h = o = t   +   i = n = k

call and response

o n Wednesday, Hot Ink published a short indictment of Seattle media's coverage of local book news. The letters we received in response were interesting, if not particularly illuminating. We received news JOURNALIST John Marshall read the story... and we're hoping for his response, next week!

Date: Thu, 7 Aug 1997 18:24:04 -0700
From: Rachel Langon []
Hey Hot Ink,
So what if Seattle papers don't cover literature the way you think it should be covered? I think there's a lot of value in having a top ten list, or a top twenty list, especially the way they did it, with a collection of writers.
There has been far too much censorship in the last century, and I think once you make reviewers put their oboxious personal opinions into a book review, you are actually allowing them to censor a book (or part of a book) they don't like.
This way is much more egalitarian. John Marshall had the (w)rite idea; Hot Ink was off base. If you're not publishing EVERYONE's opinion, you're excluding someone.
-- Rachel Langon

INK (Robyn Taobene): Censorship is one thing. But stupidity and mediocrity is quite another. We'd prefer to contend with actual censors, instead of mindless journalists, getting paid far too much for feeding us pap. Egalitarian? Is this a code word for the rule of the masses? I'm all for communism, but not for the dictatorship of the mundane.
Date: Thu, 7 Aug 1997 14:24:04 -0700
From: Peter Lundstrom []
Ms. Taobene is irked that Seattle mainstream media fail to produce meaty book reviews. Well, her pique is as nothing compared to mine. I'm a veritable Mt. St. Helen's of dudgeon, both high and low, smouldering 24X7 because:
1. MacDonald's actively refuses to do escargot
2. Denny's slings its eggs fried when it could be presenting delicate baby asparagus souffles
3. Not one of John Grisham's books treats of Ahab and The Whale.
4. Clip art all looks so much alike.
If only I could raise them---what will it take for them to understand what I'm trying to accomplish here? Don't answer that. I've heard all the arguments. Sow's ears and silk purses. Losing the wallet in the alley, but searching for it under the street light because the light's better there. Codependency. Yada yada yada yada. Frankly, I'm in no mood for correction. And another thing. I'm reading HotInk and I'm taking names.

INK: Sounds like he's got a lot more on his mind than just Seattle Media. A few tranquilizers wouldn't be out of order... on the other hand, we could turn Mr. Lundstrom loose on John Marshall and his ilk. That is, if he has anything constructive to add...
-----Original Message-----
From:	Ned Hayes (S&T Onsite) 
Sent:	Friday, August 08, 1997 8:48 AM
I don't know -- I think it's a Northwest problem, not just a Seattle problem.
Bellingham sure as hell doesn't cover books all that well.
Do you read (for example) The Bellingham Herald, the Vancouver Sun, or the Seattle Times? Or do you prefer the Village Voice?
Is this the way it should be ? Or should we have print publications in the Northwest that actually do their jobs? (Just a question -- what do you think?) -- Ned Hayes
-----Original Message-----
From:	Michael Blythe []
Sent:	Friday, August 08, 1997 8:44 AM
I looked at the article that you thought I might be interested in responding to, and realized that I know nothing about the Seattle scene, and would be talking out my asshole if I made any kind of response. I normally wouldn't have a problem with this, but this is on the web, and I don't relish having my name internationally sullied in the process of stridently arguing something I know nothing about. Sorry if this seems lame. Talk to you soon, Michael Blythe
:"We are what we pretend to be,so   :
:we must be careful what we pretend :
:to be"	-Kurt Vonnegut-             :

INK:So is this signature a veiled reference to the illusions of writers, or what? Unfortunately, we think the journalists covering the "scene" down here know slightly less about it than Mr. Blythe. Shame he couldn't tell us what he knows. Perhaps next time?

--   Robyn Taobene


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