Check out WLT (Watch Listen Tell)
From the piece:
[W]hile neoconservatives are extremely vocal in their opposition to progressive domestic policies, they advocate a paternalistic approach to foreign policy.
- One must rabidly advocate “small government,” but blindly embrace a huge military as a part of the same government.
- On a similar note, one must lionize the Founding Fathers’ vision of a decentralized federal government, but wholly ignore the impulse amongst those same great men against a large standing military.
- One must assert the right of a sovereign nation to self-determination, unless one doesn’t agree with what is eventually determined.
- One must never cede to the state even an angstrom of the civil liberties guaranteed in our founding documents, unless the state assures one that it for one’s own safety.
- One must advocate the right to bear arms, but must clamor for the confiscation of weapons from people in other countries.
- One must rage against any attempt by those bastards in the federal government, in their haughty disdain for the common man and his “uneducated choices,” to mold society via authoritarian fiat, unless they are acting as “our bastards” and exporting authoritarian government overseas.
- One must believe in the sanctity of life and that life begins at conception, but must also be totally okay with the eventuality of pregnant women as “collateral damage.”
- One must advance the ideal of government frugality, but one must never deny any expense request the military-industrial complex may make, no matter how extravagant.
- One must sit atop his Hayekian high horse and decry government intervention in domestic economic processes, but must embrace the involuntary imposition of American-style consumerism upon those in foreign lands.
- Never trust “big government,” unless the same leviathan tells us whom we must see as our enemies, i.e. who we must all fear, and yet ideate about killing.
- One must defend against the onslaught of the secularist rabble on thoroughgoing theists, unless one finds secularism as currently expedient in another country.
- Last but not least, one must live by the truism that one ought “do unto others that which you would have them do unto you,” unless you don’t feel like it and the “others” live in a different country.
See a pattern? Neoconservatism espouses support for life, liberty, and property, but when push comes to shove, it actually shares progressivism’s desire to use government to remake society.
Writing Tips by Henry Miller, Elmore Leonard, Margaret Atwood, Neil Gaiman & George Orwell
Henry Miller (from Henry Miller on Writing)
1. Work on one thing at a time until finished.
2. Start no more new books, add no more new material to “Black Spring.”
3. Don’t be nervous. Work calmly, joyously, recklessly on whatever is in hand.
4. Work according to the program and not according to mood. Stop at the appointed time!
5. When you can’t create you can work.
6. Cement a little every day, rather than add new fertilizers.
7. Keep human! See people; go places, drink if you feel like it.
8. Don’t be a draught-horse! Work with pleasure only.
9. Discard the Program when you feel like it–but go back to it the next day. Concentrate. Narrow down. Exclude.
10. Forget the books you want to write. Think only of the book you are writing.
11. Write first and always. Painting, music, friends, cinema, all these come afterwards.
George Orwell (From Why I Write)
1. Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
2. Never use a long word where a short one will do.
3. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
4. Never use the passive where you can use the active.
5. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
6. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.
Margaret Atwood (originally appeared in The Guardian)
1. Take a pencil to write with on aeroplanes. Pens leak. But if the pencil breaks, you can’t sharpen it on the plane, because you can’t take knives with you. Therefore: take two pencils.
2. If both pencils break, you can do a rough sharpening job with a nail file of the metal or glass type.
3. Take something to write on. Paper is good. In a pinch, pieces of wood or your arm will do.
4. If you’re using a computer, always safeguard new text with a memory stick.
5. Do back exercises. Pain is distracting.
6. Hold the reader’s attention. (This is likely to work better if you can hold your own.) But you don’t know who the reader is, so it’s like shooting fish with a slingshot in the dark. What fascinates A will bore the pants off B.
7. You most likely need a thesaurus, a rudimentary grammar book, and a grip on reality. This latter means: there’s no free lunch. Writing is work. It’s also gambling. You don’t get a pension plan. Other people can help you a bit, but essentially you’re on your own. Nobody is making you do this: you chose it, so don’t whine.
8. You can never read your own book with the innocent anticipation that comes with that first delicious page of a new book, because you wrote the thing. You’ve been backstage. You’ve seen how the rabbits were smuggled into the hat. Therefore ask a reading friend or two to look at it before you give it to anyone in the publishing business. This friend should not be someone with whom you have a romantic relationship, unless you want to break up.
9. Don’t sit down in the middle of the woods. If you’re lost in the plot or blocked, retrace your steps to where you went wrong. Then take the other road. And/or change the person. Change the tense. Change the opening page.
10. Prayer might work. Or reading something else. Or a constant visualisation of the holy grail that is the finished, published version of your resplendent book.
Neil Gaiman (read his free short stories here)
2. Put one word after another. Find the right word, put it down.
3. Finish what you’re writing. Whatever you have to do to finish it, finish it.
4. Put it aside. Read it pretending you’ve never read it before. Show it to friends whose opinion you respect and who like the kind of thing that this is.
5. Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong.
6. Fix it. Remember that, sooner or later, before it ever reaches perfection, you will have to let it go and move on and start to write the next thing. Perfection is like chasing the horizon. Keep moving.
7. Laugh at your own jokes.
8. The main rule of writing is that if you do it with enough assurance and confidence, you’re allowed to do whatever you like. (That may be a rule for life as well as for writing. But it’s definitely true for writing.) So write your story as it needs to be written. Write it honestly, and tell it as best you can. I’m not sure that there are any other rules. Not ones that matter.
Check out the rest of the authors’ advice at OpenCulture
1. Carry a pen and paper with you. I know, writers say this a lot, but this is useful and there’s truth in it. When an idea occurs to you, you’ll need to have resources to jot them down. You won’t be able to memorize them. Believe me.
2. Learn vocabulary. That’s what the dictionaries are for….
Breakfast at Tiffany’s is the single greatest movie of all time.