please stop tickling me

In which we laugh and laugh and laugh. And love. And drink.

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Location: Portland, Oregon

Otium cum Dignitatae

Friday, February 09, 2007

The Gentleman Author Disappears Up His Own Ass

Bloggin' about bloggin'. I told you never again. But you just kept staring at me in that little way of yours, and I got up, crossed the room to your table and offered you a Pimm's Cup, or perhaps a Pisco Sour. You smiled and brushed your hair behind your ear.
What? Oh. There's this stupid story in the paper today. It's about how to blog, basically, for those who either haven't heard about it, or can't...Use a computer? I dunno; even for filler this one's lame. Its title, by the way, is "Blah Blah Blog". HAW HAW!
(Compare to Scott Baio's character on "Arrested Development", a lawyer by the name of Bob Loblaw, who has a blog concerning law, called 'Bob Loblaw's Law Blog'.)

In and of itself, the article is nothing special. It's from the 'Living' section, which is that unique corner of hell where articles about meaningless shit share space a multitude of ads hawking cures for your crippling depression and hair loss. Imagine being the cub reporter at the big daily, wishing to cover actual stories, only to have endless repetitions of the following conversation with you editor:
"I liked your feature last week; 'Coffee Tables are Able Tables', but where's the article you promised me about laughter being the best medicine?"
Like I say, hell. But the article becomes interesting (?) when it throws a few examples of locals who blog at you. I'm not in there, praise Yog The Almighty.

Well, first it tells you about where one might find this 'bloghosting' service. Helpful, yes, and then the litany:

Miss Kris is in here, and she shares not a little with that Onion feature called "A Room of Jean's Own", in which a boring and annoying person gets to share what she hopes are interesting anecdotes about her fascinating life. This particular person has subtitled her blog, "My quiet little sanctuary in the city of Portland, Oregon, where I kick off my shoes, sit back, and relax."
Kinda rolls off the tongue gracefully and not at all in a painfully awkward way, doesn't it? I read a little way into it, and discovered that this middle aged person is unfamiliar with the concept of working for (and being paid by) a Non Profit Organization. She's fascinated by the paradox. She thinks it means 'working for free'. Also, the paper quotes one of her more searching passages:
"I distinctly remember how I felt as I sat there in the same chair I'm sitting in now, at the same desk in front of the same windows, staring at the same monitor I'm staring at this very moment. Scared to death!"
(Of what, Kris? 'The call came from inside the house'?)
"But as I sat down and paused over my keyboard, I wondered if anyone 'out there' would ever be interested in what I had to share. What did I have to share?! I didn't have a clue. All I knew is, whether anyone cared to read or not, I needed to write. And so I began."
Bravo! Way to take power back from those meanies who might find you boring, and join the thousands of people sharing their little thoughts with the ether each n' every day. There is also a lengthy, fatuous quote from Maya Angelou at the top of her page.

There's a blog listed here that's all about rutabagas that should be a hell of a lot funnier than it is. There's one all about the Portland Trailblazers, which is pretty much the most boring sports blog I've seen in my life, about a lackluster, perennial-disappointment basketball team we have around here.
But hey; since I don't want to just sit here and make fun of stupid shit on the internet, let's do the other thing I do, and talk about what I do for a living.

Tonight in Portland: Monday Night Raw! World Wrestling Entertainment (tm) had their thing at the Rose Garden tonight, and that required me to be there at Seven in the blessed A.M. Their stage set is elaborate as hell, as those of you watch pro wrestling know, and was attended by a road crew of men with Short Ass Redneck Male Disease (shouting all the time; not communicating shit).
I had lunch in the Media Room, which is a sorry excuse for a breakroom, and must please the ink-stained wretches to no end. No one had mentioned to me, though, that I'd be eating with actual wrestlers.
Or The Talent, in any case. Huge men. I've never felt so damn small, though I've never worked at a basketball game in this venue. It was a room full of actors who could kill you. Going on about who was going to kick whose ass, but in that jokey, mock-heroic way that actors do.
A fair amount of them were definitely suffering from Marfan's Syndrome: they were true giants, that is, and will no doubt keep growing until they die, and have certain aspects of their persons that are noticeably larger than they should be. The chin, for example, or one really big ear.

I dunno. The time has come for me to write about something real. I'll get right on that, next post. Really.



Blogger JACQ said...

That's the main reason I pride myself in writing about anything and everything. And nothing in particular.

8:43 PM  
Blogger George said...

Right now I'm working on a BIP (Big Important Paper) and I keep thinking about the ancient Egyptian negative confession, or affirmation of innocence as it is sometimes called. Apprently when you go to the underworld you don't say what bad things you did, you say the bad things you didn't do. So, along with things like"I did not slaughter the god's cattle" and "I did not curse the king" was"I did not multiply words needlessly." So, Ok, I've never cursed a king - only the president - and I've never slaughtered any cattle, so I'm safe on that one. The needless multiplcation thing, however worries me, but only in de academical arena mind you. We all have a shit load of things to do, and a shit load of things to read, when people needlessly complicate their insights - or non-insights - I get a rash. (and there should also be something about not publishing needlessly multiplied words too) Of course, this is a self perpetuating negative feedback loop, because people start thinking that's how an academical paper is supposed to look.

On your absolute worst day, Rich, you never do this...And this brings me to something I been wanting to mention. Your stylistic development has sharpened, crystalized or something. You've always been the best pure writer I know, but in the last 6 months you've mastered the art of avoiding absolutely all needless phrases. Lately my writing has focused more on sculpting out what I don't want as well. I have cut out as much writing as I have kept. True story. I have ten pages in the cutting room file for every ten that stays in the BIP. In any case, I was thinking, it (what? the secret, the key the magical inner wisdom) isn't so much in avoiding trivial topics, but avoiding trivial words. Maybe, I dunno, it looks that way to me lately.

Let me support that a bit, cuz I know it sounds backwards. Lately I keep wanting to tell the psychotic monotheists, "look its either all miracles or no miracles. This. 'sometimes-a-miracle-at-the-whim-of-what-is-apparently -one-big-omnipotent-personality-disorder' business does not make any sense and never has. It would have never flown without certian political interests making use of it."

One of the many implications of this is (if, like me, you favor the all miracles position) that there are no trivial topics, just trivial descriptions.

I hope you are putting together some thick description and sending it to some of those fancy pants New York Publishers.

And finally I leave with this "dun du du dudu AHHHH ahhh AHHHHHH AHH, I come from the land of the ice and snow.... etc."

11:14 AM  
Blogger George said...

By the way, I should add that when I talk about leaving out the unnessary words, I'm not talking about some ticky tack Raymond Carver minimalism, or 'manly' Hemmingway terseness.

(Yeah, Carver's great and all, it's only ticky tack when people try and imitate it. I can take or leave Hemingway)

Carver does use just as many words as *he* should, but that dosen't amount to a general standard, it just reflects Raymond Carver's sensitive but more or less anemic soul.

In any case, there's no criteria, you get there or you don't. Kesey never multiplied words needlessly, at least not in his prime, but he could none the less be a syntactical volcano.

Later Skaters

2:34 PM  

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