14 February 2018

Writing update

So far I have written over 11,000 words for the rewrite of my section of the Brief History dealing with the Jubilee Riots. There are many problems with writing this piece.  First is that my main sources for information are the newspapers of the period.  I am not alone in this: the only scholarly account of the Riots that I managed to track down also draws almost exclusively on the papers.  Unfortunately, the papers are, all of them, extremely biased and therefore all unreliable as sources of information.  They all say what happened and are mostly consistent, but each paper has some minor variation of details which support their narrative, and therein lies the rub.  The what and the why are inextricably linked, and they disagree widely as to the why of these events.

I am not terribly satisfied with what I have written thus far, but, then again, I never am.  I wanted to my history to be readable- something which most scholarly histories severely lack- but I also want it to be accurate.  My original account was, I have been told, quite readable, but its limitations are becoming more and more apparent to me.  In being longer and more thorough I may have a more accurate history, but if I become too long winded I will sacrifice the readability.  On the other hand, not many will be reading it anyway, so I don't have much to lose.

The experience has had a few lighter moments, though.  In the middle of going through the heavily biased accounts in the old newspapers, I ran into an article in a modern newspaper stating that too many news sources are losing their objectivity and are no longer reporting the news.  I had to laugh- losing their objectivity, you say?  Also, I have just been working on a bit dealing with the meeting of the city council at which the first riot was discussed.  The council hotly debated what to do about the matter, with veiled accusations flying, some councilors grandstanding, words getting more and more heated, until finally a vote is taken, and the council will do... nothing.

Plus ca change, n'est-ce pas?

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