do you know that the dead baby Jesus is crying now?" and then we laugh, cause it's not really very important. Like something, dislike something, it's all part of the human condition. Both opinions are always valid.

Dissent and alternative opinions are good. It creates a healthy attitude, at least, in theory. No one ever mentions the whiny people who run around like Chicken Little, afraid that their tiny, unimportant issues might be falling down--but that's how it always is. Anyone on the wrong side of a bit of group think is always going to tell you what a good thing it is. This is because they want their own group, and it's true, I am looking for acolytes. Please, leave a comment, if you would like to join me. As you might notice, I'm not interested in awards. Not interested in egos. I'm not interested in hanging round cons and having that con experience. I'm not interested in the same people buying and not reading my work. I'm not interested in staring dreamily at American markets. What I'm interested in is literature. I don't care where it comes from. I don't care who wrote it. Who published it. What genre it is. All it has to do is connect with me. It has to not make me feel like I'm treading water and reading the same thing I've read a million times. It has to make me feel like the author likes words, likes pages, likes books, and isn't just trying to create something invisible, bland, idiotic, and which they hope will make a good movie.

And you know what else?

I like to talk about it. The good, the bad, the boring. All of it.

So, the next time anyone feels the urge to go on about how I'm destroying things, how I'm building my career on the back of my peers--firstly, you all ain't my peers, and secondly, I have no fucking career worth as much as a hand of shit--I urge you all to take a breath, pause, and think.

And if after that, you still think I'm tearing down things?

Kill yourself.

Comments

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mattdoyle
Jul. 23rd, 2007 02:01 am (UTC)
"I'm not interested in staring dreamily at American markets."

Neither am I; I've actually published more stuff there than here! But what are you saying here? Sorry, I'm not up on the whole "scene" thing, I just do my thing. Do Australian authors have a tough time breaking into American markets? Because I must say, that's not the case in my experience; granted my sales were only in small press things...or are you talking about the biggens like F&SF and whatnot?
benpeek
Jul. 23rd, 2007 02:04 am (UTC)
if you hang round in these scene enough and listen to the people in it, you'll find that a lot of them view american presses as the promised land. if you can make it in the states, you've made it, y'know?

generally speaking, they're talking about those markets that are professional and well respected, btw.
mattdoyle
Jul. 23rd, 2007 02:11 am (UTC)
ah ok. not quite seeing how the states are the promised land, but i think i sort of get it now.
benpeek
Jul. 23rd, 2007 02:13 am (UTC)
it's a generational thing, i suspect. a lot of the authors people grew up on go their starts there.

however, in terms of cash, it is the promised land. so is the UK. anywhere pays more than here.
bluetyson
Jul. 23rd, 2007 04:34 am (UTC)
The rant police might be on their way.


However, anywhere? You could be a kiwi! :)
benpeek
Jul. 23rd, 2007 04:35 am (UTC)
The rant police might be on their way.

yeah, they probably are, but the tearing down thing gives me the shits.
paulhaines
Jul. 23rd, 2007 06:02 am (UTC)
agreed -- the promised land is the prof mags that pay good rates, and more importantly have a readership that is not made up of fellow writers, but actual readers. They just happen to be in the USA at the moment.

Fuck, can you imagine? People actually reading your stories...
bluetyson
Jul. 23rd, 2007 07:07 am (UTC)
Dunno, given the numbers mentioned for those mags on a recent LibraryThing discussion, I'd say a pretty sizeable percentage are writers or wannabes. I think that I have seen someone theorise about this, but I forget who.

But yeah, should be a few more normal people getting those. :)
elenuial
Jul. 24th, 2007 03:45 am (UTC)
One hopes. But from what I can tell, the most recent generations aren't interested in reading so much as getting involved in fandom as a culture. Same goes with the literati, and just about anyone. Basically, the writers are the readers because they're the only ones interested in the written word still. Often, they buy magazines no because they like reading so much as they want to try and sell something to the places they're reading.

TV is where the people are at these days. Passive entertainment. Comics also seem to be making a bit of a comeback, for some reason.
benpeek
Jul. 24th, 2007 04:14 am (UTC)
i suspect that it's more that everyone wants to be the guitar hero these days, you know what i mean?

most people write and dabble a little, who read that is. there's nothing wrong with it. those people make up most of the australian scene.
girliejones
Jul. 23rd, 2007 03:13 am (UTC)
It *always* depends on what publication you get published in.
bluetyson
Jul. 23rd, 2007 04:46 am (UTC)


benpeek
Jul. 23rd, 2007 04:47 am (UTC)
if only i had a sword to chop up authors with...
bluetyson
Jul. 23rd, 2007 12:17 pm (UTC)
bluetyson
Jul. 23rd, 2007 04:48 am (UTC)
Bare hands will do in Sinanju.

:)
strangedave
Jul. 23rd, 2007 05:26 am (UTC)
One the one hand, I completely agree with you that dissent and alternative opinions are good. And when they are sensible objections and reasonably expressed, they are healthy and help in the long run.

On the other hand I'm not interested in awards is self-evidently false. You might have decided that you aren't interested in winning awards, but you can't leave the subject alone. And the same applies to a lot of Australian scene issues. Why? Why do you want to be in the role of neither outsider to the scene, nor full participant, just guy who hangs around the edge and critiques?
strangedave
Jul. 23rd, 2007 05:36 am (UTC)
I'm just going to add -- this query isn't intended as a criticism. I have no problem with you choosing that role for yourself, and on the whole I think its been positive for the scene, I'm just asking out of interest. Because, you know, if I was going to slam local institutions that deserved it myself, half the fun would be the drunken convention conversations about it (and engagement with the scene in general).
benpeek
Jul. 23rd, 2007 08:01 am (UTC)
to be honest, i would prefer just to be an outsider, but i'm the sort of guy who enjoys poking at things, so it never works out that way fully.

my interest in the aurealis award is simply part of the larger interest i have in good writing. all awards are tied up into that, for me, actually--so perhaps you are right, in that i am not interested in winning, but i can't stop poking at it, one way or another. it's like looking at deformed children :)
strangedave
Jul. 23rd, 2007 09:22 am (UTC)
I understand completely on the Aurealis, I had a very similar relationship with the Ditmars, until I ended up being one of the people who is supposed to try and fix the damn things.
paulhaines
Jul. 23rd, 2007 05:38 am (UTC)
getting the suicide's razor out now...

jAYsUS!

but, I'll have you know, it was said in the voice of the kindly mentor who is actually revealed as the villian at the climax, you know, like Ian McKellen in The Der Vinci Code, or the pharmacist best mate of Harrison Ford in The Fugitive.
benpeek
Jul. 23rd, 2007 08:01 am (UTC)
aw. man. now you ruined the da vinci code for me ;)
ex_benpayne119
Jul. 23rd, 2007 08:07 am (UTC)
Why do you have to tear down the image of you tearing things down??!

*shakes head sadly*...

girliejones
Jul. 23rd, 2007 10:26 am (UTC)
Nothing is sacred with Peek
benpeek
Jul. 23rd, 2007 10:42 am (UTC)
haha
benpeek
Jul. 23rd, 2007 10:42 am (UTC)
for kicks, man. for kicks.
elenuial
Jul. 24th, 2007 03:48 am (UTC)
See, now I'm envisioning "Ben Peek: the Propaganda Poster." With thick, dark rays of glorious light as a backdrop to his heroic and uplifting pose, holding up the establishments people think he's breaking down.
benpeek
Jul. 24th, 2007 04:19 am (UTC)
gosh. that's so me. could i have beautiful hair?
elenuial
Jul. 24th, 2007 03:57 pm (UTC)
Once you write your first antidisestablishmentarianist best-seller, we can afford the transplant surgery. Until then, we'll have to settle for post-photographic doctoring with crayon.
(Anonymous)
Jul. 26th, 2007 01:38 pm (UTC)
Ben, every time you write this shit you diss other people's writing. Is that what you mean to do? Because it looks like when you do this stuff you are making out that your own writing is more important than any other writers.

Yeah, I know that the you didn't get a particular story on the shortlist that year, and because of it you critcised the AAs and put yourelf in a bad and ugly place. I realise now that you like being in that place. And you will no doubt yet again turn this post into something you can laugh and blog about. At the same time can you link over to http://jerryswig.blogspot.com

cheers

Geoff
benpeek
Jul. 26th, 2007 02:03 pm (UTC)
geoff, my writing *is* more important than any other writer's. just ask me. i'm telling you that. go on, ask me again if i think my writing is less important than some other writer's? go on.

if you think i'm like this because some story of mine didn't get shortlisted... then, man, there is nothing i can do for you. also, any attention paid to me will show that my interest in the award began the year i got nominated. before that, i simply didn't pay any attention.

lastly, i won't be linking your blog. your blog sucks. sorry bout that, man, but it really does.
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