Years back, I eagerly ordered a copy of a novel. A novel written by a fellow blogger. Not a blogger that I read everyday or that commented regularly on my posts, but a blogger some of my closest friends often touted so I had read enough of her posts to know she was a very talented writer.
And her book was very well written, but man did I hate her protagonists. Both of them. Still finished the novel hoping for character growth. And grow they did ... on my nerves. Oh the arc was there just like it should be a good writing and this was good writing, it was just about people I hated.
I've always felt the same way about Holden Caulfield though I know many people who think of Catcher in the Rye as the ultimate American novel. I suspect those same people voted for Trump, because I imagine Holden grew from that entitled snotty teenage boy to be an entitled pugnacious fool and if you admire those qualities in a human then Trump was clearly your candidate.
Which brings me to this. Reading that novel I realized I did not care for this particular blogger. Her ideals were not shared by me and while I had never articulated that thought until I read the manifestations of her ideals within a fictional character.
No, I am not saying that every character in fiction is a direct representative of the author who created them though this was the case between the blogger and this novel. You will just have to trust me on this as I can't explain without revealing too much or being more longwinded than I already am.
Since that time social media has exploded and now we read a deluge of thoughts and opinions from every one we know. The bloggers I met and read were people I had no prior relationship with so it was fairly quick and painless to know if I wanted to keep reading their posts or not. And it did not really matter if I chose to move on.
This choice is not so easy anymore.
I have had to disassociate from a few long time friends and even some distant family. I do not do so easily, nor do I run from a healthy debate, but some people are looking simply to agitate. They prefer to poke, prod and belittle rather than discuss or debate rationally. Hate is venomous and every knows it is not wise to play with rattlesnakes. I suppose the bushes have always been full, but now everyone has a outlet to rattle their tail.
Me included. Maybe this post feels like hate and bigotry and you will never again read this blog. If so I bid you adieu, but really I write this because I am curious in this heightened era of divisiveness have you had to distance yourself from people you otherwise had a relationship with? And if so what does it take before you make that decision?