Ain't No Rest for the Wicked...
Well, folks, time to relace the Timbs, pull on your hoodie and get back in the trenches.
According to a recent article by Selena Kitt on TheSelfPublishingRevolution, the week-old PayPal reversalhasn't quite trickled down to the company's Customer Service reps. So, while in digital ink PayPal has said it's okay for us wicked erotica writers to continue providing the obscene material guaranteed to hold our reservations in hell, they haven't actually allowed for payment processing of those "icky"titles that depict rape, bestiality and incest (pseudo, psycho, or psotherwise). In fact, these things are still "Banned". *Dun, dun, DUUUUUUNNNN*
And it's not just PayPal. Visa and MasterCard came out in what appeared to be the defense of the legally erotic, stating they were not responsible for PayPal's original shenanigans, but they, too, have yet to allow payment processing for the aforementioned ickyness. Add to that Amazon's filtering of erotic titles out of the main search pages, and where does that leave us? Back at square one. (Selena does a fantastic job with the details, so hop on over to her article and give it a read.)
Now, I'm hoping Selena is right in that this is simply a matter of these companies (PayPal, MasterCard, and Visa) being so large the memo that reads KEEP PROCESSING "ICK" just hasn't made its rounds. But my e-mail seems to work pretty damn fast, and I use yahoo, soooo.... *shrugs*
This is all so very exhausting, isn't it? Over a bunch of cleverly strung together words? Valery was right: Books have the same enemies as people: fire, humidity, animals, weather, and their own content. I'm not sure what the agenda is here, but there is clearly an agenda. And if you think otherwise, you should probably know you can get 15% off your auto insurance by switching to Geico. Bottom line: we might very well be back to the letter writing and bra burning.
It's not fair. We should be pursuing more creative endeavors and instead have to fight the stupids. I swear I'm gonna buy stock in stupid. It's the only thing guaranteed to increase exponentially every year. *sigh* But fight we must. So if that's the case and the smell of burned elastic is in the air, there's something I want all of you writers and readers to think about. Not the "C" word, because last time that got everyone way off topic and into a battle of definition that detracted from the issue. Rather, think about what the moves by these corporations managed to do the first time. Truth is, they caused a rift in the writing community, made us turn on ourselves.
Many a writer chimed in with whether or not they agreed with what PayPal was doing when it decided to enforce its ban on certain "extreme" and "obscene" erotica. And instead of us reasonably sane people (in spite of talking to the voices in our heads) looking at the issue objectively—Corporations are making it damn-near impossible for a certain type of fiction to earn income. They're also, in effect, dictating what I can and can't do with my money—we allowed our opinions to cloud the facts—Well, I don't write that crap, and I don't read that crap, and anyone who does should burn in hell!!! (Purple curtains in my suite, thanks...) We started deciding who the moral were among us, and anyone not INKing things socially acceptable was shoved under the bus. We made the jobs of those trying to shut us up much easier. Divide and conquer.
I'm by no means saying you shouldn't have an opinion. What I'm asking is that you don't succumb to the knee-jerk reaction of "This doesn't apply to me so I don't care what PayPal or Amazon or whoever does". Or, the bullshit reaction of "X is a company and has a right to do whatever yadda, yadda, yadda". These corporations, the same ones that are willing to hang on to the money you've earned conducting a legal transaction, must be held accountable. Because whether I write rape, bestiality, or incest-themed books is completely irrelevant.
Once I decide it's okay for corporations to treat a certain group of fiction writers in an altogether unfair manner, I leave myself open to the same type of isolation. In fact, I invite it, because if they can infringe on one, they'll infringe on us all. Inches and miles. And no, I'm not screaming the sky is falling, I'm merely pointing out the ground and clouds seem to be getting closer together...
Chances are good I'm going to write something that offends someone's delicate sensibilities at one time or another. Lord knows I say enough things to warrant an ungodly amount of soap in my mouth. And sometimes things other people write irk me. Case in point, I just finished reading a book (a really good book) that had the copious use of a racial slur I don't particularly care for. if I were thinner skinned it might have offended me, but did I think the writer absolutely needed to include it? No. Did it add to the value of the book? Let's see...contemporary adventure mystery with a romantic bent...In my opinion, no. But do I think she had the right to use it? Damn straight. She was building a character. She felt this was something that character would say, just as there were things she felt that character would do that I wouldn't necessarily agree with. But it's fiction.
In the same respect, the rape of a character (whether it "titillates" or not) is not the same as someone committing such a heinous act in the realm of reality. I'm not a werewolf (in case you're not paying attention), but werewolves get it on, right? 'Cause really, no storks are delivering werewolf cubs to a clan of full-grown man-dogs. Who am I to say they must fornicate while in human form so as not to be deemed "obscene"? Never mind the fact that humans are in the animal kingdom (we sure as shit ain't plants) with an allegedlyhigher degree of encephalization, so, really, any form of human-on-human sex is technically bestiality. Nah, we won't get into that. That might make your head explode. And, while this is a repeat, humans used to believe the purer the blood the better, so incest wasn't always so taboo. What society frowns upon today was at one time the norm.
I just want you to think about these thing. Objectively. Treat it like Twilight and suspend your belief long enough to not cringe at the glittering vampire with the diamond skin standing in the sunlight and not burning to a crisp, and look at these "fringe" books for what they really are: a temporary escape from reality. They're not real. They don't hurt anybody. But what they do is provide creatively inclined people just like you to earn a living and support themselves and their families in a legal and safe manner. Now, lace up your Timbs, strap on your riot gear, and prepare to fight with those of us on the dark side.
"'Cause there ain't no rest for the wicked.
...Until we close our eyes for good."