How to lose a reader in 250 words or less*

I bought a Fun Popular Book based on a Hipster Blog. Well actually my friend bought it, but she justified the expense of a hardcover by saying she would lend it to me. I decided to read a little bit of it as a break from editing text about kill curves (not as fun as they sound).

Hipster Blogger writes about how she thinks her new male friend is gay until he kisses her “And then he … was very concerned to learn that I equated gay people with vests…(Years later, gay friends would point out that that sentence alone proves just how little I knew about gay men at the time, and that I had obviously confused ‘acid-washed vests’ with ‘assless chaps’…Then we all laugh[ed] and order[ed] another round and toast[ed] to how great it is to have fun, gay male friends. Hint: It’s awesome. Go find some right now. Gay people are just like you and me, except better.”

Um, hi, Hipster Blogger. If by “you” you mean “me”, I AM gay. Or, rather, I am bi. And I’m putting down the book and stepping away. You might think you’re being cute and funny, but it’s really just alienating and homophobic.

That’ll teach me to read when I’m supposed to be working. What books have pissed you off lately?

*Don’t even bother with the less/fewer argument. “Less” sounds better, it’s ninety degrees in my house, my dog is impersonating a dead thing, and I still have two hours before I can justify an ice-cold beer.



3 responses to “How to lose a reader in 250 words or less*

  1. The heat just moved past us here in Chicago after keeping me awake for days and causing me to wonder “What’s that smell?” a few times too many. I feel your pain.

    As for that stupid book, my jaw dropped before I got to your response to that passage. If this was on a blog first, it makes me wonder if she has any true friends who care enough to point out the truth, or if she ignores them.

    I haven’t been pissed off lately by a book, but I was pissed off by Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner’s words in a recent interview I read in the Chicago Tribune. He seemed to think that the idea of a woman being asked to perform as a prostitute for the good of the company she works for, wasn’t such a big deal. To paraphrase him, he said ‘he didn’t understand what the big stink was about — he’d be flattered if someone asked that sort of thing from him, but he knew no one ever would.’ I became a little embarrassed that I was a fan of the show.

    I know he’s more interested in writing stories about the way people really are, warts and all, but that statement (and a couple of less offensive, but strange, ones) made me think that he’s actually just been lucky, and not as talented as I thought he was. Maybe he writes jerks so well because he is one.

    • Heat in the North is worse than heat in the South because no one has AC! They don’t know how to cope up here. (I’m originally from the South.)

      Was it the assless chaps?

      I had a male friend who once told me he envied his women friends because they could walk into a bar and be the center of attention and/or get laid if they wanted. So I think men sometimes have a pretty unrealistic view of what it’s like to be a woman in our society. But that’s a pretty appalling statement from Weiner.

      It’s an interesting question from an entertainment point of view: Are jerks sometimes more interesting to watch on TV or read about?

      • 🙂 Assless chaps actually sound interesting. A short list of male movie stars is going through my mind as I write this.

        My jaw always seems to drop when people make strange sounding pronouncements the way she did, without seeming to be serving a purpose except to ‘hear’ her own voice for its own sake. I’m weirded-out any time someone feels the need to write but never feels the need to actually listen to themselves or anyone else. I’ve been trying to shake my tendency to be put off by that sort of thing, but now that I think of it, I probably need it for my writing.

        I’ve been wondering about that question, too. When they’re well written, jerks certainly seem to grab our attention more often than the ‘nice’
        characters do.

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