With All Due Respect

It’s natural to pay tribute when someone dies, but public tribute always hinges on how important the person was. Ray Bradbury wasn’t one of my favorite SF/F writers and he didn’t influence my writing in any way, but I understand that he was important to many, many SF writers and readers. Still . . . I’m always awe-struck, and not in a good way, by the lemming-like rush to get in on the tribute wagon, even by people who really have nothing to say except a variation on “me, too.”

So I had to admire this contribution

Do better.

by the sharp-tongued owner of Hey, Author,  a fairly new blog. I’ve become addicted to the blog and if you check it out, and you’re a writer, I think you’ll see why.


8 thoughts on “With All Due Respect

  1. Thoughtful blog. The Washington Post recently had a great article on the rush to be the first to blog/tweet/blather about a person’s passing and what it meant in a sociological context. So many rush to tweet how sorry they are about Waldo’s/Famous Person’s passing you have to wonder if they knew who they were at all. I will check out the blog you mentioned. Sounds interesting.

    1. The format for Hey, Author is very succinct — a photo with an embedded comment. Sometimes funny and sometimes “ouch!” If the blog owner isn’t a writer himself, he certainly keeps an eye out for our foibles and puts them in proper perspective.

  2. I think there are a lot of reasons that people rush to eulogize authors (even those that didn’t particularly move them). Sometimes the writer is a part of their childhood, back in the day when they were tasting around, unknowingly forming the likes and dislikes that would inform their writing in the future, and the news brings back an old debt. Sometimes the death of any writer reminds another of the shortness of life, and the limited time we have to make a mark in the world. Maybe that passing gives us a short, sharp, smack in the head, asking us when we will git our own careers moving in the right direction?

    Even you, Cat, who declare that you had little use for his style and stories, did bother to bring him up, to give him a bit of space.

    I took a look at Hey, Author, and find the site titillating, if somewhat mean-spirited. It’s too bad his (?) RSS is broken. I’d like to have subscribed.

    Thanks for the thoughts, and the reference..

    1. Can’t make a point unless there’s someone specific to point to, and right now, Bradbury is it. I don’t object to eulogies, but most of them that I’m seeing are just “me, too.” I guess that’s a human quality I don’t understand.

      If Hey, Author is somewhat mean-spirited, then I probably come across that way sometimes. But I get irritated with people blowing up their relatively trivial problems to world-shaking level for every one to see. It’s a matter of proportion.

  3. It’s hard to tell the difference between genuine eulogies and the ‘jumping on the band-wagon” posts, but I wonder about that too at times like this.

  4. Back on after the week’s layoff, didn’t know Bradbury was dead. If he’s getting a lot of coverage in the US, I for one, am glad: I loved that guy and the way he wrote, and I always feared he’d be smothered by the techno buffs like Clarke and Asimov. Bradbury was more of a poet than a story writer, I felt. Loved the guy – but I also loved Harlan Ellison; ‘Catman’ is one of my 10 favourite short stories of all time. As usual, everybody’s different.

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