Now that John Freeman has exposed the terrible truth behind the Amazon Affiliates program, the time has come to reveal more allegations that have previously remained quiet rumors. Mr. Freeman, as you will soon learn, has only just scratched the surface. The litblogosphere is actually a disgraceful den of small-time crime, an online millieu where babies are eaten, adorable kittens are barbequed (cat photos indeed!) and tags are torn off mattresses.
It is with great trepidation that I expose the truth behind this criminal cabal. I know that my keystrokes are being logged right now by Mark Sarvas and that there will be violent repurcussions once the following information is released to the Internet. But I am not afraid, dear readers! While I know that my right leg will likely be chopped off by tomorrow morning by Scott Esposito, my sense of ethics compels me to report the truth and commit this altruistic act. I did, after all, inherit the self-immolation gene. Here then is a small sampling of what I can tell you at the present time.
1. While Ron Hogan might tell you otherwise, there is a real-life inspiration behind Beatrice. Beatrice is actually the name of a seventy-two year old woman who Mr. Hogan mugged on a summer afternoon in Central Park. September 5, 1994, to be exact. Not only did Mr. Hogan snatch the poor woman’s purse and spill out the contents in her presence, but he demanded that she tell him her first name, in order to, as the police report I have in my hands documents, “immortalize her on the Internet.”
2. Wendi Kaufman, the blogger behind The Happy Booker, is actually far from happy. She has been doped up for some time on what trusted medical authorities refer to as “happy pills.” She has neither won a Booker, nor authored a book. That these scandalous lies have been allowed to disseminate through many conduits is a tribute to the great spin that these litbloggers, who link each other with a gusto comparable to cocker spaniels copulating, place upon their self-worth. She has also claimed to have seventeen brothers — all of them named Ted. Can such an unethical prevaricator be trusted?
3. Maud Newton has repeatedly misled her reading public, trying to throw her readers off with posts which suggest that her site is not for sale. But it isn’t an accident that she was listed by mistake in the Crown publishing catalog. There is a pyramid scheme currently making the rounds around the nation. Ms. Newton, going by the nom de guerre of “Caitlin Flanagan,” is in charge. The hysterical writer spouting forth Eisenhower-era sentiments is a mere McGuffin! Sadly, one of the people at Crown was taken in by the scam and took vengeance upon Ms. Newton by listing her website in the catalog. But this hasn’t stopped Ms. Newton from offering stern denials.
4. Dan Wickett’s notion of an emerging writer has less to do with literature and more to do with the way a particular male organ emerges from a pair of boxers. For many years, Mr. Wickett has been making a little pocket money (pardon the pun) by disseminating certain photographs of midlist writers. This explains his considerable ebullience and his replies to email at odd hours. Upon receipt of a starving writer’s genital dauggerotype (yes, he insists upon dauggerotypes), a small cash payment is then sent to a Mailboxes, Etc. outlet in Michigan and Mr. Wickett then writes a little something about each writer in question on his blog. This is a carefully concealed form of buzz marketing that has shocked the litblogosphere.
5. It is an undisputed fact that Sarah Weinman is a known cannibal, but what you may not know is that she is a CSIS agent, working in tandem with an American shadow government, replacing all literary fiction currently stocked in U.S. bookstores and libraries with mysteries. By 2012, Weinman’s diabolical plan, currently styled Operation Agatha, will be complete. Anyone asking for a Philip Roth novel will be placed on a list of agitators. (I was unable to obtain this list through the Freedom of Information Act, so I am now operating from anonymous sources.) Dissenters who insist on reading literary fiction will be thrown into concentration camps and will be “corrected” by being exposed to Ian Rankin’s Rebus series in full.
6. Levi Asher, the man behind the so-called “Overrated Writers Project,” has been lying through his teeth the entire time. Aside from the fact that Mr. Asher owns a copy of every Vollmann limited edition CoTangent book, Mr. Asher once stalked Jonathan Lethem, eventually knocking on his door and asking Mr. Lethem if he could perform housework gratis. Mr. Lethem, being very uncomfortable with this request from a stranger, politely declined and gave him a twenty dollar bill for the cabfare home. Mr. Asher, having a hubris the size of Wisconsin, ripped up Mr. Lethem’s twenty dollar bill, turned on his heel and left. This happened six months ago. And it has only been careful planning that has caused Mr. Asher to let down the axe so recently.
7. You might think that Jeff Bryant’s tagline “One person’s crap is another person’s blog…” was simply some litblogger goofing off. But you’d be wrong. Because Mr. Bryant actually profits off of scatological deposits he finds on the street. Selling these on eBay, Mr. Bryant has amassed a small fortune that he fails to report on his 1040s. So don’t buy Mr. Bryant’s “I’m a new father” routine. The kid is clearly disguising an unreported cash bonanza.
Other Troubling Ethical Dilemmas:
8. Megan Sullivan is reportedly sitting on a suitcase of cash that she received by mistake and has sent Los Angeles Times Book Review editor David Ulin a number of random bills to ensure that all of Rupert Thomson’s books get future coverage.
9. Robert Birnbaum has resigned in protest from the mob because he doesn’t approve of Condoleeza Rice speaking in front of the five families.
10. Miss Snark is not a literary agent, and is merely a person fond of printing out emails and taping them to the walls of her home.
11. Jessa Crispin buys non-organic produce from time to time.
12. Bud Parr actually spends most of his time playing golf and has not finished a single book in 2006.
13. Lizzie Skurnick sleeps with the fishes. The person who claims to post as “The Old Hag” is actually a complicated algorithm designed by some guy named Dimitri that the litbloggers added to their payroll.
14. Kevin Holtsberry is a closet liberal and pretends to be conservative in order to confuse the mainstream media (and John Freeman, in particular).
15. Sam Jones uses a psuedonym only because he is a witness relocation program.
16. Every time Jenny Davidson uses an exclamation mark, a publisher has sent one of the litbloggers a check. Her blog, Light Reading, is written in a secret code so that the appropriate accountants can cook the books.
17. It was Gwenda Bond who sent Dave Itzkoff the fruit basket. Itzkoff is clearly more corruptible than Sam Tanenhaus, but the litbloggers are working on the big cheese. The staged BEA confrontation between Sam Tanenhaus and Edward Champion was designed to suggest enmity, when in fact Mr. Tanenhaus is Mr. Champion’s love slave.
18. C. Max Magee. Millions. Enough said.
19. The Rake’s Progress refers to the progressive slot poker machines the litbloggers have installed in Nevada.
20. Scott McKenzie handles the slush money.
21. The secret code word is “tangerine muumuu.”
© 2006, Edward Champion. All rights reserved.