Thursday, January 19, 2006

Open Bar On Haterade: Lindsayism

So the identity of the formerly anonymous blogger Opinionistas was revealed via an interview in the New York Observer.

I have never really read Opinionistas, but anyone who gets a break (i.e. big $ thrown their way) I generally give the benefit of the doubt. Even though it may seem like it, I don't believe publishers, or record execs, or film producers throw money at whomever. Usually a person has earned it, even if whatever they do may not be up to your tastes.

But Lindsay Robertson pours a tall glass of haterade on the whole situation.

She writes, "remember when people wanted to write books because they wanted to tell good stories and write good things and entertain the nice people? Remember when writers were plagued with self-doubt and ambivalence, when advances and publicity were just two more worries to keep them up at night wondering if they were frauds, not excuses to decide that they were god's gift to the world?" A little later she takes it beyond just bloggers-turned-writers "In this industry (media, entertainment, even blogging), self-respect is the biggest liability a person can have."

I don't get the hate. It's not traditional jealousy-haterade, as Lindsay has been in mags, and lets us know she's turning down opportunities. I guess it feels like I'm-a-rebel-you're-all-sheep haterade, because why can we not assume these people have good stories to tell, along with a modicum of self-respect.

This happens everywhere, in all fields, all I used to hear at hip hop shows and such are, "now everyone's rapping, all these white ni**as think they can rap now cause of Em and Atmosphere. That's why I'm not even trying to rap no more. The game is just stupid now."

Yes, people with money look for things that have previously been successful and then try to repeat the formula. That's business. It's very cold, calculated, and only concerned with the bottom line. Let's get over it. If you want to spit in the face of anyone who offers you money for "your baby," obviously that's very self- righteous of you. But why knock the hustle? Can I live?

Self-doubt is the biggest liability you can have in any of these industries. Because if you don't believe your own hype, no one else will either. No one likes the Dr. Phil self-help babble (actually tons of people do, but no one cool does) but it's not funny because it's true. If you want to specifically knock a particular person and their undeserved success, keep it real, shout it out. But to generally criticize a group for getting on a lucrative bandwagon (excluding your buddy) seems shortsighted.

Now back to the TAN memoirs.

The real TAN revealed ...[TAN]
You blogging for the love? Nah, show me the money! [TAN]


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Here's a good way I've found to gauge hateration levels: if something is really all that unworthy you'd never give it the time of day. If Lindsay was so "above all this," would she have devoted all that time and an ARTICLE to discussing it?

    And FYI, "haterade" is getting ripped off. Consider this your warning.

  3. TAN, towards the end of this post, when you speak positively about believing your own hype, it highlighted for me the huge contrast between this approach and the hipster ethos, an ethos that cultivates (perhaps simply the appearance of?) self-doubt and fear of mainstream success.

    Hipster types are deathly afraid of being seen as having "sold out." One can debate whether or not this fear of larger success is simply a desire to remain "cool." However, I think it's important to remember that it's easier to adopt this pose when you've got a trust fund (or, at the very least, a college education, a middle-class upbringing, and white skin) to fall back on.

  4. Haven't people always been whores for fame and money, whether it's the arts, sports or entertainment? I mean, Da Vinci was a fantastic artist and all, but if he wasn't getting cheese from the Medici, he would've picked another profession. And my friend William Forrester used to say, "Women will sleep with you if you write a bad book."

    Nothing bugs me more than faux-nostalgia for things that never existed. Like the annoying sports fan who talks about how athletes used to play for the love of the game and how college sports are "pure".

    Writers have always been arrogant pricks who have churned out shit because they'd already spent their advance on booze.

  5. hey TAN buddy? I got a demo I want U to put yo ears around. It's kinda em meets Michael Flatley.

  6. Yo, you stole my idea for a future post. Well, not really, but Lindsay's holier-than-thou blogger bullshit has become way too preachy and self-aggrandizing.

    Why shouldn't bloggers want to gain success, fame and notoriety from their blogs? It's not as if blogging has been around for so long that people actually profiting off their talent should be viewed with a jaundiced eye.

    I seem to recall an older Lindsay post that actually said something to the effect of "I remember when people did it (blogging) for the love." Well that's all well and good, but don't get all uppity because some people are fortunate enough to be able to quit their jobs and make a living as a writer. Good Christ, we should all be so lucky.

    She acts as if she's above it all, but if a big book imprint came calling with a deal worth a few hundred thou, would she really balk because it's against her artistic integrity?

  7. By the way, I eat Haterios with milk in the morning, drink Sprhate with my Chihatele burrito for lunch and eat a big juicy Haterhouse steak with a glass of Caberhate Sauvignon.

    Hate, it's what's for dinner.

  8. I think the amount of hate should correspond directly to how good looking the hatee is. And Opionista is pretty good looking, so . . .

  9. Look at TAN, very dilpomatically calling bullshit.

    That was a nice post.

  10. I wish the very first comment that was REMOVED BY THE AUTHOR was still visible. I wonder if it would, in some way, add slanderous content to this discussion.

    I do love me some slander. With a nice glass of haterade to boot, of course. And some fava beans.

  11. I'm with you on the high-fallutin' not-of-this-world, don't-need-to-eat, I'm-an-ascetic-blogger stuff. It's a bit hard to swallow. She needs to find a convenient tree, park herself under it, and practice some real asceticism. That is, assuming the asceticism is really that important.

    And in non-rhetorical reply to the rhetorical question: "Seriously though...remember when people wanted to write books because they wanted to tell good stories and write good things and entertain the nice people?"

    No. Actually, I don't remember that. Even Mark Twain was consciously trying to build a reputation and fortune for himself. (He failed on the fortune part, but it wasn't for lack of trying. He was just a terrible businessman.) And insofar as it did happen in some glorious misty past, it still happens to the same degree today, I suspect, give or take a few authors here and there.

    Having said that, the solemnity and heaviness of the "unveilings" as described in the Observer piece does tickle me a little bit. It's all so weighty and ceremonial. One would think that a new pontiff was being selected.

    But my perspective probably comes from the fact that nobody would give a flip whether I was masked, unmasked, or climbing butt naked up the side of the Conde Nast building, to borrow a turn of phrase from our fearless blogmaster.

    Save some room on the face of the building for me. And bring along some Haterade. It's a long climb.

  12. But...but...I thought black guys liked me!

  13. i'm not all about the you have a book deal and that's not cool cause you're a blogger first and foremost. personally, i wouldn't want a book deal if it was handed to me on a silver platter, but that's because i have no aspirations of being a writer (and uh, i wax poetic about monkeys on my blog). i do have a problem with the unveiling of the anonymous blogger hype, and specifically opinionistas's gimmick as a lawyer. she graduated from law school in 2004, passed the bar in feb '05 - come on, how much materical can she have? when she writes about her personal life, i find it mildly entertaining, and i'm not one for chick lit. but i feel like she only has so much to write about in regards to the lawyer life. and a lot of times, she comes off as complaining about the firm lifestyle. last i checked, it was the nature of the beast, and you either live with it or get out (which she did). however, she should realize that it's a privilege to have a law degree, to be able to be well paid and live the lifestyle she does. she's not the only one who works crazy hours and puts up with firm BS. hopefully she'll find other things to write about.

  14. Lafsky is successful in promoting herself from blog to book because she is young and good-looking.

    If she were 60+, fat, and wore a hearing aid, she wouldn't be where she is.

    Look at Wonkette.

  15. Not to distract from TAN's point, but while Lafsky's blog was mildly entertaining, as Rina says, reading it was often a means to the end - getting to the comment section. The know-it-all law firm types who always called "bullshit" aside, she had a stable of hard core, very protective readers wgi were always on the ready to lash out at anyone who had the nerve to accuse her of the semi-fictionalization - that she now admits. I'm mostly bothered that her post-outing candid admissions are stemming more from an interest in continued self-preservation, than anything else. I think she owes those sorry pathetics who so adamantly believed in her an apology. Or at least some nude photos on her new site.

  16. I personally would take the book deal and the silver platter. Especially the silver platter.

    I'd even take a pewter platter. But I'd really prefer the silver one.

    As long as I didn't have to carry it up the side of the Conde Nast building.

  17. wdegraw - right on. Her site was all about the comments section. Matt Taibbi, at one point, wrote a long comment skewering one post, accusing her of writing like a 12th grade AP English student. Funny shit.

  18. Anonymous1/20/2006

    Slug (from Atmosphere) is mixed, an not technically "white".

  19. white white is white. and colored is colored. it's all about what happens (or doesn't happen) when you walk in the room, anonymous.

    anyways, lindsay's a lil hyped on the haterade, cuz its just the same shit, new pretty much everyone already said ;)

  20. About the self-doubt and staying up late wondering if I'm a fraud... yes, guilty.

    Do I have to believe in my product for it to clean up in the market? Um, I sorta have to disagree with you on this one, TAN.

    One of my favs, D.H. Lawrence, was plagued by self-conceptions of inadequacy. And he's not the only great to whip himself so. Imagining that this mountain won't crest and that this boulder does indeed need to be up there and not here, well, isn't that reason enough to keep pushing?

  21. Confidence is sexy ... self-doubt is not.


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