Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Assorted

     No, that is not a synonym for “I got nothin’.” Not exactly, anyway.


     1. Old Nazis, New Nazis.

     The Sturmabteilung “Brownshirts” that so greatly assisted Hitler and the Nazis to power in 1930s Germany were brawny men. Indeed, Ernst Rohm would have no other kind. He didn’t much care what else they were: criminals, drug addicts, homosexuals, child molesters, and other categories of unsavory deviant were quite welcome in the SA’s ranks as long as they could and would thrash the opposition.

     Today’s Nazis – AntiFa, Black Bloc, and allied organizations – have somewhat less stringent admissions requirements:

     ...which is probably why, after their most recent humiliation, they’re contemplating not disturbing Ann Coulter’s visit to Berkeley tomorrow:

     Applause to Oregon Muse at AoSHQ. The tempora surely do mutantur, don’t they just?


     2. Frontiers In Officialese.

     I’ve long since thrown up my hands over the inability of contemporary Americans to compose a syntactically correct sentence. It’s been obvious in our casual communications for some time, but never before has it been quite this blatant in an official statement:

     CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) – A Lowcountry police department has formally taken a stance on a Senate bill which, if passed, would allow anyone who can legally purchase a gun to carry it in the state openly or concealed.

     The Charleston Police Department tweeted an update on its Twitter account Monday night sharing the department’s opinion on Senate bill S. 449 reading in part:

     “Please understand what this bill creates – the ability for anyone who can legally purchase a firearm, many who have not completed a background check to determine whether or not they are prohibited purchasers due to the location and manner of the transfer or received any type of training, to walk our streets and neighborhoods with a handgun on their hip, in a bag, or under their jacket without any review or training.”

     I’m floored. Did that really come from a departmental opinion? How large is the department? Is its funding adequate? Are its employees paid? Is there no one among those employees, their spouses, their friends and relatives, or their neighbors to whom they could have recurred for help with this travesty?

     Great God in heaven! It’s no wonder every one of my supervisors regularly praised my writing and sent any communication intended for the eyes of higher-ups to me for a prior review. It’s also no wonder so many “police” don’t know the laws they’re supposed to enforce. They can’t read the ones written in good English. As for the others...need I say more?

     By the way, it would be wrong to blame South Carolina’s educational institutions. The problem is just as bad at more northern latitudes.


     3. Handling Time In A Fictional Narrative.

     While we’re on the subject of good writing, here’s a little something for the other indie fiction writers who read Liberty’s Torch: The handling of time in narrative passages is not the same as in dialogue passages. The awkwardnesses produced by mishandling time are seriously disturbing to reader flow. They’re also easily avoided.

     The problem arises because the overwhelmingly most common narrative technique for relating story events is what’s usually called fictional past. The story is told as something that has already happened, not as happening as the reader reads about it. But many an indie writer will fail to treat the narrative consistently. This is especially prevalent in stories told by a first-person narrator. Here’s a typical case (remember, this is narrative, not dialogue):

     I wanted to upgrade the defenses, but I had too much else to do just now.

     “Just now?” When is “now?” Is it the moment at which the story is being told, the moment at which the reader is reading it, or the moment being described within the story itself? The diction is jarring, to say the least. It should have been:

     I wanted to upgrade the defenses, but I had too much else to do just then.

     Alternately, “at the moment” would work. The point should be easy to grasp: In a narrative passage, events and times embedded in the story must employ time-expressions compatible with the ones used to tell the story: present-tense and present-time for dialogue and third-person interior monologue; past-tense and past-time for narration and a first-person narrator’s interior monologue.

     Please, please, fellow indies: As this is an easily avoided fault, please avoid it!

     That’s all for today, Gentle Reader.

2 comments:

  1. That first twitter (?) excerpt was hilarious. What a lot of drivel and an easy way to excuse yourself from the hard work of attaining and maintianing physical fitness. Snowflakes indeed.

    Reminds me of a line from an article I read some years ago. The author stated that when a group of Marines go to a restaurant in the DC area it looks like the Schwarzenegger family visiting a mushroom farm.

    Thanks for the laugh!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Please, God. Not anti-fascist poetry readings. The left has sunk to a new low.

    ReplyDelete

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