Authors Behaving Badly
If you’re an author, don’t respond to reviews, especially bad ones. That’s the rule. Nothing good can come from it. Reviews are for the reader, not the author. This is the rule, it is known, and anyone who disregards it is generally given a ton of crap by the online community.
Unless, that is, you’re Rachel Swirsky. Which is to say, unless you’re in good standing on the left side of the political fence, where the laws of physics apparently make ample room for double-standards.
APEX Magazine #55 recently published a story by Rachel Swirsky titled “All That Fairy Tale Crap”. In my opinion, it was a heavy-handed political article masquerading as fiction. I didn’t like the story because I didn’t feel like it was a story.
Anyway, it got a pretty bad review from Dave Truesdale. Unsurprisingly, the left collective swarmed to attack the review. Rachel Swirsky–arguably drunk on groupthink power–joined them via her twitter account. Here are a few of her tweets:
“Anyone who compares me to Sandra McDonald has done me a great favor.”
“Also, I am not my narrators, for the record. And finally , to those disturbed by swearing, I say: fuck shit motherfucker & have a nice day!”
“Wait, what? He thinks Sandra McDonald pines for sex negative feminism? This dude is both hilarious and seriously bad at reading.”
“Man, what a loser.”
“And last one, I also note with deep amusement that both sex positive and negative feminism alarm him. Its okay, dude, you won’t get cooties.”
“tangent. Truesdale. Worth reading if you find pathetic flailing amusing.”
“yes, but this ones really funny.”
“‘Joanna Russ wrote insightfully on political fiction, therefore my inability to read is justified!'”
“breast bobbing…. Is that a really weird version of bobbing for apples?”
“It’s funny, I always thought the Cinderella myth was more of a girl thing. I never understood men were this attached to fairy tales.”
“But then, not really, because women are also chastised for being “spoiled princesses”? ”
“Which really gives you such a great idea of how they have sex. ”
“Well, you see, caterpillars are symbols of … er… cooties, and black holes are symbols of… er… also cooties?”
When this was brought up on AbsoluteWrite (a great writing site), the left was quick to defend Swirsky. These are the same folks who are typically ravenous and anxious to tear someone down. But this time, when confronted with one of their own acting poorly, they jumped to excuses and made every effort to minimize her wrongdoing. Why is this? I find this lack of consistency appalling, and I often wonder if folks know just how incredibly hypocritical they’re being.