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At Rumple's request: Discussion of 'The Belle of Catawba Street' Options · View
magnificent1rascal
Posted: Monday, March 11, 2013 9:35:18 PM

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Rumple de Writer recently published a humor piece here on Stories Space which has engendered a discussion in the story comments section that might be more appropriate in the forum. It is about a trio of bungling would-be Ku Klux Klan members who are done in by their own stupidity and foiled by an unlikely opponent.

Here is the story we're discussing: http://www.storiesspace.com/stories/action/the-belle-of-catawba-street.aspx

While we aren't afraid of a lively debate, please keep all comments respectful.

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rolandlytle
Posted: Tuesday, March 12, 2013 9:10:29 AM

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Racism is only one of many controversial topics that can be brought up by writers here on StoriesSpace. I think it is important That writers feel they may broach such a subject and be allowed to explore it or use it when appropriated. Rumple de Writer in this story chose not to use the N-word.but mentioned before the story started, "the N-word does not appear in print, but it is unavoidably, in my opinion, there in spirit." He was right. I would have expected them to have used that term and would not have felt it was inappropriate to do so. If we portray our characters as they should be, they will do or say things that most people find objectionable, but it is the characters reality that counts. If I write a story located in the south in 1920, I would expect the N-word to come up during normal conversations, because it would have. We should not edit our characters in a way that is a less than an honest depiction of who they are and the moral standards of the time. If I write a story based in the old south before the civil war, it will contain slavery and racism to an even greater degree.

We should still be cognizant of the reaction some people may have. We should take that into account and ensure that the readers know what to expect. I think Rumple de Writer did a good job of warning the readers what to expect.

You can't get there from here, because when you get there you're still here and here is now there.
Rumple_deWriter
Posted: Tuesday, March 12, 2013 4:18:49 PM

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Maggie, you are a class act.

Roland, thanks for the compliment and for sharing your thoughts.

FWIW, I'm not sure there's a 'right' answer to how best to handle subjects some might find distasteful. My hope with that story was to imply the nature of the Klan while using humor to show them as flawed humans.

If you haven't been exposed to my pitiful prose, congratulations. :) But I would encourage you to go there and check out the comments.

glasses8

Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwords.[/ - ROBERT HEINLEIN

Schemers Scheme -- young women talking about young men

OF WAR, AND PEACE, AND MARY BETH: my contest winner, honest

For Whom the Good Tolls an 'RR' and it's short, no kidding

gypsy
Posted: Wednesday, March 13, 2013 1:36:46 AM

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Joined: 10/13/2010
Posts: 1,685
Rumple_deWriter wrote:
Maggie, you are a class act.

Roland, thanks for the compliment and for sharing your thoughts.

FWIW, I'm not sure there's a 'right' answer to how best to handle subjects some might find distasteful. My hope with that story was to imply the nature of the Klan while using humor to show them as flawed humans.

If you haven't been exposed to my pitiful prose, congratulations. :) But I would encourage you to go there and check out the comments.

glasses8


Just so you know, I'm working on a response to this discussion.

I'll get back to you on it as soon as I can.

hiding



The subject who is truly loyal to the Chief Magistrate will neither advise nor submit to arbitrary measures. Junius



DirtyMartini
Posted: Wednesday, March 13, 2013 2:23:38 AM

Rank: Rest in Peace

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Posts: 3,402
Location: Earth, for now..., United States
gypsymoth wrote:


Just so you know, I'm working on a response to this discussion.

I'll get back to you on it as soon as I can.



Uh oh...you're in trouble now Rump...btw, I read this story before you even submitted here with its original title "Crossed Up"...just thought I'd mention that...

Crossed Up by Bill Fullerton
http://usads.ms11.net/crossed.html

We actually discussed it in the mod lounge here before you submitted it...yeah, how many people can say their stories get discussed before they're even submitted...makes you sorta special I reckon...

Anyway, I also got the honor of rejecting it when you did submit it to this fine site...my own thoughts at the time were that certain words which may be considered offensive should be confined to dialogue...it would be hard to write dialogue in a story about the Klan without using certain offensive words, at least if you want to make it realistic, since we would have to assume that would be the way they would talk...

I read the comments on the story here...I agree with Yas in that your story is clearly anti-Klan, you do make them out to be bumbling fools, though I agree with Miss Maggie that some of the words you use could clearly be perceived as offensive to some...

Personally, I would have thought it better if you confined all those offensive words to dialogue...just my two cents...

I once knew a drinker who had a moderating problem...

rolandlytle
Posted: Wednesday, March 13, 2013 8:13:58 AM

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I agree with Alan in using very objectionable words only in the dialog, but that should also include the internal dialog of the character.

You can't get there from here, because when you get there you're still here and here is now there.
steffanie
Posted: Wednesday, March 13, 2013 2:12:36 PM

Rank: Advanced Wordsmith

Joined: 10/14/2010
Posts: 0
Location: England

As for the offensive word I agree with Mr Martini's suggestion on how to handle it - in dialogue. IMO If the narrator isn't a sympathiser then he's perfectly justified in not using the word - especially seeing as it's fiction.




BTW my next new character is a white girl who only dates black guys. Which seems a coincidence of sorts.
magnificent1rascal
Posted: Thursday, March 14, 2013 12:31:30 AM

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I think perhaps the basis and nature of my objection have gotten lost in this discussion. Here is exactly what I said:

magnificent1rascal wrote:
In my opinion, casting evildoers as your protagonists without presenting the (righteous) opposing view is a disservice. The broad, almost slapstick, parody of their stupidity is played for laughs but never questions their hateful beliefs or acknowledges the true heinousness of their intended action.

The pejoratives did bother me — the j-word is just as or perhaps even more offensive than the n-word — but it was the intrinsic acceptance of extreme racist behavior as normal and OK that I found more unsettling. Cross-burnings weren't pranks; they were serious warnings of worse yet to come.

While the folks I lampoon are merely annoying, the Klan is reprehensible and dangerous, and I don't see anything funny about it. My view is that the decision to create humor in an unfunny situation was misguided in this case.


The problem, as I see it, stems from having a Klansman as the point of view character in a comedy piece. That's like having Hogan's Heroes told from Col. Klink's POV with Nazis as the protagonists. It wouldn't have been funny no matter how bungling they happened to be.

Don't get me wrong: Crime can be played for laughs, often quite effectively. The Ransom of Red Chief is one of my favorite short stories. But in that story, the kidnappers are petty criminals out to turn a quick buck whose plans are foiled by the victim himself. In this story, the wrongdoers are racists setting out to commit a hate crime, whose plans are foiled by...a dog. No challenge of their beliefs is issued, no lessons learned. They don't pay a price for their intended action.

As a moderator, I was in favor of the piece being posted. I defended the derogatory terms as being no different than a direct quote in that they were expressing the thoughts of a character if not his actual spoken words.

As a reader, however, I simply can't see the humor in it. Some things are too evil to be funny.

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gypsy
Posted: Thursday, March 14, 2013 4:00:49 AM

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Joined: 10/13/2010
Posts: 1,685
magnificent1rascal wrote:
I think perhaps the basis and nature of my objection have gotten lost in this discussion. Here is exactly what I said:

magnificent1rascal wrote:
In my opinion, casting evildoers as your protagonists without presenting the (righteous) opposing view is a disservice. The broad, almost slapstick, parody of their stupidity is played for laughs but never questions their hateful beliefs or acknowledges the true heinousness of their intended action.

The pejoratives did bother me — the j-word is just as or perhaps even more offensive than the n-word — but it was the intrinsic acceptance of extreme racist behavior as normal and OK that I found more unsettling. Cross-burnings weren't pranks; they were serious warnings of worse yet to come.

While the folks I lampoon are merely annoying, the Klan is reprehensible and dangerous, and I don't see anything funny about it. My view is that the decision to create humor in an unfunny situation was misguided in this case.


The problem, as I see it, stems from having a Klansman as the point of view character in a comedy piece. That's like having Hogan's Heroes told from Col. Klink's POV with Nazis as the protagonists. It wouldn't have been funny no matter how bungling they happened to be.

Don't get me wrong: Crime can be played for laughs, often quite effectively. The Ransom of Red Chief is one of my favorite short stories. But in that story, the kidnappers are petty criminals out to turn a quick buck whose plans are foiled by the victim himself. In this story, the wrongdoers are racists setting out to commit a hate crime, whose plans are foiled by...a dog. No challenge of their beliefs is issued, no lessons learned. They don't pay a price for their intended action.

As a moderator, I was in favor of the piece being posted. I defended the derogatory terms as being no different than a direct quote in that they were expressing the thoughts of a character if not his actual spoken words.

As a reader, however, I simply can't see the humor in it. Some things are too evil to be funny.


Thank you for posting this. You've stated quite succinctly many of the things that were going through my mind, which I was having a great deal of difficulty writing down. The bit you have highlighted in bold face strikes me as being the crux of the matter. Like you, I cannot find the piece humourous, for the reasons you stated. I feel that as readers we are encouraged to cast our sympathies with the dog, who is merely following her canine instincts by protecting her owners and their property. It is not a rational or moral act on the dog's part. She would have been just as aggresive with an unsuspecting and innocent child delivering the newspaper.

In the notes posted on the story itself, one person said this:

Quote:
...funny...I felt conflicted through the story...I wanted them to get caught...no! I want them to get away...no...I want them to get caught...I absolutely wanted them to get bit!


For myself, I wasn't conflicted at all. Did I want them to get caught? Yes, but not by the dog.

Mr. Rumple wrote:
My hope with that story was to imply the nature of the Klan while using humor to show them as flawed humans.


Yes, they're flawed human beings, and while you set out to write a humourous piece I think you have overlooked a far more powerful way of denouncing the racism you set out to spoof. The roots of it lie in the following passage from the story:

from The Belle of Catawba Street wrote:
It wasn’t that he was afraid, of course. And he sure as hell didn’t like spades; at least not the uppity ones or those mixed-breed agitators Mr. Jack was always going on about. It was just that Billy Ray didn’t have anything personal against Shelby Williams, who once helped his family out when no other lawyer in town would.

But Mr. Jack said Williams’ was doing way too good a job defending some sorry assed jigaboo so Billy Ray supposed this needed doing, especially since it would impress Mr. Jack, and, with any luck, his daughter.


There is a world of conflict right there, in the fact that Billy Ray's family had once been helped out by Shelby Williams when no other lawyer in town would. Billy Ray not only has no personal grudge against the lawyer but is in fact obliged to him. It wouldn't make a funny story, but it could very well make a powerful and moving one that showed just how flawed a human being the racist is.

That's it from me.



The subject who is truly loyal to the Chief Magistrate will neither advise nor submit to arbitrary measures. Junius



rolandlytle
Posted: Thursday, March 14, 2013 8:31:41 AM

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Maggie and gypsymoth both make a good point. The story did nothing to show how bad racism is. The racist characters were not taught a morale lesson, were not arrested and punished, or proved to be wrong in their in anyway.

The story is not written to do that. The story was written to be funny. If the racist had been arrested, punished and learned their lesson to become model citizens, would the story have been funny then? It should have no effect on the comedic value of the story. The humor is from the bungling ineptitude of the dullards. The morality should have nothing to do with that humor, but what is funny to one may not be to another.

I don't like drunk driving jokes. I have had two friends killed (murdered) by drunk drivers, but many people think they are funny; I hear them laughing loud and long. I recognize this influence in my self due to my life experiences. If I know the drunk driving routine/joke is coming up I make the decision to watch or not watch. I normally use that time for something better. I don't like that it's funny, but it is to a lot of people.

If however someone was promoting drunk driving as acceptable, then I will definitely step forward.

I know that some people will find this story not funny, because it's involving racists. But the story was not advocating racism or the KKK, it was making fun of three stupid teenagers. The writer knew this is a hot button issue even though he did not intend to address the racism directly. He put everyone on notice what was coming. I admire that some people with strong convictions stepped forward to bring their view to everyone's attention. I did not see anything that seemed disrespectful or judgmental by any one in this discussion. That in itself shows me what intelligent and wonderful people I share this site with.

I think this discussion can be simplified to : Some didn't think it was funny. They told us why they think it's not funny. Their opinion was acknowledged and accepted.

There are two specific points I would like to make. First, Maggie wrote "it was the intrinsic acceptance of extreme racist behavior as normal and OK that I found more unsettling." You should find it unsettling because it is, but considered acceptable and appropriate at that time by those people. Second, gypsymoth wrote "For myself, I wasn't conflicted at all. Did I want them to get caught? Yes, but not by the dog." If they had been caught by the police, would the story then be funny? I don't think so for you.

I taught classes for the military over thirty years ago about racism's unacceptability and prevention. I taught similar classes on racism & sexism for more than two decades. I do not think racism is funny, but I do think three idiot racists can be.

You can't get there from here, because when you get there you're still here and here is now there.
Sherzahd
Posted: Thursday, March 14, 2013 11:11:11 AM

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I have to admit that the first time Bill tried to submit this story a few years ago, I was against having it on our site. He was very gracious about trying to understand our viewpoint - which to my recollection based on use of the 'N' word, but I stand corrected, as my memory is fuzzy at the best of times. Now, after having read it a few times after he's done the necessary revisions, I find nothing offensive about the story. It is a humour piece and should be judged as that. In my opinion, the disclaimer at the start of the story is what keeps this from being a story that glorifies racism in any way - the author clearly warns people what the story is about, which gives them the opportunity to decide whether or not they should read it.

I live in a country where racism was the order of the day up until a few years ago and racism in any form riles me to the point of distraction, yet I am able to see the humour in this piece. Over here, in a country that is still busy healing from the atrocities of apartheid, we find comedic relief in artists like Leon Schuster, Riyaad Moosa, Trevor Noah, etc. - all of them comedians for whom every second punchline is racist, but only if you're watching it with that frame of mind. They don't have any disclaimers at the start of a show and they make no apologies, because the intention is to entertain and they are using material that their audiences are familiar with - things that are relevant.

So yes, as a human being, I find any reference to the KKK offensive. I would never condone anything that glorifies their actions.

However, as a writer, I shudder at the thought of any person's right to express themselves being stifled. There is nothing more frustrating to a writer than to be told what they may or may not write about.

“Many people hear voices when no-one is there. Some of them are called mad and are shut up in rooms where they stare at the walls all day. Others are called writers and they do pretty much the same thing.”


gypsy
Posted: Thursday, March 14, 2013 1:10:35 PM

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Sherzahd wrote:
I have to admit that the first time Bill tried to submit this story a few years ago, I was against having it on our site. He was very gracious about trying to understand our viewpoint - which to my recollection based on use of the 'N' word, but I stand corrected, as my memory is fuzzy at the best of times. Now, after having read it a few times after he's done the necessary revisions, I find nothing offensive about the story. It is a humour piece and should be judged as that. In my opinion, the disclaimer at the start of the story is what keeps this from being a story that glorifies racism in any way - the author clearly warns people what the story is about, which gives them the opportunity to decide whether or not they should read it.

I live in a country where racism was the order of the day up until a few years ago and racism in any form riles me to the point of distraction, yet I am able to see the humour in this piece. Over here, in a country that is still busy healing from the atrocities of apartheid, we find comedic relief in artists like Leon Schuster, Riyaad Moosa, Trevor Noah, etc. - all of them comedians for whom every second punchline is racist, but only if you're watching it with that frame of mind. They don't have any disclaimers at the start of a show and they make no apologies, because the intention is to entertain and they are using material that their audiences are familiar with - things that are relevant.

So yes, as a human being, I find any reference to the KKK offensive. I would never condone anything that glorifies their actions.

However, as a writer, I shudder at the thought of any person's right to express themselves being stifled. There is nothing more frustrating to a writer than to be told what they may or may not write about.


I, certainly, am not saying that anyone should not be able to write something. Please read my post and all of Maggie's again. We are actually giving concise, detailed, intelligent and thoughtful response to Bill's request for feedback.

Both of us are giving feeback based exclusively on the content and context of the TEXT - in other words, the story, the words, and the meaning that the reader - me, under the circumstances, - can understand, relate to, and either sympathise with or feel alienated by.

I also live in a country where racism is rampant, where racist crimes are still committed, where hate crimes are enacted, where the weight of history has not stopped crushing people with acts of criminal vengeance, stupid petty vandalism and outright acts of terrorism. However up until now I have not brought those into the equation because they are not pertinent to the analysis of a literary text, and the analysis of a text is what has been primordial to me, and also to Maggie, I know.



The subject who is truly loyal to the Chief Magistrate will neither advise nor submit to arbitrary measures. Junius



magnificent1rascal
Posted: Thursday, March 14, 2013 1:13:01 PM

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I'll make just one more post about this to clear up a few things before I leave it be.

1. As I pointed out in the comments section of the story, I have not given a score on the story: "I wouldn't think of giving a low score because I don't care for the subject matter, but neither could I in good conscience give it the 5 that the writing deserves."

2. I did not, as has been insinuated, read and disregard the warnings, and then say the story was inappropriate. As a moderator, I read the story before it was posted, supported it being published here, and withheld comment until Rumple himself specifically asked for input, positive or negative.

3. At no time did I say the story was inappropriate or shouldn't have been published. What I did say was that as a writer, I believe casting Klan members as the protagonists and telling the story from a Klan point of view was "a disservice" and "misguided."

4. I said the pejoratives "bothered" me and I found the tone of the piece, specifically telling it from a Klan point of view, "unsettling." I never said the story was offensive or objectionable; I said it wasn't funny.

5. It feels as though I'm being taken to task for expressing my opinion. Isn't telling a reader what to think just as bad as telling a writer what may or may not be written about?

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gypsy
Posted: Thursday, March 14, 2013 1:17:28 PM

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Joined: 10/13/2010
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rolandloops wrote:
Maggie and gypsymoth both make a good point. The story did nothing to show how bad racism is. The racist characters were not taught a moral lesson, were not arrested and punished, or proved to be wrong in their in anyway.

The story is not written to do that. The story was written to be funny. If the racist had been arrested, punished and learned their lesson to become model citizens, would the story have been funny then? It should have no effect on the comedic value of the story. The humor is from the bungling ineptitude of the dullards. The morality should have nothing to do with that humor, but what is funny to one may not be to another.

I don't like drunk driving jokes. I have had two friends killed (murdered) by drunk drivers, but many people think they are funny; I hear them laughing loud and long. I recognize this influence in my self due to my life experiences. If I know the drunk driving routine/joke is coming up I make the decision to watch or not watch. I normally use that time for something better. I don't like that it's funny, but it is to a lot of people.

If however someone was promoting drunk driving as acceptable, then I will definitely step forward.

I know that some people will find this story not funny, because it's involving racists. But the story was not advocating racism or the KKK, it was making fun of three stupid teenagers. The writer knew this is a hot button issue even though he did not intend to address the racism directly. He put everyone on notice what was coming. I admire that some people with strong convictions stepped forward to bring their view to everyone's attention. I did not see anything that seemed disrespectful or judgmental by any one in this discussion. That in itself shows me what intelligent and wonderful people I share this site with.

I think this discussion can be simplified to : Some didn't think it was funny. They told us why they think it's not funny. Their opinion was acknowledged and accepted.

There are two specific points I would like to make. First, Maggie wrote "it was the intrinsic acceptance of extreme racist behavior as normal and OK that I found more unsettling." You should find it unsettling because it is, but considered acceptable and appropriate at that time by those people. Second, gypsymoth wrote "For myself, I wasn't conflicted at all. Did I want them to get caught? Yes, but not by the dog." If they had been caught by the police, would the story then be funny? I don't think so for you.

I think you missed the thrust of my comments. First of all, I didn't say that it would be the police to catch them. I said I wanted them to be caught. They feared it was the lawyer returning early, and in fact they would not likely have had anything to fear from the police. Secondly, this subject has no humourous potential in it, in my opinion. Period. I then went on to point out where the possibility of writing a more powerful denunciation of racism could be found within the story itself. My comments were directed to the author, who has openly asked for feedback on the story. That is what I was doing and it includes suggestions for taking a different approach to the subject.

I taught classes for the military over thirty years ago about racism's unacceptability and prevention. I taught similar classes on racism & sexism for more than two decades. I do not think racism is funny, but I do think three idiot racists can be.


The story did nothing to show that racism is bad, yet the author's intention, as I perceived it, was that in the guise of humour, as a spoof, a send-up of characters who are buffoons is sufficient to show that the prevailing mentality and the structure of that organisation is bad. That does not work.

If the racists had been caught, then depending on how the author dealt with it, yes, it could have been both humourous and provided the moral point that is sadly missing here.

Quote:
The humor is from the bungling ineptitude of the dullards. The morality should have nothing to do with that humor, but what is funny to one may not be to another.


That is a reductive point of view, in fact, as it assumes that the bungling ineptitude of any dullard who steps outside of moral and legal responsibility is by definition going to be funny. It implies that the simple minded, or the low-brows, humourous jolly fellows even if misguided in their personal opinions are exempt from moral assesment even when they are preparing and then carry out criminal acts such as the ones described.

Quote:

I know that some people will find this story not funny, because it's involving racists. But the story was not advocating racism or the KKK, it was making fun of three stupid teenagers.


No, it wasn't just "making fun of three stupid teenagers", it was making fun of three stupid young men doing an illegal act that was racist, based upon racist attitudes and in the hope they would be accepted as part of an illegal racist society. And they knew they were performing an illegal act.

Three racist idiots might be funny, but in this case they are not. That is my personal opinion and I should not have to defend it.

Furthermore, I was replying to the author's request for feedback, whether it be positive or negative, and my reply is based on a textual analysis and interpretation. I have my own credentials, different from the ones you claim, but I shall not cite them here because they are not pertinent to the discussion. They exist, nevertheless.



The subject who is truly loyal to the Chief Magistrate will neither advise nor submit to arbitrary measures. Junius



magnificent1rascal
Posted: Thursday, March 14, 2013 1:21:49 PM

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gypsymoth wrote:
I have my own credentials, different from the ones you claim, but I shall not cite them here because they are not pertinent to the discussion. They exist, nevertheless.


As do I. Shhh

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Sherzahd
Posted: Thursday, March 14, 2013 1:34:02 PM

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Oh don't get me wrong, I wasn't pointing fingers at anyone in particular. I was merely offering an opinion on writing about hot-topics like these. I think that more writers should tackle controversial topics, it just needs to be approached with sensitivity. I enjoy reading about things that make me think and feel deeply - whether those thoughts and feelings are good or bad ones.

“Many people hear voices when no-one is there. Some of them are called mad and are shut up in rooms where they stare at the walls all day. Others are called writers and they do pretty much the same thing.”


Rumple_deWriter
Posted: Thursday, March 14, 2013 6:25:04 PM

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Reading over these posts makes me feel proud to be a small part of the Stories Space family.

Thanks to every who has or will later join in the discussion.

ps: Please pardon the threadjack, but I'll be a bit scarce around here for a few days. My daughter's wedding will be on the 23rd. Once recovered from that physically and financially exhausting experience, I shall, not unlike a bad taco, be coming back. RdW

Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwords.[/ - ROBERT HEINLEIN

Schemers Scheme -- young women talking about young men

OF WAR, AND PEACE, AND MARY BETH: my contest winner, honest

For Whom the Good Tolls an 'RR' and it's short, no kidding

bri54
Posted: Friday, April 19, 2013 3:22:30 PM

Rank: Active Ink Slinger

Joined: 4/12/2013
Posts: 27
Location: United Kingdom
Sorry for coming so late to this particular party, but I have the perfect excuse of only being on here for a week now.

Hmm?

Wherever racism(R) rears its ugly head, you'll get a reaction for or against. Hopefully the latter. As someone who's suffered over the years, thru direct and indirect R, let me tell you I loved your story! Anything/anyone that deems itself/themselves too big for parody deserves over and beyond what's normal in my opinion. The best way, other than violence,(which to my mind never solves anything) to really let these parasitic creatures know how we feel about their inherrent stupidity, is to laugh or lampoon them. This is what you've done here with your marvellous story. If I could score you 10 for your preface, story, and content, then it would be the easiest 10 I could ever give. I'm not aiming this comment at anyone in particular, because by its very existence here, this story invites comments whether for it or against it.

Let me be more precise. I've suffered, repeat, suffered due to this R. I've had to fight my whole life through it. I've even had to defend my two daughters who, in anyone elses view, are white. Yet because of who their Father is(me), they've suffered. I haven't heard about people suffering, thru second hand information. I haven't seen evidence of it on the news and sympathised with the poor people this happens to. I've suffered. My family have suffered. I learned, eventually the hard way, the best way to beat racism is to laugh at it. Back in the 70's Mel Brookes showed the way forward, by lampooning the crass stupidity, ignorance and holier-than-thou attitude of R.

So let me say, any story like this that grabs R by its stupid head and shoves it up its own ignorant arse is brilliant in my book! If you have more, bring em on. Your writing in this was flawless. I can't congratulate you enough for this one. Seriously impressed. Best regards. Bri.

N.B. You all may be wondering why I've chosen to represent racism as R like this? It's because I've wrote it hundreds and hundreds of times over the years through articles in local papers and letters that it hurts my fingers typing it. That's all. Thanks, Bri.

I hope this hasn't offended anyone at all here. This isn't aimed at anyone. I just feel so strongly about this, especially as the shoe is on the other foot, as it were, and my karma is finally coming back round to kick R's arse. B.
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