Thursday, January 12, 2012

Sexting and Internet Porn

Teenagers are changing Internet porn, and that’s a fact. The days of airbrushed, big-breasted models showing some skin are rapidly coming to an end in favor of teen girls who take pictures of themselves and send the pictures to their boyfriends or upload them to the Net themselves. The problem is, these girls are young.

Scenario 1: Two high school students are dating, and they are sexually active. The male convinces the female to send him nude photos of herself or to allow him to snap a few pics of them having sex, which she agrees to. If you think for a second that those pictures aren’t getting distributed to several sites once the relationship ends, I have beachfront property in Iowa you may be interested in purchasing.

Scenario 2: High school girl has a nice body and simply loves attention, so she takes a slew of sexy pictures of herself and freely gives them to anyone interested. Of course, these pictures are going to get distributed on the Net at the speed of lightning, and now we have our issue. You don’t have to visit porn sites to know that these girls are taking less-than-acceptable pictures of themselves and sharing them.

So now, we have a rash of fourteen to seventeen-year-old girls who have explicit pictures of themselves all over the Internet. Should this be considered child porn? Taking or collecting pictures of extremely young girls or boys (we’ll say ages 0-twelve, just for the sake of this post) specifically for enjoyment is child porn. But there is a big difference between a naked nine-year-old and a naked fifteen-year-old. Many of these girls don’t even include their faces in these photos, and their bodies look exactly like the bodies of nineteen-year-old girls. Therefore, it’s virtually impossible to tell the difference between an eighteen-year-old girl and a sixteen-year-old girl when looking at their nude pics. You can’t exactly demand identification from an Internet image.

So, how should this be handled? I know the phenomena of sexting and children has been addressed by the law, at least in some places, but that isn’t going to stop these high-school kids from sending nude pictures or uploading them onto various sites. It’s something that will need to be dealt with, and soon. While I don’t believe, necessarily, that looking at the breasts of a sixteen-year-old girl who has uploaded images of herself should be classified as child porn, there’s a reason people over eighteen cannot have sexual relations with people under eighteen. So, what is it then, exactly?

I’m not talking about morally here, either; we all know that checking out pictures of a high-school girl who has posed nude rubs us the wrong way. I’m talking legally and logically, mostly: what should these pictures be classified as? They weren’t taken without consent or under duress or even illegally, because the girls are all too happy to take their iPhone into the bathroom with them and snap sexy photos, either for their boyfriends or with the intent to upload them to the Web.

Sexting isn’t going away, either. As long as pretty girls have camera phones, they’ll be taking nude pictures of themselves and sending them off. Boys do it, too, but I’d be willing to bet that the large majority of women aren’t scouring the Internet for pictures of erect penises. Just saying.

What are your thoughts?

Monday, January 9, 2012

I Want to be a Writer.

Recently I finished another short story, and I put it up on the writing forum ( to be critiqued. As with most of my stuff, some people liked it and some people didn’t; no big deal.

But then, the owner of the forum and very, very good writer and editor Michelle L. Devon offered a full-on edit of the thing, which I happily agreed to. I was honored that she’d take the time out of her busy day to throw down an edit on my amateur piece. Thrilled, in fact.

Now, I won’t put anything up to be read by others unless I have done a few edits on it myself, so this thing wasn’t a first-draft hack. It was ready to go, or so I thought. I had not re-written it yet, which is something I have recently enjoyed doing to my short stories, but it was as edited as I could get it in its current form.

I can’t edit.

I began to go through the stuff she had fixed and/or suggested, and it was really good. The things she was changing were amateur mistakes that I thought were pretty much behind me at this point. Some of the fixes and suggestions I had actually considered at some point, but many weren’t. Most of her edits were fixing my weak writing.

Each and every sentence she fixed was much stronger after the fix. Each idea she suggested would, in fact, make the story stronger. I can’t believe that I missed all those errors. Time to break bad habits.

One of my favorite authors is Clive Barker. I love the way he flows, and I love the words he uses (language, folks, it’s all about the language). When I read his stuff, I can’t help but marvel at his strength with words. He truly is a genius. It’s no wonder he’s a best-selling author whose stories have gone on to be movies; the man knows what the hell he’s doing.

Then there’s my junk.

Don’t worry, I’m not putting myself down. I don’t do that. But CRIMENY, it would be nice to have a story flow like his. Just one, that’s all I ask. The fact that I write so weakly is what keeps me from tackling a novel, really. If I cannot manage 3,500 words without a shit load of glaring errors, what the heck would become of 100,000? No, I’ll continue writing short stories until I can somehow rid myself of the amateur mistakes I seem so prone to making.

I’m convinced that it has a lot to do with the story being mine. I wrote it, and so I’m bound not to catch small errors I would probably catch if I were reading someone else’s tale. That’s why, folks, it’s *so* important to have an impartial third-party who knows what they are doing read your stuff before anyone else sees it. An artist should never have the final say in his own creations.

Anyhow, rant over. I am just finding it hard to believe that, after three years of writing full-time, I’m still using “as” when I should be using “while” or that I still use a lot of “ands” where there should plainly be two separate sentences.

Example: I stopped a lot as I walked to school that day, and each time I did, I thought about going back home.

I stopped a lot while I walked to school that day. Each time I did, I thought about going back home.

The second instance is clearly stronger. Hey, at least I know what some of my weaknesses are now. That’s why budding musicians or chess players are highly encouraged to receive lessons from a professional coach. No matter how talented the student may be, they simply can’t recognize all the slight errors they make which are holding them back from being great. A pro only has to glance at them doing their thing to see what is wrong, and that information is priceless. It really is.

From now on, all my tales go to Michelle for editing before I submit them to publishers. I don’t mind paying her for a professional edit half as much as I mind sending out sub-par work that will never get printed. That just wastes everyone’s time.

I’m a writer, damnit, and I want to be published. I know what to do, and I’m determined to do it. Here’s to eradicating mistakes we constantly make, and to new horizons.


Friday, January 6, 2012

I have guns.

Many of you readers already realize I’m a gun advocate. I have several in the house, all loaded, all ready to go. I have seen four news stories in as many days about home invasions, and I’m not going to become a victim. I simply refuse.

Do I want to shoot someone? No. Will I, if they kick in my door? You bet. I may or may not shoot to kill, depending on the situation, but I definitely have zero problems firing at an intruder.

Although I love all my guns, my soft spot is for my 1911 .45 semi-automatic. There’s something about a 1911 in your hands that just satisfies. It’s fun at the range, too. It sleeps next to me on the nightstand, whether I’m at home or traveling.

Being car jacked is scary, and being robbed is scary, but I don’t think those experiences can touch the horror of finding a stranger in your house at three in the morning. That has to be terrifying. The local home invasion idiots are working during the daytime here in Southern California. They just kick in the door, tie up the residents, and then take all their stuff. That won’t be happening to me.

I also realize that several people in the world not only do not own guns, but are anti-gun, and that’s fine, too. I would never try to convince anyone who doesn’t like guns to get one and bring it into the house. I believe very strongly, however, in our rights as citizens to own guns and use them if necessary. Sometimes, deadly force is what it takes to save your own life or the lives of loved ones.

I’m also not paranoid. Not in the slightest. But, I’m ready, should anything weird ever go down at my home. I have my choice of several firearms to use, and I have had them in my hands more than once when things went bump in the night. I don’t care if someone just wants to steal my TV or if they are intending to torture and rape, they aren’t doing it in my house. Not a chance.

What are your feelings on guns in the home? Of course, this question assumes that they are always used safely and locked up if children or guests are present, and all that good stuff. Do you believe in deadly force for a home invasion?

Did you ever crank-call the cops as a kid? It doesn’t work out well. They call back and, if they don’t get the answers they like, they send a car over. I know this because I am a male, and that’s what male teenagers do.

In light of that, if I’m positive there is someone in my house, I’m dialing 9-1-1, saying, “Hurry,”, and then hanging up. They’ll call right back, which may just be enough to scare off the intruders. If that doesn’t work, I hope that a squad car pulls up before I have to use my gun.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Married? Not me. No thanks.

So, this is an interesting site:

Here are some stats from it:

Divorce statistics in the United States

· Almost 49 percent of the marriages end up in divorces
· First marriages end up in divorces in an average duration of just less than 8 years
· 60 percent of all divorces are related to individuals aged 25 to 39
· There were more than 21 million divorces in the year 2000. In the same year, 58 million couples were married and still lived separated
· The average male age for a second divorce was 40.4 years and the average female age was 37.3 years in 1990
· The divorce rate of first time marriages is almost 10 percent lesser than the divorce rate for second marriages
· Over a 40 year period, 67 percent of first marriages terminate in a divorce and 50 percent of these divorces take place within the first 7 years
· Every year more than 1 million children are affected by divorce
Divorce statistics regarding the risk of divorce

· In case of individuals who have attended college, the risk of divorce is less by 13 percent
· If a person has strong religious beliefs, the risk of divorce is 14 percent less
· When the parents are happily married, the risk of divorce of their children decreases by 14 percent
· Those who marry for the first time after they attain the age of 25, in their case the risk of divorce is less by 24 percent
· If the yearly income is more than 0.5 million USD, the risk of divorce decreases by 30 percent
Effects of divorce on children

· The possibility that teenaged girls from single parent homes would give birth to an out-of-wedlock child or would drop out of high school is two times as compared to girls living with both parents
· The children who are brought up in single parent homes display a lesser possibility to marry and more possibility to divorce
· 50 percent of the children in the country are a witness to the breakup of their parent’s marriage. Almost half of these 50 percent are a witness to the second divorce of a parent
· From 1970 to 1996, the number of children residing with both parents plummeted from 85 to 68 percent
I have always been pretty much against marriage, and for the very reasons listed above – marriage just doesn’t work most of the time.

The divorce rate doesn’t surprise me one bit. What surprises me is that every day, millions of people still get married. Why in the world do they think they’ll be the exceptions? Why in the world would anyone in their right mind have to “prove” they are together and love each other by getting the government involved? Why in the world risk going through a very messy divorce when you have the option of just breaking up if things go wrong down the line?

Yes, of course I realize that many marriages last and last, and maybe some of those marriages are even happy ones at the end. But it makes me question the idea that humans are monogamous creatures. I highly doubt that in the caveman days there was a such thing as “cheating” on your mate. If you wanted someone, you took that someone, if they’d let you. I think it’s in our nature. The amount of girlfriends, boyfriends, and spouses who get cheated on is astronomical, and those are only the ones who get caught or confess. Just think how much infidelity goes on successfully! *cringe*

So why do so many people, then, insist on going against the grain? What cracks me up most about marriages are the religious people: gays are an abomination with no rights under God, and yet heterosexuals are allowed to make a promise to the same God, but break it whenever they decide they don’t like their situations or their partners. However, religious hypocrisy is a whole other blog post, and probably several. I’m here to talk about human decision-making, and the fact that I believe marriage to be an antiquated idea.

Another thing that amazes me is the *cost* of these weddings. It isn’t uncommon for a common, everyday couple to spend ten or twenty-thousand dollars on a single day. So, these couples not only enter the pressure of new laws governing them, new promises to God, and a new life, but they do so in debt. This makes zero sense to me. I mean none.

By the time these young couples have paid the wedding off, they are getting a divorce and now have to pay exorbitant lawyer fees as well as lose half their stuff for states that recognize Community Property, such as Califailia. Sounds to me like it’d be much easier just to date and put the twenty-large toward a house, or a college fund for kids that arise from the union. Again, that’s just me.

You couldn’t pay me to get married in this state. Even though my girlfriend and I have been together for almost a decade, how do I know what I’ll want when I’m fifty? How does she know what she’ll want? Making life-long promises at an early age in life isn’t a wildly smart thing to do, in my opinion.

If you like marriage, why?

If you dislike marriage, why?

I would love to hear your comments.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Resolutions for 2012

Did I make any this year? Yea. Are they realistic? Yes. Unlike many of the other people I have seen making resolutions, I have always made mine goals that are actually achievable. I have never enjoyed setting myself up for failure.

No, I didn’t resolve to lose any weight or not to party as much, because I know those will go down the drain, anyhow. I didn’t resolve to be a better man, or to help the poor, or even to clean up my filthy mouth; those are all part of a sinking ship, as well.

My resolutions are to study and play more competition chess, and to keep a respectable writing schedule. I can do those. I really can. I mean, we are already in Day 2 of 2012 and I have a perfect score. That’s something, right?


I have books I haven’t read all the way through, I have videos I haven’t watched, and there are major portions of my game that I am well-aware need some tending to. 2012 is the year to do those things. Also, I would like to lift my real-life (as opposed to Internet) rating by two-hundred points. I’m going to get me some.


While I try to write something every day, it doesn’t always happen. Having a cold, being hung over, staying up all night screwing around and being tired the next day – all reasons not to write. This year, though, I’ll write something every single day I can, even if it’s just another BS blog post like this one. I also have a goal of one short story written/edited/submitted somewhere per month. That shouldn’t be too hard to do. Ray Bradbury recommended one per week, so I’m giving myself quite a bit of wiggle room, there.

I will achieve these goals. Are you going to achieve yours?