Wednesday, August 26, 2009

How Appropriate is a Good Vent!

Currently listening to: Portishead, “Roseland NYC Live.” A band my wife turned me on to. Heard it on the radio today, and thought 'By Gar, it's been awhile...'

Yesterday's post has almost surely made me look like a cynical bastard, and I can be. But it's all part of a deeper trait, loosely defined as Credit-Where-Credit-Is-Due. If that sometimes means calling someone on their bullocks, so be it. What's the point of having a public platform if one can't honestly vent. Add to that something of a Punk ethos of brutal honesty, and sod ya if you can't take it.

But I hesitated. I was at Mur Lafferty's site, which I got introduced to through ITunes, looking for writing Podcasts. I haven't heard all of the writing podcasts, but so far she's my favorite (“I Should Be Writing”) Asides from being entertaining and informative, she's good at lighting a fire under my seat to just park my arse and write. I also found her 3 recent video Podcasts to be laugh-out-loud funny! I'm looking forward to getting my hands on her books, as soon as I'm through my short-list of urgent fiction.

Wow, what a digression! Anyway, I was on ML's site, when I came across her 5 Rules for Writing. It was 4 rules, until recently, when #5 was added: “Don't Be An Ass.” (Full elaboration in her June 30 2009 Blog) Apparently, a certain author got a bad review, and went on a brutal Twitter tirade against the Reviewer. Now singling someone out like that is certainly being an ass, but did this advice apply to my “Hairstyle” rant? I did adhere to a managerial rule I learned from my wife (who is an office manager): “Criticize Generally, Praise Specifically.” So I went ahead with it. People will know, when the tide has turned, that someone saw these trends for what they were in the thick of it, and when the next novelty hoopla arrives, maybe, just maybe, someone will remember this, and say “No! I'm not falling for this, not this time!”

So what does this have to do with parenting? Well, I guess that having a child on the way has led me to consider how my parents have influenced me. I have no complaints in this regard, my folks are great people who did a fantastic job! Not perfect, and they'll be the first to say so, but I'd say they did a better job than they thought they were doing. I'd bet that that applies to most parents, which I'll find more heartening as time passes. But I have to re-think my cynicism. Will I pass a bitter legacy? I doubt it. I've got a pretty solid sense of gratitude, and I'm generally a pretty positive person, but every now and then, something sets me off, and I've got to be careful that my kid, with underdeveloped social filters, doesn't go around saying “My Daddy says your hair is stupid.” We all know not to say certain words in front of kids, but I guess there are some things we learn not to say the hard way.

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