Wednesday, May 16, 2007

How to Become an Internet Laughingstock

Normally I wouldn't do this, but someone emailed this to me in a mass email and it wound up in my bulk mailbox, which is where it belonged, along with all the Anatrim stuff. Anything that yahoo mail can already figure out is crap is fair game in my book.

Author seeks Publisher - Publishers & Literary Agents Please Read

Please only reply to the email links in the text below.

I am a published writer, having written non-fiction and fiction for an array of magazines. I have written for many business publications, PR editorials and features for a wide range of websites worldwide.

I find it unfortunate that none of these magazines seem to have names.

I now have my first fully completed and critiqued non-fiction manuscript available for publishing.

Nothing makes me jump out of my chair like the idea of a "first manuscript." Look, if it is your first, don't mention it.

For more information, please read this email

I thought that was pretty much what I was doing.

or email me at [email deleted] to request the synopsis, some sample chapters and the promotional website.

Discover the Revolutionary New Way to Heal Yourself!

I smell an auto-reject. Okay, because he emailed me at Rejector, it's an auto-reject anyway, but if this was submitted to my boss properly in letter form, this is where I would only continue reading for my own amusement. What is it? Does it involve crystals? A poor understanding of any major religion's mysticism? Eating only beets and then measuring your stool? Coffee enemas? Tantric sex? Eating dirt? Positive attitude? Embracing Christ?

This book and card set will help you to discover a new way to heal yourself. It is a unique, revolutionary, easy to use system; this set has also been designed to show you a clear and simple way by which you can remove past and present health issues aiding the healing of yourself from within.

Each set of cards has been ingeniously and carefully structured allowing the user to discover which mental, emotional and physical impediment prevents their progress forward in life.

DAMNIT! Tarot cards again. Look, there's no real myticism behind a medieval CCG. (Collective Card Game). That's right, that's what Tarot was - the Middle Age's version of Magic: The Gathering. Go read a book if you don't believe me.

This book teaches a revolutionary new way to heal yourself easily today!

My Critique company commented:

This is an amazing manuscript. Many, many readers will benefit from this material. Thank you for writing this manuscript. This will be a huge success! I do wish you luck with this endeavor. However, you will not need luck. You have an awesome manuscript, and a special gift with words.

He owns the company? I guess that doesn't make him very subjective.

For more information, please email me at [email deleted] to request the synopsis, some sample chapters and the promotional website.

If don't want to receive email from us, we apologise for any inconvenience caused and ask that you simply email [email deleted] putting remove as the subject. If you are sending from another email address, please include the email address that you want removed.

As I never signed up for your list anyway, I deeply suspect whether I get future emails from you will not involve any actions on my part. I think making fun of you at length in a blog will be much more effective.

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

The writer mentions no credentials which of course makes him/her an expert on the subject, I'm sure. Just the person I'd want advising me on "healing."

Sounds like fodder for PublishAmerica.

Catja said...

here's no real myticism behind a medieval CCG

You are evil. I now have a vision of a monk offering to swap 'The Pope' for 'The Devil' behind the stables...

tessa said...

Ten years ago this wouldn't have existed. E-mail makes it so easy to approach strangers. No research necessary. Computers make it easy to write a book.

When one had to look up a postal address, by default the writer might learn something about the agency or publisher. And it wouldn't allow for mass mailings.

The action of looking up was education in itself. With e-mail, there's no learning curve.

If the e-mail wasn't so pompous, I'd feel sorry for the writer.

Anonymous said...

Now why didn't I think of this? I feel so stupid for wasting all that postage on query letters.

I better get on it right away. Rejector, I promise you'll be first on my list - and what a lucky dog you are!

Anonymous said...

There you go again, Rejecter, putting down spiritual stuff that you know nothing about. Yes, the Tarot Cards were a medieval card game, but the roots go much deeper than that. I read Tarot Cards for a living - and it's too bad that Jews don't know more of their mystical significance. I come from a nice, Jewish family myself, and I have proven the authenticity of the cards to my parents, originally skeptics, as I do with many people every day. I'm not going to explain it all to you here, but the cards are Kabbalistic, every major card linked to a Hebrew letter. It astounds me how you display your ignorance of these matters on a public forum. The Tarot Cards are symbols of the subconscious mind, greatly respected by Carl Jung and many others. Please be more careful before pooh-poohing some of these ideas. You may turn off many readers, intelligent ones too!

The Rejecter said...

Anon 10:32

You can link anything with numbers on it to a Hebrew letter because Hebrew letters have numberical value. It's called Gematria.

I fully understand that some people have great interest/faith in the Tarot, and for the sake of a long, complex argument, I will say that I am entitled to my opinion and you to yours and we will agree to disagree.

Anonymous said...

Darn it and I wanted the email to access the pages...

Anonymous said...

These cards "can remove past and present health issues"? Wow! Two years ago I had a hernia fixed. Lopst a week of work. It would be pretty cool if there was a way to remove that health issue from my past.

Heather said...

Catja:

My Lovers hits your Death for 10!

;)

Anonymous said...

Tarot card's mystical significance...

*snicker*

At some point you'll have to learn you are in a massive minority on this one... and for a reason.

Anonymous said...

Tarot is more fun, interesting, and authentic as a card game!
From the Victorian Skeptics website,
"People are often suprised to learn that Tarot cards were originally invented for playing games, that such games are still widespread and popular in continental Europe, and that the employment of tarots for divination and fortune-telling is a relatively recent perversion of their proper use, dating only from the eighteenth century."(The Penguin Encyclopedia of Card Games, by David Parlett)
Tarot has no historical connections with astrology or Kabbalah. The Tarot deck was created for playing a trick taking card game. Descendents of the original tarot card game are still played in France, Italy, Switzerland, and Austria. Tarot is really for card games, people!

Anonymous said...

Tarot is more fun, interesting, and authentic as a card game!
From the Victorian Skeptics website,
"People are often suprised to learn that Tarot cards were originally invented for playing games, that such games are still widespread and popular in continental Europe, and that the employment of tarots for divination and fortune-telling is a relatively recent perversion of their proper use, dating only from the eighteenth century."(The Penguin Encyclopedia of Card Games, by David Parlett)
Tarot has no historical connections with astrology or Kabbalah. The Tarot deck was created for playing a trick taking card game. Descendents of the original tarot card game are still played in France, Italy, Switzerland, and Austria. Tarot is really for card games, people!

Yahzi said...

Responding to Anonymoron:

and it's too bad that Jews don't know more of their mystical significance

Jews? Is there something you can say about Jews other than a higher-than-average tendency to be able to speak Hebrew? Do Jews as a class lack spirituality? Should we react to the Rejector based on her status as a Jew?

It's amazing that you can castigate someone for their insensitivity even while you're tossing out racial prejudices.

I read Tarot Cards for a living

Now here's something I can say about your entire class of people: you are frauds. You take money from stupid people; but when someone too clever to fool offers you money, you run the other way.

James Randi has a million dollars for you. It will take you less than four hours of work to obtain this money. Along with it will come unparalleled fame, world attention, the respect and awe of scientists from Richard Dawkins to Stephen Hawking, a permanent place in the history books, and probably a Nobel prize.

What are you waiting for?

putting down spiritual stuff that you know nothing about.
Checklist:

1. Do you read a newspaper more than once a year?

2. Have you ever read a history book?

3. Do you know what the stock market is?

If you answered "Yes" to any of these questions, you know all you need to know about Tarot card reading, or any other method for predicting the future.

You may turn off many readers, intelligent ones too!

Intelligent people are not normally associated with belief in superstitions. Particularly stupid superstitions that arose out of European gambling habits.

But don't argue with me about it. Put up or shut up. Prove your abilities in a lab, or confess you can't do anything special as long as you can't cheat.

anonymous 10:32 said...

Well, if David Parlett says it, it must be true! I re-read the original post, and the funny thing is, he's not even talking about the Tarot, he's talking about some other type of cards. It may be a game, but I'll tell you, it's certainly the game of life! True, there are a lot of charlatans in this field, but spend 15 minutes with me and you'll be a believer forever! Very tempted to link you to my site, but I think I'll pass. Rejecter, just once I'd love to see a positive post from you. Things that you know about: like opening query letters. I sure hope I don't send one to your agency! I'm sure you would take great delight in rejecting it.

Anonymous said...

Eating only beets and then measuring your stool?

So you knew somebody who got taken by Salem Kirban's "Godly Diet"?

Marsupialis said...

Yes, but at least it's not Literary Fiction.

LadyBronco said...

I'm still trying to figure out why a deck of cards became a spiritual movement.

Oh well...

Anonymous said...

Well, if David Parlett says it, it must be true!

Well, if you got sarcastic about it, it must not be true!

Look. You made the claim; the burden of proof is on you. Until you supply some evidence to support of your claim, you won't convince anyone to believe it.

~AnotherAnon

Cassandra said...

True, there are a lot of charlatans in this field, but spend 15 minutes with me and you'll be a believer forever!

A statement no charlatan in the history of charlatanry has ever made!




Tarot-lovin' anon, your tone is palpably condescending and hostile. Why are you angry at Rejecter for being young, educated, and not constantly "positive"? Nice how you put her back in her place by urging her to stick to writing about "opening query letters."

I am getting so sick of people picking on this pseudonymous blogger, who takes time out of work and graduate school and tending to a chronic illness to share valuable industry knowledge with aspiring writers, for such sins as not being "grateful enough" for unwanted and inappropriate fruit-basket gifts, or for being negative about something as goofy and irrelevant as freaking tarot cards.

I swear a month doesn't go by without some snide bastard in the comments section making smug reference to the fact Ms. Rejecter is OMGYoung! and therefore, somehow, gormless and flippant and self-satisfied.


Makes my head explode. Is it because she sometimes says things you don't want to hear, and you can't cope with the fact that someone who has the temerity to be both young and female is doing the telling?

Sorry. I'm almost 100% a lurker on this blog but I had to get that off my chest.

- Cassandra who's given up her patience and sense of humor for Lent. Or for finals' week.


(PS: Ms. Rejector, I'm sorry for getting my righteous indignation all over your blog. I'll retreat into my well-deserved obscurity now.)

anon 10:32 said...

Hey, sorry to come off as condescending or hostile. I didn't mean to be. Every day with my work, it's a constant challenge to get through the barrage of insults, jokes, and just plain lack of knowledge about what I do, which includes the Tarot. Perhaps I shouldn't have commented at all, but like you, Cassandra, I just had to get it off my chest. This has nothing to do with Rejecter being young and female. The majority of my clients are young and female. And I'd take an intelligent skeptic any day over some New-Age believer. But everything we say in these comments can be refuted, and I can't explain or prove my work here. I do it every day of my life. But I basically stand by what I say. Card games aside, there is a profound truth contained in the Tarot and other related fields, respected by psychologists and mystics alike. I don't understand why writers, at least here, tend to be so close-minded to this stuff; perhaps it makes them feel intelligent. When I was an actor, EVERYONE believed in it - and in fact, I got my start reading Tarot Cards on film sets to pass the time. Everyone was wowed by it and encouraged me to do it for a living, which I eventually did. This stuff is really tricky to talk about, because there is a lot of nonsense out there; and my mission has been to separate the nonsense from the true wisdom. Sorry to come off in that kind of way, Cassandra, but from my point of view, it feels like I'm being mocked for what I believe in and what I know from personal experience and many years of study to be true.

Cassandra said...

Tarot-loving anonymous:

At the risk of being a big fat jerk in the comments section of someone else's blog, I'm going to point out the stuff in your comments that put me over the edge, so to speak:

There you go again, Rejecter, putting down spiritual stuff that you know nothing about.
How isn't this condescending? I can't say I've detected a pattern of Rejecter "putting down spiritual 'stuff'"; in the months I've followed her blog I can barely remember her mentioning anything spiritual, other than times she's referenced her own Judaism. Maybe I missed something. But there is a part of me that wants to jump up and down and screech how dare you assume she knows "nothing about" tarot? Because, really, on what basis do you get to dismiss her knowledge of tarot? There could very easily be more than one angle on the history of tarot cards so why dismiss hers out of hand? I doubt she's making stuff up to make you look bad, really. But remember her academic background is in history and her chosen genre is historical fiction; although I don't know this woman I assume she doesn't throw around B.S. for the giddy thrill of pissing off tarot folk.

It astounds me how you display your ignorance of these matters on a public forum.
It's hard for me to read this as anything other than, "Silly little girl--don't you know this internet is public? You don't want to make yourself appear foolish by talking about grown-up stuff, do you?" I'm sure you didn't mean it that way and I can understand that you might feel defensive about the subject but my goodness. I think she's a Big Girl who knows what she does or does not want on her site. She's also wisely chosen a pseudonym so hell, even if she does say something ignorant or inflammatory I doubt it'll trouble her much back in the real world.

Please be more careful before pooh-poohing some of these ideas. You may turn off many readers, intelligent ones too!
...again, condescendingly telling her you know better than she does who her audience is (or should be.)

Rejecter, just once I'd love to see a positive post from you. Things that you know about: like opening query letters. I sure hope I don't send one to your agency! I'm sure you would take great delight in rejecting it.
...treating her like a little kid on a power trip who will gleefully cut down and bully people she doesn't understand just to feel grown-up and professional.

Really, I'll agree that Ms. Rejecter cultivates a snarky tone but why shouldn't she? She's not personally attacking anyone--at least not by name--and she's very entertaining. I've never felt her blog was mean-spirited. So why the hand-wringing over the lack of her "positive" posts? The blog's called "The Rejecter" and it's largely a "what not to do" so I utterly fail to see why she should dream up a "positive" post. I realize you're not commanding her but it's still genuinely puzzling.

And I don't mean this to be snarky but having a lot of young women as clients doesn't preclude a person from sexist behavior; to make a really bad analogy, I'm sure you've encountered the person who goes on about how "I don't have a problem with Mexicans--I hire them to mow my lawn all the time!" ...and is also a shameless racist.
Not that I'm accusing you of some deep-seated sexism but I do believe our society is built largely around the collective discipline of young women who think independently.

For examples of people slapping Rejecter's wrist for having opinions that differed from her elders I refer you to two threads that have bugged me since they happened (and in which I did not participate; I was only a reader.)

http://rejecter.blogspot.com/2006/11/giving-of-gifts.html
http://rejecter.blogspot.com/2006/11/what.html


I realize my tone and word choice were probably at least borderline offensive and I apologize if I added to your daily stressors or feeling of persecution. Most of my mini-screed was more of a general bleat about a trend I've noticed in the comments section (which is of course a reflection of Big Sweeping Social Trends I hate), rather than anger at you. That wasn't clear, and it should have been. Thank you for replying to my comment with more civility than I mustered in mine.

Mike Toot said...

"Search your feelings. You know it to be true." --Darth Vader, The Empire Strikes Back

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why writers, at least here, tend to be so close-minded to this stuff; perhaps it makes them feel intelligent.

Oh, for fuck's sake. Writers are intelligent, and you're as close-minded as you accuse us of being if you think everyone who disagrees with you is stupid.

~ AnotherAnon

Anonymous said...

Tarot-lover:

See, there you go again. Quote...

"I don't understand why writers, at least here, tend to be so close-minded to this stuff; perhaps it makes them feel intelligent."

1) Just because someone disagrees with you on the Tarot, doesn't mean they are close-minded. Saying that is the last bastion of someone who has no weight left in their position. "You're just close-minded!"

2) "...makes them feel intelligent." I guess you probably don't realize how incredibly condescending this statement is. Obviously, no *intelligent* person would EVER doubt the Tarot. Why not just say what you must be thinking: anyone who disagrees with validity of the Tarot is just plain *stupid*. There. I think that clarifies your position quite nicely.

This thread is threatening to become a flame-war, so I'm gonna drop it from here. But feel free to respond. I'm not one of those guys who assumes that when I drop it, everyone else has to too. (I hate that.)

BTW, Rejecter - loved the original post. Booyah.

garymar said...

The Far East has a much better handle on this spirituality racket, I tell ya. I'll stick with yarrow sticks, yin-yang, and the I Ching, thank you very much! The superior man does not piss on the shoes of his benefactor. The Rejecter is most decidedly a benefactor.

And "Tarot" spelled backwards is "To Rat". I rest my case.

anon 10:32 said...

"Thus the superior man stands firm
And does not change his direction."

I opened up my I Ching at random, to see if I'd find an appropriate quote, and this is what I opened to. Yes, Garymar, the I Ching is tops, the very best, but I think you made up that quotation! Backwards or forwards, Tarot uses the same Hebrew letters as Torah, as is illustrated on the High Priestess Card, therefore the meaning is presumably the same.

I keep telling myself I'm not going to comment again - and this is my last one! I'm not calling anyone stupid. I'm just asking that you investigate your opinions on Tarot (or anything else for that matter)before expressing them. If you've really researched something, if you really know about it, and then reject it - fine, I can respect that. I'm referring to people who make certain assumptions without having investigated what they're saying. That's what's close-minded, not stupid. (Although, come to think of it, it's pretty stupid to be close-minded! - just kidding!)

Whether it was a good idea or not to post these comments, I hope that the people who read them will do some thinking on the subject. I never meant to be offensive, I just want people to think a little for themselves.

Peace.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure there's nothing more useful to be said here, but what the hell - I can't resist.

Tarot-loving anon, as an actor, a writer and a tarot reader, you must get rejection and ridicule about as regularly as you get lunch - I am surprised you aren't over it yet. I'm sure you don't want this advice, but you will never convince the doubters in a forum like this and surely trying just adds to the angst?

Personally, when mocked for whatever pursuit that I like but my mocker finds ridiculous, I find the dignified and knowing smile very useful - although hard to reproduce online, I grant you. If they are really irritating, saying 'I will pray for you' in a syrupy tone drives them mad.

As for me, I have to thank you for some great laughs. The first was when you referenced actors as a group that backed you up. I've worked with some actors, and frankly, I find that they would believe anything if they thought it would help them get a part. That doesn't mean you weren't useful to them, but as a group they don't have much cred - at least not with me!

I loved this one, too:
"Tarot uses the same Hebrew letters as Torah, as is illustrated on the High Priestess Card, therefore the meaning is presumably the same."

Does that mean that rat and tar mean the same, since they have the same letters? Or that devil and veil'd mean the same? Come to think of it, that last one is a bit cosmic - maybe there is something in this! ;>

I think it was Frank Sinatra who said that the best revenge is phenomenal success. Time spent shooting down the nay-sayers is time not spent doing whatever it is - be it writing, tarot-reading, or whatever - that you think is important. Why bother?

Scriptorius Rex said...

The Rejecter's posts are phrased the way they are because she's a New Yorker and we wouldn't have it any other way. It's like watching a Mel Brooks movie; you've got to be ready for what you're going to get, because you know you're going to get it.

(And in my opinion, being closed minded about the occult is a Very Good Thing.)

Kay Richardson said...

Maybe he is writing from the past, using somekind of magic that's somehow associated with his tarot cards? Maybe?

Don said...

For the love of G-d, people, the phrase is "closed-minded" not "close-minded". If you're going to aspire to be a writer, it helps to get these sorts of things right.

BuffySquirrel said...

*blinks*

The Tarot can be a useful psychological tool, yes, and that is probably facilitated by the mystical significance some attribute to it. There's nothing so useful to the wielder of the Magic Whatever as people who desperately want to believe. Watch a medium at work sometime.

Anonymous said...

Incidentally, "Tarot" refers to the card deck itself. "Tarock" is the name of the card game for the deck.

However, since the fortunetelling angle has infused the Tarot deck with symbology, why not use that symbology in fiction?

I once used it as foreshadowing in a short space-opera. Specifically, a scene where two characters were playing "Seven-card Tarock". The winner trumped the loser with a hand led by Death and Fool (i.e. change and hidden meanings), which foreshadowed the story's climax (a twist where one of the character's beliefs was found to be an illusion -- a (Death) change where (Fool) things were not as they seemed).

Anonymous said...

I find it hard to make any comment about what Tarot Lovin' Anon says about Tarot, because Tarot Lovin' Anon hasn't really specified what it is that Tarot does that we're supposed to "believe" in should we chance to allow Tarot Lovin' Anon to do -- whatever it is that she/he does.

Besides, I'm more of a "support your claims with empirical evidence" sort of person than a "you just gotta beleeeve" sort of person. True open-mindedness isn't just believing stuff because "someone told me" -- that's empty-mindedness. Holding opinions in abeyance while rigorously testing claims, acknowledging the falsifiability of claims, actively seeking evidence that refutes your own claims to see if they hold up, accepting claims that are sufficiently supported by empirical evidence even though they contradict what was "known" before -- like how ulcers are now known to be caused by bacteria, not stress -- that is what open-mindedness is all about.

Twill said...

anonymous 10:32 -

You still haven't provided any support for your idea that tarot cards were originally developed for divination by mystics of any stripe.

A glance at the wikipedia entry shows otherwise - the Major arcana cards appear to have been added at least 40 years after the regular suits were developed. There's lots of evidence of their being used for games, but there isn't any documentation of the whole deck being used for divination before the 18th century.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the cards can help the sentence, punctuation, and missing word healing on the query.

nancorbett said...

What a juicy carrot to dangle in front of you! How can you resist that?

Where do these people come from?

Anonymous said...

Someone at my job was doing tarot card readings (gratis). She said I was going to be very rich and successful because of my creative ability.
Now, wouldn't it be nice if all that donkey s#@* was true?