Rant 2.0

For Monday, July 7, 2014  Prompt #64

we the peopleToday’s prompt follows up on last week’s rant prompt. Again, hints for good rant writing.

  • Choose a topic about which you feel passionate.
  • Let yourself go off on tangents.
  • Let yourself be angry. Let yourself be funny.
  • Let yourself be both.
  • Keep your pencil moving and don’t erase or edit.
  • Write for at least ten minutes.

And now a quote from Allen Ginsberg: Concentrate on what you want to say to yourself and your friends. Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness. You say what you want to say when you don’t care who’s listening.  

Further Rant Writing: For Individuals and Groups

Manifesto: This exercise originated with my writing pal Frankie Rollins.  (You can find out more about her work here:  http://elizabethfrankierollins.com ) A manifesto is a public declaration of intentions, opinions, objectives, or motives. It can be issued by a government, community, organization, or person.

  • Here’s the beginning of one well-known manifesto: We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union…. do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
  • And here’s part of another one: We, the Representatives of the United States of America…solemnly declare That these United Colonies are Free and Independent States
  • And the end of another one: Let the ruling classes tremble at a communist revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Proletarians of all countries, unite!

Creating a Personal Manifesto in 4 Easy Steps

  1. List five communities that you identify with. For instance, I might write: East Coast Transplants. Writers. Lesbians. Birdwatchers. Collage artists.
  2. In a manifesto, you need to state your demands, desires, needs and dreams. Write down three other verbs for demand, desire, or need.
  3. Write Your Manifesto, beginning with the words:  We, the _____________________________ (fill in the group you want to represent), __________________________ (fill in a verb from step 2, then keep going…)

For example:

  • We the skateboarders require smoother asphalt.
  • We the freaks demand to be seen and heard.
  • We, your sisters and brothers, refuse to be silent.

4. Repeat your phrase, We the ______________, at least 6 times within your manifest.

My Sample: We, the writers, demand sharp pencils and open minds. Silenced too long, we demand long wooden desks and long stretches of time in which to percolate ideas, scribble out words, break apart sentences and put them together again. We, the writers, demand time to read. We seek quiet and solitude for one hour each day every day, we the writers, beseech this of our friends, neighbors and colleagues. In fact, we demand a national holiday solely and fully dedicated to the reading of books. As a first step, we the writers, demand triple funding for libraries so they can remain open 24 hours a day. While we are at it, we, the writers, insist upon new IRS tax codes, soundproof rooms, and stacks of dictionaries and legal pads in every coffeehouse. We the writers call for the end of blaring televisions in airports, loudmouth pundits at the lunch counter, discordant drummers by the creek. We the writers have to go now. We the writers have to get back to work.

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