Category Archives: Politics

A Tale of Two Twitters

Today is #pitmad day! If you don’t know, #pitmad is a bi-annual (I think? Maybe it’s four times a year…) Twitter hashtag party wherein authors with completed manuscripts can post 140-character pitches for their novels, and agents indicate books they’re interested in hearing more about by “favoriting” the pitches.

This has been incredibly terrifying and unbelievably edifying. And by edifying I mean, per yesterday’s entry, character building. Because rejection is good for your character, and going completely unnoticed is even better.

Actually, it’s been a ton of fun, so maybe not so character-building after all. Authors retweet each other’s pitches (and I’ve had plenty of retweets, which is loads of fun!), and we get to know each other and build our little writerly communities. Good stuff.

So that’s one Twitter world. The, ahem, “best of worlds” if you will. (You know, the whole Tale of Two Cities theme? “Best of times… worst of times…” If I have to explain it it’s probably really not worthwhile but there it is. I’m attached to it now.)

Then there’s the other world. The worst of worlds. (ha ha. Now the humor turns dark.) This one kept me up all night because I couldn’t stop reading. That world can be found on Twitter too, by keying in hashtags #EricGarner #ICantBreathe and #CrimingWhileWhite.

I’m too tired and sad to explain, but you can click over there and check it out. But you probably already know.

I’ve posted so much on FB about it, I’m wrung dry. And the sad thing is, I don’t even *have* to live in the #ICantBreathe world. I can duck out any time I want. Go back to my blissful #pitmad world and pretend #EricGarner never happened.

And that’s partly what’s so unfair. Because for my POC friends, ducking out isn’t an option.

Sometimes I have profound and pithy things to say at the end of my entries. Sometimes I’m just rambling and too tired and sad and confused to wrap it all up. Guess which one this is.

Defining Evil

 Defining Evil

Me: What do you do?

Guy at Networking Event: I’m in a creative think tank at (shall-remain-nameless) bank (that was recently re-branded after receiving government bail-out funds). We generate ideas for ways to increase revenue.

Me: Sounds interesting–what kinds of things do you come up with?

Guy: We pioneered the practice of crediting withdrawals from an account in order from largest to smallest, instead of the order in which they arrive. That way, if an account becomes overdrawn, we get to charge the account holder for as many late fees as possible. This can account for millions of dollars in earnings per month. Things like that.

Me: Oh. That must be… soul-crushing work.

Guy: [Blank stare]

Different Guy Standing Nearby: [Laughs nervously] She’s got a point.

Guy: Well… I did tell them once that they might get sued. We do get sued sometimes. But we still make more money this way, so I guess it’s worthwhile. [Swigs beer]

Me: [Blank stare] Clearly, we have differing views of what constitutes “worthwhile” work.

Okay, I only *wish* I’d said that last bit. The rest is absolutely true. I had that conversation. For reals.

I like to think that the world is populated entirely by good people, even those who are difficult to love, that underneath it all they are basically good, caring people.

Sometimes I meet someone who challenges my ability to believe that. Sometimes I meet someone so blandly unaware, so pointlessly devoted to a course of harm, that I cannot think of any better word to describe it than this: Evil.

It’s not the obnoxious drunk guy in the check-out line, or the abusive spouse screaming outside the neighbor’s window, or even the child predators in the news who define evil for me. Somehow, I still find their humanity, can feel sorrow for their miserable lives.

No, to me, evil is defined by this: It’s the corporate Joe, with his buttoned up shirt, his conservative haircut, the beer in one hand. It’s the bland pride he takes in finding ways to make his government-bailed-out employer rich again at the expense of ordinary people. It’s not just a lack of remorse: It’s the lack of awareness that remorse is even necessary.

In my book, evil is not a genius. Evil is not ugly. Evil is not even aware that he is evil.

Evil sells himself to a faceless giant. In exchange for a paycheck, he offers up clever tools to squeeze profit from the lifeblood of struggling citizens. For 30 shekels of silver, he sells out his fellow man, and then stands around boasting about his worthwhile work. It’s his obliviousness, the blank stare. The swig of beer.

What is evil to you?

Epiphany!

I’ve been at it all weekend, building this site. Most of that time has been devoted to trying to get social media integrated into the site. I still haven’t figured that out. But I did figure this out:

If you’re here, it’s because you care about what’s going on in my life. Wow. That’s pretty potent stuff. Thank you.

Which also means this:

I can post almost anything, and you’ll be glad to hear about it because, well, you care about me. That pretty much makes us friends, except the part where you don’t necessarily tell me about your life too. Which you can totally do in the comments and I will totally read them and it will almost be like a conversation. Grab a coffee and let’s talk. I’ll just look at this gratuitous cute photo of my son and our friend’s daughter, and muse on the differences between boys and girls while you’re gone.

photo 1 768x1024 Epiphany!
Everett and Jannie by the pond

Got coffee? Okay. The first thing I’m going to do is add a bunch of categories, so you can sort through stuff if you like and only listen to ramblings on topics that interest to you (ohmygoodness this is BETTER than friendship). Topics may include: Fiction (my little stories and half-stories and ill-conceived story ideas), Life Updates (just stuff about, you know, what I’m doing, stories about the kids, cute stuff, funny stuff, just stuff about us), and… well, that’s all I can think of at the moment. I’ll add more maybe. Some of them will probably already be there by the time you read this.

AND, because I installed this nifty little digest plugin thingy (that’s the technical term), sometimes this random rambling or whatever will be at the top of the daily digest, which I’ve changed so that it now comes out at night instead of morning, you know, so I can write about my day before I hit “publish.” And then at the bottom there will be a list of everything else I wrote or uploaded or whatever that day. Which kind of defeats the whole point of being able to sort through which bits you want to listen to. Sorry about that.

Anyway. If you’re here, thank you. And watch out. Once I get going I can seriously run my mouth. Be sure to step in and get your words in edgewise in the comments!