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Cole Parker

Wibby Rules! (Halfway To Thirty)

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I see we've another of Wibby's stories up today. Or yesterday.

This one's certainly different, like none other, like, well, like the author himself. We can always count on the Wibster for something offbeat, different and ecclectic. This one certainly is that.

There's no problem reading it through in one sitting. It captures your attention and doesn't let go.

I enjoyed the change of pace from other stories, enjoyed wandering in the dark side for a spell.

Good job, Wib!.

C

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Thanks. I'm glad you weren't too creeped out by it. It's my first novella in which I decide to do something quite different. I'm waiting for someone to get the point. I've learned not to hold my breath because I am often too obtuse for my own good.

I have commentary but because there are spoilers, I'll hold them for a week.

Two posts. Two emails. That's FOUR fans. Damn.

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Wow! This is totally out of left field, for you: especially the aspects of violence. The idea that a society would actually use the ideas from a science fiction novel to control population weirded me out marginally more than Kieran's habitual sniffing (yick). :lol:

I liked it a lot, and want a Lotus AirManta. Want, want, WANT!

Camy

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Wow! This is totally out of left field, for you: especially the aspects of violence. The idea that a society would actually use the ideas from a science fiction novel to control population weirded me out marginally more than Kieran's habitual sniffing (yick). :lol:

Do you think Kieran is screwed up on his own or a product of his screwed up society?

(There's an answer but before I say, what do you think.)

I'm glad you liked the sniffing. I added that AFTER my editors did the story. I wanted it to be one last bit of true creepiness.

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Do you think Kieran is screwed up on his own or a product of his screwed up society?

(There's an answer but before I say, what do you think.)

Both, probably. But as his family are hoodlums - psychotically rich - primarily he has to be a product of his home environment. Though being terminated at 30 has to play a substantial part of your life.

I'm glad you liked the sniffing. I added that AFTER my editors did the story. I wanted it to be one last bit of true creepiness.

Liked the sniffing? Na, sorry Wibby. Scent is very important, but your description was off putting to say the least. Hmm ... but as that was your probable intention, I guess I did like it in its context. :wink: It's still yicky, though!

Camy :lol:

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WBMS, this is a very strange story. I like the idea that society has moved to... strangeness, perhaps, in the future. I (for one) won't add anything (else) that could be considered a spoiler. I'll respond some more after you post your commentary.

Colin :lol:

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WBMS, this is a very strange story...I'll respond some more after you post your commentary.

Colin :lol:

I must agree with Colin. This is strange coming from you, but don't get me wrong, it's a good strange. The concept is intreguing which keeps me reading. Wishfull thinking had me gripped into wanting...NO! I can't spoil it yet. Tell me when though.

I have thoughts about Kiernan and how he doesn't...not yet thought, don't want to get too deep.

The ending hit home to me. I got what you were trying to say about people not changing, because I believe that real change is generational.

I think everyone should read this. It'll make them think, and that what's you're all about, isn't it?...making people think.

In my humble opinion.

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Interesting new story. Well crafted with just enough of Brave New World and antithesis of Animal Farm.

I am reminded of a walk through St. Petersburg in the afternoon rain back in 1996. My host, a graduate of the Univ. of St. Petersburg, brought me to a walkway between several large University buildings.

He stopped and said, "Can you hear them?"

I listened very carefully until I heard, very faintly, howling of dogs.

"They're coming from Pavlov's laboratory - it's still being used today."

And so conditioning continues...

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I had started Boris as a very short story to showcase a character, and I had offered it up to my readers as a teaser with the release of the final NEAWMS posting.

When I went and finished it and sent it to my editor, he berated me because he thought it was way too short.

Here is my author's commentary.

THERE BE SPOILERS AHEAD

So I went and did it again. And in the process I decided to see exactly how psychotic I could make Kieran. I did some reading online, and I must tell you I read some very disturbing things in researching Kieran. I wanted him to be a true psychotic in every definition. Think Ledger's Joker character. He's mentally unstable, he blames his victim for everything he does, makes irrational demands, and expects you to follow rules you don't even know. There is always punishment and it's always your fault. And he's got a quirky, weird tic. (Said tic -- finger sniffing after rubbing genitalia -- was added after the editors looked it. It was my last bit of creepiness.)

The violence was necessary to the story yet it was completely gratuitous at the same time. I offered this to both Dabeagle and Dude for posting -- and told them they couldn't get a final postable copy of it until after they read it. I dislike imposing a condition on a site that's doing me a favour, but I felt this story violates both sites' posting rules. I took a lot of heat for the violence in Dog. This was way more violent. Far be it from me to get the site owner mad at me. (I also gave a copy to CW to review since this is way out their scope, and they have decided to link to it.)

Anyway, I mention Logan's Run and that was done specifically to avoid the older readers from making any effort compare this story to that one. Although there is a common conceit, nothing else is related so I deliberately put that to rest.

I really like Boris but his story is short. He is who he is and nothing will change that. He is both a product of his environment and a produce of the society that created him. When life is short, you don't have time to grow and evolve. He's 15 and he will die around his 30th birthday. The question is: what would happen if you removed that artificial limitation imposed on everyone? That fascinated me to no end.

So I thought about it, and I realized one truth of human existence: you are who you are. Once a thief, always a thief. A leopard can't change its spots. All clich? but basically truisms. Not all my stories have complicated morals.

Everyone seems to think Kieran and Boris should get together. To you I say: no fucking way will that ever happen. Kieran doesn't love Boris. He's a psychopath. It's a game. He's not changed. Maybe in a day, a week, a month, a year he'll decide Boris would deserve to be punished. I was pretty clear in showing he was having trouble holding back even after he said he changed. HE IS WHO HE IS.

You can change some things about a person but you cannot change the basic core of who they are.

Anyway, there's my initial commentary.

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Umm ...

Far be it for me to tell you what you should or shouldn't do, but ...!

Leopards not changing their spots is a clich?. Humans - and Emu's and Raccoons - aren't Leopards, and as an author you can do what the hell you want with your characters - though admittedly I don't see Kieran wearing a tutu. :hehe:

People can and do change: take recovering addicts, for example. As a species we have the power to control ourselves, and ultimately change.

Camy

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If characters couldn't change, how many of the stories we've love to read wouldn't have been written? It's the character's growth as a resonse to his situation that is the focal point of so many stories. Not thrillers and action adventures, but more serious literature. People can and do change, and therein lie their personal stories.

C

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It seems to this reader that the posters are using tne "spoiler" when it is not needed. Wibby's statements and Camy's replies don't really contain "spoiler" items. They "do" discuss the central issues of Wibby's story and why he wrote it the way he did.

I think that for readers, any mechanisms which make it harder for them to hear the various sides and to state their own obfuscates the purpose of a forum.

Free will is a quintessential question and concept for all sentient creatures, be they human or whatever else.

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If characters couldn't change, how many of the stories we've love to read wouldn't have been written? It's the character's growth as a resonse to his situation that is the focal point of so many stories. Not thrillers and action adventures, but more serious literature. People can and do change, and therein lie their personal stories.

C

I have to disagree Cole. Well, clarify some of the words. I don't believe that people 'fundamentally' change. Fundamentally is the key word here. However, people do learn and grow. A youth is in the process of formation of who he/she is. That's learning and growing. An addict will always be and addictive person, He/she may just decide to not shoot up, but the underlying person is still there. An alcholic will always be an alcholic, but may decide to not drink. People who are taught to hate will always hate. What stops them is not some epiphiny, but the laws that are emposed on them to not allow the outward signs of that underlying hstred. Children mostly learn who they will 'fundamentally' be from their parents. As they grow older and interact with more people, they continue to learn, but it is more of fine tuining or frosting on what they are already.

I do believe that fundamental chang in our society is generational. In other words, bigotry and hatred will only die out as the biggots and haters die. Their actions are stopped by the laws forbidding their actions, and that's what their kids see. So the next generation sees and become more accepting. That's the way they were brought up.

I'm the same person I was when I was 5 years old, but I can't go running naked in the woods like i used to do. For one, I'm too old to run like I used to be able to do, and two, the woods are now a Walmart parking lot. But that doesn't mean that I don't want to.

This doesn't relate to Kieran. He's sick, and we don't have much of a clue as to who he really is. Much of what we do see is the result of his growing and learning enviroment.

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If you want to say we might change in some ways and remain the same in others, I can't argue with that, but does that mean we don't change? No. Changing in some ways is still changing.

We do change. And I disgree with your examples. If a person is taught growing up to hate minorities, you're saying he'll always hate minorities. I strongly object to that. If what he is taught has no basis to it, no intellectual or factual rigor, as a person matures, it's natural to think about what he was taught, consider with more mature though processes his early instruction. And he will often reject things that, while acceptable to him as a child, no long fit into his world view as an adult.

Many, many people change their views of minoritites from what they were told as kids once they see them in a different light. Many whites were taught that blacks were lazy, dishonest, sexually agressive and immoral. They they actually got to know some, and found each and every one of those stereotypes was incorrect. And when they learned that, they changed. They no longer hated blacks as a whole, and certainly not the few they knew.

Not everyone, of course. Some did retain their prejudices. But many of themchanged.

I think people do change. Not everything, sure. Some people are shy as kids and remain socially stunted all their lives. Some people lack self-confidence as a kid and never gain it throughout their lives. But others with these same traits as kids overcome those tendencies and become outgoing and self-assured.

No, I think people do change. Some, of course, don't. But if you're saying it is a human characteristic to remain the same in their feelings and beliefs and behavior thoughout their lives, I can't agree with that.

C

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Cole's thoughts are, I think, on the right track.

Certainly his statements about ability to change are in accord with the philosopher - psychiatrists such as Erich Fromm.

There are also parallels with writers like Alan Watts.

In Erich Fromm's book, "Anatomy of Human Destructiveness" he makes a rational case for even a "monster" to fundamentally change his character given the right circumstances. Whilst in the very readable, "Art of Loving" he shows the power of love as effecting not only change, but the capacity to change, for the reason that it is natural to love, not hate.

Alan Watts in his book "The Wisdom of Insecurity" goes to extraordinary lengths to show the that the epiphany of self realisation affords the individual the ability to transcend the experience of the self in favour of fully realising the experience of the moment. This process requires willingness to not only abandon concepts of the self, but to accept change within ourselves.

Neither of these two authors are talking of any particular religion here, even though what they describe may appear to be a "religious" experience to some. Both are describing the human capacity to accommodate and seek change in the self as well as the circumstances of daily life.

These authors can do this because they do not accept the concept that humans are basically evil, or set in their ways, indeed these men are merely examples of a whole group of thinkers who believe that Man is basically good and in search of love.

Their arguments are rational, and provides us with much thought on the human condition, but only if you are prepared to accept the idea of a free spirit of inquiry.

Lessons taught can be replaced with lessons learned, and they can bring change.

Who among us has not altered his view because of experience?

Who has not been moved by someone else's life to change his own?

Our very fascination with reading and writing has an element of curiosity to discover the moments of life that change the way we think and live.

Of course there is also the danger that we read to simply reinforce the wrong notions we already have, as well.

Therefore never forget to question everything you read, even, perhaps especially what I have written here.

But to be fair it is sometimes necessary to be willing to have past conclusions challenged and made insecure in their existence.

Change is the only absolute, but that is a very scary thought for most of us when we apply it to our own idea of ourselves.

Thus liberty is the change brought by love.

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