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Cole Parker

Cameron's Outing

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I just got around to reading Tom Cameron's Outing in the Short Story section of AD. It's a wonderful, heartfelt short story, and surprisingly, I can't see where it's been commented upon. Read it. It won't take more than a few minutes to do so and you'll be happy you did.

Pertinax deserves a round of applause.

C

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A lot of stereotypes and clichés.  My biggest question:  What happened to Tom's friend Chad?  Did he also reject Tom?  We never hear anything (unless I missed it) after his rather feeble protest of Tom being kicked off the Excelsior team.  And no one else on the Excelsior team walked off in protest.

R

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8 hours ago, Rutabaga said:

A lot of stereotypes and clichés.  My biggest question:  What happened to Tom's friend Chad?  Did he also reject Tom?  We never hear anything (unless I missed it) after his rather feeble protest of Tom being kicked off the Excelsior team.  And no one else on the Excelsior team walked off in protest.

R

Mayhap our root vegetable got out of the wrong side of bed, because, in my oh so humble opinion, that's a bit of a 'glass nearly fucking empty' review.

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I recognize that the stories of Pertinax Carrus tend to partake strongly of Bunyan-esque allegory, with not much nuance.  I just found this one a bit too simplistic.  How could Tom not have picked up on his father's homophobia, particularly where his brother apparently shared in it?  How could he have been surprised?  And the actions of the Excelsior coach would not fly at least since the turn of this century.  Moreover, his homophobia was unlikely to be a secret either.  The whole team seemed to be right with him in that attitude, and it could be inferred that the entire school was that way.  Yet Tom seems oblivious to this when he comes out to his father. 

What is saddest is that Tom's world will remain challenging even though he has found some sympathetic people to help him.  It could easily be foreseen that legal intervention will occur that would probably lead to his emancipation from his biological family (though they would remain financially responsible) to be placed in some new home situation.  We can all say "good riddance" to the biological family but it will not be without a severe emotional toll.  Even though he will be free of an apparently hate-ridden, shallow household, he doesn't seem to have been unhappy with his life there until this episode.  It is a loss he will grieve.

It seems like the Excelsior team (and school) was monolithically homophobic.  Even Chad, the so-called friend, protested only that the team was losing its best scorer when the coach kicked Tom off the team, not that there was anything inherently wrong with the action from a moral or ethical standpoint.  None of the players seemed to have any real principles; none of them walked off in protest.  

I guess I just found everything a bit too contrived and predictable.  Sorry if I'm being a grump.

R

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52 minutes ago, Rutabaga said:

I just found this one a bit too simplistic. 

Rutabaga gave an honest review and evoked an unwarranted negative reaction, "got out of the wrong side of bed," "runs hot and cold." The sort of comments that belong with the Excelsior team, Tom's father, and the coach. It's valid to give a different review, it's valid to make an observation about a review and by demonstration make a different point, but silly remarks about a reviewer and an opinion expressed and explained are out of order.

The short story was very simplistic, totally unbelievable, and read like it was penned in five minutes whilst drinking a cup of coffee. Previous comments from 2012 about it being a "supper story," "wonderful... great ending," are pretty much rubbish, resembling the comments one finds in a mutual admiration club. Let's be honest, it's nothing like a super, wonderful, or even well thought out short story, and any pretence at realism disappeared with the homophobic father, little brother, team coach, and the rest of the team, not to mention the opponents being all liberal and totally accepting, with a ready made new (gay) family for Tom to join!

 

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Make up your mind, Talo.   You say this:  "It's valid to give a different review, it's valid to make an observation about a review and by demonstration make a different point, but silly remarks about a reviewer and an opinion expressed and explained are out of order." and then follow with: "Previous comments about it being a "supper story," "wonderful... great ending," are pretty much rubbish."

So saying someone liked a story, found it super, was rubbish.  Saying it "was very simplistic, totally unbelievable, and read like it was penned in five minutes" was acceptable.

I guess you feel it's okay to trash the writer but not the reviewer?  I guess all the reviewers who liked the story were wrong and shouldn't have posted that support?

We're all amateurs here, writing because we enjoy it.  You're trashing a writer who gave most of us pleasure with a story you call simplistic and unbelievable.  With this, you're doing what you accused us of, denigrating the ones of us who stated we liked the story.  How is that not, to use your words, unacceptable?

 C

 

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The first paragraph of my comment is a complaint about how you treated the reviewer who had valid points which he demonstrated by reference to the story, showing why he found it simplistic, etc. The second paragraph is my own review, which also dismisses a three word comment and a single sentence as both being "pretty much rubbish," because neither says why it was super or why it was wonderful and had a great ending.

Trashing the writer, only as regards this short story, which is difficult to imagine as being put forward as a great example from the past.

"Denigrating" those who said they liked the story, means criticising unfairly, I don't think I was being unfair, if you think I was insulting, that was not my intention. I wanted to point out that the reviewer justified his comments and got attacked. The comments about the reviewer were equally denigrating if you found my own remarks to be such.

The "we're all amateurs," has nothing to do with anything, it's a statement I've seen countless times to justify anything and everything, from not finishing stories, to stories full of typos and other errors. I suppose here you are using it to justify a pretty poor piece of writing, and yes, we are all amateurs and allowed to criticise as well as praise.

The bottom line is, silly negative comments bashing a reviewer because he didn't write "wonderful story," make me angry and ought to be picked up. Two of you basically said, "hey, you're rubbishing the story because you are having a bad day." You could have said, "I take your points, but don't agree," even better you could have illustrated why you don't agree, and as I said previously, how it was wonderful.

 

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Now I'm under attack, too?  

I'm going to put a stop to this very soon.  

I don't have much patience with trouble makers.

 

Mike

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