martes, 2 de septiembre de 2014

Improbus non grata

Any publicity is good publicity as the saying goes, which speaks volumes about the times we live in. One would have thought that novelists would be above such aberrations, but the temptation to make a few bucks by dragging a colleague over the coals is too great for some it seems.
Will Self has declared that Orwell is The Supreme Mediocrity. Why? Because he refused to shroud his meaning and therefore his communication in a swathe of learned synonyms. Thank the deities.
Reaching for the thesaurus is fun, and educational to a point, but to deliberately flaunt your superior knowledge of the English language in the reader’s face is pedantic and snobbish. If I were to write in Spanish to a readership that does not command the language, I may as well defecate in the lactate.
Surely the key here is communication? If I want to receive English vocabulary lessons I will attend a night school, I do not need Sticker Bill to enlighten me.
Dumbing down? Not at all. If a word is perfect for the situation, with the resonance and nuance of meaning ideal in that particular context, then it has to be used. Readers are not idiots; they know how to use a dictionary. What they don’t need is a pompous approach to literature that makes reading either a slog or a bore.
Some musicians like to show off their techniques and superior musical knowledge by performing incredibly intricate and complicated pieces full of key changes and bizarre scales. They enjoy themselves, but the audience falls asleep. The alternative is not Madonna – there is a whole world of beauty in between.
So come on Will, drop the publicity stunts and pay a well deserved homage to Orwell.

lunes, 14 de julio de 2014

A Thousand Thanks

A thousand thanks! My novel Balls has now received over one thousand full downloads at Smaswords, the independent author site. It is available through this link if you still haven't had the chance to read it Balls, by Tommy Dakar.
They say that the average person reads no more than two thousand or so books in their life, so to think that over 1000 should have bothered to read Balls, without forgetting the thousands of downloads of my other works, is an honour, and I am touched. Not by the wand of economic success, naturally, as all my works in digital form are FREE.
Bit repetitive maybe, but once again my sincere gratitude to all my readers.

lunes, 2 de junio de 2014

Some Good News

There will be a before and after of The First Global Economic Crisis. Like in the wake of most upheavals ( First World War, Wall Street Crash, Second World War, Fall of Communism), the world is never the same again.
Some have leapt to the far right, with parties such as Ukip and the French National Front leading the way. It is a road already travelled, and the destination is not worth revisiting.
Others have swung to the left, hoping that a revived version of socialism might be able to make some sense of the actual mess. Optimism as a last resort.
But where the change really lies is in the organisation of society as a whole. The digital world has opened up a new form of collaboration. The old hierarchical system is no longer pertinent because the militant bases can now operate on a far more democratic platform.
Decisions can be taken according to what every person involved in the process democratically chooses. The ‘leader’ is reduced to a mere spokesperson, the mouthpiece of the common will. The political agenda is designed by and for the voters, and put into effect by accredited party members.
In fact the term ‘political party’ will no doubt fall into disuse. The old way of having to choose between two or three job lots of policies, the take it or leave it option, has no place in the ‘new’ society. Without much fuss we can now decide on individual issues such as Education or International Cooperation, without having to swallow all the collateral nonsense that used to go with such packages.
It is a more open, more democratic way to participate in the running of a nation, an organisation, a global concept.
Many will not enjoy seeing the gradual erosion of their age old privileges, and the more radical will no doubt put up a fight.
But progress is relentless and inevitable. We are on the way to a new era of citizen participation, and the breaking up of monopolies and oligarchies. And that, as I  hope you will agree, is good news.

domingo, 1 de junio de 2014

Pirates at bay.

Peter Sunde, co founder of Pirate Bay, has been arrested after 2 years on the run. He was sentenced to 8 months in jail and an enormous fine for file sharing.
As a writer and musician, I should be jumping for joy that this ‘pirate’ has been caught.
Not at all. Here in Spain a court has just ruled that file sharing is legal, and I totally agree. That the huge companies that for years have controlled the cultural market failed to do their homework, failed to see that the digital copy was going to destroy their business, is not my concern.
New ways to wrap culture in commerce are emerging, as was inevitable. Streaming, free digital copies with the ‘real’ product, signed copies etc. Business will survive.
In the meantime the distribution of music, video, literature and the like has gained enormously.
All my works are available in free digital format. I prefer the exposure to the meagre dollar or so that can be gleaned from such files. Not so hard copies, printed books or c.d.’s which have costs involved.
I use Pirate Bay. It is an excellent way to try out material that you are not too sure of without having to lay out 20 euros for the original product. If I am convinced, I often prefer to get my hands on the full enhanced product.
Free this man. Let the entertainment industry sort itself out and find ways of making money, but don’t punish this man for being bold and pushing the barriers of the digital world into the future.

viernes, 30 de mayo de 2014

La Justicia es ciega.

Condena de tres años de cárcel por un empujón durante una protesta.

Los exdirectivos de Caixa Penedés, condenados a dos años de cárcel para Ricard Pagès, exdirector de Caixa Penedès y de un año para cada uno de los tres principales miembros de su cúpula. Eluden la prisión al devolver 28,6 millones de euros.

viernes, 9 de mayo de 2014

A por ellos, oe.

Llegan las elecciones europeas y las encuestas nos traen la triste verdad. Ganarán los de siempre. Los desafectados, posiblemente mayoría, o se abstendrán o intentarán emitir un voto ‘útil’. Pero si vamos a romper de una vez con ese pasado político de engaño, desfachatez y arrogancia, si realmente estamos hartos de que la política sea un chollo para el club de los elegidos, hay que reaccionar.
Importa votar, aunque sea a un partido alternativo. Y más aún en elecciones europeas, porque es Bruselas, y no Madrid, el verdadero amo de España.
Pero por encima de todo está la dignidad. Debemos votar NO a la impunidad, NO a las mentiras consentidas, NO a la connivencia entre el poder y la ‘justicia’, entre el poder y las entidades corporativas, NO a unos políticos que creen que nuestro voto es un cheque en blanco.
Podría seguir pero creo que entendéis lo que quiero decir, y que lo expresaríais incluso con más vehemencia y con mejores argumentos.
¡A por ellos, joder!