Saturday, August 9, 2008

Writing: Part one on Thoughts on writing, Bob Black and writing as a revenge tool. Part One.

Much of my writing has traditionally been done on the fringes of the fringe writing field. i.e. reviews of controversial books, often from small publishers, and articles on censorship and free speech articles often relating to persons who had published ideas that were both far outside the mainstream as well as far outside most people's comfort zones.

It's a fascinating field and I wish I had the opportunity to do more of it. Then again with the internet, weirdness no longer comes in strange little books from strange little publishers, instead it comes at the click of a button in your living room. While the fringe has not yet exactly become mainstream, it has become much more accessible and therefore people no longer need a tour guide to explain to them what's out there and what it means and implies.

In the meantime, back in the 1990s and thereabouts, when one actually had to work a bit to find weirdness, there existed a publication called Gauntlet which dealt with free speech and censorship issues.

I did some work for it and although the pay was not terribly great, the work was fascinating. More later . . .

1 comment:

  1. Oddly enough someone actually took a look at this today. So I did too and realized I never finished it. Make a long story short, I only met Bob Black face to face that once but took his experiences and lifestyle as a warning of where I could be heading. Black is brilliant, yet angry and hate-filled, as well as prone to heavy drinking. Locally he has few friends.
    I once took up a habit of playing a game called "the Bob Black game." It's a great way to introduce his writing to others. To play you get a pile of Bob Black books. I had four of them. Make the other person pick a book, one through four, by selecting randomly. Find the number of pages in the randomly selected book and then have them choose a page at random after giving the number of pages in that book. Count the number of paragraphs on that page and have them select one at random as well. Read the resulting paragraph. It is almost always a brilliant, very funny, yet very cruel attack on someone or something no one in the room has heard of before. This works a surprising amount of the time. I could easily see myself suffering from his faults. I too sometimes use anger as a motivator for action including weight lifting and writing. I used to do it more until I became aware of this. But Black let me see where this sort of thing leads. So I tried to reduce it. And I try not to use writing as a revenge tool to hurt people who cannot gain a public forum and write mean things about me back. (So politicians are suitable targets but grocery store clerks are not, especially if I were to name them.) It's a power differential thing. So that's my thoughts on Bob Black. I saw where he'd arrived. Realized I could easily wind up the same place. And tried to make sure I did not arrive them.