In which I’m an asshole but I’m trying to stop

91f2oZK0TILI used to discover new books by going to physical bookstores and spending a pleasurable hour searching through the shelves.  That method is effectively obsolete now, as damn near everything I read is something I discovered online (on Twitter, more often than not) and added to my Amazon wish list.  Sometimes I end up at Barnes and Noble anyway, though, and for whatever reason every time I set foot in that place nowadays it leads to a blog post.

I came across Christopher Ruocchio’s Empire of Silence at some point in the past few days; I don’t remember exactly when, but comparing something to Dune is guaranteed to get my attention and I added it to my wishlist.  We ended up celebrating my birthday tonight with steak and book-shopping, and I happened to find a copy of the book on the shelf somewhere.  I wasn’t familiar with Ruocchio– I think this is his debut novel, but I’m not 100% sure, and he’s definitely a young guy– and my first thought upon seeing his author picture was … well, judgmental.  I’m not gonna bother saying how, but he’d done nothing to deserve said judgmentalness.

And then I noticed that his author bio mentioned his Twitter feed, and so I pulled my phone out and went to look at his Twitter, specifically to see if he was posting anything on Twitter that would give me an excuse to not buy his books.  And I came across this Tweet:

Here’s the thing: my opinions on politics are very very apparent from my Twitter feed, and still pretty goddamn apparent from my blog posts.  I am absolutely certain that there are some people out there who might enjoy my books but won’t/wouldn’t have given me the chance because of my politics, and that’s okay.  Anyone who doesn’t want to read my work for any reason whatsoever is absolutely free to not do so, as none of you owe me anything.

My personal rule on the politics of authors and various and sundry other artists who I support is You Don’t Want None There Won’t Be None.  I’ve never deliberately gone looking for someone’s political ideas before deciding to check out their work before, but there have definitely been some authors– Orson Scott Card and Dan Simmons come to mind immediately, and I threw away a John C. Wright book unread once I found out what a piece of shit he was, and I’m sure there are others– whose work I no longer read or never started because I find them to be such odious people.  But if you either keep your shit to yourself or if you put it out there you do it in such a way that you don’t immediately convince me that you’re a boil on the asshole of humanity, I’ve never been one to go looking for bullshit.  But if you put it out there, well, there might be consequences.

But that’s exactly what the hell I was doing– trying to comb this dude’s Twitter feed for a reason not to buy his book, because something about the way he looks set me off.

I don’t like the fact that I’ve turned into that person.

Long story short, I bought the goddamn book, which I was gonna do anyway, but as soon as I realized I was trying to find a reason to write this dude off and not buy his book I decided I had to buy it.  And I’m gonna try harder to rein in my own dickishness in the future, because this shit is ridiculous, and I don’t want to do it again.

Now I just gotta hope to hell I like the thing.  🙂

 

In which that wasn’t a joke

AngerIn the long run of things, this probably isn’t that big of a deal, but it’s still on my mind, so fuck it, I’m talking about it.  I work high-end retail, right?  We all know this.  So I’m working on the Fourth of July, just like a whole lot of other people.  I actually get it pretty well; normally big national holidays mean everybody has to work all day (and Wednesday is usually my half day) but we’re closing at six, so my Big Holiday Work Schedule is having to work a fairly inconsequential three and a half extra hours for the week.  I’m gonna survive.  Frankly, my birthday is the 5th and that’s always overshadowed the Fourth for me.  Call me unpatriotic if you like.

So dude calls on Wednesday to find out if whateverthefuck he ordered is in.  He’s not one of my guests– and, incidentally, my tolerance for putting up with even an iota of crap from people I’m not personally making money from has been declining precipitously lately– and I look his stuff up and find out that it’s in the store.  We had received a delivery that day; chances are it had just come in a few hours prior to the phone call.  I offer to set up his delivery.  As it turns out, the rest of this current week is full but all of next week (ie, the first week of July) is pretty much entirely open.  I tell him that and point out that we do deliver on the 4th (if we’re open, we’re open) if Wednesday works for him.

There’s a pause.

“You’re delivering on the Fourth?”

Another pause.

“You should be shot.”

Now, there’s really not much left to this story.  I told him everybody in the store was working that day but that I appreciated the murder threat.  He acted like he didn’t hear me.  I didn’t hang up on him or cancel his shit (although if I remembered his name, I might seriously jump in and reschedule him for, like, 2028 without telling anyone) and I sure as shit didn’t tell his entitled white Republican ass (argue with me, I dare you) to shut the fuck up and die alone and in pain like I probably ought to have.  He snarled at me that he wanted the 3rd, I scheduled it, got off the phone, and then sent this email to my regional manager:

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(I had, as you probably gleaned from context, just sent my RSM an email prior to getting that phone call.)

He wrote me back and told me he appreciated the laugh, apparently misreading the tone of my email, which was meant to be “this is fucked up, this guy is fucked up, I’m tired as hell of fucked up, and next time this won’t go as well,” not “here’s a funny anecdote about a routine thing that just happened to me.”

But yeah.  Maybe I’m taking shit too serious.  But these fuckers are getting more and more emboldened on a damn near minute-to-minute basis, and it’s just like a fucking Republican to get mad at the motherfucker who has to be at work rather than the motherfuckers who are making them come to work, and I don’t want anything to do with these entitled, violent, stupid assholes any longer.

A thought

I’ve talked about the Democratic primary here a few times, but what I haven’t mentioned is that Indiana’s Republicans are in quite a kerfluffle about whether they want to be represented by anthrax, syphilis or mad cow disease come this fall. And it hit me this morning: South Bend is a Dem stronghold, or at least the Indiana equivalent of one, but it’s not like Republicans are hard to find around here.

I have seen ONE house with a sign out front for any of the current Republican candidates. I drove past a bunch of polling places on my way to work. Not one sign for the Senate primary.

That is not normal.

I mean, it’s awesome, but it’s definitely not normal.