Over the past few days, ever since the New York Times article about paid reviews, many people seem to have appointed themselves head of the moral police and are giving author John Locke’s books (who was mentioned as one of the authors who had paid for reviews for his books) one star reviews.
I think that’s really uncool guys.
This is not about whether you agree/don’t agree/don’t care about the issue. Personally I’m in the last category. But this isn’t about me. And it isn’t about you.
Yes that’s right. This issue is not about you. It’s not even about the customers of John Locke’s books since this issue has nothing whatsoever to do with the stories and novels that he’s written. They stand on their own, with or without reviews, as each reader can easily judge for themselves whether they like or do not like what they have read.
The hypocrisy of giving someone a negative review based on your belief system, (and the irony that you are giving a false review based on false reviews), means you are entering a slippery slope of morals and ethics.
And seriously – that’s just not cool.
Tall Poppy Syndrome
In Australia we have what is referred to Tall Poppy Syndrome. It’s where, when one person starts to become more successful than the rest of the group, they start to criticize them and ‘cut them back down to size‘.
Whether it’s born of jealousy or low self esteem, I’m not sure. But it’s an unhealthy obsession when we really should be happy for the person for becoming successful, not try and punish them for it.
It’s akin to the pack mentality of bullying, which we all know is unhealthy and needs to be stopped.
Giving an author (or anyone) a poor review based on something you personally think is morally unjust, is unfair and it’s placing yourself smack bang in murky waters.
Reviews are meant to be about the books. Not whether you personally like or don’t like the author.
If you start writing reviews based on your own personal ethic system, then where do you draw the line? Would it be the same with an author who is caught drink driving? Someone who paid their way through college by being a pole dancer? Who lives a polygamist lifestyle?
I’m not saying that you personally did this (because the cool people who read my blog wouldn’t unjustly review someone’s books based on their own beliefs).
All I’m saying is that my grandmother was a wise woman when she said, “Mind your own goddamn business.”