Howard, I think some advice my spouse gave me, as well as my best friend, might be helpful. I just tried it myself, regarding someone for whom I had developed a strong dislike. This was someone very self-entitled, who had treated me poorly, lied and treated my work disrespectfully. Their advice (which goes throughout 12 step groups) was “Pray for those you resent.” This was quite the hard pill for me to swallow. I seldom feel resentments — but when I do, they are powerful and long-lasting. My former agent is George R.R. Martin’s agent, for example. I resent him. She spent less than zero time on me and what time she had — of course, on him. To me, he is a big, fat, nasty, ugly, totally self-entitled man (and he is — I know him), who lives his life thinking he is important. He has young people naming their children after stupid characters he invented cheaply, with nothing but callous commercialism in mind. His $multi-million stories feature multiple child rape, egregious mental and physical child abuse, frequent adult rape, not one, but two incest couples, and of course, wholesale megaporn violence. Everyone suffers in these tales but women and female children — the most. The feeble excuse is that these “fantasies” (it would be healthier for people to watch PornHub but that’s another matter) are based on “The Wars of the Roses.” Well great! Gosh there’s a history lesson for ya! This is a one-person example of gender bias in our culture. To make it even more special (and accurate) people would say, “Well you suck! And he’s a great writer.”
No. As I say to others that gush about mediocre work and they’re not paid on Fivrr to do it — you must not have read a whole lot. But I forced myself to pray for him.
And what other people say and the whole 9 yards doesn’t matter any longer. It’s his business, his life. And if people genuinely love these tales, to the point where they obsess over them and name their children after these characters, dress up like them and get married “in the style of them” (let us hope they do not slaughter all the guests) — that’s their business.
We live in a pretty sick culture. Let’s just say the candidates are Ted Cruz and Hillary Clinton, or — it doesn’t look like he’s doing too well, but Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton. Even Trump and Hillary. Trump and Hillary might be good, because it would be like lancing a boil. Trump is the biggest, most brutish pig imaginable and Hillary is a caricature of what men think is a ball-cutting bitch.
It’ll be more change to our world if a significant number of people consider what I just said and put it into practice (1 million? 3 million? a billion?) than if either is elected. Neither/none of them are genuinely important in the broad scheme of things.
In the real world, George Martin would send people screaming, and would fail. He has zero people skills. He can only hold up a hideous funhouse porno mirror to people and entertain them with sick fantasies they’re too unimaginative to have on their own.
I think about extraordinary people like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Wangaari Maathai (Google is Your Friend) or Gandhi and think they would probably be happy that more and more people at least know the simple lesson and technique of “pray for those you resent and hate.” Think about the lesson that President Obama is alive and we hope and pray, will continue to live a rich, full life. In our country alone, 50 years ago, such would been impossible. So there is forward movement. It may not feel like it. I never got a shake, but my niece did and certainly my grandchildren and grand-nieces and nephews will.
It’s not politics. It’s us. They serve us, they reflect us. No one is more important, or less.