Wednesday, December 13, 2023

THE SAME OLD SONG: Presenting the Introduction to Rock and a Hard Place's THE ONE PERCENT

If you've noticed there's been a suspicious lack of Paul J. Garth posting on Do Some Damage lately, well, first, I'm going to have to question your priorities in life, even if it is appreciated. But this week I'm back, and I promise my absence has had good reasons. 

You're probably thinking the reason I've been quiet is because I'm still writing my novel (you'd be right!) but the other reason is because, for the last month, me and the rest of the Rock and a Hard Place editorial staff have been nose to the grindstone working on getting our latest anthology THE ONE PERCENT: Tales of the Super Wealthy and Depraved in tip-top shape out and out the door. 

To say we're proud of this anthology is an understatement. It is, in my opinion, one of the best things we've ever done, taking the feeling of living through a rigged game and aiming it right back at the cheaters and exploiters and vampirous freaks who would see us all reduced to livestock if only to make a 3% bounce in their chosen stock prices. To be clear, we don't think we're going to necessarily change anything, other than writing in big black permanent marker how intolerable conditions have become for those who think they're still on the guest list of the party (surprise - they aint), but still, this is a book whose assembled voices are vital. In it, we took care to not only show how little life matters to those at the top, we searched for and shaped voices that otherwise are never heard - often because of the prejudices of those captains of industry who hold our world in a stranglehold. 

We're so proud, we're presenting the foreword to THE ONE PERCENT: Tales of the Super Wealthy and Depraved, right here on DSD. 

Check out the forward below, and when you're done, swing by your local suffocating conglomerate to pick up a copy of the book. Your screams deserve to be heard. And one thing I'm convinced of is this: No matter how many dollar bills they stuff themselves with, eventually, they will hear us. 

Buy THE ONE PERCENT: Tales of the Super Wealthy and Depraved here


Welcome to the new order. It’s the same as the old order. 

We work hard and they get rich. We follow the rules and they flout them. 

Now it looks like tech bros on yachts and private spaceships to the moon. A hundred years ago it was oil barons and railroad tycoons. People profit from the destruction of the planet just as they did off slave labor. It’s a child digging minerals to power your smartphone just as it was young women burning to death in a t-shirt factory.

The issue of absurd wealth concentrated in the blood-soaked hands of the few is as much a constant in our history as war and racism.

With The One Percent: Tales of the Super Wealthy and Depraved, we give you stories of those at the top. Though these stories are fictional and are individual accounts of people at the highest tiers of our economic system, we hope that collectively they point to a larger systemic problem, which is the fact that our economic system incentivizes cut-throat nastiness. Having a system that rewards people for hoarding wealth and taking advantage of others means individuals with fewer scruples are more likely to rise to the top and that those that may have some basic sense of ethics or human empathy quickly learn to abandon it in order to compete.  

To say that this is a systemic problem is not to absolve the individuals who benefit from the system from their guilt and culpability. They take part in it, uphold it, and further it for their own sakes. They’re the architects of the system, the maintainers of the status quo. 

We hope this volume serves as some small form of accountability, as a way of saying that, though we are forced to live in this system for our own survival, we are not blind to it. This is our way of saying that although they have taken the majority of our waking hours, they have not taken our creativity or our humanity. 

In this collection, you’ll read stories of glorious comeuppance. As one of our authors writes, there are spiders that “eat other spiders,” and you’ll read about people out of their depths, blinded by the promise of easy cash and paying for it in the end. But there are others still, who just get away with it, who treat people like pieces on a gameboard, and never learn their lesson—because in the end, they still come out on top.

What we tried to do is find a mix of the unrepentant and the unfazed. But we never want to glorify those captains of industry who profit from the misery of others. This anthology is about showcasing the problems of immense, unchecked wealth. It’s not our usual fare of people struggling to eke out survival, but it is still presented with the trademark RHP brand of social justice and basic fairness. In this anthology, we let our authors do bad things to bad people . . . and the results are entertaining as fuck. 

If that doesn't want to make you throw a brick through Muskrats front window, I don't know what will. If you were on the fence at all, hopefully that's pushed you to our side. If so, you can buy THE ONE PERCENT: Tales of the Super Wealthy and Depraved here

I'll be back next week, with an interview with the one and only M.E. Proctor. Until then, stay frosty, friends. 

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