Apparently, no meaning CAN be found, my padawan learners.

Last week’s “unpopular opinions” was such a smash hit that I decided to whine about more shit, this time pissing off a lot of authors. HAVE FUN!

I LITERALLY HAVE NOTHING MORE TO SAY TODAY.

LITERALLY.

FIGURATIVELY. WE NEED A WORD THAT MEANS SORT OF LITERALLY, SORT OF FIGURATIVELY. FIGURALLY.

I FIGURALLY HAVE NOTHING MORE TO SAY.

MAYBE.

1. DUBSTEP IS AWESOME AND IF I COULD MAKE IT MY LIFE SOUNDTRACK I WOULD. When I watch mimes doing their routines, I automatically think they are playing dubstep in their heads.

2. I would have thought by now that all religious groups would have given up on insisting that there’s a Gay Agenda. This is an unpopular opinion because not only have they not given up on it, but no one I know is surprised that they’re still pushing it. I guess it’s just my optimistic goddamn view of humanity that they might learn just how fucking silly they sound then they say it. Like calling a bagel “baaaa-gil”. Recently when talking about how professed “progressives” still fail, as a large percentage to get understand how intersectionality works or why it might be a good idea, I referred to myself as Charlie Brown, always, ALWAYS believing that Lucy’s gonna hold that football in place, but of course, no.

3. The more I am exposed to any conversation about genres, the more I want to roll my eyes. I am so fucking sick of genre fiction discussions. Like that we had to create YA for another set of life makes me lol even more. And don’t get me wrong, it has nothing to do with the quality of the books that makes me sigh. It’s the way we as a whole society of people make smaller and smaller labels for things. And then we talk about the labels for those things and then we argue about who is allowed to call what what and etc etc, and what qualifies, and then here comes the person who scoffs at people who read said genre labeled X and then we get a flurry of people defending X. It is ridiculous. And if you are upset and say, “Well then don’t read these posts/discussion/genres!” Then I direct you to 1. I don’t. But I see it on my twitter feed enough that I have formed this opinion.

And here’s a good example.

4. I don’t think we should EVER want another season of Firefly. Aside from the fact that it’s been, like 13 fucking years or something, I don’t think it could ever live up to what fandom wants without being a horrible referencing sad piece of crap. Stop arguing that you want it, because you really effing don’t. And if after all that thought, you still want it, then I, like Nina Garcia, fashion director of Marie Claire, question your taste level.

I could get behind a Firefly Holiday Jamboree Special, though. And the holiday is like, Arbor Day.

5. I am getting really sick of people saying “the reason is because”. NO, THE REASON IS THAT. THAT. THE REASON IS THAT. JESUS. AND STOP PUTTING THE SHIT IN THE COFFEE.


An article about me.

6. It has never occurred to me to not read something because it is in a certain tense or POV. I mean, seriously? You’re looking at that? I get that people have “preferences” meaning they have things that are either less difficult or more pleasurable for them to read, but all these authors who complain about low readership? Maybe people are just passing on your book because they have decided not to give it a chance because it’s in the “wrong” tense. And I mean that when I sit down to read a book, I register the tense that it is in at the start as, “Oh, okay, first person present.” ::popcorn::

Reading has never been for me something in which I have to be catered to (unless it’s guilty pleasure reading, and then my standards are sometimes so low that poorly done tense/POV hardly matters—two octopus men are fucking and fighting crime while eating Pringles, and the author still cannot keep from switching back and forth between past and present. IT IS GLORIOUS. Shut up). To me, a book is a set table that I come to, not a table that sets itself for my convenience, like some fucking magical Disney castle.

An author picks a tense for myriad reasons, same with POV. Some do it arbitrarily, and some do it for specific reasons, from immediacy, to narrative tone etc. etc. blah. And the fact of the matter is, one POV or tense actually isn’t better than another one—rather it’s about how that technique is created. Is Baroque any better than Cubism? Probably not. That’s not precisely an even parallel. Is acrylic any better than tempura? Not really. But I have seen some shitty tempura works and some great acrylic works. I have been disappointed by the artists who use tempura, so I either prefer NOT to look at tempura based art (which, okay), or I get on a very high horse and decide to declare that tempura works kind of suck.

To me, there’s a big difference in between saying “oh, I have been disappointed by tempura works so I prefer not to go to exhibits of them” and “tempura works suck”. One is an opinion and the other is…what? Still an opinion? Someone discovering fact? I don’t know what the fuck that is. People have been debating for years what it means when a person takes the “I think that” sentiment out of their statements. Are they assuming that listeners will know it’s their opinion? Are they trying to convince someone to believe like them by asserting opinion as fact?

To me, when I see these statements from writers (and I am going somewhere stupid with this so hang on there), I see a closing of doors. In communities in which younger writers listen to older writers, etc., I see people saying “oh, first person is horrible. I never read it.” Or “second person is the worst tense ever” (I happen to love it, but I am glad so many people hate it, because it is so hard to do well, that I don’t want to have to see it mangled more often. Thanks, haters!). I wonder if this isn’t where we help to perpetuate or create grammar rules that go from opinion to solid fact that writers them whine about (*cough* adverbhate *cough*).

We’re writers. We’re supposed to be a little more aware of words and how to use them. I am sick of writers who declare one tense to just be plan horrible, no-good bad. How about saying “I prefer to read XYZ, because the ZYX is better for me, because” AND THEN GIVE A FUCKING REASON.

I have, as an editor, asked writers to change the tense of a whole story. I am not so flexible that I will send a book out the door when the tense is incredibly wrong for the narrative (and in one case, the tense used was used so badly, that a “remedial” tense was needed. I am not perfect, and sometimes I have to just patch up the inner tube instead of—doing some other things that would complete this comparison. Let’s just say that I was obligated to work on something that I don’t think was publishable. Sorry, unpublishable person. Your day will come. Keep writing!)

Where was I going? Oh yeah, ALL THE WAY BACK to the place where I don’t get people who won’t read a tense or POV. You get the book, you read the blurb, you select it. Then you sit down and open it (or press play or do wherever it is that you young people do to turn on your electronic book thingys) and you start to read. You don’t say “oh, look, first POV” and close it (hit stop or do whatever it is you young people do to turn off your electronic reader thingys) without giving it a while.

If the book actually does suck, then go with god my friends. It’s probably the writing. Or maybe, like me and that Erik Larson book I tried to read, it’s just REALLY BORING THIS TIME (witness that I loved his three other books), then just close it (or hit stop or do that electronic thingamajigger doodad. Incidentally, my googlefu was inconclusive about whether or not “thingamajigger” had racist origins, but if someone else knows, please feel free to enlighten me because I love how the word sounds, but it looks a little….”has a scary past”-ish. ). I apologize that you have just experienced a poor reading adventure. Please pick up the next book in your pile (I know you have like eight of them in your house, plus a box in the basement labelled “unread”) and try again.

But if you come on a writer’s forum and say something like “I hate first person” or “First person present is a bad POV to use”, you better back that shit up with a list of fucking reasons, or your writer card will be pulled from The Book of Amanda, and I will cross out your name in all the copies of your books I have, and just put “Thingamajigger Mc Douchenozzle”.

Sike. I will just sigh.

16. I love me some slang. I am one of those people who when I see an article titled “words people have to top using” and it’s a list of slang like “totes” and “adorbs”, I roll my eyes and laugh at people who I pretty much consider soulless beings who have to learn to not let everything in the world permeate them, like dropping pumice into a vat of sriracha.

Which is why when I say that “hangry” is the most fuckcravat word in the universe, you know that my opinion has weight (what kind of weight remains debatable). I love every slang word. “On fleek” is amazing. Technically “hangry” is a hybrid word and not precisely slang yet, but it is horrible. First of all, you are angry because you are hungry. Whatevs. Snickers pretty much pointed this out to us. I am getting bored, so let me move on.

Basically, you are all ruining the real word to use, which is, HONGRY, and which you say like the chicken lady from Kids in the Hall. And if you don’t get that reference, just say “I am hungry.” Don’t be ruining it for the rest of us. RUINING IT.

Hangry. What the fuck.

Just in case you missed my portrait from earlier.

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About Amanda Ching

I write. Fo' you.
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