There’s a short story open-call going around that caught my eye. Or rather, one detail in the submission rules caught my eye.
I’m not naming the anthology in question, because my problem isn’t with the anthology. They’re just reacting to the culture in which we all live, and I don’t want people to misunderstand me and think I’m yelling at them. I’m not.
I’m yelling at a lot of other people, though.
The rule in question reads as follows:
- Stories must conform to the “Indiana Jones” rule of thumb regarding, sex, violence, language, drug use, etc. We try to keep things here appropriate for most audiences, so if it’s something you’d conceivably see in an Indiana Jones story, it should be fine (i.e., melting faces are okay, F-bombs, in general, are not).
Really let that sink in a moment. “Melting faces are okay, F-bombs, in general, or not.” Think about it.
What the fuck is wrong with entertainment standards in this country?!?!
Bullets flying, people dying, acts of horrific, gory violence… These are no problem. But a “bad word”? A breast on prime time TV? That’s a goddamn outrage.
This is wrong; so wrong. Aesthetically. Ethically. Morally.
It’s a word. Fuck fuck fuck. Fuckity fuck fucking fucky fuck.
Or a body part. Oooh, your kids are going to be traumatized seeing something for two seconds that not only do they already know mommy has, but which they fed off of for a year and a half.
I like violence and gore in fiction, where it’s appropriate. I’m not suggesting it be curtailed (though a case could be made for certain TV shows). But the idea that it’s okay, where the others aren’t? It’s backwards, in every conceivable way, shape, or form.
Get your act together already, American culture. This isn't even Puritan; it’s just lunacy. And hypocritical lunacy to boot.