Stat Junkie

It was clear that these people were swingers of some kind, sodomites up from L.A. for the weekend. There was talk of orgies and flogging, and also of calling the baby sitter and getting back in time for the Rams game. One of the women asked me what I thought about Ed Meese, the new attorney general.

“He’ll get you,” I said. “You’ll all be in jail before long.”

She backed away and stared at me. “What are you?” she muttered, “Some kind of creep?”

“I am the night manager of the O’Farrell Theatre,” I said, “the Carnegie Hall of public sex in America. I am the final authority on these things. I know the face of decadence.”

Hunter Thompson wrote that in October of 1985. In his early days, he would type whole manuscripts of great writers just to see what it felt like to write those words. The Great Gatsby and I think some Hemingway, but I might be wrong about that. It feels good to write those words. Especially, “I know the face of decadence.” And, “He’ll get you.” I don’t know why this is funny, I guess because I can just see him walking up to these cats in front the elevator in the middle of the night, and they’re asking him about Ed Meese, who he no doubt knows all about, being a politics junkie, and he tells them he’s the night manager of O’Farrell Theatre, for no reason at all.

When I read Thompson I like to listen to Bob Dylan. He liked Dylan and so do I. He was a self proclaimed politics junkie. He said following politics and being a part of it was a rush better than sex. A habit worse than heroin.

I found I have a problem, too. I’m turning into a stat junkie. I check my stats all the time to see how many people have looked at my blog since I was last here. Sometimes I just write a post lately so people will look at it and like it. That’s not a road I want to go down. I want this to be about more than stats. Although I do love cataloguing and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. And maybe stat checking has something akin to that. But I’m running out of things to write about because I’m not putting more things into my head because I’m trying to get home and read the new comments and check the new stats and so on. I don’t know what I’m going to do about it, nothing drastic. I guess I’m just going to make an effort to read more and take more stuff in and all that. Live in the moment and whatnot.

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Back in the House

It’s cold out there ya’ll. Snowing last night and shit. Snows like a mofo in this town. But I am so warm and toasty now I got the space heater and the regular heaters rocking. And I heated up some soup from last night, the squash soup, and opened up a bottle of red wine I bought from work to learn about since my wine education has been slowing down to the point it’s falling backwards. And now I got a head rush. And I’m eating this roasted duck,what’s left of it. Oh my God I can hardly function this way. And I just finished reading Ruth Reichl’s Garlic and Sapphires. An amazing book that talks about food all the time, so I am in a food place right now, a food paradise. A paradise of the senses. And fingers on the keys too so I got the touch and I’m listening to The National so I got the ears going too. Life just doesn’t get much better than this.

I wanted to link to this interview about Seth Godin if only to remind myself later that I read it at this time, because I think it’s going to change the way I look at writing, or at least change a little bit, or at least start a change to the way I approach the idea of writing. This is how Seth Godin writes. This was the part that really made me think:

What’s your best advice for overcoming procrastination?

The deadline focuses the mind, of course. The curse of the traditional writer is that the publisher wants a book no more often than once a year. So procrastination is part of the process.

But blogging? Once a day. Not every minute like Twitter, which provokes mediocre writing because there’s so much of it. But every day? Better write something, better make it good.

Oh my god I’m like the posterboy for gluttony right now. This class I took once, Biblical and Classical Literature, one of the five major contributors to my renouncing my Christian faith, we had to illustrate the seven deadly sins. I could take a picture of myself right now. Shoving basically an entire duck in my mouth. Oh my god oh my god.

Though I’ll remember not to recommend this wine with duck.

“Better write something. Better make it good.” I’ve just been thinking that over and over again today.

Tonight should be a good night for writing. GF has a lot of reading to do and I don’t think we have anywhere to go. Tomorrow I’m going to take this rusted bike to the bike shop and see what’s what. I’ve been having to take a taxi home after work too many times  and it’s not financially sustainable so time to consider other options. Helmets probably cost a shitload. Or a shit-ton. Or at least a guinea.

I’m slowly making my way through Great Expectations. The last time I read it was in…ninth grade or before that. I’m at the time when Pip is taking leave of his old friends and he’s being a total douche. Poor Joe.

I’m going to try to write something about something specific today. Maybe instead of being a food critic like Ruth Reichl I could be a book reviewer. I need more time to read books though. Fuck it I’m already a bartender. I’ll write a post about this wine.

Damn It Damn It Damn It

Here’s what I’ve got so far for my illustrious new essay on people who don’t think their blogs are good enough to read:

 

The particular writing paradox I want to address is illustrated succinctly by this quote from a blog post entitled “Here We Go Again,” from The Matticus Kingdom:

I’d really like to be able to make a living doing this writing thing and I’m hoping this blog will be a good platform to learn and grow as a writer, test my abilities, and build up a following.  Though, I’m not sure who would be silly enough to actually enjoy anything I write.

I’ve seen it said a hundred different ways and the first time I saw it was on my own blog, probably twelve different ways in twelve different posts that I posted on the same day.

Most everyone who blogs has at least considered making money from writing. I’m going to go so far as to say that most everyone who blogs fancies themselves a writer. And everyone knows these days that whatever you’re doing, you should probably have a following, a tribe, a platform. But how the hell do you do that? Well, you probably type that question into Google and spend the next three hours learning how to create a following. Then you don’t do anything about it for another week. Then you sit down to write some of your novel and you think, shit, I should probably have a following. Then you wonder why you haven’t been blogging all week.

Well, that’s one way things can go. Another way is you have those ideas in the back of your head, about a platform and this and that, and you think, well shit, I’m going to just write whatever I want on this blog. No one can stop me! But then you’re pretty sure that’s a bad idea. No one gets a following that way. Like Seth Godin says, are you sure what you’re saying is interesting, or is it just interesting to you? Well, if you’re a writer and you probably are, you’re probably pretty sure nothing you have to say is interesting, except those things that you work really hard on and edit and revise and you’re working on that, it’s coming out next summer, you swear!

 

Well that’s it. It sounds like a god damn preface to writing blogs for dummies. How did I get so detached from the subject? How did me become you? How did I lose the feeling…how did I lose the subject for that matter? I’m talking about this cycle that happens to me, not what I mean to be talking about which is this widespread belief that what you’re writing isn’t fit for reading. What you’re writing? What we’re writing? Shit! This is hard.

The End of the Day

Readability Index: Not Terrible If You’ve Got Time to Kill

That’s what it is. And so we have come to this. And so I have come to this.

Man, shit, I just got all caught up in reading a shit ton of blogs. I do it because I like reading other blogs. But also because I want people to come on here and read my dumb shit and like that shit. It’s funny because my girlfriend was just talking about how she gets high off people liking her pics on instagram.

Man it’s crazy as shit. I’m reading all these blogs, all up in these people’s brains like it’s Being John Malkovich in here. It’s pretty crazy because back in the day just a few months or years ago I wouldn’t read anything but the classic novels. I wouldn’t watch TV or anything. I just wanted to read things that stood the test of time, that were respectable, and respected. I thought that way I wouldn’t waste time winnowing through the endless stream of bullshit that’s out there. And now here I am, no longer concerned with winnowing even my own thoughts, just straight wallowing in bullshit. But you know, it’s not even bullshit out here. These swamps are filled with gold. I mean, people say the craziest shit. And everybody’s trying to figure shit out. People typing their hearts out here. A lot of it doesn’t boggle the mind when you read it. A lot of it doesn’t bear rereading. But almost all of it is worth reading once. It’s not like a stream of youTube comments out here.

I always tried to think of myself as a gifted writer. As a serious writer. I wanted only to write a novel. But now I don’t even know how I came to that conclusion. Or rather I know exactly how. It just sounded lie the right thing to do. Sounds nice. Novelist. Sounds like what you should do if you can write. A novel is just a respectable thing. All the way up until beyond my junior year of college, when I found myself in an advanced fiction writing workshop based around short fiction, I didn’t even know what a short story was. I thought it was a novel that had less words. Man, shit, you can just roll up on the blogosphere and start typing the dumbest shit and somebody’s going to read that shit, even just because you read their shit that they might didn’t think was worth nobody reading it. And what else is needed then? Should you have changed their life? Did you fail if you didn’t? Fuck if I know. Like I’m always saying, motherfucking sun’s bout to explode all over all our asses anyway so might as well get your kicks. Yeah I say that every five minutes, I’d say it more often but it takes about five minutes to say.

It’s crazy too because you can look around and pick out what people are good at. You can say, damn I wish I was funny as that girl, or attractive as that one, or I wish I had a shit ton of awesome pictures to post every five minutes and a service to offer, I wish I had mad insights like that dude or I wish I had the drive to spend a lot of time researching and putting together a kick ass factual jam like that dude. And everybody knows what you’re supposed to be doing is doing you, but that shit is never illustrated like it is here. Here it’s like you can find twenty-five real live motherfuckers failing miserably at doing what they think they should be doing, but succeeding at doing some kind of other thing. I don’t know. That shit is nonsensical but it makes sense to me. It’s weird because you know most people aren’t going to keep posting, just like most people aren’t going to keep doing anything besides breathing eating and going to the job that has a good health plan and doesn’t totally suck all the time. Most people that can post anyway. People that can’t even post like some cart runners in India they ain’t even half concerned with expressing themselves to the global community. Mother fuckers live in shantytowns with all the friends they care about impressing. And that’s what it comes down to, the idea of the over used word ‘community.’ Because really we’ve lost the real community, the extended family, the place where everybody knows your name and that your little sister had three abortions and is sleeping with the town mayor. And instead we have friends in cities thousands of miles away. We text a mother fucker who’s next door to ask for some salt. Just leave it outside the door thanks. And god damn, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Unless I could have free alcohol. Give me unlimited rye whiskey and a long wooden table and a bunch of people I know entirely too much about and I’ll be alright. But these kinds of perfect situations don’t exist even in the times of the past. Someone was always charging for  the whiskey, and the people all betrayed each other in horrendous ways, and they all died when flu season came around. And they killed all the Indians with smallpox blankets. And they burned homosexuals. Yeah it’s probably better that we’re all safe in our homes. Eating dope ass chicken salad and listening to music that’s made in little boxes with little boxes that have lights on them, burning a candle on the table to remind of us of the primeval fires we had to gather around so as not to get eaten by something bigger than us, and brushing our teeth with something probably made by a twelve pound pygmy getting paid a dollar a century. It’s a good life if you can get it. And this blogging shit, well, shit dude. How fucking great does it get. You can put your own head inside of a box and have people look at it and give you thumbs up. And you never once have to see them. And they can’t talk behind your back, because the little box is always in front of you.

Man this blogging shit is so crazy. I don’t even know what’s going on.

And my little WordPress comment indicator is lighting up so I’m going to just go ahead and push my favorite button and find out who the fuck wants to connect now.