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.
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
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.
which is why I'm glad I didn't see it at all - sometimes it helps not to have *everyone* friended on LJ ;)
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
And what an A+ trainwreck it is.
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...
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.
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.