Heavenly Light

Heavenly Light
Read to see the light

Monday, April 01, 2013

Selected Anecdotes part 1: From, "THE SELECTED MORDANT, MISCHIEVOUS, and SOMETIMES METAPHYSICAL MUSINGS of J. Bell"

With hashtags and social media rampant its hard to compose a full sentence these days. I remember when I started blogging and my grandfather, a notable writer, professor, journalist and "Self-Styled Liberal" couldn't quite fathom the 'uncanny' nature of an unedited piece of written garbage. "You can just post whatever you want."  I told him, and I loved the idea, an ardent writing instructor, he wasn't amused by my lack of virtue and respect for the written word.

So I took some time off.  And I still haven't edited.   I would like to, but more importantly I would like to write, again. Inspired by the man who mentored me my whole life, its time to write again in that same old blog non-sense he hated.  Writing is alive, we use it in the present context, does that still count for blog posts?

What inspires someone to write something more than witty hashtags and photos uploaded onto a stream-matrix of smartphone frenzy? For me it is life.  Recently, I took the train home on my hiatus between quitting two jobs to start a new one. Yep, I spent 32 hours from Emeryville to Denver on Amtrak. I was curious who rode trains. People from all walks of life ride trains. Some for the scenery, some because they have the time, some to get to a certain place at the right time, etc. Alas, the characters on trains and the conversations can fill pages of empty blogs, and I shall write those, in due time. Train rides aside, I spent some time in my childhood room that my mother has now converted into a pretty sweet 'hotel-esque' suite. Yep, my childhood room transformed, boxes and books that made the cut, set out on bookshelves. A history of our family, photo albums and yearbooks coupled with a sense of modern comfort (I think she could do quite well on Airbnb.com if she listed it). There were many things that I had to keep and many things to throw away, and little I could take back to my one bedroom apartment in San Francisco. However, two things caught my eye that I pilfered for the time being, one of them being,

 THE SELECTED 

MORDANT, MISCIEVOUS, 

and SOMETIMES METAPHYSICAL 

MUSINGS of     

J. Bell

 

I have only begun to read these literary tipples and have already found two anecdotes that I am proclaiming social network worthy.  We shall get to the point:

Believe it or not, there was a time when people stood up for something, wrote about it and it got published.  In my Gradfather's (J. Bell) article, "Getting in the ol' liberal mood again," he comments on the state of politics in Orange County post-communism, "There were no grays, and people didn't have to think." He writes, "We had suddenly been deprived of our Devil. But Americans are resourceful, and Orange Countians are especially resourceful.  We came up with new devils.
  Homosexuality and aborton."

Now, the nature of my blog article hinges on a photocopied piece of paper inserted into the flap of J. Bell's "Musings." On a page entitled "readers respond" (Yes, no capitals)a man by the name of B. Wilson writes, 

"I have a comment this morning about the writing of Joseph Bell.  
    He supposedly is touted as an award-winning journalist and longtime UCI writing instructor. He begins sentences with "and" and "but."  His punctuation and grammar are very poor.
    An example, there's a sentence in his article this morning, "Homosexuality and abortion." 
That is not a complete sentence.  Please instruct him to use correct grammar and set a good example for your readers."

This guy wants the newspaper to instruct the instructor.  Just a thought Mr. Wilson, my Grandfather's "sentence" in his article, you know the one, "Homosexuality and abortion," is actually a paragraph. 

So put that in your literary pipe and smoke it.  Yes, its true, my grandfather has been instructing the written word  at UCI for many years, and for better or for worse he has been instructing me my whole life. Mr. Bell wrote a column many years as well and I am excited I can look into his work, his "MORDANT, MISCHIEVOUS and SOMETIMES METAPHYSICAL MUSISINGS."  The newspaper doesn't capitalize his name and he does start sentences with "and" and "but."  But, he doesn't teach it, in fact, he probably shakes his head if he were to see it.  But, I don't care.  My grandfather once wrote a whole paragraph in three words, "Homosexuality and abortion."


I remember my grandfather always wrote in Courier.  And, by the looks of it, he attempted to print it as well...