... When an audience member — young, wide-eyed, clearly not clued in — rose to ask [an unnamed author] how he’d managed to spend 10 years writing his current masterpiece — What had he done to sustain himself and his family during that time? — he told her in a serious tone that it had been tough but he’d written a number of magazine articles to get by. I heard a titter pass through the half of the audience that knew the truth. But the author, impassive, moved on and left this woman thinking he’d supported his Manhattan life for a decade with a handful of pieces in the Nation and Salon.Also being passed around: Vulture's David Marchese talks to Jon Ronson about how we use social media to shame others. Says Ronson:
... We still see ourselves on social media as the hitherto-silenced underdog, yet we have huge power. We are more powerful en masse than NBC... We like to see ourselves as righteous people, but we’re behaving as unforgiving and cold. We’ve sort of tricked ourselves into believing that we’re something online that we’re not, or that we haven’t turned into something that we have.And Jon Ronson again, on the New York Times, about destroying lives with Twitter:
... In those early days, the collective fury felt righteous, powerful and effective. It felt as if hierarchies were being dismantled, as if justice were being democratized. As time passed, though, I watched these shame campaigns multiply, to the point that they targeted not just powerful institutions and public figures but really anyone perceived to have done something offensive. I also began to marvel at the disconnect between the severity of the crime and the gleeful savagery of the punishment. It almost felt as if shamings were now happening for their own sake, as if they were following a script.