31 March 2001

"We do not choose our subjects. They choose us." 
        - G. Flaubert

I wrote a story this week about an abusive, predatory man. In my story, the man gets his comeuppance, courtesy of a victim who just happens to be an abused predator. I had a lot of fun writing the story, imagining the final clash between the two, knowing before I even put the words onto the paper how it was all going to turn out. I got a great deal of satisfaction from the final sentence, when the hero of my story walks off, leaving the villain and the predator to resolve things between them, in whatever way they saw fit.

I felt like the Universe was taking care of business, if only for the space of a few pages.

We don't often get to realize true retribution in real life. The tit-for-tat, what-goes-around-comes-around result of whatever good or ill act is irritatingly elusive. Murderers go free on technicalities and attorney errors. Rapists submit to chemical castration and house arrest in lieu of confinement and torture comparable to what they inflict. Men and women who fancy themselves professionals use leveraged buyouts to undermine economies, and fly off to tax-sheltered tropical islands to contemplate the wickedness of their ways.

But we want retribution. Who, if given the opportunity, would not wave the magic wand over the world and intone, "As ye sow, so shall ye reap?"

Since the magic wand isn't mine to wield, I opt for the power I get from my pen. For the space of a single story, the universe dispenses retribution. Good begets good. Evil begets evil. And the more evil there is, the nastier the outcome.

Works for me.


30 March 2001

"I know of only one rule: style cannot be too clear,
too simple."
  - Stendhal

It is snowing, sleeting, and raining outside my window. All at once. The wind howls, and I can see the tallest trees swaying, sagging under the weight of the icy slush caught on their branches. The nasty weather comes on the heels of last week's flooding, and the rivers and streams are still running much higher than normal. More flooding is predicted before this storm ends. It's not been a good day, by anybody's definition.

The town access channel shows warnings of flooding and downed power lines, and offers instructions for people who need emergency shelter or other assistance. I read through the instructions, marveling at the simple, direct messages. If you require immediate assistance, dial this number, and if you need to be evacuated to emergency shelter, dial this number.

I wonder why it is not so simple for the town manager and the selectmen to work through the appropriate state and federal channels to get funding for the necessary flood mitigation measures, or the cleanup for the people who have lost most of their belongings and much of their property values with the last bad storm.

What I have learned today is that political channels for serving communities are snaking, convoluted things that frequently do not serve anyone, except for the people who draw power and authority from them.

Oh, and tax dollars. Never forget the tax dollars.

Maybe I should be wearing rubber boots. It's getting pretty deep.


29 March 2001

"Curiosita" - the goal of a life is to continuously, actively, unrelentingly learn.

I can well imagine the next "learning" this right-brained writer is going to need is in the memorization of HTML codes. For some reason, I never bothered to memorize any of the codes, except for the really obvious ones, like bold, or italic, or underlining. Oh, and lists. I can do lists.

The question is, what makes me think there's a need for another online twit like me, nattering in cyberspace about whatever happens to cross my mind at the time I'm sitting at the PC, writing? 

However, I have to believe somebody somewhere will someday want to read this trash, so up it goes.

What I learned today is that an online journal/diary is not what it appears to be on first blush: it's a blog, as in 'web log.' I'm not a journalist or diarist, but a blogger.

Excuse me while I change into my Doc Martens.