Nancy Birnes is editor of UFO Magazine. In her editorial in the current issue, Nancy addresses the issue of complaints she gets regarding the magazine’s writers. Two contributors that seem to get slammed a lot are Colin Bennett, and Alfred Lehmberg.
Those two, by the way, are two of my favorite writers.
And yet, there are many who dislike one, or both, of them very much. Nancy, thankfully, doesn’t share those views and happens to think very well of them indeed.
She begins her piece by discussing the things we “hate” and that it’s helpful to turn that around. If we “hate” something so much, what does that say about the individual who hates the thing? A cliché, but a lot of truth in it; we project. (I’m still trying to figure it out in regards to my own self . . .)
Nancy suggests we hate things we fear, at times, but also things that we haven’t dealt with, that we find irritating for what it calls up within us:
“We’ve barely learned to read and we don’t cotton to fancy turns of phrases. We can’t carry a tune, so nobody had better be crying on with a loud tune-box on a busy Monday morning. “
(That last one; at first it seems just rude to blast your music on a “busy Monday morning” and it is rude. But there is also this; we’re rushing around on a Monday, much preferring that we didn’t have to at all, while the lucky bastard blasting his music gets to avoid all that rat race stuff. Irritation flung his way, if out of proportion, might say more about my anger that I’ve chosen to work a 9 -5, M-F, while music blaster man doesn’t. Or, if he does, he doesn’t take it all that seriously. Which is very cheeky, and makes one even more irritated.)
What do the Lehmberg and Bennett “haters” fear? If you dislike Bennett, Birnes suggests you
“read a little more history and a few less newsletters and you’ll come to see how eloquent and spot-on he is. We are truly honored that he’s writing for us.”
As for Alfred Lehmberg:
“Before dismissing his prose, consider adding a dash of poetry to your life, preferably of the epic variety. If you think he’s ornate and far too enthusiatic, consider the topics he tackles. He’s the loneliest voice on he planet when it comes to the sad John ford story, and yet he keeps on. He is a loyal solider standing in the eh rain like a movie samurai, and he is well - armed with an arsenal of wit.”
And then there’s this idea: don’t read them if you don't like them.