Thursday, December 6, 2012

On balls.

This is what NYC looks like on a very bouncy bus.

LA Times Gift Guide!  Ask the Passengers is in there! Woot.

Anyway.

Someone wrote to me this week after reading Ask the Passengers and told me I had balls. She said I could quote her, so I will.

It takes real balls to write about giving love and respecting love the way you did.
I don't know.
Does it?

I was in NYC on Tuesday being spoiled by my Little, Brown BFYR peeps and we got to talking. We talked about the idea of organized love and I mentioned that there are many organized groups who are formed for the single task of hating random strangers. You know, based on race, religion, political leanings, who they love, their basic philosophies on life. Etc.

Offshoot:
If we take it a step further, there are people who hate random stuff. I know a woman who "hates" Hot Topic. Dude. It's a store. I hear from people all the time about how they "hate" swearing. I don't allow swearing in my house, but I'll toss this out there: I'd rather my kids swear than hate. I know a guy who "hates" pick-up trucks. I asked him why. He said all pick-up truck drivers were trying to be rednecks and big and tough and scary with their big trucks. Look. WHY DO YOU CARE ABOUT THIS SHIT? Who cares? Seriously. Even if that idea is 100% true, which is can't statistically be, why are you wasting time caring about this?

Anyway:
The hating of random people is something that's just normal to us, isn't it? It's just an everyday thing.

In my mind, there are not as many or enough groups who aim to randomly love people. Just sending love and goodwill out there wanting nothing in return.

And it seems writing about it means I have balls.
Part of me doesn't get that. But part of me really gets that, too.

We live in the world of cool snark. If you have an opinion and you're putting it on the internet, then it's best to snark it up a bit to get more attention. Bitchy gets attention. And maybe it's true. Maybe snark is cool. Maybe nice guys finish last. I have no idea. Nor do I give a shit about my finishing time. It's not going to stop me from being nice.

I really do think that if we all sent love to random strangers the world would be a better place. I think respecting other people's privacy, ideas, space and lifestyles is a good thing. If writing a book about it means I have balls, then I'll take that compliment.

This week, a teacher on Twitter told me that her student said Ask the Passengers "made her think & not be so judgmental of others."

Sweet sweet words for this author.
You know, sometimes people think authors are trying to make some huge argument with their books or trying to promote some crazy idea when you know what? Most of the time, it's entirely impossible to guess what an author's real intention is.

And so, I'll give you one of my favorite Whitman poems to make my intention clearer. Or not.


When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer

BY WALT WHITMAN
When I heard the learn’d astronomer,
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me,
When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them,
When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,
How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick,
Till rising and gliding out I wander’d off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.



3 comments:

Catherine Stine said...

That twitter comment was nice, indeed. I think people eventually get fed up with haters. I mean, look what happened to Perez Hilton when he went too far with the hater stance. People got really fed up and then he had some sort of "nice guy" conversion.

Carly Reads said...

"We live in the world of cool snark. If you have an opinion and you're putting it on the internet, then it's best to snark it up a bit to get more attention. Bitchy gets attention. And maybe it's true. Maybe snark is cool. Maybe nice guys finish last. I have no idea. Nor do I give a shit about my finishing time. It's not going to stop me from being nice."

I love that. I've been thinking a lot about snark lately and I think you summed up my feelings perfectly. It's exactly what I needed to read tonight. You rock, Amy!

unpub said...

I would like to provide a personal testimonial to your kindness. When I, an unpublished author, asked you if I could interview you on my blog, you not only immediately said yes; you asked me questions about myself and where I am now in my unpublishedness. You gave me advice and encouragement. And all along, you knew full well that there was very little I could give you in return, other than my admiration - and you had that already. You practice random acts of kindness just because that's what feels right to you to do. All that snark can do is curse the darkness. You, on the other hand, light a light.