Monday, March 29, 2010

Where I'm Lecturing the Young Ones

What a strange day in Tochigi today. First it was snowing, then it cleared up, then it snowed again, and now it’s almost sunny. And I hope it will stay like that. Sunny, I mean.

Since I got an unexpected mid-day break today, I had the pleasure of eating lunch with my cats and reading my emails.

And boy, oh boy, those were some emails, let me tell you. It seems that my review of Carl Hoffman’s book (“The Lunatic Express: Discovering the World ... Via its Most Dangerous Buses, Boats, Trains and Planes”) did not go over very well with the travel blogging community. Which, frankly, surprised me, because I had no idea that the mutual adoration society even read my lowly blog at all.

A couple of the emails actually agreed with my review, but the authors, being the gutless wonders that they are, don’t have the balls to say so in public. That’s fine, it’s their choice.

Out of the few emails that rolled in, one stood out the most. The person adopting the “who do you think you are” attitude proceeded to tell me that Mr. Hoffman is a distinguished travel writer (duh, as if I had no clue!), and if I ever want to accomplish anything in the field of travel writing myself, I should have chosen my words more carefully. The email went on to say something about Mr. Hoffman working for National Geographic, and that pissing off people in high places is never a good idea.

What an interesting concept! I’m sure that Mr. Hoffman, being the successful and distinguished travel writer that he is, is as concerned with what I think of his book, as I am with what he had for dinner last night. But I’m really pleased that the emailer seems convinced that my opinion matters, because I’ve never known it to be the case before.

A quick google search revealed that the person, who so earnestly assumed I was a misguided nimwit, is a contributor to Matador Network. No, it has nothing to do with bullfighting, though you might be excused for thinking so. It’s a travel site, actually.
The person is an aspiring travel writer as, I think, everyone who contributes to Matador is.

Now, don't worry, I’m not going to post your name here, I know who you are, you know who you are, and that’s enough for me. And besides, and I’m not as much of a spiteful jerk as you apparently think so.

So here is what I have to say about all this:

I’ll leave the ass-kissing to you, the young and determined ones. I know you want to write for National Geographic someday, and you think that a bucketful of flattery directed at the right people will help you get there. That’s fine and good luck to you.

But when you get to be my age, you’ll eventually realize one funny thing about ass-kissing. It leaves your mouth tasting like crap.

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