RARA-AVIS: The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Mad Dogs

From: Kevin Burton Smith ( kvnsmith@thrillingdetective.com)
Date: 08 May 2008

SPCMD Chairman Patrick wrote:

> As you know perfectly well, Kevin, vitriolic attacks
> on eminent authors with no bearing on any of their
> actual writing does not constitute an "opinion."

They don't?

Is that some kin of anti-semantic remark?

Um, you should read my posts sometimes. I did mention the editing (of which there seems to be an increasing lack) in Ellroy's books and how his prose style has become increasingly over-the-top and self- indulgent, even as the page count of his books has soared.

Maybe I'm wrong, but that DOES seem to me to be about his writing. And not particularly vitriolic. Critical? Maybe. Disappointed? Yes.

And somewhere in the Rara archives a few years back, I went on about his then-recent series of short stories in GQ, which several of us -- not just me -- found rather disappointing. Again, the discussion was mostly about his writing. It's not the sort of in-depth writing workshop analysis or academic autopsy you seem to be demanding (but have never really delivered yourself), but again it did revolve mostly around his writing. You could look it up.

And if I've made too big a deal of poor old James' promotional schtick, well, gee, that's too bad. Granted, the pantie-sniffing B&E stories and all the rest were sorta amusing for the first five hundred years or so, but it's long since devolved into self-parody . Still, he's the Mad Dog, delighting in confrontation and controversy -- he should be able to take it.

After all, it's hard to believe a man who would address a crowd of moviegoers at a film festival, as he did a few weeks ago in Hollywood, by loudly proclaiming "Hello, perverts and pussies," is such a sensitive soul. And you know, as a former and hopefully future fan of his actual work, I still think he might surprise us, if he wanted to.

then again, since "eminent" authors are no longer fair game, how about if we just offer vitriolic attacks on self-proclaimed writers whose chief writing "accomplishment" seems to be a MySpace page?

Would that be better?

Kevin http://thrillingdetectiveblog.blogspot.com/

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