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RL  2013-03-06 11:54:00

Urthshu. Master of the Parthian shot. No. Not just about competition but testing of ideas. If writing is thinking, then writing is also the testing of thinking. Is my thinking good or does it need more work, more learning, more logic, more insight?

Brizoni is thinking. Comparatively few people are anymore. Many are just looking for plausible reasons to stop.

ErisGuy  2013-03-06 04:23:00

Thanks. Well done. I thought about refuting Brizoni’s bizarre claim, but it would have been too long for a comment, and, honestly, I have anything better to do. Some beliefs are too stupid to refute.

Any historical record of war for religious reasons should include the Husite Wars (15th century), Albigensian Crusade (13th century), Prussian Crusade (14th century), Crusades (11th century)…; I could go on.

Of course WW2 in Europe, which was a three-way war between national socialism, international socialism, and FDR’s socialism, racks up all its dead for—you guessed it—socialism.

urthshu  2013-03-05 06:09:00

Fine by me. I'm not being unhelpful nor trying to drag anybody down. Last thing on my mind. If its all just competition at least I'm now aware of that.

RL  2013-03-05 05:04:00

Whatever. You're a published writer who isn't a writer or a journalist. But you know all about it because you're not either or something. Got it.

urthshu  2013-03-05 04:10:00

on my phone now and must needs be brief.

were you talking to me? im fairly sure you know otherwise.

even so Ive known, personally professionally, romantically many writers. been published for fiction and nonfiction and in print not online. but Im not a writer nor a reporter. Im merely confident in my tastes, civilised enough, and am observant.

never said brizoni was not a writer nor have i said only reporters fall into the trap from previous, only that its a common malady for them.

RL  2013-03-05 03:36:00

Happy, Brizoni?

Sucked all of the air out of the site. Do I care? Not really.

My wife cares. About you. Lake cares. About me. The Commenters care because they know to an absolutely certainty what they know to an absolute certainty.

Sorry, Commenters. Do you show your naked asses in posts? No. You reserve the infinite right to jeer at our naked asses without even admitting you have an ass. The nature of the relationship.

Well, my wife cares about me, too. Unlike Lake, she knows I'm almost completely invulnerable to attacks from any direction. I just seem vulnerable. A mistake so many have made. (Hi, Pop.) Don't mistake me. When you assault me, I hurt. But I get over it. Because I really do know who I am and why I'm here.

My exchange with Urthshu was a kind of breakthrough. Perhaps there are many of you who confuse journalism with writing. Funny. Silly.

This site is about writing. Period. Brizoni wasn't talking politics or religion in his recent posts. He was butting heads with me, thinking he might be ready to take me on. He isn't. He knows that now. Why you don't see lots of defensive comments.

He's getting ready to take another crack at it. Because he never ever EVER gives up. This time he should, though. But he won't listen. Would I at his age? Probably.But we live in a different age now. I don't know what's appropriate or reasonable anymore. I don't. Maybe what he's learning is to keep charging into the teeth of the enemy, no matter what.

So what is writing if it's not reporting. It's thinking as a process of writing. For those of us so afflicted, writing is like breathing. When we want to solve a problem, we start writing about it. If possible we find a backboard to aim our thoughts against. Brizoni aims his thoughts at me. He has a problem with God. He has a problem with Christianity.

My job is to be the backboard, because writing is also thinking for me. You despise him? Really? Have you put together an argument about anything as comprehensive as his, ever, about anything?

Think about it. How easy is it to poke a hole in a whole you don't have to reconstruct after the fact?

Me against Brizoni is something like the finals of Wimbledon. You get to snipe from the stands. Brizoni isn't a writer? Really?

There's the analytic. Which tears everything apart. There's province of lawyers, critics, and trolls. Then there's the process of synthesis, people who build arguments and pose new ideas.

Which are you? Tell me.

RL  2013-03-05 02:40:00


"I know both of these as errors."

No, you don't. Journalists aren't writers. They're reporters. Completely different thing. The difference between construction workers and architects.

But don't let me get in the way of your biases. Although I'll note you're responding exactly the way Brizoni did to my smackdown. By ignoring everything of substance and using the troll technique of sharpshooting one supposedly vulnerable point.

Pretty sure you're better than that, Urthshu. Why has Brizoni gotten so under your skin? You want to talk truth, talk about that.

urthshu  2013-03-05 02:17:00

>>>He mistakes writing talent, for, well, a lot of things, including education, learning, personal authority, and human experience, er, wisdom.

>>If you know a real one, at some level (not the only level) you and your deepest confidences are material that they will one day use not to hurt you but to make one piece of writing better.

I know both of these as errors, but have met plenty who ape them in the lettered world. The first is most often found in diverse kinds of journalists, where they claim an instant and close understanding of complex subjects because, well, they wrote an article and did some research to 'get the details right'.

The next is a worse fault but entirely typical. What makes writers partake of the inhuman. Not the Divine, note.

>>>>It's no sin if he decides not to be a writer. It's just a loss for the rest of us.

No indeed. Writers inflict their neuroses on an unsuspecting public in hopes they'll shower the writer with monies. Sometimes that's happily the trick but more often not.

What's rare is having another person ask you to be a writer - that's almost unheard of.

RL  2013-03-05 02:01:00


One more thing. If there's such a thing as an It Factor (and there is), Brizoni has it. Hard to define. A scintillation in a single sentence is enough to show it. Problem is, he doesn't know it for sure, can't quite believe it.

He needs to work. But he won't until he gets it. Why I've been so fucking hard on him.

No need for anyone to beat up on him. He's doing an outstanding job of that himself.

It's no sin if he decides not to be a writer. It's just a loss for the rest of us.

Something to ponder.

RL  2013-03-05 12:48:00


Just so you know passed today's test. I'm not responding to anyone who doesn't have a dare in him today.

There. Crossed that line. Now waddya gonna do, pilgrim?

As to Brizoni, in all seriousness, I do see a writer in the making. I may be looking for different things than you, but that's as it should be. Here's what I see.

In the first place, he does write. Not as much or as often as he should, but he's aware that what he's doing is committing an act of writing, not just a sloppy soul spillage on a screen or paper.

He's not afraid of big or complicated subjects. He rushes in where most fools fear to tread. He's not a sniper aiming at edges but a full-bore warrior. Which distinguishes him completely from what are called trolls on the internet.

He has his own voice. Young writers are prone to imitation, to a fault. Brizoni has done the same. You can hear Hunter Thompson in a lot of his frankly humorous "I am Brizoni" posts. But he's not plagiarizing. He's following Thompson's love of wordplay and histrionics, and the result is that he's not just an imitator but a solo voice in the making.

Grammar and usage errors aside, of which there are distressingly many, he has a facility with words. Writing isn't a chore to him. It's the opening of a gush of ideas, images, sentences, voices. A thing that can't be taught. You have it or you don't. In my opinion, he has it.

He has genuine talent as an editor, a selector, of what is important. Every good writer has to be an editor of his own work. Know what to cut, what needs fixing, what needs adding. Brizoni has this indispensable talent, just not yet on his own work. That's a function of maturity and discipline, though, It can be learned. But if the talent were missing, the case would be hopeless.

He has a unique point of view and knows that it's okay to have one. So many try to adjust their viewpoints to some fancied ideal that they lose themselves in the process.

He's absolutely fucking crazy. Any writer who isn't would stop writing at once. It's too hard. It takes too long to learn how to be good. Unless you're really lucky or a hack, you probably won't make much money at it. You put your innerds in print for all to see and criticize and laugh at, and your reward is mostly that you nailed it to your own satisfaction.

Against that, he is lazy about non-negotiable basics. He starts fights he can't win. He doesn't really understand about the work ethic of writing. He still thinks it's a tap he can turn on and off at will. He mistakes writing talent, for, well, a lot of things, including education, learning, personal authority, and human experience, er, wisdom.

So he may not make it. But he has rthe potential to. Why I'm in his corner, now and for the foreseeable future. Did I mention that all writers are assholes? If you know a real one, at some level (not the only level) you and your deepest confidences are material that they will one day use not to hurt you but to make one piece of writing better.

Brizoni is just such an asshole. And so am I.

Does that answer your question?

urthshu  2013-03-05 12:13:00

I dare ya to cross this line!!! _______

Do you honestly see great potential in Brizoni's writing? I confess to never having seen it expressed adequately, if anything he's done here is to be considered representative. But you know the man so I'll assume you've a deeper insight and wider exposure.

The stuck thing is there, I suppose. A specie of juvenelia is what I'd label it - something he needs to work past, like girls writing about love &c. Religion is his bugbear.

Were I to prescribe a cure, I'd suggest to Brizoni that he descend. And I'd leave that vague.

RL  2013-03-05 11:28:00


What do you want? Are nearly at book length now on duels between you and me on Rand, God, and Christianity? You want a Brizoni takes down IP book? Fine. Go for it. I have no objection. If you need one more exchange of posts for that, I'm game. Call it "The Brizoni (or insert real name) Files." I'd do anything I could to help launch your writing career. I think you know that.

But I'm worried about you. As she frequently does, my wife put the problem more succinctly than I could. For whatever reason, she said, Brizoni "is stone cold stuck." This subject is just a dead horse you keep beating and beating and beating. If it has any validity, this is the wrong venue. Here, people are beginning to think you're a monomaniac. Brilliant but with a blind spot that's slowly consuming the rest of your field of vision.

Nobody wants this. Least of all me. I feel like George Kennedy in Cool Hand Luke. On other subjects, you're a genuine threat and an inspiration. On this one, you're just a guy who wades into left hooks and right crosses. I don't want to play this game anymore.

RL  2013-03-05 07:51:00

It's early yet. Anybody else want to dare me to do something today?

I demur. I decide what I'll write about and when. Right now, I'm thinking people are growing weary of this back and forth. I'm working on something else. Sorry.

Lake  2013-03-05 07:43:00

I'll do you one better, Brizoni, and dare both of you to write a post on the Crusades. Double blind, so neither gets the benefit of reading and responding. Put your money where your mouth is, B, and do some research.

And please, stop stomping on good posts with new posts, give them time to breathe. At least 12 to 24 hours on top.

RL  2013-03-05 05:04:00

You dare me? Really? Another subject you think you've got by the balls, I suppose. God help us.

Brizoni  2013-03-04 10:19:00

I won't explain that after the muslim conquests in the Mediterranean, the Crusades became necessary to restore contact with the Old World and launch the Enlightenment.

No no, please do. I dare you.

Alfa  2013-03-04 05:26:00

Perhaps Brizoni is unfamiliar with Charlemagne, Bede, the Book of Kells, etc. Brilliant post, collecting and connecting a long history of accomplishment and beauty.

Lake  2013-03-04 04:27:00

If there's anything I liked? THANK YOU, Brizoni, for being the unwitting (?) inspiration for this post, one of RFL's best.

I'm reminded of the list that you linked back when, the historical records of mass killings and wars. Not a lot of Christian or generally religious motives there, not until you get down to the French Wars of Religion... in the late 1500's.

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