Don’t Read This Blog!

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This book is banned and I own it.

For thousands of years in the Western world the best way to be noticed was to have your book banned by the church. Intelligent modern authors would welcome such attention as it guarantees their work will be lifted from obscurity into the light.

Every year books are banned. Sadly, your favorite accountant has never made the list.

Until now.

If I can help it.

Deserving Exposure

Censorship doesn’t work well with me. If you tell me I can’t read something I’ll not only read it, I’ll buy it and keep it on my shelf. When a warning is issued to avoid knowledge my suspicion is raised as to the warning. The government and self righteous people are motivated by a personal agenda to hide the truth and it is a sure way to get people to look, including me.

Book banning isn’t something limited to the Dark Ages. Books are banned every year by various organizations for a variety of reasons. Personal bias may cause me to agree with the ban. For example, Twilight was banned back in 2010 by some groups. I think we can all agree the book was bad (play with me on this one) and should have been relegated to the dust heap of history. Instead, Stephenie Meyer enjoyed a bestseller as the hate erupted and grew.

Yeah, I own these too.

Another book I should have saved my money on was The Satanic Verses. Salman Rushdie’s book was destined for the remainder bin until the Ayatollah, in his infinite wisdom, made sure the entire planet knew of the book with his banning and fatwa. The Satanic Verses went on to become a bestseller and Rushdie’s work is relevant because of name recognition. Rushdie’s work was likely headed into the abyss, known by only by the most dedicated of scholars until his work was banned. Rushdie now is a guest panelist on a variety of television programs such as Real Time with Bill Maher. Why couldn’t the Ayatollah keep his flap shut? Rushdie’s net worth is estimated at $15 million. I guess banning Rushdie’s book really showed him.

Oodles of years ago I was reading a news magazine when a small article listed a book used by man to murder was forcing the publisher to pull the book off the market. The book is called Hit Man by Rex Feral. The author used a pseudonym for obvious reasons. It was later learned the author is female.

I immediately purchased a copy of Hit Man before it was pulled.  The book is a how-to guide on how to start a side gig killing people, aka, a hit man. Always keeping my mind open to all possibilities (one never knows when such information might be needed) I read the book. It’s not the worst thing I’ve read, but it is toward the bottom. The information is suspect but might provide a good resource when writing fiction.

I still have my copy of Hit Man. A few used copies still float around for anyone curious what all the ruckus was about. Used copies fetch $75. I’m still not selling mine.




Encouraging Outrage

Cory Doctorow is a science fiction writer who insists his work be available online for free. He makes it clear an author’s greatest risk to their work is not theft; it’s obscurity!

In the crowded field of fiction standing out from the crowd is near impossible and without sticking out from the crowd you are guaranteed a front row seat in the loser’s column of the obscure.

I would never have heard of Cory and his work if it weren’t for his digital policy with his work. As he expected, it lead to a certain someone, perhaps a certain accountant, who ended up separated from some of his cash for a hardcopy of the material.

What Doctorow did was tame compared to what one of my favorite authors did. Ryan Holiday is a bestselling author now, but he had to start somewhere.

 

Early on Holiday was an assistant to Robert Greene as he was writing The 48 Laws of Power. Holiday was indoctrinated in the Machiavellian methods employed by people serious about success. While not in agreement with every piece of advice offered by Greene, his points are solid and backed up with examples from history. You don’t have to like it as long as you are aware it does work!

Even this is child’s play compared to the work Holiday did for Tucker Max. Max’s work is vulgar, even by my standards. I have an extremely open mind when it comes to publishing. Attempts at censoring my work will not go well. That said Max really grosses me out. His work encourages (in my opinion) abusive behavior towards women. It’s one of the few things I couldn’t finish reading. I could only take a few pages before I backed down as I fought back the wretching.

Max’s first book was I Hope they Serve Beer in Hell. He later made the book into a movie. Max enlisted the services of Holiday. Holiday knew he had to pull out all the stops. Holiday orchestrated a reverse psychology campaign where he organized pickets against the movie and vandalized movie posters himself and then reported it to the media. What Holiday was trying to do was get the movie banned so everyone would have to see it to know what all the commosition was about.

The movie bombed at the box office, but don’t feel too bad for Tucker Max. The book sold over a million copies.




Controversy

I was only banned (censored) once in my life. In the past I wrote flash fiction in the transgender genre. My youngest daughter’s medical issues introduced me to a demographic I never knew existed. Always wanting to conquer flash fiction, I rolled up my sleeves and started pounding the keyboard.

Flash fiction is stories of only a few hundred words. It’s harder than it sounds. Writing a story, a real story, in two hundred or so words is brutal. And each story had to have a transgender theme! Determined not to succumb to vulgar writing I made it a point to keep the stories uplifting. Many TG blogs sparked traffic with nudity. This wasn’t going to work for me. I had Google ads and Amazon on the two TG blogs I wrote so it had to be clean.

I was also motivated by something else. I laugh and joke about my TG flash fiction days and how every story had to end. But this was serious business to me. The cold hard facts are transgender people commit suicide in alarming numbers! Estimates range as high as 60% of transgender people attempt suicide and it’s the highest demographic of people who succeed in ending their own life.

This is not a world I wanted my daughter to grow up and live in! My stories were my way of making it normal for people to be different. My baby, my child, my girl was born intersex. She will be grouped in with the TG community because she MUST undergo the same medical procedures a transgender person does transitioning. The only difference is my daughter has no choice. She can’t “just live with it”. She either undergoes the medical procedures or she dies. What would you do?

Keeping material fresh when my average story was two hundred and some words grew more difficult each day. I wrote two TG blogs (double the blog, double the income) every day for about four years. That’s over 2,500 flash fiction TG stories! Even I find it hard to believe I produced so much material.

I covered every topic imaginable as I wrote the flash fiction. I, of course, wrote many stories to appeal to the erotic portion of the demographic. I also researched the genre looking for fresh material. And I found a whopper.

I discovered the sex change capital of the world is Iran! Yes, Iran! It seems homosexuality is a sin against Allah and sure to get you killed. But, if you get a sex change you are technically a woman and no longer an abomination to god. So Iran leads the world in sex change operations. Mostly due to the fact it’s chop it off or die. We can laugh, but for homosexual and transgender men reading this it’s no laughing matter.

Well, I used this information to write a very mild TG story based in Iran, Yes, I pushed 250 words together and caused a ruckus. TG flash fiction is generally captioned, meaning a picture is captioned with the flash fiction. I used a picture of a Muslim woman wearing a niqab. All you could see was her eyes and her feet.

I was immediately banned by Google! The offense? You could see the woman’s ankle and it would offend some countries around the world. I was not impressed. I removed Google ads and republished. Like I said, censorship doesn’t work well with me.




Ban This Blog!

I looked. There is no list I could find of banned blogs! That’s too bad. I really would have enjoyed making the list.

My marketing sickness has caused me to write some modestly controversial topics on this blog. Maybe I need to turn it up a notch. I once claimed I died and I begged readers to steal my stuff. It gave me great pleasure to write my obituary. (Maybe I am sick!)

As a masterful stroke of marketing genius I propose we use Holiday’s tactics to Tucker Max this blog. No misogyny or encouraging the abuse of women. I support anyone’s right to publish what they want; I reserve the right to not read or promote it. We don’t need to encourage the harm of others to get noticed.

If you haven’t found anything to feel righteous indignation about in who I am and what I write here you haven’t been paying close attention. No one is exempt. Everyone has something you can be offended with. Don’t waste a good opportunity. If you meet someone of impeccable character, make something up. The media and the government do all the time.

And I want the controversy. Controversy causes people to talk! As Doctorow said, obscurity in the greatest danger to any author’s work!

Traffic here has been growing nice the past year. But to get the numbers into the stratosphere we need people to start talking. And nothing spreads like juicy gossip! The more solicitous the better. To get banned by anyone or any group requires offending certain groups of people who will teach me a lesson by encouraging the media to call for my banning. These outraged folks will contact other bloggers to spread the rumors. They need to want to hurt me and I love it!

How can you start the rumor mill? How can you get the media to put this blog (and me) into crosshairs? How can you get the gossip flowing with a life of its own?

Well, I read naughty banned books listed above. I even own a how-to book on how to kill people for a side gig. Not good enough?

Tell them I’m a questionable person of questionable character! Ah heck, not good enough either. We elect people like that every year.

I know! Hit’em where it hurts. When with your Republican friends, tell them I think Sean Hannity is a weasel and Fox News is fake news. Tell your conservative friends I think Hillary Clinton would have made the best President in U.S. history. Heck, I even called Trump an idiot!

Still not enough? I agree! We still have close to half the population we need to offend. Gather your Democratic friends and tell them I think President Trump is the most productive President ever. Tell them I said Bernie Sanders is a light weight.

Now I understand some people have stepped off the political train long ago to retain their sanity. Well we can take care of them!

If you have an atheist friend, tell them I said atheism is a religion. Around your Christian friends say, I know this blogger who thinks you’re nuts.

Don’t worry none of it’s true. This is marketing! People will stick around if they like your stuff, but they come back more often if they hate you with a passion. They want to watch you fail. They want to slam your head (actually, my head) against a wall with every word I utter.

Nothing generates traffic like a zealot! And traffic means money. And since this blog is a business enterprise we like traffic for obvious reasons.

In honor of Buy Nothing Day (the day this post is published in 2017) you can spread the wild rumors. Contact other blogger and tell them to ban me. Get people talking behind my back and protesting I cease and desist! I demand it! It costs you NOTHING!

What? Wait, kind readers. I have a phone call coming in.

Uh-huh. A fatwa you say. Lynch mob? Really? Is it helping traffic? I see. Then I’ll be a martyr for a good cause. No?

Okay, I’m back. I’ve decided to take the day off and not publish since it’s the day after Thanksgiving (Black Friday).

But for the record, I did say that thing about the President.

This post idea was rolling around in the queue for a while. I started a few months back with the first two paragraphs. Later I fleshed the idea out a bit more and finally had enough material for a humorous post with serious implications. I double spaced between entries of this outline as I expanded it. 

Readers may find my writing process entertaining. Bloggers and other writers may find it instructive. When my notes seem to add to the story I publish them below the corpus. Enjoy.

 

Bloggers hide a truth they may be wrong. It’s an occupational hazard.My tax advice includes limited situations. Facts and circumstances can change the outcome so additional thinking/research might be required.

And the post title is perfect for marketing. Tell someone not to read something and they will do it anyway.

 

Ryan Holiday marketing ploy of starting a boycott of his client to get attention. Cory Doctorow demanding his publishers allow him to post his stuff online for free (theft is not the issue, obscurity is), Hitman book when someone used it and it made the news (how I heard about it and bought it).

In honor of Buy Nothing Day I ask readers to find something around here to feel indignation about and spread the word. Demand a boycott. Don’t read this blog!!! Tell the news. Use Ryan Holiday tactics.

Then internalize the hatred, coming back often looking for any chance to jump down my throat.

Consider it your early Christmas present to me.

And it didn’t require you to spend a penny to give it!

 

Funny stuff: Talk about politics and religion a lot. People like that. When with Republicans tell them you heard I think Fox News sucks, Sean Hannity is a weasel and Hillary Clinton would have made the best President in U.S History. With Democrats tell them I think Hillary buys used pant suits, we are finally getting stuff done with Trump as President and liberal policies died with LBJ.

On religion, when with atheists, tell them I think anybody who doesn’t see the truth of God’s existence deserves to spend eternity in hell. Tell your atheist friends I think atheism is a religion. With your friends of faith expound my astounding logic on the lack of evidence for a god, any god. Tell’em I fish Sunday morning instead of going to church.

Don’t worry none of it’s true! This is marketing. People will stick around for a while if they like your stuff or hear good things about you. Get them to hate you and they’ll live on this blog waiting for any chance to jump  down my throat. They’ll also glean every word I write looking for indications of misfortune in my life. Indignant people love to gloat. You get’em here and I’ll give’em a reason to stay. I’ll intersperse moments where I need to hammer the Jack as the biting liquid spills from my glass as I fall into a drunken stupor.

 



The Wealthy Accountant and ADP partnership gives you top notch payroll service and support and a 20% discount. Click this banner or contact ADP by phone or email. Mention The Wealthy Accountant so you get your discount.

Keith Schroeder

15 Comments

  1. wcrn on November 24, 2017 at 7:55 am

    An intersex person can die without medical procedures? I am tragically uninformed with respect to this.

    With respect to the article, this was a strange twisted article. I suppose that is meant to be complementary! I have to give you a lot of credit for trying to post things worth reading. I am certainly entertained. Alternate title “Why and How to fame-whore”

    • Keith Schroeder on November 24, 2017 at 8:23 am

      Wcrn, read the comment from Rachel I responded to. It explains a few issues we had to address to keep my daughter alive.

      I hope I wasn’t too twisted in this post. I’m really talking about censorship and why it’s bad and how all recognition is good as you grow your brand. It’s also my way of saying author’s should welcome controversy; it gives them an audience.

      To make it worse, wcrn, I was writing this late Thanksgiving night when I realized I accidentally hit publish when I only had the notes in place. By the time I realized my error subscribers were already emailed. So I stayed up really late getting the post formatted and in order. I saved the final edit for morning and hope there wasn’t too much confusion on the spelling and grammar errors. Finally, I wrote this while recovering from a turkey hangover.

      Most of all, I’m glad you were entertained.

      • wcrn on November 24, 2017 at 8:43 am

        In that section of the article and comment I think you approached that sublime quality of art that challenges us to reconsider our perspective of the world.
        Tearing open your heart and dashing its contents on these pages is a sight to behold. Messy, passionate, and magnificent.
        As someone “so sick of this trans BS” I am a little bit stung … as I always reconsider my position when new evidence presents itself.
        With my little guy going through medical issues, I instantly felt ” My baby, my child, my girl was born intersex. ” before I heard it.
        My empathy for a child born with a congenital surprise, just like mine, surpasses the same understanding for those adults I perceive as “other”…

        • Keith Schroeder on November 24, 2017 at 9:18 am

          We are not alone, wcrn. We are not alone. Together we are strong.

  2. Rachel on November 24, 2017 at 7:57 am

    Hey Keith,
    I am an odd combination of neuropsychologist, sex researcher, and RE investor/FI enthusiast. The latter is why I read your blog. How good of you to not only share that your daughter is intersex but also to know that you took it upon yourself to bring the societal narrative up to speed in some way. That really touched my heart. I have no wish to invade your daughter’s privacy, but I am curious that you mentioned she needed a medical procedure involving transitioning or she would die. So many intersex are changed simply for cosmetic reasons, although luckily the medical community is for the most part moving away from that, albeit slowly. Best wishes to you and your family 🙂

    • Keith Schroeder on November 24, 2017 at 8:15 am

      Rachel, not everyone thinks I should talk about or joke about my daughter’s condition. They don’t understand it’s a coping mechanism. My daughter was born with ambiguous genitalia. The urinary tract exited a distended penile structure and a partially formed vaginal canal. This was certain to cause an infection. Her gonads were also pre-cancerous and it was a “medical imperative” for them to be removed. She needed reconstructive surgery to prevent infection, too.

      After the initial danger zone work was done in her infancy we enjoyed many years of problem-free childhood. Without gonads she would never hit puberty however. Puberty was planned for her. The medication she takes is the same stuff transgenders do with all the same interactions. She has had plenty of problems but never once complained.

      If you think we had an option with these procedures, know she would have gone from child to menopause without her body producing hormones. She would have died very young with brittle bones. Mrs. Accountant and I struggled long over the right thing to do and are uncertain we were always right. Life didn’t hand us such an easy hand to play.

      These is much more, Rachel. But that would requires not only more than a whole blog post; it would require a new blog one that one topic. Thank you for your concern.

      • shawn devooght on November 25, 2017 at 8:08 am

        wow, as a father of 2 girls i am overwhelmed to think about the path u have been thrust into. my heart goes out to you and your family on this very difficult journey.

  3. Josh on November 24, 2017 at 8:56 am

    I am with you on the don’t censor me train. I hate censorship, political correctness, and love to read banned items. Stirring up controversy is great marketing and I use it to teach my students in the classroom. In my geography class we learn about modifications, so I created a Dam lesson, with Dam Notes, and a Dam Assignment. Kids love it and learn when they think it is rebellious. Sometimes parents complain, and I basically in a nice way, tell them they are in the minority and to get a life. They are usually radical christian types. They are the same parents that don’t want their child to learn about other cultures and religions in the world. It turns out their children learn it better than other kids, because it pisses off their parents when they learn these things. So everyone censor away and lets spread the word quicker about bad things. Good write up.

  4. Jason@WinningPersonalFinance on November 24, 2017 at 9:53 am

    I didn’t read it. Did I miss anything?

  5. Jason@WinningPersonalFinance on November 24, 2017 at 9:55 am

    Okay fine. Just kidding. I read it. It’s a nice marketing lesson. I tend to keep my posts non controversial. Maybe I should spice it up a bit.

    • Mike @ Balanced Dividends on November 24, 2017 at 3:51 pm

      I laughed after seeing your two comments; I’m just glad I saw both at the same time and not just the first in the 1-2 minute space between comments. Overall, I’m still new to the blogging space and also haven’t really put out anything too controversial (at least that I know or have been told).

  6. Mike @ Balanced Dividends on November 24, 2017 at 3:58 pm

    “I was immediately banned by Google! The offense? You could see the woman’s ankle and it would offend some countries around the world. I was not impressed. I removed Google ads and republished. Like I said, censorship doesn’t work well with me.”

    One of the dangers of becoming dependent on Google or any other platform for digital revenue (which I assume you’re not, Keith, based on what you’ve shared about yourself). Google ads aside, it is interesting to see how a particular article, topic, or creative work will be viewed in a particular part of the world (let alone in just a single town).

    Overall, as you highlighted, the “banned” mark often sparks additional curiosity and interest. A “graphic” video on the evening news or “viewer discretion advised” translates to many as “oh, I need to see this.”

  7. Jeff on November 26, 2017 at 7:19 pm

    Was helping your daughter what “kicked” you out of your religious mindset? (serious question) I, too, had a long, religious life before changing my beliefs. I still believe in God, but not church/religion. If not this, I’d love to know what factored into your beliefs being altered. For me, it was the love of my son. Through ups and downs with my son during his teen years, I realized I loved him to my core, no matter his behavior. I still believe in karma and reaping what you sew, but there’s nothing my son could do that would want me to give him eternal punishment. Once I got to that belief, everything I had learned in church got flipped on it’s head, and I saw God/the world, in a whole new light.

    • Keith Schroeder on November 27, 2017 at 9:44 am

      You opened a can of worms here, Jeff. It’s a long story I’ll save for another day. It actually doesn’t fit tightly with a personal finance blog. If you meet me at a conference ask me and I’ll tell you the story. Get a few beers in me first and I’ll add to the story to make it more entertaining.

      • WCRN on November 27, 2017 at 10:22 am

        +1 for prudence, I’m working on the whole ‘time, place, and manner’ thing… I’m leaning towards only worrying about manner, but not everyone is so obligated.

        Not replying to this comment was like passing up a perfectly cooked ribeye… and yet here I am.. there must be something supernatural at work.

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