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September 03, 2008

A Blatant Attempt to Juice My Ratings

Recently my book became a part of the Amazon Vine program. From what I understand, these are books given to their more prolific reviewers; then, said reviewers post their reviews on the site. Not surprisingly, many of these readers didn't care for my work. "Not funny," said one. "Not funny," said another. A third said, "Not funny." Even though my overall rating remains high, I would encourage anybody who did read my book to take a few minutes and give the book a good review here. Is this gaming the system? Hell yeah. That's how we stick it to The Man.

You would have my eternal gratitude, and as an added bonus, I'm also giving away a brand new Chevy Volt to the first hundred people who post glowing words of praise.


Your pal,
Michael Ian Black (very famous)


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I wrote a review a while ago,but went back to read some of the newer, "Vine" ones. These items are a few on the wishlists of some of your negative reviewers:

Steering by Starlight: Find Your Right Life, No Matter What! by Martha Beck

Penguin Tea Timer As Seen On TV
three weeks ago(I bet it's for decaf tea...lame!)

Making a Good Brain Great: The Amen Clinic Program for Achieving and Sustaining Optimal Mental Performance

Ninja Hand Claw
Offered by MartialArtsLand (okay,that one is kinda cool)

Also, many of the reviewers seem to favor science fiction and such. Nothing wrong with that,but it sucks that they are contributing to your Amazon status:/


If you love reading Michael's blog, this is the least you can do.
If you haven't already done so, please go on Amazon and give a favorable review. Those of us who already did can't review again, so it is up to all you devoted fans who are lazy-asses that couldn't be bothered previously to write something, NOW is your chance to give a little something back.


Five stars for you dude. I don't get these hoity-toity, namby-pamby reviewers who lap up everything Spedaris poops out on a page, yet don't appreciate the literary phenomenon that is MIB. Five stars. We'll show 'em.


We can't review twice, tis true. And even if you "become someone else" and "open another account", "with another email" you still can't review. Why? Unless you purchase off of that freaky fake account you're a non person.

And I really wanted one of these:


I would be willing to wait the 2 years for the release and everything.

All this pre-cumming for nothing.



...Now when can I expect my Chevy Volt?


P.S. readers:

You can always click "this review not helpful" on the loser reviews and/or comment back to the ones you don't agree with as well.


Thanks Reen. I also already reviewed the book, so . . . but I'll go click happy on the nay sayers with their crappy nays.



Wow. Those were shocking. I don't get it.

So, I say: Cheers to you and your weird little barely audible banana-mouth-noise world Michael! It amuses me to no end.


I'm going to rally some troops. Hold tight, soldier. You'll have at least 3 more positively glowing (you'll need to wear shades!) reviews by sun up tomorrow.


Hey, I'm as big a MIB supporter (that's Men In Black, by the way, not Michael Ian Black) as there is.

But my dignity has conditions:

So here it is. I will write a positively spectacular, glowing review. It will put all other Amazon.com reviews to shame. 200 years from now, it will be the standard for internet reviews, even after the internet turns into virtual reality and nobody cares about Amazon.com anymore because you can now pay a visit to the ol' gloryhole in the Craigslist bathrooms.

I won't just do this for MIB. I will do this for humanity. For literature. For SCIENCE!

But first, MIB must write a haiku about me, and throw in a reference to my hero Raymond Moses for good measure.

That's right, folks. My dignity is worth a haiku.


I had this whole review ready, in my mind.
It was judging your book by it's cover. Basically picking apart the quotes and your picture.
It would have been awesome. But I have school.


I'm about halfway through...so we'll see if I think it's worthy of a positive review.

But "Using the Socratic Method..." was AWESOME. Do one for "What would it take for me to vote for McCain/Palin"?!

Nice play for poetry Reptar, but I might need to raise your haiku and see you with a cinquain.


strike that...reverse it

I'm distracted by the beauty of Sarah Palin


Zane Said
>>>>>>If you love reading Michael's blog, this is the least you can do.
If you haven't already done so, please go on Amazon and give a favorable review. Those of us who already did can't review again, so it is up to all you devoted fans who are lazy-asses that couldn't be bothered previously to write something, NOW is your chance to give a little something back.

And remember, it's just like Wikipedia. You don't even have to read it.


I believe Reptar will make amazing things happen for you and the world if you write him/her a haiku. So I dare you, triple dog dare you, to write that haiku. I'm not being paid in any way, I just really like a good haiku every once in a while. Or write a cinquain, but I don't know what that is.


So praised.

Ian Coburn

Hey Michael,

Yeah, if you can't dictate that the vine members who get your book read its genre, your reviews could be very negatively biased.

Okay, speaking of promotions, I just heard of your challenge to Tucker Max for a fight, this past Tuesday. If you intend to back down from your challenge and his acceptance, let me know, as I will then have a challenge for you myself. (It won't be fighting.) Sorry man but standup comedy is a noble punch-you-in-the-mouth profession and we can't be backing down from our word. It especially gets to me because we share names, so I feel like my own honor took a hit when you apparently backed down. You can email me at iancoburn@hotmail.com (I couldn't find a "contact" for you here, although maybe I just didn't look hard enough.) Have a good one.


I just barely found your blog. I was going to protest and say "but I haven't even read your book yet" until I:

1. Read your Sara Palin post.

2. Saw the Zane Wikipedea reference.

I can now give you a fantastic review, because I'll be reviewing your epically funny Palin post. But I won't be telling Amazon that.


I'm a fan, I love Stella, and what I've seen of The State. I read this blog regularly (It's entertaining and gives me the chuckles) however I bought your book this summer and was slightly disappointed.

The essays posted on McSweeneys had me in stitches but the essays in your book I generally didn't find too funny, some of them surprisingly boring. There's no doubting you're a very funny comedian and you have by no means hit your peak. I'm only saying that in my opinion, most of the book wasn't your best work.

As anonymous  as you are

Aaron, arent you a ray of sunshine though?

Talk about a back handed compliment for Michael, whom you profess you enjoy on a regular basis.

Checking YOUR work, Aaron, via your link, I'd have to say that some of your drawings aren't as good as the others. Seriously. They're kind of boring. Some are very well done, and some, well, just not your best work.

So what have I done for you, Aaron?

Basically I've told you that I like some of your work, but not all. I've told you, under no uncertain terms, that you are human. Composed of both good and bad. And I am determining, via my opinion, ideals, and perspective, what I consider to be your best (good) and worst (bad) work.

Do you care? You don't really know me right? So does it hurt? (Just a little?)

Gosh. Hopefully you find it "helpful".

Kathi D

I am actually a member of the Amazon Vine Program. I would have gotten your book, but there were some cool free electronic (expensive) doodads this month. Sorry.

I promise to get it next month if it's still offered. And if you are still bribing.

Vine Guy

I am a member of the Amazon Vine program and I LOVE your book. In fact, I purchased a copy of your book with my own money before Amazon even offered the book on the Vine program. I didn't review it via the Vine program since I already had a copy and didn't feel fight getting a free cop of a book that I already have, but I'll request a copy from the Vine program now and give you a very good Vine review.

Sorry to hear some of my fellow Vine members suck and have no sense of humor.


I was exploring all of the negative reviews for the book and found myself rather personally offended. I am sure Michael was more so but, as a fan of his work, I felt like I was swiftly kicked in the nether regions. Stacia R. Roesler said, "If you're into lowbrow comedy, if using the word poop makes you snicker, then this is the book for you." And, "This book is the adult equivalent of one big collection of juvenile fart jokes." She also poignantly points out that the book is "definitely written from a male perspective." Really? Surprised by that, Stacia? Perhaps, you, Stacia (if that can be considered a name, a hybrid--maybe)are too daft to realize that the "subtle and sophisticated comic genius" you seek in humorous works is actually there underneath the obvious and maybe obnoxious joking. Perhaps Michael deftly worked-in subtleties that you can't quite catch on to. Yes, absurdest humor is not for the weak. Just because you don't understand it doesn't make something "lowbrow" and all of this brow talk has got mine furrowed. I would say Michael is a step or three above fart jokes. And I would go further and say that his fans are not the half-wits you make us out to be. In other words: fuck you.

Too sum up my argument: Stacia is daft, Michael is deft, and I apologize for all of the orphan quotes.


I'm a member of the Amazon Vine Program, and I can give you three possible reasons why Viners gave you negative reviews:

1) we have a such a troll problem that even if someone liked your book, they were probably afraid to go against the negative tide

2) Viners can choose from a list what they review, and since it's all free, they don't stick to genres they normally buy...for example, we had male Viners choosing a box of pads to review

3) many Viners suffer from "corn-dog syndrome"...if yout think about it long enough, I'm sure you'll get my implied meaning...

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