Why Write it?

In 1991, I wrote an article in my high school newspaper against Desert Storm. People shouted at me, “If you don’t like the U.S., then get the hell out!” In 1993, I wrote an article criticizing our school flag and called for its removal (it was the Confederate flag of the South). Someone threw a book at me in the school cafeteria.

My mom told me then, “If people are talking about you, then you’re doing something right.”

Why do I write or say things I don’t necessarily mean? To raise eyebrows. To shock people. To stir emotions. To illicit reactions. To get people to examine their own values by criticizing mine.

I am lying by saying that I don’t care. I do care. I care if I can accomplish the above objectives. I care if I can get people talking. I care if I can get people thinking. I’d rather get an inbox full of hate mail than no response at all.

I want people to examine what I say, even if they say, “I can’t stand what Kim Vlach says.” I’d even take, “I think Kim is bitter, hateful, and bigoted.” What I don’t want to hear is, “Kim who? Who’s that?” I don’t care about what people are saying, just as long as they’re saying it.