This is who we are, now.
And sorry to offend on the American thing. I recognize differences and nuance between the subtypes of American, but temperamentally, I'm a perceptual lumper and not a splitter. I see similarities more than I do differences. To me, Islam, Judaism, and Christianity all go under "the Abrahamics," with the differences being superficial to my eyes. I also lump together the neo-Confederate Dixie, the Cali hippie, the New York grumper, and the Detroit ghetto rat as being "those Americans."
To you, as an insider, the differences are enormous and perhaps insurmountable. To my eyes as an outsider and a temperamental lumper, the distinctions are not so salient. American regionalism and particularism is more fanatic than of other countries, but I'm sure that, to a Japanese citizen, the distinctions between Okinawan culture and Tokyo culture are important. Human nature and cultures are infinitely subfractal, and it is not physically or conceptually
possible for any individual to exemplify all aspects of it.
I've also spent a far amount of time thinking about my nationality, and also thinking about my racial identity. These things do matter - they are differences written in blood and soil and spirit, over which people are sometimes willing to kill for. History is written in passed-down pains, in tacit silences, in unasked questions that pass down answers. It is told through callouses on hands, the presence or absence of a mother's murmurs, the flat crinkles of plastic bags ripped open while sitting alone in the backs of aging vans. Each bullet, each hummed note, each gallon of gasoline, each cigarette, all of it is created and coloured and consumed through the lens of the culture you sit in. That culture is always and everywhere local, shaped and told by the stochastic happenstance of the people who run into your life.
Actually, I don't care so deeply anymore. An Oklahoman is not a Floridan is not a Frenchman, and a Jew is not a Christian is not a Shiite, and a Trotskyist is not a Stalinist is not a Makhnovian. Human beings have infinite variety, and I do not wish to understand most of it. Again, those are just my interests, and they have no bearing on what is true or what is worth doing.
To respond to the other points:
I didn't want to do that, my introduction post touches on this fact but I doubt anyone actually read that rambling piece of shit.
It's understandable to hope that nobody reads what you've done. I feel that too. But it's also a futile and self-defeating hope.
HEY... I never said he shoots deer... that's later in the story XD.
I mean, technically no. But this does imply it strongly enough to me to assume so.
I try to take a deep breath, steady myself. Just like how you breathe before delivering the kill shot on an elk. Just like you taught me Mike.
And on another note:
Both types of stories can be a chore to read. Front-loading a story with info can be just as bad. Optimally the information should be introduced organically as it comes up in the story, and if something doesn't come up it can be introduced later. As an example in this story, when Tyler is mentioned it would be no problem to add half a sentence explaining this Tyler's relation to the protagonist or when the photo comes up to name the people in it.
I have a different attitude to Mirage here. I don't object, in itself, to mentioning people without explaining them. Actually, I think that's more natural to how people actually think, and thus flows better.
And on the more general level, I don't believe a story should need to be easy to comprehend. I don't care about who Tyler is: what's important to me is the emotion and atmosphere of the relationship, and the ideas being evoked. Like Chatty, I approve of describing people namelessly.
Feurox: it is extremely difficult to tell whether you're echoing some very interesting sentiments or if you're just attempting to be trite or funny