I don't mean to boast, but there's also no reason to hide from the fact that I am read by some very important people. Since I began this blog in 2005, I have been contacted by dozens of editors, producers, and other movers and shakers in the entertainment and literary worlds. Take this, for example:
Dear Justin Smith,
With your permission, I would very much like to reprint your article [on mushrooms and literature] in the newsletter of the Long Island Mycological Club, the LI Sporeprint, of which I am editor. Full authorial credit would be given, and you would be furnished with both hard copy and pdf. The article may have to be shortened somewhat due to space restraints, and if so, your approval would be sought, if you so desired.
Thanks for any consideration you can give this request.
For a long time I thought it could not get any better than this, but just the other day I was proven wrong, when I received a message with the subject heading: 'Animal Planet Show'. Though I had long been of interest principally to literary types, it looked like I was finally going to make the move into television! I opened the e-mail without delay, stars shimmering before my eyes. "Hello Mister Smith," it read,
I apologize immediately for contacting you out of the blue for something you might find silly and mundane. However, I have to ask (as it is my job), and I'm hoping you might have some insight.
I work on a show for Animal Planet called "Bad Dog" and my job is to find "cute" and "funny" animal clips to license and air on our show. I came across a video where a 'Dove Annoys A House Cat' (you can see it on Youtube) and the owner of the clip is named "Shlarl". Or, it's his handle.
Either way, I've been trying to track down this "Shlarl" (so far with no luck). I know he has commented on your articles (which I have read briefly, and find interesting). I am wondering if you know this person and/or have any way to contact him. I just want to ask if he would be interested in talking to me about licensing the clip. I believe he's French Canadian, and unfortunately I only understand half of his commentary.
Again, I hope I am not disturbing you. If you wouldn't mind letting me know your thoughts, I would greatly appreciate it.
I hope to hear from you. And thank you for your time and your blogging insights.
K.'s message filled me with questions. Like, how on earth could there be a show on the air, in 2012, such as this 'Bad Dog'? Isn't this precisely the sort of thing the Internet has obviated? What was America's Funniest Home Videos, after all, but a YouTube avant la lettre, like a shadow play, circa 1890, just before the dawn of cinema? What is the point of 'licensing' a video and showing it once on television, when you can just 'share' the video on your website and show it as many times as your audience wishes to see it?
But these were trivial matters. The important thing was that I was going to be on TV! Or at least that, as a result of my behind-the-scenes manoeuvring, a video of a dove annoying a cat was going to be on TV! Maybe I could cut a deal with this 'Shlarl' and we could co-license the video, or whatever it is people do to derive money and fame from the cultural effluvia they cast off. This was going to be the start of something big.
But then I started to have second thoughts. Maybe I should just accept my fate as a blogger and share the dove-annoying-a-cat video here, for you to watch, for free and at your leisure. It really is delightful, by the way. See for yourself: