The Bloodcurdling Antics of Two Soulless Egomaniacs--by Reb MacRath
Meet Tweedledum and Tweedledee--aka The MeMe's--two egomaniacal blowhards joined at the lip on Facebook. I have in mind a particular pair, so extreme and so relentless, that I've had to Mute one and completely Block the other. For the daily ego swaggering and endless self-promotion wore me down and bored me. As a writer, I'm appalled, for the authors I admire have lives apart from their work or the natural hunger for fame. As a reader, I doubt that anyone who sees FB Friends only as cash cows or tickets to one more award can write a word worth reading.
But on and on and on they go, Tweedledum and Tweedledee, without pausing to think even once about the question of all questions: Was that good for you too?
For your consideration, I submit four modest proposals for keeping the bombast and bullshit in check.
1) Writers' groups such as MWA and HWA should put a cap on the number of awards any author can receive. Three would seem reasonable; after that, let them work toward earning a lifetime achievement award. As things stand, well-established T&T's who are able to grind out a book every year and have industry money behind them, enabling them to attend all the best cons every year, have an unfair advantage. Take this away and readers will enjoy a more pleasant FB experience--while writers who spend their time writing may enjoy a crack at the awards.
2) Since FB is meant for interpersonal engagement, we need to insist on a balance between touts for one's own business and engagements with our Friends. The T&T whom I've referenced above maintain a steady promotional post content of 95%. No, dudes. That ain't good for us.
3) Writers addicted to conventions should be required to wear ankle monitors that will cause cardiac arrest if they attend more than six cons a year.
4) All writers attempting to bribe award voters on FB with free copies of their books or photos of their genitals should be banned from FB and publishing for no less than sixteen years. As a reasonable soul I stop short of fitting them with butt plugs dunked in Super Glue.
This is my report.