I had decided to take a break from ‘creative writing’ while working in the garden but the June theme provided an opportunity to work on an idea that I have had for some time. I have also become embroiled (along with my neighbours and against my better instincts) in a dispute over restrictive covenants. If I hadn’t found the web-research interesting my instinct would have prevailed. However, to the June stories:
Homer: Do you want the job done right or do you want it done fast?
Marge: Well, like all Americans… fast!
‘I would suggest that divine discontent is a fitting term regarding the affect this website has on those that view it’.
This remark, Jon’s first at a meeting called by the Minister responsible for digital media and communications, prompted what could only be described as a moment’s pregnant silence. Jon was used to his remarks meeting with a hostile reception but he wasn’t prepared for what happened next. The meeting erupted into a chaos of quips between the other delegates regarding the website and a divine purpose. Jon sat there somewhat bemused that his attempt to bring some degree of clarity to the meeting should be so ridiculed. The other delegates clearly had no comprehension of the website’s intent. They assumed that they could break the code currently making any recording of the site contents impossible. That this would lead them to the source of the site and its intent. Read more of this post
I wasn’t going to write a blog today but having just got up and read the headline in my wife’s newspaper, it seems to me that whoever you may decide to vote for there is only one question you need to ask yourself and that is:
‘Where is the money coming from’?
The role that economic theory plays in the creation of money — even if understood by a government — is ignored in favour of economic manipulation for the purpose of a fiscal policy. Self interested post war governments have little interest in the social responsibility that Peter Drucker applied to a private enterprise.
“The first responsibility of business is to make enough profit to cover the costs for the future. If this social responsibility is not met, no other social responsibility can be met.”
Amy lay in bed musing waiting for the screen wake-up call, If I’d completed that course maybe I’d be socially mobile now, even qualified for a baby and a flat. Amy and her best friends had stopped attending the Societal Upgrade Course when it began interfering with their social life. One by one these friends had become untraceable, their screen access replaced by a statement that they had been selected for relocation upgrades on becoming a special case. Amy, now alone, wished that she qualified for a relocation upgrade. A release from her dreary social commitment at which she only met someone from her previous social circle when they weren’t able to avoid her. They always had a reason for not keeping in contact — even on their screen. Acquaintances now socially mobile living in upper grade socio-economic residential areas, or those living in a four roomed flat with a child and a partner. The independent life she had once led in her own bedsit, like her best friends, had gone. It was now her refuge from the social commitment, her social life now lived vicariously through the screen.
At our monthly pie and a pint meeting, my friend and I discuss — amongst other things — books, creative writing, writing groups, the internet environment, critiquing and quality in writing. A couple of years ago he lent me a book by Robert Rankin, my initial reaction to Rankin was that his books were badly written in that they were grammatically incorrect (in modern grammar usage I’m no longer sure that’s true). On reflection I concluded that I was wrong about Rankin, some people, my friend included, find a quality in his works.
So why should literature be any different from other art forms? Why should literature be bound by any rules, if the style in which someone has chosen to write pleases someone else? My grandchildren can read and write … in common with Chester’s Josie. Their Facebook entries are hardly quality prose … then, perhaps, a clue may be found in Mallory Ortberg’s Texts From Jane Eyre. Of course there are constraints like: ‘Did I enjoy reading it?’ and somewhere in this enjoyment, either consciously or unconsciously, there is an assessment of quality. That abstract and personal assessment, which always sends me back to Zen and the 17th Chapter.
Thomas Gresham had served three Tudor monarchs as their Royal Merchant¹ in Antwerp and had grown rich acting on their behalf. However, his success in arranging England’s financial transactions with bankers and money lenders was not always favourably received. It had also made him enemies in both financial and political circles. Some believed that he would often quite deliberately manipulate the money markets — cleverly duping them in his games of thimblerig² — disadvantaging them financially and often politically. Knowing that his activities in Antwerp and elsewhere had made him these enemies, Gresham had an awareness of danger when confronted by it. This was obviously no chance encounter with a stranger who called himself Frances Walsingham. Not only had he identified Gresham in the crowded Antwerp bourse, he had addressed him by name and acknowledged by name his two factors Clough and Spritwell. The significance of this was not lost on Gresham nor was Walsingham’s demeanour, which was that of a dangerous man who it would be unwise to cross. Hoping that his alarm was not apparent, Gresham enquired if he could be of any assistance. Speaking in a low voice, almost a whisper, Walsingham told Gresham that he was under instructions to deliver a message to him only and that they should find somewhere quiet where they be could be certain of privacy. Read more of this post
Yet another difficult month for making choices, the discussion helped in making me think a lot about how difficult it must be to co-ordinate this group and especially to ‘score’ the contributions. I try to group the entries (romance, drama, etc) but this isn’t easy as such simplification doesn’t necessarily provide the key to what may be the contributor’s intent. Read more of this post
Between late 1938 and July 1942, my twin brother, Abraham Francisco Hubsch, wrote to me at least once a fortnight from Paris. Our ambition was to study together at l’École de Paris, but we agreed that one of us should stay in Santa Cruz de la Sierra with Mama. Being Marrano was just family history which, to us both, could have no relevance in this day and age. We should have listened to Mama, history does have a way of repeating itself. Here are five letters written by Abraham between 1939 and his disappearance in 1942.
Miguel Ariel Hubsch