The petition Rice wants you to sign would force the online retailer to remove anonymous reviews. While the premise didn't exactly sound feasible in a world where it takes all of five minutes to set up a fake Facebook account, I could certainly understand the sentiment behind it. After all, if there were these roving bands of anonymous bullies out there on Amazon, as Rice claims, somebody should be putting a stop to that, shouldn't they?
Excuse me, not just any old bullies, but "gangster bullies of Amazon." Okay. Shit just got real. Thankfully, Rice provided The Guardian with real evidence of how she herself had been a victim of this roving band of Amazon bullies. Because I am a person who loves empirical proof, I quickly clicked on the link which led me to the Stop the GoodReads Bullies Website.
And now we have a problem. Because unless this website has changed ownership since the last time I visited a year or so ago, these people - a collection of disgruntled self-published authors - are as full of hate and vitriol as the book reviewers they purport to stop. But I continue to read on, giving Rice the benefit of the doubt. This is what I find.....screenshots of the "bullying" of Rice in action:
Hmmmm. Have I become terribly jaded or is this not the horrible attack I was expecting? Rice certainly thinks it is because here is her reply:
There were various other examples similar to this exchange. Again, not one of them shocking or - that I could see - in any way attacking Rice. In fact, the only nasty comments I could find came from the Stop the GoodReads Bullies Website itself, confirming that its ownership is indeed thriving and intact.
This bothered me, as hypocrisy usually does. I couldn't help but wonder if perhaps Ms. Rice had inadvertently been led astray as so frequently happens to passionate people who have good intentions (the road to hell is paved with those...I should know).
And so I toddled over to Rice's very active Facebook page and left her a message.
I don't think she appreciated my observations.
Decoded, she is saying:
1. Don't distract me or my minions with logical questions.
2. The Stop the Bullies people are nice to me so that's good enough. (Hitler was nice to Eva Braun, too.)
3. And if they are mean and awful, well, sometimes it is justified.
I should have realized I wasn't going to be able to have a rational conversation with her and simply shut up. But I am dumb this way.
And from here it somewhat turned into a donkey road to hell. I'm still feeling like a pillar of saintliness for not sinking into name calling.
And as it turns out, I'm quite pleased I didn't sink to such low levels. Because here's the thing: in the week since The Guardian article has come out, the Rice media machine (and by that I mean the two college kid interns she likely has working for her) has done a stellar job of making sure that Rice's CRUSADE AGAINST THE GANGSTER BULLIES OF AMAZON is on every news media outlet across the country. From the Christian Science Monitor to Fox News, the name Anne Rice is on everyone's lips. And thank goodness for that! Because if it weren't, we might have missed this important tidbit:
There is absolutely, positively no way a formerly best-selling author would ever, ever stir up a media shit storm about a social cause like on-line bullying on the world's largest online book retailer just to draw attention to her
nearly forgotten name before announcing her new novel?
No. Fucking. Way.