Many, many moons ago, a young man had dreams of becoming a rock guitar mega star and indulging wantingly in a sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll lifestyle. However, no amount of practice, no amount of digital dexterity and no amount of musical talent amounted to anything close to realising his dreams. Notwithstanding this setback, he persevered and started recording his music with a more raw and abstract approach. Taking his songs that had been so carefully written and recorded, he dissected, cubed, reversed, cannibalised and more to the point, vandalised his music. Distorting it, dirtying it and giving it a sound that was grubby, unwashed and raw.
The Vandal continued to vandalise music until age got the better of him and he decided that the sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll dream was well and truly out of date; as was his body for such a demanding lifestyle, so a new direction was needed. Thus he went about discarding the music, but keeping the words and lyrics to vandalise.
As this was well before technology became an everyday tool for a writer, The Vandal started with essays and then poetry. The result being two books of narrow appeal. But of those who read the books, a few, somewhat surprisingly, quite liked the style. Style probably being a poor choice of word to describe two books that had the distinct feeling that they had been written by throwing fifty sets of Scrabble tiles at a wall smeared with molasses and slapping the result on to the pages of a book.
Spurred on by this limited success though, The Vandal kept writing in an effort to perfect his unique, sui generis style. Unfortunately though, he found that his writing was taking on a distinct movement towards ‘quite normal and somewhat acceptable’ and some of his writing was also becoming quite lengthy indeed. Essays, poetry and snappy little short stories were one thing, but novels were certainly not suitable material for his vandalistic intentions. Time for drastic action was needed to save The Vandal from becoming normal – and painfully long-winded.
Therefore it was decided that the long and laborious work that was needed to write novels would be handed over to Derek Haines, who had infinitely more patience and commitment, and The Vandal would continue with his silly essays, poetry and the odd word rant – the short and easy stuff.
At about this time, a wonderful new medium opened for business. Blogging.
This was like manna from heaven for The Vandal, so he went about discovering what these blog things were. After a lot of research he learned that they were used for regular postings of material focussed on one particular core subject. Technology, literature, cooking, music, finance, politics, synchronised swimming and a whole host of other interesting topics. Of course it was a difficult decision to make. What topic or subject would The Vandal select that would inspire him to start a daily blog?
The answer took some time, but when he made his decision it was just perfect. His blog would be narrowly focused on the topic of anything and everything! His tag line became: ‘The Vandal - Humor, writing, grammar, opinion and the odd recipe.’
In the years since The Vandal has been blogging about everything, anything, the odd recipe and the other thing, his alter ego Derek Haines has been working away on a number of novels. Quietly.
We therefore both hope you enjoy reading this collection of the ‘short stuff’ written by The Vandal.
Warning: Reading further will expose you to the ravings of a lunatic mind as well as mentions of books written by Derek Haines, in addition to subjects that may offend your intelligence. Fortunately, as this book contains only short stuff, the offence should not have a lasting effect upon your sensibilities. You may now proceed if you wish.
This book is an updated and revised edition of the popular Vandalism Of Words originally published in 2009.