Soapbox Time

We haven’t lugged out the old soapbox for a while, and I think it’s time.

Before we get to that, I’m still fighting this cold. Friday and Saturday were pretty miserable, but with red NyQuil, a home brewed lemon concoction with honey, and lots of tissues I no longer think I’m dying. In fact, I’m feeling frisky enough to step up on this thing once more.

While trying not to die, I looked around on premium services for something to watch on television. I also spent a considerable amount of time on YouTube. Which has prompted this little tantrum.

It seems there is a huge rift in the entertainment industry right now. Words like “Woke,” “Homophobe,” “White Supremacists,” or even the old standby, “Haters,” are thrown around quite frequently.

People are actively politicking for relationships to happen in certain series that just don’t seem to make any sense to me. It’s only for someone’s personal scoreboard and not anything that enhances the plots.

I never accept anything at face value, and it seems to me some of the accusations are fairly accurate. There does seem to be a rift in that narrow groups are trying to change our perception of America. There is a certain amount of pandering to specific groups.

You can see it for yourself in advertising or virtually any other medium out there. Lisa the robot girl was particularly distraught when they canceled the Victoria’s Secret fashion show. Green M & M, anyone.

On the other hand, the opposition seems to come down on projects they couldn’t possibly have seen yet. I don’t understand how they can offer opinions about films that are still in production.

It seems this has nothing to do with truth, or any kind of ethical reporting as long as someone gains clicks. (On both sides)

Old What’s Her Face stumbled upon an old Western this weekend and I couldn’t look away. It must have been a Peckinpah project, because it was particularly violent. I was struck with the idea of telling a story where men are men, and women are women, without any social preaching involved at all. There were good characters and a decent plot.

I’d like to see more of this. Sometimes I don’t care what sexual antics a character gets up to. If it isn’t an important part of the plot, leave it out. If there are women or people of color, include them and be honest about it. Unless they are the main character, don’t go to great lengths to make them more heroic or to vilify them.

I can’t imagine anything worse than being a comedian these days. Cancel culture has hit that niche pretty hard. There’s almost nothing they can poke fun at without bringing the torch and pitchfork crowd out in droves.

Before my next statement, please understand I live in Idaho. It might be the most conservative place in the nation, and some of those ideas are “over the top.” There is a lot of buzz here about censorship, at least one bill that would allow the police to arrest a librarian who allows specific materials into the hands of minors, and one large city that is thinking of banning libraries completely. Shades of book burnings, and population controls.

I think right about now people have lost their frigging minds, and this post might even cause someone to twist out somewhere.

There is a solution, however. I write books, and so do a lot of my friends. We work pretty hard to come up with good characters and decent plots. All of our books are available on Amazon and you can even read them for free with Kindle Unlimited. There are even blurbs and reviews to help you choose.

I know it’s kind of old-school, but if you feel like the mainstream entertainment industry is letting you down, pick up a book or two.

For myself, I try to be inclusive in my stories. I’ve included multiple races, and tend to write more female main characters. I think my last male lead was way back in Yak Guy. The Lanternfish Trilogy kind of had co-main characters and one of those was an Asian woman.

Maybe someday the mainstream will get the hint. Until then, there are a lot of authors out there who would be thrilled to find a new reader or two.