July 26, 2011
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“It’s too long.” I get that often, about things I write. And I do think about it. I do try to shorten stuff, cut away things that aren’t relevant, just keep the essentials. Take the criticism to heart as they say. And yes, sometimes it’s true, the texts do need to be shortened, but sometimes it’s just a load of bullshit. A thing people say because they are too lazy to make the effort it would take to get through the whole text. I hear it about books too: “No, I haven’t read Dostoyevsky, his books are too long.” And no, I’m not comparing myself with Dostoyevsky, I’m just saying that by being lazy, you’re most definitely missing out. Sure, some things can be said in just a few sentences, but some things really need a longer and more elaborate type of argumentation. Some things are too complex to allow themselves for brief summarized types of presentations. It all depends on what the theme and the topic is. For instance, it’s really easy to define the meaning of life, in fact all it takes is one word: enjoy. But if you want to dig a bit deeper and really examine what that would mean you will need a lot more words. It all depends on the objective.
But I suppose the objective is indeed the issue. If you really want to give readers an opportunity to think for themselves you have to give them a bigger set of facts and/or arguments. I was reading a humungously long essay by Arundhati Roy in India Online about the Maoist guerilla in central India (here) and even though it took me well over an hour to read it I guarantee that this essay couldn’t have been any shorter because that’s exactly how complicated this situation really is. And if the objective is to provide your readers with an understanding of the level of complexity in this situation, which I’m pretty sure is the case, you have to give them the fully story. If you don’t you’ll just be another voice in the choir of ignorance. And as a reader, my obligation is to take this information in and draw my own conclusions. To use my own intellectual capabilities to try to make sense of it all in my own head. That’s the whole point; to actually think. It’s what we’re supposed to do with information; process it. Use our brains. Read more of this post
July 2, 2011
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Remember the Crisis? You know, that big crisis that threw the whole world off balance and made lots of people lose their jobs and cost everyone lost of money. Remember that one, back in the 1990s? Or was it 2001? No wait, there was one 2007 too. No, I mean 2009. In fact, is it over yet? That crisis that started some time in…uh 1900 something and went on till… well it’s actually still going on, isn’t it? All this talk aboutThe Financial Crisis. Yeah sure, but which one?! Because it’s not like there’s been only one in recent decades. In fact, once could argue that it seems to have become a permanent state, this whole financial crisis business. If one didn’t know any better one might think that there was actually something fundamentally wrong with the whole system, but one does know better, right? Because surely we’re on the right track, we’re real close to fixing it all now, aren’t we? Yeah, for sure… I mean just the other day the spanish prime minister said the growth is positive, just very slow. And I’m sure the people of Spain agrees, right? Real close to fixing it now you see. We have a solution you see.
But it’s rather interesting to notice how the solution is always to sell off the rights of the citizens. A more flexible labour market, selling state-owned businesses, upping the retirement age etc. It’s all very much in line with the commandments of capitalism: money talks and he who has none shall shut the fuck up. And it’s always promoted with the propaganda of fear. “If we don’t fuck you over a little bit now we’ll all end up being totally fucked later. So bend over people!” But are they really telling the truth? Read more of this post