Crap Artists

First of all, you’ll want to read this most excellent scathing essay (follow link below) and then report back here for my simplistic response.

And in the event you don’t want to read a very negative piece on chick lit, and how it’s destroying what is left of America, well, bear with me while I talk about what I do, and why I celebrate the art form I embrace, however lowly, and crappy the anonymous former women’s fiction editor paints it.

My arguments for writing white women crap is this:

1) A number of the classics we teach in school were serialized stories to sell newspapers, and were written to entertain the masses. No literary ambitions involved.

2) Great literature has at heart, a heart of darkness (thank you, Conrad) and frankly, I’m kind of tired of the whole negative ‘life is tragic, life is futile’ theme. It doesn’t make me want to embrace life. It makes me want to hide and drink and take pills and that’s so passe. So, pass.

If people must suffer through a novel without a hugely redemptive resolution, one with lots of hope and god damn it, emotional resonance, then I don’t want it. Telling me I have to be happy with a portion of anything is crap. I want lots of love, lots of happiness, lots of adventure, and lots of hope. I refuse to settle for just bites, tastes, and sniffs of anything. I changed my UCLA major from Theatre Arts to American Studies because the whole uber drama of the theater program, a program that seemed terribly goth at the time, didn’t sit well with me. I like bright colors. I like…feeling groovy.

3) Which brings me to my celebrated status as a writer of crap. If I am, as the essay author above says, killing America with all my bad writing, then maybe America needed killing. Because maybe America is just one ugly (I’m sorry, this sounds rough) egotistical prick. No one–anywhere in the world–gets to decide what everyone should read, or why, or what the subject matter should be. No one gets to be the critic, or the judge. Sure, you can spout off (I do all the time) but honestly, labeling a whole genre of fiction as worthless and destructive just because it’s not your thing, well, it reminds me a bit of those dictators in foreign countries led by people with names like Idi Amin.

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