Tag Archives: Literature

Back in the Saddle Again

Eleven hours (combined) of painting over the weekend and the house still isn’t done with its first coat. Stonefield is two-storied, and I am painting it by myself. I shouldn’t be completely disappointed in my progress. Eighty percent complete is better than zero, but I should have done this earlier in the year. It was only the unexpected disappointment of not finding a painting company to perform the job before winter hit. Being the fresh homeowner I am, I was completely unaware of booking seasons in advance. On the bright side it will save me $2,000 (a little over £1,200 or 2,100 AUD), and I’m getting more than one coat out of the deal. The first has cleaned up the siding tremendously, which has caught the admiration of the neighbors.

Although I despise the ego stroking when people speak similar phrases, housework is not mentally challenging work. That’s not to say I don’t have to problem solve from time to time, but painting leaves a lot of time for the mind to wander. It wanders all over the place in search for amusement. Songs, memories, Tarantino-esque musings, scheduling, and task reminders all pass through the extra human RAM provided by the activity.

One of the fabulous little mind gems yesterday was the concept of a Hi-Q. I’m not going to say I started it, because it’s too simple an idea to do so. However, it occurred to me and it had not before. I have not seen it anywhere else on the Internet as of today. So, it’s at least “new to me.” I’ll take that.

In my creation, a Hi-Q is a haiku dealing with less-than-common topics. They are often intellectual in nature. Traditionally, a haiku deals in sensory activities but I find senses and emotions are close enough together to be included. I did so below with the theory of universal “Heat Death.”


“Heat Death of the Universe” by Corvidae in the Fields

More borrowed upset

Space doomed through simplified terms

A proud man’s hot air

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Selling the Absurdity: Why Some Writers Suck at Being Satirical

I enjoy satire quite a bit. That’s not to say I’m the supreme authority on it, but I know good satire when I see it. I’ve read Jonathan Swift, Miguel de Cervantes, Kurt Vonnegut, and Voltaire all with genuine, audible laughter. They all have an ability to use the written word as an épée to foil their critics. When written appropriately, it can be quite disarming.

There are plenty of writers, especially bloggers, who think they’re up to the challenge of acquiring biting, satirical wit. That, in and of itself, is quite admirable. There’s nothing wrong with setting goals and working toward them. Satire is a higher form of comedy. Everybody loves a clown. So, why don’t you?

(I love spooking the anti-clown crowd. Say “anti-clown crowd” five times fast.)

The problem with writing good satire is not remotely believing what you’re writing. It is paramount the article be absurd to a reasonably intelligent human being. We’re not looking for MENSA candidates here, just people who can read well and be rational enough to conceptualize the argument. That way the reader can easily understand what’s being argued and think “there’s no possible way on Earth you mean that!” For example, A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift promotes cannibalism as a way to control population. This is what we call a red flag.

I love absurdity. Its abstraction turns logic on its head and draws a mustache on it for looking stuffy. It’s the rainbow bridging a tortoise and a tea cup. It’s the creative side that spilled the beans and then ate the mailbox. It’s that color I look for in any good satire.

What I find with the novice satirist is they’re not absurd enough, which leads me to suspect they believe what they are writing on some level. That’s just insulting, because then the writer becomes the essayist version of an Internet troll. Anyone who wants to make it in writing will want to avoid that perception at all costs.

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The Writing You Already Knew

Writing’s a tough job, and a job that must be worked on even when no one seems to notice. What I find interesting is anyone hearing that statement doesn’t question it, but I still see many out there who act as if writing’s a cakewalk. It’s the old phrase “in one ear, and out the other.” There are, notably, some bibliophiles who have acquired a love of writing. I have a lot of respect for them, as they read faster and have a knowledge base multiple times that of my own. They aren’t the majority of people though. You know it, and I know it.

My point is two-fold: it’s a long way to the top, if you wanna rock and roll, and people generally need to be told what to like. The latter upsets me to no end, but I observe it on such a daily basis, it becomes the dead elephant in the living room. I’m not sure if it’s mostly due to availability, as there are volumes and volumes of literature available at anyone’s fingertips, or that people are so focused in their own sphere of living they simply can’t process the concept fully.

I recall a conversation with a friend of mine a few weeks ago. We were discussing writing and the accessibility to wide audiences. What does it take to connect with many, many people? He is of the opinion the right structure opens a clear channel of communication and allows more people to fully understand it. I agree to an extent. If I started to write in a brand new alphabet and phrases, then very few would read it. They don’t understand it, and therefore abandon it. Yes, it’s slovenly, but nothing is there to motivate them otherwise.

I’m of the opinion, though, that it can be complete elitist garbage and still be popular. I have not changed my opinion about James Joyce, ever since I continued my reading of Ulysses. This is supposedly one of the greatest books of all time, but it’s too ciphered. It’s a horrible read and a disservice to the audience. Yet it’s wonderful? Bullshit. Too many people/critics have told their friends it was a great book, read way too much into it, and voila! Successful piece of literature.

This is why I refuse to read anything by J. K. Rowling. Her snowball has rolled, and I’m not big on the young adult section anyway. There are a ton of better experiences left, but are flooded out by the bandwagon. I often feel like a miner panning for gems.

Instead of this being a bunch of sour notes in a musical score, I’d merely like to say this: if you are reading this and feel like you’re passed over, then don’t stop. Don’t stop, even when you feel like you’re writing the worst literature on the face of the planet. Don’t stop when you’re met with silence for the next twenty years, because I will tell you people are thick headed. It may take twenty years for people to catch up with you. Not everything can be a home run, and that goes for every writer. Perhaps the worst thing you can do is stop, as time will pass whether you create or not.

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Acceptance Overdue

After my last non-literature post, I had to think (sometimes aloud) about what life means to me, and conversely, what I mean to life. Outside of one’s self, the concept of life and living is owned by the rest of the Earth’s population. It would seem important to acknowledge the difference. With that difference, one also must acknowledge any difficulties that comes with it.

For decades, I have looked for lasting connection with people. There are a handful (considering the population of the Earth) that I consider to be “successful” in the sense of longevity. As time marches on, I’ve had to relinquish hope on plenty. Their lives are just as important to live on their terms as mine to be a part of it. I’ve also considered my love life a sore subject, which also needed reflection.

I cannot help but agree that we’re all bombarded with notions of love and romance from a very early age. The proliferation of media in the late-20th and early-21st is truly a remarkable invention, but it doesn’t come without any drawbacks. I think we’ve been lost in a mire of ideas for some time now, and only recently wise to it. This ties in with my previous blog post about blood types. All the information and philosophy in the world isn’t meant to be thrown together into an individual’s mind. It conflicts too often, and the person  needs to decide what they should be in a cohesive manner.

Granted, this isn’t meant to be a rule or law. This is merely a recommendation. Far be it from me to advocate a censorship of sorts for everyone, but everyone should be a filter of their own. As my ninth grade Algebra I teacher once said, “there’s more than one way around a fence.”

So, what would I consider myself? I’m a bachelor with my own itinerary. I’m trying to let go of any notion of romance and relationships of that sort. I think it’s only for the best regarding my stress, and ultimately, my health. It’s not easy to accept such a position, but my history speaks otherwise. My actions tell my story, even if I don’t want to listen. It’s difficult and takes a Hell of a lot of courage to be alone. However, I don’t think the notion should be feared. Instead of keeping that dog outside, it’s time to let it in and give it a good bath.

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