At a writers’ conference I attended years ago, editors from five of the “big” New York houses made no bones about the fact they had interns writing Amazon reviews for their books. What’s the difference? Uhm … you do know you can open an Amazon account under whatever name you want, order a book under that name (or a copy of your own book along with whatever best-selling author you’re shadowing so your book appears as one that people “also bought,” then post reviews under that name. You can even use your own credit card for payment.
With the revelations of several writers engaging in plagiarism, one best-selling writer using sockpuppets to falsely promote his own work, and now that revelation above, it’s time for me to remind everyone who comes to this blog of this post that’s permanently displayed beneath this blog’s name:
I have a multi-year record of fearlessly calling shit what it is: shit. See my prior blogs in this blog’s sidebar.
I cannot be rented, leased, or bought.
I am not making myself out to be holier than thou, but the bottom line is this: We are going to enter a time of utter and total chaos. Money isn’t going to be worth shit. Most goods other than food aren’t going to be worth shit. Even the value of gold will pale into insignificance against one thing: TRUST.
There is already a widespread lack of trust strangling the planet. This is only going to get worse. Trust is the glue that keeps societies running smoothly. Without it, you don’t even have the luxury of mob rule. You have beast against beast.
If people are willing to buy and sell you like a commodity in order to line their own pockets, how the fuck can you trust them with anything?
Like everyone else on the Net, I read reviews and watch videos of new tech. I also see book blurbs. But unless I can question the persons doing those and get some straight answers, what I read and see is basically marketing bullshit. It has a very low Believability Quotient. When you can question someone and they have to reply, that puts an actual human being on the spot. If they don’t reply, that says something. If they reply and you later learn they were full of shit, well that says everything.
People have the wrong idea about trust. They confuse being able to trust someone with not becoming emotionally hurt. And that’s why you’ll never know who the hell you can trust. The only time you should expect to feel good most of the time is if you’re one of those people whose impoverished idea of a vacation is going to a packaged theme park, like one from Disney. Other than that self-delusional outing, you should grow up and live in the real world.
Trust also does not mean being in agreement all of the time. I can trust your opinion, read a book you’ve recommended, and not like it. That’s fine. That’s a matter of taste, not trust. I can still trust your recommendations, but I can allow for differences in taste.
Anyway, being the truthful contrarian bastard that I am does not give me a smooth life. It’s basically like this:
Source: NYPL Digital Gallery, The New York Public Library
That’s Diogenes. He was a poor bastard who slept with the dogs.
I’m a poor bastard who sleeps with cats.
But I’d rather be that any day than some smug little shit hollowing out your soul to fill his own bank account.