Recently, I’ve been picking at a novel that I started in 2006. This morning I was sorting through old files, and I stumbled on a plot summary I wrote sometime between 2006 and 2008 (above) that was almost identical to a note I made last week (below). Until that moment, I’m not sure I knew it was possible to be creeped out and amused at the same time.
The real lesson in all of this, though, is put a date everything you write. When I wrote that note I never thought I’d read it again much less spend fifteen minutes trying to determine the year from the style of notebook it came from.
Much has been made about comedy as art during this whole affair, often coming with some variation on “comedy is supposed to challenge people.” The questions then become, “Who are you challenging and why?” Are you trying to challenge an established power structure, or are you going after people who are already mistreated on a regular basis? Are you trying to poke holes in a pristine facade that is carefully maintained or are you just recycling stereotypes like a shadow puppet Punch and Judy show?
If comedy is to be good, if it is to be challenging, then comedians have to challenge the people who pose a threat to them and their audience. They need to join the audience together rather than pitting them against one another. They need to punch up."
while you were sleeping II, by Su Blackwell
I turned into a giant squid of anger at this. I can’t believe this fucker doctor had the nards to just up and blurt that, and there are people who won’t even realize what a fucktruck he is and AGGH. ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?! If you aren’t super savvy on health insurance, lemme explain you a thing.
A lot of doctors hate health insurance beause it standardizes prices of healthcare. If a doctor accepts an insurance, they have to accept whatever the insurance company pays them. So, you go to a physical, and the doctor says I want $400 for a 15 minute appointment, taking your bloodpressure and checking your reflexes, etc. Insurance company says “Aw hell no, dude. That’s ridiculous. Here’s your approved $75, and you’re gonna like it. And if you dare bill the rest to the patient, we’ll kick your ass into next Wednesday.”
This doctor is saying that he prefers people to not have health insurance. Why? Beacuse then there’s no one to tell him his prices are fucking insane, and you get stuck with a stupidly high bill for everything he does.
This isn’t just some asshat whinging about paperwork. This is pure, unadulterated greed. And it’s utterly sickening. THIS is why Obamacare is getting such pushback, by the way. It makes me ill.
I’m not sure if I reblogged this photoset earlier, but the added commentary is golden and completely on target. I process provider claims for a living and let me tell you what, you have not seen true balls until you’ve seen a doctor charge $3.000 for a procedure or medical equipment that we’re going to pay them maybe $50 for.
This is 100% spot on, but let’s not pretend that insurance companies are always the heroes.
I’ve had knee problems since I was five, and I’ve been fighting insurance companies for medical care my whole life even though I’ve been lucky to have continuous coverage.
In 2009, I dislocated my knee and needed major surgery. Fortunately, I had insurance. They agreed to cover the surgery, but they refused to pay for physical therapy once I got to 50% functionality.
50% functionality is the ability to bend your knee 90 degrees.
This is 90 degrees:
My physical therapist said this was fairly standard practice.
"I want you to envy my joy." -Ray Bradbury
This answer got long. Skip to the last paragraph if you want the good stuff.
I’m assuming you’re talking about short fiction and literary journals.
Personally, there was a point when I was starting out when I realized I didn’t read any of the literary journals I was supposed to submit stories to and nobody I knew read them, either. What I did read, and what other people read, was the internet. So I decided posting my work online in my own space was more important to me.
But that was me. Basically, you have to decide what world you want to be in. If you want to be in the literary world, or the art world, or whatever world, you have to play by that world’s rules. If you want to build your own world, then you can make up your own rules, and do your own thing, and build your own audience.
But IF you decide to go your own way, DO NOT automatically expect that world you turned your back on to come around to you later. In other words, if you jump the gatekeepers, don’t expect them to kiss your ass after you’ve showed everybody you can jump them. (For example, nobody in the lit’ry world really gives that much of a shit about my work, mostly because I didn’t give much of a shit about the lit world when I was coming up.)
Luckily, there is, however, a happy medium: share your process, not your products. Share scraps, drafts, research, reading, etc. (Think of it as sharing the DVD extras while you’re making the movie.) Talk about books you love. Talk about writing. Build a little place for yourself where you’re sharing what you do. Then save the finished pieces for submitting to publishers.
When I started an online lit mag, the question of whether or not to require first rights (which is what this is) was something I struggled with for a long time. I love the Internet. I love how easy it is for writers to get their work out there.
I finally decided to require first rights because I don’t want to live in a world where the only writers and artists who can be successful are the tech savvy online marketing geniuses.
Some of the writers and artists I publish are tech savvy and brilliant marketers who save some work for lit mags, but many of the people I publish are not. Or, their process requires a lot of silence, so they don’t keep up with the Internet. Or, they prefer to work with an editor in private before they release their work publicly.
So, when I require unpublished work, what I’m really asking is, “Do you need this?”
Some people do just fine on their own, and I think that’s wonderful.