May 12th, 2010


That Gaiman Debate

I've been watching this debate around Neil Gaiman's speaking fee bubble out for the last day or so, and I find it pretty interesting that people are getting bent out of shape about it. So he charges forty five grand--the point is?

Now, don't get me wrong, I don't do a lot of public speaking. There's not a line of people asking me to do this, or that, and when I do it, it's often for free because of the nature of who I am. Which, by that, I mean incredibly generous and lovely and awesome. It has nothing to do with the fact that Z grade author with a line of people who both love and hate me. I also rescue kittens from trees, like puppies, and once told a child that no, they weren't fat, when indeed they were. I'm just that nice. But the one thing I have noticed in my limited exposure, is public speaking isn't just about the time on the stage, entertaining. It's about the time before hand, mixing with people, shaking hands, saying hi, listening to their opinions about you (not always flattering, I might add; strangers often feel that they can say anything they want to another stranger, but will be mortally offended when you turn round and verbally slap them, which of course I would know nothing about, since I am a very nice and lovely man who rescues kittens, saves puppies, and helps fat children, as mentioned above). Sometimes, these people are boring. Sometimes, they're not. Sometimes you have to even eat with them, and their table manners are sometimes not the best. Occasionally you tell them that your dream was to be a playboy photographer and that this is just your fall back plan until then. Mostly, however, you have to curtail such behaviour, put on your best face, smile, make jokes, and entertain people.

Sometimes it's fun, sometimes it's not, is what I'm saying.

So, if Gaiman wants to charge forty five k for that, then why not? He's put his time in, made his name, and he is successful. It seems to me that a lot of the complaints coming out stem back to a strange argument of, how dare he be so successful that he could charge forty five k. He's just an author. He hasn't made a sex tape, been ridiculous stupid in politics, nor been on MTV (well, he might have, but it was probably British MTV, which doesn't count). Really, if anything, people ought to be sitting around saying, 'Fuck, that dude who wrote some comics and that book about parents with button eyes now gets forty five k just to talk for an hour. That's fucking awesome. Fuck you Steven Speilberg.'

Not that Steven Speilberg has anything to do with this, but you know, if we're going to publicly lynch someone about the money they make without being worth it, y'know what I mean?