I am usually shocked when receiving praise for my writing. I would not be shocked if someone said, “Mr. Bacon, I knew a writer. He was a friend of mine. Mr. Bacon, you are no writer.” All my life I have been an avid reader, and admire those who can actually write. As a writer I think of myself in the same way I think of Dubious Dave Kraft, a career class “B” player good enough to have crossed into the “A” class. One time the Legendary Georgia Ironman was at the Dube’s apartment, a place we called the “Love Shack.” The Ironman was showing the Dube and I one of his games from a recent tournament, a game Tim had won. While analyzing the Dubious wonder continually kept making outlandishly ridiculous suggestions, some so inept they would lose a piece, or worse. “Come on Dave, that’s absurd,” Tim would say. After half an hour of this the Dube found a move for Tim’s opponent. It was a killer and if played it would have brought the Ironman’s house down. Try as he might, the Ironman could not refute Dubious Dave’s move. Dave got up from the board and did his best impression of Gene Wilder, in the movie with co-star Richard Pryor “Stir Crazy,” when they entered jail and were strutting around saying, “We bad. We BAD!” It was hilarious. This was more than the Ironman could take, so he left in a huff.
Marlene Dietrich said, “I love quotations because it is a joy to find thoughts one might have, beautifully expressed with much authority by someone recognized wiser than oneself.” I too have always had an affinity for quotations. F. Scott Fitzgerald said, “You don’t write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say.” I cannot recall the exact quote, but it went something like, “One must speak up as otherwise the universe will not know you exist.” Harriet Martineau said, “Readers are plentiful; thinkers are rare.” I spend a great deal of time thinking, and am thankful to have people read, and hopefully discuss, my thoughts. John Kenneth Galbraith said, “The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking.” Paul Valery said, “That which has always been accepted by everyone, everywhere, is almost certain to be false.”
If I write what is expected readers will not think because I will have given them nothing about which to cogitate. With that in mind I cannot help but think of a quote from Malaclypse the Younger, “‘Tis an ill wind that blows no minds.”
Every writer has his critics, which reminds me of another quote, “Asking a working writer what he thinks about critics is like asking a lamppost how it feels about dogs.” Christopher Hampton said that, bless his heart!
I will admit being stung when reading a reply to my post which was posted on the USCF website, “What Constitutes a “Serious Game?” (http://www.uschess.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=20054&sid=ab4e81666a42c1a494cd3f3cdb98879e), when Thomas Magar wrote, ” Otherwise, just shut up and watch.” Reading that hit me like a cold slap in the face. In another time and different circumstances, say the decade before the War For Southern Independence, circa 1856, and Mr. Magar and I were in the US Congress and Senate, it might cause one to take up a cane, as Congressman Preston S. Brooks of South Carolina did when he strode into the United States Senate Chamber in Washington, D.C., and began beating Senator Charles Sumner with a gold-topped walking cane. (see: The Caning: The Assault That Drove America to Civil War by Stephen Puleo)
In the epilogue (“The text in the epilogue by Mikhail Tal was taken from the article ‘The puzzle that is Tal’ The manuscript was given in autumn 1993 by the then 77 year old trainer and friend of the eighth World Chess Champion Alexander Koblents to the co-author of this book Raymond Stolze for publication”), titled, “An unbroken love for chess,” by Mikhail Tal, in the five star book, “The Magic Tactics of Mikhail Tal,” by Karsten Muller & Raymond Stolze, Misha writes:
“Chess is my world. It is not a house or a fortress in which I barricade myself against human cares, but the world which I enjoy to the full, because I am active in it. I love the atmosphere of tournaments, the matches and last but not least discussions about the art of chess, although not everyone is of the same opinion. Many of my friends, perhaps the majority of them, do not play chess or only have a lay person’s understanding of it. And yet I have above all one thing in common with them-the love of chess! And in this sense we grandmasters are necessary for them-just as they are for us…”
This is the best answer ever given to a critic:
Bob Dylan – Ballad Of A Thin Man (Vinyl rip)