Whirled Musings

Across the Universe with Cosmic Connie, aka Connie L. Schmidt...or maybe just through the dung-filled streets and murky swamps of pop culture -- more specifically, the New-Age/New-Wage crowd, pop spirituality & religion, pop psychology, self(ish)-help, business babble, media silliness, & related (or occasionally unrelated) matters of consequence. Hope you're wearing boots. (By the way, the "Cosmic" bit in my moniker is IRONIC.)

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Just call me "Pariah Carey"

So the other day I was lamenting the fact that I seem to have been shunned by the member(s) of Amazon’s "Anti-Scam Network," even though I’m kind of in their corner – at least enough to want to hear more of their stories, with the idea of getting to the bottom of some of the Amazon "gaming" that seems to be going on. (Here’s the link to my lamentation; see the third item down, "I’m feeling so rejected.")

The "nay" votes continue to come in; the comment I made a few days ago now shows that 3 of 19 people found it helpful, meaning that five more folks have voted it "not helpful."

In the interests of contributing something of more relevance to the conversation at hand, I wrote a new comment yesterday on a related thread, the topic of which is the effectiveness, or lack thereof, of "subliminal" material. Even though I acknowledged that there is some research indicating that some subliminal visuals might register on the brain, I was obviously not making a case for subliminal DVDs. At least it seemed obvious to me, especially since I also inserted some personal opinions and speculation that would seem to indicate I am simpatico with the prevailing opinion on that thread. So far, however, 0 of 3 people have found my latest remark helpful – which means that all three people took the time to vote me "unhelpful."

Yep, it looks like I could be in serious danger of being voted off the island now, or at least having my comments hidden by default so you have to click on them to see them.

Since my latest comment gave consideration to both sides of the question regarding subliminals and the guys who are pushing them, I have to wonder about the affiliation of the folks who voted my remarks "not helpful." Are they Anti-Scammers who can’t accept me because I refuse to invoke Godwin’s Law and compare the hustledorks to Hitler? Or are they friends of the hustledorks, indignant because I questioned the expertise of their heroes? I’m thinking that maybe there are folks from both groups who aren’t big Cosmic Connie fans.

Well, I suppose I can handle being shunned by a few folks on Amazon. But I am seriously broken up over my rejection by a deeply spiritual group I wrote about recently (first item on the post): the followers of a lady named Kat and her imaginary friend Clara. I just got this comment in today:

Nora said...

Kat and Clara's site is a private, invitation-only site. Designed specifically to stay small, no-cost and bitch free, (yeah honey, I mean you) it's a close-knit group of people smart and open-minded enough to look past their own noses and accept that they aren't the center of the universe. Try it sometime.

I guess you can respond if you wish (your blog, your rules and all) but I won't bother to read it. People like you are why it remains invitation-only. (sucks being left out of the "in crowd" doesn't it?)

I think Rev Ron had the best reply to "Nora's" comment:

Somehow, I am reminded of the kids in high school who lacked both the personalities to be popular and the intelligence to be geeks, huddled together in the corner of the cafeteria and filled with pride at their decoder rings and secret handshakes.

More like elementary school, I’d say. Nevertheless, I have to say that it hurts deeply to be left out. Someone please send me an Amazon gift certificate, or even better yet, lots of money, to make the hurt go away…

PS ~ And here's a bit of synchronicity for you: Just as I was preparing to upload this post to Blogger, a private email came in, regarding someone else I'd written about a couple of months ago. (No, it's no one who is linked to or mentioned in today's post, the January 6 post, or the Amazon threads in question.) Here's that message, in part (I bolded certain words for emphasis):

I have researched this Minor League Pariah for months and the only positive feedback has been from his New Wage Group. In resonance, [this person] is one of the foulest criminal psychopaths since World War II. Even Hitler was more purely motivated.

Wow... must be something in the ethers, since, as I noted, this came in after I'd written today's post (including the title) but BEFORE I published it.

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Blogger Citizen Deux said...

I thought there were a few exposes on the rampant abuses on Amazon. In another persona, I have had quite a few reviews deleted which did not fit with the mainstream of thought on nbooks that I have read.

Thursday, January 10, 2008 8:00:00 AM  
Anonymous Dave said...


How about I send you a secret decoder ring? Or, even more fun, you can start your own private website just so you can exclude them.... Nah, that's too much trouble. Just ignore them. Have a nice cup of tea, maybe go for a run and a massage. You'll feel better.

Thursday, January 10, 2008 8:49:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Hi, CD! It's great to see you here again. Yes, there has been quite a lot of scuttlebutt about shady Amazon goings-on; I've even written about it previously on my blog. And as you probably know, Steve Salerno wrote about it at great length on his blog a couple of years ago.

There have also been numerous discussions in Amazon forums about the matter. I think that just about any of us who have participated in Amazon reviews or discussions at all have, at some point, seen "funny" things going on.

What I wanted to do with this post and my January 6 entry was not solve the big riddle of Amazon, but simply to find the truth about some of the incidents mentioned in the ongoing discussions about the two Amazon authors who are the subject of the threads. While I do not approve of the "spamming" that the "Anti-Scam Network" folks seem to be doing, a couple of these people made some fairly serious allegations, and I wanted substantiation -- which, I must admit, has not been forthcoming so far.

I do have a bit of what might be loosely termed "inside information" pointing to the fact that over the years, there have been various ways in which reviews and comments could be manipulated on Amazon. This manipulation seemed unethical at best. Supposedly Amazon has tightened up on some of that stuff, but you never know what they're willing to do when one of their cash cows is "threatened" by a negative comment.

Of course Amazon couldn't do it all by themselves; some of the Amazon bestselling authors have their little cadre of fandroids who make it their life's mission to "alert" Amazon when their heroes are being dissed.

I suppose you could say that the discussion forums and reviews on Amazon are a democracy of sorts, but they are apparently more of a democracy for some than for others. Sort of a plutocracy in microcosm, perhaps.

I imagine that in the larger scheme of things this is much ado about nothing, and I have learned to take certain types of "reviews" on Amazon with a whole bottle of salt, but I still remain interested in "what's really going on." Then again, as I've noted before, I am easily amused. :-)

Thursday, January 10, 2008 11:36:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Thank you Dave, those are all excellent suggestions. As it happens, Rev Ron is helping me deal with the rejection quite nicely, and I hardly feel the pain at all any more. :-)

Thursday, January 10, 2008 11:41:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Make sure you're ingesting sea salt, Connie :-) (No comment about RevRon therapy sessions -- but I'm sure you could write a great book about it.)

Amazon gaming won't stand a chance once the unmoderated social networking sites take over the world.

Speaking of books, pop over to my blog to learn about the latest secret to The Secret!

Thursday, January 10, 2008 1:41:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Thanks, Lana! I'm a big believer in sea salt. And I'm on my way to your blog as we speak (or write).

Thursday, January 10, 2008 1:48:00 PM  
Blogger yomamma said...

Hey connie some people get no visitors to their blog. nobody gives a shit what they are saying. could make a girl a B.

Monday, January 14, 2008 3:00:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Now, that's a good way of looking at it, YM. :-)

Monday, January 14, 2008 3:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, I was just at Amazon.com to read reviews of the book "The Secret Source:The Law of Attraction is One of Seven Hermetic Laws", edited by Maja D'Aoust and Adam Parfrey. There are 2 reviews there, both 5 star. One of those stellar reviews (also found on Amazon.ca) is by Maja herself! Kinda weird!

Monday, January 14, 2008 10:27:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Well, Anon, maybe Maja just wanted to get the ball rolling. Obviously she's an amateur at Amazon gaming, though. At least she could have used a pseudonym.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008 3:23:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi guys,
This is Maja D'Aoust.
Yes! I am an amateur at Amazon, and the review wasn't my review of my own book, I actually just posted the statement from my publisher because we couldn't get the distributor to stick it on there and correct the information!! I didn't know how else to get it up there.
But yes, it does look mighty fishy, I wish our distro was more on the ball, but I just wanted folks to have a synopsis!
I agree its weird though.
I like your blog!!

Sunday, January 20, 2008 2:42:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Thanks, Maja. Sometimes Amazon can be a little difficult to deal with. I don't know what kind of arrangements you have, but it seems that your publisher could (and should) take care of getting the proper blurbs up there. It's generally the publisher's job to do that, not the distributor's. Anyway, best of luck with your book, and thanks for your kind words about my blog.

Sunday, January 20, 2008 3:03:00 PM  

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