Different Floors of the House

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Burning Books and Stuff

I have degrees in literature and writing so it goes without saying that I write and read more than the average person.  I guess you could say I'm well read, and no, I don't want to get into any bookworm pissing contest with anyone.  I'm just saying, I've read some stuff.  I'm a good reader.  I'm a close reader.  All that stuff.  And yes, I write--might not be the next Cormac McCarthy, but I do write...

You know, I can't imagine what it would be like if someone took it upon themself to hate my work so much that they amassed a heap of my *best* work and lit it ablaze.  Jeez, that would hurt my feelings, for sure.  I might even think about going into fetal hibernation under my bed.  Maybe I'd think about changing my name and moving to...somewhere that was not here.   I might think about a lot of stuff.  Yeah, I might think about it.  I wouldn't do it. Wouldn't do anything except keep writing.  That's what I would do. Well, ok, I might jump off a bridge if it were someone like my mother or my daughter doing the burning, that would shut me down, for sure.  But anything short of familial disparagement is just going to get chocked up to status-quo-class criticism.

Why is that?  Why wouldn't I freak out and throw incendiary bombs (linguistic or otherwise) at the people burning my book?  Because I live in a world of diverse opinions, with diverse perspectives and diverse attitudes.  That's why.  I'm used to criticism.  Americans are used to that.  If you're not, you're leading one helluva sheltered life, or you live with your mother.

You know what?  Check this out.  I actually did have a guy crumple up something I wrote once and toss it in the garbage can on the way out of class--a class full of students who were listening to me read my story as they were following along.  Boink.  In the trash.  Deep sixed.  I mean this guy was a blatant lefty and he didn't even think about recycling it.  Trashed.  Actually, when he first tossed it he missed the garbage can so he bent over and picked it up with his index finger and thumb as if it were a hardened dog turd and only dropped it into the wastebasket after dangling it there for a few seconds.  He smiled while he dangled it.  Right at me.  Right at my face.  Ugh.

Ok, that sucked.  But then again, so did what I wrote.  It sucked for him at least.  Pissed him off even. Whatever.

See?  This is why my writing sucks, I'm too tangential.  I've got no rigid structure, no...program, as someone once called it.  Maybe my writing style is just "diverse".  Nah...

So, I wonder about this Quran burning episode that will take place on 9/11/10.  And I wonder about Americans.  What is it about Americans that they put up with people burning the flag and the Bible even though they hate that it happens, but Muslims will supposedly kill an extra 10,000 infidels if we burn the Quran?  I don't know.  I'm just thinking...there aren't a lot of Christians in Mecca or Medina.  In fact, there aren't any at all.  No diversity.

Diversity.  God knows I hate that word so much.  It usually precede a lecture about how I suck for being a rich, white heterosexual male who enslaves entire races and eradicates other races from the face of the Earth.  Well, it does.  For the record, I'm not rich.  I'm not Caucasian.  I've never owned a slave, nor has anyone in my family. And I've never killed or condoned the killing of any human being.  Not even Saddam Hussein.  Not even Hitler.  Not even Kenny Rogers.

Oh, sorry.  Writing got diverse there again, didn't it?  It's actually working out good, let's keep it up.

More diversity:

I love chocolate cake with cherry flavored frosting.  /diversity

Have you ever read the Acts of the Apostles?  Did you know that Christians, 2,000 years ago burned books in protest?  Did you know this?  Act 19:19.  Go check it out.

So, what you're telling me is that it's NOT ok to offend the Muslim religion and their tradition by burning their book, but it is ok to offend the Christian religion and their tradition by telling them they cannot burn a book.  Hmm.  Maybe I was wrong about our "diversity".  Wait a second.  We don't get the benefit of our own diversity do we?  We're expected to be accepting--and particularly accepting of the idea that we're not expecting to be accepted.  That's not diversity, now is it?  That's writing yourself out of your own story! That's like...like...martyrdom.  That's the cultural equivalent of a self perpetuated fetal hibernation.  That's death.  Suicide.  Jumping off the bridge. 

Do yourself a favor and go burn a Quran.  At least you'll know you're alive.

Feel free to print this out, just so you can toss it in the trash.

Me?  I'm going to burn it. 

That's all.

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