Sunday, May 20, 2012

For The Days You're Slow on the Draw

I'm a little slow getting my post up today. It's been a big weekend.  Yesterday I had the opportunity to do a presentation on writing.  It's always kind of fun to go out there and play at being a writer.  The truth is I am more or less at the point where I can kind of legitimately call myself that, but the label still seems too frickin' pretentious.

I always like to emphasize how writers don't make any money.  Even really good ones.  The example I like best is Edgar Allan Poe.  The fact that Poe died penniless always gives me hope because when you read Poe the one thing that's universally clear is that the dude knew how to write.  Few people debate that (and with as snarky as most people are, that's saying something).  Yes, Poe knew his craft, and if HE couldn't squeeze money out of it, that's saying something.

I think it's important to emphasize the lack of monetary reward just because society in general tends to overvalue writers (in my opinion).  Part of the reason for this is that writers as protagonists are overrepresented in...well...writing.  That this would be the case is obvious (writers are going to write about writers naturally), but that doesn't change the fact that having all these damn stories about writers shoved down your throat doesn't affect your perception of things.

What writers need to write about more are self-indulgent talentless writers who never make anything of themselves.  This group is underrepresented in modern media because...drum roll...those type of writers never get their stuff published.

As for myself, I'm actually pretty pleased with the slow steady progress I've been making as a writer.  My book is doing well, and I actually make pretty solid revenue from this blog (solid in the sense that it's not so little that it isn't worth doing).  I'd probably make more if I weren't inclined against blowing smoke up people's asses about how great I am.  I hate that pretentious bullshit.  For example I was listening to some public radio station the other day (on my drive to my presentation) that had an interview with some BS 23 year old "poet" who was pretty high talking about how great she was in this transparent "I'm so humble I could just puke" voice.  In fact, she was much better about talking about the "theory" of her as a poet than actually being a poet.  When she actually read her poems, it was with this affected "strong woman/weak voice" declaration that quickly became more impossible to listen to than Jennifer Lopez.

I think the modern media smells my contempt for this kind of idiocy on me and that's part of why I don't get invited on the radio all that often (although I have been on the radio).  But seriously, wouldn't you love it if you turned on Public Radio and the first thing the guest said was, "I really hate the way you guys speak in this pretentious whisper of a voice like you're so damn smug about how cultured and intelligent you all are."  I'd keep listening to that show (and a show like that would probably generate enough funds so it wouldn't have to beg for public hand outs...hehehe).

Anyway, my presentation went well I think.  Cheers!

3 comments:

  1. I'm glad that you seem to have enjoyed giving that presentation and who, by the way, who did you give it to?
    Actually, I wouldn't be too concerned about labeling yourself as a writer. I really think that it's inappropriate to label anyone as one solitary thing. Far better, I think, is to view people as multifaceted beings who could legitimately be labeled in a number of ways. I would label you as a loving Dad and husband, a multiculturalist, an Inca trail and Cuzco enthusiast, an educator, and a writer along with all those things. For my part, I'd label myself as as a Peruvian political expert, ex-college professor and government agent, a multiculturalist, and most recently, a writer. And it really shouldn't matter if you make money practicing your craft since the pleasure involved in engaging in the creative process can be far more important and valuable. I get the feeling that you probably think the same way and making a few bucks from your writing isn't really that important. And as far as I'm concerned, that's the way it should be.

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  2. John from SydneyMay 20, 2012 at 7:38 PM

    Think Bukowski!!

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  3. Dean Charles MarshallMay 21, 2012 at 7:17 AM

    Personally, I think the only people deserving of respect are "shit disturbers". Why? Because they're willing to piss on the status quo and call bullshit. For example, the other day Facebook had it's overly hyped and much anticipated IPO. Now you can delude yourself all you want but social networking is nothing more than "online voyeurism" pandering to hordes of techno zombies obsessed with trivial pursuits. Facebook is simply a Leviathan data mining operation that extracts your personal and private information for resale purposes. If and when Facebook ever discovers a cure for cancer, ends world hunger or brokers world peace that's when we can attest to its "real" value. Now I don't want to get off on a rant here, I'm not against anybody making an honest buck, like Owen with his new perfume, but what I'm sick and tired of is all the callous lipped cocksuckers like former Senator and presidential candidate John Edwards, who weasel their way into the "hearts and minds" of the American people on a "bed of lies" and then take campaign contributions from Super PACs and wealthy donors to finance illicit affairs with butt ugly whores.
    Our country is wallowing in the worst economic debacle since the Great Depression and Obama and Romney, the two "charlatans" who want to be our next president, are so devoid of any solutions to get this country back on track it's ridiculous. Here's my point; the whole Facebook fiasco and "loony tunes" excuse for a presidential campaign, as well as the Supreme Court's insidious decision to give equal rights to corporations at the expense of the citizenry, has in my opinion have the completed fascist coup d'etat of our democracy. Yea we still have freedom of choice - between paper or plastic, credit or debit, name brand or generic, Democrat or Republican. Get my point?

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