Tag Archives: Comments

Missing Comments & Small Update

Interesting experience… I just found a half dozen comments trapped in limbo and waiting for approval. What’s all the more odd is that all but two of them should have been auto-approved as they came from people who had commented previously.

Well, I’m not the only person reporting WordPress bugs lately. Guess I’ll just have to keep an eye on the manual approval window instead of counting on WP to email me like it should.

In terms of an update, the paid plan does give me a secondary site also. That being the case, my plan is to migrate the remaining non-erotica part of this site to the second one.

Update…

I’m trying to play catch up with real life and get myself back on something resembling a normal sleep schedule after that all night ordeal with the thief camped out across the street and no police response.  I still plan on a couple of posts later tonight though.  I guess it’s true what they say about writing; it’s something that’s just stuck in your blood. The writing bug is hitting me hard again at any rate.  I have ideas for that Witchfire revamp that I’ve mentioned a few times and dozens of other stories floating around in my head.

Interestingly enough, my “Burnt Out” post has gotten the most likes of anything I’ve written in ages, and is still getting more views than anything before or after it.  Maybe there’s an audience for a sane middle ground voice after all.  I’m still a bit doubtful an aspiring erotica author is that flag bearer though.

Beyond what I plan to put in my other posts tonight, there’s not much going on though.  We’re redoubling our efforts to get the house ready to list so we can get the hell out of this insane state.

Burnt Out

Here I sit after an eight hour ordeal trying to get police to come deal with a thief, reflecting back on nearly seven years of regular events like this, being attacked for saying thieves do NOT have a right to steal anything they want, trying to adjust to the lack of sleep this causes, AND just reflecting on some of the blog posts I’ve seen lately.

At this point, all I can do with the situation at home is file formal complaints with oversight agencies.  The blog situation is a microcosm of the mess I see everywhere in the world; people so caught up in their pet cause that they’ll say anything and go to seemingly any lengths to rationalize what they say.  I’ve seen this for decades on the internet and elsewhere, but it’s shifted from the rare troll to a common debate tactic.

I had been toying with the idea of starting a separate blog for promoting open communication, getting people to try to listen to one another, and trying to offset some of the hate I see everywhere.  I’ve seen people  I thought were rational make posts saying that one person was evil and neglecting their kids because they travel on their job occasionally.  They wouldn’t spank if they weren’t an ignorant redneck and were actually home to bond with their kids.  Never mind the blogger had no personal knowledge of this person and the post was based strictly on their own biases and need to beat down somebody on the other side.

I’ve seen a nature blog post saying people effectively were a cancer on the universe and were going to cause the entire universe to collapse.  How do you even debate with anything that irrational?  Even if you accept the premise that as children of the divine that we have that much potential power, it also has to presume that that same divine is too short sighted to set up safeguards for the universe against such bad energy.  That would be a pretty damned stupid God to be so short sighted.

If you’re on the “correct” side of an issue, anything goes in the name of the cause.  That used to be called fanaticism and was considered dangerous.

Everything from spanking to politics, religion and environmentalism, people on both sides play loose with facts, launch personal attacks on the other side, resort to gross hyperbole, and completely misrepresent what other people say… all for the sake of making an imagined point.

Reality is, these people only hurt their causes.  That’s a shame since in many cases they have a valid cause.  Hate is only going to get responded to with more hate, unless the other person is an utter Saint.

To paraphrase Proverbs: The gentle word turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

Look at the alternative we see nowadays.  The standard “debate” tactic is something along the lines of “You’re a utterly vile human being because you don’t agree with me”.  Does anybody REALLY think THAT will change anyone’s mind?

The reason this tactic has become so common is that people have been stirred up to believe the worst in others.  The older wisdom that’s been lost in the inflated sense of ego is “Never attribute to malice what can be explained by ignorance”.  If people would realize they are NOT infallible, and that the other side might have a point and that there are multiple ways of doing anything, there might be some hope for humanity.

Duality of choice is false logic, designed to control and manipulate people, and / or just completely short sighted.  Let me give an example from classic politics:

Liberals are (stereotypically) big on social problems  or spending and conservatives are equally stereotypically big on defense spending.  Guns or butter as the debate used to be called.  Everybody is divided into two camps and fights away while those in power waste fortunes via graft.  If we looked past the distraction and paid attention to the waste and graft, we’d realize there’s enough money for all of it.  That requires the third option of just making sure the existing money is wisely spent though.

With gross twisting of words, telling half truths and using extreme hyperbole, there’s also the issue of the “speaker” losing credibility with their audience.  When your audience sees or sense a lack of integrity, there’s no way they’ll follow you.  Readers or listeners will often forgive honest mistakes, but a sensed lack of integrity will kill efforts faster than anything, including fanaticism.

If you want to convince others about something, be passionate, but warm.  Part of that being warm means debate the idea, NOT attack the person.  Know your facts, including those the other side believes, and be willing to admit if there are weaknesses for your cause.  Propose alternatives to the “party line”.  Listen to the other side and try to understand what their concerns are.  When you understand where they’re coming from, it’s much easier to come up with a win-win alternative.

And for what it’s worth…  These are the things I was taught in high school and college debate, where I actually went undefeated.  Communication IS the one thing I know, even if it often doesn’t show here thanks to frustration, sleep deprivation and physical pain.

And yes, I’ve disabled comments this time.  I’m sick of all the toxic BS anymore.

Here We Go Again…

Remember how I said in my Days Like This blog post that police response was a joke in my city?  Damned if they aren’t trying to prove me right this evening.

Sometime a little before 3am, we had a van load of cheese whiz sucking Arkansas trailer trash (I saw the license plate on the Chrysler) park across the street and start to set up their own little homeless camp.  I noticed them when I peek out the window and see a big guy in a white hoodie finish looking in my neighbor’s car on the street and then head back to the van.  Apparently this goon would have happily broke into any of the cars on the street given the chance.

I go outside, saying behind the gate and yell that I’ve called the police (always my first step so I can try to get people to leave without pulling a unit away from other calls).  They just hole up in their van and go to sleep like they’re untouchable.

The police actually were called AN HOUR AND A HALF AGO and still no response at all.  Per city code, the parks close at sundown.  So does that opposite side of the street for parking.  There’s signs posted.  They’re camping on the street, also illegal.

All piddly stuff if you’re a bleeding heart, I get that.  I caught this guy trying (half heartedly) to break into cars though, and over two hours later, the perp is STILL AT THE SCENE OF THE CRIME WITH NO POLICE RESPONSE IN SIGHT.

007 - Copy

So, just how is a average law abiding citizen supposed to feel safe with police response times and attitudes like this?

A Little Reminder…

Yes, I could have finished the headline, but it sparks curiosity as it stands now. 🙂

We had a car issue earlier this evening and had to go get another battery, not a big deal in the grand scheme of things.  The reminder came when I went back outside a half hour later to get my phone from the car we drove to the store…  the one the city says is abandoned and they’re threatening to tow.  *headdesk*

This was just a few minutes ago, and it’s 73 degrees outside with just a hint of a cool breeze blowing at almost 10pm.   That’s 22.77 degrees Celsius for you folks outside the U.S. 😀

I walk out there and there’s a small group of people playing with light up gliders, tossing them into the air and letting them come back down.  Cool little toys if you’ve never seen them.  It hit me at that moment…  THAT is why we’ve been fighting this battle for 6+ years.  Even more so than being safe in our own home, it’s so kids can feel safe playing in the park an hour after sundown.  There aren’t too many parks left in the city where that is possible either.

Suddenly the price paid didn’t seem quite so bad after all…  🙂

Nothing like a little reminder from above about what you’re struggling for.

 

Beyond that… the last post’s comments section got a bit political.  I’m going to refrain from future political posts here and put the brakes on future political comments also.  This is supposed to be a writing blog, and I’d prefer everybody gets to know each other as people as opposed to real or imagined political affiliation.  Besides, I personally can get along with almost anybody so long as you’re polite.

It’s Times Like Today…

That I *REALLY* don’t have much hope for humanity…

The entire 6 1/2 years we’ve lived at our current address, we’ve been a one home Neighborhood Watch program chasing drug dealers and other out of the park across the street at 2am, running off “homeless” (most aren’t) people dumping garbage cans to scavenge recycleables, and keeping an eye on suspicious people and vehicles loitering on the street for extended periods of time.

No, we don’t harass people at random.  There are tells in a person’s body language, mannerisms and speech if they’re up to something shady.  We’re also very careful about not playing cop.  “Chasing Off” the drug dealers usually just consists of taking pictures and yelling that we’ve called the police to report them.

This routine has gotten me continually attacked online at a certain neighborhood focused website that I won’t give publicity to.  It’s gotten trash dumped in our yard, my car keyed, our security cameras and sprinkler system vandalized…  All because the mentally ill here believe criminals and homeless people have more rights than the people who live here.  Most recently, there’s been an effort to get my car parked on the street towed as an abandoned vehicle.

This REALLY pisses me off because the City and Police Department has done jack to support my efforts to support them.  In fact, I had a responding police sergeant ask me why I was wasting her time when I reported a woman screaming in the park at 1am.  I couldn’t make this crap up if I wanted to.

I also made the mistake of getting involved in a politically related discussion in another blog lately.  Having been around the internet for ages, I’m used to ideologues.  The level of close minded hatred and blatant ability to ignore facts or refuse to engage in honest attempts at dialog is beyond description or belief nowadays.

I’m pretty much at the point I’m glad I don’t have kids and am convinced that Western civilization is going to tear itself apart or become a police state for either the extreme Left (more likely since they control all the information) or the extreme right with everybody else marched off to camps.

I’m sooooo sick of the hate from both ends.  What we REALLY need is for the 90% in the middle to rise up and push the nut jobs into the ocean.  No, I’m NOT advocating violence, just voicing frustration.  Violence is only an answer in life and death self defense situations.  It sure would be nice if people would start telling the extremists to STFU and that they don’t speak for anybody.

Supergirl Skirtless

Never let it be said I can’t write a headline that gets attention, LOL.

This one isn’t another piece of erotica though, it’s brief commentary on the CW Network show and Neofeminism.  For those who haven’t heard, the CW, at the urging of the show’s producer (Sarah Schechter) and star (Melissa Benoist), are eliminating the skirt from Supergirl’s outfit and switching her to pants.

SUPERGIRL-New-Supersuit

I have to admit, looking at it just on it’s face, it’s not a bad costume.  For me, it’s the “why” that is disturbing…

In an interview I read online, they both see this as such a bold and empowering move and are very proud of doing it.  This kind of situation is where I get in trouble with the extreme end of the “feminist” movement.  I see the story, and all I can think is “How did we get to a point in feminism where acting or dressing like a woman is a display of weakness?”

Isn’t this the exact opposite of feminism?  It used to be at least.  “Back in the day”, the goal was for women to be able to be women, yet still seen as strong and capable.  NOW, Supergirl is immature and weak unless she’s dressing like Superman.

OK, let’s address the obvious…  Supergirl’s skirt is (usually) on the short side; about cheerleader length.  It’s varied in comic books though from there to knee length.  Most Basic little black dresses that 20 somethings wear to the club are just as short if not shorter though.

Long story short; Supergirl’s (or any woman’s) status as an adult should have little to do with how she dresses.  What makes a person an adult is how they carry themselves.  Can they think of others or just themselves?  Can they make tough decisions and make sacrifices to get ahead in life or do they whine, cry and expect society to carry them and want everything NOW?  Qualifiers for men or women in my opinion.

Women used to be admired for projecting a quieter, more dignified strength than men.  Still are in most quarters (or I’d like to think so anyway).  Somewhere along the line though, the feminist movement (parts of it at least), got the very screwed up idea that a woman can only be strong and equal if she’s acting and looking like a man.

The Art of Persuasion Hasn’t Changed?!?

I’m writing this in response to an article I came across on the Harvard Business Review (HBR).  They sometimes have some good stuff, but I think this particular article was a little short sighted

The irony here is that the author is a Harvard professor in communications.  He had a point about the basics not changing since Aristotle.  His list of the five basics are:

  1. (Establishing) Character
  2. Reason
  3. Emotion
  4. Metaphor
  5. Brevity

The only one I could argue with is that I think establishing character is now often replaced with establishing some sort of (often imagined or exaggerated) expertise or credibility.  Morals don’t matter so long as you’re an expert, a victim or better yet both.

Re-reading the article, maybe it’s fairer to say that while I agree those key foundations haven’t changed much, I’ve seen a great deal of change in the nature of persuasion.

Misrepresentation and half truths have always been a tool of the unscrupulous.  Nothing new there.  I’m seeing them used FAR more often nowadays though.  The media and politicians on both sides do this constantly anymore, to the point I don’t believe anything they say without extensive fact checking.  There’s a HUGE difference between “unarmed man shot by police” and “unarmed man high on drugs shot by police while trying to wrestle gun away from officer”.  The former gets far more ratings than the latter though.

Combine that with sarcasm and you’ve got the play book for all the late night talk shows.  A far cry from the days of Carson.

As I mentioned in a reply to another blog, I also see deliberately vague communication being used much more frequently.  Typically with the goal of creating some sort of deniability on the speaker’s part if they’re called out on anything.  I miss the days when  “establishing Character” and speaking plainly yet in a civil manner was considered a virtue.

The biggest change in persuasion specifically that I’ve seen is the use of manipulative language.  Without getting into politics, let’s take another look at the news.  We’ve all heard the term “collusion” tossed about in excess the last few years.  It sounds horrible and it’s used to provoke a strong negative emotional reaction.  Yet, there’s no LEGAL basis for the term.  It was used in place of the proper criminal term of “conspiracy” because then the media and various other people can’t be sued or prosecuted for making false criminal charges.  The Left did it with Trump and the Right did it with Hillary.  That was just an easy and blatant example.  I’m not taking sides at all here either.  I think we all would have been better served by honest discussions about what may have been illegal and what may have been legal but was certainly bad form or outright immoral.  The lesson here remains to be aware of the manipulative use of language.

Persuasion has become far more of a science today also.  People know that if they can get a peer in a group to say something is good or bad, the rest of the group is much more likely to follow suit.  That’s the whole trick to selling Tupperware or Mary Kay.  I could go on for quite a while here, but there are dozens of websites devoted to revealing sales tricks like that, push-pull techniques, take aways and imagined scarcity, etc…

Probably the most insidious form of persuasion is Neuro-Linguistic Programming or NLP.  I’ve mentioned this a few times in previous posts.  NLP was first created in the late 70s with the goal of figuring out how the best in any given field do what they do and making it repeatable.  NLP quickly became focused on communication and persuasion, and borrows heavily from Ericksonian Hypnosis.  It’s used in everything from selling to seduction too.

To over simplify it, NLP persuasion (at it’s most basic levels) relies on subtle “hypnotic” commands and catch phrases to trick people into thinking they want to do or not do something.

For example; “what was it like when you…” will get a person to recall a specific experience.  Anything from sex to the first time they saw and fell in love with their dream car.  Don’t believe me?  Ask yourself about something that way and see if your mind doesn’t begin recalling that experience.

There are dozens of phrases like that also.  “What would it be like if…” for example.  The whole idea being to capture and lead the target’s imagination toward a desired result.  There are other tricks used along with those phrases, such as the human mind’s inability to process a negative.  Phrase anything as a “don’t want to” and the other person’s subconscious will process it as a “want to”.  Which sounds more sincere?  “I don’t want to have sex.” or “I just want to cuddle and relax.”

It’s not necessary for you to immediately realize just how twisted this can get.  If you think about it though, you might find yourself aware of just how great the potential for abuse here is.  😉

Presuppositions are another NLP trick used by nearly everyone today.  A presupposition is something stated as fact and used as a premise for an argument / persuasion attempt.  Let’s avoid politics and the media for this example.  If I said “It’s going to rain today, so you should take your umbrella.”, the presupposition there is that it is indeed going to rain.  That may or may not be true, but by stating it as fact, the debate on if the umbrella is needed is derailed unless the likelihood of rain is challenged.  That challenge is less likely since the rain was stated as a matter of fact.

Again, if you pay attention (an NLP embedded command to do so), you’ll see presuppositions used everywhere.  Anything from you need something being sold, and that it can be a benefit to you, so something that “other” group over did was evil and clearly motivated by malice.

So yes, the very basics of communication may not have changed much, but I think it’s easy to see that the science and morals of how one goes about persuading have changed a great deal.

Realizations on Writing

I teased this a couple of posts ago, and I suppose its time to pay it off.  I’m not getting any sleep tonight either with a pack of teenage hooligans roaming the neighborhood on foot for since 1:30am

So long story short, I’ve spent my down time trying to figure out why I was feeling so frustrated, (and thus burnt out) with my writing before my long break.  I came to a couple of conclusions:  I wasn’t writing for me, I was overly concerned about offending people, and I’m still trying to find my exact niche on writing.

The not writing for me thing is ironic, since during my time on twitter, I was constantly encouraging people and telling them that if THEY don’t enjoy what they’re writing, it will show through in their writing and it won’t be their best work.  I’ve studied public speaking and communication, and let myself get too wrapped up in the admonitions to tailor your communication to your audience.  That’s fine if you have a specific audience you’re reaching out to.  When you’re trying to write something that will appeal to wider demographics though, you have to set those admonitions aside to a degree and be true to yourself.  Otherwise your writing or words won’t be genuine.  People pick up on that too, at least on a subconscious level.

Twitter was a horrible experience for me in terms of creating that worry about offending people.  Despite all the talk about how great the writing community is, I saw alot of clique behavior.  Erotica authors aren’t real writers.  If you do this in your erotica (such as mentioning bra sizes), you’re a crappy writer and I won’t read you, etc…

The main gaggle of female erotica authors would even ghost you if you didn’t support their beliefs that women shouldn’t be held to any conduct, dress, etc… standards and similar extreme SJW ideas.  heaven help you if you supported a male erotica author also.  Kind of sad really.

I could (and maybe will do) a whole separate post on my thoughts there.  It does impact my writing after all.  LONG story short however, suffice it to say I do believe in women’s sexual empowerment, but I also believe in common sense limits on everything.  Wear a short, tight dress and flaunt what you’ve got for example.  Just don’t get mad if you’re dressing sexy and guys (or other women) flirt with you or check you out.  You have EVERY right to be completely safe dressed like that.  No should always mean no as well.  How you dress does nothing to change that.  Getting bitchy when you get harmless attention when you’re dressing to get attention is immature at best though.

As much as I love sex and sensuality, I also believe some things belong behind closed doors.  That’s another thing that seems to set me apart at least from some of the younger erotica authors.  I’m libertarian enough to believe anything kinky you want to do behind closed doors is fine.  Common decency and general self respect dictate some things should stay private, not flaunted in public though.  Bottom line, I’ve learned to stop caring what the twitter crowd thinks.  Shame since Twitter could be a good marketing tool.

Then there’s the whole finding my niche thing.  My Witchfire stories have been an attempt to see if I could combine superheroes and erotica in a real way.  The trouble with that specific genre is that the internet is loaded with sites catering to pubescent boys and outright misogynists, that glorify raping superheroines and “putting them in their place”.   They completely dehumanize woman, and mock strong, capable women.  That’s the last thing I want to contribute to.

At the same time, you have women fighting the worst elements of humanity in these stories, so there’s a question realism with never having it happen.  My original thinking was to keep it rare, not glorify it, and also have the heroine(s) escape / turn the tables, or at least get back at their attackers later.  Avoiding it entirely would be easy if I was only writing a sexy story.  I have been trying to spin a real, ongoing story between the sex scenes though.  Intrigue, personality conflicts, human problems, etc…

Part of the problem with Witchfire was that I was rushing the content also.  I think it made the story chapters far more sloppy than they should have been, and took a few aspects of the stories in directions I didn’t intend to go also.  If I pick up work there again, I’m likely to start over from scratch and treat the existing content thus far as rough drafts.

I admit, I’ve also felt dirty at times writing erotica.  My sexy, passionate side is balanced by a fairly strong religious and spiritual side as well.  To thine own self be true however.  I can’t pretend the sexy side doesn’t exist.  I have a real talent for smut also, lol.  I know ultimately I’d like to evolve into more of a mainstream fiction writer who includes some very racy scenes.  Yes, the unicorn known as porn with a plot for you cynical people, LOL.  Getting there means accepting all of me though, and seeing what that allows me to grow into.

And there you have it.  My continuing path to self-realization thus far as a would be author.