To keep this relatively short while trying not to degenerate into worthless drama: I’m out. Of where? Now that’s a good question. Of whatever BS has been going on for the past 4-6 years, which has been a complete waste of time for me. Maybe for you it has been a time of great productivity and self-discovery, in which case, congratulations, but for me and, I’m sure, many others, this has been quite useless.
I wrote most of the posts in this blog and joined a loose, ill-defined, and nebulous (maybe even not real) group of people under the assumption that the proclaimed goals were accurate and that this was, indeed, a “cultural” opportunity. None of those things were true. To be fair, the culprit is not so much the people, or the message, as the medium. The two medium chosen (or forced upon us,) which are social media and the closely-linked area of self-publishing, are antithetical to those goals and seem to corrupt and degrade everything they touch. But those other things don’t help either.
But, really, it’s my fault for, not so much not having seen it (for I did,) but not leaving when I should have done so, hoping that something would change. Nothing has changed, and things have only gotten worse.
The cringe/signal ratio in my environment has increased to intolerable levels and all the incentives in place point towards more nonsense. Recently, I deleted two social media accounts and almost deleted Twitter and this blog. I was this close to disappear and take down everything (including books.)
Things will not get better as the American election approaches and (in the long run) people’s lives become more virtualized and the discourses more detached from any reality. An alien invasion aside, whatever happens next will only make things, well, maybe not “worse” but certainly “lamer” (besides, why should I be supposed to follow or care about those things; I’m not American.) And that is the issue: the lameness of the current situation is unbereable. I’m not going to spend another year looking on, waiting for some miracle to happen. Besides, I haven’t seen a really funny meme from “my” side for a long, long time.
There’s little interest in real culture or literature as far as I know, and let’s not even get into what passes for “politics.” Only the Plato’s Cave that is social media seems to matter. Yes, all the leftwing “takes” might be pop culture trash analogies or Cancel Culture witch hunts, yet this is how the future of the rightwing twitterati cultural commentariat will look like (and, keep in mind, there are clear attempts at setting up their own version of Cancel Culture):
That’s it. Do not expect anything more in-depth than that from now on. It’s either proper Trad Content (like anime, which, I’m being told, is the last bastion of Western Civilization still standing) or Demonic Content (like 18th Century Enlightment-era literature.) Or perhaps you’ll be able to enjoy the next ten years of debating which D&D edition is more or less trad, or how inconsequential difference in rules can say whether you are a strong, All-American male, or a limpwristed soyguzzler. Yes, yes… that’s going to be… so much fun.
The “right” seems to be currently undergoing their own “Potterization”, like the other side did years ago, just with their own preferred cultural products. You can do that if you want, but I’m out of here. I’m not saying those people are not popular. They are, to some extent. Which is another way of saying that this is obviously not my place. The answer to almost everything I have done is silence. I don’t belong here.
This is the future: Anime Christian people, cringe W40K Deus Vulters (“I converted to Catholicism after watching 1,000 hours of W40K-lore videos,”) grifters of all kinds, middle-aged men for whom this is just a vanity project, political hacks, and furry crusaders screeching about the Pedo-Marxist cult behind Hard Science Fiction or whatever (seriously, what’s up with that? Twice a year, for the past five years or so, like some sort of two-minutes-of-hate ritual, there’s been a raging pile-on against Hard-SF in my circle… why…?) For years I have had ideas for writing posts on how to add a bit of science in your stories without affecting the more fantastic elements, yet at the back of my head I always had the image of some dumbass going “Hur Dur, Science is Dumb, Burroughs just teleported Carter to Mars, just add laser swords, pfff, what are you, a Communist?” In two decades, I’ll be fifty-something, and the entire conversation will still be smug takes about how Scifi is just Fantasy. “But it’s just a meme/joke.” I don’t care. I’m out. Goodbye. This is just dumb.
Maybe it’s the heat of the moment, but right now I regret having entered this “conversation” (which I’m not sure it actually exists,) and if I could go back in time, I wouldn’t write a lot of my stuff (esp. Dangerous Gamers*) or half of my blog posts.
*Not because I was wrong or anything, I stand by (almost) everything I wrote. But it wasn’t worth the effort.
Besides, self-publishing and the #writingcommunity, as they are now, are getting dangerously close to becoming a pyramid scheme (I mean, for the writers*, not the readers,) which is not really a new observation as I saw that years ago but only hinted at it… but I suspect hinting it managed to get me cold-shouldered.
*Which means that, if you have not succeeded, don’t take it too personally. You might be an OK writer.
But, anyway, I’m writing a blog post about the MLM tactics embedded in the #writingcommunity (talking in general here,) mostly to warn new writers and those truly creative people out there, but I have one or two about the craft of writing first. I also have a couple of long essays more or less done as first drafts, but I have to edit them and see where to upload them.
So, Goodbye, but also, Hello again.