Monday, July 17, 2017

The Divided States of Hysteria

Words to live by....

"... I respond to [...] everything else this world provides of which I am not fond in the same way.  I don't eat seafood.  I don't watch reality television.  And I don't listen to Hip Hop.  I have neither right, entitlement nor responsibility to dictate that these and everything else I dislike be remade to be more appealing to me, nor be eliminated from the culture at large.  I simply choose not to participate in what I don't favor.

"But clearly, as indicated by the reaction to the first issue of The Divided States of Hysteria, I am an outlier in contemporary culture.  Whereas I choose to not engage with that which I loathe, a number of vocal members of the enthusiast community clearly believe, as indicated above, that they can dictate to me, and by extension and implication, anyone else, the content of my and our material.

"This attitude, it seems to me, is part and parcel with the current notion of an entitlement to protection from ideas, concepts, opinions and points of view that are deemed offensive by whatever cohort opts to be offended.  This occurs predominantly on the left, but the right has its deep seated sensitivities, too, in its embrace, for example, of faux outrage.

"The argument, made by people who would not be caught dead actually reading my work, mind you, is that this is not a matter of different tastes, but that the work itself exhibits bias and thus does harm.

"But this point of view requires a profoundly willful ignorance of me, my history and my politics, and, most importantly, necessitates the recasting of story elements to make them statements of personal policy--as opposed to aspects of an overall dramatic narrative.

"Sorry, but I'm here to hip you [to] the fact that you live in a plural society, in which ideas other than yours or mine have currency.  And the solution to this issue is profoundly simple.  Don't eat seafood.  Don't watch reality television.  Don't listen to Hip Hop.  Don't vote Republican.

"Don't buy my fucking book.

"Thanks for your kind attention."

--Howard Chaykin, 

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