Seeing the whole of the moon
I like the idea of the pen being mightier than the sword but I guess it rather depends on whose hand wields the pen. I'm sure it is possible for a paragraph of prose to cut a swathe of understanding, justice, and logic through the banal swamp of ignorance and apathy in which much of humanity resides. The notion of an armour-clad knight of the literary realm sweeping across the sky raining glorious and uplifting words upon the parched masses brings to mind a favourite song. It's "The Whole of The Moon" by The Waterboys. Released in 1985 this song is a lyrical tour de force.
I've always thought it was about drugs but a quick net search revealed that there are many interpretations; from a journey of self discovery to an allegory of gay love - not sure about that one. Mike Scott, who wrote the song, says it's about someone like CS Lewis who sees and explores things deeply, or someone like Jimi Hendrix who "came like a comet, blazing your trail". He says he wrote the song in an attempt to impress his girlfriend. Nice one.
Anyway I thought the song was about drugs because the lyric says "I wandered out in the world for years, While you just stayed in your room, I saw the crescent, You saw the whole of the moon."
Actually it doesn't matter what it means. As with any song, the meaning is usually subjective to the listener. In many cases the subject matter is so obvious as to be trivial, but a great song, or indeed any great writing has the power to induce thought and inspire debate far and wide.
So, in theory, I could sit in my office and change the world: Lockdown warrior! Trouble is I don't have what it takes to move mountains with prose. I like to think I can turn a phrase, and I can hew a half-decent sentence from a block of words. In times of pecuniary disadvantage, and there have been a few, I have often thought "There must be a course of action I could take, from this point forward, which would result unequivocally in financial success." A kind of fiscal silver bullet - if only I could think of it.
But I don't have it. I don't know what I could write, or how I should write it, such that all who read it are immediately and permanently dedicated to sustainability and conservation of resources.
I guess we're just not made that way. People want stuff and they want it now, and as long as people will pay for stuff, other people will make it and sell it to them. Then those people can buy more stuff and when it breaks throw it away and buy yet more. We can all see, intuitively, that this is not sustainable but we don't change.
Why is that? It's not a rhetorical question; write to the editor with your thoughts, either way. We should talk about this.