The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter


Thursday, June 28, 2007

USAToday

d a conversation with a friend yesterday, the subject being a disagreement we’d had a couple of weeks back. He took the position that members of a particular social class react as “X” in a particular situation. I disagreed, and thought there would be more flexibility.
And that disagreement made it very difficult to continue the conversation. It it difficult to discuss this without falling into “I’m right, He’s wrong.” So…let me try to say how it LOOKS to me, with full acknowledgement that I might be seeing it all through a twisted lens.
My friend seems to have that “If you disagree with me, you’re either stupid, or deliberately being contrary” attitude that highly politicized people get. It’s the “my opponents are either fools or knaves” thing you hear on Talk Radio so much. If I disagree, it must be that I don’t understand the argument. If I understand, I am being insulting to say “in your opinion” or “you feel” or “you believe” because from his perspective, his position is FACT. If I suggest an experiment to test the contention, he grows agitated, insists that we can’t get a truthful reaction from the target group. All right, that may be true. Personally, I’m willing to take the position that we simply disagree. But my friend seems to feel that the mere fact that I disagreed is somehow deeply offensive.

Again, this is all my POV.
But if I’m correct, my best guess is that my friend is deeply insecure, has no real confidence in his worldview, and is covering up deep and destructive fear with intellectual bravado. I can’t imagine that he spends much time around people who are intellectually challenging.
This is sad, because I really want to help my friend through some issues, and am growing afraid of any conflict at all. Does anyone out there know someone like this?
##
Today in USAToday, CASANEGRA is on the first page of the Life section! I love it when a plan comes together. You can check the article out at:

http://www.usatoday.com/life/books/news/2007-06-27-underwood_N.htm

The thing that’s so much fun about this is that, while Tananarive, Blair and I designed CASANEGRA as a commercial product to take advantage of our skills and allies, I’ve wanted to create a contemporary hero for years, and found myself stymied by the fact that I was categorized as a “science fiction writer.” So there are ways that CASANEGRA is pure labor of love, a dream deferred. It already has six reviews on Amazon (all five star) and most of them are from guys. GREAT! Tooling through the internet, I find references to the book, with women talking about how they’re going to give copies to their brothers, husbands, and boyfriends.
GREAT!
##
Please stand by for some big, big news—supposed to happen today. PLEASE keep your fingers crossed—this one’s been percolating for over two years!

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