Category Archives: Industry Insights & Rants

Trendy Things…

I am going to preface this entry with saying that I am aware that I am a minority in this matter.  This post is simply my way of expressing my own view points and a sense of nostalgia for something that I haven’t yet been able to experience as an adult. I’ve mentioned before that I had very different views of what being an adult was going to be like when I was young. The dream has never left me. In fact, it has shaped the person I have become today.  That being said, I’m going to talk about some recent trends that I am seeing in entertainment that bother me. Note that I said bother and not offend.

I’ve been a part of a good many creative writing and book groups over the last several years. And I am perplexed by how much emphasis is placed on erotica. Now, I’m not talking about a steamy scene in the typical romance novel where you usually expect to find one or two of these scenes. I’m talking about the sort of stuff that is so explicit it might as well be porn. In fact, in some cases, I find that it is porn trying to be passed off as mainstream fiction. There is no plot to speak of. Certainly there is no character development beyond chiseled abs and large breasts. The entire piece seems to be smut scenes strung together with very little action beyond that.

Now, I’ve been singled out on more than one occasion as not understanding the desires of today’s audience. (Couple this with being a prude and too old-fashioned, for the sake of transparency.) Apparently this stuff sells big time and we writers have to pay bills like everyone else. Some of them are willing to write whatever is selling at the time to make money. (Which I feel rather denotes a lack of integrity but, that’s another argument altogether.) If a person is compelled to write this material then by all means they have the right to do so. They even have a right to market it in my opinion. However, I think that putting out there among groups that are not age restricted is just irresponsible and adding to the problem of young writers looking for guidance being exposed to matters that they shouldn’t have to feel anymore pressured about than they already are by their peers.

On a more general note, I’m disturbed by how popular this sort of content is. It seems that most everyone out there is obsessed with sex. Personally, I don’t see the big draw. I am one of those rare few who value compatibility in intellect, humor, and interests over a physical connection. You can draw whatever conclusion you like about that. My interest in those matters went out the window long ago. There are reasons I am single after all. That’s likely one of the major ones. But, as a society it seems that we have lost interest in things that last and make an impact unless those things are used to make a physical connection with someone. That makes me incredibly sad.

As I said before, I know I’m a minority. But I also know that I am not alone in this.

Just today, a friend was commenting on not being able to find a decent book that didn’t contain a lot of profanity and vulgarity. She was looking for cleaner reads for adults. And I think there are many more adults looking for the same. So I’m looking for suggestions of authors and books that fit the bill. I’ll make a whole post on recommendations later as I amass them.

If you’re one of the minority on this matter. I’d love to connect. Leave a comment and follow the blog. I’ll be posting reviews as I find them and sharing some of my favorites. I grew up reading classics and I still love them. I will always want the world to be a bit more refined and polite. I will always want children to be children as long as they can. I’ll stick to being a minority for now. I’ve become accustomed to not fitting in for various reasons over thirty-eight years. I don’t see that changing any time soon. Maybe one day I’ll meet someone who shares that. Maybe not. Either way, I’m okay.

As always, you can find a cleaner read over on my Amazon Page, if you’re so inclined.

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An Update On The Bad Situation

My post about the Kickstarter fiasco last night. You know, the one where the douchebag was trying to produce a how-to guide on “getting women” that was more a guide on how to on sexual assault. The petition was met with some resistance initially. In fact, it seemed that Kickstarter was just ignoring the 60,000+ people who were against the funding of this project. However, as a signer of the petition I got an email from dosomething.org last night stating that “We Won”.

Kickstarter issued a formal statement of apology. You can view it here: Kickstater Apology . They donated $25,000.00 to RAINN, which is commendable considering that they gave Mr. Hoinsky the $16,000.00 + that was donated to his project. Apparently Mr. Hoinsky has agreed to meet with petition organizers though, what good that will do, I’m not entirely sure. I find it difficult to think that such a person can turn this into a positive project if he continues to produce what his examples exhibited.

I did a great deal of thinking and talking about this issue. My fiance and I actually discussed the whole situation at length and I realized a few things.

Yes, I was angry with Kickstarter for even allowing such a project to go onto the site and be presented to the public. I mean this, for me, is not considered a creative project. The project was not presented as satirical. Frankly, even if it had been presented as a comedic piece, I still would have found it offensive and in bad taste. However, if it had been presented as such, I could have justified it’s inclusion as a creative work.  But the bottom line is that the examples submitted were nothing short of promoting sexual violence. I understand the reasons that Kickstarter hesitated and then funded the project. As a creator, if my project had funded, I would have expected to receive the funds as well. They wanted to fulfill their end of the bargain. Fact is, the process is so automated that by the time they acted, it was too late to stop the transfer of funds.

I get it. Really, I do. It still seems like too little too late.

There was no reason, given the severity of the allegations against this project, that it could not be suspended pending an investigation into the project and its compliance with the terms of service. As a creator, yes, it would have been an inconvenience to not receive the funds immediately. The fact is, if my project was on the level I know I would have received my funds once their inquiries were concluded. The fact that Kickstarter failed to act at all is my complaint.

After all the discussion – especially with Charles – I realized that while I was upset with Kickstarter, I was more upset with the fact that there were people out there willing to promote and support such an endeavor at all.

We’re living in the year 2013. I had hoped that, by and large, we had evolved beyond thinking that one sex or the other is there to be objectified. That we would somehow find a way to get past the nonsense that says women are there simply to fulfill some sort of physical need. That we can find a way to respect one another and live with a certain amount of respect for our fellow human beings.

Then, I remembered that every time you turn on the television, watch the news, or read online or in print you see story after story about people being abducted, raped, beaten, murdered, and tortured. If it isn’t here in the USA, its somewhere else. That, is what is really disheartening for me. That we can’t just live and let live. We can’t seem to get past our propensity to hurt one another. That there are handbooks on how to do these things and then, there are people out there, like Mr. Hoinsky, who are more than happy to put the ideas in people’s heads to do nothing more than harm others.

Yes, it is just sad to me that we can’t seem to get beyond it all.

Which Is Worse?

Before I go into this, let me just say that I am a writer. As a writer, I’m a supporter of free speech. However, I also believe that with great freedom comes great responsibility. That our society seems to lack that responsibility is what is truly disheartening to me. To me this is a fact that is evident every time I watch the news or read news on the internet or in the newspaper. We live in interesting and trying times in which it seems, more and more, that empathy and common decency are not valued. All it takes is a half an hour of CNN or Fox News to prove that.

Make things happenI don’t know who sent me a link to this or where I found it. I’m sure it was somewhere on facebook. The truth is, it really doesn’t matter. There are a number of things that greatly disturb me about finding this particular petition. I’m appalled that the petition had to be started at all but, I am glad that someone took the time to start it.

I have considered using Kickstarter to fund book projects in the past. Essentially this would allow me to have the funds to pay copy editors, designers, and to cover some promotion and production costs by doing pre-orders and offering unique incentives for my readers. Honestly, it is a fantastic way to do that. In their terms of service, however, there are specific guidelines for what is acceptable and what is not. Specifically, promotion of violence, illegal activity, or blatantly offensive projects are not allowed.

Or so they say.

Now, for the sake of saving myself from plagiarizing the petition, I am simply posting a link to it here http://www.dosomething.org/petition/kickstarter. I ask that you please review it so you’ll see examples of why I am so offended by this.

The project in question posted examples from the upcoming book. Things that I won’t repeat here. I’m all for a book of dating advice for guys. I won’t even make a jab at the opposite sex for their lack of finesse or even manners. But this man’s examples are blatantly promoting forms of date rape. The last time I checked, such behavior is considered;

1. Offensive

2. Violent

3. Illegal

As such this is in direct violation of their TOS. And yet, the project not only made it to the listing and was promoted but it gained enough support from over 700 people who donated more than $16,000.00 to fund it.

Frankly, I don’t know what to be more disgusted at. On the one hand there is the fact that I know of perfectly unoffensive projects that were taken down or not approved while this buffoon slipped through a technological glitch in their screening process. On the other is the fact that people actually supported and gave money to such a cause.

It was clear that the petition was started to get the project taken down. More to the point, it was to push Kickstarter to stand by its own Terms of Service and refuse to allow the project to be listed or funded through their platform. Instead, it did meet it’s funding goal. Which means that Mr. Hoinsky was donated more than $16,000.00 to promote the degradation of women and violence against them.

The project has been taken down but not before it reached the funding goal that Mr. Hoinsky had set for it. I have not yet found a way to check to see if, indeed, this pervert has been paid the money that he was donated. I find it absolutely distasteful that such a project was even funded to begin with but, I think that says more about our society and what we seem to find acceptable more than it does anything. Frankly, in my opinion, it says more about the character of Mr. Hoinsky that he would even present such a project to the public. Of course, I am certain that his core audience is just as perverse and backwards thinking as he is.

The last time I checked the petition had over 60,000 signatures. I will say that seeing that many people in opposition compared to those who backed it, restores my faith that there are decent people still out there in larger numbers than those who would support such trash. I am not however impressed by the updates that I have seen. It would seem that Kickstarter has practically ignored the concerns of those who have signed it. Which honestly makes me not want to utilize their platform to launch any project that I might have in mind. Though when I last checked the links on the petition to the project, it seems that they have removed the project. However, I would like to know where they stand on the issue of sexual violence against women and whether or not they actually paid out the funds to Mr. Hoinsky. It also does not bode well for them that when people voiced complaints about the project on their facebook page that those comments were removed.

In closing, just in case there are any guys reading here who thought about supporting such a book let me just say this. It’s likely a good thing that Mr. Hoinsky hasn’t dated any of the women I know. His advances would have landed him in jail with charges for assault and attempted sexual assault. And to the guys out there who want Mr. Hoinsky to impart his dating wisdom upon them so they can get laid, don’t bother. Such behavior as was displayed in his exerpts won’t get you anywhere but slapped and in jail. So do yourself a favor and talk to the women you would like to date. Ask them what they look for in a guy, ask them how they want to be treated, and remember that true respect for a woman, communication, and letting her know that she is important is a much better route to go than trying to force her into something that will only make her hate you.