Midnight. Darkness. I remember the blue neonlights flashing by, the all night cafés, the truck stops. Autobahn by night, an old cliché.

What does it all mean?

Words are tricky

A mass murderer may very well talk in a polite, well mannered way, he may talk about the importance of human rights, he may tell everyody what would be morally right to do in any given situation. He may be nice looking, he may dress well, he may seem to be a perfectly ordinary man.

He may even become a member of a political party, do a lot of work there and become their leader, he may participate in debattes, he may be elected prime minister. When he is, he may still use exactly any words he chooses, including love, tolerance, rightousness. We can never know what he truly is, and no matter what words he uses, we may never know what he really means.

Just as you can never truly mean what I mean by these words.

The only protection any of us can ever hope to have against this, the only remedy we can really count on is our ability to make up our own minds. We can never know what anyone mean with their words, but we can listen to them and decide what we mean by them.

The only way any of us are going to keep that ability though is by constantly honing, tuining, practice it, and the only way we are going to be able to do that is if we live in a society that allows people to freely express their opinions.

This is why free speach and the open society is important, not because we need freedom of the press, not because it is democratic, not because we should be able to attack others religious belifs.

We have democracy because it is the best way we have thought of yet to garantee our freedom of speach, we have freedom of the press to help us train our ability to decide for ourselves, and we reserve the right to mock any religion or ethos since it is a biproduct of allowing the memebers of our society to think truly critical and free.

The girl in the woods

Since I'm not productive workwise for a while I started, finally, writing again!

I decieded to do it pulp-style, with no preconception, a minmum of planning. Michael Moorcock wrote some of the best stuff I've read, novels, in less than a week, so if he can I can. I amazed myself with my speed, so far I guess I have 45 or so odd pages (the aim is somewhere between 150 and 200), and they are not bad at all as far as I am concerned!

I am, of course, not the right person to decide this, so I try to portion it out to one friend and my wife, but as always it is hard to get people to read on demand. Anxiously I await their response, and somehow I seem to be unable to continue before I get their critique. What an odd thing that is...

The story is set in the imaginary world of Irea, or a seriously revised version thereof. This is a world I have been creating on and off since the mid 80s, and it has gone through a lot of different stages, some more juvenile than others, no doubt. This particular version revolves around a great empire on the verge of destruction. I am interested in the lack of insight the people living in such empires have when it comes to the state of their world.

The Romans, for instance, never thought that their empire would fall, the Byzantines thought of themselves largly as the rulers of the world, and oddly enough as Romans, for a long time. Todays historians write the death of the empire long before any of the people living in it, and people not living in it but jelously watching it from the outside ever thought it possible that it would fall.

I wonder what great empires there are today that are on the verge of destruction...

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