I enjoyed doing haiku with the semi-flex nib so much, I decided I wanted to do some with my 0.9mm Pendleton Point stub as well. For reasons why I think this is a good idea compared to a vanilla writing sample as far as geting a feel for what the nib can do, see the preface to any one of my Flexible Haiku entries. (see how I cleverly and subtly tried to trick you into reading more of my haiku, there? Subtle. Subtle and clever.)
Not much to say about writing with a stub as far as technique (I think I’ve rambled about how best to angle the nib elsewhere), though I will say that I think you definitely get better line variation if you can write fast. Your handwriting will be a bit wonkier (okay, sloppier), but I imagine that will improve with practice. On the plus side, the speed means you’ll put down less ink and the line variation between the horizontal and vertical strokes will be more striking.
Original Posting Date: November 15, 2010
Admittedly, this one is a bit more involved for the reader, I think … It requires a bit of English Literature, political, and social history before it makes
more any sense. If you want an explanation, let me know in the comments. I also continue to shamelessly abuse the apostrophe to comply with the syllable rules.
Okay. Well, bit of an embarrassing admission here. I cannot remember why I wrote this, or what inspired me to do it. I’m not very happy with my original commentary, either. It seems to indicate I didn’t really know why I was writing it when I did it, either–or at least I couldn’t come up with a good way of explaining it. Looks like I was stalling for time while I tried to figure out exactly what I was trying to say.
In hindsight, I think I was trying to comment on the supposed erosion of a unified version of collective morality–what popular media keeps trying to tell us we’ve lost somewhere along the way–and why it is in fact a good and necessary thing.
Let me go through this and see if I can figure out what I was up to. As I wrote the text below, the meaning came back to me. I still think I was being too subtle or indirect for most readers to have gotten everything I was trying to say, which is purely a failure on my part. It’s not cleverness if you fail to get your point across. At any rate, here’s what I was going for.
Stanza 1: Those afraid of social change often want to “rewind the world.”
Stanza 2: Gold doesn’t rust. Mores (the essential/characteristic customs and conventions of a community) that are gold and rustless would at first glance appear to be priceless and resistant to corrosion and change. President Nixon took the United States off the gold standard to, arguably, prevent the dollar’s collapse: the gold-based Bretton Woods system that had provided stability and growth in the aftermath of World War II had proven unsustainable and in fact harmful in the following decades as the rest of the world recovered its economic power and the United States began feeling the pressures of globalization. (See: “Nixon Shock” over at Wikipedia for details.) Beginning in the 1950s with the Civil Rights movement and continuing into 2010 with the LBGT rights movement and other causes, we have seen and continue to see our collective idea of what is moral and acceptable change and expand to recognize the equal rights of those groups that were formally persecuted and treated as immoral deviants. Consider as an example the fact that miscegenation (marriage between persons of different races) was once a crime in the United States until the Supreme Court case of Loving v. Virginia (1967). This and other advancements in civil rights came only because we as a society began acting through activists, legislatures, and the courts to take ourselves off outmoded, inflexible “gold standards” enshrining prejudice and bigotry that harmed us as we pursued equal and fair treatment for all.
Stanza 3: Here, it looks like I was giving examples of when adhering to supposed “gold standards” of morality did harm or condemned otherwise moral and upstanding persons. The Scarlet Letter is a classic tragedy of the suffocation of love in the face of a public whose rigid rules condemn and punish the protagonist for having the temerity to follow her heart and the bad luck of not having the political protections that shielded her lover from most of the fallout. Diana, Princess of Wales, was publicly and privately condemned by conservative elements in the United Kingdom following the disintegration of her marriage to Prince Charles for, among other things, a supposedly immoral violation of the relevant traditions and customs, and yet remained even after her death a globally beloved figure for her humanitarian work and legendary compassion.
So that’s it. Something at the time must have set me off enough to write out what I recognize as a very roundabout sort of rant, but without going back and looking at the news from November 2010 I couldn’t begin to guess what. Given that I imagine I was pretty steamed when I came up with it, I don’t think I’m going to go back and look at the archives. No reason to risk putting myself in a rotten mood again.
Rewind the world now?
Gold mores, rustless–Social Nixon!
Scarl’t A, Princess Di