@ssholes and Everyone Has One
For those of you who have children who participate in organized sports you would probably be familiar with the infamous “24-Hour Rule”. It’s simple and elegant really, you are kindly, but firmly instructed to wait twenty four hours before contacting the coaching staff or the “powers that be” about whatever unpardonable sin they have committed against Little Johnny be it not putting him out for the power play etc. In fact, it would likely be advantageous to implement this practice throughout your life.
I find it rather shocking on a planet with a staggering population of more than seven billion, how incredibly self important people can be. Perhaps I am guilty of this as well, in fact I am certain of it, in writing this post but you will have to excuse me because I am in a state. There is no coach to call, well not directly, and I have been told that if I were to rebut it would be the equivalent of a mother confronting the school yard bully and I am the unfortunate parent in this case. Having reached the rather advanced age of forty perhaps my inner Mean Girl is just that far out of reach but regardless of my maturity or lack thereof I was absolutely infuriated by a review I read yesterday.
Despite the title of this post I do ultimately believe everyone is entitled to their opinion, however as a reviewer I feel there are a few hard and fast rules that should be followed. I know, I know dream on but is it unreasonable to expect that before a reviewer posts a negative review that they consider their words? I have given negative reviews it would be disingenuous to comment if I had done otherwise. Some of my favorite posts have been crafted when I was in a high dudgeon. That being said I try to err on the side of “if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” Furthermore I make it a practice to find something positive to say about all the books I read particularly the efforts of a debut writer.
The source of my disquiet was a review I read on Goodreads by an obviously arrogant, somewhat ignorant young reviewer. While it is neither here nor there whether they actually liked the story, which they did not, though considering it was a DNF I felt that they were lacking in empirical evidence to support their argument. It was the unmitigated temerity of the author to urge her followers not to make the same mistake she made and read this awful story. The sole reason she wrote the review was to discourage readers whose interest she may have peaked. Am I the only one who finds that petty and somewhat cruel or is she just a self important child who has yet to be disabused of her own worth?
Should I just console myself that despite the reviewer’s very professional looking blog albeit ridden with homophones, malapropisms and other grammatical errors that readers are not lemmings and that they will take what they read with the proverbial grain of salt. At least if you are going to bully someone try and do it with some panache like the wonderful 1988 feature film Heathers starring Christian Slater.
Wow, this must be how my father felt that time when I was 6 years old and another girl stole my Charlie Brown Lucy watch. On his way to the station he stopped by in uniform to inform her parents of the theft. She was really nice to me after that…