Monday, July 21, 2014

On Jim Frenkel and leaping to judgment

Today I came across Karnythia saying in WisCon…This is How You Fail: "See back in 2009 when this picture of Frenkel staring at my breasts was taken it was in many ways just one of those things. It was my first time at a con, we were trying to get the now defunct Verb Noire off the ground, and Frenkel was an editor at Tor."

Now, maybe he was staring at her breasts. But given the handshake and the angle of his eyes, what's more likely is he was checking her name tag. It's also possible he was blinking. Photos rarely prove what people claim they do, especially when they're looking for retroactive confirmation.

I've been thinking about the controversy involving two people I've known for decades, Jim Frenkel and Elise Mathesen, I favor Elise's version for two reasons. Jim has always been clueless and blunt, but not malicious, which made people forgive his cluelessness and bluntness, which enabled it. So it's entirely likely that he finally went too far and expected to be forgiven as he always had been. As for Elise, she's one of the easier-going folks I know, the epitome of Minnesota Nice. That Elise got angry speaks volumes.

Ah, well. I'll end with my standard question when Verb Noire comes up: Have Mikki Kendall (aka Karnythia) and Jamie Nesbitt Golden (aka Thewayoftheid) accounted for the $10,000 they raised? I have been a small press publisher, so I can say this confidently: In the age of the ebook, there's no excuse for so much money producing so little.