That's right damn it! It is. American male writer are you just as goddamned tired of this nonsense as I am?
There's been a war declared on you, your soul, your mind, your balls. You are rapidly becoming a joke, an afterthought, a bit of afterbirth steamrolled over; and that steamroller is pink, with soft frilly fringes on it.
In publishing, all the men have been driven out of the editorial posts, and managerial posts. The methods for the exodus? Take your pick: frivolous harrassment claims, accusations of real or imagined misdeeds; or they were just so beaten down after the mind-numbing forced marches to diversity and anti-harassment training seminars. You know, the usual methods which have been used to reduce the testosterone component in media, in government, and in the workplace.
Guys you know this to be true: you CAN be abused by these so called "training seminars." You've been there. You know.
Pretty soon, it's not funny or cute anymore is it; or even useful to the end game of blessed "diversity." Pretty soon it's a form of career terrorism designed to get you to quit your job, or keep very quiet until you can do so without too much pain to your finances. Pretty soon you get the picture, they are definitely styled to demoralize the American male.
All the literary agents today? Women to the tune of 90 percent enrichment or greater.
Used to be, the book store would at least help relieve some of our male stress without having to resort to the coma of the man-cave or the bar. Christ we can't even look sideways at the gym anymore can we? Hell no. They'll call the bloody cops on us.
Not any solace to found at yon bookseller's, either. If you go into B and N these days, what do you see? That place might as well have a gigantic goddamned vagina encircling the front door that you step through, as if returning to the womb.
Count the titles. How many for men by men? Fifteen percent, maybe. If that. New novels if they are written by men, are names from the past Pat Conroy, etc. Well, okay you have your John Grisham, Steve Barry, Nicholas Sparks; most of these are sort of girlish-men we have to admit. No, not Conroy. He's a guy's guy, sure. A contemporary of Mailer, and that crowd. But, he's so damned old! God love the man. Hang in there, Pats!
But where in hell are the new male writers coming from to take the place of the likes of Conroy, Mailer, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Vonnegut, Herbert, Heinlein, and the list runs on and on? The system doesn't want such men anymore. The system wants them dead, so we can build tribute statues to them. And dead guys seldom bitch about royalties. They're compliant like that.
So where is the American man's place in literature these days?
Don't talk to us unless you're gay, an atheist comedian, (I use I guy I knew in homeroom here) or you have yourself a fine set of victim dreadlocks for the dust cover. These types only need apply.
Yes, or those with a victim tale to tell about how fucked up they were on drugs and alcohol; the "when I hit bottom" crowd. It used to be a man was permitted to tell about this stuff, without the whining. Now, that's all they want, is the whining.
God Bless James Frey. What's a writer supposed to do, then? Give them what they want, James, do it for Chrissakes. Go for it.
He did. He wrote a "memoir" called A Million Little Pieces, that whined all the live long day, just like they asked for. And what is the best sort of whining? First-person, naturally, so he gave them that as well. And what did they do when they discovered they had been had; or better said, when they admitted to themselves they had asked him to have them on? Well they crucified the man on Oprah. Did all but knacker him on the freaking show. In his case this backfired because he got rich anyway. Here's a clue. If you're trying to hurt a guy don't give him two tours on Oprah's couch. Two tours on Oprah's couch, even for a scolding, will do riches and fame for anyone, dumbasses.
So is it any wonder that reading anything from a bookstore these days is an excercise in utter, suicidal boredom, particularly for men?
Speaking of which, the gurus of publishing even waited until Hunter Thompson had shot himself in the head, to bring out his letters; to make sure that the patron saint of Gonzo's corpse was well too cold to rise from the grave and actually enjoy the royalties from this grand gesture to fading machismo.
See? They want the public wistful, remembering what men used to be like, but not permitting the new crop to form a sizeable dangle and actually think like men, speak like men, walk like men, or (heaven forbid) fuck like men. No, this they get from the pages of Silent Thunder or Highland Rogue, or whatever the hell dime-novel is the new five minute sensation. That and a damned good vibrator will see any gal through, who's tossed her man to the curb.
Fucking geldings all, they would have us. Drunk geldings at the bar, while they read Silent Highland Rogue to the sounds of electronic stimulation.
The subtext being, in Thompson's case of course, speak too loudly, be ye too openly straight male, be ye too vocal about it, and that way brings madness, eventually suicide. Ask Hem for details. Shotgun blast.
Now, is this vaginal literary landscape the greatest travesty of justice going these days? No. In the realm of man's inhumanity to man, or as it would be said in the modern parlance "person's inhumanity to non-person of historically victimized status," this doesn't even rate a blip.
Surely this red white and blue emasculation of the literary landscape isn't a crime we men are even permitted to speak about, lest we be relagated to the lit agent "black lists" as certain lit agents are more than happy to warn us about.
No, what this all is, is clearing the stage for a culture war that someone from the outside would be more than happy to see happen within the walls of "The Great Experiment." That last bit' was Jefferson by the way: he had him a set of balls, and back then, he was permitted to publish with them.
So what is a man to do?
Me, I've taken to the self-flagellating world of the blogosphere: call it blogsturbation if you will.
There's really no relying on the literary pinball machine to tell one whether or not his stuff was good, because what's deemed good these days is so often very bad, and seems more the result of such a damned useless, female-scented crap shoot. Tired of trying to write the way I think women want me to write, I'll just bring it from my guts, nuts, and my heart and write like a man.
I'm going through all my old stuff and posting it on the web.
Read if you dare. Go to my complete profile and scroll down, there you will see the links for this blog, The Dead Agent ( a novel about a frustrated writer deciding to kill his literary agent) and Monster Hole, a novel covering UFOs and surfers in the near future)