Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Sterilizing the Truth

After a late night trip to Rotten Ronnies, I somehow ended up with a copy of the Vancouver Province daily newspaper. Ended up with, as in did not pay for. So, I began reading. And stopped at the editorial page. You see, I couldn't get past Naomi Lakritz telling Bob Munsch tmi. For something to do, and to feature an issue near and dear to my heart, I've decided to post my response - in letter form - here in my blog.

Further to Naomi Lakritz's Thursday May 20 column ~ Sorry Bob, that was way too Munsch information. I fail to see how an author's lifestyle choices have any bearing at all in anyone's assessment of their books. Landriault's reaction clearly reflects her unfortunate ignorance and intolerance. I wonder what makes her think that an addict is a bad person? And how does that advance the situation? Did she ever consider the notion that an addict is self-medicating ~ that addiction is a symptom of an underlying problem that can never get treated if s/he has to keep his/her dirty little secret? These people are sick and they need treatment, not a moralizing or labelling or berating.

Is Ms. Lakritz suggesting that peaple who struggle with addiction/mental illness should keep their struggles to themselves, because to share these would be unpalatable to some pathetic individuals? How can Munsch's disclosure of addiction and mental illness contribute to stigmatization? I suggest that telling those afflicted with addiction and/or mental illness to keep quiet only exacerbates the shame which goes along with these and hence magnifies the stigmatization. The beauty of the internet lies in the fact that, if one finds a particular website or blog unpalatable, one can leave it with the click of a mouse. You think it's too much information? You don't like it? Does the detail make you queasy? Then don't read it. Simple.

As far as people like Landriault goes, we will always face bigots. And they should definitely NOT be driving the bus where this issue is concerned. Life is not a cafeteria, where we pick and choose the best bits and leave the rest. The broken bits of ourselves will never heal if we continue to deny them! Robert Munsch is a gifted children's story writer. The fact that he suffers mental illnes and addiction is also a part of who he is. Deal with it. Get over it. Privacy is a subjective concept ~ subject to individual interpretation. Feel free to look the other way anytime. Munsch and others like him should not be expected to sterilize the telling of their story on their websites or blogs or wherever to ensure that you don't get too uncomfortable, Ms Lakritz! Get over yourself. How about striving to be part of the solution, rather than part of the problem?

Roxanne Galpin
Vancouver, British Columbia


Tess said...

Great response!

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