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THE VELVETEEN BOY


dude

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I suspect that many readers will be put off by who they think the fable is about-which only makes me gladder that I wrote the thing. I wonder how many have considered the extent to which racism and homophobia contribute to that feeding frenzy.

Not that the hypothetic inspiration of TVB IS gay, just that any male seen as unmanly is automatically in that category of hate. How many kids are harassed at school for being effeminate boys or masculine girls without actually being homosexual? Quite a lot, as far as I can tell. These perceptions are part of the whole problem and only by seeing the larger picture can people of conscience change. Gender expectations are a straitjacket for more than just gays. Wasn't this supposed to be one of the better lessons from Feminism?

About Racism in America, where to begin? In my world, it pervades everything and nothing is valued as slightly as dark skin. It lowers your social value, your IQ, your earning potential, your sexual desirability (except as an exotic) and the extent to which you are considered worthy of courtesy. But hey, that's just my view. Some of those thoughts have come out in Drama Club, I suppose.

In any case, I'd be interested to know if anyone liked the story for itself and not what was read into it. Did it have interest as a fable, like the Rabbit story itself? Was the tone nice, did it evoke emotion? This was an experiment in third person narrative without dialogue, another in my series of experimental prose/poetry. Thanks for reading, as always.

Peace.

TR

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It's very hard to separate the reality from the fantasy, and I do have my own opinions of that particular person and that particular situation. But to answer your questions, yes, I did think the story worked as a fable. I thought you were consistent with the style and tone. I did feel an emotional tug and felt sympathy for the boy in the story who refused to be a man. It is a good piece of writing in and of itself.

The problem is that it is nearly impossible to keep the reality out. I have discovered that what readers get out of a story has a lot to do with what they bring in. I think that is born out by many of the opinions expressed in these forums. Those that have a favorable opinion of MJ will be touched by this poetic retelling of his life. Those who have an unfavorable opinion will no doubt see this as a glorification of someone who is not deserving of such attention, and will question you and your motivation for writing this tale. It is the unavoidable price you pay for writing pieces of a controversial nature.

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Too true. As we discussed in the Drama Club thread, one's own experience colors one's response to the things we read. Despite the poetic language, i read this as an essay on the fate of a person suffering from arrested development, to the point of pathology. The saddest element is that he was denied help with the problem...once that happened, the conclusion of the tale was a foregone conclusion.

cheers,

aj

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I have no idea what aj just wrote?

Australian Translation (take it with a grain of salt :wink: ):

This is an essay about someone who seemed incapable of growing up. They needed help to develop into an adult and it was denied to them. So they stayed a child in their mind.

aj -- how did I do?

Graeme

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I have no idea what aj just wrote?

Australian Translation (take it with a grain of salt :wink: ):

This is an essay about someone who seemed incapable of growing up. They needed help to develop into an adult and it was denied to them. So they stayed a child in their mind.

aj -- how did I do?

Graeme

Perhaps growing up is overrated. Maybe its more important to be Real, like the Velveteen Rabbit. Real doesn't protect you from hurt, perhaps.

TR

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:snicker: Yeah, either too enlightening or not enough, eh? :) TR wondered what I thought of the story as he was about to submit it.

Basically similar to what others have said here. I think TR has written a good tale, which omits certain things from the (assumed) real-life case, but it's hard for me to separate the (alleged) reality from the story TR wrote.

Perhaps TR's real questions are, why are entertainers, especially child stars who grow up in the public eye, treated so ambivalently by the media and the public? Why are people who are in some way a "minority" treated that way?

But that ignores that the parents of a family of naturally talented kids mistreated those kids in many ways, one grew up with several problems, perhaps not of his making, some physical, and that is alleged to have led to something inappropriate. -- And alas, he didn't apparently seek the help he needed as an adult. It is a tragedy all around, and our culture bears part of the blame for how it treats differences and entertainment and stars.

But that is not within the tale TR has written.

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