Monday, April 25, 2005

Max for a Day: Rant this Space

A reader of this blog recently suggested the need for
"a forum where publishing insiders can vent (anonymously) about the challenges of their industry, and maybe offer/get some sympathy and support."
I don't know about the sympathy/support side of the equation, but I can attest to the psychic benefits of ranting. And then there's the confidence boost that comes from deceipt: by posing as a publishing insider as I've done, and posting pseudonymously, I've come to see myself as being more steeped in the pubishing process than most mailroom employees can claim.

And so I thought it might be interesting to open up the gates a little--to give you (Dear Reader) not just a chance to vent but also to bask in the glory that comes with being a part of the glamorous blogging community at this particularly glamorous moment in time. Think of it (as I do) like being Super Hero for a day--the chance don the brightly-colored cape & costume, and to demonstrate to all the world the full range of your genius [sic], your keen insights, your ability to take a bullet for the good of human-kind. Sure, there's the risk of public humiliation--on the other hand, what if you emerge from the experience not just alive but with a broader, stronger sense of your own self-worth?
[In my own case, there's little doubt that my time at BookAngst 101 has contributed directly to my best performance evaluation ever, and I'm currently on the short list to be promoted to Assistant Manager, Mailroom Operations. (Keep your fingers crossed, will you? I'll let you know how it turns out...)]
Remember the ad for the 96-pound weakling who, sick of getting sand kicked in his face, turns to Charles Atlas for guidance? That used to be me...except that my dyslexia prevented me from getting Charles Atlas's phone number right, and my apathy prevented me from trying again... As you can well imagine, this inaction (combined with many others, of which this was but one example) contributed to a low self-image and a predilection toward conspiracy theory, fast food and video games. And so, for much of my adult life, I've had the rather unsatisfactory experience of being a 96-pound weakling stuck inside a MUCH larger body. Think Ignatius J. Reilly. Think Gilbert Grape's mom.

But that all changed when I became a pseudonymous blogger. Donning the Mask of Max is the opportunity for the office-bound to (as the ad says) "Be all that you can be." To vanquish, in this newly (if only metaphorically) buff and bodacious state, those bullies who tormented us on the personal beaches of our respective pasts.

And now, for a limited time only, you too can share in this liberating experience! Here's how!!!

1. Pick a topic about which you feel strongly, and draft a "rant" of whatever length works for you.
2. Send it to me via email.
3. If I like it, I'll post it to BookAngst 101.

Now for the fine print:
Mad Max, that is, the original Mad Max Perkins, distinct from potential "Max for a Day" candidates, reserves the right to make all final decisions about content to be posted at BookAngst 101. Max is not so much worried about sloppily constructed arguments as he is about someone having something of genuine insight to say, which could reflect poorly on Max's perceived expertise. Max is willing to edit/comment on topics that strike him as worthy or serious or cogent or exceedingly silly, but warns in advance that there's a inverse corrolation between the amount of work to be done on a piece and its likelihood of getting posted. This offer is subject to alteration or cancellation without warning.
Let the venting begin.

P.S. Anonymity is optional.


TLG said...

You listen to us, you really do!

Lordee. Narrowing the rant subject down is probably going to be the tough part.

Anonymous said...

Whoa. You listened to me! And there I thought I'd been ignored by everyone but the guy (?) who said he'd pay to read something like that.

This is cool. I'll see what happens at work tomorrow...maybe another rant will ensue.

Anonymous said...

> And there I thought I'd been ignored by everyone but the guy (?) who said he'd pay to read something like that.<

Oh, whoops--that was you who said that, TLG, right? Sorry, I missed that!

Anonymous said...

Mailroom Max? You're 100% kidding, not a sliver of truth, total bumph... right?

Anonymous said...

Ooooh, Ania.... *pleeeease* tell us *you're* kidding? Seriously.

Anonymous said...

Nice, you say? Hmm. When I was a lad, all those years ago, we were not allowed to use the word 'nice'. Nice, oursportsbook teachers told us, was vague, imprecise, woolly. Worse, it was common, which meant that it was used by the lower classes.

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Anonymous said...

Rant This Space!

A VOCATION OF UNHAPPINESS [Courtesy Georges Simenon (1903-1985)]

"Writing is considered a profession, and I don't think it is a profession. I think that everyone who does not need to be a writer, who thinks he can do something else, ought to do something else. Writing is not a profession but a vocation of unhappiness. I don't think an artist can ever be happy."

PRACTICAL MARKETING [Courtesy Zornhau, 2005]

"They should put the 1st couple of pages up in subway adverts. Having read them several times, you'd feel compelled to try the book - if it was any good."

PLATE OF SHRIMP [Courtesy Alex Cox’s REPO MAN, circa 1984]

"A lot of people don't realize what's really going on. They view life as a bunch of unconnected incidences and things. They don't realize that there's this like lattice of coincidence that lays on top of everything. I'll give you an example, show you what I mean. Suppose you're thinking about a plate of shrimp. Suddenly somebody will say like "plate" or "shrimp" or "plate of shrimp" out of the blue, no explanation. No point in looking for one either. It's all part of a cosmic unconsciousness."