Tags: writing

Tramp Drinking

Politics, as usual

A friend of mine took a cursory look at my LJ the other day. I had sent her the link to take a look at the header I made (of which I am kind of proud actually since 1)it required a lot of layers and hence a good deal of time and energy and 2)all of the pictures are pictures I have taken myself from various trips).

Before commenting on the header she said:

Her: (mumbling as she skimmed the entries) ugh, you don't have a political journal do you?
Me: (defensive I, uh, well, no, I mean not really, I mean, I occasionally post interesting political or sociological stuff but it is mostly quizzes and stuff, nothing insightful or anything (this is very true).
Her: Sure looks like a lot of political stuff to me...
Me: Ummm. Okay. What do you think of the header?

It was weird because I like posting about politics. I don't like to post things that are offensive, though I am sure that on occasion what I post might offend someone, I don't do it to acheive that purpose. I do it because these are issues near and dear to me. I wonder if that is useless in today's world.

Why is that? People claim all the time that liberal has become the dirtiest word in Washington, but I think that is untrue. The dirtiest word in Washington or Waco, or Wilmington, or Wabash, or whatever, is this: politics.

...

From "Why I Write":
It seems to me nonsense, in a period like our own, to think that one can avoid writing of such subjects. Everyone writes of them in one guise or another. It is simply a question of which side one takes and what approach one follows. And the more one is conscious of one's political bias, the more chance one has of acting politically without sacrificing one's aesthetic and intellectual integrity.

What I have most wanted to do throughout the past ten years is to make political writing into an art. My starting point is always a feeling of partisanship, a sense of injustice. When I sit down to write a book, I do not say to myself, ‘I am going to produce a work of art’. I write it because there is some lie that I want to expose, some fact to which I want to draw attention, and my initial concern is to get a hearing. But I could not do the work of writing a book, or even a long magazine article, if it were not also an aesthetic experience. Anyone who cares to examine my work will see that even when it is downright propaganda it contains much that a full-time politician would consider irrelevant. I am not able, and do not want, completely to abandon the world view that I acquired in childhood. So long as I remain alive and well I shall continue to feel strongly about prose style, to love the surface of the earth, and to take a pleasure in solid objects and scraps of useless information. It is no use trying to suppress that side of myself. The job is to reconcile my ingrained likes and dislikes with the essentially public, non-individual activities that this age forces on all of us.


From "Politics and the English Language":
Most people who bother with the matter at all would admit that the English language is in a bad way, but it is generally assumed that we cannot by conscious action do anything about it. Our civilization is decadent and our language -- so the argument runs -- must inevitably share in the general collapse. It follows that any struggle against the abuse of language is a sentimental archaism, like preferring candles to electric light or hansom cabs to aeroplanes. Underneath this lies the half-conscious belief that language is a natural growth and not an instrument which we shape for our own purposes.

These two peices, both by George Orwell were cited by the speaker introducing speakers at a Journalism Conference, including "liberal" commentators Helen Thomas and Eric Alterman. (see below)

At a student journalism conference hosted by the Center for American Progress on June 2, 2006, Thomas lambasted journalists whom she said initially did not give accurate, critical reports on the Iraq War. She said she hopes for the return of hard reporting and that the student audience should be "out on the street" in protest instead of sitting in the conference room.

I actually saw that part of the conference (it was near the beginning) and it made me wonder, why with so many people up in arms about Bush we haven't seen even more people taking to the street? I suppose there are myriad reasons, among them, the sentiment that the left has already "lost the war" or at least the battle and that it is best to simply ride it out. Another potential reason is that rallies and marches have been used so long to protest it now feels as if "oh, they're just having another protest..." but WHAT is being protested, few people know, is it immigration reform? abortion? civil rights violations in general?... sometimes it seems that no one really does know and even fewer still care.

This is what angers and concerns me about the current political climate. Real dialogue is being stifled in favor of character attacks and lame half-interested protests without any weight behind them.

Is this the legacy we want to leave to the next generation? A bunch of people who sat around fiddling while Rome burned? And, make no mistake, it will be as much our fault as the leaders we've elected.

I ask this not of the liberals on my f-list but the conservatives too. Why aren't we outraged, not at Bush or Cheney or the liberal media... why aren't we outraged in general that we have given up our government to people on both sides of the aisle, who we consistently say we don't trust???

Would any of you hand over the steering wheel or your car to a drunkard or even someone you think is a bad driver? In most cases, no. It is a matter of self-preservation one would argue, so how is something this large not even more vital?

I'm as guilty as anyone else, and I'm beginning to recognize that no amount of education or concern or pensiveness will, in itself, suffice. Action is what is needed, by each of us.

...

“Eager souls, mystics and revolutionaries, may propose to refashion the world in accordance with their dreams; but evil remains, and so long as it lurks in the secret places of the heart, utopia is only the shadow of a dream”
Nathaniel Hawthorne

“If once the people become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I, and Congress and Assemblies, Judges and Governors, shall all become wolves. It seems to be the law of our general nature, in spite of individual exceptions.”
Thomas Jefferson

“Do you want to know who you are? Don't ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.”
Thomas Jefferson
Why Me? Penguin

Random Monday Musing

Lately, I have been having real trouble distinguishing dreams from reality. Not in a creepy "impose my way on the rest of the world" way, just that I am mixing up time and events in my imaginary life from times and events in my real life. For example, I just emailed a co-worker in our dean's office to ask if she actually received something I (think) I took over to her on Friday...

OMG! Best TV season ever! Finally got around to checking out Invasion and it is good. Doesn't light my fire as much as some new shows, but I think it has loads of potential, plus I am coming into it in medias res so to speak, so I have to watch this week to get a better read. But Desperate Housewives, Rome, and Nip/Tuck all own my soul. They are really great shows. I ♥ them!

I fear I am letting my prurient nature take over a little too much... eek! Maybe it is just that I am soo bored with my own life right now that I am feeling entitled to reading/hearing salacious gossip about others. Whatever. I don't like it and I must break the cycle.

To that end, signing up for NANOWRIMO again this year and making a really dilligent effort. Since I have a hard time writing dialogue I am constructing some for fun and writing it down, some of it I may use, most of it probably not.

I spent a good chunk of time yesterday working on a new header image for after Halloween. The goal is to have three or four created in the next week or so and then create a poll to see which one you guys like best. I might even put them up on monstericons since my icons aren't getting any love...

I have a paper due on Wednesday, I still haven't done the first drop of research for... *deep breath* must work on that today because we all know my Tuesday is planned out already...

Back to work...
Why Me? Penguin

Another poem I will probably take to my writing group this week...

As if they aren't sick enough of my bad poetry... ;)

Automatic Pilot

What it lacks in speed and grace
it makes up for
in sheer novelty.

Its clean white planes
dipping, drowning,
slipping through the air
then sailing, gliding,
and if only briefly,
it soars.
The flimsy creation abruptly dips again
before regaining itself.

It nearly makes it
across the fluorescent lit distance so expansive it seems miles, even light years away…

Only to dip,
this time with no recovery
and land lopsided on the tile.
Why Me? Penguin

An interesting CFP I just received:

Poor White, Redneck, Trash: The Working Class in American Culture

In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, Presidential evocations of American identity have presupposed a nation that despite its ethnic, regional and class diversity is unified in terms of its intrinsic opposition to an anti-American threat. Such homogeneity is nonetheless threatened, as it has always been, by heterogeneous figure of the poor white. Such a figure may be seen to articulate simultaneously both the foundational ideals of American democracy (as the pioneer, the backwoodsman) and the nations failure, at the hands of corporate capitalism, to live up to its exceptionalist promise (as inbred mountain mutant or urban trailer trash). The proposed collection sets out to explore the politically problematic status of the white working class through representation of that group across a range of media: film and television, literature and film, music and dance. It aims to explore, moreover, a largely neglected minoritarian American consciousness that remains (for all its economic marginalization) white, Anglo-Saxon and Protestant. Papers are thus invited from specialists in all aspects of the humanities; including, perhaps, consideration of: - the representational genealogy of the WASP working class in American culture from the C17 to the present / - the white working class /- the European left and nativist populism/ - the subversive potential of white working class culture/ - the white working class in mass culture: social opiate and demonised scapegoat / - minority status: the white working class and ethnicity / - desiring in, of and by the white working class /- queering the white working class / - white working class women / - the aesthetics of white working class culture / - class consciousness and a sense of place/ - the white working class family.

Emphasis mine obviously.
Why Me? Penguin

This or that and other stuff...

Well, I have been meaning to start writing (as a release more than anything) so I joined _blank_pages_ and spent ten or fifteen minutes last night writing a short (and not very good) exercise about regret, but for me the whole point is to get writing again. Maybe something good will come of it.

My husband is downstairs watching the Beverly Hills 90210 ten year reunion. I swear he watches more girly TV than I do...of course he is only watching because he wants to know if Jason Priestly will ever race cars again, but still. ;P

Oh and gianfared the icon is just for you! ♥

Today's this or that is a real tough one, probably for everyone who reads my journal since they are so intertwined and important to most of the people on my f-list, but here goes anyway...

Reading or Writing?

Off to hunt down something for dinner... god I long for the day when I am not broke!