Archive for the popular culture Category

My Tribute to Beth Buege, Her Family and Friends

Posted in authors behaving badly, badly behaving authors, crazy people, criminals, misogyny, Murder, narcissism, popular culture, psychopathy, Rape, Rapists, Reviews, sexism, Sexual Assault, society, sociopathy, trolls, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 8, 2014 by The Solution

This was my rant site, the place where I vented about a lot of things that bothered me before I deleted most of those posts to focus on what is happening with indie authors committing fraud.  I once called this site my therapy place because I am a multiple violent crime survivor. I have survived multiple rapes as well as being abducted and held at gunpoint in an incident of random violence that nearly resulted in my death.

The men who tried kill me did not succeed. I survived.

But, Beth Buege did not.

In neither of our cases have the men who committed the violent crimes against us ever been brought to justice. There is no hope that the criminals who tried to kill me will ever be brought to justice – one of them was a cop.

But, I believe that there is still hope that Beth Buege will get justice, although her murder in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on June 3, 1990 is now a cold case.  I have read the articles and viewed the video tribute to Beth Buege below from YouTube and I have seen the determination of her family and friends to obtain justice for her – and for themselves.

You see, the family and close friends of Beth Buege are crime survivors, too. When their daughter’s life was brutally snuffed out in 1990, they crossed into that world of twilight that all of us who are violent crime survivors live in. Nothing ever looks the same afterward.

How I First Learned About the Murder of Beth  E. Buege

I would not know about Beth Buege except I happened to be at the right place at the right time to see her friends’ or family’s desperate attempts to bring attention to her case.

My understanding from this incident and from what I’ve read elsewhere is that the family of Beth Buege would like to bring more attention to the events surrounding her murder. More people talking about any case like this helps keep it alive in the minds of not only the public, but law enforcement.

To that I say: 10-4. Message received.

So, this is my tribute to Beth Buege.

It is a collection of articles and a video to inform you about the circumstances surrounding her unsolved murder. I hope that someone will see this who can help or who will feel moved to tell what they may know about the circumstances of her death, which will finally bring her killer to justice.

According to the articles and other information below, the Buege family is certain of the identity of her killer, but Beth was murdered in 1990 when DNA evidence had not yet developed to its present state of technology. Although, there are others who probably know something about the circumstances surrounding her murder, they are not talking. These seem to be the main reasons her killer has not been put behind bars for the rest of his life, which is better than he deserves. As it is, the suspected killer is still at large, apparently living quite a good life.

Information About Beth Buege Collected from the Web

Reward is Doubled by Parents Who Think Boyfriend is Suspect, The Milwaukee Sentinel, November 2, 1991: http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1368&dat=19911102&id=5kUbAAAAIBAJ&sjid=6U4EAAAAIBAJ&pg=3402,516255

Milwaukee slaying remains unsolved after 20 years,  Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, by Jesse Garza, June 3, 2013:  http://www.jsonline.com/news/crime/95479204.html

Unsolved Murder of Beth E. Buege, Unsolved Murders National Database, http://www.truecrimereport.com/coldcase/victim/unsolved-murder-of-beth-e-buege-28890875/

Beth is listed on this page along with many other beautiful, young women who have been murdered: http://csafd.proboards.com/thread/2437?page=37I’d like to point out the obvious, but something that is often forgotten when we talk about women who are murdered or raped: They’re not murdered or raped on their own. Somewhere is a brutal criminal who committed the crime and he is, more than likely, still at large.

(Update 3/22/2014: The following site lists suspicious deaths in Wisconsin. You’ll recognize Beth on the 7th row down, 3rd from the right. Hover your mouse over her photo for details:  http://php.wisinfo.com/mktg/unsolved_osh/ Also, see this page – http://www.thenorthwestern.com/section/WIS019804 –  for a number of videos discussing these cases, including a Cold Case Series, which you’ll find when you scroll down near the bottom. The video series discusses how cold cases are being handled and many of them solved, not only in Wisconsin, but elsewhere.  One theme is the importance of people talking about the cases and keeping on talking about them.)

(Update 3/25/2014: The following link goes to a memorial in Beth’s honor where you can send virtual flowers or a message:  http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=53202188 )

If you are on Facebook, you can go to this page and learn about Beth Buege at her brand new page (Apparently Facebook took down the old page a couple of days ago), which is called Memories of Beth Buege: https://www.facebook.com/groups/748070505218006/

This is a video tribute to Beth Buege with some known information about the night of her death, information about the prime suspect and who to call if you have any information. This is a very moving and haunting video. I woke up with the song, “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door,” going through my head this morning, I can’t get it out of my mind, which is what moved me to make this entire post :

If something happens to the above video, you may find it here: http://www.frequency.com/video/beth-buege/153062305/-/5-1429513

There is no peace without justice!

Justice is very important for all crime survivors, including the family and friends of murder victims, who are often not treated very well. Not only they are they cast aside by the system, but they are treated horribly by society as a whole.  They are left to pick up the pieces of their lives entirely on their own and sometimes they live in fear because of what they know. For instance, in this case a killer of women is still on the loose and since he has gotten away with his crime for so long, he may be feeling pretty confident about his chances of never getting in trouble for anything – ever.

Nobody can just move on from so great a violation as what this family – and many other survivors – have endured. They live with it every day. They go to sleep with it and they wake up with it. Their view of the world and the people in it has been completely altered forever. Their sense of safety and peace is completely shattered because they know a truth the rest of the world doesn’t seem to know or care about.

The only way to bring a modicum of peace to this family, for them to feel that the world is something like it ought to be, again, is for their daughter’s killer to be acknowledged for the murderer he is and be brought to justice. Justice and peace have been denied to this particular family for almost 24 years. But, there is hope. If you know anything about the circumstances of Beth Buege’s murder, please contact Detective Kathy Spano at 414-935-1212.

Rant on Authors Who Publicly Brag About Their Income and Sales Figures

Posted in crazy people, popular culture, society, sociopathy, trolls, Uncategorized, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 9, 2014 by The Solution

Marinus_van_Reymerswale_007This is a rant site – a place to vent, as I’ve called it many times before, it’s my self-therapy.  I look back at some of my angry rants at the beginning and I think it must be working a little bit because I really am enjoying myself now. And, I’ve especially enjoyed today’s Writer’s Cafe at KBoards drama.  As I ranted about sometime last year, I had an unfortunate encounter with some very nasty posters there when I wandered in to ask a question about publishing. Just the nature of my question seemed to lead some of the disenfranchised members of their group to believe that maybe I was just a little too successful for their liking and I was immediately attacked by some of their regular members there.  I posted about it here:  “Rant on Kindleboards or Kboards Writer’s Cafe and a Warning to Authors.”

I’ve stated before in a couple of my other rants that I do not think forums are very good places. They never really were very safe and now that there is less anonymity on the web, they are even more dangerous than they were 15 years ago.

No matter how private they may seem to the posters, how familial or friendly the other posters may appear, the fact is you don’t really know those people. And, you don’t know who else is reading your forum posts – like me. I’ve been reading this thread at Kboard Writer’s Cafe since yesterday. I’ve gone through two pots of coffee and enjoyed a lot of hearty laughs.  I’ve been working really hard this week and this is my first really enjoyable break. And, apparently, I’m not alone in this because that most recent blow-up thread has had a remarkable number of views.

Certain central ideas persist around the most recent furor, though.  Here is probably the very most important idea: Those people that you have deluded yourself into thinking are your friends and supporters are not.

This is especially true if you have a self-entitlement attitude. For example, if you think you are so special or important and have so many supporters that you can ask them to bump you up in the rankings, be aware that there are a lot of people who don’t like you, who think you’re a little too big for your britches. And, if you think you are so special and deserving that you can go into a writer’s group and ask your competitors to help you game the system at Amazon, then you deserve whatever backlash you get.

“Pride goeth before disaster, a haughty spirit before a fall.”

And, even if those people at that forum were your friends, they are not really going to appreciate you bragging about your income and sales figures. Despite what they say, they don’t like it. Nobody likes it. It is not being “helpful” to anyone or anything except your ego.

Perhaps, it has escaped the notice of the braggarts that we are in a recession – truth be told, we’re probably in a depression. Lots of people are struggling. People who work almost constantly are struggling. A lot of people are not as fortunate as you. If you’re an arrogant, self-entitled prat, it may not occur to you that not everyone has the advantages that you may have – you with your massive sales numbers and swelling income. Not everybody is lucky enough to have family support or even a family. Lots of people don’t have friends – lots of writers, especially, are very isolated. Lots of people, especially writers and people who must find alternative means of earning a living, are not blessed with good health.

Now, those people are not going to tell you about their problems most of the time because it’s scary and unwise to talk about your health problems and the fact that nobody has got your back in real life.

And, they may not be the ones leaving the one-star drive-by reviews on your sales pages (for those people, I’d suggest looking to some of those regular posters who you think are your friends, who encourage you to act foolishly, to expose yourself, to boast about your income and good fortune, and who applaud you when you do these things and tell you you’re not doing anything wrong), but they don’t like you.

I don’t like you.

You see…

There used to be a thing called etiquette, it’s an old-fashioned idea that goes all the way back to the 1980s – that’s about the last time I remember seeing anything like it, anyway.  One rule of etiquette is that you don’t talk about money. You don’t brag about your income, how much money you’ve got in the bank, how much you’ve paid for your house or your car. You don’t count your money in front of the customers, if you have a business.

You don’t brag about how much money and sales you make – even to people you think are your friends. It’s considered very rude – because you don’t know what is going on in other people’s lives. People who are having a hard time and who have a sense of humility and decency, themselves, don’t talk about their finances. Your friends who are, also, working hard, but surviving on 99-cent hot dogs and dried beans aren’t going to appreciate hearing about your swelling bank account. And, it’s not nice to rub it in their faces.

You certainly don’t do it at a public forum or at your website or blog, from which you sell your books. This is a bad idea!

It’s bad form.

It’s bad manners.

It’s rude.

It makes you look like an insensitive clod.

And, it’s pretty stupid, too.

And, that is some of the basis for the undercurrent of nastiness that can be seen embodied in that popular thread at Writer’s Cafe at Kboards right now.

If a lot of those people being praised by their sycophantic fellow posters there as “contributing” so much to the forum were not a bunch of braggadocious fools with apparently no concept of how to behave in normal, non-psychotic society, then I would not have had 24-hours of beautiful, beautiful entertainment.

Also, I agree that publicly threatening to sue your reviewers is bad form. It’s not a good idea. That’s the article here: http://www.bigskywords.com/1/post/2014/01/should-you-sue-your-ebook-reviewers.html/ The guy who wrote it is right, although he’s been badmouthed by a lot of people at the Kboards Writer’s Cafe in that same thread. I can’t understand why they want to defend an author behaving so childishly toward a reviewer, but he claims he has been successful, so maybe they think they can somehow get a piece of his success for themselves by groveling at his feet – sort of like rubbing the head of a leprechaun for good luck, I suppose.  It’s very odd – it’s the bizarre characteristic of that forum that a bunch of hostile strangers posing as friends stick together as a mob around the internet. You can see it for yourself and see who some of the real trouble-makers are, see the comment section at the above-linked article.

(Quick update on 2/10/2014, regarding the article linked above at http://www.bigskywords.com) – I don’t like to name names, especially when an author appears to be litigious, so I won’t name him – but, something is very strange. The subject of the afore-mentioned article at bigskywords.com is a V.I.P. at Writer’s Cafe Kboards right now. He’s made the rounds with the Alex Jones Show associates based in Texas because he writes in the trendy, testosterone-drenched, apocalyptic prepare-for-a-government-collapse/revolution genre, if that even is a genre. I just caught a podcast with this guy here: http://rockingselfpublishing.com/005-joe-nobody/ and I compared it to this:  http://www.kemahbay.com/Clients.php  I will leave you to draw your own conclusions. You won’t have to listen to the podcast for more than 6 minutes, then look carefully at the comment at the marketing website to see what I mean. Also, see this: http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,156162.msg2253480.html#msg2253480 And, under the category of “authors behaving badly,” see this here: http://www.amazon.com/review/R1TLFBBHWK9PPJ/ref=cm_cr_pr_cmt?ie=UTF8&ASIN=061559283X&linkCode=&nodeID=&tag=#wasThisHelpful Now, I ask you – would you take either writing, publishing or marketing advice from someone like this? Why is he being praised for “contributing” so much at Writer’s Cafe Kboards? As I said before, in at least one previous rant, listen very carefully when a man tells you about himself, especially upon first introduction – if he’s going to tip his hand, this is when he’ll do it – see what I mean: http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,130586.msg1926804.html#msg1926804

Definition of the word, scoundrel: A person (especially a man) who is cruel, unscrupulous or dishonest; a disreputable person.

Again, if you are looking for examples of how not to behave and what not to do as an author, I think you will find the Writer’s Cafe very instructive. Just hang around for a while and observe. Give the big ducks in the little pond a chance to drown themselves in their own excrement and eventually – as we see from the above thread – it happens.

(Added February 19, 2014) There is one more reason why you shouldn’t share your sales figures in public places, which I had temporarily forgotten and that has to do with contracts.  Someone brings it up here at this Writer’s Cafe Kboards forum and reminds people that this is not allowed.  Writer’s Cafe Kboards has a special widget for posters who want to brag about their daily sales figures by means of a “badge” placed beneath each post they make.  The design of the badge indicates their average daily sales.  I predict this thread will not end well: http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,179095.0.html

Rant on Stephen King’s Palpable Misogyny Toward Sex Crime Survivors

Posted in crazy people, misogyny, narcissism, popular culture, Rape, Rapists, sexism, Sexual Assault, society, sociopathy, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 7, 2014 by The Solution

393px-Frederick_Sandys_(1829-1904)_-_May_Margaret,_1865-6I have ranted here before about the misogyny and overall filth in Stephen King’s books. I was just beginning to come around – beginning to feel a little better about King, again, because frankly it’s hard to ignore his work and his success. The fact is he is really good at establishing characters and credibility in his books. I was more than half way through his big hit, “The Shining,” which is surprisingly not especially misogynistic, especially compared to Kubric’s movie version, although I found some racism toward the end, which I consider gratuitous use of racist epithets to be.

Gratuitous racism (or sexism/misogyny) is unnecessary and unpleasant. It takes away from the enjoyment of the story and horror should be filled with fun horror (vampires, zombies, etc.) and not real life horrors like racism and misogyny. That’s my position on this kind of thing. If the racism or misogyny doesn’t further the plot, doesn’t develop an important character, etc., then it doesn’t belong there.

But, I didn’t see much in the way of misogyny in the book, “The Shining,” in fact, King is very much into the mind of Wendy, who is intelligent, although trapped in a bad situation with her son.

So, here I am, beginning to forgive King, beginning to think I had literally read him a little wrong when, I ran across an article somewhere online talking about Stephen King’s misogynistic tweeting.

See the Tweet here: https://twitter.com/StephenKing/statuses/430468906243735552

In case the tweet ends up getting deleted, here’s some more information:

Related headlines

King later apologized saying he probably used the “wrong word.”

What is the right word, I wonder, for accusing a young woman who has come forward with allegations of sex abuse by her wealthy, influential step-father, who has a less than stellar reputation when it comes to keeping it in his pants around minors, of being malicious, spiteful and perhaps outright lying?

I don’t know and Stephen King has never clarified what he meant, exactly, but we can use a dictionary and find out that “bitchery” is a reference to the bitchy, spiteful malicious behavior of women.

So, I’ll say it, again – I think this man is a terrible misogynist. I think a lot of his work, not all, but certainly some of it is misogynistic and racist. I am not surprised, of course…  This is the world we live in and if King’s work didn’t exemplify it so well, he wouldn’t be so popular.

As a side note:  He,  also, at one point, blamed Twitter for his “bitchery” comment. This reminded me that he’s a big gun control guy … I ranted about him and his gun control book in a previous rant here… Gun control advocates like to blame inanimate objects whenever something goes wrong. Yeah, his Twitter account just jumped off his laptop and “went off” all by itself. Typical!

Rant on Wannabe Authors Who Support Book Piracy

Posted in book piracy, crazy people, Murder, narcissism, popular culture, psychopathy, society, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 6, 2013 by The Solution
382px-Captain_Kidd_hanging

The proper way to deal with thieves.

Well, I haven’t ranted for a while, but this is going to a be a fun one!

I recently popped in on my most unloved writer’s forum, which is just a honey pot for professional writers who step in there once in a while thinking its a real writer’s forum only to discover that it’s mostly a bunch of amateur on-line marketers trying to figure out how to game the ebook self-publishing system.

Most of the time, this little corner of Kboards called Writer’s Cafe is just a bunch of narcissistic blowhards tooting their own horns. Many times, I’ve had the impression someone there was successful only to run across a thread where they admit to selling 20 books a month. Or I catch them making statements about publishing that are simply incorrect, but apparently nobody there has the experience to know this, so they just keep repeating it to every new person there who comes into the forum and asks a question.

Well, in the past day or so, the honey pot attracted an interesting guest in the form of a successful writer, complaining about one of the forums bugaboo topics: Piracy.

He mentioned multiple problems revolving around piracy, including the problem of serial returners of ebooks at Amazon.com, which is an ongoing problem. I ranted about this before at Rant on Serial Ebook Returners at Amazon.

He talked about the substantial portion of his income lost to online thieves and mentioned the over-sharing of accounts, something I’d never heard of because I don’t have a digital book reader and I have no plans of ever getting one.

Now, the thread is in a downward spiral of denial that the forum is supportive of piracy. In my observation, the majority of alleged professional writers in the Writer’s Cafe are, in fact, very supportive of piracy. They post celebratory threads when they discover one of their books has been pirated because apparently this is the only way most of them can get anyone to actually read their work. And, many of them are poseurs who are extremely desperate to have their work read by someone other than a personal friend or family member.

I’m amazed at the number of people, including a moderator there, who claim to know pirates. Here’s my advice to anyone who knows a thief: Get far away from such a person for your own safety.

I used to know a person who pirated material from the internet and anything else he could get his hands on. He turned out to be a not only a cyber-criminal, but a  common, ordinary IRL thief, as well, and – surprise, surprise – a rapist.

The fact is this: Immoral people who steal books or other materials online don’t usually confine their crimes to one type or simply to the internet.

I’m amazed at how common this self-entitlement to other people’s property (their minds, their bodies, etc.) is, but if you followed my last post, you see that false-self entitlement is pretty much the legacy of W. Europe and Britain. So, here we are.

Stealing is immoral. There is simply no two ways about it. Yet, I’ve read and heard just about every justification for this crime imaginable. And, I have personally suffered some unpleasant consequences because of pirates, including a substantial loss of my income.

We need tougher laws against crime, in general, and we need to have a way of dealing with world-wide crime on the world-wide web. Government isn’t supposed to interfere with people’s lives, but they are supposed to establish justice and insure domestic tranquility. I’d like to see some of that justice and peace in the form of putting criminals (like internet pirates) on trial and putting them away for a very long time.

Meanwhile, if you a writer who doesn’t enjoy being robbed, you might want to stay out of the Writer’s Cafe at Kindleboards because if you mention anything about it there, you’ll get stung. That’s because most of them are not professionals and quite a few of them in the past didn’t mind admitting their lack of scruples.

What’s hilarious is that just a few days ago they had a self-congratulatory thread regarding how much better they are than the people at another forum. Some of the people there don’t seem to realize that anyone can read the comments there – it’s not an exclusive club – and no one who reads there could arrive at the conclusion that the posters there are superior to anyone – at least, not in morals, talent or intelligence!

See some of my older rants related to this subject:

Rant on Crazy and Abusive Online Forum Moderators

Rant on Rape Trolls and Online Psychopaths

Rant on Kindleboards or Kboards Writer’s Cafe and a Warning to Authors

Rant on Nuts in Writing Forums

Rant on Parasites Who “Hate Copyright

Rant on Stephen King and Gun Control

Posted in crazy people, criminals, misogyny, popular culture, psychopathy, sexism, society, writing with tags , , , , , on May 24, 2013 by The Solution
Rape_of_Tamar_-_Le_Seur

{pd}

I’m late on this. I’m very much not plugged into what’s happening outside my own world because whenever I stick my head out of the cave there’s usually something unpleasant going on.  Here’s the latest thing:  Stephen King has just released a new book in print only – no digital version. This brought out the anti-print and anti-traditional publishing trolls and I read some unkind comments directed toward King because of this decision. Frankly, I don’t understand the criticism. Authors own the rights to their books and they can do whatever they want with them. If that means not releasing them in certain formats, then that’s entirely their business.

So, as I did a quick Google search on Stephen King with regard to this issue, I ran across this disgusting tidbit from the UK Daily Mail: Stephen King Gives to Maine Gun Control Group.  According to this article he gave them a five-figure sum. He, also, wrote a book called, “Guns,” in which he purports to support the 2nd Amendment, which is the highest and oldest law in the land with regard to guns, even claims to own a few guns of his own, all while urging more gun control and mis-characterizing both American gun owners and the NRA (National Rifle Association) and displaying his ignorance about guns.

See review:

This all seems like a PR move since he, also, pulled his book, “Rage,” from the shelves, also (although, this was some time ago, back when school gun violence was becoming an issue in the news). King’s books are characterized by all kinds of violence and misogyny, so why pull this particular one? Well, this book was supposedly pulled by King after a copy of it was found in relation to a hostage situation in Kentucky, in which it seemed that the perpetrator  was trying to carry out the plot of the book, which is about a school shooting. (Kentucky Youth Frees 11 Hostages and Surrenders, Associated Press, Published: September 19, 1989)

Isn’t it interesting that all of these celebrities who are, at least, partially responsible for depictions of violence with guns in popular culture are now hypocritically anti-gun?

Isn’t interesting, too, how many of them have guns of their own, have their own body guards and sometimes live in gated communities?

They want guns to protect themselves, but you are on your own.

If I could ask any of these people a question, I would ask them why they hate violent crime survivors – and, especially, women – so much?

Stephen King’s work  is especially misogynistic (ie. The Shining and The Secret Window – both depict instances of domestic violence and violence against women.) Yet, it appears that he and other celebrities, would sacrifice the safety of people in the U.S. and sacrifice the law (the 2nd Amendment) that protects us for the sake of their own pathetic careers – as a public relations move.  Have they no souls?

Dosso_Dossi_-_The_Embrace_-_WGA06620

{pd}

Stephen King is, also, a 6′ 4″ tall, ghoulishly ugly man, which means he has no idea what it is like to be a 5′ 2″ tall woman, who has dealt with threats of bodily harm from strangers since the age of 12.  See my Rant on Height Discrimination Against Shorter Women and Men, in which I describe how most perpetrators of violence (against me and other women) are huge men who choose petite victims. Apparently, King feels that we have no right to defend ourselves from people like him, however we see fit to do so.

Why do these gun control advocates hate those of us who have had to cope with stalkers? Rape and threats of rape in our own home? The death of our family members? Why do they want to leave us defenseless, so that those who want to harm us can finally get the job done and completely obliterate us?

What kind of selfish, evil person do you have to be to be a gun control advocate in the face of the epidemic of rape and violence against women in this country?

Furthermore, it takes a special kind of sell-out to use your celebrity influence to publicly advocate the overthrow of the 2nd Amendment, which protects the basic human right to self-defense,  merely as a public relations move. That is really low.

If you are not on the side of victims and survivors, then you are on the side of the perpetrators of violent crimes. It’s that simple.

Video with hypocritical anti-self-defense celebrities advocating against the 2nd Amendment, which is one of the most basic protections of human rights in the U.S.:

King and other celebrity hypocrites, as well as media dunderheads, could benefit by listening to this video before opening their stupid mouths on the subject of guns:

 

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:

Rant on Nuts in Writing Forums

Posted in book piracy, copyright, copyright infringement, crazy people, criminals, misogyny, popular culture, sexism, society, trolls, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 21, 2013 by The Solution
Nuts

Nuts: What you will often find in online forums

Forum culture is not what it used to be.  It’s very different from the way it was back in the 1980s and 1990s. Back then, it was a lot more anonymous and a lot more civilized.

It seems like less anonymity would make people behave better, knowing that literally anyone could see their information – their faces even sometimes – and attach it to their behavior. But, it seems like since the days of MySpace (when people were first asked all kinds of invasive personal questions to join a social web site) things have gotten a lot worse online, in general, and in forums, in particular.

Now, you might think that a forum dedicated to the subject of something like writing and publishing would be pretty civilized. You’d expect that authors would not want to put their bad, abusive, nutty behavior on display right next to their names, images of their books with links to sales pages, links to their web sites and sometimes even their faces.  But, if you ever venture into the Writer’s Cafe at Kboards (formerly called Kindleboards), a site devoted mainly to the Kindle, but with a section for writers called “Writer’s Cafe,” you might be surprised at what goes on.

It is a  haven for nuts!

Every so often they have threads of interests to writers and self-publishers. But, many posters there complain that they are attacked when they post about certain subjects like traditional publishing or copyright infringement. New posters are often treated with less respect than established members of what they call their “community.”   Consequently, many new members come and if they are mistreated, they quickly leave and do not come back.

If you enjoy lots of drama and watching people make fools of themselves, Writer’s Cafe at Kboards is the place. Here is an example of how the moderators there run the show: http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,145383.0.html#.UUpN2ze8gsI

Other forums for writers and publishers, which may be more beneficial depending on your needs:

Absolute Write Water Cooler  (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/) This forum is very diverse. When you post here, pay special attention to the different sub-division of forums and keep the discussion within that range of subjects. For instance, do not praise the virtues of independent publishing in the sections devoted to traditional publishing.

WritersCafe.org (www.writerscafe.org) This is not the Kboards (Kindleboards) Writer’s Cafe! This site is very good for fiction writers who want to discuss the art of writing, itself.

KDP Community Support (https://kdp.amazon.com/community/forumindex.jspa) For those who publish on the Kindle Digital Platform, through your dashboard, you have access to the KDP community. This is a very helpful group, especially when you’re just beginning or if you have any kind of technical or account-related questions.

Another forum is WattPad’s Industry Insider Forum for Writers: http://www.wattpad.com/forums/categories/32-club

All forums have nuts. Not all forums are as nutty as others. Some are more serious-minded and are the best places to post about a particular subject. The above four have been most beneficial to me, personally.

Some nuts are harmless, but some can be dangerous. Even though you may feel safe at home behind your keyboard, forums can present a danger.

Therefore, when you use forums, remain anonymous. If you are an author, don’t give details about your business, your location or your books. For example, don’t use your real name, don’t post pictures of yourself or your children, don’t post pictures of your books with links (like you are encouraged to do at Kboards). Many people have learned the dangers of nuts in forums the hard way. They’ve been stalked, their sales pages have been trolled and they’ve had a lot of other problems. Simply being there with a picture of yourself (especially if you area woman), could cause you a problem. You can suddenly begin having problems with someone because you posted about something someone else doesn’t like – narcissists see themselves in everything you say and may take offense to something not directed anywhere near them. Then, they may stalk you. If you do not have any personal information about yourself anywhere, they will be limited to stalking you at that forum.

Keep in mind that some moderators are nuts, too. And,  you never really know who they are. For example, the moderators at the Kboards (Kindleboards) Writer’s Cafe are all volunteers. They’re nobody special and they likely have no special qualifications to be volunteer moderators. Moderators set the tone of a forum, just like managers set the tone at a business. If you have nutty, narcissistic moderators, you may, also, find a collection of nutty, narcissistic posters.

If you happen to go to a forum where the moderators are unstable and you sign up using your e-mail address, they may be able to see that information, even if you make it private. If you send private emails to other posters, they can see those. If a forum moderator (at any forum) turns out to be unstable, they have information with which they can stalk you. When you sign up for your forum accounts, do not use your main email account. You can get temporary email accounts at www.hush.com, which will usually work just fine. Again, don’t sign up for an account that contains your name or anything that would help them identify you. Protect yourself.

If you look at the Kboards Writer’s Cafe forum link above (it’s a big kerfuffle involving a litany of complaints by posters about behaviors on the forum, including some very disturbing ones), you can see why you might not want to disclose your gender or sexual orientation, especially if it is different from either straight or male. That particular forum has a history of allowing men with sexually aberrant behaviors to remain on the site, despite complaints. This is just an example, of course, these people could be at any forum and you will be safer if you do not disclose gender or sexual orientation at any of them.

In fact, there’s really no need for them to know anything about you, ie. marital status, creed, race, nationality, religion, lack thereof, etc.

The best thing to do when you go to a forum is ask your question. Thank people if they give you good advice and get out. Avoid the places that are high drama.  Most of the people who get involved in the high drama are not going to help you with your writing or publishing efforts. If you find yourself having to “ignore” a lot of posters who are harassing you, be advised that just ignoring some people (for example, narcissists) only makes them more aggressive.  So, the “ignore them” advice that you’ll inevitably get if you should have a problem with a nut in a forum doesn’t work.  It may work in the short-term, but it won’t’ work for long.

Look for the forums that seem to have the most successful people and give you the most benefit.