Saturday, November 25, 2006

"Fools' Crusade" Housekeeping, and some final thoughts on Chapter Two

I had not meant to let two weeks pass without posting. I wish I could report that I have thoroughly edited and corrected my posts so far; that, however, is not the case. I have only begun proofreading the Word document versions of my "Fools' Crusade" extended review/critique/expose, let alone transferring those corrections to the posted, online versions. I don't know when I'll finish the job. I've been busy with other things. I finally started writing a novel the week before last.

However, I'll continue plugging away at the rewrite process. In the meantime, I have saved all my posts so far into three Word documents (one for the introduction, one apiece for Chapters one and two) which I'd be happy to email to anyone who wants them now. You'll have to accept them warts and all, however. I can't promise I'll be done cleaning them up before, say, Christmas, although I'll try.


I have ordered a new copy of "Fools' Crusade" through interlibrary loan, and I expect it to arrive sometime in the next week. I will begin working on Chapter Three as soon as I have it. Originally I had hoped to finish this project by the end of January; unless I pick up the pace considerably, I don't see that happening. The extra time I spent on Chapter Two and my two-week hiatus have put me behind schedule. Not a major problem, except that there are some other books and articles I'd like to write about. I'm itching to deal with the issues in "Bosnia After Dayton" by Sumantra Bose, for example. And with Kosovo back in the news, the status of Republika Srpska is certain to become an urgent matter.

That said, I vow to be as thorough in the remaining three chapters as I was for the first two and introduction. I have somewhere between 90-100 pages of text saved in Word from the blog so far, and considering how sloppy the prose sometimes is--not to mention my atrocious spelling, a shortcoming I've long since resigned myself to (I can't explain it, it's just a fact--I'm a terrible speller)--the work of reshaping my long, meandering response to this horrid book into something more concise and focused seems daunting enough, and I'm only halfway done with the 'rough draft.' But, after all, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step...I've no idea how many steps I've taken to this point.


As for final thoughts on Chapter Two...where to begin? Johnstone's petty and disproportionate focus on decontextualized legalisms is so obtuse and removed from any flesh-and-blood connection to the specifics of reality, it became difficult at times to even find a place to tether my counter-arguments. I constantly felt that for every point she offered, I was obliged to re-visit old ground yet again, and to reiterate what should have been an accepted body of fact and evidence. Her assumptions existed on a foundation so dubious that to take her arguments at face value is almost to concede defeat; her task was seemingly not to win her point to drag the discussion back to a level where simple facts and fundamental common sense were themselves in question.

We'll see how Chapter Three goes. Check back here in a few days.


Owen said...

interesting to see that Johnstone's idiosyncratic approach to truth and reality has inspired you to embark on a work of fiction too!

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Johnson,

Sir, here is a message I wrote for your dear, beloved Islamist Nazi friend and foul-mouthed gutter profanity spewing supporter and - of course - "revisionist" DENIER of Islamist Nazi genocide perpetrated against Chrsitians and Jews in Bosnia, Kosovo & Israel:

"Daniel Lam", the only real Srebrenica genocide "denier" and "revisionist" on the internet is YOU with your foul-mouthed,full of your COWARDLY gutter and toilet profanity "anonymous" messages you kept leaving on Neil Craig's blogs as well as my own - until we banned your peurile "anonymous" gutter filth and profanity.

You are all over the web giving us your version of events in defense of your "heroes": the genocidal Islamist Nazi Izetbegovic and Naser Oric - whom you defend by DENYING that both ever perpetrated any kind of massacres against thousands of Serbian civilians in Srebrenica from 1992 to 1995 - as well as massacres against their own fellow moderate Non-Islamist & anti-Fascist muslims led by Fikret Abdic - along with those "revisionist" friends of Islamist Nazi terrorists in Iraq & Afghanistan: the traitorous Liberal-Leftist media, who hate President Bush with a passion because of his war on Islamist terror worldwide and nominal support of Israel.

I note how both you and your Islamist friends on the web have taken the REAL "revisionist" version of events spewed forth by the Islamist Nazis against Israel and US forces in Iraq - accusing both Israel and the US of "genocide" and "war crimes" against Arab civilians whilst totally ignoring the Islamist Nazi genocides and terror bombings perpetrated by your Islamist Jihadist Nazi friends in Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Your hatred of Israel and the Jews, your foul mouthed gutter profanity against those whom disagree with your Islamo-Fascist views and your staunch support of Islamist Nazi terrorists in Bosnia such as Naser Oric against civilian Chritian Orthodox Serbs and likewise your support for the enemies of Israel - the suicide bombers and terrorists like Hamas, Hezbollah, PLO/Fatah et al, speaks volumes about your character and who the REAL genocide "denier" and "revisionist" truly is.

What the Liberal-Leftist media do not show about the so-called "beautiful religion" of Islam:
It is quite clear from your blog, whom has REALLY drunk the so-called "revisionist" Kool-Aid in defense of Islamist Nazi terror and genocide against Christians & Jews: YOU, Mr. Johnson.

Kirk Johnson said...

Find me one, single instance of anti-Semitic writing in my blog, Mr. North. ONE. By your own admission, you are merely sending me a copy of a letter you sent to someone else. Am I to be held accountable for other people's views? Am I responsible for what other bloggers post and say? Is this all you have to say to me and about my blog--that someone else, who, yes, I have linked to in my blog, has made comments you find objectionable?

Interesting that you seem to know how I feel about the war in Iraq as well. You might not realize that I actually support the US war in Iraq, and that I supported Israel's war against Hezbollah in Lebanon. Did you know that? Of course not. You were too busy dreaming up paranoid fantasies of far-right "Islamists" cooking up conspiracies against you and your comrades.

You have made an ass of yourself in your comments here. You lump me in with other people, ascribe view to me which I do not, in reality, hold, and demonstrated that you have not, in reality, read much of my blog. You do not know what you are talking about.

Kirk Johnson said...

For anyone else reading this "exchange," I would warn you against clicking on any of Mr. North's blogs unless you have a high tolerance for:

1) picture after picture of decomposed bodies; Mr. North is obviously a fetishist for this sort of thing; and

2) dishonest and deliberately biased propaganda.

Mr. North is a hate-filled liar and a hysterical buffoon. I have had my issues with some of Daniel's comments in his blog, but Mr. North's answer is so over-the-top and fantastical it's impossible to take him seriously.

Shaina said...

Kirk, onto a much more happier topic: what is your novel about?

I used to do a lot of writing, and I even had teachers tell me that I should pursue creative writing, but I haven't written any fiction stories in many years. And to tell you the truth, I feel that my creative juices are pretty much dried up by now! Although I suppose I just need to get back into the groove of things Anyways, good luck on the novel.

Shaina said...

And Kirk, if you ever needed some motivation as to why it is important to continue reading & analysing Johnstone's work; I suppose this "discussion" that is taking place on your comment page should be enough motivation.

Kirk Johnson said...

Thanks for the interest, Shaina.

The novel is a noir, told in first person. The main character is a loser, a college dropout in a small midwestern college city who is stuck in a slowly-descending rut; he's on probation for assault (he was stalking his ex-girlfriend and got the worst of it from her new boyfriend) and is supplementing his income with series of petty robberies, mostly from small businesses.

An old female friend from his college days returns; she really doesn't miss him so much as hope he can help find their mutual friend who has vanished. He, of course, had always had unrequited crush/lust for her.

I think you can see where the plot is going. It's not terribly original, although I like the twist that while she is relying on the main character to help her solve the mystery of their missing friend, she is unaware of what a stranger he really is; he keeps the reality of his current life from her. She has no idea that he's a crook with anger management issues bordering on misogyny.

What do you think of that? And aren't you only 22? Isn't it a little early to be throwing in the towel on YOUR writing?

Owen said...

Well said, Shaina. Kirk, you should consider the fact that you've inspired the comments from those two beauties as a badge of honour.