Tuesday, December 12, 2006

How not to write

From one of the geniuses du jour of DemocraticUnderground:

"Suddenly, one of the arab kids stood up and held up his hands in an obvious gesture of truce. We held our fire; I walked out to meet him in the middle of the battlefield. As we approached each other, I could see that he was bleeding as badly as I was. We met in the middle, and just looked at each other for a few minutes, breathing heavily. He reached in his pocket, and pulled out a knife -- and then also pulled out some sort of desert fruit. To this day, I have no idea what it was. He swiftly peeled it, cut off a slice, and handed it to me. It was delicious."

This would not make it past the metro editor of the Tulsa Herald. This would not fly in a Hardy Boys story; this would not be accepted for publication at the most obscure e-zine or lit. rag to be found in cyberia. Not only that, there's no way to establish that the narrative is genuine; it could quite possibly be an invention, if not a lie. But dupes of the left (i.e. DU) and right (i.e. the right-wing coaches-on-acid of New Worlds ) take this to be some type of deep literary truth, when it's about the equivalent of "All we need iz Luv" (or as Walker Percy termed the motto of the opportunistic protestant turned New Ager--- "Love...or Die").

"The War ended immediately. All the other kids from both sides wandered out, took a slice of the strange fruit, and tried to communicate with each other somehow. Some of us spoke a rudimentary Arabic, but none of the arab kids spoke English -- we did our best. We spent the rest of the afternoon exploring the desert together, all thoughts of conflict forgotten. I remember my mother's shock at seeing my blood-encrusted face and shirt -- I had completely forgotten about it by then."

Colloquial, arrogant, indulgent: CalibanSpeak---or, better, another Cyber-Caliban aspiring to sophistication. Michener's worst personal narrative trumps this sort of sentimental, egotistic prose. (Und der Klown versteht nicht ein Wort von Deutsch noch von Französisch). It's the writing of a thug who never bothered with Shakespeare nor Swift nor Bertrand Russell.

Those few cynics (including some who read and understood Gulliver's Travels once in their life, unlike Caliban of Araby here) with enough spine and intelligence to denounce such frauds are slowly being eliminated from both left and rightist sites--dissent now referred to in 90s dweeb terms as "trolling" by the over-grown adolescents, pansies and emotional wrecks who operate most blogs and websites at this point (of course, the typical leftist narcissist, like his fundie cuz, never quite realized what trolls really were--)

"The degree of one's emotion varies inversely with one's knowledge of the facts -- the less you know the hotter you get." Russell

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