Thursday, May 29, 2014

The danger of Amazon

The publishing world is alight with Amazon Derangement Syndrome (and it amuses me endlessly to watch some far-left indie authors gleefully embrace that term without the faintest clue that it's a send-up of Bush Derangement Syndrome that they themselves evidence.)

The latest "Amazon is eeebil!" is because Hachette, a publisher who's part of a multibillion dollar media conglomerate - you know, the "poor downtrodden victim" as per the New York Times - is the first publisher to emerge from the lockdown on negotiations after they were found utterly guilty in a price-fixing conspiracy with the five other major book publishers and Apple. The judge is nobody's fool, and has staggered the dates of the release from negotiating lockdown so the unrepentant Price-Fix Six cannot negotiate in collusion. So they're in contract negotiations with Amazon, and nobody's saying what the terms asked or demanded are... but strangely, Big Ebil Amazon isn't rolling over and giving the tiny (hah!) nuturers of culture (hah!) downtrodden (hah!) victims (bwahahaha!) everything they want. If you want to see the classiest declaration of all out war you'll ever read, see here:

Now, let me tell you about the real danger of Amazon. It's sleep deprivation combined with one-click ordering.

Several days ago, Calmer Half was working on a section in the latest book where cluster bomblets are used in an attack. And he emerged from his writing daze to tell me all about Rhodesia's ingenious homebrewed version of cluster bomblets - which involved bouncy balls. Lots and lots of bouncy balls. (Apparently when South Africa copied the design, they set up factories to make plain black bouncy balls, because the generals felt that using brightly multicolored balls was Just Not Cricket.) And in reminiscing, he naturally wandered over to Amazon and typed in "bouncy balls."

Yesterday, a familiar brown box showed up on the porch. Mystified, he opened it - and discovered he'd accidentally ordered one bag of 250 bouncy balls. Neither of us remember him ordering them... but he did.

So, of course, we opened the bag and bounced one just because bouncy balls. ...And the cat appeared, and has been in fanged and clawed ecstasy since.

Bouncy balls. Hardwood floors. Cat. 0430 hours.


  1. Oh, now, THAT's a funny picture! Thanks

  2. Oh, I remember bouncy balls & big cat ... and sleepless nights when he wanted to chase the ball. You have my sympathy. :)

  3. LOLOL. I can relate. I have a German Shepherd who wakes up at zero-dark-thirty and decides that he needs to go search the house to find a bone that I gave him a few days prior and commence to gnawing on it immediately, preferably on his dog bed in the bedroom.

  4. ROTF... Sleep deprivation makes one do STRANGE things...

  5. Our cats todd them down the basement stairs.....

    boing...boing......boing.......boing.....thump as it hits the bottom and bounces off the wal...

    At 4 am as well.

    then they carry them up the stairs and do it again.

    I can never find the damned ball to get rid of it either.

  6. Remind me to show you at LibertyCon what you can do with a bouncy ball and a balloon. I laughed out loud at this story, thanks!