Horse. Look It Up.

Via Pixabay

Hey kid.

It may seem quaint and exotic to you now, but it was just my life to me. And what goes around, comes around, you know. If you don’t know what that means, ask some historian of slang.

We didn’t stop in the middle of a birthday celebration and think about why it might look like to posterity. We bought our groceries, complained about our jobs and our mates and our kids and the government. You probably complain about other stuff, but trust me, underneath the words, it’s all the same thing.

Still, I’d give you all of what’s left if I could sit again in a traffic jam and play air guitar to the radio while I waited. Look it up. Traffic. Air guitar. Radio.

It was in 2062 that things really went to Hell. Most people these days say ‘literally’ when they just mean to emphasize something. Crap, it’s all hyperbole now. And who cares? The truth became a commodity like everything else and was bought and sold and arbitraged. After a while, only the rich could afford it, if they even wanted it. The rest of us, if we wanted to live, had to feed ourselves and our families lies and more lies. They weren’t nourishing, but they could make you feel full for a while. If you were real lucky, you could lose your mind and then the truth could be whatever you wanted it to be. You might live on a street corner under a piece of plastic, or in an asylum, but being insane was still a step up.

I would be depressed, but medication is the one thing that’s free. Use it to calm yourself or kill yourself. Your choice.

I heard the Minute ManEaters were getting it over on the Tea Party Hearties. No doubt that will switch around next week. In the meantime, juice is cheap, so all of us are stocking up. When things go vice-versa again, we’ll all be so loose we won’t care and we’ll easily coast until the next faction takes over. They say there will be elections, but who would go to them? The districts are so ragged now, there isn’t anybody who knows if they can vote or where. If there are elections, it would be good, though. Then the cops would be so busy rocking the ballots that they won’t have time to come down and beat up the surface dwellers near the Chutes. And these days, none of them will actually go into the Chutes. Not for love or money or a ticket to the Mayor’s house for cocktails. Cocktails. Look it up.

I’m glad you’re keeping up with your studies. I keep thinking that someday knowing stuff will be a good thing again. But I live here, so what do I know?

Whatever you do, DON’T COME BACK. You’re safer where you are – these idiots will never invade because they think everyone where you are is diseased. They run scared of everything and disease scares them the most, now that they’ve killed everything else, I mean. If you don’t have real doctors, you don’t have much of a chance controlling something like a disease or stopping it.  And most of the doctors got disgusted and left long ago, except for the ones that own their own medical schools. Got the cash or the stash? You too could punch medies to the rich and famous!

Oh well, I’d better try and get this out to you. Hard to say whether or not it will reach you. Any means of communication that you don’t pay a subscription for is a bad gamble. Like betting on a three legged-horse.

Dad

PS: Horse. Look it up.

Why I Don’t Post (Bad) Reviews on Goodreads Anymore

Image via Creative Commons

There’s been a kerfluffle of sorts about Goodreads lately. Maybe you’ve read about it. People using book reviews to punish authors or extort them and since GR is owned by Amazon and Amazon doesn’t police its own reviews, they’re unlikely to do anything about the bad actors on GR. It’s especially bad because authors depend on good reviews, especially when their books are not NYT bestsellers. There’s also a bot problem. These are pretty crappy things to have happen when you’re just trying to enjoy books, but they’re not why I stopped writing unfavorable reviews on GR.

I stopped writing them because I’m a writer. I know how hard it is to create a book and how difficult it is to find a readership for it. So I don’t want to add to an author’s imposter syndrome or general anxiety by dumping on their work.

I’ve read some works this year that may have appeared for a while on my TBR or (am) Reading list. But they don’t appear on my (have) Read list because I didn’t like them or couldn’t finish them. I still have a shelf marked “Abandoned” but I haven’t added a title to it in a long while.

I’m not the kind of person to shy away from saying I don’t like a book. There are several that have won critical approbation and awards and I hated them. Even after reading reviews about why they are wonderful books and why I should like them, I still hated them. Everybody gets that, right? There are just some books you love and some you hate and a great many that fall in between.

But often I could tell those books were well-written. I just didn’t like the plot or the characters or the theme or the author’s viewpoint. And they’ve done just fine without my reviews.

But there are other books that aren’t written as well. They have major problems with plot or the grammar is so all over the place that it’s distracting or the characters are uninteresting or even annoying. I used to write reviews that said so. But I asked myself what purpose that served? The book is already out there. The time to have pointed out those problems was before publication. Does hearing it after the fact really help the author? I don’t know, but I’m guessing not too much. In any case, whether you love or hate a book is somewhat subjective. Not completely, but somewhat, depending on your criteria for good – which is itself subjective.

So currently, I may write a review if I really liked the book. If I thought it had some good points and I was able to finish it, I give it 3 stars and eschew the review. The ones I didn’t like? I don’t talk about those titles and I remove them from my lists.

I don’t know if I’ll continue this or come up with something different. In the meantime, I figure anyone who was able to actually finish a book and get it published (whether by Big 3 or self-pub) deserves not to have me stomp on their accomplishment because it didn’t happen to suit my definition of good reading.