Posts Tagged ‘Vitriol’

Some Advice from the Land of the Free

February 7, 2014

When The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill was first published I braced myself for an onslaught of negativity. I was mostly concerned about how people would respond to the way I lived. Surprisingly, I’ve encountered very little of that. Reader reviews have been generally quite positive. So this recent Amazon review from “Durgi” under the title A disturbing read didn’t bug me all that much. I’m posting it so that people can see what you face potentially when you try to open up in public (and also because I find it vaguely humorous):

The author of this book has severe mental problems that need to be addressed. But his observations of a feral California flock are why I read thru it. I also saw the DVD, which better gives you a picture of the filth and squalor he’s accustomed to living in, and subjected birds to live in as well. He took way too many liberties with flock behavior and individuals within. Truthfully I wish he would have left his personal life completely out if it, as it was depressing and frankly, insane. I hope he gets the help he desperately needs.

Strangely, the reader posted her review on the film’s Amazon page rather than the book’s page. I considered ignoring it, but ultimately decided to post a reply:

Geez, Durgi. It’s difficult to know how to respond to such vitriol. Inaccurate vitriol at that. I’m fine. I was fine then, too. I wasn’t living in filth and squalor. I’m not insane. But I have never led a conventional life. I don’t understand why, in the “land of the free,” anybody should have a tough time with that. As far as taking liberties with the parrots goes, the only liberties I ever took were the kind that good friends take with one another.

As I say, it happens so seldom that it didn’t bother me too much. But I doubt I’ll get off so easily with Street Song. We’ll see.

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