In the 1940s and 1950s, two of my favorite subjects came under attack when comics like Tales from the Crypt were accused of creating evil children (the only kind I like), promoting lustful thoughts (a most welcome headache), and even leading to illiteracy (damn reading material!). In the decades that followed, violence and sex only escalated in popular entertainment. So today, with the death toll rising, finger pointing continues. Too many guns. Violent video games are to blame. The responsibility lies solely on the shoulders of Quentin Tarantino. What shocks me most about all this is that many people hoping to shift the focus off their guns are throwing their favorite video games like Grand Theft Auto and television shows like The Sopranos under the bus!
Then we have panic about the sexual threats of Jersey Shore, Glee, and Lady Gaga turning our youth into horny monsters, causing those who are perfectly straight to bend and go gay. So how do soccer moms explain the copy of 50 Shades of Grey on the nightstand to their children? Justify it as positive reinforcement to ensure the raising of horny heterosexual monsters, perhaps? Hey concerned moms. If you want to get off on the fear of actual horny homo monsters, check out my books. Very satisfying.
The bastardizing of media makes me wonder what effect erotic horror novels such as my book Combustion could have on society. Of course, Combustion is not being marketed to teenagers. If it were, it would probably sell a lot more copies. Let’s face it. Kids are into that stuff. I was. And look at the horrible effect it had on my young, impressionable mind; it made me…a writer.
What went wrong with me? Why aren’t I a menace to society? I spent my youth reading Stephen King and watching pretty young things get hacked, slashed, and disemboweled. All it managed to do was make me very careful to avoid masked men with machetes (masked men with paddles are a different story). Despite watching Steve Austin get shot in his bionic arm and merely blow a fuse and witnessing Michael Myers take six bullets at close range and walk away unscathed, I feared guns could kill. That worry was cemented in 1984 when my young gay crush, model/actor Jon-Erik Hexum, accidentally killed himself with a gun loaded with blanks.
I didn’t even comprehend the depths of my aversion to guns until a friend brought his BB gun to my house for a Halloween horror movie marathon—because, you know, it was a crucial part of his costume. I was assured that it wasn’t loaded. But during one of my obsessive rounds of cleaning up after everyone, I saw the gun sitting unattended on the armrest of my easy chair, pointing directly at one of my oblivious dogs, who believed he was curled up on his safe spot. I nearly pissed myself. Mom always said, don’t point guns in the house. I demanded the BB gun be removed from the vicinity. I don’t care if people own them, I just don’t want them near my beloved babies Sheffield and Miss Fine!
As for the sexual influences that messed up my young life, truth is, I had cable TV in my bedroom! The sex and nudity in teen comedies and slashers focused on women. Wasn’t feeling it. But I did figure out the exact amount of minutes into The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas when the hunky guys sing naked in the shower. So I would set my clock for that scene every time it played on HBO. And boy, was I feeling it. By the time I was 18, I was working at a video store and had free porn at my disposal, much like lucky little bastards do on the internet today. You don’t know what that filth did to my sexual development. I lost my virginity six yeas later and have been with the same dick ever since.
And of course, I now write books about vicious monsters and sex-hungry men. As I continue developing the stories following Combustion, I’ve noticed that guns are rarely if ever used by the characters. Even main man Deck Waxer, detective turned paranormal investigator, wishes he still had his gun when in danger, but knows it wouldn’t be of much use. If I learned one good lesson from all that horror at a young age, it’s that guns only kill people, not monsters. So some of my men are equipped with psychic powers to take on the evil. Others have dicks so big they don’t need guns to prove prowess. And the men with small dicks and no psychic powers? They just go play with the guys with the big dicks and hide behind the guys with psychic powers. Yeah, that’s what they’re doing back there.
Maybe there’s a fine line between being exposed and being predisposed that determines if we turn out human or inhumane. I’m naturally attracted to men and dislike acts of violence, and learned to get an adrenaline rush from both through fantasy and imagination. I’ve always read horror. I watch hardcore porn. I play violent video games, as long as the only things I’m shooting are zombies and demons that ooze green blood. And I write sex and horror. However, like most people who enjoy the same crazy books, movies, and video games I do, I fear the consequences of extreme fictional situations in reality. Do we as a society really believe that those responsible for the too-frequent tragedies we’re facing didn’t have it in them before playing, say, a game of Silent Hill? If media influence is at fault, why do we read Catcher in the Rye in high school? The guy who shot John Lennon was obsessed with it!
Whatever the solution for minimizing life-stealing violence and risky sexual behavior, I hope we begin to realize that each of us just wants the same protections as everyone else, both physical and emotional. We shouldn’t waste so much energy on attacking civil liberties, emphasis on the civil. A few months ago, many of the very people who are now outraged and ready to revolt because they feel their 2nd Amendment right is being threatened were fighting to rewrite constitutions to define marriage and defending initiatives to block the ability for lifelong American citizens to vote. Call them on it, and they will give you a list of justifications for their beliefs and argue that the issues are not the same. And they’re actually correct. Marriage and voting never killed anyone. But what is the same is that no matter who you are, it’s a terrifying feeling to think that your freedom is going to be taken away from you. I get it. Believe me, I get it. And I can top it. I’ve known what it feels like to not even have the same rights and protections as most. So if you ever try to confiscate my horror novels and porn DVDs, I’ll whip out my semi-automatic neighbor with a registered gun and he’ll shoot your ass.