I prefer not to…

29 Jan

I wonder if a blogger could be considered a modern day scrivener? While admittedly I blog to help beat back the darkness and in my strange way to be engaged in tikkun olam, I wake up on some days and wish I could be Melville’s Bartleby.  When I first heard of David Kato’s brutal murder, I thought to myself, I prefer not to–I don’t want to think about this.  When I first read about how the GOP plans to redefine rape, I thought to myself, I prefer not to–I don’t want to think of our country becoming Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. When I read about the dozens of gay teen suicides–I prefer not to…When Walgreens refused to help save a woman’s life because she has had an abortion–I prefer not to…  I prefer not to engage.

I do believe in passive resistance. I do believe in social change through non-violent means.  Obviously, I prefer to write about all the human atrocities, in the hopes that I, and others, can make the world a better place and to prevent myself from slipping into a misanthropic abyss.  So rather than being Bartleby (who certainly has his place in society), I have chosen to be Ida Tarbell.

I prefer not to

9 Responses to “I prefer not to…”

  1. Jen January 29, 2011 at 3:31 pm #

    I might have had to look up some of these words and references…

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt January 29, 2011 at 3:35 pm #

      Jen, Have you not read Bartleby the Scrivener? It is perhaps my favorite short story. I love Melville. I think you would really enjoy it.

  2. Jennifer January 29, 2011 at 3:44 pm #

    The only Melville I have read is Moby Dick…
    I must admit, my fiction vocabulary is not as extensive as it should be.

  3. Jennifer January 29, 2011 at 3:53 pm #

    Downloading on Kindle. 😉

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt January 29, 2011 at 4:32 pm #

      Jen, That so cracked me up! Of course, the Luddite that I am, it never occurred to me to use a Kindle.

      • Jennifer January 29, 2011 at 8:19 pm #

        The classics are free on Kindle 🙂

  4. webwordwarrior January 29, 2011 at 4:21 pm #

    “Bartleby,” said I, “are you aware that you are the cause of great tribulation to me, by persisting in occupying the entry after being dismissed from the office?”

    Don’t you just want to use that line with half the people you meet? Bartleby is such a wonderful figure and very aptly chosen. Excellent post!

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt January 29, 2011 at 4:41 pm #

      Lex, I have to admit that Bartleby is both one of my heros and a character that I find irritatingly enigmatic.

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