Revisionist history is the name given by any group once in control of the Story to the newly corrected Story. Incorrectly done, revised history creates propaganda and (further) disenfranchises with no voice in the Story. Properly executed revisions of history both widen and deepen the scope of the Story, and give voice to anyone who was involved in the Story, no matter their social status.
Asking people to give up childhood heroes is difficult, and their adoption of any such idea is slow, but we’ve achieved revision in the cases of, say, Columbus or Custer. Revision need not result in a 180 toward vilification, as is the case in these examples. It simply asks that we look at the subject from more than one point of view. When studying or researching history, mistaken judgement comes from too narrow a viewpoint. History is, after all, the record of what many people have done, and even more have seen.
The next person I would like us to cast our multi-lensed historical bug-eye at is Thomas Alva Edison. He was a great reviser, tho often of the first kind, taking the ideas and energies of others and signing his name to the resulting output. He had his own ideas, and added to them the fruits of the minds and labors of other geniuses — mad scientists like Tesla and Swann, as well as the many who worked in his labs — and ran to the patent office before they could. Lack of governmental regulation, an almost superhuman amount of motivation, higher than average scientific prowess, and a sociopathic nature made Edison into the industrial power house he was, but the real Story has yet to be completely told.
Here is a beginning foray into the life of Nikolai Tesla, a man equally as (if not more) deserving of legend — for both his genius and his eccentricity:
This lame post brought to you by Brainstormer, Richard Shea and insomnia.
He’d been the first one off the tee this final day of the tournament. His caddy hadn’t shown, but ESPN
and their advertisers would wait no longer than ten minutes, leaving him to trundle his bag alone down the fairway in search of his ball. He squinted, one hand extending his sponsor-splattered visor into the morning sun to get a better view of the copse that seemed to have eaten his slice.
Of course, a hangover from the night before was not helping him concentrate, and he wished he could remember exactly what had led him to waking in his now-missing caddy’s hotel room. Hopefully the festivities that had given him this headache, and which had probably caused Bob’s no-show, had been worth his current predicament.
If his memory ever cleared, he may even find out where his nine iron had gone. Once he’d neared the trees, a gleam of white appeared in the undergrowth and he headed it for it, the hum in his skull eclipsing that of the Goodyear blimp above.
Wondering how Rule 13 would effect this next shot, he picked up his missing club from the grass, lined himself up, and swung. Crossing his fingers, he hoped that the cameras were not as confused as he’d been about which arc to follow: that of his ball, or Bob’s divot-severed finger. At least, he thought, I played it where it lay.
Red’s screams reached the ears of the huntsman despite the wind that shushed through the forest canopy. Her plight seemed to grow along with the pitch of her voice, and he made the snap decision to wade through the river instead of running to the nearest bridge and back. He broke through the lock on the door with his shovel just in time to see the wolf wrap Red’s throat in its jaws. The woodsman, though seemingly as worn as wet, was able to break the wolf’s neck with the same blow of blunt edge that had opened the cabin door. Red’s sigh of relief was lost amid the sobs and gasps that shared the same throat, and she pressed on the rips in her neck as she looked at her savior who stood uneasily gazing back at her. He seemed older now that he was unmoving, more wrinkled than his agility would lead one to think. The smell of wet dog seemed to cloud the air. Terror melted from her face to be replaced by post-shock exhaustion; even her ponytails seemed unable to stand. She held out her arms in a wordless plea to be picked up, and wrapped them about his neck when he was low enough for her to reach. Under the pull of the weight of her he aged further, wilted and fell upon her, the skin of a man that hid the fur of a far cleverer wolf underneath.
I have signed up for NaNoWriMo every year since the mid-noughties. This year is supposed to be (just like all the rest, mind, but this year for sure) the year I actually “win”, that I succeed in Wri-ing 50000 words of No. Here I sit, tho, despite the friendly coaxing of Malkinson and Russell, with no words done, 4 days in to the thing. Almost 7000 words in arrears.
My brain feels like this right now.
I have looked at the plots up for adoption on the NaNoWriMo
forums and liked a few. I have also come up with a few of my own. None of them want to partner with my brain at the moment, tho. I suspect the brain’s recent performance, linguistically, to be part of the issue: it is not spitting out words like it used to. Bastard that it is, the brain doesn’t want to take responsibility and admit that language is a muscle, and that it only works well when used often. No, it would rather blame the meds, or an odd kind of perfectionism: “How can I possibly work with that plot when there will be so much research needed to make it believable. One month will not cut it!” Write what you know, then, I tell it, but it replies that, while it used to live full story lines when I(t) was younger, now the best it can muster is the short vignettes of a muddled-through life.
I agree because I am lazy. I capitulate because it is easier. I proof this rather than write. This is bad. I should be forcing myself into a creative workout, even if the resulting recital consists only of an electronic notebook full of drivel. It will, after all, be my drivel, and having completed it, the brain might actually be able to grace conversations with the appropriate words every now and again.
Names, to me, are magical. I know I’ve talked about this before: about how a person’s name becomes so much more than a simple noun to signify their existence. It summons and signifies, cures and curses. I was stymied at first when I realized that, despite their magic, given names are used less the more we come to love or hate a person. It seemed counter-intuitive, initially. When you love a song, for example, you search for it on the radio. When you love a food, you learn how to quickly make or buy it. However, the more intimate you are with a person — either positively or negatively — the less you use their given name, or even primary, well-known nicknames. Barring the times we are engaged in conversation with or around mere acquaintances, strangers, or people to whom our relationships are irrelevant or even potentially problematic, we rarely call parents, children, spouses or lovers by anything more than a nickname. We point with pronouns. Our existence has become context to our loved ones, and ours to them: each beloved person is something understood without words, and something that wordlessly defines the boundaries of those who love them. It is no wonder, then, that names are so powerful, for they summon That Which Cannot Be Contained In A Name.
It has been one of those weekends: rain most of the time, and when not raining, windy, chilly and overcast. Something about these weekends makes me slip into a comfortable melancholy. I got out the deck of funk flashcards and drilled myself: What am I doing? What have I done? Even worse, what haven’t I done? Where am I going? Am I enough? Am I happy? What is happiness? How come everyone else is happy but me?
Sounds pathetic, but while it is, it isn’t meant to be. The words in my head sound matter-of-fact. Seems like a waste of time, and it is that, too. Instead, I should write more. The ideas come, but I don’t grab them and shove them in here, or at least onto paper. Instead, I allow myself to work on other things, to get distracted by the technical aspect of maintaining a blog and then never writing in it, of collecting notebooks, none of which get filled. I did some fun things, tho, and I was surrounded all weekend by people I love, and who love me. Smoo was in rare form Friday and Saturday, D an I worked on her room today, mom is chipper and full of March madness (or at least neuroses), and Josh is a dear. They are what make the funk comfortable. And, to be honest, the funk itself was comfortable in a way, but in that way that I am not supposed to nurture. Ah, well.
It is raining outside, and the sound of it on the softened, rotting plywood sounds like it used to when Jeff and I would sleep out back in our tent. It was waterproof enough… that is until you touched the side — just to make sure it wasn’t leaking, mind — and the pressure of your fingers offered just enough [unknown physics word] to cause a droplet to seep through and down your arm. The lesson there? Enjoy the rain. Get as close to it as you need to, but don’t disturb the thin sheet that keeps you from soaking.
…we kindly go to it. The daughter and I are headed to L.A. today to visit the Museum of Death. It used to live in San Diego, but has since moved about a bit, and has found (hopefully) a final resting place. I wanted to close a few tabs before we leave.
However, there were several differences between the original game concept and that initially published in 1949, In particular, Pratt’s original design calls for ten characters, one of whom was to be designated the victim by random drawing prior to the start of the game. These ten included the eliminated Mr. Brown, Mr. Gold, Miss Grey, and Mrs. Silver, with Nurse White, and Colonel Yellow. The game allowed for play of up to eight remaining characters, providing for nine suspects in total. Originally there were eleven rooms, including the eliminated “gun room” and cellar. In addition there were nine weapons including the unused axe, bomb, syringe, poison, shillelagh (walking stick/cudgel), and fireplace poker. Some of these unused weapons and characters would appear in later spinoff versions of the game.
I like the old weapons better! It would be interesting to find out exactly when and why each was replaced…
I agree with Atwood here. I think that, much in the way any diet that requires you to pay attention to what you eat, any writing form that requires you to consider the words you use will make you a better writer.
An interesting article about the brain and the universe which no doubt has every stoner in the world feeling vindicated for every time they mused aloud about the possibility that we are atoms…
Christmas is coming, and this atheist, should she have been good enough, would love to be brought, by whatever imaginary being is feeling kind, this monocle necklace, these tabi, these sticks or a story arc that would bring together romantisexually either Reid and Morgan or Sherlock and Watson.
This new Banksy piece pleases me greatly.
Further proof, kids, that none of the nasty you think you’ve invented is new at all.
Oh, and I graduate this May. Now, off to death with me.
I have started more notebooks than I can remember. I still find them mixed in with the books, ten or so pages filled and the rest blank, doomed to a life — my lifetime — of serving as transoms thru which, if you stand on a chair, an animated gif’s worth of my life can be seen. At some point, I’ll have to give some thought to why I must start with a fresh notebook, and put even more introspective effort toward why I abandon them so quickly… Someday I should tear out and file away only the filled pages from each, but there is a sanctity to bound writing, even if it is my 14-year-old own.
Still, there is something alluring about a blank book. Something that makes me grab a pen and think — obsessively — about what to write. I covered this predilection here, in what shall now be referred to as the JustKristin Back Issues. I did, over the course of 10 years, do a lot better with that blog than I ever had with any notebook, perhaps because, while it had initially been empty, it was never really not complete, having no pages to sit unused.
Despite a general desire to do so, over the past three or four years, I have all bu stopped writing. This makes me sad. I’ve decided, however, that this dry spell was not caused by a lack of inspiration or ability, but by the misplaced belief that I needn’t bother. I have, therefore, emptied this “notebook”, in the hope that its newly-pristine state would goad me into wanting to fill it with words. Something about the way my mind works will not let a hole sit empty, but forces me to fill it (tho often with the worst possible stuff). Hopefully what I put in here will not be too bad. Here we go.