Dumbass Comment of the Week (If Not the Year); Or When Business Isn't

Oh, boy. Just ran across this while reading a blog entry by a self-publishing maven.

Most agents, especially those in very large firms, no longer represent authors. Those agents represent themselves, and exist to make money off writers. It’s that simple, and that disillusioning.

Uh, duh? And: WTF? OF COURSE agents exist to make money off writers (and athletes and actors and artists). OF COURSE they do. They're in BUSINESS. What the fuck? Does this person think agents (of any kind) are in business to "help" someone? Uh, no. They're in business to make MONEY.

(I should add that the article from which I took this inane quote is otherwise quite good: smart, detailed, solid. Which makes the inanity of the quote even more, well, inane.)

Lately I've been thinking about "business" in a general sense (all toward pondering my next book). I keep being surprised by how many people-in-business ascribe "noble" motives to various kinds of business people --- while not failing to ascribe those same motives to themselves or to their employers.

Eg, agents are there to represent authors, but not to make money. But self-publishing authors are there to make money. Craft brewers are supposed to represent the noble art and craft of making "artisan" beer, but the beer-drinkers who get pissed when those same craft brewers expand in order to make money are themselves interested in earning money from their own jobs or businesses.


You're Old? No Sex for You, Toots; Or, Nanny State Run Amuck

This is so astounding, that I can't even think how to respond (other than sit with my mouth hanging open). So I'm turning this over to Tony Comstock, who isn't having a problem responding, thank god. Full disclosure and for what it's worth: Tony sent me a copy of the film he refers to (ya know; the one with the old guy...)

I loved it. In fact, I loved it so much I even commented about it on Amazon, which I don't generally do. But again -- that's not relevant. What is relevant is such a horrifying example of the nanny stateism. Ugh.

Legacy of Prohibition = Dumbass Laws Today

Back in December, I wrote a piece for US News about the long shadow of Prohibition. In it, I noted that today's destructive alcohol culture stems in large part from the repeal of Prohibition: When Americans repealed the 18th Amendment, lawmakers at all levels built a cumbersom legal fence between Americans and alcohol, all but guaranteeing that generations to come would demonize drink.

Great example of what I meant is unfolding now in Iowa (where I live). Iowa guy owns winery. Decides he'd like to use his talents to make beer as well. Sorry, the state says. No can do. Back in 1933, state lawmakers "protected" Iowans from the evils of alcohol by forbidding residents from working in more than one alcohol-related industry at a time.

Those controls are so strict . . . that they have been interpreted to mean that if a husband drives a beer truck for a distributor, his wife can't work in a grocery store or tavern where beer is sold at retail.

In this specific case, the director of Iowa's Alcoholic Beverage Division says that

The fear . . . is that cross ownership would lead to excessive promotion, creating too much public intoxication. The bans were extended to family ties and to employment situations, he said, to make it clear that even indirect ties would not be allowed.

You can read the entire article here. Read it and, ya know, weep......... Got any dumbass laws you'd like to publicize? Send 'em my way.

More Drinking Madness

Wow, this is creepy! Especially this:

Art Brown, president of the Salt Lake County chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, said he would like to see the card scans with the central database on top of the existing private club laws.

To which I repeat what I've said before: groups like MADD aren't the solution; they're the problem. Tip o' the mug to our man-on-the-nanny-state-beat, Jacob Grier.

Oh, Please.

This "research" from the World Cancer Research Fund (a British group) (and via the weekly newsletter [subscription only] edited by Pete Reid of Modern Brewery Age).

To which I say: Oh, for fuck's sake. Give it up. How much anyone wanna bet that the World Cancer Research Fund is interested in cancer research in the same way that the Center for Science in the Public Interest is interested in science? (As far as CSPI is concerned, the only "real" science is the stuff that supports its nearly fascist, nanny-state agenda....)

Besides which, this drinking-and-cancer thing has been around for decades and warnings show up, clockwork-like, every decade or so. To say nothing of that fact that humans drink less alcohol now than they have in millennia past, and if cancer were really so lethal and risky, well, the human race would have died out, ya know, millennia ago.

It's a prohibitionist plot, is what it is.....

(Kidding.) (Sort of.)