Anyone else wearied by myriad causes du jour? By politics and the endless “debates” about it on social media? By the expectation of outrage or an emotional response about [fill in the blank] lest one be labeled by folks who are outraged, offended, etc.?
In the literary realm, one current debate is the “inclusiveness” of novels, and some people think we need to keep score: x number of ethnic characters, x number of certain genders or sexual orientations, and so on. There’s plenty of agenda-driven fiction out there, from a variety of political, religious, and cultural viewpoints. From whence comes this need to turn stories into soapboxes or pulpits?
I have opinions and beliefs, and I’ll talk about them, but not everyone requires, deserves, or is entitled to knowing what they are. In this age of constant exposure, personal freedoms and privacy are in becoming a short supply. So is moderation of speech and behavior.
The Internet, as valuable as it can be, is also a digital three-ring circus. Society/culture at large is often a flamboyant, obnoxious tyranny demanding everyone think alike.
Not gonna happen.
Even in the most repressive governmental regimes, silence or outward compliance have never meant assent. There is always an underground.
I cannot and will not divorce what I believe from what I write. However, my focus is story first.