Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Why I Write Mostly Fiction

I write fiction.  I make things up.  I've been asked why I don't write memoirs, topical essays, or the like.  Well, I kinda do... kinda.  My musings are sometimes essays, sometimes memoirs.  My fiction is sometimes part memoir since the characters I create are often living in places or situations that are part of my history.  I guess I prefer fiction because I can make sense out of the moral character, or lack thereof, of my creations. They're not real.

What I can't make sense of is the residents of this country I call home.  A long time ago I accepted the sad fact that we are an anti-intellectual society.  We treat deep thinkers with disdain, call them geeks, or eggheads, and such, but generally not with a tone of respect.

We're mentally lazy.  We'd rather have questionable sources feeding us our news and information and not verify its truth than search out what's real by exploring alternate sources.   That makes us gullible: to glitzy advertising, to sound bites taken out of context, to Facebook and its spawn that are collectively called Social Media, to data that mirror our personal beliefs.

We're angry.  I say that knowing in my heart that the real truth is we're afraid, but fear implies weakness in the minds of so many of us.  What are we afraid of?  Interesting question. On one side we're afraid of: liberals, gays, immigrants, radical muslims, other races - among other things.  On the other we're afraid of: conservatives, guns, climate change, fundamentalist christians, other races - among other things.

We're racist.  Oh no! my Progressive (nee Liberal) friends cry.  Oh no! my Conservative friends (and I do have some) cry.  But we are.  When we meet an ordinary individual not of our race, what goes through our heads?  Don't think of what should, think of what does.  Is the person put in a category somehow different from you?

I could continue with other examples, but I write fiction.

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