Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Proletarian Chess. The rook guards the pawn.

Here's a chess variation we played in Santa Cruz...

Robert and Professor Law played a Leninist version of chess. The pieces and the board were basically the same (no bishops were used, of course, as religious figures were the first casualty of the revolution) but instead of the traditionally bourgeois goal to trap the all important King, Robert had suggested we play a more egalitarian game, something more in accordance with our political goals. So, all the pawns were positioned on the back row and the rest of the pieces guarded them. The object was to take the last of your opponent’s pawns. We called it Proletarian Chess and boisterously declared traditional chess capitalist propaganda.

Robert: “Pawns are the working class. They are not to be sacrificed for the sake of one feudal King. Fuck the King. Let him fight for once! You lose a King and you lose one guy who can move one space. The King doesn’t do shit. The whole history of chess describes the inverted priorities of mankind. The king moves backwards but the pawns only move forward. See? Karl Marx understood this! It should be the knights and rooks and queens of the world who are elected to sacrifice themselves for the good of the population, to protect the working man. Instead the proletarian is drafted to the front line where he is victimized on the black and white battle ground. Our chess games represent a quantum leap in human sociology.”

There was another variation called "Revolution Chess" where one player had only pawns and the other player had all the other pieces (even those mystical wizards). The proletarian side had to capture both kings and the bourgeois side had to capture every pawn. But that variation really was very hard to play and was more symbolic than anything...symbolic of how the working man gets screwed every day.

Survival of the fittest...

"REVIEW | Missing Pieces: Amiel’s “Creation” Lacks Sense of Awe

...the scientific discoveries responsible for Darwin’s lasting fame remain in the shadows to leave room for...abstract conundrums, resulting in a dry period piece missing crucial information."

A biopic of Charles Darwin?? And I couldn't give away my script of Thoreau. So unjust. Although as I read through the review I couldn't help think this is what the review of a movie based on my script would sound like...bad bad bad.
"Walden fails to deliver any appreciation of nature. Watching it while eating popcorn felt wrong. Preachy, too self-aware. Go watch a national geographic video instead...Thoreau remains an enigma...etc."

I like to think it would improve if only someone paid me $80,000 to write it. But that's not true. There would eleven people telling me what should be in the script. It would just get worse and worse until you end up with something that lacks sense of awe. But I'm trying Henry, I'm really trying. Your turn will come.
I sometimes think it should just be a silent movie. Or maybe Thoreau is dead and walks the land. Or a talking rabbit escorts the audience through Walden. Or we all watch hippies take apart buildings brick by brick and plant trees...

Haiti still needs help

I'm going to play this song but I spent today wandering around in a blizzard looking for work. I'm very close to taking a sign to home depot. "Will work"


I was the only pedestrian in the two foot snow drifts, crawling under broken branches in search of the school district. See, because I can not drive my van to a school admin. office. not if I want a job. So I walked. And the van is a death trap in the snow anyway.

Then I walked to a car dealership because they were looking for a lot attendant. I gotta get some money coming in. This is insane. Everyone and their mother is on unemployment. Food stamps. unemployment. But you got kids working at dunkin donuts, making coffee. Can't I do that?

But the dealership is past where the sidewalk ends so I'm way way out on the edge of town up to my knees in snow trying to walk there. Almost ended up on the lake to hitch a ride from a snowmobile. But I turned around and went to the library to read the help wanted ads. Then I read a writer magazine and it must've worked because I came back here and read some of the Santa Cruz book and I know why it doesn't work. It's a summary. I'm trying to take a shortcut to the end because I'm running out of time. I'm not savoring the development of the Hannah Montana crusade and the guy named Blar who would not touch you if you had eaten meat and a guy who wore aluminum foil on his head and also a guy who lived in a van (freak!) and said Stephen King killed John Lennon. That was his thing. Stephen King needed to be arrested for killing John Lennon. He was dead serious and went to jail many times instead of shutting up. He had a big mouth and was so annoying. He would eat at the Food Not Bombs meals and proselytize about Stephen King being a murderer. His whole proof was this grainy picture of Mark David Chapman that looked like Stephen King. Proof! But we had so many other problems than who killed John Lennon. Christ, I lost the sight in one eye and also had a deformed foot.!These are the details that I want to get to in the natural course of the disaster I'm trying to plot out. But when I start trying to sum it all up then it's not good. But now it'll be different because I'm going to build with little blocks. No more big blocks. I'm Russian. Tolstoy! Dostoyevski built with little blocks. That's why his books are still around 150 years later.
I guess an example would be…

Blar kneeled in the corner of the community garden near the compost pile, contentedly brushing dust back into his own footprints. He wore a muslin head wrap and a bed sheet skirt tucked between his legs like Gandhi. He mumbled in a thick and mysterious accent, “Fix th’ ‘ole in th’ eart’. Blar fix when he walk. No trace. No trace of Blar in th’ worm world.” It took him an hour to walk the twenty yards from one end of the community garden to the other. Blar took one step backwards, kneeled on a doubled over piece of curtain, mumbled, “Eart’ forgive I.” and set about pushing dust into the barely visible imprints of his cloth slippers.

here’s the Haiti song…

(sort of sung to the tune of Gilligan's Island)

Haiti is part of an island

The other part is the Dominican Republic

An earthquake destroyed Haiti

But the French are also to blame

The French are also to blame.

You see the French were slave trading monsters

They sold Haiti’s natural resources

They turned a jewel into a cess pool

Then America exploited what was left

America exploited what was left.

So Haiti was the poorest nation in the world

Because they’d been robbed for 200 years

Then an earthquake destroyed their slums

Now everyone seems to care

Now everyone seems to care.

Let’s sing a song for Haiti

The country time forgot

Give your dime to Haiti

Then go smoke your pot

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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.