By which I mean another evening mostly vanished in unwinding after work with nothing productive done. I’ve been on a kind of informal social media vacation for a while now, and don’t see that changing for a while yet. It’s… nice.
See, I’m realizing more and more that my tolerance for stupid is fast approaching negative levels. I really do not suffer fools gladly, but being about as conflict-averse as you can get and still be breathing, my usual method of dealing with them is to get the heck out. The absence of migraine-inducing levels of idiocy draping across my feeds is good for me.
Unfortunately, my definition of idiocy doesn’t match with the rest of the world, so if I was allowed to be the arbiter of too stupid to live, global population would be reduced by something like 90%. I’m aware this is not a good thing, so I avoid those impulses.
This does give me something of a handicap when it comes to writing. I can’t write dumb. I just can’t. Ignorant, yes, even willfully ignorant. Plain stupid, not so much. It’s something I’ve tried, but it just doesn’t work for me. Sadly, this also means that when someone else writes stupid characters – whether they meant it that way or not – I get irritated with the characters and the books.
Seriously, being a bear of excess brain is as much if not more of a handicap sometimes than being a bear of very little brain. The bear of very little brain is at least cute and friendly where I’m rather more prickly with a tendency to weird people out.
Anyway. It’s a lot like being almost good enough a musician to play in professional ensembles. What you learn to get there means that you have a much harder time enjoying amateur performances because you can hear all the things that aren’t right. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that artists have similar issues because they can see where less skilled artists didn’t quite get what they were trying for where someone like me who just likes the pretty things wouldn’t notice or care.
And of course when you know enough about writing crappy storytelling starts to bother you (we won’t go into the movies where I’ve sat there going “please don’t have this thing happen: it’s far too cliché. Please don’t do it.” Of course they do the thing every time). And when you have a brain and you’re willing to use it (the latter isn’t a given – in fact in my experience it’s a whole lot more rare than having the ability to use one’s brain in an intelligent fashion) it gets really, painfully obvious when you read the results of an author who isn’t using whatever reasoning abilities he or she was given and has inflicted a stupid plot on readers (most of the authors I’ve encountered do have the ability to avoid gross stupidity. They choose not to for whatever the reason). Actual stupid people are… well… not at all like the kind of stupid that usually shows up in characters.
With of course some brilliant exceptions, many of whom came from the pen, typewriter, and computer of Sir Pterry – who, frankly, was one of the greatest observers of character in centuries.
For those who are wondering, this is what happens when I start stream of consciousness-ish writing. Things meander. What started with “oh, yeah it’s nice I’m not subjecting myself to oodles of social media dumb” turns into discussing the portrayal of stupid people ahem characters in fiction.
Those who’ve met me face to face will know my actual conversations do this too. I have a conversational topic deficit disorder. Enjoy the ride with its crazy detours, and I shall return after what’s likely to be another week without migraine-inducing idiots on social media.