Brad' site where he mouths off about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.
Angie Gallant and her book "review" revisited
Published on December 17, 2013 By Draginol In Everything Else

imageWhat do you do if your troll husband gets banned from a forum for being an obnoxious dick? Well, most people might ask their husbands what has gotten into them. Why would they put so much effort to alienate people that they would get kicked out of a forum that they’ve spent years on?

But if you’re Angie Gallant and you run a site dedicated to smearing other people, you respond by putting up a fake review of the book written by the person who was the target of your husband’s trolling. In Crazy Land, this apparently makes sense.

Angie Gallant, aka The Unamommer managed to summon enough bile to write a multi-page trashing of my little fantasy book I had written.  Let me emphasize this, she chose to target me specifically because of her husband’s obsession. I had done nothing to her (or her husband for that matter).  To this day, I have no idea how I became the focus of their family’s obsession.  Since 2010, she’s only had time to crap on 3 books (including mine) so the choice of going after me was no coincidence. Her husband got banned, she decided to blame the victim of her husband’s relentless trolling and spew forth her venom in a review that was presented as objective to the unwary.

One could almost respect her misdirected bile if it weren’t so petty, small and nasty.  While one could argue the strengths and weaknesses of the book all day, I will say this: Her venom is mostly directed at the grammar in the book and a political subtext that only exists in her imagination. Mind you, this is a book that was edited and published by Del Rey and had the same editors as Game of Thrones.  Anyone, including myself, can pick out bits and pieces of the book to ridicule but the same can be said for pretty much any book.  She doesn’t really target the story or the characters very much.  One hopes she hasn’t read Huckleberry Finn or we’d need to get her a fainting couch.

While it’s pointless to discuss the subjective merits of my book, I think it’s safe to say that the average reader would probably find her criticisms much more enlightening if they knew that they were written in response to her husband’s banning from a popular gaming forum. 

To illustrate some of the absurdities of her “review” let me point out a few lines from it to give you a taste.

Yes, he wants to build a border fence to keep the dark people and mutants out, and if that doesn’t work, he wants to burn the magical bridge.

If you’re bat shit insane enough, I suppose anything can be read into everything. In the book, there is no fence. There are no mutants. The people she represents as “dark people” are actually very light gray. I suppose you could call the bridge “magical” in the sense that the bridge has enchantments on it to make it more robust. 

So how does her interpretation match with the actual book? You have a continent that has been split into two. On the West side are the Kingdoms of Men and on the East side you have light-gray skinned beings called the Fallen.  Think of them essentially as Orcs from that well known white supremacist series called Lord of the Rings.

Now, you might wonder, how did she somehow imagine this story as some sort of illegal immigration allegory? That brings us back as to why her husband (and later her) got banned. There are right wingers. There are left wingers. And then we have…well I don’t know how to describe them. But to them, everything is seen through the eyes of politics.

To give you an idea, our olive-skinned hero is described as a “minority”. I kid you not. On a fantasy world we now have identity politics.  Here’s a quote:

There’s also the Handsome Knight Who Is Secretly A Titan and the Token Member Of The Minority With Special Powers…[emphasis mine]

A “Token Member Of The..” Now, I want to point out here that we have someone who’s lampooning my book because of my grammar while At The Same Time Is Capitalizing Every Word In A Sentence. I could go into some detail that most of her grammatical trashing has to do with the inner monologues of characters who speak in their own distinct ways but that would be too easy.

Let’s imagine a book where the good guys have built a fortress, let’s call it Minas Tirith. The fortress is built to keep an eye out for any hint that the bad guys, long defeated, might come back.  A normal person would probably not think twice about that.  But if you’re a left-wing moonbat you might write:

There’s even a point where one character, the lord of a white person keep built on the non-white people continent, has thoughts on how he would like to resolve the matter. [emphasis mine]

That’s an actual quote. The evil white people are stealing land from who? The native Elementians? What?

You see, in her mind, the land is divided based on skin color.  We have white people and “non-white” people (even though the Fallen are actually lighter than most of the Kingdoms of Men in Elemental and in fact some of the Kingdoms of Men are very dark skinned but that wouldn’t fit her narrative).  She probably realized at some point that crapping on the book for sentence structure of the inner monologues of different characters was too ridiculous to swallow and thus had to insert some bizarre racist/bigot subtext in order to justify her screed. 

What’s funny is that I’ve seen her and her friends talk about how it’s not cool to go after people in “real life”.  Apparently, that rule didn’t apply to me. I mean, I deserve to be hated because, I…because…um, I don’t share her political views I guess (I’m one of those evil libertarian types – look out or I’ll advocate that the government not do anything to you!). Therefore, I deserved to be trolled on a video game site and when her husband got banned for it (not at my request mind you, I had nothing to do with his banning) she decided to try to strike at me in a way that would hit home. 

So why do I bring this up now? Because, ironically, 3 years later I still hear bullshit from people who hear I wrote a “racist” book.  My fun little fantasy book, was twisted by her and her ilk into being something it’s not.  I had years and years of notes and concepts for the book in question.  It is a world and a story that I’ve long wanted to share and it has nothing to do with politics or race.

While I suspect she’s incapable of any degree of empathy, can you imagine how exciting it would be to have a book you’ve dreamed of writing be published by Random House only to have someone orchestrate a trashing of it because their husband got banned from a forum after they, for reasons no one understands why, trolled you for months?  It’s not like I did something to these people. 

In my career I’ve dealt with a lot of criticism. Some justified, some not. This was a case where someone went out of their way to target me in the hopes of harming me well outside some forum discussion.  And guess what? It worked. Congratulations.  Her and her friends managed to get my book review score down to 3 stars.  I have no idea what score my book would have “naturally” got.  But a half dozen 1-star reviews, led by her husband and with followers from her blog certainly ensured we’d never find out.  At various times, I considered organizing a counter to it. With millions of people to reach out to, it would be relatively easy to get a couple hundred positive reviews. But I decided not to. Whatever score it got, trolls and all, is what it got. I won’t even link to it here to emphasize I’m not trying to encourage reviewing it (it’s irrelevant now, 3 years on, nobody cares anymore about the book itself).

Anyone who’s played any of the Elemental games knows there’s no political overtones to them.  You could criticize it for not innovating on the classic fantasy tropes (Trogs and Urxen being various types of Orcs for instance) but sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

What amazes me, is that someone who is supposedly a functional adult, a parent even would take the banning of their husband’s as an opportunity to put time and energy into trying to harm someone who had done nothing to her or her husband.  In hindsight, I should have vigorously responded to her disgusting, obnoxious and petty review.  You can’t let this crap stand or else it’ll take on a life of its own. It’s not a mistake I’ll be repeating.


Comments (Page 1)
on Dec 17, 2013

You can’t let this crap stand or else it’ll take on a life of its own. It’s not a mistake I’ll be repeating.

Brad...it's the same issue as/with graffiti...if you leave it [rather than cleaned/removed as soon as possible] it attracts more.

Perhaps there are some out there that think 'trolling' is an artform....just as there ARE people out there who believe graffiti is an artform.

They are all wrong....BOTH are social vandalism....

on Dec 17, 2013

I've tended to take the view that the answer to speech you don't like is more speech.  Unfortunately, I didn't really live by that view. I didn't add "more speech". 

I was raised that taking the high road means ignoring trolls. That is a social rule that I think is worth keeping -- to a point.  But there is a threshold, and I don't know where that threshold is, where you have to respond to it vigorously.

Going forward, people who pull that kind of crap will receive the kind of response they've earned.  

on Dec 17, 2013

Don't respond to hate with hate, respond to it with sarcasm! It will give others a laugh instead of joining in the hate, and really really piss off the hateful perpetrator!

on Dec 17, 2013

Mystikmind
Don't respond to hate with hate, respond to it with sarcasm!

Ridicule is better than sarcasm.

Sarcasm is 'just' an angry response, whereas ridicule is a declaration of [their] ineptitude/infantile attitude...

on Dec 17, 2013



Quoting Mystikmind, reply 3Don't respond to hate with hate, respond to it with sarcasm!

Ridicule is better than sarcasm.

Sarcasm is 'just' an angry response, whereas ridicule is a declaration of [their] ineptitude/infantile attitude...

 

Ridicule.... hmmm now that i think of it, my sarcasm does tend to lean more in the direction of ridicule, needless to say, i think sarcastic ridicule is better than sarcasm or ridicule alone.

 

Sometimes i like to try to take the mindset of a Vulcan (Startrek) when being sarcastic, when it works, nothing on Earth is more aggravating!!

on Dec 17, 2013

LOL. I checked out this lady's site. Ridicule it what it deserves. Frogboy, you were too kind by far. Someone who writes at a 6th grade level has no business critiquing the writing quality of other people's books. She starts of bitching about sentences that are of a similar style of half the books I've read. Has she ever read Dune? Some of Heinleiin's sentences can get pretty awkward. Then she jumps right off the deep end with fevered dreams of it being a race war. Is the book white oppression of the darkies? Is it about colonization? Native American genocide? It's a thrilling review if only to try to guess what straw she'll grasp at next.

In the end her review comes across as nothing more as a chick with an axe to grind. Even if you agree that her chosen passages are awkward or examples of suspect literary value, they fall far far short of reaching a level to justify the ridicule she attempts (poorly) at the book. When I read your long essay, Frog, I didn't understand why you waited so long to address this until I read the part about people accusing you of having produced a racist book. How does that come up?

on Dec 17, 2013

Awwww. Pity I didn't know about that review when it was new. It so richly deserves a good Fisking. Woman with no background in writing publishes a half-literate critique with appeals to her own authority as a writer of nothing.

on Dec 17, 2013

Megyn
LOL. I checked out this lady's site. Ridicule it what it deserves. Frogboy, you were too kind by far. Someone who writes at a 6th grade level has no business critiquing the writing quality of other people's books. She starts of bitching about sentences that are of a similar style of half the books I've read. Has she ever read Dune? Some of Heinleiin's sentences can get pretty awkward. Then she jumps right off the deep end with fevered dreams of it being a race war. Is the book white oppression of the darkies? Is it about colonization? Native American genocide? It's a thrilling review if only to try to guess what straw she'll grasp at next.

In the end her review comes across as nothing more as a chick with an axe to grind. Even if you agree that her chosen passages are awkward or examples of suspect literary value, they fall far far short of reaching a level to justify the ridicule she attempts (poorly) at the book. When I read your long essay, Frog, I didn't understand why you waited so long to address this until I read the part about people accusing you of having produced a racist book. How does that come up?

 

Mmrnmhrm

Awwww. Pity I didn't know about that review when it was new. It so richly deserves a good Fisking. Woman with no background in writing publishes a half-literate critique with appeals to her own authority as a writer of nothing.

 

Oh wait, it just dawned on me,,,, why on Earth is this lady not a leading politician???? Certainly i have not known anyone more perfectly suited for the job,,, (going by the current standards).

on Dec 18, 2013

Very sad.

I know a lot of people who believe in this kind of identity politics.  When I got my English major at Georgetown, it ended up getting watered down with a lot of training in all the politically correct postmodernist / progressive / feminist techniques for reinterpreting anything and everything as an evil, moustache-twirling plot by the "white male patriarchy."

I got a thorough training in how to portray anything from an imaginative victimization perspective and justify that with a nonstop flurry of educated-sounding nonsense too pompous and illogical to argue against, and delivered too quickly and violently to even register an objection.

People who genuinely believe in identity politics genuinely believe there's always an identity-related subtext to everything, and will insist that they're justified in going way beyond logic, reason, or any amount of common sense to "find" it.

Never mind that there may not actually be any such subtext; the bottom line is that the political agenda they serve is the closest thing to any objective truth they believe in, and anything else can be reinterpreted as needed, layer upon layer, to serve that agenda.

I even used to believe that crap, for a little while  (... until I grew up).

It's really a toxic worldview.  It's sad that a lot of people take it seriously, and it's taken over so many our higher educational institutions, especially the liberal arts.

Megyn

LOL. I checked out this lady's site. Ridicule it what it deserves. Frogboy, you were too kind by far. Someone who writes at a 6th grade level has no business critiquing the writing quality of other people's books.

Well said, Megyn.

Brad: hang in there  ...  Don't let the turkeys get you down!

on Dec 27, 2013

The Internet has definitely changed the rules on social interactions. If you let them fester, they can destroy a community or create a false narrative. Luckily, the game site I mentioned cleared out most of those people and is a much better place now. And here, we are fortunate to have good moderators like Jafo and Kyro who have been with us for many many years.

on Dec 27, 2013

Astroturfing positive reviews- you would have been found out (especially as obsessive as some people were at the time) , and it would have made things worse.  It was a good call to not do what you were thinking of doing. 

 

A couple of years after all that mess, I actually did get to read the book.   I have no clue what those two were on about.

 

That said, the best revenge is living well when it comes to these sorts of folks. 

on Dec 27, 2013

Anyone can become anything they want on the internet, it only takes a handful of $$$ every month.  Then you can ban the people that don't agree with you and pretty soon you have a hoard of like minded people that will do your bidding.  Shame.

on Dec 27, 2013

It's not the internet, it's pretty much information in general- people even choose the news they agree with. (Fox/MSNBC in the US)

 

 

 

 

on Dec 27, 2013

Alstein

Astroturfing positive reviews- you would have been found out (especially as obsessive as some people were at the time) , and it would have made things worse.  It was a good call to not do what you were thinking of doing. 

A couple of years after all that mess, I actually did get to read the book.   I have no clue what those two were on about.


That said, the best revenge is living well when it comes to these sorts of folks. 

re "astroturfing" that would have been the point, to let those guys know that if I played by the same rules they did I could have any rating I wanted. Aftersll, they astroturfed my book with their 1 star reviews. 

 

on Dec 27, 2013

I'm not even sure its really a commitment to 'identity yada' world views.  I suspect that is merely the rationalization for a more basic urge turned bad: protecting morphed to seeking revenge upon those whom you think might have hurt you or your loved ones.  That's the motive, and the rest is window dressing. 

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