Archive for April, 2013

Rant on Sycophants and Narcissists: How They Go Together Like Bread and Butter

Posted in crazy people, narcissism, sociopathy with tags , , , on April 25, 2013 by The Solution
AssortedBread4300ppx3

Sourdough bread and butter.
Date 10 June 2011, 18:14:55
Source Own work
Author FASTILY (TALK)
Creative Commons 3.0
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:AssortedBread4300ppx3.jpg

Sycophants and narcissists go together like bread and butter: The narcissist is the bread and the sycophant is the butter!

A sycophant is a toadying flatterer, a “suck up” or a “brown noser.” The sycophant doesn’t just want to get along, they actually enjoy playing the role of the loyal underling to anyone whom they perceive as having influence or authority.

The narcissist (described in previous rants) requires infinite, unmitigated, constant approval from others. They cannot tolerate the slightest bit of criticism or even dissent.  They see reflections of themselves everywhere and in everything they see. If they form an attachment to an idea, then they can become hostile to anyone who has an opinion that doesn’t support that idea because they see the idea as an extension of themselves. Therefore, criticism of that thing becomes, in the narcissist’s mind, a criticism of themselves.

Because the narcissist requires constant approval, he (or she) is often attracted to certain positions where he can receive the unquestioned, unchallenged worship of sycophants. The list is myriad.

Both the narcissist and his counterpart, the sycophant, are attracted to structures and order.  They both despise dissent.

Sycophants are conformists; they’re like mercury (quicksilver). They can mold themselves to any authority figure or any social group.

Narcissists are attracted to positions of power and authority.

Sycophants are conformists who worship those with perceived power and authority.

This relationship can be found in police departments, corporations, offices, politics, military organizations  and even social gatherings. Again, the example of the Kboards Writer’s Cafe comes to mind because it is an online social forum with actively involved moderators, who are perceived by sycophantic members of the group to have authority. Any mention of the moderators in a post often brings out a swarm of sycophants who worshipfully praise the moderators or other members who they perceive as having even the tiniest amount of influence within the social group.  Those who offer a differing view from that of the normative one or who are perceived as having little or no influence or value to the group are quickly marginalized by their  mob of sycophantic worshipers.

This pairing can often be found in inter-personal relationships.  Like a vampire, the narcissist must feed off others and the sycophant is an all too willing victim. The sycophant buys into the narcissists delusions of grandeur.

The relationship between narcissist and sycophant can be seen in religions, where the sycophants are all too anxious to give their minds away to a narcissistic cult leader or narcissistic invisible man (“god”). The sycophant will defend his or her narcissistic master, sometimes going to extremes, even violence, to quash dissent.

What makes the narcissist tick seems more obvious because they are clearly mentally disordered.  But, what makes the sycophant tick?  Is it stupidity? Is it laziness?  Is it a lack of self-confidence? Is it mind control? How about normative conformity?

See this video on sycophants and conformity:

What is normative conformity?

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Rant on Indie Authors Behaving Badly

Posted in crazy people, narcissism, writing with tags , , on April 22, 2013 by The Solution
Psycho-Stempel

Psycho-stempel
Public Domain – Wikimedia Commons

This is a common subject these days, especially in reading circles.  I have written in previous posts about narcissistic upstart authors, some of whom I call “vanity authors,” which is a play on the term “vanity press.” These are authors who write to gratify their egos.  They can be self-aggrandizing, egomaniacal control freaks.

Many indie authors simply cannot handle the fact that someone has an opinion that differs from their own. One of the most common examples of indie authors behaving badly involves authors who respond negatively to negative reviews of their work. Most of the time they are novelists, who take offense to a review, then comment to the reviewer right on the sales page at Amazon.com. Naturally, many reviewers are disconcerted by this. They may interpret commentary from the author on their reviews as harassment or intimidation. Maybe if they are intimidated enough, they will remove the review.

Indie authors often fashion their own noose, place it around their own necks, then leap from a balcony to their own destruction. Why do they do it? I don’t know. I have only observed the procedure, which is why I have written this tutorial for the self-destructive indie author:

How to Self-destruct as an Indie Author

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Public domain
Wikimedia Commons

Begin by posting your name, your face, your private information about yourself and links to your books  everywhere you possibly can.

Don’t bother to learn anything about actual marketing, but go to a site filled with other amateurs who believe such cherished adages as “all publicity is good publicity.”

Join a forum like the Writer’s Cafe at Kboards and brag about your achievements and how much money you’ve made.  Alternatively, brag about how you’re not really in it for the money, but for the art.  Furthermore, brag about your writer’s life style in which you are a hermit and a curmudgeon who hates the world and everyone in it. Be sure to do this with every detail of your life available through a link.  At the very least, provide a pen name and links to your books, so that people can “review” them.’

Then, be sure to spam your book everywhere you can both at sites intended for readers and writers. Beg people for reviews. And, if you cannot get reviews, write your own!

Then, whenever anyone disagrees with anything you’ve written or interprets it in some way other than what you intended, let that person know how you feel about it. Tell them you disagree with them.  In fact, respond to every review you get. Tell the positive reviewers how kind and intelligent they are for discerning your brilliance and tell the negative reviewers that you’re sorry they are too stupid to appreciate your obvious talents.

In fact, be sure that everyone you feel disagrees with you about any little thing knows who you are.  Comment on their blogs and request that they remove anything that you disagree with – as long as you’re being polite about it, they should do exactly what you want, right?  Again, make sure they know who you are, after all, you’re so important – much more important than all those other lowly people who have a differing opinion about something.

Write a post at your blog and be sure to put your name, contact information and links to your books for sale, describing how you have been wronged by another person who has an opinion about something you’ve written that differs from your own.

The above are just a few ideas, of course.  Just keep working at fashioning that noose in your own individual, narcissistic way and you’re sure to get the job done right, eventually.

YouTube video about badly behaving indie authors:

YouTube video about demanding, narcissistic indie authors

YoutTube video about spamming, narcissistic indie authors

Other articles about indie authors behaving badly:

http://www.pocketfulofbooks.com/p/authors-behaving-badly.html

http://indiereader.com/2012/07/stop-the-gr-bullies-retaliation-backlash/

http://angelahornnovels.blogspot.com/2013/01/another-day-another-author-behaving.html

http://joeberhardt.com/2012/08/28/authors-behaving-badly-the-seedy-underbelly-of-reviewing/

http://www.paulkater.com/2012/09/authors-behaving-badly-booksellers-behaving-worse/

Especially interesting: http://indiereviewtracker.com/why-some-authors-deserve-to-fail/

The experience of a reviewer stalked by author for giving opinion:  http://www.goodreads.com/story/show/309224-what-it-s-like-to-be-stalked?chapter=428115

KDP thread involving this behavior: https://kdp.amazon.com/community/thread.jspa?threadID=165445&tstart=0

http://coreyann.me/2012/08/authors-behaving-badly-how-i-pissed-off-legions-of-emily-giffin-fans/

I like this article, it’s full of insights into badly behaving authors and has a tutorial: http://www.harryjconnolly.com/blog/index.php/four-ways-to-use-your-social-networking-skills-to-build-a-large-community-of-assholes/

http://www.salon.com/2013/04/15/self_publishing_star_faces_backlash_for_misogynist_rant_partner/

In the drama linked to below, a book reviewer is bullied into altering a review by an author, then apparently bullied some more and “blacklisted.”  This is her detailed account of the events: http://www.lizzylessard.com/i-will-not-be-bullied-blacklist-author-mike-kearby/

Rant on Contemporary Romance Novels

Posted in misogyny, popular culture, Rape, Rapists, sexism, Sexual Assault, society, writing with tags , , , , on April 15, 2013 by The Solution

33-01-06/54This is a rant on contemporary romance novels and the many reasons why I hate them. It is, also, about this disgusting new trend of mainstreaming rape and abuse of women and trying to make it appear like it’s a normal – even healthy – thing.

I’m including a vast swath of romantic fiction here, but first let’s discuss the difference between two things that are often confused: The Romantic Period of English Literature and contemporary Romantic fiction.

The Romantic Period of English Literature grew out of the earlier Gothic period. Romance, at that time, was a word used to describe adventures that took place in a fanciful, sometimes even paranormal settings – often a forest and often in a foreign country (not England).  In these stories, there might be some interest between a man and a woman interwoven as a single thread in the story, but it was not the purpose of the entire story.

Now, we have contemporary Romance, in which the relationship or possible relationship between a couple (the kind I’m familiar with is a man and a woman, however, there are many variations) is the main focus of the story.

So, now we have established that contemporary Romance is not Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights, (the former was a woman’s adventure and the second was a ghost story – although, the movies are different) but the kind of mind-numbing, pointless and usually very badly written prose that describes a relationship between a man and a woman. First she hates him, then he wins her over by behaving like some kind of asshole – sometimes even a violent asshole – and then, they fall in love and live happily ever after.

Who reads these things?

Well, if you listen to the people peddling it, they say they have a broad audience that includes affluent and well-educated women. But, if you go sample some of the books on the current best seller list, they immediately belie this claim.  It’s hard to understand how anyone with a brain larger than a mustard seed could stand to read more than a few paragraphs.

Of course, there exceptions to every rule and it may well be that a few educated women read such books. In fact, I find it entirely plausible that there are a relative few such readers. But, I have seen the kind of people who buy, read and request romance novels and they do, in fact, fit a certain stereotype.  (I used to own a brick and mortar bookstore.) Most look like the stereotypical housewife. A lot of them are older women, sometimes much older women! And, most probably don’t have more than a high school education. Some older women did not get to graduate from high school because not long ago it was considered that women didn’t really need an education since they were just going to marry and spawn, anyway.

This is why romance novels are written on a very non-challenging level. It may, also, be why they are so predictable. They were written for semi-literates.

Dame_Barbara_Cartland_Allan_Warren

Description
English: Dame Barbara Cartland
Date 1987
Source Own work
Author Allan warren
From Wikipedia Commons

Back in the days when Barbra Cartland was writing, her contemporary romances stopped at the bedroom door. But, this changed by, at least, the 1980s. It was in the 1980s that I first picked up a Harlequin romance novel. I remember that it had a couple of dirty scenes in it, but they weren’t overly graphic in any way. I tried to read a second one of these and that’s when I discovered that they were practically identical except for the change in scenery and names of the characters.  Interestingly, some publishers like Siren have a very specific number of dirty scenes and other specific actions that must take place in their novels. So, anyone who says there isn’t a formula to these things is full of it – there is.

I always considered those earlier contemporary Romance novels, at least into the 1980s,  to be trashy and I’ve long thought that people who read them are a little on the trashy side.  Mostly, those books used to be silly, but not really too smutty or disturbing – but lately that has changed.

I am out of touch…

It’s true. I haven’t seen television in a couple of years. I never watched it much before that. I used to work all the time and I travelled a lot. In other words, I had a life and an education – one I had to work long and hard for. I went through things to get a college education that no one should ever have to.  And, in all of that time, I missed out on a lot of things to do with the popular culture over the course of the past 20 or so years.

I don’t mind that I missed these things, but I realize that it probably makes it hard for me to understand a lot of trends and things that are going on in the big cities or with the youth crowd.

I see some very big problems with the popular culture in fiction and movies right now – which may or may not be tied into this massive upswing in rape culture and the decline in the status of women in this country.

A few years ago, we got Twilight – or really the Twilight series. The first Twilight wasn’t too bad.  It was strange. It was written by a Mormon and that’s why it has some strange things about sexuality in it – Edward’s vampire temptations correlate with Mormon doctrine on pre-marital sex and spiritual death. As an ex-child cult member, I found that really disturbing. But, the series gets worse and it seems to encourage some very bad behaviors and bad decision-making. Edward is a stalker with an anger control problem. The wolf boy and his entire tribe has an anger control problem that they take out on women.  And, then there’s just the Bella character, who acts like a maid to her father and who is obsessed with Edward and finally impregnated by him – only after the wedding, of course, because they’re secretly Mormons. I found the normalization of all of this kind of drama and violence very disturbing.

But, then along came this Fifty Shades of Gray thing.

Back in the 1990s I sometimes went to the old meatpacking district in Manhattan late at night with a few friends – all lesbians, except me – and we used to go get our feet massaged. There were these foot fetish guys who hung out there. You had to beat them down – literally, like dogs – every so often when they started getting carried away, but they gave really great foot massages.  This place was like a dungeon, but not the kind where men go and pay someone to beat on them. At least, if money was being exchanged here, it was done very subtly. But, I saw men dressed as women and men dressed as men, chained up and whipped by men dressed as women. I don’t know if the men knew that the men were actually men or not. Clearly, some of the men there were confused about that, as I recall.

At any rate, it was all very interesting. I went a few times and I was introduced to the basics of the B&D role playing subculture… now, this is an anonymous rant, so I ‘m going to feel free to say what I think about this. Those people are very messed up. Normal people don’t engage in B&D or sexual role playing games in my experience.  And, people who participate in S&M are a whole other level of screwed up in the head. That’s the facts… That’s the truth. I know it’s unpopular – especially right now because I can see how they are trying to normalize this disturbing, aberrant, perverted behavior in the mainstream culture right now.

I am very bothered by it because I believe it leads men to abuse women and it puts women in situations to be abused. This is why I have a problem with Fifty Shades of Gray and all of the other books that try to make this lifestyle seem normal.  There’s nothing normal about it. And, I believe that is its purpose – or, at least, why it is being pushed so hard right now.

There is an effort underway to demean and humiliate women… It is being undertaken by the mainstream media in their news and on television. I don’t often visit mainstream news sites like NBC or CNN, but when I do, invariably I see headlines intended to undermine women and encourage men’s wrath against them.  These filthy books like Fifty Shades of Gray and the Twilight Series, which is intolerably disturbing by the third book… I read the first two out of curiosity, but couldn’t go any further… these books are part of the effort to undermine and destroy women’s status as human beings.

Now, who is writing this garbage?

Well, a lot of independent authors have found success with the Romance genre. But, I have begun to notice something else. Most of the squabbles and jealousy and stalking is directed at these authors. Furthermore, some of these authors seem to be not real bright. I have noticed just recently that a lot of the incidents of authors behaving badly involve Romance authors. This may be because you don’t have to be a Bronte sister to write one of these things – in fact, I think it would help to be slightly mentally defective. Of course, it may, also, be because the contemporary Romance genre is perhaps the largest and most popular one.

At any rate, there is a correlation between idiocy and contemporary Romance.

Below is an interesting video in which a young man explains why his mother reads trashy romance novels. I think it sums up not only the type of person who usually reads these books, buy why. Here it is:

Monkey read, monkey do.  Fifty Shades of Gray implicated in dangerous sex game trends: