I’ve been thinking about my ViVid Strike intro at RandomC. In the comments, I received some criticism that struck a chord with me. Several people wondered whether I was cynical for not being taken in by the main orphans’ struggles.
From where I stand, that’s absurd.
In the context of my life, I’m the least cynical version of Stephen W. Gee that’s existed since I was a child. Teenage Stephen was a cynical bastard. College Stephen was only a little better. Early professional Stephen was pretty darn cynical too. But the arc of my life since I left my parent’s home has been away from cynicism (and false realism) and toward idealism. Not starry-eyed, certainly, but I am much more optimistic than I was when I was younger.
Think about it. I’m the kind of person who believes he can become an author, and does the work to get there. I don’t have time for cynicism.
But I’ve learned to listen when criticism strikes a chord, because that probably means there’s truth to it. If I’m truly far less cynical than I’ve ever been before, why did I come across as cynical in that post? Am I perhaps not as optimistic and idealistic as I believe myself to be?
That’s not it. The answer is far simpler. I was tired when I wrote that post.
I was tired because I have four jobs, and because I was less than a day away from jumping on a plane for vacation, and I had a million things to do before then. I needed to do a week’s worth of selling in a day. I needed to pack. I needed to get as much sleep as possible before my 4am shuttle to the airport. And I had to write that post.
I was not in the best state of mind to enjoy anime, frankly.
That’s something I’ve noticed more and more recently. I’ve been critical, sometimes sharply, on shows that I ostensibly enjoy. Sometimes with good reason—that Nanatsu no Taizai third episode was bullshit. But would it have cheesed me off so much if I hadn’t watched it at 4:30am at one of my four jobs? I suspect not.
All of this is a long-winded way of saying that sometimes, the answer isn’t some philosophical crisis. Sometimes it doesn’t hint at the writer’s true beliefs, no matter how much people like to psychoanalyze us. Sometimes, all it means is that the author was tired, or hungry, or sick, or too damn busy for their own good. Trust me. I’ve seen me do it.As always, thank you for using my Amazon Affiliate link (info).