IMPORTANT ISSUES IN THE OSCARS #SPOTLIGHT
Important issues in the Oscars’ spotlight were one of the key reasons I tuned into the Academy Awards this year. After all, when you have documentaries like “The Hunting Ground” highlighting campus rape, and Lady Gaga’s song “Till it happens to you” up for best song, and the movie #“Spotlight” showing investigative journalism at its finest in exposing childhood sexual abuse being covered up by the Catholic Church, I’ll set aside my usual TV viewing for the Oscars. And I wasn’t disappointed, except perhaps that Lady Gaga’s song lost out to that theme from the James Bond movie. You can tell I wasn’t impressed by that song when I can’t even remember the name of it!
But my interest was, of course, super keen because of my history as a victim of childhood sexual abuse, the story I told in my first memoir, “No Tears for my Father”. Over the nearly three years since I wrote and self-published that book, it’s been rewarding (and simultaneously sad) to see the huge interest in something as ugly as incest. My book sales, both from my website and via online distributors like Amazon have been very good, not enough to make me rich or famous of course, but enough to satisfy me that I have done my share in raising awareness of childhood sexual abuse. And since then, I’ve penned two more books, my last being “Voice from an Urn” through which I’ve tried to help readers better understand another victim of mental, physical and sexual abuse: my mother. I don’t know if I’ve succeeded in doing that as sales of that book are currently very slow, despite its low price and my podcasting the first several chapters of that book directly from this website, and also through iTunes, Stitcher and Podcasts.com. I know of only 2 or 3 followers of this blog who have tuned into those podcasts and left me comments. So it’s time for me to draw some conclusions, the first being that listening to podcasts isn’t what my followers like to do; the second being “Voice from an Urn” isn’t all that interesting, and the third being I need to find some focus other than my books for my Vigaland Podcast. I’ve decided on what that will be but I’ll announce that in next podcast.
So that said, I’m pulling the plug on reading the rest of “Voice from an Urn” as a podcast. If you haven’t read the book and would like to read it, I have no more printed copies after doing a conference on sexual violence in Kapuskasing last week (it was awesome!), but you can still buy the digital versions from my website, or if you really want the printed book, those are available via the CreateSpace bookstore or through Amazon. The same goes for my second book, “Learning to Love Myself”. As a self-published, hence self-financed author, I can’t afford to keep printing books folks aren’t buying. What I’ve learned over the past 2+ years is the best way to sell printed books is in person: at conferences like the one in Kapuskasing or for the Youth Justice Ministry that I did in October 2015, or at book talks, or addressing members of book clubs (I have one coming up in Toronto in June) or doing book signings at Chapters. There’s no doubt about it: being a self-published author is a never-ending learning experience LOL.
By the way, if you’re curious about my reaction to SPOTLIGHT winning Best Picture at the Academy Awards, please see this link on my other blog site devoted to child sexual abuse/incest. I think it’s an interesting post and I’d welcome your reactions on that blog. You might also want to read the blog I posted in reaction to Lady Gaga’s song at the same blogsite.
You know, over the past couple of years I lost a bit of my motivation for being a champion against child sexual abuse. I got so tired of talking about it on Facebook and every time I had to give a book talk and was trying to sell my books that I’d begun to think “why bother? I’m like a drop in a bottomless rotten bucket of sexual ugliness.” With everything I hear daily on TV, read in the headlines, I become more heartbroken about the future for children worldwide: young girls being trafficked, online predators, genital mutilation in certain cultures, hidden religious abuse … and most of it, let’s face it, as a result of men being raised, taught that they are entitled to do what they want with women’s (and sadly, as I’m learning, young boys’) bodies, I begin to lose hope. I’ve bared my soul and aired filthy laundry in my books. Great movies are emerging. Songs are being written and sung by famous artists, and yet, can we ever hope to eradicate this never-ending sexual abuse when victims are afraid to speak up, and even when they do and press charges, case after case is thrown out for lack of evidence (who is present in cases of incest apart from the victim and the abuser?) or by clever lawyers who are skilled in tearing the victim’s testimony down and making the victim look like a whining baby. Of course, they don’t know, or care how it feels, just as Gaga sings. No-one knows until it happens to them.
Well this is super long for a blog post but before I go, I’d like to share one more link with those of you who will listen to a podcast, this time not by me, but by Bernadette Rule of Mohawk Radio in Hamilton on her weekly program, Art Waves. She interviewed me about my books and other issues in late January. If you have an hour to kill, you might enjoy hearing what she asked and how I responded. You can find that interview/podcast HERE.
Over and out! And if you read all this, you deserve a medal. As always, your comments are most welcomed.
©Viga Boland, Speaker, Author