Scarlet Letters

The not-so-private thoughts and rants of Elizabeth Donald, journalist/author and founder of the Literary Underworld.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

shower of the damned

MUSE: Hey.
ME: You have got to be fucking kidding me.
MUSE: I know how it starts.
ME: Would you look at the time?
MUSE: 1:44 a.m.
ME: Yes.
MUSE: You're awake. You're showering, even.
ME: You know, sometimes I'm not showering to get ideas. In fact, usually I'm just showering because I'm, y'know, gross.
MUSE: I know how it starts.
ME: I don't care.
MUSE: Yes you do.
ME: I do not! I'm doing laundry at 1:30 a.m. I'm showering while doing laundry, which is not the most comfortable experience in the world. I've spent the entire day on the computer catching up with writing-related stuff and ignoring this disaster of an apartment, which means I'll be spending my one day of ACTUAL vacation doing housework instead of going to the botanical gardens and, y'know, relaxing.
ME: SO, I'm going to sleep!
MUSE: No you're not.
ME: Yes I am!
MUSE: Oh, quit whining, bitch.
ME: Good for you to say. Where the bleeding FUCK have you been? I had to finish MPU all by myself!
MUSE: You had Isabel.
ISABEL: *yawn* Someone mention me?
ME: No. Go back to sleep. Don't need you.
ISABEL: You were listening to sappy music earlier.
ME: That was for the party mix.
MUSE: You are SO not the party girl.
ME: Shut up! I was in college.
MUSE: I know. I was there.
ME: Sometimes. Look, will you two just shut up and let me finish my shower in peace?
MUSE: I know how it starts. With the hanging.
ME: I. Don't. Care. And they'll run me out of town on a rail. If we still have rails.
MUSE: Oh, like anyone in THAT town reads you anyway.
ME: Hey, you never know. Someone told me they overheard some stranger talking about my work in a coffeehouse. That was disconcerting.
MUSE: The hanging.
ME: Yeah. So.
MUSE: That's how it starts. Then we can go to the cemetery without seeming like we're starting at a steady plod.
ME: Hmmm.
MUSE: Aha.
ME: I need sleep!
MUSE: Fuck sleep. You're not sleeping for the next week anyway.
ME: Do you want me dead?
MUSE: *grins* Not yet.

So yeah, I wrote 1,560 words of the official rewrite of YELLOW ROSES. It now has a prologue, and I didn't get to bed until 2:24 a.m. Someone just fucking shoot me. Oh, and remind me not to schedule the final edit for the next book around Dragoncon? Please?

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Ethnic Cleansing, video-game style

I suppose, given the popularity of GRAND THEFT AUTO, it was only a matter of time.

A neo-Nazi group has actually released an ethnic-cleansing video game. According to EuroGamer, Resistance Records has just released a game in which the player hunts down and kills minorities in a mocked-up New York City. Resistance is owned by the National Alliance, the largest neo-Nazi group in the U.S.

"Players take on the role of either a skinhead or a Ku Klux Klan member - dressed in full KKK robes and carrying a noose - and explore a city that's clearly based on New York. The object of the game is to kill black and Latino people, described as "predatory sub-humans", and their 'Jewish masters,'" EuroGamer writes, without quite managing to keep the vomit off the keyboard.

The final villain to defeat is Ariel Sharon, of course.

National Alliance "promises" many more games, including those based on the Turner Diaries - favorite reading of executed Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.

Sometimes the outrage overload trips the switches, you know? I think that's why I haven't seen the groundswell of disgust and fury over this that we saw over GTA's repulsive consensual-sex scene. And yet, when we become so tired from fighting the small battles that we fail to show up for the big ones, we've lost something.

It's something sad and sick inside, to imagine deeply disturbed shaven teenage boys happily hanging black men on their basement consoles while Mom and Dad snore in front of FEAR FACTOR upstairs. He seemed like such a quiet boy, except for that swastika he tattooed on his left arm, but you know kids these days. Nobody ever suspected that...

As someone has pointed out, sometimes the outrage is the point. If there was an internet groundswell of disgust, the mainstream press might pick it up, and the National Alliance would get its disgusting agenda some national coverage. My conscience is soothed by the fact that my six loyal readers are unlikely start a groundswell of any kind. :)

I suppose the most we can hope for is a fast and silent death, as Ethnic Cleansing vanishes from lack of sales and the National Alliance goes back to being the relatively obscure fringe hate group it is. After all, modern teenagers could never be so brutal, desensitized and generally brain-dead as to think Ethnic Cleansing is a great game. Surely they would look at it, say, "That's really fucked up, man," and move on. Surely they wouldn't think, "Damn, this one's so un-PC it's really funny! This'll really piss off my folks!" and pick it up.


And just a little bit more of our national soul dies.