Every Critic Counts

Today I received my first hate comment for my post Raronauer Reviews in 2006. An anonymous poster wrote, “You are a pathetic human being who probably has never published anything of any value and never will. Your entire list smacks of jealousy.” Ouch!

But who would be so mean spirited? The comment came from someone searching for Corrections to My Memoirs and with an IP address from Epstein Becker and Green. And who at Epstein, Becker and Green would be searching for Corrections to My Memoirs? Perhaps the author himself, Michael Kun, who is an attorney there?

Since I didn’t like Corrections to My Memoirs, I hope this outing doesn’t create widespread media attention for Michael Kun and his new book. Fortunately, since only about twelve people including Michael Kun read this blog, I doubt anyone will notice.

9 Responses to “Every Critic Counts”

  1. Angela Says:

    This is pretty awesome. Now you have over-articulate haters.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Well, seriously Rebecca, who writes a review of a book that says, “This book sucked”? That’s what half of your reviews said. What are you, 14 years old? I don’t agree with many of your reviews, but that’s fine. I don’t mind reading opposing view points. But if you’re really such an accomplished writer – as you claim to be – I would think you’d put a little more critical thinking into your arguments, instead of sounding like an immature teenager.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Your blog sucks. You sound about ten years old, with grammar and style to match. Go home and complain to your parents. Also, the reason Gogol’s book seems like a 19th century book is that it is one. Ignoramus!

  4. Anonymous Says:

    Why do you keep deleting people’s posts? I don’t think what they wrote was so offensive to you. In fact, they were just questioning some of the things you’ve written on this blog. Did you not like that?

  5. Raronauer Says:

    If I did have a problem with people disagreeing with me, I wouldn’t leave up the comments that suggested I have the intellectual capacity of a young teen. I only erased comments that made reference to an organization that asked to keep its affiliation with me off of the blog.

  6. Michael Kun Says:

    All —

    The other evening, after Ms. A. had gone out of her way to embarrass me on her blog and on gawker, I posted a comment on this blog. Unfortunately, Ms. A. has chosen to delete my comment (as well as the comments of several others), and has gone back and edited her original post to remove all references to the publication for which she claimed to have reviewed my book, a publication that actually gave my new book a decent enough review.

    As I explained in my original comment on Friday evening, the publication at issue is one that respects writers (and one which has given me very generous reviews in the past, for which I am grateful). By publishing such unprofessional comments as “it sucked” as to several books, with specific reference to that publication (again, Ms. A. has now removed those references), Ms. A. embarrassed that publication.

    In my comment, I also pointed out that Ms. A. had done the same thing to a writer named Enid Shomer that she had done with my new book –saying that she had reviewed the book for this esteemed publication and that it “sucked,” even though the publication’s review of Ms. Shomer’s book was actually a largely positive one.

    In my comments, I also took offense to Ms. A. claiming that I had written the “anonymous” comments that criticized her and explained to her that they had in fact been written by a colleague of mine who had directed me to the blog. I also shared my concern about Ms. A. planting that false story with gawker in order to further embarrass me. (Ms. A. now claims that a friend planted the story on gawker, but admits that she authorized it.) Unforunately, by removing my comments and going back to edit her original blog entry, Ms. A. has perpetuated her false story about me while actually making me look worse.

    I also pointed out in my comments that there is a tremendous difference between insults and criticsm. I told Ms. A. that while she probably thought her conduct was hip and was hoping that I would threaten to sue her, I would not do so. Instead, I suggested to Ms. A. that she apologize to the magazine for embarrassing them, and that she apologize to Enid Shomer as well. I also suggested that she be more careful in the future.

    Unfortunately, as I have mentioned, Ms. A.’s reaction was to remove my comments and those of several other people, claiming that she did so because they all mentioned the name of the publication she claims to work for. Of course, she could have kept those comments and just deleted the name of the publication wherever it appeared.

    Although the false story about me remains on her blog and on gawker, and although she has removed my comment and those of others, Ms. A. emailed me this weekend and asked if we could call a “truce.”
    I hope you understand, Ms. A., that I have tried to deal with your unprofessional comments and conduct in as gentlemanly a manner as possible. The fact that you continue to keep the false story about me on your blog, knowing that it is false, is appalling. The fact that you removed my comments and those of others, and that you went back and edited your original blog in a manner that actually makes me look worse, is also disturbing. I do not know how to describe your suggestion that we call a “truce” after you have purposefully embarrassed me on your blog and on gawker and have taken no steps whatsoever to correct it.

    Someone with integrity would have removed the false story from her blog as soon as she learned it was false. It appears you will not do so. Although you deleted my first comment, I hope you will now at least have the integrity to allow this one to remain on your blog, and that you will have the decency to not try to embarrass me and damage my reputation any more than you already have.

    Michael Kun

  7. Anonymous Says:

    Get a life, Michael Kun. This is a personal blog, not a major publicaiton. It’s entirely appropriate for Rebecca to use this venue to say she thought your book sucked. That’s what people do in blogs: they say that things suck. And actually, her criticism was pretty incisive–she didn’t just say your book was shit, she said there’s an entire class of white male writers who are wannabe Philip Roths, and you are one of them. That’s sharp literary criticism, and that’s probably why it stung so much.

    About your claim that a colleague posted the initial hate comment, not you: Bullshit. You expect anyone to believe that someone else at your company cared enough about your book to google it, and that someone else, upon finding Rebecca’s blog entry, would react to it with such defensiveness? No, Michael: only self-interest could motivate someone to do that.

    I haven’t read your book, so I can’t vouch for Rebecca’s claim that it sucks. But from your behavior throughout this episode, I do know this: YOU suck, Michael Kun. Stop harrassing Rebecca.

  8. Adam Hoff Says:

    This is the most ridiculous blog posts I’ve come across in quite a while, which says a lot, because blogs are hard at work destroying artistic criticism as we know it, and taking down a good chunk of our social norms in the process.

    Let’s look at this mess.

    The author of the blog is quoting herself (on Gawker, maybe on here as well) from a review that doesn’t exist (as far as I can tell), name-dropping a publication that asks her to delete any mention of them from the posts (a ringing endorsement indeed), and making judgments about an author’s marriage. That is some fine work. I wonder why so many people continually refuse to take the blogosphere seriously?

    We also have someone that, in a rush to defend the blog’s author (could be the author herself for all we know, thanks to the courageous “Anonymous” tag), has decided that Michael Kun “sucks” for … what reason exactly? Because he spent 10 minutes to refute a personal attack? You argue that writing a lengthy post on an obscure blog (and yes, this is indeed obscure) is somehow pathetic, yet you are obviously failing to consider the comments themselves. I’m sure reading that your book sucked, well, sucks, and getting called a Philip Roth wannabe isn’t cheery, but if that was all that was said, I am quite sure that Michael Kun would have just chuckled, thought to himself “silly blogger,” and moved on. I myself get plenty of hate mail, have been criticized in print, and all the like, and frankly don’t care.

    But here is the difference: the author of this blog overstepped the line in two instances. Yes, you can say that you don’t like a book. Yes, the blog is for saying that things suck (sadly … but hate on, haters). But there are a few things that are still wrong, regardless of whether they happen in respective publications or here in the Internet’s version of the Wild, Wild West.

    First, the blog’s author was incredibly lame to name-drop THE PUBLICATION THAT MUST NOT BE NAMED, state that she wrote the review for them, and then directly contradict said review. Honestly, what the hell? Reviews are important and if they are being undermined because someone wants to try to build up their street cred on a Gawker post (of all things), that is a big problem. I am sure that is why PUBLICATION asked for all mentions to be deleted on this blog. Trying to find out why someone that claims to have reviewed your book is out contradicting their own review is not only a justifiable use of one’s time, it is almost mandatory.

    The other reason why someone as successful and accomplished as Kun is (read one of his book jackets for that info) would spend valuable time coming to a desolate corner of the Internet is because his marriage was attacked in the post. There is no call for this. I’m sure it was just a flippant comment meant to hammer home an offhanded remark about the book and the nature of the writing, but that just shows a complete lack of class. I am quite certain that is why Michael Kun has bothered to get involved in this. It’s the reason I am writing this post. If someone took a crack at my marriage and by extension my wife, I would not let that slide, regardless of whether it was in Time magazine or written in chalk on the sidewalk. So to offer the suggestion of “getting a life” shows an astounding level of ignorance.

    In fact, I have to say that the last commenter is even more ridiculous than the blog’s author. You make personal attacks, presume to know who left the initial post, and decide that a person sucks … and you don’t even leave your name! Amazing!

    I spent a lot of time debating whether or not to leave this post, because part of me doesn’t want to provide even an ounce of momentum for this little pop culture burg (hey, I have my own blog, and I know what a tiny bit of controversy will do for the readership), but in the end, it is worth coming on here and defending a truly great person from these ridiculous personal attacks.

    Mike is a friend of mine, so I’m sure the “haters” among you will use that to find away to justify ignoring everything I have to say. But I’m asking you to think this through and strongly consider apologizing. And if this is what blogs are for, to just say whatever you want with no consequences, no tact, no class, and no respect, than I hope they go away forever, mine included.

    If anyone has a problem with anything I’m saying, feel free to email me at wis.insider@gmail.com.

  9. Gawker Says:

    “Rebecca, You suck.

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