Pale Criminal: Haters And Their Mail


  • A reader writes:

    Dear Sir:

    We read your book for book-club and I found it boring and reprehensible by turns. Between your endless descriptions and your philosophizing, I caught myself wondering, who would write such things? Who would publish such things? And there should really be a warning of what is to come. The book, which SEEMS at first to be grounded in Christianity, left several of us shocked and offended.

    With Disgust,

    Sheri K

    Dear Sheri K:

    While I regret that my book was distasteful to you, I obviously can make no apologies for it.

    This is by design a philosophical novel the point of which was to show that morality does exist if there is no God. The philosophy, therefore, was inescapable. A formal statement of the book’s theme appears in Chapter 33, when Joel says “Philosophy matters.”

    “I was under the influence of an incorrect philosophy,” Joel said. “It was an amoral, relativistic philosophy that resulted in nihilism, as such philosophies inevitably do. Moorecroft, if there’s only one thing I want get across, it’s this: philosophy matters. It matters the most. I’ve lived it, and I know what I’m talking about.”

    “Tell me exactly what you mean,” Elias said.

    “I mean that the ideas a person holds determine precisely, mathematically, the actions that that person will take—and how that person will view those actions and feel about them afterward. Convictions determine actions. Philosophy is the source from which every subsequent thing flows. Whether the idea is scientific, political, aesthetic, technological, or anything else, philosophy is the source. Thoughts shape deeds. Those thoughts spring from the ideas one forms about existence and the universe around us. And that is philosophy.”

    To show the good, I felt I had to present the bad as a contrast.

    My point, however, was not to glorify a crime, but just the opposite: to condemn it.

    On another level, this book is about childhood — specifically, how one’s childhood experiences last through a lifetime, and how, in certain children, when experience comes too early it can force that little soul to weigh God. As I said in the book:

    “Childhood is a private garden, Joel, sometimes a terrible one. Every person’s childhood is unique. The adult carries childhood with him through life, until the day of death.”



    Reader, see and decide for yourself: click-click


About The Author

I was born and raised in the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado. I’ve worked as a short-order cook, construction laborer, crab fisherman, janitor, bartender, pedi-cab driver, and more. I’ve written and ghostwritten several published books and articles, but no matter where I’ve gone or what I’ve done to earn my living, there’s always been literature and learning as the constant in my life.

11 Responses and Counting...

  • Karl 03.29.2012

    Blarg. He can’t even write a letter in disgust correctly, much less understand that it’s not up to the rest of the world to coddle his sensibilities.

  • Oops, Sheri is a woman’s name. I can’t even read. So I guess that makes us even. Till next time, Sheri K.

  • Hi Karl. Girl, guy? What’s the difference? Your point is well made and well taken.

    It’s very good to see you, friend. Thanks for dropping by.

  • “Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.” — Groucho Marx

    Although I have not quite finished your novel yet I can definitely say it is Outside The Dog!

    Jeff

  • Speaking of which, did you hear about the dyslexic atheist? He didn’t believe there was a Dog.

  • […] book divides people. Many hate it, and I’ve been surprised at the amount of hate-mail I’ve gotten over it. It is flawed — I see that now — and it’s also […]

  • […] this book divides people, you see. Many hate it, and I’ve been surprised at the amount of hate-mail I’ve gotten over it. It is flawed — I see that now more than ever — and […]

  • I think the fact that Sheri K doesn’t understand the how’s and why’s of this book and who on earth could possibly write and publish this “shocking and offensive” material just illustrates her closed mind and thick head. I am a Christian and I found the book to be beautifully and intelligently written- The suspense of the storyline, the mind-bending philosophy, and gritty to-the-bone reality of it proved it to be a sort of ying and yang tapestry with the elements of “dark and light” all woven together. So to dear Sheri K: Get a grip. The real world isn’t fluffy pink clouds and lollipops- but if you should choose to live in that delusional world, perhaps you’d better go back to just reading the Bible- You’ll be safe there with nothing to shock, offend, disgust, or scare you…

  • “I mean that the ideas a person holds determine precisely, mathematically, the actions that that person will take—and how that person will view those actions and feel about them afterward. Convictions determine actions. Philosophy is the source from which every subsequent thing flows. Whether the idea is scientific, political, aesthetic, technological, or anything else, philosophy is the source. Thoughts shape deeds. Those thoughts spring from the ideas one forms about existence and the universe around us. And that is philosophy.”

    But what is “philosophy”? What is its definition? Is “theology” “philosophy”?

    As for “Frith”‘s “. . . . perhaps you’d better go back to just reading the Bible- You’ll be safe there with nothing to shock, offend, disgust, or scare you…”

    That’s not the experience of those who have actually read the so-called “Bible”.

    Otherwise, I note all the responses to “Sheri K.” are personal attacks (and those objections to “hate” being hate), not refutations of her comment. The cheap shot is cheap because it’s so easy — nearly everyone can do it (though few are noteworthy for their thoughtfulness and skill in so doing). One would perhaps expect that on issues of “philosophy” one should be able to respond in keeping with “philosophy”.

    As for “message” novels: meh.

  • Yes, theology is of course a species of philosophy. I’ve addressed your first question multiple times — most recently here:

    http://journalpulp.com/2013/04/07/what-is-philosophy/

  • To address JNagarya: A definition of theology is: The study of religious belief and the nature of God. A definition of philosophy is: The critical analysis of fundammental assumptions or beliefs. Do they not intertwine? Now I do NOT claim to be a profound philosopher- Nor, for that matter, do I claim to be anything else I am not. I am, however, able to recognize and appreciate the great intellect, insight, skill, and wisdom when I read it. -Even if it is not of the same philosophy I share. This is the crux of why Sheri K’s comments made me angry (NOT hateful- there is a difference). Her statement: “…There really should be a warning of what is to come. The book, which SEEMS at first to be grounded in Christianity, left several of us shocked and offended…” leaves one to assume that she was upset about being exposed to anything outside of her own “bubble” of belief- The philosophy illustrated in the book was not parallel to hers so she attacked it as well as the author. Also: I have, by the way, read the Bible and do read it every now and again. Your statement, JNagarya, “That’s not the experience of those who have actually read the so-called “Bible” is hugely sweeping and erroneous- But I am not here to argue philosophical theology, nor would I ever have the desire to- Which brings me back to my point: While it is a good thing to discuss different ways of percieving this world, it is not, in my opinion, at all acceptable to berate any one for having different views than your own.

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