The Winner Takes It All and other thoughts of a self publisher

BI2006_01
Nine years ago. The yellow fleece is still there.

Okay. So this blog entry is entirely written in English. Why that, you may ask. Because I hope that none of my facebook friends will bother to read this entry. Yah, it’s a kind of a rant and I try to do my best to be as truthful as possible. As Billy Wilder famously said: „If you are going to tell people the truth, be funny or they will kill you.“ Or you could write in a language nobody understands. The only language to tell the depressing truth and be funny the same time is English. Seriously. Want proof? Go, look up the late standup comedian George Carlin and watch his shows. It’s great. It’s funny, hell, this guy was a genius, he could play with words, with meanings and every sentence, every gag tells the truth, nothing but the truth.

Ro2069B_3D_222ROkay. So let’s get straight into the matter. I am a writer. Yes, I write books for a living. Or I try to do exactly that – all on my own. You know what that means, do you? Right. I am a self publisher. In 2006 I published my first book Rotkäppchen 2069. A Science-Fiction-Terry-Pratchett-meets-Douglas-Adams-type of adult literature. The complicated virtual-reality-story is very absurd, very funny and I can assure you, in the end all works out. But for most of my readers, it was too absurd, too weird, too kinky. „Shyte“, as one of my best friends told me back then. But nevertheless, I sold some copies.

Tiret_3D_222RTwo years later I tried a new approach. This time, I published a historical novel, the first in a historicalfictionseries about the French Revolution 1789. The second part came out 2010 and had an Agatha-Christie-like setting – at the end of the book, the crime will be solved but, of course, with a twist (actually there are two twists). The third (2012) and (not published yet) fourth part are darker and bloodier. No publishing house in this world would have allowed his author to change the light and amusing tone within a series. The reader might get confused or could be deeply shocked („Darling, calm down! What do you mean with rape scene?“).

Schwarzkopf_3D_222In between, I wrote a screenplay. Until now no one in the Austrian Film Biz shows the slightes interest in it. Despite the fact, that the plot plays with the most iconic Austrian movie of all time. Sound of Music? Nope. The Third Man. I published the whole screenplay in 2009 – and the book got good reviews, sold pretty well. Hell, even a nice guy in Oregon bought the ebook and read it. I hope Steve is doing well with his own books.

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Conspiracy_3D_222RSome years later, I discovered the manipulation of the people. I became a conspiracy nut. Hell, that was exciting. John F. Kennedy. The Apollo-Missions. Watergate. The Federal Reserve. 9/11. The War on Terror. You name it. I looked into the matter. I did my research. For almost 3 years. In the end I published the non-fiction book „Conspiracy – a different truth“ in 2014. Almost 700 pages long with over 1200 foot notes. But I didn’t touch the usual suspects. That’s boring. By now everyone should know that the Apollo Missions are fake and that Oswald was a patsy. So I decided to tell the reader historical facts the mainstream media and publishing houses are ignoring or downplaying. My book is only the tip of an iceberg but nevertheless it’s a start. If you don’t know the past you will never understand the present. If you really want to know what is going on in this world, you have to walk the walk, down the rabbit hole. The reality is not pretty but it’s the reality. 

Erik_3D_222RLast month, in May 2015, I published my new novel (an autobiographical fiction as I call it). The book tells the story of a young man and his relationship with 10 women. Nothing new under the sun, you would say. Except that the guy is struggling with his inner sex-demons. In other words, he is into Bondage. If you don’t know what that means, it’s about tying up a girl. Yah. That’s it, more or less. Could you compare it to Fifty Shades? Yah, you could but be aware that the Shades-Trilogy is a nice fantasy – the story in my book on the other hand deals with real life, real people, real problems. Sometimes it’s boring, sometimes it’s exciting and sometimes it’s everything in between. 

I tell you it’s a hard time to publish books all on your own. It seems that everybody wrote some kind of novel. If you go to a party and talk to the hot lady you can be sure that she will ask you one question only: „Who is your publisher?“ As soon as you tell her that your are a self publisher, she nods with a smile and walks away. Nobody is interested in an unsuccessful artist. You can do whatever you like – shit in your pants, urinate on a painting or sprinkle your blood on a blanket – as long as you make a lot of bucks you are the darling of the press. Quality? Don’t be kidding. Quality is not important at all. Nobody will tell you that – because it’s embarrassing for our society. We pretend to see the new clothes the emperor is not wearing. Take Fifty Shades as a good example for that. It sold zillion of copies. I read half of the first volume and I wonder why is it that this sloppy written book is on almost everybodys bookshelf. I am not a native speaker but I know for sure that the writing is awful. The answer is plain simple: It’s on everbodys mind because it’s on everybodys mind. The more reader the more reader. Therefor you can do whatever you want you will never be successful – with only one exception: you know the right people in the right places. But make no mistake you cannot call these key players, instead they call you. Perhaps.

If I look around I see a lot of unsuccessful artists. Everyone is trying. Everyone is failing. And not one will tell you about his or her misery. Smile and keep going – this is the mantra of the losers. It’s sad to see their facebook and twitter postings – they want success and the only thing they get are likes and re-tweets. Imagine a friend of yours knocks on your door and he tells you that he is in deep shyte and he needs some money and a bed for the next couple of nights. „Great. That’s fun. I like it, bro“, you smile, close the door and swallow some antidepressant-drug. That’s how it works. Social Media is a hellhole – if you like it or not, you have to play the game.

Our society is in danger. Because success – if ever – is short and the walk you have to walk might be painful – but almost everybody is looking for it. We compete against each other. That’s not how it should work. Civilization is based on cooperation not fighting. But you will never read something like that in the Mainstream Media. Quite the contrary, the media encourage you and me to try and push harder. Because, they will tell you that everybody can be a winner. But that’s dead wrong! Because the winner takes it all (believe it or not, but ABBA knew that already) – there is nothing left for the losers and ran-also-guys. The winners are always and exclusively the key players on the top of the pyramide, the so called suits. They know how to play the game because they invented it. Period.

Okay. So I know that I am not successful. So what? The thing is, if I give up, I have no hope for society. See I did everything to be the one guy who fulfills his dream. I worked hard, I paid my taxes, I wrote letters, I did stuff – but I never sold my soul. But how long can you take the punches? The only way out – it seems: I have to sell my soul to the devil in (corporate) disguise (Elvis knew that too, apparently). So if I cannot stand the ground, who else can? Who has the guts to fight the system? But don’t fool yourself – in the end you don’t fight the system you fight all the other contenders (and pretend to be on their side).

The last words belong to John Denver, the late American singersongwriter who inspired me. I have to thank him. He was a great musician, a great man – yah, he was always looking for space.

On the road of experience, I’m trying to find my own way.
Sometimes I wish that I could fly away
When I think that I’m moving, suddenly things stand still
I’m afraid ‚cause I think they always will

All alone in the universe, sometimes that’s how it seems
I get lost in the sadness and the screams
Then I look in the center, suddenly everything’s clear
I find myself in the sunshine and my dreams

And I’m looking for space
And to find out who I am
And I’m looking to know and understand
It’s a sweet, sweet dream
Sometimes I’m almost there
Sometimes I fly like an eagle
And sometimes I’m deep in despair

On the road of experience, join in the living day
If there’s an answer, it’s just that it’s just that way

When you’re looking for space
And to find out who you are
When you’re looking to try and reach the stars
It’s a sweet, sweet, sweet dream
Sometimes I’m almost there
Sometimes I fly like an eagle
But sometimes I’m deep in despair
Sometimes I fly like an eagle,
Like an eagle
I go flying flying

Looking for Space
John Denver
taken from the Album: Windsong, 1975


Die einzig richtige Weltanschauung oder Wie sich die sozialen Medien verändert haben

Karl May hätte sich hier seine Inspiration holen können.
Karl May hätte sich hier seine Inspiration holen können. Wien, anno 2015.

Ich weiß nicht, was mehr zu fürchten ist – Straßen voller Soldaten, die ans Plündern gewöhnt sind, oder Dachkammern voller Schreiberlinge, die ans Lügen gewohnt sind.

Samuel Johnson [1709-1784]
zit. n. Freda Utley in
Kostspielige Rache [The High Cost of Vengeance], S. 13.
H. H. Nölke Verlag, Hamburg 1952

Es ist bemerkenswert, dass die Hoffnungen und Visionen der Humanisten des 15. Jahrhunderts heutzutage in Erfüllung gegangen sind: der Mensch kann schreiben und lesen, er hat Zugriff auf Bücher und wissenschaftliche Publikationen, er kann sich an jeden Diskurs beteiligen und seine Meinung nicht nur frei äußern, sondern diese auch – ohne begütert sein zu müssen – veröffentlichen. Erasmus von Rotterdam (1466-1536) würde sicherlich begeistert sein, vom Web 3.0. Warum, fragt man sich dann, hat sich die zivilisierte Welt nicht in ein Paradies verwandelt? Ich befürchte, die altehrwürdigen Philosophen waren zu naiv, zu blauäugig. Sie konnten nicht im Geringsten ahnen, dass in ferner Zukunft die Obrigkeit imstande sein würde, eine gebildete und belesene Masse auf einfache Art und Weise zu manipulieren und zu indoktrinieren. Die Ingredienzen dafür sind Zuckerbrot, Peitsche und die Kenntnis des Herdeninstinkts.

Social Media hat sich verändert. Ist es Ihnen auch aufgefallen? Immer mehr Leutchen tummeln sich auf den Medienkanälen und suchen nach Aufmerksamkeit. Immer mehr Leutchen wollen dir etwas verkaufen. Immer mehr Leutchen wollen ihre Weltanschauung, die einzig richtige, in die Welt posaunen – begleitet von Pauken und Trompeten. Es ist kaum mehr möglich, diesen teils idealistischen, teils professionellen Heilsverkündern zu entgehen, die meinen, die alleinige Wahrheit gepachtet zu haben. Sie glauben sich aufgeklärt und frei, dabei werden sie nach Strich und Faden von der „vernünftigen Minderheit“ [intelligent few] manipuliert. Ohne es auch nur im Geringsten zu ahnen, gehören Sie längst zur Fußtruppe der elitären Machthaber. Auf ein Foto, auf ein Wort hin „magdeburgisiert“ dieser politisch korrekte Heerhaufen jede Gesprächsbasis. Dem ideologischen Feind wird der „schwedische Trunk“ in die Kommentarzeile gespült. Auf dass seine Erklärungen elendiglich ersticken. Wir haben es hier mit einem virtuellen Kreuzzug der wahren Gläubigen zu tun, die jeden Heiden bekehren möchten. Misslingt es, wird der Frevler mit Spott und Häme ins Jenseits, pardon, gesellschaftliche und berufliche Abseits befördert, wo er langsam vor die Hunde zu gehen hat. Vergebung gibt es für den Gefallenen nur dann, wenn er zu Kreuze kriecht und Abbitte leistet. Gnade wird nicht gewährt. Wehe den Besiegten.

Die bewusste und kluge Manipulation von Verhaltensweisen und Meinungsbildern der Masse ist ein wesentliches Element in einer demokratischen Gesellschaft. Jene, die diese verborgenen gesellschaftlichen Mechanismen manipulieren, stellen eine unsichtbare Regierung dar, die in unserem Land die wahre herrschende Macht ist. Wir werden regiert, unsere Gedanken und Geschmäcker geformt, unsere Ideen vorgedacht, hauptsächlich von Männern, von denen wir noch nie etwas gehört haben. Das ist das logische Ergebnis der Art wie unsere demokratische Gesellschaft organisiert ist. Eine gewaltige Anzahl an menschlichen Geschöpfen muss auf diese Weise miteinander auskommen, wenn sie gemeinsam in einer reibungslos funktionierenden Gesellschaft leben möchte. […] Wie immer man auch darüber denken mag, es bleibt eine Tatsache, dass wir in so gut wie allen Aspekten unseres Lebens, sei es in politischen oder wirtschaftlichen Angelegenheiten, sei es in unserem Sozialverhalten oder in unserem Moralverständnis, von einer relativ kleinen Gruppe (angesichts der 120 Millionen [Einwohner der USA] nur ein unbedeutender Bruchteil) dominiert werden, welche die Denkvorgänge und die sozialen Verhaltensmuster der Masse verstehen. Diese Gruppe ist es, die die Fäden zieht, welche die öffentliche Meinung steuern, diese Gruppe ist es, die sich alte gesellschaftliche Zwänge nutzbar macht und neue Wege findet, um die Welt zusammenzuhalten und zu führen.

Propaganda [1928]
Edward Bernays [1891-1995]
Doppelneffe von Sigmund Freud
meine Übersetzung, Seite 9f.