been not adding posts having learned that someone was offended. Trying to decide if it might be time to change this space. I have my opinions about that offense, but regardless of the particulars, right around that time I was talking with a writer friend about her having dinner with a few writers/industry people, some of which I know, so I felt left out. But my writer friend told me about their conversation, during which she was afraid she’d said too much about herself, and also that she’d said some things that the table seemed to find controversial or offensive, and also that she wished she’d been able to say those things in a more formed way than she had– she could have been clearer in her phrasing, she felt– and then at least they’d be offended by something she could really stand behind instead of some approximation. What I was grateful to articulate during my conversation with this friend — to work toward articulating as we talked through the dynamics of the dinner I’d missed — was the feeling that a characteristic of this time is the effect of internet culture on all forms of conversation, i.e. not just internet conversation– this sense that you have to spit something out fit for a bumper sticker or else be righteously “called to account” (not that I’ve seen a lot of actual accounting — just a lot of calls followed by the shuffling of virtual dinner-guests). ¬†Conversations, classrooms, books should be sites for working stuff out, places to try stuff out, set ideas into play-action — not to have to be right or for heaven’s sake likable every second– that’s the “risk” I think workshops pay lip service to– and then maybe, having honestly and deeply tried out your ideas in relation to people who are enough NOT you that they could bring something you could never bring to or access yourself– then you will behave more to your own liking in the world– not more morally– but behave with the form of freedom that comes from understanding the choices you have and that you are making every moment.

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4 Responses to offense

  1. lito says:

    Thank you for articulating this. I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately, especially in the classroom. Where are the spaces for working stuff out together with people who won’t judge you as a person or even as a speaker in your entirety for talking through some thoughts inarticulately? Communities have already dwindled, how are we supposed to find our people?

  2. lucy says:

    so glad it rings true. I am at a loss when it comes to the community part. but yes that is the real issue.

  3. Tim Ramick says:

    This blog has been one of the very few spaces of writing I’ve trusted over the past five years.

  4. lucy says:

    damn, thanks. xo

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