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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Critique/Review (for writers) (05/06/10)

TITLE: All the World's a Critic
By Linda Germain


Locked up doing twenty to life offers plenty of time to read, critique, and argue.

“Who wrote this stuff anyway, Jax…that Shakes-Beard fellow? Sounds like Uncle Junior’s stories after too much time drinkin’ in the moonshine.”

“Aw, Frankie, you ain’t give it no chance. You been reading comic books fer too long.”

“When that teacher feller comes back for group discussion, I’m gonna ast him if there ain’t maybe a movie version? I watch better’n I kin sound out words on a page.”

“Just clam up and read. What else ya’ got to do?”

If it’s on the syllabus…

“Hey Jules, have you finished that English assignment for Friday? Professor said to look for the poetry and disregard the point. I’ve read the same words over and over and still don’t get it. Let’s just drop out this semester and try it again later.”

“I don’t want to leave that class now, Buffy. He’s right. This magnificent poetry stirs the soul. Some of those old geezer writers were pretty cool, even for back then.”

“Well silly, they probably weren’t old when they wrote this garbled stuff. What do you think this sentence means?”

“No clue. Besides, we don’t have to understand what it means. That’s not important. Just appreciate the beauty of it.”

Maturity + Spiritual Insight = Understanding.

“Excuse me, Grandmother. I didn’t know you were reading. I’ll come back later.”

“Oh, please…stay. I’ll fix some tea and we can chat.”

“You’ve had that book for so long I’d think you’d be tired of it by now.”

“My dear, when a best seller is this good, new treasure will continue to be found between the lines.”

“Uh huh…well, it’s Greek to me.”

“Look, Sweetie, read what’s written here in red while I put the kettle on. I think you’ll be quite surprised.”

A super-slick magazine, brimming with pseudo-sophisticated prattle from extreme agendas, embraces controversy at every turn…because it sells.

“Sit down, Mr. Timmons. I’m puzzled by the strange review you’ve submitted for approval.”

“I realize you’re the Editor-in-Chief, but I was hired for my ability to critique the written word and say what I think.”

“Yes, that’s true, but this magazine’s circulation targets a specific segment of modern, thinking people who use their heads for more than a hat rack. Your sappy interpretation may bring howls of laughter, but certainly no accolades for any razor-sharp observations. This doesn’t sound like your usual jugular-stabbing opinion. What’s happened to you?”

“Uh…That’s what I wanted to tell you, Sir; that, and to give you my resignation.”

Historically, libraries have provided writings of every conceivable genre, style, and view. A new age arrived. Things changed.

“Can you help me? I can’t seem to find this book. Is it out of print?”

“You do realize, don’t you, Madam, that since the enforced Censorship Manifesto, the politically incorrect materials were purged from the system?”

“I live pretty far out in the country but I did hear something about a massive book burning and e-deletion. I assumed it had to do with that confusing redefinition of the first amendment.”

“Please wait here while I check another place. I’ll be right back.”

“Thanks. I appreciate it.”

“There she is, Captain. Another crazy one slipped through the radar. She claims she didn’t know the illegality of reading that inflammatory Bible twaddle. Do I get the posted reward for turning her in to Central?”

A gathering of believers, who remember the TRUTH, give comfort to the remnant.

“Why do we have to hide in a secret cave, Mama? Won’t the guards look for us?”

“I think God keeps them asleep when we gather to share the Book.”

“You mean like that heavy one about the new rules you and Daddy refuse to read?”

“Shh…No. Let’s whisper. Many of us who studied the Holy Scripture before it was against the law have memorized enough different parts to speak the WORD to each other in this hour of our need.”

Out of the murky darkness comes a familiar slither and hiss, confident he has perverted and misquoted enough to reign supreme.

“I had most of these people hooked by my negative reviews and interpretations of that ever-present book they think is so holy. Printed pages were burned, yet these speak as though they still have every chapter and verse. Victory was within my grasp before they discovered the truth. Their bright light is blinding me. The pain--The pain!

(“Who will recite next, friends? We must hurry.”)

Nehemiah 8:8 (NLT)
They read from the Book of the Law of God and clearly explained the meaning of what was being read, helping the people understand each passage.

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This article has been read 591 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Mona Purvis05/13/10
I like the progression in this piece. The ending gives us a lot to ponder and calls for action.
Good job.

Barbara Lynn Culler05/16/10
WOW! Heavy stuff. Scary too. I like the way you did the main points and provided examples.
Gregory Kane05/17/10
Some great points of view here. How we so need to read that book.
You threw me at first by your allusion to Shakespeare and I had to go back and re-read it once I realised you were talking about the Scriptures.
AnneRene' Capp05/17/10
VERY unique and insightful. This very issue has been sirring within me and now I KNOW to get busy! :)
Kristi Peifer05/17/10
Ooh, good stuff! I would love to see another story or a novel come from the library setting. Any chance you'll be opening a thread on the forums after the judging is over? This sounds like it would be a great conversation piece.
Noel Mitaxa 05/18/10
I also took a while to realise that you were coming through with the bible - but then I'm a very slow reader.
A good strong conclusion nonetheless.
Angela M. Baker-Bridge05/18/10
Very unique approach to the topic...a sermon without preaching. Excellent job.