Thursday, September 27, 2012

The obvious horrors of traditional fiction


  Traditional Fantasy, from the grossly overrated Lord of the Rings and forward has been about the defense of the kingdom, the realm from the forces attacking it. It’s the unexciting good versus evil theme taken to the extreme. All those stories are clearly designed to serve the established order. They follow a formula that rarely is broken or deviated from.
  The genre, with its exclusion of mature and adult themes, of raunchy sex and explicit violence has been popular among children (and their parents), fucking them up and mind-wiping them at an early age, just like religion does.
  In recent years, though more and more writers do deviate from it and loud voices condemn them. Many are angry at Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, for instance, stating with absolute conviction that it isn’t «true fantasy», isn’t «family friendly».
  It’s pretty much the same with traditional fiction and writing and art in general. Crime stories focus on exposing the «criminal», the individual or group of individuals threatening the «good life». Horror stories usually focus on the «invader», the stranger menacing «good people». The vast majority of all art ever done is a more or less disguised defense of property, of established society and its power structures.
  The list is long and sordid.
  Fortunately there are those among us not buying such blatant propaganda and try to do better, a lot better.

  Censorship, disguised and overt is blatant today. Tyranny has always blamed radical and controversial art for everything that is wrong in the world, especially in times of unrest, a fairly successful tactic diverting people from the truth, fooling them into not blaming the true culprits.
  You say you don’t want political fiction? But you get that all the time, when you’re reading all those yawning stories about normalcy and an average life. That you fail completely in realizing that fact doesn’t make them less political, only very successful propaganda.
  Music, film, books and stuff, «entertainment» in general is designed to put you to sleep. Advertising isn’t only about selling a given product, but far more a particular high-consumer, mindless lifestyle.
  Why is the world filled with silly love songs? That one is easy: those in charge want it that way.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

George Orwell on Aragon


  «I had dropped more or less by chance into the only community of any size in Western Europe where political consciousness and disbelief in capitalism were more normal than their opposites. Up here in Aragon one was among tens of thousands of people, mainly though not entirely of working-class origin, all living at the same level and mingling on terms of equality. In theory it was perfect equality, and even in practice it was not far from it. There is a sense in which it would be true to say that one was experiencing a foretaste of Socialism, by which I mean that the prevailing mental atmosphere was that of Socialism. Many of the normal motives of civilized life--snobbishness, money-grubbing, fear of the boss, etc.--had simply ceased to exist. The ordinary class-division of society had disappeared to an extent that is almost unthinkable in the money-tainted air of England; there was no one there except the peasants and ourselves, and no one owned anyone else as his master».

  George Orwell describing a scene in Aragon during this time period in his book Homage to Catalonia.

  Anarchist Day

Sunday, September 16, 2012

For your own good


  «We’re watching out for you», they say to justify surveillance,
  What an utterly preposterous claim. How dare they???
  I’m afraid they “dare” a lot, since most people keep buying into their never-ending nonsense and deception wholesale.
  There is no defense for putting up surveillance cameras or surveillance - ever. The arguments for them are all tyranny propaganda. Buying into that is quite simply totally inexcusable and unacceptable.
   They tell you it is for preventing crime, terrorism and for helping traffic, and any other bad thing under the sun and the moon. Grow up Human Being and stop believing such thoroughly transparent deceit.
  That would be a great first step on your path to true independence and freedom at least.

More on the subject on Midnight Fire:
The Watchers
1984
A record speaking for itself
1984 - The next generation
The mother of all wars
Stand up and stand out
Fear is key
1984 and then some

Watchdogs

Illusions

Unapologetic

Why and how and everything in-between

To ruffle people's sensibilities

Being challenged

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Streets of London - Diary of a traveling man early September 2012


  I walked the streets of London. I’m walking them still.
  If I have a home, any home in today’s world, in civilization London is it.
  That is once again made obvious by the beyond pleasant wide range of emotions rising within me, the quiet joy filling me up. Small things make up a giant tapestry of immersion and birth.
  We came with the summer. People told us the weather had been lousy for months, but on our first day the sun and heat visited the city with a vengeance. It didn’t rain, not a single drop until we returned to the airport on the day of our departure.
  On Monday, on the first day of recreating myself I returned to the Pizza Hut restaurant where I had completed my masterclass poem «I shit my pants today». I made no fuss this time, but enjoyed a great, tasty pizza. We walked the broad road crossing Hyde Park, sat on a bench in the shadow and the burning sunshine. The heat sizzled in the air. We drank lots of water, but we and even our balls kept dehydrating. I had to pee, then I didn’t, then I did again, then I didn’t. Children screamed their lungs out in the silence.. A boy riding a bike crossed the white sand. I live deep and intense. I am sleeping. A horny dove is courting the females of the species, doing it loud just outside my window.
  Sometimes it takes a few days and nights for the London feeling to set. This time it did so after just a few hours.
  I have missed this!
  People whirl around me like wisps of wind. I chuckle happily among the moving shadows.
  One hour is far, far away and a day is an eternity.
  I returned to London after a 22 month absence and met with old and new kindred spirits. It is amazing how we speak each other’s mind and finish each other’s sentences, sharing excitement and grievances. My old kindred is still kindred, even after all those years since our youth.
  This is the life for me, living face to face with everything life has to offer.
  It was also encouraging to note how little influence the Olympic Games have left on the city as a whole. Except for a few flags and mementos here and there I hardly saw any signs of it at all.

  This in spite of the usual nationalistic bullshit I heard, some people telling me how proud they are to be British because of the Olympics, and repeating it like a chant and with empty eyes when I told them how much I loathe hearing such mindless drivel.

  I walked through Covent Garden and Soho late at night, hearing the clinking of glasses everywhere.

   - How are you today, sir? The clerk behind the counter asked me.
  The common and empty response would be: «Very well, thank you».
  I said that, but added, without thinking about it:
  - I feel absolutely great, it’s such a wonderful day»!
  And he knew, beyond knowing that I meant it from the deepest part of my heart.
  I watch and participate as countless empty tables are being filled.
  And then, in the book I’m reading, devouring, I see the poem (page 41) speaking to me across the ages:
  «To see a world in a grain of sand
  And a heaven in a wild flower
  Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
  And eternity in an hour»

  William Blake - Auguries of innocence
  An intense life is not for everyone and London is clearly… too much for some people, but I enjoy and thrive thrice over operating at an elevated level of existence. Inspiration keeps overwhelming a beyond stimulated mind.
  You forget, forget what joy, true joy is when you haven’t experienced it in a while. It’s never truly gone, but dormant, like your very self is when you don’t Live.
  No more lazy thoughts, I swear to myself, no more appeasing acts in my life.
  It’s Sunday already. The days and nights have passed like grains of sand in a dream.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Editors


  There are quite a few points here:
  First there is the very idea of an editor, why there is any at all. I ask the inevitable question how anyone can profess to understand the true depths of a given author’s mind and stories and texts.
  Second inevitable conclusion is that no one with the closed mindset of an editor can even approach the necessary imagination needed to interpret and “correct” a given story of text.
  Third is the fact that all the editors I’ve encountered, every single one has confirmed my bias… Granted I haven’t met all existing editors, but more than enough to be disgusted.
  I always say “huh”? after they have commented on a given work, mine or others. You get the very distinct impression that they haven’t actually read the work in question at all and certainly not even approaching a true understanding of it. Any “advice” given under such circumstances must be dead wrong.
  Fourth is that I can happily report that approximately ten people have read and commented on my works prior to publication and given truly constructive criticism and that I have made changes based on their input, doing so because it clearly felt right, because they had spotted something I had missed.
  They had no desire to make my work theirs or serve a mighty and rigid publishing industry, but genuinely wanted to help me improve mine.
  To me the very existence of editors anywhere is just plain wrong.
  Another funny thing about this is that books released by those established publishers have quite a few mistakes in them, including the glaring was/were mistakes and similar. Take any major publishing house and you will confirm that fact.
  When people say “professional editing” they mean approved and stamped by established publishers, While I, in big and small ways do my best to distance myself from that stale flavor.
  I’m ashamed on behalf of all those writers blindly following the credo of established publishers and society. They give us true independent writers a bad name.