Rant on Crazy and Abusive Online Forum Moderators

Posted in crazy people, narcissism, psychopathy, society, sociopathy, trolls, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 16, 2013 by The Solution
Adolf_Hitler_1937

A crazy person in charge… Oops!
I just invoked Godwin’s law!
Discussion over!
{PD}

This rant is about abusive moderators in online forums. Unfortunately, forum members aren’t the lone source of abusive and insane behavior in online forums. In my experience, it is common for moderators to be not quite right in the head.

Once upon a time, back in the late 1990s I was a regular member of an online forum. It was a popular one that was moderated solely by the owner of the forum.  There were some interesting personalities on there and I learned a lot about effective written communication there.  As this popular forum grew, it became increasingly abusive and as many of the regular posters shared details of their personal lives there, it became apparent that many of them were truly mentally ill. Lots of them had diagnosed mental conditions of some kind and many were on medication. It got to the point where some posters there began warning others about all the psychos at this particular forum. Eventually, the crazies pretty much took over and the forum seemed to become a caricature of itself. Finally, the owner sadly shut it down.

But, a large group of dedicated, regular members were not ready for it to go away and one of them established her own forum and invited all the members to join.  At the new forum, the usual discussions and occasional flame wars went on and things didn’t seem all that different.  After a while, I began to realize that the owner and moderator of this forum was using multiple User IDs. She had her regular account and, at least, one sock puppet account.  A sock puppet, for anyone unfamiliar with this term, is a fraudulent secondary account someone establishes in order to pretend to be someone else.

Using her sock puppet IDs, this apparently schizophrenic moderator would pose as other posters in order to start heated discussions, hurl insults and instigate all kinds of problems.  While she was doing this, she, also, falsely accused other posters of having fraudlent accounts. She claimed she knew they were fake accounts because she could see that the IP addresses were the same, etc.  But, she was the one who had the multiple accounts and was starting arguments with “herself” and other posters so she could step in and moderate them.

This completely insane person, also, had access to people’s e-mail addresses, which they used to sign up for an account. The entire forum turned into an opportunity for this crazy person to lure people in, gain some measure of control over them, then feed off the emotional chaos she manufactured. In other words, this person was probably a narcissist or a psychotic or had some other kind of mental disorder.  She was from that pool of people from the original forum, many of whom were suffering from serious mental illnesses.

Now, apart from insanity, why would anyone want to own or moderate a forum?

The answer is, of course, money.

How Forums Make Money

Victor_Dubreuil_-_'Money_to_Burn',_oil_on_canvas,_1893

{pd}

Back in the 1990s, there were not a lot of affiliate programs and there was no Google AdSense. Amazon started the first online affiliate program, but just as it is now, it didn’t pay well then, either. It might generate enough money for the forum owner to cover part of the cost of hosting and domain. They, also, operated off PayPal donations from regular forum users.

But, 15 years later, things have changed a lot. People have forums usually either to promote products they’re selling or to generate passive income through advertising revenues.  When you go to a forum and you see lots of ads, then you know this is how they’re doing it.  Forums that don’t have ads are usually support forums for a product or service.

Many big forums these days don’t employ a lot of human moderators. Instead, they are moderated by some kind of automated complaint and review process or automatic filtering.

But, a few larger forums still use human moderators – sometimes multiple moderators.  Sometimes they are the owner of the forum, but if it’s a very large one, they have to find other people to moderate. Usually, these people are unpaid volunteers. Sometimes they are personal friends of the site owner, although more often they are frequent posters at the forum who volunteer for the job.

While there are some basic guidelines that can be given to forum moderators to help them do their jobs more effectively, there is nothing to do about the fact that many, if not most, people who volunteer to be moderators are personality disordered individuals. Some of these volunteers are narcissists who enjoy the sense of power and adulation that comes from the position of being a moderator.  At many forums – and I have complained most recently about the Writ’ers Cafe at KBoards (formerly Kindleboards) because I have seen outrageous examples of this relationship  there – the moderators are like some sort of gods who are never to be questioned and always to be praised and worshiped by the members of the forum. This is the narcissist-psychopant pairing I have previously ranted about – they go together like bread and butter.

Moderators set the tone at a forum, so if they’re crazy, then it quickly becomes a congregation of crazy posters as more normal people who want to join the discussion are soon repelled by their online activities or actually bullied off the forum because they are not properly participating in the mentally ill social dynamics of the forum.

As long as the core of crazies remains, the forum can continue to make money and that’s the most important thing in the case of forums that have advertisements everywhere. A heated discussion that turns into an explosion brings lots of visitors to their forum. If it’s bad enough, it generates discussion elsewhere online, which means more visitors to the site and more visitors means more revenues for the owners. It plumps their monthly visitor totals and if visitors click on ads, it increases their affiliate revenues.

So, these are the reasons how and why a forum can function with crazy moderators and equally crazy members and continue to generate revenues for the owner.  And, what do the volunteer moderators get out of it? They get to feed. They get their narcissistic “supply.” It’s kind of like paying musicians in beer to play at your night club. It’s not money, but it’s something they crave, so they’ll work for it.

Conclusion

devil

Don’t get caught in the devilish snares of forums run by crazy moderators.
{pd}

I will conclude by reiterating some of the things I’ve said in previous rants revolving around this subject, particularly about writer’s forums like the Writer’s Cafe at Kboards that encourages you to share information about yourself upfront, although this applies to any online forums.

Remember: When you sign up somewhere or even place a comment somewhere online – like at a blog (like this one) – you are leaving information someone can use to trace you. You never know who you’re dealing with online and I swear there is an increasing number of crazy people everywhere right now. This means you do not know if the owners and moderators of the forum are stable people or if they’re sociopaths or psychotics who are going to track you down and cause trouble for you. This has happened to people.  Furthermore, there’s a very good chance – in fact, I’d say it’s 100% in a forum of any size – that you are posting along side people who have serious mental disorders.

Therefore…

Do not sign up with your regular e-mail address. Use a throw-away email account that cannot be traced to you.

Choose a throw-away email name and a UserID at the forum that have absolutely nothing to do with you, ie. your preferences for anything whatsoever, where you live, your interests, etc. (If you like knitting, choose a handle that has something to do with skydiving; if your favorite food is hamburgers, then pick a handle that has something to do with Chinese food; and so on…). Also, choose something common that would be difficult to trace anywhere and never use it anywhere else except for at that particular forum.

Do not provide personal information about yourself of any kind – obviously never give financial information. Don’t brag about your income, what you own, your children, your pets, etc. In writing forums do not talk about your work. Certainly, do not provide links to where your books can be found – despite whatever they’re telling you, a help forum where you interact with other authors is not the place to market your books!

Also, do not post picture of yourself or your family – especially if you are a woman, do not post a picture of yourself. Do not post pictures of your children for the same reason. There are sickos online who will become fixated on you or your child just based on a glimpse of a photo – it has happened to me and countless other women and it can ruin your life. So, be very careful.

In fact, do not post any photos, at all – especially those taken with a camera that can provide your GPS (Global Positioning System) location – like a cell phone photo can – to someone who might want to harm you.  These photos are stamped with the latitude and longitude at which they were taken, so even if you take a picture of your pet gremlin frolicking in the grass of your backyard, someone could use that picture to locate you.

You don’t have to do or say anything wrong in a forum to have a problem. Just asking the wrong question over at a place like Writer’s Cafe Kboards can cause some people to go crazy and start harassing you – pretty soon, you’ll have a mob of them at a forum with a major narcissist-sycophant dynamic going on.  See the  “Rant on Kindleboards or Kboards Writer’s Cafe.”)

Get the information you need from the forum and get out. Remember, the way these forums make money is by your visits and the content you provide them with.  When you type something at a forum – they  own it – you are voluntarily contributing valuable content to their site, from which they profit.  Keep that in mind and ask yourself if you want to contribute content to a site owned and run by crazy, abusive people.  If you run across a forum like that – don’t feed the vampiric moderators or help fatten the owners’ profits by voluntarily contributing your content – especially if you are someone full of valuable insights. It won’t be appreciated by such people, anyway.

Read More About Crazy, Abusive Posters and Moderators in Online Forums:

http://www.psychforums.com/stalking-harassment/topic92780.html

http://boxedlight.com/blog/?p=641

Discusses cliquish forums and bad moderators with personal stories: http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=93089.0

Article on How to Deal with a Forum Bully – I really like her final word of advice!:  http://voices.yahoo.com/online-forum-etiquette-deal-forum-bully-796861.html?cat=15

Good general article on the subject of Online Forum Bullies. It advises reporting forum bullies to the moderators, but this is useless advice if you have moderators who are, themselves, bullies and enjoy online bloodsports. Some personal stories of online forum bulllying are shared in the comments section at the end: http://chataboutyou.com/online-forum-bully

Interesting article about what to do if you own a forum and your moderators go bad. The comments section has personal stories of being bullied by cliquish posters and crazy moderators. This quote entitled “Scumbag Moderators” is mind-blowing because I’d swear they were talking about the Writer’s Cafe at Kboards because it describes exactly what goes on there – “I know a forum with scumbag moderators. The place is like a cult gathering. The mods will arbitrarily take issue with someone, almost always a new member, but not often enough for people to realize that the mods are a-holes – and they will make them feel unwelcome and treated unfairly…  …It is truly a disgusting collection of egos.” Read more at the following link:   http://www.seroundtable.com/archives/013440.html

Videos About Bad Behavior on Message Boards

I recommend listening to this video, but not watching it – the guy is eating and he has very poor table manners, but he makes some interesting points. Warning for some offensive language:

Rant on experience in Wiccan forums:

Rant on Message Boards:

Rant on Men Who Bring Up the Subject of Rape to Strange Women When They Are Angry

Posted in crazy people, misogyny, psychopathy, Rape, Rapists, sexism, Sexual Assault, sociopathy, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 7, 2013 by The Solution
551px-Dosso_Dossi_030

Anger

This rant is on a phenomenon I have experienced both in real life and online in the past three  years. I don’t remember it ever happening before that time, so I’m wondering if it is some kind of new trend.  At first I thought it was just men bringing up the subject of rape to women they don’t know out of the blue. But, after more consideration, I realize this is something they do when they are angry about something – it may not be anything related to you, but they are feeling frustrated so they automatically think of grabbing their dicks and doing some violent thing to a woman – otherwise, why are they talking about it?

It seems to me that more and more men are obsessed with rape and they feel free to bring the subject up with women they just met or have never met (as is the case online).  Why do some men automatically think of their crotches and rape when they get angry about something? And, why do they direct their aggression at whatever woman is handy at the moment? I don’t have answers, just questions and some incidents to share with you as I try to sort out the reasons for this bizarre behavior for myself.

In a previous rant, I’ve talked about huge and tall men I’ve never met before instantaneously becoming angry with me, such as the case when I was in Germany and several men had to hold another man back who wanted to attack me while I was quietly sitting in a chair. After becoming increasingly agitated and telling me, in English, that I should be gang raped by black men, he had to be held down to prevent him from attacking me. A strong element in these face-to-face instances is that the men are very large compared to me. It may not be a factor, but it goes with my big and tall men hating short, small women (and men) theory, which is discussed in the Rant on Height Discrimination Against Women and Men.

What I just described was a very direct threat of assault and possibly rape, but other instances are less direct, but still seem like threats to me.

People talk about the things that revolve in their minds. This is a fact. If you’re not thinking about it first, you’re not going to say it. The thought must precede the words. So, it’s clear to me that a lot of men walk around thinking about rape quite a lot.

I no longer deal with the public much and I like it that way because of the disturbing encounters I have with people when I do talk to them – not the little old ladies at the grocery store, but men – usually huge men.

The last time I had to deal with the public was when I was helping out a friend with his store by taking his place one night a week while he was recovering from surgery.  A lot of my customers were geriatric and I can’t tell you how disgusted I am at the behavior of these men, old enough to be my father or grandfather, right in front of their wives. Apparently, when they see you as a clerk standing behind a desk, they feel you are some sort of captive or you are of some lower status than them and, therefore, have to put up with their perverted behavior. I coped with that – barely – one night a week for a few weeks.

Then, the very last evening I worked in this place, a man came in and I don’t know how he got on this topic, but he began a long racist tirade, which went on and on and to which I was held a polite captive. At one point, he began repeating over and over again about how I would be raped by black men if I tried to walk across town. He didn’t just say it once, but repeatedly. Finally closing time came. There was, also, another man there who was doing some shopping, for which I was grateful and the rape fanatic finally left. But, I was pretty shaken up by the long racist tirade in which the man repeatedly talked about me being raped.

I don’t understand the racist component that some people want to throw into the problem of rape. (Race is irrelevant to a rape survivor – all rapists are inhuman monsters to us.) I’ve been told more than once that I should be gang raped by black men or Mexicans. Why do men I don’t know express to me these fantasies of me being gang raped by anyone? Clearly, it’s because  they have rape on their minds.

Furthermore, I realized that they think of rape when they’re angry and much like actual rapists, they will target any woman who is handy.

I’ve had similar experiences online. I had it once with someone from YouTube, which is overrun with MRAs (Men’s Rights Advocates). There I was told by a stranger that I should be gang raped by Mexicans because I expressed an opinion that differed from someone else’s.

But, I had the subject of rape brought up to me in anger, at least, four times by strange men in the short time I participated at the Kindleboards (now Kboards) Writer’s Cafe forum. And, when I objected to the last two people who brought it up, the moderators protected the perpetrators and enabled (if not encouraged)  them to continue with their bullying behavior – which I was told (by one of the male moderators there) to just forget, since I was the real problem. In my experience and observation, this particular discussion board has a culture of misogyny. By contrast, I’ve been a life-time, member of another popular forum for over three years and I’ve never had a problem with anyone doing something like this.

In every case in the online forum when this happened, it was a man who was angry with me for my opinion or something innocent thing I said. Whenever they’re angry they automatically think of their crotches and rape.

I think about these instances every so often, but what made me think of them, again, today was running across this article at Salon.com about an Indie author who is very active over at the Kboard Writer’s Cafe.  He has a bizarre sycophantic following at this misogynistic forum, so it really was no surprise to me that he wrote an article called “The Bitch from WorldCon,” which he later deleted. See part or all of the original article here and here. This is another case of indie authors behaving badly (see my Rant on Indie Authors Behaving Badly) and an example of another type of behavior some of the Writer’s Cafe at Kboards members are known for, which is trying to bully authors and publishers associated with traditional publishing houses.

According to the original blogpost, the author in question (His name is Hugh Howey) disagreed with something a woman, who was a publishing agent, said and he wrote that in his anger he thought of grabbing his crotch and ends his online tirade by telling her to “Suck it, bitch!” There’s a lot more to his misogynistic ranting, but this seemed to me to be the highlight. And, again, it begs the question:  Why do men immediately think of their crotches and the commission of acts of sexual violence against women when they become angry?

A woman rides with the devil on horseback.

A woman with her consort, the devil. Somebody, please, wake me up when the 21st century finally arrives – I’m still waiting.

This author is supposedly known for writing strong, fictional, female characters (although a couple of his books are on a “Misogyny Books” list at Goodreads.com), so his misogynistic tirade was a disappointment, especially to some women.  And, this is why authors – at least, some authors – really need professional help (for example, an agent or a traditional publisher). Ironically, as it turns out the woman, whom he referred to repeatedly as a “bitch,” a “she-devil” and a “demon” and whose appearance he hatefully ridiculed while he talks about slapping her and fantasizes about grabbing his crotch while calling her a bad name and to whom he finally makes the demand that she perform fellatio on him – all  because she expressed a differing opinion about something – was correct, after all.  Lest you think any of this is hyperbole, see this article with screen captures of the original post before it was deleted at this link right here. And, there’s more, including the original comments before those were deleted here: http://cuddlebuggery.com/blog/2013/04/15/buzz-worthy-news-15th-april-2013/

Note the commentary on page 2 of the comments at the Salon.com article,  wherein one of the author’s  legion of sycophantic defenders says that he wants a woman, who is bothered by Hugh Howey’s misogynistic rant, to be raped because it might do her “a world of good” – in other words, to teach her a lesson for expressing a differing opinion about something:

Commenter: Dylar
Date: Monday, Apr 15, 2013 04:02 PM EST

I thought long and hard about how best to respond to your posts, and I realized that what I’d really like—and what would be best for you under the circumstances—is for you to be raped.

Now, please understand that I don’t say this because of any sexual feeling or desire to exercise power on my part. Nor do I want to see you silenced, disempowered or devalued as a person or a woman. It’s just clear to me that you struggle with parsing and interpreting the words of others, and rather than standing by and watching you writhe in anguished futility, hamstrung by your own linguistic handicaps and tortured by internet trolls, I submit to you that a hands on demonstration of the difference between deed and word might do you a world of good.

Besides, it’ll give you a good story to tell at the survivors meetings, and provide you with a little more authenticity and street cred when you share your experiences and opinions with others. Really and truly, I have nothing but your best interests at heart.

Here’s hoping you have a truly wonderful day, lady!

What’s the deal with this?

I don’t have any answers for why this is happening now – or why it is happening, at all, for that matter. It seems like something that didn’t happen before a few years ago (apart from direct threats of rape). To me these instances, in which strange men bring up the subject of rape to a woman, seem like a subtle (indirect) threat of rape when they feel that a more direct one cannot be made.  It’s, also, disturbing that so many men are running around fantasizing about me or other women being gang raped or engaging in rape fantasies whenever they become angry with us (sometimes because we express an opinion about something that differs from theirs) or just angry, in general.

It seems to me that something in the culture has changed for the worse that this is now acceptable.  Unfortunately, I have no solution. I try to avoid places online where there is a culture of misogyny, although, sometimes you can get a nasty surprise in what, at first, looks like a safe place. For the sake of my health, sense of well-being and physical safety, I have just stopped talking to all but a couple of men who – so far – haven’t done this kind of thing to me.

 

Rant on Serial E-book Returners at Amazon

Posted in book piracy, copyright infringement, criminals, sociopathy with tags , , , , , , , on May 2, 2013 by The Solution
prison-cell

Jail Cell – This is the place fraudsters, pirates and other thieves belong!
Author Andrew Bardwell from Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Copyright::Creative Commons

This rant is specifically about serial returners of ebooks at Amazon.com – it’s not about returns of ebooks anywhere else or the return of paperbacks, because this is not much of a problem right now. But, the problem of serial ebook returners at Amazon is getting worse – despite an alleged crackdown on them in January this year.

What is a serial returner, you ask?

A serial returner is a habitual returner of retail merchandise – in this case, ebooks. They buy and return them, one after the other.

While there are legitimate reasons for returns, such as a defective product, there is no reason for someone to go through an entire author’s or publisher’s list, buying and returning books in succession.

Why are they doing this?

Like other criminally-minded people, they’re doing it because they can. And, they can because Amazon is allowing it to happen.

Serial returning is piracy and like all other pirates,  they are dishonest people who don’t mind committing fraud, especially if they can do it within Amazon’s Terms of Service and not get in any serious trouble.

Petition to  Stop E-book Refund Fraud at Amazon at Change.org

Authors upset about returns, in general, have signed a petition at Change.org requesting Amazon.com to, at least, stop taking returns on books that have been read. Although, it doesn’t specifically  address the problem of serial returners, who sometimes go through an author’s entire series of books in a set, buying and returning them, it’s something.

The following link goes to a very short article, called Return to Sender: Why Return Ebooks?, which is proceeded by a bunch of comments about the above petition. The article isn’t much, but some of the comments are interesting. Some justify this form of piracy just like pirates always justify their nefarious activities to the victims. They say, “Live with it!” – “It’s not really hurting you.” They, also, justify theft of books when they cannot afford them, although ebooks are extremely affordable (many between .99 and 2.99).

But, the best comment is # 14 by Ekatarina Sayanova who says:

“Returning an ebook because you don’t “like” it is promoting what essentially amounts to piracy. Whether or not you will like a story is the chance you take. Caveat emptor. Besides, you can download a free preview. If you buy the book after reading the preview and don’t like the book, tough. Get over it and move on.”

“The only valid reason to “return” an ebook would be if the file was corrupted and you were not able to access it on your ereader, or it did not display properly. A refund would be issued only if, after downloading the second file, the file still didn’t work properly. Because free previews are available, there is absolutely no reason to be permitted to return an ebook for a full refund.”

“Here’s what everyone is refusing to understand: Those returned books are resold and the author does not make a single penny on the resales. The sale of a copyrighted work without royalties paid to the author is piracy – plain and simple. Amazon gets away with it because of a loophole in the law or because they are (paraphrasing) “too big to prosecute”.”

“I’m an editor. I bust my professional rear end working with my author clients to get the best possible story out to the readers. I’m not a charity and cannot work for nothing. Those who complain about stories that need editing – guess what? Piracy is one of the reasons why authors (indy authors especially) sometimes can’t make enough to hire professional editors. (Don’t get me started on what small publishers charge authors for editing.) There is nothing we’d like better than to see to it that every ebook sold went out without errors and read as smooth as the finest brandy feels going down the throat. It isn’t going to happen if the author can’t make money because the work they sweat blood over is being sold without them getting compensation.”

“So, the next time you return that ebook because you don’t “like” it and you didn’t take the time to read the preview, or simply because you just don’t “like it” , or because you think you can get away with something, remember that book is someone’s livelihood. How would you like to put a year of your life into something and see it stolen out from under you? Hmmmmmm?”

“I didn’t think so.”

I just couldn’t have said it any better!

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?

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:

Rant on Narcissism

Posted in trolls, writing on March 24, 2013 by The Solution
Michelangelo_Caravaggio_065

Narcissus
Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica
Source/Photographer The Yorck Project: 10.000 Meisterwerke der Malerei. DVD-ROM, 2002. ISBN 3936122202. Distributed by DIRECTMEDIA Publishing GmbH.

Throughout my life I have been aware of two main types of insane people: Sociopaths and Psychopaths.  I believe there is a much greater abundance of both of these types than most people,  including the experts, would care to acknowledge.

The psychopath is a person who takes pleasure from the pain of others. The name “Ted Bundy” often comes to mind when people think of psychopaths, but there are all kinds, including the Ted Bundys. In my previous career, I sometimes felt overwhelmed by psychopaths. I have known people whose friends or relatives were killed by psychopathic serial killers (I’m, also, aware of how they were treated by the media and the “authorities,” which is another tale of insanity), but the fact is most psychopaths stop just short of murder, especially if they think they could get caught. Because psychopaths are charming and intelligent, they often go on undetected and even when they are caught, they tend to have amassed many sympathizers and supporters. They are frequently protected and even glorified by the mainstream media.

Sociopaths are extremely common. Like psychopaths, they are often charming and manipulative. Both psychopaths and sociopaths are liars, some are masterful and others will tell obvious lies without shame. They do not have a normal range of human emotions.

Both sociopaths and psychopaths are often sexually perverted and obsessed with sex in some way. A common trait of male sociopaths is a preoccupation with their hatred of women. They want to hurt and kill women and will go to great lengths sometimes to satisfy their hunger.

Many sociopaths are, also, narcissists.

Understanding narcissists is very new to me. I had heard about them and heard them discussed often, especially by ActivismofCare who has a YouTube channel devoted to dealing with crazy people without going crazy yourself. But, I never had an understanding of narcissism or narcissistic behavior until very recently observing the behavior of some posters in the Kboards Writer’s Cafe (formerly Kindleboards).

Forums attract narcissists and other mentally disordered people because they can be whoever they want to be and, especially if the forum is a help-type forum, they will find plenty of victims to psychologically feed off of. It is important to remember that Ted Bundy, the psychopath, worked at a help center for abused women. He enjoyed hearing their stories of abuse and his co-workers thought he was wonderful at handling cases.  So, any place there are discussions of rape, abuse, women’s issues, dealing with narcissists, dealing with psychopaths or sociopaths is, also, very likely to attract the  narcissists, sociopaths and psychopaths.

But, they can appear anywhere online.

Narcissists, however, may be especially attracted to writing forums.  This all relates to the previous post on Vanity Authors, in which I described people who get ego fulfillment from writing a book.  The fact is anybody can publish a book. Anybody can write something and publish it digitally or sandwich it between covers and a spine. And, now, it doesn’t even cost much, if anything to do so.

So, you can have the admiration of all your friends, family, co-workers and everyone you meet by proclaiming yourself an author. You can put your face and name  on Amazon.com right along side many famous, wealthy and accomplished authors. This is a wondrous new opportunity for the narcissist!

To understand why this is significant to the narcissists, consider some of the following characteristics of Narcissistic Personality Disorder:

  • Grandiosity
  • Exaggeration of achievements
  • Demand for respect
  • Lies a lot and sees lying as a legitimate means of getting whatever he feels he deserves
  • Sees himself (most narcissists are men, but some are women) reflected in everything
  • Thinks every conversation is about him
  • Must be the center of attention
  • Lack of empathy

Narcissists, also, have many of the traits of a sociopath.

The narcissist will claim he knows more about a subject than anyone else. He is quick to anger if he feels affronted. Ignoring the narcissist can exacerbate the situation because they so desperately want attention – even negative attention is better than nothing, at all. The narcissist is incapable of putting himself in someone else’s shoes because narcissists are incapable of empathy.

The narcissist sees himself reflected in everything. If you say out loud, “The sky is blue.” The narcissist will accuse you of calling him blue. Multiple narcissists can quickly turn into a mob because they like to mirror and praise each other. The praise of each other can take on an almost worshipful tone.

Once you study the narcissist in action, see how he reads himself into every remark and how he must regularly pop up with his face, name and accomplishments for everyone to see, it sheds a great deal of light on issues of “authors behaving badly” like the one referenced in a previous post with regard to Vanity Authors and GoodReads.

Learn more about Narcissistic Personality Disorder and how to deal with a narcissist from Activism of Care.

Here’s another good video describing narcissistic behavior in online social settings:

And, a final word – steer clear of the writing forums unless you absolutely must obtain information somehow. Then, get in anonymously and get back out.