I’m not a huge Joel Stein fan. In fact, my feelings about Joel Stein’s column can best be summarized by this section of dialogue between Timothy Olyphant and Katie Holmes in the 1999 movie Go:
I’d like to point out that in the print version of Time, Stein’s column is indeed the last thing you read.
So suffice it to say that I was (pleasantly) surprised when, comfortably ensconced on my favorite throne, I read one of his recent pieces, a column entitled “99¢ Loyalty.” (Unfortunately, the full article is behind Time.com’s ridiculous paywall.)
To summarize, however, in typically goofy, flat-fallen fashion, Stein’s commentary on the issue appears to make the following points:
1. He’s published by Hachette.
2. His own book remains unaffected by Amazon’s alleged bullying tactics, in that it is still immediately available and discounted at the same rate it was before.
3. He really likes Amazon and buys a lot of crap from them.
Hence, he concludes, you won’t find him taking a stand against Amazon anytime soon, unless it’s worth his while. The column is basically a tongue in cheek admission that the Amazon-Hachette feud doesn’t affect him, and if it did he’d side with whomever benefited him.
Compelling cultural commentary it’s not, but it is simple and honest and to the point, and I like that. He also said one thing in particular that I thought was on point: “More important, I know that cat videos are a bigger threat to books than e-book pricing.”