Wednesday, August 24, 2016

A Most Excellent Blog Post

You need to read this. No, don't tell me it's too long; I don't want to hear it. But here's just a sample:

I often go through periods of wondering if writing fiction is a waste of time in a world that needs so many more practical things. Why contribute a novel when what is needed is potable water, enough healthy food, more medical supplies, and safer buildings? What is the point of fiction when reality is so pressing?

Invariably I am reminded that stories have power. Because it’s not just our physical needs that need to be met in this life. We need to know that we are not alone. We need to be reminded that restoration and redemption are possible. We need to remember what hope feels like. We need to believe that there is another future for us beyond our current situation. We need to dream. We need to encounter the divine.

Go read the whole thing. Seriously.


  1. Two thoughts:

    1. Reminds me of how I felt, teaching probability to my Biostats class, on around Sept. 11, 2001. The afternoon all that stuff went down, I was sitting in my office, wondering, "Why am I not teaching them basic first aid and how to grow your own food instead?" Perhaps the world has always been in a mess.

    2. One of my big fears about some kind of "TEOTWAWKI" event is that we will be reduced to a pre-human existence without things like stories or music or (in my case) knitting. And I'm not sure a world without stories, where everything is just "find the next bit of water, find the next bit of food, try to sleep a few hours without something killing you" is a world I want to continue to live in.

    1. I have to admit, my life is pretty good and usually the bad stuff seems far away and not really part of my life but then something happens relatively close by, like that guy who shot his Muslim neighbor in Tulsa, and suddenly it's like people everywhere just really suck.

    2. Oh, there's no shortage of suck in my corner of the world. Someone stabbed someone else a few towns over because the victim drank the stabber's beer, or something like that. And yeah, I get there are whole sociological and economic reasons and everything that influence people to make really rash terrible short-term decisions about stuff I'd probably roll my eyes over and stomp around huffily a little bit about if it happened to me, but....I sometimes catch myself wondering if maybe we aren't beginning to lose our humanity. If we ever had it.