Monday, 14 October 2013

The Thief of Rage - Being Angry With God and Of Editors

Being Angry with God

I suspect some monotheists think this of me and possibly any like-minded individual who shares similar views. There is of course one obvious flaw with this notion and it is this - for me to be angry I would have to have someone to be angry with. To the best of my knowledge we are still awaiting the long overdue arrival of this deity, this Jehovah, this Allah, this Yahweh, this God. We have been hearing about him these long years, have heard from one of his prophets how kind, gentle and caring He is and at the same time received conflicting evidence as transcribed in the Old Testament. There has been a lot said about Him, rumour and speculation, but as of yet no sign of Him anywhere. 

No proof.

Theologians, whatever they may be aside from misguided, suggest that to understand God one has to read the Bible. Not only read but have knowledge that is qualified by degrees the better to underline their dubious authority. Theology is the study of faith, of God and as such, as they still lack proof, can only ever be wishful thinking by navel gazing academics who think having a great creator is a jolly good idea if only they could persuade the masses of his divinity and of course of his existence.. It would have been better had they studied medicine. 

When engaging with Theologians one must be skilled in the surreal exercise of dancing upon a pin head and debating in ever decreasing circles until said debate flies, on the wings of a dove presumably, up one or others orifice . Presenting scientific fact, established beyond doubt we then get, as by way of response yet another series of Biblical quotes as though this adds weight to the argument. It doesn’t. It is as meaningless as Little Richard singing “A Wop Bop a Loo Bop a Wop Bam Boom.” The difference with Rock and Roll is that it isn’t quite as mad, is far more fun and less destructive.

Returning to the matter at hand - my being angry with God, if this is the case, and for the sake of having a rounded debate we accept I am, please call the men in white coats for I must be mad. 
If a man of the 21st century is found conversing with Napoleon he is declared demented. If a man of the same century is found talking to God he is devout. Not in my book.  

I categorically am not, for how could I be, angry at God - He isn't there. He doesn't exist, Nor am I angry at Christians or anyone of any other faith. Good luck to them all. What I am angry at, or with, is organised religion. That is the man made deviancy that has delivered torture, cruelty, homophobia, misogyny, burning at the stake, beheading of innocent people, mass murder, genocide, patricide, onto mankind in a vain hope of subjugating the multitude to the singular whims of the few. 

Now then, ask me again, just who is angry with who here. Those who fear the truth and for speaking it or those who welcome it?  Who really is the madman me or theologians?  

The image is taken from Socialist Unity site. (And no, I'm not one of those either)

Of Editors

Without an editor to guide and correct you all the author has is an idea committed to writing. It is not the cohesive whole either he or the public want to read. As a concept, it may be good, as the basis of a story it may be brilliant but without direction and correction, it isn’t half as good as it might have been.

I have been spending a great deal of time amending and re-writing my Village Tales of Fekenham Swarberry. The reason for this is three-fold - Vance, Paul and Lorna, oh, and in part Tom. Who are they? They are the kind souls of infinite patience who have freely edited my work. The first is a retired English teacher who now lives on a remote Scottish island; the second is a retired (very young it has to be said) fellow blogger and the third a Professor of English living in Alabama USA.

All three (and I’ll come to Tom in a bit) have exercised tolerance and a sharp eye to detail, something I lack in abundance. Without them I would not have learnt at the tender age I am of tautology, over use of conjunction, less is more and not to place a full stop (sorry Lorna – period) after speech marks when there follows a ‘said Fred.’ And so as not to favour Fred's, 'said anybody.'

Following my amends, and in some cases addition’s, the characters are no longer shells but fleshed out people with faults and frailties. Continuity has been improved and the back history of the world of Fekenham has been revealed in subtle and minute ways. Less Puckoon, more Palomar.

Fekenham, as I have said countless times,  is not a work of literary fiction; it is very much in the commercial vein. I know my place after all and being talented, like Virginia Woolf, William Faulkner or good old Haruki Murakami is well beyond me. A reader of my books (get me eh? Just the one you know!) recently suggested, as many have, that Fekenham reminds her of P.G. Wodehouse and or Terry Pratchett. I like both authors but it has to be said that neither played a part nor influenced me in any way. I hadn’t read either till after I was fifty.

Fekenham is not comic fiction. I repeat, Fekenham is not comic fiction. Sure there are some funny moments inspired by the likes of Spike Milligan and the ‘Carry On’ films but they are categorically not meant to be laugh out loud stuff. If there are passage that have that effect – fantastic but there is more to the tales than that. They are a very curious mix and hard to market,  I appreciate and realise how difficult it is to catergorise and how that defeats, or makes all the harder the process of attracting a certain crowd to buy them. What they are is not clearly defined. They are romantic, comic, adventure stories with a twist of detective with some surreal bits and the occasional soft-porn (sorry – erotica) thrown in.

Anyway, back to the original point I was making: having an editor is a godsend for without one there are no guidelines, not for someone like me anyway who at the best of times pushes boundaries, breaks rules even when I don’t know what the damn rules are. They provide the parameters and steer the ship through the turbulence of the writers creative waters. (That sounds slightly disgusting, sorry my waters are not turbulent - honest,).

Tom? Ah yes, Tom. He is one of those people who, fluffy haired and rather retiring, is capable of firing even a grown-up child’s intellect. With gentle ease, he is able to kindle a desire to learn, set a spark within you that continues to ignite the constant search to discover new things. If only my teachers had done the same

A Postscript from Alan Moore

"Life isn’t divided into genres. It’s a horrifying, romantic, tragic, comical, science-fiction cowboy detective novel. You know, with a bit of pornography if you're lucky."

Amen to that.

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