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03/19/2005 Archived Entry: "Weekend reads -- Karl Hess, Vin Suprynowicz, Scott Bieser"
WEEKEND READS. While doing some research yesterday, I Googled across a 1976 Mother Earth News Plowboy Interview with one of my personal heroes, Karl Hess. Although parts of it seem hopelessly naive now, Hess' integrity and his joy in living by his principles still shines through.
In the same Google session, I ran across a page of Hess quotes that included this:
What I want from social change is freedom from all those institutional chains which in the past have bound us to the purposes and projects of others, without consent, without real recourse. I want the freedom to be responsible for my own actions, and I want my actions to be judged by those whom those actions affect. I want my citizenship in a community to be a nondelegatable aspect of my life, reflecting my place in the community and respecting yours. I want to live in a community where people are so sure of themselves, as human beings, that they can respect differences in others without being deferential to difference, or frightened by it, or cowed by it. I want to join in the applause for a neighbor's task superbly done but I do not want to be enlisted in a fan club. I want to live in a community where, no matter any other skills, decent human beings all will practice those skills which all may possess in common, truthfulness, consideration of others, a sense of proportion in undertakings and in ambitions, and the various human traits associated woth deep love of another and an abiding respectful sense of self.
I'm not sure how much Hess influenced my thinking and my life choices, but he was a strong inspiration to my young self and continues to be a touchstone of liberty to my older self.
Finally, if that's not enough good reading for your weekend, check out Sunni Maravillosa's lengthy interview with Vin Suprynowicz and Scott Bieser. Vin's first novel, The Black Arrow is getting enthusiastic reviews. Scott illustrated the cover of the paperback version and is also co-creator of the great graphic novels The Probability Broach (with L. Neil Smith) and A Drug War Carol (with Susan Wells).
Posted by Claire @ 08:53 AM CST