Originally posted on the Benrik website: http://benrik.co.uk/...
Nate is READING: Alan Eckert, "That Dark and Bloody River: Chronicles of the Ohio River Valley"
WATCHING: Last of the Mohicans
LISTENING TO: Grandpa Jones, "Sweet Lips (The Battle of King's Mountain)"
I have no idea what today's Task is, and that really doesn't bother me too much. I think that the Book has served its purpose: I'm no longer plagued by ennui. My life is, dare I say it, fun. Maybe even interesting.
Read 'Homage to Catalonia' by George Orwell. Beautiful! Absolutely beautiful! I'd known some things about the Spanish Civil War before (I think somewhere there's a Rule saying that if you're an Anarchist you have to be obsessed with some aspect of the SCW), but I'd never gotten such a personal view on things before. An utterly irrefutable argument against gun control, against authoritarian government, against political imprisonment and discrimination, against an overly-regimented military . . . by God, I think it may be the second-best book I've ever read! The first, of course, is still and will always be 'The Monkey Wrench Gang' by Edward Abbey.
Got in a gorgeous row with my English teacher. We're studying 'Macbeth' (which is not a tragedy; it's beyond me why people keep insisting that it is. Macbeth is a bad, bad guy, and wholly unsympathetic, and he gets his comeuppance at the hands of Malcolm and Macduff, who are both very sympathetic characters; by God, it's not a tragedy, it's a COMEDY!), and I insisted that Adolph Hitler is a bad example of absolute power as a corrupting force because he came to power through free democratic process and was therefore already corrupt when he attained absolute power. She doesn't like to be challenged, so immediately responded by questioning my personal politics rather than addressing my point. I responded that I am an Anarchist and waited for her to say something rather than going on with my spiel; my instinctual response to being presented with a debate is to sandbag, and sandbag, and sandbag some more. By God, it was glorious! She was expecting, I'm sure, alot of Utopian nonsense with no concrete philosophy or real-world examples. She was quite surprised, and I soundly trounced her. Though I think it will require a flip chart, a magic marker, and some puppets to explain to her why 'Homage to Catalonia' and 'Civil Disobediance' are real-life examples and 'Lord of the Flies' is not. And to think that the bell rang before I even got to the Cherokee Indians and the Golden Age of Piracy!
Speaking of George Orwell, I present, for your further education and enlightenment, George Orwell's six rules for writers (culled from his essay 'Politics and the English Language'):
- Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
- Never use a long word where a short one will do.
- If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
- Never use the passive voice where you can use the active.
- Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
- Break any of these rules sooner than saying something outright barbarous.
Maybe, just maybe, if enough people decide to follow these rules, we'll never see another 'Twilight'. Ah, you may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one . . .
And also remember to never use a preposition to end a sentence with.
I got 'Recipes for Disaster: An Anarchist Cookbook' by the CrimethInc. Ex-Workers' Collective in the mail the other day. Amazing! Chapters on graffiti, dumpster-diving, legal advice, and (I kid you not) how to turn a bicycle into a record player. The fact that this book exists gives me hope for the future of our great American nation. But, alas, I just can't abide CrimethInc. You see, I'm an Anarchist, but I'm also a Christian, and I eat meat and see nothing morally wrong with 'exploiting' animals. Well, if the other Anarchists won't play with me just because I'm not an atheist or a vegan, I'm taking my ball and going home.
I haven't updated 'Ghost Dance' in a long while, you may notice. I haven't lost interest in it, it just got put on the back-burner because I'm hard at work spinning another yarn. This here one beez about an Overmountain man; once again, my love of history is a great provider of story ideas. For inspiration, I followed the advice of the grizzled old Overmountain man I met at Boy Scout camp and picked up 'The Shadow Warriors' by Cameron Judd and 'That Dark and Bloody River' by Alan Eckert. 'The Shadow Warriors' was just excellent, though the pro-Union bias was obvious (yes, I'm a bit of a secesh; but that's a rant for another time). 'That Dark and Bloody River' looks like it's going to be good, as well. Ah, by God, I've wanted to write a story like this every since I was knee-high to a cricket! Flintlock rifles! Painted barbarians weilding axes and flint-tipped spears! Brutal and merciless tyrants! Feudin' clans o' Heelenders! Swashbuckling adventure! Zombies! A Wendigo! Shrooms! I believe this may be turning into what Edward Abbey called a 'kitchen sink story.' Or maybe I'll one-up Cactus Ed and actually write the world's longest shaggy dog story . . .