Getting Steamed Up

A steam engine steaming its way down the track.

OK, normally I take criticism in stride. I know the stuff I write is not for everybody. If you don’t like the subject matter, or my writing style, fine. There’s just some stuff that really irks me.

I got a comment in the past day or so on the first chapter of Oasis that says:

“olive skin”

“a language I didn’t understand”

Let me guess: the “terrorists” created the zombies. I sense an ideology I don’t want to delve into. I don’t think I’ll continue reading.

I responded in the comments there, but I’d like to put it here, too.

Response

First, there’s no guessing needed. I thought it was in-your-face-plain that terrorists were responsible for starting the outbreak in Oasis.

Second, an ideology? What ideology? That terrorists do bad things? I thought that was pretty much common knowledge, and why we call them “Terror”-ists. Are there Middle Eastern terrorists? Well, that’s a well-established fact. Do I even imply that everybody from the Middle East is a terrorist? Of course not. Do I imply that that everyone with olive skin is a terrorist? No. The hero (Corbin) has olive skin because his mother was from Spain. Now, are there bigots out there that do assume that olive skin=Middle Eastern Terrorist? Yes. As a matter of fact Corbin has problems with some of those type of closed-minded characters, starting in the VERY NEXT CHAPTER.

Let me put it this way: The terrorists in Oasis are a plot device, not a political message.

However, if this chapter “offended” you, then its probably best you don’t keep reading. You will most likely be incapable of enjoying the story.

* Bryce Takes A Deep Breath *

Whew.

Sorry about that.

Now I look like the idoit for being so easily offended, don’t I?

I’m such a freaking hypocrite.

Moral of the Story

Getting offended by small things really sucks the fun, the joy, the very life out of you, doesn’t it?

The Other Lesson

Other than learning the moral of the story, I just learned how to spell the word “hypocrite.” Thank you, Merriam-Webster Online.

4 thoughts on “Getting Steamed Up

  1. Dude! How rude was that person! I’m sorry you had to deal with that. And no, I didn’t think you looked like an idiot at all! It’s one thing for your work to be criticized about its style, or typos, or any number of things related to the writing craft. But to be criticized for someone else’s assumptions goes way beyond the pale! I didn’t think you behaved like a hypocrite at all.

    But yes, getting upset over little things does take the joy out of life. Then again, getting upset over the big things does too. 😉

    And ain’t the dictionary great? 😉

  2. Okay, I really loved your response, even though the narrow-minded bigotted moron won’t read it because s/he’s … well, a moron. And there’s nothing hypocritical about what you said, Bryce — it’s all true. There are plenty of books out there that espouse a political agenda behind their “prose”, and plenty of movies too. From “Soylent Green” to “The Day After Tomorrow”, plenty of ideological messages pervade entertainment. Heck, even “Star Wars” was, originally, George Lucas’ explanation of Taoism.

    But kicking a story off with a couple of Middle-Eastern terrorists to get things going isn’t a new, or PREJUDICED, idea. Let’s face it, MOST terror groups (active, at least) come from that region. So the commentor doesn’t like it? Fine, someone that stupid wouldn’t be able to enjoy the intricate subtlety and nuance of plot you include in the writing anyway. 😉

    In all seriousness, this isn’t a “critique” at all, Bryce, it’s just someone being a self-important, self-deluded jerk who thinks they’re better than you because THEY would NEVER write something like that about people of Middle Eastern descent. What an idiot. So they were offended by the story? Just leave and don’t read it. Don’t pollute the web with the stink of your stupidity as you pass through.

    Just my $.02.

  3. “intricate subtlety and nuance of plot” – You make me smile.

    Who knows, maybe someday I’ll write the world-changing novel with a profound political message. That profound political message will not be “racism is good.” It will be something more like “be excellent to each other” or maybe “eat your vegetables.”

    Oh, and one more thing – the author of the comment came back and said something nice-ish. So if you’re out there, SoupfromtheHammer, sorry I snapped at you. Please read Oasis and then tell all your friends about it.

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