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Don't you just HATE those stupid lists of words?

They don't even have to be visible, they could all be hidden in the HTML. I just put them up there to annoy you. They aren't even all relevant to these pages. But I'm utterly fed up with finding porn sites when I'm looking for a hotel or an airline, so I thought I might try and lure a few people into here by saying 'lesbian' and the like in my headings. Don't go – pull your kecks up and have a look round – you might enjoy it.

In fact my host will throw me off and keep my money if I offer links to 'adult' sites, which I think is a bit Victorian - what were we trying to do in the Sixties? Was it all a waste of time (albeit fun)? I have nothing against porn as such but I won't start listing the aspects of the biz that do get on my tits. Well, not just yet and not on this page.
(I did actually find the airline I was looking for via a porn site once, honest — which just goes to show the serendipitous joys of surfing). Anyway, isn't this an adult site? Okay, bad example; how about Amazon or easyJet? Down with euphemisms, up with erotica!

This is more about other annoying aspects of the Internet, not least of which is people who think others might give a monkey's about what they have to say, especially those who also think:
(a) they're funny,
(b) they're clever because they can quote Dante or whoever
(c) quoting in the original language somehow sets theirs apart from the million links labelled
"abandon hope, all ye who enter here"
(d) their work has only been overlooked for conventional publication due to the shortsightedness of publishers.

The truth is that
(a) they probably aren't - well, they can get a laugh down the pub or in the office but that's a different kettle of fish
(b) they aren't, they're tiresome. Clever is understanding Dante. Can't say I do.
(c) to be honest I've never seen such a page but I just know they're out there.
Looking up the Italian quote on the web (mea culpa) is not the same as being able to read the whole thing.
(d) this is the crucial point:–

Like many aspiring authors I have always believed that publishers, like the rest of us, have their blind spots, their weaknesses, their favourites, friends and family. Of course there's a cliquiness, an in crowd; it's only natural. In their turn they must get sick and tired of receiving covering letters saying, all my friends tell me this is billiant.

Everybody's critical faculties work differently when they know an author (or even know certain things about them). This goes for publishers too. On top of that, they have to sell books and that must give them pause. And fashion is, for good or ill, a fact. On a good day I even believe my own stuff only gets rejected because it's too daring/original/different/funny/whatever. And a publisher once said they were interested in seeing my finished novel, based on a few chapters and a synopsis. Unfortunately everybody there died of old age while waiting and they (RKP) gave up publishing fiction; but there must be something good in there. No?

I'm not defending publishers; more damning them with faint justification. There are no doubt a lot of stuck-up sods out there who think they and their Hampstead chums are a cut above the unwashed hordes of the bungled and the botched. They don't spend a lot of time with the man on the Clapham omnibus and they probably have an unhealthy contempt for his intelligence and taste. They know he'll read Archer and Grisham, why bother trying to find out what he might find more satisfying?

There is little doubt that history is littered with the Austens, Hardies and Greenes who got overlooked by fools for a myriad stupid reasons. But I've now come to the conclusion that it doesn't matter a jot. What we don't know about, we don't miss and we already have more great stuff than we can ever hope to read. (So why are you wasting your time with this???)

And now there's the web. Oh, I love the freedom of it all, even if the power and money men make sure that it doesn't last — it's a strange feeling to know that the last frontier of human freedom is in the hands of socially dysfunctional men in anoraks. I even like the idea that literature can be made available to people almost for nothing and without the restrictions normally present in an exchange-based system

Exchange is the most pernicious of evils (William Godwin)

Let's have our texts out here, printer-friendly, no frills, no gifs, no pretty backgrounds, no copyright. All property is theft, intellectual property, doubly so!

But, and here's the rub, this means that almost anybody can publish anything they like.

And oh boy, do they.

Just read a few of the stories, poems and hyper novels out there (this probably includes mine). Don't feel obliged to go past the first page. Suddenly, the occasional suicide of an unsung genius in a dimly-lit attic seems a small price to pay for a humanly-imperfect group of front-line critics and arbitrators foolishly discarding a few diamonds while protecting the rest of us from such piles of god-awful shit.

Oh well, ...