A Rope of Chalk by Ryan Veeder
I want to object, in the strongest possible terms, to the way that mister Veeder has presented the events of August 27, 2011. I am aware that in order to peruse the contents of A Rope of Chalk, I had to waive all my rights of criticism; but the legality of such a move is doubtful at best; and what’s more, with the instalment of ACB to the Supreme Court we can now rest happy in the knowledge that all the freedoms I’ve ever cared about will be defended. No, mister Veeder, you cannot silence me now, as you have so maliciously attempted to silence me in your work, depriving me of my right to exclaim!
I see him in my mental eye, our coward author, hiding behind the role of ‘editor’, merely portraying the ‘experiences’ of what he considers to be the event’s ‘main characters’. And he does it well, indeed very well, pulling the reader along on a rope of chalk through successively more psychedelic scenes, while slowly revealing both story and backstory of the fateful event. He is a master of distraction, making us smile at this detail or that, perhaps even eliciting a loud-out laugh when, say, Nathalie invokes the monomyth to explain her absence. Mister Veeder masterfully strings together several kinds of scene, of narration, keeping the player on the edge of her seat, having great amounts of fun and enjoying the characters.
FUN and CHARACTERS! That’s precisely his trick, isn’t it? By reducing the whole incident to the mistaken actions of individuals, and by painting those people as fundamentally endearing, mister Veeder papers over the systemic failures that lie at the bottom of the entire disaster. It is certainly a message that is very convenient for the institutions! For how is it possible, we ought to ask, that dangerous psychoactive substances are easily available and widely used by our university students? Why is the University of Iowa not more active in the War on Drugs? Why do we still allow our children to be endangered by liberal hippie values from California? Why were there no repercussions? How is it possible that the arts honours class simply reconvened next year, without serious value-based oversight and religious counselling? How much has mister Veeder been paid by the Board of Regents to reduce their own egregious moral failure to a mere – if superior – instance of entertainment? And if anyone can doubt the basic mendacity of mister Veeder’s portrayal of the event, let me stress that the slogan I wrote was not “RON PAUL 2012”, but “RON PAUL 2012!” That exclamation mark was not optional!
Judges of the competition, we must make a stand against this liberal brainwashing. Please vote, and let your votes wash over this dishonest piece as a cold bucket of water washes over sidewalk chalk art! I have spoken.