A LETTER TO EVERY EDITOR

What’s strange about the blind system by which submissions are approved or rejected is that it often does exactly the opposite of what it’s intended to do.

In the last edition of the Emerald Coast Review I had the smallest amount of my submitted work published–since before I joined the West Florida Literary Federation in 2007–because I hadn’t been attending the monthly open mics in the two years before its publication.  I hadn’t been keeping in touch with the regular attendees of the open mics–and I especially hadn’t been reading my work.

Attendees of the open mics remember what’s read at the open mics–and who reads it.  So when they’re appointed to read submissions to the Emerald Coast Review, they know who wrote the submissions–they remember who read them at open mics.

Also, every writer–as you know–has a unique style.  So even if what one submits hasn’t been shared at an open mic, those who are familiar with his or her style still recognize it.

Then there’s prejudice by readers toward any submission.  Because we’re all prejudiced–and we always will be.

Your readers–who approve or disapprove every submission for the Emerald Coast Review–are extremely prejudiced.  Because they’re human beings–and all human beings are extremely prejudiced, and always have been.

This validly criticized politically-correct culture–which is a direct consequence of unrestrained Digital-Age technology–is arguably the best display of human prejudice in human history.

In the third part of a video presentation I gave on Pensacola’s Five-Flags Displays, I compare the censorship by religious conservatives in the past to the censorship by secular liberals in the present.

I cite the censorship of the two funniest novels I’ve ever read–The Catcher in the Rye and Huckleberry Finn.

As I explain, The Catcher in the Rye was censored by religious conservatives, in the past, because it is laced with profanity–particularly the word, goddam.

And Huckleberry Finn is censored by secular liberals, in the present, because it is laced with the word, nigger.

But I also explain how–just as the religious conservatives who censored The Catcher in the Rye had never read The Catcher in the Rye–the secular liberals who censor Huckleberry Finn have never read Huckleberry Finn.

And censorship is born of prejudice.

Religious conservatives censored The Catcher in the Rye because they were extremely prejudiced of The Catcher in the Rye.

And secular liberals censor Huckleberry Finn because they are extremely prejudiced of Huckleberry Finn.

The majority of your readers were extremely prejudiced of my submission because it had the word, Goddamned, in its title.  And the majority of Southern Americans–of any age–have a strong aversion toward that word.

In fact, there was a study done, years ago, on what television content most offended viewers in different regions of the United States.

West Coast viewers were most offended by gratuitous violence.

Midwestern viewers were most offended by gratuitous sex.

And Southern viewers were most offended by profane language.

Then of course I strongly criticize this Digital Age in my submission.

I choose not to have a cellphone–but none of your readers likely make that choice.

I choose not to have a Facebook or Twitter account–but none of your readers likely make that choice.

So how do you think they felt, reading my submission?

Here was some high-and-mighty, old bastard who had the audacity to criticize their Digital-Age lifestyle–and unashamedly declare it, in the very title of his submission, to be damned by God!

Of course your readers rejected my submission–I would have expected that.

That’s why I would expect you to override their decision.

You’re the editor-in-chief of the Emerald Coast Review.  You have your prejudices, of course–but you’re almost certainly more intelligently discerning than your readers are.  And you’re obviously far more experienced with evaluating writing, based on its literary merit–as well as its historical, anecdotal, psychological, sociological, and philosophical merit–than your readers are.

Then there’s the anonymity of your readers.  They have an idea who we are–but we have no idea who they are, until the Emerald Coast Review is published.

So there’s no skin off their noses–they don’t have to answer to us, as to why they’ve rejected our submissions.

This is like a jury trial in which the accused never even sees or hears the anonymous jury until the judge has already sentenced the accused.

So as the judge in the trial of my submission, Parts 1 and 2 of DEALING WITH THE GODDAMNED DIGITAL AGE, I respectfully ask you to overrule the decision made by the anonymous jury.

I respectfully ask you to include it in this upcoming edition of the Emerald Coast Review.

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