The OF Blog: Ignore the Man Behind the Curtain

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Ignore the Man Behind the Curtain

For most of the past couple of years, I have tried to stay out of most blog-related kerfuffles.   Some of that is due to me being interested in other matters and finding the arguments to be rehashing of other, tired, worn-out arguments.  Yet earlier today on Twitter, I was made aware of this post by Justin Landon referencing something said on Pat's Fantasy Hotlist.  Now, I've hinted enough over the years my take on that second blog, but I'm not going to focus overmuch on the person and will instead look at a larger issue.

When I read the quoted passage, I thought to myself, "why is that information relevant to a review?"  Only in a few occasions could I ever see mentioning anything that happens "behind the curtain," such as when I have a project completed and published or when it might be worth sharing with others.  I don't discuss in public (and rarely in private) my dealings with authors, publicists, and others in the industry; it is irrelevant to the reviews and commentaries that I do write.  The few times that I have broken this resolution generally have led to problems (ironically, such as the inference to my personal feelings regarding a few people).  Therefore, it just makes sense, for me at least, to keep mum on what transpires "behind the curtain" and write about things that readers should be privy to.

That being said, form does matter in events such as this.  It is a bit discourteous to call out in public, even in passing, vendors who may have policies different from that which the reviewer might prefer.  But I can't say that I haven't been discourteous in the past; far from it, in fact.  But (and this is in reference to some comments that I've seen while reading the links), it is not "PC" (whatever that means in this day and age of disparate things being labeled such) to note that sometimes it's best to keep one's personal feelings to oneself.  After all, if I went around and criticized everyone for even the smallest faults I perceived in them, not much good would be accomplished, then or later on.  That last is a lesson I have learned the hard way over the years.  Sometimes, it is just best to ignore that man behind the curtain, as the Wizard of Oz once said.

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