Monday, June 21, 2010

Choirs and Quires


An idle cartoon from the days when most of the family sang in the choir, with the obligatory church mouse.

We weren't bad, actually. It was something to see a congregation rocked back on their heels when we thundered out "A Mighty Fortress." We had a good bass section.

One of the odds and ends that surfaced as I continue the archaelogical dig in my office.

Another was a twelve-year old newspaper clipping about an author being charged with uttering death threats--via a self-published book that outlined a man's plan to kill a wealthy relative. The novel was appropriately titled "The Return of the Family Idiot."

Usually authors, self-published or no, acquire legal problems of a different kind. Besides plagiarism, the most common being that a novel influenced people to commit crimes similar as those described within its pages--the life imitating art scenario. Lacking the devil these days, society needs to lay blame elsewhere. I suppose the modern sense of social responsibilty combines with a lingering Victorian concept that books should be improving, elevating and instructional to produce charges of this sort.

Still, death threats are usually directed against specific politicians and attorneys-general, general groups such as feminists, or domestic and business partners and usually communicated by letter, email or telephone. This is novel method of conveyance.

I wonder how many death threats the CEO of BP has already received.

18 comments:

raine said...

Oh my, I haven't seen that spelling ("quires") in a LONG time!

And yes, we're always searching for someone to blame (although the BP guy may invite it with his seeming arrogance).

I'm in countdown mode.
One week left, I believe?

laughingwolf said...

raine, we have a lit mag in canada: quill and quire ;)

i'm sure hayward has received many death threats, probably as many as his maroon of a boss who called americans 'small people'... rank hath its privileges, and i do mean really rank! GRRRRRRRR

sex scenes at starbucks, said...

If SILVER SCAR ever hits print, I expect lots of hate mail. It's religion based. A death threat could make for good press :)

Natasha Fondren said...

Really? That's something. Love the title. :-)

I miss leading church choir. Good times.

BernardL said...

That was certainly a unique way to make a threat - rather time consuming too. I'd have cooled off by the second chapter. :)

Bernita said...

Yep, one week, Raine!

Some really, really stupid, clueless and exacerbating comments out of them, LW.

Very likely, Betsy.
Of course, outrage is one thing and death threats quite another.
Unfortunately, there isn't anything I can see in D&D to excite that sort of reaction. Probably just as well, even though it does make for excellent press.

I think so, Natasha. Best part of church, for me.

Me, too, Bernard, if not long before!

laughingwolf said...

seems each time the super rich open their mouths, they prove their contempt for everyone else :(

fairyhedgehog said...

I love the cartoon!

I have to say that I'm relieved you're not anticipating death threats!

hampshireflyer said...

I hate reading about people who use their writing to make threats etc. It feels like it spoils it for the rest of us!

Bernita said...

Money does not encourage character, LW.

I don't anticipate nasty letters either, Fairy.No reason for a nutcase to single out D&D.

Alex, I didn't mean to disturb you. Readers expect writers to be a little odd.

starvingwritenow said...

Pleased to know you're not making death threats with your literature, lol!

Speaking of... my word verif today is "imalol".

I'm a laugh out loud?

Why not? It's better than being a crybaby, I guess!

Bernita said...

No, SWN, I just kill people in it.

Word vers. are now interesting. Have thought a list would be useful if one needed world building vocabulary for a fantasy novel

jason evans said...

99% of the time, I find litigation involving fiction a joke. Unfortunately, it still drags in the courts.

Bernita said...

Jason, I agree.
A superficial scan of media summation of various law suits (whether they originate from the pathetically deluded or from calculated effrontery) is enough to satisfy me, at least, that your figure is probably correct.

writtenwyrdd said...

Death threats did not harm Salomon rushdie's career, anyhow! I think that the tempest would be in a microteapot over your book. There's really nothing to offend the masses!

Love the cartoon!

Bernita said...

Not his career, just his quality of life.
Not that I can see, Written.

Whirlochre said...

Blimey. If I ever get published, it'll be a bloodbath.

Unless I can do something with the church mouse.

Bulldozing through a universe of sin, whiskers first.

An yet, with tail a-swishing, to beguile the emotional rubble left in its wake.

Hmmm. A little heavy.

OK — a choir of 200 squeaky mousies singing All Creatures Great And Small. With pom poms.

Bernita said...

Whirl, you will dazzle everyone with airy persiflage!