Maybe I'm just getting old, but I think I've gotten too soft.
It's not that I don't like doing what I do, reviewing stuff and all, but recently, with the whole Cassie Edwards drama, I realize that I have probably stopped a long time ago following blogs. In fact, I'm thinking that perhaps, this time for real, I should just stop checking out other blogs for news and rely on... I don't know, are there actually any news in the genre that are really of the must-know type?
For example, I just came across this. My first thought was, "Was this really necessary?" instead of, "Heh, heh, heh! More amusing drama! This I gotta read." This means that I have reached a point where I don't find such matters amusing anymore. I find myself wondering why that author putting is the drama through the meat grinder again, this time at the bastion of immaturity known as Fandom Wank, of all places. She said on the EREC blog that she was not gleeful or anything, but then why oh why does she put the whole drama, Jennifer Crusie, and anyone who disagrees with even a little of the way Smart Bitches do their thing through another session of 'snark', so that people, many of whom don't even read romance novels and some even actively loathe the genre, can pile on and throw an online bonfire about things? Is this even necessary? A part of me that is protective about the genre wishes that the matter will stop being played out before people who already have unflattering preconceived ideas about the genre because that is only inviting more mockery. Honestly, Fandom Wank, for example, is a bash-and-mock place. I don't think anyone is expecting intelligent discussion there. So why bring the matter over there? To laugh at Jennifer Crusie? To say that Cassie Edwards write terrible books and therefore she deserves to be constantly humiliated? Since when is "snark" the same as "putting the people whose opinions I disagree with through a public stoning by my fellow like-minded peeps?"
Now I think back about the times I made fun of Laurell K Hamilton and Anne Rice. Okay, I personally think my occasional jabs at their blog entries and ridiculous antics are mild, but they are uncalled for nonetheless, and these recent developments are forcing me to reexamine my own actions. I must say that I am not too proud of some of the things I have said about these authors because they could have somehow escalated into a humiliation session just because I provided an outlet for such an incident to happen.
I guess I've just become very disillusioned with the word "snark". In fact, I think I'm starting to loathe that word. "Snark" is, I believe, dry wit or sarcasm. But somehow it has become synonymous (everywhere, on Livejournal, entertainment forums, et cetera) with "saying all kinds of nasty things and renounce all accountability for them on the name of 'snark'". I nowadays wish people won't call me "snarky", because I like to imagine that I don't go down that road where authors are concerned. I'd like to imagine that my reviews don't attack authors personally or humiliate them so much that they are forced to run into hiding. Mind you, I write reviews nowadays while often checking myself to see that any jokes I make are clearly about the storylines, characters, et cetera, and not about the author personally, so I do try to be careful.
This blog entry is not to denounce the existence of any blogs that you may consider a "snark" board. Hey, I believe that they have their fans and their uses, but I think that I've come to a point where I don't think they are for me anymore. This blog entry is also not about my attempts to claim that I am better than other people. This is my blog, and you know me, I've been known to write down my thoughts and even my internal debates with myself here, and this is just one of those many "here is what I am thinking" moments in this blog. I'm trying to come to a conclusion about what I should do by writing all these things down to see whether I can come to some kind of answer that I am looking for in the process. That's what my blog is for, after all. It's about me!
Maybe I've mellowed, I don't know, but I believe I am going to make a belated resolution for myself this year: I'm going to watch very carefully what I say, here and elsewhere. I'm going to make sure that what I say won't go too far and cross the line (although I can't be responsible for anyone who assumes that a negative review of their book is the same as a personal attack on them - that's not my problem!). I'm going to be more... well, I'll still be me, but I'm not going to poke at things just because I can, unless I have a really good reason to.
That means this blog will probably be much more boring from now on, if it isn't already boring in the first place, but at least I can breathe easier and have more fun with blogging.
PS: Please don't turn the comment threads into a general complain thread against Smart Bitches and other sites that you don't agree with. If you have problems with these sites, why not blog about it yourself or take it up with the webmistresses? I may have my share of disagreements with how they do things, but I have no problems with them, so I'd hate to see this blog turn into a camping ground for people to organize campaigns against those sites.