With Amazon removing titlesby the thousands, it’s time to meet another of the crusaders leading the charge to pressure the online retailer into removing erotic titles. Every time I Google one of these guys I find another terrible human being, with amazing consistency.
On Saturday we met Jeremy Duns, a hack writer and internet troll who is just desperate to keep people talking about him by crusading against erotica on Amazon.com (it hasn’t seemed to help his sales any, but you can’t blame a guy for trying, I guess).
Today let’s take a look at the internet publication that gave Mr. Duns his voice and started the outcry against Amazon: The Kernel, a “tech magazine” out of London that doesn’t seem to write about tech much and isn’t actually a magazine, but that gives founder and Editor-in-Chief Milo Yiannopoulos a good place to shriek from about whatever’s on his mind.
Here are some of Mr. Yiannopoulos’s more recent thoughts on the state of modern morality:
- 2009: Tweets about the G20 protests, saying that he hopes the police “beat the shit out of those wankers.” The police did, as it happens, and one man died.
- 2009: Comments on a panel about women in the technology industry that “We shouldn’t be apologizing for having fewer women in a sector in which men naturally perform better.”
- 2012: Tells Zoe Margolis, author of a popular feminist blog about her sex life in London, “We write about how tech is changing the world around us. You write about how many cocks you’ve sucked this week,” and later adds “Is there a difference between writing about sex for money and having sex for money? Not really. What a grubby, humiliating way to make rent.”
- 2013: Stiffs various writers and contributors on payments, for which some lawsuits are still ongoing, while others have ended in summary judgements paid by The Kernel‘s parent company. CORRECTION: The last of the outstanding debts were settled privately this year, following the magazine’s acquisition by German venture capitalist firm Berlin42.
- 2013: Tells one female writer, after she tweets about not receiving payment, “You’ve already made yourself permanently unemployable in London with your hysterical, brainless tweeting, by behaving like a common prostitute and after starting a war with me, as perhaps you are now discovering”. Threatens to reveal “salacious pictures” of her from a party.
So…let’s just make sure we’re all on the same page, here — this guy and a hack thriller writer are the public faces of a campaign to pressure online booksellers into removing erotic titles.
And companies like Amazon and WHSmith are listening to these people why, exactly? For that matter, why are publications like the BBC and Metro blithely re-posting his faux outrage without acknowledging that the man is easily as offensive as the content he’s railing against — and that, unlike erotic fiction, his moral shortcomings cause actual harm to actual people?
It’s a point I find myself coming back to on this blog time and again: the louder someone screeches about other people’s morality, the worse he or she turns out to be in person.
Amazon might want to re-think whose moral pressures they’re being swayed by, here, and the mainstream news sources covering the story owe their readers an honest assessment of their sources.
From Madelene Martin: For the record, even if there were no difference between writing about sex for money, and having sex for money (what?) I don’t think there’s anything wrong with either. In fact, I live in a state and country where prostitution is legal. So am I still doing something wrong by merely writing about it? Never mind, don’t bother answering that.
Hang in there, my fellow erotica authors! This too, shall pass.