Picking up a long tradition of mineback before law school, in fact, although the subject matter is now slightly differentI offer the 2005 Turkey Awards: my not-quite-to-the-end-of-the-year nominations for this year's most ridiculous personages. Drumstick, please…
- The Greasy Gravy Award for oily publicity that makes an otherwise savory main dish inedible goes to relief efforts for Hurricane Katrina. It's not the efforts that are a problem; it's the publicity that masks all of the other "non point source" issues that require at least as much attention and harm at least as many people.
- The Red-Tide Oyster Stuffing Award for carelessly poisoning an otherwise tasty dish goes to the Authors Guild for its mismanagement of the freelancers' class action and its inept suit against the Google scanning program.
- The Broken Wishbone Award for shattering dreams goes to Publι$hΑmeri¢a, a Maryland-based vanity press, for its continued deceptive practicesboth of others and, based on what one of its principals claims in his book, themselvesand refusal to admit that a median sale including those to the author and author's family of less than 70 copies of each book does not make for a "traditional publishing experience."
- The Golden Gristle Award for assertions far too difficult to digest goes to the Bush White House and Department of Justice for their continued defense of torture-masquerading-as-"extreme"-interrogation not only as an "executive right," but as effective in the context of counterterrorism in the first place.
- The Crabapple Pie Award for hiding something sour as something sweet goes to the moron who decided to nominate Harriet Miers. The Miers nomination ultimately disguises a great deal that is both wrong and right about the process of nominating and confirming federal judges. I strongly suspect that, about four or five years from now as the memoirs of top Bush administration officials begin to be published, we'll be revisiting this item. Again.
- The Brussels Sprout Award for stinky, slimy, overcooked, gentrified little cabbages goes to Andrew F. Knight for his purported "plot patent" application(s). Seldom have I seen something slimier and yet more out of place served with even this indigestible menu!
- The Dried-Out Breastmeat Award for overcooking the books goes to the publishing industry's continued use of "returns" to keep from paying authors what they're due (let alone what they're worth). Even J.K. Rowling can't evade this treatment. Of course, the publishing industry is far from alone in this situation, or in overcooking anything. On the other hand, maybe it's the entertainment industry's own fault!
- The Rancid Drumstick Award for something that should be edible, but isn't, goes to SonyBMG for its rootkit ineptware that purportedly acts as digital rights management software.
No, I don't take prisoners. Yes, I do shoot the wounded.
No doubt there might be a few new candidates by the end of the year. However, since virtually nothing happens in the publishing industry in December, I won't get my hopes up. Or down, as the case may be.