Categories
General

Pen Perils

If you know me, you know that I rarely outline or draft my writing beforehand. I (sort of) know how, but I never have, simply because I never saw the use. Why plan with such depth and detail when you can let yourself throw words on a page, then later remove the bad ones? But even if some authors have success with this sort of discovery writing, I’ve begun to realize how hard improvising a “discovery-written” piece can be when writing with, for example, pen and paper. As such, I’ve concluded that my pencils and computers have spoiled me by giving me the luxury of an eraser. And that luxury, since childhood, combined with either a bad elementary English education or a bad attention span, contributed to my worse “discovery writing” habit.

I’ll give you an example: when constructing any sentence, I start immediately – I tend to write down any phrases that come to my mind without much thought. This way, my plan for a sentence changes as I am writing it. But imagine this with a pen. You imagine me writing as if I had a pencil in hand, carelessly throwing phrases on paper. Then, when halfway through a particular sentence, I suddenly have a better idea for it’s structure, or even an idea for a witty remark, one that could bring the whole piece back from its gradual destination to the dustbin. But, all too soon, the pen’s ink marked its initial form permanently onto the page.

Within moments, I’m weighing a decision: I either cross out the problematic sentence or continue it. In one I make my page a little bit uglier, yet in the other I compromise an idea.

One day, though, because of this problem, I did something else: I tore out several pages to rewrite them with a pencil. That’s how bad they were. Writing with a pen, then, it seems to me, has become a game of compromises between me and my sentences. Until I learn what ‘outlining’ means, I may end up with another few notebooks full of cotton this summer. No, you won’t even see the books on the ground – gravity itself may struggle to keep the airy words firmly grounded. Fluffy, pretentious, and insincere writing diffuses and disintegrates into the air and moves nobody.

Categories
General

Vector Art & Puppy Linux

On March 13th, I decided to design a few more Elaboraet vector art pieces in Inkscape. I may never use them, but it sure was fun to make them.

Click on an image to see its full preview.

Yesterday, March 17th, I created a bunch of navy blue vector art wallpapers for my installation of Puppy Linux. Here is a slideshow with those wallpapers:

Click on an image to see its full preview.

My ‘Puppy Linux’ desktop as of March 17th, 2020.
Categories
General

Remembering Roger Scruton

Roger Scruton (1945-2020)

“For ordinary people, the materialist vision is rather seductive; they become obsessed by the vision of the human being as a merely physical object, a lump of flesh suspended between the two poles of pleasure and pain. And that reductive vision gives rise to all that is most repugnant in the culture that now agonizes us. Human beings are put on display as objects, deprived of their freedom and divested of their capacity for love, gift, sacrifice, and service. And many people spend their days gripped by images of this degradation, watching the physical destruction of fellow human beings in violent movies or their physical excitement in pornographic movies. These loveless images are tempting because they remove from the human condition all that is difficult and demanding, and all that makes life worthwhile—the love, commitment, sacrifice, and giving through which we cultivate our better natures and connect with the realm of sacred things. They are visions of hell and owe their charm to the ease with which we can embrace them, leaving all the difficulties of personal life behind.”

Roger Scruton in Sacred Truths in a Profane World on Renovatio Journal


Last week, after learning about the conservative philosopher Roger Scruton’s death on January 12th, I thought back to the time I first listened to him almost three years ago, in a video of a talk he had with the Islamic scholar Hamza Yusuf about the meanings of Conservatism.

In it, I noticed that Roger Scruton was a close friend to Islam, not the opposite as some presuppose, and quickly grew fond of his other talks and even a few of his books. His conservative and optimistic thought aligned closely with prominent Islamic virtues and ideas. In eloquent and beautiful writing, Scruton’s article, Sacred Truths in a Profane World, from which I quote above, discusses whether sacred truth can exist in a destructive modern era.

“We no longer believe in magic connections, and even the concept of human freedom begins to crumble and give way beneath the tide of debunking explanations. The face of the world gradually begins to cloud over: the sun no longer smiles; the birds cease to sing; the naiads vanish from the groves, while the wind in the long grass no longer whispers of God’s love for us. The enchanted world of our ancestors is replaced by a routine exhibition of causal connections. And the laws of motion that govern the universe begin to look like chains, by which we too are bound.”