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Nov 02

A Favourite Blog

There aren’t that many blogs or LJs out there that I crave to read or get excited about when there’s another update.  But one I do genuinely enjoy – and not just because of the brilliant title – is Requires Only That You Hate.   I came across this blog via Nick Mamatas and immediately fell in love with it after reading this funny rant / review of Ed Greenwood’s Silverfall (not a book I’ve read, but I think the review says it all).

The thing about acrackedmoon – and yeah it’s a terrible cliche but it’s also the truth – is that she pulls absolutely no punches and has no problem kicking a few famous (and much beloved) writers, like Neil Gaiman or Jim Butcher, in the scrotum sack.  And while she can be quite full on, what I think is brilliant and refreshing and insightful about her posts is that she does more than rant.  When the blog attacks a writer for being mysognist or a racist or whatever, acrackedmoon is more than happy to show her workings with direct quotes from the text.  And we’re not talking one sentence out of contex here – her quotes are nice and fulsome.  She lets the author hang themselve and then she goes in for the killer blow.

And yeah, the attacks can be personal.  But so the fuck what.  Sometimes people do need to be called out for the shit they try to get away with and I’m glad that there are smart bloggers like acrackedmoon out there who are more then willing to point this stuff out and make the writers accountable.

Oh, and I should also add that the blog isn’t relentlessly negative either.  Her positive reviews are a delight to read as well.

6 comments

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  1. Greg McElhatton

    I went and read a few of her entries and it’s all right in places… but… “trying too hard” is the phrase that comes to mind. And as a result she ends up putting arguments that sometimes have big holes in them.

    For instance, in the Neil Gaiman post she keeps putting together claims that she then has to almost parenthetically note aren’t really true. “All four books have straight white males as protagonists! Well, except for Anansi Boys.” “All four books have main characters who have different true loves waiting for them! Except for American Gods and Neverwhere.”

    It makes her overall arguments flimsy, ultimately. And so long as she keeps going for flash and big statements that absolutely nothing to back them (“I don’t think he’s particularly comfortable with gay men” is my favorite, because it’s little more than shock tactics and there’s no substance behind the accusation), I can’t take her seriously.

    I’ve got no problem with her laying out arguments about writers whose stuff I like — even if I don’t agree 100% with a well-written piece, it’ll always be some food for thought — but she needs to learn how to get attention through some more carefully thought out material, not just flash and bang in the form of random insults. It’s when she doesn’t do that I think she’s at her most effective.

    1. Dave Hoskin

      I was going to say much the same thing as Greg, only less articulately. In particular, I found her decision to ringfence Sandman from the discussion and then claim that Gaiman was no good at writing women pretty unfair. And that’s my main criterion for a critic really: are they being fair? If they are, even if I disagree, I’ll go back for more. If they’re not, then there’s no point wasting my time with them.

      Unless they’re *really* funny.

      1. Mondyboy

        She is *really* funny. Her rants are some of the best interwebs screeds I’ve read.

        1. SK

          Which bits in particular are funny? The capitalised swearwords? Because those are always hilarious.

          (For the avoidance of doubt, I agree with the thrust of the Gaiman article: I stopped reading any Gaiman after American Gods because I realised he was simply treading the same ground over and over again. I don’t agree with trying to draw some socio-political point out of it thought; I just think it’s that Gaiman only really has one idea, and it’s ‘what if Gods / abstract concepts / stars / tube stations / TARDISes were just like us? What of they had to deal with the same da-y-to-day travails we do? Wouldn’t that be mad?’ And yes, it’s a fun idea, the first few times, but eventually it gets very samey.)

          1. Mondyboy

            I genuinely think she’s funny. And also has me re-evaulating my prejudices.

            In short I think it’s a great blog.

            As for Gaiman, I think you’ve summed him up very well. I rate him as a writer, but there is a certain “we’ve been here before” about his work. It’s possibly why “The Doctor’s Wife” left me a bit hollow.

    2. Mondyboy

      All fair points. I don’t agree with everything in the blog either and yes, there are times when her arguments may not hold water. I still think its refreshing to see someone whose willing to speak their minds and show the workings out… even if the case is a bit flimsy.

      Or what I’m really saying is that I find the blog piss funny and a joy to read.

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