Okay, coffee. Hello, Darkness, etc. Littles are still out, but I expect that to reverse itself in the not terribly distant future. The days crawl, yet tempus still fuggits in a manner with which I am not entirely comfortable. *sips*
And I see that this morning’s post has engendered some spirited discussion about the role of gatekeepers, and how they roll. Groovy. Game on.
Amazon is not coming for your intellectual property. Amazon doesn’t hate conservatives, though some employees at the ‘Zon no doubt do. They also don’t hate progressives, though I know for a fact they’ll hire people who aren’t impressed with neo-Marxist failed ideologies or their adherents. Dread Bezos is a businessman, and one who has created an empire. Pragmatism is practically his schtick. That and kickin’ customer service.
Look, I’m more or less constantly hearing that somebody is getting deleted from Amazon or Google, or something. (Now, Google? They’ve shown how closely they adhere to that “don’t be evil” gig they claimed they care about) And while that’s a concern, after a few days it always comes out that someone whose work got yanked was buying reviews, or trading them, or engaging in something explicitly contrary to the terms of service.
Here’s the thing, though: we’ve gotten used to the instant gratification the internet usually provides. Download speeds are practically instantaneous. I remember our first 14.4 modem, and how long it took to load a color picture at decent resolution. These days, a multi-gigabyte video or program is a matter of minutes. Sometimes enough minutes that I wander away to do something else. Still, blazing compared to a couple decades back. And it’s only getting faster.
What does that mean, I hear you ask? (Well, not you-you: you’re quite a bit more intelligent than I am *checks off Humility on the To Do list* and you’re already nodding your head.) It means we see something, do the normal human thing of getting pissed off, and demand instant results. Look, this is normal. Entirely so. My kids do it ALL THE TIME (and I hate it). Thing is … thing is, institutions don’t work that quickly. And the ‘Zon is an institution at this point. Anything they do is going to take time to filter down. Add a layer of management, and everything takes longer. And costs more. At the risk of sounding like an Amazon fanboy, I’m pretty much continually impressed with the way the monster works.
Beyond what Amazon does or doesn’t do, we as libertarian/conservative fiction writers would do well to tone down our outrage. And not because it’s unwarranted. Not because we haven’t been getting the axe by traditional publishers for decades, and by progressive fandom for just as long. We need to chill out for one reason: we look crazy to normal people. Paranoia is not endearing.
It’s really easy to dismiss writers. We often do our work for a pittance, we invest heart and soul into it, we have paradoxical hubris, and we’re usually more than a little strange. What we do doesn’t conform to any norms, and so when we say something that seems to come completely out of left field, people aren’t very interested in *why* we’re saying it. Too much of the tinfoil fedora is showing.
I realize I’m preaching to the choir, here. Our readership are notable for their relative sanity, and I thank you for it. Your thoughtfulness is always appreciated.
We’re already outliers enough that the connected people have zero trouble convincing more mainstream folk that we’re complete nutters. The last things we indies need to do is convince the buying public that gatekeepers really are necessary, or convince our primary distributor that we’re more trouble than the income is worth. Fortunately, a modicum of patience pays dividends.