The first crime and what could possibly be considered the worst is to burn books. I don’t think burning books is the WORST of the three crimes, as a clever and diligent enough of a person could memorize his or her favorite books, but it’s up there in the heinous department. The second crime is to allow others to think on your behalf. The only time this is acceptable is when you’re brain dead. The third and final crime is to be apathetic to gaining insight and knowledge. Or to put it another way, to not care about learning new things.
If you can think of any more, post them in the comment section.
Addendum: A fourth crime against intellectualism. Remaining obstinate in your opinion, knowledge or beliefs when irrefutable information and evidence contrary to your position is presented. Please people, I’m not saying I’m a genius or the smartest person in the world. What I am saying is rage against this current culture of stupidity that is infecting our society. More power to Kim and Kanye for getting married and all, but I think the passing of icon and legend Maya Angelou is infinitely heavier than two self-important, overly-exposed celebrities getting married. #justsayin. Oh and LeVar Burton is bringing back Reading Rainbow! AWESOME SAUCE!!
I’ve always wondered why Aqua Teen Hunger Force’s episodes were only fifteen minutes. Well, now I know. When you’re stoned, fifteen minutes feels like thirty. So, fifteen minutes is more than enough time for each episode. Now, only a stoner could’ve thought of that. I love this show.
If you’re unfamiliar with it. Google it and do some research. Sorry, I love you and all, but I’m too stoned to type much more.
I know this ain’t about literature, but sometimes it’s cool to go off the beaten path.
RONIN STAND UP.
Author’s note: Today, kiddies, I felt like posting a story I wrote for my Science Fiction writing class. This is old, but I think it shows progression from a prior story I posted here which you can read by clicking the link. Enjoy!
The moon was a crystal sphere floating in a sea of black, interspersed with stars twinkling in rhythm to chirping crickets and torch bugs flittering among the clearance of the Shi forest. The bamboo trees stood tall as a backdrop, shading the lone warrior from much of the cold air. A small pond stood prominently in the center of the clearing. He looked up to the sky and bathed in the moon’s glow. The serenity of this moment was short lived as the rustling of brush from behind forced him into a warrior’s stance; his hand instinctively grasped his katana. His eyes narrowed and he spun with a whirling speed to face the threat—a rabbit, looking for food. He smiled, relaxed and released his grip on his katana. He turned back around and saw the dark figure standing a few feet from him. His heart thundered and his hand took hold of his blade. The air stopped and everything was still. The crickets stopped in suspense and the torch bugs settled on leaves and lily pods. The dark figure, cloaked in a red kimono grasped the tsuka of both his katanas, his eyes were enflamed and razor sharp—focused on his quarry. The dark one had traversed the landscape for some time looking for the young one who stood before him. The young, one who answered to the name Shinzo, unsheathed his blade and drew it over his head in an arch and stood in his warrior stance, the blade glinted in the moonlight. The dark one snickered and drew both blades; they glowed blood red in the still air and emanated an intense heat the young one could feel from where he stood. Shinzo had run far enough. There was nowhere else for him to turn and now, it was time to face his adversary. The true moment, the true test was before him and though a terrible fear gripped him in that moment, his anger weighed heavier on his spirit than any cowardice.
“How can you defeat me, little Shinzo, when I am forever and you are just a man?” The dark one said. His smile, sinister and smug, spread across his face in the darkness, though Shinzo could see it clearly as if the moon radiated directly on him.
“If I die here, I will die a man. I will run from you no longer,” Shinzo said. His muscles twitched and his teeth grew into razor-sharp fangs. His eyes went from dark brown to radiant white. The bones in his body snapped and cracked as his skin stretched and his hands became claws. A low guttural growl became a loud roar. Shinzo was Shinzo no more; he called upon the inner oni within him, drawing on its strength. His hot breath wafted to the dark man who was unfazed by Shinzo’s metamorphosis. Shinzo drew on the power of his clan, the Okami. He was now Okami Otoko—Wolf Man.
“Do you think your maho is enough to stop me, little Shinzo?”
“Fight me!” Shinzo leapt into the air, as did the dark man. The wind tore across their faces as their bodies raced upward into the night sky. Their blades clashed in the moonlight. The dark man’s strikes were fast and focused. With a pivot on the ball of his right foot, he took a downward swing Shinzo narrowly missed. Shinzo countered with a swift riposte the dark man caught with an even narrower margin than Shinzo’s parry. Metal upon metal sent sparks against the black canopy and eventually their magic could hold them in the sky no longer and gravity’s hand pushed them back to the cold earth. The dark man noticed his kimono cut on his right arm and blood oozing from a flesh wound. He gripped his arm and winced in pain. His eyes darted up to Shinzo, who had reassumed his human form.
“How? How did you touch me?” the dark one said, his voice cracking under the weight of his dismay.
“I am no longer afraid of you,” Shinzo said. He drew his blade, which hummed with ravenous anticipation for the kill. He charged the dark man who stood, helpless and bewildered. Just as the sword was brought down upon his foe, Shinzo notice the dark one flicker in and out of sight. Within an instant, the dark man was gone, as was the bamboo forest. Shinzo found himself in a large room sectioned off into grids with cameras and a computer terminal near the far side of the left wall. He sighed and dropped his katana, which flickered out of existence when it hit the floor.
“Damn it, Calan. What happened to the program?”
“There’s a glitch, a small bug. We’re working on a patch right now. Should be up in another hour or so?”
“Jesus Christ, an hour? What the hell happened? I was just about the filet that asshole!” Shinzo said.
“It’s just a video game, man. Relax.”
“Just a video game?” Shinzo scoffed. “No, this is a highly advanced, ultra realistic computer VR simulation. I’ve been trying to beat that jerk off for months and just when I have him, the whole program goes ape shit? I am the mighty Shinzo of the Okami clan!”
“Your name is Joshua!” Calan said.
“Shut up, man. Ugh. Just get me when you’ve fixed it. I’m going to bed,” Joshua said. He stormed out of the VR terminal and walked back to his quarters on the ship, fell into his bed and tried to go to sleep, but all he could manage was an angry staring contest with his ceiling.
“I fucking hate it when the console freezes! Fuck!”
© Harold Fisher 2014.
OK, perhaps the title is a touch extreme, depending on how you look at it. What I am saying is I am sick of writing my novel. I wish the damned thing was finished and published already. I’ve written, and rewritten and what’s worse is that I am nowhere near finished with it. Not by a fucking long shot.
So why do I do it? Why do I keep banging away on my Mac laptop day in and day out in the hopes that one day, the world will read my work? Good question. My answer is simple; I am a masochistic dumb bastard.
All right, I’m not a masochistic dumb bastard (at least not all the time). I just believe in my project. I want to see all my blood, sweat, and tears pay off and mean something and more than that, I want my name and work to be remembered among the best to have ever done it—writing that is.
I think that’s why we all write. We plug away at our word processors, pens or pencils and pads, or computers hoping that one-day what we churn out will be featured on a bookstore shelf or downloaded onto someone’s Kindle. To put it another way, we want people to read our shit and like it.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve started over with my novel or the long hours I put into world building. I’m writing a post-apocalyptic novel (well, I put the project to the side in lieu of a reinterpretation of Goethe’s Faust, but I’ll come back to it, I swear) and world building is an important part of the process. If you’re not sure what world building is, I’ll write an entry on it soon, keep your pants on—except you, you can take off all the clothing you want you sexy beast.
I’ve spent so much time world building and outlining (I wrote an entry on that which you can read by clicking the wonderful link), that I’ve become bored with my work. This isn’t to say my work is bad, bland or uninteresting. At the risk of bragging, my work is fucking awesome. But one can only stomach the sepia-toned and washed out wastelands of a post-apocalyptic America for so long before becoming bored. So, I like to think of my side project as a vacation, an excursion into different territories. Make no mistake, I will return to my original novel and I will finish it. Right now, however, I’m putting it to the side.
So how many of you get sick of your novels? Are you writing other stories or working on other projects as a means of escape? Leave a comment.
RONIN STAND UP.
Just a little play on words with a great quote from Hemingway. Take it light, people.
First, let us say Happy New Year. We’re about four or five months too late, we know, but we’ve been really busy. Sometimes life gets in the way; making you forget about the little things that bring joy and happiness. So we’re back. You could say we never left, we just took a break.
So, today’s little ditty will be short, but we will be more consistent with our entries from here on out. Happy Mother’s Day everyone. Enjoy your day and enjoy life.
RONIN STAND UP!!