When Bad People Write Good Books
So, a Famous Author who wrote a beloved series of children's books turned out to be an absolute jackhat. Not the first author to do so, not the last. I thought about tossing her books which I've greatly enjoyed, but then realized if I toss the books of every author (including the classics) who thought or thinks I don't deserve to exist, that I don't deserve the same civil rights as everyone else, I'll have very little left to read. (damn you, Human Nature!) So as awkward and painful as it is, I'm trying to continue to find the value in the books while ignoring the author's personal flaws.
In regards to authors from previous eras, here's what I noted in a post about Edgar Rice Burroughs: "(His books were) racist and misogynist and otherwise now wince-inducing, but it was 1912. You think the people in 2112 (if there are any left) won't think we were boneheads?"
Which is not to excuse bad behavior. It's each individual's responsibility to learn, grow and BE BETTER. Wise up, jackhats!
As Gran said in THE BOOK OF KELL: "Most people need someone to hate, Kell. It's in their DNA. It's what we're put on Earth to rise above, I believe, but hardly ever do. And the easiest one to hate is the one who's different--different skin color, different language, different way of looking at things."
It's what we're put on Earth to rise above, I believe.
But hardly ever do.
I leave you with a quote from my unpublished short story, THE UNDERCOVER QUEER LADIES' BOOK CLUB FOR THE PAINFULLY SHY & SOCIALLY AWKWARD. (© Amy Briant 2020 all rights reserved)
"I struggle with this. What percentage of bad is acceptable in a person? A family member? A friend? A close friend? A lover? Perhaps we can all agree more than fifty percent is not good. But what about twenty or thirty? What about your beloved grandmother who is delightful and loving in all ways except her virulent racism? Your best friend from high school who is hilarious and the salt of the earth except that she is verbally abusive to her spouse and children, because that's the way she was raised?
Your transphobic, self-centered, murderous ex-girlfriend...
Life would be a lot easier if I had much lower standards for the people I spend time with.
People suck. And those are the "good" ones. I should just lock the doors, pull down the shades, have a dog delivered from the shelter and call it a fucking day. Retreat from the world and all its pernicious complexity."