First, make it good

NOTE: This is the second in a series of several posts David Nygren of The Urban Elitist and I will be cross-blogging concerning the issue of authors (whether traditionally published, e-published, or self-published) actually getting paid for their work.

Today is David’s turn and believe me when I tell you he is far more thoughtful than I, pantser that I am.

Buy a saddle

I had a real character of a supervisor once. The minute I clapped eyes on her, I felt real pity deep in my soul.

She was 106 if she was a day. She had a sparse bottle-blonde bouffant. Her skin was paper thin (friable in MD speak), though her face was amazingly free of wrinkles. She had a permanent snarl on her pink-painted lips that let me know she’d had a stroke and/or that side of her face got stretched too tight. She was sitting behind a desk loaded with yellow and brittle papers that had been there since the Nixon administration, one hand on her hip and the other elbow propped on the desktop, a cigarette between two long, gnarly fingers.

She glared at me.

Well, I was late.

My first day.

As a temp.

(A hammer, really.)

But my first thought was, “Oh, that poor woman, having to work at her age. I bet she’s eating cat food.”

My second thought was, “I didn’t know they made leathers in lavender.”

She had a voice like I would imagine the sound a cat would make if it were shaved and then dragged over the business side of a cheese grater. She smoked like a chimney.

Right. Next. To. Me.

She snarled and growled and snapped at me. Once I dug into the work and figured out what had to be done, I calmly explained myself to her and it only took about 2 sentences for her to understand I knew what the hell I was doing.

We were best pals after that.

Anyhoo, over the next year, she taught me a lot about life. Well, no, not life. About money. About how to make money. Because, contrary to my first assumption, she was not eating cat food. She was richer than God. Older than Him, too, but that’s neither here nor there. She worked full time to pay her taxes because she didn’t want to dig into her principal.

And lavender leathers can’t come cheap.

She had a repertoire of cutting asides she tossed off throughout the months and I wrote them down because I never laughed so much as I did with her. She was a mean, sneaky, conniving, clever bitch and I loved her for it. In my head, I called her The Dragon Lady.

One day a customer came into our store complaining about other merchants in a loud, obnoxious tone of voice, and generally being an asshole. Finally (because she couldn’t help herself), she said, “Well, shit. If one person calls you an ass, you can bet they’re having a bad day. If three people do it, buy a saddle.”

Yesterday I was wandering around blogland and witnessed a train wreck of a blog wherein the embattled blogger was told this, only in a much nicer way (albeit not as, ah, colorfully).

And I thought, “Damn, I wish Dragon Lady was online so I could see what she’d do with that.” Except, well, Dragon Lady can’t type very well.

It’s her long, manicured claws nails, you know.

Painted lavender.

To match her leathers.

Shit or get off the pot

So around the bloggernacle I go about twice a week. I don’t spend too much time there because everybody discusses the same things over and over and over again and it’s wearying. The feminists fondle the patriarchy of the church like a worry doll; the academes throw around their $100 words and concepts that I don’t understand (click away! click away!); the more-righteous-than-Mojo bewail the crumbling standards in the church and how wicked the world is; the artistes ask, “Where are our Miltons and Shakespeares?”

Yawn and no big.

But then there are the people with way too much time on their hands who come up with nifty ideas that they want Someone Else to (help) implement Right Now and then wail and moan that these ideas haven’t come to fruition and what is wrong with You All?


This isn’t an LDS blog phenomenon, so don’t think I’m picking on my own again. I see it in every sector of the web I visit, in the smaller niche communities where, apparently, because we’re “all in this together,” we’re all supposed to roll with the Next Great Idea because of some artificial construct of solidarity.

And every time I see the same permabloggers on every blog they contribute to express their desire for the same thing they expressed elsewhere, with the same plaintive whiny tone, I just want to say, “Do it your owndamnself.”

I see all sorts of ideas and requests for programs and calls to change, but the work product is pretty much 50,000 words of “Why won’t you support Meeeeeeeeeeeeee and my Great Ideeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee????” spread across about 14 blogs, mired in clarifications and addenda and backpeddling.

Oh, and speaking of backpeddling. When I began the process of actually implementing a (better, I thought) version of one of these ideas and shared it with one of the terminal whiners, the response was: “Yeah, good luck with that” with the internet equivalent of a sneer and no offer of help—for an idea that was GREAT! until it A) morphed out of this person’s comfort zone and B) started to require thought and action and money.

This happened to a friend of mine, too, in an interwebz community I inhabit, but she doesn’t. However, she’s good at looking at ideas and finding ways to monetize them. So she contacted the person with the Great Idea and the minute it involved A) work and B) money, the person promptly ignored her.

Eh, fuck ’em and the ideas they rode in on.

I’m not taking any of it seriously anymore until I see some evidence that it’s more than simply masturbating to Idea PrØn.