Excuses, excuses…

I really don’t want to get into another post about why I’m not getting much writing done. I’ve resisted the temptation many times and hence why politics seems to be dominating my musings at the moment. There’s nothing much to say in terms of writing other than thoughts on why I’m not and how frustrated I am.

It occurred to me the other day whilst browsing the threads on the Absolute Write Water Cooler that spending so much on writing forums is some how convincing myself that I’m still in the writing loop. Writing forums does not mean writing.

Also, I’ve noticed a trend that isn’t helping me get words down. Most of the talk on these forums is regarding writing mechanics, which POV to use, how to be published etc. but even amongst these technically obsessed posts, they always mention that the story is key. It’s not that I don’t know how to write. I keep saying that I don’t have a clear idea of what to write. And so being in discussions about the technical aspects isn’t getting me any closer to a storyline.

The only smidgen of writing I did was when Uncle Jim, one of the heroes of Absolute Write, told me I wasn’t allowed to come back on the forum until I wrote 250 words. Ten minutes later, I was back online with 250 words in my belt. I did it by going to Write Stuff and picking on of their ‘Bright Stuff prompts.’ It wasn’t a full story and it wasn’t brilliant, but it was writing. I should try it again sometime.

writer’s block, inspiration, Absolute Write, prompts, writing, plot, storyline, ideas

What do I mean by 'Marxist horror'?

The question has come up before; I define myself as a Marxist horror writer, or put another way, a horror writer and a Marxist revolutionary. And it would be naïve to assume that the two things could coexist, side by side, without intersecting in one way or another.

A horror writer is someone who tells stories that create an atmosphere of fear, disgust and/or outrage by portraying horrible and often violent events. A Marxist revolutionary is someone who is outraged, angered and scared by capitalist society and to a point where they are convinced that it needs to be changed. Part of this is convincing others that the capitalist system is the reason for all of the world’s horrors.

For me, the horror and violent events in my writing comes from capitalism and all of the things that emanate from a system that puts profit before human need: war, racism, poverty etc. I want to create fear, anger and outrage in my readers. But really, less fear and more anger and outrage. And the way I do this comes from my materialist understanding of the world.

Ideas don’t come out of thin air. They come from experiencing the world around us and our material conditions within capitalist (or any) society. And the reason why people are able to be scared, angered or outraged with what they read in horror fiction is that it somehow connects with their experience of the world be it through personal experience or stories coming from friends or the media. The events portrayed in fiction are not disconnected from what happens in the real world. The writer uses his own experiences in order to create a story, and these stories resonate with readers that see the connection between the story and the world around them.

It is for this reason that my experiences about the horror of capitalism can connect with readers who have also experienced the horrors of capitalism. For me, writing horror reflecting the horrors of capitalism is part-outlet. It’s about expressing my owns fears and outrage with the system through a medium I am comfortable with. And I hope that readers can also connect with this horror and feel the same sense of outrage at capitalism not as a direct result of my fiction but the way in which my writing shines a mirror on capitalism and reflects it’s innate horror that has been causing the working class to rebel since its inception.

writing, politics, capitalism, socialism, horror, theory, materialism, Marxism, literature

On my birthday…

I turned 21 yesterday, the 20th of March. In the midst of preparing for a huge party I thought I’d post some other things that happened on the day I was born.

  • 1848 – Revolutions of 1848 in the German states: King Ludwig I of Bavaria abdicates.
  • 1942 – Holocaust: in Rohatyn, western Ukraine, German SS murder 3,000 Jews, including 600 children, annihilating 70% of Rohatyn’s Jewish ghetto.
  • 1956 – Tunisia gains independence from France.
  • 2003 – 2003 invasion of Iraq: In the early hours of the morning, the United States and three other countries begin military operations in Iraq.

I wonder if George Bush was thinking of a certain young socialist down in Australian when he was making his war plans :P Well, the rallies certainly make for a great birthday celebration :D Good to see that the German working class revolted on this day too.

March 20, birthday, history, Iraq war, German revolution, holocaust, Tunisia, France

Take a stand against the war!

A few hundred protesters turned out at Town Hall today in Sydney to mark the fourth anniversary of the invasion and occupation of Iraq. We also called for freedom for David Hicks and most, I think, saw the need to oppose other wars around the world and Howard’s attacks from other fronts.

Troops Home now rally - March 17 3

Troops Home now rally - March 17 2

Troops Home now rally - March 17 1

politics, protest, photos, rally, placards, banners, Iraq, war, Hicks

Are the US in Iraq to prevent civil war?

After the lies of Weapons of Mass Destruction and Saddam’s connections with al-Qaeda were cast aside, the new lie from our invaders is the one of trying to fix the place, or preventing civil war. Well, blowing up houses doesn’t rebuild Iraq as much as this video below shows that the US military is far from keeping peace and preventing civil war.

So, if this kind of thing outrages you, you can’t just sit there reading blogs all day and do nothing. Following the anti-war rallies in the US, rallies will be held in major cities in Australia to mark the fourth anniversary of the invasion and to call for troops out now and David Hicks to be freed. The Sydney rally will start at 12pm and Town Hall this Saturday.

Iraq, war, US, soldiers, abuse, video, protest, rally

Labor is shit, but the Liberals are shitter.

The NSW state election campaign has been a bit of a joke. Here we have the current, incompetent Labor government that is totally wetted to maintaining the “NSW economy,” i.e. Big business. Their campaign slogan ought to be, “I know we’re shit, but at least we’re trying,” which is the gist I got from Iemma’s cringe-worthy TV ads. I think people are feeling a sense of frustration at the state of affairs because although we all know the Labor government is doing a shit job, there’s no way people are going to turn to the Liberal party for any kind of alternative.

Debnam and his band of yuppie racists just come across as lunatics and worst of all, they come across as the kind of lunacy that is needed to maintain an insane system of profit before human need. In concrete terms, no one is going to vote for Debnam because he’s in the same party as Howard. He’s committed to making NSW implement the whole of WorkChoices and the cutting of 20,000 public service jobs. That’s 20,000 workers without a job. Of course, it won’t be police that get the cut because Debnam’s also going on about increasing police numbers so more Muslims can be harassed, more Aboriginals bashed and more protests suppressed.

It’ll be the services people need that’ll face the cut: Education, health and transport. These are just a burden to capitalism. The rich don’t need the State to pay for their education, health and transport (even though Taxpayers do!). They have their private schools, private hospitals and overpriced cars to keep them happy. It’s the working class that have to put up with underfunded education, where Teachers receives shitty wages and no resources. We have to put up with an underfunded health care system where waiting rooms are overflowing and nurses are declining (closing the Sydney University nursing faculty doesn’t help!) and it’s workers that have to ride those atrocious trains of a morning or get stuck in gridlock – and pay more for it!

Labor are shit, but the Liberals are shitter. That’s the most eloquent way I care to put it. This is democracy under capitalism. Every three or so years we have the choice between two shit parties both vying to look after Australian capitalism. And from this, it’s pretty clear that we need an alternative to the system and not just the political party in government. Which means we need to get active in opposing the system.

election, NSW, Labor, Liberal, Iemma, Debnam, socialism, capitalism

Howard on Hicks: fucked either way

Plea bargain may tempt Hicks – National – smh.com.au

It’s pretty clear to everyone that Howard and his whole right-wing agenda is on the back foot. The majority of people in Australia are opposed to the war in Iraq, WorkChoices and particularly, the imprisonment of David Hicks. Labor have finally recognised this and their growing support can only be attributed to their decision to grow a backbone – or perhaps the union movement is just holding them upright.

And I think Howard is starting to see it too. His fake grin that makes him look shit-scared is stretching wider as he struggles to maintain his composure in the face of all this opposition. With the case of David Hicks, he’s really struggling to look credible, but the great thing is that it’s clear that Howard is fucked either way.

At the moment, Howard is looking like he’s not going to back down. Rain, hail or shine, Howard is going to leave Hicks in the hands of the US authorities despite what mass of people think. He can no longer say that he has no control over Hicks’ fate because all the other countries have taken back their citizens and lately, he’s just come across as arrogant. Effectively saying, “I could bring Hicks home if I wanted to – but I don’t want to.”

The other result could be if Howard succumbs to all the pressure and brings Hicks home. In this case, Howard is still fucked. This will mean that he’s admitted defeat and those five years of saying he’s a terrorist were lies, as usual. It’ll undermine the whole war on terror that Hicks’ imprisonment has been used to justify.

And we all should take heart in knowing this. Howard’s on the back foot and this means we need to escalate the campaign and go for the jugular. We need to continue the struggle, get Howard out at the next election, keep Labor accountable and keep on fighting!

Hicks, Howard, Guantanamo Bay, War on Terror, torture, human rights, politics