Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Bringing Home Tofu, Pouring On Honey

The advent of the printing press heralded the Protestant reformation, freeing individuals to read and interpret for themselves, without the intercession of patriarchs in the religious hierarchy. Resulting inquisitional fires of torture could not quell the deep-rooted desire for liberated thought. Through the wide lens of history, however, it seems humanity was merely freed to create another prison for the psyche - centralized publishing.

Words are inherently interpretative. The reader necessarily and actively participates in the creation of the mind's image. The writer is merely a conduit and facilitator. Words are potential seeds of change, fostering revolution in the mind long before they manifest through the flesh. Unfortunately, when 80% of the publishing realm is controlled by a few executives and attorneys, free thinkers are squeezed from the market like so much fodder, relegated to the back shelves (assuming they are on any shelves).

My publisher (Olga Gardner Galvin) warns me to be cautious about JUNK. She correctly claims the book market is unpredictable. There is every reason to be skeptical about the ability of independent writers and publishers to break through. However, firewalls can be navigated more easily today than ever before. Our McCulture is decentralizing and evolving (begrudgingly, in some sectors) in response to that pinnacle invention of the 20th Century, the Internet.

It is true that many corporate publishers hock mind-numbing gibberish for the masses, feel-good "literature" that targets sociopolitical dupes seeking to escape their existential quandaries. These publishers have been overpaid while "their" authors dedicate sweat - and blood. A monolithic machine must remain well-lubricated, after all.

It's enough to bring this novelist to tears, but as Elvis sang, I just can't help believing. The Internet is transforming the publishing industry, just as it is changing our entire world and the way we perceive it. Those who resist this re-evolution will be powerless to prevent it from rolling over them and rendering them irrelevant, an inconsequential fart in the winds of change.

I assure Olga that I have no plans to circumvent the big-publishing firewall. I would rather break through it, like a blazing cannonball in Rupert Murdoch's blue jeans. You don't think he wears them? He certainly doesn't anymore. As we say in Texas, they've done been burned off, along with his gonads.

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