On the road to Cincinnati, World Cup looming, and the time warp of the four day work week.

Friday, Finally:  May 30, 2014

-Keeping this one brief, as I’m heading south to Cincinnati today.  Our men in rouge and gold travel for their first road game of the season to the big city nearest the home of my little sister and her family.  The last time I made one of these kind of runs was back in the day when the Detroit Vipers of the International Hockey League traveled to Cincy to beat up on the Cincinnati Cyclones, time and time again.  It appears a few of the Northern Guard Supporters will be making the trip.  Still, if I am the only DCFC fan at the game, it will be more fans than Cincinnati sent up to Detroit back on May 10th.  DCFC has a 3-0-0 record, and have yet to concede a goal.

– Speaking of soccer, it’s less than two weeks away from the start of the World Cup.  Almost a full month of daily soccer starting with 32 teams and concluding with the World Cup Final on July 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro.  To many, soccer is a religion.  Does this mean we should have a worldwide international holiday during this month?

– Does anyone else experience four-day work weeks like I do?  Due to the Memorial Day holiday, Tuesday felt like Monday to me, but then Wednesday felt like Thursday to me.  I was ready for it to be Friday yesterday morning, but instead, another Thursday happened.  Weird.

– What are you reading this weekend?  I’m close to finishing Ted Morgan’s biography of Somerset Maugham.  I’m also close to finishing the collection of essays, How Can You Represent Those People? edited by Abbe Smith and Monroe H. Freedman.

-Quote for the week:
“Strange as it may seem, I grew to like to defend men and women charged with crime.  It soon came to be something more than the winning or losing of the case.  I sought to learn why one goes one way and another takes an entirely different road.  I became vitally interested in the causes of human conduct.  This meant more than the quibbling with lawyers and juries…I was dealing with life, with its hopes and fears, its aspirations and despairs.  With me it was going to the foundation of motive and conduct and adjustments for human beings, instead of blindly talking of hatred and vengeance, and that subtle, indefinable quality that men call ‘justice’ and of which nothing really is known.”  Clarence Darrow.

Have a great weekend!

Detroit soccer fanatics celebrate a Detroit City FC goal at Cass Tech High School, Detroit, 2012.  Photo by Michael Kitchen
Detroit soccer fanatics celebrate a Detroit City FC goal at Cass Tech High School, Detroit, 2012. Photo by Michael Kitchen
Photo by Michael Kitchen
Photo by Michael Kitchen

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It’s not about the money.

I was thumbing through an old journal when I came across this interesting entry.

While I still was running Waking Up in December, 2006, a friend of mine suggested that I seek out paid writing work.  I had an abundance of time in the store when no customers were around.  I mentioned that I had begun working on a project.  He asked if it was a paying project and I said no, that it was the novel I’ve always wanted to write.  He quoted someone as saying that every person has a great novel within them, but in most cases, it should stay within them.

I’m glad I didn’t take that advice.

And you shouldn’t take it, either.

Being compensated financially for one’s writing is something that is merited.  If a writer puts in the effort, she should be compensated by her readers who partake in the enjoyment of her work.  However, to me, that is secondary.  Writing to get paid is capitalist rhetoric.  Getting paid for one’s writing is freedom.

For the disadvantages and dangers of the author’s calling are offset by an advantage so great as to make all its difficulties, disappointments, and maybe hardships, unimportant.  It gives him spiritual freedom.  To him life is a tragedy and by his gift of creation he enjoys the catharsis, the purging of pity and terror, which Aristotle tells us it the object of art.  For his sins and his follies, the unhappiness that befalls him, his unrequited love, his physical defects, illness, privation, his hopes abandoned, his griefs, humiliations, everything is transformed by his power into material, and by writing it he can overcome it.  Everything is grist to his mill, from the glimpse of a face in the street to a war that convulses the civilized world, from the scent of a rose to the death of a friend.  Nothing befalls him that he cannot transmute into a stanza, a song, or a story, and having done this be rid of it.  The artist is the only free man.

W. Somerset Maugham The Summing Up

Photograph by Michael Kitchen
Photograph by Michael Kitchen