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Lazlo Zalezac: Blog

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Contradictory Feedback

May 17, 2011
Posted at 3:29 pm

One of the things that I enjoy the most about posting stories concerning life in modern times is reading the emails from readers. There are basically four kinds of feedback emails: 1) this story really sucks, 2) this story is really great, 3) I don't know what planet you are from, but life isn't like this at all, and 4) My God man, you just described my life. The current story, Service Society, has really created a storm of emails along the lines of 3 and 4.

I find it fascinating when readers have such diametrically opposite reactions to a story. It is as if there are two separate worlds. It isn't even a matter of pessimist versus optimist. It is that people are experiencing very different things in their daily lives.

The latest chapter, 'Cherries, Kids, and Cops,' is actually a pivotal chapter in this story. It is not a chapter intended to 'make the story longer' as one reader suggested.

In the first few chapters, Dexter is just putting up with life and all the nonproductive junk that is thrown in his direction. He, like many others, just shrugs his shoulders and says, 'That's life -- I just have to put up with it.'

In the next few chapters, Dexter started reacting to the negatives. His reactions are basically emotional in terms of running off and hiding or experiencing a thrill or two. One might even say that his reactions are juvenile.

Then in the next few chapters, Dexter starts complaining. Big deal, one might say. However, in order to correct a problem one must be able to state what the problem is. It isn't a matter of being bitter, although there are elements of that even though anger might be a better description of what he is feeling. It is recognizing exactly what he doesn't like about his life.

In 'Cherries, Kids, and Cops', Dexter has drawn a line in the sand. He is not going to accept shoddy service and low quality products. Whereas everyone else in the store is saying, 'it is just a cherry,' Dexter is saying, 'I'm not a lemming and I will not put up with this because everyone else says I should accept it.'

I'm wondering, if over the course of the rest of this story, whether the emails are going to be just as polarized or will merge to a consensus. It will be interesting to see.