Saturday, July 21, 2007

Counsel This

(No Harry Potter spoilers follow, I'm not like that...anymore.)

Is the world is so sad? A grief counselor wants to help those who cannot cope with the release of the final Harry Potter book. (Here's a link that has a to the official story, as well as a funnier, more verbose, or otherwise just different version of what I'm about to say.)

As Yoda might say, my own counsel I will keep on who is to be laughed at.

I don't know, I always thought books--particularly those geared for the younger, nimbler minded among us--offered their own type of solace to the reader. You the characters handle things?

Harry Potter, for instance, he's had his deal of crap thrown at him. I doubt his most faithful readers are unable to deal with much.

That's all I'm sayin'. Enjoy your book, people. Enjoy your feelings.

As for the grief counselors, where were you when I read Dickens? Huh? No, I read those books alone, in a dimly-lit room, in winter. Sydney Carton? I mourn for him still, but he did what he felt was right. David Copperfield? Holy mother of crap, I didn't sleep for a week after his mother died, and then after everything else that was heaped on him he still managed to end up okay. Telling people they aren't alone in their grief is like saying everyone gets the same headache. I wanted to be alone in my grief, it was my grief, man, no one else's...well, you know, until Nan told me how bummed she was over the end of A Tale Of Two Cities too. How about that, millions of people read the same thing, see the same movies, watch the same PBS adaptations, over and over and over, and yet somehow, there are always a few twits that think all those millions of people aren't going to be able to cope.

Children of the world, I prescribe for you books. Books are written by people who have either Been There, or have the capacity to understand that Places Like That exist in almost everyone. In books, people sometimes do bad things, sometimes they do good things, but everything they do has an effect and if it can make you feel your own feelings, then that is always the point of a story. If you can't read, there are audio books. If you can't hear, well, then you probably have a better grip on stuff than people who don't listen. If you can't listen, even to yourself...bah, you're in trouble. Before you go to grief counselors, go to wherever it is you write, or draw, or pick up a camera, or a tape recorder, or an MP3 recorder, and make something of your feelings. You don't need to get the entire world in a frenzy over what you've created, things like that don't last, and there will always be people who don't understand, but there will be people who do understand, and not because it's their job to think they understand, but because your feelings reminded them of their feelings, and in that moment you made them feel like they could come through anything.

(Killin' is not one of my approved-of art forms, just for the record. If you read something and if makes you feel like you want to go killin', then you really need to keep it to fiction and not do it for real. You'll be a hero that way.)

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