One of our last year TV programmes, “Non-stranger”, was an unsuccessful acount of the career of Do Hoang Dieu. It left almost no impression on me at all, except for this: The woman writer, author of the controversial erotic story “Incubus”, said firmly enough to wake me up from sleepiness, “For me, writing is just a game. My major is laws.” By that she meant writing was just her secondary job which she did just for fun or for some experiment of her gift.
I got out of sleep, and said to my workmates, “Crazy woman. How can she be so arrogant?” But my workmates said, “No, that’s not arrogance. She is trying to evade any responsibility one may have to take in writing. If some audience, having read her book and felt no sympathy for it, hear what she says now in this program, they will agree to her that Do Hoang Dieu’s book was not a success because she is not a professional writer. Look, writing is merely her secondary job.” I thought my workmates seemed right to some extent.
I would later on notice many cases in which highlighted the author of an idea, a review, a comment, or an analysis, “I am not a writer/ critic/ professional/ ect. What I write here is just to express some personal ideas about…”. It is clear that all of them have set “safety barriers” for them to be protected from any possible attack.
Then I’ve realized recently that I myself am setting safety barriers for myself. In every writing of mine on this blog, I include these words, “I am not a dissident,” “I am not a political thinker,” “I am not an economist,” “I am not an artist,” “I would rather stay on the ground,” something like that.
In my recent writing about the battle of idea between government and market, I took into account the story of managers and staffs in my office. Then I stopped there, leaving it off without reaching any conclusion, or suggesting any solution.
Yes, like many others, I am setting safety barriers. And I am clear that I will keep doing so.
Why? Why do many of us set up safety barriers to hide from attacks? Can the safety barriers serve as our shelters? Or is there any other reason that keeps us with many untold things?
Why dare none of us speak out our mind even when that may at times make us extremists? Where are all the extremists?
The answer will come along in the next post.