I hate myself right now.
Not a desperate, self-loathing kind of hate- it’s more of an “ironic trombone” kind.
You see, I decided to trade my uber time-suck of a management job for something part-time in order to free myself up to write and blog and spout my personal irreverent form of rhetoric. This idea sounded good at the time, until I realized that it had been nearly fifteen years since my last job hunt and that I had technically already quit my job (my former boss said so. I asked him).
Now what I am left with is plenty of time not to write, but to search for my awesome new job that will not be an uber time-suck in disguise. So after a whole lot of hits and misses and a sketchy offer of a career in foot porn (my feet are adorable) this happened: (more…)
This is the opening to Chuck Palahniuk’s novel DAMNED, a story about an angsty teen dead girl and her journey through Hell. Or more accurately, the story I’d have written if I’d been, you know, a better writer.
My new years resolution to make my writing a priority ended the moment I finished the book DAMNED, and was forced to face the reality that my writing sucks balls compared to Chuck Palahniuk’s.
I’d like to tell you this revelation prompted me to get busy on a book of my own, working with all the drive and ambition of a writer inspired by Palahniuk’s genius to, as Neil Gaiman put it, “Make good art.” But it didn’t. Instead I curled up in a ball and cried like the giant hack baby that I am. I also haven’t written a word since.
That’s because I have my own personal cock-blocker, and his name is Chuck Palahniuk.
So why all the literary flacidity, you ask? Well I’ll tell you why.
[I'm going to give you my answer at the end of this next passage because it builds suspense. It's a technique good writers use, or so I've heard]
The book world is filled with writers whose work makes me feel like I’ve been junk-punched in the literary genitals. One of them is James Ellroy. Take for example the opening of his pulp-fiction inspired novel, L.A. CONFIDENTIAL:
“An abandoned auto court in the San Berdoo foothills; Buzz Meeks checked in with ninety-four thousand dollars, eighteen pounds of high-grade heroin, a 10-gauge pump, a .38 special, a .45 automatic and a switchblade he’d bought off a pachuco at the border—right before he spotted the car parked across the line: Mickey Cohen goons in an LAPD unmarked, Tijuana cops standing by to bootjack a piece of his goodies, dump his body in the San Ysidro River.”
Only Ellroy can write a 78-word sentence about grizzly murder and police brutality and craft it to read as high poetry. In lesser hands this opening would have been a disaster. I am sure if I were tasked with the challenge of writing this novel I’d have Bucknered all over it (for all you non-New Englanders out there scratching your collective heads at the word BUCKNER, click HERE and feel my pain).
Another dream-crusher is Chuck Bukowski. Take for example his poem SOME PEOPLE:
some people never go crazy.
me, sometimes I’ll lie down behind the couch
for 3 or 4 days.
they’ll find me there.
it’s Cherub, they’ll say, and
they pour wine down my throat
rub my chest
sprinkle me with oils.
then, I’ll rise with a roar,
rant, rage -
curse them and the universe
as I send them scattering over the
I’ll feel much better,
sit down to toast and eggs,
hum a little tune,
suddenly become as lovable as a
some people never go crazy.
what truly horrible lives
they must lead.
I doubt Nicholas Sparks ever wrote a poem like that, the epic tool. Now I’ll admit that Bukowski is not for everyone, but personally, I cannot get enough of him. Seriously people, I hear Roberta Flack’s voice inside my head whenever I read his work. Whenever I read my stuff all I hear is Bobcat Goldthwait.
I admire Stephen King for his mastery of characterization and worship Neil Gaiman for, well, everything, but Chuck Palahniuk is the only writer who ever made me WANT to write. His literary voice and story lines are so eerily similar to mine that I have to wonder if we are related somehow. For me, reading one of his novels is like reliving painful childhood memories spent with a better-looking, ultra-talented sibling, feeling the push-pull of striving to be like him only to hate him when I fail in comparison. Now I truly know how it feels to be an Oakland Raiders fan.
So at the end of the day what does all this self-contemplation/flagellation mean? Why it means I am an insipid douche-bag writer, that’s what it means. It means that instead of wasting my time lamenting why I will never be as successful as my heroes, I need to get busy, you know, writing. It means it’s time to get my head out of my ass and get my ass to my desk.
Yeah. Easier said than done.
ANOTHER PROJECT FROM THE MIND OF PMAO…
Originally posted on Pouring My Art Out:
I am honored to announce the release of a book that I had the privilege of being a small part of. Hey, don’t buy this book just because you love me and you know I have another very smart daughter who is going to need to go to a very expensive college in just a few more years. Oh no. Buy it because it’s bloody brilliant. There are plenty of decent community colleges out there.. she’ll be fine.
Seriously, this book is awesome. I bought a copy. I know, you would think that authors could get a free copy of a book they either wrote in part or in full, but the publishing industry is a heartless bitch!
So once again we run into the major stumbling block… I am a computer moron. You all know that. My friend, Daisha Korth, from http://dkorthbooks.wordpress.com/ went to the trouble of preparing an email…
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WE INTERRUPT THIS BLOG DUE TO MY STOOPID JOB.
REGULARLY SCHEDULED PROGRAMMING WILL RESUME AT SOME POINT IN THE NOT TOO DISTANT FUTURE. UNTIL THEN, PLEASE ENJOY THE FOLLOWING VIDEO.
Welcome to day five of BLOGSHORTS: a ten day, ten story, 110 word writing extravaganza.
Each participating blogger chooses a pooch a day from a list of dogs, thunk-up by our fearless leader BLOGDRAMEDY, and then writes a short story featuring their dog of choice.
Each story is 110 words in length and can feature as much or as little of our canine friend as we like.
Day five features a visit from everyone’s favorite proper pooch, Eddie. Or is he?
EDDIE THE EXPATRIATE
“You are one lucky mutt,” Rover said as he lounged back in his doggy bed. “Archon is the best master a dog could want. Warm beds, plenty of kibble; he even lets us chase Ladyryl’s cats around every Sunday. I’m telling ya, Eddie. This is the life.”
“Anything’s better than living with Frasier,” Eddie said. “Man was a fancyboy. Nothing but bottled water and vegan kibble. Even my bed was organic.”
“You’ll love this. Come here.” Rover led Eddie to his water dish and the two began to drink.
After a few laps Eddie’s eyes opened wide. “Oh my God, is that Molson?”
“Yes it is. Welcome to Canada, Eddie.”
Revisit these soon to be canine classics:
BLOGSHORTS DAY ONE: Tea Cup Cujo
BLOGSHORTS DAY TWO: Toto’s Ruby Red Booty
BLOGSHORTS DAY THREE: Lassie Learns the Truth
BLOGSHORTS DAY FOUR: Fluffy’s Fateful Faux Pas
TAKE YOUR BLOG FOR A WALK AND THROW THESE GUYS A BONE:
RETURN TOMORROW FOR A VISIT WITH THE ORIGINAL SNOOP DOG: SNOOPY!
Break out your flowered shirt and ukulele because summer is here! And there’s no one better to celebrate summer with than our own Hawaiian shirt-wearing buddy, El Guapo! So grab your favorite drink and best girl (or boy) and enjoy a heaping helping of Hawaiian SPaM!
Originally posted on H.E. ELLIS:
Break out the Sex Wax and Longboards because today’s featured SPaM is blogworld’s own personal Moondoggie. When he’s not waxing poetic about Harry Potter in Limerick form he’s listening to music or hanging ten down in NYC.
Make way for the very handsome…EL GUAPO!!!!
The interview was conducted with me wearing this shirt. And nothing else.
Interview’s Music: Ravel’s Bolero…
**** 1. Where does your love of music come from?
IrishPaul, Other Paul, Big Mike.
Irish Paul knows the entire discographies of some of the most obscure bands on earth.
OtherPaul listens to a lot of techno and industrial, that isn’t really my thing, but there are some gems in there.
Big Mike is an encyclopedia of classic and Southern rock.
Once went to a concert with Big Mike and IrishPaul. They got into a conversation that was like sitting in on a master class of…
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CALLING ALL SCIFI FANS! Everyone’s favorite Trekkie Dayton Ward is set to release his latest novel, FROM HISTORY’S SHADOW any day now. For those of you who aren’t crying yourself to sleep in fit of literary jealousy (me) there is a prize to be won. What kind of prize, you ask? Well click on over to his blog, THE FOG OF WARD, to find out!
Originally posted on The Fog of Ward:
We’re just over a week away from the “official” publication date for my new novel, From History’s Shadow. The date, July 30th, is more for the computers and ordering systems than anything else, as most mass-market paperbacks don’t have set release dates. Basically, they’re available whenever the bookseller gets their stock, enters it into the store’s inventory system, and shelves them. So, in reality, the book can start showing up anywhere any day now.
Therefore, I say, “Release the hounds!”
The first five people who can provide photographic evidence of the new book grazing in the wild (translation: on a store shelf, somewhere) by posting that pic here will receive an autographed copy.
All right, listen up, people: Our book has been on the run for a couple of days. Average foot speed over uneven ground barring injuries is pretty much zero since books have no legs. That…
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The advent of Mtv was both a blessing and a curse for me as a kid. Once musicians had the ability to act in their videos, they somehow felt the need to put on a show as opposed to simply performing their songs. Sometimes, as was the case with Billy Idol, it turned out to be a good thing. I remember as a kid sitting transfixed in front of the television whenever REBEL YELL came on, staring at the screen and thinking some very, very grown-up thoughts about this bleach-blonde wonder. And who can forget THRILLER? I remember exactly where I was the first time I watched that video. I can do the dance to this day.
Sadly, not all my experiences were as positive as the ones I’ve mentioned. Not every singer is a star, as music video history has shown us. I’ve dredged up some memories (and hit the YouTube) for a sample of some of the worst offenders. It’s time to buckle in folks, because this is going to be painful. We start our list of bad videos that happened to good musicians with:
KISS – LICK IT UP
I brought a KISS lunch box to the first day of kindergarten, that’s how big a fan I was as a kid. You can appreciate my shock and horror the first time I was subjected to…well, whatever the hell this is. I still haven’t forgiven them.
Damn Yankees – HIGH ENOUGH
The next video is every bit as tragic as the previous one because it features the cataclysmic crash and burn of one of rock’s best guitar legends: Ted Nugent. That’s right, Mr. Cat Scratch Fever himself joined a band who called themselves Damn Yankees- a band that can only be described as having all the raw sex appeal of the Traveling Wilburys, minus the badassery. Click play and see for yourself. The only thing in a Stranglehold in this video are Ted’s balls, clenched tightly in the fist of whomever he sold them out to.
David Bowie – CHINA GIRL
I imagine Bowie fans will come down on me for the next offering, but I will stand my ground. Yes, David Bowie is known for being unconventional and avante guarde, so the oddness of this video should come as no surprise. I contend that it is the utter lack of Bowiesque influence that bothers me most. It’s as if he’s trying to reinvent himself as a lounge singer. Not what I expected from Major Tom. And don’t get me started on the creepy pedophilic vibe running throughout this epic disaster.
David Bowie & Mick Jagger – DANCING IN THE STREET
It seems that whatever Bowie touched in the 80’s turned to musical “Meh,” as demonstrated in this technicolor nightmare featuring the once great Mick Jagger. This video is what I imagine homely girls do for fun at sleepovers. And…now I have no more followers.
Van Halen – TATTOO
This next one may be a bit controversial, since I am not entirely sure this song was good to begin with. It’s the rocking out on the down beat that does it in for me. On the flip side, it’s good to see Carol Channing getting steady work again.
Journey – SEPARATE WAYS
Even the most die-hard metalhead will admit to the powerhouse talent that is Steve Perry and to the awesomeness of this song, no matter how lame and sad this video portrays them all. Journey should have issued a fatwā on the dude who put this crap together.
We have finally reached the top of the crap heap, to the musical spooge floating to the top of the bad video barrel. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the shiniest turd of them all:
Billy Squier – ROCK ME TONIGHT
Poor, poor Billy Squier. No musical career has been harmed by a video performance more than Richard Simm- uh, I mean, Billy Squier’s. ROCK ME TONIGHT was Billy’s biggest hit before this video came out, which makes me wonder who fell asleep at the wheel and hit “go” on this piece of musical holocaust. DISCLAIMER: Pregnant women and people with heart conditions should refrain from watching the following video:
There you have it, folks. My personal list of bad videos that ruined good musicians. If you can think of any I missed, feel free to leave them in the comments. On that note I will leave you with a palate cleanser from my youth. Please to enjoy, WINGER. Feel free to listen with the sound off.