Friday, November 30, 2007

Note to Novelists: Learn How to Fucking Write!

The rant du jour is prolly only relevant to book enthusiasts...or just to novel-readers. Here's the thing: if yer gonna write some bigass fucking book, is it too much to ask to move the damn plot along every once in a while? Yeah, I'm talking to you Tolstoy. Anna Karenina is judged by some to be the best novel ever? Oh, right: yer talking about on Htrae, the Bizarro world, where the what is "best" would be considered the worst by people on our planet...unless our notions of "best" have been updated to include that which is mind-numbingly dull. The same can be said for Umberto Eco's The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana. I didn't read far enough to figure out what the title meant, so I must assume that the "mystery" concerns an inquiry into how anyone ever made it to the end of that snoozer.

Oh, I know what the problem is: I'm just trying to read pseudo-intellectual wank-job lit. Surely if I read some genre lit., like Robert Jordon's Wheel of Time series, the pace will pick up and some actual plot might manifest itself. Well, I can't judge the whole series, but Book 1, The Eye of the World, matches J.R.R. Tolkien's crap in its complete mastery of tedium. It's weird to read fantasy novelists who simulate real life so well: you trudge through day after boring day (or page after boring page), stupidly always expecting something to happen...and only once in a great while does the "something" arrive, and by then you're barely awake enough to care.

So, the thing to do is just stick with novelists who understand that the whole idea of narrative means that there has to be people moving through time, doing things, saying interesting things. You know...novelists like Richard Russo. Shit HAPPENED in novels like Straight Man and Empire Falls. But, oh Lord...I guess I should have realized that we were going to take a detour into a Slumberland Home Furniture store and never wake up when I saw the title to Russo's latest: Bridge of Sighs. If a writer doesn't care enough to wonder whether anyone will get excited about a weakass title like that, you gotta figure he won't give a shit if we care that nothing ever happens in the novel. I went through an entire CD, and by the end of it exactly one thing had happened in the present: the character mentioned that he and his wife were thinking about going on a vacation. mean if I hang on for two or three more hundred pages, the characters might transition from thinking about going on a vacation to actually fucking going on a vacation? Now that's a hook!

That's why I'm sticking with crime novels from now on. At least you can be sure of this much plot in every crime novel: someone committed a crime, and someone's gonna solve it.

It would prolly take Robert Jordan four books to tell that story...

Sunday, November 25, 2007

"I got here the same way the coin did"

The quote is from a killer who occasionally flips a coin to decide whether to kill people or not. Gerry does not flip coins. He flips lids with lead. Anyway, go see the Coen bros. movie, No Country for Old Men, which spanks all kinds of ass. Meanwhile, in a random universe with random violence, we have the random image of the day:And random wisdom from a student who wuz axed what she/he learned from a writing course:

"Life is not about me."

Really? Did I teach that? Hmmm...yeah, sounds like me.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

English Vs. Basic Writing Students

English gets its ass kicked once again, as what little shred of dignity or regard Woody Allen once possessed is grease on the road after he becomes "Woody Alien" in a student paper. We also learn from this same student that Sean Penn's character in Sweet and Lowdown loves a woman, but he can't "emit" it.

Oh, he emitted it all right...(bah dum dum!)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Analog Kid

Back by popular demand....a calculator. Not just any calculator mind you but a
1975 Hewlett Packard model 37E with a bright LED display, the kind that our folks absolutely marveled about.

As an added bonus, calculator watches and a brick cell phone. Far out and wicked nice, baby!!!


What happened to Danny's dissertation on calculators? Or did I just dream that? Anyhoo, here is the picture of the day:

The line of poetry of the day is from Emily Dickinson:

"Worlds scoop their orbits"

The TXB commentary of the day is from TXB: "The fuck?!"

All brought to you by Dan's disappearing dissertation on calculators, wherever it may be.

Monday, November 05, 2007


The downward spiral has began. Perhaps it began a long time ago. Perhaps we've just been spiraling down at a faster pace the past few years. Either way, we're going to hell. It's just a question of when we get there. So, perhaps I've said this before, but I'll make a final pronouncement and try not to say it again: voting in the next election is probably pointless. Oh, I know: the main Republican candidates sound like psychos. Surely we don't want ANOTHER psycho in the oval office, right? Funny thing, though...and I only just recently realized this: we're most likely gonna have a psycho anyway. You think Hillary ain't a psycho? You think Barack Obama's not a psycho? They're sellouts and psychos and fuckups and goddamn cowards of the worst kind, so it's hard to see how Rudy or Romney would be too much worse. Perhaps...and I say only PERHAPS...a democratic president would not rush to bomb Iran as quickly as a republican. But I have no doubt now that all the major democratic candidates WOULD do it. Well, maybe not John Edwards. If you want to daydream some reason to have hope...maybe John Edwards is the reason. But it's hard to support a guy now and really believe in him when he was a sellout and a psycho and a fuckup and a goddamn coward in the last election. At any rate, I now know too that the democrats don't stop the war because they don't mind it going on so much. They don't try to limit Bush's power because they want the power for themselves. For the contemporary democrats are merely a party of unfulfilled promises and utter gutlessness that is every bit as reprehensible as the pure bullshit and evil cooked up by the Fucked Old Party. Yeah, I said "every bit as reprehensible." I will no longer make distinctions between the psychos and those who do virtually nothing to stop the psychos. The do-nothings are psychos, too. If some psycho's got a gun and he's killing people, and you've got a gun and you don't blow that fucker's shit away...well, then, those who died are on your head, too. All the dead Iraqis and American soldiers and are just as much on the heads of the democrats as on the heads of the republicans because neither party stood up to the Psycho in Chief and blew his shit out of office with the most deserved impeachment ever in American politics. Only a a few politicians--say their names aloud with a little reverence, if you will...Ron Paul, Dennis Kucinich, Russ Feingold--have had any courage to vote and speak out with principle. Virtually every other politician in congress is a sellout and a useless waste of flesh and bone, and they do not care for shit about this country and they will stand by as we go to hell. So hang on. It's gonna happen.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Family Values

All right's time to enter the fucked up world of TXB collages. As I said to my colleague Skler, it's the art form where I get sued by other artists...and Skler added, "And when they sue you, it turns into performance art." Click that image for supersized collage goodness, y'all...