Thursday, May 13, 2010

Blogging on "blurbs"

..."the Leader of the Loyal Opposition in my country has just been accused of … fudging his blurbs.

The government benches are supposedly in high dudgeon over Michael Ignatieff’s most recent book appearing in paperback with promos and endorsements on the back that aren’t exactly accurate.

“Plenty of scope for a rich story,” the National Post is recorded as saying about his family memoir, True Patriot Love. “Well-written.”

True enough, it turns out, but the Post apparently didn’t think the “rich story” had been delivered. The newspaper also said there is “little that is new,” that the book “offers up clichés” and, in the end, stands as “a well-written disappointment.”

“Dishonest!” came the cries from the government benches. “Deceitful!”

As for the “comments” section of one of the websites that carried the story, some Canadians think he should resign, some are blaming the Tories for a lame attempt to divert attention from their own scandal (remember Helena Guergis?) and one even forgives him, saying you can hardly expect someone who aspires to be Prime Minister of Canada to admit “I wrote a book that sucks.” (Roy MacGregor, Globe and Mail, May 13, 2010)

It would seem, Dear Roy, that blurbs appear not only on book jackets and movie ads, but it must be a "blurb" industry that is actually working for the government, all liberal democratic governments, who apparently have fallen for the notion that, while they believe their own "blurbs," they also believe the rest of us do too!

Government propaganda by blurb is the monetizing of obsequiousness, getting rich by fawning at the feet of the "masters" of the power structure. It is neither honest nor can it hope to build trust in either the people or the process of liberal democracy. And we are drowning in it!

Like you, I had the honour and privilege of sliding a sheef of yellow pages on which I had typed some "poems" across the table in a North Bay coffee shop to the outstreched hand of Margaret Atwood, who had that day been a visitor to the school where I taught. She actually read the stuff and commented, unforgetably, "When are you going to jump off the cliff?"
Like you, I have pondered, jumped into, swam with and delighted in that moment for nearly forty years!...and Atwood is not into "blurbs!" Thank God and Margaret Atwood! Would that her kind were running the country!

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