Thursday, February 9, 2012


In a time of universal deceit,
telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
~ George Orwell

LOLITA by Vladimir Nabokov

BRAVE NEW WORLD by Aldous Huxley

THE SOUND AND THE FURY by William Faulkner

CATCH-22 by Joseph Heller

THE GRAPES OF WRATH by John Steinbeck

1984 by George Orwell


ANIMAL FARM by George Orwell

AS I LAY DYING by William Faulkner

THE SUN ALSO RISES by Ernest Hemingway

ON THE ROAD by Jack Kerouac


A FAREWELL TO ARMS by Ernest Hemingway




ILLUSIONS by Richard Bach

Those are the titles found on Modern Library’s list of '100 Best Novels' that I have read at some point in my life. The majority of them I read in my late teens and early twenties. One exception is ‘Lolita’, which I read in 2010 or ’11. I shouldn’t say I “read” it because I didn’t finish it – I got only about two-thirds of the way through before deciding that my time would be better spent reading some nonfiction instead.

Of course, that hardly exhausts the list of fiction I read in my teens and early twenties; some of the books I enjoyed the most aren’t even found above. Titles such as: ‘Tortilla Flat’; ‘Adventures of Huckleberry Finn’; ‘Roughing It’; ‘A Tree Grows In Brooklyn’; 'White Fang'; 'Look Homeward, Angel'; ‘Crime And Punishment’; ‘Green Eggs And Ham’, et al. And make no mistake about it: I thought Kerouac’s ‘Dharma Bums’ was much better than ‘On The Road’.

A comprehensive list of fiction I’ve read in my lifetime would be many, many times longer than the list posted above!

Not too shabby for a guy who denigrates novels, eh? Strangely enough, some bloggers here in my little bathroom of the Blogosphere probably think of me as: “That guy who hates fiction.”

I don’t hate fiction, and I don’t hate the writers of fiction. (Although they do sometimes irritate me to a noteworthy degree.)

Here’s the deal: I think there is value in reading fiction and everyone should have some knowledge of the classics. I mean, there is definitely a hole in your education if you aren’t familiar with Dickens’ character Uriah Heep; and if you haven’t read ‘Huckleberry Finn’ you have missed a couple of the all-time greatest chapters in the history of social commentary and the written word – namely, chapters 16 & 31. I could easily write one of my patented neverending blog bits about the spirit, psychology, and genius found in chapters 16 & 31 of Mark Twain’s ‘Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn’.

My argument, however, is that when it is plainly observable by anyone with even just two brain cells to rub together that our American society is crumbling down, falling apart, self-destructing before our very eyes, the truly intelligent and wise individual would spend most of their time reading NONFICTION, in order to learn about the world around him or her. And if he or she had a desire to write, that person would aim toward enlightening the world via powerful nonfiction, rather than another “made-up” story from which we are already overburdened!

Look, writer-wannabes, all the great fiction stories have already been written! You ain’t gonna come up with anything genuinely new! “There is nothing new under the sun.” (D’ya know where that quote comes from? No? Then you are not nearly as knowledgeable about the greatest Book on the planet as ya oughter be!)

When it comes to fiction, there’s nothing original left to say; you ain’t doin’ nuttin’ but repackaging something that has already been written before – and most likely BETTER!

Today’s writers of fiction are merely rewrapping old stories or putting multiple older stories into a blender and presenting the “mash-up” as if it were something new. But there’s nuttin’ new in fiction. All of today’s fiction is just one person’s or several persons’ ideas tweaked, twisted, groped, photographed and . . .

. . . wait a second! I’m supposed to be writing a blog bit about writing, not about flying.

See, my problem with fiction isn’t so much a problem with fiction as it is with American priorities. The average American on the street couldn’t begin to explain the Constitution and its Bill Of Rights. The average American on the street couldn’t begin to explain the history and the workings of the Federal Reserve System and the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), and yet those are the two biggest (secular) problems that the U.S.A. faces today!

Why are Americans so oblivious to the “real world” around them? Because all they know about politics is what gets nearly force-fed to them through their newspapers and TV sets. They COULD learn the truth quite easily if they focused more of their reading time on nonfiction titles rather than works of fiction. But nonfiction, they believe, is far less entertaining than is fiction. And they’re mistaken about that, too!

And most of the Americans (at least of the female variety) who dream of writing, dream of becoming the next J. K. Rowling, as if one J. K. Rowling somehow weren’t enough.

I have no problem with anyone reading fiction; I think it’s a good way to rest the mind from the really serious matters at hand. But fiction should be the dessert you treat yourself to after you’ve consumed the main course:

"If you don't eat your meat, you can't have any pudding. How can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat?"

Now I’m willing to acknowledge that not everyone is going to prefer nonfiction over fiction to the same degree that I do. But, if you give the slightest damn about the world you live in, about the world you’re leaving to your children and to your children’s children, then nonfiction should/would represent at least 50% of what you spend your 'reading-time' reading.

And there’s a terrible misconception out there: By and large, people mistakenly think fiction is more exciting than nonfiction. IT’S NOT! One element that makes nonfiction MORE exciting to read is the fact that nonfiction is... REAL!

Believe it or not, for just about every wild, exciting, heart-stopping
E-ticket fiction you can find, you can also find real, true-life, NON-fiction stories that match it! There is almost nothing in fiction that does not have its counterpart in a biography or history book. “This world” is a hell of a lot more exciting, mysterious, violent, and remarkable than you could possibly imagine. All of the heroes, heroines, antiheroes, tragically flawed heroes, underdogs, rebels, spies, lovers, fighters, connivers, geniuses, and villains that we love to read about in fictional stories do exist in 'true-life' nonfiction books. You can find it ALL in the real world and recorded in great, awesomely memorable works of nonfiction!

From Agee, James and Bronte, Emily to Yeats, William Butler and Zola, Émile, fiction has been covered. As a writer, you might add quantity to it, but you’re not likely to improve it. If you simply must be rich and famous – if that’s important to you - then go right on ahead and continue writing fiction and reading mostly fiction.

But keep in mind that you are fiddling writing "while Rome burns". And unless the American people turn off their televisions soon, put away the latest Fantasy, Thriller, and Sci-Fi books and turn to the information found in nonfiction that can educate us and preserve our basic liberties, before long the only professional writing that ANYONE is going to be doing will be historical revisionism written on behalf of the Ministry Of Truth.

Allow me, please, to suggest some nonfiction reading material:

If you liked this fiction . . .

I recommend this nonfiction . . .

'THE RESURRECTION OF THE SHROUD: New Scientific, Medical And Archeological Evidence' by Mark Antonacci.

If you liked this fiction . . .

I recommend this nonfiction . . .

'THE HARBINGER' by Jonathan Cahn

If you liked this fiction . . .

I recommend this nonfiction . . .


If you liked this fiction . . .

I recommend this nonfiction . . .

'WITNESS' by Whittaker Chambers

If you liked this fiction . . .

I recommend this nonfiction . . .

'HOSTAGE TO THE DEVIL: The Possession And Exorcism Of Five Living Americans' by Malachi Martin

~ Stephen T. McCarthy


'THE HARBINGER' by Jonathan Cahn


YE OLDE COMMENT POLICY: All comments, pro and con, are welcome. However, ad hominem attacks and disrespectful epithets will not be tolerated (read: "posted"). After all, this isn’t, so I don’t have to put up with that kind of bovine excrement.


Arlee Bird said...

I agree and disagree.

When I used to manage a theater group, sometimes some of the cast members would get bored performing the same production nightly. They'd goof off and have private little jokes onstage because they would get bored. Every year I'd give them the same speech about how even though the show had gotten old for them, each night there was a different audience for whom the show was new and they were there to see the show they came for.

Sure there's nothing new under the sun, but each generation has a new audience. New authors writing in the language of the time tell the old story with new words. I agree that probably 99.9% of new literature is relatively mediocre compared to some of the greatness that preceded it. I read very little new literature comparatively speaking.

If we all stopped talking about the weather and how we felt, a lot of people wouldn't be talking about anything. Fiction helps us escape and stretch our mental muscles. Hopefully, more people will start educating themselves with higher quality reading, but if they are at least reading then it's probably better than being deadened by staring at television.

But you make a good point.

An A to Z Co-Host
Tossing It Out
Twitter: @AprilA2Z

Stephen T. McCarthy said...


>>...If we all stopped talking about the weather and how we felt, a lot of people wouldn't be talking about anything.

Well, there is something to be said for silence (it can be golden) and the thoughts that arise with quiet contemplation.

In all seriousness, a little more silence wouldn't be such a bad thing. As it is, we are all being bombarded pretty much 24/7 with MTV-length images and soundbites, most of which is unhealthy propaganda conditioning us according to the N.W.O. agenda.

A significant amount of today's Fiction is also part of that conditioning process.

>>...Fiction helps us escape and stretch our mental muscles.

Well, I think there has been too much "escaping" already - that is part of my point. That is largely why we collectively, as a nation, find ourselves in the poor shape we're in. That's exactly what I'm saying in this blog bit: ENOUGH of the "escaping" from our reality already! Let's begin to face it (and hopefully change it for the better) by learning the Truth via Nonfiction.

Besides, I also think that Nonfiction stretches our mental muscles more than Fiction does. Both get us thinking and using our imaginations, but I think Nonfiction is more effective.

As I said, I am not at all opposed to the reading of Fiction, but high-quality Nonfiction about weightier subject matters should be the area where the majority of our reading time is concentrated.

Otherwise, there WILL come a time (in the not too distant future) when ALL of the books - Nonfiction AND Fiction; bad AND good - that do not coincide with the views of our dictators in the Totalitarian Society we are imprisoned in, will disappear down the "Memory Hole", never to be seen and read again.

This is SERIOUS business!

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

mousiemarc said...

I have read some good fiction. I think it has value. That being said I honestly wouldn't read anything but the bible if that was all that was out there. I just can't get into it. Plus, I have to agree with you that real life is far better than fantasy. I have started to read "Tragedy and Hope" by Quigley. I started in world war 2 as it was my biggest personal gap in understanding. Where I know the history as presented in most modern books, I didn't have a great foundation on the banking aspects of it. OH, but right on page 698 (I'll paraphrase) he enters a one liner. Basicly, they stopped the war for a small amount of time after Germany invaded France. Why? So they could talk about the banking cartel agreements they had been working on with these countries for over ten years. It was like watching us give Russia all the weapons they needed under Lend Lease act and all of Europe all over again. Russia influenced China at the same time. What did we get? To be the police of the world as Britan wanted (as they feared we would go back into isolationism, Quigley's words.

Heck Russia would have died in world war 2 if we hadn't been GIVING them all their weapons. AND THEY HAVE MURDERED FAR MORE PEOPLE THAN NAZI GERMANY DID.

You can't get that kind of riveting story in fiction. They can copy it but not match it.

Br'er Marc

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

Well, if you make it through that entire book, you're a better man than I am, Gunga Din.

>>...Heck Russia would have died in world war 2 if we hadn't been GIVING them all their weapons.

As Stormer so correctly wrote... every Communist country in the world has a "Made In The U.S.A." stamp on it.

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

mousiemarc said...

"As Stormer so correctly wrote... every Communist country in the world has a "Made In The U.S.A." stamp on it."

Well brother maybe they have to. After all, it's the only thing being made here anymore.

Karen Peterson said...

This is like saying that we should give up watching a lot of movies and choose mostly documentaries.

While I agree that it's important to educate ourselves and to be knowledgeable of our world, I don't think fiction keeps us from that. Life sucks for a lot of people. And it's nice to come home from a day of being yelled at and harassed and finding out you're on the verge of being laid off from your job to pick up something that helps you to escape from reality for awhile, rather than reading something that reminds you that, as bad as your problems are, the rest of the world is even worse.

farawayeyes said...


Personally, I couldn’t agree with you more that “Serious stuff, this is”. BUT, I used to raise horses. There is nothing more true than the saying ‘you can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink’. In my experience, people are even more stubborn.

I believe there are cases of fiction, current fiction, that can lead people to ask the RIGHT questions and look in the RIGHT places for the answers.

For example – your example, of the Da Vinci Code. I know more than one person personally, who turned to the New Testament to search out some of Dan Brown’s illustrations and accusations. What better place to look for the truth.

I recently read a work of fiction ‘The Help’ by Kathryn Stockett, about Domestics in Jackson, Mississippi in the 60’s. I recommended it to someone in their twenties, they came back and asked me about Medgar Evers. I told them to look it up, google him. They did and were astounded. This lead to further research about Civil Rights and what happened then and what’s happening now.

Fiction in action – sometimes it can be a way to get that stubborn old horse to drink. Some horses might drink deeply enough to make changes in the pasture. When it comes to horses at least, this method works better than a 2x 4. Believe me, there have been times when I wanted to use a 2 x 4, on horses, that is.

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

Thanks for reading and commenting!

The reason I don't view this as being exactly synonymous with your movies/documentaries comparison is because of the discrepancy in the time investments involved.

A movie we can watch in 90 minutes, perhaps 2 hours. A television show in as little as 30 minutes.

But books require a much greater investment of our time, and I feel they should therefore be chosen more wisely,

However, I DO agree partially with your movie/documentary angle. I would like to see Americans watching more documentaries as well.

Whereas with books, I would hope Americans would read 9 nonfiction to every 1 work of fiction. OK, maybe 8 to 2 if the person REALLY just CAN'T get enough of wizards, fairies, and intergalactic warfare.

With documentaries to movies, maybe a 1 to 9 (reveresed) ratio? I watch and enjoy a fair number of documentaries.

If most Americans had seen the documentary 'WACO: The Rules Of Engagement' there would be less naivete about the relationship of this government to its people. (And one would realize that if Uncle Sam will persecute one group of people when it suits him, he will someday, down the road, persecute ANY group he wishes, including the groups you or I might be members of.)

If every American saw the documentaries 'LOOSE CHANGE 9/11: An American Coup' and '9/11: PRESS FOR TRUTH' then they would have at least a basic idea of what I mean when I say: Uncle Sam's "official" 9/11 story is so full of holes it's useful only as a colander.

>>...While I agree that it's important to educate ourselves and to be knowledgeable of our world, I don't think fiction keeps us from that.

Well, my first article of evidence in my counterargument to that is... the very world and people around you!

As I stated in the blog bit, the two biggest (secular) problems we face today are the Federal Reserve System and the Council on Foreign Relations.

As a little experiment, ask 100 people at random to tell you all they know about those two subjects and then please report back to me how much you learned from them - just how knowledgeable they are about those two MAJOR issues. (As a follow-up question, you might ask them what they know about the Harry Potter stories and compare their degrees of knowledge.)

You're right, a lot of people have a lot of problems. Some of the worst are usually "economic" in nature. Well, if the American people understood that their economic problems have been DELIBERATELY CREATED to keep them in a state of perpetual servitude - if they knew WHO was doing this and WHY - they could put an end to it; they would have less problems all around.

But the American people, it seems, would rather simply cry and moan and gnash their teeth about their money and job problems while they are between chapters in 'The Handmaid's Tale'.

It's a real shame!

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

Well, I certainly will not deny that a work of Fiction can, at times, inspire the reader to investigate an important topic more thoroughly. You are correct about that, and you have provided a couple of good examples of it.

However, this is the fairly rare exception and not the rule of thumb. That this can and occcasionally does occur, is true, but it is not an effective way of becoming educated. It happens too seldom and is way too slow a process. In other words, it's simply not near good enough.

To prove my point, I can respond with pretty much the same answer I gave to Karen: In order to know that reading Fiction is not adequate in educating the people and leading them to make changes (or leading them to "water"), we need only look around us. Our current DIRE CIRCUMSTANCES is all the proof anyone should need in order to KNOW that reading Fiction - even LOTS OF IT! - is not the solution.

Stop people at random and ask them to tell you about or monetary system. Who created it and why? How has it caused so much misery for the American people in general?

Ask them to tell you where the CFR came from. Who formed it? Why was it formed? What has it done? What does it influence? What does it hope to achieve? Who belongs to it? How does it work?

Heck, just ask someone to tell you when the Korean War was fought and what nations were parties to it? What were the relationships of the nations involved, one to another?

Let us ask average Americans why we went to war in Iraq. We'll get answers like: "Because of 9/11" or "Because we thought Iraq had WMDs" or some other cockamamie answer.

But ask average Americans to describe the Harry Potter stories, or ask them who got kicked off 'Survivor' last week, or who is advancing to the next round in 'American Idol' and that crap they can correctly recite forwards and backwards.

No, my friend, if all this reading of Fiction was even remotely close to being good enough, our nation wouldn't be on the verge of complete financial collapse, all of our jobs wouldn't have gone overseas, we wouldn't be murdering millions of babies in the womb every year, we wouldn't be so oversexed and undereducated.

I know that you agree with me about some (much?) of this due to some previous conversations. I am writing this primarily for the benefit of others who might come along here later.

I think the only reason I've kept trying for so long to get through to people, attempted so fruitlessly to awaken them, is so that I will have a clear conscience when all the sh!t fully hits the fan, as it will sooner rather than later.

I want to be able to know and say that I did all I could to warn the people, despite the fact that I know the USA will reap what it has sown and will go down just as "it is written".

My friend, thanks for commenting!

Yak Later...

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

farawayeyes said...


Least you or any of your friends misunderstand, I DO agree with you. But then YOU DO know me. I don't want to be eviscerated by anyone. I have no faith in the masses and that they will, or will want to listen to reason. Personally, I do better with people one on one. There at least, you only have the chance of one person at a time, breaking your heart.

The dumbing down of America is criminal, but it has only been able to be so effective because the American people want to be dumbed down. While you make a good point about Fiction,I have a far greater problem with television. Talk about Fiction in Action. I don't think there is a more insidious vehicle for dumbing down the masses. You can begin BEFORE they learn to read.

I am astounded at what people will sit in front of and allow themselves to be mesmerized by. They slip into a catatonic state of bliss, never having any idea what is being sold to them. Today's teen idols are a bunch of a-holes from New Jersey - Are you kidding me? Life is about more than your personal 15 minutes of fame -people.

Don't even get me going on the Gamers.

Now that I've alienated just about everybody, let me say, everyone has a right to some R&R in their life and that's different for everybody, but balance is important. If you are constantly escaping into your Romance Novels (or whatever your particular poison), watching hours and hours of mindless television, (make no mistake most of it is mindless) or the Grand Master of the Universe in WoW, you are not only light years away from being any part of the solution to what plagues society today, you are the problem.

The bottom line in this maniacal rant is: If you really need to escape your life go right ahead but do not feel free to ever ask "How did we get into such a mess? Who is going to fix it? What is wrong with everybody else?"

I'm a firm believer that you can only change one person ever in your life. That person is YOU. So why not start there? Don't worry what the next guy is doing. Worry about what you are doing. One person can make a difference.

Sorry if this is a day late and a dollar short, but then you know me.

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

Hokey-Smoke! What an excellent and fiery comment! Thanks for posting it.

You sounded sorta like me there, and I LIKED THAT! Sometimes it gets a bit lonely bein' me, and I can use the companionship. So, thanks for bringing a little more of me to my blog.

I agree, of course, with what you wrote. I even agree about television: "I don't think there is a more insidious vehicle for dumbing down the masses."

Which is not to say there isn't some good, even semi-valuable programming, but there's precious little of it. Even some of the stuffs that a lot of people assume is of greater value (e.g., The History Channel) is sometimes poisoned with propaganda and lies.

But whereas I do agree that TV is the most dangerous weapon in the arsenal of those who would ruin us (because it's ongoing 24/7/365 and is so mind-numbingly addictive to so many Americans), I still pretty much just lump it in with the reading of Fiction because I think the bottom line is: ANYTHING that is chewing up and wasting a person's time when they could be spending that time learning what the real problems are and what needs to be done to correct them, has essentially the same effect. It just shoves us yet another day further down that road toward the Global Government's Totalitarian Tyranny.

>>...Grand Master of the Universe in WoW

I'm very proud to be able to say that I didn't even know what that was; I had to Google it to find out.

Of course, we both know what it says in "The Good Book" and so we know that we will go as "it is written" of us. However, despite the fact that "the ink is dry on the contract and the devil will collect on it", sometimes one just has to SHOUT the Truth from the rooftops (or in a blog forum) in order to feel that one has done what he or she should - has done what God would expect from a person who recognizes the oncoming train and is in a position to warn their fellow man about it.

Thanks for the excellent comment, FAE!

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

Hold my hand: a social worker's blog said...

Interesting debate.

I've always preferred nonfiction. But surprisingly, I've been caught lately reading some fiction, especially mystery and thrillers, which haven't normally been in my reading priority. I think it's because I'm somewhat looking more into the author's writing skills.

I had quite a surprise recently when reading Lee Child, and getting familiar with "Jack Reacher," his main character. I should be posting about it this week.


Stephen T. McCarthy said...

I will make it a point to read the post.

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

Robin said...

Not saying it is right or wrong... but as a person currently working on their own fictional story... It is because something gets lodged in your head. Your choice is to let it out or just go stark raving mad.

Another sad truth for you... fictional disasters are okay for the average person. It is NOT real. Whereas reading about truly terrible stuff that DID happen, but that we cannot change, is frustrating. Anxiety-causing.

Keep in mind - I am not saying that people shouldn't read non-fiction. You are right... if more people chose to get informed maybe it wouldn't be so anxiety-causing. It is anxiety-causing because it feels like the whole world is working against you. Kind of like a wonderful lyric in an old Garth Brooks song, "It's like trying to put out a fire with the moisture from a kiss."

Man, I wish I'd written that line. But, alas no. But it is how I feel when I ponder the power of The Council on Foreign Relations and the zero power my vote holds. My mom gave me another absentee ballot yesterday and asked if I would vote. I told her I didn't know. She shook her head in disgust. I said, "I cannot see the point anymore."

And she said, "Well, if you don't vote..."

And I didn't say, but thought, "Does it even matter when the vote is between The Rock and The Hard Place???"

And that is where I am. I cannot imagine how much more cynical I would be with a steady dose of non-fiction.... Scary.

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

I am also where you are. I'm done voting. It's a waste of my gasoline and time to go to the voting place like a conditioned sheep.

I will ALWAYS make exceptions for people like RON PAUL - that is someone I would have a guilty conscience about if I did not support him with my vote.

Nevertheless, how many true statesmen like Ron Paul are there? And even voting for him/them is a futile act because The Wizards Behind The Curtain would do everything in their considerable power to see to it that he/they did not win.

And even if by some flukey, freaky mistake he/they DID get into office, they would no doubt meet up with some bizarre accident or virus that would kill them soon.

It's truly hopeless in "this world". Only God and our faith in Him can save us.

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

Robin said...

You know what? Truly understanding that has renewed my faith. Or restored it. Or built it up. Or made me start talking to God again daily. I even pulled out my Bible after many years of allowing it to gather dust on the shelf. Knowing that it is all going according to plan... granted, it is not the plan I would have chosen... but I don't have God's perspective by a long shot. Knowing that there is a plan makes it all bearable.

This place is not my home.

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

Good Girl (Wonder) ~
I have said this 100 times but there's nuttin' wrong with saying it 101 times:

The whole reason for my blogging about politics has NEVER EVER been to try to turn the tide and save the country. What "is written" "is written" and I'd be the biggest lunatic on the planet to think I could somehow alter what "is written" in God's Holy Word by my blogging and yakking to people.

My goal has always been nuttin' more than to wake people up so they would realize that what "is written" is indeed coming to pass right before their eyes. The Wizards rule "this world" on behalf of satan and this play will follow The Script that God wrote.

So, I figured that if I wrote about politics AND wrote about God and The Bible, maybe a few people would see that the evil has been foretold but so has the glorious ending.

I always knew I couldn't change what "is written" but if I could get one, two, or three people to see that it's all playing out according to The Plan, maybe it would give them confidence in The Holy Bible and would turn them to God and Christ BEFORE it was too late to choose the side they were going to support.

That's what ALL of my blogging has ALWAYS been about. (Sneaky little dude, ain't I?)

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'