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mariaI’ve just noticed my novel “Between The Tides” popping up for sale on various strange websites, adult sites, the sites you hesitate to click on, so I refrained from further investigation. It used to happen a lot with Amazon too, my stuff getting stolen and sold by pirates. The first couple of times this misappropriation and misrepresentation bothered me deeply. It used to feel like a violation.

It’s my business if I decide to give away a novel I’ve spent years writing, quite another if some n’er-do-well cuts and pastes it and charges $5 for the download, but for all of that it concerns me less nowadays, and there’s nothing I can do about it anyway. I hasten to add “Between the Tides” is not an “Adult” novel. It’s a contemporary literary romance, so anyone paying their $5 and expecting pornographic rumpy pumpy are going to be disappointed.

Technology opens up all manner of possibilities, not all of them for the better. The Internet enables many, like me, a means of self expression, changing the definition of what publishing actually is, and I count this on the plus side. But on the other there’s a million new ways of exploiting the innocent, of scamming them, hurting them, even enabling new forms of global warfare with whole nations trying to shut down each other’s essential infrastructures, like electricity or air-traffic control. And its effect on global politics is only just becoming apparent, sophisticated algorithms undermining the democratic process and swaying election results in favour of the plutocratic moneyed minority.

I’ve always been a progressive when it comes to technology, but some of the visionaries driving it now are clearly nuts, also unfortunately incredibly rich and powerful. Technology changes lives, brings about revolutions in the way we live and work. These revolutions used to take centuries to come about, then it was decades, now it’s down to a few years. The pace of change is accelerating, and some visionaries, real live CEOs of Silicon Valley companies, extrapolate a future where the time for change is compressed to zero. They call it the Singularity, and it’s at this point everything happens at once.

Really, forget religion, the techno-visionaries are quite evangelical about it. The Singularity is analogous to the Second Coming, or the End Times, or the Rapture. It’s at this point, they tell us, machines will become conscious beings in their own right, and we will have achieved immortality by virtue of the ability to “upload” our minds into vast computational matrixes, like in some hyper-realistic massive multi-player online role playing game.

But given the darker side of technology, is this something we really want? I’ve only to watch my kids playing GTA to know it’s the last place I’d want to be trapped for eternity. Or perhaps, given the inevitable commercialisation of the meta-verse, our immortality could only be guaranteed provided we obtained and maintained sufficient in-game credit, and when we ran out, we could be deleted. Thought you’d be safe from market forces when you died? No way, the visionaries are working on ways of it chasing you into the afterlife.

Certainly our machines are changing how we live at an ever accelerating pace. Meanwhile we remain essentially the same beings that walked the planet two thousand years ago. Whether or not you believe it’s possible to preserve your essential thinking being by uploading it to a computer depends on how you imagine consciousness coming about in the first place. There’s the mechanistic view, that the brain is a computer made of meat, so as soon as we can make a computer as complex as that, Bob’s your uncle. But I’ve never been of that view, so I’m able to rest a little easier that my afterlife will not be spent avoiding evil bastards in a GTA heaven or keeping up the payments on my immortality.

In the matrix, there’s nothing I can do to stop the bad guy from stealing the book I’ve written, but he cannot steal the one I’m writing nor, more crucially, my reasons for writing it. Such a thing transcends the mechanistic world view, a world view that’s a century out of date, yet still cleaved to by the technocracy with all the zealotry of an Evangelical Preacher. The technocracy long ago deconstructed heaven and transcended God with their own omnipotence, but what they’re offering in its place now makes less sense for being all the more transparently absurd, and for the simple fact that machines do not come for free, that those who own them are paid by those who do not. Bear this in mind and our relationship with machines will remain balanced, and correct. Forget it, and the machine will eat your brain long before you get the chance to upload it.

 

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OWith Fifty Shades the Movie opening at cinemas in time for Valentine’s Day, one might be tempted to think it’s now okay for a man to physically restrain a woman and have his way with her any way he chooses, and that there’s something wrong with the woman if she doesn’t enjoy it. So let me begin on a cautionary note and say to all the men out there who might be thinking along these lines, I suggest you discuss the matter first very carefully with your lady, because she may not share your views. Bondage and sadomasochism are among the darker paths in human relations; the psychology is complex, arguably pathological but, in simpler terms, the emotions it arouses, while reportedly powerful, are not to be confused with love.

Let me pause for breath here and say I have not read Fifty Shades, nor will I be taking the good Lady Graeme to watch the movie. I have, however, read the Story of O, the 1955 novel by Pauline Reage, and from which all semi-pornographic bondage bonk-busters are derived.

It tells the tale of a young woman, known to us simply as “O”, a lovely ingénue who is drawn by her posh boyfriend into a secret circle of wealthy men whose sadomasochistic mores see O reduced to the status of a mere possession. O is at first horrified to find herself abducted, then inducted into all manner of degrading sexual practice, punctuated by frequent whippings, as anything resembling an independence of spirit is beaten out of her. The story persuades us she eventually sees the light, becomes a submissive chattel, and begins to take pleasure, indeed to see the very meaning of her life in sexually compliant slavery and regular whippings. The power of the story, and I did find it a powerfully compelling read, is that Reage achieves all of this without the use of a single naughty word. (would-be erotic authors take note)

sexygirlThe story of O is not pornography, in the same way Lawrence’s Lady Chatterly is not pornography, though both these works were ground-breaking in their time to the extent of finding themselves in the courts on charges of obscenity. Of the two, in my opinion, Lady Chatterly is easily the more literary, though O, winner of the French Prix de Deux Magots, cannot be dismissed as mere smut.

The paradox of O is the depiction of a woman sexually liberated by masculine domination, a liberation that can only come through her willingness to submit to anything her master(s) desire, and to revel in their punishments. The men are depicted as unrelentingly repulsive, and the women, including O, I’m afraid, as impenetrably dim. The men take the women however and whenever they choose, they remodel the shape of them to better suit their idea of a sexually desirable object, then brand their bottoms with a mark of ownership when the women “graduate” as fully fledged chattels.

When O meets an ordinary Joe who falls embarrassingly in love with her, she is incapable of responding in the normal way, and her dismissive treatment of him highlights the dramatic change that has been wrought in this former ingénue by her new lifestyle. The suggestion is that she now operates at a higher level of her being, emotionally and sexually, and that an ordinary man, one who would treat her kindly, is too tame and incapable of handling or even arousing the passions she is now familiar with. All this thanks to the wealthy male predators who own her.

But all of this is fantasy, and Reage doesn’t shy away from hitting you over the head with the darker implications of the endgame of any relationship built on such murky foundations. In short, the story of O does not end well. It’s a tale that can be read in many ways, but if you’re only in it for the titillation you’re seriously missing out. I found it rather a cautionary tale, for when the men tire of O, as all possessions are eventually tired of, she is unable to contemplate a return to the banality of her former life as a free woman and a human being, and the suggestion is that in one version of the ending, her then master, in a last act of gross masochism, grants her the wish that she be relieved of the necessity.

Any sufficiently sensitive man reading the Story of O cannot help but examine his own self for traces of the abominable chauvinism Reage depicts, and question any culture, closed or open, that would reduce its women to the status of objects, sexual or otherwise.

sexygirl2I have at times been in the company of men whose vulgar talk regarding the opposite sex has left me in no doubt as to their primitive attitudes. Whether they also share these views with their wives is anyone’s guess, but – and I speak as a man here – there is definitely a tendency in men that would sooner simplify women to the status of compliant sexual vessels, without the inconvenience of having to treat them as fellow human beings, with thoughts and fears and feelings. But again we must remind ourselves it is a fantasy, one we should take care not to let out of the box for too long, nor take too seriously, because, to paraphrase Alice, Nicole Kidman’s character, at the end of Stanley Kubrics “Eyes wide shut” the best we can hope, where sexual fantasies are concerned, is that we survive them.

Sex of course is one of life’s great pleasures, but by far the more valuable is the companionship of another human being whom you love and respect, and whose mere presence makes you feel bigger than you do when you are alone. I don’t want to pour scorn upon Fifty Shades the movie – there’ll be plenty of people doing that no doubt, as they did with the books – but I cannot help feeling a sneaking admiration for its author, a fellow indie, and a rare example of our breed who made good, made the crossover to the big time. So do read the books and go to the cinema and revel in the fantasy, if you think it might be your bag, but don’t lose sight of what’s real in human relations; remember it’s rather the exception to make love using ropes and whips and sticky tape, than the rule. So guys, don’t make your girl do what she’s not naturally inclined to do. That she wants to be with you at all is a prize in itself, so don’t push your luck.

Fifty Shades does not pretend to be literature, but if  you want to take a more literary view of the erotic you could try the story of O. But be warned, like O, you may get more than you bargained for.

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pygmalion cycleThere was an article on the radio this morning saying that girls as young as 14 are now having cosmetic surgery in order to boost their self esteem. I find myself wondering about what model of so called bodily perfection they are comparing themselves with at so young an age but I suspect I need look no further than the nearest glossy magazine, or a pop video on you-tube. I’m also wondering if us guys are at fault for having too narrow a definition of what the ideal female should look like, and being too immature in our regurgitation of that stereotype across these various media. It’s more complex than that of course, as the editors of magazines read by young women tend to be themselves young women, but there’s definitely something in the machine that’s driven by the myth of male desire.

I keep returning to the story of Pygmalion – not the musical thing with Rex Harrison, but the original myth of the sculptor who ignored women as they really were, in favour of chiseling out his ideal in the shape of his muse, the heavenly Galatea. In some versions of this myth, Pygmalion falls in love with his creation, and the goddess, Aphrodite, taking pity on the guy, has Galatea come to life and fall in love with him. Thus the myth concludes, Hollywood fashion, in happy-ever-after style. But myths have layers to them, and the myth of Pygmalion can be peeled back to reveal something much darker and which I think helps to shine some light on the calamitous objectification of women.

In the darker myth, Pygmalion is a fool in thrall to the idealised form of his own soul-image, to the extent that he rejects the human reality – reality being the natural variety in the form of the human female, and he rejects it because he finds it imperfect. There’s nothing innocent about this foolishness. Pygmalion knows exactly what he’s doing, and what he wants; he’s a material man, imposing his misguided rules of measure upon the female body. With his rule, he measures out the proportions, and with his chisel he gives form to the awesomely beautiful creature, Galatea. But that Aphrodite then grants Pygmalion his wish, that Galatea should come alive, is not a blessing – it is Aphrodite’s curse, and her most severe punishment for Pygmalion’s stupidity.

Aphrodite, being goddess of love, beauty and procreation, knows a thing or two about relationships; she can see where Pygmalion is heading, and is offended by his rejection of her sisters in flesh, so she gives him a good shove to get him going in the direction of his misguided desires. The shape of physical womanhood that comes to life in Galatea may conform to the mythical ideal, but her expression is disturbingly blank because she has no soul. And she has no soul because she lacks the thing Pygmalion is least interested in: her humanness. Aphrodite has set him up with a robot.

Pygmalion may think he knows what he wants, shunning the awkward fleshly diversity of the human female in favour of the statuesque Galatea, but his quest has led him into an empty place, one of soulless, mechanical rumpy pumpy, a place where you just know he’s going to die a lonely and unfulfilled old man.

The Pre Raphaelite artist Burne Jones captures this story in a series of paintings which hang in the Birmingham city gallery, images that have haunted me for a long time. Looking at his depiction of Galatea we are also reminded of how much the “ideal” in feminine proportion has changed. The “hot babe” of the Victorian era was apparently smaller chested and fuller hipped than she would be allowed get away with now. She’s also significantly more “nude” without her modern splattering of tattoos. She would not pass muster in the lad mags of today, except as an unfortunate example of that most appalling fashion faux-pas: the wrongly proportioned woman.

The latter day Pygmalion, sculptor of the female form, lives on in the machinery of “emotive images” – the print media, the movie industry, and that black-sheep, rarely talked about in polite circles, but of tremendous influence: the porn industry. These are the sculptors responsible for dictating the shape of the women that men are supposed to want to have sex with, all in spite of the protestations of Aphrodite. This works both ways then; the damage of faulty thinking is inflicted not only on women but on men too. Pygmalion, in modern guise, is telling women that unless they fit the mythical contemporary pattern of size, shape and weight, men will not find them attractive, and is telling men that unless they achieve the prize of congress with that Galatean robot, he’s a worthless loser with the street credibility of a squashed gnat.

How do we stop the girls from making themselves ill, worrying over their weight, and the size of their boobs? And how do we convince the guys they may just be passing up on the perfect relationship by not even second glancing a woman, because she looks nothing like what he’s seen on the cover of a glossy magazine? It’s a complex business, one that plumbs the depths of the human psyche, and of course there are no easy answers. But at some point a guy has to wake up and realise the look in a woman’s eye when she looks at him is of far more significance than her cup size. And a girl has to realise that a guy who pulls a face at her muffin-top really isn’t the sort of guy worth hanging around with. It’s just a pity the machinery of image has become so dumb, so all pervasive, and there’s something in us that renders all of us so vulnerable to it.

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moll - william  hogarthOr less sensationally: Self-hosting your own ebooks

The business of self publishing continues to fascinate me. Currently I’m using two of the big names in free self-publishing, namely Feedbooks and Smashwords to host my stories. This basically means their computers hold the files containing my words and they present them in a such way that readers can find them – primarily on their smartphones or their Android tablets. This is by far the most efficient way for a self publisher to disseminate their work. For the traditional tweed suited, bow tied author, the dream is a book on the shelf at Waterstones, a highbrow book signing, and a table at the Booker awards ceremony, but for the modern indy – well this one at least -the dream is simply to have their book picked up by a Smartphone somewhere in the world, and using Smashwords and Feedbooks has worked out really well for me in that respect.

But there are snags in letting others host your work. With Feedbooks in particular I must admit to a growing irritation at the presence of childish smut that’s so “in your face” it’s hard to know where to look when you browse their website these days. If anyone can publish anything there’s always going to be a race to the “bottom”, and Feedbooks demonstrates this in heaps. If my rather staid literary titles end up sandwiched between offerings of anal intercourse and incestuous bonking there’s not a damned thing I can do about it, and I no longer find it “cool” to be seen out in such company. One is also at the whim of tech support when something goes wrong. Feedbook’s stats have been broken for months now, perhaps creaking under the strain of all that smut, so I’ve no idea how my stories are doing now. I’ve had a good run on there, and I hesitate to complain, but it makes one wonder, it makes one consider one’s options.

Smashwords on the other hand, while still a vibrant and valuable hosting service, one that has long championed the cause of the independent author, I feel falls down on the subject of formatting and upload. I’ve followed all the rules, put several manuscripts through their automatic ebook generator now, and none of them have come out right, at least not to my satisfaction. I know I’m particular, but I want it to look how I want it to look, and I don’t want to have to wrestle with it in order to get it there, or pay someone to do it for me. They have smut on Smashwords too but there’s a button you can click to make it disappear. Unfortunately, it makes most of my stories disappear as well.

Ho hum.

I don’t mean to sound like a grump, and I am grateful for the services these outfits provide – they really have saved me from drowning in my own words, and snatched me from the demoralising treadmill of traditional publishing. But what if you could produce your own ebook file, host it somewhere privately, for free, where you can maintain control of how your book looks, get stats on daily downloads and above all avoid having to sit down with pimps and pornographers? Sounds good? Well, I thought so, and I’ve spent the last few days exploring how I might go about it.

In order to get your work into an ebook reader on a smartphone or an android tablet you need it compiled in .epub format or .mobi for Kindle – there are other formats, but they’re the main two a writer should concern themselves with.  Sigil is a very useful tool in this regard – at least for epub. I put “Push Hands” through it last night and the output is very encouraging. The software is easy to use, well documented and free. For conversion to Kindle format, I’m guessing I’ll have to use Calibre, another free ebook formatting tool, but I’ve not tried that yet.

For the self-hosting bit you need Dropbox. I’ve had a free “cloud based” storage account with them for a while but I don’t use it much. With Dropbox you get a private and a public folder. If you drop your Sigil generated .epub file in the public folder you can then generate a web address to that file, which you can then cut and paste into your blog. I’ve created a separate page here at WordPress called “EPUB” where I can put my links. And hey-presto, a self publishing indy author, self hosting, and all for free. The downside? Well, as with all self publishing, without a team of publicists blowing the trumpet for us, we mustn’t expect many clicks, but a writer has to keep abreast of the options. Plus, if Feedbooks and Smashwords go belly up, at least my books are still out there.

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smutOh dear! It seems a lot of us indy authors have been writing smutty books! We publish them online, where they eventually find their way to other websites run by the likes of W H Smith, Barnes and Noble and Amazon, all keen to cut themselves in on a slice of the burgeoning self-published e-book market, not realising of course the depth of our depravity. I mean we’re talking seriously smutty stuff here, stuff that’s potentially in breach of the obscene publications act, and that’s bad. Link across to Feedbooks’ new releases page here and see what I mean, but take care – you need an open mind. I’m not saying there’s anything illegal here, and without wading through, it would be hard to say anyway, but it looks like no one’s been checking.

One might think the big boys could tell the dodgy stuff apart from the non-dodgy by the titles and the cover art, but that needs a pair of eyeballs and they cost money. W H Smiths’ website was offline today while they went through with a fine toothed comb, lest the men from the anti-dirty-mack brigade came calling. Embarrassing indeed! And oh, how we self-publishers have been pilloried in the press – not like those squeaky clean authors who are published properly and don’t sell smut – well except for all those posh looking S+M titles you can now buy in supermarkets.

The unfortunate thing in all of this is that for indy authors our distribution to the wider world may come under threat – the staid material being banned as well, simply because we’re all tarred with the same brush, all of us branded as potential pornographers. For myself I’m not too bothered – the majority of my downloads are from Feedbooks or Smashwords directly, while anything of mine you find on Amazon has been pirated.

But joking aside, it’s always troubled me, the visibility of this kind of material on websites like Feedbooks and Smashwords. I don’t consider myself a prude, but there’s a time and a place, and the breakfast table is not it. I’m fine with any kind of sex, am known to have written the occasional sex scene myself, and that’s okay if it’s depicted as part of a loving relationship, isn’t the whole reason for the story, and isn’t so in your face it makes you queasy – like at breakfast time. Breakfast time is when I’m going online to check on my downloads. And that’s where I often find my stories nestled between a display of pert bosoms and bums, and my rather staid titles buffeted by the ill winds of barely disguised incest, rape and torture.

This kind of material has always been available of course to those who know where to seek it out. But there’s a time and a place, gentlemen! While we’re not going to stop the writing of prurient material – and nor should we – I think we do need a return to a sense of what’s for decent display, and what’s not. We need to be able to shunt it by consensus to an area where kids aren’t going to find it. In the absence of any self regulation, I’d like to see a smut-buster button on websites like Feedbooks and Smashwords, where voters can open the trapdoor and drop these titles into a special kind of smut dungeon – a place where you can go if you want to and seek this material out, but one from where these works can no longer escape into the wider world of polite society, or poke me in the eye over breakfast.

I recognise this is a futile hope. The West is becoming ever more immune to the casual depiction of barbaric, sexualised and violent imagery. My sons play a popular video game where there’s more effing and blinding than at a hairy bikers convention, where blowing people’s heads off is par for the course and they have cuts scenes depicting graphic sexual acts. My pop-eyed complaints are met with the suggestion that I should chill out, that it’s only a game. But no, sorry. I will not chill out. It’s on our TV screens every night, it’s in our video games, and in our self published ebooks. The Romans watched en-masse as human beings were torn apart by wild animals, and apparently enjoyed it. Disgusting, you might say, but how different are we? What excuse is it to say well, it’s only fantasy?

We think our world into being every second of every day. And I don’t want to live in that kind of world. It’s a brutalising tide we’re all surfing, one I’m resisting by not partaking. I never buy a DVD if it has a weapon on the cover – you should try it: it’s impossible. I’m tired of violent and abusive storylines being presented as an exploration of topical “issues”.

And I’m sorry my dear fellow Indy authors, I know we don’t have a monopoly on this kind of thing, but I’m also tired of all that smut.

To the dungeon with you.

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I’m not sure why I signed up to Linkedin. As far as I can tell it’s a professional networking tool and probably very good, but since Michael Graeme is a nom de plume and doesn’t exist in real life it seemed a bit pointless, but I suppose I thought it might drive a few more readers my way, so I handed over my email address. Not much happened until recently.

It was the same with Twitter. I had a brief season of microblogging on there and I enjoyed it. I particularly liked its Haiku-like brevity but I’ve not updated in ages. I wasn’t reaching much of an audience with it either. Perhaps you need to be more of an extrovert  – the kind of person who’s glued to Facebook every spare moment of the day and has a gazillion “friends”, “semi-friends” and “acquaintances”, but I just don’t have the time to construct that kind of virtual reality. (My thanks to Jim and Tina anyway, God bless you). There were other “followers” but they were trying to sell me stuff, which was tiresome, so I had to block them.

It was the same with Linkedin, except I couldn’t find a way of blocking, so I tried to resign but that was weeks ago and I’m still getting their damned nuisance spam. I’d get an email saying someone had posted a message – I had one from Deborah Green this week, (Hi Deborah, you shameless tart) My primary personality does know a Deborah Green(not a shameless tart) and he thought how the hell does Deborah Green know me as Michael Graeme? So I clicked the link out of curiosity and was taken to a website selling Viagra (Thank you Deborah – different Deborah, I hope!).

The Twitter spam was less insulting but equally unwelcome, being of a more pornographic nature – emphasis on the “graphic”. Now, I’m not a prude and according to statistics 40% of men admit to viewing more than 2 hours of pornography a week, but there’s a time and a place, gentlemen, and the breakfast table definitely isn’t it.

Curious, this online sexual stuff! I feel a whole can of worms tipping over. Sex sells of course and I’m sure there’s nothing more to the spam than that, but why do we buy? (not that I do) No,…  restrain yourself Michael;  sex is not your natural territory. You’ll only make yourself look ridiculous.

I went to church last Sunday – stay with me, this is relevant – it was a memorial service for a relative, which basically means a regular service but your recently deceased relative gets a passing mention. The church was in a town some distance away, a progressive Anglican affair, and something of an eye-opener for yours truly, one where the vicar looked more like a bank manager than a vicar, and they were talking about sex. Seriously! The sermon was about sex, and pretty unflinching it was too. They tied it all in with Leviticus (mainly 18:24-30 and 20:10-21, so far as I could make out) It was from the vicar I got the 40% of men and pornography bit, which was a surprise to me – both the statistic and the fact I got it from a vicar.  So that bum steer from Twitter burned up at least two seconds of my two hour limit, and put me on the wrong side of God as well, because those ladies definitely had no clothes on your honour, which was sinful – but I didn’t look, honestly!

Anyway, said the vicar, who looked like a bank manager, pornography is bad. It is devil’s spawn. It’ll make you go blind,  like gambling and strong liquor. Don’t look, don’t click that effing link – no, too late ARGGGG!!! It’s in your history file now, dammit. You’ve probably got a lot of tenacious cookies as well and if you’re really unlucky a severe dose of the cyberclap as well.

Serves you right, you godless sucker!

The thing that really intrigues me though is how smart these spam-bots are. How do they know I’m a man? (viagra, pornography?) Or are you lady Twitters and Linkedinners equally sidetracked by links that take you to the smuttier side of the internet? (Are you equally beguiled by promises of sexual stamina and mythical gratification) No don’t answer that – I’m just over analysing again!

I’m not sure what I’m trying to say here – just marvelling, I suppose, over the unexpectedly sexual sermon last Sunday, and the subsequent sexual links from supposely bona fide sources on the internet. On the one hand I get the “thou shalt not”, from the “word of God”, then I get the “salacious temptations” in my inbox. I suppose the thing is it’s all well and good speaking out against Internet pornography, but since you’re never going stem the tide, nor legislate against it, you might as well grow up and be more accepting of it. (yes I’m a liberal in my views). People like sex. It’s natural. But tell them it’s dirty or bad or wrong, and you push it deep into the unconscious, you shove it down into the realm of the gods, you poke it in their eye, and shove up their ass, and you really shouldn’t be doing that because the gods are all powerful, easily offended and can find a million way of coming back at you. In short, demonise sex and you’re creating a ticking daemonic time bomb.

Carl Jung had something to say about porn – in its latter day (dis)guise as Eros – but only in that the way we live and suppress what’s natural in us means that sometimes the gods come through in grossly caricatured form as pathological compulsions. In other words your cute Eros with his arrows gets corrupted into a saucy photograph that would once have been passed around in a brown envelope and which now hides in the supposed privacy of  “special browsers” and the “anonymity” of  proxy servers. We become addicted to images or corrupted metaphors of something that was once a natural facet of our daily, all be it primitive, lives.

I’m definitely over-analysing now – possibly also under the influence of strong liquor – which is a defintite blogging no no.

But I suppose my point is, what’s the point in leaving Linkedin or terminating Twitter? Eros will only find another way of getting through, perhaps even by breaching WordPress’s seemingly impermeable spam proof barriers (I hope not) Anyway, re Linkedin and Twitter, I seem to have talked myself out of it for now.

Two hours of porn? No thanks.  It’s cool, but I’m fifty one, and I have other vices now. Eros, I know you when I see you, so point your pesky arrows somewhere else. Two hours a week? No thanks. I’ve got a novel to finish and there’s sex enough in that for me. Does that sound sad?

Hope not.

Graeme out.

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