3.08.2006

No neonetcon agents for me!

Dear Miss Snark,

I know a writer and agent aren't going to hang out together around the gin pail but still, I'd like to know that my agent shares my general sensibilities about the political situation in this country. I fired my insurance agent after he came to my house with a Bushbot sticker on his bumper and absolutely cringe at the thought of collaborating with a literary agent who, unbeknownst to me, condones illegal invasion and occupation, torture, assault on the poor, cronyism, and the laundry list of other horrific acts committed by this administration.

I was able to delete some candidates from my agent search because their web sites touted Reaganomics and past professional association with Grover Norquist, but aside from these instances, how is a writer to know?


Not only don't I want a relationship with someone who thinks everything's hunky dory right now, I don't want my agent's 15 percent funding the radical extremists currently running roughshod over everything I value.

Signed,

Rabbitania Is Starting to Look Good



You'll just have to ask.
I don't think you'll have much trouble if your agent search is confined to the 212. The last election netted 16% of the popular vote here for the president and much of that was outer boroughs 718.

You've decided this of course not based on the correalation between effective representation and politics, cause there isn't one. And you might be surprised by the political atmosphere on Rabbitania. I hear it's gone to the dogs.

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

This was, perhaps, the most bizarre post I've ever seen.

Politics and publishing. Wow.

Gail Faulkner said...

I’ve never dreamed of judging an agent by political party. Puzzled over how that translates to selling my book for the most money the Lil-Capitalist can squeeze outta the rest of the capitalists? Wait, I forgot – we writers are way above the rest of the capitalists and um.. work this hard for pleasure. Bottom line, you want your agent to like money and like makin money. Or am I wrong?

Elektra said...

This is absolutely ridiculous. Are you going to screen prospective publishers, too, to make sure the money your book makes isn't going to 'support' all the things you listed? Have you gone to the post office to ask each and every employee how they're going to spend their salary (or are you just doing e-queries; in which case, has your trip to AOL happened yet?). The paper company? The people you bought your computer from? The guy at Wal-Mart who sells you your ink?

Anonymous said...

And you might be surprised by the political atmosphere on Rabbitania. I hear it's gone to the dogs.

That is conservative spin. Rabbitanians prefer to call it "the carrot approach."

harridan said...

Man,

Why am I sooooooo often stunned here?

Anonymous said...

Wow. Break out the tin foil hats.

Does this person question every vendor he/she purchases from to make sure the proceeds might not go to someone with a different point of view?

If an agent can get the job done (sell the manuscript and help develop a career), I couldn't care less what side of the sliding political bar she/he stands.

Again. Wow.

Bernita said...

Discri...I mean chosing an agent based on how they vote, rather than on their ability to provide proper representation?
Dear me.

Bert Bariteau said...

Oh Please? Been around political digs for 30 plus years and only the incredibly naive believe there is any significant difference between the major parties other than the source of their PAC funds. You want to write, heed Miss Snark and go write well. You want to sell your writing, heed Miss Snark, and find someone like her to peddle your words. If Miss Snark could sell my work, it wouldn't matter one whit to me if she were,say,a devoted Ted Kennedy fan. Her political leanings are as relevant to me as KY's.

Anonymous said...

Yeesh! I suppose there's no hope for someone who has mirror opposite of this problem!

Maria said...

And when you write your books, keep in mind how disgusted you are by viewpoints you don't agree with. Your readers, if they don't agree with your politics and it happens to be a feature of one of your characters...may not wish to read anymore of your books...just a thought.

Anonymous said...

I'm trying very hard not to roll my eyes into the back of my head, but they seem to be heading there of their own accord.

So I vote for Kerry in the last election and wonder why everyone can't see that he was, at the very least, the lesser of two evils. Now I understand why. In publishing, the most competitive of all competitive markets, where getting an agent, let alone getting published, merits a comparison to winning the Indiana Powerball, there's some raving writer wannabe who would rather go without representation at all than work with someone who he/she suspects may--may--have voted for Reagan back in '84.

I suspected it before, but now I know for sure: We Democrats are screwed.

Anonymous said...

Does this advice also apply to writers not wanting agents who condone sitting idle while people torture, rape, murder and brutalize their own people?

Or maybe we shouldn't mix politics and business.

A nice conservative girl said...

Ya know, I'd have to ditch half my friends and relatives if I suddenly decided I could no longer associate with liberals, and I'm sure it would play havoc with my business relationships as well. Rather than blacklisting perfectly good agents, maybe you could treat this as an opportunity to learn how to get along with someone who doesn't agree with you. Otherwise, it seems like you're only hurting yourself.

Ski said...

Please don't take us down this slippery political slope. Please, please, please! There is too much info and advice that you can give us, stuff we desperately need without allowing politics to enter into this realm. Next will be religion, then astrology, then alien abduction, and then who knows what. I respect everyone's right to a political opinion. I also respect their right to do business with those that support their particular ideas. But please Miss Snark - I just hate the thought of politics creeping into this discussion. There are so many political blogs out there, certainly enough to go around for everyone. But, there are absolutely no other places that provide what you do. I know we all live in the real world, a world that is affected by politics, business, etc. This place is a haven from those "things." Can't we keep it that way?

Rgds..........Ski

Anonymous said...

I can't help but wonder if this person would turn down an offer from Random House if the aquiring editor voted for Bush.

I just seriously don't get this. What does one thing has to do with the other? Does this person also question the owner of the mini-mart where they buy gas about the owner's political persuasion? Their real estate agent? The teachers in the school system who are on the county payroll? Damn, let's all just go make money. It IS a free country, be thankful of that.

Reggie said...

Fired his insurance agent because of a bumper sticker? There's a writer who doesn't believe in free speech.

sex scenes at starbucks said...

don't worry, dude. they'll smell you a mile away and reject you before it's ever a problem.

lady t said...

*sigh*I've seen this kind of thinking before and the irony of it is that very same person who is eager to espouse their views on protecting the rights of others,has no tolerance for those others who want the same privilege given to them.

In simpler terms,they're so busy searching for the enemy elsewhere and all they had to do is just look in the mirror!

Bella Stander said...

My thought exactly, Reggie.

This writer shouldn't even be searching for an agent, especially if he doesn't approve of "cronies." After all what is the publishing business but a bunch of cronies?

He should be pitching small, left-leaning publishers directly, but only after going over every single one of their books with a fine-tooth comb to make sure they adhere to his world view. Oh yes, and he should also check the voting records, charitable contributions; dietary, shopping & entertainment choices; political, social and religious affiliations of all their employees. Ah hell...might as well tap their phones, read their mail, bug their homes and read their email too. Can't be too careful!

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

So certain talk radio hosts are right when they say liberals only talk to themselves? Isn't that sad?

Say, is this poster on of those recently tape recorded nutzoid teachers? Just wondering ...

I want effective Agent representation. I don't care if my agent thinks Bush is a hottie. I don't care if she thinks Barbra Boxer is next to God. I do care she's effective as an agent.

Meg said...

For myself, when I start querying, I can't imagine further reducing the number of potential agents I'm going to query by excluding those who might not share my world view.

Kirsten said...

I hope this person's book has a noticeably leftist slant. If it doesn't, it might accidentally be purchased or even read by . . . them :-o

jta said...

Funny...I'd like my agent, in full SWAT gear, to invade and occupy the editor's office, and to torture him without mercy until he coughs up his last lonely nickel, and I'm a lifelong liberal Democrat.

Elektra said...

I love his negativity towards "radical extremists".
Ah, the subtle irony that gets me through the day...

Anonymous said...

[*sigh*I've seen this kind of thinking before and the irony of it is that very same person who is eager to espouse their views on protecting the rights of others,has no tolerance for those others who want the same privilege given to them.]

Yup. I've seen it a lot in writers groups, too. There's always one (and only one, hopefully) who claims the privilege of 'honesty' and 'bluntness' in critiquing other writers' work, but brews up a hurricane-sized tempest from a thimble-full of tactfully expressed criticism directed at their work.

Now, if the agent was sending every email with a 'Click here to give money to My-Fundamentalist-Religion-and-its-tame-political-flunky', and the checks arrived with a statement showing that 10% of MY share was being tithed... that'd be a deal-breaker.

Jeb

Anonymous said...

I don't see why everyone's so outraged. What's wrong with putting your money where your mouth is? This is a voluntary relationship, why would you choose to work with someone whose worldview you can't stomach? Taking one's politics seriously, especially when politics these days is literally a matter of life and death on so many fronts, does not make a person crazy.

McKoala said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I wrote the original post and apologize for the impression that I’m concerned about Democrat vs. Republican or left vs. right. Those labels have nothing to do with what’s happening in this country today. (I included Reaganomics and Grover Norquist because the current administration endorses those policies that starve social programs designed to aid society’s poor and most vulnerable). The people in charge are radicals much farther out of the mainstream than you’ve painted my perspective in your comments.

While I won’t be going out dancing with my agent, I want a relationship that must be built on mutual trust and respect because she will represent me and my work whereas the gas station attendant will never play that role. I can’t respect someone who condones torture, etc. I just can’t. And for those of you who ridicule me for my values and refer to my well-documented concerns as tin foil hat conspiracy theories and suggest that I should tap phones and emails in my attempt to find compatible representation, well, you’re clearly not paying attention (or you’re very subtle political satirists).

I would never have fired my insurance agent if Bush hadn’t invaded and occupied another country under a series of provably false and exploitative pretexts designed to mislead the U.S. public and the world. I fired him because he wasn’t someone I could respect; anyone who continues to support this administration is living a life of denial and is a partisan of the highest order (FYI, I’ve voted for Dems, Reps, and Greens). I won’t apologize for paying attention when 34% of the eligible voting public isn’t.

So maybe it was crazy to ask Miss Snark the question but I wondered if it was a question that could be asked of other agents. And, according to her, it is

ann said...

I was taken aback by the original post and glad to see I'm not the only one. And you-all did a much better job!

SherryD said...

I guess he's too liberal to be tolerant.

Problem Child said...

>if my agent thinks Bush is a hottie.>

Argh...I *so* could have done without that. I need the serial scrubber to come scrub away the mental image...

Brady Westwater said...

On the other hand, I think the post was a masterful put-on. Surely no one could be that intolerant of anyone who holds opposing political points of view.

Lady M said...

Yup. I've seen it a lot in writers groups, too. There's always one (and only one, hopefully) who claims the privilege of 'honesty' and 'bluntness' in critiquing other writers' work, but brews up a hurricane-sized tempest from a thimble-full of tactfully expressed criticism directed at their work.

ROFLMAO! This, unfortunately does not apply to just writers, the literary circuit - this is an invasion of the facist kind into every day life of just about every type of profession, hobby, etc.

Actually, IMHO, I would have to say over the last 40 years or so, we've just started communicating with the entire world... In so communicating, we've found that there are some really, truly bizarre people out there.

Before that - these people had to be charismatic and rise to great heights before people noticed them... Like uhm... Hitler.

(Winces, because there is a law that means whenever someone mentions something regarding Hitler - the true conversation is "over" --- Godwin's Law --- and I only use him as an example.... *wince*)

So while I do think that the person who wrote this is a little extremist - to put it mildly - I have to wonder how they came up with the infallible vision that this was acceptable and moral behavior?

Lady M
PS. I'd tell this person to possibly visit a racist/political rally or website to find like minded individuals and to find publishing outlets, but I would be loathe to have more than one person with this close minded outlook on the world in the same spot, at the same time.

But truly - is this the right place for a political discussion?

Elektra said...

"I would never have fired my insurance agent if Bush hadn’t invaded and occupied another country under a series of provably false and exploitative pretexts designed to mislead the U.S. public and the world."
This is quite possibly the funniest thing I've heard all week.

Elektra said...

I'm guessing this was written by the same person who tried to turn 007's blog into a political rant?

tess gerritsen said...

May I offer a dissenting view to most of the comments? Your relationship to your agent is something akin to a marriage. (It's not the same thing as your relationship to your editor, which is more along the lines of a business arrangement.) I consider my agent a friend, a partner, and my personal champion. Having a similar life view helps cement that relationship. If we had a huge disagreement about politics (which we don't, thank heavens) I'm not sure I'd feel as comfortable with her, or she with me. It might even undermine our mutual trust.

So I think the original question has merit.