John Scalzi picked it up with a short post and then a longer re-statement of an earlier post. Harlan Ellison appears in the commentary, with the brilliant use of "a fistful of auk-vomit", and a hearty "Boy, am I glad IIIIII don’t have e.mail."
Lee Goldberg also linked to Josh's post, and again with his own recent experience. Lee (and his uncle) turn up in the comments to John Scalzi's post.
Then Boing Boing links to John Scalzi's post.
Commentary is either:
"You are right, I'm an X, and constantly get asked by random strangers about X-stuff, and it gets really annoying"
"You are such a DICK for not giving me MY entitlement! I don't care how much effort it costs you, that part isn't important! It's ME this is all about!"
"I'm a concerned troll who deplores the incivility of some of these authors/scriptwriters/doctors/lawyers. Why oh why don't you just say 'sorry, I can't help with that' instead of posting such icky words as 'No, I won't help you and here's why'?"
The third case is particularly annoying given that the authors, script writers etc have often provided countless advice and experience to others (Lee Goldberg mentions doing teaching, speaking and seminars for free at a writing festival; John Scalzi has a huge number of articles about the writing business as well as his plugs for other authors on his site). And they've all gone way down the "Sorry, I'm not going to do that" route, more or less politely. They don't WANT to be the bad guy. So they make a post saying why they aren't going to read your stuff and then their comments fill with "You're such a dick!".
Someone on Boing Boing called "A.J" wrote:
Before reading this blog item, I had never heard of this dude. As of now, I still have no idea what he writes or why anyone cares, but I know for certain that he's a dick.
He doesn't even know who John Scalzi is. But he knows he is a "dick". Because in a hugely reasonable tone John Scalzi said "The person who determines what a writer should do for others is the writer, not you".
I get this. I'm not a published author (I'm waaaay too disorganised to finish any of my stories :/) but I work with computers. If I tell anyone that, look out. "I've got this problem with my computer...."
I agree wholeheartedly with Josh Olson over who is the dick in this situation: The requestor
Yes. That's right. I called you a dick. Because you created this situation. You put me in this spot where my only option is to acquiesce to your demands or be the bad guy. That, my friend, is the very definition of a dick move.
Don't Be A Dick.