Monday, January 12, 2015

Nora Roberts Is Right to Say "Bite Me"

Controversy. There's always controversy on the interwebs, the latest being a blog post by La Nora Herself.

First of all, I admire her incredible work ethic and her prolific career.

Secondly, the reason I have one of her trilogies is the books were a gift from one of my legal secretaries, who knew I loved paranormal romances. I won't ever get rid of them because I appreciated my sectary's thoughtfulness.

Finally, I did learn quite a bit as far as craft went by reading her books.

Unfortunately, the lovely gift books weren't my normal taste. But I would never DREAM of going to Ms. Roberts' Facebook page or her blog and tell her they suck. That's her space for her fans.

And I'd like to think I'd never be so rude as to go into someone else's space and tell them they suck.

Yet a few weeks ago, someone did exactly that on Ms. Roberts' Facebook page. She laid out her policy regarding comments, only to have someone do it again on Christmas Eve when she was trying to spend time with her family and not think about work. So she reiterated her policy more firmly in a blog post entitled, "Bite Me". The gist of the post was that her blog and FB page were for her fans, and that any criticism or critique of her work is appropriately made in reviews.

For some strange reason, Ms. Roberts' post is causing a shitstorm among writers more than readers. How dare she alienate readers! How dare she think she's above criticism! By the way, none of which she actually said. The whole thing scarily reminds me of the Fake Geek Girl controversy last year, where certain people thought they should be the ones to decide who was a true sf/f fan and who wasn't.

My personal view is that Ms. Roberts is totally correct. Not that she needs my approval by any stretch of the imagination. But fan places are exactly that--fan places. No one has a right to determine who's allowed on a webpage except the administrator of that page. If you misbehave, you'll get blocked.

As for the people who feel the need to express their negative opinions? They can have their opinions. No one is saying they can't. And there's plenty of places where they can express that opinion. But when you deliberately go to a fan site and diss the thing people are fans of, the only reason you're doing it is to cause trouble.

There's a phrase for people like that--DRAMA QUEENS.

Oh, and before you decide to comment here with some bullshit about your First Amendment rights, you'd better be prepared to cite the particular federal case you're using to support your argument. Otherwise, I WILL delete your comment.


  1. It's amazing -- and tiring -- how many people think that the First Amendment gives them the right to speak their mind in my livingroom. :/ Even ignoring the issue about how it's the government that's constitutionally prevented from silencing people, not individuals or companies or whoever, too many folks seem to think that their right to speak implies an obligation on the part of others to listen, whenever and wherever these self-absorbed people feel like speaking, and that ignoring them, or disagreeing with them, or kicking them off of private property, is a violation of their free speech rights. [huge freaking eyeroll]

    I bet they'd be the first ones to call the cops if some loudmouth they disagree with stood on their lawn and started ranting through a bullhorn aimed at their bedroom window. And rightly so, despite the hypocrisy.

    Same thing with personal web sites. Or web sites owned by private companies. Why is this so hard to grasp? [sigh]

    Oh, and a favorite quote of mine, by Jim Hines -- "Freedom of speech doesn't protect you from the consequences of saying stupid shit." That's gold right there. I want it on a T-shirt. :)


    1. Jim needs to put out the t-shirt. I'd buy a couple,

      Yeah, trashing someone in their own space right up there with "I was just trying to help" when someone puts me down.

      I've been lucky because I'm not well known. Any really egregious crap I can count on one hand and I delete/block it right away. There's no reason on earth to LET someone you like crap.