Saturday, February 19, 2011

I have an overrated writers list and you can be on it.

I'm just some jack-off nobody's ever heard of. Thanks to the internet, though, I have a blog. And I can use it to awe you with the depth of my profound insight into the human condition. Or vent every arrogant, ill-informed opinion I hatch up just as fast as I can concoct them. These things are not mutually exclusive. One man's epiphany is another man's enema, and the best way to get people reading your shit is by pissing them off.

Right, so I bet you're wondering what this is about.

Okay, some guy[1] nobody's heard of, a few months ago, wrote an article[2] listing a bunch of writers he thought were way overrated, and nobody had ever heard of (except Amy Tan). Everybody, but everybody, read this list. (By everybody, I mean dozens of people.) And there was much internet drama over it on several websites for, like, three days. Which is a really long time on the internet. Especially for literary controversy, because there are only about seventeen people on the planet that actually care and it's pretty much guaranteed that something really important will happen, like Gawker posting pictures of a drunk Paris Hilton making out with Justin Bieber, and all lesser disputes will be sucked into the undertow as servers quake in the face of the ensuing drama tsunami.

Cue present day: some other guy[3] nobody's heard of posted his own list[4] of overrated writers on his blog, including pictures and snarky little paragraphs reminiscent of the original list.

To which any normal person would go, "Haha, I see what he did there." Or, "Um, yeah, okay. Next. *click*"

But this is the internet.

Commence literary slap fight.

Team Unicorns and Rainbows thinks writing is really fucking hard and people should be supportive of each other and, shit, if you can't say something nice why don't you shut the fuck up already.

Team Brutal Honesty thinks that we should all stop with the nicey-nicey because this lauding and praising is degrading literary quality and cheapening us all. Also, review outlets are pussies and don't have the balls to publish real criticism.

Me, I don't have an ideological stand. I'm lazy and selfish and of the opinion that life is too short to read shit I don't enjoy. And way too short to write thousands (or even hundreds) of words explaining why I thought it sucked. And way way too short to get into bitch fights over it on the internet.

That said, I've got my own list of overrated writers on Twitter. Because nobody[5] should have to feel like they aren't awesome enough to be called overrated by some schmuck on the internet.

[1] Anis Shivani
[2] The 15 Most Overrated Contemporary American Writers (Huffington Post)
[3] Jason Jordan
[4] 5 Overrated Writers (Jason Jordan and His Blog)