So the other day I came across this post by this chick named Reno Berkeley who is dogging on this other chick Lynn Shepherd who is dogging on JK Rowling. Now, let me start by saying Ms. Berkeley does have a point. Of course, you can’t just dog on another author and write a commentary telling them to stop writing without coming across as a bitter, jealous idiot. Unfortunately, it takes a little more effort than that. What you have to do is lure them to your ‘dungeon’ and ‘make’ them stop writing. Like this: “Come here, EL, I mean, JK. Come here. Yeah, that’s a good girl. Now, let’s go into the deep, dark cellar here. Yeah. Come here … oh no, don’t turn around! I promise that there is a brand new pair of snazzy glasses there for you. Yeah, that’s it. Get in there! Yeah, you’ll find nothing sexy about my torture devices, bitch!” Well, something like that. You get the picture.
But I do have some issues with Reno’s deliverance of what she views as flaws in Shepherd’s commentary which you can find here. Let’s start with the title. “Bitter British author to J.K. Rowling: Please stop writing”. Adding an adjective to the title is just a pet peeve of mine (my parable doesn’t count, by the way). Yeah, you might think she’s bitter and I might too, but whatever happened to the days when journalists or even commentators just presented the facts and let the audience judge for themselves what they thought of the person?
Moving on to the first two sentences: “How many of you have heard of Lynn Shepherd? How many of you have heard of J.K. Rowling?” So Ms. Berkeley is basically telling Ms. Shepherd, “and you are?” Well, I’ve grown to hate that. So just because one person is not as famous as another they don’t deserve to have an opinion? Not that I’m not guilty of and-you-are-itis either. In fact, I was tempted to use that line the other day when I posted a question on Michio Kaku’s Q&A session to which he kindly responded (and had not deleted it or banned me — yet — so you can just suck it, Trickster Guy!!) and yet another commentator told me to stop degrading physics. Yet as much as I wanted to ask arrogant commentator guy “and you are?”, I just apologized if he thought my question was degrading physics and was just glad that Dr. Kaku didn’t think so. I should have also told arrogant commentator guy to get in touch with creepy physics administrator guy as they could have ‘so nice, so big’, not at all degrading ‘physics’ conversations together, but, oh well — another time. By the way, Ms. Berkeley, and you are?
Moving on further: “Yet, this is a barely-published writer criticizing adults for reading a book enjoyed by people the world over.” Again, good point, but, hello! There was a time when JK Rowling was barely-published. And Stephanie Meier was barely-published. And when … wait … she escaped again and took the glasses with her? Damnit! Well, she is indeed good with handcuffs — I’ll give her that. But going back to my original point, “barely-published” has nothing to do with whether one does or does not deserve to have an opinion. We all need to start somewhere. This may come as a shock to you, Reno, but there was a time when even Stephen King was “barely-published”.
The next paragraphs focus on Reno being a Rowling fan and a Potter fan to which I say more power to her. Everyone has a right to get into their own thing, whether it’s wizards, vampires, time travel, dimensional travel (maybe? why not? please?) and it’s all good. But then, she ends her piece by saying “Shepherd’s anemic op-ed has already made the rounds on social media, and readers who had previously never heard of her have vowed never to read anything that she publishes. This includes yours truly.” Now, maybe I’ll be dogged here for dogging Reno having an opinion that’s dogging on Lynn having an opinion that’s dogging on JK, but I just didn’t care for Reno’s “How dare you? You’re just a nobody!” tone. Also, what will happen if by chance Shepherd does become a successful writer? Or if Order of The Dimensions takes off and … what? Oh, come on! Is Berkeley telling us that she would be above being a jellis H8R of Shepherd or any other breakthrough author who will come next? How is she so sure of that? Yes, Shepherd’s Stop-writing-JK-or-else piece is childish and foolish but so is Berkeley’s you’re-just-a-loser-and-nobody-likes-you piece. And if Shepherd’s original intent was just to get people’s attention, then she succeeded by grabbing Berkeley’s attention, just like Berkeley succeeded now in grabbing my attention. Now, if only someone would read this and gimmee some attention. But I rambled on enough for now. So, sayonara for now — now, go buy my book — or EL James’ really gonna get it! She will not escape the ‘dungeon’ next time – this, I promise you!