Let me show you Bad Writing

New Life self awarenessPoor Richard writes that his bookstore will neither carry the Ted Haggard expose nor host a book signing by its author Mike Jones, sex worker to reluctant habitue, Ted Haggard. Skorman can do what he wishes, but to say the reason is because the book is badly written is a cop out. Any bookseller in this city has to admit they carry a not inconsiderable mass of atrocious dreck. Bad books sell, and alas Richard’s stand for a higher literary standard is the first to my knowledge.

I think Jones’ choice of an incompetent writer to ghost his Haggard Days memoir is likely spot-on for a Colorado Springs audience. What’s the best selling book here? The home-grown LEFT BEHIND series! I guarantee you a fourth grader has not encountered less inspired writing.

Not that our city is atypical, even today’s NYT bestsellers play to a descending literary IQ. From Dan Brown to whoever is your cheesy favorite I’ve no doubt. This phenomena was clocked most distinctly when Stephen King was given the 2003 National Book Award for his contribution to [the sales of] American Letters. What a banner year it was, 2003.

So why pick on poor male escort Mike Jones? I think it’s pure political cowardice. The New Life Crew and their fallen gay-bashing leader have done irreparable harm to the progress of acceptance of homosexuals. Here’s a chance to teach them something about from where comes their misplaced hatred, and Mike Jones stands without allies to do it. Jones is not an opportunist, he’s a hero doing a dirty job. Maybe the right man for the dirty job, to crack a cheap joke, but if Jones was truly out for himself, he’d have taken a mega-fortune from a conglomeration of fundie gay-hating institutions interested in keeping Haggard in the pulpit. Remember Bill O’Reilly’s non-consensual phone-sex while penetrating himself with a lifelike vibrating phallus? He and Fox paid an undisclosed fraction of a BILLION to make that story go away.

If I knew THE BOOKMAN could handle the heat of accusations that we were only doing it for the attention –we’ve exceeded our limit, thank you KVOR creeps particularly– my bookstore would of course host this reading and book signing. And I commend Jones for tastefully steering past whatever might have been the unwelcome lascivious play by play.

I believe the Ted Haggard comeuppance is of capital importance for Colorado Springs, not to gloat about Haggard’s suffering or about the humiliation of his flock, but to lift the veil from their self-hatred of homosexuals. Haggard is unrepentant about this by the way, and if I might offer a simplified analysis, he hates gays because he hates himself. What reason has he the temerity to suggest that we should hate them?

Let’s welcome Mike Jones to our town. Jones unmasked the Haggard hate monster, let him claim the lair. Jones can satiate our curiosity, feed the spectacle, accept our thanks for showing personal integrity, and move this story along. I most certainly think it took a lot of bravery for Mike Jones to do what he did. He showed the kind of courage we can’t even summon, as we deliberate about whether to extend him our hand.

Perhaps as a community of independent booksellers we can do it. Why ever are we afraid of the religious right? They don’t buy our books. When Christians do buy a book they buy it new from an Inspirational Bookstore, because it feels like a more deliberate investment in their faith, I’ve heard it explained, sort of like paying down on a tithe or Indulgence.

Do I fear the Fundamentalist wrath? If they’re under-educated, under-literate, bigoted ditto-heads, of course I do. I fear them like I would Brown Shirts or union busters. Fundamentalist have a terrible tradition for that kind of immorality. Ask anyone in retail, if a customer declares themselves to be a Christian, you actually have to watch them closely because experience has shown they are more likely to try to steal or cheat. Probably because that’s the sort of conflicted person who is drawn to simplistic religious dogma in the first place.

Of course I fear them. But Ted Haggard’s fall must not go without every spotlight we can summon. He’s still behaving like a bastard and we really should shout him down. Jones has given us Haggard’s Achilles Heinie/ [Meth]Habit, let’s use it! If no one is really going to step up to ask Mike Jones to town, I most certainly will. I’m sorry I came late to this discussion but good grief!

Eric Verlo

About Eric Verlo

On sabbatical
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1 Response to Let me show you Bad Writing

  1. Avatar Tony Logan says:

    Yeah, ‘Poor Richard’ is indeed a real trip. Skorman should change the name of his business to Pathetic Richard’s instead.

    You would think that he would be ashamed to have come up with the lamest excuse of all time for not carrying Jone’s book…. ‘Poorly written’???? Oh give us a break, Richard!

    It was your letter to the Gazette that was poorly written. Or better yet said, just poorly thought out. And poorly thought out, just like when poor Richard said at the annual Justice and Peace Commission meeting on behalf of that Republican called Ken Salazar, where Richard said he was worried about the Iraqis if the US pulled out from their country! Oh brother… This guy, Richard Skorman, is a sell out on everything!

    Mr Skorman turns out to be another male prostitute (like Jones, but more puto personality yet) in his work on behalf of Ken Salazar. That’s where the decision to ban Jone’s book actually came from.

    Salazar is tied in with Skorman in Colorado Springs circles now, and he wants some of those New Life Church votes, he does. And Pathetic Richard obliges by banning out Jone’s book from the bookstore Skorman owns.

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