Leila has chosen a hard hitting – no holds barred piece by Hugh Cron for this week’s Rerun. Adult content and down to earth grittiness – It couldn’t have been written by anyone else.
This piece is a perfect example of the sometimes controversial, yet always honest Hugh Cron style. Quite often, as is the case in A Bad Batch, Hugh’s stories are set up like a production of what I like to call “Our Town In Hell.” The scenery is deliberately spare as to allow the focus to fall on the inner workings of a depraved protagonist, who, almost always in this author’s works, is also his/her own antagonist.
Gentle readers have been known to flinch when Hugh comes round with a tale like A Bad Batch. Flinching prevents the gentle reader from enjoying the exquisite little ironies that Hugh’s pieces are flush with. Yes, these are stories about junkies, molesters, whores and the essentially useless–but they are human stories written by an author who has the courage to tell them without passing judgement on his characters. Bluntly, you will find more such persons around you than superheroes. To deny bottom feeders access into letters on account of their ugliness is a grave misconception; for literature to go forward, as it has through the ages, there must be writers who accurately and dispassionately report the contents of the times that they live in. The contents are people; all people.
The time has come to pose a couple of questions I’ve always had for Mr. Cron (and I hope he will forgive me for referring to him via all mixings of his name as well as the occasional pronoun).
Q: How often must you resist the temptation to back off your relentless course and provide for your characters a little hope here and there? My characters would string me up from the highest paragraph if I dared to pull a tenth of the shit on them that you lay on your charges.
Q: Does society require a class of “human refuse” for its own continued existence? Seems to me that the perception of life is all about comparison–life/death; pain/joy; anticipation/disappointment…. Another way to phrase this, perhaps, might be: Does the human race need a level of depravity commensurate with that of excellence–a necessary chasm without we could no more survive than we can minus oxygen?
Thanks so much for choosing this one. Much appreciated!
Q.1 – I never think too much. I’m quite sure that you’ve noticed. I go with the story and if there is a glimmer of light or happiness for the characters, I’ll consider that. But most times any outcome is destructive and inevitable. This does make me think on something being stereotypical but I am able to forgive myself this as the stereotype is also what is realistic. To do anything else would take this into fantasy – And I’m shite at that!
Q.2 – I’m not sure about this. I have found that the class system is more material than human. I do believe that there are class systems within systems. You find that anyone with addictions don’t count certain things, say cannabis for example. Their specific drug of choice is then the norm and they move on passing comment and even looking down on maybe the jaggers. This is their line in the sand. A lot of them cross it. And when they do, there is a helluva lot of denial.
I wish I thought that we all considered each other but sadly, I reckon that some people are so far away from other folks thoughts that even negativity is a small dot on the horizon. Let’s be honest, society confuses acceptance from tolerance and what it is uncomfortable with, is simply ignored. To look down on someone is to acknowledge that they are there. Even that acknowledgement can be missing.