Thursday, October 09, 2008

A rose by any other name

When people buy a song or a collection of music by a recording artist, do they quibble if it's a "real" song because it's on an MP3 format versus a CD or a cassette tape or an 8-track tape or a 45 record or an album or a 78 record? Not that I've ever heard. But the debate has raged for more than a decade now that books aren't "books" unless they're printed on paper. Oh! Let me take that back and be more specific. "POD books" although printed on paper, that you can hold in your hands, are not considered "real books" by many either. Of course they're real books! The real discussion is whether readers believe they hold the same quality as books published by so and so publisher. Face it. Some people are being snobs. They're looking down their noses at small and new publishers, at writers with these houses and saying "you're not good enough" to be published with the big boys. Maybe. Maybe not. Every case is different. Everyone's career path is different. Everyone's desire is different. It's not only writers or readers who say "My publisher is better than your publisher," or "My book is better than your book". It's the same old story. Stuffy literary writers look down their noses at sci-fi and romance writers. Sci fi writers look down their noses at romance writers. Romance writers look down their noses at writers with a different publisher and so on and so forth ad nauseum. No, I don't mean that ALL writers or ALL people do this. But some, enough to be annoying. It's not restricted to writers. People look down on people for all sorts of arbitrary reasons: skin color, religion, and net worth are some of the usual suspects. However, snobbery also happens just about everywhere, unfortunately. There's a schism between Directors and the peon employees at the day job. Jocks versus non jocks in high school. The rich kids versus the non-rich kids in high school. Varsity players versus junior varsity players. Boys versus girls (my daughter says the female principal at her high school only talks about the boys sports teams and never the girls even when the girls win big championships). Black belts versus white belts. Does it ever end? Sadly, with some people, no. Fortunately, it's not true of all people. I'm blessed to know a lot of people who won't play the snobbery game or I'd truly go insane. But I run into enough mention of it to get annoyed from time to time. Obviously, I was reminded of it today, and also yesterday, voila this post. Yesterday my younger daughter brought it up. She sees it from two perspectives that are different from my perspectives. She's a female jock, a softball player. The last couple years she was Junior Varsity. Her experience was that a couple of the varsity players and even an ex-coach was snobby towards the varsity. One coach (no longer our school's coach btw for this reason) pretty much ignored the JV and hardly scheduled them for any games while he doted on the Varsity players. Meanwhile, even when the JV and Varsity both got big victories, the administration ignored it while they'd dote on the boys. My daughter's other perspective is that she's in a multicultural, multiracial group of friends. They love each other dearly and spend several hours and sleep overs with each other weekly. She's so grateful she has them and that she lives in a time when she won't get a lot of flack for it. I'm glad, too. I still hear people my age and older, however, make racial slurs. Get over it already. I was trying to teach my daughter and come up with a reason why people are this way. At least some of the time, it's probably due to the person's insecurity. They need to inflate their own egos to feel good about themself and the way they go about it is to try to make others look insignificant or worse in comparison. Oi! The only person any of us need to be in competition with is ourself. I only need to improve myself (and my minor kids). I need to make my current book better than my last book. I need to learn to be a better manager at the day job than I was the day before. I need to learn and grow and build upon my own experiences and constructive wisdom imparted from others. It's definitely not going to help me to diss anyone else. In the long run, and even in the short run, it would hurt me as much or more than I would hur the other person, to do so. You'll also want to see what Amarinda Jones, Anika Hamilton, Anny Cook, Barbara Huffert, Brynn Paulin, Bronwyn Green, Dakota Rebel, Kelly Kirch, Molly Daniels, Sandra Cox, Regina Carlysle, and Cindy Spencer Pape are up to, so make sure to visit them also. :)


Cindy Spencer Pape said...

You GO, Ashley. Well said!

Molly Daniels said...

Very well said:)

Mine are POD, and am hoping for that first e-contract:)

Never thought about the 'real music' issue...great arguement!

Molly Daniels said...

Even though 'real music' is on vinyl, LOL:) Just kidding!

Unknown said...

"The only person any of us need to be in competition with is ourself."

Exactly right and might I add that as long as you know who you are and where you stand in life then who gives a rats arse what anyone else thinks?

Shelley Munro said...

I wish more people felt the same way. Tolerance and open minds are excellent qualities to possess!

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