A Hack of a Different Stripe

I always dreamed of being like Jackie Collins or Danielle Steele. Of writing novels devoid of character or intelligence or truth. Of multiple marriages that the tabloids could gloss over. Of a hack career that had nothing to do with my color, but everything to do with my narcissism and my execrable prose. I would be the center of attention! It would all be about me, me, ME!

I dreamed of appealing to the lowest common denominator. Maybe I, too, would sell over 400 to 500 million novels. Nay, two billion novels! I’d sell novels the same way that Atari once put out twelve million cartridges of Pac-Man with only ten million Atari 2600 units in circulation. There’d be more novels than readers! And all of them would have “Great” in the title. If there was one thing I was good for, it was writing novels with the word “Great” in the title. I’d even write a novel called The Great Gatsby so that the racist author F. Scott Fitzgerald would be forgotten. Maybe we could hold a book burning and incinerate all Caucasian scum.

If they wouldn’t buy my books or respect my delusions of grandeur, well, I could always play the race card without bothering to include an indispensible party. Never mind the other authors who had seen their work thrive for the very reasons that I would sue over.

I’d hide behind a pseudonym and recruit a bunch of rabid dittoheads to shout “Injustice!” at the top of their lungs without any of them bothering to investigate the claims.

For I am an American. And like many Americans, I am prone to litigious hysteria.

Anybody who disagreed with me or who questioned my claims would be declared a racist. Who knew that a white guy like George Bush would give me such inspiration? And the scum Ed Champion would at long last be revealed to be the Grand Wizard we all know him to be, together with that craven white supremacist Lynne Scanlon.

Sometimes, it’s good to be living the dream.

I’m very pleased to share that the matter has now been resolved to my financial and narcissistic satisfaction through an agreement, the terms of which can never be discussed. The details of my claims can never be completely checked out. Yes, other African-Americans will continue to see their work marginalized. And even though they may have more legitimate claims, cemented upon hard paths of contracts and documents memorializing conversations and developments, their important fight has now received a setback thanks to my solipsistic pursuits.

Who really needs to consider the bigger picture? I knew all along that Penguin would settle this suit privately so that they could get rid of it. I knew all along that my claims would never be verified. And I knew that my followers would carry on drinking the Kool-Aid.

Only in America can you have a dream sooooooooo bright; as bright as the sun itself. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m blowing the first installment of the settlement money on a two week vacation to Maui, where I will begin work on my next novel, The Great Prevaricator.


  1. I’d suggest you include this fabulous piece in one of your GREAT novels, Ed, except it falls a long way from your self-professed arena of LCD and law suits.

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