Sick!

Kassandra in the backyard by *koblein

Kassandra in the backyard by *koblein

So, I’ve got an interesting comment on Literotica, interesting that is because I’m not entirely sure whether it’s a compliment or something else altogether. For those disinclined to follow the link, someone called ilresistance says:

“many of these stories are sick!”

Now, the word ‘sick’ has many meanings. It could be that ilresistance is saying that many of the stories in Literotica or just chapters of my novel The Schemes of the Unknown Unknown are perverted and vile, and metaphorically or maybe literally make him or her feel sick. After all ‘sick’ is the term used by the red-top newspapers in the UK to designate something which is obscene or beneath contempt.

It could be that the term is meant more literally, in the sense that the stories are somehow ailing or incontinent: that they may be in such ill-health that the kindest thing to do would be to put them out of their misery. If that’s so why would ilresistance pick on my story rather than one of the many rather more poorly written stories on Literotica.

However, I tend to think that ilresistance, whose name has a bit of a hip-hop feel to it, may well be using the more colloquial meaning of the word ‘sick’ which generally signifies that something is cool or really good. This is well illustrated in the classic tune “This is Sick” by Solid Groove.

However, whether good or bad, its good to get a comment on Literotica. And for those of you who are bothered, some of my fiction might be described as perverse or downright obscene, but not especially so Chapter 10 of The Schemes of the Unknown Unknown.

Chelsea Manning

Chelsea Manning

Chelsea Manning

So, Bradlley Manning is no more. Welcome, Chelsea Manning.

One might question her choice of name which in America is probably most associated with Hillary and Bill’s daughter, but in the UK refers to a fashionable district that is synonymous with both punk and narcissistic self-regarding affluence. It’s also the name of the football club with the most charismatic and fascinating manager in the sport’s history.

But even though I’ve written a bit about cross-dressing and transgender lifestyles (One Snip Short) and rather more about hermaphroditism of one non-specific fashion or other, I’m actually rather squeamish about the whole thing. Perhaps like most men I’m just anxious about my gender identity. Or maybe my fascination with the boundaries of sexuality and permissiveness just reaches its limits when it comes to the notion of a man changing their gender to that of a woman (or the rather rarer phenomenon of turning the other way).

Whatever my own attitudes (and at least I’m honest about my lack of deep understanding), this should not detract from the huge personal sacrifice that Chelsea Manning has made in the service of what she believes to be the truth,

There are two things I want to highlight.

One is the extent to which a man already conflicted by his gender identity recognised the extent to which his moral identity was also being compromised in the service of a nation whose soldiers clearly think the murder of innocent civilians from a distance by helicopter is great fun and whose employers (the military establishment and the government) believe that a little bit of understandable fun in the blood and gore of Muslims in a faraway land is a lesser crime than revealing such lapses of judgment to the world as a whole.

The other, which has been visited with a ridiculous degree of vindictiveness on Edward Snowden, Julian Assange, Glenn Greenwald, the Guardian, and, of course, Chelsea (nee Bradley) Manning, is the extent to which the US establishment (even when run by a Harvard educated black lawyer) will go to for the simple reason of protecting its precious pride. And this nation whose history has many heights, but also many lows (such as slavery, ruthless exploitation of the poor, the crushing of weaker nations in the name of anti-communism and, more recently, anti-terrorism) not only beats its breast like a cornered gorilla but gets its poodles, such as my own unprincipled government and that of its other vassals to do its dirty work.

And in all this unpleasantness, is it any surprise that Russia (despite its primitive attitude towards homosexuality) comes out looking not so bad really and the South American countries, particularly Brazil and Ecuador, now look like the bastions of liberalness and decency that once upon a time Britain and America claimed for themselves.

Twitter

Feathered Dinosaur

Feathered Dinosaur

I’ve often wondered whether I ought to tweet, and now I’ve taken the plunge. Anyone wishing to see my tweets can easily find them on my twitter page.

I’m not too sure what to tweet about, however. For the moment, I’ll just post all those updates that some readers might actually be looking for if they want to know what I’m doing. I shan’t put anything personal or incriminating though, which might pretty much neutralise the entire point of tweeting.

It’s an exciting world and I’m excited by the challenge of limiting my verbosity to just 140 characters.

But sometimes it’s good to be terse.

Aubrey Rose

Voluminous Sisters: Herr Buchta

Voluminous Sisters: Herr Buchta

Although I’ve written a couple of short stories about voluminous or even voluptuous women (most notably Fat Chance and Size Discrimination) I’m not really someone who’s especially keen on or attracted to Big Beautiful Women (BBW), but clearly there are many authors and artists who are (perhaps including Herr Buchta)..

One such author is Aubrey Rose.

Whether it’s because she’s big and beautiful herself, I don’t know (because I don’t know what she looks like), but there are many women in the world who are and, no doubt, many men and, presumably, women who find such women attractive. And as I see no reason why large size can’t co-exist with beauty, I have no comment to make on this beyond the obvious one that  many women, perhaps tragically, fail to see that possibility and lead a life of unnecessary misery as a result.

However, it is likely that it is through the erotic fiction of Aubrey Rose, perhaps in her novel Me, Cinderella? that such otherwise unhappy women find the validation they deserve.

The reason I mention Aubrey Rose, though, is less to plug her erotic romantic fiction (which I’ll have to admit I’ve never read), but the article about her in today’s Guardian.

What I find interesting are the reasons that Aubrey has given for not wanting to be published by a reputable publisher (in this case Amazon) and to stay self-published.

As someone who has just recently registered with Kindle Direct Publishing and so far pleased with the service they provide, this is naturally of interest to me. However, as I’ve no wish to sign up an exclusivity agreement with Amazon or anyone else and as I’m not sure I want to sacrifice my anonymity for the pittance that my fiction might earn me, I’ve not been confronted with Aubrey’s dilemma.

But whatever you think of Aubrey Rose’s fiction (or mine for that matter), her reluctance to exchange self-publishing for a more conventional publishing option is an interesting sign of the times.