RTS 02: What If Edward Lee Was An SJW Scapegoat?

Kevin and Jeremy return for another action packed episode of READING TO STRANGERS! The boys get us up to speed on all things strange before jumping into part 2 of the serial saga of THE HUMANS UNDER THE BED!

Returning from break, the perverted duo jump right into Kevin Strange’s alternate dimension where infamous gunman Dylann Roof proudly displays an Edward Lee horror novel on his social media instead of a confederate flag. They discuss the many ways our culture would react to such a revelation and then illustrate the blatant hypocrisy that many in the publishing industry display when virtue signalling for the removal of things like the confederate flag from online retail stores.

After a quick preview of next week’s show “Pop Culture Convention Survival Guide for White Guys” they end the show.

If you like what you hear on READING TO STRANGERS please consider becoming a Patron of the Strange by pledging as little as 1 dollar per month to Patreon.com/KevinTheStrange.

And remember, gang. Keep reading!

Is Wired Magazine Racist?

2017 is barely a week old and already the politically correct social justice warriors have set to work on H.P. Lovecraft and Lovecraftian fiction once again.

I spoke out when the SJW league infiltrated the science fiction and fantasy community and called for the removal of the Lovecraft bust from the world Fantasy Award. And then I did it again in a recent article wherein I predicted that it was only going to take one more concerted push from SJWs to bury Lovecraft’s legacy entirely under the word RACIST and force the niche Lovecraftian horror community to abandon Lovecraft’s name and likeness altogether.

My prediction is that the Lovecraftian community will put up absolutely no fight, even though some of the most prominent editors of Lovecraftian fiction have made a living off of his legacy since the 80s and 90s. They will simply cave to the pressure like most well meaning liberals, terrified of being branded as insensitive or worse, as racist.

So they’ll drop Lovecraft and re-brand themselves Cosmic Horror (a niche of a niche that’s already established) or Mythos Fiction and that will be the end of H.P. Lovecraft. All of his groundbreaking, forward thinking, vast imagination will be separated from the root like so much lice from a stubborn scalp, and any positive mention of the man will get the speaker branded as equally if not MORE racist because, after all, in 2017, we should all know better, right?

Which brings us to my response and commentary to Wired magazine’s seemingly harmless article posted on 1-6-2017. Radical political correctness is always disguised as innocent virtue. As an attempt to just “do the right thing.” But even a cursory glance at the author’s rationale always shows a deeply malicious intent. And that intent is always to co-opt and then censor and control a group or organization.

As always, I encourage you to read the entire article in context before returning here to read my selected quotes and commentary. Let’s begin:

H.P. LOVECRAFT IS universally acknowledged as one of the most important horror writers of the 20th century, and references to his Cthulhu Mythos abound in contemporary culture.

Which is the only reason SJWs and Feminists give a single shit about Lovecraftian fiction. Look, horror fiction itself has a niche reading market. The specific niche of cosmic alien monsters haunting the dreams of bookish intellectuals is a minuscule little genre.

But over the years, Lovecraft (specifically Cthulhu) has become a cultural icon. The Lovecraft-created monster appears in video games, heavy metal music, TV shows like SUPERNATURAL and SOUTHPARK and in feature films. And wherever  pop culture occurs, you damn well know SJWs will come sniffing around.

But Lovecraft was also quite racist, a fact made clear in his voluminous correspondence. That’s something fantasy author Daniel José Older has been outspoken about in his criticism of Lovecraft’s work.

“The dude was a wild, rabid racist in a very racist time in a very racist country,” Older says in Episode 237 of the Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast. “He really did weaponize literature in a way that was very damaging to people who were reading it.”

So here we go. Right off the jump we get the big R word. Lovecraft is an SJW’s wet dream. He was an unabashed racist. He also died in 1937. It wasn’t until 1945 that the world at large was made aware of the kind of horrific nightmares that Hitler’s insane eugenics policy had created.

It’s easy, especially for the politically correct left, to paint people who lived before WW2 as monstrous, hateful racism factories. But the fact is, the entire world was in love with the science of eugenics and the importance of the role genealogy plays in behavior.

Lovecraft, had he lived, may well have denounced Hitler and racism had he bore witness to the atrocities of the Nazi concentration camps. We literally can’t know how he would have reacted because he died before Americans were made aware of what Hitler was doing with all of those people.

One of the favorite pastimes of the professional bigot hunters is to take a beloved historical figure and apply current political correctness onto their long dead corpse. To suggest that these heroes be vilified and sacrificed to the great SJW god of virtue. This sacrifice is designed to embolden The Narrative and keep moving “progress” forward.

That’s what the last sentence sneaks in there. “He really did weaponize literature in a way that was very damaging to people who were reading it.” Like hell he did. His stories of genetic cross breeding like THE SHADOW OVER INSMOUTH smacked of a fear of interracial breeding but let’s get this into its proper context.

H.P. Lovecraft barely ever made money off his fiction. He was relegated to dime store rags like WEIRD TALES and had a tiny, barely traceable readership until after his death when his friend August Derleth opened a publishing house named after his fictional town of Arkham.

Saying that his racist allegories “weaponized literature” would be the same as saying that Saturday morning cartoons created violence in children. But then, SJWs even ruined THAT awesome pastime, too.

Claiming that literature can be weaponized is tantamount to calling for books to be censored or burned. Books aren’t weapons. They’re stories. Violent people commit violent acts. Art can’t force them to do so.

Silvia Moreno-Garcia recently won a World Fantasy Award for her anthology She Walks in Shadows, a book of Lovecraftian fiction written by women. She says that many writers of color were reluctant to contribute stories to the book because of his views.

“Some people of color would tell me no, no, Lovecraft was racist, so I can’t write that,” she says. “And I would be like, ‘Well, yeah, but why don’t you put your own spin on it?’”

So what we have here is a woman who won an award for editing a sexist anthology–which excluded male writers from being published–encouraging people who have no interest in a niche of a niche genre of fiction to write in it simply because few people of color write this type of horror.

Are people of color purposefully left out of Lovecraftian horror? Of course not. Culturally, this type of fiction hasn’t historically appealed to people of color. Historically, the people who have most often chosen to write it have been American and Western European white dudes.

This does not in and of itself make Lovecraftian fiction inherently bigoted. The best and most famous H.P. Lovecraft historian, S.T. Joshi, is a person of color. What IS sexist is excluding men from a Lovecraftian anthology. What IS racist is singling out people of color to write for an anthology based solely on their race. What she means by “Put your own spin on it” is, “Why don’t you make it black?” Which is blatantly offensive to anyone who celebrates egalitarianism, real diversity and true equality.

Older, Moreno-Garcia, and Broaddus recently helped edit People of Colo(u)r Destroy Fantasy and People of Colo(u)r Destroy Horror, special issues of Fantasy magazine and Nightmare magazine written, edited, and illustrated by people of color. People of color have recently become much more vocal within the fantasy and horror communities, which has led to a certain amount of backlash, but Older says that criticisms of authors such as Lovecraft should be viewed as part of a healthy fan dialog.

I would venture to guess that absolutely none of the backlash comes from the fact that people of color are writing horror and fantasy fiction. But rather that editors are curating fiction for anthologies that specifically exclude white people based on their race instead of the merit of their work.

Criticizing Lovecraft for his contextually historic racism really does nothing to help with 2017 race relations. It’s not a healthy dialog. In fact it’s everything that’s wrong with race relations in this country. America is a cultural melting pot. That means that any culture is welcome to live here alongside all other cultures.

It does NOT mean that it’s ok to infiltrate a community, draw a line down the middle, choose one side to be an oppressed minority and the other side an oppressive majority based solely on race and gender.

It does not mean that it’s ok to artificially inject a racial equilibrium and then change the speech and behavior of the established community to conform to the new population. That creates resentment on both sides and fosters exactly the kind of fear and violence we see popping off on the daily in our communities today.

Marxism fails as a form of government and it fails as a social experiment. Marxism simply fails in practice, no matter what your gender studies professor told you in college.

Silvia Moreno-Garcia on science fiction conventions:

“I went to one in Vancouver, in a section of the city called Richmond, which is predominantly Asian and Chinese, so when you’re outside all the signs are in Chinese, and everyone is Chinese, basically, and then I went into the hotel where the convention was happening, and everybody inside was white. … And I was just kind of like, ‘Why aren’t these people [of color] here?’ There were a ton of people outside, but they weren’t going into the convention. And it wasn’t like they weren’t consuming products, because I know some of these people watch shows or read comics or whatever, but it seemed like two different worlds. It was the strangest sensation.”

Again, what we have here is an SJW entering a community and then doing what SJWs do best: playing “find the bigot.” They’re bigoteers.

They exploit the inherent goodness in people by artificially creating a problem that is non-existent and then courageously offering a solution which inevitably restricts free speech, makes people hyper aware of the race, gender and sexual orientation of their peers, then seeks to gain control over the community with some kind of ridiculous politically correct Code of Conduct.

There were obviously no signs at this convention banning the attendance of people of color. The observation that this innocent seeming SJW is making is that the culture outside of the building is different from the culture inside the building. In true Cultural Marxist fashion, it’s her go-to reaction to find that the group outside MUST be somehow oppressed and deprived of the activities going on inside because, in her words, “I know some of these people watch shows or read comics, or whatever.”

Yeah, or whatever. The whatever is that they enjoy a rich culture all their own which does not expressly EXCLUDE anyone from an outside culture, but is predominantly practiced by those who were raised inside of it. That’s a GOOD thing. That’s cultural enrichment. That’s diversity. That’s multiculturalism. The fact that you can walk down a street and see two different cultures thriving side by side IS THE HALLMARK OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION.  It’s literally what makes America America (or Canada Canada, in this case.)

Had she thrown open the doors and tossed comic books into the air outside the convention, I imagine that what she thinks would happen is that the people milling about outside would suddenly dive for the comics, sit down on the ground wide eyed and astonished at the super heroes fighting the super villains inside the pages and weep in gratitude that she finally exposed them to spandex laden crime fighters. A culture they surely had no idea existed until she came along and freed their locked minds from their comic book opression.

The reality is, if any of them gave a fuck to spend 75 dollars on a weekend pass, dress up as their favorite Avenger and drop another 40-80 bucks per signature for celebrity autographs, they sure as hell would already be inside doing just that.  Forcing cultural assimilation is racist. Assuming a culture is repressed because it doesn’t indulge in your favorite past times as often as you is racist. This woman is racist.

Maurice Broaddus on “Status Quo Warriors”:

“There are people who want the status quo, and that’s what they’re advocating for. And even though I’ve taken a step back over the last couple years from being provocative online, I ended up getting in a shouting match with an editor because he was trying to defend his all-white anthology, and I’m like, ‘That’s all right. Own it. You wanted the status quo, you read only within your little comfort zone, you aren’t trying to find new voices, you want the voices that you’ve grown up with and that fit your little taste, and you don’t want to do the work of finding new voices. That’s fine, just own it.’ So yeah, you have editors who just want to fight for the status quo.”

I’ve never seen the term before but I assume “Status Quo Warriors” is some kind of weak SJW attempt to impart their own pejorative ending in “warrior” onto people who use common sense and logic to destroy their racist and culturally insensitive rhetoric.

So this is nonsense. This is utter racist nonsense. I don’t know which editor nor which anthology he’s referring to, but as a former publisher of genre fiction, I can take a pretty educated guess.

I’ve published people of color and I’ve published women but anytime I ever put a call out for open submissions the POC and female subs were few and far between. It’s my guess that our quoted author here picked up an already published anthology (or worse, was rejected from it and lashed out with the race card in protest. But that’s purely speculation on my part.) and combed through it looking for the race and gender of each writer included in the table of contents.

Which again, is totally racist and sexist. The merit of the stories and the authors themselves is unimportant. Our quoted author only sees race and gender. Not individuals. Not people with families and jobs who struggle and work hard to produce the best fiction they possibly can. To SJWs, if you don’t forward The Narrative of artificial diversity and artificial equality, you don’t matter.

My guess is that purely coincidentally, purely based on merit, purely based on a shortage or complete lack of submissions from people of color because the subject matter of the submission call didn’t appeal to them, this particular anthology ended up being full of white authors. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe this editor is as much a racist as our quoted authors above. But I doubt it.

In closing, I have no doubt that the SJWs will win this battle to shame H.P. Lovecraft into oblivion. Why? Because he was a racist and doesn’t deserve to be celebrated as a cultural and literary icon? No.

Because no one inside the Lovecraftian horror community has the balls to stand up and say what I just said right here. Don’t have the balls to stand up against race baiting articles like the one Wired posted. Don’t have the balls to do what’s right and stand for common sense, logic and true egalitarianism.

Lovecraftian horror will die because the community is full of a bunch of SJW loving PC pussies.


How To Fix Bizarro Fiction


While many authors have thrown their proverbial hats in the ring on social media to call me a loser, a whiner, a failure and other ad hominem attacks and insults meant to discredit me as a person while ignoring the concerns I’ve raised about social media witch hunting and the social justice narrative that’s become so pervasive in small press genre fiction as to be seen as a perfectly normal response to the issues and problems that arise in our communities—not a single solitary person has come forward, acknowledged my concerns as legitimate, or asked me how to fix the problem.

But that’s OK. Because I’m going to tell you anyway.

1. Dare to be offensive again

Political correctness has ravaged western culture. Thought police are everywhere online, in our workplaces, our social groups, our hobbies and even in our homes. Wrongthink and wrongspeak are very real offenses with very real consequences in today’s world. You will have your phone number, address, workplace and personal relationship information spread all over the entire internet for saying or doing the wrong thing.

This is not hyperbole. This is reality. The time for denying the existence of cultural Marxism is over. It’s here. You’re not allowed to have an opinion on a myriad of subjects that strays from the social justice narrative without dire consequences. Period.

Let’s move on.

It’s time to not give a fuck anymore. Love or hate Donald Trump, this election has taught us a lot of things. One of those things is that endlessly branding people as racist bigot homophobes has lost its luster and dare I say it’s losing its power.

The more we stand, unflinching in the face of these attacks, living our lives and creating our art unfazed, the more we show the public at large that we are in fact not the evil, lecherous villains that the social justice warriors have painted us as.

So it’s time to push back. It’s time to get offensive again. Authors come to me in private all the time and tell me they’d love to satirize social justice in their fiction, to satirize feminism, black lives matter, and many other topics that are considered out of bounds not only by liberal culture at large, but specifically by the bizarro fiction gate keepers.

And by gate keepers, I do not mean the head editors of the biggest bizarro publishers. I mean the social media zealots calling themselves the genre fiction police preoccupied with what we do in our romantic lives and what we choose to talk about on our social media. THEY attack us. THEY prevent us from even getting far enough to submit manuscripts to the publishers.

Science fiction authors have long since cut ties with not only legacy publishers but small press publishers as well. There is MUCH success to be found in the independent, self-publishing sci-fi scene. I believe we can replicate that kind of individual success in the bizarro fiction market as well.

If the gate keepers will not back down and leave their politics to voting booths, then to hell with the gate keepers and to hell with the publishers. We have the publishing and advertising tools at our fingertips to be, on an individual level, even more successful than any small press published author or publisher. The only thing preventing us from wholesale abandoning the small press is the social stigma attached to it. To hell with the stigma, and to hell with the publishers if they’re not willing to publish controversial fiction that challenges the pervasive liberal political agenda.

2. Strengthen the BWA

That being said, we DO have a tool that should be working for us. We have the Bizarro Writers Association. But in its current form, it serves very few individuals who happen to be living in one region in one country. That should not be the case.

I say we strengthen the BWA by adding board members from every bizarro publisher and self-published bizarro writers as well. I say we hold elections just like the HWA and the science fiction and fantasy associations.

Sure, the very first thing that will happen is the social justice warriors who already hold influence over the BWA will try to secure all of the seats and then just push their narrative from a bureaucratic position. But I think, with public voting, you’d be surprised how many people would reject the gate keepers who have taunted and harassed us on social media for so long.

I think you’d see a whole new crop of voice pushing for an end to the political correctness and liberal stronghold on our beloved genre. I think you’d see major changes.

With a strengthened, politically and socially diverse board, I see the BWA as a tool that can help to end social media witch hunting. It can act as a protective force for REAL victims of harassment and would move bizarro to being a much more inclusive genre.

Imagine a bizarro fiction where authors had to bring their complaints about a publisher or an individual in front of a board that doesn’t only consist of friends who live in the same city. Imagine a bizarro fiction where a person being accused of any of the various offenses that would traditionally see them tarred, feathered and banished from the community suddenly shielded from this punishment until a politically diverse group had the chance to look over the actual FACTS in the situation before deciding upon his or her guilt or innocence.

THAT is the bizarro fiction community I want to be a part of.

3. Reject the SJW narrative

Simply put, as individual members of the community, the only way to end the parasitic social justice infection is to burn it out of bizarro. Every day, every single time we see some bullshit SJW post or link or opinion on social media, it is our duty to attack it.

By remaining silent and fearful for so long, we’ve allowed this politically correct cancer to rob our literary community of its vital essence. Its bite. Its offensive nature. And I do truly believe that this one single factor above all others has helped to trigger a wholesale decline in bizarro fiction interest over the last 5 years.

Only by rooting it out, shining the brightest light on it possible, and calling it what it is in the light of day will we rid bizarro fiction of political correctness. Call your friends out when they post PC crap on social media. When you see a witch hunt start, don’t take the side of the victim of the hunt, just take the side of common sense. Tell anyone you know who participates in the online dogpile to knock it the fuck off. Do so privately. Call your friend. Tell them they wouldn’t be so fucking cocky if they themselves were the victim of a hysterical mob of strangers systematically destroying their reputation.

Like it or not, if we want things to get better, if we want to grow our readership and get us back to a point of relevance in the larger literary community, we have to be active in taking back the thing we love so much.

We have to fight for it or it will die.