Respect my beliefs, or I will kill you

The Q Fragments is now complete here on my site. A couple of observations about that, and about the increasing threat from religion, Islam specifically.

Islam

The incidents of violence and murder perpetrated by fundamentalist Moslems against non-Moslems because of “lack of respect”, or “insulting speech or cartoons”, or for merely being non-Moslems and being caught in the wrong place at the wrong time is escalating across the world. The news carries these kinds of stories every day, and there are many more similar acts that don’t make our daily news feeds. Just as disturbing are the liberal apologists who attempt to condone, cover over or justify these acts of medieval barbarism.

I no longer hesitate to use the term “liberal” in this context since, in fact, nearly all who are apologists for Islamic fundamentalist violence and murder are indeed, liberals. In many ways I consider myself a liberal, but as of late this particular segment of the liberal community has swung so far away from reality as to be essentially blind and without moral courage, or, it seems, the intelligence to perceive actual facts, but, instead, filters them through some kind of avoidance mechanism to justify and deceive themselves. I don’t know why this should be, but it is. I’m reminded of religious fundamentalists who understand and accept the evidence for evolution but refuse to “believe” that it is true. Facts don’t help.

I suspect these kinds of liberals just cannot accept the idea that there are millions of people who are quite willing to kill anyone who does not conform to their religious beliefs.

Being fearful of people who will kill you because of their religious beliefs is rational and understandable. Attempting to justify their acts because of that fear is not. I don’t know what else to think about this except that these apologists do not accept the bare facts and are responding from fear.

The Q Fragments, and other written works, for free

Not too long ago, if one wrote a book and wanted to publish it for others to consider and perhaps read, it required the author to run the gauntlet of agents and publishing houses. Regardless of the quality of the work, this process was, and still is, fraught with trouble, confusion, arbitrary tastes and usually disappointment for authors who had not been already published. I remember reading long ago a couple of slim volumes of rejection letters sent to authors who were later published and became famous or well known. The conclusion the author of these volumes came to was, those writers who get published, are those who get published. There was no logic, rhyme or reason to it. One famous author’s friend, with the cooperation of the author himself, submitted the famous author’s award winning story’s first three paragraphs to the same publisher who had published it, along with twenty-odd other publishers. The work had a different title. All rejected it.

Today the landscape is different but still not friendly to new writers. It is relatively easy to publish one’s work with services like Amazon Kindle or Create Space as I did with The Q Fragments. It took about three years to research and write and probably four or five days to format and get the book out on Amazon. The problem is that there are thousands of people doing this same thing, and as one would expect, the quality of the resulting works vary wildly. This basically means there is much more competition for reader attention on outlets like Amazon. Not a bad thing entirely.

However, to get noticed above all of the other thousands of self-published books, the majority of which I suspect are in the romance soft-core porn genre, the option is to publish parts or all of a work on the internet for free. This has its problems as well. There is a widespread belief among a great many people now that content – news, music, literature, movies, TV shows, images – should be available for free. Somewhere on the internet, it is possible to find pretty much anything you want for free. While this is a good thing for the consumer (why pay for it when you can get it for nothing) it’s a bad thing for the people who create that content.

I have published The Q Fragments here, on my site, for anyone to read. Why? Because I think it has a good message, especially in these troubled times, and because it is a good story with well written characters, action and dialog and can be read and enjoyed as a tale well told. I am, of course, biased in that regard. Naturally, having written it, I want others to read it. I also appreciate well reasoned comments and criticism and can take the bashing along with the praise.

By offering my work freely here, some may regard it enough, or be interested enough to actually spend the equivalent of a latte or a cocktail in order to buy it on line. Someone with connections in the publishing world might be interested enough to consider publishing it. I don’t know, but since someone will likely upload it eventually, I decided to do that first at the cost of a few potential sales.

I think this is a dilemma faced by most artists these days. How can we justify the time and effort to create our work when most of the world expects us to provide it for free? The only answer is that we need to create it regardless of the eventual outcome. Perhaps in the end, those people who are doing it only for the money will transfer their attentions to other activities leaving artists and creators to create and not be inhibited by what happens afterwards.

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