Saturday, August 28, 2010

Mark Twain

I read recently that Mark Twain only committed himself to writing 200 words a day. I think that is a goal even I could reach, but before I committed to it as well I wanted to check out whether it was factual or not. Unfortunately I never did find that goal stated anywhere else, but I did stumble across a biography of Twain that got me thinking.

I remember learning about Twain in college. My studies said he was a brash, racist alcoholic, but after reading this biography I realized that the motivations behind his actions make it harder to fully label him. Yes, he joined the militia to fight for the south during the civil was, but he did desert after 3 weeks and run away to neutral territory. Yes, he consorted with bohemians while trying prospecting for silver, but he was still in his 20s, and who among us would like to be judged by what we did at that age? There are many examples that can all be refuted with reasoning.

Anyway, it got me to thinking. What if all our reputations were distilled down to three little words with out any explanations allowed? What would my label be? What would I label others?

And there are my 200 words... That wasn't too hard!

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