Friday, December 30, 2011

The price of truth vs tact, blarney, and political correctness

On the surface, complete honesty is expected from our partner/friend/child/parent/teacher/boss/government. But in practice, honesty is often cloaked by something else, a need to soften its delivery so it's less blunt and easier to accept. I stink at that. When I'm responsible for the outcome of a situation or if I'm asked outright, I just say what I think. Complete honesty doesn't always sit well with the recipient, but the other choices are - Silence - That works in many situations. But other times silence is absolutely unacceptable, like with the child-abuse problems at Penn State and elsewhere. I can keep silent about truths that don't need to be said - I have that basic impulse control. Unless I'm asked. Then you get the whole truth. Diversion- Q: Does this make me look fat? A: Look at these earrings. Blarney - "the art of telling someone to go to hell so they look forward to the trip." This requires a silver tongue and a fondness for shamrocks, neither of which I have. Political correctness - "tyranny with a happy face” according to Charlton Heston. I can't play that game. The saccharin-speech and namby-pamby feel of our PC country is the reason I yell at the TV during political campaigns. Outright lie - not acceptable. So what's the point in all this? In my journey toward publication, I had questions about a potential contract and publisher. As the author, I want to be proud of the end product so I went ahead and asked my questions. The publisher was not comfortable with my lack of political correctness, lack of blarney or diversion or silence on the matter and now will not be publishing my book. The lesson? I guess they're not the right publisher for me.


  1. Good for you! It takes courage to stand up for yourself and what you belive is right, especially in this culture where you're either damned or worshipped, no in between. I praise your courage! Keep writing!

  2. Jeanne, you were completely justified in every remark you made. You were not out of line, too blunt, or politically incorrect. This is YOUR work. YOU are the artist, they are the venue to distribute your art. When the trade off is rights to your work, and in other words, a part of yourself, then you have every right to approach it with whatever questions you deem necessary. You were not disrespectful in anyway. Regardless of their response, they were still not the right publisher for several other reasons.

    That being said, I think this is a constant struggle for many people. But in general I think that while softening the truth may be better in the moment, in many scenarios it is not beneficial in the long run. Okay, I'm rambling a lot. Perhaps I need to write my own blog entry haha

    Nice post! :)

  3. Thank you both for your comments. Since I tend toward bluntness and I truly don't want to offend, I often second-guess the 'how' of how I handle things. In the case of this publisher, I doubted myself for about 5 minutes, then I was over it. I have to live with the outcome, and I wouldn't have been satisfied with the product they offered.