Monday, August 15, 2005

Seeing New American Things

I'm back from Alabama and it was a fun trip. I saw a few creatures I'd never seen before. Chief among these was The Hummingbird, a totally awe-inspiring piece of engineering as it goes about the refined business of feeding from the flowers and drinking sugar water from the feeder.

The other new creature was a possum, or an opossum, to give them the correct name. In appearance, the opossum bears a facial resemblance to late-period Barbara Cartland, the rest of its form being reminiscent of a large white-haired rat. This ugly beastie appeared on the step around sunset and started eating the cat's food. I informed Steve that the possum had arrived, Steve did the rest. He flipped open the door, aimed and fired, his rifle sending 4 shots into our white-haired guest.

I am back now and preparing for the in-depth training session at the bookstore. Thanks to everyone who has wished me luck.

Oh, STUPID PEOPLE Alert, this comment in today's Washington Times

"... when she [Eudora Welty] said that politics and fiction don't, or shouldn't, mix, she was right."

*** my message to the writer of this ***

Enjoyed the Washington Post review. However, the sentence,

"when she said that politics and fiction don't, or shouldn't, mix, she was right."

While this may be true of Welty's fiction, to state this in a generalised way, as you do, is to dismiss so many great works of fiction that it's hard to believe you're given the platform to espouse on writing at all. Maybe it was an oversight.

jason kennedy


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6:00 PM  
Blogger Claypot said...

Hee hee! I just love when you exercise your right to reply. So cutting, so witty, so right. It rocks.

3:14 AM  
Blogger kingfelix said...

comment-spamming scumbags, please excuse them

2:31 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

Political fiction writers right off the top of my head: Aldous Huxley, George Orwell, Mark Twain, William Shakespeare, Sinclaire Lewis, Upton Sinclaire for that matter, Doris Lessing, Zora Neal Hurston ...

Gee ... just about every other great writer I can think of was political. Hmm.

5:40 PM  
Blogger kingfelix said...

Thanks, Jim, you're right. in fact, every fiction has a political dimension, particularly when it is seen as being "the least political" or "non-political" -> ie: when it functions as simple entertainment and enables people to "escape" or "switch off"

as the late great bill hicks used to frame entertainment to show its political dimension ->

"Go back to sleep America, here, keep watching American Gladiators, go back to sleep America, everything's okay..."

Not sure why you have those rogue "e's" on Sinclair Lewis and Upton Sinclair, but i like them, it could be some brand new eccentricity you've started, Jim

10:54 PM  
Blogger HF said...

hmm. I wonder why no one comments on the killing of the Opossum. Is everything arriving on the doorstep without prior anouncement being shot? Or only things that resemble Barbara Cartland? Is there a war between Possums and humans and if so why? I just think that the decision whether to kill an animal or not is an even more immediate political act than writing can ever be. And no I'm neither a vegetarian nor an animal rights activist. I just think it's about f***ing time that humans start to perceive themselves within the wider context of creation and not just go round exercising their power "because they can". So please let me hear the verdict that stated the Opossum had to die...

4:30 AM  
Blogger kingfelix said...


i kind of agree. steve gets some criticism from everyone else for his carryings-on. the verdict here was reached because of the following:

there were 4 possums in the garden, humane traps were laid and 2 were caught and moved a mile or so away for release into the woods. the other 2 evaded capture and became large enough that 1) the traps were no longer any use as the possums were too big, and 2) the possums were attacking the cats

this is the basis upon which the remaining two possums were shot.

i'm not someone who would advocate needless executions. however, while on someone else's property, i have to respect them exercising their legal right to deal with pests. that the possum died with a moutful of stolen catfood in its mouth was a final confirmation of its parasitic tendencies...

11:42 AM  

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