Laughing at The Simpsons Laughing At Me

The latest Simpsons episode starring Neil Gaiman ("The Book Job") cracked me up! Of course I tuned-in for the subject matter and the guest star, but I don't remember laughing so many times out loud during an episode in years...maybe because it felt so horribly true. In the wake of James Frey's one-million-plus-one-lies and his E Lit sweatshop "fiction factory" to "ghostwriting" series and whatever plagiarism scandal you care to name, it's not hard to see why. Mix in the biggest trends to hit the shelves and screens, and it's a YA-dream-(nightmare?)-come-true!

Watching Lisa struggle with an honest attempt to create organic literature (at first I thought she'd been inspired by Jackie Dolamore's Between Sea and Sky instead of The Little Mermaid--sadly depicted in terms of Disney and not Hans Christian Andersen--ah, well) was, as Anindita put it, "hitting a little too close to home." I feel her pain. Well, that and when Patty (Salma?) asked what *kind* of vampire they might use, pointing to several different packed bookshelves. Sigh.

The thing is, I haven't really encountered that "evil business" aspect of the business (of course, I'm not a lead title nor a hired writer, so I might plead grateful ignorance of being under the radar). And while I admit that things in the publishing business are very slow, full of unexpected expectations, and more than often confusing, I am not about to accuse any of the Big 6 of intentionally Machiavellian machinations or spraying their writer labor force with a water hose. (Although that taser scene looked awfully familiar...I think we call that "editing"...)

And I *did* really like Gaiman's cackle at the end! BWAHAHAHA!


Ah. Looks like contract negotiations to me!

Anyone else catch it? What did YOU think?

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