I received this e-mail tonight from the good people at Goodreads. It had been dumped in my spam folder by Yahoo Mail. I think that is both ironic and funny. I am easily amused by small things. This kind of malice is such a common occurrence for me I would normally not see fit to mention it in here, but on this occasion I have inadvertently been sent information I should never have seen. My joy is boundless and I must share it:
Hi Chancery, The photo on your account at Goodreads has been determined to be inappropriate for our site, so we have removed it from your profile. Your photo contained nudity. We strive to maintain a fun and enjoyable experience on Goodreads for people of all ages, so we hope you will understand. Best, Tessa
On Tue, Jun 8, 2010 at 6:22 AM, Ann Somerville wrote: > Message from: id=2499549 email@example.com name=Ann Somerville > > question type: other > from email: firstname.lastname@example.org > summary: Offensive book cover > question: > Pertaining to my previous message, this book cover is the same image as the > author uses (partly) in her profile: > > http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2293622.DANNY_2_The_Revenant > > Dogs with human penises. Lovely. > > Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; Intel Mac OS X 10.6; en-GB; rv:126.96.36.199) > Gecko/20100401 Ant.com Toolbar 1.4 Firefox/3.6.3 > — Goodreads Customer Care
I do not know, have never met, spoken to or corresponded with Ann Somerville. The only facts I know about Ann Somerville are these: She is Australian. She writes male/male gay fiction. Her fiction is sexually explicit and, therefore, contains, we must assume, penises. As Ann chooses to write about penis-on-penis action, we can assume that Ann likes penis-on-penis action. Although it is a distressing thought, we can imagine she does penis-on-penis action because it turns her on. Ipso facto, Ann must think penises are “lovely” as she spends all her life – when she is not hounding me – lovingly describing said penises.
I think we have fairly established that Ann likes penises and has no grudge against them. The other facts I know about Ann are that she has been instrumental in having me banned from Amazon; she has had my book covers banned by Amazon; she has campaigned to have me banned from Wikipedia, and she has posted fictitiously signed one-star reviews of my work, which she has never read, on Amazon. Ann is also very voluble on freedom of speech and how she would never – never ever – try to prevent another author from earning a living. Assumably that doesn’t apply to me. Perhaps I am in a different postal code.
I repeat, because it bears repeating, I do not know, have never met, spoken to or corresponded with Ann Somerville. The “offensive book cover” which Ann felt compelled to report was less than 2 centimetres high. On said teeny cover, the “offensive” penis that so shocked a woman who writes about penises all day, every day, was perhaps one millimetre long, maybe less. It was a penis that was so small you could only know was there because you knew it was there, not because you could actually see it.
You could be forgiven for thinking Goodreads inadvertently included Ann’s ‘report’, name and e-mail address ‘accidentally on purpose’. Almost as if they felt she deserved to be exposed for such pettiness. I am absolutely sure they did not.
Please do not write to Ann at her e-mail address: email@example.com, which has been provided purely through unfortunate human error, to point out the stunted viciousness that would make a woman, whose entire life is penis-porn, maliciously report another author’s cover for the display of a one millimetre penis. Do not write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org and call her a despicable two-faced hypocrite. That would be wrong.
Thank you and goodnight.