Pinky of Pinky’s Paperhaus (which is the most beautifully designed site In The World) has a response to the whole dust-up in Salon that’s insightful and on the money — aided by the fact that she knows and likes both Mark and Almond:
Here is where Mark is right: he can dislike Steve Almond’s writing all he wants and can blog his opinion. No feud, just Mark blogging about a writer, as he blogs about a zillion other writers.
Here is where Steve is right: litbloggers are a concentrated community that can be very closed. Sometimes it seems like a terrifically smart group of 15 people all talking to each other and nodding in agreement.* And I think Steve may be right in saying that blogging keeps people from the work of their "real" writing. Anyone who says it doesn’t isn’t being honest, or doesn’t have a day job.
I’m not sure whether I agree with that very last point about blogging keeping people from their "real" writing–for me it’s been the opposite (although I admit that reading blogs can sure be a procrastination tool)–but I’ve been meaning to post about that anyway, so I’ll save it until next week.
Anyway, the whole thing still makes my stomach hurt–especially the people who came screaming forward to be mean–like watching a fight break out too close to you in a bar. (I don’t blame Mark for turning off his comments.)
(Via the fantabulous Miss Cecil.)
*I couldn’t resist, but it’s snark-free, swear.
ETA: Scalzi weighs in. I admit my first reaction yesterday was: "Salon published this? How lame."