The one thing that writing books has taught me is that people like me are not expected to write books. At first you don’t seem to notice and then you start to see a pattern but you just think to yourself that you’re being paranoid but eventually the evidence becomes so overwhelming that you’re forced to accept the fact that there is a certain type of citizen that seems to think of writing books as their birthright.
It’s really unbelievable when you look at who is publishing books and where they went to college. I would say, conservatively, that 98% of all books written in North America were written by someone who attended an Ivy League school. And of those 79% went to Harvard.
It’s like some sort of club. Sons and daughters of privilege graduating and then taking jobs at The New Yorker or some other magazine that Daddy has connections at until they’ve spent a few months grinding their way through 30 hour workweeks and cocktail parties and are ready to write their first book. Their pens literally dripping with the ink of entitlement.
They will call a friend of a frat buddy who will hook them up with some empty-headed agent who will handle the terms of their fat advance and then they will call their pal who is now at the New York Times to make sure their book is reviewed glowingly the moment it is released. This cycle will continue into their mid-20’s when they can retire and do something else they’ve wanted to try like being an actor, politician, rock star or professional wind surfer.
If you doubt me spend a few minutes looking up people on Facebook. Anyone who has anything to do with publishing will have attended Harvard and will have the exact same friends list as everyone else in the publishing game. It’s so fucking annoying. All these handsome/pretty/perky faces beaming at you with some breathtaking backdrop lurking in the background showing everyone where they spent their last vacation .
What do these upper-class douche bags know about being funny? When I read a book or magazine I don’t want droll or wry, I want to actually laugh. Is there any fate worse than being trapped in a room with a collection of these pretentious pseudo-intellects as they smirk and sneer and talk about the “fly over” states and how funny it was when Chip and Muffy accidentally ran over that Mexican fellow a few summers back on Cape Cod?
What is truly infuriating about the whole thing is how we the consumers buy into it. Fuck these perfect little people, their perfect little lives and especially their low expectations of anyone who didn’t graduate from an Ivy League school. I get to feeling that Revenge of the Nerds tingle in my stomach and want to channel my inner Lewis: ” We have news for the beautiful people. There’s a lot more of us then there are of you.”
Except life doesn’t work like the movies. The beautiful people just throw in a few endings like that to keep us from grabbing torches and burning their little kingdoms to the ground. In real life they control every step of the process. From the time you submit your work without an Ivy League seal of approval on the envelope to the time you’ve deleted your 150th rejection e-mail for the day you are playing in their arena. You imagine it in your head, this group of sweater-wearing dickbags huddled around tittering as they make various horrified faces at the names of the cities that the most recent submissions have trickled in from. “Des Moines?! When did they get the internet?!” Titter scoff titter.
You just want, somehow, to let these smug fuckfaces know that you’ve looked behind the curtain and there is nothing there. They are no more smart or witty or insightful than anyone you’d meet at a corner bar.
You have no idea how much I hope that the coming eBook revolution is everything I want it to be. Imagine these jerkoffs having to actually go through the same hell that the rest of us who have dared to write a book have had to go through. They would wilt like day-old flowers in the face of the never-ending ego-humping, self-esteem-battering shitstorm that we call a typical day.
In the end I realize that whining about it is a bit pathetic and no more helpful than the wannabe-hippies that tried to ‘Occupy’ Wallstreet thinking that they could make any difference but at some point the 99% get a little tired of being forced-fed the idea that writing is a pursuit better left to those born with silver spoons and expensive laptops.
How can you help? Buy my book. Then buy one for all your friends. Then ask them to do the same. Then I can get a deal, go on talk shows and make fun of peasants like yourself.