Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Cassie Edwards Conundrum

The Cassie Edwards fan base is in a tizzy, most recently name-calling at Smart Bitches Trashy Books. I, personally, think it quite telling that one of them started throwing the word "witch" around as a slur. Racism... really? Who would ever believe that a person who loves novels with SAVAGE titles, featuring red men and white women, would be a bigot? Shocking. Say it ain't so.

Bizarrely, one little Cassiephile in a particular snit was directing her spit and vitriol at Nora Roberts. Why? Well, La Nora was apparently jealous of Edwards, which explained her eloquent and carefully serious comment to the media (first noted, I believe, in the AP release). I believe I am not mistaken in recalling that Ms. Roberts was contacted, not the other way around.

But nobody is surprised. Because a writer of books so blatantly racist can't have a shiny, educated, thoughtful readership. And frankly, one of the reasons MANY people have always despised Cassie Edwards is her absolute odor of inferiority. Her books are bad. They suck. They glorify American Indians, just for instance, as savages who are titillating because they are savages.

She isn't the only bad writer I hate. I dislike any writer who harms any genre by shooting for the lowest bar. I hate writers who write rape fantasies. I hate women who write Alpha males as if they must be abusive stalkers in order to be strong, compelling men. I hate insipid, dimwitted morons who write historical novels with contemporary dialogue and social mores.

I hate stupid people who bring everyone else down. That's who I hate. It's kind of an equal opportunity hatred.

But I particularly hate this nonsense with Edwards, her Cassiephiles, and the dumb people who trashed her "outers" for telling the truth. Why? How often has any writer of romance had to defend her/his profession? Bodice rippers... poorly written drivel... dirty sex strung together with awkward or barely-existing plot... the same story with new names... unhealthy for women... exploitive of minorities and the poor...

Just when we were crawling, bloody by still breathing, out of the cesspit of our admittedly wobbly legacy, Cassie gets caught. Five steps forward, four steps back. Back to the red-faced stubbornness at cocktail parties. "We are not," we will be saying for the next ten years, "ALL like Cassie Edwards."

No, we are not. But now we have to convince everyone who doesn't know much about romance. If Edwards' fans, and the wimpy little Pollyannas of the world, want to respond with outrage to our outrage, and make ignorant statements about witch-hunts, they can start with me. My broom and pointy hat are waiting. So is my answering rage.

Bring it on.

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