Friday, August 23, 2013

Blogcation Is Over: Back To The Cultural Wars

Of Carnivores and Cavalrymen, by Chris Hernandez

{Note: I had the great privilege to meet Chris Hernandez when a Fourth of July trip put him in proximity. Surprising me not a bit, he is every bit the gentleman and scholar one would expect, if they'd been reading his blog, visible under his name to the right. This response to his article is also a large part of what we discussed over dinner with his family. You should read his stuff, and when afforded the opportunity because he's finished some more, buy his stuff. You should also know I give out praise the way I hand out $100 bills.}

The publishing industry, as part of the cultural media like TV, the movies, academia, etc., doesn't just publish stories to make a profit, they publish the stories that they WANT to make a profit. Pro-military conservative gun-owning white male neanderthals need not apply.

If Naval Institute Press, which had never published fiction before, hadn't taken a lucky chance on an unbelievable submarine story by a total rookie, Tom Clancy would be a retired insurance agent from Eastern MD. His success got you Stephen Coonts, Harold Coyle, Dale Brown, Ed Ruggero, (all former military) and probably a dozen lesser lights, none of whom would've seen the light of day if NY publishing firms had any say.

If you write a novel about how all vets are PTSD-timebomb homophobic wife-beaters who eat babies, go postal on a kindergarten, and then cap themselves, you'll be the darling of the book signing circuit, with a movie option in the wings. Witness the baker's dozen anti-war movies about Iraq and A-stan, some from novels, made and released to horrible box office while troops (including you, {Chris}) were actually engaged in combat at the time, despite how much money the one before it lost.

And let's don't overlook the possibility that Dillrod got his fantasies {in Carnivore} published because the publishers knew, or strongly suspected, that he was completely FOS, and wanted to exploit the image of him as a wanton killer turned loose by Chimpy McBushitler, the Emperor Sithlord Cheney, and Darth Rumsfeld on the sweet, peace-loving children of Southwest Asia.
Publishing that kind of narrative would be seen as pro bono charity work for The Cause.

Look how much ink they've spilled trying to tell you that there's no way a war-hero president who faced down Kruschev and humiliated the Soviets was killed by a frothing rabid, citizenship-renouncing avowed communist, because there's no way a trained Marine with a scoped rifle could have put two bullets out of three into a slow-moving target from under 100 yards.

It's not a conspiracy amongst themselves, either. They just all went to the same schools, vote the same, think the same, hang out with themselves, and can't, for the life of them, imagine how anyone else could sanely disagree with their point of view unless it's someone who eats lead paint chips and drinks moonshine in a trailerpark in flyover country. And I'm probably soft-selling what they actually say to each other when they think no one's listening.

The beauty of things now is the traditional gate-keepers are losing sway as technology democratizes culture. You can self-publish, I can make movies, someone else can do a YouTube weekly TV show, and none of us need spend more than about a month's rent in Hollywood or New York to completely skip the Old Guard system.

{Chris,} Keep writing.
We'll beat down the gates, pee on their corpses, and YouTube the video.
21st century rockstars, I tell ya.