First, here's a podcast I listened to earlier this week in which Andras Jones, the author of "Accidental Initiations: In The Kabbalistic Tree of Olympia" explains the story behind the book.
Merywn Haskett, who plays a part in the book and took one for the team writes his review: A Narcissistic Misogynist with a Persecution Complex.
From the review:
The book goes back and forth between Kabbalistic mumbo-jumbo, and an autobiography where he never admits fault, where he gets bullied or fired everywhere he goes (which, apparently, is why he doesn’t make movies anymore) and where his fear and/or hatred of women is probably the most honest thing he writes. He idolizes his deceased father, a college professor who had numerous affairs with his students.Merwyn (check) not a fan. By the way, it is worth looking at the responses to Merywn's review, which he cross-posted to Amazon.
So, then Jones posts up a response to Haskett's review on his own blog. The post is frustratingly titled: A Narcissistic Misogynist with a Persecution Complex. Come on guys, someone pick a new blog post title.
From Jones' response:
Don’t get me wrong. I would still like to punch him in the face. I just don’t allow myself to gnaw on that particular brain bone for very long before breathing it out.Not a breakout of a mutual appreciation club by any means.
And then, Haskett's counter,
At the bottom, this sounds like a very personal fight between a handful of folks, which is becoming more public because one of them wrote a book and two of them have blogs.
But, not to ignore the fight (other than pointing it out, I have nothing really of substance to say about it), but here are a few independent thoughts about the book.
1. Isn't it interesting, how the cover seems to stretch the Olympia brand?
2. Part of the book seems to deal with a tree in Sylvester Park that holds some significance. According to Jones, Olympia has been shaped to intensify this significance. At one point in the podcast, he seemed to imply that there could be a secret movement of city fathers to make these changes happen, specifically inside Sylvester Park. He commented something along the lines of "if I was on the city council," implying it was the city making the changes.
Of course, Sylvester is a state park, so depending on your perspective, making the force behind the changes more vast and creepy.
3. Also, the idea of a shadow history and geography of the city is sort of fascinating. Not that my fascination has any bearing on the argument above or calling people "boring haters."