edgarallenfrog: various pics of harvey milk (inspiration)
Ok, seriously. Amazon.com is making me stabby lately. I've been hearing rumblings on and off for a few days now, but the information is just too prevalent to ignore it anymore. Besides, [livejournal.com profile] thecherrywench posted about this, too, so if the cool people are doing it, I'm jumping on the bandwagon, too. I spend copious amounts of money on Amazon. I've gone without eating for a week so I could purchase books there ("Without You" by Anthony Rapp...and that should be de-ranked, too, because it's got plenty of gay in it). I am not amused by this recent turn of events.

If you're a twitter user, you may have noticed that #amazonfail is the top trending topic for today. Here's the basic gist of it:

Amazon seems to be stripping the sales figures and accompanying rankings from GLBTQ books, erotica, and romance novels, particularly those with what they term “adult content” thus preventing them from showing up in some bestseller lists and searches (and potentially directly damaging their sales), on the grounds that they are "adult" material.

(This is regardless of whether they contain any explicit sex. Meanwhile, books with explicit heterosexual sex scenes retain their sales rank, as long as they're not overtly marketed as "erotica".)

A quick search reveals that books that have had their sales ranks removed include James Baldwin's Giovanni's Room, Edmund White's A Boy's Own Story, Annie Proulx's Brokeback Mountain, and Jeanette Winterson's Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit.

When pressed for a reason, Amazon.com’s customer service department told YA author (and LJ user [livejournal.com profile] markprobst) Mark Probst:

In consideration of our entire customer base, we exclude "adult" material from appearing in some searches and best seller lists. Since these lists are generated using sales ranks, adult materials must also be excluded from that feature.

Hence, if you have further questions, kindly write back to us.

Best regards,

Ashlyn D
Member Services
Amazon.com Advantage

Probst went on to say:

Yes, it is true. Amazon admits they are indeed stripping the sales ranking indicators for what they deem to be “adult” material. Of course they are being hypocritical because there is a multitude of “adult” literature out there that is still being ranked. Harold Robbins, Jackie Collins, come on! They are using using categories THEY set up (gay and lesbian) to now target these books as somehow offensive.

[...] if they are excluding books just on the basis of being “gay” then by all means exclude mine too because I don’t want them just to reinstate just the “nice” gay books, they need to reinstate all the gay books and if they are really going to try and exclude so-called “adult” material, then how come this crap has an Amazon ranking?

Compiled from various sources including here, here, here.

http://community.livejournal.com/meta_writer/11992.html -- a list of books so far that have been removed
http://booksquare.com/open-letter-to-amazon-regarding-recent-policy-changes/ -- an open letter to amazon
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/in-protest-at-amazons-new-adult-policy -- sign the protest
http://search.twitter.com/search?q=%23amazonfail -- at least 100 tweets every minute
http://wthashtag.com/wiki/Amazonfail -- keep an eye on this too


Smart Bitches, Trashy Books is running a Google Bomb. They say:

I’ve created a page with the definition for “amazon rank.” LINK TO http://www.smartbitchestrashybooks.com/amazonrank with “Amazon Rank” as the anchor text. The link should look like this:

Amazon Rank


A Parent's Guide to Preventing Homosexuality is now the top book for amazon searches on "homosexuality"

....oh. Awesome read, guys. Every parent needs this important pile of shit book in their collection.

I copied all this from here in [livejournal.com profile] ontd_political and [livejournal.com profile] harvey_milk and some other sources, but fuck this. I'm pissed. They also stripped "The Mayor of Castro Street" of its ranking. Oh no you didn't just fuck with my Harvey Milk book. Assholes. As [livejournal.com profile] marauderthesn eloquently put it, "I could see taking, say, Totally Herotica 3 out of the rankings and sales figures, but what the effing eff is the deal with taking out everything gay? Even biographies? Oh, whoever was responsible for this, I hope Harvey haunts you. Obnoxiously. With all his dead boyfriends. Having ghost sex on your dinner table. Loud ghost sex on your dinner table. For hours."


Oh, now you've done it. you've pissed off Christopher Rice. Rice says: "So apparently a "computer glitch" at Amazon has "de-ranked" a large number of LGBT focused books, including my first novel, A DENSITY OF SOULS. There's understandable outrage about this throughout cyberspace. As President of Lambda Literary Foundation, I can tell you we will have a public response very soon. (Other de-ranked titles include ORLANDO by Virgina Woolf and BECOMING A MAN by Paul Monette)."

Way to go, Amazon. Piss off all the authors who write the edgy content that keeps your customers coming back. Piss off all the people with the money; the people who keep your business going. Smooth move there, brain king.

ETA 4.8675309

Oh, sorry, I forgot, Amazon hates disabled people, too.

ETA5 for the 5 that stayed alive

Aaaand the public statement from the Lambda Literary Foundation is up.

"Lambda Literary Foundation applauds the diligent work of writers, bloggers and activists in calling attention to this deeply distressing turn of events. I have seen my first novel stripped of its sale ranking by this apparent computer glitch so I join other writers who are baffled to the point of anger. I take great solace in the quick mobilization of our community in response to this apparent marginalization of LGBT books; the grassroots power of the Internet has been placed on glorious display for all to see. Over the next few days, we at Lambda Literary will be monitoring the situation very closely. Amazon is one our nation's largest general book retailers. In their commitment to creating and sustaining technological advances in the publishing industry, they have laid claim to the future of book distribution. As such, they have a pressing responsibility to create an unfettered exchange of stories and ideas. If a quick and decisive response to this problem is not forthcoming within the next few days, we at Lambda Literary look forward to leading a sustained and impassioned dialogue on this issue, which will seek to harness the energies that have been released by our community's admirable response."

Translation: Amazon u r fukd nao.
edgarallenfrog: (pissed off)
Does anyone else get mad about things that happened a long time ago and you KNOW you should let them go and you KNOW you shouldn't be mad about them but they spring into your mind from time to time and you're fucking FURIOUS when they do? Don't tell me "let go and let god when you forgive you set a prisoner free and you find out the prisoner is you no one can make you feel bad without your permission forgiveness is a circle that has no end now let's all build a bridge to the 21st century." I mean it, DO NOT fucking say that, I will STAB you with fucking scissors (do I NEED to bring this picture back? DO I?)

I just...have a lot of rage. I KNOW it isn't healthy, I KNOW I could drink tea or meditate or take yoga or punch a punching bag or go running or do any of the number of things you could fucking advise me to do, I already DO all those things, so save your shiny advice and shove it up your ass to keep you warm this winter, this post isn't about that. I'm going crazy here and I just want to ask if anyone else ever feels this way and has this kind of rage...I don't want to be the only one (IF YOU GIVE ADVICE OR TELL ME WHAT TO DO I WILL HUNT YOU DOWN AND MAKE YOU BLEED).

See? RAGE. What the hell is THAT? It's not helpful or necessary, but I spend so much time thinking what a horrid person I am because I have these thoughts and most of the time I'm exerting every ounce of effort I have in my body not to explode. I feel alone. Please tell me I'm not alone. Unless I am alone and horrible, and then please keep your comments to yourself.
edgarallenfrog: (pissed off)
I'm so fucking pissed right now.

So Ava and I decided to go swimming in the river (I joked with Ava that if I started to drown, she'd have to help save me). Ha ha, funny right?

Ok, I need to say here that ever since I was a little kid, I've gone in the shallow end of rivers and as long as I've stayed in the shallow end, I've been fine. I know not to go in the deep water because I'm not a strong swimmer.

There were five teenager swimming on the other side of the river, and there was a dad fishing with his kids on the other side of the river, too.

Anyway, I stayed in the shallow end and Ava came out, when all of a sudden I felt a tug on my foot and the current started pulling me out. I told Ava to help me, but seriously, I kept trying to grab on and the undertow kept pulling me away from shore. I freaked, because I can't swim well and I know it, and Ava came and tried to help me, but she got pulled away from me and I was fucked, I was suddenly in the middle of the river being pulled to both sides by the current, and Ava was screaming "Help me," and I was fucked, we both were, because SHE was the strong swimmer.

So I'm being pulled out, wondering why no one is helping us, when I faintly hear "Oh my God, what a fucking drama queen, what a fucking idiot, what the hell, you're in five feet of water." I try to ignore it, and finally I can grab onto a rock, so I grab it, and I figure everything is ok, and I turn around and Ava is bobbing in the water saying "Help, help, I can't keep my head above water, I'm seriously losing strength..." so I try to yell for someone to help her, and the people are standing there watching, and a few of them yell "Why were you in the water then?" and the teenagers yell "You're in five feet of fucking water bitch, what the fuck? Just walk out." So I proceed to ignore them and ask Ava to try and let the current carry her, and she weakly says "I can't...get..." and her head goes under and comes back up, and I freak and say "Can someone help her?" and the teenagers say "She looks like she's doing fine to me, what's your problem?" So I'm pissed, and I try to ignore them and I worry but finally, Ava gets carried to a rock and she clamps on, and when she gets her breath and some strength back she can let herself come to shore, and she sits with me and we try to catch our breath. So we're sitting, waiting to get our breath back, when again I hear "Oh my God, I'm drowning, aaaahhhh" and laughter, and "What a stupid bitch." I tell Ava and she tels me to ignore them, but in five minutes when they're still going, I scream "Just shut up and leave us alone" (yeah, I know, shut up. I know, do not engage, I should have just ignored them. I get it). And that sets off a screaming match, with them telling us we're stupid bitches and me screaming for them to shut up, until we finally get up (one of the girls screams "Oh my God, it's a WHALE! Look how fat she is" when I stand up) and we stomp off to our car, Ava says we should call the cops, and so I do, and the girl at Dispatch says "Two girls just drowned there, you shouldn't have been in the river" (thanks Captain) and the officer comes and tells us we shouldn't have called the cops, it's not a criminal matter, blah blah blah. Finally we get to drive home.

Honestly, I'm pissed. First of all, I never knew if we stayed in the shallow end we'd get pulled out. Ok, it was stupid, I get that now. But it's too late to tell us we're stupid when we're out there drowning, and no one was helping. And Ava was a strong swimmer, I thought she'd be ok. I just talked with her, snd she said she was so out of breath she felt like she couldn't swim anymore, and she was worried...I can't believe people screamed and insulted us. I mean, Ava is a strong swimmer, she had every right to think she'd be opk, neither of us knew we were going to get caught between an undertow and an overtow, seriously. Why screama nd mock us? Why not just ignore us? What the fuck was that?

Goddamn. I'm rambling, I'm so pissed.

Please do not reply to this with "Well you were dumb for going out into the water." I've been in that river at that same spot before a hundred or more times and been fine, I had no idea this would happen. I won't do it again, but I had no idea and it's too late now to go back and NOT do it. I'm just glad we're not dead (and a little pissed that those stupid teenager aren't dead, either...)


edgarallenfrog: various pics of harvey milk (Default)

May 2009

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