Let me address a problem I’m having with the DK Chronicle. It’s an intimate problem about the way I write and perfect my pieces. I keep editing all my empathy from my pieces. It’s a downside to this project. I don’t know if I’m afraid of being vulnerable or just expecting perfection.
The effect is indifference. When I’m detached, I don’t have a lot of investment in what I’m writing and I want to change that. I know you can’t tell, but I meant that last part, with immense feeling. I write to inspire emotion, not dazzle people with my technical keyboard maneuvers.
The catalyst for this current piece was a set of Facebook comments you may have seen on a previous piece. If you did, then you likely scrolled by and briefly contemplated if Derek Kessinger was, in fact, a racist narcissist.
In case you missed this delightful exchange, a Facebook friend attacked me for writing an article about Donald Trump. For those of you who only read cookbooks, Trump is a pretty divisive figure.
The strange part – we were on the same side. Both of us are afraid of Trump. My Angry Facebook Friend was livid because I used a metaphor about the American flag to make my point. That made me a neo-conservative trying to promote the oppression of all people.
I have had disagreements with My Angry Facebook Friend before, and tried to ignore the continued insults this time. If not for the accusations of my skinhead philosophy and the involvement of another friend who commented, the whole thing would have died down. It did not.
A year ago, this whole exchange would have bothered me because I hated when I felt like my writing betrayed me. It tore me up inside to be misrepresented and misunderstood.
Why was I able to take the blows with irreverence instead of hurt this time? Well last year, I had almost the exact same conversation about a different piece with My Angry Facebook Friend. My Angry Facebook Friend has a view of the world where opinions different from his or her viewpoint are invalid.
I think that’s silly. So I will admit that I wasn’t very serious about addressing this person’s tirades this time around. My end of the exchange featured a picture of Bugs Bunny, shamelessly plugging for other Chronicle pieces My Angry Facebook Friend could mock, and a great quote explaining what a metaphor was.
“We can express our feelings regarding the world around us either by poetic or by descriptive means. I prefer to express myself metaphorically. Let me stress: metaphorically, not symbolically. A symbol contains within itself a definite meaning, certain intellectual formula, while metaphor is an image. An image possessing the same distinguishing features as the world it represents. An image — as opposed to a symbol — is indefinite in meaning. One cannot speak of the infinite world by applying tools that are definite and finite. We can analyze the formula that constitutes a symbol, while metaphor is a being-within-itself, it’s a monomial. It falls apart at any attempt of touching it.” ― Andrei Tarkovsky
My Angry Facebook Friend unfriended me at the end of this tussle in the social media jungle.
Here’s what really bugs me about this. I toned the piece down! The original Trump piece made me shake as I wrote it. It was filled with true emotion. Then, I took out a lot of the inflammatory information. I watered the piece down and edited out the controversy.
I wish I hadn’t.
If I want to be a writer when I grow up, I need to be willing to write my heart into my work. This piece isn’t half bad. Some people will hate it, and hopefully some people might feel emotion somewhere in it.
I just have to deal with my own worst enemy—the version of myself looking to sterilize this piece before it can contaminate someone else’s mind.