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Monday, March 08, 2021

Reader's Diary #2174 - Ed Friedman: Fred

 After saving Homer from a reindeer attack in the Simpsons episode "Homer's Phobia," John remarks, "Homer, I won your respect, and all I had to do was save your life. Now, if every gay man could just do the same, you'd be set."

It's the tongue-in-cheek way the writers counter the moral of their own story; it shouldn't take some over-the-top life-saving gesture for us to respect one another and to recognize the value in others. It's a trope and unfortunately one also used in Ed Friedman's short story "Fred," about a man who is eventually rescued by a homeless man he's spent the better part of a story actively avoiding. 

It's especially disappointing when the voice and imagery is strong up to the point where it becomes obvious where the story is headed.

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