Posts Tagged ‘failure’

seven dollar hole in my pocket

Thursday, June 11th, 2009

Would you enter a contest hosted by this man:

slick

slick

Well, I did. Here were the rules, but to summarize, the winner was going to be selected on the basis of how much this guy, Brandon Scott Gorrell, “enjoyed” the story. So already we’re playing pretty fast and loose. But still, it was only $7 to enter, and it seemed like a fun, sort of grassroots-y kind of contest, a contest I had found out about by reading up on Tao Lin, a writer whom I discovered at a reading at the charity bookstore at which I would eventually volunteer and be crucified.

dont do me like that

don't do me like that

I like Lin’s work, at least his poetry specifically, and his blog, to which I already linked. He has a really weird sense of humor mixed in with social dysfunction and depression and technology and self-promotion. He’s sorta shameless in focusing on his career as much as his writing, but, hey, that’s the modern writer, right? All Twittered out with Gmail chats and Facebookings. Lin even sold a MySpace page for, like, $8100. Sold “shares” in his next book, made, like, $12,000. Gotta respect the entrepreneurialism. This Brandon Scott Gorrell has a book or two coming out from Lin’s publishing company, Muumuu House and it’s pretty clear he and Lin are thick as thieves, with Gorrell’s writing a pretty good facsimile of Lin’s.

ruh roh

the mentor/protege relationship

So now, taking into account the curious business sense and grandstanding of the Muumuu House crew and the close relationship between Gorrell and Lin, one could’ve potentially seen how this was all going to turn out, especially with the rules’ ambiguous “I will pick the story I enjoy the most” criteria (although, really, isn’t that how every writing contest is decided? i guess this one was tricky because it was just one person doing the deciding) as well as Gorrell’s declaration *somewhere* that he was going to let Muumuu House employees enter. Lin even said he would probably enter, probably use a pseudonym.

putting the pieces together

putting the pieces together

Well, you can see where this is going, and so, yes, in fact, Lin did enter and win, though apparently it was more that he “gave” a story to his girlfriend and then she entered the story under her name. Since it wasn’t under Lin’s name, the argument goes that Gorrell didn’t know that it was Lin and so it’s not like the whole thing was totally fixed. And, besides, Gorrell insisted that he had been upfront and totally explained the rules, the rules that allowed and encouraged these kinds of shenanigans. Anyway, the whole thing ignited a shitstorm on the comments section Gorrell’s blog (which was probably the whole idea, I suppose).

"i'm gonna live forever, baby, remember my name!"

The shit goes on and on, but for the most part, the people who were most angry were people who hadn’t entered the contest, but had just heard about how the contest had turned out. Which does sound like absolute bullshit. But I guess Gorrell laid out the rules, so, really, I guess he’s washed his hands of any wrongdoing, other than being just too fucking cute and clever in the retarded chic that seems to be consuming the younger generation. Really, I am around 10+ years older than most of the other contestants, so I was probably barking up the wrong tree to begin with. All I know is, I may be a little retarded, but, folks, I keep it classy. This shit was not classy.

i believe the children are our future

i believe the children are our future

Anyway, Megan Boyle and Michael Inscoe, a couple other losers from the contest have put up a site to collect any other contest losers who want to display their work (and maybe tug a little promotion for themselves after getting jerked around by Gorrell/Lin/Muumuu). So there you can find “The King,” a story I had originally published in Mr. Judas anyway. The version I submitted to the contest has an abbreviated ending.

self... esteem... shrinking...

self... esteem... shrinking...