||[Jan. 19th, 2009|12:51 pm]
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.
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.
I don't deny that Ben does to some extent create the reactions he gets...
Unlike I, who am always faultless and pure!
It must make it all the more annoying when people mistake you for him!
It's like mistaking a peaceful lamb of the hills for a slavering corpse-buggering wolf-thing!
Everybody behaves like a bit of a dick occasionally (and I've been the poster child for that statement over the years) - but people who own up to that dickery and deal with the consequences, rather than looking ways to excuse and cover for it, are even rarer a breed than the odd perfect individual.
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.
I'm going to hold you to the moving on thing. If you don't, you'll get such a smack!
That's fair enough. I never thought there was any more to it than that.