The Future of the Anarchist Shemale

When a colleague recently asked me to read Joseph Campbell’s The Hero of a Thousand Faces, I told him that I’ll pick it up the next time that I’m at the bookstore near where he lives, because it sells used paperbacks for $3. I’ve been working to rebuild my library ever since my ex-wife’s cousin burned up all the stuff we had stored in his shed (which included about 400 books, 30 of which were college textbooks >.<) to collect the insurance money, and I don’t apologize for buying used copies of the books I used to own. Even if I hadn’t owned them before, I wouldn’t apologize for buying used stuff, but that gets into an Intellectual Property argument that I don’t really care to get into right now.

All of that is to say that the colleague replied, “Can’t. It closed three weeks ago.”

I have to be honest. Hearing that… was like getting kicked in the balls. But I’m part of the reason that store is closed. We talked for a little bit about the store, and at one point I realized… It’s probably been 3 years since I bought an actual non-digital copy of a book. And most of the books I’ve read in the past few years were downloaded for free (legally, from things like the Gutenberg Project and Mises.Org). I don’t read much for pleasure these days, and part of that is the same reason I wouldn’t listen to music on the way to band practices years ago: I don’t want to subliminally be influenced by the works of others.

Our bassist at the time was in love with the band Tool’s version of “No Quarter,” and he talked about that song quite a lot. While I have lots of issues with Tool fans that I’ll rant about one day, my point now is that he openly raved about the song and the very last part of FpD CpA Fpd the song. The drummer and I noticed immediately when the bass player suddenly “came up with a lick” that was pretty much just that part of Tool’s version of “No Quarter.” Without even noticing it, he had been influenced so significantly that he was literally just playing that song. And if we hadn’t pointed it out, he may never have noticed it.

That’s why I don’t read these days–I write everyday, so I don’t have time to read. In order for me to read, I’d need at least a three week cushion afterward, just so that I could be sure that something I read wasn’t working its way into my writing. There’s also the very real point I raised recently that there’s just nothing to read. All of the books that I own… I’ve already read, and there aren’t new Fantasy novels coming out for me to read. I think the newest book I have is R. A. Salvatore’s The Ghost King, and that was also the book that made me say, “Nope. I’m never reading this guy again. He’s a bully to his characters.”

I’m no fool. I’ve seen what has happened to literature. Fantasy took an extreme hit for reasons I’ve outlined before, but that was on top of the general decline of literature since the advent of television and movies. Literature is in terrible shape. There will always be people who read, of course, but I don’t know very many people who actually own a book… I don’t think any of my close friends own even a single book.

I am trying to be published, and I won’t deny that. So allow me to outline, if you don’t mind, my plans and what I intend to achieve.

It has been asked, “What are you trying to do? So okay–you’re the Anarchist Shemale. Cool, but… what does the Anarchist Shemale do? What does the Anarchist Shemale offer?”

The simplest answer to that is “I basically want to be like Christopher Hitchens.”

I’m not saying I’m as brilliant, intelligent, or clever as Hitchens was. I’m not comparing myself to Hitchens’ capabilities; I’m saying that I want to basically do what he did: just generally have influence. And I do have influence–that much has become obvious. The number of people watching McAfee’s live feed Thursday was about 700; Friday, after I withdrew my endorsement, it was about 150. Now, I’m nowhere near arrogant enough to think I caused that. But probably 2 or 3 people took my points and agreed, and said, “Nope. She’s right, and I can’t support him either.”

It’s more than hubris that causes me to say that I helped write the book on voluntaryism. It’s absolutely true. The book, in fact, is called V2: The Voluntary Voice. I have a small modicum of followers here at WordPress, at Podbean, at Soundcloud, at Quora, at Google Plus, at Twitter, and at Facebook, and the only overlap between them is actually notathoughtgiven.

I’m not popular, and I’m not trying to say that I am. In fact, I don’t think I’m going to become popular until Dancing in Hellfire is published, but that’s sort of what I’m getting at. My “following,” as it were, steadily grows, but the growth doesn’t appear to be exponential as I’d thought. It would take years, it seems, to grow from where I am to 150,000 followers by doing what it is that I’m doing. I’m transgender and undergoing hormone therapy, with options fast dwindling around me; I don’t have that kind of time.

So what is Dancing in Hellfire? It is an attempt to establish myself, and very little else. It is what I think will catapult me from where I am to a place of stability. The credibility of V2: The Voluntary Voice did little for me, because so few people have read it. My answers on Quora have helped, but my credibility in this topic and that area is scattered; it is not centralized into a single place. This is also why I’m writing What Steam Greenlight Teaches Us About Anarchy, but that’s on the backburner. I will need the political/governmental credibility, but not yet. There are other forms of credibility that I need first, and that is the purpose of Dancing in Hellfire.

Do I intend to forever make a career of publishing books? Yes and no. I am not putting my eggs into that basket. I told someone that it’s entirely possible that my fantasy novels will never be published. But what do I mean by that? I mean that I will probably simply make them available a year from now, free for anyone who wants them, while people who enjoy them have the option of going to Patreon and supporting me. That way, they are paying what they want for the stuff I write, but I’m not selling them what I write.

I stand wholly against the idea that art should be purchased. I think that we allow money to corrupt art too easily, and that it then becomes a matter of “What will make the most money?” and not “What will be the best art?” Video games are the best example. There is no art in the video game industry any longer except among indie games like Super Meat Boy–the mainstream industry won’t make anything that isn’t Call of Duty, Clash of Clans, or Candy Crush Saga. Because they’re not trying to make good art; they’re trying to make money.

I have felt the sting of this already, by the very fact that I am putting off my fantasy novel to focus on Dancing in Hellfire, not necessarily because I think it’s the best story but because it is likeliest to make me successful. I am not editing the story to make it “likelier” to make me successful, and I’ve always intended to write Dancing in Hellfire anyway, but I’d be lying if I said that I hadn’t let financial concerns/success concerns influence the decision of what to write.

That’s a slippery slope, and it’s one that I want to avoid. I don’t ever want to think “I could write the second book of my fantasy trilogy, but the first one wasn’t successful… I could try writing this other thing instead, since it will be more successful.” And while that’s exactly what I’ve done, the reality is that artistic integrity isn’t something that I can afford right now. I hated putting Dead or Alive on Amazon; I’ve never liked the idea of selling my stories and novels.

And that’s why you’ll find it also on TPB, where it has been much more successful. That is the model I want to stick with: my work is available to everyone. Those who like it can throw money at me–when they can afford it, and when they feel it’s justified. I don’t think it’s fair to ask someone to pay 99 cents for a story they may or may not like. If they read it and like it, what if they still don’t feel it was worth 99 cents of their time? What if they think 15 cents is more appropriate?

It’s not up to me to tell them what my writing should be valued at to them. That’s a call that only they can make. And how presumptuous of me would it be to say that “This novel is worth this much money to you”?

I’m sorry. This has been really scattered, but it’s hard to say all of this without it sounding arrogant. But it’s basically like this; this is how I want my career to progress.

I want to publish Dancing in Hellfire, and I think it will be very successful. I’m not going to attempt to quantify that, but I think a great many people will read it and find their way to following my website, my Facebook, my Twitter, and my podcasts. Then I will continue doing everything that I do, but reaching a much larger audience. Many of those will become aware of the Patreon and will choose to support me there, since it basically guarantees that they’ll receive all future content as soon as it’s finished. And then I won’t even have to go through an agent and publisher; I can just make my work freely available, and anyone who wants to can enjoy it.

There are five major areas that I can break into with credibility: video games, politics/liberty/anarchy, LGBT issues, atheism/science, and fantasy. With video games, I have already broken in: I am a reviewer at the aggregated website Cubed3, and I am an editor there with numerous editorials under my belt about the gaming industry. I have credibility there already. With liberty, I helped write the book on it, and no one on Quora disputes my ability to speak on liberty and anarchy. I doubt that anyone who reads me argue for liberty and anarchy would try to make the argument that I don’t know what I’m talking about–they might say that I’m wrong, but no one will say that I’m clueless about it. So there, again, I have credibility, but part of the issue is that most of that credibility is under a different name. Dancing in Hellfire will provide the credibility in the LGBT community–just before my anarchism and liberty-focused stuff shatters their understanding of me… Atheism… I don’t really have much to say about atheism any longer. Maybe one day I’ll take the topic up again, but I just don’t see any point. If you ask me, there’s no god, and that’s the end of what I have to say about it. I’ve already explained why I say that, and even though those essays no longer exist, I don’t have any desire to make those arguments again. Lastly, there is Fantasy, and that’s probably going to be the toughest one to establish myself in, especially since I’m going after the titan George Martin with fangs bared and claws ready.

That’s my goal–to write, to push people toward liberty and long-term anarchism. To engross people in Fantasy worlds that entertain them. To help fix the video game industry that is broken beyond belief. To just… generally influence people the way that Christopher Hitchens did.

And, realistically, I don’t see the formal world of literature doing a great deal to put me into that place beyond establishing my credibility as someone with something to say that is worth listening to. That’s why I’m so proud of my work with V2: The Voluntary Voice, and why I’m so proud to see my numbers steadily growing. It has taken me about 4 months here to reach the same level of readership that it took me 18 months to reach at iovere.wordpress.com. I just started doing this in January, realistically.

I do believe that I have a bright future. A difficult future… As I said on Twitter recently, I’ve got to learn to ignore these people. It’s not in my nature to let stupid people say stupid things, though:

moron

I was really upset last night over this exchange I had with this guy who had sent me a friend request on Facebook just a few days before. There were two reasons that I became upset. First, the guy was ultimately right–I had worded my initial post so badly that I was saying the exact opposite of what I meant to say. Rather than pointing this out politely, however, as I expect people to do on my personal page, he went to strawmen, hyperbole, exaggerations, absolutes, insults, and deliberately misrepresented what I said. I expect people on my personal page to be able to say, “Hey, Aria? I’m not sure you meant that how you actually worded it… That came out like you’re for the criminalization of drugs.” Instead, this ass went straight to insults, sarcasm, and deceitful tactics a la Austin Petersen.

Having that happen on my personal page was a stark reminder that, when I receive friend requests from people, it’s in my best interest to refer them to my author’s page. That sort of thing is not welcome on my personal page. If people want to engage in that kind of behavior, they can do that all they want on my website, podcast, Tumblr, Twitter, and author’s page. I don’t care, and I expect that there. But having it happen on my personal page made it… personal.

If someone wants to say:

  • “…your idiocy…”
  • “Are you retarded?”
  • “What are you schizophrenic?”
  • “You’re a fucking idiot…”

Then they can. They can do that all day long. On Twitter, my author page, my website, and wherever else except my personal page. My personal page is for friends. And, on that note, it’s like I said after the encounter:

The 26 people on my personal page aren’t here because I think they’ll always agree with everything I say. They’re here because when they don’t agree, they WILL say it, and they won’t resort to insults, slippery slopes, misrepresenting what was said, hyperbole, and strawmen. If people can’t tell me I’m wrong without calling me an idiot, then no… They’re not going to be friends with me long, because it’s just a matter of time before I say something that YOU read and go, “Holy shit, she couldn’t possibly be more wrong.” And you 26 are awesome. People can take that bullshit to my author’s page, twitter, podcast, and website–that’s fine. But it’s not coming here.

The guy probably pitched a fit that I blocked him, but… he’s more than welcome to take that shit anywhere else. But bringing it to my personal page because I made the mistake of accepting his friend request is akin to texting me bullshit like that, and I don’t tolerate it.

Anyway. This was all over the place, and I’m going to end it here. Thanks for listening to my rambling. πŸ˜€

One thought on “The Future of the Anarchist Shemale

  1. Nice post, but there are a few things that I wanted to say something about. First is your statement that money corrupts art. Well that is true but is too focused. Money is a just thing. It is our desire for these things that corrupt art. Art is just another thing. It is a form of expression of ourselves. So to me what we really need to watch out for is our desires corrupting ourselves in whatever form that may take. So yes money could corrupt you since you desire it to exchange it for something you need. But to make a blanket statement that money corrupts art sounds a little black and white to me.

    After all I could feel underappreciated. I desire fame and recognition. I start posting my art on my blog. People see it and start following and leaving all kinds of comments about how awesome I am with my art. I feel good, but don’t want to lose that good feeling. So I start seeing what people really like of my art and start only posting that. Therefore ensuring that people keep following my blog and leaving those comments that I cherish so much. Therefore I have corrupted myself and by extension my art by only showing people what they want and not the whole picture that is me. The time when an artist relies on other people to give them what they desire through their art has corrupted it regardless of its money, recognition, a following, acceptance, to change the world, or people to boost their ego.

    That is something I don’t want to see for me, you or anybody else is being corrupted like that. To hide their true self for fear that they will lose what they desire. I can do something about myself and trying to do that. But its hard when those desires are so strong in me. Anybody else all I can do is speak my mind and let them make their choice.

    Hmm I wonder if I went off the train of thought there? No matter, I will let you decide that. There is another thing I want to say about something in your post. But I will post this first and then later go on to that πŸ™‚

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