Monday, November 01, 2010

Glenn Beck is a Douche

In my last post I talked about ‘Machine of Death’ the anthology of short stories based on one theme: What if there was a machine that could tell you how you were going to die…not when or where, just how?

I have to say I’m hugely proud of the people behind this book. This is a collection of stories by ‘unknowns’ from the internet, and considering traditional publishers wouldn’t touch this book for that very reason, it was a huge accomplishment that, on release day, and for many days after that, this self-published book by unknowns made it to the top of the Amazon bestseller list. As of today, it’s still in the top 30 books.

That’s top 30 overall. Not the top 30 Sci-Fi or Fiction…Top 30 overall. Not bad for an independent anthology by unknowns.

I see this is a very good thing. It shows that, because of the internet, the traditional ‘barriers to entry’ are falling down. There was a time when this book (which has gotten rave reviews by everyone who’s actually read it) would never have seen the light of day.

From the Machine of Death website:

“We learned a little something about the anthology market…Stephen King isn’t in this book. Neither is Dave Eggers or Neil Gaiman or Nick Hornby. Nobody would buy this little book full of stories from nobody famous, we were told. We talked with six different agents who fell in love with this book; one even fell deeply in love and tried her hardest to sell it to anybody who would listen. One editor at a publishing house told us “Let me be blunt: I love this premise; I love this project; I want to read this book [...] the sample stories included in the proposal are really very strong, and if they’re all that good, then this is a genre anthology of high literary quality.”

But it was 2008, 2009. “The economy,” we were told. “And it’s an anthology.”

Doesn’t that make your blood boil? To me, this is traditional publishers openly admitting that quality doesn’t matter. However, the second part of the quote fills me with a profound sense of joy:

“…We didn’t want to sell ebook rights; we wanted to release the ebook for free as a PDF. We didn’t want to sell audio rights; we wanted to record the audiobook ourselves, and release it for free as a podcast. Movie rights remain with the authors — if you love one of the stories in this book and want to make a blockbuster film from it, contact the author and give them the money. We’re not in the middle.”

And we live on the internet enough that we knew we could sell this book.”

This, quite simply is the way things should be done…with creators coming first. This book was made in an attempt to create something worthwhile, not just to make money, the authors are treated like artists instead of a disposable resource to be exploited… with the point being to share a piece of art with as many people as possible…not to make as much money as possible.

As they set out to do, they proved that ‘Internet people make things happen’.

But do you know who isn’t pleased by this?

Glenn Beck.

You see, Glenn Beck’s book was released on the same day as Machine of Death, and he wasn’t too happy to see he was number three in the best seller list (behind Machine of Death and ‘Life’, Keith Richard’s autobiography.

So what does a borderline-retarded stuffed shirt political pundit do when he sees his latest fear-mongering scrawling about how America is going down the toilet is belowa self-published sci-fi anthology on the bestseller list?

He calls it a leftist conspiracy, that’s what he does:

“And then, the #1 book…TODAY, at least…is Machine of Death and it’s a… collected stories about, you know, people who know how they’re gonna die. Haowww!

So you have DEATH…It’s a culture of death!

These are the… this is the left, I think, speaking. This is the left. You want to talk about where we’re headed? We’re headed towards a culture of death. A culture that, um, celebrates the things that have destroyed us.”

I would like to congratulate Mr. Beck on his amazing investigative journalism, especially his ability to review a book and decide it’s a leftist conspiracy…by looking at a screenshot of the cover. I must also personally congratulate him on deciding that an anthology of sci-fi stories is indicative of the creation of a ‘Culture of Death’… when his own books are basically about how the world is crashing down around our ears and he is the only one who knows how to fix everything.

Here’s the deal, Beck. Your book with its national press coverage, which you plugged both on your TV show on Fox and your nationally syndicated radio show was beaten by a bunch of unknowns who released a self-published book without spending a single penny on advertising or marketing.

I understand that you’re bitter…and if you’d just dismissed it, I’d still think you’re a douche, but could have understood.

However, the fact that you, the author of ‘Glenn Beck’s Common Sense’, decided that Machine of Death was some part of some left-wing conspiracy and an example of how we were becoming a ‘culture of death’, just by looking at the cover…you’ve just lost every ounce of tenuous credibility you may have had with one of the world’s most powerful demographics.

Glenn Beck, you are a douche.

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