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Bum Coverage [Jan. 19th, 2009|12:51 pm]
dalekboy
[Tags|]
[mood |cynicalcynical]

I've finally figured out what really bothered me about Ben Peek's hitting back at Russell's negative review of his book.

Ben thinks he was told of this bias against him by someone who then commented they don't remember doing so. They don't say they didn't tell him this, just that they don't remember doing it. And they mention that a lot of people had it in for Ben at the time.

So Ben's justification for his response is based on hearsay at best.
But it could easily be him mis-remembering what he was told, and about who, since he's not even sure who told him in the first place.
Or it could all be bullshit on Ben's part so that he feels he looks justified in acting pissy.

The silly thing is, Ben's single line comment on the review - "--though I suppose calling it a review might be a little kind." - is all that needed to be said. It made his point beautifully without making himself look like a dick.

He hasn't heard that Russell had it in for him from Russell himself, and the problem with basing such a response on undeclared personal bias is that the supposed bias is undeclared. There's no proof it ever existed, so there's no proof that he's justified in hitting out at Russell.

Given how he once went after someone he felt had no proof to back up their claims, it's all a bit hypocritical.

But this sets a nasty precendent. If someone tells him, either mistakenly, or falsely, that I want to have his love-child, then by his previous criteria for accuracy it must be true, and he's free to react accordingly without a shred of proof to back him up.

Ben, I have no undeclared urge to have your babies. Or even to have sex with you. Please never attempt to shag me.

Nothing personal dude, just covering my arse.
linkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: robinpen
2009-01-19 03:09 am (UTC)
Don't cover that beautiful arse.

I got involved in this in a peripheral way (and made two new lj buddies) but it was all dog's bollocks from beginning to end.
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[User Picture]From: angriest
2009-01-19 03:13 am (UTC)
But isn't it always? There was a beautiful moment of clarity yesterday, when I scrolled down from one of the many posts on the subject to see this post.
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[User Picture]From: dalekboy
2009-01-19 03:16 am (UTC)
See, I did want to have your love-child, but then you went and spoiled it by getting married.

Though I still think everyone who doesn't want to have sex with Ben needs to do a post telling him, just in case.
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[User Picture]From: mortonhall
2009-01-19 03:29 am (UTC)

which is why I'm glad I didn't see it at all - sometimes it helps not to have *everyone* friended on LJ ;)
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[User Picture]From: crankynick
2009-01-19 05:22 am (UTC)
So Ben's justification for his response is based on hearsay at best.
But it could easily be him mis-remembering what he was told, and about who, since he's not even sure who told him in the first place.


Mind you, we also haven't had a denial from Russ that this is what he said - and if you check his first post about it, even the title would tend to indicate that it did, in fact, happen.

But I think you're reading a little much into it - I hit the 26lies tag on his lj, to see how he dealt with other critical reviews: pretty much part of a pattern.

While there was not accusation of hidden agendas, he did say the reviewer was stupid, didn't understand the book and wrote his review badly.

Or it could all be bullshit on Ben's part so that he feels he looks justified in acting pissy.

My money's on this.

ETA - deleted then reposted to fix some busted html and reorder my thoughts.
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[User Picture]From: battblush
2009-01-19 05:53 am (UTC)
Why should Russell deny it? Why dignify Peek's assertions with any sort of statement? Russell had an opinion, he expressed it. Peek decided to make an issue of it. This is Peek being Peek. Let him be and in time he'll move on.
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[User Picture]From: dalekboy
2009-01-19 06:10 am (UTC)
Well, if Russell did say such a thing, it was very silly of him. At the same time, Ben still heard it second hand. And I've been around long enough to see people deliberately stirring the pot with false info, again and again - by stating such-and-such said this, and then watching the fireworks.

My money is on the bullshit as well, but I wanted to cover all the possibilities.

And my arse.
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[User Picture]From: magnapops
2009-01-19 05:27 am (UTC)
One of Todays Quotes:

The artist doesn't have time to listen to the critics. The ones who want to be writers read the reviews, the ones who want to write don't have the time to read reviews.
- William Faulkner
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[User Picture]From: davidcook
2009-01-19 05:48 am (UTC)
I wonder if there'd be as much fuss over benpeek if the Kevin Reardon trainwreck wasn't going on at the moment (see here and here and here).

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[User Picture]From: dalekboy
2009-01-19 06:13 am (UTC)
There's been others as well, recently, though the Reardon is the most extreme example.

Ben Peek is the Lawrence Miles of Australian. I like his stuff, but am tired of the cooler / tougher / smarter / badder than thou act.

All the genuinely cool, etc. etc. people I've ever known, didn't feel the need to keep telling people.
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[User Picture]From: strangedave
2009-01-19 09:34 am (UTC)
You are bang on with the Lawrence Miles comparison. The cooler/smarter than thou act -- and the obvious taking things too personal that makes it clear that its an act.

The hearsay is annoying, and in part because it is exactly the sort of obsession with 'the scene' and its politics that Peek often claims to avoid - just like the whole Jonathon thing.
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[User Picture]From: paul_ewins
2009-01-19 06:25 am (UTC)
And what an A+ trainwreck it is.
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From: ex_benpayne119
2009-01-19 09:44 am (UTC)
To clarify, to the best of my memory what happened was this: Russ, after having read the book, told me he was gonna write a negative review of it, which I remarked on in passing to Peek. At the time the review was gonna be coming out in the near future so was hardly a big secret. I told Peek cos I knw he'd find it fun. I think Russ enjoyed the thought his review might stir Ben, and I think Ben liked the idea of it too. It was the style of the time and I think it was more good-natured stirring than any real animosity from either of them.

I thought Peek's point in his post was simply that he found it funny that Russ had held it in for three years, which is a bit of a throwaway line that made me chuckle, but hardly a serious complaint. I think the various people who jumped into the debate seem to have taken it more seriously than either Ben or Russ...
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[User Picture]From: dalekboy
2009-01-19 10:49 am (UTC)
Not much I can add to that, but thanks for the clarification.

I suppose one problem is that Ben seems to actively court attention, so of course people are going to notice or react. And as stated above, the timing is probably unfortunate given the Reardon blow-up.
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[User Picture]From: punkrocker1991
2009-01-19 11:44 am (UTC)
This will be my one and only clarification.

I don't deny the conversation didn't happen, I just can't remember it happening -- this isn't out of the ordinary, my mind has been through a bit in the last two years. And it has only been 2 years: the book came out in November 2006, so there's very little chance I read it before early 2007.

When I read it, I didn't like it, and I don't think I made much secret of that. I was going to write the review, then got ill. While it makes a good story that I spent 3 years putting together those 3 paragraphs, the truth is that I've had far more pressing concerns over that time, like getting my health back.

When I felt able to start doing things like reviewing again, I went back and re-read a large amount of 26 lies, to see if my opinion had changed over time. I hadn't, so I wrote the review. The mistake everyone has made is assuming that I have control over what reviews get published at ticon -- Liz in the reviews editor, and she has total autonomy. She rejected outright my first draft, and rightly so, it wasn't very good. At this point I figured that an ordinary book didn't merit an extraordinary review, and wrote the perfunctory piece that seems to have raised the hoo-ha. It's not the best review I've written, but given it's the first review I've been able to write in 2 years, I'm happy to have made this progress.

I realise that making this statement just sets things up for another round, but am already moving on. I have books to sell, books to publish, websites to maintain, better books to read and review, and I'm not going to beat myself up over a handful of paragraphs.
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