Contemporary short fiction, poetry and more

Category Archives: rant

My social media rules

  1. I will summarily delete anything which originates from the so-called Britain First, EDL, or any other far-right group. I am against cruelty to animals and in favour of more assistance to veterans (preferably provided by the state) but I will have nothing whatsoever to do with neo-Nazis, which is what Britain First, EDL and the other members of the 57 varieties are. They peddle the worst kind of click-bait.
  2. I am much less likely to criticise your grammar, spelling, and punctuation if I agree with your argument, or at least can see that you are a compassionate person. This applies particularly if you are trying to assert something like, “Immigrants can’t speak English”: I will proof-read your post as if it were received English (and – oh, boy – will I find a lot of mistakes).
  3. Don’t get me started on the subject of St George. If the historical St George existed, he was Palestinian, or Armenian, or from Asia Minor (Turkey), and never set foot in Britain. He could not have set foot in England, or spoken English, even if he had wanted to, because England and English are concepts that did not exist until after he allegedly died. The obvious public holiday to celebrate “Englishness” is Shakespeare Day, miraculously also on 23 April.
  4. I have no patience with internet conspiracy theories about the Rothschilds. Yes, they are a family with a long capitalist heritage. No, they do not control every government in the western world. The reputation of the Rothschilds is derived from Nathan Rothschild, who made a lot of money in the aftermath of the Napoleonic War (which he helped the United Kingdom to win). What Nathan Rothschild did was audacious; in some ways, cynical, and also in the teeth of anxious opposition from many of the other members of his family. It was not magic. It was not cabbalistic. It was not part of an international conspiracy (Zionist, Marxist, or otherwise). He was outdone in the modern era by George Soros. Yes, George Soros also happens to be ethnically Jewish. Australians win a lot of cricket matches. Is that because of an international conspiracy?
  5. Anything that starts, “If you have a father/mother/sister/brother…” I will delete. I have no living relations closer than cousin. Neither does my wife.
  6. I have nothing to do with articles about diet or exercise. Crap to do with diet and exercise in newspapers and magazines is no respector of class: the former broad-sheets are as full of crap as the tabloids.
  7. That photo with the blue plaque about George Orwell and the CCTV camera: that isn’t ironic. George Orwell wrote about telescreens which were installed in people’s rooms, which monitored them for the purposes of assessing their adherence to a set of political doctrines. CCTV cameras in public places are not the same thing as that. Orwell was nothing if not a believer in the precise use of language. People who say, “Oh, ha ha ha. George Orwell ha ha irony ha ha. CCTV ha ha ha ha,” are an insult to Orwell’s method. (And note that I say, “method”, not “legacy”.)
  8. That will do, for now.

Middle-aged writer marketing rant #1

I enrolled with the Open University to do creative writing and I wrote a story which my tutor put in for a competition and there were a thousand entries and I came second and won £250 and I got to appear at the Huddersfield Literature Festival and then I wrote some poems for another assignment and three of these were published as well and I got to go on a tour to promote them and the editor was not available for the performance at the Ted Hughes Festival and so I organised it fronted it and it ended on time and it went very well and then I had a story published by The Fiction Desk and then I came second in a competition with 5 Minute Fiction and then I entered the 5 Minute Fiction Christmas competition and I won it and I got to stay at a writers’ retreat in Devon for two nights with free wine and I had an e-story published it was the first in a set of six the second being by Marina Lewycka but it didn’t sell and after less than a year the publisher pulled the plug on it and the book that my £250 story appeared in is out of print and the book that my three poems appeared in is out of print and the Fiction Desk collection that I appear in is nearly out of print and so the only work of mine which is still obtainable is a novella of 37 pages called Escape Kit which costs GBP 5.99 in book form or GBP 1.99 for Kindle and I know why people are reluctant to buy it – colon – it is because nobody wants to read 37 pages by an unknown author they want something more sustaining and satisfying and that would be fine if the other stuff were still in print and I am trying to get a collection published under my own name believe me I am trying but it is not easy 3 words I fight on I keep saying 3 words I fight on I fight on I fight on.