Thursday, November 15, 2012

Throw A Stone And Get Some Egg On Your Face

By JccKeith

  • People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.  Isn’t that how the old adage goes?  We’ll get back to that in a minute.

I was reading a book today and it was a really crummy fantasy novel with some overly simplistic, crappy dialogue and an even simpler plot.  I think Goodnight Moon had a more complicated plot than this book.  Anyway, enough with the utter crap that this book exemplified and on with my point.  I looked to the cover of this masterpiece of American literature and discovered, to no surprise, that it was published by a major publishing company.  I will not sully the usually good name of this well known fantasy company by mentioning its association with this book.

I had to ask myself, how on Earth did this complete waste of paper and space get published?  Who looked at this manuscript and said, “Ah, you’ve done it!  That will be a best seller!”  The author was no one I had heard of and was clearly not being published on fame alone.  This was just some person who wrote a novel and submitted it and somehow got it published.  I couldn’t help but wonder:
  • Did this person know someone in the biz?  Did they talk to the right people at some convention? Did they blackmail some highly important executive at the publishing company?

Realizing I would find no answers and pondering if perhaps I was just jealous, I recalled that good old saying about glass houses.  As I turned the words over in my head and debated on the caliber of my own recent endeavor at writing for the NaNoWriMo challenge, I wondered at its meaning.  I’ve probably heard it thousands of times over the years and said it just as many to others.

I’ve considered its meaning in the past as glass houses is such an odd phrase all on its own.  I realize that the intended meaning is that you shouldn’t criticize others when you yourself have flaws and weaknesses.  As I said, the intended meaning is quite clear but the choice of words, I have decided is poor. 

To me, a person living in a glass house would have the most right to criticize others because when you live in a glass house, everyone can see your business and you have nothing to hide.  I would think that the person living in a stone walled fortress would have the most to hide and the least right to throw stones.

I see that a glass house would be easily shattered if people started throwing stones back at you.  The problem I have is that if you live in a glass house and everyone already knows everything about you, then no one would have cause to throw stones back at you.  I mean you’re seriously already kind of living out in the open anyway. 
  • It’s kind of in agreement with the idea that those among us without flaws, or things to hide, be the first to throw a stone.

I’m not arguing with the principle, just the wording.  It should more clearly relate to what it means.  Perhaps we should change it to say, ‘People who build walls shouldn’t throw stones.”  Or another way might be, ‘People who bruise easily shouldn’t throw stones.’ Maybe it could even change away from stones altogether like, ‘People who live in straw houses shouldn’t start fires.’

Maybe I’m just not to keen on people living in glass houses.  I’m a firm believer in people keeping their business to themselves.  There are just some things the general public shouldn’t know about you.  So put up some shades already.

It could also be that I’m also a firm believer in people not throwing stones.  Enough with the stoning.  Even kindergarteners know you shouldn’t throw rocks.  It’s wrong.  Throw eggs.  Yes eggs, because even people who live in glass houses could throw eggs.  They cause no permanent damage and are easy enough to clean up.  Of course be careful when throwing eggs, you wouldn’t want to go out in public with egg on your face. 

  • Yet another bizarre adage, ‘egg on your face.’  Who comes up with this stuff?

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