Once again I'm doing a series of stories from other writers. This one is from the lips of a friend of mine. He's given me permission to recreate the story here, straight from his mouth. Enjoy it:
"Better people than I have lost bigger bets"— A writer I once knew said this one day when I called his life plan foolhardy. At that moment in time when I heard it, it struck me in an awkward way as truth. Truth is hard to find these days, and when I see something even remotely close to it, I perk up. That time was no different, though it was swiftly overtaken by a harsh melancholy in my chest. The man stating his reasons was no defeatist. He was usually chirpy—some would say never serious enough, and perhaps that was his undoing—but as he stated this, following my disapproval of his plan, I knew he was serious.
Update: Here's a recent article that's basically spot on the tribalizing of political news, and how to (for those of us simply looking for the truth) find good news when there's so much propaganda out there. Read it, share it. Indeed, it's filled with great possible solutions, though I'm not sure that one can focus on only one news source and maintain ties to it (perhaps I'm wrong, and support must be consolidated somewhere). You can read my original article here.
Recent events around the world have brought up the question: What is evil? Is it the murder of a man by power drill? Is it a serial killer? Is it a bomb in a cafe? Is it the subjugation of a peoples for a vital mineral? I tend towards the I know it when I see it definition, though I know that's not always good enough. My friends, allow me to present you a story on this very subject:
I've recently spent some time reading about literature (as opposed to reading it), and one splendid book on African literature is Writing Madness: Borderlines of the Body in African Literature by Veit-Wild. This book takes a look at writers in Africa and how being on the border of their given nation's government (be it colonial or post) forced them to write in such a way as to convey this madness (I'm not doing it any justice here, but there is a great explanation in the book on how people who are in the fringes of any society are indeed mad (driven there, considered, or otherwise).
Times are rough, as I'm sure they are for most people out there. Will be posting some essays, as well as the short novel I promised in the next month or so. Nevertheless, I do hope that this fall to winter will bring a few more books (a new one as well as the end of a series). I will, as I said before, get up the shorts (sometimes fiction, sometimes not) that will tackle more current events as they come up. I'll rely on my readership to see if the fiction ones need to be labeled as such, but as it stands unless someone says otherwise, I'll leave it as it is.
Of course, it seems that the summer is truly heating up (providing ever more evidence that increased heat does indeed cause more violence) around the world. With Ukraine and the Middle East being especially contentious. I find myself more and more removed from the zeitgeist: most of it consisting of shrill cries on facebook, twitter and the more insidious views on the news. Honestly, I visited facebook for the first time in months, and it was clowns on the left, jokers to the right (especially when one considers the Israeli conflict)... I was immediately disgusted and shut it down; mainly because I was about to go on a rant and shout everyone down.
I recently wrote an article about the Twitter phenomena. I mentioned its use by the lynch mobs. There are weekly examples about its use for such (or the use of the Internet) reasons. But that’s not the only thing it’s used for (the same goes for a pitchfork). I mentioned some good things one can do with their Twitter account. The same goes for the internets at large.
Until recently I thought that for deep insight nothing beat books. All books are on the net, however I’m speaking of the tools that are specific to the internet (blogs, internet comments, twitter and so on). I was certain that these tools of the Internet were mainly a good conduit for interpersonal connections and provided initial fodder for deeper reads (leading to a book, be it nonfiction or fiction). Blogs and articles may have been close to an exception, but they still weren’t as good as a book (and in many ways they mimic those 'paper methods').
And when it came to fiction, or rather, to seeing a narrative unfold, there was little on the net that could beat books. But I believe that I was wrong in this respect.
From today until the 24th of June, Ministry of Bombs' kindle will be 75% off. Check it out today!
In the mountains of Yemen, rebellion brews and spits out terror into the
world. In Pakistan, a nuclear scientist escapes. And an agent in
America, Justice, sees this and understands that the world is in danger.
He must find the scientist before the terrorists do. If he doesn't
millions will die. Will he save the day? As he peers deeper into the
world of terrorism and the war on terror, Justice finds that things are
never as they seem to be. Not your average spy or thriller novel, this
looks deep into the heart of terror. Dare to look inside!
The current (Jun2014) news from Iraq has many experts, including me, saying I told you so. For the rest of America it has evoked little more than an aroused yawn (though some seem to care about the veteran reactions to having fought for such an outcome). Nevertheless the videos from the ISIS have stoked my fellow Americans' resentment—the executions are ostensibly the worst—though most don't show the same revulsion to their own nation's executions on various peoples around the world. And as the ISIS resembles the Mongols in their advances and actions, cries sound for a reaction to these insipid warriors.
A few weeks ago torture came back into the spotlight when the Senate and the CIA had a small spat and fought over the fact that the CIA spied on Senate aides who were sent over to look over torture reports. Some were, I'd say luckily, leaked. Nevertheless, though this infighting has died down, I want to take another look at torture. One would think that in this day and age there shouldn't be much of a discussion when it comes to torture, but unfortunately there is.
Last year, Franzen made a splash with his comments on Twitter. There was a huge backlash. And most of these attacks, a lot on Twitter, seemed to be focused on mocking him personally. Some claimed that he didn't get it, or was too old. No one focused on either giving the man a lesson on using Twitter (if there was one to be had), or refuting the specific words he spoke against the medium (one that only 5% of the world uses). Though part of Franzen's rant, at times, seemed to take on the Internet as a whole, he did want to talk about better discussions in general. (note, I don't agree with most of what he said or his viewpoints; neither do I agree with the reaction dished out at him).
Also known as rebellion books. Of course there are many great non-fiction books looking into this part of all people's history, but I'm most interested in novels that cover this subject matter (and hopefully ones that do it well). The most important step is providing a definition of rebellion. It could, after all, mean a child rebelling against his parents, or perhaps adulthood with all its travails. That is indeed one of the definitions:
"the action or process of resisting authority, control, or convention."
But I'm more interested in the larger rebellion. The one with life and death consequences. Read the following definition:
"an act of violent or open resistance to an established government or ruler."
Fighting against a larger power. Does the fight have to be just? Perhaps not. It can just be a fight, even if it's misled (though some of you further on the left might not agree, the Bolshevik revolution could be viewed as one such rebellion). Does it have to be a fight between groups? A coup, after all, is another form of rebellion (or a significant change in power), though it might merely end up being a single person's power struggle against another's.