H.W. Nevinson on Peter Kropotkin: "His method of work was peculiar and, to an ordinary Englishman, embarrassing...Order was his difficulty. He knew so much, thought so much, felt so much, it seemed impossible for him to keep within limits. Writing at great speed, he produced sheets of straggling manuscript. Then omissions occurred to him - omissions by the dozen. With strange devices of flying lines, loops, brackets and circles he struggled to get them in. He was constantly altering his arrangement, never sure in what sequence the statements or reflections ought to come. Loose leaves would be scribbled over, and they had to be tucked into the manuscript somewhere.
"Unaccustomed to work in this manner, I felt as though floundering in a bottomless bog upon an unlimited steppe. All appeared uncertainty, confusion and chaos. But Kropotkin never for a moment lost his temper or his genial exuberance. I suppose his was the Russian way of doing things, for he never thought it the least perplexing or strange. And in the end the chaos worked itself out, as definite and well-arranged as the starry heavens. No one reading that book could imagine what a turmoil of confusion it had went through before it emerged perfectly clear and clean and trim as it stands. In reading his other books...always so well-ordered and easy to understand, I often wonder whether they too had passed through this process of dishevelled undress."
- from George Woodcock and Ivan Avakumovic's "Anarchist Prince", first printed in 1950
I like it here in British Columbia. I could not have been more lucky than to have been born and raised here with the exception of my early years spent in the horror, the horror of Alberta. Sometimes, however, I wish I were someplace else.
The Dope City I was born in was an outpost still more reliably connected to the rest of the fat expanse of Canada by rail than road. Dope City's busy international airport was still an Air Force base when I was playing with slugs, worms and garter snakes in my parent's rented back yard.
Dope City is an outpost no more. We will never be a sun around which planets rotate but we are already a sun around which dope, guns and power rotate as comfortably as they do in Mexico or Afghanistan. That said, it is a good thing we are circulating billions of dollars of dope money in the streets. Without the riches of dope our economy would be more depressed than at any time in its history and there would be no Olympics to prepare or to prepare to destroy.
Sometimes I think I should be living in Newfoundland near my dad and his health problems, beer fridge and well stocked bar. Sometimes I think I should be living at the edge of the barrens with the moose and the caribou like a Viking over 1000 years ago. I live in a big fat country: it is a blessing and a curse.