Re: RE: Is this bad?

Home Forums Writer’s Digest Forum Writers’ Block Party Is this bad? Re: RE: Is this bad?


Mark OKeefe

An extremely valid point, relayed bluntly, without pulling a single punch, kerrymichaelwood.

I will, and for decades did, defend your and my Constitutional Rights to freedom of expression. However,
please indulge an old guy long enough to listen to this tale.

A young officer got assigned his first shipboard department with responsibility for fifteen sailors. He had worked hard to learn Navy ways and needs. He applied himself with gusto and total commitment to ensure his department fulfilled these requirements. As a result, the CO gave him glowing fitness (performance) reports; the department ran well with almost no major problems; the men all knew what was expected of them and they met those expectations. But, something was missing. The Operations Department boss, although keeping his department working smoothly and reasonably well, did not receive accolades from the CO, but a visit to his department was always a pleasure. One night the young officer was in the code room, with the Chief-of-the-Boat. He asked the COB, “Do the men think I’m a good officer Chief?” The old chief was close to retirement and had fielded too many off-the-bulkhead (wall) questions from seniors to be flustered or at a loss for words. He composed his thoughts and then responded, “Well Mr X (not his real name), the CO respects you for your outstanding results, the men respect you for your ability to lead them safely to a good conclusion, and your service record reads very good. However, no one likes you enough to extinguish you if you were on fire (civilianised interpretation of a novel Navy method used to extinguish flames on a persons body).”

Usually, as we age, the sharp edges get a little rounded; it would be great to fast-forward forty years and read some of your work.

However, let me reiterate, I am not criticising you or your writing. It is for you alone to accept or dismiss anyone’s comments regarding your work or lifestyle. And even if I totally disagree with what you are saying, I will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with you, while fiercely defending your right to say it, so long as it is not slanderous or libellous. When all is said and done, whenever we put our writing in the public domain, there is no shortage of those willing to savage our efforts, and for that reason, a writer has got to be tough and able to take it on the chin.

I’m willing to bet, not many people can ignore your work. However, I’m from the old school of, “Telling someone to go to he**, and make him or her, look forward to the trip.”

Sorry to have been so long-winded, thanks for listening,

Ancient Mariner