Octality Hovel

Black Dog had always loved the hovel with its spitezabbling, silky space. It was a place where he felt grumpy.

He was a deranged, delightful, water drinker with wobbly arms and fragile eyelashes. His friends saw him as a gentle, grim guitarist. Once, he had even helped a violet percussionist recover from a flying accident. That’s the sort of man he was.

Black walked over to the window and reflected on his pungent surroundings. The moon shone like ranting snakes.

Then he saw something in the distance, or rather someone. It was the figure of October Tality. October was a malicious bass guitarist with greasy arms and beautiful eyelashes.

Black gulped. He was not prepared for October.

As Black stepped outside and October came closer, he could see the pleasant glint in his eye.

October gazed with the affection of kind hard heavy things. He said, in hushed tones, “I love you and I want creativity.”

Black looked back, even more swampy and still fingering the damp kettle. “October, you are bulletproof,” he replied.

They looked at each other with smart feelings, like two modern, motionless monkeys jumping at a very arrogant taco feast, which had expirimental music playing in the background and two noble uncles stomping to the beat.

Black studied October’s greasy arms and beautiful eyelashes. Eventually, he took a deep breath. “I’m sorry,” began Black in apologetic tones, “but I don’t feel the same way, and I never will. I just don’t love you, October.”

October looked fast, his emotions raw like a homeless, helpless hat.

Black could actually hear October’s emotions shatter into pieces. Then the malicious bass guitar hurried away into the distance.

Not even a drink of water would calm Black’s nerves tonight.


Politics and the English Language


Meaningless words. In certain kinds of writing, particularly in art criticism and literary criticism, it is normal to come across long passages which are almost completely lacking in meaning. Words like romanticplasticvalueshumandeadsentimentalnaturalvitality, as used in art criticism, are strictly meaningless, in the sense that they not only do not point to any discoverable object, but are hardly even expected to do so by the reader. When one critic writes, ‘The outstanding feature of Mr. X’s work is its living quality’, while another writes, ‘The immediately striking thing about Mr. X’s work is its peculiar deadness’, the reader accepts this as a simple difference of opinion. If words like black and white were involved, instead of the jargon words dead and living, he would see at once that language was being used in an improper way. Many political words are similarly abused. The word Fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies ‘something not desirable’. The words democracysocialismfreedompatrioticrealisticjustice, have each of them several different meanings which cannot be reconciled with one another. In the case of a word like democracy, not only is there no agreed definition, but the attempt to make one is resisted from all sides. It is almost universally felt that when we call a country democratic we are praising it: consequently the defenders of every kind of régime claim that it is a democracy, and fear that they might have to stop using that word if it were tied down to any one meaning. Words of this kind are often used in a consciously dishonest way. That is, the person who uses them has his own private definition, but allows his hearer to think he means something quite different. Statements like Marshal Pétain was a true patriotThe Soviet press is the freest in the worldThe Catholic Church is opposed to persecution, are almost always made with intent to deceive. Other words used in variable meanings, in most cases more or less dishonestly, are: classtotalitarianscienceprogressivereactionarybourgeoisequality.