Yeah, it's a rare Sunday post, but yesterday, I came across a story in my blog reader that accomplished something that never happened to me and it affected me so bad that I need to write this blog post to get it out of my system.
1} The title turned my stomach.
2} I wrote a rather scathing comment to the editor.
3} I deleted the RSS feed.
4} I deleted my following.
5} And it left such an incredibly bad impression on me that not only will it take days for me to get rid of, but I'll be hard pressed not to let it bleed into my current writing project.
This past Friday, I wrote a short opinion piece about the crime fiction genre, in which among other things, I lamented about the game of one-upmanship that seems to be going on as of late within that genre. In other words, it seems that each writer is trying to show that they can be more depraved than their fellow writer.
"My story features violence against women!" says the first writer.
"But wait, my story features violence against teenagers!" retorts the second.
"Oh yeah, well my story features depravity with bodily fluids!"
"That's nothing, my latest story features the same topic as the movie 8MM!" (hint: this is what drove me to write this post)
The first writer's jaw drops and he quickly moves away from the second writer, all the while spitting out chunks of vomit and mumbling the phrase, 'Holy Shit!' over and over again.
Is it me, or has crime fiction finally reached the point of no return, in that no topic, no matter how disgusting, loathsome or disturbing to the senses, is taboo?
Now granted, I don't write crime fiction and to be honest with everyone, the amount of crime fiction that I read is basically confined to David Cranmer's masterful e-zine, the e-zine that the incomparable Dave Barber edits and the few anthology reviews that I've posted here and on Amazon.
So I'm what you call a casual reader of that genre, and as a casual reader of that genre, I'm finding it increasingly difficult to stay a casual reader of that genre because the story topics are becoming increasingly depraved and disgusting.
Yah, I know exactly what some of you are saying at the screen. You're saying, "If you don't like it, don't read it."
Well, my answer to you is this: "At my age, I'm trying to open my mind and expand my horizons when it comes to reading. I've tried my very best not to be judgmental when it comes to other genres because I truly want to give them the benefit of the doubt. But if I come across something that actually makes me physically ill and leaves me with a disgusting memory seared into my brain, I'm sure as hell gonna speak up and say something about it. It may not be pleasant, but you can be damned sure that I'll stand behind it 100%"
So my question to you is this: Has my entire reaction to this particular issue simply been a case of shooting from the lip? Have I overreacted? Or has my reaction been within the norm of acceptability?