There’s a rather talkative pigheaded brute of a character in my WIP whose name is Rick, Happy, Henderson. Happy loves to philosophize and pontificate to…at?… his work partner about whatever the latest topic is he’s studying during night school as if he’s now a subject matter expert. He’s not of course and he always manages to maneuver whatever it is he’s rambling on about toward a general diatribe of how the weak with their Rule of Law and “societal norms” have managed to upend the universal natural order of might makes right, which, in the end, as he sees it, limits his ability to pick up chicks.
He’s a fun character to write, especially in this day and age where being politically incorrect can lead one, especially one who looks like yours truly – an old pasty white dude – into ruin.
And rightly so.
However, while hiding behind the shield of creativity, I can allow this obnoxious dude called Happy to be and to grow into his debased self and, as he is doing so, I often find myself marveling at some of the things I find him saying.
While acknowledging that much of what he says is wrong, unhealthy, and dangerous, and while sidestepping the issues that these awful things he says originate in my head and the incriminating implications therein, I think he may have hit upon a pretty interesting point about love in the scene I’m currently writing.
For instance, it’s his belief that love not money is the root of all evil.
While Happy’s no fan of the concept of money, a concept that in application has become an arbitrary system that appoints arbitrary value upon arbitrary objects, objects such as pieces of paper and digital bytes, he blames not money itself for being the root of all our societal and personal evils and ills, but love.
For, to him, it is our love of this arbitrary system/object of value called money that causes the problem. And love, in this instance, is of course often referred to as greed.
Greed, love. Love, greed.
A thorn by any other name is still a thorn, right? (I think that’s how the saying goes).
Greed, as Happy sees it, is nothing more than a point on the long and woeful gradation of love.
So is lust.
So is jealousy.
So is envy.
So are all forms of desire.
So, even, is hate.
Perhaps Happy would feel that the Stoics and the Zen Buddhists had/have it right with their similar concepts of no attachment.
Anyway, what does he know, right, the flawed piggish brute that he is.
Speaking of flawed characters…
Is it even okay for an old pasty white dude like yours truly to create such flawed characters in times such as these?
Times where classics are being rewritten so as not to offend?
Times where those particularly of my ilk are getting slammed for even attempting to develop females characters as they/we/I see fit?
I mean, is not Art, regardless the medium or message, a sacred place where any effort of censorship should be condemned, and where often ideas and concepts, regardless whether they be conveyed in a real or abstract sense, should challenge and sometimes even temperamentally hurt us, and where one should always, always, enter at one’s own risk?
Anyway, what do I know, right, the flawed piggish brute that I am…