About Me

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J is an unpublished author, represented by Carrie Pestritto of Prospect Agency. J's first novel is a YA fantasy horror, regarding a siren who must choose between the haunting life and humanity. J draws on occasion, reads quite often, and is a founding member of the critique group 'Thoughtical Verbosity.'

Friday, October 28, 2011

Why Is This Okay?

Hey Internet;

I've just caught up with my goal for spit-and-polishing Ze Book. It will be ready for Beta readers come November--which is in just a few days--which gives me great joy. And apparently the title and theme of my last blog post suggested to a  few readers that I was ENNNNNDING le blog. Well, I'm not. To prove it, and because I need a little break from reading material I've already read 5,000 times: here's another post.

Normally, I try to infuse some chuckles and jests into le blog. I can't guarantee it's going to be that way in this one, but we'll just see what happens.

Lately, I've been seeing a lot of ugly things in the world. Hatred and ignorance and cruelty are being spread around like free razor-blade candy out of a stranger's van. Who is the stranger? Why is he driving a van? There may be no true answer to these questions, regardless of their relevance.

And speaking of pointless questions, what is the most fair-minded response to all that idiocy?

"Why is this okay?"

I've read and heard people asking this question many times. I've even seen it on one of my favorite sources for news: The Stephen Colbert Report. Let me clarify that this isn't aimed at Mr. Colbert, whom I adore, but seeing such a hard hitter whip out that tippy-toe line gave me pause.
This is not a man with tippy toes. He may not have toes at all. Just further extensions of his feet, covered with a tattoo of the Statue of Liberty wearing the Constitution like Princess Leah's golden bikini.

To me, that question is weak-sauce, especially when the answer is obvious ("It isn't. Dur."). But what especially makes that question watered-down-leftover-oatmeal-instead-of-Szechuan sauce is the direction it is tossed. More often than not, "Why is this okay?" is asked of the victims of ignorance.

"Hey, Billy, why is it okay that that guy just beat your teeth into your eardrums and everyone just stood around watching?"

"Hey, Joan, why is it okay that everyone is ganging up on your beliefs and nobody else has the balls to stand up for you?"

I could stage more hypothetical scenarios, but I imagine we all get the picture (and have probably seen it played out in real life enough times, anyway).

It's not okay to abuse or attack or insult another person just because they believe or behave differently than you do! That's not even a secret of the universe. It's just a bald-faced fact that is blatantly ignored by a frightening number of people. Asking 'Why is this okay?' implies ignorance of the obvious answer.

But the real reason I'm annoyed by the activity of 'Why is this okay?' is not based in self-evident facts that everyone old enough to sling their biased crap at other people should know. 'Why is this okay?' could actually play a role in fixing the problems. If it was being asked to the right people.

"Hey Jeff, why is it okay for you to break the teeth of that kid who's never done anything to you?"

"Hey Gina, why is it okay for you to spread blatant lies about something you couldn't be bothered to fully research?"

And so on, and so forth.

I have never, in my entire life, encountered a bully (real, fictional, living or dead) who impressed me. No matter who they are bullying, they are wrong. You can disagree with someone. You can even hate them for disagreeing with you. But I believe that in the end, it does not matter what you say, what you donate to, who you support, or what clothes you did or did not wear. All that matters is how you have treated others.

Why is it okay for me to say that? Because it's true.

-J Larkin

Now, I'm going to get back to work on Ze Book and enjoy some Americone Dream. Because Stephen Colbert told me to.

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