RAS 01: Living And Dying On The Internet

In this, the first episode of the philosophy and critical thinking podcast, RANTING AT STRANGERS, Ben and Kevin wax philosophical about what it means to live and, eventually, to die on the internet.

They discuss the gruesome livestreamed suicide of 12 year old Katelyn Nicole Davis, and the brutal livestream kidnapping and beating of a mentally handicapped man in Chicago.

Kevin talks about the first wave of internet chat rooms in the 90s and Ben talks about what it was like being born into a world that was already fully online.

They discuss how social media controls the lives of its users and gets them addicted to that next instant message or notification, and what the first livestreamed casket funeral on social media will be like.

Listen as two generations discuss life on and off the internet.

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

Till next time, keep ranting, gang!

You Might Be A Social Justice Bizarro If…

There seems to be some confusion among my fellow genre fiction writers about what exactly constitutes insane social justice behavior, so I’ve created this handy guide to show you just what kind of batshit crazy, group-think type behavior falls into the category of cunty individual that I’ll forever be calling The Social Justice Bizarro.

Please keep in mind, this is not an exhaustive list. There are MANY more examples of thought policing, cyber bullying, and generally oppressive behavior that will get you lumped into the SJB category. This is just a “greatest hits” list, if you will.

1. If you clicked on this link out of a knee jerk reaction of anger and denial, you might be a Social Justice Bizarro.

2. If you’re a white person who has ever called another white person a “white person” as a pejorative, you might be a Social Justice Bizarro.

3. If you believe a fellow writer guilty of a crime like STALKING or HARASSMENT without said writer ever being charged with or convicted of said crime, you might be a Social Justice Bizarro.

4. If you hate men, constantly criticize men on the internet, write feminist literature, exclude men from your publishing house, then hide behind “Feminism is about equality,” you might be a Social Justice Bizarro.

5. If you’ve ever participated in, gawked at for your own entertainment, shared the links for the purpose of, or otherwise enabled a social media witch hunt of any kind, you might be a Social Justice Bizarro.

6. If you’ve ever publicly called for, celebrated, or otherwise encouraged the removal of art from the marketplace that you personally deem objectionable, E.G. a flag, a book, a movie, or a music recording, you might be a Social Justice Bizarro.

7. If you attack one religion through fictional parody, criticism, blatant and thorough blasphemy or other means of discounting and discrediting it but find this exact same behavior objectionable when attributed to another religion, you might be a Social Justice Bizarro.

8. If you’ve ever used the terms racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia and transphobia together like some kind of identity politics button mashing video game attack combo, you might be a Social Justice Bizarro.

9. If you celebrate the act of turning your social and political enemies gay in fiction just for the purpose of seeing them humiliated, then you might be (actually homophobic) a Social Justice Bizarro.

10. If you take even the slightest criticism of the genre, the leadership of the genre, the online behavior of the genre community or any other type of constructive debate as hostile and immediately move to discredit and excommunicate the individual expressing the criticism, you might belong to a cult. And you might be a Social Justice Bizarro.

Don’t be a Social Justice Bizarro.

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.