January 28, 2016
Next On The Women Show (Radio) - Internet Crazies
Elizabeth Black writes in a wide variety of genres including erotica, erotic romance, and dark fiction. She lives on the Massachusetts coast with her husband, son, and three cats. Visit her erotic fiction web site, her horror/dark fiction web site, her Facebook page, her erotic fiction Amazon Author Page, and her dark fiction/horror Amazon Author Page.
They are coming out of the woodwork. Plenty of people, especially women, have had to deal with Internet crazies. These crazies often show up in your Facebook private messages. Sometimes they aren't even your friends. I've had a slew of them recently, mostly men. Claiming to have military service is popular. Just today, I saw another one who claimed to be military stationed in Iraq. He had only one friend in common with me and I have no idea who that woman is. There was no other information about him available on Facebook. He doesn't update his timeline with anything about himself. Nope, all these guys do the same thing. He posted a picture of himself in civies and another picture of himself in his uniform. That's it.
Why do so many of these guys think that making a fake military listing will attract women? I've heard from numerous high-ranking (yeah, like I'm going to believe that) military personnel, especially doctors, who say they are stationed in the Middle East. They're rank, all right. Then there are the non-American men who immediately ask me if I'm married with children. Unfriend. Block. Or the men who tell me my profile picture is beautiful and they want to be my friend. When I told one I was married and not interested in hooking up with anyone, he said he'd love to pretend I was his sister. Yeah, sure. Unfriend. Block. Or the men who claim to have incurable illnesses (brain cancer is popular) and want to leave their money to me if only I leave them my bank information. Unfriend. Block. I toyed with one of these guys a few years ago only because he wrote in French and I wanted to brush up on my French. He asked me where I lived, if I was married, if I had children, and then launched into his sad story of having brain cancer and he needed me to donate money to him for experimental surgery that just happened to cost thousands of dollars. I noticed all his friends were female, mostly romance writers I knew. I warned a few about him, and they unfriended and blocked him. He did not update his timeline at all. The only updates were from unsuspecting women thanking him for his friend invite. I imagine he contacted them with the same tall tales hoping to get some cold hard cash out of them. I told him I couldn't give him any money, but I was suffering from an illness myself – terminal acne – and I desperately needed him to send me money for experimental surgery. I can't take credit for that one. I first saw that one on the comic strip Bloom County. Bill the Cat died from terminal acne. So I stole from the best. He ignored me and kept trying to get money out of me. He didn't react to anything I wrote no matter how outrageous it was. All he wanted was to part me from my money. I finally got bored and I stopped writing to him. He never wrote back and I see now his account is gone.
Women pull these stunts, too. I heard from one from Japan whom I friended and I should have known better. She immediately signed me up for two groups on Facebook with explicit porn. Unfriend. Block. Or the other woman on Facebook who talked to me for a few days before sending me a private message to say she was in dire need of several thousand dollars and could I lend it to her? Nope. Those "I'm stranded in Europe and I need money" scams from people faking your friend's accounts are common. So are money scams on the web. Unfriend. Block. These Facebook porn groups piss me off. Facebook won't take them down, but you post a book cover with so much as a hint of a nipple and not only is your cover taken down but you're put in Facebook jail for a week or more.
About ten years ago, I stumbled upon The Spam Letters, a website by Jonathan Land, a wiseguy who answered spam he received in the most outrageous and ridiculous manner. Some of the spammers actually wrote back and still tried to sell him stuff he didn't need or tried to part him from his money. He included lots of his responses to classic Nigerian e-mail scam letters. He has since taken down all of the several hundred spam letters except for about two dozen since he has compiled them all in a book, and the book is available for sale on Amazon. I did manage to find my favorite Spam Letter. He responded to an unsolicited email trying to sell him erectile dysfunction herbal supplements. Here's his hilarious reply.
Boy, do I have a bone to pick with you.
You should really pay more attention to who you send your advertising to.
I am a 17-year-old college student, who, as any average 17-year-old male could tell you, is sexually excited more often then not. If a butterfly flaps its wings in China, I guarantee you there isn't an atomic clock that can accurately measure the speed with which I will pitch a tent.
I know you were hoping to get some 45-year-old dentist who has spent the past 20 years of his life with a woman who makes any given NPR personality look like a sex kitten, and yes, that includes the guys from "Car Talk".
My point is this: because of your primitive "marketing strategy, you have screwed me over BIG TIME!
I've been seeing this girl for about three months now, and I've finally figured out the right combination of sensitivity and alcohol to coerce her into relieving me of that mighty, mighty albatross: virginity. So, we're back at my room in the frat house. We start making out a little and I need to go to the bathroom because I'm wicked blitzed, and I haven't taken a leak all night. So she asks, "while you're gone, do you mind if I download some mood music off of Napster"? Since I only have Limp Bizkit CDs, I have no "sensitive, love-making music," so I say, "Sure, get some Smashing Pumpkins or shit like that Baby." Am I good or what?
So I'm in the bathroom thinking: Okay, if I take her clothes off at the rate of one article every 10 minutes (an efficient, yet sensitive pace – I'm a math major), I will be losing my virginity within the hour, but then I realize: Hey, we're in Buffalo, NY. In winter. Who knows how many layers of clothing she's wearing! I might stay a virgin for two more hours! I can't take it! (That's when I remembered that I had thermal underwear on, and that just ain't manly by any yardstick, so I got rid of them.)
I come out of the bathroom, and she's just sitting there wit this completely different expression on her face. She says: "Sweetie, I saw that e-mail about the natural Viagra stuff that your friend sent you. It's okay, we don't need to rush this." I was completely torn. I can't say something like, "Yo, that ain't true, I'll make sweet, sweet love to you senseless right here, right now, over and over and over" without giving up the sensitive front. So I say, "Baby, I'm sorry you had to find out about my erectile dysfunction this way, but I'd like to try this. I'd like to try and make you happy." She was on board. Kid Genius had saved the day!
So we were fooling around for a few hours, and all I'm thinking from the get-go is: "Okay, why am I not hard yet?" This girl is a cheerleader for Christ's sake, and my penis is acting like I'm in bed with Nathan Lane. After a while she gets real frustrated, calls me a fag, goes home, and the next day she's doing one of my fraternity brothers. My one prospect of virginity-loss has slipped through my hands like a grain of sand in an hourglass, a moment of time that cannot be regained, just like that grain of sand that will never pass through the glass chamber in the same way, no matter how many times you flip the thing over. And believe me. I tried flipping her over, and that didn't work either. (I've got a minor in philosophy – can you tell??)
Did you know that some ancient tribes from South America, such as the Yanomamo, punish murderers not only for the people they've killed, but for the deaths of the potential descendants of those people as well? Well I should fucking sue you to the tune of all the girls I could have done by now if I lost my virginity as scheduled. All because of you, I'm still a virgin. Maybe since last week I could have banged 30 chicks a night, but I'll never know now. I'm just sitting around waiting for the mayor of Poonville to award me the medal of pity and give me the key to the city.
Thanks loads, dude,
If you'd like to buy the book to read more of these delightful letters, just to go Amazon and look for The Spam Letters in either Print or Kindle. What's really amusing is that Land convinced a spammer to write his forward. Go check out the book.
Now back to more Internet crazies. Before I was a fiction writer and sex/relationships writer, I wrote political and feminist articles for several magazines and web sites. I was quite well known, and with the fame came the misogynistic baggage all feminists have to deal with. These were my first Internet crazies. I regularly heard from men's rights activists who liked to tell me I was wrong about everything while calling me a cunt and worse. In case you don't know what they are, men's rights activists are men – mostly middle aged white men but some are younger and of color – who feel that their sense of entitlement is being threatened by gains made by women, people of color, and GLBT folk. There are also women in the men's rights movement. They are the men's auxiliary, and they support the guys in every way, even down to doing their grunt work for them. These women were most often wives, girlfriends, sisters, and mothers of the men in the movement, and they had a vested interest in seeing the status quo maintained. I estimated that women comprised about 40% of the movement. Some of these guys want to repeal women's right to vote. They claim the vast majority of rape allegations are false. These guys will whine to anyone who will listen to them, and that often consists of an echo chamber of their own kind. Now, they meet on the Internet. Before the Internet, they met in member's homes, church halls, or other public places. They're very politically active and they try to roll back gains made by women, people of color, and GLBT folk over the past 30 odd years. And I heard from plenty of them, the emails ranging from mild insults to death threats.
Due to the influx of nutcases harassing me on Facebook over the past week, I've decided to host a radio show on The Women Show about Internet crazies. Do you have your own tales of strange men harassing you on Facebook? Do you get email from Nigerian princes who want to send you millions of dollars (people still fall for that one?)? Do writers friend you only to immediately spam your timeline and private messages with junk about their books without so much as saying hello? If you've experienced any of this or know someone who has, this is the show for you. Here are details:
The Women Show – Internet Crazies
Date: Thursday February 18, 2016 6:30 – 7 PM EST
Host – Elizabeth Black
Guests – Phoenix Johnson, Christine Morgan, and Jen Winters.
Keep an eye on my Facebook page for more details, including a link to the show with more information.
Elizabeth Black - Facebook
January 20, 2014
Romance Novel Radio Show Jan 21 at 4 PM EST
Romance is in the air! Tomorrow, Tuesday, January 21, I'm co-hosting the radio show "A Good Story Is A Good Story" with Marsha Casper Cook. Guests are Jacqueline Hopkins-Walton, Jean Joachim, and Sable Hunter. We're talking about romance and reading from our works. Be there at 4 PM EST for a fantastic show.