Entertainment Weekly says that the "happily ever after" genre is taking on Trump by joining the resistance.  I'm distressed to learn that some of my colleagues are repeating the mistake made by the entertainment industry. Like actors, actresses and comedians, writers are free to have political opinions.  Among friends and family, or at a political gathering held by folks of a particular leaning, expressing political opinion is perfectly acceptable.  Conning your audience into buying one thing and selling them another is a lie and liars deserve to lose.

The article notes that Lauren Billings, who writes with Christina Hobbs as Christina Lauren, responded to readers who reject mixing romance with politics by saying, "we share our opinions in our books in every word we write."  If that's true, before you ever buy one of their books, you should consider that these writers aren't channeling their characters, they're not telling you the story you bought, they're feeding you their personal beliefs and ideology.  Is that what they marketed?  Is that what readers bought?  No, it's not.  With all due respect to Ms. Billings, Ms. Hobbs and every other romance author on the planet, readers don't give a darling damn about what you think or feel or believe.

Readers buy romance to crawl inside the heads and hearts and souls of the hero and heroine.  A good writer often pens thoughts she'd never have and describes acts she'd never perform.  How does the writer do that if "every word she writes" contains her opinions?  She can't.  An author feeding her opinions through the mouths of her characters is telling her story - not the tale the readers bought.  A writer who gives in to ego to that extent echos the errors of entertainers.  There is a reason that movie theaters are empty.  Romance writers who feed readers stories with political overtones are herding romance to a place where shelves stay full.

The EW piece commits the same mistake made by reporters, prognosticators, actors and entertainers.  It shows a fundamental misunderstanding of why Americans back President Trump.  The President is neither anti-gay nor anti-woman and neither are the hordes of Americans who voted for him.  Many Trump supporters aren't particularly conservative.  What unites ALL Trump supporters is not a political party.  In fact, it is the exact opposite of a political anything.  Trump supporters are tired of politicians, labels and political correctness.  America voted Trump into office to elect a businessman who would run the government like a company.  Some businessmen want to make and sell a better car or a better thermostat.  Trump wants to make and sell a better America - not better for Democrats or Republicans, or for liberals or conservatives - but better for the vast majority whose lives and beliefs mix a little from all of those things to create the most unique thing on Earth:  an American.

Writers should disclaim and denounce the EW article and everything it contains and advocates.   I disclaim it and I surely denounce it. Romance writers should write  because they want to tell stories where people face obstacles, triumph over tragedy and end up happily ever after.  Those stories should be the character's stories, told through the eyes and the hearts and the minds of the characters, not the authors.  A writer who sells a love story but delivers something else has betrayed her readers. That writer will not inspire that reader to do anything but avoid her work in the future.

Life is full of problems and despair and the Great Duck knows - it's far too full of politics these days.  Anyone who wants to experience any of those things can turn on a number of 24-hour news channels.  People don't go to a movie to hear an actor mouth lines filled with political drivel.  People don't turn on a comic's special or late night program to hear him talk abut how much he hates Trump.  And people don't read a romance novel to RESIST anything.  Romance is about indulging senses and emotions. It's about love and triumph and living through a roller coaster ride that ends at a happy forever.

People don't read romance to get some writer's take on politics or her opinion on the President.   So, the EW piece has it wrong  - it's not the romance authors who should join the resistance movement.  Romance readers should RESIST any writer whose product description or blurb describes a love story but tells a thinly-veiled political allegory.   So, how to RESIST being deceived by a writer, especially one you enjoyed before?  Here's how - RCW - return, complain and warn.

Whether you bought it in Kindle or in Paper, return any book you were conned into buying.  Complain to the seller.  Email Amazon or Apple or Barnes and Noble or your neighborhood bookstore.  Email the big publisher.  Explain that you were the victim of a bait and switch that you feel was a deceptive act by the writer, the publisher and the seller.  Explain that you expect a clear warning about any romance novel containing political opinion, references or overtones. And warn your fellow readers by posting a review on the seller's website, but don't stop there.  Follow up by tweeting and posting on any board or forum where you interact with other readers.

Are authors, actors, comedians, singers or athletes allowed to be political?  Absolutely.  They can write a political book, give a speech at a rally or appear on an opinion talk show.  But they must learn to separate their politics from their work because the audience is not paying to support their politics.

Politics is politics and romance is romance. Any author's effort to combine the two should be met with reader resistance. Resist with your purse, your email, your reviews, your boards or forums, and your Facebook and Twitter. Unless there is a clear posted warning that the books contains a political point of view, all readers should be able to buy and enjoy romance novels by all writers.  Any writer who believes otherwise can be taught that they are wrong and it is the readers' job to administer the lesson.  Money talks and reviews and social media make fine megaphones.

Somehow, somewhere SOMETHING gave birth to the myth that the far left of the political spectrum is the cool place. If you’re in the middle or on the right, then you’re either stupid or evil. It’s a nonsensical, vapid myth, but the far left has preached it so long that many are as indoctrinated as Scientologists. They don’t associate with or listen to non-lefties. If you’re caught being reasonable, you’ll be disconnected. And that’s the true evil.

Hollywood has long disconnected moderates and conservatives. Actors who dare hold views similar to most Americans hide them to blend in so that they can continue to work. It’s a whopper-sized hypocrisy to profess to be open and giving and yet be closed to listening, sharing or considering other opinions. The rabid left exists in a hyperbaric echo-chamber. Thank God, I thought, that writers are stronger and freer than the actors imprisoned in their own make-believe world.

At least, I believed that until recently. I saw General John Kelly’s amazingly brave appearance at yesterday’s press conference.  A father whose career was sending other young people into harm’s way, who saw too many of them return in caskets, watched his own son choose that path.  Then he got the sad news he’d had to deliver to other parents. Yet, he was courageous enough to speak about his experience to explain why a soldier’s comfort, like a soldier’s world, is very different from the lives and realities of those of us who have never served.  I cried a little as I watched, and listened and I saw how much respect General Kelly has earned on so many levels.

I logged onto Twitter (@quackingalone) and saw that #JohnKelly was trending.  I wandered over and was shocked to see the rabid left there having a contest to see who could do the best job at denigrating a man brave enough to share his personal tragedy, and courageous enough to admit that he’d had to personally lead other American heroes to their deaths. Who could watch and not be moved as he shared his own tragedy to explain a soldier’s comfort to America?  I posted this Tweet:  “#GeneralJohnKelly – today you proved that patriot doesn’t mean pushover and that courage takes many forms. #JohnKelly”

Yesterday I logged onto my Twitter account to see that I’d been unfollowed by a huge number of OTHER AUTHORS.  So, I learned that I was, sadly, wrong. Like actors, those authors take the money of mainstream America, but they disconnect anyone who has another view, who sees another reality. These writers want you to enter the worlds they create, to fall in love or laugh or cry while their characters do – but they don’t want mainstreamers to know that secretly, they’re laughing at us and looking down at us. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be secret any longer. Anyone can check out an author on Twitter BEFORE clicking the buy button.

If you’re a reader who is tired of being shown that you matter less and are less deserving of respect because you don’t drink the left-handed Kool-Aid, then maybe you should vote with your wallet.  Before you buy a book, log onto the writer’s Twitter account and see who he or she follows. Does it include people with views similar to yours? A writer should be following a wide, expansive and diverse community of folks.  It should include people across the political spectrum. The group should be defined by who is interesting, not by who is a rabid leftie. If you don’t see people in that group who believe like you do, then you should reconsider that purchase.

Those who believe that everyone is entitled to respect shouldn’t tolerate disrespect and condescension from people we give our money to. Don’t support anyone who wants to sell you something but would never listen to you or consider your thoughts.  If we don’t use the power of the purse to insist that freedom is as grounded in listening and sharing as it is in talking and pontificating, we’ll lose it forever. Our soldiers, sailors and marines and especially our Gold Star families who’ve paid the ultimate price deserve better. Freedom isn’t free and respect is a two-way street.  Check before you buy.

Mad Daddy here.

I do Facebook, mostly for extended family contact. But sometimes I see things that get me riled, because of how truly ignorant they are.

Now in this case, I'm not talking "ignorant" as in a euphemism for some sort of bigotry or other name-calling from a "progressive". I'm talking truly, utterly ignorant, as in the person in question doesn't really know what they're saying or asking for.

...continue reading "Know What You’re Asking For, Before You Get It"

Installments 1, 2, 3, 45, 6 , 7. and 8

god_emperor_trump

 

I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies and had teas. - Hillary Prima

It was Coronation Day.

The day that Hillary had been waiting to experience for over 10,000 years. The day she would take her rightful place as Empress of Humanity, the position she had been born to fill, born an almost infinite number of times. Her destiny was finally here, just within her hungry, yearning grasp.

...continue reading "God Emperor of Soon – Installment 9"

1

Installments 1, 2, 3, 45, 6 and 7.

god_emperor_trump

I’m a registered Republican. I’m a pretty conservative guy. I’m somewhat liberal on social issues, especially health care, et cetera, but I’d be leaving another party, and I’ve been close to that party. - Trump, before the Apotheosis

The desert.

That's what most of the world had become, and in the middle of it was where Hillary the Ghola found herself at that moment, sweating and suffering.

She turned to the right at the giant obelisk and trekked what seemed like dozens of miles, per the directions given to her by Jenner. Several millennia ago, Hillary Prima knew the tower as the Washington Monument. Since then, though, it had been purchased by an entertainment megacorporation during the Entertainment Wars and had "The Huffington Post" carved upon its stone sides.

...continue reading "God Emperor of Soon – Installment 8"

Installments 1, 2, 3, 45, and 6 .

god_emperor_trump

What I'm doing is going to do some good. And we're going to change the world. - Bruce Jenner, before his first Transformation.

"Hillary? Hillary?"

She beheld the smoothly inhuman face of Jenner extremely close to hers when she came out of her hysterical stupor. "What happened?" Suddenly her memories of the last few minutes came back, jarring her to full consciousness. "Oh my God... What a monster... He... my daughter..." She felt faint again.

"Whoa whoa whoa. Let's not have a repeat of that, okay? But now you see."

She hesitated, then the anger boiled up. "Yes. I see now why... why He must... HE MUST DIE!"

Jenner put a finger to his lips and shushed her. "Quiet, now. You've got to be a little more subtle if you want to be successful."

...continue reading "God Emperor of Soon – Installment 7"

1

Installments 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 .

god_emperor_trump

I believe the primary role of the state is to teach, train, and raise children. Parents have a secondary role. - Hillary Prima

Hillary the Ghola was suspicious. "Where are you taking me? What do I need to see?"

Jenner replied, "We are going to where you were born. Or, more correctly, where gholas are born. And what you need to see is what all the Hillarys have seen that made them understand what a true monster Trump is. Not just His outward form, but his inner self as well."

...continue reading "God Emperor of Soon – Installment 6"

1

Installments 1, 2, 3, and 4.

god_emperor_trump

And one of the best answers I heard was from a commentator yesterday saying, "Leave it the way it is right now, there have been very few problems, leave it the way it is." There have been very few complaints the way it is. People go, they use the bathroom that they feel is appropriate, there has been so little trouble. - Trump, before the Apotheosis.

Bill Clinton was talking on the phone, laughing that big Southern laugh of his, no doubt shooting the bull with one of his good buddies in Congress and trying to cut a deal on legislation Bill wanted pushed through. His hand eased down toward his lap... and grabbed the short dark hair on a chubby female head as it bobbed slowly...

The nightmare dissipated instantly as Hillary the Ghola jerked upright in bed. THAT BASTARD! THAT SORRY, HORNY, REDNECK SON OF A BITCH!

...continue reading "God Emperor of Soon – Installment 5"

Sorry about that my dearies. Big old nasty husband here, by the way.

I was in the process of writing up the fifth installment of my dumb little series "God Emperor of Soon" and clicked the Publish button instead of the Save Draft button. I unpublished it as soon as I could, but the incomplete post still hit Twitter and possibly other social media that Mary Anne happens to be using.

So if you get here by clicking a link that goes to a non-existent page, that's why.

Many apologies, and have a relaxing Labor Day.

Angry Old Fat Man

1

First installment here.

Second installment here.

Third installment here.

god_emperor_trump

You know, I'm not sitting here like some little woman standing by my man, like Tammy Wynette. - Hillary Prima

She began following the God Emperor's cart down a long curved hallway. Upon the walls were paintings - large rectangular portraits. Portraits she recognized from her lessons.

Jeb Bush. Carly Fiorina. Ted Cruz. Bernie Sanders. Marco Rubio. Al Gore. Arianna Huffington. So many, many others.

...continue reading "God Emperor of Soon – Installment 4"