What I Did This Weekend: or, Fuck My Life

This post originally appeared on I Read Odd Books

So, for the four of you left who read here regularly, you may have noticed that the site was offline this weekend.   I had some… issues.

I am conflicted because I would like to tell you all what is happening but if I do, it may just get worse.  But before long, someone is going to have to go jail.  I’m not kidding.

Multiple DMCA notices were filed against this site and Houdini’s Revenge, all of them bogus.  Complaints were also made about the content I produce on IROB.   It was alleged that I have reproduced child pornography and wrote entries to incite people to commit acts of pedophilia and rape.  None of these complaints had any basis in reality (no shit).  My hosting company had limited choices because I was less than cooperative but they were on my side and all of this has been resolved in my favor.   Seriously, they were very professional and very sympathetic.

Because I am very tired I have cancelled ANSWER Me! week because I can only imagine the complaints that will get lodged if I discuss all four issues in the depth I prefer.

If you are a writer who suspects your work may have been twisted up in this mess, please know this nonsense was wholly directed at me.  There was no vendetta against any writer involved, and especially no vendetta against Jim Goad, whose work I planned to tackle this week.

I genuinely don’t know how I am going to get this weirdness to stop.  Mr Oddbooks and I have explored legal options but then we decided we couldn’t justify the hassle or the expense so we’re gonna lie low and hope it doesn’t happen again.  I plan to write here, probably next week, but I have a limited capacity to deal with much in the way of bullshit, which is why I collect books and write online rather than have a real job.  So we’ll see how this goes.

Also, while I’m feeling a bit testy, I need to let everyone who has sent me books to read know that I have made a decision about how I plan to handle the books that remain to be read.  If I count more than ten grammar, spelling and/or punctuation issues in your book, I won’t be discussing it.   It’s harsh but really, it’s not.  Lately a lot of the literature I have read has been difficult to appreciate because of all the errors, which makes me tired as I try to find ways to praise good ideas with crappy editing, and I need to recharge my mojo, which will be hard in a world without Ray Manzarek, but I’m going to give it a try (note: avoid using sentences like this one when you write books).  I’ll handle rejected novels quietly.  Thanks for your understanding. (Edited because I found a nicer way to say what I needed to say.)

23 thoughts on “What I Did This Weekend: or, Fuck My Life

  1. The world is full of wackadoodles, and for some reason, they love you. o_O

    I don’t blame you on the grammar/spelling/punctuation mistakes. They’d drive me right around the bend, and you’ve put up with a *lot* of them lately.

    1. Thanks, Missy. What a weekend.

      I really wish the small presses would shape up because if it’s an insult to read these books, the real insult is to the authors who need an editor to bring their ideas to an audience. It’s been maddening.

  2. Ugh. This is why we can’t have nice things on the internet–too many vindictive creeps. I hope you get this all cleared up, and I look forward to whatever reviews you have the time and energy to post.

    1. The wonderful thing about the Internet is that I have met all kinds of interesting people, some more “interesting” than others. But ultimately I’ve met far more benign interesting people than malignant interesting people. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that.

  3. Yeesh. I’m not surprised you attract some loons based on the things you discuss, but the lengths some people will go to fuck with people they don’t even know never ceases to amaze me.

    The fucking internet, man.

  4. Wow. This is seriously sucky news. While I was looking forward to Jim Goad Week, I hope laying low works.

    1. Once everything has settled, I will revisit it. I already have all of AM issues 1 and 2 and a healthy chunk of 3 already written up. So eventually it will happen.

      I think you may be the only person who gets why I like Goad. He may miss the mark from time to time but at times I feel like he may be the last honest man writing. He certainly was the only one who tried to explain why white trash culture has societal value beyond being punchlines to trailer park jokes.

  5. Christ on a bike. Who would have thought that writing book reviews could cause so much grief? I hope this type of horrible shit doesn’t continue.

    1. This is related to why I had to shut down back in March. It’s a very tiresome situation and I think my detractor is increasingly running out of ways to get me to pay attention. Fingers crossed that is the case.

  6. Hey, perhaps someone should alert the Popehat and see if he can find someone who can pick it up pro bono, if you wish to go onward with it? They hate bogus DMCA claims something fierce, plus they like to defend blogger freedom of speech.

    1. Once of the reasons we decided not to go with any legal options is because my hosting company was 100% on my side – had I been more cooperative in the process I may not have seen any downtime at all. I get obstinate. I could, conceivably, write about ANSWER Me! 4 tomorrow and all I will be doing is irritating the person who is causing me problems. I am self-censoring to try to just get the person behind this to chill, then find another person to screw with.

      I hate to sound so vague here but behind this there is a situation with a mentally unwell person and this person does not respond like a rational and reasonable person. A lawsuit or attention from a drawn out scene from my end will just make things worse. Negative attention is awesome in this person’s mind. Financial repercussions, like fines, similarly mean nothing.

      It’s all so very ridiculous. One unsound person can create such havoc, and I’m trying to follow sound advice on how to deal with the situation. But if this happens again, I may have no choice but to go legal.

  7. That really fucking sucks. If anyone pulled something like that on me I would for sure want to do them bodily harm, mentally ill or no.

    I don’t mean to bug you, on top of everything else you’ve had to deal with, but do you have a time frame for reviewing some of these books? I don’t want to act like I’m desperate for a review, but I’m a self-published author who sucks at self-promotion (and general people skills, to be honest) so having my book discussed (even in a somewhat negative light) by someone like you, who actually attracts some level of blog traffic, would make a difference.

    – Kevin Akstin, author of ‘Got Me Wrong’ and ‘Out Here’

    1. No worries, Kevin. Your book is in my stack to read and paper books always get read faster than ebooks.

      Don’t worry about acting desperate or anything else. I know how it is. It’s probably one of the reasons I quit trying to write my own fiction because reviews are important and I hated trying to get them myself. I wrote that part about reviews above because I hit a wall right about the time the DMCA nonsense happened. I opened a book and counted ten major editing errors in the first 20 pages and I snapped.

      But snap or not, I intend to read your book and if you are cool with the possibility I may be harsh on any editing issues, presuming there are any, I’ll definitely give it a discussion.

      Seriously. No worries. I’m probably three weeks out before I will get to read it, but I promise I will read it and discuss it.

  8. I just wanted to post and say ‘holy geez!’ I’m a long time lurker, have maybe commented once or twice, but I really enjoy everything you put up on this site.

    I find that you write incredibly eloquent and lively reviews, and you touch the books that no one else wants to. I love that. Everything I’ve seen on this site, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed. In fact, I started reading bizarro BECAUSE of this site, and I’ve never looked back.

    Just wanted to send a kudos, keep up the good work, and let you know that not everyone on the grand internet is a crazy bastard.


    1. Hey Z, this was a great comment to read. Thanks so much for the praise. And aside from conspiracy theory True Believers, I’ve had a pretty easy time online. My recent travails are caused by one specific person and it appears as if this person has overplayed her hand. And in the process of reading my content to make sure I am not advocating illegal content, one of the dudes at my hosting company got turned onto Peter Sotos and Supervert. After the extreme annoyance wore off, it was a net win in a weird way.

      I am so glad you’ve found some new books and writers through this site. I’ve got some interesting books in the pipeline and hopefully some of them will appeal to you, too.

      Thanks again for this kind comment. It made my day. 🙂

  9. Hi there, just sending a message of support from this long-time lurker. Really appreciate the hard work you put into your reviews, enjoy your dialogues with some of the regular commenters, and have a longer and much more interesting want-to-read list since I found this blog. Here’s hoping everything works out well for you and then we can all get back to the Oddness.

    1. Thanks, Carol! Reading this means a lot. I think things are getting back to normal and I will return to regular posting soon. Thanks again for leaving this comment. It makes me very happy to know people are reading!

  10. One question only: Is it him who is not to be named? That…fellow that has been discussed several times in journal communities that live elsewhere?

    1. Interestingly, that description does not narrow your question to one person.

      If you mean Michael Brown, no, this has nothing to do with him. As unlikely as it seems, he and I reached an uneasy peace that I hope continues as I still want to read and discuss his book on Mary MacLane. And this isn’t really his style, anyway. He may take months to show up, but he tends to confront directly.

      If you mean The Worst Writer on the Planet and Possibly the Most Mentally Ill Man in America, the man whose name one really cannot say, this is not his work, either. And in fact, if you are the person who sent me that copy of his book, meaning your initials are AS and I know you from the ElJay, I will send you a message on Facebook explaining this mess. But to explain it in even more vagaries, when you discuss your suicide attempt in a book review, you may find yourself with very unsound people attaching themselves to you.

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