A Gent's Outlook

A Literary Agent Divulges the TRUTH about Publishing

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Prologue to the Agents are Whipping Your Ass Tales

It amazes me that people have completely forgotten about James and Kaavya and have latched onto this whole Absolute Write thing, but they have. The Opal and Pieces tragedy actually means something to publishing; losing a forum named after a piece of office furniture where people gather to GOSSIP is not a threat to the industry. The disaster that is a million little pieces of Opal is. Not to mention The Da Vinci Code. Maybe writers care about this most recent development, few others do. Has the world gone mad? Sigh…

Anyway, I had to put my two cents worth in on this, or rather, my opinion, which is based on fact…mostly. I may have not actually written it even. It is so long-winded that it will take two posts. Read PublishAmerica, or How Sammy Nostradamus Tells the Future for Free first, then read PublishAmerica--And Now for the Rest of the Story...after that, or it won’t make sense, not that it matters to the psychos who will read two words and send me a nasty e-mail.

Enjoy!

PublishAmerica, or How Sammy Nostradamus Tells the Future for Free

Yet again, Psychic Sammy has done it!

In a strange turn of events, I had just finished a long diatribe and was going to post it tonight when a pal e-mailed me about some buzz that an entire writers’ site had been shut down, a site that apparently pissed off the wrong agent. I literally giggled, and not because Issy was sitting on my lap in a suggestive, yet thoughtful manner. I giggled because, yet again, I am way ahead of the crowd. I am thinking of opening a psychic writer hotline…

Psychic Sammy: Hello?
Wannabe Writer: Hi, Psychic Sammy, I have a question. I have written a mystery about a golden doll named Bertha who fights some beings from Wimbat called Thigglestinx, and I wondered…
Psychic Sammy: You suck. Click.

Or maybe not. The crazy thing is that writers are now indignant and outraged at the agent, who may or may not be scamming like hell (I don’t really care), and they are blasting the web host and agent all over the Internet. It has never occurred to any of them that what I have said all along is true. Chasing agents and labeling them as scammers or incompetent is just a way to rationalize that it is the publishing industry’s fault that YOU can’t get published. Are you going to blame all women because you can’t get laid by a few ugly hags you thought would be desperate enough to give you a little?

The reason that I am even commenting on this controversy is that it proves, once and for all, that Snark is not the agent she/he/it claims to be. If you read its post about this, you will find all the information you need to realize that it couldn’t possibly be a real agent. I will only say that which I have said before: real agents don’t give a shit about wannabes or watch puppies or scammer agents. They don’t blog all the fucking time. They don’t promote writer resources unless prompted with a prod. They don’t throw challenges out to people they believe are scammers without realizing that every agent in the industry is laughing at them. They don’t align themselves with people in the industry who are of lesser ilk. They just don’t. Snark has. You figure it out. I did months ago.

Such dirty little secrets we all have.

When will you people learn? The same fucking scammers have been around for the last fifty goddamn years, and no one in the industry worries about them or takes them seriously. Nobody blogs about them. At some point, the authorities catch the really bad ones (when they take time away from fighting real crimes), and the others are basically dealing with writers who don’t have the sense to make the industry cut anyway, so why would we care? The agent in question in this whole board scandal doesn’t reflect on the real industry, the one that thrives as the wannabes slouch around angrily and bitterly reciting the ten commandments of good/bad agents. How pathetic are you when your writer’s identity becomes a stream of slogans parroted by those you think are really insiders? I would offer that you are pretty damn pathetic.

Over the last few years, it has become a great wannabe pastime to hang on every word thrown out by watch puppies and board gurus and pathetic industry humps who go along with them without qualifying statements that should be qualified. And what do we have to show for it? Opal and A Million Little Pieces, or, in other words, writers who lie. I have seen my friends and colleagues ravaged by people who know nothing about this industry or the proper way to write a book, and all along I have said that spending time gabbing about possible scammers is just a way to keep the one wannabe who might actually make it from climbing higher in the publishing food chain and displacing a guru or watch puppy in the writing field. Writers compete against writers; agents compete against agents, and people who crave power compete against everyone.

Let me say this before I go on to the next post I had started before the scandal broke: IN GENERAL, it is wrong to take justice into your own hands, whether the person is guilty or not. A court of law determines guilt or innocence, not the public at large, regardless of the crime. To do so is to be a vigilante and can be breaking the law yourself. For example, if you make a list of the 10 worst-dressed celebrities and post it, no big deal. However, if you go on a smear campaign and point out every chance you get that Madonna was number five and ask all your friends to send it to everyone they know so that you can spread the word that Madonna is a terrible dresser, even if she is, at some point, you go from being informative to harassing someone. Everyone has rights, whether you like it or not, and so to impede on those rights, or to appear to do so, is cause for concern on someone’s part. Show all this shit to someone not in the writing field, and they will wonder who gave you the fucking right to spread the word that you think someone is doing something wrong to the extent it has been done in this case. The poor Web hoster is being shredded alive. How many of you would risk the expense, stress, and agony of a lawsuit, even for a noble cause and even if you know you would win? That’s a helluva lot to ask of someone. But then no one has asked anything of a wannabe, have they?

I realize this is spitting in the wind, but let me say this again…

The real publishing industry doesn’t need wannabe writers. You are being scammed by the very people and entities who claim to be helping you—wake up and smell the ink, goddammit! I am a real agent, not a phantom, and I make real sales. I am friends and enemies with real people in the industry all over the world. This is my industry—mine, mine, mine!—and I am tired of seeing people who have never worked for the accolades they crave sucking the very life out of it. I helped build this mess we call publishing, and I have worked my ass off. When you have spent as much time as I have dealing with the bullshit, then you can bitch. Until then, shut the fuck up and get over yourselves.

By the way, this whole situation reminds me of the Iraqi war. That was started, just like a lot of the watch groups and boards, on a flawed premise by power hungry control freaks who want revenge and power. The difference is that I admire and respect the soldiers in Iraq, facing the brutality of war and fighting for a noble cause even if they were sent there by an idiot. I can’t say that about the people who help wannabes. It is pure enabling, and it’s selfish.

And now for Part II...

PublishAmerica--And Now for the Rest of the Story...

Here is the rest of the post I wrote before my pal e-mailed me:

No, this isn’t a post about PA. However, if I post anything with the word “PublishAmerica” in it, the watch zealots and their misguided minions, as well as every other wannabe, will be on here in a heartbeat, ready to jump at the chance to take PA and anyone who doesn’t call for their literary demise down. This is, in the normal world, called being obsessed with something, but in the wannabe world, it is the equivalent of the maenads engaging in omophagy (look it up, dimwits, a real writer would know this). Anyway, now that I have your attention, I think that I have something to say that they will find very interesting. Here we go…

Well, well, well…the worm turns (and remember I wrote this BEFORE that board went down—I am so psychic).

It looks like maybe real agents are fighting back against the pathetic, power-hungry entities that have tried to convince everyone that they can save you from every scammer in the writing biz, except for yourselves. I bounce around on the boards, and guess what I saw? Yep, I saw that some naughty little posters got into trouble. Not the trouble they usually get into by going against the gurus on the boards who are 100% pro-watch puppies and solicitous agents, but because they opened their uninformed mouths and basically said some very unflattering and untrue things against some very big, big agents, who caught wind of it and apparently decided to flex some muscle. One minute the nasty comments about these agents were there, and the next time I looked, the entire thread was gone, as if it never, ever existed. How could this possibly be?

I will tell you how. Someone told said agents that they were being bad-mouthed, and they had a wittle chat with the board sponsor. The moral of this story is that, unlike what writers seem to think (and you should know better), you can’t just go around making statements that reflect on the professional reputation of others, especially if you are wrong or simply responding to the overwhelming urge to blast an agent. Courts of law are supposed to try alleged criminals, not writers on writer boards. That’s vigilante justice and not right in any case. Agents of all stripes have been condemned based on evidence provided by…writers. Any police detective will tell you that you have to have some kind of objective evidence before you can get a conviction—circumstantial evidence and that provided by hostile witnesses and biased witnesses won’t get you very far in a real court. But, boy, it keeps the writers’ forums busy. I often wonder how many of those posters are wasting their time trying to show how much they know when they could be grooming their skills and maybe get published. I doubt we will ever know.

In both cases, I noted that each agent was, in fact, legitimate, and had enough 5 and 6 figure sales to impress even the most determined watch puppy. However, these baaaaaad people had dared to do something that is not supposed to be industry standard, at least not according to a bunch of writers who pretend to know what industry standard is, when they DON’T. Since what they were doing was not unprofessional, illegal, unethical, or anything remotely fishy, it appears that the board sponsor felt compelled to remove the posts, which were mean-spirited diatribes attacking the reputation of said agents with no evidence that they had done anything wrong. They hadn’t. If you ask any good agent—and I don’t mean the pathetic ones that agree with all the bullshit strewn around in magazines and writers’ boards as gospel—they will blink, especially after hearing the name, and look at you like you are an idiot. And if you buy into the whole system as it is now, you are an idiot.

If you have watched the evolution of this whole culture, you will see that all along each group has tried to say that their guidelines are the industry standards. Of course, they never totally agree with each other, sort of like the numerous Christian faiths, only with more venom. Or maybe not. Anyone who actually works in publishing who doesn’t like to perpetuate to the wannabe that there is a snowball’s chance in hell they will get published was blasted, discredited, and/or called a liar, incompetent, or a scammer. But if you watch the rules from these watchers, you will notice that there have been a lot of disclaimers added over the years. This is because they have said things they wish to be true, that in reality are totally off base in the real live working publishing world. So, quietly, some agent or editor informs them they are idiots, and, like a sheepish Microsoft programmer using a service release to fix MIE, the watchers slip in the updated information with some qualifier that some agents are, indeed, allowed to do this or that, never fully admitting that they got it totally wrong to start with.

What do you expect? These people are NOT agents or editors or anything, actually. They have no qualifications except they are writers who purport to be experts who care about poor wittle wannabes. Look, I have hobbies, too, that I have done for years. I have amassed information in these areas that would make me look like an expert, but I am not. And I know this because I have been around experts in those hobbies and I pale in comparison. Just because I have friends who are experts in the hobby who give me information doesn’t mean that I am an expert if I have never, ever worked in the field. NONE of the watch puppies have ever been agents or editors. Well, none of them have been LEGITIMATE agents or editors who have actually had success in the field, let’s put it that way.

So, we have a nice little game here. The watch groups and board monarchs and publishing entities based on selling shit to wannabes tell the newbies what they want to hear, and like the mob that went after Frankenstein, these poor souls have something they can focus their anger on instead of accepting the fact that their writing is too poor to make the cut.

The reason that agent didn’t take on my work is that he is incompetent or a scammer, based on the guidelines set forth by Tweedle-dee and Tweedle-dum and the aliens under my bed.”

Unfortunately, these people don’t set the industry standards like wannabes think they do, and most of us in the industry just smirk at this shit. Your common sense and your business acumen are supposed to set the standards, if you have any at all. As I said when I first started this blog, if you are not in publishing because you waited to have a family and have another life, then you don’t belong in publishing. My industry is not here for your self-gratification, and the idea that there is talent floating around out there in the masses just waiting to be discovered is the same fairytale perpetuated by Simon and the gang on American Idol. Here’s a clue: They don’t care about singers either; they just want the ratings and the paycheck for the exploitation of “talent.”

But now agents are fighting back, for better or worse. You can’t just say whatever you want about people because they are agents and YOU heard from so-and-so’s such and such that this agent or that agent is good or bad or sucks this or fondles that. It is wrong and possibly a crime. Another person committing a crime doesn’t justify your actions, no matter how altruistic you misguidedly believe your actions are. I have seen friends of mine who are hugely successful and honest agents blasted on these forums and sites and by the watchers in their twisted sense of right and wrong. How many times have these people in general had to back up and eat crow and qualify what they have said or written? How many times have boards had to dump threads because of the comments made there? I am sure that if anyone had asked prior to the Viswanathan debacle, no one would have said anything about that agency that represented that author, or even the packager (if you want to know who they are, you go do your own goddamn research). And maybe something needed to be said…do you think? Who was asleep on that one? Ladies? An explanation? Please?

I can tell you what wrong is, and that is letting people believe that you really know what you are talking about, when all you know is what you want to be true. You are not only misrepresenting yourself to them, but you aren’t being honest to yourself, either, and that means you need to grow up a little. Hey, I am a promiscuous, chauvinistic prick, who happens to be a hell of an agent, but I don’t lie about it and I know what I am. Quit pretending you understand the rules of the publishing game, when you aren’t even really playing.

Or, as we have seen, the umpire will throw you out.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Slim Pickins

Someone wrote and asked me to contribute what I thought was the "single best work of American fiction published in the last 25 years," as she is compiling a list. Perhaps it is too late to weigh in on this, but I am going to anyway because I am a stubborn bastard. So let me just say this…

No, it is NOT The da Vinci Code.

Have you heard the screams of protest about this book? About the movie? About Tom Hanks hair in the movie? It attacks Christianity’s very core, say the naysayers. It challenges the faith of the faithful, say the faithful. But, worst of all, it offers an opinion that is not the status quo and that pisses off a lot of guys who wear funny-looking dresses and, on special occasions, hats, too.

Why the fuck does anyone care about this crap?

I care because the book was so poorly written and made its fame on a concept or idea that had been written about before, just in a less glossy format. I think that sends a signal to publishers that readers in general are idiots and suckers for packaged glop, and as you can see, they listened. I give you Viswanathan and Frey and all the other hacks out there as examples. The sad thing is that most new writers today think that all you have to do is produce a book that looks like what sells; they have no idea what the hell that means. Viswanathan probably really thought she was “writing” a book. Frey probably thought it wouldn’t matter that he “embellished” because it was a good story, the truth be damned. That’s what readers want, isn’t it?

No, that’s what johns who patronize hookers want—the illusion that they are getting something a little more interesting than what the old spouse-a-roo at home can provide. Readers and lovably promiscuous agents like me don’t want to pay for what we know is available. So we find others ways to connect to the individuals who have the talents we want.

This is why publishing is going to hell. Publishers, like the literary whores they are, keep offering the same supposedly wicked decadence, packaged and re-packaged and then re-packaged again. Frey is an example. Why the hell did the reading public need yet another book about an addict? How original. Or why do we need another chick-lit novel with that oh-so-catchy fish-out-of-water plot? Publishers justify this crap because idiots keep buying it. And who are these idiots? Not just the lost souls in Oprah’s crowd. No, mostly wannabe writers stupid enough to buy this crap so they can see what they need to do to get published.

Has this rotten intrusion of the wannabe come full circle for you yet?

That’s right. They drive everything. Wannabes not only flood the market with their shit, but they also buy the shit that sustains the market. This is why there is an onsite bookstore at every writers’ conference and book exhibition in the universe. Real readers are left in the dust, while desperate nudges drive the markets by buying the sludge produced in an effort to copy it and make a million.

Speaking of sludge, back to Dan Brown’s contribution—it is making quite a splash with all this controversy and everyone screaming about its attack on Christianity because of some of the fictional (?) dirty little secrets it exposes about the history of Catholicism. Church clergy are up in arms that people might get the idea that religion isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, participating in boycotts, food strikes, calls to the director for more tickets, er, I mean for a disclaimer put on the film, etc.

Here’s a thought…maybe it isn’t. Maybe there are some people in this world who do not need religion—any religion—to have faith. Maybe these people don’t need a book to tell them how to treat others or a list of tenets specifying how not to be an asshole. Maybe there are people who live contented lives set within a spiritual confines that they feel suits them, without forcing everyone else on the planet to go along with their ideas.

Religion is like the publishing industry. There are always groups at the top—bookstores, publishers, distributors, watchgroups, etc.—trying to dictate what everyone else has access to and what they should think. The da Vinci Code, as fucked up as it is, was a hit because it addressed a question that was on everyone's minds--do I really need a religion to practice my faith? THAT'S what all the fuss is about, certainly not the writing or the story.

So I will not list Brown's work as my pick for best fiction in the last 25 years. I actually won't pick anything, because my choice would tag me, since it would be one of my client's books.

But, thanks, Mapletree, for asking.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

And Speaking of Actors Who Should Be Seen and Not Heard...

Okay, okay. I know I said I hate celebrities, but I hate morons even more. This recent spate of “Let’s hate Tom Cruise because he’s weird and seriously religiously fucked up” is too bizarre for words. I went and saw MI3, and it was what I expected: MI3. I like that shit, so I go see that shit. I do not go because TC is in it. I go because I usually get some pleasantly adrenalized nook from my date, who possibly likes TC, but since her hand was in my crotch and her mouth was somewhere near my ear, I prefer to think she just likes sitting in the dark with me in a place with a sound system so loud that no one can hear me groaning and her sucking my neck. Oh hell, I don’t think I could even tell you what the damn movie was about at this point, but there was a lot of shouting and gadgets. Coincidentally, there was a lot of shouting and gadgets after the movie ended and we went to her place. Go figure.

I read somewhere that TC’s approval rating is down. When did he become the fucking president? I don’t care if people like TC, but I definitely care that almost everyone hates Bushy, including foreign dignitaries, small children in Norway, and puppies. It’s the puppies that will get you every time.

I also read that women in particular are pissed off at Tommy-boy. Is it because he is no longer available? Nope, it’s because he seems to be controlling Katie’s mind, exerting his influence over her, and exposing her to the ways of Scientology. Hmmm, I thought Katie controlled Katie’s mind. And even if she doesn’t, rumor has it that when the tiny titan couple call it quitsies, she gets 40 million dollars to sooth her wounds and raise the fruit of the King of Grins loins in the style to which he was born to become accustomed. How many young ladies would like to say they wound up with a deal like that instead of having three kids by Homer the Goober who left them high and dry for Vonetta the blow-job princess of Central City High?

Anyway, I have seen worse things. Like a magazine that will pay millions of dollars for a picture of Brad and Angelina’s baby, but will pay a freelance writer about 25 cents a word—lower for fiction--for a hard few weeks work. Haven’t you guys taken the hint yet? Everyone gets more respect than writers, because everyone thinks that everyone can write. Editors and publishers know better, but it becomes a sweet and familiar rationalization, a sort of emotionally soothing KY jelly for those who are about to screw you up the ass on your publishing contract. For writers, though—and I mean real writers (see my post below)—it should be a call to arms.

Speaking of which, I’m being summoned to my bedroom.

How Sammy Got Tired of Bullshit Questions (about Opal and Blookers)

Will you people stop asking me to comment on Opal Mehta and Visawitha-whatshername? And this Maddox book deal? Jesus! Every day someone wants me to weigh in on this crap—again! Isn’t there anything else going on right now? I’ve told you a hundred times that publishing is going the way of the entertainment biz--all gloss and no hope--but writers still seem shocked when the shit hits the fan and some white elephantine truth is revealed. Or when some “satiric” blogger gets a book deal offered by some idiot publisher who thinks more in terms of hit numbers than rationality.

I mean, it seems logical, doesn’t it? All those hits on so-and-so’s blog translates to sales numbers, won’t it? Said blogger has an audience, right? No, dumbfuck, blog numbers translate into sales about as well as Greek translates into Appalachian. You will get a wave of sub-idiots buying up the book, but then the second wave will never arrive. Why? Because site statistics are like any statistics—they can be manipulated to say what anyone wants them to say. Just because someone visits your blog on a regular basis doesn’t mean that person is going to buy a book. Most fans are fair-weather. When the content is free, it’s hilarious and ground-breaking and fabulous, but when cash is involved, the content is amusing, but not worth $15. Think I’m wrong? Ask Howard Stern what he thinks. Unfortunately, the bozo publishers who make these deals apparently don’t read entertainment news, because they haven’t figured out that publishing is part of the entertainment industry yet.

Or, in the case of Opal, just package what you think little kiddies want to read and watch the sales numbers go up. Make it slick and glossy, put some sex and drugs in it, give it a madcap adventure or a really depressing teen angst plot, and then watch it sell like Real World on MTV. Forget there are real kids out there who don’t give a fuck if Opal gets into Harvard, because they will barely graduate from high school. How about some science fiction or fantasy for those poor souls? Preferably with some alien sex, big titties, and a huge moral dilemma that faces mankind, which is never fully resolved without more alien sex and more big titties. None of these actual readers wants to spend money on a book about a dipshit who is still so immature that she doesn’t know how to balance work and play, especially when their lives are going to be nothing but work. Sounds like an editor reliving her childhood, not the escapist therapy the average reader needs to keep going.

Figure it out, why don’t you? Even you published still wannabe authors…figure it the fuck out! Getting published has never been about the writer. Oh, it has seemed to be, but it’s not. When a great book gets accidentally published, what are readers to assume? That it was packaged just like all the other glop out there? No. The assumption is that this book must have been one that was MEANT to be written by that gifted, talented person, someone that the literary muses felt they needed to bless and get out to the masses to influence generations upon generations of hungry readers.

Oh, what happy horseshit.

Do you even know what a real writer is? No, it is not someone who likes to write. Nor is it a professional or published writer necessarily. It sure as fuck isn’t a wannabe (new name coming soon). A real writer is someone who is born to put words on paper—his/her brain is wired that way. These people live in a special world none of us can possibly understand, where words represent the very soul of the universe, and their life’s blood flows in a rhythmical procession of letters, numbers, and punctuation marks, to a beat all its own, one that is unique among all living creatures. A writer is someone who will always, no matter what, go back to the words, the language, and the story. Through thick and thin, devastation and jubilation, the writer knows that his best friends are the words that comfort, fight, depress, and rejuvenate him. When all else is gone, words remain. They rebuild; they construct. Some destroy. But there are always the words for these people. Yes, a writer is language’s fraternal twin, not just someone who writes because its fun or it makes him money or it is his job.

There are very few actual talented writers out there—those who are born to write. Some of them will never be published, which would appear to be tragic until you consider that these scribes are happy just scribing, publishing credits be damned.

On a final note: A real writer can make you laugh, can make you cry, and can make you read until your eyes bleed or fall out. Real writers can change the course of history, cause wars, make peace, end famines, and elect a new pope. Most importantly, a real writer can get laid through his words alone.

How do you stack up to that?

PS My advice to K.Viswa/Opal: If Oprah’s people call, don’t accept the invitation…

Monday, May 01, 2006

Wanted: Greedy Celebrity Limpdicks (or Actors Should Be Seen and Not Heard)

God, I hate celebrities even more than I hate writers. Why? Because every fucking celebrity is a wannabe writer in disguise, that’s why. Someone can win four Oscars, two Tony awards, and a Grammy, but somehow he is just not happy until he adds the title of author to his collection of accolades. Assholes.

It’s not that I haven’t worked with arrogant snots who have had ghostwriters basically write entire tomes that were supposed to be written by the snot himself (and whose ghosters get a “with so-and-so” byline), and it’s not that I haven’t worked deals where celebrities played a major role. I can take it when some limpdick action hero wants me to sell his autobiography, which is actually a memoir although Limpdick doesn’t know the difference, because he just wants the fame and glory and monola, if you get my drift. What I can’t stand is these fucked up high-on-themselves celebrities who believe their own bullshit—that I cannot take. Why? Because it will soon turn into some kind of book idea, and then they will call me, and then I will have to tell Angelina directly to her face that I think she needs therapy--bad--not a writing credit. And then she will cry and I will, for about five seconds, feel badly that I hurt her wittle peewings.

Until I think of all the money she doesn’t pay taxes on and then I will tell her to go fuck herself.

Half-wit celebrities, for some reason, land at my door. The morons who just need another self-aggrandizing tool are fine; they fit the greedy cocksucker mold nicely. I can deal with greedy cocksuckers. However, when these celebrities start to take themselves seriously, I get into trouble. Let’s just say that laughing at actors who are known all over the world but who can’t write a sentence doesn’t play well with their “people,” or whatever it is you call the troupe of yes-persons who traipse in with them and kneel in worship as they speak.

What brought on this rant, you ask? I saw a headline on CNN about George Clooney and his stance against the genocide that is happening in Darfur. So who gives a fuck? About George Clooney, not about the genocide. Since when did actors take the place of ordinary citizens, trained diplomats, and statesmen? Never. Does George Clooney have a degree n poly-sci? Does he have a degree in anything? Yes? No? Who would know? We don’t expect actors to have degrees because they only need to be qualified in the field of acting, not in nuclear physics. Have a degree from Juliard? Super. You are qualified to act or direct or be a really interesting stripper. But take a defiant stance against the atrocities in Africa or wherever? Are you acting a part, or do you really have an opinion that a PR person didn’t hand you? Most of the the smart entertainers keep their big mouths shut—I give you Sharon Stone and Kris Kristofferson, who are both Rhode Scholars. George and the hoards of celebs who showed up at the Darfur rally aren’t qualified to adequately provide solutions to the problems in Africa any more than George Bush is, or any of his cabinet. Therefore, he is just expressing an opinion like Joe Average on the street. But does Joe Average get his name headlined on CNN? No, because we worship celebrities and have elevated them to the status of all-knowing, when all they know is how to be celebrities, and some of the really stupid ones even fuck that up.

And what happened to Joe Average? Why in the hell are you spending your time letting celebrities fight your battles for you? Why does the opinion of some dipshit who accidentally fucked his polygamist brother's third wife and became father to his own nephew and wrote a book about it (with a foreword by L. Ron Hubbard) count more than yours just because everyone remembers his name? Does Congress not listen to anyone unless they have a name? Publishers don't, but the federal government is supposed to be different. Even a lowly promiscuous, well-hung, sexy beast of an agent like me is supposed to have an opinion that matters in DC, not just NYC or LA, or even SD (Huh?).

I am tired of being in an industry where everyone wants to get published so that people will listen to what they have to say. Our current celebrity lustfest promotes this shit and ultimately that shit drips down on my head. Reality shows that make Annie Nobody into somebody for fifteen minutes only add to the garbage pile filled with the souls of those who seek fame and never get it, or get it only briefly enough to let it damage them and ruin their lives. This recent wave of socially conscious celebs is especially atrocious. I know that all you touchy feelies out there, the ones who haunt the writer boards in search of some wannabe who needs comfort when some big bad editor rejects him, will be pissed, but let me say this: it must be goddamn nice to be able to go off to have your kid anywhere you want because you have billions of dollars and can rent entire hotels where you don’t have to be around the people you actually purport to help. I am talking about Angelina and Brad, who are in hiding in Namibia, where the president of the country has decreed that they should be left in peace while they await the birth of J-P Junior. Fuck them. Anyone who is so into their cause needs to get out there and live among the people who need their help, which, by the way, if all these socially conscious celebs gave away just half of the zillions of buckaroos they get for standing around and being admired, there would be no one needing help anywhere in Africa.

But it never gets that far, does it?

Just like the writer who can’t wait to dedicate his book to his mom, his dad, his wife, his kids, his ex-boss, etc., and then ends up dedicating the damn thing to himself (yes, there are writers who would if they could), celebs who start to take themselves too seriously forget that the only reason they got where they are is that someone paid money to see them act, possibly even by accident. Writers are the same way. Anymore, there are just as many published writers who act like wannabes after they get that all important publishing credit, and, again, the industry has gone straight to shit because of them. Because of people who want to be loved no matter what they do or whatever schlock they produce in an effort to find themselves—they want to be loved as writers but be able to stretch and grow and do what they want. Unfortunately, being loved is a responsibility, in case no one ever told you, wannabes, and sometimes that means doing what others need you to do.

In others words, George and Angelina and Brad and Madonna and Tom and Katie on and on and on, don’t call me…

I’ll call you.