Sunday, September 29, 2013

Of Truth and Justice and the Eradication of Evil

"It was the 'moral duty' of a writer, Abbey insisted, to act as social critic of one's country and culture and as such to speak for the voiceless." -Douglas Brinkley

I searched and searched for a direct quote linking Edward Abbey to this statement, but I could not find any. So the attribution goes to Douglas Brinkley, speaking on Abbey's behalf, in the introduction to the 25th anniversary edition of The Monkey Wrench Gang.

I read the Monkey Wrench Gang for the first time in my life this past August, and I wanted to like it, expected to like it, but I didn't like it at all.

Though for the most part I do like Abbey, even though there are a few things I don't like, and eventually do plan to read everything he's ever written. I guess, partly, I'm not totally in love with his writing, because even though I live in the desert, I'm not in love with the desert, or with cowboys and rednecks, or the west, period, as he was, but see myself more as a tropical person, someone who loves the water and beaches more than anything else, which is where I need to plant myself someday.

But anyway, this post is not so much about Edward Abbey or that book, or the reasons why I didn't like it, but is more so a response to this quote.

I thought it was very interesting. I guess you could say that it is in fact an aspiration of mine, sort of, I have a few, but in regards to writing, I have always felt that if I'm ever going to write something, you know, something better and more serious than this blog, like a book or a newspaper article, it would be with the aim of helping to make the world a better place, exposing injustice and corruption and providing information that would help to improve the quality of peoples' lives.

But unfortunately, as much as I read, and love reading, and am striving to improve myself, I'm not a very educated person. My writing skills are not perfect, I'm still struggling with my verbal fluency and grammar and mastery of the English language, and frankly, I really don't know a lot. I'm not an idiot by any means, but I really do not feel that I'm at the level of knowledge to write a serious work of investigative journalism, or a novel that does so, along the lines of The Jungle by Upton Sinclair.

Maybe I will someday, when I improve my writing skills and become a more knowledgeable person. Yeah, even though I'm over 30, you could say that this blog has reflected my teenage years as a writer. If I live long enough, hopefully my writing skills will mature into adulthood. But in the meantime, I agree that if one does have a talent with words, it would be ideal to apply your skills in a way that contributes to the greater cause and promotion of truth and justice and the eradication of evil.

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*This is post 18 of 20, part of my 20 Posts in 30 Days challenge.