Corrections, Amendments, Omissions, Apologies, Get-Backs

So I’ve been at this blogging thing for a few months now, and judging from my comments sections, it would seem I’ve messed up kind of a lot. Which is to be expected, I suppose, as my personality is composed of equal parts naivety and ego — a mixture conducive to blanket statements that I can’t ever quite back up. So I’ve decided to issue some retractions in today’s post, and also to defend myself a little bit where I feel it’s warranted.

First off, though, here is a hyper-linked list of what you should probably be reading right now instead of this blog – the year’s best books thus far, variously endorsed by Amazon, publishing house PR people, or myself.

Okay. What I’ve been nailed with most have been statements that I should ‘do more research.’ In fact, that’s a weak paraphrase, so I’ll give some of the juicier examples:

Anonymous: "Maybe [the death of criticism is] due to the lack of credibility and factual reporting in journalism…for example, [REDACTED]…so you can remove that tired example from your essay. All it takes is a bit of research rather then lazy comparisons to make a piece compelling."

Lane: "[REDACTED]…You should have done more research instead of choosing to express more of the unending contumely put forward for hits. You failed to prove your point with this pedantic effort."


Ouch, right? Let’s take a breath. Both of those are from the piece entitled, "Are All Critics Obsolete?" in which I copycat Jeremy Iggers’ post from the same week, and pontificate a bit as to whether cultural critics are necessary and/or heeded anymore.

Now, I admit that even one false fact can indeed ruin a piece of journalism, and that I let slip a falsity in this particular piece (whether this is journalism or not is another issue…more like journalizm). I said, incorrectly, that this is a country where "Clay Aiken rules the radio," and did so in a derogatory manner. (The redacted sections: "Clay Aiken DOESN’T get played on the radio" and "Clay Aiken rules the radio? What radio stations are you listening to?" and there are a half-dozen other identical call-outs).

And it’s true, I neglected to check the billboard charts for that week. I have no real defense, but to say I assumed that, given Aiken’s vast, loyal following, there would be enough momentum behind the guy to get him on the airwaves. Apparently his fans are as obsolete as I am. (Ahh, another Aiken throwaway joke. Bring on your predictable backlash.)

In short, I apologize for saying that Clay Aiken ‘rules the radio,’ when in fact he doesn’t.

Does this ruin my credibiliy?

Trick question! I had none to begin with. (Short answer: probably)

More seriously, the first essay/article/blog I did for "Cracking Spines" was perhaps the most ambitious, and the most errant. And for this I’d like to offer sincere apologies as to not looking at our libraries closely enough, in terms of circulations rates, patronization, et al. Certainly the library system is in much better shape than it was a few years ago before The Merger, and seems to be continuing its improvement. Every time I go to do some work at the Downtown branch, I become more impressed with it, and have even bought a fashionable Minneapolis Public Library t-shirt from their gift shot (just $5!), and wear it with something like pride.

Moving right along…Hipster Literature:

I still like McSweeney’s, but that doesn’t absolve them of publishing things like this Stephen King novella. There was one very astute commenter on that piece who absolutely cowed me, and to him/her I say well done.

Barnes and Ignoble:

Having gone to a couple Barnes and Noble readings post-posting, I’m led to believe that – due to paltry turn-outs – Magers and Quinn’s enthusiastic reading community is indeed a better spot for touring authors.

Also, I got a comment about the links in that article…it was sort of a joke, misdirecting them everywhere. As was my excitement about Mario Lopez. Sarcasm and meta-sarcasm. My humor fell into a sarchasm…

Oh that’s bad.

This is an addendum. Last week there was an article in the New York Times about a business whose service is to provide author blurbs for a fee, regardless of how good a book is or isn’t.

Finally, in my post about the conspiracies surrounding Vincent Bugliosi’s new book, a commenter was wise enough to inform me that Ben and Jerry’s do not, in fact, get their milk from Canada. Which means that my theory about global warming being a scam put on by B & J to boost the Canadian GDP is – prepare to be shocked here – false. Thanks for getting to the bottom of that one, Anonymous. You’re a great watchdog.

Here‘s how it’s done.

To those that are still here, I just want to say thanks for reading. I very much appreciate all the feedback – positive and otherwise – much of it is incredibly well-thought out, and delves deeper than I am capable. Cheers.