Some actual Christians, in contrast, have pointed out that Stephen Hawking is now free from his wheelchair. And of course some people have chosen to misinterpret this obviously well-intentioned sentiment and go ballistic over it. "You ------s are saying that disabled people are better off dead!" Well... I don't have much in the way of physical ailments other than this thrice-damned cough that's stuck with me for four years, one week and five days and counting, but I have mental and emotional problems galore so I think I have as much right to an opinion on this as anyone. I look forward to being free. I look forward to my mind not being a daily hell to live in. The essence of life is that you have problems and then you die. Most people who have lived on Earth and who currently live on Earth have crappy lives. Most of them would be better off dead. If that's offensive then so be it. That doesn't mean I want them to be dead. But one way or another, all of them will be someday. So... I'm not sure why exactly it's offensive for obviously well-intentioned people to share their belief that they'll be free from their problems when they are.
I was just talking with a coworker last night about how I want to die by the time I'm forty, since humans hit their peak ridiculously early in life and I have zero desire to experience the deterioration of my body and/or mind over several decades to the point of eventual death. (That's not even mentioning the deterioration of society. Watching dogmatic idiots argue about politics for another half century or more could persuade me that I had already died and not gone to heaven.) She agreed with me on that and further added that if she ever becomes a vegetable or dependant on a machine to live, she wants someone to unplug it or shoot her. It's crazy how much we have in common. Maybe I have an unhealthy view of death, but I just don't take it seriously at all. It's just another step past the crappiest step in the plan. Some would argue that I believe in life after death because otherwise I'd be scared of it. Actually, when I was little I often wanted to cease to exist, mind and soul altogether, and accepting that I never would came as something of a disappointment. I'm a lot more okay with it now.
Thursday was the day that my professor and classmates critiqued the story I shared here a few weeks ago. I had all of spring break to worry about it. It's been a while since I did a writing workshop, so I was nervous. You think your writing is great and then these fresh eyes see a bunch of things wrong with it. Well, I needn't have worried because yes, of course they found things wrong with it, but overall I left feeling like
Then we did the criticisms, and the professor kind of defended me from some of them, which I took to mean he liked it a lot. Someone would say "I don't understand..." or "It was confusing how..." and he would be like "That's in there, he explained it like so..." I saw in his notes later that he had missed something like that too, though, so maybe I need to do better at clarifying these things. The most embarrassing thing, as only one person seemed to notice, was an inadvertent plot-crucial violation of the laws of physics. I wholeheartedly forgive Star Wars for prioritizing awesomeness over the laws of physics, but that's not the approach I want to take, so I appreciated him pointing this out even though it made me hate myself a little. I did a little research on the physics but didn't bother with something I thought I knew but didn't. Also, writing a scene between two characters of the same sex without constantly repeating their names to indicate which "she" you're referring to in any given sentence is kind of a pain.
One critique spoke to the story's weakness as a standalone rather than part of an anthology of prequels to a pre-existing novel, which is what I intend it to be. Someone pointed out that Chantelle, the bully of the protagonist Jane, has no explanation given for her cruelty and is kind of a flat character. In the novel, Jane is an adult and faces off against several villains who have complex backstories to make you feel sorry for them. Then Chantelle is shown in a flashback bullying her as a teenager, and I thought it would be funny if this high school bully, despite ostensibly nin being as "bad" as the actual villains, was totally one-dimensional and rotten to the core for no reason. And that's the era this short story is set in and understandably it raised an eyebrow for one person. But the professor concluded his notes with "Polish this up and send it out!" And I will, as soon as it's flawless. Maybe by the time I'm forty.
So after over a year of procrastinating, I made this meme, and I've tried to share it on Facebook, but Facebook keeps cutting off the top and completely ruining it. I didn't ask for much, Facebook. You let me down.