Rebirth of Reason

War for Men's Minds

Listen Up!
by Lindsay Perigo

In lieu of a regular article tonight is this irregular article by me *about* articles!

Previously I have told you the Article Queue was bulging at the seams. It was – but I have just now done a cull of submissions that, for whatever reason, I cannot use, and find that the seams are flaccid rather than stretched.

To save me the trouble of writing separately to each writer whose contribution I’ve excised from the queue, I shall run through them all here, but without naming names. You’ll know if it’s your article I’m talking about, but no one else need ever know!

First, the one on decoding 'The Birds.' Mildly exercising, but leaves one saying at its conclusion: "And your point is?" The general rule here is: all articles must have a clear point to them.

Second, the contributions about duality, a Prime Mover, and Left and Right should be published on the Dissent Board or be used to start separate discussion threads. The general principle here is: while SOLOHQ allows ample scope for people to disagree with Objectivism, the Daily Article slot is reserved for Objectivist contributions only. Such contributions may contradict each other on a certain level, as you’ve seen from my publishing pro-Bush and pro-Kerry articles, but they must explicitly or implicitly accept Objectivist fundamentals. The same applies to articles like Fred Seddon’s that seek to show that such unlikely luminaries as Hume, Kant and Hegel (not to mention Plato!) were pre-Randian Objectivists. Or my own ‘Romance and Rationalism.’ Such efforts may shock, but they qualify as Daily Articles (more easily, in Fred’s case, if they weren’t so bloody long! :-)) under the aforementioned criterion. To repeat - any article proselytising from an explicitly or implicitly anti-Objectvist perspective should go on the Dissent Board or be used to start a separate discussion thread.

Third, any article entered as a Daily Article – i.e. via "Add article" on the "Contribute Content" page – should be one’s own work. As it stands, folk have entered the famous "I’m mad as hell" rant from the movie ‘Network’ and the ‘Breadmaker’ poem, as articles. Nope! Such contributions should be added under "Add news item," "Add poem," "Add quote," etc., with appropriate attribution. (There’s an advantage in this for those who post such offerings – they can go up immediately, rather than waiting in a queue.)

Now, speaking of poetry – the original offerings currently in the queue are not, in my view, up to snuff. I’m old-fashioned enough to insist that poetry is not just sentences spread out over several short lines. Poems should rhyme and scan, at minimum. If you want to post your own "free verse" offerings, do so via "Add poem" and realise that you’ll probably find yourself in the company of such true poets as Shakespeare, Tennyson, Keats, Byron, Shelley, et al. If you’re confident your efforts can withstand the comparison, be my guest! If you’re confident that you have a masterpiece that can pass muster as a Daily Article with the 'Poetry' moniker attached, be my guest again!

Well, that’s about it. Let me reiterate that the cupboard is now barer than I thought, so I would urge you all to get writing, quickly. Articles of the ideal length – 800-1000 words – should not be too taxing or time-consuming, so go for it! Take Machan’s Musings as models – short, sharp, polemical, power-packed. Eschew the academic practice of never using one word when ten would suffice. Know what point you want to make, and make it boldly and succinctly. See how Joe Rowlands packs maximum wisdom into minimum verbiage. Another model is Barbara Branden’s recent offering on why libertarians are voting against America - study that, and see the ideal blending of depth, elegance, simplicity … and wallop!

I thank all writers for what they’ve done and what they’re about to do. Happy hunting!


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