Whiny Bookstore-Loving Hypocrites

You are!

Where do you buy your music? Online!

Where do you watch your TV shows and movies? Online!

Where do you watch your porn? Online!

Did you give a damn that record stores became extinct?

Did you give a damn when Suncoast Video went under as a harbinger?

Do you wring your hands at night over the fate of broadcast and cable television?

Did you weep for the X-rated movie theaters?

Just because you have a sick, nostalgic and unnatural fetish for an object called a book doesn’t mean you are anything except sick and retrogressive and, ultimately, ridiculous.

You didn’t cry when everyone else’s ox was being gored.

So STFU now about yours.

Where the hell was your voice over writers being screwed into poverty for decades?

Where the hell were you during the Google Books grand theft?

Where the hell are you today with Random House trying to keep writers locked up as their bitches?

I don’t give a damn for the object called a book.

You can round them all up and burn them for all I care.

What matters — the only thing that matters — are the words locked up in them.

You book fetishists probably don’t even understand that Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 wasn’t about books —

— it was about the words in them. [Update: See Ray Bradbury: Mike Cane Is An Eejit]

The hell with your books.

Give me the words.

Go cry yourself to sleep over your sick attachment to an object and leave the grown ups who understand the words matter alone.

Previously at Mike Cane 2008:

For God’s Sake, Get eBooks Going, Steve Jobs!

Previously here:

Seth Godin: No Power Buyers Equals Death
Two Down, One To Go…
Two Sentences From The Future
The Horror Of Paper Books
The Loudness Of Dust Settling

12 Responses to Whiny Bookstore-Loving Hypocrites

  1. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by mikecane: NEW POST: Whiny Bookstore-Loving Hypocrites http://tinyurl.com/yf6koh7 @jafurtado @glecharles @DonLinn @jane_l @Booksquare…

  2. barbara says:

    Damn, Mike, you may be angry but you have a point. I will say that I buy as many books at the bookstore as I buy online or read as ebooks or get from the library. I CARE about bookstores. They are going to have to change the way they do things…publishers will, too…and authors and readers. I think you are too impatient sometimes.

    But whiney people should STFU!

  3. andy idsinga says:

    Good post – angry but good :)
    Bookstores need to change as do the people who work in them. Local book stores and libraries need to be a venue for the words, stories and public thoughts of their authors. Local book stores must have people in them who become experts in literature, supporters of writers (writers themselves?). The reason for me to walk into a book store is the venue and the people in there – the value in the physicality of it all.
    I can get books and words online – I do still like the outdoors :)
    Cheers!

  4. Don says:

    Your post is as clueless as the owners of bookstores who don’t understand the changing environment.

    Fahrenheit 451 was NOT about the books or the words. It was about the IDEAS that they words represented. Fahrenheit 451 was an attack on the Fox Newses and the Rupert Murdochs of every age.

    Yes, people get music online. But we don’t read music, we listen to it.
    The vast majority of people still watch TV on TVs and they want bigger screens for full-color, even 3D movies. They don’t want to watch TV on tiny black-and-white screens.

    When it comes to reading words, a physical book is a format where the physical words are a reflection of light off of ink and paper, not a projection into our eyeballs. Reading a book and an ebook is NOT the same experience. Neither is better than the other, but they are different. Books are not going to vanish, but bookstores will unless they change their business model to meet the new challenges. Ebooks are not going to become popular until the producers take advantage of what the technology can do.

    Yes, I know that Amazon is claiming all sorts of sales records for the Kindle and books being sold in the Kindle format, but if the sales are so unbelievably good, why has Amazon refused to release any real numbers? Methinks they doth protest too much.

    However, I do agree that whiney people should STFU. So do us a favor. Quit whining and STFU unless you can get your information right.

    • mikecane says:

      See my reply to another Comment about 451.

      >>>the physical words are a reflection of light off of ink and paper, not a projection into our eyeballs.

      This is not true of eInk displays, which are not light-emitted “projections” at all. So those crap displays that take the technology of books *backwards* are actually OK to you?

  5. smoothe14 says:

    I can definitely see your point, and enjoy that you are so blunt. I like that you can have a book on a shelf and don’t have to rely on a piece of hardware, keeping it maintained, charged, or the what not. I can see the point in the comeback, however limited, of vinyl records and stuff of that nature. However I completely agree with you, that if you don’t recognize what the reality of the situation is that you will be left back with your thumb in your butt, singing dixie… There is a place for books, but as the mainstream, efficient, future… no. they are as dead as newspapers, analog televisions and the landline. BTW, I like your blog, very interesting and enjoyable to read. Happy New year.

  6. Patrick says:

    Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 wasn’t about books or the words in them. It was about the stultifying effect of TV.

    Don’t believe me? Ask Ray:
    http://www.laweekly.com/2007-05-31/news/ray-bradbury-fahrenheit-451-misinterpreted/

    • mikecane says:

      Right. All I can say then is this: Wow.

      But I found this very ironic:
      >>>He says this while sitting in a room dominated by a gigantic flat-panel television broadcasting the Fox News Channel, muted, factoids crawling across the bottom of the screen.

      Hell, even I won’t have one of those bastard TVs in my home.

  7. rd says:

    Technology requires two things for its survival.
    Cheap labor and Cheap oil coming out of the ground.
    Both which will not be in plenty of supply in the future.

    Come back to this post in 20 years and see who has
    the last laugh.

    • mikecane says:

      Who says any of us will be alive in twenty years, given your nightmare scenario? I don’t see oil power being the final word in the matter. Human ingenuity should never be underestimated. Or we’d still have cathode-ray tube televisions filled with vacuum tubes.

  8. heartless_ says:

    Good post, but you avoided the entire situation. Its not the attachment to a dead-tree book that is being debated. Its the fact that digital copies are sold as licenses, not as copies we can own and do with as we please.

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