Category: freedom of speech

American Horror Story: Bestiality, Incest, Pedophilia…Huh?

American Horror Story: Bestiality, Incest, Pedophilia…Huh?

For the past couple of weeks I’ve been posting about my own experiences with censorship at retail web sites where e-books are sold like Amazon, Kobo, and Smashwords. These web sites started censoring self-published e-books thanks to an article in a questionable UK publication called The Kernel. The self-published e-books targeted allegedly contained topics like rape, incest, bestiality, pedophilia, and other topics most romance publishers will not publish. As a result, several web sites removed all self-pubbed titles to suss out the e-books with “taboo” topics. One web site even shut down. Amazon started clearing out their “taboo” topics through search engines, and e-books without the said “taboo” topics were removed for no reason, and without a viable explanation. And guess what I saw last night on American Horror Story: bestiality, incest, and pedophilia.

This article I’m linking to now discusses American Horror Story in an almost light-hearted way. If an author of erotic romance were to do this he/she would be slammed from one end of the Internet to the other.

Death, incest, bestiality, the gang’s all here!

We’re sure this is going to be a weekly occurence, but American Horror Story: Coven had its most insane outing yet on Oct. 23 with “The Replacements,” which found Supreme witch Fiona (Jessica Lange) making her first big kill of the season in an attempt to protect her witchy throne. Plus, the recently-resurrected Kyle (Evan Peters) finally spoke and one of the girls got a little too close to the Minotaur monster for our comfort. Seriously, does anyone have brain soap?!

I did see the show last night and I just sat there watching it wondering how the fuck they can get away with all this on TV and authors like me who don’t even go near “taboo” topics like that have been dealing with the worst brand of censorship since PayPal in 2012. I’m not judging American Horror Story and I’m not judging authors, publishers, or e-books that contain these “taboo” topics. However, I am questioning the actions of the large retail web sites where e-books are sold who made these recent mass sweeps of all books without taking into consideration that many of the books in question never violated one single guideline. I had a book removed from Amazon titled, “Internal Desires,” and the reason why it was removed was because of words like “young” in the book description. And the characters in that book were all well over the legal age limit and it contained nothing that’s considered “taboo.” This week I had a book titled, “Young Doughy Joey,” taken down at another web site for the same reason. It contained nothing “taboo.”

So in their quest to censor the “taboo” topics all authors are now targets of retail web sites where e-books are sold, innocent words like young have become “taboo,” and we’ve basically entered a police state where freedom of speech means nothing anymore.

And the most ironic thing of all is bestiality, incest, pedophilia, and other “taboo” topics are now being treated lightly on television and no one seems to find any fault in that at all. As I said, I’m not judging American Horror Story. They have every right to do what they want. But when I saw one scene where one character lifted her dress, crudely shoved her fingers between her legs, and invited some kind of half man half beast to have sex with her I cringed for several reasons. One, I cringed for the actress. She’s not very good, and that scene seemed to diminish her even more. Two, I cringed because the producer of the show took advantage of a young woman’s need for love and turned it into something disgusting with an animal. Three, because it took the character completely out of context. And four, because television shows like American Horror Story make millions of dollars and small self-published authors who don’t write about bestiality, incest, and pedophilia, and who struggle to make ends meet just to pay for copy editors, can’t even use words like young anymore without fearing their books will be censored by Amazon, Kobo, or Smashwords.

It will be interesting to see how this all turns out with e-books. And even more interesting to see what “taboo” topic Ryan Murphy will sensationalize and diminish next.

Photo of Mr. Murphy, here.

Sarah Palin, Chick-fil-a, and Freedom of Speech

Back in the mid-twentieth century, there was this thing called “integration.” It really sparked a lot of emotions, especially in the south.

A lot of people during that time exercised their first amendment rights and protested against integration. Those people had every right to freedom of speech and to protest, and the photos below prove they took advantage of this. They thought mixing races was morally wrong…much the same way there are people today who think same sex marriage is morally wrong.

It’s interesting to see these people so many years later in photos, while we’re living in a different world…with a mixed race President…thanks to a lot of hard work and, ironically, that same Freedom of Speech.

And it’s even more interesting to see how the Palin family practices their right to Freedom of Speech in the twenty-first century so many years later, by supporting a company that believes same sex marriage is morally wrong. It’s even more ironic (and sad) the way history always repeats itself.

Marine Pays Steep Price for Criticizing Obama on Facebook

In an incident that seems to have created an interesting controversy about freedom of speech on social media, in a time when so many feel so passionate about politics, Sgt. Gary Stein will not only lose all his military benefits, but will also receive an “other-than-honorary-discharge” from the service for posting something negative about the President on social media.

According to Huff Post politics, this is what Sgt. Stein posted on facebook:

The Marines acted after saying Stein stated March 1 on a Facebook page used by Marine meteorologists, “Screw Obama and I will not follow all orders from him.” Stein later clarified that statement, saying he would not follow unlawful orders.

Stein also made this statement:

“I love the Marine Corps, I love my job. I wish it wouldn’t have gone this way. I’m having a hard time seeing how 15 words on Facebook could have ruined my nine-year career,” he told The Associated Press.

You can read more about it

Facebook Control and Disabling Accounts for No Reason

I posted earlier this week about my experiences with Facebook disabling my account, for no valid reason and without any prior notice. And after sending facebook administrators quite a few e-mails about being disabled, my account was restored and they refused to give me a reason why it was disabled in the first place. I know it wasn’t because I’d violated any of their rights. I keep my facebook page as pg-rated as I keep this blog. Actually, my facebook page is g-rated…other than the fact that many of my posts are geared toward the lgbt community.

With all the Thanksgiving preparations I was making this week, plus working on edits for an upcoming romance novel I’m submitting to the publisher on Monday, I didn’t have much time to think about facebook. But late last night I started wondering about the control facebook has over people these days. And then I received an e-mail from my good blogging buddy, Ryan, telling me his facebook account had been disabled, which only made me think more about the control facebook seems to have over all of its members.

I’m gay and I write gay romance and gay erotic romance. For many people, books like mine are controversial in many ways. And I post about my gay romances all the time on facebook and I can’t help wondering if maybe some other facebook member reported me for posting about gay fiction. Though I can’t prove this because facebook refuses to let me know why my account was disabled, I’m fully aware of how many people there are who would rather not see or read anything about the lgbt community at all. Not even my dull, g-rated facebook posts. And please don’t tell me I’m being paranoid, thank you. I’ve been openly gay all my life and I’ve experienced the hate and discrimination first hand in far more important places than facebook. You’d think it would be simple: if you don’t like an lgbt oriented facebook post all you have to do is defriend that person. But that’s not how hate works. These haters would rather report someone for posting something lgbt oriented…no matter how g-rated it is…and then sit back and laugh.

And my longtime blogging buddy, Ryan, is openly gay and has been blogging about his experiences as an openly gay man for many years now. And though I’ve never been offended by any of his facebook posts, I can’t help but wonder whether or not someone else was offended and decided to report him. And without even doing a fair investigation, facebook decided to disable his account. This makes two in a row in one week’s time, which makes me wonder whether or not there’s something more going on in the background. Again, this is all alleged. And I can’t prove any of this because facebook isn’t a democracy, it’s more like an empire that makes its own rules and regulations and you either follow them or they banish you from their kingdom.

Unfortunately, the one thing facebook seems to forget is that there are many people like me who don’t take them as seriously as they wish we did. I rarely speak about politics on this blog, but I’m an American and I believe in democracy and as little government intervention as possible. I cherish having rights and I live to voice my opinion. And, as far as facebook is concerned, even though I’ve always respected their rules and regulations, I’m not too thrilled with this policy of disabling accounts without giving a valid reason. It’s the least they can do, after all.

In the grand scheme, it doesn’t really matter. It’s. Only. Facebook. And I’d rather die than make facebook my home page (argh, talk about control). I have a feeling facebook will be the hoola hoop trend of this time period and we’ll all look back and joke about it someday, the same way we joke about big cell phones and TV’s with knobs and dials. I’m already seeing signs of people getting bored with facebook. And if you’re like me, and facebook has disabled your account for no apparent reason, the trend is going to fade sooner than the folks running facebook thought it would.