Showing posts with label news. Show all posts
Showing posts with label news. Show all posts

Monday, July 20, 2015

SJWs Must Die!

Now that's a title that's going to get me into trouble if I ever have the misfortune of it going viral... :)

While there'll be some twonk somewhere that'll try and grab this as evidence of me giving out 'death threats' or some other stupidity, I'm actually writing about Eli Roth's forthcoming horror film The Green Inferno.  There's a news piece floating around about how Eli Roth's 'Green Inferno' devours the Internet's 'social justice warriors' and that caught my eye because of thoughts I've had on expanding the usual list of acceptable-horror-movie-victim tropes.

There have always been character archetypes in horror (especially slasher flicks) that exist for the audience to hate and cheer on their inevitable gruesome demise.  In any teen setting (which is most slasher flicks) you're likely going to get: the thuggish, bullying jock (plus cronies); the beautiful-but-vicious prom queen; the arrogant, amoral rich kid.  Over the next few years I think we'll see a new archetype added to that list: the sanctimonious SJW.

Now I imagine at this point some readers are going, "B-b-but what's wrong with social justice warriors?  They're good people.  They fight the good fight for the minorities and those without privilege."

Hmm, yeah.  It's complicated.  Social Justice Warrior (SJW) started out as a derogatory term, probably as an offshoot of Keyboard Warrior.  Then the meanings got murkier as far-right wingnuts started using it as a label for people they disagreed with and more moderately liberal folk started to embrace the slur thrown in their direction as a positive ("I am a proud social justice warrior/bard/etc").  Now SJW seems to be moving back to its original meaning as more and more normal folks experience bruising encounters on social media with the extremist element the term was originally coined for.

When I mention SJWs assume I'm talking about that extreme element - the people that clothe themselves in the language of social justice and use it as cover to engage in online thuggery (a good example of which can be found here).  I've been fairly open about my own distaste for this group of people and with good reason.  I'm a creator and while I'm fine with negative criticism, seeing concerted, organised attempts to shut writers/game developers/film makers down because someone didn't like the themes they were using or their personal politics make me very nervous.  While they're coming from the opposite ends of the political spectrum, SJWs are the Mary Whitehouses, Tipper Gores and Jack Thompsons of this generation with a slightly different paint job.

Which brings me back to character archetypes.  SJWs are the modern Stop-Having-Fun-Authority (as in you can't do x because it's cultural appropriation/triggering/offensive to people with skin as thick as tissue paper/insert buzzword of the day).  The Stop-Having-Fun-Authority is a typical antagonist in comedy (and sometimes an annoying obstacle in horror).  Typically they're a religious and highly conservative authority figure over-stepping themselves in order to play morality police.  With the declining influence of that group it wouldn't surprise me if we start seeing the overbearing morality police characters coming from the other side of the political spectrum. An enterprising comedy writer could definitely have a lot of fun lampooning that aspect of modern US college campuses.

It's something I've been musing about for my own stories.  Creating a truly awful character in the knowledge you're going to inflict a hideous fate on them is one of the pleasures of writing horror.  In the past I've used the usual tropes - the corrupt politician, violent thugs, the office sex pest, a group of obnoxious teens, a critic abusing their role for sexual favours - and I think there's potential to add various flavours of SJW to that list.  If only to make a change from the usual 'guy being an asshole to women and getting his comeuppance at vagina of succubus' story. :)

I did have a playful dab at it here, but to be fair the protagonist is rather mild and the only thing they're guilty of is naivete and foolishness.  (Not that I'm exactly known for showing mercy to the naive and foolish).

Given that most people's patience appears to be running thin on SJW nonsense, I'd love to nail that archetype correctly in a cosmic justice type story.  I think it will require a little more work to create a truly satisfying SJW asshole protagonist.  There are a few pitfalls to avoid.  In this case I think an ostensibly apolitical approach is correct.  "Haha, take that pinko scum for being a stupid libtard" will play well for a small audience and very badly for the rest.  Go for the character's actions making them an asshole rather than what they believe (or pretend to believe).

I'm curious to see what Roth does with The Green Inferno.  His previous movies (Hostel in particular) have been interesting in how he subverts the usual horror tropes in who gets killed and when.  The innocent virgin has about the same chance of surviving a Roth horror as the slutty-girl-who-sleeps-around character in a Friday the 13th film (basically, none).

It's worth dissecting Deodato's classic horror, Cannibal Holocaust, at this point as this is the main influence to The Green Inferno.  The main characters in that film are so repulsive and what they do is so repugnant most viewers will be cheering on the cannibals way before the end of the movie.  A problem for a lot of horror films (as opposed to horror short stories) is forcing your audience to spend an hour-or-so in the company of utter assholes while they wait for them to meet their horrible ends can get a little wearing.  Cannibal Holocaust gets around this by running two story lines.  The moral centre, of sorts, to the tale is provided in the character charged with finding out what happened to the original film crew and returning with their footage.

From what I've seen and read so far, it sounds like the soon-to-be cannibal fodder in The Green Inferno fall more into the category of naive and stupid slacktivists than the vicious online thugs and bullies normally associated with the SJW label.  It will probably still be a lot of fun watching them all get eaten, though.

Friday, March 07, 2014

SFF Community inserts foot in mouth, fires cannon at it...

And it looks like another shitbomb has exploded in the over-tight rectums of the SFF community.

The context:

A lame joke:

Not to be outdone, the horror fiction community is planning to get Russell Brand to emcee the Bram Stoker Awards . . . so they can abduct him and sacrifice him to the Great Old Ones.

"Yeah, we're tired of those SFF dudes grabbing all the publicity," a commentator for the Horror Author's Association said.  "We're gonna grab Brand, shave his hair off, carve a pentagram into his scalp and then sacrifice him to Shub-Niggurath at the stroke of midnight.  That'll show those SF snobs who the real crazy muthafuckas are."

And that'll be that on the subject.

I did have more written, but what's the point.  I already know the community is toxic.  It's what happens when hyper-sensitivity, self-righteousness and rigid inflexibility to other opinions all coalesce in a gigantic noxious turd.  Better to stay the fuck away.

Outside starts to look not so bad when Inside is a slowly collapsing black hole full of sharks biting chunks out of each other.  I suspect I'm not the only writer reaching this conclusion.

I'm going to stick to writing the best stories I can.  It might take a while for word to filter through the outer void, but if the stories are good people will come to read them.

Outcast-Writer-And-Happy M.E. Hydra.

P.S. In happier, less-pitchfork'n'torch-mob news I returned to writing Succubus Summoning this week.  Time to get Phil's adventures rolling again.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

What a dull, grey, joyless world some people want us to live in...

Apparently this poster:

was so offensive it needed to be banned.


Some aspects of feminism need to be slung back into the dark pit of the seventies. They do more harm than good nowadays. How is this any different to the half-naked beefcakes that adorn the covers of romance novels? Should we ban those too, in the interests of equality? Let's keep going until everyone is in shapeless boilersuits and no tantalising flesh can be seen at all. What a rotten world that would be.

The most offensive thing here is they're trying to bring back Hair Metal. For that crime alone they should be locked in a cage with live panthers, preferably ones that haven't been fed for a week.

And have rabies.

Just to make sure...

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Fun Things to do on a Black Friday

We don’t have Black Friday in Britain. The term confused me for a while as Black [Insert Weekday] in Britain is used for points in history when whatever moron we had for a chancellor at the time spunked millions (or billions) of pounds up a wall. I suppose the nearest equivalent we do have is the Boxing Day sales after Christmas.

I’m a bad person. Ok, that’s a lie. I’m a good person, probably boring by most people’s standards, but I do have bad bad thoughts.

After reading about the scrums, crushes and even shoppers using pepper spray on each other, impish little ideas started to germinate in my corroded black cortex. Wouldn’t it be fun to go to one of these stores, where people have been queuing outside all night and are grumpy and sleep-deprived, and hand out swords and maces like a regular Leland Gaunt. Out of idle curiosity…to see what happens next…

Hopefully, nobody actually died today, otherwise this blog post might be rather inappropriate.

I think I’d find it hard to be too sympathetic. All death is ignoble, but being trampled in a stampede to get the latest Playstation for a hundred dollars less has to be one of the more depressing and pointless ways to exit this earth. I’m being a curmudgeony young fart, I know, but pictures of mobs bulldozing into stores, their eyes lit up with naked greed at the thought of the bargains inside, highlight a side of human nature that’s a little unseemly to me. Kind of like Reality TV shows.

Anyway, how about this lovely--and very sharp--little sword…?

I’m a bad bad person.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

The Importance of Pseudonyms

This little furore, where a teacher was suspended and reinstated after being found out as a part-time stripper, reminded me of the importance of pseudonyms. The thrust of his defence is correct (apart from the facebook part—teachers shouldn’t really friend pupils for good, professional reasons), but even in The Guardian, a paper so wet it would make your fish’n’chips soggy if you wrapped them in it, there were plenty of comments along the lines of, “I wouldn’t want you teaching my child.” Presumably these would be the same people who, a decade or so ago, were totally against openly homosexual teachers working in the classroom for fear they might “infect” their cherished offspring.

The other type of comment—“Well, he’s a male stripper, that’s not as bad as…”—completely misses the point. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it a million times again: What consenting adults get up to in their own time is their own bloody business. Would it matter if a teacher, a good teacher, worked—legally—as an escort after hours, or liked to frequent fetish clubs and have their arse paddled red? Should it? Obviously, it would be a problem if that teacher abused their position to tout for business amongst pupils/parents, or turned up too tired to do their job properly, but most people can and do successfully partition their public and private lives. Sadly, a lot of people are too judgmental, resulting in this kind of silliness.

I’m not ashamed of what I write about, but I’m realistic. I don’t and probably won’t ever be able to make full-time living from my writing. I don’t want to find myself blacklisted from future employment prospects because a recruiter googled my name and found out I wrote some bizarre, creepy porn stories a decade ago.

While future employment prospects are a concern for me, it pales into insignificance when compared to people in other parts of the world, where they face imprisonment—or even death—for having incompatible views, beliefs or sexual orientation.

So to facebook, google+ and the rest—first guarantee me a world where I won’t be killed, imprisoned, ostracised, or have my current and future livelihood damaged for what I write/post, and then I might give you my real name.

Friday, August 12, 2011

The state, the state, the state is on fire...

We don’t need no water let the muthafucka burn. Burn muthafucka. Burn!!!

The country of my birth, England, appears to be a little ill at the moment. I went back to visit this week, which also coincided with an outbreak of rioting and looting in the major city centres.

Yes, I’m now so maleficent my mere presence drives a country into unrest. Joke.

There’s been a lot of talk about the sick state of modern society in all the papers, but I think the illness is not the one they’re talking about. There’s an ideological schism splitting the country, one which, no doubt, any middle-leaning American will recognise with a dejected sigh. Read a right-wing newspaper and they’ll talk about a collapse in moral values which can only be rectified by a good caning, bringing back National Service or simply hanging the buggers until they turn purple and their tongues hang out. Read a left-wing newspaper and you’ll get a lot of handwringing about broken homes, poverty, boredom and legitimate protest.

They’re both bloody idiots.

Poverty is a debased term nowadays. These kids aren’t starving and they have access to far more forms of entertainment than children of decades ago. Several spots of unrest were organised through Blackberries and online social networks according to some reports. Nicking stuff because you feel inferior to multi-millionaire football players in the top 0.0001% or whatever of earners in the country is a fairly venal and piss-poor imitation of the Arab Spring uprisings taking place elsewhere on the planet.

What the kids don’t have is a future. That’s a problem. It doesn’t matter how big a stick you threaten to hit them with. They don’t care. They don’t have anything to lose.

What I hate is the media trotting out the same simplistic right/left-wing ideological solutions which have little relevance to a messy and more complex world. The troublemakers of the past week are scum and need to be punished accordingly, but if they aren’t allowed decent aspirations (playing football for Man Utd or selling millions of records are not realistic aspirations unless you’re phenomenally gifted and lucky) more and more youths are going to go ‘feral’.

The challenge for our glorious leaders is to reengage with these forgotten sumps of society and find a productive use for them. Maybe our politicians could start by setting a better example instead of fiddling their expenses and gorging themselves on the corporate teat. What’s the saying—the fish rots from the head.

Friday, July 08, 2011

The real masters of literary corruption...

I'm writing in the wrong genre. There I was, merrily typing up twisted tales of hot demon sex in order to corrupt the internet and collapse the whole of humanity into a black abyss, and it turns out the real masters of corruption write romance novels for Mills and Boon.

It’s not the first criticism to be aimed at romance novels. Recently another psychologist claimed they can be as addictive as pornography. They do have a smidgeon of a point. I’m sorry to burst your bubble, ladies, but that super-rich, super-handsome Mr Right you’ve been dreaming of will, in real life, probably (but not always!) be a complete dick and chronically unfaithful. Why? Because they can get away with it.

Somehow, I suspect the M & B crowd would be less than thrilled with a book where the spunky heroine finds her Mr Right…only for him to ditch her for a younger model with a bigger rack ten years down the line. The whole point of fantasy is it’s supposed to be escapism, i.e. better than the messy complications present in the real world. Sure, problems can arise when the fantasy forms the basis of a wholly unrealistic set of expectations, but that’s just about true for any situation where fantasy and reality get mixed up.

Unsurprisingly—and understandably—it’s provoked a bit of a backlash from romance fans quick to defend their reading preferences. There are a lot of them in the comments section beneath the Guardian article.

Presumably those same people will be right behind us in the trenches the next time equally stupid things are written about video games or different flavours of pornography…won’t you? ;)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Harry Potter and the Future of Publishing

There have been rumblings about JK Rowling’s new online venture, Pottermore. This week those questions were answered. While Harry Potter fans will understandably be delighted by the new collaborative web site thingymajiggum, it’s the eBook side of things that’s of interest to those of us with a toe (nail) in publishing.

The Harry Potter series is one of the most lucrative franchises in the history of publishing. And JK Rowling holds the electronic rights…

Can you say million dollar diamond mine.

The publishing world has been thrown into a lot of turmoil with the rise of eBooks. Age-old ways of doing things are being ripped up. Authors are going it alone and grabbing a bigger slice of their own pie. The interesting question was always going to be how one of the most successful authors ever would bring their much-loved series to the digital market.

Well the answer is out and I suspect various high-level Amazon and B & N execs were choking on their coffee this morning. The Harry Potter books will come out online, but exclusively from the Pottermore site.


That’s really taking control of your work. Rowling didn’t cut out her publishers entirely, they’re still playing a role, but it sounds like she thinks she’s big enough to manage just fine without the services of the biggest bookseller in the world.

Interesting times indeed…

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Throwing Rocks at People on High Horses

Two articles caught my attention in the news today.

The first is about the odious piece of anti-homosexuality legislation being debated in the Ugandan parliament.

The second is about the horrendous murders of sex workers happening out in Long Island. It’s also a surprisingly progressive piece on prostitution from The Guardian (which is odd considering The Guardian is one of the UK’s more progressive newspapers). Obviously the title is a little too sensationalist. Anti-prostitution attitudes didn’t kill those girls, a psychopath did, but it made his (assuming it is a he) work a lot easier. Same as it always does.

Sex workers have always been vulnerable. And always will be while people continue to sit on their moral high horses and try to tell the rest of the world how they should live their lives.

I wonder what it is about our species that makes us feel the need to pry into and interfere with other people’s private behaviour, even when it doesn’t affect us personally in the slightest. It seems simple to me. What happens between consenting adults behind closed doors is their own business. To anyone else: Butt out. It doesn’t concern you. Your opinions, your thoughts and especially your morality are not asked for or welcome.